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A second roll up for Aberdare bowls site

VACANT: The site of the Cessnock City Bowling Club, which burned down in 2010.The future of the former Cessnock City Bowling Club site has become clearer –and it’s unlikely tocontain a major fast food outlet.
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Cessnock Councilwill ask the NSWDepartment of Planning and Environment to change thezoning at the Aberdare site to allow a greater range of development on the land.

The site is currently zoned for privaterecreational use only.

Council believes the zoning should be changed to B1 Neighbourhood Centre, which would allow developments such as accommodation, business premises, a cafe, houses,shops or a medical centre.

A motion to change the zoning at the March 15 council meeting was not supported by the majority of councillors.

But Crs Bob Pynsent,Di Fitzgibbon and Rod Doherty moved to reversethat decision at the April 6 meeting.

Their new motion had an additional requirement – torestrictthe floor space of any cafe or restaurantdevelopmentto 150 square metres.

Thatwould ruleout a major fast food development, such as the KFC that was proposed for the site in 2014.

Council papers show the landowner took his KFC proposal off the table last July.

Cr Fitzgibbonsaid the site sat as “an ugly wart on the edge of town” since the bowling club burned down in 2010.

She said council did not want to buy the land.

“Council already takes care of 126 parks, playgrounds andsports fields,” Cr Fitzgibbon said.

“If we waste money on land that we don’t need then how do we address other issues?”

Cr Fitzgibbon said restricting the area to recreational use stood in the way of jobs and progress.

“It sends a bad message to people who are willing to invest in the city,” she said.

Cr Pynsent said keeping the site as recreational only“sterilised the land”.

Cr Doherty pointed out that if the building had not burned down in 2010 it would still be operating as a licensed premises.

Meanwhile, Cr Allan Stapleford said that council did not buy the land, so itshould not putany development restrictions on the owner.

But CrIan Olsen did not want the zoning changed.

He saidit was always council’sintention to keep that part of town asa sporting precinct.

Cr Olsen said he didn’t see why there needed to be any development on thesite.

“The residents don’t want it, the schools don’t want it, the sporting organisations don’t want it,” he said. “I don’t know what we’re going to end up with up there.”

Related contentKFC lodges rezoning proposal for former bowls site

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eBay threatens to block Australian shoppers

eBay says it will likely block Australian shoppers from buying goods from overseas if the government pushes ahead with plans to apply GST on all goods sold through the online marketplace.
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Goods bought from overseas sellers and imported to Australia worth less than $1000 are currently GST exempt, but Treasurer Scott Morrison wants to apply the 10 per cent tax to all sales from July 1 this year.

“Regrettably, the Government’s legislation may force eBay to prevent Australians from buying from foreign sellers,” eBay Australia and New Zealand vice president Jooman Park wrote in a submission to a senate inquiry into the so-called “Amazon Tax”.

“This appears to be the most likely outcome at present.

“No tax would be paid to Australia and none would be owed. It would raise no revenue, deny Australians access to choice and lessen price competition.”

Mr Park said an eBay ban would not even help local bricks and mortar retailers – who have been lobbying for the tax – and nor would the tax generate significant revenue, because Australians would simply move to “opaque parts of the internet” where they could buy from online retailers that did not comply with the new rules.

The proposed tax treats online sales platforms like eBay and Amazon as the supplier, meaning they would be responsible for applying the tax.

But eBay said that it did not own, hold or distribute goods, nor handle payments.

“In reality, buyers use the eBay search engine to find goods and choose which seller to transact with,” Mr Park said.

“Deeming eBay to be a seller is a fiction designed by the Government to give the impression of raising revenue.”

Mr Park also said the proposed tax was overly complex, with goods worth under $1000 having tax applied by the seller while goods worth over $1000 would be shipped tax-free and taxed by Australian customs upon entry to the country.

“Separate goods in one box would appear to attract both tax treatments,” he said.

Mr Park suggested shipping companies, including Australia Post and its parcel arm StarTrack, be made responsible for tax.

“These companies can require buyers to declare whether a good is new and to nominate a value of the good as part of the pricing of parcel delivery to Australia,” he said.

In its submission, Amazon said GST should be levied on all goods but said it shouldn’t have to collect the tax, agreeing with eBay that shipping companies should be made responsible.

The July 1 start date for the new tax was “completely unrealistic”, with both businesses and government unable to implement required changes by then, Mr Park said.

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Fans throw dead rats at players in Danish soccer derby

Emotions often run high during a derby, and the ensuing passions can often bring out the best, and worst, in fans.
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Unfortunately, in the Danish Superliga, a championship group match between rivals Brondby and FC Copenhagen brought out the worst, when Brondby fans threw dead rats at Copenhagen player Ludwig Augustinsson as he prepared to take a corner kick.

At that point, there were five minutes remaining in the match and Brondby were down 1-0 at home.

Play was stopped after at least three dead rats were thrown, with Copenhagen players attempting to kick the rats’ bodies off the pitch before stewards picked them up and disposed of them.

Brondby later released a statement about the incident online, with the club’s sports director Troels Bech condemning it.

The club will investigate and hopes to find the person or people responsible, so that they can ban them.

“First of all we had today a great setting for a derby and the atmosphere before kickoff was something special. When we stand here after the game, we are obviously annoyed that we had to leave the field without points, but it is equally unfortunate that there are some visitors for today’s match who could not figure out how to behave properly,” Bech said in the statement.

“We will now look all the video material and pictures … [and] engage in dialogue with groups of supporters in the hope that together we can identify the right person and make sure that he gets quarantined from the stadium.

“We have Denmark’s most atmospheric football stadium and the home ground of Denmark by far the best fans, and a single individual should not ruin it for the greater community.” Derby in Copenhagen today. Br??ndby fans decided to throw rats at the Copenhagen players. pic.twitter南京夜网/C6DkdtFyrE??? Gustav Tornby (@gustav_tornby) 17 April 2017Chelsea fans, 2015/16: Unfurl banners showing players as rats. Brondby fans, this weekend: Hold our beer.https://t.co/Bej8fEoOSO??? The Pride of London (@PrideOLondon) 17 April 2017This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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Centenary of the Great War

HAUNTING: Australian prisoners of war captured at the first Battle of Bullecourt, April 11, 1917. Photo: The Digger’s View by Juan MahonyNewcastle Morning Herald transcriptions and Hunter Valley enlistment and death details for 16-22 April 1917.
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CAPTURE OF LENSThe British have entered Lens. A Paris message states that explosions and fires in the German lines behind Lens, with some fires in the town itself, are interpreted to mean that the Germans have begun their work of destruction before evacuation.

The Daily Chronicle’scorrespondent at headquarters, telegraphing at 4 o’clock Sunday morning, stated that British patrols had entered Lens. The enemy had left rearguards in the redoubts, and frantic efforts were made to remove the guns, numbering 150, in the network of mines and pitheads at Lens and Lievin. They blew up the roads, and orders were given to destroy the mines, firing charges into the pits and flooding them. Field-Marshal Sir Douglas Haig, the British Commandant on the west front, reports:- “On Saturday morning we captured Lievin, south-westward of and adjoining Lens, taking considerable quantities of war material. In the afternoon we seized Cite de St. Pierre, north-west of Lens. We pressed on on our whole front on the Scarpe River, southward of Loos, and reached points two and three miles eastward of Vimy Ridge. There was heavy fighting all day long southward of the Scarpe. We everywhere maintained the positions previously cultured, and inflicted serious enemy losses. We progressed on a wide front northward and southward of the Bapaume-Cambrai road, fierce encounters resulting in our favour southward and eastward of Fayet, to within a few hundred yards of St. Quentin. We carried Gricourt village at the point of the bayonet, although the enemy stubbornly resisted. We took 400 prisoners. An attempted hostile counter-attack was broken up. Our aeroplanes on Thursday and Friday dropped large quantities of explosives, with good results, on enemy stations, ammunition depots, and aerodromes. They successfully attacked enemy infantry convoys with machine guns. Four German aeroplanes were brought down, and six were driven down. Twelve of ours are missing.

AUSTRALIAN BRAVERYFrom C.E.W. Bean, Australian Official War Correspondent: “I have to record an attack by the Australian troops, which will live in history as long as history exists. In order to take the fullest advantage of the great successes near Arras, it was necessary that the Hindenburg line should be attacked at a point where the Australians faced it. This line is defended by wire entanglements, of whose strength the whole world has heard. It was recognised as being something unparalleled in the history of fortifications. The chance of a very great success made the enterprise most important, though it was realised that success might be impossible to attain.

At dawn on the morning of the 11th the Australians attacked. The Australian infantry fought its way under machine gun fire, through such wire as was hitherto unknown, seized two lines of the Hindenburg trenches, pushed further as ordered, and took the village of Reincourt. By this time one of the tanks had got through the wire. The infantry followed it still further, and in accordance with the plan, entered the village of Hindecourt, near Bullecourt, two thousand yards beyond the Hindenburg line, within two hours of starting. This feat is almost unbelievable by those who know and those who have seen the strength of these fortifications. It was, however, attained.

German infantry and transports were seen streaming towards the rear. Here, however, this wonderful, brave effort spent itself. With its ranks thinned by heavy fighting, this handful of men alone in the enemy’s country was unable to keep down the machine gun fire, and the sniping from all sides. The furthermost parties were completely cut off by eight o’clock. Towards midday the Germans were heavily reinforced. They counter-attacked along the whole line, and after heavy bomb-fighting, lasting for nearly an hour, the remaining troops were driven out from the Hindenburg line.From a certain definite report of the movement, there is reason to believe that though it did not succeed, this extraordinarily gallant attack had a marked effect on the progress of the troops elsewhere. In any case, it was one of the most gallant feats Australian soldiers have ever performed.”

NEW PHYSICAL STANDARDReferring to some misconception regarding the new physical standard for the AIF, the authorities at Victoria Barracks have officially stated that the height minimum has been reduced to 5ft for infantrymen, and that a few men under 5ft will be accepted for special service as machine gunners and drivers. The general standard fixed at the outbreak of war was 5ft 4in minimum height, and 34in minimum chest expansion. Shortly afterwards this was reduced to 5ft 3in for the height, and 33in for the chest minimum. It is probable that this still is the standard for such units as Light Horse and Artillery.

ANZAC DAY IN SCHOOLSThe memory of Anzac Day is not to be allowed to fade from the minds of the public school children, for Mr James, the Minister for Education, has authorised the issue of a circular to teachers, setting out a suggested program for the day. The Minister desires teachers to take full advantage of the opportunity for impressing again upon the minds of their pupils the real basis of our pride in the share taken by the Anzacs on the 25th April, 1915. After pointing out that Gallipoli has a deep significance to Australians, the circular goes on: “For the first time in their history, Australians stood side by side with soldiers from the rest of the Empire, and with the Empire’s Allies, in a world struggle for freedom. We want our Australian children to remember not only the heroism of their countrymen at Gallipoli, but the sacred cause in which that heroism was displayed.” It is impressed upon teachers that: “It is no small thing to be able to remind Australian children that within a few years of federating themselves into nationhood, the flower of Australian manhood went forth, fought, and died for the finest thing men can die for.” The children are to be encouraged to feel that they themselves are celebrating a great event, and consequently the boys and girls are not to occupy the mere role of audience, but to take an active part in what is going on. Between now and the 25th April, teachers will discuss with the pupils, and invite suggestions as to how the day can best properly be celebrated. It is suggested, however, that selected portions of Ashmead Bartlett’s and Captain Bean’s respective stories of the landing should be read, that short poems or special verses bearing upon Gallipoli should be recited, that truly patriotic songs should be sung, and that special reference should be made to the recruiting scheme inaugurated by the Teachers’ Association, and the relationship between the recruits secured, and the schools that adopt them.

DARCY’S TROUBLESNew York, Saturday.

The Governor of Louisiana has cancelled Les Darcy’s match with Jeff Smith, which was to have taken place on the 23rd instant.

LETTERS TO THE EDITORSir, We wish to appeal to your readers for their co-operation in our work for the men of the First Light Horse and the First Light Horse Field Ambulance, now serving with the Egyptian Expeditionary Force. Summer is rapidly approaching, and with it come climatic conditions so severe, that the hardships so bravely faced by our men are materially increased. These hardships can be reduced by sending frequent and large consignments of certain supplementary foods. We all know how important it is to have changes of diet, but I think few of us realise what a terrific strain it is even on the strongest institution, to face the blistering heat of a summer on the desert, on army rations. We have had an urgent appeal for tinned fruit; tinned vegetables, and lime juice.

We must respond to this appeal, but in order to do so, we must have funds, and we must have them quickly. We therefore ask those who are interested in the welfare of the Australian Light Horsemen to send a contribution of money to the First Light Horse Comforts Depot, 28 Moore-street, Sydney. The very smallest sums will be most thankfully received. – I am, etc., Mary Vernon, Hon. Secretary First L.H. Comforts Fund.

ENLISTMENTSHerbert Anderson, Mayfield; Donald Smirnoff Begbie, Islington; Horace Oraba Bell, Hamilton; Carl August Bergquist, Wallsend; Arthur Edward Bilton, Newcastle; William Brining, Newcastle; John Chapple, Wickham; Robert William Chisholm, Newcastle; Robert Stanley Conn, Hamilton; Frederick Thomas Curran, Denman; Daniel Thomas Davies, Hamilton; Hubert Yorke Delahunt, Denman; Frederick Dennewald, Scone; Harley James Doherty, Muswellbrook; Leonard Oswald Douglas, Cooks Hill; Richard Fitzsimmons, Cooks Hill; Percy Lawrence Gibbons, Merriwa; Albert Harris, Maryville; William Robert Henderson, Speers Point; George Salem Holm, Islington; Alexander Jones, Lambton; Norman Hunter Leishman, Newcastle; William Loades, Newcastle; Bruce McGill, Newcastle; William Alfred McKay, West Maitland; Annie Beatrice Milligan, Muswellbrook; Alexander Kethel Muir, Stockton; Thomas Gomer Palmer, Newcastle; Archibald Conrad Porteous, Hamilton; William Race, East Maitland; Harold Francis Roach, Cessnock; Richard James Roe, Blandford; John Clarence Ryan, Hamilton; Edward Ryan, Newcastle; Herbert Edward Sanderson, Newcastle; William Peter Sharkey, Cooks Hill; John Cecil Shearer, Merewether; Thomas Henry Stafford, Islington; Cecil Bernard Storm, West Maitland; Harold James Tapner, Mayfield; Albert James Terry, Newcastle; Lee Tinsley, Newcastle; John Walker, Wallsend; David Ellis Watson, Waratah.

DEATHSPte Arthur Barrie, Jesmond; Pte John Dolphin Barry, Weismantles; Spr Donald Mitchell Blair, Seaham; Pte Claude Crittenden, West Maitland; Cpl John Vincent Dwyer, East Maitland; Pte Aaron Smith Haddon, Dudley; Lieut William White Hill, Branxton; 2nd Lieut Trevor Langwill, Newcastle; L/Cpl Broughton Taylor Luscombe, Muswellbrook; Pte Arthur Francis Mayne, Hamilton; Lieut Eric Dawson Simmons, Cessnock; Lieut William Albert Symington, Mayfield; Gnr William Robert Thomas, Muswellbrook; Pte Edward David Wolfgang, Muswellbrook.

David Dial OAM is a Hunter-based military historian. Follow his research at facebook南京夜网/HunterValleyMilitaryHistory

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Smaller players applauded

UNIQUE PRODUCE: Shaw and Smith winemakers Adam Wadewitz (left) and Martin Shaw among the vines.BIG companies – Accolade, Casella, Treasury Wine Estates, Pernod Ricard and Australian Vintage Ltd – dominate Australian wine production.
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The latest available statistics from 2015 show Accolade, with 284,636 tonnes, Casella, with 179,805, and Treasury, with 165,621, as the top three grape crushers.

With their huge array of brands, the industry giants dominate bottle shop shelf space but that shouldn’t allow us to ignore smaller players who give the Australian scene such unique richness, character and diversity.

These three beautiful wines are perfect examples. TheMoss Wood 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon is atmosswood南京夜网419论坛and fine wine stores, theShaw and Smith 2015 M3 Chardonnayatshawandsmith南京夜网and wine storesand the Meerea Park 2013 Old Vine Shiraz isatmeereapark南京夜网419论坛and the cellar dooron the corner of Broke and McDonalds roads, Pokolbin.

Shaw and Smith is the Adelaide Hills venture created after a long lunch in 1989 by Martin Shaw and his cousin Michael Hill Smith. Martin Shaw is a Roseworthy-trained winemaker who worked for eight years at Brian Croser’s Petaluma winery and made wine in Chile, France, New Zealand, Italy and Spain. He works in collaboration with winemaker Adam Wadewitz, who was joint dux of the 2009 Len Evans Tutorial at Pokolbin.

Master of Wine,senior wine judge, consultant, writer and broadcaster Michael Hill Smith comes from a family that founded the Barossa Yalumba wine company in 1849.

In 2011 the cousins added the fine Tolpuddle vineyard in Tasmania’s Coal River Valley to their Shaw and Smith portfolio.

Moss Woodis in Margaret River’s northern sub-region of Wilyabrup and is one of region’s earliest wine ventures. It was founded in 1969 by medico Dr Bill Pannell and wife Sandra, who in 1979 recruited McLaren Vale-bred Roseworthy graduate and avid surfer Keith Mugford as their winemaker and viticulturist.

When the Pannells retiredin 1984, they sold the business to Keith and his wife Clare, who have established Moss Wood as one of Australia’s finest boutique wine producers, with a James Halliday five red stars rating.

The Hunter’s Meerea Park operation revives the family wine heritage of Alexander Munro, a Patrick Plains district pioneer, the first Mayor of Singleton and the founder in 1846 of the Bebeah vineyard at Singleton, once NSW’s biggest wine producer.

Munro’s great, great grandsons, winemaker Rhys Eather and managing director Garth Eather, have built the Pokolbin-based Meerea Park into one of the Hunter most exciting and innovative wine ventures.

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Lady Gaga invites fans to pay their way into her new movie

Usually, movie extras earn a handsome fee for a day’s work on set. But when you’re Lady Gaga shooting your debut Hollywood lead, movie extras pay you for the privilege.
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The pop star, fresh from a triumphant headline slot at this week’s Coachella Music Festival, has killed two birds with one stone, scheduling a shoot for her upcoming film with Bradley Cooper, A Star Is Born, in between sets, and asking festival-goers to take part for a cool $US10 each, with all proceeds going to her Born This Way Foundation.

An invitation announcing the shoot was shared on Tuesday, inviting fans to “help cheer and applaud [Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga’s] performances on camera”.

“The scenes for these days will portray a Country Western music concert. All you monsters that can attend should get decked out in your most comfortable denim and boots, throw on a Stetson (leave those pink Joanne hats at home), and come to show your support,” the invitation reads.

The shoot is set to take place at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California – the site of Coachella – on Tuesday and Wednesday local time.

The film, Cooper’s directorial debut, is a remake of a remake of a remake, following the story of an up-and-coming singer’s road towards pop stardom, and the struggling svengali who latches onto her rise.

Originally released in 1937, where it won a screenwriting Oscar for director William Wellman and writer Robert Carson, it was twice remade as starring vehicles for Hollywood musical legends: in 1954 with Judy Garland and James Mason, and in 1976 with Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson.

Cooper’s version, set for release in September 2018, was originally rumoured to star Beyonce. According to reports, the pop star pulled out after producers couldn’t pony up her $US8 million acting fee, leading to Gaga’s casting. (Cooper last year denied Beyonce was ever attached to the project, saying it was “just a rumour”).

Coincidentally, Gaga was also Beyonce’s replacement as Coachella headliner this week, after the singer was forced to pull out due to her pregnancy.

While mobile phones are to be locked for the shoot, studio Warner Bros today dropped a first-look still from the picture, showing Cooper in a Keith Urban-esque guitar stance and Gaga – credited by her real name Stefani Germanotta – passionately wailing into a microphone.

“Can’t wait for you to meet Ally,” Gaga said about her character in an Instagram post, calling the movie “my dream come true”. I am so excited to star in my first movie alongside someone I’m so lucky to call my friend. I always wanted to be an actress on the big screen. The story of “A Star is Born” is so special and I’m so grateful to Bradley for making my dream come true. Can’t wait for you to meet Ally. She has her first scene in 5….A post shared by xoxo, Gaga (@ladygaga) on Apr 17, 2017 at 8:29am PDTThis story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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Gloucester killer’s sentence halved

A MAN sentenced to 24 years’ jail for the murder of an elderly Gloucester man after a single punch has had his sentence reduced by more than half after successfully appealing the murder conviction and pleading guilty to manslaughter.
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Jason Mark Grogan, 46, killed Alan Henry, 72, after punching him in his Gloucester home on January 10, 2012. Mr Henry died on April 19 that year.

He was found guilty of murder in 2013 but successfully appealed in August, 2016 and a fresh trial was ordered on a manslaughter charge.

Mr Grogan will be eligible for parole in November, 2018, after NSW Supreme Court Justice Hidden found Grogan had “reasonable prospects of rehabilitation” if a three-year parole period was set, despite Grogan’slong history of serious drug-taking and crime.

In a sentence delivered on Thursday Justice Hidden said Mr Henry came in contact with Grogan, from Port Stephens, after Grogan’s partner, Natasha Slacke, became Mr Henry’s part time carer.

Mr Henry was punched after Grogan and Slacke were involved in a heated argument at a Gloucester service station that prompted people to call police.

Grogan left the service station and went to Mr Henry’s house where there was an altercation, Mr Henry was punched and fell, and Grogan ran from the scene. He was later picked up by police.

Mr Henry was treated for head injuries, and died at a Central Coast aged care facility several months later.

Grogan’s history of drug-taking and crime included matters in three Australian states. He was on bonds after convictions at the time of the assault on Mr Henry.

Slacke pleaded guilty to hindering the police investigation into Mr Henry’s death.

Justice Hidden said Mr Henry’s daughter’s statement to the court was “an eloquent expression of the impact upon her of her father’s death, including the significant period which he had survived before he passed away”.

“It expresses not only her grief but also her outrage at the senseless violence which led to his death, and the serious and enduring effects this crime has had upon her life. It was no easy task for her. She was visibly distressed, but completed the reading with courage and dignity,” Justice Hidden said.

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Arrested: Langi Kal Kal prison escapee caught

In custody: Barry Dettman
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UPDATE MONDAY 5.30pm:Langi Kal Kal prison escapee Barry Dettman, 51, has been arrested in Werribee by Victoria police.

The 51-year-old was arrested at about 5pm.

Police issued a statement thanking the public for theirassistance in catching Dettman.

He escaped from the prison at Trawalla, near Beaufort, on Sunday morning, before being sighted in Werribee.

Dettman was serving time for offences including indecent acts in the presence of a child and wilful and obscene exposure.

UPDATE MONDAY 10.30am:ALangi Kal Kal prison escapee who has been on the run for 24 hours has been sighted near Werribee.

Fugitive Taskforce members confirmed Barry Dettman, 51,who escaped from the prison in Trawalla near Beaufort, was sighted in Werribee about 5pm on Sunday.

Dettman is serving time for offences including indecent acts in the presence of a child and wilful and obscene exposure.

He is known to have connections with the Bendigo and Werribee areas.

Members of the public are urged not to approach him.

Dettman is described as 178cm tall with a thin build, cropped grey hair and blue eyes.

He has numerous tattoos on his upper arms and forearms, including an eagle on his right upper arm.

He was last seen wearing green tracksuit pants and a flannelette shirt.

UPDATE MONDAY 7am:Barry Dettman is still on the run from Victoria Police.

Police say he has connections to the Bendigo and Werribee areas.

SUNDAY: Police are currently searching for a man who escaped from the Langi Kal Kal prison in Trawalla this morning.

Barry Dettman, 51, was last detected walking east along the Western Highway, Trawalla about 10am.

A convicted pervert is on the run in Victoria. #9Newspic.twitter南京夜网/68VPWpE3wa

— Nine News Melbourne (@9NewsMelb) April 16, 2017

Police have searched the immediate area but are yet to locate Dettman.

Dettman is serving time for offences including indecent acts in the presence of a child and wilful and obscene exposure.

Dettman is described as 178cm tall with a thin build, cropped grey hair and blue eyes.

He has numerous tattoos on his upper arms and forearms including an eagle on his right upper arm.

He was last seen wearing green tracksuit pants and a flannelette shirt.

Members of the public are urged not to approach Dettman.

Anyone with information regarding his whereabouts is urged to call 000 immediately.

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The Store likely to be demolished

Details on rail corridor housingTHE NSW government will begin market testing to find a buyer to redevelop The Store building in Newcastle West, but the building’s heritage-listed facade is unlikely to survive.
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On Tuesday Transport Minister Andrew Constance announced plans for a new bus and coach interchange and “employment hub” on The Store site will be market tested from next month.

The government has kept quiet on its plans for the site since it purchased it for $11 million in 2015 but theNewcastle Heraldunderstands that with approvedheight limits of 90 metres any redevelopment of the site is likely to be close to 30 storeys of residential, commercial and retail.

But, Mr Constance said he envisioned the site, which backs onto the new Wickham Interchange,becoming a commercial precinct coupled with a bus and coach terminal.

“The Store site is obviously a pivotal part of us being able to broaden the transport opportunities for the people of the Hunter,” he said.

“This major interchange point at Wickham will provide not only the interchange people light rail and heavy rail but we’re also looking to develop a greater commercial precinct coupled with a bus and coach terminal at the site.”

However that will come at a cost to the heritage-listed Store building.

Mr Constance said the redevelopment of the site would include “destruction of the existing car park, and those old buildings, those dilapidated buildings”, which would “enable us to provide a great transport solution while we provide enormous uplift to the west end of Newcastle”.

The Store’s two-story rendered brick facade is heritage listed as an “important and dominant townscape element” that“represents a significant phenomena in the socio-economical development of the Hunter Valley, the Co-operative movement”.

But Mr Constance suggested it was unlikely the facade would survive.

“What we’ve discovered is there is challenges and unfortunately that facade is crumbling away, so that poses a risk for the community which is why you’ll see the coverings at street level,” he said.

“Ultimately yes it would be nice to do that [retain the facade] but there are things we can do into the future to better recognise that incredible heritage behind the Store site which we will look at through the market testing with the private sector.

“Ultimately my expectation is that there is a bus and coach interchange point with the existing Wickham interchange, and at the same time we something in keeping with a lot of the development happening in and around the precinct.”

With its 90-metre height limit and long Hunter Street frontage, The Store is among the largest and most strategic sites for redevelopment in the city, and seen as a key part of the commercial shift to Newcastle’s west end.

Mr Constance, who is in Newcastle on Tuesday, said there was “huge potential to create an employment hub and retail district alongside new, fully integrated transport solutions”.

“When the NSW Government bought The Store adjacent to the new transport interchange in 2015, we had a vision for a fully integrated transport destination. Somewhere you go to – not just move through,” he said.

“We see the site becoming an iconic development with potential to attract big employers and do Newcastle proud.”

Minister for Planning Anthony Roberts said the The Store would “underpin the shift of the CBD towards Newcastle’s west end”.

“The Store site has huge potential and we look forward to seeing how the market responds over coming months,” Mr Roberts said.

Revitalising Newcastle will manage the process to take the site to market, with the intention of releasing decisions made on the future of the site by the end of the year.

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Cat chasing a dog trumps war threat

Icy: Kim Jong-un watches as Marge Simpson issues an ice-bucket challenge. We were driving through Belmont with a friend on Sunday, when a conversation started.
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Kim Jong-un had to compete with a cat chasing a dog at Belmont on Sunday.

Friend: Did you hear about North Korea’s failed missile test?

Us: Yeah.

Friend: Trump should just take out the sites where the missiles are.

Us: But he can’t. If he does, [North Korea leader] Kim Jong-un will wipe out Seoul. North Korea is building the capability to attack the US with intercontinental ballistic missiles and there arefears that they’ll make a nuclear bombthat fits onto a missile. Trump has to deal with it, but he has to be careful.

As we relayed these thoughts, ourfriend saw something out the window.

Friend: Look, it’s a cat chasing a dog.

Us: Hey, we were talking about something important here.

Both of us are laughing now (quite possibly at the absurdity of life).

Friend: (still laughing) Sorry, I’m easily distracted. And you don’t see a cat chasing a dogevery day.

For a moment there, it felt like we were in a Simpsons cartoon.

While we’re on this subject, The Simpsons did feature Kim Jong-un in a special short YouTube video in 2015.

In the video, Marge Simpson challenges the North Korealeader to an ice bucket challenge.

Remember the ice bucketchallenge? That was quite afad. It was once described as “a middle-classwet T-shirt contestfor armchair clicktivists”.

The Party Posse Cat chasing a dog trumps war threat TweetFacebookI’m from TexasBack in the Great Depression, there was a place called Texas…at Carrington.

Reader Neil Pitt told us about it. Neil said Texas was in the suburb’s north, nearthe coal loaders.

Poverty-stricken peoplelived there inhumpies and shacks made of tin and wood.

The place had only a few taps. Locals would walk to the taps with buckets to get water to take back to their makeshift homes.

“People had to live somewhere –they couldn’t afford rent,” Neil said.

Herald history writer Mike Scanlon wrote an article about Texas 15 years ago.

Mike wrote that Texas was one of several camps in Newcastle in the 1930s Depression era, where unemployed people lived.

“One of the people who used to live atTexas was Frank Embleton, a film projectionist. He even shot a short film atTexas. A western, naturally,”Jim Smith told Mike.

“People used to run horses there. There were stables. That’s why it was called Texas.”

The “Carro”shanty town flourished from about 1930 until at least 1956.In 1932, 54 people, including 16 women, gave the areaas their address.

Other camps in Newcastle during the Depression were Hollywood at Jesmond (also known as Doggeyville), Platt’s Estate and Tramcar at Waratah, Diggers Camp in the West End, Nobbys Camp, the Stockton “Coral Trees”and the “Pig Sty”at Waratah saleyards.

One of the makeshift houses at a shanty town called Texas at Carrington in 1949.

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