The M1 Motorway will be upgraded at Beresfield and the Doyalson-Tuggerah section

On the Road: NRMA chairman Kyle Loades at the M1 Motorway at Beresfield. The NRMA has welcomed plans to make the motorway safer and more efficient. Picture: Jonathan Carroll. Design work on a major upgrade of the M1 Motorway at Beresfield is set to be completed in June, Roads and Maritime Services said.


The project includesreplacing the roundabout with traffic lights at the Weakleys Drive and John Renshaw Drive intersection.

About 4000 vehicles use the roundabout every hour in peak periods.

The intersectioncannoteffectively cope with this level of demand, an RMS document said.

It’s unclear when construction work on thisproject will start.

However, work is set to begin onwidening thebusy and sometimes dangerous 12-kilometre stretch between Doyalson and Tuggerah to three lanes in each direction.

Thiswork includes rebuilding a 9-kilometre section of the road to provide a “smoother and more durable surface”.

The first stage of work on the Tuggerah to Doyalson section involves geotechnical investigations, withlane closuresfrom April 30.

This work will be done at night and is expected to be completed in a week.

Major work on the Tuggerah to Doyalson project, which will cost$145 million,is expected to start mid-year.

Itispart of a $400 million motorway upgrade program, which includes the Beresfield project and widening the route between the Kariong and Somersby interchanges.

NRMA spokesman Peter Khoury welcomed plans to make themotorway “safer and more efficient for traffic flow”.

“It’s such an important motorway and the importance will only increase,” Mr Khoury said.

Readers reacted to the motorway plans on the Herald’s Facebook page.

Carol Buttsworth backed plans for an upgrade at the end of the motorway at Beresfield.

“The current roundabout is an absolute joke,” she said.

Alison Smith said the motorway was “a disgrace”, with its “sunken, broken up pavement”.

Tracey Cambourn said the plans were “great news”, whileSean Moloney added“about bloody time”.

Some motorists said poor drivingcontinued to be a bigproblemon the route.

NRMA chairman Kyle Loades previously told the Herald that his organisation would like to see the phrase ‘‘please get home safely tonight’’ used on electronic message signs on the motorway.

Some motorists expressed concern about how the roadworks would affect their commuting times.

An RMS document relating to the Beresfield plan saidthere would be delays during construction.

“We would build the upgrade in stages and work with road users to ensure any adverse impacts or delays were minimised,” it said.

Self-taught home cook from Georgetown makes her television debut

TALENT: Self-taught home cook Lisa Flowers, of Georgetown, puts her culinary skills to the test on SBS cooking show The Chefs’ Line tonight.Raised on a conservativediet of meat and three vegetables, Lisa Flowers had no idea how to cook and tried smoked salmon for the first time at the age of 26.


But tonight (Monday, April 24),the Georgetown mother-of-three makes her television debut on, of all things, a cooking show.

The talented, self-taught home cook will appear as a contestant on SBS series The Chefs’ Line and friends and family are gathering at The Beaches Hotel in Merewether at 6pm to cheer her on.

“I saw the promo for the show when I was cooking tea one night. I was about to turn 60 and I thought ‘Bugger it, I’m going to do something different’,” she said. “In my naivety, some may call it stupidity, I didn’t think it was a competition. I was at least three decades older than the other contestants, too.”

An overseas holiday in her mid-20s opened her eyes, and her palate, to a new world of cooking and Mrs Flowers was determined to broaden her culinary horizons. She started buying magazines and reading the recipes. From there, it was “trial and experimentation”.

“When Igot married at 24 I didn’t know much about cooking at all, really,” she said.“I wanted my daughters to try all sorts of different foods. We never ate the same meal in a month, that was my rule. And now they all have really good palates.

“These days I don’t really follow recipes, I use them as a guide. I make a dish differently each time, too, I don’t like doing the same thing again.”

Apart from preparing all the food for one of her daughter’s weddings, hosting dinners and taking meals to family and friends in times of need, Mrs Flowers has kept a low profile. Until now.

“For me cooking is a gift to sharethat I love doing for my family, but I must admit Inever saw myself as a public person. I couldn’t do that My Kitchen Rules stuff,” she said.

As for the future, writing a book to encourage other home cooks isn’t out of the question.

“I’ve got this book in my headabout helping people to step up their cooking. What you need to do isplan ahead, and don’t make things too complicated for yourself.”

On The Chefs’ Line,home cooks challenge professionals and must cook their way up the ranks of the chefs’ line.

Lisa Flowers

‘Yesterday’s rules’: Corbyn fires up anti-establishment campaign

London: “Holy is the true light, and passing wonderful.”


These words, embossed on the ceiling in bold, golden capitals, halo Jeremy Corbyn’s head as he makes his first big election campaign speech.

The venue is Church House, a heritage-listed building tucked round the corner from Westminster Abbey. Winston Churchill was a big fan: he chose it as the alternative home for Parliament during the war. It’s the administrative headquarters of the Church of England – the general synod meets here twice a year.

On Thursday, it’s packed with another kind of true believer. In this room, today, faith trumps reason, hope conquers fear, and paradise – the Treasury bench of the House of Commons – awaits the just and the good.

The golden script on the ceiling promises it: “They inherit a home of unfading splendour, wherein they rejoice with gladness.”

Warm-up act MP Ian Lavery assures the crowd it is his great honour to introduce “the next prime minister of the United Kingdom”.

And in walks Jeremy Corbyn, grinning underneath his trim white beard.

There is a standing ovation. JC, apparently, has them believing in miracles.

Lazarus returned from the dead, and so too can Labour return from 24 per cent in the polls (the latest YouGov figure), literally half the Conservatives’ figure, in just a month and a half.

Water was turned into wine, and so too can Corbyn turn his 23 per cent approval rating – less than half his opponent’s and one of the worst of any Labour leader in history – into a ticket to Downing Street.

“We are bigger, stronger and more determined than we have ever been,” Corbyn assures the room – and the electorate on the other side of the cameras. “We will prove the establishment experts wrong and change the direction of this election.”

Those “experts” have taken a pummelling recently. But their polls project that Labour will be pummelled on June 8. The laws of statistics and probability have Labour winning fewer than half the number of seats as the Conservatives, who would have their biggest Commons majority since Margaret Thatcher’s after the 1983 election.

That was the year Thatcher rode a wave of post-Falklands popularity, against a Labour gutted by defections to the new Social Democratic Party (SDP). The Labour of 1983 had swung sharply to the left under Michael Foot, whose 39-page election manifesto was later famously dubbed – by a fellow Labour MP – “the longest suicide note in history”.

That document proposed unilateral nuclear disarmament, higher taxes for the rich, renationalisation of recently privatised bodies such as British Telecom (ironically, it also included withdrawal from the European Common Market).

Corbyn’s manifesto is expected to be significantly less radical. But his rhetoric echoes the old politics.

On Thursday the Labour leader flies a very red flag. He rails against the powerful, the “cosy club”, the “wealth extractors”, the “corrupt rule of the City and the tax dodgers”.

“It’s the establishment versus the people and it is our historic duty to make sure that the people prevail,” he says.

Cartels are hoarding wealth that belongs to the workers – the nurses, teachers, builders and carers, he says.

“I don’t play by [the establishment’s] rules. They are yesterday’s rules, set by failed political and corporate elites we should be consigning to the past.”

It’s an energetic, punchy speech, despite an oddly paced delivery that often sees him end obvious applause-bait lines with his quiet voice, rather than his “cheer now” voice.

But it’s the content rather than the delivery that raises eyebrows.

ITV’s political editor Robert Preston asks afterwards “is there anyone alive who has heard class-war rhetoric like this from a Labour leader when fighting to win a general election?”.

After Corbyn’s speech, a journalist has the temerity to ask if he’s not just a member of the “Islington elite”. The crowd boos. Corbyn hits back, smartly, pointing out his constituency has its share of poverty, social injustice and inequality.

A journalist mentions the polls and Corbyn sarcastically thanks her for bringing it up. But he’s prepared with a zinger comeback.

“All I can say is, in 2015, almost exactly two years ago, I was given 200-to-one as an outside chance,” he says.

It’s true. The crowd loves it.

Two years ago, of course, Labour was just about to go into an election under Ed Miliband, which it was projected to win or nearly win, but instead convincingly lost (leaving pollsters red-faced and apologetic for their forecasts’ failure).

The consensus among commentators in the wash-up was that Miliband had been just a little too left-wing for the electorate – though it’s interesting to note how many of his policies, such as caps on energy bills, were quietly adopted by the Conservative government.

In early June 2015 Corbyn announced he would run for leader, as an “anti-austerity” candidate. He only just managed the minimum number of nominations from his parliamentary colleagues who saw him as useful to widen the debate but never expected him to win it.

Bookmakers didn’t rate him. William Hill put him at 100-1, Ladbrokes 200-1 and Betfair an extraordinary 980-1.

But in the leadership battle that followed over the summer Corbyn defied all predictions. He was backed by trade unions who didn’t want a return to Blair-style “New Labour”, and grassroots campaigners from the anti-war and Occupy movements. It was cheap and easy to register with the party as a supporter, and many did, especially young people, excited by Corbyn’s left-field style and old-school left-wing politics, flooding social media with their enthusiasm.

Party members suspected they were being infiltrated by “entryists”, interlopers from the Socialist Party. But their complaints fell on deaf ears, especially as Corbyn packed room after room on a barnstorming campaign. In the end he won not just the most votes from Labour MPs and MEPs, but also from members of affiliated organisations such as unions, and among the registered supporters both new and old.

It felt like a breath of fresh air. There was a sense that he was a genuine political phenomenon, a cut-through, plain-speaking figure who could sell the left’s message, draw on resentment against austerity economics, and transform Westminster.

But Corbyn has never hit such heights again. His eccentric style in Parliament (he likes posing questions supplied by voters to the PM) exacerbated his unpopularity with his own parliamentary colleagues, who felt he was regularly trounced by the government in the Westminster bullring. He was forced into reshuffle after reshuffle as MPs decided they couldn’t work with him in the shadow ministry. And his popularity among potential voters dropped, month by month, until many – even within his own party – considered him unelectable???.

A wave of Labour MPs have chosen this snap election to announce their retirement. Many used age as an excuse, some say it’s time to move on. But many might have hung on if they thought they’d be on a winning team – or could say with a straight face they thought their leader would make a good prime minister.

On Thursday, former MP and longtime ally of Corbyn, Bob Marshall-Andres, revealed he had joined the Liberal Democrats, calling his former party “a political basket case” that had failed to rise to the challenge of the Brexit referendum campaign.

Middlesbrough MP Tom Blenkinsop??? said he wouldn’t stand as “I have made no secret about my significant and irreconcilable differences with the current Labour leadership”.

Slough’s Fiona MacTaggart??? said she had been “bored by political squabbles over personalities and I know I don’t still have the passion which has driven my politics”.

Oddest of all, perhaps, is John Woodcock, the Barrow and Furness MP, who said he would stand for re-election “but I will not countenance ever voting to make Jeremy Corbyn prime minister”.

Theresa May has chosen to frame this election as a kind of Brexit referendum, on her vision of a “hard” separation from the EU, and on her – versus Corbyn’s – ability to lead the country through the messy, difficult years to come.

One theory is that this could help Labour, boosting their vote with the near half the country that voted against Brexit.

Anand Menon???, professor of European politics and foreign affairs, at King’s College London, does not buy it.

“If the whole narrative of this election is about Brexit, [Labour is] in trouble because they don’t have a narrative,” he says. “[Corbyn] wants to talk about social care, the NHS, schools, cuts, that sort of thing.”

Corbyn was never very convincing on his arguments for Remain – to the annoyance of his colleagues. And he has a pro-free-movement stance that is causing headaches for MPs who are being told on the doorstep “control immigration or piss off”, Menon says.

This week BBC radio sent a reporter into Labour – and Brexit – heartland in the north of England. They found working-class voters who professed themselves satisfied with the way May was running things, who were considering voting Tory for the first time in their lives.

Menon says this loss of the working class is not a new phenomenon for Labour.

“Across Western Europe the centre-left is getting screwed, partly because it was an unhappy coalition between metropolitan liberals and traditional working-class communities and it’s very hard to hold that together,” Menon says.

“Labour have suffered from that. From 2005 onwards the working-class vote for Labour has been in massive decline.”

That said, it’s wrong to say all Labour voters who voted Leave would switch to the Tories.

“Yes they don’t want to be in the EU, but they’ve got 100 years of family history of loathing the Tories,” says Menon. “It’s visceral, it’s emotional ??? The crucial thing among heartland Labour is whether they actually feel impelled to get off their arse and vote for Corbyn – I think they won’t.”

Here, again, is the unpopularity of the leader.

“The phrase du jour [among Labour MPs] is ‘I will be running a very personal, local campaign’,” says Menon.

In summary, he says, it’s not looking great for Labour.

“A lot of people out there at the moment are saying you can’t trust the polls, the polls are always wrong. The polls haven’t had it great over the past four or five years but they’ve never been wrong by the sort of margin they’d need to be wrong to see Labour win this election.”

Some of Corbyn’s grassroots supporters have come up with the wheeze of encouraging everyone to bet a tenner on a Labour win, on the theory that if the odds shorten, the media narrative will change.

It’s a long shot. But it’s a measure of the desperation, already, in Labour ranks.

Waratah Championship League: Three-time Olympian Suzy Batkovic backs Newcastle bid for Women’s National Basketball League team

HOME: Suzy Batkovic at training with the Newcastle Hunters on Thursday night, preparing for this weekend’s double header at home. Picture: Max Mason-HubersThree-time Olympian Suzy Batkovic has thrown her support behind a Newcastle based Women’s National Basketball League franchise ahead of making her seniors debut for the Hunters this weekend.


The 36-year-old arrived home this weekend and will play a Basketball NSW Waratah Championship League double header, but the dream remains to have a national team out of the Broadmeadow headquarters in the future.

Newcastle Basketball Association general manager Neil Goffet said despitepreliminary talks about an WNBL squad nothing formal had been tabled at this stage while plans to startanew $5 million upgrade of the Newcastle Basketball Stadium precinct are finalised.

Batkovic, who recently re-signed for another season with the Townsville Fire, said she was hopeful a proposal would be put forward one day and saw little reason why it wouldn’t be well received by the local community.

“I think it’s really important forthose young people to be able to aspire to something, and not having that here [in Newcastle] is disappointing,” Batkovic said.

“For me, I know I’ve had to leave and play in other states because wedon’t have that here and to play in front of family and friends would have been amazing.

“And I think it’s something good to get the kids to aspire to something and get them off the streets playing any sport, but to have that national level [for basketball] in Newcastle would be amazing.

“I hope it does go ahead and I think it would be great for this community. Newcastle does have agreat community so I can’t see that it wouldn’t work. I think it would be really positive.”

Batkovic last played for the Hunters as a junior representative two decades ago.

Three Olympic medals, a record five WNBL MVP awards and countless countries later she now returns to where it all began.

The call to wear the all-familiar uniform once more was also prompted by her mother’s recent ill health.

“It’s home,” she said.

“And it kind of made the decision really easy because mymum became ill in December, which was a bit of a whirlwind for me during [the WNBL] season commutingback and forth.

“She’son the mend now, but I wanted to come home and spend some time with her and it all just fell into place to play back in the green and white. The timing has been good.”

After meeting her new teammates at training on Thursday, the centrewill line up with the defending champions against Bansktown on Saturday (5pm) and Hornsby on Sunday (1pm).

Meanwhile, the Hunters men will try and defend the Kibble-Mallon Cup against rivals Maitland on Saturday (7pm) before hosting Bansktown on Sunday (3pm).

PHOTOS: Batkovic trains with Hunters

RESULTS: Latest hit out in Waratah Championship League

ANNOUNCEMENT: Government funding for new basketball stadium in Newcastle

Recasting the spell: can Monkey find magic the second time around?

Production still from ‘The Legend of Monkey’. Pigsy (Josh Thomson), Monkey (Chai Hansen),Tripitaka (Luciane Buchanan), Sandy (Emilie Cocquerel) Monkey MagicWhen it comes to childhood classics like Monkey, the pantomimically brilliant and poorly lip-synced, flawed ’80s masterpiece, there is only one question you need to ask: can you ever really go back?


News this week that the ABC, TVNZ and Netflix have commissioned a new live-adaptation of the 16th-century fable on which Monkey was based, Journey to the West, was met with a mixture of curiosity, elation and unbridled joy.

Like most reboots which date from a certain era, much of that excitement is driven by nostalgia for the original – such as it was – which followed a teenage priest and the spirits of a monkey, fish and pig on their journey to enlightenment.

That series, titled Saiyuki in Japan, Monkey in English, and Monkey Magic to its fans – strictly speaking, that’s the title of the show’s theme song – was a staple of Australian childhoods.

Though its late 1990s audience often lay claim to it, in fact it dates back to the early 1980s when 39 of the original 52 episodes were dubbed into English by the BBC and sold internationally.

The series starred Masako Natsume as the priest Tripitaka, Masaaki Sakai as Monkey, Toshiyuki Nishida as Pigsy and Shiro Kishibe as Sandy, the fish spirit.

The BBC’s English audio featured actors like David Collings (as Monkey) and Peter Woodthorpe (as Pigsy). Both Collings and Woodthorpe featured in the BBC’s radio version of The Lord of the Rings; Woodthorpe notably played Gollum.

The result was daftly (and deftly) comic.

The already inflated action sequences became funnier, the loosely dubbed dialogue borrowed more from pantomime than grown-up drama and the cheap-seeming stylistic touches, a sort of papier-m??ch?? forebear of modern Asian cinema, were compelling to young eyes.

And that’s without even getting into the fact that Pigsy (and even Monkey) had a tendency to use the word “poofter” as an insult during fight sequences.

Is it a cultural curiosity of the era? An appalling insult? Something for the politically correct to demand be cut? Or something for the thin-skinned anti-PC’ers to use while they label everyone else a “snowflake”?

Wait, weren’t you just planning to watch an old TV classic? When did things get so complicated?

The truth is Monkey, and the affection we have for it, resides within a delicate prism.

And the magic of that is a difficult one to recapture, because many of the gods of our childhood owe their divine status to our innocence at the time as much as anything else.

Our childhood memories are full of unique and curious things, strange and now exotic-seeming things that were once simple and brilliant: the quaint racism buried in Enid Blyton’s stories, the cheap but lovable brilliance of The Goodies, reruns of Are You Being Served? and their endless pussy jokes.

It doesn’t mean those things have no modern value. Enid Blyton’s books are still masterpieces, The Goodies are still gods to middle-aged eyes and Are You Being Served? is still one of the funniest comedies ever made for television.

But each, like childhood memories, must be handled gently. And like the charred remains of Daphne du Maurier’s Manderley in Rebecca, can sometime remain properly elusive, no matter how much we long to return.

The reboot of Monkey won’t be our Monkey. Nor can it be. But it will be to its audience what Monkey was to us: magic.

Life in the Manus ‘death centre’

I don’t know when it will be time for the Australian government to close this death centre. I feel like when we are all killed, then they will come to bury our bodies. I have lost all hope that the Australian government and its people will do anything to preserve our lives.


I just want to say to the world, if I die here, please bury my body somewhere that is not in Australia nor in PNG. I am a stateless person so my body can’t be deported back to my country of origin. This is my last request to the world and I beg you to sacrifice a tiny piece of land for my dead body to be buried elsewhere. I have never experienced safety since I was born but I hope my dead body will be placed in safety.

There is no glimpse of hope in our hearts that we are going to get off this Island alive. Good Friday was the second time we have been attacked and faced death.

Some of the refugees were playing soccer in the navy field as usual. They were not using the main spot where the locals usually play. They were just playing around the edge of the field. At around 6pm, one of the locals came and told them to leave the field.

The refugees asked for them to give them five minutes and they will leave. All of a sudden, one of the navy officers came and started swearing at the refugees. The refugees said to him, please show us some respect. We are not animals, we are human beings like you.

Some of the refugees managed to get inside the camp quickly but some couldn’t. One Sudanese and one Pakistani were beaten badly. We are not exactly sure how many people were injured.

It is my experience that refugees’ lives are not important. Whatever happens, the refugees and the asylum seekers are blamed, as it is us who are always being punished. Although I don’t believe that all the giant Wilson security officers can protect me, I was devastated to see that one Wilson security officer was attacked and sustained an injury to the head by the navy officers.

I clearly heard that the navy officers and the locals were saying they would kill the Australian Wilson security guards if they saw them around. I saw the extreme fear in their faces and it is absolutely impossible to describe how fragile they were feeling on Friday.

It sickens my heart to read that the police are investigating the event and don’t know who the attackers were. There are cameras every 20 metres inside and outside of the centre. If the cameras are real, the whole event was recorded.

The world has seen videos and photos of what has happened here. As it has always been experienced, no action will be taken against the attackers.

More importantly, it shatters my heart knowing that money is more important than lives. I can understand how people feel it’s OK for the Australians to earn money out of vulnerable refugees. They see how we suffer every single day in this prison, however is it all right for them to allow this to continue? I don’t feel there is any difference between earning money knowing we have been abused and tortured beyond description and drinking our blood directly.

I don’t have a choice to leave this torturous prison, yet they are still here after seeing such a drastic murderous event. I thought this concentration camp of Australia would be closed down immediately, nevertheless it is running like nothing has happened.

I saw with my own eyes how the Australians feared for their lives but started working the next morning again by putting a fake smile on their faces. I heard them saying: “I am out of this hell-hole in one week and then I will be away from this chaos for three weeks.” I just burst into tears and say to my God, please don’t send anyone as a refugee on this earth.

Despite being imprisoned for almost four years, the fear for our lives has increased. Moreover, the chances of violence is extremely high and on top of everything else, the uncertainty of our future has remained the same. We no longer feel we are human beings – we are just human trash that is dumped here by Australia.

We are not going to get back our four years, nor forget the trauma we have suffered here. It is clear that all the Australians, the refugees and asylum seekers are in great danger. Australia, it is your responsibility to move all of us to safety immediately, whether you admit it or not. It is high time you closed the centre.

We are begging Australian and PNG government to stop playing with political words, instead please give us a chance to live our lives in safety. That is all we hope and ask.

Murrurundi residents frustrated with town’s flying fox plague

We’ve heard about what’s happened in Singleton, Aberdeen and other places – and hope it doesn’t get to that stage here | PHOTOS, VIDEO TweetFacebookMORE GALLERIES


facebookSHAREtwitterTWEETemailwhatsappMURRURUNDI residents are becoming increasingly frustrated with the town’s flying fox plague, which has reared its ugly head in the past month.

Facebook groups have been established so they can vent their vexation, while some locals have vowed to take matters into their own hands if the situation isn’t dealt with soon.

There is even talk of people being concerned about sending their children back to school after the holiday break.

“We don’t know what the answer is but someone must,” said Mark and Christine Middleton, who took over Café Telegraph in November.

“Originally, it was a small problem.

“But, three weeks ago, the dilemma has trebled.

“Trees are being destroyed, the water fouled and I believe there could be health issues,” Mrs Middleton added.

“Plus, the noise and stench is really bad.

“If you wake up at three in the morning, it’s hard to get back to sleep.

“The decibels are extremely high,” Mr Middleton quipped.

“If someone had a party [with that much noise], they’d get into trouble.

“And, because the bats appear to be agitated, they’re constantly moving around, which makes the situation worse.”

Mr Middleton estimates the colony boasts between 5000 and 8000 flying foxes.

“We’ve heard about what’s happened in Singleton, Aberdeen and other places – and hope it doesn’t get to that stage here,” he said.

“We don’t know where they’ve come from.

“I’ve tried to get rid of them, without much luck.

“We’ve even set up a sonar [system], which keeps them 30m from the house.

“However, it’s a major irritant.

“I reckon there’s more chance of dismantling IS than ridding us of the bats.”

Upper Hunter Shire Council’s director of environmental and customer services Mat Pringle said council had sought advice from the NSW Department of Health and the Office of Environment and Heritage and all available information suggests that the risks to public health is low.

Nevertheless, human health will always be foremost in any of council’s actions, he explained.

“We know that flying fox camps are currently being found in unusual localities across the state due to food shortages in late 2016 and significant heat events earlier this year,” Mr Pringle said.

“We are hoping that the bats in Murrurundi will move on once the local food sources diminish.”

Council has been working with Hunter Councils, the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage and the local community to develop a camp management plan for the shire to minimise the impacts on the community, while conserving flying foxes in their habitat.

As part of the development of this plan, council is asking residents to complete a survey about the flying foxes, which is available on council’s website or 苏州美甲学校网flyingfoxengage苏州美甲学校/Aberdeen and has been extended until April 28.

Newcastle Hunter Rugby Union: Maitland Blacks back new centre Junior Poloai

Maitland coach Mick Hickling has wasted no time in getting new recruit Junior Poloai into the starting XV for Saturday’s second round clash with two-time Newcastle Hunter Rugby Union defending premiers Hamilton at Passmore Oval.


Hickling said Poloai, formally with The Waratahs, lobbed up at training justbefore the season kicked off and after making an impact from the bench first up has been elevated to partner Jye Estatheo in the Blacks’ centres.

CHANGE: Maitland’s Jye Estatheo will have a new centre partner when he tackles Hamilton on Saturday. Picture: Marina Neil

“He [Poloai] just turned up at training on the Tuesday before the first comp game,” Hickling said.

“I’m pretty sure he lives locally andI’m not sure if Sap [fellow Waratahs recruit Sapati Peniata] said something, but we’re glad to have him.

“The first week we’d already named our sides but he came on after [winger] Rob [Williamson] rolled his ankle and we got him straight in for this game.

“He’s a good player and adds a little something for us out inthe backs, especially without Josh McCormack [Wanderers] this year.”

Chris Logan slides back to fullback for Maitland and Max Stafford drops to reserves. The Hawksare without second-rower Joe Akkersdyk, who injuredhis clavicle before the Easter break.

Elsewhere in round two encounters,Nelson Bay will be keen to make full advantage of their first home game in2017 when they host Southern Beaches.

The Waratahs welcome back No.8 Jono Reynolds (work commitments) while for opponents Merewether Carlton Jaden Hethrington replaces Sam Fogarty (unavailable) at inside centre.

Lake Macquarie are away to University and Singleton travel to meet Wanderers.

*theherald苏州美甲学校苏州美甲学校网for BarTV Sports livestream of Hamilton v Maitland at3pmon Saturday

More than 1000 private medical letters found in Sydney bin

Health Minister Brad Hazzard speaks to media about patient correspondence discovered in a bin. Pic Nick Moir 21 April 2017 Photo: Nick MoirBe the first to know. Sign up for our breaking news alert


More than 700 public patients have had their privacy breached and potential delays in their follow up care after more than 1600 medical letters were found dumped in a Sydney bin.

NSW Health is investigating the incident involving a sub-contractor for a company tasked with transcribing medical letters sent from specialists to general practitioners.

On Tuesday, April 11, a man found piles of follow-up letters containing patient details stuffed into a garbage bin at an apartment block in Ashfield. It is understood there were more than 1600 documents in total. Some of the letters were duplicates.

The man called in his neighbour, a female health worker, who recognised the documents were out-patient letters and contacted Ashfield police.

A sub-contractor for Global Transcription Services (GTS) was supposed to take the letters home to post but instead stuffed them into the bin. The young woman had been dealing with personal upheaval and health issues, Health Minister Brad Hazzard said on Thursday, adding it was inappropriate to comment further.

The letters related to 768 public hospital patients from Royal North Shore, Gosford Hospital outpatients and Cancer Centre and Dubbo Hospital Cancer Centre.

There were also 700 letters relating to patients from six private providers: Chris O’Brien Lifehouse, providing services to Dubbo Cancer Clinic, Northern Cancer Institute (Frenchs Forest and St Leonards), Sharp Neurology, Southside Cancer Care Centre, Strathfield Retina Clinic and the Woolcock Institute.

It is not known how many private patients were affected. It is understood that less than one per cent of affected patients were treated by Lifehouse.

The bulk of the letters were treatment progress reports from specialist consultations in December.

The incident prompted health minister Brad Hazzard to launch an external review of the processes of transcription services across all NSW public health facilities. The review will be conducted by KPMG.

“It’s completely unacceptable …We have to get right to the bottom of what has gone wrong here, ” Mr Hazzard said.

“This is a human system and things can go wrong occasionally … but I want to be satisfied that we are doing everything possible to reduce the risk of human error,” he said.

NSW Health has alerted the Acting NSW Privacy Commissioner.

Mr Hazzard said he was concerned to learn GTS had no way of auditing their letter delivery processes.

Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant said clinicians at Lifehouse, RNS and Gosford hospitals had reviewed the patients involved and found no clinical issues as a result of the delay in correspondence.

Doctors at Dubbo Cancer Centre had contacted eight patients directly or through their GPs to either bring them in for a consultation or arrange follow-up referrals, she said.

There appeared to be no negative clinical outcomes for the patients, she said.

It is the second publicly disclosed patient privacy breach in NSW in two months. In March, ABC News reported on documents detailing a number of breaches including medical records found in a public car park.

Questioned over whether there could be similar breaches, Dr Chant said: “We have nothing to indicate from our investigations that this was a repeat episode. It appears to be a one-off episode.”

Mr Hazzard said the incident bolstered the case for an overhaul of the current paper-heavy health correspondence system and a comprehensive switch to digital health record keeping.

Opposition health spokesman Walt Secord said the breach was “sloppy and dangerous”.

“It is absolutely frightening that private medical records were left in rubbish bins in an Ashfield apartment block. This just should not happen,” Mr Secord said.

“It is extremely distressing for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy treatment to find out their personal medical details have been handled this way.”.

‘Sad day’: Super Netball disruption looms as board crisis deepens

Industrial action will seek to disrupt rather than cancel this weekend’s round of Super Netball matches after the Netball Australia board failed to re-elect Kathryn Harby-Williams as a director on what another former Diamonds’ captain, Liz Ellis, described as “a sad day” for the game.


The Australian Netball Players’ Association ruled out strike action during the telephone hook-up that followed Friday morning’s AGM in Canberra – citing the interests of fans, corporate partners and broadcasters, and after receiving public and private assurances that none of their conditions and benefits would be threatened in a league committed to becoming fully professional within five years.

But, having expressed its disappointment at the forced departures of both Harby-Williams and former chair Anne-Marie Corboy, the ANPA resolved that “some form of protest” would take place during the round nine matches in Brisbane and Sydney in order to “continue to shine a light on the very real issue of independence and governance on the board”.

Five candidates were contesting three spots, with incumbent Cheryl McCormack and Marcia Ella-Duncan elected for three-year terms and Susan Comerford for one, after filling the casual vacancy created by last week’s dramatic axing of Corboy. Harby-Williams, whose re-appointment had been described as “not-negotiable” by the players, and – as expected – Jan Magaccis, missed out.

“The players will keep a very watchful eye on the deliberations of the board over the immediate future to ensure it makes decisions that benefit the sport as a whole and not of some,” an ANPA statement said. “Further action from the players will be subject to discussions to be held over the coming days, weeks and months.” No further comment was forthcoming.

Industrial action at national-league level had been flagged by the ANPA on Wednesday in a hard-line letter distributed to the state delegates, as were moves to explore the formation of a rebel competition, seek releases from their club contracts, run former players to challenge state presidents and boycott Diamonds games for the rest of the year unless the member organisations re-elected Harby-Williams.

Ellis was among those to condemn the decision by the state bodies to overlook the well-credentialled former defender who boasts substantial business and broadcast experience. “I had hoped common sense would prevail over personal ambition and state politics,” she said. “That it hasn’t marks a sad day for netball.”

The threat of a mutiny from several of the state associations has simmered since the decision to launch a new eight-team national competition for 2017 and grant licences to Collingwood and the Melbourne Storm. GWS is also involved, through an alliance with the Giants’ Netball franchise owned by Netball NSW.

NA director Geoff Parmenter insisted the political stoush had not unduly harmed the sport. “I actually think it’s an opportunity to draw a line in the sand and move forward,” he said. “I think there’s one thing I can say for certain: that everybody in that room is united in wanting the best for the game, and we have an opportunity now to capitalise on the opportunity that Super Netball’s created for the game, and everybody recognises that and is committed to it.

“I think getting a clear resolution today so that the game can move forward is a great outcome for the sport and the sport is committed to moving forward together because we’ve established a wonderful opportunity in Suncorp Super Netball and everyone’s committed to taking it forward.”

Despite strong support for Harby-Williams having come from Tasmania, South Australia and the ACT, delegates from Queensland and NSW are believed to have placed Harby-Williams at No.5 on their ballots – making her election quest impossible if any other member organisation did likewise under the preferential system. Victoria is also thought to have placed Harby-Williams in their bottom two.

The dual Commonwealth Games and world championship gold medallist said she was dismayed that the players’ views had been ignored. “I’m very disappointed,” Harby-Williams told Fairfax Media. “I thought that my CV indicated that I’ve got the required skills to make a strong contribution at board level. I just want to thank everyone who supported me. It’s been overwhelming. I just hope netball can move on from this.”

NA board chair Paolina Hunt said in a statement: “We are confident that our board of directors has a dynamic combination of experience. Now that the vote has been determined, we are ready to move forward collectively and focus on creating the best outcomes for our sport.”

The letter signed by Australia’s top netballers this week.