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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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

One Less God: The making of an honest film about terrorism

Immersion: Central Coast-based actor Joseph Mahler Taylor, in the role of Sean, an Irish backpacker, in the film One Less God.When Central Coast filmmaker Lliam Worthington set out to make a movie basedof the terrorist attack on the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel in Mumbai in 2008, he tossed and turned about the best way to approach it.
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Worthington and co-producer Nelson Lau knew friendsinvolved in the tragedy, which saw terrorists kill 166 people and injured more than 600 over a three-day siege in the city, primarily in the stately old hotel. He read through accounts of survivors and others who described the carnage, the heroism and sheer terror of the event.

“I wrote lots of drafts,” he said, “but they were not active and truthful. They were survivor stories. They felt wrong and off. It took me sleepless nights to figure that out. There are some great stories of heroism and resilience.

“But the truth is, it is an overwhelming tragedy,” he said. “Most of the stories are of pain and suffering. To leave the audience in a happy place, the audience will park the story afterwards.”

One Less God trailerRather, Worthington chose to look closer at the issues confronting both the families of survivors, and the world overall. The pain had to be acknowledged, the basic question of mankind’s ability to survive such differences, such abhorrence, had to be present.

“For those people, who realise those questions are still facing us . . . once I realised that, it had to be truthful.”

The film,One Less God, wasshot over 63 days at the Carrington Hotel in Katoomba, and sets on the Central Coast and Sydneyas well as in Kathmandu, Nepal.

Challenge: One Less God film director Lliam Worthington on the set.

One Less Godwill screen on Saturday night at the Real Film Festival at Tower Cinemas on King Street, Newcastle. The session begins at 8pm and includes three short films. The movie, which is rated 18+, will be followed by a question and answer session with Worthington and other talent from the movie.

The movie won Best Film at the 2017 Byron Bay Film Festival and the Grand Jury Prize and Best Feature at the 2017 Dances with Films Festival in Los Angeles.

One Less Godfeatures an ensemble of mostly n actors, with the lead role of Sean, a backpacker strandedin the hotel, played by Joseph Mahler Taylor, an actor who also lives on the Central Coast.

The film is apolitical for the most part, with Worthington steering away from a blow-by-blow retelling of the sequence of events and government response and military action.

Instead, Worthington drills down on individuals.

House of war: A still from the movie One Less God, which is set during the 2008 siege of the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel in Mumbai, India.

There is a grandfather and his granddaughter, played by SukhRaj Deepak and Mihika Rao, who have come to the city to visit the little girl’s mother, who is dying of cancer in a hospital. While we watch the grandfather comfort and console the girl at points in the movie, things come to a head near the end of the movie when a pair of gun-toting terrorists knock on their hotel room door.

With so many people involved, there are thousands of stories. Worthington admitted: “as a storyteller, you have to cherry-pick a few”.

“The story of protecting a child –it’s not just a physical reality, but a psychological reality, to rear our children and move our children forward,” he said.

Working on a limited budget, and not being able to access Mumbai during the making of the film, created its own set of obstacles.

“A big part of the challenge, was making it seem big,” Worthington said. “It’s a theatre of the mind.”

One major tool was the use of news footage of the terrorist attack, which makes it instantly feel real and fraught with danger.

One Less God director Lliam WorthingtonHouse of War in other markets, has a running time of 133 minutes.

Itwas released in Japan last week. It has been sold into Korea, China, UK, USA and .

Made by New Realms Films, based on the Central Coast, it was financed without government assistance.

One Less God will show incinemas in India in November, exactly 10 years afterthe siege in Mumbai.

One Less God screens at the Real Film Festival, Tower Cinemas, Newcastle, at 8pm on Saturday, October 27, followed by a Q & A session with director Lliam Worthington.

SA leggie Pope sets Shield bowling record

Lloyd Pope, the youngest bowler to take seven wickets in a Sheffield Shield innings, is having a chuckle.
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The South n bagged a record-breaking 7-87 on Thursday against Queensland.

Pope is the only 18-year-old in the Shield’s 126-year history to capture seven wickets in an innings – he was oblivious to his record until told by a journalist.

But that’s not why he’s laughing.

Pope giggles when told he’s being called a saviour of n cricket – a cult hero; a star; prodigy; wizard.

Heck, some punters are even calling him a Test cricketer this summer – all this, before he finishes his second first-class game.

“Oh, right,” he said with a chuckle when told of social media reaction to his feat.

“I haven’t really checked my phone too much … a couple of my mates send me through some things. I think I am on Twitter but I don’t really use it too much.”

Pope’s stunning haul helped to bowl Queensland out for 231 at Adelaide Oval, with the Redbacks 0-39 at stumps on the opening day.

Aged 18 years and 328 days, he’s the youngest to collect seven wickets in a Shield innings, eclipsing the benchmark set by famed larrikin Doug Walters, who was 19 years and 50 days when taking 7-63 in 1964-65 for NSW.

“I wasn’t aware of that,” Pope said.

“I don’t really follow those statistics like that. I’m a cricket nuffie but I don’t sort of hunt through the books and look for records or things like that.

“That’s the first time I heard it. It’s pretty good, I guess.”

The self-effacing Pope still pinches himself that he’s even playing on the hallowed Adelaide Oval, let alone setting records.

“Just walking out there at the start of play and realising my name is on the scoreboard and that’s it happening – it’s an amazing feeling,” he said.

“It’s a strange feeling to have cameras and things in my face.

“But I try and take it both ways. I know some days it will be another bloke’s turn and they will take five-for.

“I just take it as it comes and, if it doesn’t, just try and keep working on my game.”

Three of Pope’s victims fell to vicious wrong’uns, including the prized scalp of top-scorer Joe Burns, who made 64.

All of Queensland’s batsmen had trouble picking his much-googled googly but the modest Pope put it down to luck.

“Some of them were a bit lucky off the wicket. Some were turning and some weren’t – favourable conditions,” he said.

Prudential regulator boss defends agency

The head of ‘s prudential regulator says his agency has not failed the community in its supervision of financial institutions, after a banking royal commission exposed widespread misconduct in the sector.
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n Prudential Regulation Authority chair Wayne Byres has told a hearing in Canberra that the regulator’s job is to ensure the financial system is safe and sound, and that is what it has done.

“There’s absolutely no case at all to say that we have failed,” he told a Senate estimates hearing on Thursday.

“There is no question that the financial system is sound and robust.”

His comments came under questioning by Labor senator Chris Ketter, who said APRA has been referred to as a “hear no evil, see no evil” regulator.

“I reject the depiction,” Mr Byres said.

Senator Ketter also said that the royal commission’s interim report, released last month, noted APRA has never taken a financial institution to court for misconduct.

Mr Byres said APRA’s enforcement measures go beyond legal action.

“I think we do use our tools to achieve change within the industry and to get problems rectified when we see them,” he said.

But he said the regulator is reviewing its “enforcement philosophy”, governance of enforcement decisions and the resources it commits to keeping institutions in line.

APRA has flagged in its submission to the royal commission that it could potentially employ stronger enforcement powers to achieve “general deterrence” across the industry, he added.

Mr Byres said robustness of the financial system hasn’t made evidence at the royal commission any less “confronting or uncomfortable”.

But the soundness of the system will help the financial sector make the improvements it needs to, he said.

“We are thankfully working on these from a position of financial strength.”

Royal commissioner Kenneth Hayne released a scathing three-volume interim report in September, highlighting an insidious culture of greed and profit over basic decency permeating the big banks.

He also took aim at regulators for cosying up to financial services firms and striking limp deals in response to systemic misbehaviour rather than pursuing tough prosecutions.

Shield wickets tumble on new-look MCG deck

The MCG drop-in wicket had become so flat, fast bowler Chris Tremain says even the batsmen were sick of it.
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But all that changed when 13 wickets tumbled on a dramatic opening day of the Victoria-NSW Sheffield Shield match.

Tremain snared 5-47 as Victoria won the toss and blasted NSW out for 159.

Victorian captain Peter Handscomb will be kicking himself for his cheap dismissal in the second-last over of Thursday’s play, given the state of the game and the Test batting spots on offer.

But the home side was still well-placed at 3-101, with opener Marcus Harris making 51no.

It is the first Victorian home match of the season and much of the pre-game focus was on how the pitch would play.

The ICC rated last year’s Ashes Boxing Day pitch as poor after the tame draw – the first time that has happened to an n Test venue. .

The last MCG Shield result was NSW’s innings win in February last year, with four draws since.

“After last season … I think we would rather see the game go two and a half days and get a result than bang out another draw,” Tremain said.

“Even the batsmen were sick of sitting in the field for two days.

“We could have pulled up stumps half way through a game there … if we were allowed to bet on cricket games we could have retired after the Test because there was no way that was going to be a result either.”

Tremain said the pitch still produced a tennis ball bounce during day one, but thought there was better carry through to the keeper even after lunch.

“It is lively, but it is ‘slow lively’,” he added of the noticeably-green deck.

After paceman Trent Copeland struck early to leave Victoria in trouble at 2-6, Harris and Handscomb combined for a crucial 93-run stand.

Handscomb made 48 before he chased a wide ball from leg-spinner Daniel Fallins a few minutes before stumps.

The edge bounced off the gloves of wicketkeeper Peter Nevill and Copeland took the catch at first slip.

Earlier, leg-spinner Fawad Ahmed’s 3-18 helped wrap up the NSW tail, while Scott Boland sparked the collapse by snaring the key wicket of teen sensation Jack Edwards immediately after lunch for 34.

Kurtis Patterson top-scored with 63.

NSW struck early trouble at 3-55, but steadied through a 50-run stand between Patterson and Edwards and were 3-103 at lunch.

Edwards fell in the second over after the break and that triggered a 7-56 collapse.

Dispute causes shutdown of crane at Newcastle TAFE site

Dispute causes crane shutdown at Hunter Street site Police on scene at the Hunter Street TAFE Art School, where CFMEU Union Officials have shut down the site.. Picture: Marina Neil
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Police on scene at the Hunter Street TAFE Art School, where CFMEU Union Officials have shut down the site.. Picture: Marina Neil

Police on scene at the Hunter Street TAFE Art School, where CFMEU Union Officials have shut down the site.. Picture: Marina Neil

Police on scene at the Hunter Street TAFE Art School, where CFMEU Union Officials have shut down the site.. Picture: Marina Neil

Police on scene at the Hunter Street TAFE Art School, where CFMEU Union Officials have shut down the site.. Picture: Marina Neil

Police on scene at the Hunter Street TAFE Art School, where CFMEU Union Officials have shut down the site.. Picture: Marina Neil

Police on scene at the Hunter Street TAFE Art School, where CFMEU Union Officials have shut down the site.. Picture: Marina Neil

Police on scene at the Hunter Street TAFE Art School, where CFMEU Union Officials have shut down the site.. Picture: Marina Neil

Police on scene at the Hunter Street TAFE Art School, where CFMEU Union Officials have shut down the site.. Picture: Marina Neil

Police on scene at the Hunter Street TAFE Art School, where CFMEU Union Officials have shut down the site.. Picture: Marina Neil

Police on scene at the Hunter Street TAFE Art School, where CFMEU Union Officials have shut down the site.. Picture: Marina Neil

Police on scene at the Hunter Street TAFE Art School, where CFMEU Union Officials have shut down the site.. Picture: Marina Neil

Police on scene at the Hunter Street TAFE Art School, where CFMEU Union Officials have shut down the site.. Picture: Marina Neil

Police on scene at the Hunter Street TAFE Art School, where CFMEU Union Officials have shut down the site.. Picture: Marina Neil

Police on scene at the Hunter Street TAFE Art School, where CFMEU Union Officials have shut down the site.. Picture: Marina Neil

TweetFacebookThe Herald understands the Boom Logistics crane company was originally approached to complete Thursday’s job aspart ofthe Hunter Street TAFE restoration project, but workers have since gone on strike.

“Mobile crane workers in Newcastle, Singleton, and Wollongongwho have not had a pay increase in more than five years, have launched an indefinite strike after the breakdown in talks with their employers,” a CFMEU statement said.

“More than 100 workers at Boom Logistics and WGC cranes have taken legally protected strike action because of the companies’ failure to offer a fair pay deal despite months of negotiations.”

Notified of the impending workplace action, the project contractor 3 Cross Pty Ltdbooked an alternative company to complete the job.

The works were halted for most of the day as police and Safe Work NSWwere called in to asses the site and negotiatebetween the parties.

Police are at the scene of a ‘demarcation’ dispute on Hunter Street pic.twitter苏州夜总会招聘/N8cU7epLT1

— Newcastle Herald (@newcastleherald) October 25, 2018

Read the full report in tomorrow’s Herald.

READ MORE:Read more about the strike action here.