NEWCASTLE’S Wests Group has a proven track record of anticipating and satisfying the club market in the Hunter.
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From its flagship New Lambton club it has branched out with mergers, investments and acquisitions and now also operates the former Club Phoenix at Mayfield and Nelson Bay Diggers. It operates two successful motels, is a vital supporter of Hunter charities and sports and is a major regional employer.

It can only be good news that the group looks set to acquire the former Cardiff Workers Club from the Panthers group, especially since it seems willing to make the investment necessary to bring that club back to the top of its game.

Given the strong possibility that the northern railway line may soon be bridged, making a new link between Cardiff and Argenton or Glendale, the chances of major trading improvements seem good.

The acquisition is subject to approval from a variety of sources, but it would seem – on face value at least – to offer advantages all around.

It is interesting to contemplate the Wests phenomenon and the club industry in general against the background of this week’s progress towards enactment of federal poker machine laws.

The laws will require so-called ‘‘pre-commitment’’ technology on every new poker machine manufactured from the start of 2013, but gamblers will be able to choose whether or not to use it.

While far weaker than the legislative package originally promised by the government – before it reneged on its deal with independent MP Andrew Wilkie – the new laws do at least set a precedent for federal involvement in what had been a state area.

Any organisation with a major stake in the gaming industry should act on the assumption that, sooner or later, social pressure will drive further tightening of the laws.

Such a tightening may well occur when, and if, damage to the community from problem gambling is seen to outweigh the tax revenue and other benefits.

With that in mind, prudent club boards should already be planning for this likelihood by diversifying their activities and revenue sources to ensure the services they offer their members aren’t too dependent on gambling income.

NIB’s growth path

WHILE many Hunter people remain nostalgic for the days when locally-based health insurer NIB was a not-for-profit fund, they should nevertheless be pleased to see the organisation growing in stature as a sharemarket-listed corporation.

NIB’s recently announced foray into New Zealand, with the $80million purchase of Tower Medical Insurance, produced an immediate jump in the share price.

That’s a reflection of the market’s positive perception of NIB and its ability to enhance the value of its new purchase.

NIB has been searching for growth avenues for some time, and it is pleasing to see this important Hunter organisation going from strength to strength in otherwise challenging economic times.

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REMEMBRANCE Day this year will have a clearer sound for observers.
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The Merbein RSL have bought a new bugle for bugler Terry McGowan to play The Last Post and The Reveille, rather than using a tape recording.

“It’s a reminder of the sacrifice made in World War I and World War II and ever since then,” Mr McGowan said.

“This is the musical emblem of their sacrifice.”

Merbein RSL president Tom Storer said the site of a bugler on ANZAC Day and Remembrance Day sent a chill down his spine.

“There’s nothing like that bugle coming out on ANZAC Day or Remembrance Day,” Mr Storer said.

For more of this story, purchase your copy of Saturday’s Sunraysia Daily 03/11/2012.

Emblem of Sacrifice: Merbein RSL bugler Terry McGowan and president Tom Storer look forward to having a bugle at this year’s Remembrance Day ceremony. Picture: David Sickerdick

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Alex Klujin and Jenny Black out the back of the rebuilt section of their terrace.It was time for change, and after living in Mosman for 30 years empty-nesters Alex Klujin and Jenny Black found themselves with one thing on their minds. ”We wanted to be close to pubs, clubs and restaurants,” Klujin says.
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The place they found in Paddington was just that.

”In terms of the position it was prime: it’s close to Oxford Street and Five Ways … in fact, we did a pub crawl the other day with some friends and went to five different hotels around the area and just had a wonderful time,” Klujin says.

But it hasn’t been all partying since they picked up the Paddington house in 2010 for $1.05 million. The past three years have been spent raising a derelict 1890s terrace to the standard of the area.

Stage one

When asked whether the project was a renovation or a rebuild, Klujin answered ”both”.

”It was a renovation initially and then rebuild – make it liveable, get plans through council and then rebuild it totally,” he says.

So stage one, as Klujin calls it, was really about spending a few months rectifying some issues that prevented them from moving straight in. The most obvious of which was the outside toilet. As there was no toilet internally they pulled up the carpet and made a bathroom on the first floor. They also had to install a kitchen because there was only a dilapidated old stove and a couple of cupboards. The concrete tub that acted as the laundry also had to be replaced before the couple could settle in.

The gatekeepers

The success of stage one had given the couple the confidence for a larger, more ambitious rebuild of the terrace. But what they didn’t know was that their every move was being watched.

”We didn’t know this at the time but there is a group called the Paddington Society and they really scrutinise every DA that goes through Woollahra Council,” Klujin says.

What the Paddington Society took issue with was the couple’s plans for a roof terrace. The other terrace houses in the line all had rooftop terraces installed to take in the harbour views, so Klujin thought he would do the same.

”At that point the Paddington Society came in and Woollahra Council asked us to withdraw our development application,” he says.

Despite being disappointed that his development application was rejected, Klujin says he appreciates that the Paddington Society is just a ”group of community-spirited people that try to keep the heritage alive in Paddington.”

Stage two

With the couple’s second, more conservative, DA given the green light, they went about rebuilding the whole back of the terrace. Due to the extensive nature of the construction, they were forced to spend eight months couch surfing with friends and renting serviced apartments. But the house they came back to made it all worth while. Upon entry you can see all the way to the back courtyard because the downstairs area has been made open plan. Polished floorboards and high ceilings make the fluid living, kitchen and dining area a highlight.

Upstairs are two bedrooms, one with views to the city and the other with a restored Victorian balcony that takes advantage of harbour views – as does the third bedroom, which has been built into the attic space. A heritage sandstone wall has become a feature of the back courtyard and the Victorian skirting boards act as a throwback to the house that was.

Moving on

Now the terrace has been raised to a standard that the couple are happy with, they have decided to sell it. The house, at 1 Heeley Street, is going to auction on November 17 through McGrath Edgecliff, with a price guide of $1.55 million-plus.

As Klujin puts it, it’s time to ”capitalise on what we’ve got, sell the place and do it again”.

”I know it’s early days and Jenny probably won’t agree with me, but at the same time we’d love to try again and do another place.”

And where are they looking? You guessed it, Paddington.In a nutshell

Time Stage one: four months; DA approval: nine months. Stage two: eight months.

Land size 82 sq m.

Internal size 109 sq m.

Architect Alan Linklater, Linklater Associates, 0414 466 442.

Green pointsLow-energy lighting throughout.Fully insulated.

Favourite feature

Klujin says: ”We’ve got an open-plan entertainment space on the ground floor. We’ve used it a couple times and people love it. It’s got a great vibe.”

Insider’s tip

Klujin says: ”I think it’s about making sure that you consult with the right people who have the knowledge of the local area. Paddington is a specific place to live and it has a specific bunch of requirements that are dictated by the community.”

What went right

The couple are happy with the end product and are considering another renovation.

What went wrong

First DA with roof terrace was knocked back by the council.Costs

Stage 1

Electrical $3100

Cleaning and rubbish removal $1150

Bathroom/toilet/hot water $4700

Plumbing $2560

Kitchen and laundry $3030

Flooring repairs $1760

Painting $2450

Handyman $8200

Stage 1 total $26,950

Stage 2

Architect $10,000

Structural engineer $7200

Heritage consultant $2600

Surveyor $6700

Council fees

and BASIX $2600

Building certifier $2200

Building warranty insurance $1950

Window and skylights $11,205

Flooring $12,294

Stairs $5929

Doors $1301

Victorian wrought iron $2714

Painting $15,400

Kitchen and appliances $27,194

Bathroom, tapware, vanities $20,364

Electrical $17,810

Plumbing $20,000

Plaster cornices $1990

Construction/rebuild costs $162,200

Facade (front and back) $15,365

Shutters and blinds $4700

Jetmaster fireplace $7200

Landscaping $13,450

Internal finishes/fittings $8800

Cable TV $5690

Fencing $3300

Tessellated tiling $2760

Laundry $2600

Furniture, lighting and decoration $65,000

Stage 2 total $460,516

Total costs $487,466

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MEMBER for Mildura Peter Crisp says he is not concerned by the government dispute surrounding funding for Mildura Base Hospital upgrades.
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The Nationals MP says it’s an issue for federal and state bureaucrats to “work their way through” and that “it hasn’t been a problem for Mildura”.

Federal Health Minister Tanya Plibersek this week claimed that upgrades to the Mildura Base Hospital would be delayed because the State Government had not yet accepted $9.37 million of Commonwealth funding allocated to the project.

Mr Crisp said Ms Plibersek was using the claims as a “smokescreen” to draw attention from the Commonwealth’s mass funding cuts – a $230 million cut to the Victorian Government’s dental fund, as well as “severe cuts” to private health insurance rebates.

“I think the Federal Government is starting fights with the State Government as the Feds gets closer to an election and I’ve got no doubt it will be sorted out,” Mr Crisp said.

“And it’s probably a smokescreen from the Federal Government to cover up their health cuts.”

For more of this story, purchase your copy of Saturday’s Sunraysia Daily 03/11/2012.

Peter Crisp

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Mildura is among the state’s five hot spots where kids see family violence – and a local crisis unit fears the cases reported are just the “tip of the iceberg”.
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Alarmingly, there were 340 reports of family incidents with children present – or 713.6 per 100,000 people – in Mildura in 2011-12, according to Victoria Police.

The figure means Mildura has the fifth worst rate of such incidents of all Victorian local government areas, preceded by Wellington (962.3 per 100,000), Swan Hill (859.3), Benalla (814.3) and Horsham (752.3).

Alison Jones, unit manager for the Mallee Sexual Assault Unit and Domestic Violence Service, said family violence could have devastating long-term effects on children, even if they did not see it firsthand.

“Kids might not even witness the abuse, but they’re affected by the environment in which the abuse occurs,” she said.

“It makes them fearful, affects their self-esteem, makes them stressed and can result in things like depression.

“There’s also lots of disruption for children if a family has to split up because domestic violence has occurred and they have to relocate – they may have to go into safe accommodation, leave their friends, their school and their belongings behind.

“And you would expect that in the long-term, it affects their own relationships.”

However, the true extent of family violence seen by children in Mildura remains unclear, with many cases kept from authorities.

“Reported cases are really just the tip of the iceberg,” Ms Jones said.

“You worry about how many cases go unreported.”

Ms Jones said despite the myth “it’s just women who are victims” of domestic violence, “men are certainly affected as well”.

For more of this story, purchase your copy of Saturday’s Sunraysia Daily 03/11/2012.

Alison Jones

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TAMWORTH’S Country Cup campaign has been thrown into disarray two days out from its first game.
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The two-times champions are due to play Wallsend tomorrow but just what side travels down to Newcastle is unknown at this stage.

Selectors named a side earlier this week only to later learn that three of the players – Hamish Batley, Angus McNeil and Nick Pearson – are ineligible to play after turning out for the Tamworth Country Shield side.

The playing conditions for the SCG Country Cup state that “no player shall play games in the SCG Country Cup, Country Shield and Country Plate competitions in the same season”.

It seems though no-one in Tamworth cricket circles was aware of the rule, resulting in several players who were in consideration for the top side playing for the Colts against Gunnedah two weeks ago.

“We were never told any of those players weren’t eligible to play in the Country Cup side,” selector Adam Jones said.

All they knew was that they had been asked to field a Colts side in the new second tier competition.

They are one of only a couple of associations playing in both and what worked against them too was that they don’t come into the Country Cup until this weekend. The first games were played back in September.

At that point too they hand’t settled on a side although McNeil and Pearson would have been virtual certainties to be in it.

It’s left an already weakenedTamworth side even more depleted and ruled out the likes of Will Howard and Matt Everett coming in either now or down the track.

They would probably be among the first picked if one of the firsts players was unavailable, with Everett the back-up keeper to skipper Tom Groth.

Before this, Tamworth’s firsts talent pool had already been drained, particularly the bowling ranks, with Adam Greentree and Col Smyth both unavailable.

McNeil and Batley would have been their replacements with the new ball.

There’s no Jeff Cook, Tim Kensell or Brendan Rixon either.

“It’s really disappointing but we’ve just got to get on with it,” Groth said.

He said it was disappointing for the likes of Batley who had been striving to play in the top side, but is still keen to play.

“There’ are a few good cricketers still eligible to be picked,” he said.

And among those who can play.

The top order looks strong with Simon Norvill, Michael Rixon and Kris Halloran there.

“They’ll be the top three,” Groth said, and probably would be in most of the teams involved in the Country Cup.

“Hopefully they can set the platform for the middle order with Jonesey there, and we’ve got some hitting down the order with Leo Steyn and AaronHazlewood.”

Hazlewood will also play a prominent role with the ball and will probably now lead the attack.

Then there’s South’s new recruit Sam McHugh. He’s been playing well for them – scoring runs and taking wickets.

“Sam’s figures have been as good as anyone’s in the competition,” Groth said.

It is a bit of a different challenge for Tamworth facing a Newcastle side first-up.

Groth recalled playing Wallsend about five years ago but doesn’t really know a lot about them.

Simon Norvill bowls for Old Boys last weekend. He could find himself rolling the arm over for Tamworth tomorrow as well as playing a key role with the bat. Photo: Barry Smith 271012BSH04

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SAM McCosh has made a promising start to his career at Wesley-CBC.
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The left-hand batsman has made starts in two of his three innings, including a division one career-high 49 against Brierly-Christ Church, to start the Warrnambool and District Cricket Association (WDCA) season on a high.

On top of his own form, McCosh’s new Beavers’ teammates are celebrating a 2-1 start to the season.

McCosh, 21, switched from Koroit in the off-season, citing a desire to play division one.

He played top grade cricket as a teenager for his home club before it dropped back a grade.

“I wanted a challenge to see if I could play the best standard in the area,” he said.

“It’s a little bit of a step up, definitely. The bowlers are a bit better with line and length.

“It is handy to get off to a good start to the season.”

Wesley-CBC was McCosh’s club of choice because of his links to it through university. He studies commerce at Deakin University’s Warrnambool campus with Beavers’ trio Tom Bowman, Joe Higgins and Jordan Dillon.

“They’re a great bunch of blokes and easy to get along with,” he said.

McCosh has one year of a three-year course remaining.

He expects to be playing cricket in the WDCA for some time yet.

“I plan to stick around. I love the area,” he said.

“I can’t see myself moving to Melbourne.”

McCosh played all of his junior cricket as an opener but is coming in at first drop for Wesley-CBC.

He’s an elegant batsman who “prefers to stay away from the bowling crease”.

The born-and-bred Koroit local said he’d had many great mentors.

“Justin Caveny, the last premiership coach at Koroit, is probably the biggest contributor to my cricket as far as seniors and in my junior days it was Tony Robinson,” McCosh said.

“They helped develop my batting and taught me a few tricks of the trade.”

WDCA starts its two-day competition today after three one-day rounds to start the season.

Wesley-CBC could consolidate its spot in the top four when it meets reigning premier West Warrnambool tomorrow.

McCosh wants to build on his solid start for his new club and relishes the longer form of the game.

“You get a bit more time to set yourself for an innings,” he said.

In other division one games, undefeated sides Woodford and Merrivale go head-to-head, winless teams Nestles and East Warrnambool-YCW will battle, in-form Dennington hosts Nirranda, Port Fairy plays Brierly-Christ Church and Allansford is a chance to end its losing run against Russells Creek.

[email protected]南京夜网.au

Wesley-CBC recruit Sam McCosh is enjoying good form in division one.

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MARK Jones still harbours aspirations to work again for his home-town club, the Newcastle Jets.
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But for the time being at least he is employed by Perth Glory, and tonight his job will be to help plot Newcastle’s downfall in the round-five A-League clash at nib Stadium.

Jones joined Perth in the pre-season as assistant coach to Iain Ferguson, after he applied unsuccessfully for the Jets’ youth league position.

The born-and-bred Novocastrian defender played for Newcastle in the National Soccer League and was Gary van Egmond’s right-hand man when the Jets won their only A-League title, in 2008.

Earmarked as heir apparent for the top job, he instead parted company with Newcastle two years ago after a falling-out with then chief tactician Branko Culina.

After coaching stints in Indonesia and China, Jones was pleasantly surprised when he was approached by Ferguson in June, eventually agreeing to a one-season deal.

“After where I was a few months ago, I was very appreciative when Fergie gave me a call and asked me to come to Perth and be a part of it,” Jones told the Herald.

“That’s something you can’t turn down. But you always want to coach for your own home town.

“All my family and good mates are still in Newcastle . . . obviously I’d love to go back and coach there, but for me now it’s about helping Perth win.

“I’d love to play Newcastle in the grand final, but I’d want Perth to win.”

Jones said he had settled into the Perth lifestyle, which he said was not dissimilar to Newcastle’s, and was relishing the challenge of working with a squad who came within a whisker of winning last year’s grand final.

“I think Perth have the potential to be the best team in the league,” he said.

“We’re knocking the ball around, playing a good brand of football, and it’s good to be involved in that.

“I’m very happy here.

“It’s a good bunch of boys, good coaching staff, good club.

“Grand finalists and into the Asian Champions League, it would be hard to find a better club to be involved with.”

Newcastle are joint competition leaders after three successive wins but have a dismal record on the other side of the Nullarbor.

The Jets have played 10 games in Perth and their only victory was their first visit, almost seven years ago.

“I think we try to take advantage of everything we can when we play at home,” Jones said.

“It’s difficult for teams to travel over here. I guess everyone is mindful of the fact that we have to go out and make it as tough as we can for the opposition.”

Jets coach Gary van Egmond said that dwelling on the hoodoo would be “the worst thing you can do”.

He was confident his players had enough form and momentum to spring an upset.

“They’ve got a strong home record and we’ve got a poor record going over there, but obviously we have a new group so we’re keen to go over there and do well,” van Egmond said.

“Right at this moment I believe it’s the best start that we’ve had to a competition and the records that are there are made to be broken, so there’s no reason why we can’t go over there and get a result.”

Jones said Perth would not be man-marking Newcastle’s marquee import, Emile Heskey, who has scored four goals in the past three games.

“We have to be respectful of Newcastle as a whole,” he said. “There’s plenty of other good players there. It’s more than just Heskey.”

Newcastle will be without midfielder Ben Kantarovski (knee), while skipper Jacob Burns (quadriceps) and striker Shane Smeltz (hamstring) are unavailable for Perth.

SETTLING IN: Perth Glory assistant coach Mark Jones is enjoying working at his new club.

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GLEN Innes will be looking to improve on its last effort against Inverell when they match-up in the Country Plate at Lynch Ovaltomorrow.
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Last time the two sides met they played out a remarkable tie, with Glen Innes unable to chase down Inverell’s paltry 77.

They were in a strong position most of the innings and at lunch only had another 35 runs to get with six wickets in hand.

But their batting fell away after the break and they lost three in the last over to finish on the same score.

They can’t afford to repeat that tomorrow but captain Adrian Sippel isn’t expecting them to.

“It’s a pretty strong batting side. We pretty much bat down to Justin Bushell (at nine).

“He’s our allrounder,” he said.

“But Blake Steel and Jake Baker are no mugs.”

The batting is where they needed to pick up.

“Scoring runs has been our biggest downfall,” Sippel said.

They’ve crumbled under the pressure, especially chasing.

Heading into tomorrow most of the top order have been among the runs.

“Nathan Levy scored 60-odd last weekend,” Sippel said.

“Justin Bushell’s been scoring runs. Peter Rajko’s got a couple of 30s and Nathan Purvis has made runs.”

The attack is more the worry with the players that they have missing.

While Jake Baker and Blake Steel have been in pretty good form with the ball – with Baker swinging the ball both ways and Steel bowling with some good pace – they don’t have the options they mightotherwise.

They’ve got the five covered with Ben Lonergan and Bushell to fill the middle overs and Nick Lehman to bowl spin, and Sippel will be hoping they can get the job done, although he does have a couple of others he can throw the ball to.

“Hopefully Nick Lehman and the other bowlers to make up the overs will bowl reasonably well,” he said.

The winner will move through to what is effectively the semi-final.

GLEN INNES: Adrian Sippel (capt), Nathan Purvis, Peter Rajko, Nathan Levy, Joel Jackson, Nick Lehman, Scott Hodder, Ben Lonergan, Justin Bushell, Blake Steel, Jake Baker, Toby Shannon (12th).

Glen Innes players (from left) Joel Jackson, Adrian Sippel (capt) and Ben Lonergan are keen to finally play some rep cricket tomorrow.

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GUNNEDAH Little A’s have kicked off the new season and registrations have topped the 140 mark.
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There are many new faces in the ranks and, according to organisers, the level of enthusiasm is at an all-time high at Wolseley Park on Wednesday afternoons.

Each week, club members are taught a new skill before branching off into their respective age divisions.

The 2012-13 season couldn’t have started on a better note, with four records broken in the first three weeks.

Lucy Jaeger set a new record in the under 17s in both the 100 metres (14.60 seconds) and long jump (4.11 metres) events.

Emma Kennedy recorded a great 100 metres sprint time of 13.57 seconds, taking 0.1 of a second off Peta Kidd’s 1991 record.

Sophie Perkins ran a 6.02 minutes in the under 14 girls’ 1500 metres, breaking Melissa Robinson’s 1999 record in this event.

Both Kennedy and Perkins recently attended an Athletics Australia National Camp at the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) in the October schoolholidays.

Twenty-five athletes were invited from each state to attend the three- day athletics development camp at the AIS where they received coaching from some of Australia’s top coaching staff and attended lectures on all aspects of athleticism.

Gunnedah was the only club outside of Sydney to have two members invited to attend the clinic.

The club also had four athletes represent Gunnedah at the PSSA All-Schools last week at SOPAC.

Ben Duffy and Eliza Perkins both performed well in the under 11s high jump, Sarah Storey competed in the under 12 girls’ long jump and Jarred Heinrich was the first runner for the senior boys’ relay team, which made it to the final.

The focus of Gunnedah Little A’s is on each individual improving their own performances.

Having a go at all events is strongly encouraged and the Teens Group is always on hand to help the younger athletes at the club learn new skills.

Off and racing at Gunnedah Little A’s (from left) Sophie Perkins, Kurt Rennick, Chloe Perkins and Eliza Perkins.

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