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   Jan 14

Cheers to beer revolution

It seems ns simply cannot satisfy their craving for craft beer, a growing number making it their drink of choice to wet their whistle, and microbreweries continuing topopup across the country.
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As executive officer at ’s CraftBeer Industry AssociationChris McNamara explains, the market has opened significantly and there’slots to look forward to this year when it comes to enjoying arefreshing bottle –or tinnie –of brew.

Is the popularity of craft beer in still on the rise?

Definitely. Based on n Taxation Office data, the independent craft beer industry has grown by more than 30 per centin each of the past two years and now accounts for more than fourper centof all beer produced in .

There is no single reason, but two important factors are a growing desire by consumers to support small businesses, especially in food and beverage, andns really wanting to continually find new flavours in a range of food and beverage products. The rise of artisan cheese and bread reflect this as well.

How has the market changed from its earliest days to now?

Craft beer has always had a diverse market.

The groundbreaking breweries in the 1980s were found in such diverse areas as Fremantle, Ballarat and Sydney’s inner city.

There was never one type of person that drank craft beer and that is still the same today. Depending on where you go, you may see a bar full of tradies, inner city types, or young families.

It appeals to all.

What are some current trends in ‘s craft beer scene?

Tinnies are definitely the biggest trend at the moment. The number of beers available in cans has exploded in the past year and shows no sign of slowing down. And why should it? They are lighter to transport, do a great job of protecting the beer and cool down quicker.

What can consumers expect this year from the industry?

Craft brewers by their very nature are adventurous innovators. That’s why so many of them turn their backs on comfortable corporate careers. They want to continually challenge the status quo.

has been at the forefront of new hop development in recent years.

This is set to continue so expect to find a whole new world of aromas and flavours appearing in beers.

Sour, or wild, beers is another area that’s developing. These beers use different yeast strains and the results range from wonderfully dry and refreshing through to mouth puckeringly challenging. They have great potential to deliver the ultimate refreshing low alcohol beer for a hot n summer.

What should people be looking for when buying/drinking a craft beer?

Look for freshness. The fresher the better. And the best way of doing that is to support the local breweries in your part of the world.

Where do you think is the perfect place to enjoy a craft beer this summer?

Anywhere that you can just sit down and enjoy the beer. Don’t try and overthink it. Just let every sip remind you how good life is.

CRAFTING REPUTATION: The number of varieties of craft beer available in is matched by the diversity of the people making it their drink of choice.

QUALITY ASSURED: Craft brewers are renowned for being innovators who strive to create the perfect brew, and often turn their backs on corporate careers to do so.


   Dec 12

Foghorn hops to the challenge

HEAD OF STEAM: Shawn Sherlock has earned nationwide recognition for his work as head brewer at Foghorn Brewhouse located in King Street, Newcastle.The creative process of brewing drives Foghorn Brewhouse head brewer Shawn Sherlock.
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It has inspired him to dabble with everything from hop-heavy India pale ales to mixing seafood into stouts.

“A craft brewer’s role is a lot like a head chef’s role, compared to a winemaker for example,” Sherlock says.

“With wine it’s so much about getting the soils right and the palate to know when the grape is right to go and blending them down the track.

“In brewing we’ve got this huge range of ingredients that we’re not directly involved in growing or supervising the hops. So we’re taking this wide range of ingredients and using our vision to put them together for a recipe that is hopefully tasty, good, and in my case, different and interesting.

“I don’t want to brew mainstream beer. That doesn’t mean I don’t brew beer that isn’t approachable, but I want to brew beer that’s focused on taste and quality.”

Located in King Street, Foghorn is named after the iconic coal ship horns which blast over the CBD.

Six fermenting tanks produce 1800-litre batches of beer three times a week, including porters, stouts, pale ales, IPAs, pilseners, wheat beers and Belgian and English ales.

All beer is produced on site and doesn’t require freight, which allows for a minimum turnover of three weeks from brewing to the customer’s glass.

Most bottleshops and pubs stock beer brewed months ago. Speaking to Sherlock his passion for Newcastle is infectious.

“In an era when manufacturing is moving out of town and to some extent dying, bringing back a manufacturing trade into the centre of the city was something good, albeit in a new different way to the old days,” he says.

Last yearFogHornErina opened on the Central Coast. All beer is brewed in King Street and couriered down the M1.

A thirdFogHornremains in Sherlock’s final vision.

“We haven’t got any immediate plans and we don’t have a particular location in mind,” he says.

“I would hope we can grow. With a brewery this size, we could probably stretch to a third one before we can expand the equipment itself, but there’s a lot of water to flow under the bridge yet.”


   Dec 12

Troy Grant says NSW bushfire response shows why RFS HQ should stay in Sydney

Emergency Services Minister Troy Grant said the current metro headquarters of the Rural Fire Service allowed it to host eight government agencies as bushfires raged on Saturday and Sunday. Photo by Wolter Peeters. ►RELATED:
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Tragedy strikes Wentworth Browns againBowman property saved as Hugh reunites with WinxHomes and livestock lost as fires continue to burn across the stateLeadville blaze strikes prized studs, homesA “well-oiled”responseto the weekend’s bushfires justified the NSW Rural Fire Service being located in Sydney, according to Emergency Services Minister Troy Grant.

Government again copped criticism last week after Shooters, Fishers and Farmers’ Orange MP Philip Donato asked why the service’s head office, and associated jobs, would not be relocated to the bush when the current lease at Lidcombe is up in 2018.

But Mr Grant said the current metro headquarters allowed the service to host eight government agencies on Saturday and Sunday, allowing emergency groups to co-locate easily, and to broadcast and communicate more effectively with media.

“The location of the RFS headquarters means it is able to quickly and readily respond to events like those we saw over the weekend,” Mr Grant said.

Regional councils and regional volunteer organisations had lobbied government since 2015 to bring the office over the Great Divide to better fit its ‘rural’ moniker, and to deliver more jobs to regional towns.

In December Mr Grant’s predecessor David Elliott dashed those hopes and declared the NSW Rural Fire Service would instead move to a state-of-the art facility at Olympic Park at Homebush.

The Shooters, Fishers, and Farmers Party took up the cause again this month, with Mr Donato and arguing a the relocation of the Department of Primary Industries to Orange was a successful precedent for decentralisation.

MLC Robert Brown also said moving the service bush would also save government money in Sydney rent, while modern technology would bridge the distance between the city.

Mr Grant said it was essential for the headquarters to be convenient to major media outlets, operational stakeholders, and support agencies.

“During peak operational times the State Operations Centre within headquarters can swell to over 200 multi-agency personnel,” he said.

Almost 70 per cent of Rural Fire Service staff work in regional offices and local fire control centres

Mr Grant said government will continue looking at other opportunities for investment in emergency services infrastructure and operations across regional NSW.


   Dec 12

ReviewWhose Wives Are They Anyway?

THEATRE REVIEWWhose Wives Are They Anyway?DAPA TheatreDAPA Theatre, Hamilton. Ends February 25English-born actor-playwright Michael Parker, now resident in the United States, has notably written farcical comedies that appeal to American audiences. This play, for example, has two company vice-presidents having a golfing weekend while their wives shop in New York. They find themselves in trouble when they encounter the unsmiling female head of the firm that has taken over their company and demands to meet their wives that night. Amusing chaos ensues, with one of the men dressing, with a blonde wig, as an attractive woman, and a hotel receptionist bribed to be the other wife. And the chaos grows when the real wives turn up.
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Director David Murray and a good acting team make this an enjoyable show, though the first night performance showed a need for sharper delivery of some lines. But the actors’ movements raised laughs, especially scenes that had three people in a bed, at least one virtually hidden, and the head and legs of different occupants visible. And they responded well to the demands placed on them by movements around the set, which includes the hotel reception area, an adjoining lounge room, stairs, hallways, room doors and two adjoining bedrooms.

Oliver Pink and Conagh Punch keep swiftly on the move as the two golfers, with Pink’s David astutely manipulating his younger colleague John’s behaviour and that man showing in return how he has risen to a senior position at a young age. Maddy Lardner keeps the laughs coming as the increasingly inebriated receptionist, repeatedly pouring herself glasses of champagne to try to relax her nervousness. Carol Hong is a suitably unsmiling hotel manager, Rob Williams is an amusing hypochondriac handyman, who is adept at using problems, such as a breakdown in the hotel’s phone system, to suit his own purposes. Jennifer Dixon’s attractive but stern and sharply worded company head would have anyone running for cover. And Natalie Burg and Beth Traynor are delightful as the shopped-out wives looking for relaxation as they arrive with bags of purchases from noted New York stores.

The staging’s main weakness is the characters’ handling of phone calls from people wanting to place bets on racehorses. The actors’ delivery of the puzzled responses when they answer these calls , including their repetition of the horse names and other words used by the callers, needs to be stronger, so that watchers laugh rather than look puzzled.


   Dec 12

Centenary of the Great War

AHOY THERE: A trio of n nurses enjoy a light-hearted moment on board their hospital ship. Photo: The Digger’s View by Juan Mahony.
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Newcastle Morning Herald transcriptions and Hunter Valley enlistment and death details for February 12-18, 1917.

EASTER PARCELSOrders will be taken at the 1st Light Horse Depot, 28 Moore Street, Sydney, until Friday, February 23rd, for Easter parcels for men of any unit on active service. Send postal note for 7s.6d or 15s, and either of the following parcels will be posted to the soldier whose address is given: No. 1 Parcel (7s.6d) contains 1 tin biscuits, 1 tin fruit, 1 tin vegetables, 1 towel, 1 writing pad and envelopes, 2oz tin tobacco, 1 tin sardines.

No. 2 (15s) contains 1 tin biscuits, 1 tin vegetables, 1 tin shortbread, 1 tin fruit 1 plum pudding, 50 cigarettes, 2oz tobacco, 1 tin strawberry conserve, 1 tin Ideal milk, 1 tin sardines, 1 towel, soap, toothbrush, tooth paste.

NEWS OF THE DAYMr Jensen, the Minister for the Navy, has expressed the hope that within two years would be able to build her own submarines in her own dockyards. He added that he was considering the advisability of sending another 10 men to England, in addition to the 15 already there, to gain experience in the special work of building submarines. He anticipated that after two years’ experience these men would return to , and the Commonwealth would then be able to commence the building of submarines at the Cockatoo Dockyard.

Senator Pearce, the Minister for Defence, does not regard as favourable the suggestion made by Mr. Hampson, MHR, that the recruiting figures should be published side by side with the casualties for the same period. There was no relation, said Senator Pearce, between the casualties and the number of recruits coming forward. Those who enlisted now would not be in the firing line for perhaps six months. In September last, for instance, the casualties numbered 19,000. If Mr. Hampton could tell him the casualties which would occur in July next he would tell him how many men must come forward to fill their places.

MESSAGE IN BOTTLEMr Alfred Bashford, of Thomas Street, Dudley, whilst fishing on a recent evening on the Nine Mile Beach, near Belmont, found a bottle on the sands, containing a message, having been thrown over from a New Zealand troopship. The message was written in indelible pencil on departmental paper, and was rolled round a piece of wood, and contained the following: “Would the finder kindly communicate with Mrs. J. Hare, Remneru, Auckland, New Zealand, as this was thrown overboard from the troopship – midway between New Zealand and by her son, W. J. Hare, 3/2630, 20th New Zealand Medical Corps, on January 7th, 1917. All well and having a very decent trip. Kindly send this on to mother. Thanking you, sincerely yours, W. J. Hare.” The police at Dudley have this document, and are forwarding same direct by registered post to Mrs Hare, as desired.

RED CROSS SOCIETYThe first executive committee meeting of the year of the Newcastle Red Cross Society was recently held at the depot. Mrs J.C. Reid, president, was in the chair, and there was a good attendance of members. A letter was read from headquarters requesting the society to curtail their efforts with regard to making shirts and pyjamas, there being sufficient of these garments stored to cope with all present demands. Headquarters suggested that this branch take up spinning, as all woollen articles are most urgently needed.

The society decided to comply with this request. Mrs Reid subsequently went to Sydney and made arrangements for an expert spinning instructor – Miss Mealey – to come to Newcastle and instruct any members who so desire in the art of spinning.

TENSIONS INCREASEMuch interest is taken in a lengthy Cabinet meeting, held Wednesday, following which President Wilson worked alone in his library. The Cabinet has not reached a decision on the question of arming American liners. It is understood that the opinion is that the company has the legal right to arm, but the situation is so delicate that the Government is anxious to avoid action which will precipitate war. There is an unquestionable difference of opinion in the Cabinet, but the opponents of arming were in the minority. It is expected that a method of providing guns will be found in a few days.

AFRIC SUNKThe White Star Liner ‘Afric,’ 12,000 tons, employed by the Admiralty as a transport, has been submarined and sunk while on a voyage outwards from England. Seventeen of the Afric’s company are missing. A later report stated: “Five of the Afric’s crew are believed to have been killed.” The Afric, which was built by Messrs Harland and Wolff in 1889, was 11,999 tons.

HAIG’S VIEWSFrench advices report that Field-marshal Haig, in an interview with Paris journalists, said: “We’ve reached the maximum of munitions. We can supply more than our Allies will need. We will break the German front severely at several points. “The Germans are powerfully entrenched, but we intend to strike with full force, until we totally destroy the German Army. This year will show Germany beaten.”

MEMENTOES OF FALLENA number of n ladies have asked Mr Andrew Fisher, the High Commissioner, to suggest to the n Government to give the next of kin of fallen soldiers a memento, either in the shape of a medal or one like the French government’s plaque, on which the soldiers’ names are engraved over the words “He Died For France”. Mr Fisher promised to submit the suggestion to his Government.

AMERICA AND GERMANYThe situation is growing steadily more acute. President Wilson may consult the Congress on the question of arming ships. There is growing irritation in the press at the inaction of the Government. It is voiced by the “New York World”, which says: “Germany’s policy towards the United States is a continuous overt act, and might as well be recognised as such. It is war under another name. Our ports are practically blocked. Whatever action President Wilson takes now, he cannot be branded as the aggressor.”

The New York World quotes Dr Zimmerman, the German Minister for Foreign Affairs, as saying: “I give you my word of honour that the Yarrowdale prisoners will be released as soon as we receive positive assurances no German sailors are held In the United States.”

AUSTRALIAN SUCCESSFrom C.E.W. Bean, Official n War Correspondent, British Headquarters, France, February 5. Last night the ns on the Somme attacked again the same trenches which they took and lost three nights before. They retook all that they previously attacked, and more. Two German officers, and 63 other Germans, were taken prisoner. The Germans twice counter-attacked during the night, but both attacks were beaten off by the n artillery before they reached our lines. No news has yet reached here whether the ns are going to send their Prime Minister to represent our country at the conference. The war has really reached a stage where it is a fight to a finish. “All in,” as the ns say, “and it is quite certain that the Germans intend to use every means in their power to the utmost of their strength, until the end of the war.”

35TH AND 36TH BATTALIONSThe Comfort Funds of the 35th Battalion and the 36th Battalion intend to make a united effort early in March to raise funds for the benefit of the soldiers under their special care. It is proposed to hold a grand garden fete in the grounds of Mr D. Sneddon, Samdon and Winship streets, Hamilton, generously lent for the function. An electric installation, band selections, stalls, refreshments, and many other outdoor attractions, promise well for the success of the joint undertaking.

NESTLE’S MILKWriting to his mother in England, Private Guy S. Smith, 2396, states: “Our rations are still on the short side, but they got a bit better; also in a village some seven miles away is a Greek enterprising enough to keep a shop. He only sells Greek fags, biscuits, and chocolate (both very dear), and what we think most of – Nestle’s Milk – at 1/3 a tin. What a wonderful thing is Nestle’s Milk. I shall never be able to live without it again. After bread it is the first thing we think of. It will make any dish good, and if we can only get enough of it we don’t care much what our rations are. We eat it from the tin; drink it with hot or cold water; spread on bread it makes a delicious change from the continual marmalade; it takes the place of sugar and milk with oatmeal or rice; boiled with powdered biscuits it makes even these prodigies of hatefulness palatable.

ENLISTMENTSWilliam James Folpp, Baerami; George William Broadhead, Lambton; Ernest Clark, Newcastle; Thomas Hutchison Ford, Wallsend; Charles William Grant, Maitland; Hubert Clarence Hain, West Maitland; Kenneth L’ Estrange Heath, Merewether; Clarence William Hellyer, East Maitland; Herbert Wellington Jones, Dudley; John Hazel Lay, Wallsend; George McCubbine, Wickham; George Leslie Nicholson, New Lambton; Augustus Petersen, Newcastle; William Horace Phipps, Baerami; James Reginald Reid, Lambton; John Thomas Rose, Wickham; George Charles Stevens, Horseshoe Bend; William Henry Willis, Mayfield; David Young, Hamilton; Thomas Young, West Wallsend; William Young, Hamilton.

DEATHSPte Allan Henry Avard, Thornton; Gnr Norman Russell Crouch, Lower Belford; Pte Norman Elliot Cunningham, Newcastle; Spr William John Henderson, Minmi; Pte David Hamilton Lawrence, Lostock; Pte Alfred Lochrin, Hamilton; Pte John Thomas Roberts, Adamstown.

David Dial OAM is a Hunter Valley-based military historian. Follow David’s research atfacebook苏州夜网/HunterValleyMilitaryHistory


   Dec 12

TheatreNeighbourhood WatchKen Longworth

CAST: Theo Rule, Chloe Perrett, Aaron Brittliff, Janet Gillam, Lindsay McDonald, Tracey Gordon, Claire Williams, Megan Williams. Photo: Mathew LeeWHEN playwright Lally Katz asked renowned actress Robyn Nevin if she could write a play for her, Nevin said it had to be “funny and tough”. The work that resulted, Neighbourhood Watch, certainly has those elements, with audiences laughing and crying while watching it.
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The high regard for the play, first produced in 2011, has led to it being put on the HSC Drama reading list, and members of Newcastle’s Stooged Theatre were so impressed by Katz’s writing that they are staging Neighbourhood Watch at the Civic Playhouse for a two-week season from March 8.

The play is set in a suburban street of an n city, with two women who live near each other meeting while putting out their bins. The encounter leads to them gradually finding out more about each other as their friendship develops.

The older woman, Ana, is 80, and was born in Hungary, where she and her family suffered during her childhood when German forces occupied the country in World War II. While she migrated to as a young adult, she is still troubled by memories of those years.Her young neighbour, Catherine, is an actress in her 20s, whose short-lived romantic relationships have affected her career. Catherine is so moved by Ana’s revelations about her life that she offers to help. Ana returns the favour.

Lally Katz based Ana on someone she met in her neighbourhood in Melbourne’s Kew. And audience members invariably see elements of themselves and their neighbours in the play’s characters. When Stooged asked if they could change the setting to a Newcastle suburb, Katz gave her consent.

Director Daniel Cottier has a strong cast, with Janet Gillam as Ana and Chloe Perrett as Catherine, plus Theo Rule, Megan Williams, Aaron Brittliff, Claire Williams, Tracy Gordon and Lindsay McDonald in multiple roles.

Janet Gillam notes that while Ana is an octogenarian, she is seen at different ages – initially 14 – as she talks about her past.“What we get to hear are her perceptions of things that happened,” she said. “They are not necessarily right.”

Chloe Perrett views the story’s people as very realistic. And the play, she points out, accepts diversity.

When Daniel Cottier first read Neighbourhood Watch he was impressed by Katz’s depiction of the relationships.

“My family has a Romanian neighbour and we have become very close.”

Neighbourhood Watch can be seen at the Civic Playhouse from March 8 to 18, with performances on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday at 8pm. There will also be an 8pm show on March 16, a 2pm matinee on March 18, and school matinees at 11am on March 9 and 16.


   Dec 12

Newcastle Basketball: New Hunters import Dane Suttle brings pedigree to go with wow factor

PEDIGREE: New Hunters import Dane Suttle Junior graduated from US Division One College Pepperdine in 2012. Picture: Getty Images COACH Darren Nichols expects Dane Suttle to bring a “wow” factor to the Newcastle Hunters’ Waratah Basketball League campaign but the import’s role off the court will be equally important.
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Suttle, a 198cm free-scoring swingman, replaces Justynn Hammond and spearheads a new-look squad.

“Justynn was probably the most talented player in the league last year,” said Nichols, who has taken the reins from Larry Davidson.“The story is that this guy is better. He is NBL quality and should bring some wow factor to the league.”

As well as Hammond, Josh Morgan, Adam Melmeth, Russell Hinder, Jon Howe, Steve Davis andGreg Laver are gone from the side which finished the second on the table last season before going down64-59 to the Sydney Comets in the semi-final.

Jacob Rauch and Ben Hawkesley are the only returning players, creating opportunities for former Hunters players Michael Wilson, Cameron Springall and Nathan Ruprecht and State League players Lachlan Jackson and Lawrence York. Jackson is a member of the n Deaf national team.

“Danehas been highly recommended by Butch Hays,” Nichols said. “I told Butch I wanted a good person off the floor to be a mentor because I have such a young team. I need someone to lead. We are aiming to build our youth group up. We will train with the youth league to create a pathway.We want to show them, if they work hard, they will have an opportunity to play Waratah League, which is the highest level we have.

Suttlegraduated from US Division One College Pepperdine in 2012 andis the son of former Kansas City Kings (NBA) and Geelong Supercats guard Dane Suttle Senior.

The 26-year-old played for Brisbane Capitals in the Queensland Basketball League last seasonand averaged 20 points, five rebounds and four assists per game.

“Generally speaking the QBL is pretty similar in standard to the Waratah League, but some of the better teams would be stronger than the teams here,” Nichols said. “We are anticipating Daneshould average in the high 20s.He can play anywhere on the floor –he is a shooter, he can get to the rack, he can post up and he has good ball skills – .but most of all we need him to be a leader.”

The Hunters, who have had a disrupted pre-season, open their campaign with a double header at home against the Hornsby Spriders (March 4) and Manly (March 5).

Hunters: Michael Wilson,Jacob Foy,Jacob Rauch,Joel Rauch,Cameron Springall,Ben Hawkesley,Dane Suttle,Nathan Ruprecht,Lachlan Jackson,Lawrence York.


   Dec 12

NBA: Ben Simmons 67ers NBA debut no closer

Hopes fade of Ben Simmons NBA debut Ben Simmons at a US college game last month.
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TweetFacebookIt appears the chances of seeing Ben Simmons in a 76ers uniform this season are getting slimmer and slimmer.

Last week, coach Brett Brown said that for Simmons to be ready for game activity, the first overall pick would have to play more than five 5-on-5 games.

Asked pre-game at the Spectrum Center whether Simmons would start playing some more and get to the 5-on-5 area, Brown did not hesitate with his answer about the rookie, who fractured his foot on the last day of training camp on September30.

“I don’t think so,” Brown said. “I feel like he’s moving forward, but to say that we believe he’s going to be ready for 5-on-5 during the All-Star break would be misleading. I don’t see that.

“He is moving forward but it’s at a very slow pace.Our pace. I think when we all get back and he’s around the team again, because it’s not an ideal situation to manufacture 5-on-5 during a break, then we can better craft and construct to allow the return to play to be more responsible.”

After the midweek game in Boston, the team won’t play again until February24. That will leave the team with 26 remaining games in the season, which includes a West Coast trip and another six-game streak away from home.

It would be hard to imagine Simmons getting in any practicewhen the team is on the road, so it is getting obvious that the time for him to make his debut is shrinking rather quickly.

The hopes of many were that Simmons would be able to make an appearance at some point after the break.

But the 6-foot-10 passing wizard has not been travelling with the team lately in what has been a heavy travel month and if his coach doesn’t see it fit for him to be playing with below NBA talent, the possibility of him playing this season seems to be slight, at best.

Asked last week if he would like to see Joel Embiid and Simmons on the floor together this season, president Bryan Colangelo quickly said yes, and that evaluating the two of them together to see what sort of pieces the team should surround those cornerstones with was paramount.

Embiid will miss the remaining two games before the All-Star break and not participate in any of the weekend activities in New Orleans.

After Wednesday, the 7-2 centre will have missed 11 consecutive games and 14 of the past 15 as he rests the bone bruise and minor meniscus tear in his left knee.

McClatchy Newspapers


   Dec 12

OpinionNo-mergers decision a win for city’s vision

Newcastle City will remain a stand-alone entity into the future, with renewed focus on our long-term vision for the city.
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We welcome the news that the NSW Government will not proceed with regional mergers, including the proposal to merge Newcastle City Council with Port Stephens Council.

As one of ‘s oldest cities and the regional centre of the Hunter, it is so important that we have a local council that is focused on both our burgeoning economy while still celebrating our history.

We and our neighbouring councils are unique, we are facing different issues and have different priorities for our communities.

With the assurance of the stand-alone announcement, we can now get on with delivering our community’sNewcastle 2030 visionof becoming a smart, liveable and sustainable city.

Since the State Government first announced the proposed merger in late 2015, our staff have continued to provide outstanding services and facilities to the Newcastle community and they should be commended for their resilience in the face of such uncertainty.

We have returned three consecutive surpluses and are on track for a fourth as we expand our capital works program from $42 million in 2012-13 to an expected $82 million this financial year.

Moving forward, the council will continue leading Newcastle’s transition from a great regional city to an emerging global centre.

Our city is experiencing unprecedented growth and investment.

We have attracted funding for the Hunter Innovation Project, a new cruise terminal and, of course, the Revitalising Newcastle project, which includes the light rail project.

We are seeing cranes in the sky with whole city blocks currently being transformed, and this is not limited to the city centre.

The boom continues in our suburbs.

The value of approved development soared 70 per cent in Newcastle last year. Over the past five years, the total value of projects given the green light in the city has surpassed $3billion.

We are doing our bit too bystewarding revitalisation projects in the city, along the coast and across the suburbs and advocating on behalf of the community for great outcomes.

A record capital works program means there will be more improvements to local and neighbourhood centres, better roads and footpaths, upgrades to playgrounds and sporting facilities and investment in new facilities.

Our status as a United Nations city has put us on the international stage and we will stay there as our smart city project progresses and we attract more major events to Newcastle.

The Supercars Newcastle 500 is set to be a new highlight for the city.

Having a strong council is critical for the city and region to reach our potential and achieve ongoing economic growth.

We are keenly aware of this and will continue to make prudent financial decisions while prioritising service delivery to the Newcastle community.

I am so pleased we can now put the merger conversation to one side and focus on our fantastic city.

Newcastle is a great city and I am so proud to be able to represent and advocate on behalf of our passionate community.

Nuatali Nelmes,Lord Mayor of Newcastle


   Dec 12

A-League: Newcastle Jets search for consistency in push for top six

NEW MAN: Jason Hoffman has adapted quickly since making the switch from right to left fullback. Picture: Getty Images
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NEWCASTLE’S scoreless draw with high-flyers Melbourne Victory was further evidence the Jets can match it with the big guns in the league, and the point enough to edgethem back into the top six.

But one of the stars of the resolute performance at McDonald Jones Stadium on Monday, left back Jason Hoffman,has warned to stay in the six, the Jets need to kill off teams – starting with the clash against Adelaide at Coopers Stadium on Friday.

The battle with a struggling Reds is one of five games the Jets have against teams below them on the table in the final eight rounds.

“If you are going to be in the top six, you need to beat the teams around you and below you on the table,” Hoffman said. “We have done quite well against the bigger clubs at the top-end of the table. It’s often a mentality thing, you realise you have to lift. Our group does that quite well, which is a positive if we do make the finals. But beating teams we are expected to beat has been a struggle for us.The bigger clubs often want to control possession and that suits us.With the squad we have, we are quite mobile and back ourselves to be effective in transition.The challenge for us is when we play lower sides;can we turn the tide and not just be a counter-attacking team?”

Adelaidewere thrashed 5-0 by Perth at home last round and are cemented to the bottom of the ladder. Despite their struggles, Hoffman said the Reds, who play Gamba Osaka in the opening game of the Asian Champions League group stage next Wednesday, should not be underestimated.

“Adelaide are still a bit of a dark horse,” Hoffman said. “They can be a bit of a banana skin for a side who goes in with the wrong mentality. For us it is about justifying our position on the table. Nothing short of a win on Friday night will be good enough.”

In his 10thseason in the A-League, Hoffman has been a revelation since being switched from right to left fullback three weeks ago.He worked tirelessly to contain Victory danger man Marco Rojas. The 28-year-old did a similar job opposite young flyer Bruce Kamau in the 2-1 win over Melbourne City and scored a wonder goal in the 3-2 loss to Perth.

“You have to be extra concentrated against people like that,” Hoffman said. “You let them free for one moment and they can punish you.It is a pretty similar principle in the fullback role whether you are right or left.You do have to concentrate a bit more.On the left side your body shape changes defensively and there are a few little technical things that change.Coming down left side also opens up the field for me on my right foot, my natural side.”

Jason Hoffman