Doma Group, GWH announced as Merewether St, Darby Plaza proponents

An artist’s impression of the GWH concept for Darby Plaza. GWH and Doma Group were named successful bidders for former rail corridor lands. Picture: HCCDCDOMA Group has been named as one of two successful applicants to transform vacant lands at Merewether Street and Darby Plaza, the Hunter and Central Coast Development Corporation (HCCDC)announced on Thursday.
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GWH and Doma Group’s independent tenders were named as successful pushes to develop a mix of commercial and residential projects on the site.

The Newcastle Herald reported earlier this month that tenders closed on April 6.

The Doma proposal was for “an amalgamated outcome using its pre-existing Merewether Street site” while GWH has plans for a new mixed-use development.

HCCDCchief executive and Revitalising Newcastle program director Michael Cassel labelled the announcement another push for rejuvenation in the city.

“Newcastle has been crying-out for more tourist accommodation for many years and we are pleased to signcontracts with GWH, which has the potential to realise this much-needed opportunity for the city centre, in additionto new office space and residential apartments, in a true mixed-use development,” he said.

“It will be a major catalyst for job creation and a boon for tourism.

Mr Cassel said the land for the Doma proposal “has allowed Doma to reimagine and improve a pre-existing concept for its adjacent site, which isa good outcome for the city”.

The company’s Merewether Street site will have residences above retailers facing Merewether Street.

“It is also in keeping with what the development control plans (DCP) identified as preferred result for the corridorlands,” said Mr Cassel.

RELATED: Hunter Development Corporation merges with Central Coast agencyPart of the GWH project involves the company delivering the Darby Plaza public domain in conjunction with HCCDC. It would also include commercial offices, residential apartments and potentially up to 40 serviced apartments as well as ground floor retail opening onto Hunter Street and the plaza.

“As Newcastle continues to attract investors, we are happy to continue to push the standards of architecture anddesign, to ensure outcomes are in line with what the community expects for an emerging city,” Mr Cassel said.

“Today’s announcement shows that we are also delivering on our commitment to the community to create moreattractive public spaces, new homes and more jobs all connected to improved transport options.”

French pastry with Chinan twist becomes a hit at the markets

IS there anything better than a flaky, buttery croissant?
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The iconic and quintessentially French pastry is famous the world over, but there is a lesser-known pastry from France that is arguably more delicious.

It’s called the brioche suisse.

The indulgent pastry traditionally consists of brioche dough rolled out flat and then folded around vanilla pastry cream and chopped chocolate.

And is it better than a croissant?

Hannah and Luke Crouch of Brioche Suisse Patisserie think so.

The husband and wife team moved to Newcastle from their hometown of Sydney – via a stint in Tamworth – two months ago where they exclusively sell their range of brioche suisse at markets in Newcastle and Lake Macquarie.

The couple initially began baking in Tamworth 18 months ago where they sold at markets in the area, while also making the trip to Newcastle as well, with a focus on baking a brioche breads and pastries.

Among those was the brioche suisse.

“Traditional brioche is good, but the suisse is incredible,” Luke says.

“We used to make brioche wreaths which were very pretty, but I used to always wish people would just pick the suisse – which looked slightly uglier – because it’s incredibly tasty.”

Once word got out about the suisse, customers began queuing up for it – often returning for a second purchase – and the pastry became the fastest-selling in their range of brioche.

The popularity of the chocolate suisse prompted the couple to add a cherry flavour which was equally as loved.

Favourites: From front to back, Chocolate Suisse, Rose Pistachio and Hazelnut Milk Chocolate. Picture: Marina Neil

Now they have nine flavour variations of the suisse.

The sweet range consists of milk chocolate hazelnut, pear caramel and pecan, rose pistachio, apricot lemon, and cherry vanilla, along with the traditional chocolate suisse, while the savoury offerings are beetroot, spinach and feta, sauerkraut salami – which uses an apple glaze – and a mushroom parmesan suisse made on a base of béchamel.

“It got to the point where people didn’t come to buy our loaves anymore – they just came to buy the chocolate suisse and the cherry suisse,” Luke says.

It was during the drive to Newcastle early one morning that Luke jokingly suggested to his wife that they should quit baking everything else to purely focus on the brioche suisse.

“The only people that are really familiar with it are the French,” Luke explains.

“We often have French customers who are quite surprised to see the suisse in all these forms and they often ask us what the heck is going on.

“It’s almost offensive that a couple of Aussies have taken the suisse and done something new, but there’s respect when they see what we have done.”

A lot of love, hard work and dedication has gone in to what they do.

The couple’s story began when they met fresh out of high school and got married soon after.

Luke earned a living driving trucks for his family’s business, while Hannah worked as a disability carer.

Luke Crouch on the hard days of start-up Brioche SuisseBrioche Suisse Patisserie appears at Newcastle City Farmers Market, Lake Macquarie Farmers Market, Pelican Foreshore Market and Warners Bay Markets.

Serious risk of death on Nauru: doctors

A child could die in detention on Nauru if the government does not intervene, a leading n paediatrician says.
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The claims follow disturbing new reports that one-in-four children in detention on Nauru are suicidal.

The Asylum Seeker Resource Centre says more than half of the children held on the island have been flagged for urgent medical attention, with 25 per cent acutely suicidal.

But Professor David Issacs said the reports only confirmed what he had experienced working on the island and called for immediate government intervention to prevent further trauma.

“This morning’s reports are shocking, but they are entirely consistent with what I saw when I visited the Nauru detention centre in 2014,” said Mr Issacs, a Royal Australasian College of Physicians fellow.

“The situation now amounts to nothing short of a medical emergency.

“As a paediatrician, it is my view that if our government does not act now, there is a serious risk of death.”

About 50 children and 550 adults remain as refugees on the island.

They are not detained, are free to move about the 21-square-kilometre island and have 20-year visas, the government says.

Home Affairs chief medical officer Parbodh Gogna has told a Senate estimates hearing there had been “an unprecedented jump” in people presenting to medical facilities on Nauru in the last couple of months.

ASRC detention advocacy manager Natasha Blucher believes Medecins Sans Frontieres’ expulsion from the island two weeks ago was a major factor in the situation worsening.

“The kids were left with an interminable future of nothing,” Ms Blucher told AAP.

The Nauru government was scathing of MSF, taking particular offence to their “beloved home” being labelled an “open-air prison”.

Centre Alliance MP Rebekha Sharkie, who has come into prominence as a key crossbencher following the Wentworth by-election, wants a solution to the issue.

“We will be using our best efforts in the parliament and I’m not going to rest until we can get all of those children from Nauru,” Ms Sharkie told ABC TV on Thursday.

Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton said Labor was in a “blind panic” about detainees on Nauru, and a push to send them to New Zealand wouldn’t work due to security reasons.

He said the United States had security concerns about some of the asylum seekers on Nauru.

“If you want to see kids back in detention, then Labor has the formula for it,” he told 2GB radio.

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The long-lasting impact of a powerful photo

I recentlyvisited Aarhus inDenmark. As I entered the botanic gardens, I saw a big poster on a kiosk.
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The poster has on it the famous photo of a South Vietnamese general shooting a prisoner in the head. I don’t read Danish, so I could not determinewhy the poster had that image. It is a hard one to forget.

That photo was one of two photosthat helped end the Vietnam War. The other was of a Vietnamese girl running naked after a napalm attack.

Despite being seriously burned by the firebomb, the girl survived. She later moved to Canada and became a motivational speaker. She still has extensive burn scars.

More recent photographs have also had great impact.

Did you see the 1993 photo of the starving African child with a vulture waiting a few steps away? I donate money to starving children in part because of that image.

Remember the image of the dead refugeeboy who washed up on the south of Europe a few years ago?

After the publication of that photo, European countries opened their borders to refugees, at least for a while.

Not all powerful photos show tragedies, though.

Think of the famous still image, from video, of a man standing on the moon.

That image shows the intellectual and technological potential of humans.

The image and what it represents helped prompt a number of young people to become scientists.

I have never taken an iconic photograph, but I did once get a photograph published.

An article I wrote was accepted for publication by a scientific journal. That happy event has happened to me many times.

This was the only time thoughthat I was asked to provide the journal with a photo related to the study.

In this case the study showed the risk of a halo effect when instructors mark the work of a student they know.

My photoidea was for an image of a student in class looking as if he orshe adored the instructor.

Because none of my students ever look adoringly at me, I staged the scene with a research assistant.

I then had my daughter adda halo to the photo of the “student.”The result was outstanding, if I do say so myself.

What is the best photograph you have ever taken? Whatstory does it tell? When was the last time you showed it to someone?

John Malouff is an Associate Professor at the School of Behavioural, Cognitive and Social Sciences, University of New England.

Acquitted doctor Jeremy Coleman wants costs, remaining charges dropped

ACQUITTED: Dr Jeremy Coleman during his year-long Newcastle District Court trial. He was ultimately acquitted of 50 counts of sexual and indecent assault. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers LAWYERS for a doctor acquitted of 50 counts of sexual and indecent assault after the longest criminal trial in Newcastle’s history have applied to have the remaining charges against him dropped and are seeking the prosecution pay costs that will run into the millions of dollars.
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Newcastle general physician Dr Jeremy Coleman, a well-known allergy and immunology specialist, was last month found not guilty of 50 counts of sexual and indecent assault against patients at his Watt Street practice after a year-long trial in Newcastle District Court.

But after deliberating for 36 days, the jurywere deadlocked on the remaining 16 counts.

Judge Penny Hock brought the trial to an end on September 3, discharging the jury, and adjourned the remaining charges to the Newcastle District Court list to get a new trial date.

But on Thursday, DPP solicitor Hamish Fitzhardinge told Judge Roy Ellis that lawyers for Dr Coleman had filed submissions calling for no further proceedings on the outstanding counts.

No determination had been made by the DPP whether or not they would press on with another trial after the 50 acquittals.He also said Dr Coleman’s defence, Sydney-based Laxon Lex Lawyers and barrister Pauline David, would be making an application for costs.A conservative estimate of Dr Coleman’s defence runs into the millions of dollars.

The costs application will have to be heard by Judge Hock, likely in Sydney where she sits most of the year.

The matter was adjourned until December 13 for both parties to file cost application submissions and to determine the DPP’s attitude to the no further proceedings application.

The issue in Dr Coleman’s marathon trial waswhether or not he had a proper medical purpose to conduct the internal and external examinations that his patients complained about.

And, through their verdicts, the jury must have believed Dr Coleman’s defence when they repeatedly said his only purpose fortouching or examining those patients was not a sexual one, but a medical one.

Asked at the conclusion of the trial last month if the 50 not guilty verdicts were a win for him personally, Dr Coleman replied: “It’s a win for medicine”.

Dr Coleman did not have to appear in court on Thursday.

He remains on conditional bail, his life still on hold and the status of his medical license –suspended by the Medical Council of NSW n 2016 – awaiting the outcome of the criminal proceedings.

A-League: Dimi Petratos backs travelling Newcastle Jets to buck trend in Adelaidephotos

A-League: Dimi Petratos backs travelling Jets in Adelaide ATTACKING WEAPON: Jets player Dimi Petratos after scoring against Adelaide at home last season. Newcastle, coming off a 2-1 loss to the Phoenix in Wellington on the weekend, travel to meet United in round two of the A-League on Friday night. Petratos opened his goal account in the season opener. Picture: AAP
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TweetFacebook Dimi Petratos Only once did the Newcastle Jets lose consecutive games last season and thatrun of three was started with a 5-2 thumping in Adelaide.

The 2017-18 A-League grand finalists now return to Coopers Stadium thisFriday night on the back of a first-up 2-1defeatto the Phoenixin Wellington.

ROUND ONE:Jets are VAR from happy with bunker call

But despitealmost 6000-kilometres worth of travelling inside the space of a week,Jets star Dimi Petratos remains confident Newcastle can not only turnaround thislatest result but buck the recent trend in South .

The Jets have only won four matches in Adelaide since 2005 and scored justfour goals in their last seven visits to United’s home ground.

“I don’t think it’s in theboys minds, no one has brought anything like that up,” Petratos said after training at Ray Watt Oval on Thursday morning.

“We’ve had a very positive two sessions this week plus the recovery. It’s timeto changethings Iguess and get a win over there.”

Petratos, who scored a match-winning penalty against Adelaide in the 89thminute at home on December 16, opened his 2018-19 account on Sunday with a late consolation goal in New Zealand.

After hammering home the injury-time chance with his right foot the 25-year-old Socceroos representative subtly pointed to his neck as a shout out to Jets teammate JohnnyKoutroumbis, who is sidelined with stage one Thyroid cancer.

“Whoever scored was going to do it and Ihappened to score,” Petratos said.

“I just did it for Johnny. It [the cancer diagnosis]happened out of nowhere for most of the boys here [at the Jets]. So it was just a little somethingto him.

“Aspeedy recovery to him and we wish him all the best.”

Petratos, who earlier this month re-signed with the Jets until the end of 2021-22,found the back of the net for the 30thtime in his 152-game A-League career.

All-up in round one the attacking weaponhad fiveshots andmade 11 crosses, both ranked third in the league.

This helped indicate the style of play Newcastle want to continue after a much-improved campaign under coach Ernie Merrick, who is now undergoing his second season at the helm.

“We are going to continue to play the same way as we did last year,” Petratos said.

“I think we had some good passages ofplay in Wellington. We’vejust got to build on that.

“It was the first game of the season and itwould have been good to get the win, but now we move on from that and focus on the next game and the games after that.”

Petratos has welcomed the return of injured midfielder Ben Kantarovski, who has been nursing hamstring and calfniggles during the pre-season, to the Jets squad.

“He [Kantarovski] is a very physical player and he’sgot a lotof experience so it’sgood have him backfrom injury,” Petratos said.

Newcastle, who travelled to Adelaide from Sydney on Thursday afternoon, are otherwise unchanged.

Titanic start to NRL’s first Magic Round

Gold Coast and Cronulla take centre stage in a re-jigged Magic Round that the NRL hopes will transform Brisbane into a rugby league fan’s fairytale next season.
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In an NRL-first all 16 clubs will feature at Suncorp Stadium over four days in round nine from May 9-12.

Two games will be played on Friday night, with three on Sunday and another two on Sunday all expected to attract sell-out crowds at Suncorp Stadium.

However, they might struggle to attract those numbers when the Titans and Sharks kick off proceedings in a stand-alone fixture on Thursday night.

That fixture represents a change from the initial three-day proposal, but one that NRL boss Todd Greenberg said was necessary to replicate the usual broadcast schedule.

“Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday … it’s the standard weekend of where we split our footy and we think we can make that work as a festival over those four days,” Greenberg said.

“There’s a huge amount of work going on as to how we turn Brisbane into a rugby league city for those four days and how we have great opportunity for fans to engage.

“What we can do uniquely with 16 coaches in one location … there’s a number of innovative things we’ll look at.”

Eight games across four days will put Suncorp Stadium’s surface under considerable pressure.

But organisers are confident it will hold up, given it managed to withstand the Global Rugby Tens – the equivalent of 10 rugby union fixtures over just two days – in recent years.

BRISBANE’S NRL MAGIC ROUND

Thursday

7.50pm – Titans v Sharks

Friday

6pm Tigers v Panthers

7.55pm Sea Eagles v Broncos

Saturday

3pm Bulldogs v Knights

5.30pm Warriors v Dragons

7.35pm Storm v Eels

Sunday

2pm Roosters v Raiders

4.05pm Rabbitohs v Cowboys

Mariners’ McCormack ready for former club

Central Coast marquee Ross McCormack has identified Melbourne City’s fullback pairing as the danger in Saturday’s clash against his former A-League club.
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McCormack meets City for the first time since his fruitful stint on loan there last season, when he scored 14 goals in 17 matches.

City scored a controversial derby win over Melbourne Victory in their season-opener, but McCormack believes the heavyweights are still “gettable.”

“Melbourne City are a good team, but they’re definitely beatable and we’ll be looking to try and do that,” McCormack told reporters on Thursday.

“There’s a lot of new players there, but they’re still playing the same sort of way as last season. We’re under no illusion, we know they’ll be difficult to beat.”

And it starts with preventing the forward runs from the likes of City signing Ritchie De Laet, who goaled on debut against the Victory last week.

“The two fullbacks are pretty attack-minded, De Laet and (Scott) Jamieson. So we need to be mindful of that,” McCormack said.

“Luke Brattan in the middle of the park is a good player, (and they’re) strong defensively, they’re just an all-round good team.

“But Melbourne Victory showed on the weekend as well that you can get at them.”

The match also marks McCormack’s first home game for the Mariners, who clawed a point from their round-one draw in Brisbane.

Gosford holds special memories for the former Premier League striker.

“I had a good experience there last year. The goal that I scored broke an A-League record for the quickest guy to get to 13 goals,” he said.

“That was a good day, personally. I’m looking forward to it being in front of the home fans, should be a good atmosphere.”

Is this the end of government by major parties?

PERIL: The Morrison government is completely missing the messages from Kerryn Phelps’ byelection win. Picture: Alex EllinghausenThere is widespread and growing dissatisfaction with – and disappointment in – our politicians and political system.
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Increasingly, politicians are not trusted nor believed. They are seen as mostly self-absorbed, “in it for themselves”, willing to put personal and vested interests ahead of the national interest. They will say or do whatever it takesto win the media on any day, and to hopefully win the next election.

As a consequence, government and governance is increasingly poor and not generally seen as addressing the needs, or matching the aspirations, of voters.

The system seems unable to deal with the daily challenges faced by voters in meeting mounting costs of living, let alone the bigger, longer-termchallenges facing our nation economically, socially, environmentallyand geopolitically. These issues are mostly left to drift. In the end, they become much harder to deal with. Solutions will probably cost more, and require much more adjustment.

To be specific, governments are not offering solutionsto the major elements of the costs of living – housing affordability/accessibility, power costs, medical insurance, child and aged careand so on – just very limited tax relief– and are certainly kicking the bigger challenges ofclimate, tax, education, health, ageing, defenceand infrastructure reform down the road.

All this domestic policy drift and neglect is occurring at a time where our economic prospects are constrained by the most unpredictable global environment in many decades.Most importantly, emerging trade warsand the accelerating risk of another global financial crisis andpossible world recession, in turn severely complicated by global migration pressuresand geopolitical tensions. All suggesting the imperative of a complete rethink and reset of our foreign, defence and economic strategies against a redefinition of our national interests.

It should not be surprising that voters here, and in many other countries, have started to lose confidence in major political parties, turning instead to support minor, more policy specific, parties and independents, in the increasingly desperate hope that things might change.

These trends have been evident in virtually every European election in the last several years, and of course gave the world Donald Trumpin the hope that he would drain the Washington swampand Make America Great Again. He has certainly disruptedthe traditional US political parties, and the whole political system – with very significant consequences for much of the rest of the world – but will undoubtedly fall well short of “greatness”or, in the end, actually satisfying the needs, hopes, and aspirations of his supporters.

Here, in , 1 in 3 voters didn’t vote either LNP or ALP in the last federal election, and the trend away from the major parties has continued in the recent byelections. The most notable was the win by independent Kerryn Phelps in the recent Wentworth byelection, previously a blue-ribbon Liberal seat.

While the messages from the Phelps’ win are being ignored by the Morrison Government – somehow mostly blaming Malcolm Turnbull –Phelps ran on the key issues of integrity in government, climateand refugees, tapping into significant voter concern about the irresponsible neglect and failures by the major parties on these issues.

When you recognise broader voter concernson both issues, and about the performance of their sitting members, expectthat the coming Victorian and NSW elections, and the next federal election in about 6-7 months, willsee this trend away from LNP/ALPcontinue. There is a lot of activity alreadyfor high-profile independentsto challenge the likes of Tony Abbott in Warringah, and rumblings of the formation of new minor political parties/movements, although time is short.

Of course, the key question is whether this trend away from major parties will result in better government, either by forcing change in the policies and practices of the major parties, or by these independents and minor parties playing a constructive role to improve government.

So much needs to be done to reform our politics – everything from the attraction of better candidates through campaign funding, improved transparency and accountability of lobbying influence, policy development and implementation. All against a genuine and honest assessment of our national interest.

John Hewson is a professor at the Crawford School of Public Policy, ANU, and a former Liberal opposition leader.

NRL DRAWKnights favoured by a host of early season home games as they bid to break their finals drought in 2019

Jubilation: A scene Knights fans will be hoping they see a lot more of in 2019 with the club handed a host of early season home games to kick off the season. Picture: AAP.
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Newcastle Knights coach Nathan Brown says a glut of earlyhome games next season will give his side the perfect chance to “jump out of the blocks” in their bid to finally break their finals drought in 2019.

The NRL released its draw for nextseason yesterday with the Knights set to playfive of their openingseven games at McDonald Jones Stadium.

While three of their first four are against top eight sides from last season, Brown admitted the prospect of playing in front of packed houses in Newcastle early on should give his side plenty of confidence.

“We are going to need to jump out of the blocks from the get-gobut having so many home games early on certainly gives us the chance to make a real solid start,”Brown said.

“The draw is never going to be perfect for any team and we are all going to face obstacles at various stages. But overall, we are pretty happy.

“There is only the one five day turnaround which is a plus for us and now that it[the draw] is out, we can start doing some real planningaround it.”

As expected, new recruits and former Cronullaplayers Jesse Ramien and Edrick Lee won’t have long to wait to take on their old club with the Knights to face the Sharks in the opening round on March 15.

The game is one of only two Friday 6 pm matches the Knights will play at McDonald Jones Stadium. The other is in round 19 against the Tigers on July 26.

The Sharks’ clash shapes as a real litmus test for the Knights first up.

Cronulla has become a bogey side in recent years, winning their past eight straight against the Knights, many of them convincingly.

Newcastle will feature in four Channel Nine free-to-air matches, three of them at McDonald Jones Stadium.

The first is against the Parramatta Eels in round 7on Sunday, April 28 followed by Friday night clashes against the Sydney Roosters [Rd 11-May 24] and the Bulldogs [Rd 17-July 12].

Their final round game against Penrith at Panthers Stadium will also be a Channel Nine game on Sunday, September 18.

Anyone’s guess how the Knights will perform in 2019 –Robert DillonToohey’s News –Injured Knights star’s rapid improvementNathan Ross’s clouded future at the KnightsAs predicted, McDonald Jones Stadium will host just two Sunday games next season –a 6.10 pm clash against the Dragons in round 4 on April 7 and the Parramatta Eels’ round 7 game.

Old Boys Day will be celebrated inround 24 on Saturday, August 31 with the clash against the Gold Coast Titans.

After taking on the Wests Tigers in Tamworth last season, the Knights will again be heading to the bush for a premiership match.

St George Illawarra will host the Knights in Mudgee in round 10 on Sunday, May 19 while their Magic Round opponent at Suncorp Stadium will be the Bulldogs on Saturday, May 11.

The Knights toughest stretch will be a four game block from round 8 to 11 when they meet the Warriors, Bulldogs and Dragons away before facing a five day turnaround into the Sydney Roosters on May 24.

Gattellari on trial accused of Medich plot

Prisoner Lucky Gattellari demanded up to $50 million from his former friend Ron Medich in relation to what evidence he would give at Medich’s murder prosecution, a Sydney jury has been told.
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Gattellari, 68, has pleaded not guilty in the NSW District Court to two counts of conspiracy to defraud, involving plots in 2013 and 2014 to demand money from Medich, who had been arrested for the 2009 murder of businessman Michael McGurk.

Gattellari’s one-time cellmate, Shayne Hatfield, 53, and Hatfield’s former partner, Linda Monfrooy, 55, have denied being part of the 2014 plot.

Opening the Crown case on Thursday, prosecutor Darren Robinson said the evidence would disclose “a continuing objective” by Gattellari to obtain money through approaches to Medich’s family regarding evidence he would give in Medich’s prosecution for murder.

He referred to two documents given to Medich’s brother on May 12 in 2014.

One “referred to a history of demands, including the initial request for $1 million, a subsequent request for $10 million, which then went to $15 million, and a present demand for $30 million, which would go to $50 million after the 15th of May”.

Mr Robinson said the 2013 approach involved Gattellari, his brother Frank and Robert McCarthy, who had been in jail with Gattellari but was released in May 2013.

Lucky Gattellari allegedly told McCarthy: “I’ll ask him to pay some money and let him believe that I’ll help him at court … but I’ll never help him at court.”

The 2014 approach allegedly involved the Gattellari brothers, Hatfield and Monfrooy, using Glen McNamara and Roger Rogerson – who were both later arrested for murder – and Joseph Prestia.

Mr Robinson said Lucky Gattellari was charged over Mr McGurk’s murder in October 2010 and was told by his QC that he could expect legal costs to be $1 million.

Ron Medich’s son, Peter, gave evidence on Thursday saying Gattellari’s son approached him asking for $1 million to be put into the trust account of Gattellari’s lawyers.

If the money was not put in the account Gattellari “was rolling my father and would say he was involved in the crime”, Peter Medich said.

After the money was not paid, Mr Medich said he met with Robert McCarthy who told him his father was “in a lot of trouble” and would go to jail unless he moved forward with what was written in a note he handed him.

The note said: “The evidence against you is not worth a cracker without my testimony.”

“You should have paid the $1 million when I asked you and you would not be in this mess … I would never have involved you.”

The note went on to say that Ron Medich was required to pay $10 million and the author would “throw his testimony against my father at trial”.

The trial continues before Judge Penelope Hock.

Katter kicks Anning out of his party

Katter’s n Party senator Fraser Anning has been booted out of the party over what they describe as his appeals to racism.
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Senator Anning, who left Pauline Hanson’s One Nation before joining Bob Katter’s party, has called for an end to Muslim migration and wants a return to a “European Christian” immigration program.

“We announce the termination of his endorsement by the KAP,” Mr Katter said, quoting a statement by party federal president Shane Paulger on Thursday.

Mr Katter said the party’s decision had been unanimous.

Mr Paulger said in the statement the party’s immigration policy was clear – that persecuted minorities such as Christians, Jews and Sikhs should have priority when it comes to immigration to from the Middle East and North Africa.

And that there should be no restrictions on entry from Pacific islanders.

“But the party cannot and will not have any representative from our executive, members of parliament, senators or candidates dividing along racial ‘Europeans’ and ‘non-Europeans’ divides,” Mr Paulger said.

“In spite of the most severe and clear warnings, Senator Anning has continued down this pathway and consequently we announce the termination of his endorsement by the KAP.

“Clearly Fraser wants the freedom to pursue his crusade. And we think it is best for he and the party to give him this freedom.”

Senator Anning entered parliament as a replacement for One Nation’s Malcolm Roberts, who was disqualified from parliament over dual citizenship.

He made a chaotic start to his political career, with Pauline Hanson kicking him out of the party on his first day as a senator when he refused to step aside and allow Mr Roberts’ return.

After sitting as an independent in a loose alliance with other right-wing crossbenchers, he joined KAP in June.

The little-known senator made the headlines in August when his maiden speech was widely condemned as racist.

NSW auditor general report shows infrastructure spending shortfall in regional NSW

The NSWopposition has criticised the stategovernment for failing to reach its30 per cent benchmark for infrastructure spending in regional areas in relation tomoneyfrom the Restart NSW Fund.
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But the government says the 30 per cent target applies to the life of the fund and isn’t an annual benchmark.

An auditor general report on the state’s finances released last week showed spending on regional infrastructure was 17.2 per cent for the 2017/18 financial year, up from 14 per cent the previous 12 months.

The report indicated18.5 per cent of Restart NSW Fund money was spent on infrastructure in regional areas in the six years to June 30, 2018.

The findinghas prompted a scathing response from Muswellbrook mayor and Country Labor’s state election candidate for the Upper Hunter Martin Rush, who said the resultwas“a cruel joke” by the government.

“Every year they say they are going to deliver and every year they string the community along,” he said.

“Now we learn that the Liberals and Nationals have blown $122 million on the sale of the Snowy Hydro – money that could have been spent on schools, hospitals and roads.”

The opposition has promised to funnel all of its share of the Snowy Hydro money to regional NSW if elected next year.

When asked about the criticism, Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said: “The 30 per cent target is to be met over the life of Restart NSW and is not an annual target.”

Shadow treasurer Ryan Park said the Upper Hunter and other regional areas were being neglected while the government focused on Sydney-centric projects.

“Despite big promises to help out regional areas, the Berejiklian-Barilaro government just can’t seem to hit that magic 30 per cent for investment in their infrastructure,” he said.

In news today October 25, 2018:

‘Boon for tourism’ as tenders awarded for Darby Plaza‘Terrifying’ Marist child sex offender guilty againHunter women vow to reclaim the night in marchesThieves cut and steal a kilometre of power line at Tomago