Wangi RSL jetty falling apart

Wangi jetty in ruins PATCHY: Wangi RSL Club’s treasurer Ross Ahrens on the jetty that he says is in a poor state of repair and is in dire need of replacing for the benefit of the broader community. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

BLOCKED OFF: Part of the Wangi RSL Club jetty that can no longer be used because of damaged and decaying decking. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

BROKEN: A floating concrete finger wharf at the Wangi RSL Club jetty that has been taped off because it is damaged. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Wangi RSL Club treasurer Ross Ahrens on the damaged and decaying jetty. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers.

Part of the damaged Wangi RSL Club jetty. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

A gap in the decking on the Wangi RSL Club jetty.

Wangi RSL Club treasurer Ross Ahrens on the damaged and decaying jetty. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers.

TweetFacebookHerald along the jetty, he pointed out it was a walk through damage and decay. Wooden sheets covered gaps in the deck. A walker recently had a plank give way beneath him, Mr Ahrens said. Cleats had been torn from kick rails, and most of thefinger wharves had been blocked off, because they were too dangerous to use. Only a fewboats remained in berths that were deemed usable.

“It’s sad, totally sad, Mr Ahrens said as he surveyed the jetty.

The club has had plans into Lake Macquarie City Councilto extend and upgrade the jetty. The council has given approval for work on the existing jetty, but Mr Ahrens said “it’s gone beyond repair”.

“You’ve got to rip the whole thing out and do it again,” he said.

Wangi RSL is grappling with how to pay for a new jetty. MrAhrens estimatedit would cost between $1 million and$1.2million to build it.Theclub has had some lean years, and it doesn’t have the moneyto replace it, so it has been looking at other funding options. It has considered the possibility of an external developer and manager to lease the facility. Anotheroptionis government funding through the NSWBoating Now program, which the club is applying for.

But Ross Ahrens said under that funding arrangement, the club would have to come up with 25 per cent, or about $250,000. Which is why he has proposed an accompanying option: to sell the land the sailing club occupies.

The sailing club, which has been abase of Olympic gold medallistsNathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen and the venue for many national regattas, has a 99-year ‘peppercorn’ lease with the RSL, with about 73 years to run.Mr Borgert said the sailing club would like to further secure its future by buying the block, if it became available.

“We’d be looking at it favourably,” he said. “We are in a position [to buy], subject to the price.”

The sailing club is also keen to see the RSL’s jetty replaced. The club’s coaching and rescue boat is berthed there, and the jetty’s finger wharf is heavily used during regattas.

“If the RSL didn’t have a jetty, we’d have to put in temporary berthing,” Mr Borgert said.

Although it was the club’s responsibility to maintain the jetty, it was a community asset, Mr Ahrens said. Boats from all over the lake frequently used it to access the nearby shopping area. However, the income from the jetty, by leasing overnight berths, brought in only about $15,000 annually for the club.

“Is there an equivalent for a single club standing alone and doing it all for a community wharf?,” Mr Ahrens asked.

He said the club had asked Lake Macquarie City Council for financial support, “but the answer was they could not justify three wharves in the one area”. There is a jetty on thesouthern shore, at Dobell Park, and another in front ofWangi Workers Club, at the head of the bay.

A spokeswoman for the council said it did not provide funding for the improvement of assets it did not own. However, she said the council had advised Wangi RSL on potential funding opportunitiesand would assist by providing a letter of support for the club’s application to the NSWgovernment.

Julian Borgert argued the council should be more supportive, given how much the general public usedthe RSL jetty.

“They [the council] can sit back and say it’s an asset of the RSL, but it’s not a private marina with security gate access to it,” he said.“We struggle big time to get anything funded [by the council] down here.”

Ross Ahrens said the club would most likely have to close off the main part of the jetty by the end of March.It would also have to spend about $20,000 to repair an adjoining wharf, so that the boating community still had some access to the shore.

“I think it’s a detriment now, more than an asset,” Mr Ahrens said.

Please explain: ABC says Pauline Hanson’s One Nation election night lockout threatens democracy

An ABC journalist is locked out of the One Nation after party tonight and is forced to file his stories from the bowling green.Pic:Tony McDonough . Saturday 11th March 2017 Photo: Tony McDonoughThe ABC has demanded an explanation from Pauline Hanson’s One Nation Party after its reporters were blocked from attending election celebrations on Saturday, describing the move as an attack on independent media.

ABC reporters were locked out of a West n election night event in Perth, as a controversial preference deal with the Liberal Party and Senator Hanson’s comments on vaccinations and praise for Russian president Vladimir Putin saw One Nation’s message all but drowned out.

Other journalists, including a reporter from Fairfax Media, were allowed to attend the event, prompting ABC editorial director Alan Sunderland to ask why his staff had been singled out.

In a statement on Tuesday, Mr Sunderland said party officials had claimed all media had been treated appropriately, with a pool camera arrangement for TV crews in place inside the function.

“Other media representatives from a range of organisations attended on the night without any prior arrangements or permission being required,” Mr Sunderland said.

“Those other media representatives, who included broadcasters, agencies and newspaper reporters from inside and outside Western , were granted immediate access to the event.

“The ABC was denied access, and was treated differently to all other media.”

One Nation officials did not respond to requests for comment.

Mr Sunderland defended the ABC’s coverage during the election campaign, describing it as “accurate, impartial and independent”.

“If the ABC has been denied normal access to political events for simply doing its job, then that is an attack not just on the public broadcaster but on the fundamental role of the media in a democracy,” he said.

“We will continue, as we always have, to report without fear or favour.”

One Nation’s projected vote in the state reached just 4.8 per cent in the lower house, well short of earlier predictions of a 13 per cent vote. Despite the disappointment, Senator Hanson declared the result to be “fantastic” on Monday.

She blamed Labor for spooking voters over the Liberal preference deal.

Labor recorded a landslide win over Colin Barnett’s Liberals, with new premier Mark McGowan expected to be sworn in this week.

On Twitter, One Nation Queensland senator Malcolm Roberts said the ABC’s coverage was unbalanced.

“ABC refuses our party right of reply so we refuse your right of entry,” he said.

Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance chief executive officer Paul Murphy said in a statement denying the ABC normal access to political events was an attack on the public broadcaster and the role of the media.

“There has been understandable outrage at the Trump administration’s vendetta against CNN, The New York Times and several other outlets in the US, and what happened in Perth on Saturday night shows we must be just as vigilant about press freedom here in .”

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Celebrity Solstice cruises into Newcastle harbourphotos

Celebrity Solstice cruises into the harbour | photos, video INSTA @princesskim88 @celebritycruises arriving into Newcastle Harbour this morning. #celebritysolstice #celebritycruises #cruiseship #newcastlensw

Celebrity Solstice from 2000 feet, sailing out of storm into port. Picture: Tim Bohlsen

Picture: Gordon Laffan

Picture: Gordon Laffan

INSTA @princesskim88 The #celebritysolstice coming to Newcastle past #nobbyslighthouse this morning. @celebritycruises @nobbyslighthouse @newcastlenowbia #newcastlensw #cruiseship #celebritycruises #celebritysolstice #visitnewcastle #newcastlensw #newcastlenow

INSTA @illshootya Celebrity Solstice cruising into Newcastle as dawn breaks #celebritysolstice #newcastlensw #myabcphoto #newcastlelive #newcastlemirage #smartartistpromotions #cruise #cruiseship #nikon #dawn #surfboat #rowing #mynewcastle #australia

INSTA @oceansoulsanctum Harbour view 🚢⚓️ #newcastlensw

INSTA @kmackayphotography The amazing Celebrity Solstice coming into Newcastle this morning! #CelebritySolstice #Newcastle #NewcastleNSW #Newcastlelifestyle #Queenswharfhotel #Cathedral

Ruth and David Johnson of Redhead watch cruise ship The World arrive in Newcastle. Picture by Peter Stoop

Radiance of the Seas in Newcastle on January 14 2015. Picture by Peter Stoop

The Shortland ferry passes Rhapsody of the Seas in Newcastle on February 18 2015. Picture by Phil Hearne

Celebrity Solstice entering the port of Newcastle on March 9 2014: Picture by Darren Pateman

Celebrity Solstice visiting Newcastle in March 2014. Picture by Darren Pateman

The view from inside Celebrity Solstice, which was the biggest cruise ship to visit Newcastle when it arrived in March 2014. Picture by Simone De Peak

The Celebrity Solstice’s main dining hall. Picture by Simone De Peak

Staff water the Lawn Club atop Celebrity Solstice in March 2014. Picture by Simone De Peak

An adults-only solarium aboard the Celebrity Solstice. Picture by Simone De Peak

Onlookers farewell Celebrity Solstice as it leaves Newcastle on March 9 2014. Picture by Eddie O’Reilly

Coal ship Ocean Dragon enters Newcastle harbour, where Radiance of the Seas (top left) is docked on January 14 2015. Picture by Peter Stoop

Celebrity Solstice in Newcastle harbour on its second visit to the city on March 13 2015. Picture by Ryan Osland

The Pacific Sun docked in Carrington in February 2012. Picture by Darren Pateman

Spirit of Adventure leaves Newcastle in December 2011. Picture by Phil Hearne

Spirit of Adventure off Nobbys in December 2011. Picture by Phil Hearne

Pacific Sun leaving Newcastle on October 28 2010. Picture by Jonathan Carroll

Arcadia Vale’s Tony Armstrong and Tighes Hill’s Sharon Oakley watch Crystal Serenity coast out of Newcastle in February 2012. Picture by Peter Stoop

The Dawn Princess passes Stockton on March 7 2010. Picture by Jonathan Carroll

Lani and Sasha Holz and Gabrielle and Amelie Bourke, all of Merewether, farewell the Seven Seas Mariner on March 27 2009. Picture by Natalie Grono

Onlookers at a cafe outside the cruise terminal on September 8 2010. Picture by Stuart Quinn.

Sun Princess leaves Nobbys on October 18 2009. Picture by Jonathan Carroll

The Pacific Sun off Nobbys in September 2010. Picture by Darren Pateman

Silver Shadow in Port Stephens in 2006. Picture by Kitty Hill

Pacific Sun at Dyke Point shortly before dawn on September 8 2010. Picture by Darren Pateman

Kurri Kurri’s Ji Forbes, 7, fishes as the cruise ship Millennium departs in 2009. Picture by Ryan Osland

The Silver Whisper laves Newcastle in January 2009. Picture by Darren Pateman

Cruise ship Mercury leaves Newcastle on December 21 2007. Picture by Dean Osland

Cruise ship Mercury leaves Newcastle on December 21 2007. Picture by Dean Osland

Cruise ship Mercury leaves Newcastle on December 21 2007. Picture by Dean Osland

Cruise ship Mercury leaves Newcastle on December 21 2007. Picture by Dean Osland

The Pacific Sun leaves Newcastle harbour on September 8 2010. Picture: Stuart Quinn

Pacific Star passes Nobbys on November 27 2007. Picture by David Wicks

Millennium leaves Newcastle harbour in January 2009. Picture by Ryan Osland

The Sun Princess, as seen from Carrington on October 18 2009. Picture by Kitty Hill

Millennium leaves Newcastle in January 2009. Picture by Ryan Osland

Onlookers watch The World arrive in Newcastle harbour. Picture by Peter Stoop

Cruise ship Mercury arrives. Picture by David Wicks

Pacific Star visits Newcastle in 2007. Picture by David Wicks

Cruise ship The World enters Newcastle on September 13 2006. Picture by David Wicks

The World’s captain Daj Saevic on the bridge as The World visits Newcastle in March 2003. Picture by Peter Stoop

Volendam in Newcastle harbour in March 2010. Picture by Anita Jones

The Silver Whisper leaves Newcastle in January 2009. Picture by Darren Pateman

Silver Shadow in Newcastle harbour on February 19 2004. Picture by Ryan Osland

Rhapsody of the Seas in February 2013. Picture by Peter Stoop

The Pacific Sun sneaks into Newcastle Harbour at dawn in September 2010. Picture by Darren Pateman

The Pacific Sun arrives in September 2010. Picture by Darren Pateman

The Radiance of the Seas leaves Newcastle in October 2013. Picture by Simone De Peak

TweetFacebook Cruising in the harbourThe cruise ship season is well and truly underway in Newcastle harbour.

Everyone’s eyes were on the Celebrity Solstice on Tuesday morning as she cruised in at 8am.

The ship, with nearly 3000 on board, will depart the city at 5pm.

Have a photo of the Celebrity Solstice? Share it with us on Instagram or email [email protected]成都夜网.au.

Parents organise year 10 formal for Belmont High students

Fun: Formal organisers and parents Emma Ginn, Marcia Brunner and Kathy Price with their daughters’ dresses. Picture: Max Mason-HubersIT’S the night when high school students are encouraged to swap text books for glamorous looks in a celebration of their hard work.


So when Belmont High parents found out the school had decided not to hold a formal for year 10 students, they mobilised to organise one of their own.

Coordinator Emma Ginn said 103 students –between half and three quarters of the year – had registered to attend the formal at Fort Scratchley on Thursday.

“It will be great for the kids,” Ms Ginn said.

“They’re all very excited about it and looking forward to the night.

“They were all quite upset when they found out there was not going to be a year 10 formal.

“They weretalking non-stop saying ‘We have to organise our own one’ and ‘We can’t not have a formal’.”

Ms Ginn said she understood several schools had decided to skip year 10 formals.

“The school has said that the majority of students go on to year 12 now so therefore it’s not as important, because they have the year 12 formal,” she said.

“They’ve alsohadbehaviourmanagement systems and the kids that have had negative [results] would not be allowed to the formal and it would end up some were excluded.”

A Department of Education spokesperson said the decision to arrange a formalwas up to each individual school.

“Since the end of the School Certificate and extension of the school leaving age, the end of year 10 has been seen as less of a milestone and fewer schools have arranged year 10 formals.”

But Ms Ginn said there were still several students leaving to pursue traineeships, apprenticeships or studies elsewhere.

“Year seven to 10 is a really important time and not everyone is going on,” she said.

“It’s nice to recognise they have worked so hard through their junior years and for those who aren’t continuing to acknowledge the end of their formal high school years.

“For those who are going on, it’s about symbolising their move into senior years.

“Year 11 and 12 can be filled with stress and exams and pressure and it’s nice to celebrate before they spend the next two years studying and working really hard.”

A parent who has since left the school started organising the event in June and Ms Ginn took the reins in August.

She said she used roll call lists to ensure everyone –including in the special education unit – wasinvited.

She set up a Facebook event page and polls to gauge student preferences on the menu and decorations.

“It’s their night, I’m just the facilitator.

“They led on what they wanted.

“I didn’t go on to year 11and I appreciated the chance to say goodbye to my year group and mark the end of my formal schooling.

“It’s a tradition and I didn’t want these students to miss out.”

Ms Ginn and eight other parents will supervise the event alongside two security guards.

University of Newcastle receives SAGE Athena SWAN Bronze Award for work towards gender equity

University of Newcastle Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research & Innovation) Professor Deb Hodgson.THE University of Newcastle’s efforts and commitment to improving gender equity and diversity has earned it a unique higher education sector award.


UON was one of 15 universities and research institutes from across the country to be named on Wednesday night as recipients of aSAGEAthena SWAN Bronze Award.

The SAGE(Science in Gender Equity) program–which was adapted from the UK’s Athena SWAN (Scientific Women’s Academic Network) Charter– aims to improve gender equity and diversity in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine (STEMM) across thehigher education and research sector.

UON created a self-assessment team of staff and students that has spent two years identifying gaps between policy and practice as well asgender and diversity issues within the organisation.

The team’s detailed reportand four-year action plan to address the identified issues was submitted in March this year as part of the application for bronze accreditation.

Pro Vice-Chancellor, Research and Innovation, and team leader Professor Deb Hodgson said achieving the first level accreditationwas an“historic and important milestone” in the journey to achievegender equity.

“We should be proud of the steady progress we are making to create real change,” she said.

“We have more than 80 actions in our four-year plan, such as the establishment of key leadership roles, including the inaugural Women in STEMM Chair [Professor Billie Bonevski] and five new Assistant Deans Equity and Diversity roles.”

Other ideas include setting KPIs for STEMM faculties withlow representation of women and engaging leaders and staff through promotion of the newly-announced Gender Equality Leadership Pledge.

Harbour the hub for 2019 sailing spectacle

SAILING HUB: Newcastle has hosted many sailing events, including the Newcastle to Port Stephens Race.Newcastle Cruising Yacht Club and Port Hunter Sailing Club are joining forces to bring the harbour alive next March.


Newcastle Harbour has been synonymous with sailing for many years, staging the first organised regatta way back in 1834. By all accounts, that first regatta was three years prior to Sydney’s Day Regatta, regarded as the world’s oldest sailing event.

For the inaugural Newcastle Harbour Regatta, butcher boats competed in competition, with a carnival atmosphere hosted on the foreshore. That vision of fun and friendly sailing has inspired the revitalisation of the event for 2019, with a new opportunity to embrace the past and showcase the region.

To be billed as Sail Newcastle, the event will incorporate the historic Newcastle Harbour Regatta and equally iconic Cock of the Harbour Race, with kite-surfing, one-design dinghy and sportsboat racing, classic timber sailing vessels, and an offshore series for bluewater ocean racers all in the mix.

Organisers have proposed a preliminary March 30 to 31,2019, date for the inaugural regatta, to be hosted by the Newcastle Cruising Yacht Club. This timing avoids clashes with existing events in the traditional sailing season, which are pre-arranged well in advance by classes and clubs. In turn, it will attract a larger and higher quality fleet, including a strong contingent of TP52 ocean racing competitors from Sydney Harbour.

Newcastle Cruising Yacht Club has previously hosted the n IRC Championships and NSW Country Yachting Championship, and will soon host the newly formed TP52 circuit for a race. The club also provides organisational expertise and resources to Corlette Point Sailing Club in conducting the annual Sail Port Stephens, NSW’s fastest-growing regatta over the past 12 years. The Notice of Race for Sail Port Stephens 2019 has been posted, and will include a cruising Non-Spinnaker class, plus a Jeanneau Division to the Commodores Cup. The event will also welcome trailer-sailer/traileryacht classes.

REBEL WITH A CAUSE: The latest offering from SACS will arrive down under in the new year.

With more than 360 affiliated sailing clubs and 65,000 registered on-water members nationally, the long-term objective of the event will be to draw a higher percentage of interstate and international competitors and establish Sail Newcastle as a premiere sailing event in NSW.

Events being conducted by Port Hunter Sailing Club will be brought under the Sail Newcastle marketing umbrella to build awareness and increased participation and attendance of sailing events in the Hunter ahead of proposed Volvo Ocean Race hosting bid. Newcastle has been identified as a potential host city for the round-the-world yacht race in 2021, after becoming a viable location for major sporting events.

Newcastle Harbour is a perfect amphitheatre for spectating, allowing visitors to stroll the Foreshore and watch everything from dinghy sailing and model yachts under lights, to Olympic class boats and skiffs duelling in the Honeysuckle Basin, and grand prix ocean racing directly off Newcastle Beach.

Jack O’Rourke is a contributor to Ocean MediaSUBVERSIVE CHARACTERThe yard well known for its durable and versatile RIBs, SACS has unleashed its latest model, the Rebel 40.

Built with a high performance hull and sturdy tubes, the Rebel 40 delivers safety and comfort in an exciting ride. It includes a wide bathing platform in the aft, complete with huge folding sun beds, two comfortable chaise lounges and a soft sundeck towards the bow.

Down below, the lower deck features a queen size cabin with considerable height and brightness for a RIB in this category, and includes a bathroom equipped with a separate toilet and shower and an aft cabin.

The Rebel 40 is fitted out with two 370 Volvo Penta D6 engines as standard, capable of speeds of up to 40 knots, and will reach our shores in the new year.

IN DEMANDMaritimo’s recently revealed X50 is already selling well months before its world premiere at next year’s Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show. Ever since the first details of the dynamic X50 sport yacht were revealed, it has caused widespread interest internationally.

“Given the early demand, and the price point of the X50, we are confident that this model will be something special” Maritimo’s Tom Barry-Cotter says.

The X50 design incorporates an innovative aft accommodation space accessible from saloon and swim platform deck. This area can be optioned and utilised as a beach club with ensuite, twin single stateroom with ensuite or 3.2 metre tender garage.

Maritimo’s build pipeline now stretches to the end of 2019.

Saints shut down Makinson NRL move

England and St Helens winger Tommy Makinson has had talks in Newcastle with coach Nathan Brown.UK Super League giants St Helens have hosed down talk of Golden Boot winner Tommy Makinson moving to the NRL after the England winger was spotted at Newcastle.


Makinson made it clear he wanted to break into the NRL after he was a shock winner of the Golden Boot award ahead of James Tedesco, Dallin Watene-Zelezniak and Elliott Whitehead last month.

The rumour mill went into overdrive after Makinson – on an off-season break with St Helens – was sighted at the Knights on Monday, reportedly chatting with coach Nathan Brown.

But Saints coach Justin Holbrook tried to shut down speculation surrounding Makinson, who is contracted to the Super League club until 2021.

“I haven’t seen the stories but no one has come knocking on my door from the NRL concerning Tommy,” Holbrook told The St Helens Reporter.

“I know he has been on holiday Down Under but I am expecting him to return to training next week like the rest of our England players.”

Makinson raised eyebrows when he became just the fifth English winner of the Golden Boot as best player on the international stage.

NSW great Brad Fittler claimed it was “totally ridiculous” to give the award to Makinson, saying he had never seen him play and that it “belittled” the prestigious Golden Boot honour.

But Holbrook wasn’t surprised Makinson was now turning heads in .

“Tommy’s profile has skyrocketed in recent weeks and well deserved,” he said of Makinson, a standout in England’s recent series win over New Zealand.

“People didn’t know a lot about him but we did and understood what a fantastic player he is.”

UK reports claimed Makinson may be in the Knights’ sights after flyer Ken Sio moved to Super League club Salford following a two-year Newcastle stint.

Makinson said at the Golden Boot awards that he had kept in close contact with Brown since the coach left for the NRL following a stint as St Helens mentor from 2013-14.

Newcastle have already bolstered their backline ahead of the new NRL season, signing ex-Cronulla speedsters Jesse Ramien and Edrick Lee for 2019.

Curtis Tofa uses military background to help businesses reach peak performance

Focus: “It’s designed for rapid change for people who want to get results,” says Curtis Tofa of his December event. BEING a leader is instinctive to Curtis Tofa.


A school captain in primary and high schools, he then joined the n Army with a sense of purpose.

“I always wanted to serve my country and be a part of something that was bigger than me and I always had a knack for being in leadership role,” theformer Callaghan College student says.

Raised in Waratah, Mr Tofa trained at the Royal Military College. He wasin the 7th Battalion, Royal n Regiment in Adelaide, serving as an Infantry Platoon Commander. In 2016 he was deployed in Iraq as a force protection commander providing security to the n and New Zealand instructors training the Iraqi soldiers.

“It was challenging in that it was a totally different environment that we had trained in, thenhavinglinguistics difficulties on top,” he said.

Mr Tofa was a captain at the school of infantry at Singleton until he recently opted to use his military nous to found Curtis Tofa Coaching.

“I have always wanted to help people … and I found that there was more need for me outside the military to help business owners and entrepreneursto seek more clarity in life,” he says of his new career.

On December 13he will run Military Mindset to Success, a free three-hour workshop which focuses on helping participants master self-discipline, communicate better and be more confident in the workplace.

“This is for business owners or entrepreneurs or anyone seeking answers in their life and who likes learning and growing,”Mr Tofa says.

He says his point of difference to get results is usinga “proven method” from his military training.

“It’s myinterpretation of my command leadership management experience and my knowledge behind neuro linguistics programming (NLP),” he says.

Tofa studied NLP–which uses methods to change thoughts and behaviours to help achieve desired outcomes – and is an accredited NLP practitioner.

“I have coupled my qualifications with NLP coaching with my leadership, command and managementexperience from the militaryand put them in a package together to provide people with the opportunity to be educated in a way that allows more self discipline, confidence, leadership and clarity within their own businesses and in their life,” he says.

Mr Tofa is also amaster hypnotherapist and timeline therapy practitioner,the latter term referring to methods used to allow a person to unconsciously identify significantemotional events from the past to find the root cause of problems and find positive learnings to move forward.

Details for Military Mindset to Success via Eventbrite.

Last store in the iconic Frickers Shoes empire to close in Belmont

Stepping away: Mark and Michelle Fricker in the family store in Belmont. Picture: Simone de Peak. WHEN Mark and Michelle Fricker threw open the doors to their eponymous shoe store in Belmont in 1983, they had a loose plan of when they’d close.


“Back then, people were retiring in their 50s and I said to Michelle, if it goes well I’ll retire in 35 years, why can’t I?” laughs Mr Fricker, 59.

Why not, indeed. Come Christmas Eve, the Frickers will close their store –the last in the Frickers Shoes empire which was founded in 1953 by Mark’s father Ern and at its peak had 12 stores between Sydney and Newcastle.

If their closing down sale keeps up its current pace, they may close in the days beforehand.

With his siblings Bill and Peter, Mark Fricker went into the family business after high school.Bill ran three stores in Newcastle (The Junction, Marketown and Hunter Street mall) while Peter managed the Sydney stores.

Mark and Michelle Fricker moved from Sydney to launch the Belmont store, opening at a time when the Pacific Highway was bustling and there were four competitorswithin cooee.

“There used to be a constant flow of people passing by but all the foot traffic has gone,” said Mr Fricker.

The closure of government service centres including the motor registry and Medicare, alongside all but one of the big four banks, has been a blight on trade. Then, of course, the internet has changed everything.

In the glory days, Mr Fricker would receive appointments on a Tuesday from no less than eight shoe representatives. As budgets tightened, he has had to buy his stock online.

“That’s tough,” he says, “because you have to touch and feel shoes to know them.”

Mr Fricker and his wife have fond memories of their store, where their children and many long-time staff members worked.

“We were always family-oriented and tried to be everything for for everybody,” he says. “The back to school period was hard work but exciting: we saw kids every year growing up and thenbringing their kids in. Customers became family.”

A footnote: at 89, Ern Fricker is still giving counsel on how to run a closing down sale, Mark quips.

Parliament holds off on live sheep exports

Federal crossbench MPs are putting pressure on the government to phase out live sheep exports.Phasing out live sheep exports won’t be considered by parliament until next year after Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s minority government won a vote by the skin of its teeth.


The coalition had 72 votes in its favour to delay the discussion, with independents Cathy McGowan and Bob Katter siding with the government.

Crossbench MP Rebekha Sharkie had attempted to force the government to front the issue on Wednesday, leading to an emotive debate across the chamber.

Ms Sharkie harnessed 71 votes with the support of Labor and the other independents, including former Liberal MP Julia Banks.

The Centre Alliance MP says the industry can’t be trusted to manage itself.

“We need to transition away from this industry and actually look at this as an opportunity for industry, for sheep, for farmers and for people living in regional to have good quality jobs,” Ms Sharkie told the chamber.

The debate comes after the industry announced a three-month moratorium on the controversial trade, with a halt on shipments to the Middle East in June, July and August next year.

This would prevent shipments during the northern hemisphere’s summer when animals face the highest risk of heat stress.

Independent Tasmanian MP Andrew Wilkie says the n public is “demanding urgent action” to see the end of the industry.

The Middle East buys three times more frozen sheep meat than live sheep exports, he added.

The independent infuriated former agriculture minister Barnaby Joyce, who said phasing out the industry would hurt farmers, just as cancelling live cattle exports to Indonesia had done.

“People went broke, people committed suicide because the value of their place was destroyed,” he said.

“It was absolutely destroyed by the reckless actions of those who did not live on their farms, who did not live in their industry, who did not have to deal with the consequence of the actions of this chamber.

“We are not going to let that happen again.”

Agriculture Minister David Littleproud said the wheels were turning on implementing key recommendations of the Moss review into the industry.

“It’s important that we are calm and decisive through this, that we predicate our decisions on science, not emotion,” he said at the tail end of the debate.

The recommendations include appointing an independent external inspector-general and establishing an animal welfare branch within the department, he added.

Labor has committed to ending the trade if elected to government at next year’s federal election, pledging to transition the industry to chilled meat processing.

A vote earlier in the morning was tied 71 to 71, with the Speaker Tony Smith casting his vote in line with parliament procedure to ensure the debate continued.

The tied vote was due to WA Liberal MP Rick Wilson getting kicked out of the chamber during the debate.

Best of the best 2018 – Hansen Yucken

Winners: The Hansen Yucken team accepts the highly coveted award at the MBA National Awards in November.Established in 1918, local builderHansen Yuncken has recently celebrated 100 years in the n construction landscape.


Since its inception, the organisation has continually delivered high quality projects in the educational sector – over $2.5 billion worth in fact.

In addition, Hansen Yuncken has now completed more than 20 projects for the University of Newcastle (UoN) and iscontinually building on thesuccessful and collaborative partnership between the two companies.

The long-standing relationship is now stronger than ever, following the recent awardof the hallmark, Libertynational educational facility, NeW Space, at the Master Builder Association National Excellence in Construction Awards Ceremony in November 2018.

The multi award-winning facility, NeW Space, includes 14,000m2 of student, learning and office areas spread across nine floors.

With innovative design at the forefront of this project, students have access to flexible study areas, exceptional lecture theatres andtutorial and workshop spaces fitted-out with the latest in educational technology.

Described as a breath of fresh air into the UoN campus, the landmark precinct operates 24/7, and attracts 3,500 students every day.

A new home for the School of Business and Law, facilities include digital library services and information commons, collaborative learning and research spaces, work integrated learning, services for industry, professional and community engagement and social spaces.

The building is designed to allow for a new mode of teaching, replacing traditional lecture theatres with flexible work spaces and booth seating.

Aside from the structural challenges and requirements, the façade system incorporates over 24 finish types, involving procurement and fabrication worldwide.

Denita Wawn, Chief Excutive Officer of Master Builders , commented “Hansen Yuncken must be congratulated for providing an ideal built environment for this cutting-edge world class education hub that’s also proven to be a catalyst for the renaissance of the Newcastle CBD.”

Designing for sustainability was a key focus for the Project Team.

NeW Space has been awarded a 5-Star Green Star – Education Design v1 Certified Rating from the Green Building Council of , a first for the Hunter Region.

The certification, which represents n excellence in environmentally sustainable design, aligns with the University’s sustainability objectives.

A leader in sustainable design and construction, this exceptional project was not without its challenges.

Due to the project’s central CBD location, and prominence in the community, planning was essential to seamlessly coordinate traffic movements, council requirements and road closures with minimal disruption.

Project challenges continued, as the site had to be designed with earthquake and residual mine shafts to consider.

Water located underneath the construction site was expertly pumped, and returned to council stormwater systems, as quickly as it had entered.

Recognising the importance of innovation and technology in the construction sector, the approach to delivering NeW Space was no different.

Hansen Yuncken incorporated cutting-edge construction software at every turn, which helped to ensure the project remained on schedule at all times.

“The building has received national and international acclaim and Hansen Yuncken is a deserving winner,” Denita Wawn added.

The Hansen Yuncken Project Team agrees that vital communication, creativity and enthusiasm to work through solutions was key in overcoming the challenges that became apparent throughout design and construction.

It was an excellent result achieved, with the entire construction finished in time for Semester 2, 2017, as planned.

The future looks bright for these local builders, with a strong project pipeline planned for 2019, incorporating health, education, justice, commercial and community infrastructure projects.

With its sights set on delivering the next generation of educational facilities, Hansen Yuncken will undoubtedly be a name to remember for the next one hundred years to come in the construction industry.

To find out more information visit:www.hansenyucken成都上门按摩.au

Gordana Kotevski’s family renews public appeal for help to solve case 24 years after teenager was kidnapped at Charlestown

Need answers: Julie Talevski, whose niece Gordana Kotevski was kidnapped at Charlestown 24 years ago. The family renewing its public appeal for help finding answers. Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000. Picture: Simone De PeakIn the decades since Gordana Kotevski was kidnapped from a suburban street near a busy shopping centre, herfamily has wavered between hope and grief.


The 16-year-old Cardiff High School student was snatched and bundled into a white Toyota Hiluxabout 8.45pmon November 24, 1994, while walking to an aunt’s houseafter late night shopping with friends atCharlestown Square.

Today, Gordana’s family is renewing apublic appeal for information that could help bring those responsible for herabduction and likely murder to justice and solve one of the state’s most baffling coldcases.

Newcastle Jets CEO Lawrie McKinna has organisedfree rental of space on the billboard outside McDonald Jones Stadium for the next fortnight, where an image of the teenagerwill be emblazoned, and the family will hand outbumper stickers in the coming weeksto get the community talking and jog people’s memories.

Read more: Police re-open cold case of missing teenager (2009)

“They say that scars heal with time, but I know that until I have answers about whathappened to my sister my scars will only get bigger and deeper,” said Gordana’s brother Damien, who was 10 when his older sister was taken.

“The things I had to witness from such a young age have affected me throughout mywhole life. I have been quiet for a long time but it’s time to stand up and make somenoise, not only for my family, but for every family who has been dealt this horriblecard.

“I wouldn’t wish this pain upon anyone, which is why I’m appealing to the public tocome forward with any information that may help us find Gordana.Our family needs answers.”

Gordana –who would now be 40 years old –was about 50 metres from the safety of her aunt’s home in Powell Street when she was set upon.

Tragic: Gordana Kotevski was kidnapped in 1994. An inquest found in 2003 she was likely murdered by an unknown person. The case remains unsolved.

Witnesses said they heard two screams and saw a white Toyota Hilux speed out of the street.

Butaside from unfruitful leads on peopleof interestand the 2009 discovery of a fingerprint belonging to an unknown person on the plastic bag containing Gordana’s wallet found at the crime scene, the trail has remainedcold.

Another of Gordana’s aunts Julie Talevski, who has spearheaded the organisation of the billboard campaign with the help of the Missing Persons Advocacy Network, said the family was trying to have the reward for information that leads to the case being solvedincreased to $1 million –up from $100,000, where it has sat since early 1995.

Ms Talevski described the feeling of not knowing what happened to her niece as “an ambiguous loss, you waver between grief and hope –there’s no in between”.

Read more: Police reveal new lead in Gordana Kotevski abduction (2009)

“Nothing really active has happened for such a long time,” she said.

“Newcastle is a small place. We just want to get the word out there, she’s still missing, if somebody knows anything, no matter how small or insignificant they might think it may be, to go to Crime Stoppers.”

It’s been about 15 years since a Coronial inquest found Gordana was likely murdered by an unknown person.

The teenager’s family was critical of the police investigation in the years after her disappearance, alleging leads were not followed in the weeks after Gordana was kidnapped. It prompted a public apology from the then NSW Police Commissioner Peter Ryan in 1998.

Her parents told investigatorsat the time Gordana had expressed concern about a man who was following her –who her mother referred to as “The Spook”.

Depictions of two persons of interest in the disappearance of Gordana Kotevski composed from witness descriptions.

At another point in the investigation, police were considering whether the teenager had fallen victim to a serial killer or killers along with nine other young people who had gone missing in the Hunter between the late 1970s and early 1990s.

Detective Inspector George Radmore, who now heads the northern NSW anti-bikie squad Strike Force Raptor North, was an investigator in the homicide unitthat looked atthe case for three years from 1998,then as part of the unsolved homicide squad in 2009-10.

Inspector Radmore told the Newcastle Herald on Wednesday persons of interest were identified, but it “didn’t reach the level of being firm suspects”.

He described the case as “tragic” and said he believed it was a random attack by people who were probably unknown to the 16-year-old.

Bumper stickers appealing for help solving Gordana’s case. Picture: Simone De Peak

“There was literally, I would suggest, thousands of pieces of information that came in specifically about Gordana’s –we’ll certainly call it a murder because that’s what it is –abduction and murder around that time and over the ensuing years,” he said.

“The really frustrating part for the investigators that have worked on it, and the tragic part for Gordana’s family, has been that people actually witnessed this take place. We’ve had, probably, good quality evidence back to 1994.

“People heard her screams, saw the car take off afterwards, were able to describe the car and able to provide images of the occupants of the car from their descriptions.

“We were certainly a lot further advanced in that investigation than many other investigations that have been solved so it is extremely frustrating to every investigator that worked on it.

“There’s not anyone I know who worked on those cases over all those years who would not want to find who did it and convict them.”

If you know anything that could help police, contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.While you’re with us, did you know The Herald is now offering breaking news alerts, daily email newsletters and more? Keep up-to-date with all the local news – sign up here.

Chris Dawson has been charged with murder over 1982 disappearance of Lynette Dawson, whose brother is Lake Macquarie man Greg Simms

Breakthrough: Police have arrested a man in connection with the 1982 disappearance of Lyn Dawson, whose brother Lake Macquarie man Greg Simms has been calling for justice.


The 70-year-old husband of Lynette Dawson, who went missing from Sydney almost four decadesago,has been charged with her murder.

Queensland police arrested former Newtown Jets rugby league playerand high school teacher Chris Dawson, a long-time person of interest in his wife’s disappearance, at his home in Biggera Waters on the Gold Coast on Wednesday morning. Hewassoon extradited to the custody of NSW Police.

The arrest would have come as relieffor Ms Dawson’s family, including her brotherLake Macquarie man Greg Simms.

Read more: Hollow feeling: Lynette Dawson’s brother wants answers

The family requested privacy on Wednesday, but Mr Simms told the Newcastle Herald in September he wanted“justice for our sister”.

“It’s always there, it’s always hanging over your head and aweight on your shoulders,” he said.

“It’s something you do learn to live with, but every time something comes up, you lose a little bit of yourself.

“It’s just like having a hollow feeling in your stomach all the time.You’re wondering whether this is the day that you get a result.”

Lynette Dawson’s brother, Lake Macquarie man Greg Simms, with an archive of news clippings about his sister’s case.

Mr Dawson, who was the subject of investigative podcast The Teacher’s Pet, applied for bail on Wednesday but it was refused.

The arrest came after detectives requested in April that the Department of Public Prosecutions review its brief of evidence. Detectives from the NSW Police Unsolved Homicide Squad established Strike Force Scriven in 2015 to investigate the disappearance of the 33-year-old mother of two.

Ms Dawson has not been seen since she vanished from Sydney’s northern beaches in early January, 1982.

Greg Simms, Lynette Dawson’s brother, speaking in September, 2018.

She wasreported missing more than a month after she was last seen.

NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller said Wednesday was an important step towards justice for Ms Dawson and her family.

Read more: Walk for Lynette Dawson at Newcastle

He said Ms Dawson’s family members were “certainly relieved to hear this result”.

NSW Homicide Squad commanderDetective Superintendent Scott Cooksaid a team of “dedicated detectives” had been investigating the case for the past three years.

“The resolve of the Unsolved Homicide Unit detectives shows that they will continue to search for the truth, no matter how many years may pass,” he said.