Shard of wood misses man by centimetres as storm smashes Kurri Kurri

DEADLY DEBRIS: The piece of timber which shattered the window of Luke Apthorpe’s business in Kurri Kurri on Monday. Picture: Marina NeilLuke Apthorpe will wake up feeling lucky on Tuesday.
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The Kurri Kurri business owner was looking out the front of his shop at a storm battering the townwhen a jagged hunk of wood speared through the window, missing him by centimetres.

“I rang my brother and said ‘I wasn’t meant to die today,” a relieved Mr Apthorpe said shortly after the storm, which tore through Kurri at about 2pm on Monday.

The jagged shard of wood was part of a clump of debris, including a section of the Kurri Kurri Community Centre’s roof, that was blown across from Lang St to Barton St by fierce winds.

“I went to look out the window because the noise of the storm was just incredible,” Mr Apthorpe said.

“All of a sudden a lump of timber flew through the window right next to me. My heart is still going.”

Related:Building partially collapses in Kurri Kurri amid severe weather

Mr Apthorpe shrugged off damage to the building, which is estimated to cost thousands of dollars, sayingit was “lucky no one was killed”.

The storm caused chaos throughout Kurri when it suddenly struck. Two people received non-life-threatening injuries when the roof partially collapsed at the community centre, while power lines and roofs were down and damaged acrossthe town.

By 4pm, the State Emergency Service had already registered more than 100 calls for assistance.

The Kurri Kurri Ambulance Practice Hall was one of the worst damaged, with the entire roof torn off the heritage building.

“It was just like a tornado and whoosh, off went the roof,” Elana Lawrence, who was in the hall at the time of the storm, told Fairfax Media.

The centre, which provides after school and holidaycare for children, was empty except for Ms Lawrence.

Kurri resident Cheryle Shoesmith lives on Main Road leading into the town. Winds downed multiple trees along the stretch of homes, damaging multiple houses and leaving a mass of vegetation to be cleared.

“It was cyclonic, the rain was going sideways,” Ms Shoesmith said.

The longtime resident said it wasn’t the first time the area had been struck hard by storms, but Monday’s one was “just horrific”.

Amidst the gloomy aftermath, Ms Shoesmith praised the swift reaction of emergency services and fellow community members.

“There’s a fellow up the road with a chainsaw and everyone has come straight away to help with the clean up,” she said.

The impact of the storm is likely to continue into the week, with Kurri Kurri Public School announcing it would close on Tuesday due to storm damage, while Fire and Rescue NSW inspected the community centre on Monday afternoon to assess its stability.

Your guide to all the horses in the 2017 Melbourne Cup

Wizard of Odds: Live Odds, Form and Alerts for all Racing
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Wondering who to put your hard-earned on in the Melbourne Cup? Andrew Garvey tests the waters – and waves in some favourites.

Boom Time spears through the fence to win the Caulfield Cup. Photo: AAP

Hartnell

This time last year he was the Cup favourite. In 2017 his form is not as strong and he is well down the market order. However, his form apart from a last-start failure at Caulfield has been solid enough and he did run third last year. Against that is the fact he does have to shoulder an extra 1.5kg. Punters would be a long way ahead by not backing Cup runners owned by Sheikh Mohammed to win over the past 20 years but placings at odds have been frequent. One for the multiples.

Almandin

His credentials were looking outstanding before Damien Oliver’s suspension this week. It read five times Cup-winning owner, dual Cup-winning trainer, three times Cup-winning jockey and a Cup winner himself. Now he has to carry a bloke who, while a champion jockey overseas, has a great losing record in the Melbourne Cup. Almandin faces a stiff rise in the weights on his win last year but if you can overlook his last start failure, he has to be included in the better chances because his previous win was most impressive.

Almandin faces a stiff rise in the weights on his win last year. Photo: AAP

Humidor

Has a mind of his own but his close second in the Cox Plate showed that on his day, he is nearly as good as any horse around, apart from Winx. Trainer Darren Weir was unhappy with the ride in the Caulfield Cup prior to that so it could be wise to overlook that failure. He has a good horse’s weight but if the breaks go his way is he capable of going close enough to get the cigar.

Tiberian

His father might be a teaser but this fellow looms as the real thing as far as Cup contenders go. He has won four of his five starts this year in France and looked good winning over 2500 metres at group 2 level last start. Last year his managing owner and syndicator Darren Dance purchased Heartbreak City to win the Cup only to miss by the narrowest of margins. He might not be of noble blood but he looks capable of winning – and if he does expect a conga line of owners behind Darren and the Cup.

Red Cardinal

Owned and trained in the same interests as 2014 winner Protectionist and to be ridden by dual Cup winner Kerrin McEvoy. Much travelled six-year-old whose most recent form, winning in Germany and the US, was very good before last-start failure in France in mid-August. Whether he might be too fresh could be a query but he is unbeaten in two starts over 3200m. If our George is running a sweep at the Vatican on Tuesday, he’ll definitely be the one everyone wants to draw.

Red Cardinal at Werribee. Photo: AAP

Marmelo

Too good for his rivals when leading all the way to win the Prix Kergolay, the race won by subsequent Cup winners Protectionist and Americain before arriving in . After settling well back he finished off strongly in the Caulfield Cup at his local debut. Unlike his name – a shortened version of marshmallow – he’s better suited on firmer rather than soft tracks. Might not be the best name for the Cup honour roll but sounds better than wizz fizz, sherbie or freddo.

Johannes Vermeer

Yet another of the Lloyd Williams cavalcade. By champion European staying sire and after winning a group 1 aged two in France, he took a while to find form again after injury. Stable then had enough confidence to send him to and two runs here have been excellent, including an unlucky third in the Caulfield Cup. Apparently his namesake was a Dutch painter who died penniless but punters who stick with him look a good chance to shout their mates a few “Johannes Vermeers” post race.

SCRATCHED: Who Shot Thebarman

An elevated temperature means the nine-year-old with the cult following was scratched from the Cup field on Sunday evening. It would have been his fourth Melbourne Cup.

Max Dynamite

He must have taken some time to recover from his pinball impersonation here two years ago when he caused maximum carnage in the straight knocking over runner after runner in his bid to stop the Prince Of Penzance fairytale, only to miss out by half a length. He failed when favourite in a hurdle two runs back before breaking through for a win carrying 73kg in a weak flat race last start. While the form card reads no, he has a most astute trainer and will not be here to enjoy Melbourne’s spring weather. He could be a blowout chance.

Ventura Storm

Import who joined strong local stable this year. He appeared to have every chance in the Caulfield Cup last start but failed to finish off his race. Prior to that he ran second in the Turnbull here beating home Humidor, who also failed at Caulfield before giving Winx a scare in the Cox Plate. He was good enough to run second in the Doncaster St Leger over 2800m as a three-year-old and it would be no surprise to see him storming home to victory if he produces his best.

Wicklow Brave

Top-class Irish hurdler who managed to beat only two home in this race last year so connections are obviously brave in venturing back from Ireland for another try as a nine-year-old. His recent form at home had been solid in good company and his run in the Caulfield Cup was much better than it looks on paper. He is entitled to start at big odds though, and punters will need to be brave to put their faith in him.

Bondi Beach

Former Irish stayer who might be named after one of ‘s most iconic seaside spots but calls the lower-profile Lloyd Williams ranch at Mount Macedon home. Fitter for two recent runs and the longer trip suits. He improved three places on 2015 to finish 13th in this race last year, so at that rate of progress could be a place chance in another three years. Splash your money on him and there is every chance you will end the day with a case of sunburn.

US Army Ranger

Import who won his first two starts but has been battling to win a race since, although he did run second in the Epsom Derby. Placed over 4355m and no, there were no hurdles in the way, three runs back, before disappointing at last couple. He runs in the Lloyd Williams colours, which provides some reason for optimism but the five-year-old turns for home his jockey should have a white hankie handy.

Big Duke

Import who has come a long way since winning a weak race at Caulfield on Boxing Day to record his first local victory. Placed in Sydney Cup earlier in the year on a very heavy track with his big dukes helping him get through the sloppy conditions. Beaten as a hot favourite in the Moonee Valley Cup last start but he didn’t have a lot of luck getting clear running on that occasion. DarrenWeir-trained runners are invariably very competitive in the Melbourne Cup and if the rain arrives the six-year-old gelding looks every bit a big chance.

Boom Time

Ironically named gelding whose owner was forced to sell out for a pittance prior to his win in the $3.1 million Caulfield Cup after going bust. He was given a perfect ride just behind the speed in that race and was tough to the line. It is hard to knock a last start Caulfield Cup winner but being by a Golden Slipper winner with a dam who is closely related to undefeated champion Black Caviar, the extra 800m this time might test his lungs. Others are likely to give a bit more boom for your buck this time and prefer the place.

Boom Time spears through the fence to win the Caulfield Cup. Photo: AAP

Single Gaze

Raced on speed and toughed it out remarkably well to hold on for second in the Caulfield Cup so deserves her chance, although she does not look well weighted. She doesn’t know who her parents are but her pedigree does not give a lot of confidence that she will run out a strong 3200m. Still, she has a name that could attract the interest of those single punters who have hit Flemington in search of another lonely heart as well as a winner.

Gallante

One of the Williams lesser lights although he did win the Sydney Cup last year over this trip. He has had only two starts since beating four others home in this race last year. Was last when resuming this campaign before running down the track in a weak Geelong Cup. Entitled to start at big odds and it would only be the brave punters wanting to invest their hard-earned on him.

Libran

He didn’t show much star quality in the UK before joining the Chris Waller yard and developing into a more than handy stayer, running second in last year’s Sydney Cup. He settled at the rear before running on well for second in the Moonee Valley Cup in something of a return to form last start. Given that by birth date he should be a Taurean, it is a bit hard to make an accurate prediction of his future Cup chances, so it might be best to concentrate on others.

Nakeeta

Tough stayer who had been racing well before breaking through in the Ebor Handicap to give him his first win in two years. That race was won last year by subsequent Cup runner-up Heartbreak City. It is hard to see him making it two wins in a row in what is a stronger race here but for Elton John fans looking for a bit of value he could be the one to throw in first fours and trifectas.

Wall Of Fire

Improving type but has found the competition a bit hot and struggled to win when up in grade this season, although he has generally been competitive. He was suited in the Herbert Power last start when able to finish off strongly for second after sitting at the rear off a strong tempo, with third placegetter Boom Time going on to win the Caulfield Cup. There is a lot more depth in this event but when others are hitting the wall he should still be whacking away. Perhaps worth a place ticket at odds.

Rekindling

Owned by Lloyd Williams and partners with the Melbourne Cup fire in the Williams belly not needing any rekindling since winning his first with Just A Dash back in 1981. Only a three-year-old to European time but has strong form lines in Europe and three runs back beat home his older rivals in a group 2 contest over 2800m. He is the first Cup runner for Joseph O’Brien whose father Aiden brought out another European three-year-old, Mahler, who carried 1kg less when running third behind Efficient in 2007. Respect.

Amelie’s Star

Despite all the horses who have had “star” in their names, none have won the Melbourne Cup. But this one is trained by a bloke named Weir who has a habit of breaking records. The trainer was not happy with the ride given her in the Caulfield Cup so it could be worth overlooking that failure as her previous win here was excellent. The Amelie in the 2001 French romantic comedy of the same name liked to make people happy and there will be plenty in the crowd feeling that way if equine Amelie can get the cash.

Jockey Damien Lane on Amelie’s Star. Photo: AAP

Cismontane

Solid effort in the Moonee Valley and then defied all attempts to run him down in the Lexus to sneak into the Cup field. He comes in on the minimum weight but unfortunately for him those above don’t appear to have enough weight to slow them down to his level. He will be up on the pace so will give supporters a sight but despite what the ever-optimistic Gai might say, he has a very big mountain to climb.

Thomas Hobson

He spent most of the last three years hurdling, winning four such events before being restricted to the flat since earlier this year and his astute trainer Willie Mullins knows what is required to be competitive in this race. He sealed a trip down under with a strong second placing in the Doncaster Cup over 3600m at his most recent start in September. Stamina is one thing the eight-year-old is not short of and punters who envisage a strong tempo could well make him their choice.

The ultimate racing form guide with free tips, live odds and alerts for all racing.

Malcolm Turnbull acts on citizenship, and the next stages could be explosive

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull addresses the media during a doorstop interview at Parliament House in Canberra on Monday 6 November 2017. fedpol Photo: Alex EllinghausenIn the end, Malcolm Turnbull concluded that among the unpalatable options available to him in the dual citizenship crisis, doing nothing was the riskiest path of all.
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His government’s one-seat majority had begun falling apart, mid-term.

Defending the status quo was defending the indefensible. Worse, it was tantamount to a government siding with chaos and tumult when they exist to bring order, certainty, predictability.

Through no fault of his own, Turnbull found himself helming a show that, to paraphrase Douglas Adams in The Hitchhikers’ Guide to the Galaxy, was starting to resemble a military academy – “bits of it kept on passing out”.

And because of the ad hoc, headline-driven way this disintegration was occurring, the aura of helplessness suggested an administration overwhelmed by greater forces. Personally and politically, this was devastating.

When Turnbull arrived back into the country on Friday, his resentment over Stephen Parry’s craven post-High Court demise and fresh interest in the heritage of Environment and Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg – now one of Turnbull’s closest allies – obscured his capacity to discern and articulate the public reassurance needed politically.

That visceral anger had been human enough, but with public confidence draining fast, more was required.

The Greens had already restated their long-held calls for a full audit and Labor quickly dropped its ‘nothing-to-see-here’ line, proposing a “universal disclosure” – not an audit as such but a mechanism where all MPs showed their sole-citizen bona fides.

What Turnbull has now unveiled at least conforms to established parliamentary practices regarding financial interests. But in its core function, it is close to what Bill Shorten proposed.

It now seems most likely that the outcome, if it is not an audit, is a stocktake designed to establish who we have in the parliamentary stock, and if any should not be there.

But unknowns remain. Would those with citizenship problems resign automatically? How would non-compliant or doubtful cases be referred to the High Court, and would parties continue to deny cases on party lines? Would the government risk a working majority?

At best, this is progress – the beginning of the end of this citizenship controversy.

The next stages could be explosive. The worst case for Shorten is that he is still in opposition once it’s done. For Turnbull the risk has always been winding up in the same place. In opposition.

Contour after weight loss

SHAPING UP: An abdominoplasty involves surgically removing the excess fat and skin from the abdomen, along with tightening the abdominal muscles.LOSING a significant amount of weight is an amazing achievement, but often the results of this hard work are hidden under folds of excess skin that has lost its elasticity.
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Weight loss surgery can be life changing for people who have struggled with being overweight, and the results can be amazing.

Some patients follow their weight loss journey with body contouring surgery to remove this excess skin and restore their shape.

“Body contouring surgery can be tailored to suit an individual’s specific problem areas,”says specialist Plastic Surgeon Dr Gary Avery, director of Avery Plastic Surgery.

An abdominoplasty involves surgically removing the excess fat and skin from the abdomen, along with tightening the abdominal muscles.

Scars from a tummy tuck can vary depending on whether or not the navel is relocated and how well your skin copes with scarring.

“Generally, the scar should be hidden when wearing underwear or a swimsuit, and will fade with time,” Dr Avery said.

Many people choose to combine a tummy tuck with procedures such as a breast reduction, breast augmentation, or breast lift to fully address their concerns.

“A lower body lift involves removing the excess fat and skin from the abdominal area and the lower back, which can benefit those people who have experienced greater weight fluctuations,” Dr Avery said.

“Excess skin can also be removed from the arms (arm lift) and inner thighs.”

Length of recovery will depend on what procedures are conducted, however most patients are back to their pre surgery fitness levels by 6-8 weeks post surgery.

“A hospital stay up to four nights, and 2-4 weeks off work may be recommended,” said Dr Avery who performs all body contouring surgery at Lingard Private Hospital in Merewether.

“All our procedures take place in an accredited hospital, with appropriately trained support staff and anesthetists.”

Dr Avery recommends waiting at least six months after reaching your ideal weight in order to stabilise beforehaving further surgery.

“Surgery is a big investment in yourself, you really want the results to last,” he said.

Dr Avery, is an Australasian-trained Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon, experienced in body contouring surgery. He has operated in the Hunter Region for the past five years and this year opened a solo practice at Suite 1, Ground Floor, 31-33 Watt Street, Newcastle. His specialties include all cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgery procedures. For more information, ring (02) 4002 4150, email [email protected]苏州夜总会招聘.au or visit averyplasticsurgery苏州夜总会招聘.au.

Turnbull government MP John Alexander may be a dual citizen

Former tennis champ and new Member for Bennelong John Alexander during his first Liberal Party meeting at Parliament House in Canberra today Thursday 9th of September 2010 photograph Glen McCurtayne FAIRFAX MEDIA SPECIAL SHADOWTurnbull government MP John Alexander is scrambling to confirm whether he is a dual citizen, which if proven would trigger a byelection that would further threaten the Coalition’s grip on power.
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Fairfax Media can reveal Mr Alexander’s father, Gilbert Alexander, was born in the UK and is likely to have conferred citizenship by descent to his son. Mr Alexander has never before been named as an MP with a parent born overseas, meaning his status has flown under the radar since the citizenship saga first erupted in July.

The Liberal member for the Sydney seat of Bennelong has confirmed he never renounced any British citizenship before entering Parliament, and cannot say definitively whether his father did so before the former tennis champion’s birth in 1951.

This means he could be ineligible for Parliament under section 44 of the constitution.

A spokesman for Mr Alexander said on Monday: “He believes his dad renounced his UK citizenship in the 41 years he lived in before John was born. But of course he will fully participate in the process that the PM has just announced today.”

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on Monday revealed all federal politicians will be required to publicly detail their citizenship history under new transparency measures designed to end the crisis.

The claim that Mr Alexander’s father may have renounced at some point after he arrived in in 1911 is complicated by the fact the concept of n citizenship did not come into force until 1949.

That means he may have only had a two-year window to renounce before his son was born in 1951.

Under the online renunciation search tool provided by the British National Archives, there is no record of Mr Alexander’s father having renounced at any time after 1948.

Gilbert died in 1987, aged 80.

Fairfax Media has obtained documents that show Gilbert was born in Essex, England in September 1907. He was baptised in London the following month.

An incoming passenger card shows Gilbert and his family travelled from London to Sydney on June 9, 1911, when Gilbert was aged three. He enrolled to vote in the seat of Warringah in 1930 at age 23, and married Mr Alexander’s mother, Thelma Fletcher Hipgrave, in 1944. They had John in July 1951.

Under the British Nationality Act 1948, people born to British citizens are automatically given citizenship of the UK by descent.

This law conferred British citizenship on the Nationals’ Fiona Nash and One Nation’s Malcolm Roberts, who were kicked out of the Senate by the High Court last month. Former Senate president Stephen Parry resigned from Parliament last week after revealing he was a dual UK citizen through the same law.

Asked if he was confident he would not lose any more Coalition MPs to citizenship issues, Mr Turnbull said on Monday: “The federal director has told me that all of the Liberal Party members believe that they are in compliance with the constitution.”

Mr Alexander won Bennelong, a culturally diverse electorate on Sydney’s north shore in 2010, defeating sitting Labor MP and former ABC broadcaster Maxine McKew. He was reelected at the 2013 and 2016 federal elections. Mr Alexander holds the seat with a margin of almost 10 per cent.

The Turnbull government is down one lower house seat while former deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce fights a byelection in his NSW seat of New England.

In a statement issued on Monday night, Mr Alexander’s spokesman said: “My father was born in the United Kingdom in 1907, before moving to as a very young child.

“He became an n citizen as soon as he could. I understand he renounced his British citizenship before I was born, because he was a proud n.” i

Fire shows historic Newcastle post office can’t be ‘left to rot’

Post office sale attracts national interest May 2008: Still empty. Picture: Darren Pateman
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FIRE: The blaze started some time before 9.44pm. Picture: Liz Knott

FIRE: The blaze started some time before 9.44pm. Picture: Liz Knott

FIRE: The blaze started some time before 9.44pm. Picture: Liz Knott

FIRE: The blaze started some time before 9.44pm. Picture: Liz Knott

FIRE: The blaze started some time before 9.44pm. Picture: Liz Knott

FIRE: The blaze started some time before 9.44pm. Picture: Liz Knott

FIRE: The blaze started some time before 9.44pm. Picture: Liz Knott

FIRE: The blaze started some time before 9.44pm. Picture: Liz Knott

FIRE: Some of the damage from the blaze. Picture: Simone De Peak

FIRE: Some of the damage from the blaze. Picture: Simone De Peak

FIRE: Some of the damage from the blaze. Picture: Simone De Peak

FIRE: The blaze started some time before 9.44pm. Picture: Liz Knott

Cyclists stand outside the Hunter Street court house in about 1900. The post office was built on the site by 1903.

May 2008. Picture: Darren Pateman

1902: The post office under construction before its August 1903 opening.

An atrium proposed in one plan for the post office site. Picture: EJE Architecture

An atrium proposed in one plan for the post office site. Picture: EJE Architecture

An artist’s impression of a planned function room once proposed for the site. Picture: EJE Architecture

2009. Picture: Ben Rushton

2009. Picture: Ben Rushton

Picture: Dean Osland

2008: Project director Michael Rodgers with then-owner Sean Ngu. Picture: Ryan Osland

2008: Project director Michael Rodgers with then-owner Sean Ngu. Picture: Ryan Osland

October 2008: Plans to convert the post office into a nightspot have been approved and work is to begin shortly. Picture: Ryan Osland

May 2008. Picture: Darren Pateman

October 2008: Plans to convert the post office into a nightspot have been approved and work is to begin shortly. Picture: Ryan Osland

March 2005: “Newcastle post office finally cleaned up”. Picture: Darren Pateman

1903: The post office opens.

JUNE 2006: Temporary fencing around the site is removed. Picture: Simone De Peak

Former owner Sean Ngu inside the post office in 2008. Picture: Ryan Osland

JUNE 2006: Temporary fencing around the site is removed. Picture: Simone De Peak

JUNE 2006: Temporary fencing around the site is removed. Picture: Simone De Peak

2008. Picture: Darren Pateman

2008: A broken window, potentially allowing access to the site. Picture: Darren Pateman

2005. Picture: Dean Osland

2005: The post office is cleaned up. Picture: Darren Pateman

Michael Rodgers and Sean Ngu in 2008. Picture: Ryan Osland

JUNE 2008: Milton Morris seeks to have the post office moved back into the old building. Picture: Kitty Hill

JUNE 2008: Milton Morris seeks to have the post office moved back into the old building. Picture: Kitty Hill

JUNE 2008: Milton Morris seeks to have the post office moved back into the old building. Picture: Kitty Hill

January 2005. Picture: Simone De Peak

2005. Picture: Kitty Hill

2005. Picture: Kitty Hill

2005. Picture: Kitty Hill

Picture: Dean Osland

January 2004. Picture: Glen McCurtayne

Picture: Stefan Moore.

2004: A glimpse into the post office, believed to be housing squatters. Picture: Glen McCurtayne

2010. Picture: Darren Pateman

2010: Jodi McKay in the old building. Picture: Dean Osland

2009. Picture: Dean Osland

2010. Picture: Darren Pateman

2010: After the graffiti is cleaned off. Picture: Stuart Quinn

2010: After the graffiti is cleaned off. Picture: Stuart Quinn

2009: Sean Ngu. Picture: Darren Pateman

2010: the government tours the site to check its condition. Picture: Darren Pateman

2010. Picture: Darren Pateman

2009: Sean Ngu with Simon Emerzidis (left) and Steve Kremisis (right. They hope to open doors in December 2010. Picture: Simone De Peak

2010: Jodi McKay in the old building. Picture: Dean Osland

2010: With Jodi McKay in the old building. Picture: Dean Osland

2010: Inside the old building. Picture: Dean Osland

2010: Jodi McKay in the old building. Picture: Dean Osland

Sean Ngu.

2010: Owner Sean Ngu with business partners Steve Kremisis and Simon Emerzidis. Picture: Simone De Peak

2010: the government tours the site to check its condition. Picture: Darren Pateman

2010: the government tours the building to check its condition. Picture: Darren Pateman

2010: Inside the old building. Picture: Dean Osland

2010: Jodi McKay in the old building. Picture: Dean Osland

2010: Jodi McKay in the old building. Picture: Dean Osland

2010: Jodi McKay in the old building. Picture: Dean Osland

2010: Gionni Di Gravio calls for the site to become a history and visitor information centre. Picture: Stuart Quinn

TweetFacebookNewcastle Heraldunderstands.

Onceexpressions of interest close next week,Colliers Internationalwillwork through the proposals to determine which are feasible.

“Then we will take it to the [Awabakal] members with some recommendations and see how they feel about it,” the land council’schief executive, Rob Russell, said.

Howevertechnically the post office can not yetbe sold,as one of nineAwabakal properties tied up in court action.

Earlier this year two Sydney companiesplaced a caveat over the building in the Supreme Court, claiming they were owed money by the land council. The case has not been resolved.

“We have to pay fees to the courts to even start to move towards having those caveats removed,” Mr Russell said.

“It’s people from outside,draining money out of the land council. But we are determined to move forward.”

Colliers International executive Michael Chapman said agents had been pleased with the level of interest duringthe expressions of interest process.

“All sorts of things have been proposed, from hospitality to a hotel to commercial uses,” he said.

“It’s really working through how you can unlock the value and reinvent the building to the landmark it once was. That may rule out some uses based on cost.”

On Monday, work beganto clear and secure the verandah of the post office, in what was hailed the “first step in a long journey” to restore the treasured buildingto its former glory.

The parliamentary secretary for the Hunter,Scot MacDonald, welcomed the start of restoration works.

“It is good to see the NSW Government funding to secure and make safe the old postoffice is now being utilised,” he said.

Melbourne Cup 2017: The street parade

20 photos from the 2017 Melbourne Cup street parade Gai Waterhouse waves to the crowd during the as the Melbourne Cup Parade. Photo: AAP Image/James Ross
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Single Gaze strapper Billy Owen, trainer Nick Olive and jockey Kathy O’Hara during the Melbourne Cup Parade travels down Swanston Street in Melbourne on Monday. Photo: AAP Image/Julian Smith

Tom Dabernig, Corey Parish and David Hayes during the Melbourne Cup Parade travels down Swanston Street in Melbourne on Monday. Photo: AAP Image/James Ross

Gai Waterhouse is seen before the Melbourne Cup Parade on Monday. Photo: AAP Image/Julian Smith

Tiberian connections during the Melbourne Cup Parade on Monday. Photo: AAP Image/Julian Smith

Jockey Cory Parish (centre) and trainer David Hayes (right) during the Melbourne Cup Parade on Monday. Photo: AAP Image/Julian Smith

Trainer Darren Weir and jockey Brenton Avdulla during the Melbourne Cup Parade on Monday. Photo: AAP Image/Julian Smith

Anti horse racing protestors at the corner of Swanston Street and Flinders street during the Melbourne Cup Parade in Melbourne on Monday. Photo: AAP Image/James Ross

A Fashions on the Field ambassador during the Melbourne Cup Parade on Monday. Photo: AAP Image/Julian Smith

Kerrin McEvoy is seen with his children as the Melbourne Cup Parade travels down Swanston Street in Melbourne. Photo: AAP Image/Julian Smith

Ben Hayes (left) and Glen Boss (third from left) during the Melbourne up Parade on Monday. Photo: AAP Image/James Ross

Jockey Cory Parish (top centre) and trainer David Hayes( right) during the Melbourne Cup Parade on Monday. Photo: AAP Image/James Ross

James Cummings and his children during the Melbourne Cup Parade on Monday. Photo: AAP Image/James Ross

Glen Boss (right) at the Melbourne Cup Parade. Photos: AAP Image/Julian Smith

Jockey Craig Williams is seen with kids during the Melbourne Cup Parade. Photo: AAP Image/James Ross

Apprentice jockey Beau Mertens who will be riding the Gai Waterhouse-trained Cismontane signs autographs at the Melbourne Cup Parade. Photo: AAP Image/Julian Smith

Let the fun begin. Photo: Jason South

Colour galore during the 2017 street parade. Photo: Jason South

The race that stops a nation bought the city of Melbourne to a standstill with the Emirates Melbourne Cup Parade. Photo: Jason South

The race that stops a nation bought the city of Melbourne to a standstill with the Emirates Melbourne Cup Parade on Monday. Photo: Jason South

TweetFacebookREAD MORE:Melbourne Cup 2017 barrier drawYour guide to all the horses in the 2017 Melbourne CupWhy ironhorse Humidor is turning back Melbourne Cup clock

How Samu Kerevi started to enjoy rugby again

CARDIFF: A conversation with Will Genia last week convinced Samu Kerevi he needed to stop heaping pressure on himself and just enjoy rugby again.
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It seems to have paid dividends, with Kerevi producing arguably his best Wallabies performances of the year in his side’s 63-30 win over Japan.

Kerevi scored two tries of his own and helped set up a handful of others in what was his first start for since his poor showing against the All Blacks in the Bledisloe Cup opener in Sydney.

The 24-year-old was subsequently dropped for the next Test in Dunedin but earned a recall to the bench, a spot he maintained for the next five Tests before getting his chance at No.12 on Saturday in Yokohama.

On face value, Kerevi is a relaxed chap, however, his eagerness to do well was picked up by Genia who offered some sage advice before the weekend’s match.

“He was saying to back myself and enjoy footy,” Kerevi said. “That’s what I’ve missed in the last couple of weeks … I was putting so much pressure on myself. I just had to go out there and enjoy myself. I was happy I was able to do that.”

Kerevi reminded coach Michael Cheika of the attacking prowess he possesses with some barnstorming runs, albeit at Japanese defenders who won’t be as big as the Wales players he could run into this Saturday (Sunday AEDT) in Cardiff.

“It doesn’t matter who is in front of us, I know what my strengths are and that’s what I play to,” Kerevi said. “So if that’s ball carrying, that’s ball carrying.”

Kerevi’s defensive reads have come under criticism this year, particularly after a forgetful Sydney Test.

Against Japan though, Kerevi sized up and showed a willingness to get off his feet and back in the defensive line as soon as possible.

“I’m just happy to get out an 80-minute performance, I haven’t had one for a long time,” Kerevi said. “I felt good out there.

“I’m really proud of the boys’ performance. We played really well in the first half and patches in the second half. There was a lot of learning in that.”

Under normal circumstances, Kerevi would have done more than enough to cement his spot in ‘s next game.

However, Cheika has some decisions to make. Bernard Foley (illness), Will Genia (calf) and Karmichael Hunt (neck) are all expected to be eligible for selection this weekend.

Foley will take back the No.10 jersey from Reece Hodge, who will almost certainly slide back onto the wing.

Cheika has to make up his mind whether to keep Beale at fullback, who wasn’t afraid to jump into first receiver against the Cherry Blossoms, or put Hunt there.

Beale has spoken about the fact he and Hunt, if selected at No.12 and No.15 respectively, would be interchangeable in their positions and share roles rather than defending and attacking where the number on their back says they should.

While Kerevi looks set to be moved back to the bench, he believes competitive rivalry among players is always a positive.

“Whoever it is in the centres, all of us are pushing for a starting spot,” Kerevi said. “That positive competition will only drive us to be better. We all sit down and help each other out on the field and we connect really well off the field.”

Kerevi did not travel with the Wallabies on their end of season tour to Europe last year because of injury and has therefore never played Wales before.

have beaten Wales in their previous 12 matches but there is caution in Wallabies camp given the hosts will be more determined than ever to cause an upset victory.

“They’ve got a big back line and a strong forward pack,” Kerevi said. “All northern hemisphere [sides] have that. They have that physicality they bring in set-piece and in game play.”

Weinstein sex scandal could take a toll on Aussie filmmakers

Mia Wasikowska and Adam Driver on the set of Tracks?? Mia Wasikowska and Adam Driver on the set of Tracks 2_TRB8207.jpg Dev Patel as Arjun in Hotel Mumbai, shot in Adelaide and Mumbai and directed by n Anthony Maras.
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With the Hollywood sex abuse scandal showing little sign of abating, and with none of the allegations yet tested in court, it’s too soon for a comprehensive body count. But whatever the final casualties, there’s a good chance n filmmakers may be among those who inadvertently pay the price.

The Weinstein Company has been a significant backer of n talent in recent years. But the future of the company is in serious doubt, which means our industry may be in danger of losing one of its strongest allies in the world’s biggest movie market.

The Weinstein Company (TWC) has specialised in mid-budget adult-oriented fare, which just happens to be the sort of filmmaking our industry tends to be rather good at (TWC is not snobbish, however; it also has a genre arm, Dimension, which specialises in horror and science-fiction movies, and in recent years has moved into television in a big way).

The company famously bought the distribution rights to Garth Davis’ Lion at script stage in 2015, paying $US12 million for Luke Davies’ dramatisation of Saroo Brierley’s memoir. The film went on to gross $US140 million and to collect six Oscar nominations and two BAFTA wins (for Dev Patel as best supporting actor and for Davies’ adapted screenplay) this year.

In 2010 TWC distributed The King’s Speech, produced by See-Saw Pictures, the boutique production house headed by Emile Sherman in Sydney and Ian Canning in London. In 2014, it distributed The Railway Man, directed by n Jonathan Teplitzky. The previous year it helped take Tracks to the world. In 2012, it picked up The Sapphires.

n directors Justin Kurzel (Macbeth, 2015), John Hillcoat (The Road, 2009), Andrew Dominik (Killing Them Softly, 2012) and Greg McLean (Wolf Creek, 2005) have also been the beneficiaries of Bob and Harvey Weinstein’s considerable expertise in distributing and marketing movies.

And what expertise it is. As the TWC website boasts, “during Harvey and Bob’s tenure at Miramax [the company they founded in 1979 and sold to Disney in 1993] and TWC, they have received 341 Oscar nominations and won 81 Academy Awards”.

For smaller films, the likes of which produces, an awards nomination – even the talk of an awards nomination – is the all-important key to media attention.

Emile Sherman described Harvey Weinstein recently as being “relentless in all his activities and relentless on behalf of movies, campaigning for them”. None of that guarantees ticket sales, of course, but in a crowded marketplace, it’s the kind of help a small-release film desperately needs.

But the future of TWC is under a massive cloud. Bob Weinstein sacked his brother Harvey in the wake of the escalating sex scandals, but that may not be enough to save the company. On October 17, Reuters reported the company was in talks with private equity firm Colony Capital to buy it, or a chunk of its assets.

Just a year earlier, amid rumours the company was facing serious cash-flow problems, Harvey Weinstein told The Hollywood ReporterTWC was worth up to “$800 million in a worst-case scenario”. He claimed the bulk of the value lay in its library of 550 film and television titles.

It’s hard to imagine a scenario worse than this one, and it’s also hard to imagine the value of the brand has been anything but tarnished.

There have been reports that Paddington 2, the family-friendly animated sequel due for release in next month, may be in search of a new US distributor. TWC is slated to release the film in North America in January, but last month producer David Heyman told Deadline his hope was that “The Weinstein Company name is nowhere near Paddington 2”.

Reports on Monday suggested the film might be released by Lionsgate (which has a broader distribution deal with Studio Canal, which has financed the film).

All this uncertainty could be especially bad news for two n films on the TWC slate for next year, Hotel Mumbai and Mary Magdalene.

The former, based on the tales of survivors of the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, stars Lion’s Dev Patel and The Social Network’s Armie Hammer and was shot in Adelaide over five weeks last year. The latter stars Rooney Mara (who also starred in Lion) in the title role and Joaquin Phoenix as Jesus. The modern take on the Biblical tale is directed by Garth Davis (Lion), with Ryan Corr as Joseph.

Both are the sort of film that demand smart marketing, a staged release, the courting of exhibitors, media and the public – the sort of exercise at which Harvey Weinstein excelled. But with his reputation beyond repair and his company possibly beyond salvation, these promising n titles may soon need to start looking elsewhere for someone to champion their cause.

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ASX push to 6000 falls flat as Westpac punished

Gloom over Westpac’s disappointing earnings spread to the rest of the banking sector on Monday, pulling the index marginally lower as it retreated from the key 6000 level it came close to breaching last week.
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The S&P/ASX 200 index eased 6 points to 5953, while the All Ordinaries index lost 3 points to 6027. The n market is nearing the psychologically significant 6000 level as other markets hit record highs.

“The ascent in markets around the world this year has been driven by a combination of positive earnings revisions, as well as multiple expansion,” JPMorgan’s n equity strategist Jason Steed said.

While other bourses have hit the “red wall” in terms of historically high price-to-earnings multiples, the n market’s valuation is comparatively less stretched.

“In fact, the ASX 200 is trading in-line with one- and two-year multiple averages,” Mr Steed said. “Overall, we don’t see the ASX 200 as overly stretched; even at our bull case index scenario of 6500, the implied multiple of 17 times would only be slightly above the [MSCI Developed Market sharemarket index] at 16.8 times.”

Gains in the US at the end of last week had set the n market up for a firmer start on Monday but that was before Westpac announced a profit figure that just missed analyst expectations.

The news sent its shares down 2.2 per cent, while CBA and ANZ shares fell 0.5 per cent, and NAB lost 0.7 per cent.

Orica was another earnings-related loser, dropping 9.8 per cent after revealing that higher gas and ammonia prices cost it an extra $59 million in 2017, alongside slightly lower revenues and underlying profits than last year. Analysts also detected the potential for an earnings downgrade following management comments.

The Brent crude benchmark price gained another 0.3 per cent to $US62.26 a barrel on Monday, adding to Friday evening’s strong gains and helping to fuel more gains in energy stocks.

Energy companies provided a bit of a buffer for the index, with Woodside up 1.3 per cent, Origin Energy up 1 per cent and Santos higher by 0.7 per cent.

More expensive fuel is not great news for Qantas, however, which was off 2.4 per cent.

Shares in real estate agent group McGrath crashed 15.6 per cent to 52?? after falling to a new record low of 45?? earlier in the session. A slowdown in off-the-plan apartment sales in Sydney hit the firm and it warned that it won’t meet analyst earnings forecasts for the current financial year.

JB Hi-Fi shares outperformed the broader market, rising 0.4 per cent. The arrival of the iPhone X could have made JB HBi-Fi a tidy $12.6 million in a single day, Morgan Stanley analysts reckon. Stockwatch

Qantas Airways

Qantas shares fell 2.4 per cent on Monday to $6.06, as oil prices continued their climb. Morningstar analysts said recently they were assuming a Brent crude price of $74 per barrel ($US57) for the rest of fiscal 2018 and were expecting Qantas’ full-year fuel cost to be around $3.2 billion, a 5 per cent increase on 2017. “This is marginally higher than the worst-case scenario indicated at the fiscal 2017 result, and likely to weigh on second-half earnings,” they said. “We believe the market is failing to appreciate the risk of rising fuel costs, which remain a major driver of group performance, accounting for around one quarter of the total cost base”. Qantas stock is up an impressive 80 per cent this year.

Zinc

Zinc prices slipped on Monday, as Chinese inventories rose, while copper pulled back after a rally spurred by prospects for surging demand from electric vehicles. A proposal to scrap the $US7500 tax credit in the US for electric vehicles (EVs) helped to dampen investor excitement during the London Metals Exchange industry event in London over the potential for strong demand from the EV growth story for metals such as copper and nickel. Benchmark zinc closed down 1.2 per cent at $US3,219 a tonne after inventories rose in China.

Oil

Oil extended gains from its highest close in more than two years on signs OPEC will agree to extend supply cuts when ministers meet in Vienna at the end of the month. Futures rose as much as 0.9 per cent in New York and are heading for a fourth weekly advance. Iraq, the second-biggest OPEC producer, has backed extending the curbs for a further nine months, Oil Minister Jabbar al-Luaibi said in Baghdad. While ministers from Saudi Arabia and Kuwait said this week longer cuts are needed, a consensus on how long is yet to be decided. Oil has advanced more than 15 per cent since the beginning of September.

Yen

The yen tumbled to the weakest level since March after Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said it’s crucial for inflation to exceed the 2 per cent target. Kuroda said in a speech in Nagoya that there’s still a long way to go before the inflation target is achieved. The yen’s slide coincides with a visit by Trump to Tokyo. The yen’s weakness, which has been a boon for Japanese exporters, has drawn the ire of the US president in the past. The yen has declined about 26 percent versus the dollar since Prime Minister Shinzo Abe came to power in late 2012. Japan’s stock benchmarks rose as the market returned from a long weekend.

ANZ job advertisements

n job advertisements have risen in October, lifting expectation that some upwards movements in long-stagnant wages may soon follow. The latest ANZ survey of job ads shows the number of positions advertised in October was up 1.4 per cent month-on-month, and up 12.5 per cent from a year earlier, with improved business conditions and lower underemployment behind the trend. ANZ head of n economics David Plank said despite a global absence of sustained growth in wages, the bank did expect “some upward pressure” on wages as demand for workers begins to increase.

with wires