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Police overhaul worries MP

Wednesday, 13 March, 2019

CONCERNED: Upper Hunter MP Michael Johnsen has criticised a mooted police restructure.A GOVERNMENT MP has raised fears about a loss of local decision-making in the Upper Hunter under mooted changes as part of a police restructure.
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As part of the restructure, top brass are considering moving boundaries and centralising management, with Hunter Valley, Port Stephens and Central Hunter local area commands set to be affected.

Among the proposals which the Newcastle Heraldunderstands is under consideration includes splitting the Hunter Valley command in two, with Scone and surrounds to be absorbed by the Tamworth-based Oxley command. The other half wouldbe taken in by the Maitland-based Central Hunter.

The move is seen as a mechanism to boost front line police.

However, the restructure has been criticised by Upper Hunter Nationals MP Michael Johnsen, who said “we need a senior officer, who is experienced,based in Muswellbrook.”

“There is a restructuringgoing on –and the whole reason for the reshuffle is to get more coppers in the bush,” Mr Johnsen told Fairfax Media.

“My only issue there is, looking at the LAC structure, the Hunter Valley LACneeds to be continued to be based in the Upper Hunter.

“Decisions need to be made here in the Upper Hunter.”

Hunter Valley police were briefed about the potential changes this week.

And the Upper Hunter MP also launched a survey about the restructure on his website.

However, Northern Region Commander Assistant Commissioner Max Mitchell said a decision was yet to be made.

“Part of the NSW Police Force re-engineering process includes looking at opportunities to consolidate local area commands,” he said.

“This does not mean disbanded. Hunter Valley is a command that is being considered for consolidation. As part of any process, the Deputy Commissioner and myself are committed to ensuring appropriate consultation occurs with police and local communities.”

Waratahs sign Wallabies lock Simmons on two-year deal

Wednesday, 13 March, 2019

The curious tale of Queensland Reds discard Rob Simmons has entered a new chapter with the Wallabies lock joining the NSW Waratahs on a two-year deal.
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Axed by the Reds in June after nine years of service, Simmons was recalled to the Australian side for the last two Bledisloe Cup Tests against New Zealand and started in Saturday’s heart-breaking six-point loss to the All Blacks.

Yet his Super Rugby career had hung in limbo until Waratahs coach Daryl Gibson asked him to help mentor a young NSW forward pack as it looks to move past a disastrous 2017 campaign.

Simmons’ contract with the Waratahs sees him through to the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan, which he is desperate to be a part of with the Wallabies.

“It’s not what people would script, it’s part of sport I suppose, you ride those rollercoasters,” Simmons said upon reflection of his last few months.

“I wanted to get this contract done and then move forward and forget about, I suppose, the debacle that’s been earlier in the year.

“It is what it is, whatever happened has happened and we all move on from that.

“The best way to play for Australia is to be here and be a part of the way the season’s run. That’s the best way to do it, I know it is possible to go overseas and that would’ve been probably an easier option for me.

“They [the Waratahs] were looking for an experienced lock, they had a few young guys coming here. It was something that I was interested in.

“It’s quite a good young group here and they seem to be all hungry for success, and to turn last year’s results around.”

Gibson was keen to rebuild his scrum after the departure of Dean Mumm (retirement) and Will Skelton (England), and said Simmons fit the bill.

“With signing Rob we’re getting that intellectual property and leader that we need in that tight-five area,” Gibson said.

“Losing Dean Mumm and Will Skelton, it’s a big loss to the team.

“The thing that really impressed me about Rob is that he’s got a real purpose. He knows he wants to go to the World Cup, he wants to do well, he’s coming to the Waratahs with a real purpose and that’s what appealed most.

“We want Rob to be number one there. Part of his recruitment is around that development.”

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

McEnroe: ‘Kyrgios will be finished in under five years’

Wednesday, 13 March, 2019

John McEnroe claims Nick Kyrgios will be “finished in under five years” after the Canberra firebrand’s rollercoaster career continued with a shock first round exit at the US Open.
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Kyrgios claimed he “is not dedicated to the game at all” and probably never would be after completing a “diabolical” grand slam season with a dramatic defeat.

It’s a stunning twist with the fiery McEnroe set to team up with the controversial Kyrgios at the inaugural Laver Cup in September.

Kyrgios was called into Team World by captain McEnroe as an injury replacement for Milos Raonic, bringing together two of tennis’ most famed tempers.

Kyrgios complained of a “dead” shoulder during his 6-3 1-6 6-4 6-1 US Open loss to fellow Australian John Millman.

The 22-year-old says he’ll never be the guy dedicated to doing all the one-percenters and McEnroe says “Nick Kyrgios will be finished in under five years if this carries on”.

After winning an unprecedented 20 from 20 matches against lower-ranked or unseeded rivals at grand slams, Kyrgios has since suffered upset losses at five straight majors.

The world No.17 enjoyed one of his best weeks a fortnight ago when he reached his first Masters 1000 final in Cincinnati.

The US Open was set to be his big chance to go deep in a major tournament with some of the game’s biggest names missing through injury.

But Kyrgios bowed out early and he admits even he is not surprised.

“I have had a diabolical year at these slams. It doesn’t surprise me,” Kyrgios said.

“It’s just the story of my career, really. I will have good weeks; I’ll have bad weeks. It’s just a roller-coaster.”

It’s an ugly turn of events after his performance at the Cincinnati Masters had plenty of people, including former coach Todd Woodbridge, thinking Kyrgios had turned a corner.

Kyrgios made his first Masters final and having three of last year’s US Open semi-finalists ruled out made this year’s tournament a massive chance for him to make a statement.

But now he’s got little time to rue the disappointing early exit with Australia set to battle it out with Belgium in the Davis Cup semi-finals in September.

Kyrgios admits he isn’t sure if he will continue working with Frenchman Sebastien Grosjean beyond the Open.

“I don’t know, honestly. I’m not good enough for him,” Kyrgios said.

“He’s very dedicated. He’s an unbelievable coach. He probably deserves a player that is probably more dedicated to the game than I am. He deserves a better athlete than me.

“I’m not dedicated to the game at all.

“He’s helped me a lot, especially with the training, in training sessions, but there are players out there that are more dedicated, that want to get better, that strive to get better every day, [do the] the one-percenters. I’m not that guy.”

The US Open defeat continues Kyrgios’ run of outs at the tournament, with McEnroe becoming a repeat offender of criticising the youngster at the major event.

McEnroe teed off on Kyrgios when he withdrew from the US Open last year because of injury, saying: “Nick Kyrgios, if you don’t want to be a professional tennis player, do something else.”

He threw another uppercut at the Australian Open earlier this year, adding: “It’s OK to show your emotions … but when [Kyrgios] goes through those periods when he’s not competing it’s just a black eye for the sport. And it’s a black eye for him.”

Kyrgios will start his Laver Cup campaign against Marin Cilic at the three-day tournament which pits the best of Europe against Team World.

with AAP

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

Media heir Ryan Stokes sells bachelor pad he bought when he was 24

Wednesday, 13 March, 2019

Media scion Ryan Stokes cashed in on his Walsh Bay bachelor pad on Thursday morning, securing close to $7.8 million.
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Stokes, who was appointed chief executive of Seven Group two years ago, bought the three-bedroom spread atop the Pier Apartments development as a first-home buyer in 2000 for $2.95 million.

He extensively renovated the two-storey apartment in recent years with American oak flooring, a third-bedroom converted into a study and Ecosmart fireplaces to be regarded by some locals as one of the best offerings on the Pier.

He returned it to the market earlier this year with initial hopes of $9 million before launching a full marketing campaign with Michael Coombs, of McGrath Estate Agents, and Richard Shalhoub, of Sotheby’s International, with a most recent guide of $7.8 million.

Neither Coombs or Shalhoub would comment for this story, but their online ads were withdrawn on Thursday and a source tipped a result at close to the asking price.

Stokes bought a second apartment next in 2010 for $4.8 million amid reports he planned to amalgamate it with his bachelor pad, but he sold it two years later for $5.2 million.

Stokes and his new wife Claire are set to move to Darling Point where they bought the recently renovated Federation property Rilworth earlier this year as their matrimonial home. Their new home is set around the corner from the waterfront trophy home Glanworth long owned by his billionaire Seven West executive chairman father Kerry Stokes.

The couple married last December at Sydney’s historic Garden Island naval base, surrounded by 200 family and friends.

The protracted settlement on their Darling Point purchase means the newlyweds are not expected to take the keys until later this year, presumably about the same time they settle on the sale of the Walsh Bay apartment.

Stokes also heads up the group’s WesTrac heavy machinery business in China that was sold off last week for $540 million.

Related: Ryan Stokes buys $16m Darling Point home

Related: Ryan Stokes lists Walsh Bay penthouse

Related: Licence plate No. 4 sold for $2.45m

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

Woodlands boy denied photos

Wednesday, 13 March, 2019

Request: Hunter man Stephen Stackman at his home. A judge in 2015 found Mr Stackman and his former wife not guilty of sexually abusing three boys at Woodlands boys’ home, West Wallsend, in the 1970s. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers.A HUNTER man found not guilty of sexually assaulting three young boys during holiday breaks from a West Wallsend boys’ home in the 1970s has refused a man’s requests for childhood photos from the boys’ home era.
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“He’s not getting them. Not after what he’s put me through,” said Stephen Stackman, who was found not guilty in 2015 of 11 offences against the boys from the United Protestant Association’s Woodlands boys’ home, including buggery. His former wife Margaret Hartnell was also found not guilty of the offences.

A Newcastle District Court judge on August 14 lifted non-publication orders that prevented their names from being published, after an application by the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions following nearly two years of requests by one of the former Woodlands boys who alleged he was sexually abused.

Mr Stackman confirmed he had childhood photos of the man who pushed for the suppression orders to be lifted. Mr Stackman said his solicitor relayed the man’s requests for the photos, which he rejected.

The former Woodlands boy’s wife said he had one photo from his childhood, taken at Woodlands.

“He’s about eight years old and he’s up against a wall, obviously upset. We have nothing else. We don’t have a photo of him smiling as a child,” she said. The former Woodlands boy and his wife cannot be identified.

The trial heard photos were taken in 1978 when Mr Stackman and his former wife offered to take Woodlands boys for the Christmas break, and showed Stackman family gatherings at Gloucester and West Wallsend.

NSW District Court Acting Judge Peter Garling found Mr Stackman and MsHartnell not guilty in a judgment where he noted there was “no doubt these were vulnerable children with no family support and were easy targets”.

Legacy: Boys from Woodlands boys’ home in the 1970s.

“I have to say when I consider all these matters there is a strong suspicion that the accused committed each of these offences,” Judge Garling said, before noting that “strong suspicion”was not “beyond reasonable doubt”.

He was “impressed with the boys’ evidence” and there was “no substantial challenge to what they said in those statements and their evidence as to the sexual acts”, which were “of an unusual type” because they allegedly involved MrStackman and his former wife.

“The behaviour of which the boys gave evidence was of an unusual sexual behaviour, that is, both husband and wife acting together to abuse the boys. They were acting so as each of the accused were obtaining sexual pleasure. That is not a simple version as we often hear in this court. This is far more complex and unusual. Yet the boys gave evidence of a similar nature. There was no evidence that they had got together to tell a similar story. Each, as I understand the evidence, independently gave their versions with most unusual facts, and they are not easy versions to give,” Judge Garling said.

He also noted some evidence by Ms Hartnell was “most unimpressive and troubled me”, and questioned why she visitedone of the former Woodlands boys after 20 years “to see if he was also going to complain”, following child sex complaints by two other boys.

“It could be argued that she did that because she knew he had been sexually assaulted,” Judge Garling said.

He found Mr Stackman and his former wife not guilty after noting that “the most important matter to consider is delay in complaint and any forensic disadvantage to the accused”.

“The delay is very extensive.. of about 24 or 26 years,” Judge Garling said.

“During that time the accused had no opportunity to collect evidence which may have assisted in their defence. If the complainants had drawn it to their attention, say, within five years, it would have allowed them to look for evidence which may have provided a complete defence, or at least evidence which would have thrown doubt on the boys’ evidence,” he said.

At his home on Wednesday Mr Stackman said he and his former wife took Woodlands boys camping and on outings to give them a break from the home over the summer holidays.

“We accepted them as family,” he said.

The former Woodlands boy and his wife who pressed for the lifting of the non-publication order said they were devastated at the trial’s outcome, but encouraged all victims of child sexual abuse to report allegations to police.

“With everything we’ve been through I would still encourage people to come forward. We would like to thank Lake Macquarie detectives at Belmont, and particularly Detective Sandy who took our statements because they supported us the whole way through,” the former Woodlands boy and his wife said.

“We wanted the non-publication order lifted because we have an open system of justice in Australia. The judge several weeks ago accepted that the order should be lifted.”

Fate of missing 18th century explorer could lie in Great Barrier Reef

Wednesday, 13 February, 2019

It’s the high-seas mystery that’s confounded historians for almost 200 years: what happened to the famous French navigator Comte de La Pérouse
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La Pérouse disappeared without a trace in 1788 – along with two ships and 225 officers, sailors and scientists – while exploring the Pacific for King Louis XVI. Now, a Canberra researcher says the answer to this cold case could lie at the bottom of the Great Barrier Reef.

Anthropologist Dr Garrick Hitchcock of the Australian National University believes he has stumbled across a clue suggesting the last survivors of La Pérouse’s voyage were wrecked on the “graveyard of ships” – the Great Barrier Reef, near Murray Island.

Portrait of French explorer La Pérouse. Photo: ANU

“La Pérouse’s voyage of discovery in the Pacific is recognised as one of the most important of its era, rivalled only by the work of Cook,” Dr Hitchcock said.

But, after setting out in 1785, La Pérouse’s ships Astrolabe and Boussole were both wrecked three years later on Vanikoro in the Solomon Islands.

The survivors who made it to shore spent several months constructing a small “two-masted craft” from timber salvaged in the shipwreck and launched it in a bid to return to France.

“What became of this ship and its crew, desperate to return to France, has been an ongoing mystery,” Dr Hitchcock said.

Portrait of French explorer La Pérouse. Photo: ANU

On his way to the guillotine in 1793, it’s said King Louis XVI himself asked: “Is there news of La Pérouse?”

It was while digging into the history of Torres Strait that Dr Hitchcock came across a new lead – an article published in an 1818 Indian newspaper, The Madras Courier.

It tells the story of Shaik Jumaul, a castaway Indian seaman who survived the sinking of Morning Star off the coast of north Queensland in 1814. Jumaul lived on Murray Island for four years before being rescued by a merchant ship.

He told his rescuers he had seen muskets and cutlasses on the islands, which he didn’t recognise as being of English make, as well as a compass and a gold watch.

When he asked the Islanders how they came across these things, they told him a ship had been wrecked off the Great Barrier Reef, in sight of the island, about 30 years earlier.

New clue may reveal the fate of famous French explorer Comte de La Perouse. Photo: ANU

Boats with crew had come ashore but they were eventually killed as fights broke out with the locals.

“The chronology is spot on,” Dr Hitchcock said. “It was 30 years earlier, in late 1788 or early 1789, that the La Pérouse survivors left Vanikoro in their small vessel.”

According to Jumal’s account, the only survivor of the shipwreck was a small boy, who was saved and brought up by the local people “as one of their own”.

Outlining his theory in The Journal of Pacific History, Dr Hitchcock wonders if that child could be Françoiss Mordelle, a ship’s boy from northwestern France listed in the La Pérouse expedition crew list.

He said historians and maritime archaeologists were not aware of any other European ship being in the region at the time.

“This means that this is the earliest known shipwreck in Torres Strait, and indeed, eastern Australia.”

While the article was later reproduced in newspapers throughout Britain, France and Australia, where observers noted the parallels to the La Pérouse expedition, it has largely been forgotten and its clues missed.

Dr Hitchcock now hopes a future recovery of artefacts from the wreck site – yet to be discovered on the Great Barrier Reef – could solve the mystery of the doomed voyage once and for all.

Studded with reefs, rocks and sandbars, the Torres Strait region has seen at least 120 ships come to grief in its waters.

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

Couple flip out over home renovations

Wednesday, 13 February, 2019

Couple flip out over home renovations SMART: Serial renovators Aaron and Shona Edwards have started a business “flipping” properties to improve their sale value. Picture: Marina Neil
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BEFORE: Aaron and Shona Edwards performed a “strategic makeover” of 20 Grayson Street, Kotara in a “stressful” but “rewarding” six-week period.

AFTER: Aaron Edwards has a knack for visualising an improved layout and says seeing the finished product is a huge reward for the effort.

BEFORE: 20 Grayson Street, Kotara

AFTER: 20 Grayson Street, Kotara

BEFORE: 20 Grayson Street, Kotara

AFTER: 20 Grayson Street, Kotara

BEFORE: 20 Grayson Street, Kotara

AFTER: 20 Grayson Street, Kotara

BEFORE: 20 Grayson Street, Kotara

BEFORE: 20 Grayson Street, Kotara

AFTER: 20 Grayson Street, Kotara

BEFORE: 20 Grayson Street, Kotara

AFTER: 20 Grayson Street, Kotara

BEFORE: 20 Grayson Street, Kotara

AFTER: 20 Grayson Street, Kotara

BEFORE: 20 Grayson Street, Kotara

AFTER: 20 Grayson Street, Kotara

BEFORE: 20 Grayson Street, Kotara

AFTER: 20 Grayson Street, Kotara

BEFORE: 20 Grayson Street, Kotara

AFTER: 20 Grayson Street, Kotara

BEFORE: 20 Grayson Street, Kotara

AFTER: 20 Grayson Street, Kotara

TweetFacebookThe Block, but in fact Fletcher husband-and-wife renovation team Aaron and Shona Edwards do it witha lot lessdrama.

The Fletcher couple have been “flipping houses” for the past 11 years.

It started with what they thought would be “an investment property” in Brisbane and turned into a passion.

Now, nine transformed houses later, they have started their own renovation and staging business, Smart Makeover.

They found, unlike many people who swear they will never renovate again after their first attempt, they loved it.

“We did really well out of our first property,” Mr Edwardssaid.“It was owned by a hoarder, so there was that much stuff in it and it had been on the market for about six weeks with no offers.

“People would walk in and be overwhelmed and just walk straight out. I could see the potential in the property whereas others couldn’t, so we got that cheap.

“We went through and did minor cosmetic renovations and did really well out of it.”

Their most recent project, at 20 Grayson Street, Kotara, looks set to be their most successful.

The pair gave themselves a six-week period to transform thehome they bought in 2015. They have just listed it with PRDnationwide Newcastle and Lake Macquarie and it will be taken to auction by Michael Hardy on September 24. The couple hope to clear $250,000 in profit.

“Our two biggest secrets arebuy under market value and do a smart makeover,” Mrs Edwards said.

“Most have been short. There was only one we did which was a 12-month renovation and we lived in it. That one was tough and we won’t do that again.”

They have learned new “tricks and hacks” along the way and have started a blog sharing them for people doingDIY renovations.

“There are always possible blowouts,” Mrs Edwards, a trained primary school teacher, said.

“One property we pulled out the kitchen and the whole floor was just wet and had to be started again, so you never know exactly what you’re going to get, and it’s a challenge.

“This last one was stressful, I’m not going to lie, but we loved it, andI feel like I’m living my passion now. I thoroughly enjoyed it.”

There was only one bone of contention –a shelving issue in the laundry which they transformed into a butler’s pantry.

But other than that they agree “we think a lot alike” and the end result is always worth the effort.

“My passion is turning it around, just from the original house to the finished product,” Mr Edwards said.“Seeing that is great.I love it.”

They will use their latest project to show clients what can be done in a short time frame.

“A lot of people overcapitalise,” Mr Edwards, a maritime worker,said.

“A lot of people go in without knowing the market to which they are renovating to.They do it to their expectations or their style.

“We’ve done well out of what we’ve done and we’ve learned from our mistakes.

“The 12-month project, it blew out, so that’s where we decided to hone in on timings. We overcapitalised because that was going to be our forever house … we did things to our standard there that exceeded market expectations, so it ate into our profit when we sold.

“That gave us that little bit of education.”

Fly beyond the cloud

Wednesday, 13 February, 2019

Focus: “Life can be broader once you discover that the world we live in was made up by people no smarter or special than yourself,” says GreenBe founder David Catalovski.
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GreenBe is on Westpac’s top 200 Australian “Business of Tomorrow” list. What does it do?

GreenBe is a game-changing tech startup, and the onlysoftware solution of its kind in Australia. The cloud software is helping governmentsand utilities, such as councils and energy companies, todeliver transformative digital solutions that connect,engage and inspire citizensto change their behaviours. For example, the award-winning City of Melbourne web and smartphone apps (seemelbourne.greenmoney南京夜网419论坛) we provided have allowed the City of Melbourne to deliver a localised sustainability rewards and education platform allowingresidents, city workers and students to earn points in their online account for taking simple green actions like ditching the car or using a reusable coffee cup. Member points are then redeemed at businesses (which provide ‘rewards’), for city-wide discounts on restaurant meals, entertainment and services.

Name a recent project?

We worked with a Western Sydney local government with 110,000 household customers.Government is viewed as notoriously slow to embrace technology, so we were starting from a low base, but it has really transformed their entire digital experience into a Google-esque organisation with seamless services and programs for ratepayers.

And the outcomes?

They transformed into an innovative customer-focused organisation. The Googles and Amazons of the world have raised the bar for all types of industries; organisations now focus on the total customer experience and government is no different. Everyone now understands the difference between a great and poor customer experience.

You did law and commerce at the University of Newcastle. Your first job?

I was in a similar situation to many Newcastle graduates. I wanted to stay close to home but the lack of opportunities forced me to move to Sydney where I started as a graduate for a large national firm. Coming from a regional town, I had the pleasure of finding myself in courtbefore judges and briefing barristers after my second week. It was a steep learning curve but gave me confidence and I discovered what I was capable of professionally. Had I stayed locally, I may not have.

Why did you start GreenBe?

I was quite comfortable as a lawyer but I just couldn’t see myself doing it for the next 30-plusyears. I knew I could use my problem solving and analytical skills to start a firm that could tackle real world problems rather than representing faceless corporates. I had been an early adopter when it came to technology, having my first computer from a young age and it just came naturally. Building a software company was the logical step outside of law.

Your core demand?

The software business is quite binary: your solution either solves a problem for your client or it doesn’t. Most of our demand comes from government and utilities that are leaders on the innovation front and trying to push things forward to get an edge on competitors.

Is competition stiff?

Software is a winner takes all market. That said, government software is even more competitive as it’s dominated by the Oracles, IBMs and Microsofts of the world who have unlimited resources. Looking back, I guess it was my Novocastrian naivety that led us to believe that we could build complex software solutions and work with large organisations. It’s a lesson to anyone who is held back by a fear of failure – we miss 100 per cent of the opportunities we don’t take.

Is your software unique?

We’re in a niche space in Australia as we don’t have many competitors and the barriers to entry are high with government and utilities. Each customer is unique and some involve a lengthy tender process. Often clients needbespoke customisations.It would be easier if our solutions were a simple tool that does something specific, but our solutions are complex because businesses are complex.

Hardest part of work?

You constantly need to be innovating to build a competitive edge, especially when you’re competing against Fortune 500 companies.The minute you stop, you stop delivering value to customers. Every day we ask how can we improve what we deliver to make customers’ lives easier and improve their emotional experience so they remember how we made them feel.

The most rewarding?

Working with amazing young people who have a passion for the work they’re doing to the point of obsession. It’s a key reason why we opened an office in Newcastle’s CBD. We want to tap into the enormous amount of local talent coming out of the Hunter.

Best advice in business?

The same advice you can apply in life. At school, I was taught to get a job, save, don’t rock the boat too much and do that for 50 years. But life can be much broader once you realise the world we live in was made up by people no smarter or special than yourself. If you’re willing to work andconstantly learn, you can change and influence it, and build your own things that change lives. Once you learn that, you’ll never look at the world the same again.

David Catalovski

Das Hund Haus raffle winner’s last minute gamble pays off

Wednesday, 13 February, 2019

Cheers: James Sneddon with Guy Ashford, his wife Lisa and their son Rhys, who will “have to get his RSA”. Picture: Marina NeilFORMER 2HD general manager Guy Ashford is the new owner of Das Hund Haus, after buying the winning ticket ina raffle for the Hamilton business just hours before it was drawn.
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‘’It’s surreal, never in my wildest dreams did I think I would win,” Mr Ashford said.

“Ï’ve never won a chook raffle –I’ll spend $17 on Lotto and feel good getting $5.20 back. This is absolutely the best $25 I’ve ever spent.”

Mr Ashford, a married father of two who is now regional manager for Bartercard, bought the $25 two-for-one meal voucher –which gave buyers five free entries into the lottery to win the restaurant and bar plus $30,000 cash – about three hours before sales closed at 5pm on Thursday.

“We [my colleagues and I] were joking if we won we would not be coming to work tomorrow,” Mr Ashfordsaid.

“Then I went home, had tea, put the jammies on and was in front of the tv –I forgotall about tonight.”

Das Hund Haus founder James Sneddon uploaded a file of the names of all12,621 voucher buyersto website random.org, which selected Mr Ashford as winner around 8pm.

Calls and text messages started trickling in, including from one friend in Brisbane who learnt of the win via someone following the campaign online in London.

“I decided I better get down here,” Mr Ashford said.

“We’re not going to talk business tonight, we’re just going to celebrate.

“I’ve got no idea what I’m going to do, I’ve never run a restaurant before.

“I’ll be waking up on Friday and going online to check I hadn’t just been eating too much chocolate, which gives me weird dreams.”

The business was raffled with 33 months on the lease, no debts andless than 20 litres of alcohol.

The liquor licence will be transferred to the new owner.

TheNewcastle Heraldreported in April Mr Sneddon had decided to sell the business by raffle after Australian couple Doug and Sally Beitz raffledtheir Micronesian island resort.

Hesaid he had listed the business – which he estimated was valued at between $150,000 and $225,000 –for $200,000 earlier this year, but was unable to reach a deal.

Mr Sneddonsecured a permit from Liquor and Gaming NSW to hold a trade promotion to sell the $25 vouchers.

He will spend the money he collected from voucher sales developing his new business Stigma Health, an online sexual health clinic

The sale comes in the middle of a big week for the entrepreneur.

He and fiancee Pip Cave were told on Wednesday they were expecting a baby boy, due March, and he will mark his 30thon Sunday.

Creek triggers missing from flood plan

Wednesday, 13 February, 2019

Colin Webb, Robin Macdonald and Brian Wilson died during the superstorm that hit Dungog on April 21, 2015. An inquest into their deaths began at Newcastle Courthouse on August 29, 2015.Dungog’s new flood plan doesn’t outline the flash flood trigger points for the creek that caused a major inundationduring the 2015 superstorm, a court has heard.
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But the State Emergency Service says it will work with Dungog Shire Council to update the plan, which went on public exhibition earlier this year.

SES Hunter Region controller Stephen Hart gave evidence on the fourth day of the inquest into the deaths of Colin Webb, 79, Robin Macdonald, 68, and Brian Wilson, 72, at Newcastle courthouse on Thursday.

The trio died during a flood on the morning of April 21.

The court heard that the flash flood started at 5.05am after Myall Creek backed up.

The Williams River did not peak until after the flash flood.

But the court heard that the new Dungog flood plan principally dealtwith triggers –or causes –behind river flooding.

The planmakes several references to Myall Creek and points out that it can flood independently of the Williams River.

However, the court heard the plan doesn’t include information about the creek’s trigger points.

Mr Hart said the SES was preparing a flash flood action card for the Myall Creek and would work with council to update the 2017 flood plan.

The inquest, before Deputy State Coroner Teresa O’Sullivan, continues.


Wheelie bin superstorm rescues ‘extraordinary’

Dungog superstorm 1-in-1000-year event

SUPERSTORM 2015: The Hunter from ahelicopter | PHOTOS

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SUPERSTORM 2015: East Coast Low smashes Maitland and Lower Hunter | MAP, VIDEO, PHOTOS

Creek triggers missing from flood plan TweetFacebookTHE ’55 FLOOD: Dozens of images from the deadly incident of 1955

SUPERSTORM 2015: Gridlock on Maitland roads | PHOTOS

SUPERSTORM 2015: Premier’s emergency visit | VIDEO

Dungog flood inquest likely