ALLIANCE: The Prime Minister has treated Senator Matt Canavan and deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce very differently in the citizenship furore, Mr Fitzgibbon argues. In my 21 years in the federal Parliament I’ve experienced some very interesting sitting weeks. For balance, many of them occurred during the 43rdParliament when Labor was in minority-government and Tony Abbott was making the most of every opportunity.
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But I believe last week’s sitting takes the prize as the most bizarre.

Behind all the political battle lines lay some very serious issues. When the two Greens declared their dual citizenship they immediately left the Parliament.

The Prime Minister admonished them for their “sloppiness” and declared their departure the right thing to do.

But he was happy to embrace somewhat of a lower standard for the National Party’s Senator Matt Canavan.

He was asked to step-aside from his Cabinet post and declared he would not exercise his vote in the Senate until the High Court determined his fate.

For the time being, he remains in the Senate.

When Barnaby Joyce rose to his feet in the Parliament to declare he is a citizen of New Zealand, the Prime Minister adopted a different and lower standard.

Joyce was allowed to retain his roles as deputy Prime Minister and cabinet minister.No satisfactory explanation was given to explain the different treatment for Canavan and Joyce.

Of course, the difference can only be their respective parliamentary chambers.

Governments are made and unmade in the House of Representatives. It’s where the numbers matter most.

Subjecting Barnaby Joyce to the same standard as Matt Canavan would have cost the government a vote in the house where it has the barest of majorities, just 76 of the 150 seats.

After providing the Speaker the number is just 75 seats.

Allowing the number to fall to 74 seats poses an existential threat to the government, and the Prime Minister was not prepared to take that risk.

This political expediency puts the government’s political interests ahead of the national interest.

We already have somethingof a crisis of confidence and a lack of community trust in our political system and institutions. Allowing members who appear to be in breach of the Constitution to continue to exercise their vote threatens to undermine that trust further.

It is likely to be late October before the High Court rules on the validity of Barnaby Joyce’s election.

In the meantime, he plans to vote on a number of crucial bills which affect all of us. He should not.

I’m yet to speak with a constitutional lawyer who believes Joyce’s prospects in the Court are good.

Like Matt Canavan, he should not exercise his vote until the verdict is known.

Just when we thought the Parliamentary sitting week could not grow crazier, Pauline Hanson donned the burqa.

Senator Fiona Nash also declared herself a Scot.

Like her party head, the Nationals’ deputy leader has no intention of giving up her vote or her cabinet post.

And we wonder why people are shaking their heads!

Joel Fitzgibbon has been the federal member for Hunter since the 1996 election. He is Labor’s shadow minister for rural and regional Australia, spokesman for the country caucus and shadow minister for agriculture, fisheries and forestry.Read More →


Rome: An earthquake hit the tourist-packed holiday island of Ischia on Monday night, killing two people, injuring dozens and trapping three young brothers who survived for up to 16 hours before being rescued.
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Tourists and residents on the island off the coast of Naples ran out onto the narrow streets after the quake wrecked a church and several buildings. Fearing aftershocks, many decided to leave the island early.

Rescuers found a baby boy called Pasquale in the wreckage and pulled him out alive in his nappy early on Tuesday, seven hours after the shock. There was a hush followed by loud applause.

Fire crews found his brothers Mattia and Ciro, aged seven and 11, stuck under a bed nearby. They kept talking to them and fed water to them through a tube.

“I promised them that after this was all over we would all go get a pizza together,” one emergency worker said on Italian television.

They freed Mattia late on Tuesday morning and later extracted Ciro more than 16 hours after the quake hit. The parents were safe because they were in another room.

They said Ciro had probably saved his brother’s life by shoving him under the bed when the quake struck.

“The rescuers were great. We really have to thank God for this miracle,” said the island’s bishop, Pietro Lagnese.

About six buildings in the town of Casamicciola, including a church, collapsed in the quake, which hit at 8:57pm local time on Monday. The walls of one were ripped open, exposing a kitchen with a table still set for dinner.

Italy’s National Institute of Geophysics and Vulcanology put the magnitude at 4.0, revising it up from an initial 3.6, but both the U.S. Geological Survey and the European quake agency estimated it at 4.3.

It struck three days before the first anniversary of a major quake that killed nearly 300 people in central Italy, most of them in the town of Amatrice. Falling masonry

The director of the island’s hospital said two women were killed and about 40 injured. One of the victims was hit by falling masonry from the church of Santa Maria del Suffragio, the Civil Protection Department in Rome said.

The church was rebuilt after it, like most of Casamicciola, was destroyed by an earthquake that killed about 2,000 people in 1883.

Most of the damage was in the high part of the volcanic island. Hotels and residences on the coast did not appear to suffer serious damage but fire brigades were checking to see if they were still habitable.

The island has a year-round population of about 63,000, which swells to more than 200,000 in summer, with many people from the mainland owning holiday homes.

Civil Protection Department head Angelo Borrelli said about 2,600 people could not re-enter their homes, pending checks.

Helicopters and a ferry boat brought in more rescue workers from the mainland. Some civil protection squads were already on the island because of brushfires.

Three extra ferries were provided during the night for about 1,000 residents and tourists who wanted to leave. As daylight broke, dozens of people went to the island’s ports, having decided to end their vacations early.

Many who were due to take ferries from Naples on the mainland to start their vacations cancelled their plans, local officials said.

Ischia, about a one-hour ride from Naples, is popular with German tourists, and Chancellor Angela Merkel has stayed there often.

Reuters /**/

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Clear skies: Blackall-Tambo mayor Andrew Martin is looking forward to the day when, rather than searching for a signal, he can operate his business “in the cloud”.Residents of the Blackall-Tambo region are on the cusp of a technological shake-up its leaders say will be the envy of regional communities around Australia.
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An exhaustive search by the region’s mayor for a communications solution to what he described as an “unreliable and expensive” satellite internet service has led to the announcement of a partnership with South Western Wireless for the provision of “superfast internet”.

“The fast backhaul offered by this idea would allow a company as big as BHP to set up here,” mayor Andrew Martin said. “It’s a blueprint for remote communities around the world to have the option of very fast internet.”

Although the bold project is not yet fully funded –it relies on a $500,000 grant from the federal Building Better Regions fund to become reality –Cr Martin is confident it will succeed.

“The applications are all intertwined, every level of government is aware of the other parts,” he said. “I’m not saying it’s a fait accompli but it’s unusual for these sorts of things not to get full support.”

The Blackall-Tambo Regional Council committed $125,000 to the project in its 2017-18 budget, to be used in conjunction with $500,000 from the state government’s Building Our Regions fund.

The scheme uses optic fibre cableat Barcaldine, bypassing Telstra’s fibre running through both Blackall and Tambo, and 24‘point to point’ microwave towers to transmit a wireless signal equally around the region.

As well as internet packages, even the most remote resident will be able to choose whether to continue with existing landline services or move to Voice Over Internet Protocols, and possibly use their mobile phone via wifi hotspots.

The 20-year deal will be hosted and maintained by South Western Wireless at no cost to the council.

“For the first time, people living on properties will be waiting for technology to catch up,” Cr Martin said.

The offering doesn’t stop there –not only will government departments, especially emergency services, be offered use of the network for no charge, grey nomads will be able to pull into laybys in the region and access wifi hotspots.

Council’s existing infrastructure will be upgraded, including rebroadcast capability for digital television and radio, UHF repeaters, and even its telephony services.

South Western Wireless CEO, Geoff Peach, described it as the BTRC Metro Area.

“Wifi hotspots and emergency telephones will be deployed at council’s roadside amenities stops to provide communications for travellers and monitoring of equipment at the sites using CCTV and other remote monitoring equipment.

South Western Wireless CEO, Geoff Peach

The scheme is an opt-in one, meaning people can choose to stay with their SkyMuster retail service provider or Telstra service but Mr Peach expected that 80 per cent of the shire’s residents would say they weren’t happy with their current service.

He is callingon organisations to offer services, based on the speeds and prices on offer.

As a vertically integrated organisation, it’s the subscriptions from users and companies with add-on services that South Western Wireless relieson for its profit.

“People on the network can have their telephones provided by us as well –it’s a whole of communications solution,” Geoff said.“People will be able to import their telephone number –everything is identical from the point of view of the subscriber.”

Geoff described South Western Wireless as the first company to bring in a facility that “deals with the needs of a whole region in one hit”.

“I think this will bring people back, and stop people from leaving,” he said.

Cr Martin has similar high hopes. He used the example of rural businesses not being able to use a custom-designed world-acclaimed accounting package on current internet systems, and shifting their businesses elsewhere.

“People are currently paying $90 a month for internet that’s sometimes unusable.”

Geoff expected they would start deploying infrastructure before the middle of August and hoped to have the first dozen of 24 towers in operation before Christmas.

Ongoing tower maintenance will be provided by South Western Wireless.

Two other councils have already asked for a similar deal for their communities.

Queensland Country Life

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RECENTLY retired Newcastle Jockey Club operations manager Peter Birch believes the much-maligned course proper at Broadmeadow will be a long-term success if “managed properly” and the track will “be back flying” for next month’s spring carnival.
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START TO FINISH: Peter Birch pictured at Newcastle Racecourse in January 2013 after starting as NJC course manager. Birch came to Newcastle after working on track renovations at Toowoomba, Caloundra and Mackay. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

The 67-year-old retired in late July after almost five years in charge of course maintenance at Newcastle, including overseeing construction of the $11.2 million, sand-based StrathAyr track which opened in March.

The Racing NSW-funded state-of-the-art track replaced the troublesome surface, which was deemed unsafe and closed for two months in late 2011.

However, the new kikuyu grass track has proven difficult and expensive to maintain. Following dethatching work on the inside eight metres, recent meetings have been moved to the Beaumont track to rest the main course in preparation for the NJC’s September 15-16 spring carnival.

The state of the course properhas been criticised but Birch was confident the track would be “perfect” for the spring features.

“I haven’t been here for a couple of weeks, but I cameback on Saturday, andI can’t see too many problems,” Birch said.“It’s only a matter of time. We’re coming into spring-summer too, and we’ve had no growth. Kikuyu won’t grow in the winter time, ithates the cold, but it’s a great recovery grass so it will be back flying for the carnival. Kikuyu is a funny plant, but once you get ground temperature up around 12.5 degrees, it will just thrive.

“I think people have got to take astep back and just look towards the future.”

Asked whether the track would be a long-term success, Birch said:“Managed properly, yeah.

“There’s no doubt StrathAyr are the best operators. Whether you like their profile or not, their earthworks and everything that they do is A1.

“Some people don’t like sand profile tracks but they are probably going to be the thing of the future.”

The track opened in March to rave reviews from leading jockeys but criticism has gradually mounted as the course hasdeteriorated.

While Birch would not comment, theHeraldunderstands Racing NSW has given directives on the track’s maintenance in recent months.

“The only thing I can say is that I was brought down here to rebuild both the tracks and everything went fine,” Birch said.

“I didn’t have any problem and the way it was racing, it was racing absolutely beautiful, and from that period on, I can’t comment on.”

The outside section of the course proper waswatered and soft when lastused for racingon August 12 and for trials on August 16. It will not be used again before the spring carnival, after which it will be off limits while further dethatching work is carried out.

Birch, who oversaw the construction of a StrathAyr profile at Mackay before moving to Newcastle, said dethatching work was crucial inmaintaining the health of the surface.

“I went to Hong Kong last October and they are both reinforced tracks [Happy Valley and Sha Tin], done the same way, and you must have the thatch relieved from the profile,” he said.

“You have got to get rid of it.You look at Moonee Valley, Happy Valley and Sha Tin, it’s the same profile and they are magnificent profiles.”

Birch said the challenges of the Newcastle track had played no part in his decision to retire and enjoyed the long hours working with StrathAyr.

“Just before Christmas last year, I had a bit of a turn and my health wasn’t the best,” he said.

“I went to [NJC CEO] Matt [Benson] when I had another one and said my health wasn’t getting any better and I’ll stay until after the carnival if you want me to and he said we’ll work it out.”

Birch, who will return home to Queensland to retire, believed Newcastle’s course proper was “the best surface in Australia” and he wished the NJC all the best.

“I’ve made some very good friends here,” he said on Tuesday.

“I went over to track this morning andspoke to [leading trainers] Kris Lees and Paul Perry and we had a great chat, as I always did.

“I speak to all the trainers all the time and I just hope whoever comes here keeps the trainers onside, because they’ve been fantastic through the whole project.

“I’ve been here five years and for the past seven years they’ve been under a lot of inconvenience, and there’s not been a cross word.I don’t know whether things have changed, I can’t comment on that.”

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North Construction and Building has been in operation for 30 years and has grown steadily to become the largest locally owned and operated commercial building company in this region.
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BODY OF WORK: The award-winning Mariners Centre of Excellence at Wyong was constructed by North and is one of the state’s premier training facilities.

With a new, head office at Tuggerah, their projects are primarily in the Newcastle, Central Coast and Greater Hunter regions.

They are entered in six building categories this year with projects spaning the Aged Care, Health, Education and General Commercial sectors, and two personnel divisions.

MAKING A SPLASH: North won plaudits for its work on Merewether Surf House which transformed the iconic beachside landscape.

Those entries are:

“By selecting North as your builder of choice, you are ensuring a reputable builder with the relevant skills and local trade support that will deliver your project with a genuine interest in achieving the best possible outcome,” North Director of Projects Matthew Cook sadi.

“We are a successful building company with a reputation for our professional and ethical approach, our ability to work cooperatively with clients and consultants alike and for our quality work.

“As a finalist in the Master Builders Association Excellence in Construction awards we aim to continue delivery of this quality and service to our clients in every project undertaken.”

Quality, safety and environmental systems in line with Australian standards underpin North’s services.

North has been the recipient of MBA awards every year since 2004, including the prestigious Commercial Builder of the Year titles in 2011 and again 2016.

For more info, visit 梧桐夜网northconstruction南京夜网419论坛.

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Catchphrase: Coal being carried to Newcastle. Picture: Marina Neil. We were recently reacquainted with the saying “carrying coals to Newcastle”.
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We’d wondered about this phrase before. Did they mean our Newcastle?

As it turns out, no. They meant Newcastle, our UK sister. Or would it be brother? How about our gender-neutral sibling? That’s a bit of a mouthful, though.

Anyhow, we’dheard this saying about coal before, but we never paid it much attention.

From what we understand, the saying has other versions such as bringing, taking or selling coals to Newcastle.

The coal industry in the British Newcastle has beenconsigned to the pages of history.

But since our Newcastle remains a coal behemoth, the saying still rings true. How long this remains the case is up for debate, what with climate change, renewable energy and the like. Some days it feels like we’re at a turning point in history and that the end of coal is nigh. Or perhaps it’s just the beginning of the end.

Coals to Newcastle is on par with other idioms, such as selling ice to Eskimos and pizza to the Italians (we always thought it was selling tomatoes to the Italians).

For those who don’t know (or just forgot), carrying coals to Newcastle refers to an unnecessary activity.

Of course, coal trains from the Hunter do in fact carry coalto Newcastle. But then, it’s loaded onto ships to sail the seven seas,before being burnt in distant lands to create that weird and wonderful thing – electricity.

What are the sayings or idioms thatyou useor once used?

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Wisdom Teeth False teeth left on a sink at a toilet stop on the M1 Motorway.

Topics wrote last Friday about seeing afrightful dental ad on a public bus at theWindale-Bennetts Green lights. A young girl was pictured in the ad, with her mouth wide open, showingher braces.

This prompted a response from none other than Ray Dinneen, the former NBN newsman.

“Prompted by your topic about the braces on the bus, I proffer these choppers,”Ray said.

“Someone left them at the basins at the Hawkesbury River toilets beside the M1.

“I can only assume they were just not a good fit, and the owner preferred to pass them on.

“Not to me I hasten to add.”

And we hope you never need them, Ray.

And let those false teeth be a lesson to us all to keep brushing and flossing. And keep away fromthe Coke.

Ned’s Number Plate This number plate made us wonder if there’s a person named Ned Kelly.

Topics wrote recently about Ned Kelly’s distant relative, RaymondTerrace roofer Mal Kelly. Mal is a spitting image of his famous bushranger ancestor.

Then we came across this number plate at Budgewoi on the Central Coast. Could the owner perhaps be another descendantof Ned Kelly?Maybe it’s a bloke whose name really is Ned Kelly.

Return TicketTopics wrote this week about kind souls who leave valid parking tickets in the slots of ticket machines.

This sparked a memory for Keith Parsons of the days when “you could buy return traintickets to Sydney (and anywhere else)”.

“The tickets were small pieces of cardboard. You tore off the return half (marked with a large R and stamped with the date) when you finished your forward journey.

“The return ticket was valid for two or threemonths after the date stamped on the ticket. On the return trip, there were no inspectors to clip theticket and no ticket-collecting staff at Newcastle Station exit barrier, particularly at night. So you put the ticket in your wallet and used it over and over till the date expired.”

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SHOWCASE: The MBA Building Awards are the culmination of planning and constructing the region’s most prestigious and iconic buildings.The area’s leading builders, contractors and apprentices will converge on NEX, Newcastle West on Friday night for the annualMaster Builders Association Excellence in Building Awards.
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Over 150 entries havenominated in a range of residential and commercial building categories worth over $240 million in value, showcasing exceptional build quality throughout the Hunter, Central Coast and Mid North Coast.

Experienced judges have the task of selecting the best of the best from the entrants and each year sees new and innovative building designs, products and finishes.

The awards encourage, promote and recognise “Best Practice” in building with both entrants and winners setting standards which advances public confidence in the construction industry.

The projects entered demonstrate the professional building skills and business expertise possessed by so many of the region’s contractors and builders.

With record low interest rates the region shows no signs of reduced activity, especially in relation to residential and multi-storey construction. Future prospects look promising for local builders, contractors and apprentices who are skilled and customer focused.

The number of knock down and rebuilding projects within inner city suburbs is still increasing along with a very healthy level of renovation activity.

This is backed up by recent Australian Bureau of Statistics building approval figures for the year ended June 2017 showing 3800 housing and apartment approvals and $159 million worth of alterations for the Hunter region.

Total building approvals were $2.2 billion compared to $2.4 billion in 2016.

The commercial categories in the awards displayed exceptional standards in both design and finishes.

Hunter and Central Coast residents will recognize many of the builders and their newly completed projects within the regions.

These include, to name but a few: Compton Projects – Christ Church Cathedral; North Construction – Opal Aged Care (Hillside); Procon Building – Mayfield Aged Care; PDA Building – Scratchley’s Restaurant; Stevens Construction – Element (Erina); Australian Heritage Restorations – Maitland Railway Station; Deane Projects – Kinda Kapers (Toronto); and Graph Builders – Scenic Head office.

The commercial building awards include Public Buildings, Extensions and Renovations, Interior Fit-out, Civil Engineering and Commercial Projects.

In addition the Master Builders will reward the Commercial Apprentice, Commercial Subcontractor and University Construction Graduate of the Year.

The residential awards always attract a great deal of attention and close competition with exceptional build quality, exciting new products and greater focus on sustainability and energy/water efficiency.

Well known local builders include McDonald Jones, A & K MacKay Building, Graph Builders, Ferris Building and EnVogue Builds.

Residential awards cover Alterations, Custom Built Homes, Medium Density, Display Homes, Kitchens and Bathrooms.

The judges also had a difficult time in selecting the Housing Apprentice of the Year, SafeWork WHS Award winner for Small Business Housing Builder, Housing Subcontractor and Women in Building award winners. Again the quality and skills of all the entrants was excellent.

Master Builders congratulates all the entrants for their achievements in an industry which provides valuable employment and business opportunities.

The Hunter Region is well served by so many skilled and talented business owners and their staff and we must congratulate Master Builders Apprentices who currently employ and mentor 180 skilled young people and have been in operation for 18 years. In addition the support and sponsorship from Hunter TAFE is greatly appreciated along with the excellent training they provide to the region’s construction apprentices.

We trust the Master Builders Excellence in Building Awards shines a spotlight on the skills and professionalism of our local building contractors.

Winners will again feature strongly in the MBA’s National Awards to be held in November.

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Generic Commonwealth Bank. Banking, CBA, ATM, Business. 18th April 2017. AFR photo Louie Douvis .The Commonwealth Bank faces a potential investor class action over its disclosure of more than 53,000 alleged breaches of anti-money laundering laws, following a sharp fall in its share price when the scandal emerged earlier this month.
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Plaintiff law firm Maurice Blackburn, backed by listed litigation funder IMF Bentham, said on Wednesday it would investigate a potential class action on behalf of CBA shareholders, citing the hit to the bank’s share price.

Maurice Blackburn said it was “astounding” that the bank did not tell investors about the alleged breaches earlier.

The law firm said it could be the largest shareholder class action in Australian history. The current record for a shareholder class action was a $200 million settlement for Centro shareholders of 2012.

CBA noted the potential action, saying it had not been served with legal proceedings but would keep the market informed as needed.

The action is focused on how the bank disclosed allegations that it failed to properly report or monitor suspicious transactions, and that its ATMs were used by criminal gangs to wash millions of dollars.

IMF Bentham said it was investigating claims relating to alleged misleading or deceptive conduct by the bank, and alleged breaches by the bank of its continuous disclosure obligations, relating to Austrac’s legal action against the bank.

Each contravention of the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act carries a maximum penalty of $18 million, meaning CBA could face a massive fine.

“Austrac alleges that CBA contravened the AML/CTF Act on more than 53,000 occasions. The Austrac allegations are extensive and it is astounding that the market would not be advised of such serious and repeated breaches as soon as the company became aware of them,” the national head of class actions at Maurice Blackburn, Andrew Watson, said.

Mr Watson said he was confident the action would proceed, and its size was likely to be “very large” because of the very high number of shareholders in CBA.

Mr Watson pointed to CBA’s own statements that it was aware of thousands of alleged breaches of its obligations to report transactions above $10,000 to Austrac in 2015, but had not informed the market.

He also said the bank had made “specific representations” to the market that it was complying with anti-money laundering laws through its website, and documents used in a capital raising and annual reports.

“It’s just extraordinary, frankly, that you could have the level of non-compliance which the Austrac pleadings allege, and a board think that that was not sufficiently material that the shareholders should be informed,” he said.

The law firm is taking registrations from shareholders who bought the stock between August 17, 2015 and August 3, 2017, the day the Austrac action was announced.

CBA, which has been contacted for comment, has not yet lodged its defence in the Austrac case.

Chief executive Ian Narev has previously said it was alerted to two breaches by Austrac in August 2015, in which it failed to notify authorities of cash deposits above $10,000. Mr Narev said CBA then looked into the matter and found tens of thousands of such breaches, which it said were caused by a “coding error”.

The bank has said it did not become aware of Austrac’s civil suit against it until it was lodged on August 3.

It has not said when it became aware Austrac was conducting an investigation into the bank, but has maintained it complied with disclosure obligations, which require companies to tell investors about news that is “material”.

CBA’s share price fell from an intraday high of $84.69 on the day the Austrac action was announced, a Thursday, and opened at $80.11 on the following Monday, Maurice Blackburn said.

“Our investigations and analysis show that this drop was in the top 1 per cent of price movements that CBA experienced in the past five years, making it apparent that the news was of material significance to shareholders,” Mr Watson said.

Director of IMF Bentham, Hugh McLernon, said claims from shareholders could be registered from Wednesday.

“CBA is facing most serious allegations from Austrac, and there are serious questions to be answered about what the company knew and when,” Mr McLernon said.

The action comes after the corporate watchdog also said this month it was investigating whether CBA and its directors breached the Corporations Act in their handling of Austrac’s allegations, including whether it properly disclosed material information.

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Love Your Sister’s Connie Johnson. Photo: Sitthixay DitthavongIn an emotional social media post Love Your Sister’s Connie Johnson has declared that despite the realities she faces during her final stages of terminal cancer, she is trying to “find the positives.”
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The sister of 2017 Logie winning actor Samuel Johnson, 39, with whom she runs the Love Your Sister cancer charity, posted on Facebook on Tuesday night that despite “feeling cheated out of those normal daily experiences” and “mourning the loss” of usual bodily functions, she remained “wonderfully happy” with the parts of her life she can still celebrate.

“[T]oday I realised that I still have my mind, there’s not cancer there. I still have my hands and my arms for hugging my children, I still have eyesight for seeing my friends,” she wrote.

Last month Molly actor Samuel Johnson revealed on social media that his 40-year-old sister was “actively dying” and moving into hospice care after ceasing all treatment for the final stage breast cancer and liver that has racked for body for three years. She had already fought and beaten bone cancer at 11, and uterine cancer in her early twenties.

“Con’s needed a lot of quiet time lately to try and comprehend the total head******y that ‘actively dying’ brings. She’s been colouring in to keep the nasty thoughts at bay! She said to tell you that there’s life in the old dog yet,” he wrote.

In true Johnson style, the mother of Willoughby, 10, and Hamilton, 9, also wrote in her latest Facebook post that she is still finding solace and optimism.

“I still have my hearing for lovely conversations and music. I still have a couple of hours a day when I can do my craft. These are things to celebrate, I just feel so wonderfully happy!”

Johnson also posted photos to her Instagram earlier this week of time spent in her hospice. The photos include her colouring-in therapy books with a friend, as well as breaking out of the hospice to visit artist Marie Ramos and “the villagers” leading the Love Your Sister charity’s latest project; imprinting 2000 fingerprint love heart tiles from celebrities and supporters to raise $100,000.

Samuel Johnson, who penned an emotional tribute to his sister last month, also announced recently that he was retiring from acting to focus full-time on his sister’s wellbeing and Love Your sister, which was raised $5 million so far for cancer research.

Many supporters have shown their support and love for Connie on social media, thanking her for dedicating so much time to finding a cure while enduring her toughest battle.

“Connie, you have raised awareness and grown a village that will support you during the hardest walk that you both are travelling,” one wrote.

Another continued, “I have so much love for you and Connie. The courage you both continue to show and the empire you both have built is beyond words.”

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LADBROKESGardens is counting down toFriday night’s Group Two Sires On Ice Black Top final, after seven outstanding heatswere run and won last Friday afternoon.
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Richmond Vale trainer Jason Mackay had an afternoon to remember qualifying three runners, including a best of the day performance from his group one victor Mister Twister.

CHANCE: Jason Mackay

Stepping from box one, this regally bred son of Collision and Double Twist stuck to the rails and took to the lead at the top of the home turn, etching away from his rivals in a blistering 29.53 performance.

Mackay’s other victors included Zipping Chang (29.78) and Riley Tokaam (29.73), who also recorded the fastest run-home time of the day, with a slick run of 12.02.

Nulkaba trainer Michael Bamback produced the biggest upset of the day in heat three, after Kyra Miss took the lead approaching the home turn and sprinted away from her rivals by 3.75 lengths.

This daughter of Fabregas recorded a time of 29.98 and notched up her 10th career victory.

Two Jay continued his outstanding run of form, taking out heat four by a neck in 29.84.

The Darryl Chapman-trained chaser mowed down early leader Royal Turbo, notching up his third victoryat the track in justfour starts.

Victorian trainer Seona Thompson qualified her two runners for the final, with Aston Bolero leading all the way from box one, clocking 29.78 and Aqua Cheetah produced an outstanding run after copping several checks to secure his place in the final, recording 29.81.

The final is race eight on the program, scheduled for 9.38pm.

The box draw for the $40,000 to-the-winner final is: 1. Aqua Cheetah (Seona Thompson), 2. Aston Bolero (Seona Thompson), 3. Lord Jack (Ron Bell),4. Riley Tokaam (Jason Mackay),5. Kyra Miss (Michael Bamback),6. Mister Twister (Jason Mackay),7. Two Jay (Darryl Chapman),8. Zipping Chang (Jason Mackay).

* ZINKEYhas made a promising start to her career, recording her second-consecutive win over 400m last Friday, with an impressive run-home of 11.87.

Trained at Branxton by Lindsay Davis, this daughter of Keybow is yet to be unplaced after four starts and steps up to the 515m journey in race three from box two this Friday night.

Hot Chevy was an impressive newcomer for Butterwick trainer Jody Manual last Saturday night, blitzing her rivals by 8.25 lengths over 400m from box three.

This daughter of Dyna Tron and Elite Tarawi produced a best-of-the-night performance of 23.11, with an impressive run home of 11.86.

* THEjourney from Blacktown was worth it for trainer Troy Vella on Saturday night, after scoring a running double with Despicable Becky and Twenty Six.

Seaham trainer Kellie Fogarty also produced a winning double on the night with Sweetest Quality and Captain Quality both successful over the 400m journey.

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SATURDAYFish & Fin Saturday and Sunday, from 10am, D’Albora Marina, Nelson Bay. A weekend-long celebration, part of the Love Seafood Festival. A great family day out with something for everyone –from cooking demonstrations and masterclasses to educational talks, seafood tastings and a Kids Fun Zone with interactive displays, touch tanks and fish feeding. Go to portstephens.org419论坛/loveseafood for program of events.
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Glenrock Beach-Clean Picnic 9.30am, Glenrock State Conservation Reserve. A morning of bushwalking, beaching and picnicing (plus a little bit of rubbish clean-up). Meet at the bottom of Scout Camp Road. Gloves and bagsprovided.

Newcastle Jazz Festival 2017 Saturday and Sunday, Wests New Lambton. Traditional jazz, mainstream, swing, blues, contemporary, jazz orchestras and big bands.

2017 Food & Wine Expo Saturday and Sunday, Newcastle Entertainment Centre.Free tastings and samples from more than 80 gourmet exhibitors, demonstrations and thelatest products and ideas.

East Maitland CWA Branch Market Day 8am to 2pm,162 George Street,East Maitland. Market stalls; Devonshire tea; bric-a-brac and more.

Kurri Kurri Girl Guides Garage Sale 8am to 1pm,Kurri Kurri Guide Hall, 116 Lang Street, Kurri Kurri. New and quality pre-loved items for sale; BBQ and more. Raises funds for members to attend an International Jamboree in 2018.

Morpeth Tea Party10am to 5pm, Saturday and Sunday, Campbell’s Store, 175 Swan Street, Morpeth.

QuiltaramaSaturday, 10am to 4pm, andSunday,10am to 3pm,Clarence Town School of Arts Hall, 48 Grey Street, Clarence Town. Quilts and quilted items on display; items for sale include patchwork, quilting and sewing supplies, handmade gifts and other crafts. Vote for your favourite quilt or quilted item. Cafe food available.

Spring Fair 201710am to 3pm, St Philip’sChristian College, Lomas Lane, Nulkaba. Cake and craft stalls; entertainment; woodchopping; amusement rides; a petting zoo and more.

Newcastle International Animation Festival Saturday and Sunday, 6pm to 9pm, Tower Cinemas Newcastle. Animators bring you the world’s finest bite-sized animated films. Cost $10 per session or $25 for a weekend pass.

Laguna Public School Art Exhibition Saturday and Sunday, 10am to 4pm, Laguna Community Hall.

2017 Sleapy’s Day Noon, Townsen Oval, Newcastle. Money raised from ticket sales donated directly to those affected by cancer or adversity.

From Us To You 9am to 1pm, Alesco Senior College, 100 Laman Street, Newcastle West. Browse, try on and take a gorgeous outfit for your school formal for free. Dresses range in size from 6 to 22; shoes, bags, jewellery, hair adornments, men’s suits and shirts.

Super Street Sale 8am to 2pm, Beach Road, Wangi Wangi.

Musica Viva: Takacs Quartet7.30pm, Conservatorium of Music, Auckland Street, Newcastle.

Hunter Valley Steam TrainsLachlan Valley Railway will be running steam locomotive 5917 from Maitland Railway Station. Seating is limited.Visit lvr南京夜网419论坛 for booking information or go to trybooking南京夜网.

SUNDAYShortland Family Fun Day 10am to 2pm, Tuxford Park, Shortland. Free rides; markets; entertainment; sporting clinics and more.

Car Boot Sale 7.30am to 2.30pm, PCYC Newcastle.

All Japanese Day 9am, McDonald Jones Stadium, Broadmeadow. Presented by Newcastle Sporting Car Club Inc, Toyota Nationals Inc andShannons.Entry $10 per car, spectators free.

DKs Show & ShineMorisset Showgrounds, 40 Ourimbah Street, Morisset. Gates open at 7.30am for entrants and stall holders; 10am for spectators. All money donated to Epilepsy Action Australia.

NSW Rural Fire Service Lower Hunter Field Day 8.30am, Maitland Showground. Firefighter action; emergency vehicle display; trade displays; food stalls; face painting; amusement rides;bushfire information stand and more.

Lake Macquarie Running Festival 7.30am, The Esplanade, Warners Bay. There’s an event for everyone, including the 4km Kids Scamper, Newcastle Permanent’s 10.5km Fun Run and the Half Marathon.

Hoyts Rewind 3.30pm, Hoyts Charlestown. The Lion King.

The Fashion Circle 10am, Club Maitland City, Rutherford. Browse pre-loved clothes and accessories. Entry $5.

Paterson Rotary Club Car Boot Sale 8am, near Tucker Park, Paterson.

Lemon Jam 10am to 4pm, Lemon Tree Passage. Music; markets; kids’ activities; raffles.

SAVE THE DATEThe Women’s Adventure Film Tour comes to Tower Cinemas Newcastle on September 6. The film selection comes from the Mountainfilm festival in Telluride, Colorado, and tells real stories about women from a variety of cultures.Tickets at eventbrite南京夜网419论坛.

MARKETSSwansea Markets Saturday, 7.30am to 1pm,Quinn Park, Galgabba Street, Swansea.All proceeds to East Lake Macquarie Historical Society.

Sacred Tree Markets Saturday and Sunday, 10am to 3pm,d’Albora Marina, Nelson Bay.

Lake Macquarie City Farmers Market and Tighes Hill Farmers Market Saturday, 7.30am to 1pm, Tighes Hill TAFE.

Handmade in the Hunter Markets Saturday, 9am to 3pm, Kevin Sobels Wines, corner Broke and Halls roads, Pokolbin.

Port Stephens Market Saturday, 9am to 1pm,Port Stephens Church of Christ, 2789 Nelson Bay Road, Salt Ash.

Clarence Town Community Markets Saturday, 8am to noon, ClarenceTownBowling Sport and Recreation Club.

Newcastle FlowerMarketsSaturday, 9.30am to noon, 1 Rural Drive, Sandgate.

Hunter Street Organic Food MarketSaturday, 9am to 3pm, Hunter Street Mall, Newcastle.

Hunter Wine Country MarketsSaturday, 9am to 3pm, De Bortoli Wines, 532 Wine Country Drive, Pokolbin.

Adamstown Lions MarketSunday,8am to noon,corner Glebe and Brunker roads, Adamstown.

Newcastle & Hunter Vietnam Veterans Inc. Market Sunday, 7am to 1pm, Wickham Park, Islington.New stall sites available, phone Pat Burke on 0413 333 165.

Tomaree Market Sunday,8.30am to 1pm, Tomaree Sports Complex park, Nelson Bay Road, Nelson Bay.

Newcastle City Farmers Market Sunday, 7am to 1pm, Newcastle Showground, Broadmeadow.

ARTSWollombi Cultural Centre Paintings & Mosaics: Kaye Lovie, Mary Francis, Marilyn Miller, Julie Eller. Ends Sunday.

Cooks Hill GalleriesAdam Cullenand the Cubists, by Adam Cullen, Gavin Fry, Shannon Woodward.

Cessnock Regional Art Gallery This Place In Me, by Lorraine Hall. Until September 17.

Newcastle Art Space Gallery Equivocal, byJoerg Lehmann,Nerissa Lowe,Stuart Marlin.

The Lock-UpRelay League, by Angelica Mesiti. Until September 17.

Lake Macquarie City Art GalleryGlass Cage, byLezlie Tilley; Book Club, by Chris Bond, Deidre Brollo, Simryn Gill, Julie Gough, Stephen Goddard, William Kentridge, Archie Moore, Brigita Ozolins, Patrick Pound, Cyrus Tang, Ahn Wells, Naomi Riddle. Start Sunday.

Morpeth Gallery Max Mannis. Ends Sunday.

Australia’s Most Famous BabiesHamilton Library. Afree travelling display featuring May Gibbs’ iconic artworkincluding Snugglepot and Cuddlepie and the gumnut babies. Until September 1.

Timeless TextilesMusings, by Margaret Adams. Until September 10.

Watt Space GalleryPhotograph as Object: Works by third year Photomedia students;Ice Age Remnants, by Patrick Torley;Pas Romantique by Hannah Dunn. Ends Sunday.

Port Stephens Art CentreA Hint of Colour. Until September 5.

Newcastle Art GalleryKilgour Prize 2017; The Figure Feminine. Until October 15.

Art Systems WickhamFusion, by Christine Ros. Ends Sunday.

Gallery 139The Clocking Tick, by Olivia Parsonage. Ends Sunday.

Gloucester GalleryGloucester High School HSC Students. Until September 9.

Acrux Art GalleryDreaming In Colour.

Maitland Regional Art GalleryFertile Ground, by Gaye Shield and Julie Hosking. Until October 22.ATLAS; Play, by Sylvia Ray. Until October 8. Fiona Foley. Until December 3.Derek Kreckler: Accident and Process. Until September 3.Make A Face; Showcase 4 Exhibition. Until September 10.Lionel’s Place. Until April 8, 2018.

HNEH Waratah CampusArt For Waratah Exhibition –The Beauty of the Australian Alps.

CStudiosArt GalleryDuende, by Hunter Women Artists. Until September 2.

Muswellbrook Regional Arts CentreContemporising the Modern;Travis De Vries: Lost Tales – Walking with Gods. Ends Sunday.

Newcastle Studio Potters & Back to Back GalleriesTracks. Until September 3.

The Stubborn Scorpio –Cafe and Art House Tamika Stuart.

THEATRE2017 Micro Theatre FestivalNew short plays written and staged by Hunterpeople. For screening details go tomicrotheatre南京夜网419论坛.

Funny and DarkTwo short plays:Trevor, by Nick Jones, with the title character a petchimpanzee, andVictim Boyfriend Sidekick Me, by Hilary Bell, with a girl celebrating acriminal court decision. Regional Institute of Performing Arts, at the Civic Playhouse,Newcastle. 7.30pm Saturday.

Inherit the WindA legal battle over teaching Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution raisesquestions on freedom of information; drama by Jerome Lawrence and Robert Edwin Leebased on a UStrial. Newcastle Theatre Company, at the NTC Theatre, Lambton.Saturday at 8pm, Sunday at 2pm.

Les MiserablesA prisoner jailed for stealing a loaf of bread helps care for people after hisrelease and becomes involved in a revolt against a corrupt regime; spectacular musical set in19th century France. Metropolitan Players, at the Civic Theatre, Newcastle. Saturdayat 2pm and 8pm (final shows).

Love’s Labour’sLostA young king who has sworn off women while he studies is visitedby an attractive princess. Reamus Youth Theatre,at Maitland Repertory Theatre. Saturday at 8pm (final show).

The Crucifer of BloodA woman engages detective Sherlock Holmes to investigate thethreats her father and three others face over a stolen treasure chest in India; comedy-drama byPaul Giovanni. DAPA Theatre, at DAPA Theatre, Hamilton. Saturday, at 7.30pm, Sunday at2pm.

The Game’s AfootAn actor who has played Sherlock Holmes throughout his career sets upan investigation at a Christmas party after someone tries to kill him; comedy-drama by Ken Ludwig. Theatre on Brunker, at St Stephen’s Anglican Church Hall, Adamstown. Saturday, dinner and show at 7pm, show only at 8pm,plus 2pmSunday.

MUSIC5 Sawyers Saturday, DJ Timmy Coffey. Sunday, Adrianna Mac.

Anna Bay TavernSaturday, Smoke N Mirrors.

Australia Hotel CessnockSaturday, Pat Vs Cat.

Bar Petite Saturday, Holly Mae.

Battlesticks Bar Sunday,Aqwa.

Bay HotelSaturday, The Fedz.

Beach Hotel Saturday, The Black Sails. Sunday, The Col Teg Experience.

Bellbird HotelSaturday, The Core.

Belmont 16s Saturday, The Years, Tim Harding. Sunday, John Noble.

Belmont Hotel Saturday, The Dreamcatchers. Sunday, Robbie Long.

Belmont SportiesSaturday, Viagro.

Belmore HotelSaturday, XYZ.

Beresfield Bowling Club Saturday, Motown Magic. Sunday, Flattrakkers.

Black Malabar Saturday, The Bearfoot Band.

Blackbutt Hotel Saturday, The V Dubs.

The Bradford Saturday, Creedence Show & Women Of Rock.

Burwood Inn Saturday,DJ Tone.

Cambridge Hotel Saturday,Lny Tnz (Neth),Nemo. Sunday, Rachel Maria Cox, Bandintexas, Boudicca,Antonia & The Lazy Susans,Crazy Old Maurice.

Cardiff RSL Club Saturday, Misbehave.

Catho PubSaturday, Brett O’Malley.Sunday, Smokin Rosie.

Caves Beachside HotelSaturday, Dragon, Adrianna Mac.

Central Charlestown Leagues Club Saturday, Bobby C.

Central HotelStroudSaturday, Kenny Jewell.

Cessnock Leagues ClubSaturday, Solid Gold Party Night.

Charlestown Bowling Club Saturday, Joel Oakhill.

Civic TheatreSaturday,Musica Viva: Takacs Quartet.

Clarendon Hotel Saturday, Ashley Knight.

Club KotaraSaturday, Rendezvous Duo.

Club LemonTree Saturday,Greg Bryce.

Commercial Hotel Morpeth Saturday, Iguana.

Country Club HotelSaturday, Dream Catchers.

Criterion Hotel CarringtonSaturday, Big Pete. Sunday, Greg Bryce.

Customs House Saturday, Sarah Christine. Sunday, Chad Shuttleworth.

Cypress Lakes Saturday, Daniel Arvidson.

D’Albora MarinaSaturday, Karen O’Shea. Sunday, Max Jackson.

Denman HotelSunday,Michael Bryers.

Duke Of Wellington Saturday,The Duo Tones.

East Maitland Bowling Club Saturday, Easy Daze. Sunday, Karen O’Shea.

Easts Leisure & Golf ClubSaturday, David McCredie.

Edgeworth Bowling Club Sunday, Boney Rivers. Sunday, Roxy.

The Edwards Saturday, Dane Fitzsimmons.

Erringhi HotelSaturday, The Remedy.

Exchange Hotel Saturday, Gen-R-8.

FinnegansSaturday, Lady Lauryn.

FogHorn Brewhouse Saturday, Gareth Jay.

Gallipoli Legion ClubSaturday, The Rattlesnakes.

Gateshead Tavern Sunday,Duanne Marshall.

George Tavern Saturday, Triple Zero.

Grain StoreSaturday, TrumanSmith. Sunday,JJ King.

Grand Junction Hotel Sunday, Wanderers.

Great Northern HotelSaturday, Jordan Fleming.

Gunyah HotelSaturday, Sundays Record. Sunday, Newcastle Flyers.

Harrigan’s Pokolbin Saturday, Tim Pringle, Purple Rain. Sunday, Dai Pritchard.

Hexham Bowling Club Saturday, Snape & Son.

Honeysuckle Hotel Saturday, Soundabout. Sunday, Matt McLaren, Prestige Inc.

Hotel Cessnock Saturday, David J Bull.

Hotel Delany Saturday, Code Red.

Jewells TavernSaturday, Something From Nothing –Foo Fighters show.

Kahibah Sports ClubSaturday,Last Stand – Chisel Barnes show.

Kent Hotel Saturday, Dos Eager. Sunday, Grant Walmsley & Friends.

King Street HotelSaturday, 2000-2012 Anthems.

Lake Macquarie Yacht Club Sunday, Sarah Christine.

Lambton Park Hotel Saturday,Tim Rossington Band.

Lass O’GowrieSaturday,Jackson,Bruise Pristine,Hello Bones.

Lizotte’s Saturday, Ed Kuepper. Sunday,Rick and John Brewster.

Lucky Hotel Saturday, Adrianna Mac.

Mark Hotel Saturday,Counterpart.Sunday,The Years.

Mary EllenSaturday, Wild Oats. Sunday, Jordan Fleming.

Maryland Tavern Saturday, The Levymen.

Mavericks On The Bay Saturday, Karen O’Shea. Sunday, Reg Sinclair.

Mavericks On Darby Saturday, Todd Schmoo.

Mayfield Ex-Services Sunday, Lee Rolfe.

Mezz Bar at Wallsend Diggers Saturday,Tre Soul.Sunday,Alias.

Morriset Country Club Sunday, Sami.

Murray’s BrewerySunday, The Andy Show.

Nag’s Head HotelSaturday, Zane Penn.

Neath HotelSaturday, Reg Sinclair.

Nelson Bay Diggers Saturday, Paparazzi. Sunday, Matt Semmens.

Nelson Bay Golf Club Saturday-Sunday,Hummingbirds.

Newcastle Cruising Yacht ClubSaturday, Dan Beazley. Sunday, Ty.

Newcastle Jockey ClubSaturday, Max Jackson.

Northern Star Hotel Saturday,Elisa Kate.

Pedens Hotel Saturday, Allstar.

Pippis At The Point Saturday, The De Lisle Project. Sunday, Jason Bone.

The PourhouseSaturday, James Naldo.

Premier Hotel Saturday, Hornet, The Rattle. Sunday, Loko.

Prince of WalesHotel Saturday,Jess Holland.

Queens Wharf Hotel Saturday, Ryan Daley, 2GoodReasons. Sunday, Mark Wells, Wharf Life DJs.

Racecourse HotelSaturday, Todd Stewart.

Raymond Terrace Bowling ClubSunday, Phil McKnight.

Royal Motor Yacht Club Toronto Saturday, Junior & Luana.Sunday, Grace Fuller.

Rutherford HotelSaturday, Boney Rivers.

Seabreeze Hotel Saturday, Alias. Sunday, Dos Eager.

Shenanigans at the Imperial Saturday, Grant Walmsley Freebird & Friends Unplugged.Sunday,Nick Connors.

Singleton DiggersSaturday, Spank N The Monkey.

Soldiers Point Bowling ClubSaturday, Defaced.

South Newcastle Leagues ClubSaturday, Arley Black.

Stag and Hunter Hotel Saturday, Baghead. Sunday, Passport To Airlie –heat 3.

Star Hotel Saturday, Jungle Kings. Sunday, Steve Cowley.

Stockton Bowling Club Saturday, DJ Symon.

Stockton RSLClubSaturday, Andy & The Cruisers.

Sunnyside TavernSaturday, Kazzie.

Swansea HotelSaturday, Phil McKnight.

Swansea RSLClubSaturday, D’Lish.

Tilligerry RSL Saturday, Cotton Sax & Strings.

Toronto Diggers Saturday, Melbourne Street.

Toronto WorkersSaturday, Mardmax. Sunday, Ashley Knight.

Victoria Hotel Hinton Saturday, Kellie Cain. Sunday, Kazzie.

Wangi Wangi RSLClub Sunday, Andrew G.

Warners At The Bay Saturday, Wicked.

Warners Bay HotelSaturday, Kick –INXS show.

Weston WorkersSaturday, Wayne & The Wanderers.

Wests CardiffSaturday, Cruzers.

Wests New Lambton Saturday,Dr Zoom Duo. Tuesday, Angamus.

Wickham Park Hotel Saturday,Crimson Tide.Sunday,Jye Sharp, Voodoo Express.

Windsor Castle HotelSaturday, Tom Christie.

MOVIES47 Metres Down(M)Two sisters vacationing in Mexico are trapped in a shark cage at the bottom of the ocean. With less than an hour of oxygen left and great white sharks circling nearby, they must fight to survive.

A Quiet Passion(PG)The story of American poet Emily Dickinson from her early days to her later years as a reclusiveartist. (Regal)

All For One(M)United by their renegade spirit and a determination to win against substantial odds, these riders take on the international circuit.

Annabelle: Creation(MA)A nun and several girls becomethe target of adollmaker’s possessed creation, Annabelle.

American Made(MA)A pilot lands work for the CIA and as a drug runner in the south during the 1980s.

A scene from American Made.

Baby Driver(MA)A talented young getaway driver relies on the beat of his personal soundtrack to be the best in the game.

Cars 3(G)Lightning McQueen sets out to prove to a new generation of racers that he’s still the best race car in the world.

Churchill(M) Drama about Winston Churchill’s objections to the D-Day invasion plan. (Regal)

Despicable Me 3(PG) A child star from the 1980s, hatches a scheme for world domination.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul(PG)Greg convinces his family to take a road trip to attend his great grandmother’s 90th birthday as a cover for what he really wants: to attend a nearby gamer convention. Unsurprisingly, things do not go according to plan and Heffley family antics ensue.

Dunkirk(M)Allied soldiers from Belgium, the British Empire, Canada, and France are surrounded by the German army and evacuated during a fierce battle in World War II.

Hampstead(PG) American widow Emily Walters feels like she is drifting aimlessly through life. Then she meets Donald.

Logan Lucky(M)Two brothers attempt to pull off a heist during a NASCAR race in North Carolina.

Paris Can Wait(PG)A womantravelling with her film producer husband, finds herself on aroad trip with his business associate. (Lake Cinema)

Terminator 2: Judgment Day Remasteredin 3D(M)A cyborg, identical to the one who failed to kill Sarah Connor, must now protect her teenage son, John Connor, from a more advanced cyborg. (Glendale, Event)

The Dark Tower(M) The last Gunslinger battles the Man In Blackto prevent him from toppling the Dark Tower, which holds the universe together.

The Eagle Huntress(G)A 13-year-old girl trains to become the first female eagle hunter in the 1,000-year history of her family’s tribe. (Regal)

The Hitman’s Bodyguard(MA)The world’s top bodyguard gets a new client, a hit man who must testify at the International Court of Justice. They must put their differences aside and work together to make it to the trial on time.

The Snow Queen: Fire and Ice(PG) Gerda dreams of finding her parents who were taken away by the North Wind.

The Zoo Keeper’s Wife(M)A heroic Polish couple help save hundreds of people and animals during WWII. (Regal)

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets(M)In the 28th century, Valerian and Laureline are special operatives charged with maintaining order throughout the universe.

Viceroy’s House(PG) The final Viceroy of India, Lord Mountbatten, is tasked with overseeing the transition of British India to independence, but meets with conflict as different sides clash in the face of monumental change.

War for the Planet of the Apes(M)A nation of genetically evolved apes led by Caesar becomes embroiled in a battle with an army of humans.

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To encourage debate, how about light rail underground on the existing rail corridor from Wickham to Newcastle station? Then a tunnel under the harbour to Stockton and on to the airport, from the airport back to the Wickham interchange with a stop at Newcastle Station to givetravelers the option of using the city precinct. A second hub at the airport could cater for trains, planes and road transport.Maybe even a light rail to the Port Stephens area.
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Bob Swetnam, Tingira HeightsFor me as a person very sensitive to polluted air, I find it hard to understand that it is apparently in order to advertise the wood fires in the paper when only one smoking chimney of one house alone can pollute whole areas.

Tony Kirchner, Warners BayThe gods must be crazy.Be thankful it was Senator Hanson under the burqa instead of an unknown with a machine gun. People,no childish blame games please.

Chassla Deaves, MandalongMalcolm; build an Abbott proof fence.

R Parmeter,Bonnells BayI have noticed a flurry ofrestaurantsand venues on the proposed race track offering deals for the Supercars race (“In the fast lane”, Weekender 19/8). I understand it is an employers responsibility to ensure safe working conditions, which include employees being able to hear instructions. Imagine if an employee or patron did not hear a safety instruction and got hurt. Who do you think will be liable? Theemployer. SafeWork NSW have a responsibility to advise businessowners. I have seen noisesimulationswhich show over 100dB for some of these venues, which will cause hearing issues for a prolonged period.I would thinkbusinesswould wantsome very good legal advice before opening during the race.

Mark Burslem,Newcastle EastAwabakal have been granted the Newcastle Post Office and been given money towards repairingit. Why don’t they use the money and turn the post office into a museum to show their history and culture? Simple. Turn it into something to be proud of.

Amanda Johnstone,MayfieldI’m pretty certain there’s a group of boffins at LNP headquarters being paid to come up with new stupid ways to waste taxpayers dough. This week it’s drug testing a few unemployed in Bankstown (“Surprising support in Bankstown for drug-testing welfare recipients”, theherald南京夜网419论坛, 22/8). New Zealand abandoned the idea when it netted a total of 22 positive tests at $50,000a pop. Shouldn’t this money be spent on rehab, where the Liberalsare happily slashing funds?

Mac Maguire,CharlestownTHE POLLSShould the University of Newcastle consider outsourcing the after-hours services?

Yes, 18.3%, No, 81.7%Will Mattara’s move to Wallsend change your plans?

I’m more likely to attend, 44%; I’m less likely to attend, 21.3%; I was never going to attend, 34.7%Read More →

THROWBACK: Lake Macquarie Running Festival | Photos Runners turned out in force and enjoyed perfect conditions for the Lake Macquarie Running Festival in 2016 Pictures by Jonathan Carroll
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Runners turned out in force and enjoyed perfect conditions for the Lake Macquarie Running Festival in 2016 Pictures by Jonathan Carroll

Runners turned out in force and enjoyed perfect conditions for the Lake Macquarie Running Festival in 2016 Pictures by Jonathan Carroll

Runners turned out in force and enjoyed perfect conditions for the Lake Macquarie Running Festival in 2016 Pictures by Jonathan Carroll

Runners turned out in force and enjoyed perfect conditions for the Lake Macquarie Running Festival in 2016 Pictures by Jonathan Carroll

Runners turned out in force and enjoyed perfect conditions for the Lake Macquarie Running Festival in 2016 Pictures by Jonathan Carroll

Runners turned out in force and enjoyed perfect conditions for the Lake Macquarie Running Festival in 2016 Pictures by Jonathan Carroll

Runners turned out in force and enjoyed perfect conditions for the Lake Macquarie Running Festival in 2016 Pictures by Jonathan Carroll

Runners turned out in force and enjoyed perfect conditions for the Lake Macquarie Running Festival in 2016 Pictures by Jonathan Carroll

Runners turned out in force and enjoyed perfect conditions for the Lake Macquarie Running Festival in 2016 Pictures by Jonathan Carroll

Runners turned out in force and enjoyed perfect conditions for the Lake Macquarie Running Festival in 2016 Pictures by Jonathan Carroll

Runners turned out in force and enjoyed perfect conditions for the Lake Macquarie Running Festival in 2016 Pictures by Jonathan Carroll

Runners turned out in force and enjoyed perfect conditions for the Lake Macquarie Running Festival in 2016 Pictures by Jonathan Carroll

Runners turned out in force and enjoyed perfect conditions for the Lake Macquarie Running Festival in 2016 Pictures by Jonathan Carroll

Runners turned out in force and enjoyed perfect conditions for the Lake Macquarie Running Festival in 2016 Pictures by Jonathan Carroll

Runners turned out in force and enjoyed perfect conditions for the Lake Macquarie Running Festival in 2016 Pictures by Jonathan Carroll

Runners turned out in force and enjoyed perfect conditions for the Lake Macquarie Running Festival in 2016 Pictures by Jonathan Carroll

Runners turned out in force and enjoyed perfect conditions for the Lake Macquarie Running Festival in 2016 Pictures by Jonathan Carroll

Runners turned out in force and enjoyed perfect conditions for the Lake Macquarie Running Festival in 2016 Pictures by Jonathan Carroll

Runners turned out in force and enjoyed perfect conditions for the Lake Macquarie Running Festival in 2016 Pictures by Jonathan Carroll

Runners turned out in force and enjoyed perfect conditions for the Lake Macquarie Running Festival in 2016 Pictures by Jonathan Carroll

Runners turned out in force and enjoyed perfect conditions for the Lake Macquarie Running Festival in 2016 Pictures by Jonathan Carroll

Runners turned out in force and enjoyed perfect conditions for the Lake Macquarie Running Festival in 2016 Pictures by Jonathan Carroll

Runners turned out in force and enjoyed perfect conditions for the Lake Macquarie Running Festival in 2016 Pictures by Jonathan Carroll

Runners turned out in force and enjoyed perfect conditions for the Lake Macquarie Running Festival in 2016 Pictures by Jonathan Carroll

Runners turned out in force and enjoyed perfect conditions for the Lake Macquarie Running Festival in 2016 Pictures by Jonathan Carroll

Runners turned out in force and enjoyed perfect conditions for the Lake Macquarie Running Festival in 2016 Pictures by Jonathan Carroll

Runners turned out in force and enjoyed perfect conditions for the Lake Macquarie Running Festival in 2016 Pictures by Jonathan Carroll

Runners turned out in force and enjoyed perfect conditions for the Lake Macquarie Running Festival in 2016 Pictures by Jonathan Carroll

Runners turned out in force and enjoyed perfect conditions for the Lake Macquarie Running Festival in 2016 Pictures by Jonathan Carroll

TweetFacebook Lake Macquarie Running Festival through the yearsPictures: Fairfax MediaThe Lake Macquarie Running Festival is on again this weekend, Sunday August 27.

More than 1500 runners are expected tohit the road from Warners Bay to Speers Point in the Pure Performance 21.1km Half Marathon, Newcastle Permanent 10.5km Fun Run and the Yogurtland 4km Kids Scamper.

Last yearGuy Walters won the 10.5 kilometre race in 34 minutes, 18 seconds and Angela Leadbeatter (39.39) was the women’s winner. Matt Hutton (1:15.37) and Regina Jensen (1:22.27) were the half marathon winners.

Check out all of the action from the event in the gallery above, or read about it here.

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