Giants flying visit

Big visit: GWS Giants players Lachie Whitfield, Tom Downie and Devon Smith visited Liverpool Eagles AFL club at Rosedale Oval, Warwick Farm last week. Picture: Chris LaneThe Liverpool EaglesJunior AFL Club had some extra motivation heading into the opening round on the weekend.
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GWS Giants players Lachie Whitfield, Tom Downie and Devon Smith made a special visit to their home base atRosedale Oval.

The trio met players from the club and ran a mini coaching clinic.

The club has come a long way.Two years ago it was on the verge of folding, now they have three teams –under-9s, under-11s and under-13s – and they also run an Auskick program.

This Friday the Paul Kelly Cup school competitionwill be held at Ash Road Sports Complex inPrestons.

Fun: Liverpool Eagles enjoying the activites run by GWS. Picture: Chris Lane

Game one: Liverpool Eagles’ players participate in activities.

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‘Our whole family has been amazed’: Steph Scott’s family comforted by Leeton’s love

DEARLY MISSED: Steph Scott.THE pain of Stephanie Scott’s death is still incredibly raw for her family.
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But one thing that does give her loved onesnursing broken hearts strength is the support and love shown by the Leeton community.

One year after her death,the impact of her short life is still felt far and wide.

Her father, Robert Scott, said as time went on, the depth of their loss became clearer.

“It takes time to sink in what you’ve actually lost,” Mr Scott said.

“When it all happened in a bit of a hurry it was very sad and very distressing, but as time progresses you realise just how deep the loss is because of the way she’s impacted on your life.

“(The pain) is not just going to disappear,grieving is an ongoing process and when you’ve got someone who was such a delight to have in your life there’s a lot to miss.”

The Scott family still receives cards and letters filled with words of support and in return they attend events held in Stephanie’s honour and meet with people touched by their daughter.

In February, Mr Scott visited Leeton High School to see an amphitheatre being built in his daughter’s memory. When he was introduced as “Steph’s dad”, the students’ faces lit up.

On Saturday, Mr Scott and his wife, Merrilyn, were inAlbury to presentthe Stephanie Scott Cup at awomen’s league tag competition. Fittingly, the Leeton Greenieswon the event.

“Our whole family has been amazed at the way she’s been received,” Mr Scott said.

“It didn’t matter whether you met her for a day or she’d been part of your life for an extended period, she just had an impact on you.

“Shewas very vivacious, very genuine in what she said and the way she formed relationships with people.

“She was just an absolute joy, a happy girl who enjoyed her part in sports and the teaching life and being part of the Leeton community gave her a lot of pleasure.”

Mr Scott said his daughterhad coached Leeton High School’s girls soccer team. He said the winning teams in the Bill Turner Cup, an inter-school soccer competition, would be presented with Stephanie Scott Memorial Shields.

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‘Our whole family has been amazed’: Steph Scott’s family comforted by Leeton’s love

DEARLY MISSED: Steph Scott.THE pain of Stephanie Scott’s death is still incredibly raw for her family.
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But one thing that does give her loved onesnursing broken hearts strength is the support and love shown by the Leeton community.

One year after her death,the impact of her short life is still felt far and wide.

Her father, Robert Scott, said as time went on, the depth of their loss became clearer.

“It takes time to sink in what you’ve actually lost,” Mr Scott said.

“When it all happened in a bit of a hurry it was very sad and very distressing, but as time progresses you realise just how deep the loss is because of the way she’s impacted on your life.

“(The pain) is not just going to disappear,grieving is an ongoing process and when you’ve got someone who was such a delight to have in your life there’s a lot to miss.”

The Scott family still receives cards and letters filled with words of support and in return they attend events held in Stephanie’s honour and meet with people touched by their daughter.

In February, Mr Scott visited Leeton High School to see an amphitheatre being built in his daughter’s memory. When he was introduced as “Steph’s dad”, the students’ faces lit up.

On Saturday, Mr Scott and his wife, Merrilyn, were inAlbury to presentthe Stephanie Scott Cup at awomen’s league tag competition. Fittingly, the Leeton Greenieswon the event.

“Our whole family has been amazed at the way she’s been received,” Mr Scott said.

“It didn’t matter whether you met her for a day or she’d been part of your life for an extended period, she just had an impact on you.

“Shewas very vivacious, very genuine in what she said and the way she formed relationships with people.

“She was just an absolute joy, a happy girl who enjoyed her part in sports and the teaching life and being part of the Leeton community gave her a lot of pleasure.”

Mr Scott said his daughterhad coached Leeton High School’s girls soccer team. He said the winning teams in the Bill Turner Cup, an inter-school soccer competition, would be presented with Stephanie Scott Memorial Shields.

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An Anzac Day divide

TIME changes everything. When Alan Seymour’s play The One Day of the Year was first staged in 1961 it polarised Australians.
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Military organisations turned their backs on the work because it raised questions about the nature of the celebration of Anzac Day.

But younger peoplesaw the work as reflecting the times. In their eyes, the rush to pubs after the marches obscured the significant role Australians had played in defending their country.

So it is noteworthy that Newcastle Theatre Company’s production of The One Day of the Year includes the involvement of the Newcastle branch of the Australian Military Forces Re-enactment Unit, an organisation that participates each year in ceremonial parades and other community activities.

Unit members will be involved with the audience before the play begins, including putting on an iconic two-up game.

The One Day of the Year begins just before Anzac Day in the late 1950s, with working-class Alf Cook (Philip McGrath), who served in World War II, and his mate, Wacka Dawson (David Yarrow), a Gallipoli veteran, discussing offensive Poms and other visitors to Australia.

Alf’s wife, Dot (Jan Hunt), returns from a euchre night, followed soon after by their son, Hughie (Jarrod Sansom), who won a bursary that allowed him to attend Sydney University. Heis accompanied by Jan (Elissa Shand), a fellow university student he is attracted to.

STORY OF THE TIMES: Left to right: Philip McGrath as Alf Cook , Jarrod Sansom as Hughie Cook, Jan Hunt as Dot Cook , David Yarrow as Wacka Dawson. Photo: Tom Liolio

Jan is planning to write an article for the university’s student paper criticising the nature of Anzac Day celebration, with Hughie taking photographs for the piece around Sydney after the Anzac Day march.

Their actions produce an angry reaction from Alf, with Dot trying to reconcile her husband and son.

Jarrod Sansom, who is a student at Newcastle University, sees Hughie as a bit embarrassed by his parents when he sees their behaviour through Jan’s eyes.

Philip McGrath notes that Alf’s reaction to Hughie’s change-of-heart is “If you’re not with us, mate, you’re out the door”.

“It’s a great piece of writing,” he said, “with the characters very much of their period”.

Randwick centre stage once again for final

All roads in greater Sydney – from the M1 to the M2 and the Pacific Highway – this weekend lead to Royal Randwick for the running of the second Provincial Championships final.
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Provincial trainers are, by the nature of their employment, transient at the best of times, however, since early March many have been happy to clock up the kilometres vying to qualify their horses at provincial tracks including Wyong, Kembla Grange, Newcastle, Gosford and most recently at Hawkesbury.

With a crack field of 15 of the best horses from provincially-trained tracks, the final, a race worth an exceptional $400,000, will form part of the brilliant day of racing for day two of The Championships – Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes Day.

Newcastle-based trainer Kris Lees with a staggering eight horses in the race and Wyong-based trainer Kim Waugh with three contenders appear to have a mortgage on the outcome.

Lees said this has been the culmination of months of planning of the man most famous for producing County Tyrone to win the 2004 Metropolitan Handicap.

Powerline, Electric Power, Marple Miss, Parraay and Danish Twist have been joined by last-start winners Zestful and Rustic Melody as well as By Golly Molly.

“I started looking at this year’s series just before Christmas and worked out the likely horses with which we could target the qualifying races,” Lees said.

“A few I thought might be suitable prospects fell by the wayside for one reason or another, but it’s terrific for our various owners to qualify so many horses for next week’s final. I’m sure they will all have a great day at Randwick.”

Kim Waugh was more diplomatic when asked to assess the chances of her three stablemates Supreme Effort, His Majesty and Hetty Heights.

“They’re all similar horses, the three of them. They’ve all got a great turn of foot and I think it will come down to barriers and a bit of luck,” she said.

“All three have ticked over nicely since their last runs and will be in perfect shape for the final.”

Jockey Brenton Avdulla had ridden Supreme Effort to a win at Randwick but was committed to Hetty Heights who looks to have plenty of upside after a barnstorming win in the Newcastle qualifier (transferred to Wyong).

“I don’t think there’s much between them and Kim now has three live chances and I’ll be sticking with Hetty Heights,” Avdulla said. “She’s a pretty classy horse.”

* This preview of The Championships is brought to you by Racing NSW. Charles Moon writes for Racing NSW Magazine, racingnsw南京夜网419论坛 and thechampionships南京夜网419论坛

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‘We can’t live like this’

DOUBLE BLOW: Pelican’s Max and Elizabeth Bower say their funeral fund is ‘whittling away’, while efforts to find public housing are stymied by long waiting lists. Picture: Brodie OwenPELICAN couple Max and Elizabeth Bower have seen plenty in their combined 168 years, but they never thought they would see the day they’d fear dying because of its financial burden.
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The Bowershave resorted to dipping into their funeral fund as cost of living and housing affordability pressures continues its grip on Hunter families.

“We had about $64,000 in savings from a claim and it’s down to half now,” Mr Bower said.“It’s been slowly whittled away and it’s just going down and down and down.

“We’re biting into it all the time and in another 18 months of living here, it will be gone.

“I suppose we’ll have nothing to bury ourselves with.”

The Bowers blame the cost of rent and rising cost of livingincluding food expensesas leading to their financial woes.

Of the $550 a week they share in pension and compensation payments, the couple estimates more than two thirds is paid in rent.

“If you buy anything extra, it’s just another whack out of it. There’s no room to move,” Mrs Bower said.

“Max isn’t real good,I’ve had a couple of heart attacks …we’re not what you call 100 per cent fit.

“It’s pretty hard at the moment.”

The Bowers live frugally and have tried to make the switch to public housing to take away some rent pressure.

But even then they’ve fallen through the cracks.

Having waited for more than two years on the elderly persons “priority” public housing list, Mr Bower still sees no end in sight.

“There’s just nothing at all and they can’t offer us anything unless we move from this area,” he said.

Mrs Bower said “I know the housing position is bad”,but expected something to come up within a year at least.

“It’s a bit too much for us,” she said.“How much longer do you wait?”

Swansea MP Yasmin Catley said she was appalled to hear of the Bowers’ plight.

“They came into my office with their story and their struggle and it’s just sad to hear,” she said.“A lot of people raise financial stress and housingwith me –andmany of them are elderly.”

Labor’s housing spokeswoman, Tania Mihailuk, called on the government to immediately address the shortfall of public housing in NSW, which included halting the sale of government-owned properties which “go to investors”.

Putting sole back into city

DARING FEET: Gaye Dawson’s goal at Queen of Sole (Level 1 Shop 22 Market Square) is to provide ladies of Newcastle looking for point of difference from the major shoe retailers an elegant range of on-trend choices.Advertising FeatureGaye Dawson isbringingthe sole back to Newcastle with hershoeshopQueen of Sole, located in Hunter Street Mall.
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A women-only boutique targetingladies30-60,Ms Dawson offers fashion, comfort and shoes with a point of difference for ladieswanting more choice.

All brands are hand selected fromdomestic and international wholesalers, from countries like Brazil, Spain, Portugal and Italy, drawing on Gaye’sextensive industry experience, knowledge,taste and passion.

You can “heel your sole’’ with such beautiful shoes asMiss Mooz,Django and Juliette, Eos, Mollini, Top End, Effegie, Frankie 4 Comfort (a podiatrist-designed shoe), ValeriaGrossi.Come next summer she’ll be addingnew brands such as Silent D, Inuovo,Brazilio,Isabella and Hinako.

“We are really on trend with European styling,” Ms Dawson said.“I stock shoes with fashion edge and a point of difference to what the major retailers offer.Theyreflect my tastes and those of my targetmarket–ladies of Newcastle between the ages of30 and 60.My goal is toprovide themwithan extensive range of brands, a choice of on-trend fashion, comfort and styling which has not been offered in the inner city in recent years.”

This advertising feature is sponsored by the following business. Click the link to learn more:

Queen of SoleCustomers can expect first-class servicefrom lovely staff Catriona and Anne Marie.

“Most clients have their tastes and style,” Ms Dawson said.“I’m good at making suggestions. A lady might be hesitant with a product. But if they try it on, they see how great it looks.

“I’m also sensitive to anyproblem areas with feet, taking all the littlethings into consideration to ensure the customer is comfortable and satisfied.”

Ms Dawson opened Queen of Sole on January 13 this year after recognising a niche opportunity.

“When DJs pulled out,most of the retailers supplying the ladiesmarket went with them,” Ms Dawson said.“My goal is to fill that gap.”

Queen of Sole is located on Level 1 at Market Square wheresix like-minded businesses have opened in the last three months creating a fantastic precinct to shop.

“The inner city is transitioning,” Ms Dawson said.“Temporary businesses are being replaced by permanents.Everyone is socomplimentary about my decor and range. Word of mouth has been fantastic.”

Queen of Sole is open 10am-4pm Monday and Tuesday, 10.30am-4pm Wednesday to Friday and 10am-3pm on Saturday.Customers can keep track of new arrivals on Instagram at #queenofsolenewcastle.

A summer clearance is currently running with 30-50% offselected styles. There is also a 10 per cent off voucher promotionfor new customers who mention this add, andan ongoingloyalty program.

Track searched after bikie shootingPhotos, video

UPDATE:
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THE targeted shooting ofNomadsoutlaw motorcycle gang member Matt Eather at a One Mile bush track earlier this month isbelieved to have been sparked from an internal fallout within the Newcastle chapter.

Mr Eather, 31, from Corlette had one thigh bone shattered after being shot in both legson April 2. Police believe he was shot at Big Rocky Track, off Gan Gan Road. A section of bushland off the track was searched by police on April 6.No evidence was recovered.

The investigation promptedsearches of Nomads premises in Singleton, Maitland and Anna Bay. The Newcastle clubhouse was also searched.

During the search at Maitland, Ashtonfield man Zakary Jarrod Ross, 25, was allegedly found in possession of an unregistered Beretta pistol, ammunition, four vials of steroids and 25mg of the fertility drug Clomid.Policealso allege Mr Ross had $7300 cash in his possession.

Nearly one kilogramof an unknownsubstance was also seized from the Maitland premises and sent away for analysis.

Mr Ross pleaded not guilty to a range of offences in court on April 6. Hewas refused bail and will appear in Maitland court again on May 16.He is not facing any charges related to the shooting.

Ammunition, gun powder and rifle primers were allegedly found by police at the Singleton premises. Inquiries are continuing into those items.

Investigations are continuing into the shooting.Anyone with information is being urged to phone Crime Stoppers on 1300 333 000.

Track searched after bikie shooting | Photos, video INVESTIGATIONS: Police searched Big Rocky Track off Gan Gan Road, One Mile, on Wednesday, April 6, for evidence relating to the April 2 shooting of a Corlette man, which is believed to be related to Nomads bikie club related. Picture: Ellie-Marie Watts

INVESTIGATIONS: Police searched Big Rocky Track off Gan Gan Road, One Mile, on Wednesday, April 6, for evidence relating to the April 2 shooting of a Corlette man, which is believed to be related to Nomads bikie club related. Picture: Ellie-Marie Watts

INVESTIGATIONS: Police searched Big Rocky Track off Gan Gan Road, One Mile, on Wednesday, April 6, for evidence relating to the April 2 shooting of a Corlette man, which is believed to be related to Nomads bikie club related. Port Stephens polcie commander Chris Craner addresses the media at the search site on Wednesday. Picture: Ellie-Marie Watts

INVESTIGATIONS: Police searched Big Rocky Track off Gan Gan Road, One Mile, on Wednesday, April 6, for evidence relating to the April 2 shooting of a Corlette man, which is believed to be related to Nomads bikie club related. Picture: Ellie-Marie Watts

INVESTIGATIONS: Police searched Big Rocky Track off Gan Gan Road, One Mile, on Wednesday, April 6, for evidence relating to the April 2 shooting of a Corlette man, which is believed to be related to Nomads bikie club related. Picture: Ellie-Marie Watts

INVESTIGATIONS: Police searched Big Rocky Track off Gan Gan Road, One Mile, on Wednesday, April 6, for evidence relating to the April 2 shooting of a Corlette man, which is believed to be related to Nomads bikie club related. Picture: Ellie-Marie Watts

INVESTIGATIONS: Police searched Big Rocky Track off Gan Gan Road, One Mile, on Wednesday, April 6, for evidence relating to the April 2 shooting of a Corlette man, which is believed to be related to Nomads bikie club related. Picture: Ellie-Marie Watts

INVESTIGATIONS: Police searched Big Rocky Track off Gan Gan Road, One Mile, on Wednesday, April 6, for evidence relating to the April 2 shooting of a Corlette man, which is believed to be related to Nomads bikie club related. Picture: Ellie-Marie Watts

INVESTIGATIONS: Police searched Big Rocky Track off Gan Gan Road, One Mile, on Wednesday, April 6, for evidence relating to the April 2 shooting of a Corlette man, which is believed to be related to Nomads bikie club related. Picture: Ellie-Marie Watts

INVESTIGATIONS: Police searched Big Rocky Track off Gan Gan Road, One Mile, on Wednesday, April 6, for evidence relating to the April 2 shooting of a Corlette man, which is believed to be related to Nomads bikie club related. Picture: Ellie-Marie Watts

TweetFacebookExaminer understands isa senior Nomads member, is refusing to answer questions about the shooting.

The investigation promptedsearches ofpremises associated with the Nomads in Singleton, Maitland and Anna Bay.

Police search a section of bush at #OneMile#PortStephens for evidence in the shooting of a #Corlette man pic.twitter南京夜网/FtRERk0RY5

— Ellie-Marie Watts (@E1MaWa) April 6, 2016This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Short Takes

A FRESH produce market at Maitland is an excellent proposal and a return to the days of the earlier Maitland Markets (‘Mayor cautious about produce market’, Herald, 2/4).It is an essential facility for Maitland and for our Lower Hunter Region.For our best health, we all need fresh fruit and vegetables, we do not need supermarket produce squeezed from farmers at ridiculously low prices, picked too early to retain the semblances of ripeness, or imported from around the world.The comments by Mayor Blackmore are completely inappropriate from a region which has always produced excellent fresh produce.
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David Stewart, Newcastle EastIT hashappened.I’m down the rabbit hole andwith the program.We’ll pay heaps on shiny new Defence toys so we can’t afford health andeducation improvements. We’ll bash the unionsbut reward those nice banks andbig corporations for their wealth-siphoning deals. We’ll write off millions as bad debts because people can’t afford their higher education loans, while we cut university funding andgo for fee deregulation. We’ll keep on trashing TAFE so we can play the scandal plagued vocational education sector game.I’m there. Why can’t the premiers get it?

Lorraine Yudaeff,Fern Bay.WAYNE Ridley (Short Takes, 6/4) asks “what is the government doing bringing in 12,000 Syrian refugees for humanitarian reasons?”. The short answer –the right thing.

Glen Coulton, Marmong PointWITH the hike in private health insurance going through the roof, I remember the good old days when you could claim it on your taxation. I believe it also applied to your superannuation.

Daphne Hughes, KahibahIF they build a freight bypass at Hexham maybe they could put the new Newcastle tram out there too. That way it wouldn’t be blocking the traffic and you could go from one end of town to the other almost as quick as when we had a train.

Ed Matzenik, MaitlandTHEpromise of light rail in Newcastle is a myth. The government is going to change hands twice before anything happens, withmany more dollars in consulting fees spent. All we need is someone smart enough in government to work out it would have been more cost effective to leave the heavy rail .

Alan Hicks, MayfieldWHAT’Sthe go with all this “previous government” rubbish?Don’t care what happened before, you’re in government now just sort it out.P.S. How much fun are the trams going to be in 2019? A journey to nowhere. Thanks Bairdy

Darryl Horne,Waratah​THE POLLSAre you happy to lose parking in the city for the light rail line?

Yes 30%,No 70%Would you rather shop at local markets than supermarket stores?

Yes 89%,No 11%

Fitting the light rail vision to a city’s reality

IN the words of Transport and Infrastructure Minister Andrew Constance, the state government is “cracking on” with its plan to use light rail as the centrepiece of its plan to transform Newcastle’s central business district.
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It’s a visionthat the Newcastle Herald has endorsed – albeitwith some reservations–since it was first announced by Mike Baird, back when he was treasurer in a Coalition government led by then-premier Barry O’Farrell.

These reservations –natural enough given the scale of the project, and the politics that have swirled around it and the city in recent years –were given short shrift on Tuesday by Mr Constance, who urged people to “stop being so negative”.

That’s fine for Mr Constance to say, and it’s a minister’s job to promote his government’s policies.But the longer the light rail has been in the planning, the greater the opportunity there has been for people to think more closelyabout its implications, and about whether the government’s prescription is the right answerfor a peninsular city witha much lower population density that is usually the case for places served bylight rail.

More information aboutthe operational side of the Newcastle system willbe available on Thursday, when the government releases itsReview of Environmental Factors. But MrConstance made it clear that this reportwould notcover a lot of associated but important information, such as how the light rail fits into the broader landscape of urban renewal. Nor has the government seen fit to release a business case for light rail, a decision that has only encouraged the doubts of those who fear the project risks becoming an expensive white elephant.

That said, it is worth remembering that light rail has been successfully introduced into various medium-sized cities around the developed world, often against substantial initial opposition. As faras the Herald can tell, this early opposition has tended to fade away, with the travelling public embracing the new mode of transport, and the cities in general enjoying the consequentialurban renewal.

Mr Constance is promising ample consultation in the months ahead, but he also made it clear that the decision to install light rail has been made once and for all, and will not be revisited. Given the cost, and what’s at stake, this is one decision the state government must absolutely get right.

ISSUE: 48,202

Laying it all on the line over light rail plan

EMBRACE IT: Transport Minister Andrew Constance talks light rail in Newcastle on Tuesday. Picture: Marina Neil.
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ACCORDING to Transport Minister Andrew Constance,if you have a different opinion to the state government on light rail you’re being negative(‘Driven out’, Herald, 6/4).

If the government had accepted the bureaucrat’s report and used the heavy rail corridor, there would be surplus funds to burn to extend light rail almost everywhere.

But no, that’s being negative.

Besides, what a waste of the only land in the city area not subject to mine subsidence problems.

One day we might learn what this government has in mind for this valuable corridor.Meantime, we are asked to also embrace council mergers without access to the KPMG experts report.

Age of enlightenment and transparency indeed.

Penton Sutcliffe,CorletteMess, MinisterANDREW Constance says “we’re not spending over half a billion dollars here to build public transport that no one uses”. Nonsense.That’s exactly what they are proposing.

Getting people out of their cars requires fixing the broken Newcastle public transport system. That means many more buses, routes that are more direct and more frequent than at present, and buses that take people to railway stations. It also means an expansion of the rail network to cover more suburbs.

The light rail proposal, even if it goes ahead, is largely irrelevant because it covers only a short section of a typical commute. You can get people onto public transport with a better bus system, but if you force them off the bus for the final stretch then they will go back to cars.

The only good short-term solution is to move public transport back onto the rail corridor. That won’t be as good as restoring the heavy rail, but it would be a start.

Peter Moylan,GlendaleReclaim the corridorIT is commendable that the governmentacceptsthatlight railismore effective whenit runsin a dedicatedcorridorfree from motortraffic.

Given thatthe existing rail corridor isavailable andwould be ideal to carry light rail vehicles separate from road traffic,the government could movenow, to installthe light rail systemin the existingcorridor,without waiting until 2019.

Howeverthe government is still persistingwith Hunter and Scott streets as the ‘dedicated corridor’ for light rail.

LeakedDocument 71predicts significant increases injourney time which will deter commuters and force them into carsadding to traffic congestion and parking problems.

There will be substantial disruption to business during construction of light rail.Transport for NSW recommended that light rail in the corridor would be far superior and cost about $100 million less.

The independentexperts report failed the Hunter-Scott streets project on 7 out of 9 criteria for success.

Iftheexisting corridorisdedicated for light rail then the street trees, cycling, wider footpaths, parking and street diningcould be introduced to Hunter Street.

The problemswill only go away if the government usesthe corridor to Newcastle Station for light rail.

Only two tracks would be necessary for light rail on the corridor.There could be scope for some reasonable development beside or over the rail tracks.

In the interests of improving thesituation for more stakeholders, compromise will be necessarybut the outcomes will be better.

Alan Squire,Hunter Transport for Business DevelopmentWill we be strandedOUR town now has significantly reduced capacity to move large numbers of people via public transport in and out of the foreshore precinct and parks, our beaches, our city workplaces, our university city campus, our law courts, our theatres, our gallery and museum and other inner city venues.

I was interested to learn that the proposed Newcastle light rail sets have the capacity to move just 200 passengers per vehicle movement.

Contrast that with theeight-car NSW TrainLink V sets which have an approximate capacity of 2000 passengers, depending on configuration.Assuming a large event in the city area is being held, that’s 2000 people that could have been using heavy rail into Newcastle Station who will now have to transfer to a vehicle that can hold just 200 people.

With pretty pictures and poetry Newcastle has been conned.

Nick Rippon,NewcastleA little bit moreWHY terminate Newcastle’s light railat Pacific Park, just one block further than our former railway station?

If it was extended to Parnell Place at the end of Scott Street, people could more easily walk to Nobbys Beach especially surfers with theirboards, Fort Scratchley and the Newcastle Ocean Baths

I hope the Minister for Transport will consider this.

Suzanne Martin, NewcastleBridge brakesDOES anyone know what is happening with the second bridge being built at Tourle Street?

There weretwo mounds of dirt placed along the sides of the road, both sides of the river, before Christmas and nothing since.

It has been designated as a roadwork zone and 60kmh speed limits have been brought in from the Mayfield side of the existing bridge and halfway along Cormorant Road atKooragang.

It is slow enough as it is with the bottleneck of two lanes going into one on the bridge but restricting the speed to 60kmh only slows the traffic flow even more and no work has taken place in four months.

Brett Lee, NewcastleOwl and the pussycatIN response to the powerful owl story (Topics, 5/4) , some yearsago I had a young male cat who was always bringing home these headless possums.

I remember picking up at least fiveover a fairly short period of time.I was furious with him and was going to have him put down, but as things turned out he died of pneumonia which the vet couldn’t understand as he was a really strong and healthy cat.

So it seems that I may have wrongly blamed poor puss. RIP Gizmo.

Olwyn Edmonds, Eleebana

Liberal MP Ann Sudmalis feels backlash after joining ALP attack on council mergers

Liberal MP Ann Sudmalis with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on a visit to Sanctuary Point Public School last week. Photo: Robert Peet Liberal MP Ann Sudmalis Photo: Alex Ellinghausen
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Turnbull government MP Ann Sudmalis is under pressure from angry rank-and-file Liberals in her south coast NSW seat after she publicly supported an ALP-authored motion “condemning the Baird government for its arrogant and ill-considered [council] merger proposal”.

Just days after Liberal Party members in Western Australia rolled sitting MP Dennis Jensen, some Liberals in Gilmore have told the local newspaper, the South Coast Register, that Ms Sudmalis could be disendorsed during a vote in April.

Gilmore Liberals have reached out to senior factional bosses, complaining that Ms Sudmalis has been “increasingly problematic and ineffective” since becoming the hand-picked successor to former Gilmore MP Joanna Gash, now the mayor of Shoalhaven.

But Fairfax Media understands that Ms Sudmalis is safe from disendorsement due to the close proximity to the next election and the likelihood that influential state Liberals in that area, Gareth Ward, the Kiama MP and Transport Minister Andrew Constance are both considering a tilt for Gilmore in 2019.

The South Coast Register quoted a senior local Liberal as saying a move on Ms Sudmalis during a vote to accept her unopposed nomination was “very much a live option” but a senior party source said it would not succeed.

“Even if the federal conference was to do that, in the current circumstances she would be saved by state executive,” said a source.

Ms Sudmalis told Fairfax Media that she stood by her criticism of forced council amalgamations, which would see Kiama and Shoalhaven merged and Shell Harbour and Wollongong merged.

“People here are quite negative about the merger proposal and I have to reflect that in my job as their federal member. It has not been well received at all,” she said.

Any move on Ms Sudmalis would hinge on branches loyal to Mr Ward and NSW Speaker Shelley Hancock, who holds the state seat of South Coast, and that is unlikely to happen.

But Ms Hancock did not hold back in her assessment of Ms Sudmalis’ decision to support the anti-amalgamation motion proposed by former Labor councillor Bob Proudfoot during a weekend protest rally. The motion stated: “This public rally condemns the Baird government for its arrogant and ill-considered merger proposal, and directs Mr Baird to withdraw it forthwith. The rally also calls on local member, Shelley Hancock, and Mayor, Jo Gash, to show greater support for their communities’ desire to reject the amalgamation.”

Ms Hancock said: “She should confine herself to talking about federal issues such as cuts to health funding. She should explain why Malcolm Turnbull appears to be turning his back on public education funding.

“She should perhaps talk about funding for the new bridge over the Shoalhaven and federal funding for highway upgrade. And she could talk to the electors about her position on marriage equality.”

“There was nothing courageous about seconding a vitriolic motion condemning the Baird government. It was a trap and Ann has fallen into it.”

Ms Sudmalis said she had “chatted” to Ms Hancock since the Speaker made those comments.

“All families have discussions and you talk issues over and resolve them. The Liberal family is no different,” she said.

It is understood that the Liberal Party was polling Gilmore residents over the weekend and the ructions have not gone unnoticed by Labor.

A swing of 5.3 per cent would result in the seat changing hands and polling suggests that the ascension of Malcolm Turnbull was not as well received as in urban seats. Ms Sudmalis backed Tony Abbott in September’s spill.

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This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Her Money: dealing with credit card debt

Jo Pugh from Brunswick East ran up a $20,000 in credit card debt, cut them all up last year, and is now halfway through paying them off. Photo: Simon O’DwyerJo Pugh’s spiral into credit card debt began when she was a 20-year-old student.
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Earning only about $200 a week, and on a youth allowance, a bank approved her for a credit card with a $7000 limit.

“I guess I wanted to have the freedom to be able to spend a little bit more freely just for the sake of being social,” Jo, now 27, says.

“I maxed that out really quickly and ended up in this pattern of paying the minimum repayment every month and then feeling like that money was mine.”

Aiming to clear the debt, Jo applied for another credit card with an interest-free balance transfer, and then another.

Finally, she took out a $7000 personal loan – and despite the fact she says she wasn’t living particularly extravagantly, her total debts had mounted to about $20,000.

Credit cards are one of those areas where the figures are always mind-boggling. Telephone numbers, even of the mobile variety, do not even begin to tell the story.

Last year, Australians whacked $24.4 billion on their credit cards, up from $21.9 billion the year before. By December, total outstanding balances on credit cards stood at $52 billion, and nearly two-thirds of it, or $32 billion, was accruing interest. Comparison website finder南京夜网 estimates that the average credit card balance at the end of last year stood at just over $3000. This suggests cardholders are paying hundreds of dollars in interest a year.

A lot of people pay off their bill each month and never pay interest charges, but sadly many do not and subject themselves to astronomical rates of interest – typically anywhere between 15 per cent and 20 per cent. Indeed in some horrendous cases, mounting credit card debts end in bankruptcy. A Fairfax article a couple of weeks ago told the story of a Melbourne couple in their early 40s, whose failure to pay an $18,000 credit card debt ended in eviction from the family home.

Adele Martin of Firefly Wealth warns her clients to rein in their spending as soon as they stop paying off their credit card balance in full each month. “As soon as you can’t repay your bill each month, you are living beyond your means,” she says.

For clients who have already accumulated debt on their plastic, Martin uses her tried and trusted two-step plan. First, she gets them to build up a buffer of at least $1000. This will be used for emergencies so that those who are trying to pay off their debts don’t start adding to them when they get hit with an unexpected repair bill.

“The buffer, or emergency fund, is so that people don’t start to build up their debt again. This can easily happen if there is nothing to fall back on and it can become a vicious cycle. Psychologically it gets too difficult and people feel like giving up,” Martin says.

The second step involves transferring the balance to an interest-free card and making a plan to pay off the debt within the interest free timeframe – usually between 12 and 18 months.

The repayment plan inevitably involves taking a knife to a client’s expenses, but the Firefly adviser says it is not a difficult task. She can usually find about $3000 of annual savings in clients’ budgets by looking at items ranging from mobile telephone bills to gym memberships.

Gym memberships that are not being used are cancelled. Clients who have Foxtel are encouraged to consider streaming services such as Netflix, which can reduce their home entertainment bill from about $120 a month to about $10. Martin suggests that clients also hunt around for better deals on energy bills and mobile phone plans, particularly if they are breaching monthly caps for calls and the like.

For clients with more serious credit card balances, more drastic action is needed, as it can be hard to find a bank that will offer an interest-free period. In some cases, clients might have to look at moving in with their parents or getting a housemate. In addition, they need to look at their earnings. It might be time to ask for a pay rise or find a way of earning additional income.

But it has to be done. Credit card debt – and the stress that can come with it – can snowball if not kept in check, as the family from Melbourne discovered.

After a trip overseas last year, Jo knew things had to change, and she cut up her cards. “I don’t know why it took me so long to do that,” she says.

Back at university, and working as a waitress, she has halved her debt in a little more than a year, and hopes to be in the black within two years.

“As soon as I get paid, I’m putting money on all of them rather than waiting until due dates.”

Jo says she hasn’t made any significant lifestyle changes, apart from working more.

“I still feel pretty overwhelmed, particularly when I think about the amount of money that has essentially been blown on interest.”

The information in this article should not be taken as financial advice. Please consider your personal circumstances before making any financial decisions.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.