Pokemon Go has the world’s media losing their minds

A Canadian newsreader introduces a segment about the ‘dangers’ of Pokemon Go. A Pokemon fan on the hunt around Sydney. Photo: Peter Rae
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Why is everyone going bonkers for Pokemon Go?Pokemon Go’s unexpected side-effects

​Be afraid! Our streets are brimming with distracted drivers, people “walking into each other” and scenes of “untold carnage”.

Indeed, “there are now claims” the massively popular Pokemon Go app could be used by paedophiles to capture children. Who’s making these claims? “One woman … known as Robin”, says The Daily Mail, which reported her fears under the headline: “Is this the world’s most dangerous game?”

A week ago, everything was normal. Then Pokemon Go – in which users roam literal streets to catch virtual characters – was released. It’s already poised to claim more users than Twitter.

Of course, media around the world responded like we do to any new craze: by losing our minds.

Photos of Pokemon-related injuries are being splashed across evening news bulletins. That woman who stumbled across a dead body while searching for Pokestop became famous, for some reason. Inevitably, we began fretting about paedophiles.

Look. I’m not saying there aren’t legitimate concerns, or that we shouldn’t discuss them.

But does “absolute carnage” really include a guy falling off his skateboard, and a woman bruising her shin?

Every day, thousands of people hurt themselves going for walk, or a jog, or playing tennis. Simply stepping outside your front door is a risk: you could get assaulted, or run over, or catch an infectious disease.

Staying at home isn’t that safe, either.

According to the most recent Statistical Abstract of the United States – discontinued in 2012, which is a crying shame – 81,000 people sustained injuries involving a drinking glass. In a single year. How do they know? Because all required a trip to the emergency department.

Chainsaws prompted just 26,000 hospitalisations, while a whopping 169,000 Americans were seriously injured by their footwear.

This list is full of surprises. (How I wish I could find an Australian equivalent.)

Merely 33,000 sought treatment for hammer-related injuries, while 86,000 startled individuals were wounded by their toilets.

Fellow journalists: we’re missing the real stories!

You might expect scissors to be a crowded category (29,000). Yet bigger threats to safety include refrigerators (40,000) and daywear (60,000).

Personally, I could find time for any of the 175,000 souls who summoned an ambulance after failing to sit on their sofa correctly. Likewise, if you’re one of the 53,000 harmed by your “dancing equipment”, I’m all ears.

But just as I began to feel comfortably smug, I recalled my own sheepish trips to the doctor. Over the years, I’ve been felled while making a bowl of porridge. I’ve opened a vein while changing the photocopier toner. I’ve even come to grief while brushing my teeth.

The point is, there is danger everywhere. We’re accustomed to most of it, so it’s unremarkable. It’s novel danger that frightens us – and captures the headlines.

Imagine if someone proposed a new system of mass transport – but it will kill 1200 Australians annually, and leave many more with disabilities or permanent pain.

Instinctively, we’d brand it “dangerous” and demand it be banned. But that’s the cost of cars. We’re blase about it, though, because we’ve always had motor vehicles in our lifetimes.

We see studies that show talking on a hands-free phone can be as dangerous as drink-driving – and we carry on doing it. Then we worry about Pokemon Go, because news reports tell us it’s dangerous.

Can the app be made safer? Yes. There’s a sensible discussion to be had here, but let’s dial it down several notches before we start.

Is it “the world’s most dangerous game”? Pfft.

Whenever thousands of people leave the house en masse – whether for Pokemon Go or a charity run – some will fall over and get hurt. Some might get hit by a car. Nearly all will reap the benefits of physical movement.

Let’s recognise that we can make the world safer – but we can’t make it safe. And that’s okay.

Twitter: @Michael_Lallo

Email: [email protected]杭州龙凤419m.au

Scandinavia Spas: How to hit the spa like a Viking

Sturebadet – the oldest spa in Stockholm. Photo: Tuukka Ervasti The snow grotto spa on board the Viking Sea.
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Is it possible to miss Paris because you’re too busy Nordic bathing? As I jumped into the cold water plunge pool for the umpteenth time that day, I consoled myself it wasn’t as if I hadn’t seen the city of light before.

It all began innocuously enough when I boarded the new Viking Sea (930 passengers, 550 crew) in the middle of the Sydney summer. I had been invited to sail on one of the ship’s first voyages, Barcelona to London, for her grand christening on the Thames – the largest ship ever to be christened there. The upsides of high-end cruising are well documented: from unpack and repack once to cordon bleu meals sans washing up, friendly staff, endless ocean, deck chairs aplenty, ditto bars and restaurants; usually a library and a theatrette or two – plus of course, the day spa.

Roll in a Norwegian-flagged ship and the temptations are even more nagging: open-faced smoked salmon sandwiches on rye bread, trays of pert cream cakes; chic Scandi décor, and, when you’re sailing with Viking Cruises, facilities to indulge in the ancient art of Nordic bathing.

Situated on deck one, and billed as “a Nordic sanctuary of wellness”, it took me a few days to make it down to the LivNordic Spa, operated by Raison d-Etre Spas, headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden.

My visit began routinely enough with a quick tour of the hairdressers, nail salon, barber and fitness centre, before the spa manager ushered me into the beating heart of this sumptuous, huge complex: a large, open, dimly lit room with a sizable hydrotherapy pool fitted out at one end with sunken metal day beds on which to rest, your head and shoulders peeping above the swirling waters. There was a smaller saltwater pool, and, in the far corner, four handsome ceramic-tiled thermal loungers, grand enough for a pharaoh. A steam room and snow grotto completed the picture. Snow grotto? True – not exactly what you’d expect to find on a cruise liner, but yes, a small cave or grotto with a floor of freshly made snow, no bigger than an Eskimo’s hut.

The ladies change room housed yet more wellness paradise: a sauna constructed of sweet smelling birch wood and a cold plunge pool. In this separate utopia of fluffy bathrobes and huge towels, there were more comfy spots to sit, both still and sparkling water on offer, tea, books, magazines, no Wi-Fi reception and best of all, peace and quiet with anxiety-reducing beige décor to stare at. I’m reliably informed the gents changing room was just as good.

Prior to discovering the LivNordic Spa, I’d harboured plans to do every single day trip; to be first off/last back on this ship for the duration of the cruise. Viking does, after all, bill itself as the cruise line that spends the most amount of time in port – stopping almost every day and docking for about 12 hours compared to an average of just over nine hours a day for most other ocean liners.

Instead, I whirled, steamed and sweated – then ventured into the grotto. I opened the large glass door – blast of cold air – and tentatively stepped inside, where I stayed put for the next few minutes. To conquer cold is oddly exhilarating – and that night I slept like a baby. I eagerly returned the day after to roadtest the sauna and cold pool combo, where the pool was set to a brisk 12 degrees Celcius. (By contrast most Scandinavians would bathe in water of around 2 degrees).

The idea with Nordic bathing is to relax in the steam room or sauna for about ten minutes, then dunk in the cold pool or stand in the grotto, or, for the true bravehearts, douse yourself with an overhead bucket of freezing water that was suspended next to the steam room. And repeat the steps as often as you like. Or for as long as the other spa-goers can withstand your icy howls. It’s true: after a few repeats of this you start to feel like a pre-packaged meal being microwaved then cooled. And yet, bizarrely, I was disinclined to stop.

Pretty soon, huge chunks of my days were disappearing in a blur of steam, dry heat, spa jets and fake snow. Outside, Lisbon, Malaga, Cadiz, Porto and numerous other European jewels drifted past. By the time we reached Le Havre – the jumping off port for a day in Paris – I was way too mired in lavender oil, rainhead showers and cloudberry facial masks to contemplate time away from the spa. “You enjoy it down there, don’t you,” Viking’s former Australia & New Zealand managing director, Teresia Fors, said nervously on spotting me, descending into the ship’s bowels for the third time – that day.

Prior to discovering the sport of Nordic bathing, I’d always been extremely reluctant about cold water – and figured you’d have to be tanked on vodka or Russian, or both, to jump in ice cold water. Sweden opened a bathhouse devoted to the purpose in 1269, however it feel into disrepute given the process, historically, included being whipped with birch tree branches “until the skin was a tingling pink”. Today, wisdom has it unless you have a medical condition or blood pressure issues, hot and cold Nordic style bathing is generally considered to be invigorating. It helps relax tired muscles, increase blood circulation and aid detox. It can even boost your immunity. “I once knew a guy who spent a week in Helsinki, came home – and built a sauna in his house,” one colleague told me.

On my final day aboard Viking Sea, I didn’t even get up for London – I lingered in the grotto, lay on the thermal loungers and tearfully farewelled the staff. If this is what the Vikings really got up to on those voyages, make me a Norse any day. I’ll even grow the beard. Just sign me up. More Information

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‘He is a different Sulu’: Simon Pegg puts forward final word on Star Trek Beyond debate

George Takei, the original Mr Sulu. Beam me up: Sofia Boutella as Jaylah and Simon Pegg as Scotty in Star Trek Beyond.
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Sulu comes out as gay

When the producers of the rebooted Star Trek decided the Starship Enterprise’s iconic helmsman Mr Sulu was gay, they no doubt prepared themselves for a fiery discussion on all sides.

After days of debate, actor/writer Simon Pegg, the man who steered the decision for Star Trek Beyond, has responded with a full comment on his website, saying the character in the rebooted franchise is “a different Sulu”.

When the news broke that Sulu has a male partner in the new film, a surprising response was the comprehensive rejection from the actor who made Sulu an icon, George Takei.

Takei, who confirmed he is a gay man in an interview in 2005, reacted to the news by saying it was “really unfortunate”.

While Takei praised the inclusion of a gay character, he felt that by changing the history of an existing character, the producers of the Star Trek reboot were “twisting [Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry’s] creation”.

Pegg initially told The Guardian last week that he “respectfully” disagreed with Takei on the matter.

He has now followed up with a blog post, saying what was “initially intended as a moment of progressive affection has drawn comment and debate from the unlikeliest corners”.

“Ultimately, if we love Star Trek, we are all on the same page, we all want Gene’s idea of a tolerant inclusive, diplomatic and loving Universe to become a reality,” Pegg wrote.

Pegg plays Scotty in the rebooted Star Trek film franchise, which takes place in an “alternate timeline” to the Star Trek franchise established in the 1960s television series and its spin-off movies.

Pegg also wrote the film’s screenplay, including the scene in which Sulu is seen with his male partner and baby daughter.

The scene was no doubt intended to fit part of the established canon of the character: in the original Star Trek narrative, Sulu has a daughter, Demora.

“Why Sulu?” offers Pegg. “It’s a good point, I mean it could have been anybody: Kirk is a pansexual fun seeker [and] who knows why Bones got divorced?”

Equally, he said it could have been Spock or Uhura, who are a couple in the new franchise, but are by no means exclusive, or even Chekov, who Pegg describes as “permanently horny”, or even Scotty himself.

Pegg said Sulu was chosen because of Takei’s own sexuality; “there was something sweet and poetic about it,” Pegg wrote.

He also flagged there was considerable internal hand-wringing about getting it right.

“We were concerned it might seem clumsy, tokenistic or worse, too little too late, raising an exasperated “finally!” from those who have been waiting for representation for the last 50 years,” Pegg said.

“By the time we mentioned it to George Takei the idea had taken shape, it felt good, interesting and worthy of thought and conversation,” Pegg said. “We were disappointed that George didn’t see it that way,” he added.

Pegg points out that the Sulu in the rebooted film franchise isn’t the same character as Takei’s.

“This is not his Sulu,” Pegg said. “John Cho does not play a young George Takei, nor does he play the same character George Takei played in the original series. He is a different Sulu.”

Pegg said the idea of introducing a gay character to the pantheon of iconic Star Trek characters was true to Roddenberry’s “idea of a tolerant, inclusive, diplomatic and loving universe to become a reality.”

“I know in my heart that Gene Roddenberry would be proud of us for keeping his ideals alive,” Pegg said. “Infinite diversity in infinite combinations, this was his dream, that is our dream, it should be everybody’s.”

Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations – or IDIC – is a concept from the fictional Star Trek universe; it is one of the founding principles of Vulcan philosophy, according to Enterprise’s Vulcan science officer, Mr Spock.

It was first introduced in an episode of Star Trek: The Animated Series and, according to Spock, “symbolises the elements that create truth and beauty”.

Pegg also took the opportunity to thank fans for their observations, and to gently chastise those who have seen the debate as “an opportunity to sling abuse, or be rude and presumptuous.”

To the fans who have “joined this debate in the spirit of discussion and forward momentum, it’s been a pleasure to see your reactions,” Pegg said.

For those who did not, he offered this: “Please take a long hard look in the mirror and remember we are discussing the personal details of a fictional spaceman.”

Star Trek Beyond opens on July 21.

Property of the Week903/26 Pacific Street, Newcastle

Ocean views in Essington penthouse | Property of the week Property of the Week | 903/26 Pacific Street, Newcastle

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Property of the Week | 903/26 Pacific Street, Newcastle

Property of the Week | 903/26 Pacific Street, Newcastle

Property of the Week | 903/26 Pacific Street, Newcastle

Property of the Week | 903/26 Pacific Street, Newcastle

Property of the Week | 903/26 Pacific Street, Newcastle

Property of the Week | 903/26 Pacific Street, Newcastle

Property of the Week | 903/26 Pacific Street, Newcastle

Property of the Week | 903/26 Pacific Street, Newcastle

Property of the Week | 903/26 Pacific Street, Newcastle

Property of the Week | 903/26 Pacific Street, Newcastle

TweetFacebook Property of the Week | 903/26 Pacific Street, NewcastleThere is plenty of apartment movement in Newcastlewith multiple projects under construction throughout the city.

But a penthouse on the top floor of Essington Apartments overlooking Pacific Park and Newcastle beach has generated plenty of interest of its own since hitting the market this month.

Ben Robinson, of Robinson Property,is marketing the three-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment with a price guide of $1.4 million to $1.5 million.

It is one of five penthouses occupying the top floor of the building. The last one to be sold was in 2015 for $1.3 million and this apartment has not been on the market since 2007, according to Australian Property Monitors data.

“Those apartments are quite big and they’retightly held,” Mr Robinson said.

“There’s not a lot of movement in that building and hardly anyone ever moves up there in Essington on the top floor.

“There’s a bit of history being the old nurses’ quarters and itis nice and quiet because you’re on the park.

“There are always people who have been looking around for a while that are waiting for homes like this to come up, so I think it’s one of those rare opportunities when they do come up.”

The property will be positioned close to the light rail when it is completed and walking distance to the beach, ocean bathsand harbour.

There are ocean views from the open plan kitchen and living plus each of the three bedrooms.

It is located at 903/26 Pacific Street, Newcastle and open for inspection on Saturday at 11am.

Related content: Local property news

Griffin opts for Peachey as NRL fullback

Penrith’s coach has chosen to put Tyrone Peachey at fullback in a bid to spark his team.The versatility of Penrith star Tyrone Peachey will be put to the test after being named at fullback in a bid to arrest the Panthers’ alarming drop in form.

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Dallin Watene-Zelezniak was expected to return from a hamstring injury and assume his spot as custodian for Saturday’s crucial NRL clash against Manly.

But he was instead named on the wing in place of Christian Crichton, with Peachey set to start in the No.1 jersey for the first time in his career.

Veteran forward Trent Merrin has also lost his spot in the starting line-up, with James Fisher-Harris moving into the front-row and Isaah Yeo posted at lock.

The Panthers are in danger of slipping below sixth spot for the first time this season after losing four of their past five games, including a 32-point hiding in Brisbane last week.

Merrin on Tuesday admitted the team had shown signs of complacency during their losing run, as well as being affected by their State of Origin representation.

“It’s been a tough period. Getting the Origin boys back into the team, and trying to build that consistency again, it’s always tough,” Merrin said.

“I think we can take some good things out of the last few games we’ve played.

“We just haven’t been getting the results.”

In other team news, Cronulla second-rower Luke Lewis is set to return from a calf injury for their crunch match against Brisbane.

The Broncos, who are two points below the Sharks in seventh spot, have retained Jamayne Isaako at fullback and captain Darius Boyd in the centres for the second week in a row.

North Queensland big man Jordan McLean could play his first match since breaking his foot in March after being included in an extended squad to take on Newcastle.

The match marks Kalyn Ponga’s first return to Townsville since switching camps over the summer, however he failed to finish Tuesday’s training session due to an ankle injury.

Dylan Walker and Jorge Taufua return from injury for the Sea Eagles against the Panthers, while Parramatta star Jarryd Hayne moves to the wing for their match against South Sydney.

Defending premiers and ladder leaders Melbourne also get Dale Finucane back in their starting line-up against a Canberra side boosted by the return of Joseph Tapine.

For the Warriors, Blake Green and Tohu Harris have been included but they lose suspended prop Adam Blair for their game against Gold Coast.

Slater won’t leave NRL’s Storm hanging

Billy Slater expects to decide whether he’ll play on next year before the finals get in full swing.Melbourne Storm superstar Billy Slater is yet to decide on his NRL future but says this time he won’t leave his club hanging until after grand final day.

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The 35-year-old is weighing up whether to extend his decorated career into a 17th season, having made his final representative appearance during this year’s State of Origin series.

Slater last year helped the Storm to the premiership but waited until their end of season awards night to announce that he would play on in 2018.

The Storm are top of the ladder with six rounds remaining and eyeing off back-to-back titles but Slater says that won’t factor into his decision-making.

“I would have thought that I’d make the decision before we get to that,” he told reporters on Tuesday.

“I’ve been fortunate to play in many grand finals, I’ve won four. That’s not going to determine whether I go on next year.

“It’ll be everything. It’ll be my body, it’ll be my mind and whether I feel I can give 100 per cent next year.”

The Storm have enjoyed enviable depth this season with Jahrome Hughes impressing while filling in for Slater at fullback during the State of Origin window.

“It doesn’t impact on my decision but it is great for the club,” Slater said.

“We’ve had guys come through in the past, Cameron Munster, Brodie Croft, young Brandon Smith. The club’s in good hands, obviously doing a great job at recruitment and bringing these young guys in and turning them into consistent first-grade footballers.

“With Craig (Bellamy) at the helm for another three years, it’s in a good position moving forward. It certainly gives you comfort that the club’s going to be competitive.”

Melbourne host 10th-placed Canberra at AAMI Park on Saturday night and Slater said the Storm were well-placed to extend their seven-game winning streak.

“This time of the year, you want to be playing good football,” he said.

“There’s only six games to go until the finals and for us, we’re all back together now.

“Origin’s over, we’ve got a few guys back from injury. It’s about the time that we need to start building on our performances.”

Canberra must move on Williamtown PFAS contamination

Tuesday’s Williamtown hearingIT will be three years in September since the residents of Williamtown’s“red zone” were propelled into the centre ofone of the worst contamination problems that this country has seen.

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Over this time, the controversy over the potentially carcinogenicper- and polyfluoroalkyl substances used for decades in firefighting foams has grown, both in its physical scope and its implications.

It is now officially accepted thatPFAS chemical contamination can be found at virtually every airbase in the nation. And not only airbases. Just this week, the Department of Defence announced that an environmental review would be needed at the Singleton army base, with a community information session to be held in Singleton on Friday. Indeed, the deploymentof these chemicals has been so widespread for a range of reasonsthat experts now say that PFAS exposure, if only at very low levels, is almost endemic.

But even if PFAS contamination has become an issue in a range of locations, Williamtown remains the epicentre of a situation that has trapped its victims on a range of levels.

At a public hearing on Tuesday at Williamtown, federal parliamentarians saw and heard the human impact close-up.

With Defence acknowledging that PFAS chemicals were still leaching from the base, residents lined up to tell the MPs on the Defence joint standing committee that they felt betrayed, abandoned, frightened and fed up. With their health under a cloud, and their financial situations ruined thanks to the PFAS-created collapse in property prices, few of those involved are able to leave what has effectively become an unwalled prison.

The federal government is clinging to a report that says there is very little if any evidence to link PFAS exposure to human disease, but this is no assurance for those who are trapped in the red zone through no fault of their own.

No one can change what has happened but we can impact on the future. The only decent thing that Defence and the Commonwealth can do is to buy out those who want to leave at pre-PFAS market rates –at least –and to remediate the area as best as possible. As a nation we are spending tens of billions of dollars on new planes and warships. The least we can do is spend a fraction of this amount toalleviate the impact on the defence department’s accidental victims.

ISSUE: 38,960.

Alleged Qld murderer ‘played the victim’

Lindy Yvonne Williams portrayed herself as a victim of George Gerbic’s violence to cover up her intention to kill him, the prosecution in her murder trial alleges.

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Williams, 60, has admitted dumping Mr Gerbic’s torso on the side of a road and setting it alight 80km from their Sunshine Coast home in September 2013.

But she has denied deliberately killing him and cutting off his head, hands and legs.

Williams has claimed Mr Gerbic hit his head on a kitchen benchtop after slipping on blood from a cut on her arm he had inflicted as she tried to defend herself during a fight.

“‘George attacked me.’ He might have ended up with his head cut off, his hands removed, the lower half of his body removed … but ‘I’m the victim in all of this’,” crown prosecutor Todd Fuller QC said.

“George Gerbic was the victim.”

Determining the cause of Mr Gerbic’s death has been impossible given only his charred torso had been located.

The removal of his body parts indicated there was an attempt to cover up his murder, Mr Fuller said.

“The means by which his body was disposed of can lead to only one conclusion – that he suffered a violent death,” Mr Fuller said in his closing submission.

“That his death was done with intention to cause it or cause him a serious injury.

“She can’t explain the way George was dismembered because … she was involved in his death.”

Williams told police after seeing Mr Gerbic slip, she locked herself in a bedroom, emerging the next day to see him on the kitchen floor.

She said she left and returned two days later to find his body missing its head, legs and hands wrapped in plastic in a bathroom – a claim Mr Fuller described as a “most outrageous lie”.

She has denied cutting up his body and said she did not know who did.

The court has heard throughout the trial Williams attempted to cover up her partner’s death by telling friends and relatives he was overseas.

Emails and texts were sent from Mr Gerbic’s accounts after he died to give false updates of his well-being and whereabouts, which Mr Fuller argues were sent by Williams.

“This woman here for 10 months was manipulative, calculating and engaged in a whole episode, with family, with friends, with acquaintances, all to carry out the subterfuge because of what she did,” Mr Fuller said.

Mr Fuller said her claim to friends and police about Mr Gerbic being bisexual, which could not be verified by investigators, was to portray him as “driven to violence”.

Defence lawyer Simon Lewis will give his closing statement on Wednesday.

Honeysuckle Hopscotch artwork is up for debate

Treading a fine line over Honeysuckle art project | PHOTOS Show Your Stripes: A yellow, white and pink art installation at Honeysuckle. Pictures: Max Mason-Hubers

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More photos of the artwork by Herald photographer Max Mason-Hubers.

A dog goes for a walk over the art project.

More p

The T-Rex’s from Empire Coffee Co aren’t the biggest fans of the yellow lines.

A section of the artwork, focusing on the yellow stripes.

An aerial plan of the art installation, which the university sent to local businesses as part of “stakeholder notification”.

TweetFacebookDifference of OpinionNicholas said the project was “open to interpretation”.

“When we were installing it and kids went past, they were confronted by these lines. They started to hop over them andthere’s a different level of interaction,” he said.

“They start to interact with it in a way you wouldn’t have intended. It’s open-ended. I’m happy for people to have different opinions about it.”

Glen agreed that art was open to opinion.

“Ifpeople want to disagree with my opinion that’s fine. They can come in and check it out and then we can have a conversation over a coffee in my cafe,” he said.

“They’ll have to pay for their coffee though,” he said, adding that his business was “still struggling” over a car park closure at Honeysuckle and light rail construction.

On the MoneyThe Hopscotch artwork isone of fiveprojects that theSchool of Architecture and Built Environment is doing at Honeysuckle this year. They are part of the “Honeysuckle Placemaking” project along the shore.

The Newcastle Port Community Contribution Fund gave$135,000 forthese five projects, whileHunter Development Corporation (HDC) gave its land owner’s consent for them to occur.

Glen said there were“a few things I could have spent the $135,000 on to activate the precinct”.

He said if proper consultationhad been done with the local businesses“I think it would have had a very different outcome”.

“Maybe the powers that be should have a chat with me sometime,” he said.

We understand that HDC supports the project and considers it an attempt to do something innovative. It hopes the artwork will attract people to the area.

A New WordDr Glenn Albrecht once coined the term“solastalgia”, which referred to distress caused by environmental change and destruction.

Now he’s created the term “alcoalism”.

Glenn, a Hunter resident and honorary associateat the University of Sydney, described it as “a serious addiction afflicting politicians who cannot give up political donations from coal companies”.

His remedy?Alcoalholics Anonymous.

“The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop taking money from coal companies,” he said.

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Strike Force Raptor North dives in search of gun linked to 2016 bikie shooting at Port Stephens

Raptor North dives in search of gun linked to 2016 bikie shooting Police divers search the Hunter River at Hexham on July 24, in search of a weapon suspected to have been used in a 2016 shooting at Port Stephens. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

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Police divers search the Hunter River at Hexham on July 24, in search of a weapon suspected to have been used in a 2016 shooting at Port Stephens. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Police divers search the Hunter River at Hexham on July 24, in search of a weapon suspected to have been used in a 2016 shooting at Port Stephens. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Police divers search the Hunter River at Hexham on July 24, in search of a weapon suspected to have been used in a 2016 shooting at Port Stephens. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Police divers search the Hunter River at Hexham on July 24, in search of a weapon suspected to have been used in a 2016 shooting at Port Stephens. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Police divers search the Hunter River at Hexham on July 24, in search of a weapon suspected to have been used in a 2016 shooting at Port Stephens. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Police divers search the Hunter River at Hexham on July 24, in search of a weapon suspected to have been used in a 2016 shooting at Port Stephens. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Police divers search the Hunter River at Hexham on July 24, in search of a weapon suspected to have been used in a 2016 shooting at Port Stephens. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Police divers search the Hunter River at Hexham on July 24, in search of a weapon suspected to have been used in a 2016 shooting at Port Stephens. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Police divers search the Hunter River at Hexham on July 24, in search of a weapon suspected to have been used in a 2016 shooting at Port Stephens. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Police divers search the Hunter River at Hexham on July 24, in search of a weapon suspected to have been used in a 2016 shooting at Port Stephens. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Police divers search the Hunter River at Hexham on July 24, in search of a weapon suspected to have been used in a 2016 shooting at Port Stephens. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Police divers search the Hunter River at Hexham on July 24, in search of a weapon suspected to have been used in a 2016 shooting at Port Stephens. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

SEARCH: Operational support group officers searching off Big Rocky Track at One Mile Beach looking for evidence into shooting of senior Nomads bikie in 2016. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers.

SEARCH: Operational support group officers searching off Big Rocky Track at One Mile Beach looking for evidence into shooting of senior Nomads bikie in 2016. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers.

SEARCH: Operational support group officers searching off Big Rocky Track at One Mile Beach looking for evidence into shooting of senior Nomads bikie in 2016. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers.

SEARCH: Operational support group officers searching off Big Rocky Track at One Mile Beach looking for evidence into shooting of senior Nomads bikie in 2016. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers.

SEARCH: Operational support group officers searching off Big Rocky Track at One Mile Beach looking for evidence into shooting of senior Nomads bikie in 2016. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers.

SEARCH: Operational support group officers searching off Big Rocky Track at One Mile Beach looking for evidence into shooting of senior Nomads bikie in 2016. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers.

SEARCH: Operational support group officers searching off Big Rocky Track at One Mile Beach looking for evidence into shooting of senior Nomads bikie in 2016. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers.

SEARCH: Operational support group officers searching off Big Rocky Track at One Mile Beach looking for evidence into shooting of senior Nomads bikie in 2016. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers.

SEARCH: Operational support group officers searching off Big Rocky Track at One Mile Beach looking for evidence into shooting of senior Nomads bikie in 2016. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers.

TweetFacebookPolice speak about #nomads#shooting in Port Stephens at the place it went down pic.twitter杭州夜生活m/FtmnpkZVeI

— Max Mason-Hubers (@MaxMasonHubers) April 6, 2016

“There are members of outlawmotorcycle gangs in the communityusing guns and in this case, which we believe is an internal matter, they’ve used them against their own members.”

Inspector Radmore said there were“definitely persons of interest” that policehad identified.

He said thesearch of the river would continueuntil policeeither found the weapon or cleared the area.

Divers are expected to resume the operationon Wednesday, if conditions allow.

“The community needs to have confidence that police will investigate these matters, whether they’re internal matters amongst outlaw motorcycle gangs or targeted against members of the community who are unrelated to outlaw motorcycle gangs,” Inspector Radmore said.

Read more: Bikie shooting search leads to dirt track

“We will be now pursuing this investigation to finality.”

Strike Force Raptor North is based in the Hunter and was established earlier this year, along with a southern counterpart based in the Illawarra, as offshoots of the elite Strike Force Raptor anti-bikie squad.

Police are appealing for anyone with information about the 2016 shooting at Port Stephens to contact Crime Stoppers–where tipscan be given anonymously–on 1800 333 000.

Music, movies, art, food and markets: make the most of your weekend with the Herald’s planner.

SATURDAYStreet Feast Newcastle 4pm to 8pm, Foreshore Park, Newcastle East.

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Motown & Soul Night 8pm onwards, Queens Wharf Hotel Skiff Bar. DJs Dan Phelan, Phil Dando and Mark Evans. Free entry.

Claire’s Cupcakes 100% VeganOpen Day 9.30am, 8 Jeffro Place, Elermore Vale. Final day for The Stray Cats Project fundraising raffle.

Newcastle Antique & Collectables Fair Saturday, 10am to 5pm, and Sunday, 10am to 4pm, Newcastle Showground, Broadmeadow. Tickets: $12 adults; $10 pensioner/concession; accompanied children under 16 admitted free.

SHINE Presents Christmas in July 11am to 3pm, PCYC Newcastle, corner Melbourne and Young roads, Broadmeadow.Seven NDIS providers present dancing, sports, arts and crafts, drumming and percussion circle, Santa and more.

Toy Run Xmas in July Launch 3pm onwards, Wickham Park Hotel, Islington. Live music, raffles, superhero theme.

Newcastle Cross Country Hunter Wetlands Centre, Shortland. This is a graded event and the course distances are 2.9km, 5.3km and 7.8km. New runners register 10am; race starts 2pm.

Essential Oil Expo 10am onwards, Merewether Surf Lifesaving Club.Education; exhibits; pop-up shop; demonstrations.

Chromotherapy by Liana Art Exhibition 6pm to 8pm, Glazed Bar, Newcastle West.A unique, one-night-only art affair by Newcastle’s Liana Goninon. BYO, $5 corkage.

Bicycle Workshop 9am, Bike Library, University of Newcastle Callaghan campus.Buy, borrow or trade bikes from us. Parts, fixing help and workshops. Students and non-students welcome.

Harry Potter Day Saturday and Sunday, 10am to 2pm, Heroes and More, 89 Nelson Street, Wallsend.

Community Drumming Circle 7.30pm, Gregson Park, Hamilton. All welcome, free event.

Hanging Tree Wines Annual Burning of the Canes 5pm to 10pm, Hanging Tree Wines, 294 O’Connors Road, Pokolbin.Bubbles on arrival,live music, sip a cup of soup around the fire then to the cellar door for a wine-matched, sit-down meal. Tickets $120 per person.

Newcastle Foreshore Clean Up 10am,Hessian bags supplied, bring gloves.

The Levee Art Gallery Official Opening Noon to 3pm, 282 High Street, Maitland.RSVP on Facebook event page or by [email protected]杭州夜生活m.au.

SUNDAYFernleigh 30 Meet at the Fernleigh Track car park entrance behind Liles Oval at 8am. Run, walk or ride the entire track or keep it simple and do 5km, 10km or 20km. Fundraiser for Hands Across The Water. Registration costs $40.

Brass by The Lake2pm to 4pm, Westlakes Music Centre, 3 Stilling Street, Rathmines. Avariety concert hosted by Toronto Brass with ensembles, solos and popular music from different genres. Tickets $10; children 16 and under admitted free. Phone0402 003 214 to book or purchase at the door.

Instameet Newcastle 2.30pm to 5.30pm, Dixon Park Beach. Create artwith plastic debris; sunset photo shoot. All welcome.

Abseiling at Glenrock 9am to noon, Glenrock Conservation Area. All gear provided. Ages eight or older.

Sithmas in July 10am, The Empire Coffee Company, Honeysuckle.Get your Christmas photos early. Supply your own camera and take your own photo or staff can take it for you. Fundraiser for The Black Dog Institute.

National Tree Day Community Planting 9am to 1pm, Wanderers Oval, Broadmeadow.To register and for more information visit treeday.planetark杭州楼凤/site/10018906or phone 4974 2622.

Figure Skating 11am to 7pm, Hunter Ice Skating Stadium, Warners Bay. The Margaret Joynton-Smith Trophycompetition.

Street Eats Noon to 4pm, Queens Wharf, Morpeth. Food trucks.

Hunter Breast Cancer Public Forum 8.30am to 4pm, Wests Leagues Club, New Lambton. A day of information, access to support services and some fun. Admission is free and includes morning tea and lunch. Registration essential through Sticky Tickets.

Mums’ Cottage Variety Concert2pm, Holmesville Community Hall, George Street, Holmesville. Live music, entertainment and dancing.Entry is $10 and includes afternoon tea.

SAVE THE DATEThe Hunter Record Fair returns to Kotara High School on Saturday, August 18.A huge range of new and second-hand vinyl records and CDs.Entry via Lexington Parade, Adamstown. Entry costs $3.

MARKETS** Subject to cancellation at late notice due to weather conditions

Lake Macquarie City Farmers Market Saturday, 7.30am to 1pm, Speers Point Park.

Handmade in the Hunter Christmas in JulyMarkets Saturday, 9am to 3pm, Kevin Sobels Wines, 5 Halls Road, Pokolbin.

Hunter Wine Country Markets Saturday, 9am to 3pm, De Bortoli Wines, 532 Wine Country Drive,Pokolbin.

The Bumble Flea Market Saturday, 10am onwards.Located in Hamilton, just off Beaumont Street. Go to the event’s Facebook page for further details.

Newcastle Flower MarketsSaturday, 9.30am to noon, 1 Rural Drive, Sandgate.

Hunter Street MarketsSaturday and Sunday, 9am to 3pm, Hunter Street Mall, Newcastle.

Adamstown LionsMarketsSunday, 8am to 12.30pm, corner Brunker and Glebe roads, Adamstown.

Newcastle & Hunter Vietnam Veterans Market Sunday, 7am to 1pm, Wickham Park, Islington.

Whale Watching Market Sunday, 10am, Fly Point Park, Nelson Bay.

Newcastle City Farmers MarketSunday, 7am to 1pm, Newcastle Showground, Broadmeadow.

ARTS & CULTURELake Macquarie City Art GalleryYes Yes Yes Yes: graphics from the 1960s and 1970s;Moving Histories // Future Directions. Until September 23. Officially opening at 2pm on Sunday with guest speakers, live music and refreshments.

Maitland Regional Art GalleryLuminous Maitland, until August 12; Stuart Scott –Faces of Maitland from the Mrag Collection, until August 12;Wendy Sharpe –Secrets, until August 19; All That Glitters, until September 2.

The Lock UpThe Ghosts of Nothing: In Memory of Johnny B. Goode. Until August 19.

Lovett GalleryThe Children’s Library. Until August 25.

The University Gallery Painting the Song, from the Sims Dickson Collection. Until August 26.

Watt Space GalleryHigh Performing Students Program; The Language of Paint, by Karen Bolden; Gateway: White Mushrooms & Painted Gods, by Maggie Hall; Naturalist, Students of Natural History Illustration. Until August 5.

Patricia Wilson Adams: The smell of peaches always makes me cry (detail) 2009 bronze dimensions variable artist collection.

Newcastle Art GalleryStain Me With The Intensity of Black, byPatricia Wilson-Adams. Until August 26.

Wollombi Cultural CentreHome in the Hunter, by Nancy Gray andAnthony Downes. Until August 12.

Cessnock Regional Art GalleryGathering Stories. Until August 12.

Gallery 139Abstracted, byAndrew Shillam, Judy Hill, Belinda Street, Frank Murri, Justin Lees, Ainslie Ivin-Smith.

Science @ The Museum 10am to 3pm, Maitland Regional Museum, Church Street, Maitland. Lego, science oddities, fossils and more.

Newcastle MuseumVoyage to the Deep,about undersea exploration and adventure. Until October 21. Shadows of Sacrifice,Newcastle’s Great War 1914 to 1918. Until December 16.

Art Systems WickhamBetween. Ends Sunday.

Timeless TextilesSubterranean: Australian response withCharlotte Sehmisch. Until August 5.

Newcastle Potters & Back to Back GalleryFLOW, byHelen Jackson, Jenny Bickley, Peter Masters. Until August 5.

Hunter Galleries at Dalwood EstateModern and traditional, with a common theme of country landscapes and native fauna. Until August 31.

The Swansea CentreNewcastle Art Society Exhibition. Until August 5.

Port Stephens Community Art CentreMarine & Industrial Art. Until August 14.

Live Art –A GeneticMash Up With Carla EdwardsSaturday, 10am to noon, Belmont Library. Until August 11.

THEATREThe Girl With The Golden LocksAmusing family show by American playwright Brian D. Taylor, with fairy tale characters as secret service agents and the suspicious characters they are investigating. Maitland Repertory Theatre, at its theatre. Saturday at 7pm (final show).

PinocchioMusical adaptation by Novocastrians William Ford and Glenda Price of Carlo Collodi’s novel about a wooden puppet. Young People’s Theatre, at its Hamilton theatre. 2pm Saturday.

PeepshowThe lives of seven people living in an apartment building, including two pairs of lovers, two female friends seeking relationships, and a lone man, become intertwined in Isabel Wright’s comedy. Newcastle Theatre Company, at the NTC Theatre, Lambton. Saturday at 8pm (final show).

Sarah Gaul – HomecomingNewcastle comedienne Sarah Gaul returns home after a year in New York with an original musical-comedy show; fundraiser for local women’s refuge Jenny’s Place. Royal Exchange, Newcastle. Saturday at 7.30pm.

Work in Development –Gurri Thurr-ayePublic reading of a new play by the Hunter’s Ray Kelly looking at an Indigenous grandfather’s memories of life in the bush; audience members invited to comment. Ngarrama Productions, at the Civic Playhouse, Newcastle. Saturday, at 2pm.

AnnieA Newcastle Grammar Schoolproduction atGriffin Duncan Theatre, Newcastle, onSaturday at 7pm.

MUSIC5 SawyersSaturday, DJ Alessandro.Sunday, Prestige Inc.

Anna Bay TavernSaturday, Jackson Broadway.Sunday, Darren Rolling Keys.

Australia Hotel CessnockSaturday, Sami Cooke.

Bar PetiteSaturday, Arley Black.

Battlesticks BarSunday, Little Cents.

Bay Hotel Bonnells BaySaturday, Loose Bazooka.

Belmont 16sSaturday, Anthology,Daniel Arvidson.Sunday, Rich & Famous.

Belmont HotelSaturday, Purple Hearts.Sunday, Tim Pringle.

Belmore HotelSaturday, Felix Quinn Band.

Beresfield Bowling ClubSaturday, Amigos.Sunday, Rave On.

Blackbutt HotelSaturday, Shivoo.

The BradfordSaturday, Viagro.

Cambridge HotelSunday, Sweater Curse, Skivvy Season, Paper Thin, Sam Hollins.

Catho PubSaturday, Angie.Sunday, Overload.

Caves Beachside HotelSaturday, Paparazzi.

Central Charlestown Leagues ClubSaturday, Bobby C.

Central HotelStroudSaturday, James Naldo.

Cessnock Leagues ClubSaturday, Solid Gold Party Night with Dave Cochrane.

Club KotaraSaturday,Morning Glory.

Club LemonTreeSaturday, Anthony Lee.

Club RedheadSaturday, Melbourne Street.

Colliery InnSunday, Brien McVernon.

Commercial Hotel MorpethSaturday, Bob Allan.

Criterion Hotel CarringtonSunday, Ashley Knight.

Criterion Hotel WestonSaturday, Triple Zero.

Croatian Wickham Sports ClubSunday,Phoenix.

Crown & Anchor HotelSaturday, DJ Timmy Coffey,Katie & Dave.

Customs HouseSaturday, Jethro Thorpe.Sunday, Roxy.

Cypress LakesSaturday, Hayden Johns.

D’Albora MarinaSunday, Joel Procter.

Denman HotelSunday, Hendo.

Duke Of WellingtonSaturday, Jamie Martens.

East Cessnock Bowling ClubSaturday, Dave Alone.

East Maitland Bowling ClubSaturday, 24 Hours.Sunday, Kevin O’Hara.

Edgeworth Bowling ClubSunday, Matt McLaren.

Edgeworth TavernSaturday, Darren Rolling Keys Duo.

Exchange HotelSaturday, The Search Party.Sunday,Anthology.

FinnegansSaturday, Luke La Beat.

Gallipoli Legion ClubSunday Pam, Les &John Bond.

Gateshead Tavern Sunday, Paparazzi.

George TavernSaturday, Mardmax.

Grain StoreSunday, JJ King.

Grand Junction HotelSaturday, Dan Runchel Band. Sunday, Magpie Diaries.

Gunyah HotelSaturday, Sunhill Drive.

​Hamilton Station HotelSunday,Boots Porter,Lachlan X. Morris, Demi Mitchell.

Harrigan’s PokolbinSaturday, Kellie Cain, Dos Eager. Sunday, Pistol Pete.

Hexham Bowling ClubSaturday, The Blue Water Cowboys.

Honeysuckle HotelSaturday, Tre Soul.Sunday, The Years.

Hotel CessnockSaturday, Georgina Grimshaw.

Imperial Hotel SingletonSaturday, Outlaw Avenue.

Iron Horse InnSaturday, Shadowboxer – The Angels show.

Jewells TavernSaturday, Iguana.

King Street Hotel Saturday, Anthems.

Lake Macquarie Yacht ClubSunday, Michael Peter.

Lambton Park HotelSaturday, Brien McVernon Band.

Lass O’GowrieSaturday,One Day Apart,Bin Lids.Sunday,Tristan Bird.

Lemon Grove HotelSaturday, Murray Byfield.

Lizotte’sSaturday, Ray Beadle. Sunday, Wendy Matthews, Broke House.

Lochinvar HotelSaturday, Scully.

Lucky HotelSaturday, Kylie Jane. Sunday, Brown Bear & Hooves.

Mary Ellen HotelSaturday, Mojo Bandits.Sunday, Pete McCredie.

Maryland TavernSaturday, Steve Edmonds Band.

Mavericks On The BaySaturday, Brendan Murphy.Sunday, Matty G.

Mavericks On DarbySaturday, Dean Kyrwood Duo.

Mayfield Ex-ServicesSaturday, Mark Wells.

Metropolitan Hotel MaitlandSaturday, Full Throttle.

Mezz Bar at Wallsend DiggersSaturday,DV8.Sunday,Chad Shuttleworth.

Morisset Country ClubSunday, Murray Byfield.

Murray’s BrewerySaturday, Amy Fredes. Sunday, Greg McKew.

Nag’s Head HotelSaturday, Pap & That.

Neath HotelSaturday, Reg Sinclair.

Nelson Bay Bowling ClubSaturday, All Access 80s.

Nelson Bay DiggersSaturday,Josh & Liv. Sunday, Matt Semmens.

Nelson Bay Golf ClubSaturday, James Osborn.

Newcastle Cruising Yacht ClubSunday, Daniel Arvidson.

Northern Star HotelSaturday, John Larder,TK.

Pedens CessnockSaturday, Ash Mountain.

Pelican RSLSaturday, Catfish Soup.

Pippis At The PointSaturday, Pistol Pete.Sunday,Greg Bryce.

Premier HotelSunday, Loose Bazooka.

Queens Wharf HotelSaturday, Hot Fox,Dave Carter.Sunday, Phonic.

Raymond Terrace Bowling ClubSunday, Karen O’Shea.

Royal Federal HotelBranxtonSaturday, Anyerin.Sunday, Gareth Jay.

Royal Hotel SingletonSunday, Happening Thang.

Rutherford HotelSaturday, Joel Oakhill.

Seabreeze HotelSunday, Tim Broadway.

Shenanigans at the Imperial Saturday, Kazzie.

Shoal Bay Country ClubSaturday, Crawford Brothers.Sunday, Kylie Jane.

Shortland Hotel Saturday, Pete Hibbert.

Small BallroomSaturday, Kim Moyes,Forbes & Whiteside, Lance & Cadel,Matt Shepherd.

Soldiers Point Bowling ClubSaturday, The Big Band Trio.

Stag and Hunter HotelSaturday, Dane Overton & The Joy Williams Band.

Stockton RSLClubSaturday, Red Runners.

Swansea HotelSaturday, Redline.

Swansea RSLClubSaturday, Cover 2 Cover.

Swansea Workers ClubSaturday, Kelly Hope.Sunday, Peter Stefanson.

Tea Gardens HotelSaturday, Robbie T.

Tilligerry RSL Saturday, Allan Freihaut.

Toronto HotelSunday, Brendan Murphy.

Toronto WorkersSaturday, Chad Shuttleworth Duo.

Victoria Hotel HintonSaturday, Mick Jones.Sunday, Todd Schmoo.

Warners At The BaySaturday, The Years.

Weston WorkersSaturday, The Flattrakkers.

Wests CardiffSaturday, Cruzers.

Wests New LambtonSaturday, Gen-R-8.

Wests NEXSaturday,Uptown Duo.

Wickham Park HotelSaturday,Papa Pilko & The Bin Rats.Sunday, Helena,GW Freebird Blues Band.

Windsor Castle HotelSaturday, Marissa.

MOVIES2001: A Space Odyssey –4K Remastered(G)Humanity finds a mysterious, obviously artificial object buried beneath the Lunar surface and, with the intelligent computer HAL 9000, sets off on a quest. (Event, Glendale)

Adrift(M) A young woman sails into the eye of a hurricane to save the man she loves.

André Rieu’s 2018 Maastricht Concert: Amore – My Tribute to Love(E)An annual summer concert series in his beautiful Netherlands hometown of Maastricht. (Tower)

Ant-Man and The Wasp(PG)As Scott Lang balances being both a Super Hero and a father, Hope van Dyne and Dr. Hank Pym present an urgent new mission.

The Breaker Upperers(M)Two women cynical in loveset up an agency to break couples up as a way to avoid letting go and moving on with their lives.

Early Man(PG)Dug, along with sidekick Hognob, unite his tribe against a mighty enemy Lord Nooth and his Bronze Age City to save their home. (Event, Glendale)

Hotel Transylvania 3: A Monster Vacation(G)Mavis surprises Dracula with a family voyage on a luxury monster cruise ship so he can take a vacation from providing everyone else’s vacation at the hotel.

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom(M) It’s been four years since Jurassic World was destroyed by dinosaurs. Isla Nublar now sits abandoned by humans while the surviving dinosaurs fend for themselves.

Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again(PG)In this sequel to Mamma Mia! Sophie learns about her mother’s past while pregnant.

Maya the Bee: The Honey Games(G)When an overenthusiastic Maya accidentally embarrasses the Empress of Buzztropolis, she is forced to unite with a team of misfit bugs and compete in the Honey Games for a chance to save her hive.

Mission: Impossible –Fallout(M)Ethan Hunt and his IMF team are in a race against time after a mission gone wrong.

Ocean’s 8(M)Debbie Ocean gathers a crew to attempt an impossible heist at New York City’s yearly Met Gala. (Lake Cinema)

Show Dogs(PG)A macho, solitary Rottweiler police dog is ordered to go undercover as a primped show dog in a prestigious Dog Show, along with his human partner, to avert a disaster from happening.

Skyscraper(M)On assignment in China, USwar veteran Will Ford,finds the tallest, safest building in the world suddenly ablaze.

Tag(M)A small group of former classmates organize an elaborate, annual game of tag that requires some to travel all over the country.

The Equalizer 2(MA)A sequel to the the 2014 filmwhich is based on the TV series about a retired agent who’s a hired gun for vengeance.

The Incredibles 2(PG)Bob Parr is left to care for Jack-Jack while Helen is out saving the world.

The Leisure Seeker(M) Arunaway couple go on an unforgettable journey in the faithful old RV they call The Leisure Seeker. (Lake Cinema)

‘Barilaro chose his words carefully’: Nats still eyeing off Wagga

In a clear indication that the NSW Nationals have not given up on contesting Wagga Wagga, the party conducted polling in the seat on Monday night to gaugevoting intentions.

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Despite Premier Gladys Berejiklian maintaining on Monday that the Liberals would be the only Coalition party to run in Wagga Wagga, it is understood the Nationals have not ruled it out.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian announces on Saturday that Daryl Maguire will quit. Photo: Dominic Lorrimer

A byelection is expected to be calledonce disgraced MP Daryl Maguire formally writesto the Speaker of NSW Parliament and tenders his resignation from the seat. That is expected this week.

Fairfax understands the firm Telereach, traditionally used by the National Party, conducted the polling to look at voting intentions and “party favourability”.

Telereach asked voters which candidatewould get their vote, including the Labor candidate Dan Hayes, possible Liberal candidateGenevieve Fleming or Kay Hull for the Nationals.

It also asked about voting intentions for the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers party.

Several senior Nationals figures said Ms Hull, the former federal MP for the area, would be “the standout” candidate for the party but she would need to be convinced to run.

“I think if we said to Kay that she is the best person to win Wagga for the Coalition, she would have a very serious think about running,” a Nationals source said.

It is understood that if the polling indicates that the Nationals would have the best chance of winning the seat, the party would use that as leverage to contest it.

Ms Berejiklian returned early from her winter holidays on Saturday to announce that Mr Maguire, whowas heard on secretly recorded phone tapstrying to broker property deals and to seek commission on behalf of a Chinese developer, would quit parliament.

The Nationals leader John Barilaro said on Saturday: “It is a Liberal seat and they have every right to run. The Nationals have no interest in three-cornered contests.”

But senior party sources said Mr Barilaro chose his words carefully.

Daryl Maguire. Photo: AAP Image/Erik Anderson

“What people haven’t picked up on is John rightly said Wagga is a Liberal seat and there wouldn’t be a three-cornered contest,” a party source said.

“But it is only a Liberal seat until Daryl actually resigns and things change once that happens. John has not come out and said that the Nats won’t run.”

Asked on Monday if the Nationals had indicated to her they would not contest the seat, Ms Berejiklian responded “yep”.

A senior Liberal source said that there was “no way” the party would hand Wagga Wagga to the Nationals.

“We have held that seat for 60 years. Daryl was well respected for a long time, so there is no reason to think we won’t win it again. We might take a hit but we would win it again.”

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Broncos’ Boyd happy to stay in centres

Darius Boyd is happy to stay in the centres with Jamayne Isaako showing good signs at fullback.Brisbane captain Darius Boyd would happily play out his NRL career in the centres if that’s what would help the team achieve success.

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And Broncos legend Gorden Tallis reckons coach Wayne Bennett has found a winning formula with the backline reshuffle that sparked last week’s big win over Penrith.

Bennett sprung a selection surprise the day before the 50-18 victory, moving Boyd from fullback to left centre and replacing him at the back with young gun Jamayne Isaako.

It worked wonders, with Boyd’s presence steeling up Brisbane’s left-edge defence and Isaako starring in the No.1 jersey.

Bennett said the arrangement wasn’t permanent, but it will be in place for at least one more match – Thursday night’s clash with Cronulla at Suncorp Stadium.

Tallis said he would have done it weeks ago.

“I would have moved (Boyd) in a lot earlier because I think he needs to get closer to the ball,” he told reporters at Fox League’s retro round launch on Tuesday.

“Darius is that good he can play any position.

“Issako has grown week-in, week-out, his kicking’s unbelievable.

“I thought he was really good to fill Darius’s shoes and not look out of place against (James) Maloney and (Nathan) Cleary who have a great kicking game.

“If he keeps on playing the way he does, the position’s his.

“I thought it was Brisbane’s best performance in a long time.”

Boyd reckoned it brought the best out of Anthony Milford and Kodi Nikorima too, admitting he “talks too much” at fullback and that the playmakers were able to run things their own way without his voice ringing in their ears.

The 31-year-old also believed a full-time switch to the centres could help extend his NRL career.

“Fullback’s my best position but I’m really happy wherever to be honest,” Boyd said.

“The Broncos have given me a lot, I owe them a lot, I’m very grateful to be at this club and finish my career here.

“Whatever it takes to be successful I’m happy with.”