Friday, 2 December 2016

Newcastle Jockey Club Profits Soar


Image: NJC

The Newcastle Jockey Club has reported a strong fiscal position after the 2016 financial year, having made an underlying profit of $325,000.

Jockey Club chairman, Geoff Barnett said there was a number of factors contributing to the club's success, including government changes to the racing industry and renovations and restructures at the club.

"The board and CEO have done an excellent job during the past financial year steering the club and our financial results are reflective of that hard work," Mr Barnett said.

"Racing NSW also managed to win a case lowering the taxation on gambling in NSW and that's allowed for not only increased prize money across the state but also freed up money for clubs administration and general maintenance, which has helped enormously".  

The Club's CEO, Matt Benson said that the upgrading of facilities, such as bars and infrastructure, is necessary to match the standard of the new Strathayr course proper, launching in March, 2017.

"Newcastle will boast the best track in Australia when the new course proper is unveiled in March, and our aim must be to complement that racing facility with premium options for racegoers - both members and the public alike," Mr Benson said.

It is agreed that the profits will help brighten the future of Newcastle Jockey Club, which chairman Barnett said is not just exciting for the club but also for the whole Newcastle and Hunter community.

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Hunter Drug Houses Can't Compare with Sydney


[Image: The Herald].
While the infiltration of houses using and manufacturing the drug Ice in Newcastle and the Hunter has increased in recent years, it’s still not something that is rampant throughout the suburbs, according to one real estate expert.

Hunter chairman of the Real Estate Institute, Wayne Stewart said while there had been increases in residential houses that were home to drug users and manufacturers,
it can’t compare with the levels of Sydney and Melbourne.

He said drug operators are coming out of the rural areas and into the suburbs to help avoid detection.

“They assume that by putting them amongst residential people that they won’t be noted as much,” he said.

“Whether it be just the user or whether it’s crime gangs, they are renting homes in domestic suburbs and turning those into places where they … produce the drugs.”

A study in the Medical Journal of Australia in February showed Ice use in Australia had tripled in the past five years.

Despite the jump, Mr Stewart said it still isn’t something that is talked about much in the real estate market by either agents or buyers.

He also said there is very little regulation around buying houses which used to house drug operations or those being sold nearby a lab.

“It’s not something that gets brought up in our day-to-day dealings with customers," he said.

“Until we start to see how it is going to affect the community it’s difficult to see what sort of remedies will be put in place."

Despite the new stats in drug use – as well as reports from the ABC that a Newcastle biohazard cleaning service was receiving daily calls about meth lab clean-up – Mr Stewart said it’s nothing he hasn’t seen in the past.

“I’d probably go back 30 to 35 years ago and we’ve had evidence of needles being found on properties and in the walls,” he said. 

BREAKING! Surfer Attacked By Shark North Of Port Stephens


The Hunter's Westpac Rescue helicopter has been called to Seven Mile Beach south of Forster where a man has been bitten bitten a shark.

Paramedics say the 62-year-old man was left with deep lacerations to his foot when he was attacked just after 9am near The Ruins campground, by what's believed to be a great white shark.

Police say he also suffered  puncture wounds to his arm but managed to swim to shore and raise the alarm

It's reported the shark came up underneath the man's surfboard, snapping it in ha;lf.

The helicopter has landed on the helipad at Pacific Palms Bowling Club and will fly the injured man to Newcastle's John Hunter Hospital for treatment.

Seven Mile Beach has been closed until further notice.

Police from the Manning Great Lakes Local Area Command are working with officers from the Department of  Primary Industries and Fisheries

The Injured Man Gives The Thumbs Up After Arriving At John Hunter Hospital Picture: Fairfax Media
The Hunter's Westpac Rescue Helicopter Prepares To Transport Shark Attack Victim
The Remains Of The Victim's Surfboard Picture: Fairfax Media

BREAKING! Reward Increased In A Bid To Solve Lake Macquarie Double Murder


 The state government has increased the reward for information over the 2008 murder of a couple at Caves Beach as a fresh inquest begins in Newcastle today into their deaths.

The bodies of 50-year-old Robert Pashkuss and 41-year-old Stacey McMaugh were found inside a Macquarie Grove home at about midday on Sunday 6 January 2008 by Ms McMaugh's teenage son.

Despite exhaustive inquiries by detectives from Strike Force Chuter, the crime remains unsolved.

NSW Minister for Justice and Police, Troy Grant has today announced the reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible has been increased from $100,000 to $250,000.

A Coronial Inquest into the deaths of Mr Pashkuss and Ms McMaugh is due to resume today. Previous hearings have been held in March and June of this year.

Robert Pashkuss and Stacey McMaugh

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Strata law changes set to benefit investors in the Hunter


More than 90 of the proposed changes to strata laws by the State Government come into full force throughout the State including the Hunter today, with investors set to benefit.

Strata title or Strata laws is the system for owning units and townhouses, which generally have a combination of private residences as well as communal spaces

Under the new laws, cigarette smoking will now be considered a 'nuisance', meaning people who only smoke inside their own units can be ordered to stop if it affects other residents. 

A limit to the number of adults who can live in an apartment will now be in place, with fines for overcrowding to be raised to $5500.

Owners corporations will also have the power to invite local council parking inspectors into their car parks, in an effort to penalize "parking thieves."

The most controversial of the changes means that 75 per cent of owners in older residences will have the power to dictate the selling of the entire building to developers, regardless of objections from the 25 percent minority.

Minister for Innovation and Swansea MP Yasmin Catley says the changes are a direct attack on people's property rights.

"The fact that somebody can come in and compulsory acquire another persons home reducing their property rights is just fundamentally wrong.

"The fact that the government is enabling developers to do that shows very poor judgment on their behalf and it shows that they are not in touch with the people of NSW and people living in strata.

"As of today, developers in New South Wales got their early Christmas present thanks to Premier Mike Baird, and I've no doubt they'll all be popping champagne corks." Ms. Catley said.

Woman bashed and robbed at Sangate


Police are on the hunt for a man who bashed and robbed a 39-year-old woman in Sandgate this morning.

The woman was walking to her car after finishing her shift at a Mangrove Road business when she was attacked at around 2:20am in the carpark.

It's alleged the man punched her in the face, causing her to fall to the ground, before taking off with her purse, phone and watch.

Newcastle detectives are investigating and anyone with information is urged to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

Hunter Retail Workers Take A Stand Against Boxing Day Trading


 The Hunter's Boxing Day retail trading hours will be the focus of a rally held by the Shop Distributive and Allied Employees Association at Speers Point Park today.

Retail workers and State MPs will also join the protest, urging the State Government to reinstate trading restrictions on the public holiday.

Newcastle Branch Secretary of the SDA, Barbara Nebart says there is no benefit for retailers opening on Boxing Day.

"The story that's there's economic benefits and people will spend more money is completely false. There's no economic benefit at all to opening on Boxing Day. People just have a greater spread of hours to spend the same amount of money that they've had and there's no benefit, there's no extra work created because stores have budgets," she said.

SDA Newcastle Branch Secretary Barbara Nebart