Month: August 2019

OpinionNewcastle Legal Centre: defending the little guy

In the story of David and Goliath, guile prevails over might, against the odds. It is sometimes invoked when citizens dare to assert their rights against powerful corporations. However, in our complex world, such battles are rarely won with single, decisive acts. They more often require protracted campaigns and detailed knowledge of the system.
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The NSW Land and Environment Court ruled this month against a proposal by the De Angelis Hotels Group to build a 1700sqm pub in Casula, near Liverpool. Remarkably, the Court was not permitted to consider the likely impact of 15-30 poker machines that would operate on the site. Nor could it consider the history of the applicant, whose holdings included a pub with a dreadful record of violence.Nonetheless, the proposed development was deemed “not in the public interest” because of the high level of economic deprivation in the area, and research evidence concerning the likely incidence of harm. Commissioner O’Neill’s judgementnoted:“The existing hot spot for domestic violence which includes the site is a persuasive reason to be concerned about introducing a hotel … where there is currently no liquor outlet”.

CONCERNS HEARD: There is a Newcastle connection to a recent case in which the Land and Environment Court ruled against a proposed pub development in a Sydney suburb.

The decision stymies a development that would likely have increased violence and traffic injury, and harm from gambling. Poker machines are designed to lure users and addict them, extracting as much money as possible per hour of operation. A NSW Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority report showed pokie turnover in Liverpool was $1.8billion in 2015-16, $1.2million a machine (in Newcastle it’s $1.7billion). Research shows that their effect on n communities is devastating, particularly in poorer areas.

De Angelis may appeal, but this decision is significant because it shows that an organised and informed community can make its voice heard. The case was covered in Sydney papers without mention of the Newcastle connection. It required three years of sustained effort from a community of volunteers, with crucial input from Newcastle advocate Tony Brown, the Newcastle Legal Centre, two barristers and expert witnesses.With the exception of the barristers, who acted for a fraction of their usual fee, the other parties made their contributions pro bono. Estimates suggest the case would have cost more than $300,000 to mount.

For me, a particularly satisfying aspect of being involved in this was working with Jacqueline Svenson, the tireless solicitor at the Newcastle Legal Centre who took on the case. Jacquie had to coordinate the efforts of a vulnerable community, a feisty advocate, busy barristers, medical experts, academics, and the demands of the Court, and all of that while using the case to train law students.

More than ever, universities are expected to demonstrate their value to society, to go beyond teaching, by bridging the gap between research and practice. In public health, an applied discipline, we are used to this demand but it is still difficult to meet the expectations of our institutions and funders while responding to the complexity of human problems.Through the Newcastle Legal Centre, the university has demonstrated its capacity for making a difference. In addition to providing a legal precedent, the case could help guide future legal practice and government policy. One of the lessons is that communities can defend themselves against incompatible corporate interests but they need the support of independent experts.

Kypros Kypri PhD is a professor,School of Medicine and Public Health at theUniversity of Newcastle

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Hunter swelters through heatwave

Hunter heatwave hits 41C HEATWAVE: Local kids swing into the Hunter River from the Lorn riverbank in Maitland to escape the heat. Picture: Perry Duffin
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HEATWAVE: Local kids swing into the Hunter River from the Lorn riverbank in Maitland to escape the heat. Picture: Perry Duffin

HEATWAVE: Local kids swing into the Hunter River from the Lorn riverbank in Maitland to escape the heat. Picture: Perry Duffin

HEATWAVE: Local kids swing into the Hunter River from the Lorn riverbank in Maitland to escape the heat. Picture: Perry Duffin

HEATWAVE: Local kids swing into the Hunter River from the Lorn riverbank in Maitland to escape the heat. Picture: Perry Duffin

HEATWAVE: Local kids swing into the Hunter River from the Lorn riverbank in Maitland to escape the heat. Picture: Perry Duffin

HEATWAVE: Local kids swing into the Hunter River from the Lorn riverbank in Maitland to escape the heat. Picture: Perry Duffin

HEATWAVE: Local kids swing into the Hunter River from the Lorn riverbank in Maitland to escape the heat. Picture: Perry Duffin

HEATWAVE: Local kids swing into the Hunter River from the Lorn riverbank in Maitland to escape the heat. Picture: Perry Duffin

Artem Kusnetsov, of Sydney, at Cessnock Pool on Thursday. Picture: Krystal Sellars

Charlotte, Lilah and Phoenix Upson, of Cessnock, at Cessnock Pool on Thursday. Picture: Krystal Sellars

Ivy and Ashton Collins, of North Rothbury, at Cessnock Pool on Thursday. Picture: Krystal Sellars

Troy Woodward’s air-conditioning and blanketed windows keeping temperatures low.

Katrina Hesketh’s car at Kooragang.

Kim Cunningham’s car on Wednesday afternoon at Rutherford.

Angela Zoe’s car at Aberglasslyn.

Suu Joy Blundell’s back deck on the Central Coast – 44C

“We escaped from Cessnock to Shoal Bay but was still scorching hot!” – Kirsty Lee O’Neill

“Stayed the hell inside!” – Mitchell Lucas

Picture: Kimberley Ellis

Picture: Kimberley Ellis

Picture: Linda Carroll

TweetFacebookEARLIER –THURSDAY 9AMA Heatwave Action Plan has been activated following the prediction of heatwave conditions in NSW this week.

The Bureau of Meteorology advises that temperatures are expected to exceed 35 in many parts of the state,with overnight temperatures above 20 degrees through to the end of the weekend.

Maitland is set for a scorching couple of days, with a predicted high of 41 degrees on Thursday; 42 on Friday, and 38 degrees on New Year’s Eve.

NSW Health says people should take simple precautions to ensure they stay healthy in the heat by;

– Staying well hydrated;

– Avoiding alcohol and hot or sugary drinks;

– Limiting your physical activity; and,

– Trying to stay out of the sun during the hottest part of the day.

Everyone needs to take care in hot weather but some people are at higher risk of heat illness, especially if they are older, live alone or are socially-isolated.

Signs of heat-related illness include confusion, dizziness, fainting, nausea, vomiting, weakness, headaches and loss of sweating.

People showing any of these signs should seek urgent medical attention through their GP or local emergency department.

NSW Health also recommends the following actions during extreme heat conditions:

– Check on the welfare of older people or neighbours living alone

– Keep the sun out by shading windows with curtains, blinds or closing shutters.

– Keep windows closed during the day until it cools down and in early morning. If you don’t have an air-conditioner, try to spend time in an air-conditioned place like a shopping centre, library or cinema.

– Wear light, loose-fitting clothing made from natural fibres like cotton.

– When outdoors, stay protected from the sun by wearing a hat and sunscreen.

For more information please refer to the Beat the Heat website.

As the weather heats up motorists are also reminded that it is an offence for children or pets to be left unattended in a vehicle.

Livestock and pet owners are also being urged to ensure adequate clean water is always available and that shading is provided where possible.

Additionally, no animals should be left in confined, unventilated areas.

Intensive large animal holdings, including poultry and piggeries should ensure cooling and watering systems are functioning and backup plans are in place in case of system failures.

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Police smash cocaine ring in Christmas Day raids

AFP officers stand guard over some of the 500kilo cocaine seized during the Christmas Day bust. Picture: Kate GeraghtyA former rugby league first grade player, a Bondi entrepreneur and several fishermenare among 15 men arrested on Christmas Day in a multimillion-dollar cocaine ring bust.
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Police will allege the syndicate imported more than a tonne of cocaine via NSW ports and included experienced fisherman, marine workers and company owners.

n FederalPolice Acting Assistant Commissioner Chris Sheehan described the alleged syndicate as “robust, resilient and determined”.

He told a packed Sydney press conference that the 15 arrested men were “determined to exploit some of the most vulnerable members of the community.”

Police arrest a number of alleged drug traffickers on Christmas Day. Photo: NSW Police

The seizure of 500kg of cocaine in Sydney, 600kg of the drug in Tahiti and 32kg of heroin in Fiji make it the largest drug bust of its kind in .

NSWPolice State Crime Commander Mark Jenkins said all the drugs originated in South America before being transferred across the South Pacific by ship.

Several of the men were arrested on Christmas Day on boardashipping vessel named Dalrymple docked at the Brooklyn Marinaon the Central Coast.

It’s alleged the boat was used to ferry drugs between NSW ports and a larger ship stationed out at sea that held drugs smuggled from Chile.

Officers from Maritime Border Command and the NSW Police’s Marine Area Command had watched the Dalrymple dock atthe Sydney Fish Markets for a month before leaving for the Central Coast on December 3.

On Christmas night, officers watched the crew launch a small one-man dinghy which allegedly travelled toParlseyBay at Brooklyn on the NSW Central Coast and met with two other men.

The men were aged between 29 and 63 years old and have all been refused bail. Photo: NSW Police

All three were arrested and about 500 kilograms of cocaine was seized from thedinghy.

Three other men were arrested on board the Dalrymple vessel as it docked at Brooklyn Marina on Christmas night.

Several other men were arrested in the Sydney suburbs ofZetland, Double Bay, Kingsford, and Greenacre. Two brothers were arrested in Ulladulla, on the NSW South Coast, and two others were arrested in Hobart and Brisbane.

Operation Okesi, comprising officers from NSW Police, n Federal Police and n Border Force, started over two-and-a-half-years after police received a “thread” of information.

Since then, five alleged importations by the sophisticated syndicate have been thwarted.

It includes the seizure of 32 kilograms of heroin by authorities in Fiji in December 2014 and the seizure of 606 kilograms of cocaine by authorities in Tahiti in March.

A police source told Fairfax Media the syndicate thought they could take advantage of the festive season by striking on Christmas Day.

Authorities valued the total amount of cocaine seized at $360 million.

Among the men arrested is former Eastern Suburbs Roosters player John Roland Boyd Tobin, who played 125 matches as lockforward in the 1980s.

Bondi entrepreneur Darren John Mohr was also arrested. He lists his occupationas the owner Martini Motors and is also theformer owner of the Bondi Rescue HQ cafe.

His Instagram profile shows a love of Harley Davidson motorbikes, Rolls Royce cars and being shirtless.

Police also arrestedReuben John Dawe, who lists his occupation as a maritime worker andcommercial fisherman JosephPirrello, 63.

Other man arrested in the sting include Simon Peter Spero, 56, Graham Toa Toa, 42, Stuart Ayrton, 54, Jonathan Cooper, 29, Richard Lipton, 37, Frank D’Agostino, 54, and Benjamin Sara, 31.

They were all refused bail in Parramatta Bail Court on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

Two other men, extradited from Tasmania and Queensland, will appear in Parramatta Bail Court on Thursday as well as two men arrested in Ulladulla on the NSW South Coast.

Footage released by police show multiple men being arrested in the dark from on-board the Dalrymple fishing vessel.

One of the men shown with his hands tied behind his back is wearing only a pair of boxer shorts covered in cartoon pictures of crocodiles.

“This operation has been running for more than two-and-a-half years and culminated over the Christmas period,” a police statement reads.

The men were aged between 29 and 63 years old.

This article first appeared onsmh苏州夜总会招聘.au

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How to chip away the weight with a potato-only diet

Andrew Taylor is nearing the end of his year-long regime. Photo: Jason SouthAfter eating only potatoes for the past year, you’d understand if Andrew Taylor ditched spuds for good.
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But he will gladly tuck in if they’re served on New Year’s Day, when he ends his slavish, self-imposed diet.

Because it’s not about the potatoes.

A year ago Mr Taylor, 36, of Elwood, weighed 151 kilograms, with an addiction to pizza, chocolate and soft drink. He had an unhealthy relationship to food. Having been an elitekayaker in his youth, he’d stopped exercising and suffered depression and anxiety.

He needed a circuit-breaker, but couldn’t just stop eating, so in desperation he tried the next best thing – focusing on one foodstuff.

Potatoes seemed to offer the most vital nutrients, including iron, protein and vitamin C, and sosince January 1,2016, he has eaten 3.5kg to 4kg of spuds per day.

Awild experiment, but a spectacular success. He has lost 52kg, feels mentally well, and kayaks or rides his push scooter one or two hours a day.

His cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar are now normal and his iron and calcium levels are “great”.

He has received thousands of emails, including from a US man who lost 30kg by eating potatoes, and appeared on TV in Romania, Poland and Britain.

Root cause: Curing a junk food addiction by eating only potatoes for a year paid off for Andrew Taylor, who lost 50kg. Photo: Jason South

His advice is to stop looking to food for pleasure and emotional support and have “a healthy detachment from food”.

“I’ve got a saying now: ‘Make your food boring and your life interesting.’ “

On Sunday morninghe will break his faston Seven’sSunriseprogram, live from Elwood Sailing Club, and doctors and nutritionists will speak.

Mangoes would be nice, but under his new ethos, he’s not fussed.”I’m looking forward more to the party and people than the food.”

From 2017 MrTaylor will eat a plant-based diet – fruit, veggies and grains and no meat, eggs or dairy.

Having quit teaching, he will be a stay-at-home father to his son Teddy, aged three, and do public speaking, health coaching and write a book.

“I want to help people get healthy and change their relationship with food in a similar way to what I’ve done.”

Lorraine Baker, the n Medical Association’s Victorian president, was impressed Mr Taylor stuck to a disciplined exercise and unprocessed food program – which included soy milk for mashing, sweet potato and B12 supplements – and sought medical advice. But the diet wasn’t recommended because a more enjoyable, varied diet was more sustainable.

Dietitians Association of spokeswoman Melanie McGrice​ said Mr Taylor’s diet was “extreme” and large quantities of potatoes were needed to meet daily nutrient requirements.

She wondered whether the weight would stay off. But the diet could be a good kick-start, and too few food choices could be more effective than too much choice, leading to junk food.

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Hands-free paving has turned Newcastle landscapers into internet sensations

STARS: Landscapers Deng Amourr, Kye Nelson, Rhett Jones and Nick Davies have become internet sensations with their domino pavers. Picture: Simone De Peak.
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IT was a Monday afternoon when the crew of Newcastle landscapers decided to video a little domino trick they had performed from time to time.

The retaining wall was 33 metres long, and they needed to lay about 165 cap pavers to finish the job.

What the hell, they thought, let’s do it and see if it works.

It did, and the videos have made the Newcastle men instant internet sensations with views hitting 10 million on social media and YouTube in just four days.

“We had seen it a very, very long time ago and had tried it,’’ Kye Nelson said.

“We had done it a few times on shorter walls and just decided to film it because we had such a long, straight wall –and I wanted to show my dad.

“We didn’t think it would go off like this, it has just exploded.’’

The video is compelling, if only because it allows the viewer to watch the domino effect of the 165 pavers before the climax –where each paver slots into place in what appears to be another domino wave going in the opposite direction with no human intervention.

It works because the pavers are placed at anexact distance apart, allowing them to just lean on the next falling tile before the very last paver lays completely flat, moving a fraction of distance further away to alloweach of the leaning pavers to also move and take its position flat on the wall.

It took about 45 minutes to set up on December 19 at a worksite the five men –Mr Nelson and his workmates Deng Amourr, Rhett Jones, Col Smedley andNick Davies –have decided to keep to themselves.

“It doesn’t really take less time, or is even slower, it is just different and it just looks cool,’’ Mr Nelson said.

And it was not until one of their mate’s at Drift Bikes at Kotara shared it on the business’s Facebook page on Christmas Eve that it began to take off.

As of Wednesday afternoon, it had been watched 8.6 million times, shared more than 130,000 times with 59,000 likes and 20,000 comments.

It has also been uploaded on you tube and on other Facebook sites, taking the views to about 10 million in four days.

“It’s a bit of fun and it’s been great watching it go off online,’’ Mr Nelson, who took the main video, said.

“I think the physics of it has just played with people’s heads a bit and got them talking.’’

Four of the landscaping sensations got together quickly on Wednesday to speak about the growing popularity of the clip –Col Smedley had already taken off on a well-deserved break.

And as the clip continues to gather as much momentum as the 165 falling pavers, the rest of them are taking off on some leave too.

This article first appeared on The Newcastle Herald

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