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Comments Off on Short Takes Friday April 27: readers have their say on the day’s news

Short Takes Friday April 27: readers have their say on the day’s news

Short Takes Friday April 27: readers have their say on the day’s news

CARL Stevenson, being a fan of all sport I strongly believe that traditions should be respected therefore Olympic athletes should all compete naked. I just hope this doesn’t inspire a Matt Shirvington come back.
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Steve Barnett,Fingal BayTHE proposed development at the old Store building looks great. It will totally revitalise the west end. I just hope and pray the Awabakal land council doesn’t try to acquire the site.

Stephen Paynter,New LambtonAbsolutely disgusting!Not only does he dive, but it seems Billy Slatercan knock on and still be rewarded. In my eyes he is a disgrace to the wonderful game of rugby league. However, the bunker has a lot to answer too. Is it any wonder AFL is fast overtaking crowd and player numbers in our state? I for one turned to another channel last Friday night as I am sick to death of overpaid players and administrators.

Matt McAlary,WaratahTHERE werea couple of glaring issues while watching the Broncos vs. Storm game.A40/20 kick which was a bit dodgy, and then a kick through by Billy Slater that in the referee’s opinion was a drop kick and therefore awarded a try. The only time I’ve seen a drop kick to be deemed legal is an attempted field goal or a kick-off. Even Billy Slater indicated he dropped itin the process of kicking the ball through. While it appears to be a referring error, there needto be 40/20 posts to determine more accurate kicks in general play.

Neil Meyers,Warners BayIS THAT the same Michael Cotts that worked at Big Harry’s Place? Good to see you haven’t changed, still a character.

Darren Duffy,Bobs FarmANDREW Whitbread-Brown (Short Takes 24/4):global coal production was7200m tonnes in 2016, double what it was 40 years previously. It is estimated that coal production will continue to increase out to 2040 at least. Coal is so this century.

Peter Devey,MerewetherANDREW Constance has ruined Newcastle for the people in the Hunter.We did not want to get off the train at Wickham, like the Maitland people and go a very short trip to Newcastle on a Bus. Can not put bikes and others on a bus or one day a light Rail. The people that have shops in Hunter Street are suffering. The money should have been spent on the beach wall at Stockton, Hospitals & Schools. He knows how to waste money.

George Tattersell,New LambtonFANCY putting a main road in the middle of an industrial centre. Munibung Road will be a black spot for accidents with all the trucks and couriers in and out of business driveways. Wake up to yourself, Lake Macquarie Council, before someone gets hurt.

Ross Jurd,EdgeworthTHE Greens want to drop the voting age to 16. The reason is simple enough: only people with undeveloped, juvenile brains vote green, a quick fix to the downturn of green support.

Steve Barnett,Fingal Bay

Comments Off on Angry Qld cop killed his baby with punch

Angry Qld cop killed his baby with punch

Angry Qld cop killed his baby with punch

A Supreme Court judge said Senior Constable Colin Randall killed his baby in a “horrendous attack”.Senior Constable Colin David Randall was so frustrated a work transfer was refused that when he was left alone with his baby son for the first time, he punched him to death.
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Then 37, he struck his 10-week-old baby Kye in the stomach with such force it “pulped” his liver, ruptured organs and bruised the boy’s lower back.

For three-and-a-half years after killing his son he lied to his wife, medical staff and investigators, but his ruse came undone when he pleaded guilty to manslaughter last Friday.

After Kye died in hospital in June 2014, Randall pretended it was due to injuries caused when he had incorrectly performed CPR.

His story was that he had put Kye in a swing and set about vacuuming his home, only to find him limp and unresponsive.

And for a while Randall’s wife Debbra Chambers believed him.

“For 18 solid months after Kye died, I was lied to, manipulated, deceived by the man who I was married to, believing Kye’s death was a tragic accident somehow and all his father did was try and save him,” she told Brisbane Supreme Court on Tuesday.

“I believed everything you said. I trusted you being my husband, my closest partner, the father of my children and a serving police officer.”

What really happened between Randall and Kye was revealed in court as preparations were made to sentence him for manslaughter, following the plea that came one week before he was due to face trial charged with murder.

Crown prosecutor Phil McCarthy said the day had started much the same as any other.

The usual routines were undertaken until Ms Chambers popped out to nearby shops.

She left Randall alone with their boy for the first time, unaware of how frustrated he had become.

The court heard Randall, a former science teacher, had been having an affair with a police administrative worker from Hervey Bay and was fixated on moving his family there.

After making arrangements to relocate, his plans were dashed when police knocked back his transfer request.

This led to an act of extreme violence, in which he lashed out and killed his son.

“It’s just an horrendous attack on a 10-week-old baby,” Justice Peter Davis said.

It left the boy with severe internal injuries, from which he never recovered.

“The child went into cardiac arrest because of the trauma,” Mr McCarthy said.

He was taken to hospital and for two-and-a-half hours unsuccessful attempts were made to resuscitate him.

Mr McCarthy told the court Randall should be given a sentence comparable to Heidi Strbak.

She was jailed five months ago for a minimum four years for killing her four-year-old son.

Randall remains suspended from the police force and is expected to be dismissed after being sentenced in the coming weeks.

Australian Associated Press

Comments Off on Bengalla and Mount Pleasant settle stoush

Bengalla and Mount Pleasant settle stoush

Bengalla and Mount Pleasant settle stoush

SPECIAL DELIVERY: Coal wagons being loaded for shipment to Newcastle before use by Aurizon to haul coal for mining company MACH EnergyNEIGHBOURING Hunter coal mines Bengalla and Mount Pleasant have ended a court dispute brought by Bengalla in April last year.
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Under the agreement, Mount Pleasant’s owner MACH Energy has agreed to remove infrastructure it had put up on land that Bengalla argued would hinder its future development.

MACH had disputed Bengalla’s assertion,but after settling their differences, MACH has until the end of October 2022 to pull down the disputed rail infrastructure and Bengalla will provide it with an alternative site.

Bengalla has also agreed to pay MACH $12 million in instalments.

The Mount Pleasant mine was proposed for many years by Coal & Allied, which sold it to MACH for $220 million in 2016.

MACH began building infrastructure soon after, and last month, theQueensland-based rail company Aurizon announced the arrival of 32 coal wagons in Newcastle it said weredestined for MACH Energy, as part of a larger consignment of 284 wagons.

“The new wagons will enter service for our newest customers, AGL Macquarie andMACHEnergy, demonstrating the strong growth we have seen in our New South Wales Coal haulage operations since we started in 2005,” Aurizon NSW manager Catherine Baxter said.

MACH energy criticised the Bengalla court action from the start, saying it was entitled to build the infrastructure where it had.

The Bengalla action was brought by shareholder New Hope Corporation, which said that under Mount Pleasant’s 1999 development approval, the mine owners were required toconsultwith Bengalla over access and coal-carrying infrastructure.

In a statement issued on Tuesday afternoon, the two parties said the proceedings wereto be discontinued, with each party bearing its own costs.

The statement said Bengalla wouldsupport the two applications lodged by MACH to modify the Mount Pleasant development consent, to extend the life of the Mount Pleasant Mine from 2020 to 2026 and to construct its long-term rail and associated infrastructure.

It said Bengalla would provide land to MACH to buildits long-term rail and associated infrastructure.

MACH had agreed to remove its existing, short-term rail and other infrastructure, which waslocated south of Wybong Road, Muswellbrook, by October 31, 2022, in order to make way for continuation of Bengalla’s mining operations south of Wybong Road.

MACH would transfer the contested land to Bengalla by the same date.

Bengalla would pay$12 million to MACH, by instalments.

“The relocation of MACH’s Infrastructure from Bengalla’s approved expansion area was always intended under each mine’s relevant approvals and will allow operations at both mines to continue unimpeded,” the joint statement said.

“The continued operation of both mines will generate significant employment opportunities and economic benefits for the local community and the state of NSW.”

Comments Off on Your photos from Anzac Day 2018 in the Hunter

Your photos from Anzac Day 2018 in the Hunter

Your photos from Anzac Day 2018 in the Hunter

Your photos from Anzac Day 2018 in the Hunter East Maitland. Picture: Clint Brosie
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East Maitland. Picture: Clint Brosie

East Maitland. Picture: Clint Brosie

Picture: Donna Clucas

Dawn service at Nobbys. Picture: Jack O’Toole

Dawn service at Nobbys. Picture: Jack O’Toole

Dawn service at Nobbys. Picture: Jack O’Toole

Dawn service at Nobbys. Picture: Jack O’Toole

Wollombi Dawn Service. Picture: Catherine Waterton

Wollombi Dawn Service. Picture: Catherine Waterton

Wollombi Dawn Service. Picture: Catherine Waterton

Newcastle Dawn Service from Fort Scratchley. Picture: Kim Mathews

Greta Public school captain Laura carried the school banner and spoke in front of hundreds of people for Anzac Day. Picture: Amanda Playford

Picture: Lynne Osland

Angus Jones marching with Maitland Air League Cadets. Picture: Lynne Osland

Picture: Bronwyn Howard

Picture: Margie Gayler

Paterson. Picture: Denese Hume

Paterson. Picture: Denese Hume

Paterson. Picture: Denese Hume

Picture: Stacey Hipwell

Maitland Salvos. Picture: Heather Lowe Lines

Morpeth in the rain. Picture: Andrew Brown

Picture: Lynne Osland

Picture: Rosemary Ryan

PIcture: Lynne Osland

Broke. Picture: Sarah Hodgins

Picture: Robert Hawkins

Picture: Misty Anscombe

Dawn Service on board The Voyager of the Seas as they pulled into Darwin. Picture: Lisa Bojkowski

Maitland air league squadron. Picture: Lynne Osland

Maitland air league squadron. Picture: Lynne Osland

Veterans braved the rain to march in Belmont’s Anzac Day march. Picture: Geoff Robinson

Belmont High School captain Jessica Noble reading at the service. Picture: Geoff Robinson

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Comments Off on Thousands remember Anzac fallen in Hobart

Thousands remember Anzac fallen in Hobart

Thousands remember Anzac fallen in Hobart

Thousands paid tribute to the fallen at the Hobart Cenotaph during the Anzac Day dawn service.Learn from the mistakes of the past.
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The mood at Hobart’s Anzac Day dawn service was sombre, but the message was optimistic.

Vietnam veteran Bill Counsell was one of the thousands who rugged up on a chilly but clear Wednesday morning at the city’s Cenotaph, overlooking the CBD and River Derwent.

“It’s good to see the people. And that they haven’t forgotten us, shall we say,” Mr Counsell, vice-president of the RSL Hobart sub-branch, told AAP.

“People can quite easily forget what’s gone on in the past and get on with their lives.”

The veteran was there with his grandson – one of many of the younger generations who huddled together with parents and grandparents.

“The lesson is to learn from our past and try to not make the same mistakes – which as humans, we find it very difficult to do,” Mr Counsell said.

Schoolgirl Charlotte Kenny read a poem dedicated to her great-great-grandfather Anthony Arthur Flint, who fought in Belgium during World War I.

More than 15,000 Tasmanian served in the Great War.

Thousands died.

“What a privilege it is to stand here and watch the sunrise, our feet upon settled soils, eyes open to still skies,” Charlotte recited.

Anglican Dean of Hobart Richard Humphrey led the prayers.

“We remember those who didn’t return to receive the thanks of a nation,” he said.

The crowd stood in silence, heads bowed, for a rendition of the Last Post.

Paul Thompson, 57, arrived for the service in the darkness an hour before it started at 6am along with his three children.

“I’m here to remember my dad who was part of the British Royal Navy in World War II,” he said.

“This is only one day a year when we all take time to remember. It’s not much to give up.”

Australian Associated Press

Comments Off on Want authentic pizza? This hotspot is hard to top

Want authentic pizza? This hotspot is hard to top

Want authentic pizza? This hotspot is hard to top

OMG OMETTO: Owner Giuseppe Maviglia in his High Street, Maitland, pizza bar. Pictures: Jonathan CarrollWhile some fast-food pizza chains continue to make moves to diversify their offerings beyond the blistered borders of the humble pie by adding OK-tasting ribs and wings to their menus, an increasing number of pizza-loving people are craving the bona fide smelling, genuine tasting, real thing from the motherland.
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Short of building a wood-fired oven in your back yard, there are certainly much easier ways to get your mouth around a perfect isosceles slice.

Discerning Hunter Valley pizza lovers will be pleased to learn that there’s a fantastic little place, down on Maitland’s High Street, that makes authentically delicious wood-fired pizzas the whole family will enjoy.

Ometto Pizza Bar has been open for just over a year, with owner Giuseppe Maviglia bringing a taste of Torino to Maitland and beyond.

Within one of the ornate Victorian-era shop fronts that bring a real sense of history and soul to this old town, Ometto Pizza Bar is a favourite hangout amonglocals, particularly on Sunday nights when live acoustic music soundtracks their meal.

Inside, the walls are painted light olive green and adorned with various things related to Maviglia’s Italian heritage – maps of Italy, painted Ferraris, and the requisite chalk boards writ large with tonight’s specials. Red lampshades hang high above a dining space filled with diners sat upon a few mismatched chairs at spacious tables, with some even featuring a red and white cheque table cloth… perfetto.

From most people’s vantage point, Maviglia and his kitchen team can be seen moving back and forth between the prep-table, where fresh dough is rolled and stretched and spun, with the blazing hot pizza oven burning bright orange in the background.

THE REAL THING: Straight from the wood-fired oven.

The printed menu is a nice little 90s throwback that could easily double as a place mat, it’s that big. The entire Ometto offering, save for the specials, can be found here; meats with marinated olives and schiacciata (pizza crust) to start ($20), or perhaps some dips ($16) with bruschetta ($12), instead. The wood-fired pizzas ($14-$24) are demarcated by the addition of sauce or no sauce – rosse or blanche. Toppings range from the simplicity of a marinara (Italian tomato sauce, garlic and herbs) and the cheesiness of quattro formaggi (four cheese), to the fun of a folded calzone and the signature house pizza featuring mozzarella, mortadella, crushed pistacchios, stracchino cheese, and Calabrian oregano.

The Taleggio e Porcini pizza has shredded brown chunks of earthy scented porcini mushroom swamped by a gooey mass of funky Taleggio and sweet truffle pecorino. Melted cheese deliciously resists division as each slice is slowly pulled apart from the pie. Likewise, delicious, though meatier and a little less cheesy, the San Daniele features a mingle of thinly sliced parmigiana, prosciutto and almost-bitter rocket leaves laid on top of melted mozzarella, which on top of a crunchy, thin and blistered, leopard spotted, wood-fired pizza base.

You can add a salad, if you like. The burratina caprese ($14) is basically a tasty ball of gooey white mozzarella surrounded by wedges of sweet tomato flecked with flakes of oregano that makes for a nice intermediary between slices. It’s not all pizzas, either. There’s thick and chunky lasagne and dolce desserts featuring crispy cannoli ($7.50), vanilla gelato ($4.50), and an all-time after-dinner favourite, the affogato ($8.50); vanilla gelato with a shot of Frangelico and coffee. The perfect pick-me-up after a big, delicious meal.

Most of the menu is take-away. So, if the footy’s on, and you don’t want to dine in – although I strongly suggest you do – you can take Ometto home with you, instead of a steam-filled foil container featuring some OK tasting wings and ribs. The point is that Ometto might just be the best place for pizza in Maitland.

QUICK BITEWhat: Ometto Pizza BarWhere: 489 High St, MaitlandOwner: Giuseppe MavigliaDrinks: Great selection of imported Italian beers, wine, water, soft drinks, and coffee. BYO too.Hours: Tues-Sun: 5pm-Late, Friday lunch: 12pm-2pmVegetarian: YesBottom Line: $75 for two incl. wine (bottle)Do Try: Taleggio e porcini (cheese & mushroom) pizza.

Comments Off on Rat of Tobruk honours mates killed in sand

Rat of Tobruk honours mates killed in sand

Rat of Tobruk honours mates killed in sand

Bob Semple, one of the last surviving Rats of Tobruk, will address the Anzac Day national service.Carved in cursive writing on the back of the violin he took to war are the names of Bob Semple’s gun crew.
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More than 70 years on, his violin case still contains grains of desert sand from his time serving in Libya in north Africa.

It’s the same sand in which 10 of his mates were buried, after they were killed by a single shell.

One of the last surviving Rats of Tobruk, Mr Semple, who turns 98 next month, reflected on his experiences in the World War II at the Anzac Day national service in Canberra on Wednesday.

“May I humbly say, Anzac Day remains sacred to all of us… let us continue to make reference to the past, but go forward into the future, with honour and courage,” he told the service.

He brought his beloved violin to Canberra from his home in Melbourne and joked his skill level had waned over the past 75 years.

Mr Semple said anxiety and the fear factor was overcome as experience increased with each engagement.

“I vividly recall the experience and the strength and loyalty and faith experienced on occasions at El Alamein (Egypt). Coming under German bombing, and periodic shelling of the position by enemy, taking refuge in the skinny slip trench, adjacent to the gun pit, holding hands across the shoulders and muttering, if this is it, we all all go together.”

Western Australia’s new governor and former defence minister Kim Beazley will also address the gathering.

Governor General Peter Cosgrove, who served in Vietnam and East Timor, and went on to become chief of the defence force, was among the dignitaries at the service and reviewed the parade of veterans marching.

A riderless horse led the march.

This year marks the 103rd anniversary of the landing at Gallipoli in Turkey and the centenary of the Battle of Villers-Bretonneux on the Western Front in France.

Tens of thousands of people turned out to watch the service on a sunny Canberra morning.

Australian Associated Press

Comments Off on Children join thousands at Anzac services

Children join thousands at Anzac services

Children join thousands at Anzac services

Thousands attended Anzac Day dawn services around the country, including the Gold Coast.More than 100 years since that fateful landing at Gallipoli, Australians are being reminded of the importance of sharing the Anzac story with younger generations.
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Tens of thousands rose early on Wednesday to attend dawn services – big and small – across the country, including many children.

This year marks the 103rd anniversary of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps landing at Gallipoli and the centenary of the Battle of Villers-Bretonneux.

“Anzac day is not about glorifying war, but about celebrating the Australian spirit,” Air Vice-Marshal Steven Roberton told the large crowd at Sydney’s Martin Place.

“Anzac signifies strength and quality of character, attitude and action that transcends time.”

The challenge, he said, was to make sure the spirit of Anzac was passed on to Australia’s children and to honour the fallen and their sacrifice.

Suzanne and Paul Smith, who for decades took their now-adult son Matthew to dawn services this year brought their five-year-old grandson Xavier for the first time.

Ms Smith, whose own father was a serviceman, agreed that it was important that future generations appreciate the sacrifices of those who came before them.

“They’re growing up in a different world now, so it makes a big difference,” she told AAP.

In drizzling rain in Brisbane’s CBD, brothers Finn and Rhys McNeil, aged nine and seven, remembered their great, great uncle at Anzac Square.

Patrick Joseph Delacour went to France with the 41st battalion in WWI, aged 25, but never returned.

“We wanted to show respect to the soldiers, the men and women, the nurses that served in WWI and WWII to keep us safe,” the boys’ mother Tracey told AAP.

A beachside service was also held at Currumbin on the Gold Coast.

An estimated 38,000 people braved the cold in Canberra, as Colonel Susan Neuhaus reflected on a century of severed limbs and broken bodies.

The veteran surgeon, who returned from active service in Afghanistan, said she – like many Australians – had no faded photographs of men or women in uniform at home or relatives who served on the beaches of Gallipoli, muddy fields of Somme or the jungles of South East Asia.

“And yet like all of us I benefit from what they have done,” she said as dawn broke over the Australian War Memorial.

Ian Smith, chair of the RSL SA’s Anzac Day committee, told the thousands who gathered for Adelaide’s early morning ceremony that women who served in the armed forces needed greater recognition.

Women were restricted to nursing roles prior to the WWII, when all three services introduced women’s branches, he said.

“Women were fully integrated during the 1970s and 80s, and since then have continued to make their mark with a full range of responsibilities across all three services,” he told the crowd.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is in France to attend the Anzac Day dawn service at the Australian War Memorial just outside Villiers-Bretonneux.

Both he and French Prime Minister Edouard Phillipe will give commemorative addresses, while Prince Charles will deliver a reading.

Australian Associated Press

Comments Off on A-League: Jets defender shoots for a slice of history

A-League: Jets defender shoots for a slice of history

A-League: Jets defender shoots for a slice of history

CONFIDENT: Daniel Georgievski could sense early that the Newcastle Jets had the ingredients for a successful campaign despite the club’s doubters. Picture: Darren Pateman (AAP)DANIEL Georgievski likes to delveinto a city’s history. Listentostories. Discoverhow itfunctions. Its hearbeat. Its soul.
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The Jets defender and his soon-to-be wife, Emily, are journeying toHavana, Cuba, for their honeymoon in July“to experience the culture and see its transformation from communism”.

They, in his words, “love that stuff”.

READ MORE:Lawrie McKinna’s message – Season to cherish, and more to play for

Before signing with the Jets, Georgievski, who spent a large slice of his career in Croatia and Romania, explored the history of Newcastle.

He was subsequently lured by the changing face of the city, the beach culture and proud football heritage.

“I love a city that has a story,” the 30-year-old Macedonian international said.

CROWD FAVOURITE: Daniel Georgievski celebrates with the Newcastle faithful. Picture: Darren Pateman (AAP)

On Friday, Georgievski and his Jets teammates hope to add another chapter to Newcastle’ssporting folklore.

The Jets host the A-League’s youngest–and richest–club Melbourne City at what is certain tobe a heaving McDonald Jones Stadium.

At stake is a place in the grand final, and for the Jets a shot a second championship, a decade on from the club’s lone title.

That win–agripping1-0 triumph over the Mariners at Allianz Stadium on February 24, 2008–was the day a region with arich football tapestry finally had the chance to beat its chest.

READ MORE:‘Blow-in’ Nikolai out to deliver ultimate goal to adopted city

“Growing up, I had travelled to Newcastle a few times with my cousins and absolutely loved it,” Georgievski said.“I knew a little bit about the history of the cityand its close ties to BHP. My fiancee also loves looking into the heritage of a city and once we looked further into Newcastle, it was quite interesting.I didn’t know much about the A-League until I moved back to Australia. I knew the Jets had won it before. We weremore interestedinthe city and how it went frombeing a BHP town–a coal-mining town–into a proper city.”

The biggest attraction for Georgievski was“how beautiful the beaches are”.

Though intoxicatedby the laid back coastallifestyle, a dream for a kid fromBlacktown in Sydney’s west, Georgievski was given some matter-of-fact advice from respected journalist,authorand Newcastle footballaficionado, Neil Jameson.

“He told me that it was a beautiful city but not to fall into the same trap as players in the past,” Georgievski said.“Life is like a holiday here, but don’t make your football like a holiday. That was the perfect advice.We live in one of the best spots in Newcastle and I’m really grateful that I get to wake up and listen to the ocean everyday.As a player you are not here on a holiday, you are here to entertain.”

A-League: Jets defender shoots for a slice of history TweetFacebookI love a city that has a story.

– Daniel Georgievski

Comments Off on SA Anzac service: women need recognition

SA Anzac service: women need recognition

SA Anzac service: women need recognition

Federal MP Simon Birmingham and SA Premier Steven Marshall joined crowds at the Anzac dawn service.Norman Curley often said if he had been an inch taller, he would never have made it home from war.
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At Adelaide’s Anzac Day dawn service, his grandchildren, Garry Munro and Julie Moffat, clutched his framed picture and proudly told of his wartime heroics.

“He brought a helmet home with a bullet hole in it, and I used to ask him (about it) when I was young,” Mr Munro told AAP following the commemoration.

“He said ‘I was not tall for a reason… if I was any bigger, I probably wouldn’t have survived the war’.”

Ms Moffat travelled to Adelaide from Sydney especially for the service, and said her grandfather served in both World Wars before returning home to Australia.

Wearing Mr Curley’s rings, she said he had lied about his age to enlist to serve at just 15 years old.

As the sun rose, Ms Moffat joined thousands gathered at the South Australian National War Memorial and spilling down North Terrace, for the annual dawn service to mark Australia’s national day of remembrance.

Ian Smith, chair of the RSL SA’s Anzac Day committee, said more work needs to be done to recognise the service of women in the armed forces.

Women were restricted to nursing roles prior to World War II, when all three services introduced women’s branches.

“Women were fully integrated during the 1970s and 80s, and since then have continued to make their mark with a full range of responsibilities across all three services,” he told the crowd.

Mr Smith said 2018 marked the centenary of the end of the First World War, and Australian involvement in stopping the German spring offensive and in supporting the allied 100 offensive that drove the Germans back.

It also marks the 75th anniversary of many World War II battles and events, including the last Japanese air raid on Darwin, and the 50th anniversary of the 1968 Tet Offensive during the Vietnam War.

“Today we remember the service and sacrifices of all Australians who have served our nation in wars and conflicts since Federation,” Mr Smith said.

“In the last resort, they are the ones we have relied upon to protect us and our democratic freedoms.”

As the Last Post was played an elderly digger in the front row of the service collapsed before two minutes of silence was held.

Paramedics were quickly on the scene and reported he was “fine” as he was taken away.

The service, attended by dignitaries, politicians and representatives of various groups, began with the arrival of governor Hieu Van Le and the catafalque party.

Among those who laid wreaths were federal politicians Simon Birmingham and Penny Wong, Premier Steven Marshall, Opposition Leader Peter Malinauskas and Lord Mayor Martin Haese.

The service, which last about 50 minutes, concluded with the national anthems of Australia and New Zealand.

Australian Associated Press

Comments Off on Turnbull disappointed US envoy redirected

Turnbull disappointed US envoy redirected

Turnbull disappointed US envoy redirected

The US has changed its mind on making Admiral Harry Harris its Australian ambassador.Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull says he is disappointed Harry Harris will not be the next US ambassador to Australia, but understands why the experienced admiral is being redirected to South Korea.
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Mr Turnbull has not spoken to US President Donald Trump since learning of the decision earlier this week, but insists he is unperturbed.

“I’m disappointed that Harry’s not coming because he’s a really good friend and I think Harry will be disappointed that he’s not coming to Canberra too because he loves Australia,” he told reporters in France.

“He is a guy of enormous experience and ability and given the situation on the Korean Peninsula, given the tensions there, I can well understand why the president has decided that the admiral’s expertise and experience is going to be able to be put to better use in Korea than in Australia.”

Mr Turnbull praised the “fantastic job” being done by acting US ambassador Jim Caruso.

“The relationship between Australia and the United States, as you all know as well as I do, that is so deep and so intense and operates at so many levels, the absence, if you like, of an ambassador is not really troubling the very strong relationship we have whatsoever,” Mr Turnbull said.

Earlier on Wednesday, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop confirmed Admiral Harris would not be heading to Canberra after being notified by acting US Secretary of State John Sullivan.

Ms Bishop said Mr Sullivan made it clear a new appointment to Canberra would be a priority for the next secretary of state.

“Based on the assumption he is confirmed by the Senate this week I hope to have a conversation with Mike Pompeo as soon as possible,” she said.

The full-time Canberra post has been vacant since September 2016, with Charge d’Affaires Mr Caruso acting in the role.

Former coalition deputy prime minister and diplomat Tim Fischer described one year without a US ambassador as an “accident” reflecting its low priority in Washington.

“Nigh on two years will be an insult with impact, notwithstanding the good work of the acting ambassador in Canberra,” he told AAP.

Labor foreign affairs spokeswoman Penny Wong said she recognised how important the South Korea post was to regional security given the risk presented by North Korea.

“It is disappointing that despite the close ties between our two countries, the post of US ambassador to Australia has now been left vacant for 19 months,” she said.

“We hope the government expresses to the United States the importance of this appointment being resolved soon.”

Dr Alan Tidwell, director of the Centre for Australian, New Zealand and Pacific Studies at Georgetown University in Washington DC, agreed it was disappointing.

“It does make one wonder about the meaning of ‘mateship’,” he told AAP.

However, he said it should not be taken personally, but rather reflected the nature of the Trump White House.

Two men speculated to be in line for the Seoul job – retired US Army General James Thurman and outgoing House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Ed Royce – could now be in the mix for Canberra.

Australian Associated Press

Comments Off on Multi-million dollar ambulance super centre

Multi-million dollar ambulance super centre

Multi-million dollar ambulance super centre

An artist’s impression of the new ambulance station proposed for Aberglasslyn Road, Rutherford.The State Government has announced plans to build a$3.8millionambulance training, education and dispatch centre thatwill employ 32people, onAberglasslyn Road, Rutherford.
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Health Infrastructure NSW has flagged the proposal with Maitland City Council who will now place plans for the state-of-the-art development on exhibition for public comment.

The State plans building two structures on No. 65 Aberglasslyn Road, one building to accommodateon-call Ambulance officers, the other used for training and education purposes.

The site is flanked by a new children’s day care centre and a hardware business.

The station will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a weekand the education facility between 7am and 5pm.

The ambulance station is expected to have a maximum number of 24 staff members working from the site at any given time.

The new Maitland station is part of the State’s $122 million Rural Ambulance Infrastructure Reconfiguration (RAIR) Program.

The program currently includes 23 locations across the state that will benefit from an upgraded, rebuilt or entirely new ambulance station.

It is the biggest regional and rural transformation of NSW Ambulance infrastructure in the organisation’s history.

Designed with input from local ambulance staff the new Maitland station will includeadministration support as well as educational facilities and relief accommodation.

A Health Infrastructure spokesperson said construction on the new station is expected to begin later this year.

Once completed, the station will include:Increased internal parking for up to sevenemergency ambulance vehicles, administration and office areas, amenities, logistics and storage areas, staffparking and aneducation facility and zone office.

“Thenew building will replace the existing 45-year-old station in Gillies Street, Rutherford and will better support paramedics to deliver high quality emergency mobile care to the community,” the spokesperson said.

“All new RAIR station locations are chosen based on careful and extensive modelling of ambulance demand and with important operational considerations in mind such as access to major roads to support effective ambulance response to emergency patients.”

Twenty threeupgraded, rebuilt or new regional and rural ambulance stations have been announced under the State’s RAIR program, including completed stations at Wagga Wagga, Coolamon, Ardlethan and Harden.

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NSW woman jailed for running over ex

NSW woman jailed for running over ex

A rejected NSW woman drove over her ex-boyfriend before repeatedly punching him as he was trapped under her car in a Christmas Day attack.
Nanjing Night Net

Susan Jane Jongsma’s ex-boyfriend was caught standing in front of a fence when she accelerated towards him in the drive way of his Goulburn home on the afternoon of December 25, 2016.

As he laid pinned at the chest with one leg turned upwards, Jongsma left the driver’s seat of the running vehicle and punched him several times before being pulled away, the NSW District Court heard on Monday.

Jongsma, now 53, was jailed for at least two years and three months over the attack, which she says she doesn’t remember.

Judge Robyn Tupman, in sentencing Jongsma to a maximum of four-and-a-half years, said the “very serious” offence amounted to “a serious overreaction as a result of being rejected in a domestic relationship”.

She said Jongsma had been drinking alcohol at the time of the incident, was suffering a depressive illness and her relationship with the victim was dysfunctional and strained.

Jongsma, who previously committed domestic violence offences, had shown up at the victim’s house after he ignored her messages and turned off his phone.

She soon turned physical and aggressive, trying to choke him and destroying his phone, the court heard.

The man left the house to get help when Jongsma got in her car and drove towards him, steering her vehicle to follow his movements.

The judge said the victim was reported to have made a good physical recovery but continued to suffer the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder.

She said Jongsma, who self-harmed in the wake of the attack and told police she wanted to die, had taken steps towards her rehabilitation and wasn’t the same person that she was then.

Jongsma will be eligible for parole in July 2020.

Readers seeking support and information about suicide prevention can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.

Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467.

National domestic violence helpline: 1800 737 732 or 1800RESPECT. In an emergency call triple-zero.

Australian Associated Press