Newcastle City Council votes to move chamber from City Hall to Newcastle West

END OF AN ERA: Newcastle City Council meeting in City Hall on Tuesday night. Councillors voted to move the chambers to its new offices in Newcastle West.Newcastle councillors are spending $12.5 million restoring City Hall. Then they’re moving out.

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The councillors voted on Tuesday night to shift their meeting chambers to the council’s new offices under construction in Stewart Avenue, Newcastle West.

The council revealed last year that it would spend $7 million moving more than 400 stafffrom the Civic area into the new offices, but the future of the chambers had been up in the air.

The councillors’ decision on Tuesday to join staff inthe new “Gateway 2” building will come at a cost.

It is understood a confidential report to the council on Tuesday night referred to an $800,000 fit-out of CentralCoast Council as being indicative of costs, although lord mayor Nuatali Nelmes said it “might not cost that much”.

The council kept the cost confidential on Tuesday, but the debate and the vote were held in open session.

Greens councillor John Mackenzie,Liberal Brad Luke and the four Independentsargued against moving the chamber but were outvoted by the Labor bloc.

Cr Mackenzie described it as “hard to justify”and an“indulgence”and told the Herald before the meeting that the cost was “absurd”.

“City Hall means something symbolically and culturally and historically,” he said. “It’s not just a place where we have meetings.

“When you make a decision to move from a City Hall to an administrative building, you’re saying something very clear about the nature of local government and what you think a council is for in the life a city.If you think it’s an administrative function, then by all means move to an administrative building.”

He said holding meetings and hosting dignitaries at City Hall was an important symbol of the city’s “gravitas”.

Several of the dissenting councillors feared City Hall would become a “glorified function centre”.

Cr Nelmes said the existing council chambers were used only two per cent of the time, but the new chambers would be in a room which the community could use when the council was not meeting.

She said it was more practical for her office and staff to be in the same building asadministration staff.

She agreed with Cr Mackenzie that City Hall’s heritage must be preserved and successfully moved that the council should “start the process to protect City Hall and the council chamber on the State Heritage Register”.

The council spent $5 million restoring City Hall’s clock tower in 2015-16 and by early 2020 will have spent another $7.5 million on its sandstone exterior.

The council has signed a 15-year lease at Gateway 2. Councillors will hold meetings inthe new chambers from February 2020.

Tallis wary of Bennett future at Broncos

Brisbane coach Wayne Bennett is the first NRL coach to win 500 games.Everyone in rugby league has a “use-by date”, according to Gorden Tallis – even Wayne Bennett.

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Brisbane legend Tallis believes the NRL club should be looking at all their options for when the veteran coach’s contract expires at the end of next season.

Bennett was reportedly knocked back last week after approaching the Broncos board asking for an extension to his current deal, suggesting the 2020 campaign could herald a new era for the team.

Tallis reckons the board was well within their rights to rebuff him.

“You don’t extend coaches that far out,” the three-time Brisbane premiership player said at Fox League’s retro round launch on Tuesday.

“He’s not Payne Haas, he’s not 18.

“Everybody has a use-by date.

“I had it as a player at the age of 30. Some coaches have it earlier, some have it later.

“What he’s achieved has been unbelievable but, like players, you’d rather retire a year early than a year too late.

“And he’s given that advice to a lot of players.”

The Broncos are clearly planning for life without Bennett, who turns 69 next year, having tried and failed earlier this year to lure Craig Bellamy north from the Melbourne Storm.

Other reports indicate CEO Paul White is keen on South Sydney coach Anthony Seibold whose contract, like Bennett’s, expires at the end of 2019.

“It’s going to be tough because of what he’s achieved in the game but if there’s someone better for the job… they’ve got to plan to move forward,” Tallis said.

“Craig Bellamy was better for the job. It’s simple as that.

“If they keep on winning, get to the finals and have a great year and next year (Bennett) coaches exactly the same, they’ve got a decision to make.

“But Wayne will make the right decision – maybe he’ll want to go live in England, he’s coaching their side now, or down in the south of France. Who knows?”

Broncos skipper Darius Boyd, who has played his entire NRL career under Bennett at three different clubs, would prefer to see him keep coaching into his 70s.

“All good things come to an end at some point,” Boyd said.

“I’d love to see him stay on. If he’s got the desire to keep coaching… in my eyes he’s the best to ever do it.”

Death doesn’t have to spell end of a friendshipMID-WEEK MUSINGS

DEEP FEELING: Father Brendan Lee believes that calling out to departed loved ones is “a very natural and human response”.Once upon a time, a man went to hell for following Carlton. I’m only joking of course, and I apologise to all you Carlton supporters.

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He actually went to hell for following Essendon.

Anyway, he’s met at the front desk by a little devil who gave him a choice between three rooms.

The little devil opens the first door and inside everyone was shivering in blocks of ice up to their shoulders.

The man shuddered and said “Ah, I might take a look behind door number 2 thanks!”.

Inside the next room, everyone was head down in a blazing furnace.

“Ouch!” said the man, “I might try my luck with door number 3 please”.

The devil opens door number 3 to reveal people standing in sewerage, drinking cups of coffee.

The Essendon supporter says “I’ll take this room, thanks!”

He sticks up a picture of James Hird and pours himself a coffee.

Seconds later Satan himself flies into the room, hovers over the pitand shouts “OK you lot, coffee break is over. Back on your heads!” I know …I’ve heard this one too.

I once went to a seminar on death. As you might expect, it wasn’t very lively.

The facilitator asked the question: “Imagine you were at your own funeral.”

I thought, “I’ve heard this one.” The facilitator continued:“No, really imagine it! Now, as family and friends get up to speak about you, what would you want people to be able to say about you at your funeral?”

So I started thinking, and I decided that what I would really like every person at my funeral to be able to say about me is “gee, that priest owed me a lot of money!”

No, if I was given the above funeral scenario, do you know what I would really love people at my funeral to be able to say about me? I would want them all to be able to say “Look! He’s moving! He’s still alive!”

OK, I’ll be serious now. It is amazing how, as switched on as we are today, we have become a death-denying society, and I do not believe it has done us any favours.

The vast majority of people who have ever lived in history are now dead and, some day, we will join them.

We used to muse about them at Halloween, but Halloween has now become a trick, not a treat.

The day was called “All Hallows” – a saint being“hallowed”, a holy person, and where we got the word “halo” from.

The day before All Hallows Day was “Hallow’s E’en (Evening)”,hence the celebration of Halloween.

Superstitions aside, today even most Christians never pray for the dead, even though the Bible encourages us that we should (2 Maccabees 12:41-45).

Praying for them, with themand through them to God is very therapeutic for those of us who grieve for the dearly departed.

It reminds us that while death radically changes friendships, it does not really end them.

I remember when one of my best friends from school and my favourite nieceboth died only a few months apart.

I never thought I would ever be anything but miserable ever again.

I didn’t want to talk to anybodyabout anything, not even my parents.

What got me back on track was talking to God and to the ones I lost with the firm belief that they were listening.

Some of my Bible Christianfriends disagree with me about doing this.

But when I ask them for Bible passages that say we should not pray for, toor with the dead, they cannot give me one.

And when any of us have lost someone we deeply love, who of us have not at some stage called out to them in our tears?

It just happens naturally because it is actually a very natural and human response.

Imagining ourselves at our own funerals is a useful exercise.

But I doubt anybody will ever actually pull it off, so don’t plan on it – at least until cloning anyway.

However, speaking to those we’ve loved and lost can console us in these brief years of separation before eternity.

Twitter: @frbrendanelee

Jets midfielder Steve Ugarkovic keen for European challenge

Midfielder Steve Ugarkovic is not sure sure how the Newcastle Jets will fare against the speed and skill of La Liga talent in Spain, but he can’t wait for the challenge.

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Steve Ugarkovic

After playing on trips to China and Port Macquarie, Ugarkovic was excited for Newcastle’s toughest pre-season test yet, which started on Tuesday when the team travelled to Spain for games against Getafe and lower-league clubs Cartagena and Murcia.

“Personally, I can’t wait,” the former Croatian under-19 player said of the tour.

“And I think as a club it’s going to be a massive experience and a positive one, going over there and playing some great teams.

“Getafe are in the La Liga and even the lower-division teams, it’s still great quality because they are playing in Europe.They are playing against teams like Barcelona B, so it’s going to be a great test, physically and mentally, which will be good.

“Everyone knows Spain is pretty technical with their football so it’s going to be a good test on the field.

“We might be chasing a few shadows every now and then but I think that’s part of the process in football, you like to challenge yourself.”

The Jets won the Super Champions Cup in China, defeating Super League club Shanghai Shenhua 2-0 andChangchun Yatai on penalties. They returned for a 9-0 win over a Mid North Coast select side last week.

Ugarkovic was keen to see Newcastle measure up against European talent.

“We had a good tournament in China against two big sides over there and we performed well and got the results,” he said.“It’s going to be a completelydifferent test for us against completely different opposition, European sides which we haven’t come across, so I think it’s going to be exciting.”

John Hopoate in trouble again after punch

Former NRL player John Hopoate is in trouble again for punching a player in a park footy match.Former rugby league bad boy John Hopoate has landed himself in hot water again, sent off in a park football match for punching.

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Hopoate, whose NRL career was filled with drama, is expected to be charged by the NSW Rugby League over the incident which occurred while playing for Narraweena against Forestville in Manly’s A-Grade competition on Saturday.

Playing in his first game of the season, Hopoate lasted just minutes before he was sent from the field for throwing a punch in his side’s 26-24 win.

After coming off the bench, Hopoate was penalised for a high tackle in his first involvement, and a scuffle ensued.

Following that, Hopoate was sent off for making contact with a punch, before he was involved in another verbal altercation off the field.

Another player was also sin-binned for throwing the ball at a Narraweena player in the altercation.

“We are confident the judiciary committee will deal with the issue appropriately,” a spokeswoman for the NSW Rugby League told AAP.

Hopoate has previous charges in the A-Grade competition, including attracting headlines in 2011 when he was also sent off for a punch during a fight while playing for Manly Cove.

John Hopoate is expected to be charged by the NSWRL. Photo: Fox Sports

Hopoate has since admitted to Fox Sports he acted like an “idiot” in Saturday’s match.

“I carried on like an idiot and got sent off, that’s it … It’s the story of my life,” Hopoate said.

“I said I’d bash him on the field but what’s wrong with that?”

The 44-year-old played for both NSW and Australia throughout his 13-year, 209-game NRL career for Manly and the Wests Tigers, however that was largely overshadowed by an NRL record 45 weeks of suspensions.

He was most famously banned for 12 games for poking opponents up the backside during tackles while playing at the Tigers in 2001.

His career was ended in 2004 while playing for Manly after getting a 17-match suspension for a high kamikaze-style tackle on Cronulla opponent Keith Galloway.

He was also convicted and fined after pleading guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm over an incident in Sydney’s Kings Cross in 2010.

Jets midfielder Steve Ugarkovic keen for European challenge

Midfielder Steve Ugarkovic is not sure sure how the Newcastle Jets will fare against the speed and skill of La Liga talent in Spain, but he can’t wait for the challenge.

杭州桑拿

Steve Ugarkovic

After playing on trips to China and Port Macquarie, Ugarkovic was excited for Newcastle’s toughest pre-season test yet, which started on Tuesday when the team travelled to Spain for games against Getafe and lower-league clubs Cartagena and Murcia.

“Personally, I can’t wait,” the former Croatian under-19 player said of the tour.

“And I think as a club it’s going to be a massive experience and a positive one, going over there and playing some great teams.

“Getafe are in the La Liga and even the lower-division teams, it’s still great quality because they are playing in Europe.They are playing against teams like Barcelona B, so it’s going to be a great test, physically and mentally, which will be good.

“Everyone knows Spain is pretty technical with their football so it’s going to be a good test on the field.

“We might be chasing a few shadows every now and then but I think that’s part of the process in football, you like to challenge yourself.”

The Jets won the Super Champions Cup in China, defeating Super League club Shanghai Shenhua 2-0 andChangchun Yatai on penalties. They returned for a 9-0 win over a Mid North Coast select side last week.

Ugarkovic was keen to see Newcastle measure up against European talent.

“We had a good tournament in China against two big sides over there and we performed well and got the results,” he said.“It’s going to be a completelydifferent test for us against completely different opposition, European sides which we haven’t come across, so I think it’s going to be exciting.”

Harness racing: Black Silhouette chases redemption in regional series

The Dimarco family and driver Michael Formosa after Shadow Runner’s Bathurst Gold Crown win.Brandy Hill trainer Sam Dimarco hopes a poor run will bring an unexpected bonus in the Breeders Challenge Regional semi-finals with Black Silhouette on Wednesday night at Bathurst.

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Black Silhouette was seventh in the group 1 NSW Breeders Challenge three-year-old fillies final at Menangle on July 1 after an impressive heat win.

Dimarco was disappointed with the poor finish after a comfortable run, which was to be her last before a spell. But the result and Black Silhouette’s quick recovery opened the door to the regional races.

“We didn’t expect to run her,” Dimarco said.

“After her last race, she was going for a spell, but finishing seventh, she was left $200 under the cut-off for the season prizemoney and was eligible for the race, so we decided to put her in.”

Dimarco said Black Silhouette did not adjust to life in the retention barn for the two nights before the group 1 but she had bounced back on return to her1 ½acre paddock.

“She was a little bit flat after the race and we thought she might not be feeling well, but after a couple of days she was running around the paddock, pig-rooting and licking out her feed bins, so we thought we’d push aheadand hope we can make the $30,000 final on the Sunday.”

A top-four finish will make the final. Clayton Harmey’s Yourblueyescrying and the Geoff Harding-trained Rocknlachlan are other Hunter hopes in the semis.

Meanwhile, Dimarco’s group 1-winner Shadow Runner will resume on Sunday at Bathurst after a three-month spell.

Shadow Runner has three wins in four starts at Bathurst, where he wonthe Gold Crown in 2015.He is coming back from a leg injury.

‘Time bomb’: Tropics expansion nudges cyclone formation into new areas

Tropical cyclones are forming further from the equator as the planet warms, bringing new regions into the zone of the intense storms including parts of eastern Australia, new research has found.

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The findings are based on data for 1980-2014 analysed by Melbourne University scientists trying to understand how the expanding tropics are already affecting the development of cyclones.

“In most of the ocean basins, there appears to be a decrease in tropical cyclone formation closer to the equator, accompanied by an increase in formation further away from the equator,” said Kevin Walsh, a professor at the university’s School of Earth Sciences, and a joint author of the paper published on Tuesday inNature Climate Change.

The South Pacific is one basin where the increased southward formation and tracking is already evident, while the North Atlantic has so far seen little evidence of a shift.

“With projections indicating continued tropical expansion [with climate change], these results indicate that tropical cyclone genesis will also continue to shift poleward, potentially increasing tropical cyclone-related hazards in higher-latituderegions,” the paper said.

Severe tropical cyclone Ita slammed into Queensland in 2014 as a category 5 storm. Photo: NOAA

Professor Walsh said climate models have so far had “difficulty in picking up this trend” now identified in the paper.

Stephen Turton, a cyclone researcher and adjunct professor at Central Queensland University, said the researchers had used “nifty” analysis that stripped out climate variability, such as the El Nino Southern Oscillation, to identify the poleward shift in cyclones.

The expansion of the tropics,as much as 111 kilometres a decade, had the potential to push the dry sub-tropics much further from the poles if greenhouse gas emissions continued to rise.

“It could be Brisbane to Sydney, Rome to London, by the end of the century,” Professor Turton said.

He said areas such as the Gold Coast could be “a ticking time bomb” as cyclone tracks shifted southwards.

“It’s quite alarming – policymakers need to be made aware” of the risks, and start considering taking adaptive steps such as tightening building codes, Professor Turton said.

Boats lay strewn around Port Hinchinbrook in the wake of severe tropical Cyclone Yasi in February 2011. Photo: Supplied

Although cyclones typically needed sea-surface temperatures of about 27 degrees, warming oceans with climate change did not necessarily increase the number of cyclones.

For instance, regions “in the deep tropics” close to the equator are likely to see fewer such storms as atmospheric conditions stabilise, Professor Walsh said. That would make it harder for thunderstorms – “the seeds of cyclones” – to get going.

The increase in stability in those areas would come as the expected increase in rainfall transfers latent heat into the upper troposphere, decreasing the temperature differential with lower parts of the atmosphere even as the land warms.

“An increase in tropical stability is one of the predictions of climate science,” Professor Walsh said.

That stability, though, may be little consolation for mega-citiesnear the equator such as Kinshasha, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo, or Lagos in Nigeria, where temperature and humidity levels are expected to rise in a warming world.

Such cities “are moving into a climate regime where we can’t draw on analogues”, Professor Turton said.

The paper did not examine how storm strength will change but Professor Walsh said “there’s plenty of evidence to suggest the maximum intensity of cyclones is likely to increase” with climate change.

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Restored 1890s Lance Villa on The Hill listed for sale for first time since 1991

Restored Lance Villa on The Hill hits market with $2.8mill guide This circa 1890s residence on The Hill was designed by prominent Newcastle architect Frederick Menkens and is known as Lance Villa.

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CHARM AND POSITION: This circa 1890s residence on The Hill was designed by prominent Newcastle architect Frederick Menkens and is known as Lance Villa.

This circa 1890s residence on The Hill was designed by prominent Newcastle architect Frederick Menkens and is known as Lance Villa.

This circa 1890s residence on The Hill was designed by prominent Newcastle architect Frederick Menkens and is known as Lance Villa.

This circa 1890s residence on The Hill was designed by prominent Newcastle architect Frederick Menkens and is known as Lance Villa.

This circa 1890s residence on The Hill was designed by prominent Newcastle architect Frederick Menkens and is known as Lance Villa.

This circa 1890s residence on The Hill was designed by prominent Newcastle architect Frederick Menkens and is known as Lance Villa.

This circa 1890s residence on The Hill was designed by prominent Newcastle architect Frederick Menkens and is known as Lance Villa.

This circa 1890s residence on The Hill was designed by prominent Newcastle architect Frederick Menkens and is known as Lance Villa.

This circa 1890s residence on The Hill was designed by prominent Newcastle architect Frederick Menkens and is known as Lance Villa.

This circa 1890s residence on The Hill was designed by prominent Newcastle architect Frederick Menkens and is known as Lance Villa.

This circa 1890s residence on The Hill was designed by prominent Newcastle architect Frederick Menkens and is known as Lance Villa.

This circa 1890s residence on The Hill was designed by prominent Newcastle architect Frederick Menkens and is known as Lance Villa.

This circa 1890s residence on The Hill was designed by prominent Newcastle architect Frederick Menkens and is known as Lance Villa.

This circa 1890s residence on The Hill was designed by prominent Newcastle architect Frederick Menkens and is known as Lance Villa.

TweetFacebookCarrington home with versatilityFrom one restoration of a piece of Newcastle’s history to another,Century 21 have listed a two-storey property in Carrington that was once a general store.

The three-bedroom home at 36 Hargrave Street is set for auction on September 1.

It is positioned on a corner block and agent Wayne Stewart said it offered plenty of potential as a home or home with an office/business.

CORNER BLOCK: This two-storey residence in Carrington’s Hargrave Street was once a general store and could be used as a home or home with an office/business.

“It was a bit delapidated when the owner bought it,” Mr Stewart said. “She pulled it to pieces and put it back together pretty much in its original form.

“She sourced a lot of timbers to match it all. The only thing that’s probably missing off it is the beautiful big old [lacework] verandah off the front.”

The building has also been a takeaway in its lifetime.

36 Hargrave Street, Carrington was a general store in the past.

“There is a double-door going from the shop into the residence, so it could be used for two separate purposes,” Mr Stewart said.

“It would be ideal for semi-professional use or a home office. It would also make a beautiful big living area at the front.

“The other thing is the size of the land. It’s about 300-odd square metres and is on a corner … it has a lot of potential.”

An inspection is scheduled for 11.15am on Saturday.

A price guide has not yet been disclosed.

Highpoint adds rooftop areaGWH Build have been granted development application approval for a 90 square metreall weather rooftop entertainment area onHighpoint Apartments in Charlestown.

The rooftop will be 165 metres above sea level and offer 360-degree views of the region, including ocean, lake and mountain ranges.

The rooftop is in addition to thealready planned podium level facility, which includes outdoor BBQ facilities and indoor kitchenette and entertainment area.

Construction has begun on the 16-storey development.

McGrath rebrand to Belle Property

The Charlestown and Hunter Valley McGrath offices have joined Belle Property.

Belle Property Charlestown is located at 325 Charlestown Road and the Hunter Valley office is inElgin Street, Maitland.

First slabs for Wyndham RidgeWorks have begun on the first homes inthe $60 million Wyndham Ridgedevelopment in what Iris Capital general manager Craig Hibbarddescribed as “an important milestone”.

Blocks range from 600 to2500 square metres with prices from $190,000. Half of the 71 lots in stage onehave already been sold. The entire subdivision will comprise248 lots.

What’s listed for under $500kBidding is expected to start from $460,000 for a three-bedroom home on two lots at 699 Main Road, Edgeworth. Dowling Lake Macquarie will take the property to auction on August 4.

John Hopoate in trouble again after punch

Former NRL player John Hopoate is in trouble again for punching a player in a park footy match.Former rugby league bad boy John Hopoate has landed himself in hot water again, sent off in a park football match for punching.

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Hopoate, whose NRL career was filled with drama, is expected to be charged by the NSW Rugby League over the incident which occurred while playing for Narraweena against Forestville in Manly’s A-Grade competition on Saturday.

Playing in his first game of the season, Hopoate lasted just minutes before he was sent from the field for throwing a punch in his side’s 26-24 win.

After coming off the bench, Hopoate was penalised for a high tackle in his first involvement, and a scuffle ensued.

Following that, Hopoate was sent off for making contact with a punch, before he was involved in another verbal altercation off the field.

Another player was also sin-binned for throwing the ball at a Narraweena player in the altercation.

“We are confident the judiciary committee will deal with the issue appropriately,” a spokeswoman for the NSW Rugby League told AAP.

Hopoate has previous charges in the A-Grade competition, including attracting headlines in 2011 when he was also sent off for a punch during a fight while playing for Manly Cove.

John Hopoate is expected to be charged by the NSWRL. Photo: Fox Sports

Hopoate has since admitted to Fox Sports he acted like an “idiot” in Saturday’s match.

“I carried on like an idiot and got sent off, that’s it … It’s the story of my life,” Hopoate said.

“I said I’d bash him on the field but what’s wrong with that?”

The 44-year-old played for both NSW and Australia throughout his 13-year, 209-game NRL career for Manly and the Wests Tigers, however that was largely overshadowed by an NRL record 45 weeks of suspensions.

He was most famously banned for 12 games for poking opponents up the backside during tackles while playing at the Tigers in 2001.

His career was ended in 2004 while playing for Manly after getting a 17-match suspension for a high kamikaze-style tackle on Cronulla opponent Keith Galloway.

He was also convicted and fined after pleading guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm over an incident in Sydney’s Kings Cross in 2010.