Month: January 2019

Maitland plan to open mall to river 

MAITLAND’S redevelopment plan relies on a concept that opens up the centre of the city to the Hunter River, once its lifeblood.
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A plan is on the table to turn the ailing Heritage Mall into the High Street Central Precinct, with river links at the thoroughfare’s eastern and western ends and in the centre.

Urban designers McGregor Coxall managing director Adrian McGregor said the plan aimed to turn the centre of Maitland into a riverfront ‘‘heart and soul’’ of the city.

‘‘The city is sitting on the edge of significant reinvention,’’ Mr McGregor said.

Mayor Peter Blackmore urged property owners and landowners to support the plan.

‘‘The city has turned its back on the river, but it has so much to offer,’’ Cr Blackmore said.

‘‘The river was our lifeblood.’’

He said shopping centres such as Stockland Green Hills and big retailers at Rutherford threatened central Maitland’s economy, but the future did not necessarily depend on retailing.

The plan was designed to enhance a central city lifestyle, the designers said, an idea supported by the mayor.

It also possibly involves Maitland City Council buying strategic properties to allow links to the river.

Cr Arch Humphery said the plan was only one part of a solution.

‘‘There are many hurdles to investment,’’ Cr Humphery said.

‘‘There are heritage issues and height limits.’’

Cr Humphery wants the council to be ‘‘more realistic’’ on how it responds to redevelopment of heritage properties.

Many of these properties were falling down and boarded up, he said.

Deputy mayor Brian Burke said the council was committed to re-energising the centre of the city.

Another key move in the plan is continuing the mall as a shared way for pedestrians and vehicles, a change that has begun and that reflects Newcastle’s response to similar problems.

The concept plan is on public exhibition until Friday, October 26.

Maitland Business Chamber president Bob Kerr said he was reviewing the plan.

IMPRESSION: Artwork of how the Maitland Mall might be opened up to the river, once the lifeblood of the city. Illustraation: McGregor Coxall.

IMPRESSION: Artwork of how the Maitland Mall might be opened up to the river, once the lifeblood of the city. Illustraation: McGregor Coxall.

IMPRESSION: Artwork of how the Maitland Mall might be opened up to the river, once the lifeblood of the city. Illustraation: McGregor Coxall.

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Love and War at Newcastle Museum 

THE mixed emotions of love and war are about to go on display at the Newcastle Museum.
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The latest exhibition has come from the Australian War Memorial and features the stories of Australian men and women who were touched by love – or had it torn from them – during war times.

John Wiseman was 19 years old when he enlisted in 1943 and served as a gunner. He wrote to his love Betty, 18, from the war and broke off their courtship when he became wounded.

Isabel Platt-Hepworth married soldier Alfred Bell at Darling Point on December 22, 1939, just days before his deployment overseas. He served in occupied Japan and retired from the army in 1967.

Mrs Bell’s wedding dress, which she made herself and lent to five other brides during war time, is featured in the exhibition.

Newcastle Museum deputy director Julie Baird said Of Love and War is an emotional exhibition.

“The exhibition will appeal to people of all generations with its universal themes of love, loss and longing,’’ she said.

It opens tomorrow and runs until November 27.

Events such as the reading of love letters and tips on conserving photographs will run in conjunction with the exhibition.

INTIMATE PORTRAITS: Newcastle Museum visitor services coordinator Justin Collins and deputy director Julie Baird with some of the love letters from the On Love and War exhibition. Picture: Max Mason Hubers MMH

LIFE LINES: Some of the love letters from the On Love and War exhibition. Picture: Max Mason Hubers MMH

PASSION ON PAPER: Some of the love letters from the On Love and War exhibition. Picture: Max Mason Hubers MMH

MEMORIES: One of the wedding dresses featured in the exhibition. This one was worn by Audrey Horn in 1940. Picture: Max Mason Hubers MMH

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Curti not put in recovery mode, inquest hears

Roberto Curti.A senior constable involved in a violent struggle with a young Brazilian student did not put him in recovery position afterwards despite being aware of the risk of positional asphyxiation.
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After a chase down Pitt Street, in Sydneys’ CBD in the early hours of March 18 and a “prolonged” and “chaotic” struggle with officers, Roberto Laudisio Curti lay on his stomach with two sets of handcuffs on his hands, three partial cans of capsicum spray in his eyes and the weight of officers on his body.

Leading Senior Constable Scott Edmondson told an inquest into Mr Laudisio Curti’s death today he was aware of the risk of positional asphyxiation following such a long struggle so he took the victim’s pulse several times once the situation had calmed down.

But the officer did not put Mr Laudisio Curti in recovery position because he was more concerned that the young student would get away again.

“That had been the biggest struggle I’d been in,” Constable Edmondson said in the Coroner’s Court in Glebe this afternoon.

“I was still conscious that, if he started up again, someone might get injured or we might lose him.”

Instead, Mr Laudisio Curti lay face down until Constable Edmondson could not feel a pulse so he turned him over and began CPR.

Describing the last frantic minutes of Mr Laudisio Curti’s life this afternoon, Constable Edmondson said he could see a lot of “gunk” in Mr Curti’s mouth and feared he had either vomited or swallowed his tongue.

After a few minutes of attempted resusitation, Mr Laudisio Curti was dead.

Constable Edmondson was one of four officers to Taser the student that night.

He applied two “drive stuns” to his back as he lay on the ground, apparently resisting arrest. Another officer was drive stunning him at the same time but Constable Edmondson said he did not see this.

Peter Hamill, SC, representing Mr Laudisio Curti’s family, suggested the two drive stuns were an act of frustration and retaliation because Constable Edmondson had earlier been caught in the crossfire of a failed Taser shot and had to abandon the chase to untangle himself from the Taser wires.

“You had been zapped by a Taser [so] you decided to zap him by a Taser,” Mr Hamill said.

“That’s not what happened,” Constable Edmondson replied.

“You were so out of control you didn’t hear five drive stuns from Probationary Constable Barling while Roberto was screaming for help,” Mr Hamill said.

“I disagree,” Constable Edmondson replied.

Constable Edmondson believed the drive stuns could help as a tool of “pain compliance” but he said it failed and Mr Curti continued to struggle.

Multiple Taser shots are allowed in “exigent” or urgent circumstances despite a warning in the police’s standard operating procedure that it may cause serious injury or death.

The inquest before State Coroner Mary Jerram continues.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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Melbourne cheaper city for renters

A sample of rental prices across the city.IT IS now cheaper to rent in Melbourne than most other Australian cities.
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Weekly asking rents in Darwin ($700), Canberra ($485), Perth ($450) and even Brisbane ($380) now outstrip the southern capital, new figures show.

In Melbourne, median rents for houses stayed flat over the September quarter, at $360 per week. By contrast, Sydney’s hit a record high of $520 per week.

However, in popular suburbs such as Albert Park, Kew and Balwyn, rents still rose sharply, according to Australian Property Monitors’ September quarter figures.

Data from analysts SQM Research show Melbourne’s vacancy rate was 2.8 per cent in August. Anything below 3 per cent is considered to favour landlords.

While the sluggish rental market was good for Melbourne’s tenants, it meant property ”investors were quite disinterested in that market at the moment,” Australian Property Monitors economist Andrew Wilson said.

Median rents in Darwin have hit $700 a week, a massive jump of 27 per cent over the year.

In Sydney, strong competition for rental properties was driving prices to record levels.

Unit rents in Edgecliff, Woolloomooloo, Leichhardt and Darlinghurst rose between 6 per cent and 9 per cent. But the rise was not uniform, rents fell in Glebe and Haymarket.

First home buyers were putting off buying and instead turning to the rental market, Mr  Wilson said. ”That means there’s more demand … and that’s one of the factors that has driven up house rents,” he said.

”A shortage of houses and an increase in competition from tenants for what is available has put upwards pressure on rents.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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Shrinking mogul Packer rolls back the years

Now you see him … James Packer pictured in 2010 and this morning in Melbourne.Not only has James Packer dropped 35 kilograms since secretly undergoing gastric bypass surgery in Los Angeles a year ago, he has also lost about 20 years.
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Packer, stepping out of Melbourne’s Stokehouse restaurant today, almost looks as he did in the 1990s when he was referred to simply as “Jamie”.

His trademark business suits hang off a much smaller frame since he underwent keyhole surgery, which involved an initial incision much smaller than with traditional surgery, making it less invasive.

As with all types of gastric bypass surgery, the casino mogul’s procedure resulted in the size of his stomach pouch being drastically reduced with several medical staples and the pouch being reattached to the midsection of his intestines.

As a result, he immediately lost his appetite.

Mr Packer yesterday declined to be interviewed about his weight loss. However, he indicated via a spokesman that since gastric bypass surgery he had adopted a healthier lifestyle, eating better food, avoiding alcohol and working to quit cigarettes.

Dinner guests at his Bondi home noted he was barely able to eat more than a handful of food at a time. At one point his lunch consisted of a box of Kool Mints and cigarettes.

Mr Packer, who turned 45 last month and welcomed his third child, a daughter Emmanuelle, resolved last year that it was time to act against his ballooning girth after being motivated by his wife, Erica, to lose weight.

He had also received a sobering warning from doctors that he was headed down the same road as his late father, Kerry Packer, who died at 68 having endured a very public battle with his weight.

The gastric bypass surgery was the last resort for James Packer, who had not been seen pounding Bondi’s pavements for about a decade, having previously shed weight the old-fashioned way: intense exercise sessions and the services of a highly paid personal trainer.

In 2008, he reportedly flew in a nutrition specialist from the US to oversee his diet and bought a $25,000 exercise machine, the Power Plate, which sends powerful vibrations through the body, ostensibly shaking the fat out.

Of late he has increased his attendance at the Hyde Park Club, the exclusive gymnasium adjacent to the Park Street offices the Packer family once owned but are now tenants of.

But not everything has gone smoothly. While he was allowed the occasional smoke inside the gym when he was landlord, his fuming ways are no longer tolerated and he has been spotted sparking up in public on Elizabeth Street.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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