‘Millennials’ key to value adding apple products

July 18th, 2018

YOUTH TARGET: Chief executive of one of the world’s largest apple processing companies, Klaus Gasser, says looking to the demands of the Millenials will be the future.APPLE producers need to tap into the appetites of Millennials in order to capitalise on future prosperity in the industry, says the head of one of the world’s biggest apple processing companies.
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Vog Products chief executive Klaus Gasser addressed the international trade show Interpoma in South Tyrol, Italy, last week on the cultivation, storage and marketing of the apple.

Vog Products is one of the largest apple processing companies in the world. Every day the company processes 120 trucks of apples, or 4000 tonnes. It exports and has customers in all markets across the world.

“Consumers are more increasingly asking for certification, they don’t mind asking for these attributes,” he said.

“They are concerned about proteins, organic products and fair trade.”

However, he said taste was still highly important and influences what varieties of apples are bought by consumers.

“They [Millennials] are informed, they know the products, know the contents, they want to try new things and they are very health orientated,” he said.

“They want quality over quantity and are ready to pay more.”

Mr Gasser said in the key export markets for Vog Products, such as the UK, the US and Asia, apple consumption was declining.

However there was some light at the end of the tunnel in terms of alternative value added products.

Products such as pre-cut fresh apples to use as snacks will and have worked well in US markets, for consumers looking for healthy and easy access to the fruit.

“They are washed, healthy and perfect from the viewpoint of health and safety, and consumers like them,” Mr Gasser said.

However there was one particular type of product Mr Gasser believed the apple industry could really shine – cold pressed juices and as an ingredient in green smoothies.

“In nearly all of these products there are apples,” he said.

“There is huge potential here for apple based products, we need to decide where we want to go.”

Caitlin Jarvis is a guest of the Italian Trade Agency for Interpoma 2016, that is held on November 24-26 at Bolzano, South Tyrol.

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Caravan park on council agenda

July 18th, 2018

AN initial step towards the return of a caravan park on the Murray River will be brought before Albury Council early next year.
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Albury councillor Murray King is following through with his plan for a caravan park on the Murray River.

Cr Murray King’s pre-election commitment for a riverfront caravan park in the city was brought before council on Monday night with unanimous support for staff to identify possible options and locations.

They have been set a February 28 deadline for the report with Cr King also hoping to have the facility built within close proximity to the Albury CBD.

“We came to the election that we would be looking to develop a (recreational vehicle) park in the local area,”he said.

“As I’ve said previously Albury is a river town that doesn’t have a recreational vehicle park.

“Most river towns from Albury to South Australia have caravan parks or recreational vehicle parks on the banks of the Murray.

“Development of this type of facility would increase tourism exponentially and promote the townexponentially.Albury needs this type of facility.”

Albury’s riverside Noreuil Park played hostto campersfrom 1929 to the early 1980s.

But caravans were removed amid concerns aboutflooding and falling tree branches.

The recent election campaign when Cr King floated the caravan park idea also coincided with one of the worst floods in recent memory which included the evacuation of theRiverdeck Cafe.

Cr King said everyone should be involved in the consultative process in response to queries raised by Cr Graham Docksey as to whether the park would also be a free recreational vehicle site.

Cr Alice Glachan also hoped the report could consider whether the park would be owned and operated by council or privately run.

General manager Frank Zaknich said due to the short timeframe the report would only provide some “preliminary insights”into what could happen.

“Obviously it won’t go into a lot of detail, but it will give councilessentially an understanding of what the potential options and locations are,”he said.

Mayor Kevin Mack sought clarification on whether a caravan park had been previously investigated by council.

Mr Zaknich said no detailed work had been done.

“The Murray River Experience master-plan did identify a site in proximity to the Murray River, but not the other criteria of being in close proximity to the CBD.”

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

Dr Sanders’ long service recognised

July 18th, 2018

Well-respected local GP, Dr David Sanders, has been honoured for more than 35 years of service to the communityat the prestigious 2016 NSW Rural Medical Service Awards (RMSA’s). The RMSA’s recognise GPs who have provided long-standing medical service to the people of rural, regional, and remote NSW. Two of his sons, and his wife, werethere toshare the special moment during adinner held in Sydneyon Saturday, November 26.
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HONOURED: “It is rare for rural doctors to be formally recognised for the outstanding contribution they make to their community,” CEO Richard Colbran says.

Rural Doctors Network (RDN)CEO, Richard Colbran, said Dr Sanders has made a significant contribution to his rural community by providing high quality continuity of care.“This award provides a unique opportunity for the people of Singleton to acknowledge the difference that Dr Sanders makes to the health and well-being of the community,” he said. Dr Sanders practices at Fairholme Surgery, and is also a visiting medical officer at Singleton District Hospital, providing anaesthetic and obstetric services. This can sometimes be a balancing act, that is, working in a general practice and at the hospital, but it is a satisfying one. He says he particularly enjoys obstetrics –thebranch of medicine and surgery concerned with childbirth and midwifery. “Although there are some terrifying moments, it is a lot of fun,” he says. “Being a rural GP and getting the opportunity to treatpatients from when they are young throughout thelifespan has also beenrewarding.”Dr Sanders came to Singleton in 1981 after returning from working in England for two years. Back then he came with a five-year plan after advertising his extensive skills in the newspaper -and getting 35 different job offers. And, as they say, the rest is history.

Other achievements: inaugural board member of the original Hunter division of GP,and on the GP advisory committee of the cervical cancer screening program -for Hunter and, then for NSW; a GP supervisor for family medical program trainees, medical students, and John Flynn Scholarship students; qualified in open cut mine rescue, and is medical commander for the Hunter Valley under the NSW Disaster Plan. This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Can Daniel Ricciardo go all the way in Formula One in 2017?

July 22nd, 2019

Formula One packs up and moves on with a speed and scale unrivalled by any other sport. So is it any wonder that with champagne still soaking Nico Rosberg’s side of the Mercedes garage at Abu Dhabi, attention has already turned to what comes next?
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Rosberg’s “one race at a time” mantra in tackling his brilliant but erratic teammate Lewis Hamilton finally won him the ultimate prize and possibly not a moment to soon.

New regulations are coming and the field is gaining – particularly the Red Bulls of Australia’s Daniel Ricciardo and Dutch wunderkind Max Verstappen.

By winning 10 races to Rosberg’s nine, Hamilton could easily have won his third consecutive title on Sunday, but some poor racedays combined with the worst of the mechanical failures in 2016 left him a mere five points adrift.

Next year, new regulations on aerodynamics and tyres will mean faster speeds and potentially bring Mercedes back to the pack. If it all ended tomorrow for Hamilton and Rosberg, no one would argue that a two-one title result over the past three years is not a fair result.

So what can we expect the scorecard to be for Red Bull in 2020 once the Ricciardo v Verstappen rivalry has had three years to play itself out?

There’s little doubt that Ricciardo is considered one of the best racers on the grid. No less an authority than former world champion Fernando Alonso made that clear last month when asked who he thought had the chops to tackle Mercedes’ dominance.

Ricciardo’s well deserved third in the 2016 title race came after 18 months of dealing with an underpowered car. The time spent under pressure also underscored the character and charm that has won him a legion of fans that cross international boundaries and team allegiances.

On Channel Ten’s broadcast ahead of Sunday night’s race Ricciardo said he’d had more highs than lows this season and happily conceded that in Formula One, if you can say that about your season, you should probably be happy.

It was a point not lost on 1980 world champion Alan Jones, who said Ricciardo was now well placed to capitalise on his brilliant racing and people skills.

“Since they’ve given him that upgraded Renault engine he has responded, well the team has basically, they were virtually getting nowhere, but since that upgraded engine was made available to them, boy they have really utilised it,” Jones aid.

“I think that certainly next year [engineer] Adrian Newey will give them a good car. They’ve got wider wheels and tyres, they’ve got upgraded aerodynamics so I think they’ll be in a good place next year.”

But the key words here are “they”. Ricciardo is not only racing to catch up to Rosberg and Hamilton, but will be spending much time in coming years trying to fend off his own teammate.

Verstappen’s move to Red Bull when the team demoted Daniil Kyvat was immediately rewarded with a debut victory at the Spanish Grand Prix. It was the first of several rueful days for Ricciardo when strategy within his own team, combined with Verstappen’s maniacally aggressive racing, saw him finish behind the younger man. The pitstop debacle in Monaco only further heightened his desire to climb to the top step again.

The pair appear to have formed a good working relationship, but there’s little doubt that Verstappen is taking no prisoners in his quest to get to the top and stay there. His battles this year against the Ferrari drivers were explosive and on Sunday Rosberg’s tensest moments came when trying to pass the unpredictable Verstappen.

The season ended with Ricciardo winning a Grand Prix in Malaysia and eight podiums in total, while Verstappen – having joined Red Bull in round five – had a win in Spain and seven podiums.

This has to leave the Australian aware that it could be now or never in his quest for a title. If Red Bull can give him the car he needs in 2017, he must ram home his edge in experience and calm before Verstappen knocks his own rough edges off.

If Red Bull does turn out a car with the potential to win a world title next year Ricciardo may well find himself in the same situation as the Mercedes drivers – taking things one race at time, with strategy and luck playing a role in deciding who comes out on top.

“It must be an amazing feeling to be world champion,” Ricciardo said in congratulating Rosberg after Sunday’s triumph. “They both pushed each other until the end and it’s nice to see the title go down to the line like that.”

Careful what you wish for, perhaps?

“Looking at the season overall I’m super happy and very pleased with the year. It’s definitely been more highs than lows this year with a lot of podiums, satisfying races and a good chunk of points,” Ricciardo said. “I got amongst it when I could so I think it was a good 2016 for sure.”

And what comes next when the lights do out on March 26 in Melbourne?

“I’m not going to get too caught up with thinking about next year, but if we woke up in February for testing and the car’s quick then you’ll see me fighting for it (the title).”

Ricciardo clearly knows he’s not the lone ranger.

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

Waratahs CEO Andrew Hore demands greater voice for Super Rugby clubs

July 22nd, 2019

Greater say: Waratahs chief executive Andrew Hore wants the Australian Rugby Union to consult more often with its stakeholders. Photo: SuppliedThe boss of Australia’s most powerful province is demanding a louder voice for Super Rugby clubs on the future of the 18-team competition.
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At the same time as a major rift over funding threatens to bring down the Australian Rugby League Commission chairman John Grant, Waratahs chief executive Andrew Hore has called on the Australian Rugby Union to consult more often with its stakeholders, who are forced to play in the cumbersome Super Rugby competition.

Hore did not specify how this would take place, but presumably a permanent spot on the SANZAAR executive committee, which is comprised of the chief executives and chairmen of the four member nations, would be the place to start.

Under the current model, the Super Rugby clubs are denied a formal presence at the decision-making table, leaving the national unions to make decisions on their behalf.

The ARU funds each province using the proceeds of its five-yearly broadcast deal, but the provinces themselves come up with the shortfall. Hore said he wanted to challenge the widely-held belief here that only the Wallabies can make the game any money, but needed the power to change the Waratahs’ off-field circumstances.

“I think our union is still looking at it as international rugby being the be-all and end-all, where I think the rest of the world has moved on a bit in their mentality,” he said.

“They know we can get money in to feed our game through professional rugby and also through the international game. I think there’s an opportunity there for us to collaborate far more effectively and look at our governance model – we’ve said this quite openly – to make sure that we can continue to grow the competition.”

His comments come at a critical juncture for professional rugby in the southern hemisphere. Super Rugby and its Test-level iteration, the Rugby Championship, command top dollar from European and overseas broadcasters, but at a domestic level within Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, the 15 Super Rugby franchises are struggling to turn a profit, hampered by poor crowds and an interrupted season.

The competition is the subject of a 10-year review, which will be finalised next month. Hore, who ran Ospreys in Wales before he moved to the Waratahs, is worried that he and his counterparts have no say on the strategic future of the businesses they run.

He urged the ARU and SANZAAR to look to the Pro12 and the English Premiership, where salary cap growth has doubled in a four-year period to more than $8 million per club, to chart the way forward.

“In France [the Top 14] the clubs basically run the competition and the union stays out of their affairs and vice versa. In England [Premiership Rugby] it’s closer, they have a pretty solid commercial agreement between the two parties and although the relationship is tense, by and large it works,” Hore said.

“The Pro12 [Wales, Ireland, Scotland, Italy] are a little bit different again. On their board they have one club/provincial representative, representing the provinces or regions of the country, and they have one union representative. Between the parties, they’re able to figure out what is what.

“We’re not that far off the money at the moment, with regard to the number of games played and the revenue we generate, but the simple fact is they have a lot more content over there and they’re working a lot closer together with the unions.”

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

Toddler killed in horror crash

July 22nd, 2019

Toddler killed in horror crash TweetFacebook CarnagePictures: ADRIAN POVEY, SAMUEL KLEIN and MARK JESSERA TODDLER has been killed in a horrific crash that left his father and brother in hospital.
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Emergency services rushed to Spring Drive at Mulwala about 4pm on Sunday.

A Mitsubishi Lancer had crossed onto the wrong side of the road and hit a tree.

A three-year-old boy died at the scene and his brother, 4, was taken to Albury hospital in a serious but stable condition.

Their Albury father, aged 40, was airlifted to hospital for treatment.

Police are investigating the cause of the crash, which was one of several serious incidents on the roads in recent days.

A 30-year-old man allegedly tested positive to drugs after crashing at Ebden on Sunday with three young girls in the car.

His vehicle allegedly travelled onto the wrong side of the road and struck an oncoming four-wheel-drive towing a camper van about 1.50pm.

The four-wheel-drive also had four people on board.

HELP: Witnesses run over to the hot rod immediately after the crash to help the driver. The passenger was flung out of the car. Picture: SAMUEL KLEIN

The offending driveris facing 23 charges.

A man was also flung from a speeding red hot rod at Lavington in a smash that left the driver trapped.

Samuel Klein witnessed the incident, which occurred on Douglas Road about 5pm Sunday.

“We were all having an ultimate frisbee tournament and were just wrapping up,” he said.

“I don’t know if the driver saw us, but he started ripping up the tyres, speeding up.

“He started swerving and collided into three parked cars.

“One guy got thrown from the car and landed on the bonnet before hitting the ground, probably five metres away.”

A group of 10 people rushed to the vehicle but Mr Klein said there was not much that could be done except call Triple-0.

“The driver was crushed in on one side,” he said.

“The other guy was yelling out for help, he had a broken leg.

“The thing that worried me the most was that if it was life-threatening, I wouldn’t have known what to do.

Paramedics quickly arrived at the scene and took the 31-year-old Wodonga driver to hospital after freeing him.

The 36-year-old passenger was also taken to hospital.

Two motorbike riders were also hospitalised in separate crashes on Sunday.

The Border Mail

Fighting the war on obesity on all fronts

July 22nd, 2019

Never before has there beenmore publicly available information about healthy nutrition. Likewise, food companies are under more pressure than everto reduce sugar and fat in their offerings.
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Despite this,a significant portion of the community remainsoverweight.

The latest Australia’s Health Trackers report showsRaymond Terrace and Scone are the fattest suburbs in the state, with 70.8 per cent of adults recorded as overweight or obese.

The data also showedMount Hutton and Windale had 69.2 per cent of its population recorded as overweight or obese, with Lemon Tree Passage and Tanilba Bay close behind at 68.7 per cent.

A closer analysis of the Hunter figures shows that a significant percentage of those classified as overweight live in lower socio-economic communities.

While these peoplemay have the same access to education about healthy eating, the economic reality is that, in many cases,less healthy food options are cheaper and more convenient.

This fact directly plugs into the debate about the role of government policy in helping to improve health outcomes.

One example is the Australian Medical Association’s call for the introduction of a sugar tax on soft drinks.

Another proposal is to place as much emphasis on a child’s physical fitness as on their academic performance.

But it seems that for every step forward in the war against obesity, a new challenge arises in the form of a fast food marketing campaign or a new online sensation that acts as a disincentive to be physically active.

Those who have successfully lost weight will tell you that while an improved diet and exercise are essential, the most important factor is old-fashioned determination closely followed by thesupport of family and friends.

Like so many other areas of public health there is always more to be done.

At the same time, almost half a century of public education campaigns to promote healthy eating have definitely reaped rewards.

The focus moving forward needsto be on providing support to those groups in our communitywhich are vulnerable to obesity.

This can be achieved through a combination offormal government policy or improved community support networks.

Issue: 38,400

Jackson and Jesse George plead guilty after theft of Symbio pygmy marmosets

July 22nd, 2019

Police hopeful of finding missing monkey Gomez
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As distraught keepers were appealingfor information into the theft of three rare monkeysfrom aHelensburgh wildlife park,Campbelltown 23-year-old Jackson George’s phone pinged with a message.

“Ay check out my monkey,” it read. “Wat ya reckon they worth?”

Jackson and his older brother Jesse Michael George, 26, fronted Campbelltown Local Court on Monday, admitting their part in the race-against-the-clock mystery that has angered and disturbed thousands of area animal lovers.

The court considered a series of text messages between Jackson and another man,who theMercuryhas opted not to name while the police investigation is ongoing.

During the exchange Jackson, an exotic animal enthusiast with a penchant for snakes and lizards,offersto buy the pictured monkey, unfazed when the seller reveals he “paid nothing” for the creature and had “got it from the zoo last night haha 3 of em and a baby joey”.

“Ill(sic) buy all 3 if use(sic)want to sell them,” Jackson replied, in a message sent Saturday afternoon.

The brothers were arrested a day laterafter they drove to Appin Hotel with the youngest of the monkeys on board, wrapped in Jesse’s jumper.

Bothwere charged with dealing with proceeds of crime. They would later admit they went to the hotel intending to on-sell the baby monkey, aged four weeks.

They spent the night injail after refusing to take part in a police interview.

Jackson had withheld information that could have helped police to find the other two missing monkeys –only one of which had since been recovered -police prosecutor Peter Robinson told the court.

“Mr [Jackson] George has shown complete contempt for police and theirdesperate attempts to (restore) the family unit,” he said.

“Mr George has information that could lead to the finding of that third monkey.

“He has laughed and stated that…‘you have my phone, you’ll work it out’.”

Jackson was released on bail and will return to court on January 10 for sentencing.

Ms Carr, who represented both men, told the court Jesse George had played a limited role in the affair.

But she conceded he knew the monkey was stolen and was“proceeds of crime” when he agreed to transport the creature.

Jesse was fined $1500 and placed on a two-year good behavior bond.

He gave supporters a thumbs-up as he left the court room and, once a free man, ran directly inside the Court Hotel.

It is not suggested that either brother played a role in breaking into the park and removing the animals from their enclosure.

A police investigation into the theft is ongoing.

Illawarra Mercury

Parramatta’s Semi Radradra faces arrest after he failed to show up to a domestic-violence hearing

June 20th, 2019

PARRAMATTA star Semi Radradra faces arrest again after he failed to show up to a domestic-violence hearing at a Sydney court because he was in Fiji.
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A clearly displeased magistrate Tim Keady revoked the Eels winger’s bail and said a warrant for his arrest would be released on Thursday unless a satisfactory explanation was given.

The 24-year-old was supposed to attend a one-day hearing at Parramatta Local Court on Monday but flew to Fiji last Wednesday due to his father’s illness, according to lawyer Murugan Thangaraj SC.

Mr Thangaraj provided a letter from a doctor in Fiji, which said Radradra’s father suffered from asthma and pulmonary tuberculosis and required further medication.

PLEASE EXPLAIN: Semi Radradra

But Mr Keady was unconvinced, saying the father had clearly been on treatment for some time.

“There’s nothing in [the letter]to indicate any reasons for non-attendance,” he said. “Certainly nothing which could justify sudden departures from Australia.”

Mr Keady demanded more compelling evidence by Wednesday or Radradra’s arrest warrant would be released. “He knew how serious the matter was,” the magistrate said.

Radradra pleaded not guilty in July to two counts of common assault and one of assault causing actual bodily harm, all domestic violence-related charges.

The charges relate to alleged attacks on his estranged partner, Perina Ting, in December 2014 and May 2015. Prosecutors initially tried to postpone Monday’s hearing because two of their witnesses would be interstate.

Radradra’s legal team opposed that application, and it was refused last Tuesday – the day before the winger flew to Fiji.

His bail conditions were eased on October 11 to allow overseas travel for work and family commitments, but that freedom expired on Monday, the court heard.

His hearing was postponed until February, with the case to return to court in December.

Obesity, alcohol, and cigarettes identified as big problems in the Hunter Region

June 20th, 2019

RAYMONDTerrace and Sconearethe fattest suburbs in the state, with 70.8 per cent of adults recorded as overweight or obese, new data shows.
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TheAustralia’s Health Trackers reportshows people in theHunter Region generallyeattoo much, drinktoo much, and smoketoo much, but where they live influences how much.

The report,developed at Victoria University with the public health information and development unit at Torrens University, wasreleased by theAustralian Health Policy Collaboration last week.

The Health Trackers map showedMount Hutton and Windale had 69.2 per cent of itspopulation recorded as overweight or obese, with Lemon Tree Passage and Tanilba Bay close behind at 68.7 per cent.

Newcastle suburbs such as The Junction and Merewether reported the lowest levels of obesity in the region at 57.4 per cent, against thenational average of63.4 per cent.

Hunter GP Dr Damian Welbourne was not surprised Raymond Terrace was named one of the most overweight and obese suburbs in NSW.

“Many people in our community experience socioeconomic disadvantage, and with that, often comes a fear of going to the doctor due to the associated cost and possible further action required,” Dr Welbourne said.

“Health literacy is also inadequate in our area, so people have difficulties knowing where to turn for support. They tend to wait until there are quite a few problems before realising things are serious,and problems like obesity are not a quick fix.”

Dr Welbourne said the“long-standing freeze”of the Medicare rebate exacerbatedthe problem, as it added to thegrowing out-of-pocket expenses for the patient.

But there were initiatives, such as bulk-billed health assessments for 45-49 year olds, available that could help GPs guidepatients.

“They may not realise the importance of taking the time to check on their risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes risk, skin cancer risk or other factors,” Dr Welbourne said.

“During this health check, they may gain some valuable tips on how to lose weight, quit smoking, or increase their physical activity – all with no out-of-pocket expense.”

In the greater Hunter area, the Muswellbrook region recorded the highest number of people drinking alcohol at “risky” levels at 27.5 per cent, followed by Hamilton and Broadmeadow at 25.7 per cent andBranxton, Greta and Pokolbin at 25.3 per cent.

The national average was 18.2 per cent.

Kurri Kurri and Abermain had the highest number of smokers at 25.1 per cent in the region, followed by Mount Hutton and Windale at 24.9 per cent, and Cessnock at 24.5 per cent. This wasagainst the national average of 12.8 per cent.

Tamworth recorded the highest number of smokers in NSW, with 29.6 per cent.

Experts tell visitors to steer clear as notorious Fingal Spit returns in all its glory

June 20th, 2019

Warnings and the killer sand DEADLY: The notorious Fingal Spit at Port Stephens has quickly re-formed since being washed away in June, prompting warnings about instability. At least 15 people have been killed there. Picture: Tim Connell.
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DEADLY: The notorious Fingal Spit at Port Stephens has quickly re-formed since being washed away in June, prompting warnings about instability. At least 15 people have been killed there. Picture: Tim Connell.

DEADLY: The notorious Fingal Spit at Port Stephens has quickly re-formed since being washed away in June, prompting warnings about instability. At least 15 people have been killed there. Picture: Tim Connell.

DEADLY: The notorious Fingal Spit at Port Stephens has quickly re-formed since being washed away in June, prompting warnings about instability. At least 15 people have been killed there. Picture: Tim Connell.

TweetFacebookTHE famed Fingal Spit, a deadly beauty which has claimed 15 lives as well as being responsible for Lara Bingle, has made another grand entrance.

After being washed away during June’s storms, some experts predicted the photogenic stretch of sand connecting Fingal Bay with the island may remain missing for years.

But the prevailing conditions have been perfect for a quick rebuild, and the magnificent spot where Ms Bingle, now Mrs Worthington, stood and asked the world where everyone was, has returned in all its glory.

But the warnings remain, with locals gentling reminding tourists that at least 15 people had been swept to their deaths from fast moving currents, sometimes not even knee deep.

“You could drive a truck along it at the moment,’’ well-known resident and author John “Stinker” Clarke said on Tuesday.

“But I would never be promoting anyone to walk along it.

“Steer clear, people.

“It’s just so dangerous, there have been umpteen deaths over the years and we don’t want any more.

“And that big southerly swell we had pounding us over the weekend could have destabilised it even more.’’

In November 2013, a Sydney man was swept away and drowned while trying to wade across the notorious formation.

A friend survived.

The spit is thought to have formed in the “Maitland Gales”of the 1890s, when pounding swells tore apart a thin spine of vegetation.

Knights have abstained from joining the rebel clubs hoping to overthrow John Grant

June 20th, 2019

UNDER SIEGE: ARL Commission chairman John Grant THE Newcastle Knights have abstained from joining the rebel clubs hoping to overthrow ARL Commission chairman John Grant, saying they are in an “invidious” position and need to remain neutral.
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Along with Gold Coast Titans, the Knights are under NRL ownership and, as such, Newcastle chairman Brian McGuigan said the club could scarcely become involved in an uprising against the governing body.

“You can’t bite the hand that feeds you,” McGuigan told the Newcastle Herald.

The Titans have also declined to join the coup against Grant, triggered afterlast week’s summit in Sydney at which the code’s most powerfulofficialinformed the clubs that a memorandum of understanding –proposing an increase in funding to 30 per cent more than the salary cap –had been withdrawn. Initially all 16 clubs were unanimous in signing a vote of no-confidence in Grant.

But McGuigan said that, with the benefit of hindsight and after many phone calls, both the Knights and Titans decided they could not support the boycott.

“The Titans are in similar position to us, and we have agreed that we will abstain from voting on this issue,’’ McGuigan said.

“It’s just invidious for us to proceed. At the same time, we’ve done that with the goodwill of the remaining clubs, who have been very understanding of our delicate position.’’

McGuigan said he had spoken at length with Grant but no pressure had been applied to the Knights, either from the ARLC or their fellow clubs.

He was hopeful the Knights and Titans could play the role of “circuit breakers” in the impasse.

“The NRL have been unbelievable supporters of the Knights, and I think they also have of the Titans,’’ McGuigan said.

“They have not put us under any pressure to do one thing or the other.

“They have allowed us to make ourown decision.

“I’ve spoken to John a number of times over the last few days, and he has neverasked us not to sign with the other clubs.

NEUTRAL: Knights chairman Brian McGuigan

“He’s been very honourable and…to their great credit, the clubs agreed that it was intolerable for us.

“Everybody, the Commission and the clubs, understands how invidious it is for us to be in the position we are in.’’

McGuigan said he could also empathise with the disgruntled clubs, who had been expecting a significant increase in their annual grants.

The funding model, which was agreed to by both parties last year, was set to deliver an extra $100 million to the 16 clubs per year.

But Grant argued that they could no longer afford it, sayingother issues deservedprecedence, including grassroots investment and a sinking fund to support struggling clubs.

The Commission was trying to schedule peace talks for later this week, but McGuigan said it was likely that most clubs would“probably boycott” any such meeting.

“The clubs were offended, and rightly so,’’ McGuigan said.

“Initially when I agreed to sign the letter, with the other clubs, supporting the removal of the chairman, I thought it was a strategy.

“But after speaking to Rebecca [Titans chairwomanRebeccaFrizelle], and realising the ramifications,we explained to the other 14 clubs that we would abstain from the recommendation, and they agreed with us.’’

Newcastle harbour, Port of Newcastle, a day in the lifephotos, interactive

June 20th, 2019

Newcastle’s working harbour – a day in the life | photos, interactive No matter what the weather, tug boats work in the harbour. Picture: Simone De Peak
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Daily life in Newcastle’s working harbour. Picture: Simone De Peak

Pacific Dawn sneaking past Nobbys Lighthouse on dawn as an early morning swimmer takes a dip at Nobbys Beach. Picture: Simone De Peak

The Pacific Dawn arrives in Newcastle harbour. Picture: Simone De Peak

Busy morning on the harbour as a tugboat assists the Pacific Dawn as it arrives in Newcastle harbour and the Ferry leaves for Stockton. Picture: Simone De Peak

An early morning jogger looks on at the Pacific Dawn as it arrives in Newcastle harbour. Picture: Simone De Peak

The Pacific Dawn leaves Newcastle, with a view of a rainbow. Picture: Simone De Peak

Daily life on Newcastle harbour, fishing on sunset. Picture: Simone De Peak

Blue swimmer and mud crabs can be found in the harbour. Picture: Simone De Peak

In our harbour, there’s a smorgasbord of fish to find, from hairtail, bream, jewfish, flathead and mullet to prawns. Picture: Simone De Peak

Fisherman Phil Blanch is a third generation fisherman. Picture: Simone De Peak

A fisherman’s net. Picture: Simone De Peak

Fisherman Phil Blanch has been fishing for 36 years. Picture: Simone De Peak

Ferry deckhand Alex Sutherland loves the people he meets and cruising the harbour every day. Picture: Simone De Peak

Commuters on the Newcastle Ferry, departing Stockton for Newcastle. Picture: Simone De Peak

Morning commuters on the ferry from Stockton to Newcastle. Picture: Simone De Peak

Thee view looking from the back of the ferry towards Stockton. Picture: Simone De Peak

Ferry deckhand Alex Sutherland greeting passengers. Picture: Simone De Peak

Robert Kelly described the work of the multibeam echosounder. Picture: Simone De Peak

Senior hydrographic surveyor with the Port of Newcastle Robert Kelly. Picture: Simone De Peak

Hydrographic surveyor Darren Stocker on a survey vessel which monitors the depth of the harbour. Picture: Simone De Peak

Hydrographic surveyor Darren Stocker on a survey vessel which monitors the depth of the harbour. Picture: Simone De Peak

Tugs helping push a boat out of the harbour. Picture: Simone De Peak

Tug boats working in the harbour. Picture: Simone De Peak

Tugboat working in Newcastle harbour. Picture: Simone De Peak

Tug boat working in the harbour. Picture: Simone De Peak

Diver Doug Wilson takes a dip. Picture: Simone De Peak

Stand-by diver Tyne Smith helping diver Doug Wilson prepare to go underwater. Picture: Simone De Peak

Harbour diver Doug Wilson packing up after his dive. Picture: Simone De Peak

Dustin Besse and Doug Wilson inspecting harbourside development. Picture: Simone De Peak

Senior Constable Gavin Newton conducting marine safety compliance and random breath testing as Stephen Penfold and his dog Brandy enjoy some morning fishing. Picture: Simone De Peak

Sergeant Justin Harrison leads his team of six water police officers. Picture: Simone De Peak

Newcastle Marine Police conduct the same duties as police that patrol the streets, expect on the water. Picture: Simone De Peak

Senior Constable Gavin Newton conducting marine safety compliance and random breath testing out in the harbour. Picture: Simone De Peak

Sergeant Justin Harrison with Senior Constable Gavin Newton and Constable Jon Clarke patrolling the harbour. Picture: Simone De Peak

A seal basking in the sun on a buoy near Newcastle breakwall. Picture: Simone De Peak

People sit on large rocks at the end of the Stockton breakwall as a seal floats on its back waving its flippers. Picture: Simone De Peak

Svitzer tug master Ben Holder with chief eningeer Col Shilton taking a ship out of the harbour. Picture: Simone De Peak

Svitzer tug master Ben Holder helps to steer a ship out of the harbour. Picture: Simone De Peak

Gerard Inkston, deckhand assisting a boat which about to leave the Newcastle Port after being filled with asphalt. Picture: Simone De Peak

Gerard Inkston, deckhand and Col Shilton, chief engineer assisting a boat which is about to leave the Newcastle Port after being filled with asphalt. Picture: Simone De Peak

Dredging of the Port of Newcastle to maintain deep water access to the port. Picture: Simone De Peak

Destiny Sculpture at Dyke Point in Newcastle Harbour. Picture: Simone De Peak

Port of Newcastle CEO Geoff Crowe feels lucky to have Newcastle’s greatest asset in his hands. Picture: Simone De Peak

View from Nobbys Lighthouse of a fishing boat heading out on dusk. Picture: Simone De Peak

The view of Newcastle breakwall from Newcastle Lighthouse. Picture: Simone De Peak

Yachts out late on a Friday afternoon. Picture: Simone De Peak

Pelican’s take in the view looking across to Orica on sunrise. Picture: Simone De Peak

Dredging of the Port of Newcastle to maintain deep water access to the port. Picture: Simone De Peak

Newcastle Lighthouse comes to life as the last of the days light goes. Picture: Simone De Peak

Newcastle Lighthouse comes to life as the last of the days light goes. Picture: Simone De Peak

TweetFacebookWorking Harbour full story hereLife on Newcastle harbour isn’t easy – it can be wet, cold, dirty and often lonely.

But, for Fullerton Cove fisherman Phil Blanch, there is no better place to be.

And he’s thought that for the 36 years he’s been fishing.

His opinion is echoed by the many other harbour workers. Ferry deckhands, harbour divers, marine police, tug masters, hydro surveyors and even the Port of Newcastle CEO all agree – it’s great to work on the harbour.

As the morning sun rises over the water and a brisk breeze drifts around the harbour, even when it carries a sometimes-pungent smell of fish, it’s hard to disagree.

The way of life is what Phil loves most about his job.

“It’s a beautiful spot to be in, you can’t beat it: it’s a lifestyle,” he said.

“Imagine in the spring when the sun comes out and it’s crystal and warm – there’s no better place to be,” he said.

A fisherman’s day can start as early as 3am and can continue long into the night. It depends what you’re catching, what season it is and whether there’s competition about.

“It’s a hard life,” Phil says with a chuckle as he clasps a fish captured in his net and throws it into a bucket.

In our harbour, there’s a smorgasbord of fish to find, from hairtail, bream, jewfish, flathead and mullet to prawns and blue swimmer and mud crabs.

Phil is a multipurpose fisherman with multiple licenses, allowing him to catch fish, prawns and crabs.

But, it comes with responsibility.

“Tourists take everything, but commercial fisherman try to respect the industry,” he said.

“The popularity of hairtail fish really, really hurt the industry this year.”

It’s not just the tourists Phil needs to watch out for. There’s competition among commercial fishermen too. He says you’ve got to be careful on the water, especially leaving crab traps out, because there’s thieves about.

Fishing is like a game, Phil says, you never know who has already been on the water before you.

“It’s a shhh kind of game,” he said.

And it’s a game that, according to Phil, is in your blood. A third generation fisherman himself, Phil says on those freezing, lonely nights it can be hard, but there’s something special about being on the water alone, with nothing but fish to keep you company.

“I love the fresh air, the water does something to you. It’s like a campfire you just want to sit and watch.

“You don’t earn no money, but it’s beautiful being out in the water, plus you get to eat fresh seafood.”

Although it’s a competitive industry, it doesn’t stop fellow fishing mates from having a yack on the water.

“There are many other blokes you run into and you end up sitting there and talking for an hour,” Phil said.

“But, it’s not just the blokes that come up to you, the pelicans do too.”

Phil remembers an inquisitive dolphin peering about in the harbour once upon a time.

He says it used to come right up to the side of the boats, and it stuck around for about four years, but then disappeared.

“It was marvellous, I’ve never seen anything like it,” he said.

In fact, in his time as a fisherman, there’s been more than a few times where he’s seen the unexpected.

He’s put nets out and retrieved pistols, rusted safes and the usual items like shopping trolleys and car parts.

“It’s a funny little industry,” he said.

“Every day is different, it beats being inside all day.”

And that sentiment is echoed by harbour diver David Purser. Much of David’s life has been spent under or on top of water and he says there’s a certain amount of nerve you’ve got to have to be in that line of work.

He’s been working on Newcastle harbour since 1973 and says while the equipment and safety requirements of the job have changed, the job itself has stayed the same.

David owns marine structure and rehabilitation company Harbourworks and together with his three-man team, they do everything from underwater welding, to underwater carpentry and even cutting steel two inches thick underwater.

“Anything that is in the water and under the water, we work on,” David said.

Their work is labour intensive and requires a certain level of fitness, especially because they can be underwater for up to four hours carrying a 12kg helmet on their head, an oxygen tank on their back and specialist tools in their hands.

“The divers have to do push ups regularly to keep up their shoulder strength,” David says with a smirk.

Today, divers go through diving schools, but in the earlier days, David said you learnt by getting a job on the harbour, which is exactly what he did.

He started by cleaning the bottom of ships while they were in the harbour. But, his love for the water started much earlier than that.

“I spent my life on the water, I was a spear fisherman beforehand,” he said.

“We’ve all spent our lives on the water because to do this job, you have to be water orientated.”

You also need to have a lot of confidence in what you’re doing, because most of the time, you’re working with about half a metre of visibility.

“If you can see your hands, that’s a good thing,” he jokes.

“People ask us about running into sharks while we work, but we can’t see them either.”

A lot of the work the divers do is in complete darkness. Doug Wilson has been a diver for 10 years and said he developed a familiarity with the work his hands needed to do.

“It’s definitely hard work, you’ve got to have a certain amount of nerve” David said.

“But, we go to work each day and it’s never the same.”