NSW Farmers delegates want land clearing laws tweaked, final approve native veg maps before they are enforced

The Association’s Tenterfield Branch will move a motion at its annual conference in Sydney that the yet-to-be-released Office of Environment and Heritage satellite property mapping be stripped of regulatory force unless farmers get to check it off. NATIVE vegetation mapping has been a long time coming –but NSW Farmers delegates have calledfor government to hold it back even longer if landholders don’t get final say on itsaccuracy.

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Also passed duringtoday’sannual conference was for maximum land clearing fines to be reduced ‘to reflect the size of the entity, economic impact on the entity, and environmental impact’, and for family trust companies to not be lumped in as a ‘corporation’ and therefore face heavier fines.

Farmers delegates at Luna Park also voted forOffice of Environment and Heritage to deal with illegal clearing under a retrospective permission process before proceeding with legal action, while there will be a push for prosecutors to wear the onus of proof in cases of alleged illegal clearing –not the landholder.

Moree branch delegates also moved that prosecutionsbe unable to be brought if thealleged illegal clearing incident occurred more than two years ago.

“If you’re accused of murder, you have more rights than if you are accused of knocking some trees down,” said Moree delegate Stuart Gall.

No mucking about at @NSWFarmers conference 2018. First motion is against release of native vegetation maps unless landowner agrees they are correct #nswpol#agchatozpic.twitter杭州夜生活m/DG4bRkcDF9

— Alex Druce (@AlexDruuuce) July 23, 2018‘Highly inaccurate’The Association has previously slammed sample mapping given to members as highly inaccurate and posing a significant risk to farmers.

“Mapping on my property can’t tell the difference between a eucalyptus tree canopy and a bit of bracken fern with blackberries growing out of it,” said Native veg working group chairman Mitchell Clapham.

Rob Anderson, Moree, said: “I don’t think a lot of people realise how bad these maps are. They are appalling. I have had the dubious privilege of seeing mine. There is some land that was first farmed in 1967.

“As well as being regulated, it’s got a pink line through it that is meant to be sensitive land because of a creek.

“I’m not even sure where the stream is?”

Currently, landholders can interact with thenative vegetation reforms through self-assessment and Local Land Services direction for lower-end clearing.

Also in the Native Vegetation space at annual conference is a call for government to remove impractical retention requirements for invasive native species, and land on a slope greater that 18 degrees.

Also in the Native Vegetation space at annual conference is a call for government to remove impractical retention requirements for invasive native species, and land on a slope greater that 18 degrees.

Last monthgreen groups launched a second round of legal action against the reforms, hoping fora repeat of March’s embarrassing admission by government it had notproperly signed off on new land clearing codes.

That action ended in government reinstalling the code hours later, reassuring farmers they would not be prosecuted for legal works during the invalid law period.

The team leading the new legal case against government has rejected any suggestion this freshcourt action is an expensive public show.

NSW Farmers say it’s a waste of taxpayers’ money.

Earlier this month The Guardian reported that complaints to a NSW land clearing hotline had increased by from an average of 45.2 complaints a month under the old laws to 59 complaints in August 2017,61 in October 2017 and 56 in November 2017.

However, The Guardian noted: “Complaints to the hotline are only a pointer. They are not proof of increased clearing and could be affected by other factors such as increased publicity of the new laws. The land clearing reported may also not be illegal.”

The Land

A-League: Jets midfielder Wayne Brown heads home in pursuit of regular game time

OUT: Wayne Brown. Picture: Max Mason-HubersIndustrious midfielder Wayne Brown will return to England after he was granted a release from the final year of his contract with the Newcastle Jets on Tuesday.

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Brown, 30, joined the Jets in 2016, from Finland, and made 42 appearances for the club in a variety of roles.

The former Fulham playmaker’sdecision to depart was due to family –his eldest son is ready tostartschool in England in September – and the likelihood of limited opportunities to play this season.

The Jets have added Matthew Ridenton to their playmaker stocks. Ben Kantarovski and Steven Ugarkovic were the preferred midfield duo last season.

Brown made 20 appearances last season but only 11 as a starter.

“Wayne has been a terrific player for this club,” Jets coach Ernie Merrick said. “Every time we used him last year he did a really good job, especially with the injuries we had to Ronny Vargas and Ben Kantarovski. But he is really looking for a regular game and the competition here is tough. We have signed Matt Ridenton, Steve Ugarkovic was outstanding last year, Ben Kantarovski, Dimi Petratos, Ronny Vargas and Nick Cowburn–it is a tough midfield to get into.He opted to move on and we have allowed him to do that. He has been a great servant forthis club and has been very good with the young players.”

I would like to thank the @[email protected]@NewcastleJetsFC for having me the last 2 years, it’s been a pleasure. Newcastle will always be special to me, a town where my 2nd child was born. There wasn’t a game I didn’t give 100% for the 🔵🔴 #hometime#familyfirst#jets #10 pic.twitter杭州夜生活m/66oBuPK6u2

— Wayne Brown (@Waynebrown2121) July 24, 2018

Brown said farewellto his teammates on Tuesday and had nothing but good words to say about his time in Australia.

“The club and the lads have been fantastic but the time’s right to go,” he said.

The release includesa partial payout of his contract.

READ MORE: Newcastle Jets news

Ricciardo closing in on F1 re-signing

Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo is fifth in the drivers’ standings after 11 races in 2018.Australian Formula One ace Daniel Ricciardo could re-sign with Red Bull as soon as this week.

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The 29-year-old had been linked with a move to Mercedes or Ferrari earlier in the year but it’s now all but certain Ricciardo will re-commit to the team he’s been with since 2014.

Red Bull’s F1 boss Christian Horner says Ricciardo’s signing is imminent now that reigning champion Lewis Hamilton is locked in at Mercedes until the end of 2020.

Horner is hopeful a deal will get done before the series breaks for a month after this weekend’s Hungarian GP, which would see Ricciardo continue with teammate Max Verstappen.

“I think now that Lewis Hamilton’s announcement has been made you’ll see everything run pretty quickly,” Horner told Motorsport杭州夜生活m.

“We’re aiming to have things finalised by the summer break. It will be good to go into the break with everything sorted.

“We’ve got two great drivers, and they both contribute exceptionally well to the team. We’re very keen to retain the same line-up for the future.”

It’s likely Ricciardo will sign a two-year contract, with Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas committed to Mercedes until the end of 2020

“I think with all the changes I wouldn’t want to go too long-term,” Ricciardo told Motorsport杭州夜生活m

“Three’s a lot. Maybe I’m on a beach somewhere in three.”

Ricciardo is coming off a disastrous outing at the German GP last weekend, as he was one of five drivers who failed to finish the race.

He sits fifth in the championship standings, one point ahead of Verstappen, who managed to claim fourth place in Germany.

Hamilton claimed a stunning victory after starting from 14th on the grid to open up a 17-point advantage over Ferrari rival Sebastian Vettel in the series.

Sanbah owner Rhys Smith has bought a half share of Drift from founder and mate Robbie McNaughton

Bigger and better: Drift bike founders, from left, Sophie and Rhys Smith, and Alana and Robbie McNaughton. Picture: Jonathan CarrollIn 2003, Rhys Smith and Robbie McNaughton were both 21 and opening their own Newcastle familybusinesses, respectively Sanbah surf shop and Drift bike shop.

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Strangers then, theirpathscrossed more than a decade later when competitive downhill mountain bikerand surfer McNaughtonpopped into Sanbah. A friendship grew and Mr Smith,son of Surfest founder Warren Smith, caught Mr McNaughton’s bike bug.

“If thesurf is one to two foot and rubbish which is more than half the year I canjump into Glenrockmountain bike park right next to the beach and get that same thrill,” Mr Smith says.

The thrills are continuing: nine weeks agohe accepted Mr McNaughton’s offer to buy a half share in Drift, just as a bigger retail site for Drift came up for leasein Northcott Avenue, Kotara,across the road from the first store.

Drift bikes has expanded into a bigger shop. Kotara. Pictured from left, Alana McNaughton, Rhys and Sophie Smith, Robbie McNaughton.

Drift version 2.0 is about diversification. Its stock has expanded from mainly mountain bikes to include road, recreational and kids bike plus ever-popular e-bikes. And far more.

Both men note the retail and brand synergy between surfing and biking, and Mr McNaughton appreciates his newpartner’s business nous: “Thesurf industry is ahead of the cycling industry, it’s more mature, and Rhys is at the top of his game,” he says.

Mr McNaughton believes the biking industry is closely following the surf industry’s retail stance to broaden its appeal.

“It’s the first time that lifestyle and bike shop has been combined properly [at Drift], and that’s across the country:it’s saying cyclists have an identity and continuing to sell hardware to them doesn’t allow that identity to grow,” he says.“We’ll be the first bike shop to sell Patagonia–we are bringinga highly technical product but itdoesn’t mean you have to own a bike to wear it.”

The old Drift store is now a bike workshop, with renovation plans afoot to ensure it offers a state-of-the-art service level.There are plans to more than double its mechanical staff, with a focus on training up local youth.

Mr McNaughton opened the original Drift with his wife, Alana, and Smith is supported by his wife Sophie.

Waterfront home in Sealand Road, Fishing Point attracts spread of interest ahead of auction

Luxury home in Fishing Point set for new mark LUXURY LIVING: Bidding for this home in Sealand Road, Fishing Point is expected to begin around $1.7 million when it goes under the hammer next week.

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Bidding for this home in Sealand Road, Fishing Point is expected to begin around $1.7 million when it goes under the hammer next week.

Bidding for this home in Sealand Road, Fishing Point is expected to begin around $1.7 million when it goes under the hammer next week.

Bidding for this home in Sealand Road, Fishing Point is expected to begin around $1.7 million when it goes under the hammer next week.

Bidding for this home in Sealand Road, Fishing Point is expected to begin around $1.7 million when it goes under the hammer next week.

Bidding for this home in Sealand Road, Fishing Point is expected to begin around $1.7 million when it goes under the hammer next week.

Bidding for this home in Sealand Road, Fishing Point is expected to begin around $1.7 million when it goes under the hammer next week.

Bidding for this home in Sealand Road, Fishing Point is expected to begin around $1.7 million when it goes under the hammer next week.

TweetFacebook$1.051m result in Hamilton SouthThe sale of a tightly held home in Hamilton South’s Darling Street on July 21 exceeded expectations, according toAndrew McGavin of Dalton Partners.

The two-bedroom original home on a level block nearly 600 square metres in size had been in the same family for over 60 years.

Mr McGavin said a distinctive arch on the front verandah proved an attraction for potential buyers and most interest during the campaign came from young families.

There were five registered parties for the auction and an opening bid of $890,000. After 34 bids thehome was secured for $1.051 million.

This original two-bedroom home in Hamilton South’s Darling Street was secured at auction for $1.051 million.

Wild winds expected to ease around the Hunter

Strong winds are expected to ease by Friday evening. Picture: Max Mason-HubersSTRONG winds are expected to ease in the Hunter over the next few hours but the chill winds will offer little chance of snow.
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Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Peter Zmijewski said the winds, caused by a complex low pressure system southeast of Tasmania, were easing by about 3pm.

The damaging winds had been expected to deliver gusts above 120km/hr in high country, and over 90km/hr elsewhere.

The Hunter’s top gusts were scattered throughout the day, with a 10.30am Williamtown gust the region’s highest recorded for the day so far.

Nobbys reached 85km/hr at 12.30pm while Tocal and Scone Airport also recorded winds at 70km/hr or above.

Hunter State Emergency Service duty officer Mandy Bramble said crews had attended about 25 jobs around the region, with roughly half related to trees and the remainder on broken fences, skylights and other maintenance issues.

“It’s sort of covered most of the Hunter [but] I think with all the heavy wind we’ve had people have gone out and thought “I’m going to take care of that.”

Do you have a shot that captures the blustery winds? Email [email protected]杭州龙凤419m.au

The mercury across the region has shuddered up as high as 15 degrees at Williamtown and Cessnock but wind chill has meant apparent temperatures lingered insingle digits.

In Scone the thermometer may have read 10 degrees at 9am but the apparent temperature was an icy -0.3 degrees.

A similarly frosty morning at Newcastle University left students to shiver through what felt like -4.5 degrees compared to an 11.5 degree day.

While cold temperatures through winter have given snow chasers a bumper season at Barrington, MrZmijewski said Wednesday’s weather lacked a crucial element–water.

“If there was something falling to the ground, it would be snow,” he said.

“The conditions are right but you still need that moisture.”

Temperatures are forecast to rise steadily in the Hunter over the next week, with maximums reaching the low 20s by Monday.

Lindt cafe siege: Officer watched Man Monis’ head explode, inquest hears

Gunman Man Haron Monis seen through a window of the Lindt cafe. Photo: Channel Seven Katrina Dawson and and Tori Johnson.
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Police defend 21 second delayPolice faced high probability of crossfire, inquest hears

Glass poured down onto the ballistic shield bearer, the first police officer into the Lindt cafe. Then he saw the gunman, Man Haron Monis, in the back corner.

A burst of light – duller, more yellow than the flash-bang distractors – came from Monis’ direction. Moments later, a red laser sight trained on Monis’ chest travelled to his head.

The shield bearer, known as Alpha 2, recounted these events to the NSW Coroner’s Court on Wednesday. The evidence came as the family of killed hostage Katrina Dawson indicated through their lawyer their view that police should have entered the cafe in an earlier, surprise assault.

Alpha 2 said he had been resting his 17 kilogram shield on some milk crates in the early hours of December 16, 2014. About 2am his tactical operations team on Phillip Street became aware of movement within the cafe.

Alpha 2 kicked the crates away and stood ready. A group of hostages burst out onto Phillip Street. He heard a shot from within the building, the first of the siege.

“Mate, we’ve got to go, we’ve got to go,” Alpha 2 recalled saying to a fellow officer.

He said someone in his team raised the possibility the loud sound had been a slamming door.

“It’s not a f—ing door slamming, it’s a shot being fired,” Alpha 2 said he replied.

Approval to enter the stronghold would not be given until 10 minutes later after Monis shot cafe manager Tori Johnson in the head.

Alpha 2 in his statement had said he was like “Usain Bolt” sprinting down to the main Martin Place entrance. Another officer fired a shotgun to break through the glass doors.

Then Alpha 2 became the first tactical operations unit member to enter, armed only with a Glock pistol. Monis would be dead in milliseconds.

Alpha 2 said visibility through the Perspex panel in his shield “wasn’t the best” so he looked over the top of it. Across the cafe he saw the same figure he had seen hours earlier, peering through a Phillip Street window.

“I remember IDing him and going ‘There’s the c—, there’s the c—, shoot him,’ ” Alpha 2 told the inquest. But the identification could not be relayed by radio. Alpha 2’s radio had “shit itself” at the start of the siege, more than 14 hours before, and there were no spares, he said.

He had relied on “buddy comms” – relayed messages – with his colleague Officer A, who was directly behind him during the storming of the cafe.

He said he saw Officer A’s laser sight travel up Monis’ body.

“I watched his head explode and he fell down,” Alpha 2 said.

Officer A fired 17 rounds and an Officer B fired 5. Bullets from one of two rounds struck and killed Ms Dawson, who had been lying behind Monis.

Michael O’Connell, SC, appearing for Ms Dawson’s family, asked Alpha 2 how fatigued he had been after waiting in position for about 16 hours, much of that in summer heat, wearing gear weighing 25 kilograms.

Alpha 2 said he had not been fatigued. This was despite having started work at 7am after finishing a job after midnight the night before.

Mr O’Connell said he would submit on the Dawsons’ behalf that police should have entered the cafe earlier under a “deliberate action” plan, partly to avoid officer fatigue.

The inquest continues before Coroner Michael Barnes.