Monthly Archives: July 2018

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Aku in line for shock return

FORMER NSW and Australian winger Aku Uate is making a rapid recovery from damaged ribs and could be a shock starter for the Knights against the Dragons at Hunter Stadium on Saturday night.

PRIMED: Aku Uate runs at training. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

Coach Wayne Bennett said last Wednesday that the three-time Dally M winger of the year could be sidelined for five to six weeks after suffering rib cartilage damage in Newcastle’s 28-12 loss to the Warriors at Mt Smart Stadium 10 days ago.

But the Newcastle Herald has been told Uate has improved significantly in the past week and he showed no apparent discomfort at training on Tuesday.

Though he was not included in the 18-man squad Bennett named on Tuesday, Uate will be assessed later in the week and could be a game-day inclusion if he continues to recover at his current rate.

Bennett recalled three former Dragons – Queenslander Darius Boyd and forwards Chris Houston and Neville Costigan – and Knights under-20s captain Adam Clydsdale for the game against the club he coached to the 2010 premiership.

Presuming Boyd backs up after the Origin series-opener at ANZ Stadium tonight, he will start in his regular fullback position.

Kevin Naiqama, who replaced Boyd in the 25-18 loss to Souths last Saturday, was named on the right wing but it is understood he would make way for Uate.

Houston, who was dropped after their 44-14 loss to Canberra on May 12 and has played the past two games in NSW Cup, was named to replace injured back-rower Alex McKinnon (ankle).

Clydsdale and Costigan were named alongside David Fa’alogo, Adam Cuthbertson and Korbin Sims on a five-man bench Bennett will trim later in the week.

Though disappointed about losing McKinnon for the next six to eight weeks, Sims said news of Houston’s return had been well received by the players.

“Howzo’s been playing good footy in ‘reggies’ and he deserves to come back,” Sims said.

Sims, who signed a new two-year contract with the Knights on Monday, said staying in Newcastle would allow him to carve out his own career away from any potential shadow cast by his older brothers, Ashton and Tariq.

The three Sims brothers left the Broncos at the end of 2010 but Ashton and Tariq headed north to the Cowboys and Korbin flew south to link with the Knights.

“Any contract you negotiate is a tough decision but I thought Newcastle gave me a chance three years ago, so I’d better repay the favour and show them a bit of faith like Wayne’s shown me with playing me this year,” he said. “That’s why I came down to Newcastle. Newcastle gave me an opportunity, and I’m just willing to give back to them what they gave to me.

“Our whole family supports each other. I’m supporting my brothers 100 per cent and I know they supported me when I told them about my decision. They were over the moon . . . obviously a bit disappointed but they were very, very happy for me.”

Family insight into ‘confident’ coach


Junee Diesels president Lloyd Nicoll insists his brother-in-law and man of the moment Laurie Daley’s passion for the NSW jumper is of drought-breaking intensity.

Nicoll has been a part of the Daley clan for the past 32 years, and inside knowledge has him convinced the Junee-born legend is the man for the Blues job.

Speaking to The Daily Advertiser yesterday, Nicoll said Daley’s passion and pride for the Blues jumper will be more deeply ingrained in the team than ever before.

“Definitely, Laurie was one of the most successful captains for NSW, he’s been there and done that, and he knows the insides of what you have to do to win,” Nicoll said yesterday.

“There’s no one that’s got more passion for NSW than Laurie.

“One of the best things about him when he was a player is that he knew when to switch on, and when to switch off.

“That’s the way he conducts himself as a coach, he’s more laid back than is probably typical.

“He’ll simplify things for NSW and I think that will work for them.

“The thing is, everyone knows Laurie’s passion and that will rub off on the players because they’ve just got massive respect for him.

“He’s prepared the team well, and he’ll be very confident.”

Recalling old memories, Nicoll said Daley’s upbringing in Junee has helped keep his feet on the ground, despite massive success in Australian rugby league.

Nicoll said Daley’s playing potential as a kid was the best he has ever seen before he went on to break records as a five-eighth and captain Canberra, NSW and Australia.

“There is one thing I can say about Laurie, and that’s his passion for rugby league is unbelievable, it always has been,” Nicoll said.

“He’s just a guy who likes to spend time with his mates, but he’s always been very family orientated that’s for sure.

“They’ve certainly kept him level-headed over the years, that’s just the way he was raised.”

Daley has the entire state behind him tonight, but Nicoll insists Junee will stop to cheer on it’s favourite son to end Queensland’s domination.

“All I know is I’ve got a few mates coming around to cheer on Loz and we can’t wait,” he said.

“There’s a lot of buzz around town.”

DROUGHT BREAKER: Junee Diesels president Lloyd Nicoll believes his 1986 premiership-winning teammate, NSW coach Laurie Daley, has the passion and pride the Blues need to guide them to a drought-breaking series win. Picture: Addison Hamilton

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Forgacs braced for three strikes

FORGACS Engineering has been hit with industrial action that could last until Saturday morning.

Australian Manufacturing Workers Union organiser Daniel Wallace said the union had notified Forgacs of three consecutive 24-hour strikes starting at 6am on Wednesday.

Mr Wallace said the company’s latest offer would be put to a mass meeting at Hexham Park.

If the offer was accepted, the industrial action would end after 24hours but a ‘‘no’’ vote would result in the three consecutive strikes.

Forgacs chief executive Lindsay Stratton said the company had lifted its offer and was disappointed the union was proceeding with industrial action when a decision could have been made at a workplace ballot next week.


Organisation may take over Tamworth’s Peel St markets

TAMWORTH Business Chamber president Marjolyn Thomas said the chamber was seeking a community organisation to run the Peel St markets for a couple of reasons.

Mrs Thomas said staffing had become limited at the chamber, but there had also been a natural progression within the organisation to other things.

“Now it’s not really a core business for Tamworth Business Chamber,” Mrs Thomas said.

She said two community organisations had approached her to run the markets, but declined to name them.

“We believe it will sit really nicely with a community organisation who will take responsibility and get involved,” she said.

“The main reason I suggested to the board that we look at a community organisation … was the markets are great – we don’t want to lose them.”

The Tamworth Business Chamber is seeking a community organisation to run the Peel St markets for a couple of reasons.

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Sportspeople urged to join special trek to help in India  

IT will be much more than the average end-of-season footy trip when Bendigo chaplain Bruce Claridge leads a mission to India in November.

The Bendigo Gold and Golden Square footy clubs chaplain is heading a week-long “Kolkata Aid” trip to help people in the Indian city’s slums.

And he hopes Bendigo sportspeople join him for a life-changing experience.

“I always felt like I would love to give guys something like the AFL does,” Claridge said.

“The West Coast Eagles’ chaplain regularly takes their guys over to Cambodia to build orphanages.

“It’s bonding, unity and also it’s a help to that community.

“The concept is to take a regional representative trip to India for a week to work at the slums there and for the guys to bond, build unity in the clubs and to further build the relationship between say Bendigo Gold and other regional teams.

“When I spoke to (Gold coach) Aussie (Jones) and Tim Dickson (chairman) earlier in the year, they were right behind it, which was a great encouragement to me.

“(Former BFNL chief) Steven Oliver got right behind it and, even though he’s moved on from that role, the Bendigo league is right behind it and Golden Square is right behind it.”

A team in Kolkata will facilitate the work week, which involves activities such as teaching children in a mobile classroom and providing the children with a nutritious meal.

Organised sports events, medical camps and evening tuition are also part of the program.

“The footballers, or netballers, would go together as a group, to work in a structured way, from hands-on stuff, to relating to young people, to being ambassadors for Aussie Rules,” Claridge said.

The Gold has committed members of its leadership group to the trip and will fund-raise to cover the $2400 per-person costs.

“It’s just a great way for us to be across all things in the community and help these kids in life and not only on the footy field,” Gold coach Jones said.

“We just see it the full picture of our footy club we need to offer that experience and something a little bit different from every other club.

“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”

Jones will help Claridge launch the “Kolkata Aid” program at the GPO Restaurant in Pall Mall tomorrow from 8pm.

Claridge hopes to turn the program into an annual trip, with many clubs represented.

“My goal is for organisations to sponsor some of the quality guys who put in at their club to go and have this experience,” he said.

“The committed ones are the Bendigo Gold’s leadership group, ideally I’d love a representative from each Bendigo club.

“I’m hoping as this unfolds Bendigo will adopt this area of the slums of Calcutta and go back each year and build relationships – some businesses may help.

“I’m just hoping it snowballs from here.”

For information about the trip contact Bruce Claridge on 0412 478 744

ON A MISSION: Pastor Bruce Claridge, Bendigo Gold Football Club coach Aussie Jones and Golden Square Football Club senior coach Rick Ladson at the QEO. Picture: BRENDAN McCARTHY

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Group makes cover-up claim over plans for coal seam gas drilling in Pilliga

THE failure to make public new coal seam gas drilling plans for the Pilliga Forest has been described as a cover-up by the Wilderness Society, but the Department of Resources and Energy said it was an “administrative oversight which is now resolved”.

Coal seam gas company Santos lodged two Review of Environment Factors (REFs) with the department on March 21, but failed to upload the documents onto its website until late last week, sparking anger from anti-CSG groups and individuals.

The REFs seek approval to drill eight petroleum exploration pilot wells within the forest, near a previous drilling site that the company was forced to close down two years ago.

Wilderness Society spokeswoman Naomi Hogan said the society only became aware of the proposal after being contacted by a Pilliga landowner who’d noticed activity in the area and wanted some more information.

Numerous inquiries late last week finally forced the department to admit on Monday that the REFs hadn’t gone online.

“I find it an unlikely coincidence that the plans for the biggest new coal seam gas drilling activity in NSW happened to be the ones the NSW government forgot to make publicly available online,” Ms Hogan said.

The department released a statement admitting the REFs were “not uploaded within seven days as is the usual practice, due to an administrative oversight”.

“They have not been approved by the Office of Coal Seam Gas. Additional information has been requested from Santos which is required before an assessment and decision can be made,” it read.

Ms Hogan said it shouldn’t be up to individuals and environment groups to raise the alarm and get these documents into the public domain.

“This ridiculous document cover-up only further instills mistrust in the government around these highly contentious coal seam gas drilling activities in the Pilliga Forest,” she said.

“We need to know our government is taking coal seam gas drilling seriously, not hiding the truth or making ‘oversights’.”

Moree Plains Shire mayor Katrina Humphries, whose shire introduced a moratorium on CSG two years ago, said the whole incident made her feel uncomfortable.

“This process should be clear and transparent,”  Cr Humphries said.

The failure to make public new coal seam gas drilling plans for the Pilliga Forest has been described as a cover-up by the Wilderness Society.

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Haven of hope for war-torn refugees

TEN orphaned refugees from African countries ravaged by war and poverty could find a new home in the Hunter, if the hopes of refugee advocate Sister Diana Santleben are realised.

Sister Santleben, from Penola House, has begun a fund-raising drive to raise the estimated $5000 a child needed to deliver the orphans – from two families – to Newcastle.

The cost covers the approval process and airfares from Africa, she said.

Sister Santleben said she was hopeful the Hunter Region would support the cause, which would take the children clear of the violence and uncertainty they had endured.

‘‘This is going to be as close to happily ever after as we are ever going to see in our lifetimes,’’ she said.

‘‘Each of these children has been orphaned by war.

‘‘These kids are going to flourish [in Newcastle] … we’ve got so many runs on the board as a city [welcoming refugees].’’

Seven of the children, waiting in Liberia as they apply for visas, will be reunited with their grandmother Isata in Australia.

Their father, Kollie, left to seek food on a day in 2009 but never returned.

Mother Sangay died unexpectedly following an undetected cancer.

While Isata is based in Wagga Wagga, Sister Santleben said she planned to move to the Hunter nearer relatives to raise the children.

The other three children, who are in Kenya, are relatives of University of Newcastle student Jerome Rugaruza, who fled the war-torn Democratic Republic of Congo and arrived in Newcastle as a refugee in 2009.

He was reunited with his family in 2011, but the lengthy screening process prevented his wife Immaculee’s younger siblings Fabiola and Patrick and his nephew David from receiving visas at the time.

Jerome and Immaculee said Patrick enjoyed sports while David and Fabiola were musically minded.

‘‘Above all they like school more than anything and they adapt quickly,’’ Mr Rugaruza said.

The couple said they were confident they could financially support their extended family in Australia as they were already sending money to them overseas.

‘‘It would be very good for them because their life is changed completely, not just for themselves but the generation that will come from them,’’ Mr Rugaruza said.

Donations to support the Penola House bid to bring the orphans to the Hunter can be made to the Our 10 Lost Children Fund through any branch of the Commonwealth Bank (BSB 062 194 Account 1010 8045) or directly to Penola House at its Wilson Street, Mayfield, site.

Offender remains in prison

LACHLAN Peebles will remain imprisoned until at least September 5 after an incident in Normanton last year.

Peebles, 21, appeared before the Mount Isa Magistrates Court via video link yesterday charged with one count each of assault occasioning bodily harm, enter dwelling with intent by break and two counts of wilful damage.

Peebles had broken the victim’s front door and attacked him in his sleep after a family member had told the defendant she had been hit by him.

Compensation of more than $400 had been sought to replace the front door but Magistrate Rod Madsen said Peebles had no means to repay a fine and instead handed down concurrent imprisonment terms, with a parole eligibility date of September 5.

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OPINION: Loving leftovers may be foodprint epitaph

WE are very lucky in Newcastle to be able to pop down to the Broadmeadow Showground most Sundays and stock up for the week at the Newcastle City Farmers Market.

GULP: Australians waste 7.5 million tonnes of food each year.

Recognised in the SMH Good Food Guide 2013, the Farmers Market has been going for more than eight years and provides a great space for local farmers and producers.

World Environment Day is a good day to pause and think about our farmers.

The United Nations has declared the theme for this year’s celebration is ‘Think Eat Save’, and launched a campaign against food waste that encourages you to reduce your ‘foodprint’.

The campaign promotes individual responsibility to better care for our natural resources, to achieve sustainable consumption levels, and to recognise the implications of our actions in the ‘paddock to fork’ food chain.

We all know that you need good land and water, as well as some fertilisers and fuel to get the produce from paddock to market.

Many wouldn’t know that about one third of the food produced in the world for human consumption every year is wasted. That’s about 1.3 billion tonnes of food wasted every year.

All the inputs used to produce food are lost when food is wasted.

They say about 16,000 litres of water goes into a cow’s food to make a hamburger.

The resulting greenhouse gas emissions from the cows themselves, and throughout the food chain, all end up in vain when we waste food.

According to the latest national water accounts, the agriculture industry consumed 54 per cent of Australia’s total water consumption; and according to the latest national greenhouse accounts, the sector (not including transport to market) accounted for 16 per cent of our annual emissions. In March this year the world’s population surpassed 7 billion people, and in April Australia’s population clicked over the 23 million mark. It is predicted that by 2050, the world’s population will be 9 billion.

With the pressures from a growing population and a changing climate, the only way for our food systems to be sustainable is to protect our farming land and water, cut the waste and get smarter with our non-renewable resources.

In Australia we waste about 7.5 million tonnes of food every year, or enough to feed the entire nation for three weeks. A lot of the waste ends up in landfills, producing methane, fuelling climate change and putting more pressure on our farmers. And at the same time, 2 million Australians go hungry.

We have got to stop the waste. In Newcastle, the volunteer group Oz Harvest are doing their bit. Oz Harvest is an ‘excess food rescue’ charity distributing food to support the vulnerable in our community. Since they began in Newcastle in February 2010, they’ve rescued more than 440 tonnes of food and have helped 55 groups in the region, effectively rescuing one and a half million meals.

But we need to reduce the amount to start with.

We need to plan better and buy only as much as we need, choose seasonal and local food, eat organic and love our leftovers.

This will help us reduce our food waste, reduce our foodprint and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Governments need to take action as well. Our farming land and water needs to be protected and a plan to become sustainable in agriculture needs to be developed in collaboration with our farmers.

This is clearly an issue in our region where the multinational coal companies for decades have been turning what was good farming land into moonscapes to send their profits overseas to their foreign owners.

Now coal seam gas companies want to follow suit.

This is not a plan for sustainable agriculture in our region.

Ag Institute Australia, the peak industry body, wants the development of a sustainable agriculture plan to be one of the nation’s top priorities.

This makes good, long term, economic and ecological sense. But recent federal government budget priorities show scant regard for planning for the future and the intergenerational equity consequences of policy inaction.

The federal government should not ignore the pressures future generations will face from climate change, diminishing natural resources and the safety of food supply.

It’s obvious that if we don’t come up with better ways to consume in a sustainable way, this planet of ours will reach breaking point.

World Environment Day 2013 is not just about reducing food waste so we can save money and resources; it’s about food security for all of us.

Michael Osborne is a Newcastle City Councillor and is the federal Greens Party candidate for Newcastle.

OPINION: Sometimes, carers need support as well

WHEN a special person enters our life – a partner, a child, a good friend – we promise them and ourselves to love and care for them. This unconditional love can be challenged and challenging.

Caring and loving someone with depression is not easy.

Throughout my life I have been defined by many things: my work, my family, and my politics. Seven years ago I took on another role – carer.

In 2005, my husband John was diagnosed with depression after he attempted to take his life. I had been worried about him for a number of years before this: trying to understand what was happening to him and what I could do to help him.

Despite the circumstances that brought it on, for both of us his diagnosis was a huge relief – the beginning of a journey to recovery.

To support a person with a mental illness the family has to work as a team, but the majority of the load almost always falls on a single member of that team – the primary carer. And that weight can become very difficult to bear.

Loving someone with a mental illness (or any illness) sets you on a quest or multiple quests. The quest for answers; what is happening to the person I love? The quest for information; what treatment is available? The quest for life preservation; how do I keep this precious person safe?

Somewhere down the list is a voice asking how I stay safe and sane on this journey as well.

There are 2.6 million Australians in a caring role. Given that many people supporting someone with depression would not identify themselves as a “carer” in the traditional sense, this number is probably much higher.

It has been estimated that up to 20 per cent of us will experience depression at some stage in our lives, with most of the day-to-day support provided by close family and friends.

While depression is not contagious, it can have a virulent effect – being a carer for someone living with a mental illness immediately puts you into the high-risk category for developing mental health problems yourself.

The reason for that risk is quite simple – you are isolated, distressed and more often than not lacking in the necessary tools and support to cope with the situation you find yourself in.

But it does not have to be that way.

This week, I was privileged to participate in the launch of the Hunter Institute of Mental Health’s report ‘Supporting those who Care: Partners in Depression National Program Outcomes’, as the program’s patron.

Partners in Depression offers support to people loving and caring for someone with depression. The programme was developed based on sound research. Over a series of six sessions participants learn about depression and treatment, they learn how to provide positive support, they learn that they are not alone and most importantly they learn that to be a good carer they must look after themselves first – look after their own physical and mental health.

While we continue to work on building the path to recovery for individuals living with mental illness, we also need to look at the role of the carer and ensure that they have all of the necessary support they need to be an effective support person and to stay healthy.

It is essential for us to continue this cultural shift to an approach that incorporates the well-being of the individual and their family.

Partners in Depression is a step in the right direction.

I just wish every community, family and workplace that needed it had access.

Find out more at partnersindepression苏州美甲学校.au.

Lucy Brogden is the wife of former NSW Opposition Leader John Brogden and the National Patron for Partners in Depression, developed by the Hunter Institute of Mental Health.