January 5, 2019

Comments Off on OPINION: Public funds not handouts for developers

OPINION: Public funds not handouts for developers


MINE subsidence is a major constraint to Newcastle’s revitalisation, but the state government should not be undermining our public infrastructure fund by giving handouts to private developers, as they have recently announced.

We need a sustainable, equitable and long-term solution, which addresses the size of the problem and the cost to fill the ‘‘honeycomb’’ of mines under our city.

Grouting the mine workings is expensive and usually extends well beyond the footprint of individual sites, under public space and adjacent sites.

There is no grouting cost sharing mechanism that incentivises development in Newcastle.

The financial viability of commercial and residential redevelopments in the city is constrained by this market failure.

But the proposal by the Liberal government to take money from the infrastructure fund and give it to developers is depleting money that should be spent on much-needed public infrastructure like public schools and health facilities.

The Liberal government has missed the opportunity to provide a sustainable long-term solution for mine subsidence in Newcastle.

They have missed the principle that public funds should only be used for public purposes and not channelled to a select few developers.

And they have missed the point by ignoring the inequity between adjacent landowners and the public space. In 2009, I pushed successfully for Newcastle Council to establish a Mine Subsidence Working Group, which would investigate, among other things, funding arrangements for a sustainable long-term solution.

During the 2011 election campaign, the then Labor government announced they would take over the working party under the Department of Premier and Cabinet, where it languished until the recent announcement during this election.

The only sustainable, equitable and long-term solution is to establish a Mine Subsidence Revolving Fund, so that the grouting of each city block can be done in one hit, with the state government recovering its investment equitably from the landowners.

The fund would be topped up by the private beneficiaries as developments are approved and Newcastle would not have to rely on half-baked promises, made during elections.

Real estate valuers will say that the Newcastle mine subsidence disincentive has already been factored into the price of the city’s development sites.

However, the Sydney-centric government needs to recognise that their failure to recoup money from the coal companies who caused the problem and their inaction over the years to develop a sustainable solution has compounded the problem. Newcastle needs a sustainable, equitable solution to the ‘‘honeycomb’’ of mines under our city, not half-baked promises made during elections.

Michael Osborne is a civil engineer, a Greens councillor on Newcastle City Council and a Greens candidate in the upcoming state election


December 4, 2018

Comments Off on OPINION: Got a tone to pick with you

OPINION: Got a tone to pick with you

LITERALLY JAB: Muhammad Ali surprised his opponents. NOW listen. But I already was listening. Did you have to say that? Make you feel important did it?

Now that you have commanded me to listen with your best uppity school principal tone, I am going to sit here and look interested but won’t be thinking about anything that spills into the vapour from your pompous gob. I’ll be dreaming about cat videos while nodding away and surreptitiously looking for the nearest exit and planning how quickly I can use it.

The only time I want to ever hear “now listen” is just before Ross Wilson cranks out “Oh we’re stepping out”, providing timeless and sage advice regarding a dance move generations of awkward, sober (awkwardly sober?) and unco-ordinated Australian men – whether they be metro, hetero, or retro – can manage without embarrassing partners, children, innocent bystanders or those who actually can trip the light fantastic. “I’m gonna turn around. Gonna turn around once and do the Eagle Rock.” Yes brother, we can all manage the Eagle Rock. The turn itself can be tricky if done at anything resembling quarter-Michael Jackson speed whilst nursing a dodgy hip or footy knees, but if you take it slowly enough there is a reasonable likelihood there will be little need to seek medical treatment for acute self-inflicted humiliation the following day.

But “now listen” is just one of the everyday sayings that has permeated the language and gets up my goat, which should never be confused with getting on my goat.

What about “I’ve got a bone to pick with you”? Oh spare me days, Nanna. This one buries the passive and privileges the aggressive. Why not say “I cannot legally physically punch you in the head with my clenched fist so I am going to punch you in the brain with a pointless and ordurous idiom as preferred by the most tiresome dolts in the English speaking world.”

“I’ve got a bone to pick with you” is the particularly annoying person’s way of sending a signal that you have annoyed them, winning them an annoyance boxed quinella comprised of being simultaneously both annoying and annoyed in any order.

I never want to hear this tedious phrase again, unless of course you are going to literally pick a bone with me, in which case a courteous invitation to a carnivorous feast may be acceptable, depending upon prior commitments and the nutritious parameters of the fad diet I am failing to comply with at any particular time. You would be welcome to pick my brain at such an occasion.

What about “with all due respect”? Like Muhammad Ali jiving his head quickly to the right before unloading a lethal left jab, this pearler signals something untoward is coming. This is the go-to passive aggressive insult par excellence spurted by attack weasels before they scarper back to their burrows.

Literally is the new “like”. I literally don’t, like, like you using literally. It’s 2015’s “absolutely” and is most often used to sabotage and poison an otherwise tolerable auditory ambience in a situation where an agreeable silence would be just dandy. Please shut up.

Now it’s election season and the Baird government is regularly wheeling out Laura Norder and her get tough promises in the usual cavalier fashion of those attempting to win the hearts of talkback shock-jocks and the Murdoch table thumpers, how about mandatory life sentences for misuse of the word literally? Like, literal life sentences.

“Can I ask you a question?” What? Besides that question you just asked, asking me whether you could ask me a question? I am not sure if I can answer that question without taking it into full consideration that you didn’t ask me a question whether you could ask me a question regarding the asking of a question. Just ask the question.

“I know this sounds like a dumb question, but…” Why are you asking me a question that you are apparently pleased to qualify with a disparaging announcement? Why not rethink the question and make it sharp and focused? Why not pass on asking it at all? Otherwise I’ll take it as a comment and refer the matter to Tony Jones where the Twitterati will joyfully pass comment on the validity of the question’s merits. On the other hand, maybe you could just ask the question without an introductory clause outlining unnecessary anxiety. Verbal oxazepam.

“It is what it is.” Oh Jebus. Just shoot me. Not literally.

“Thanks in advance.” That one means I have flicked you a task by email so intolerable that I would rather chew wasps than do it myself.

“Just sayin.” Arrrrgggh.

Paul Scott is a lecturer in the School of Design, Communication and Information Technology at the University of Newcastle


December 4, 2018

Comments Off on IAN KIRKWOOD: Revel inShow and tell

IAN KIRKWOOD: Revel inShow and tell

IAN KIRKWOOD: Revel in Show and tell All the colour abd fun from the Newcastle Show. Pictures: Marina Neil/Peter Stoop/Phil Hearne/Simone De Peak

TweetFacebookNewcastle Herald sports writer James Gardiner observed, for ‘‘a fifth straight game the Jets were fiercely competitive’’.

On Saturday, a swell that brought sizeable and picture-perfect waves to every beach on our part of the coast continued to pour in from the ocean depths, as it had on Friday.

And it was still there on Sunday, a great run of surf, even if it was a fortnight too late for Surfest.

Also on Saturday, the Newcastle Knights ran out for the first game of the season, scoring a spine-tingling 24-14 victory over the Warriors, fighting their way back from a 14-6 deficit and doing it with a man in the sin bin for 10 minutes in the second half.

There were 16,000 people cheering the home team on at Hunter Stadium, but I listened to the game through one earphone while negotiating my way with a mate and three children through the Newcastle Show.

Ah, the show!

Beloved by children, and looked at by many of us with a weary and wary eye.

Picture: Simone De Peak

A day out, yes, but once you get sucked into the sideshow alley, you can kiss goodbye to $100 or $150 a child without even blinking.

For those on limited budgets, it’s best to hand over the folding stuff and console yourself that it’s only once a year, and that the smiles on those little, and not-so-little faces are worth the wallet-full of redbacks that it’s cost to put them up on top of whatever ride is now scaring the daylights out of them.

As the word itself suggests, the ‘‘sideshow’’ started out on the ‘‘side’’ of the ‘‘show’’. An addition to the main attraction, in other words.

But the way the Newcastle Show is nowadays – and I am pretty certain it’s the same with a lot of regional shows – the ‘‘sideshow’’ appears to be the main game, especially if the weight of numbers is any indication.

All up, show organisers expect the three days of good weather this year will have brought more than 50,000 people through the gates, an increase of about 30per cent on the 35,000 of last year and 2013.

I was there from mid-afternoon until 9.30pm on Saturday and through all of that time, the crowds were much thicker over on the amusements side of the showground than they were over on the traditional side, where the goats and the chickens and the horses were doing their thing.

The main animal sheds were shut on Saturday afternoon – the cattle exhibitor had to cancel, as I later learnt – and I left with the feeling that the agricultural and industrial part of the Newcastle Show was on a noticeable decline.

So I went back on Sunday to talk to Newcastle Show Association president Roger Geary and his dedicated – and mostly volunteer – band of helpers, who told me that, yes, it was a battle, but a battle they were determined to win. It’s definitely a show of two worlds, financially.

While $20 and $50 notes disappear hand over fist on rides and amusements, those showing their goats and ponies are doing so for a love of the game, and for precious competition points to gain entry to the Royal Easter Show.

To make the most of the show, I would definitely recommend picking up a program. I was too distracted by the pull of three nine-year-olds dragging us relentlessly towards the rides and the sugar, and when I did finally drag the group over to the show ring, it was a bit hard for an untutored novice to know what was going on.

But I know one thing. I’m glad we stayed for the fireworks. In January I had a whinge about Newcastle’s New Year’s Eve fireworks, which, for most of the crowd, were like distant paintings on a near-silent sky.

Not so at the show. Let loose on Friday and Saturday nights from the centre of the show ring, it was an explosive rain of explosion and colour, the air thick and grey with the sulphurous reek of gunpowder.

As the kids said on the way home: Best fireworks ever!


December 4, 2018

Comments Off on EDITORIAL: The year of living equally

EDITORIAL: The year of living equally

AS long as gender inequality exists in society, there will always be a need for International Women’s Day.

It’s true, women are highly visible in positions of power; in politics, on television, in the workplace. But the reality is that men still rule the world, or think they do, and still make up most of the rules that govern the world.

Yes, Julia Gillard was Australia’s first female prime minister, and deputy Liberal leader Julie Bishop is one of those named as a likely successor to prime minister Tony Abbott.

But they are the exceptions that prove the rule. Their high profile makes it seem as though women are equal players on the political field.

But the reality is that most of the positions that matter in Australian governments are still held by men.

Indeed, the latest global measures of gender inequality – a ‘‘gender gap index’’ compiled by the World Economic Forum – shows that Australia is slipping in relation to other countries. We ranked 24th last year from 142 nations, a steady decline from 2006, when we were 15th from 115 countries.

In everyday fields, most women still live lives that depend, to some extent, on the goodwill and largesse of men. Parenting is now much more of a shared experience than it was a generation or two ago, but women are still often cast in the role of the primary caregiver, while the man’s image remains that of the bread-winner. Some men – and perhaps some women – will say that is how it should be, and that gender roles are bequeathed to us by nature, not society. They may even say this division is not one of inequality, but of intrinsic, natural difference.

But modern experience tells us this is not the case. A crucial aspect of child care is that it provides women with choices if they want to contribute to the workforce, who wish to build careers for themselves.

Whether we realise it or not, the truth of the matter is that many of society’s conceptions of male and female roles are preconceptions, shaped by an often subtly acting group of biases and prejudices that we are often not even aware of until they are deconstructed.

And if there is one area of society that proves the amount of ground that men are yet to give, it’s in domestic violence.

Men are overwhelmingly the perpetrators, and the act itself – of male violence towards women – is always wrong. There are no excuses, ever, and we should not need an International Women’s Day to remind us of this.

Nor is the right to a life without violence something we should think of only once a year.

Australian society, indeed all society, benefits from gender equality. In 2015, the idea that a woman should enjoy exactly the same rights and privileges as men is not feminist dogma, it is simple common sense.


December 4, 2018

Comments Off on Two Jason Mackay dogs suspended from racing in NSW

Two Jason Mackay dogs suspended from racing in NSW

A file photo of Jason Mackay with Zipping Willow in 2013.HUNTER trainer Jason Mackay would ‘‘bet money’’ that his star bitch, Zipping Willow, will start her final race campaign in the Golden Easter Egg heats in two weeks despite receiving an indefinite ban on Friday as part of live-baiting investigations.

Richmond Vale’s Mackay, a Sydney premiership winner and one of the leading trainers in the state, told the Newcastle Herald that Zipping Willow, a nominee for NSW Greyhound of the Year, and Zipping Saxon, which was to contest a heat of the group2 Richmond Derby on Friday night, had been added to a list of 28 dogs banned in NSW.

Greyhound Racing NSW later announced that number had jumped to 37 with the addition of Awesome Project, Zipping Spike, Keybow, Tiggerlong Amigo, Mackay’s pair and three unnamed greyhounds.

‘‘The greyhounds were identified as being at the properties of the trainers suspended by Greyhound Racing Victoria as investigations into the allegations continue,’’ GRNSW said.

Keybow, one of the best dogs in the nation, is owned and was bred by East Maitland’s Kel Lean. Aberglasslyn’s Brad Canty owns Awesome Project and Zipping Spike. All three dogs were trained by Darren McDonald in Victoria.

The news comes after Mackay and prominent owner-breeder Martin Hallinan said 12 as-yet unnamed and unraced dogs from their operation were suspended because they had spent two weeks with banned Londonderry-based breaker Zeke Kadir. The Herald was told they are not officially suspended because they remain unregistered.

Mackay said Zipping Willow and Zipping Saxon had been transferred to the now-suspended McDonald via Kadir’s Wilshire Park property before the live-baiting scandal broke last month.

McDonald and Kadir were central figures in the Four Corners probe into live baiting.

Mackay said Zipping Willow and Zipping Saxon had spent just nine days under the care of McDonald before that trainer was stood down. Both greyhounds, now back with Mackay, were banned in Victoria but then cleared after a threat of legal action from Canty prompted a conditional return for all suspended dogs.

Canty then won a temporary Supreme Court injunction to allow Awesome Project to start the next week at The Meadows. Awesome Project had been stood down after Greyhound Racing Victoria’s introduction of a law banning dogs which were transferred from a suspended trainer to another on the same property.

Canty said on Friday he was focused on overturning the GRV decision before worrying about the situation in NSW.

However, Canty said Hallinan was working with the solicitor he used in Victoria to challenge the GRNSW bans.

Mackay said the decision was an ‘‘absolute joke’’ and he was confident participants would overturn the suspensions.

‘‘Awesome Project and Zipping Willow will be in the heats of the Golden Easter Egg in a couple of weeks. I’d bet money on that,’’ Mackay said.

‘‘It’s absolute chaos and it’s an absolute disgrace.

‘‘They should just put their hands up and say, ‘We don’t know what we are doing.’’’

Mackay said his pair were banned until an inquiry into live baiting is complete, whether that takes ‘‘two weeks or two years’’.

He said Zipping Willow, a winner of 34 races from 52 starts and $190,195 in stakes, was set to retire after the Golden Easter Egg but was also now banned from breeding under the new rules.

The bans follow an ABC story on Thursday in which Mackay confirmed he had sent dogs to Kadir for several years. But he said he had not seen live-baiting at Kadir’s Wilshire Park and denied any knowledge of the illegal practice.

Hallinan told the ABC he could make no guarantees but believed his dogs had not been trained by Kadir using live baits. Mackay denied using live baits but said his property had been the target of two raids and another accusation, none of which had led to evidence of the practice.

A three-time trainer of NSW Greyhound of the Year, Mackay put the accusations down to jealously.

‘‘It’s just what happens when you have a bit of hype around you, you win a few races and have some success,’’ he said.

‘‘All the good-doers come out and try to bring you down.’’

The Four Corners investigation alleged Kadir had boasted that he had worked with ‘‘all the Zipping dogs’’, but Mackay and Hallinan told the ABC they had sent only two litters of Zipping dogs to Wilshire Park.


December 4, 2018

Comments Off on Port Fairy Folk Festival performance photos: Day 1-2

Port Fairy Folk Festival performance photos: Day 1-2

Under the lights of the Port Fairy Folk Festival | Day 1-2 photos John Butler performs on Stage 1. Picture: ANGELA MILNE

John Butler performs on Stage 1. Picture: ANGELA MILNE

John Butler performs on Stage 1. Picture: ANGELA MILNE

John Butler performs on Stage 1. Picture: ANGELA MILNE

John Butler performs on Stage 1. Picture: ANGELA MILNE

John Butler performs on Stage 1. Picture: ANGELA MILNE

John Butler Trio. Picture: ANGELA MILNE

John Butler and wife Danielle Caruana. Picture: ANGELA MILNE

John Butler and wife Danielle Caruana. Picture: ANGELA MILNE

We Two Thieves on Stage 1 with John Butler. Picture: ANGELA MILNE

We Two Thieves on Stage 1 with John Butler. Picture: ANGELA MILNE

John Butler with We Two Thieves. Picture: ANGELA MILNE

We Two Thieves: Mama Kin and Emily Lubitz performing with Dave Mann on Stage 3. Picture: DAMIAN WHITE

We Two Thieves: Mama Kin and Emily Lubitz performing with Dave Mann on Stage 3. Picture: DAMIAN WHITE

We Two Thieves: Mama Kin and Emily Lubitz performing on Stage 3. Picture: DAMIAN WHITE

Emily Lubitz. Picture: DAMIAN WHITE

Buffy Sainte-Marie from Canada performing on Stage 3. Picture: DAMIAN WHITE

Buffy Sainte-Marie from Canada performing on Stage 3. Picture: DAMIAN WHITE

Buffy Sainte-Marie from Canada performing on Stage 3. Picture: DAMIAN WHITE

Buffy Sainte-Marie from Canada performing on Stage 3. Picture: DAMIAN WHITE

Buffy Sainte-Marie from Canada performing on Stage 3. Picture: DAMIAN WHITE

Richard Thompson on Stage 3. Picture: ANGELA MILNE

Richard Thompson with his band on Stage 3. Picture: ANGELA MILNE

Mark Seymour on Stage 1. Picture: ANGELA MILNE

Mark Seymour on Stage 1. Picture: ANGELA MILNE

Mark Seymour on Stage 1. Picture: ANGELA MILNE

Trouble in the Kitchen on Stage 2. Picture: ANGELA MILNE

Mark Seymour on Stage 1. Picture: ANGELA MILNE

The Gloaming on Stage 3. Picture: ANGELA MILNE

Trouble in the Kitchen on Stage 2. Picture: ANGELA MILNE

Trouble in the Kitchen on Stage 2. Picture: ANGELA MILNE

The Gloaming on Stage 3. Picture: ANGELA MILNE

Jeff Lang on Stage 1. Picture: ANGELA MILNE

Jeff Lang on Stage 1. Picture: ANGELA MILNE

The Gloaming on Stage 3. Picture: ANGELA MILNE

Frank Yamma on Stage 2. Picture: ANGELA MILNE

Frank Yamma on Stage 2. Picture: ANGELA MILNE

Sinead O’Connor performs on Stage 3. Picture: ANGELA MILNE

Sinead O’Connor performs on Stage 3. Picture: ANGELA MILNE

Sinead O’Connor performs on Stage 3. Picture: ANGELA MILNE

Sinead O’Connor performs on Stage 3. Picture: ANGELA MILNE

Sinead O’Connor performs on Stage 3. Picture: ANGELA MILNE

Jodi Martin (center) performs with her band. Picture:DAMIAN WHITE

Jodi Martin. Picture:DAMIAN WHITE

Photo by Perry Cho.



December 4, 2018

Comments Off on MOVIE REVIEW: Focus


GRIFTERS: Nicky (Will Smith) agrees to teach Jess (Margot Robbie) the tricks of his trade.FOCUS (MA)

Stars: Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Adrian Martinez

Directors: Glenn Ficarra, John Requa

Screening: general release

Rating: ★★★★

A ROMANTIC caper movie is a delicate invention. If it’s nourished with the right mix of wit, ingenuity and sexual chemistry, you remain on the side of the con artists, whatever the nature of their scam. If not, you couldn’t care less.

It’s a lesson well understood by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, the writer-directors of Focus. They set exactly the right tone as well as tweaking the plot with enough twists to keep your brain engaged. And it looks good.

Co-starring with Will Smith is Australian actress Margot Robbie, consolidating the career boost she got from her role in The Wolf of Wall Street.

His is the hard part. He’s playing the all-knowing conman to her eager apprentice – a role which could really set the teeth on edge in the hands of the kind of star who lets his ego show. But Smith keeps down the condescension levels.

He also sweats sufficiently during the plot’s suspense points to indicate the presence of a fully functioning nervous system.

It’s not exclusively a star turn. Smith and Robbie are surrounded by a supporting cast equipped with their own stock of slick lines. Ficarra and Requa have worked with both Jim Carey and Steve Carell and they’ve assigned a prominent role to another funnyman, Adrian Martinez. He plays Smith’s tubby chief lieutenant and, as you might expect, he turns every conversation into a comedy routine – always a high-risk undertaking. Here he carries it off.

Smith’s character Nicky Spurgeon, a professional conman, is picked up one night by Jess Barrett (Robbie) in the rooftop bar of a ritzy Manhattan hotel. Inevitably, they go back to her room, where their supposedly romantic encounter is revealed to be a scam as she and an accomplice make a clumsy attempt to steal from him.

He’s intrigued enough to seek her out the next morning and give her an impromptu but convincing tutorial in picking pockets. He then agrees to hire her as an ‘‘intern’’ and teach her the art of the grifter in New Orleans, shown in a smoothly executed montage and with by a soundtrack that converts it all into choreography.

From New Orleans to Buenos Aires, the script goes on laying on plot reversals so that you’re never sure what’s real and what isn’t.

And this raises a new challenge. Bamboozle an audience too often and you can lose them altogether. Yet Ficarra and Requa have laid the groundwork well, giving you such a good time that you’re ready to overlook the implausibilities because you’re enjoying the company.

And that, in the end, is what a good caper movie is all about. If you’re thoroughly – and elegantly – conned, and entertained, you can forgive the perpetrators almost anything.


December 4, 2018

Comments Off on Greens push to legalise abortion in NSW

Greens push to legalise abortion in NSW

Greens want action on abortion: In NSW, the major parties support a woman’s right to choose, but not a change to the status quo. Photo: SuppliedThe Greens will push for abortion to be removed from the Crimes Act in NSW, and for the harassment of women entering and leaving abortion clinics banned.

While Tasmania and Victoria have legalised abortion, in NSW the major parties support a woman’s right to choose, but no change to the status quo.

Leader of the Australian Greens, Senator Christine Milne, said discrimination against women has no place in the law, and NSW politicians have the power to remove it.

“I know from the Tasmanian experience how important this reform has been, so it’s time for the women of New South Wales to be treated with the same respect,” she said.

The balance of power in the NSW upper house is held by the anti-abortion Christian Democrats, and Labor has argued abortion reform risks backfiring.

Women in NSW can access abortion under the 1971 Levine district court ruling, which found abortion was legal if there were economic, social or medical grounds to avoid a serious threat to the woman’s physical or mental health.

But Michael Permezel, of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, said abortion law reform was needed in NSW.

“The Levine precedent doesn’t give full clarity to health professionals. A clear law is preferred to relying upon a precedent that can be interpreted in different ways,” he said.

NSW Greens MLC Mehreen Faruqi said: “Women deserve better than having their reproductive rights and health fall in a grey area of the law.”

She called for the formation of a cross-party working group to progress abortion reform in the next NSW parliament.

Ms Faruqi described the foetal rights bill Zoe’s Law as a “close call” for NSW women, after it passed the lower house but then lapsed.

“We simply can’t keep waiting to campaign against the next piece of regressive legislation. We must get on the front foot to safeguard women’s rights once and for all,” she said.

Accessing abortion was a problem for women in regional areas, who had to travel long distances to the city, or face privacy intrusion as protestors picketed local clinics.

The Greens want a 150-metre privacy zone around clinics. Protest-free zones were introduced in Tasmania.

Mr Permezel said the harassment of patients had become a particular problem in Albury.

“We think that it is really important that the privacy of women attending clinics should not be impinged upon by those who take a contrary view,” he said.


December 4, 2018

Comments Off on Jaguar National Rally 2015Photos

Jaguar National Rally 2015Photos

John and Lynnette Lynn, from Carlingford in NSW, with their stunning 1965 Series 1 E Type Jaguar in the Jaguar National Rally at Royal Park. Picture: GEOFF ROBSONJOHN Lynn can claim he has one of the best Jaguars in Australia and that it belonged to former Australian Prime Minister Paul Keating.

Mr Lynn and wife Lynnette, both of Carlingford, Sydney, are in Launceston with their series 1 4.2 E-Type as part of the Jaguar National Rally.

The 46th rally saw more than 100 Jaguars parade from the Country Club Tasmania at Prospect to Royal Park yesterday, where they were displayed for most of the day.

Mr Lynn’s beauty was a drawcard at Royal Park, which was fitting given it won the top award at the national rally in Melbourne last year.

Jaguar National Rally 2015 | Photos National Jaguar Rally.Photo by Geoff Robson

National Jaguar Rally.Photo by Geoff Robson

National Jaguar Rally.Photo by Geoff Robson

National Jaguar Rally.Photo by Geoff Robson

National Jaguar Rally.Photo by Geoff Robson

National Jaguar Rally.Photo by Geoff Robson

National Jaguar Rally.Photo by Geoff Robson

National Jaguar Rally.Photo by Geoff Robson

National Jaguar Rally.Photo by Geoff Robson

TweetFacebookHe said the car was built in December, 1965, shipped to Australia in January, 1966 and first sold in June, 1966 to Dr David Smith.

‘‘I’ve been trying to chase its history,’’ Mr Lynn said.

‘‘We met its first owner Dr David Smith and he told us he had sold it to Paul Keating.

‘‘He also gave us the original duty stamp receipt.’’

The receipt showed the Jag originally cost $3100.

Mr Lynn paid $70,000 for it in 2007 from a Shannons Sydney Motor Show Auction.

He hadn’t seen the car before he bought it, as he and Mrs Lynn were overseas and put in an absentee bid.

‘‘It was in running order. It was tired and needed some help, but it was driveable,’’ he said.

‘‘We’ve fixed it up gradually over the past four-and-a-half years.’’

While Mr and Mrs Lynn love their car, they don’t drive it often and even had it brought to Tasmania in a sealed container.

‘‘I enjoy working on it and keeping it clean, but beyond that it’s too special and worth too much money,’’ Mr Lynn said.

Mr Lynn said he loved the camaraderie of national rallies and that he would love to claim the outright winner in Concours d’Elegance and the best sports car in d’Elegance awards again.


December 4, 2018

Comments Off on Police crack down on drug drivers

Police crack down on drug drivers

POLICE are vowing to crack down on the Hunter’s drug-affected drivers after identifying the region as a major hotspot for motorists being impaired by illicit substances.

Figures show 14 deaths over three years have occurred in accidents across the Hunter where at least one driver was drug-affected, with police charging 161 people last year with driving under the influence of drugs.

The Hunter has the third highest rate of drug-driving in NSW and has been identified as such a hotspot the state’s top traffic cop will unveil a statewide operation in Newcastle on Friday. Operation Impairment kicks off at Newcastle Show this week and will continue through 21 regional shows and other major sporting events as senior police up the ante in educating the driving public about driving with drugs in their system.

Traffic and highway patrol commander Superintendent Stuart Smith said there was a misconception the drug-driving issue was something that happened in the metropolitan areas.

Figures show 78per cent of road fatalities where at least one driver was impaired by illicit substances occurred on a regional or rural road.

‘‘That is the misconception and that is where we need to be proactive in identifying hotspots and then impacting on those hotspots,’’ Superintendent Smith said.

‘‘It is about stopping high-risk driving behaviour. These people are a high-risk on our roads and they need to know they are at a high-risk of being caught.’’

Operations before Christmas, saw as many as one in every four Hunter motorists tested, being found to have illicit substances in their system.

Drug-testing is a lot more targeted than random alcohol testing, and the state ratio was about one positive every 26 tests last year.

In 2013, the ratio was one in every 47 tests.

‘‘We can keep on writing out tickets all day but it is about engaging with the community and having the road safety talk,’’ Superintendent Smith said.

‘‘This is about broader education.’’