Questions about Rocky Hill mine water plans Beauty: The view at Gloucester towards where the proposed Rocky Hill coking coal mine could be established.
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Protests: Residents are making their views on the proposed mine known.

Against: Gloucester residents (from left) Dimity Bowden, Helen Evans, Mick O’Brien, Denise and Bruce Gilbert, who oppose the proposed mine.

TweetFacebook Poll shows Gloucester residents overwhelmingly oppose Rocky Hill coal mineAn area known for its natural beauty is fighting a coal mine proposal, againTHE NSW Department of Primary Industries has raised serious questions about water management at the proposed Rocky Hill coal mine at Gloucester as a new poll shows residents overwhelmingly oppose the mine.

The department questioned a proposed water sharing arrangement between the mine, on the approaches to Gloucester, and Yancoal’s Stratford Duralie mine complex, in a letter to the Department of Planning on July 30. The Department of Planning is assessingthe mine application before making a recommendation about its future.

The Department of Primary Industries said the long term feasibility of the water sharing arrangement was unclear as it assumed no further development by Yancoal, and requires that both mine sites be “inextricably linked”.

The department requested more information on impacts to downstream water users, including discussions between Rocky Hill and downstream licensed users about theirbasic landholder rights.

On Monday Groundswell Gloucester released the results of a ReachTEL phone poll of more than 700 residents showing 73 per cent of residents do not want the mine, and only 19 per cent think it should go ahead.

Women outnumbermen in opposing the project on environmental, health and tourism grounds, and people aged over 50 also opposethe proposal in greater numbers.

Only 16 per cent of women polled support the mine, with 76.5 per cent opposed to it. The largest group to oppose the mine are people aged 51-65, with 77.9 per cent opposed.

Groundswell Gloucester spokesperson John Watts said the poll on the night of July 27 showed the community “has had enough and the government and MPs will ignore these results at their peril”.

“Over 200 people recently attended a public meeting in Gloucester and voted unanimously to tell the government that it must act to stop this flawed proposal. This poll shows that the community overwhelmingly does not want a 220m deep, dirty and polluting coal mine on the doorstep of the township.

“Noise, dust and toxic blast fumes will be what the Gloucester community will be forced to endure sixdays aweek until 10pm. That is simply unacceptable.”

Mr Watts quoted Mid-Coast Council administrator John Turner, who grew up in a mining town and made a submission that “this mine is simply too close to town”.

The ReachTEL pollfound that 58 per cent of residents thought the mine would adversely affect tourism while63 per cent said it would adversely affect the health of the Gloucester community.

Gloucester Resources, which first proposed a Rocky Hill mine in 2006, has applied to operate three open cut pits up to 220 metres deep to mine for coking coal, and use Yancoal facilities to transport it to Newcastle.

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READY FOR ACTION: n Flying Corps squadron aircraft waiting for their pilots to take them into action.Photo courtesy of The Digger’s View by Juan Mahony.Newcastle Morning Herald transcriptions and Hunter Valley enlistment and death details for July 30-August 5, 1917.
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AUSTRALIAN AVIATORSMr Andrew Fisher, High Commissioner for , who was accompanied by Colonels Griffiths and Reynolds, visited the n Flying Cadets, quartered at Oxford, where 136 are undergoing a practical course of training.The men were chosen from the ranks. All were picked for their physique and youth, and mostly because they possessed considerable mechanical knowledge.Training is very thorough in all departments of aeroplane work. So keen are the students that they are able to complete the course in half the usual time. The majority of the instructors are British, although there are several ns who gained experience on the various battle fronts.The consensus of opinion among the British instructors is that ns are peculiarly fitted for air work, and will make first-class fliers. All speak in high terms of the men’s exemplary conduct during training.After daily study in the workshops the men are compelled to indulge in athletics, the University authorities providing every facility. When the technical course is completed the men will be drafted to various aerodromes in Britain to undergo flying tests. Some hundreds have already passed to the final stage. An interesting feature of the instruction consists of a scale model of a famous war salient, on which, by electrical means, mimic shells burst over the ground, while an embryo aviator views the ground from a high gallery. Thus he is able to accustom himself to the appearance of trench systems, and to acquire a knowledge of aerial photography.Mr. Fisher visited the various colleges and saw the men at work. He was afterwards entertained by the corps in the dinner hall at Queen’s College.In a speech, Mr Fisher said he was glad to meet the ns’ latest arm of war service. It proved that was able to keep in line in every new venture. He was delighted to hear praise concerning their conduct. Upon them rested ‘s reputation in competition with men from all parts of the Empire. He hoped the name of would long be their inspiration. He looked to them to bring to the air service that initiative and boldness which had characterised their part in the war.

FREE PHOTOS FOR SOLDIERSDuring the past six months enthusiasm has been shown by the honorary workers of the Snapshots from Home League, of the YMCA, in providing free photographs of home scenes, relatives, and friends to those on active service. The total membership of the various leagues throughout the Commonwealth now numbers 5090, serving some 700 different centres, as against 2600 members, and 400 centres in February last. Since the Snapshots League was first formed in , thousands of applications have been received from our men abroad, on troopships, in camps in , and from their friends in the Commonwealth. This does not merely represent the amount of work carried out by the army of snapshotters belonging to the leagues, as the largest part of the work is done by the members getting the names of men at the front from rolls of honour, etc., and visiting the homes of the men, and taking photographs of their friends, to be forwarded to them. In a letter recently received, a member of the AIFstated: “The snapshots taken by you of my parents and sisters have reached me, and I cannot express how deeply grateful I am. You are engaged in a noble work, and I can assure you we appreciate the spirit in which it is done. So often the soldier becomes despondent and anxious for those at home, and a glance at their likenesses does one a great deal of good. I have watched soldiers on different occasions gazing for quite a long time into the likenesses of the ones they love.” Amateur photographers in this district, who are not already members of the league, may become enrolled as such, and gain much interesting and pleasurable experience by applying for membership to Miss Scott, care Scott’s, Ltd., Newcastle.

CARRINGTONAt the school of arts hall on Saturday night, the members of tile Carrington Football Club presented Private P. Scully, captain of the 4th grade team, who is leaving for the front, with a wristlet watch and money-belt. After the toast of The Kinghad been duly honoured, the president of the school of arts said he was pleased to see such a large number of the members of the football club present to do honour to their departing comrade. He hoped that in the near future they would have the pleasure of welcoming home Private Scully as safe and sound as he was leaving them. MrH. Hogan, in proposing the toast of The Guest,said they were sorry to lose Private Scully as a member of the club and a comrade, but hoped it was only for a short time. He wished him luck whilst away. The toast was enthusiastically received. Private Scully, in responding, said he would not forget the Carrington boys whilst away. He was sorry that he was severing his connection with the football club, but hoped that it was only for a short time. Mr J.A. Devon, secretary of the Carrington Football Club, in making the presentation, said they were losing one of their best players by the departure of Private Scully. If he fought the enemy as well as he fought his opponents on the football field he would render a good account of himself. It gave him great pleasure, on behalf of his clubmates, to present him with the watch and belt. MrC. Bushy, on behalf of the younger members of the school of arts, then presented Private Scully with a fountain pen, after which Private Scully was presented with a safety razor.

KILLINGWORTHA memorial service was held in St. Peter’s Anglican Church on Sunday in memory of the late Private Joseph Pritchard, who was recently killed in action in France.MrsJames Cherry, senior of Killingworth, received a letter from her son, Private Oliver James Cherry, from a Canadian hospital in England, where he is convalescing from a severe attack of trench fever after serving 11months in France. Private O. J. Cherry enlisted in July, 1915, and served in Gallipoli and Egypt before going to France. His friends will be glad to learn that he is well on the way to recovered health. Another son, James, is now a warrant officer on the headquarters’staff in France; while a third son, Robert, is also at the front “somewhere in France”.

NEWCASTLE’S WATTLE DAYIn Newcastle on Wednesday there was no mistaking the character of the day, for wattle was seen in every direction. The members of the Newcastle Wattle Day League had organised their forces with excellent effect, and there was an ample supply of the popular flower and also many buyers. This was evident from the fact that nearly every person wore a sprig of the n national flower. The weather was perfect. The blooms had been gathered in every direction, and quantities came from distant places. The league had established their headquarters at the Central Methodist Mission Hall and early in the morning there were ample supplies for a start, and these were replenished as the day wore on.A short ceremony was held under the auspices of the league at the Anzac Memorial in front of the Newcastle Post Office at noon, in the presence of a large crowd. Three wreaths of wattle were placed on the monument.

HEXHAMNews has been received that Corporal D. Julien Weinberg has been wounded in France. The young soldier was a Russian, from Lodz, Poland, where his parents reside. Joining the British forces in Egypt he fought at Gallipoli, where he was wounded. After his discharge he came to , where he again enlisted in the 34th Battalion.

PRIVATE W. EAGLESMr and MrsEnoch Eagles, of Victoria-street, Adamstown, received word Tuesday that their son, Private W. Eagles, who was wounded on June 7th, is progressing favourably. He received a wound in the right leg and right arm and shoulder. Private Eagles has been awarded the Military Medal for gallant action on May 17th and 18th. Private Eagles volunteered to carry despatches under heavy fire, and for his gallant action he was awarded the Military Medal. Private Eagles previous to enlisting was a miner at Burwood Colliery.

PRIVATE H. SHEARSMiss Shears of Minmi, has received the following letter: “You will have heard the sad news of the death of your brother, Harry, who was killed in action on the 9/6/’17. I wish to convey to you the sympathy of the men of his company. He was one of the original members of the battalion, and was of particular value among the men, because he had gone through so much and done so well, consequently we all feel his loss very keenly. He proved himself to be a splendid soldier, cool in danger, and fearless in action. It will be some comfort to you to know that he was not called upon to suffer pain. He passed quietly to his rest, and was buried in a grave, with some of his friends behind our lines. We thought of you and all your family, and ask, in prayer, that God would give you comfort in your sorrow, and that you might be proud of the way that your brother had been faithful in duty until his death. Yours (Signed), Private A. Bamback and Jock Fullocks.”

PRIVATE J. BARKERMrs Annie Barker, of the Selections, Abermain, has been notified officially that her husband, Private James Barker, was killed in action in France on July 20th, 1917. He left with a local battalion, and had three sons at the front. One was killed and another invalided home, leaving one still in action.

ENLISTMENTSWilliam Read Beeston, Hamilton; Oliver Carlow Capararo, Carrabolla; Frederick Clarke, Karuah; Henry Gunn, Scone; William Haddow, Gateshead; Ralph Peel Scott, Stanford Merthyr; William Henry Smith, Linwood; Thomas Clifton Storey, Mayfield; George Frederick White, Islington; Andrew James Wilson, Carrington; John Herbert Young, Lambton.

DEATHSGnr Arthur William Black, Lochinvar; Pte George Arthur Blanch, Karuah; Pte Aaron Herbert Hayes, Islington; Pte Ernest Reign Urwin, Plattsburg.

David Dial OAM is a Hunter-based military historian. Follow his research at facebook苏州夜总会招聘/HunterValleyMilitaryHistory

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A highly intoxicated driver who twice failed to register a reading has indicated he will plead guilty to having a reading more than six times the legal limit – .316.
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Haydn James Blennerhassett, 47, of Wall Street, Camperdown, indicated he would plead guilty in the Warrnambool Magistrates Court to driving under the influence of alcohol and drink driving.

But, magistrate Cynthia Toose declined to hear the case as Blennerhassett was not represented and was at severe risk of going to prison.

The case was adjourned for a hearing before another magistrate on August 14.

Police said that on the afternoon of November 16 last year Blennerhassett was driving a silver Camry along the Daylesford-Trentham Road towards Trentham, which is 70 kilometres north-east of Ballarat.

Two witnesses watched him driving for 20 minutes, noting he was extremely erratic and swerving wildly from the extreme left-hand side of the road into oncoming traffic.

The witnesses tried to get Blennerhassett to stop but he refused.

Blennerhassett then crossed double white lines into oncoming traffic and missed collisions with about 10 cars only because other drivers took evasive action.

Two drivers actually stopped their cars on the side of the road.

Blennerhassett finished up stopping in the middle of the T-intersection of the Daylesford-Trentham Road with the Trentham Falls Road.

He got out of his car with a 700ml bottle of Johnny Walker whisky, which he placed on the top of his car’s roof.

The witnesses took his keys and police were called.

Officers found Blennerhassett slumped in the driver’s seat, he had difficultly lifting his head, drool was coming from his mouth and he had appeared to have vomited on himself.

He was unable to get out of his car without assistance and had to be helped into a police vehicle.

Blennerhassett also had great difficulty keeping his pants up.

His preliminary breath test reading said: “out of range”.

He was taken back to the Daylesford police station and his first reading there said: “blowing not allowed”.

A second reading later recorded .316.

Because of two prior drink driving offences Blennerhassett had a zero alcohol licence condition and he was that drunk police took him to hospital.

He initially denied drinking alcohol but then broke down crying, saying: “I’m stuffed”.

The magistrate said Blennerhassett was looking at a term of imprisonment and he needed to be represented by a lawyer.

She said it was his third drink driving offence and the intersection where Blennerhassett stopped his car was extremely dangerous.

The Standard, Warrnambool

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Diego Castro could return from a hamstring injury and make his A-League season debut for Perth.Perth Glory coach Tony Popovic has a headache – and he wouldn’t want it any other way.


Popovic has some big selection calls to make ahead of Sunday’s A-League match against Central Coast, with Diego Castro the biggest of the lot.

Castro hasn’t played since injuring his hamstring during the pre-season, but the veteran is now back in full training and pushing for selection against the Mariners at nib Stadium.

Veteran striker Brendon Santalab (hamstring) is also available to play his first game of the season, while centre back Tomislav Mrcela will be hoping to slot straight back in after serving a one-match suspension.

Glory sit on top of the ladder with three wins and one draw, but Popovic said he wouldn’t be afraid to change an unbeaten side if he saw the need for it.

Popovic wants to put Castro through his paces on Saturday before making a final decision on the 36-year-old.

“I’m just weighing up where he’s at physically,” Popovic said.

“The last 10 days he’s been training with the team, doing all the sessions with the group.

“We want to make sure that if we do use Diego, he will make a difference.

“But we also don’t want to throw him in there for the sake of one match if he’s not ready.”

Socceroos defender Matthew Spiranovic will miss at least another match as he continues his long recovery from hip surgery.

Santalab is likely to have to bide his time on the bench given the hot form of striker Andy Keogh, who has scored four goals in four games.

Central defender Dino Djulbic performed well in the 2-0 win over Adelaide, but he could be forced straight out given that Mrcela is available to return.

“It’s a great headache,” Popovic said of his selection options.

The last-placed Mariners will be without star midfielder Tommy Oar, who strained a knee in the 4-1 loss to Melbourne Victory.

However, veteran striker Matt Simon is available to play after recovering from injury.

The Mariners have just two points to show from their opening four games, and will be desperate to post a win in Perth.

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Jeff Horn says it’s the element of unknown that will interest punters most about his fight with Anthony Mundine next Friday.


It’s not an opinion shared by his trainer Glenn Rushton though, who a week out from the Suncorp Stadium bout has already seen it play out in his head.

“I’m predicting a KO win … I actually had a dream he’d knock him out in round seven and I’m visualising the headline on the next morning saying ‘Mundown’,” Rushton said on Friday.

“Joshua (Clottey) got him down five times (in a 2014 loss), how good would it be if we could get him down six times.

“But it’s a dangerous fight, we have to be careful if we get too carried away and get him too early it could be to our detriment.”

Mundine has typically pulled no punches ahead of what is said to be the former rugby league star and boxing world champion’s farewell from the ring.

But former teacher Horn was full of complements following a promotional sparring session in downtown Brisbane on Friday.

“Definitely (he can knock me out); I think he’s in good shape from what I’ve seen of him,” Horn said.

“He wants to go out on the big bang, I’m expecting the best Anthony Mundine out there.

“It’s a real unknown with this fight, with Mundine and his boxing skills.”

Horn lost his welterweight title belt in what was his first professional defeat to Terence Crawford in June.

“Hopefully I can learn from my mistakes,” Horn said.

“Mundine has that similar style and he’s saying he’s coming to upset me with that.”

Horn admitted to some nostalgia as he skipped around a makeshift gym at the top of Queen Street, having done the same before his memorable upset of Manny Pacquiao last year.

He hopes those good vibes continue against an opponent he thinks may be underestimating him.

“I think that last fight (against Crawford) he saw me in, he saw a lot of chinks in my armour, which there was,” Horn said.

“This time it’s going to be a lot different.

“His greatest weakness will be if I clip him nice and clean in the head he’ll be wobbled and I’ll be able to get him down.”

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Victorian Treasurer Tim Pallas sThe men vying to be in charge of Victoria’s purse strings have spent election eve battling over each other’s budget black holes.


Treasurer Tim Pallas on Friday launched an online attack advertisement against the Liberals’ plan to lease off Melbourne’s sewage treatment system to pay for projects.

Meanwhile, shadow treasurer Michael O’Brien seized on comments made by Mr Pallas on radio refusing to rule out new taxes.

“We don’t think essential services should ever constitute part of a government’s privatisation agenda, economic assets (like the port) we think fall into a different category,” Mr Pallas told reporters.

“How cowardly has this been to try and drop this into the public domain at the last minute, when quite frankly I would relish the opportunity to talk about the Liberal Party’s privatisation plans.”

Mr Pallas also accused the Liberal-Nationals of having a $43 billion shortfall in costings for major projects and minor works projects promised over multiple parliament terms.

Most budgets only deal with four-year periods.

Mr O’Brien for his part counterattacked over the revelation Labor plans on borrowing $25 billion to fund three major infrastructure projects and Mr Pallas’ refusal to promise no new taxes.

“If Daniel Andrews is re-elected tomorrow, Victorians can bet their house on him introducing even more new taxes to pay for his unfunded election promises,” he said in a statement.

He promised no new taxes under a Liberal-Nationals government.

“These are the people who said no new taxes before the last election – they introduced 12 new or increased taxes. We’re now the highest-taxed state in the country,” Mr O’Brien told 3AW.

Premier Daniel Andrews defended Labor’s planned debt as roughly equivalent to one years’ worth of the state’s income.

“Most Victorians would be pleased to have a mortgage that’s no bigger than a year’s income,” he told reporters.

Opposition Leader Matthew Guy echoed Mr O’Brien’s attack while on the hustings.

“There is either going to be more tax or no new taxes I think we know the answer. If Labor is elected, there will be more taxes,” Mr Guy told reporters.

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PROCESS: Procedural fairness is a key consideration in any unfair dismissal matter.The Fair Work Commission (FWC) has made it clear in its decisions on unfair dismissals that there are two main considerations:whether there was a valid reason for termination or not; andwhether procedural fairness was provided.


Procedural fairness looks at the process that the employer adopted in effecting the dismissal of an employee. Procedural fairness is a primary factor for consideration in any unfair dismissal matter. A valid reason for termination on its own will not be sufficient for an employer to successfully defend an unfair dismissal case.

Failure of the employer to apply procedural fairness before an employee’s dismissal will usually result in a finding that the dismissal was unfair, resulting in either the reinstatement of the employee (when considered appropriate) or payment of compensation (up to the equivalent of six months’ pay).

Many will recall the publicity surrounding the decision of Gosek v Illawara Coal Holdings where Mr Gosek directed foul language at fellow employees and supervisors. Up until this decision, the accepted view was that once an employee swore at a workplace and directed the offensive language at a fellow employee or a supervisor, it was a justified termination of employment.

But, in this case, not only did the FWC find that Mr Gosek’s termination of employment for this type of behaviour was unfair, it ordered the employer to reinstate Mr Gosek within seven days.

The employer did not follow procedural fairness. The employee was summarily dismissed and was told not to return to work. Instead, the FWC said that procedural fairness must still be applied. The employer should have allowed the employee to settle down then should have invited the employee to a meeting and given him the opportunity to explain his behaviour. If he had that opportunity, the evidence that he would have put forward would have been:

Mr Gosek had an unblemished employment record in his 11 years’ service at Illawarra Coal, which rendered his behaviour “out of character”;he immediately apologised for his behaviour; andthe explanation Mr Gosek gave for his conduct including:the severe impact of his mental illness on his family which led to his excessive drinking and his difficulty adjusting to the effect of increased medication.The decision was appealed this year, and the employee was once again successful. The Full Bench of the FWC is not saying that anyone can swear in the workplace to their colleagues and get away with it ‒ indeed, if faced with a different set of circumstances it is entirely possible a different conclusion would have been reached. It does mean employers really need to pay attention to the circumstances of each misconduct case before them.

So, in this case, we had a valid reason for dismissal but the procedure undertaken was not fair and therefore the employee was reinstated.

When effecting a dismissal, employers must askhave they given the employee a fair go all around? And, importantly, has the employee had the opportunity to have their say?

Christie Howson is Solicitor Director, Employment and Litigation at Osborn Law

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‘Tsunami of fire’: relief in Salt Ash after bushfire fury eases Firefighters at Salt Ash on Friday. Picture: Darren Pateman/AAP


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TweetFacebook Friday’s Salt Ash bushfire threat Pictures by Simone De Peak and AAP+92Pictures by Simone De Peak and AAPfacebookSHAREtwitterTWEETemailwhatsappcommentCommentsMORE GALLERIES

1234567891011121314151617181920212223242526272829303132333435363738394041424344454647484950515253545556575859606162636465666768697071727374757677787980818283848586878889909192 – A SECOND day of horror conditions kept firefighters guessing at Salt Ash on Friday, with properties constantly under threat from a capricious bushfire amid howling winds.

Firefightersincluding former Prime Minister Tony Abbottcovered an area from Rookes Roadto the Williamtown RAAF base on Friday as fast-moving fires and pockets of flame demanded a high degree of caution.

Thin smoke would quickly become impenetrable before clearing altogether within minutes asstrong winds forced even some water-bombing aircraft to the ground for safety reasons amid “severe turbulence”.

NSW Rural Fire Service Inspector RolfPoole said fire investigators would continue to seek out the cause of the blaze, which spent the best part of two days at an Emergency warning level and pushed firefighters from the moment it flared.

Crews were forced to seek out “small pockets of fire” that lurked amid inaccessible bush, often erupting to put homes under direct threat.

‘No smoke to just flames’: Salt Ash, Weston fires roar“The size of the fire is not the issue, it’s the fact that each of these pockets is driven by the winds and they can go running for houses,” Inspector Poolesaid.

“It has been challenging all day …normally a fire like this would make hard fast runs.”

Relief from the powerful winds that prevailed on Thursday and Friday is predicted to arrive on Saturday.

Inspector Poole said a change in the weather would be needed before crews could genuinely attack the fire rather than simply defend homes.

“I guess the analogy is that you wouldn’t expect a surf lifesaver to go down during a tsunami and stop it at the beach.In the same way, we can’t stop the tsunami of fire,” Inspector Poole said.

“[Friday was]very much about steering the fire around the assets and then [we will be]attacking it when those conditions improve.”

BURNING BUSH: Firefighters tackle a pocket of flame across the driveway from a secluded Lemon Tree Passage Road property. Picture: Dan Himbrechts/AAP

Rookes Road resident Brendan Thomas’ fence line divided the green of his lawn and trees from the blackened trunks of neighbouring bushland devoured in the early hours of Friday.

Mr Thomas, who spent part of the day spraying water over the smouldering black land next door to his home, said maintenance of fire trails in the area was essential

“It’s not maintained enough,” he said.

“They had a dozer come out in August and that really made an impact this morning.”

Mr Thomas said he woke about 5.30am as the fire moved east, and a short time laterTilligerry firefighters stood in his yard and kept the flames at bay.

“I gave them some gear like gloves,” he said. “They needed it and it was surplus to my needs.”

The stresses of moving house only got worse for Rachel Bailey when the truck hauling her family’s belongings from Tanilba Bay to Maitland got caught in Salt Ash amid the fires, which fell to Watch and Act level about 4pm as conditions eased.

A quick stop to collect items from Ms Bailey’s mother, Robyn Langley, at Salt Ash instead became a brush with the blazes that lasted until mid-morning.

Adding to the pressure, Ms Bailey said she feared a flight out of Williamtown on Saturday morning for a family holiday was also under a literal cloud ifsmoke kept pouring over the area around Newcastle Airport.

Ms Langley, who has lived in the area 33 years, said Salt Ash residents were familiar with the fear, destruction and suspense bushfires delivered.

“You get aware, but you don’t get blasé because you can’t, she said.

“We’ve had some bad ones, we’ve had loss of life and loss of houses, and we’ve had some that came awfully, awfully close.”

A LITTLE ANTSY: Robyn Langley with daughter Rachel Bailey and grandson Robert Bailey watching on at the smoke along Lemon Tree Passage Road. Picture: Simone De Peak

Across the road, Marilyn and Rob Sanderson said the ordeal never changed.

“You never get used to it,” Mr Sanderson said. “It still tightens the sphincter muscles.”

Mr Sanderson said their property was fitted with pumps and generators to withstand a potential loss of electricity.

“When you live here everything works off power because there’s no town water,” he said. “Without electricity, we don’t have water.”

“We’ve spent a lot of money fire-proofing as much as we can … if you don’t, honestly you’re a mug.”

Despite the risk of fires, with Friday’s threat the second this year so far, the Sandersons said it was simply part of life in Salt Ash.

“It’s a great place to live,” Mr Sanderson said.

Choppers and planes looped over the land near Rookes Road and Lemon Tree Passage Road, with horses in front paddocks as residents hosed down roofs and fire crackled at the back fences of large, rural blocks.

Major roads including Nelson Bay Road, Lemon Tree Passage Road, Richardson Road and Medowie Roadre-opened by about 5pm, making planned evacuation centres for displaced residents at Tilligerry and Raymond Terrace unnecessary.

Rookes Road’s Matt Mitchell, whose property sits at the opposite end to Mr Thomas’ and faces black trees scorched as August’s fires closed on his family home, said 12 years in the suburb had steeled him.

Mr Mitchell calmly ran sprinklers on trees in his yard, his children playing nearby.

“That bit there’s a risk, so I’m watering it,” he said.

His land also offered firefighters a thoroughfare through to the Lemon Tree Passage Road properties in the path of the blaze, many sitting back deep from the road nestled inbush.

Asked if the fires worried him, Mr Mitchell was unequivocal.

“Not at all, because we are prepared,” he said. “The premiums worry me.”

Bree Mitchell said she left her husband and family to head to work, getting caught outside the area for the second time since the blaze began on Thursday.

“Today I went into work and pretty much turned around,” she said

Caught in the road closures, it was mid-morning before she returned.

The Mitchells’ neighbour, Dale Wenham said he was comforted by the huge contingent of firefighters.

“They’re bloody good,” he said. “It’s a good road, this, because everyone helps each other.”

Having been in Salt Ash five years and facing his second fire in a few months, Mr Wenham admitted to a bit of nervousness.“They do worry me, I’d be lying if I said they didn’t,” Mr Wenham said.

Looking at his neighbour, he couldn’t resist a bit of humour.

“Move to Salt Ash, they said. It will be fine, they said,” Mr Wenham joked.

PROTECTIVE: Mark Gilson on the roof of his Salt Ash property about noon. Firefighters were stationed in Mr Gilson’s yard as a precaution. Picture: Simone De Peak

Pauline and Mark Gilson used garden hoses and tank water to douse their Lemon Tree Passage Road property as the fire neared around noon.

A fire crew from Weston, an area that had its own fire emergency on Thursday, stayedparked in their front yard for hours.

Many houses had a similar guard, firefighters clumped in adjacent drivewayswhile the Gilsons and their neighboursworked to dampen the fire’s prospects on their land.

Ms Gilson said her son Ben returned from work at Mount Hutton along the beach after reaching Anna Bay on Thursday.

She had sent him updates on the fire as it approached on Friday while the family moved their horses down the road where the air was clear.

“Even the chooks put themselves away,” Ms Gilson said. “They’re not silly.”

Crews slipped between the Gilsons’ property and the Rookes Road one adjoining at the rear.

Helicopters lapped overhead intermittently, filling their buckets in Tilligerry Creek to elicit huge gasps of smoke as they poured it over the blaze hidden in scrub.

As firefighters waited near the family’s pool, hoping to anticipate a dash from the unpredictable fire towards the house, Ms Gilson said the wait for a bushfire to approach to extinguish never got easier.

“You say this is bad, but you forget how scary they all are,” Ms Gilson said. “It doesn’t get easier, but you do get better prepared.”

“I think you learn not to go [as fire approaches]. If you have animals or anyone at home, you’re still beside yourself. At least here you know, and you’re all together.”

Mr Gilson said he was in awe of the firefightersstanding vigil near his pool.

“They give up their day jobs to come and do this, to keep us safe,” he said. “You can’t thank them enough.”

GUARDED: Firefighters set up in numerous Rookes Road and Lemon Tree Passage Road properties on Friday due to the fire’s unpredictability. Picture: Simone De Peak

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Three-year-old William Tyrell went missing in 2014. Photo: Max Mason HubersThe clock starts ticking the moment a missing person is reported to police.
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Andrew Bourke

The battle is not only the physical aspect of searching, it’s the emotional fight to keep hope alive.

Officers immediately create a profile; when the person was last seen, appearance, state of mind, medical needs, any drug or trauma issues, plus phone, social media, and money-access activity. The officer becomes the information and support lifeline for family, plus help if media is called in to spread the word for help.

This week, a joint operation between Griffth and Wagga police found a 37 year-old Wagga man safe and well in Narrandera, after he went missing for 27 hours. A process of elimination saw key places searched first.

Other cases, however, remain unsolved. Andrew Bourke hasn’t been seen for six years. He disappeared in July 2011 after drinking with another person and allegedly driving his vehicle into the Tumut River. Did he drown? Was it an accident, or was he murdered?

And while attention is always on supporting loved ones, police, too, become affected.

Cases such as three-year-old William Tyrrell who was snatched outside his grandmother’s house three years ago. He was last seen wearing a Spider-Man suit.

“There wouldn’t be a police officer (working on these cases) who doesn’t go home and say, ‘Oh my God I’m going to give my kids a cuddle tonight’,” Wagga police chief Bob Noble said.

“Police become very emotionally invested in finding these people, and it’s a sense of pride that we solve the case.”

Every year in 38,000 people are reported missing, and while most are located fairly quickly, 1600 people are placed on the missing persons list.

What is changing is the use of more sophisticated technology. The question is, will technology advance to such a level that every missing could be found?

“Biometrics, facial recognition and CCTV are going through leaps and bounds and as scary as it might be, there will be a roll out of technology with that application,” Superintendent Noble said.

“But there will always be people that want to disappear, and you should ever underestimate the resourcefulness, and deviousness, even, of a person that wants to disappear.”

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CODE HOPPER: Hamilton breakaway Rowan Kelly takes on the Maitland defence in the Hawks 29-27 win at Marcellin Park in round 13. Picture: Marina Neil
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ROWAN Kelly admits getting cleaned outwas a“shock to the system”.

Kelly hadspent the past 15 years in the Newcastle Rugby League competition at Central and Wyong. His body–and reactions–were attuned to playing the 13-man code.

“In league, a clean out isbeing tackled without the ball,” Kelly said.“Then I realised, I can clean them out as well.”

It was Kelly’sline in the sand moment.

“Ilearned not to compare rugby to rugby league,” he said.“They are completely different games.”

Kelly will line up for his fifth straight first-grade game when the Hawks take on a desperate Lake Macquarie at Walters Park on Saturday.

The breakaway is“stillgettingmy head around a lot of things” butis relishing the challenge of a new code.

“That aspect I have enjoyed: trying to learn a different game,” he said.“I’m nearly 35 and to learn something new is quite difficult. The last time I played rugby was at high school.It is evenharder at Hamilton because they are the best club in the competition. It is highly competitive in all grades. I’m pushing in scrums, learning lineouts.Each week I learn something different.”

Hamilton coach Scott Coleman has been impressed with Kelly’s transition and the way he has bought in to the culture.

“Hehas a really good football brain andreads space well,” Coleman said.“He is very skilful for a big man, canpass the ball at the line and has a good off load.The more physical it is,the more he likes it. Playing has opened his eyes to how much is involved at the breakdown. Another good pre-season and I think he will master that.”

Kelly hadbeen a regular at Hamilton games, watching Francis Xavier College workmate Paul Dan.

“Paul andI are close mates and I wanted to have a crack at rugby,” he said.“I nearly joined the Hawks in 2013 when Wyong moved to the NSW Cup but an opportunity came up at my junior rugby league club, Central.

The code hop was nearly over before it started.

“I played a trial against Uni and didn’t enjoy it,” he said.“I had high expectations of myself and it didn’t go to plan.I wentup the coast with Joel Penny, who was my assistant coach at Central.He said to me‘why are you worried, treat it like another game’.

“My attitude changed from that point.I have tried to not take myself too serious and enjoy everything about it. I haven’t missed a bus trip yet. Each week I look forward to playing. By the end of my last two years as captain-coach at Central, I knew my time was up.”

As for another season with the Hawks: “I bought a new pair of footy boots on Monday which set me back a little bit. I better get some use out of them.”

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Doctors have criticised state and federal governments over their new drug policy blueprint, accusing them of putting too much emphasis on methamphetamine and not enough on a much more damaging and deadly substance: alcohol.
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The n Medical Association says the recently released National Drug Strategy – which sets out the official approach to preventing and minimising drug harm over the next 10 years – focuses too much on the so-called “ice epidemic”.

Ahead of the Wednesday release of a new AMA position paper on substance abuse and behavioural addictions, Michael Gannon, the president of the doctors’ association, has described the government strategy as “disappointing”.

Photos: Supplied (left) and Arsineh Houspia.

“[It] again lists methamphetamine as the highest priority substance for , despite the strategy noting that only 1.4 per cent of ns over the age of 14 had ever tried the drug,” Dr Gannon said.

“The strategy also notes that alcohol is associated with 5000 deaths and more than 150,000 hospitalisations each year – yet the strategy puts it as a lower priority than ice.

“The government must focus on those dependencies and addictions that cause the greatest harm, including alcohol, regardless of whether some substances are more socially acceptable than others,” Dr Gannon said.

Dr Gannon is also critical that the updated strategy did not come with any new funding commitments from state or federal governments.

The AMA’s new position statement says substance abuse is widespread across , and dependence and addiction often lead to death or disability in patients – yet support and treatment services are “severely under-resourced”. It calls for a “major change in funding priorities from policing and prosecution of substance users to interventions that avoid or reduce use, promote resilience, and reduce societal harms”.

It supports responses that address underlying causes and exacerbating factors such as social isolation, exclusion, poverty, discrimination, criminalisation and poor education.

It says substance dependence and behavioural addictions are chronic brain diseases and people affected by them should be treated like any other patient with a serious illness.

Dr Gannon says the costs of untreated dependence and addictions – estimated at $36 billion a year – are “staggering”.

People affected are more likely to have physical and mental health concerns, and their finances, careers, education, and personal relationships can all suffer. Left unaddressed, the broader community effects include reduced employment and productivity, increased healthcare costs, reliance on social welfare, increased criminal activity and higher rates of incarceration.Research this weekfound the number of methamphetamine-related deaths had doubled in between 2009 and 2015.

The analysis found 1649 deaths linked to ice, with overdose only accounting for 43 per cent. The study published in the journal Addiction found another 40 per cent of deaths linked to ice, speed and other stimulant drugs were from so-called “natural disease” – most notably heart disease and stroke – or uncharacteristically violent methods of suicide.

DRUG USE IN AUSTRALIAAbout 8 million ns have used an illicit substanceNearly 3 million have used one in the past 12 months16 per cent of people reported consuming 11 or more standard alcoholic drinks on a single occasionAbout 2 per cent of people reported having used methamphetamines in the past yearAbout 4.7 per cent of people reported having misused a prescription drug in the past 12 monthsAt least 115,000 ns who were seriously harmed by gambling and another 280,000 were at significant risk

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TRY: South Newcastle’s Lachlan Walmsley. Picture: Jonathan CarrollLakes’ Luke Huth and Souths’ Lachlan Walmsley are two Newcastleplayers squarely in the sights ofthe Knights according to Troy Pezet.
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The club’s elite pathways recruitment manager said former Knights juniors Huth and Walmsley have recently been called up to train with the NRL under-20 squad to prepare for nextpre-season.

This weekend marks the second “futures round” for Newcastle Rugby League in 2017 with man-of-the-match recipients from alleight district under-19 teams invited to trial with the Knights under 20s in October.

“It’s just about creating a genuine pathway for all the local kids to get through and play for the Knights,” Pezet said.

“It’s a good initiative from the Newcastle Rugby League to further that involvement by having thisfutures round.”

The four age group matches will kick-off before first grade at 1:45pm.

Futures Round #2 @[email protected]@newcastleheraldpic.twitter苏州夜总会招聘/6YBe3rYuvU

— Josh Callinan (@joshuacallinan) August 2, 2017

* PART of Wednesday’s “future round” promotion was Lakes under-19 fullback Aaron McGrady, the nephew of former Canterbury Bulldogs player and 1991 Rothmans Medal winnerEwan McGrady.

Aaron moved to Belmont from Moree aged seven.

* DUBBO CYM’S halfback Alex Bonham racked up an incredible personal tally of 64 on the weekend with eight tries and 16 goals but respected rugby league statistician David Middleton reckons it sits behind an effort of 61 closer to home when points were less weighted.

“Score of 64 likely a record but achievement of Alf Fairhall for North Newcastle in 1940: 11 tries, 14 goals arguably more impressive,” Middleton posted on Twitter.

ROUND 14 FIXTURES: Cessnock v Western Suburbs, Maitland v Macquarie (Saturday); Lakes v South Newcastle, Central Newcastle v Kurri Kurri (Sunday).

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A man has been charged after he allegedly broke into an elderly woman’s home in Morpeth and stole two mobile phones right in front of her.
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Police claim the man went into the rear yard of the Morpeth Road home about 7am Friday, June 30 and looked through a glass sliding door where he saw the woman in the kitchen.

It is alleged he walked in to the house and stole two mobile phones from a kitchen bench before he fled the home.

The woman told police she witnessed the whole incident take place.

After the man left the woman cried out for help. Her husband, who was in a front bedroom, heard his wife’s plea and yelledout to the man.

The man then approached the bedroom window where it is alleged hepunched throughfly screen in an attempt to strike theman.

The elderly man was not harmed, but the fly screen was damaged.

The couple told police the man ran from the area.

Maitland Policewere called out to the scene and canvassed the area. They sourcedCCTV footage which helpedidentify the man.

Investigations led police to a home in Korbell Street, Tenambit on Wednesday morning where they arrested the man.

Police said he was apprehended while tryingto escape out the back door of the home.

The man was taken to Maitland Police Station and charged with aggravated break, enter and steal, malicious damage, assault and trespassing.

The two stolen mobile phones were recovered.Central Hunter crime manager Detective Inspector George Radmore said the phones will be returned to the woman.

Police claim ammunition, handcuffs and other items including tools and jewelry, which were suspected to bestolen, were all found at the home.

Inspector Radmore said information from the public helped lead to the man’s arrest. He thanked those who contacted police with information.

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