Archive for December, 2018
17 Dec

Eagle Shuey’s dog rumour is half true

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West Coast Eagles’ Luke Shuey has been chuckling over rumours his dog injured his ankle.Finals time always sends the rumour mill into overdrive, but did you hear the one about Luke Shuey and his dog?

Shuey is a certain starter for Saturday’s grand final against Collingwood despite injuring his left ankle in last week’s win over Melbourne.

After injuring his ankle in that game, whispers emerged that Shuey may have actually tweaked it in the lead-up – and that his dog played a part in the saga.

As it turns out, the rumour is half true.

“I had to chase my dog in the backyard and I tripped over, and my missus thought I might have hurt my ankle,” Shuey said with a chuckle.

“But it was fine. It wasn’t as bad as what people thought.

“I don’t know how the rumour got out. And the dog’s fine.”

Another rumour doing the rounds is that Jeremy McGovern has broken ribs.

West Coast have flatly denied that is true, saying the star defender is merely nursing a corked hip.

September has already been a big month for Shuey after welcoming his first child into the world – a boy named Oliver.

Shuey wants to cap off the month with premiership success.

“The new bub’s good. I’m very lucky to have him out happy and healthy,” Shuey said.

“My partner (Dani Orlando) has taken a fair share of the load and taken him into the spare room and let me have my seven or eight hours sleep every night.

“Hopefully I can bring something back to show off to him.

“It would be pretty special to win the grand final. It’s really the only reason you play football.”

Shuey tallied 26 disposals, six clearance, and a goal in the 46-point loss to Hawthorn in the 2015 grand final.

The 28-year-old is confident the Eagles are far better prepared this time around to deal with the big occasion.

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17 Dec

War of words between AFL stars erupts between Mo Hope and Mick Malthouse

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A grand final luncheon in Ballarat today resulted in controversy after AFLW star Moana Hope stormed out of the function over comments made by league legend Mick Malthouse.

The feud at the luncheon, hosted by the North Ballarat Sports Club, started over commentsHope labelled as “disgusting”.

Hope wasfront and centre of the event when she stormed out and did not return.

The furore erupted over a discussion regarding proposed rule changes in the AFL and injuries to women.

Hope says she took offence to the comments, but Malthouse claims his words were taken out of context.

Watch The Courier’s interview with Malthouse, Hope and Jason Akermanis before the function.

After the event, Hope told AFL成都楼凤.au she felt Malthouse was insinuating women shouldn’t play football.

“He was saying stuff about how women get injured and women should just not play AFL because it’s a man’s game,” Hope told AFL成都楼凤.au.

“When he was asked about the AFL changing the rules of the men’s game and the square (goalsquare), he then went onto talk about the game back in his day and if the AFL did change the rules, they may as well put skirts on the men, let them play netball and call them women.”

Hope posted this on Instagram on Thursday afternoon.

“The fact he said it’s a man’s game and women shouldn’t be playing and only should play without contact, it really upset me.

“I put my mic down and left the appearance, something I’ve never done before. I was so disgusted and embarrassed, I almost cried, I almost had a panic attack.”

Malthouse responded on Thursday night, believing Hope had taken his comments out of context.

“It was a very unprofessional way of approaching this… clearly she had the opportunity to talk, and to get up and walk out because of a different opinion, I’ve never seen it before.”

“I was asked about the rules and I said the 18-metre rule is ridiculous,” he told Fairfax Media.

The AFL Competition Committee has recently signed off on recommendations that would see the length of goal square extended from nine to 18 metres, and six-six-six starting positions enforced at every centre bounce.

READ MORE:Malthouse sets a challenge to hasten assault on cancer in Ballarat

“Two, I said a game divided up into divisions is netball and they wear a skirt. We do not want to make it into divisions… we do not need a football ground broken into divisions.”

He said he would “never apologise” for his opinion that there should be a modified game for women.

“As far as AFLW, I don’t like it in its present format… they subject themselves to massive injuries. I suggested the ball should be smaller and should be no bumps and only tackle, not go to ground, that would make it uniquely women’s football,” he said.

“I’m all for women playing sport, however the casualty wards in hospitals have too many girls with broken collarbones, busted knees etc.”

In a now deleted post on Instagram, Hope’s partner – model Isabella Calstrom- also spoke out against the former Carlton coach.

“I cannot believewhat this disgrace of a man just said while on stage in front of so many kids and my partner. It’s sickening. How can you have a daughter and speak so poorly of woman and woman in sport,” she wrote.

Onlookers at the event toldThe Courierthe event continued with little fuss after Hope’s dramatic exit.

Hope and the North Ballarat Sports Club did not respond to requests for comment.

– with The Age

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17 Dec

Rooster Ferguson set to break 5km barrier

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Blake Ferguson is set to crack 5000 metres run in 2018 during the NRL grand final.Sydney Roosters star Blake Ferguson isn’t just eyeing a maiden premiership and an n recall, he can also claim a share of NRL history during Sunday’s grand final.

After the best season of his 10-year career, the Roosters winger is on the cusp of becoming just the third player to break the 5000 metre barrier in a single season.

According to Fox Sports Stats, the 28-year-old goes into the game with 4878m from his 26 appearances.

And considering he has gobbled up 188m per game, he’s expected to make the requisite 122m at ANZ Stadium against the Storm.

The only two players to achieve the feat are Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (5795m), in his magical final season with the Roosters in 2015, and Jason Taumalolo (5050m) when he led North Queensland to the grand final last year.

Roosters fullback James Tedesco is second in the league for running metres with 4306m and even he was floored by his teammate’s output.

“That’s so good,” Tedesco told AAP.

“I’ve been feeling for him for a bit because he had a rough start to the year. But he’s played consistently throughout the year.

“He’s one of my favourite players to play with. I’m going to miss him next year.

“Whenever we get the ball on our 10 metres or inside our own 20, he’s there taking that carry, creating that quick play-the-ball to start our whole set.

“He’s huge for our team and I don’t think a lot of people see that.”

The Parramatta-bound 28-year-old has bounced back in emphatic fashion after the twin disappointments of being dropped from the n squad for last year’s World Cup and losing his NSW State of Origin jersey this year.

After swearing off alcohol and getting his life right off the field, he was rewarded on Tuesday night when he was named the Dally M winger of the year.

Despite being overlooked for state selection, Kangaroos coach Mal Meninga has said he was keeping an eye on Ferguson.

He has plenty of competition to earn an n recall in the likes of Valentine Holmes, Josh Addo-Carr, Tom Trbojevic and Dane Gagai.

However he’s put his best foot forward – sitting in the top five for tries (4th, 18), linebreaks (2nd, 24) and runs (1st, 516) this year.

“He’s been massive,” Ferguson’s right-side partner Joseph Manu said.

“He’s been doing it consistently. He takes those hard carries, he does them all game.

“He’s special for me and he’s been special for the team.”

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17 Dec

Slater dreaming of fairytale NRL finish

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Billy Slater is hoping for the ultimate send-off in the NRL grand final.It’s his chance at a fairytale finish that was almost taken away from him.

But now Billy Slater could bow out a premiership-winner when he runs out for Melbourne for the last time in Sunday’s NRL grand final against the Sydney Roosters.

In his first interview of grand final week, Slater spoke about the emotional toll of having to defend a shoulder charge citing at the judiciary on Tuesday night.

After a mammoth three-hour hearing, Slater was found not guilty and cleared to play.

“It was quite an emotional start to my preparation and quite draining to be honest,” Slater said on The NRL Footy Show on the Nine Network.

“It wasn’t a great first four days of grand final week for me. It was really important for me to voice my perspective of the situation and I’m glad the judiciary members understood that.

“For me now it’s important to go out and prepare myself to be able to play the best I can on Sunday. I didn’t do any preparation before the hearing in terms of playing.

“It was all about the hearing.”

Now the 35-year-old will appear in his 319th and final NRL game spanning 16 seasons, including 31 State of Origin games for Queensland and 30 Tests for .

He has also scored 229 tries in a career that looked over when twin shoulder reconstructions limited him to just eight games across the 2016-17 seasons.

“It’s obviously my last game. For that to be in a grand final is pretty special,” Slater said.

“The last few years have been a rollercoaster for me.

“To be able to finish my career with a healthy body and to go out in a grand final and hopefully a premiership, I couldn’t ask for anything more.”

Slater said teammate Cameron Munster would be key to finishing with the title, making the Storm the first side in over 25 years to win back-to-back premierships in a unified league.

“He handles things pretty well, Cameron,” Slater said.

“He doesn’t get overawed by any situation – we saw that in State of Origin III last year when he made his debut and he was the best player on the field.

“He’s a bit old school, nothing seems to faze him and he’s pretty jovial about how he goes about his preparation as well.

“He’s been playing some great football, especially in the back half of this year and he’ll be important for us on Sunday.”

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17 Dec

Qld backs car immobilisers after cop hit

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Queensland police will lobby nationally for officers to be able to remotely shut down the engines of cars they are pursuing after a constable was seriously injured while trying to stop a vehicle.

Police Commissioner Ian Stewart and Police Minister Mark Ryan on Friday backed a call for vehicle immobilisers to be introduced as Constable Peter McAulay, 24, remains in an induced coma in Brisbane’s Princess Alexandra Hospital.

He had just placed tyre spikes on a road to stop the car in Ipswich on Thursday when he was struck, receiving serious head and internal injuries and broken bones.

A 16-year-old boy and a 15-year-old girl have been charged with attempted murder and unlawful use of a motor vehicle over the incident.

They faced the Queensland Children’s Court on Friday and were remanded in custody to reappear in November.

After the incident, Queensland Police Union renewed its calls for remote immobilisers to be fitted in new cars, which would allow police to remotely shut down the engine of a vehicle involved in a pursuit.

The commissioner on Friday said he supported the idea “100 per cent”.

“I think it’s time to seriously consider this. The union certainly supports that push and I think we can get the other police jurisdictions on board,” Mr Stewart said on Friday.

Mr Ryan said he had long been a proponent of remote immobilisers and he would raise the issue again with his state and federal colleagues.

“There’s a ministerial council of police ministers next month. Let’s put it on the agenda. Let’s get it done,” Mr Ryan said.

Federal cabinet minister and former Queensland police officer Peter Dutton has called for a national approach to police pursuit rules following the incident.

The minister and the commissioner defended Queensland’s pursuit policy, saying it was already in line with best-practice recommendations.

Mr Stewart said they were hoping for a good outcome for Const McAuley, with Friday seeing remembrance day services honouring officers killed in the line of duty across the country.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the country’s thoughts and prayers were with the injured officer.

“It is a reminder, I think, of the work and the sacrifice and the risks that our police officers take all around the country every day,” he said.

Const McAulay’s family say while their focus is on his recovery, they are grateful to police and the wider community for their support.

“We would also like to thank the medical staff at the Princess Alexandra Hospital for their round-the-clock care of Peter as well as the paramedics who treated him yesterday,” they said in a statement.

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17 Dec

Woman crawled for 10 hours to safety after King Island fall

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Melissa Bee has been treated at multiple hospitals since breaking both her legs on King Island. Picture: Supplied

A woman who crawled to safety after breaking both her legs on King Island has been praised for her “Herculean effort”.

Melissa Bee, who moved to King Island in June, said she had been walking near Grassy Dam when shefell down an eight metre slope and broke her legslast month.

Ms Bee said it took her more than 10 hours to crawl more than fivekilometres and phone for help.

She said locals had advised herthe journeywould besafe, however, once she embarked she encountered rough terrain.

“It was an extremely steep slope that just ended with about a six foot drop from the end of the slope to rock below…there was no way I could get down safely, I was trapped,” Ms Bee said.

“I was unable to reverse back up but tried to make my way off to the left, which proved disastrous.

“I grabbed a tree sapling on my right, which came out of the ground completely, sending me hurling downwards and my leg snapped in sixplaces at that point.

“As I tried to stop falling further I was not able to and helplessly slithered downwards while my left leg did the same.”

Woman crawled 10 hours to safety Supplied image: Ms Bee

Melissa Bee has been treated at multiple hospitals since breaking both her legs on King Island. Picture: Supplied

TweetFacebookMs Bee said she yelled for help as shecrawledto a pumping station where she turned on a tap in a bid to raise an alarm.

After failing to draw attention she embarked on a trek towards the Grassy port area more than two kilometres away.

“I headed off dragging myself…the best method was on hands and knees,” Ms Bee said.

“I’d count to seven or 10 or 20 before collapsing or passing out in pain.

“I was wet and cold and it eventually got dark but I kept crawling.”

Ms Bee said after walking on her hands and kneesfor about 10 hours she foundan unlocked car,pulled herself inthen found a phone which she used to dial ‘000’.

She was later taken to King Island hospital, then flown to North West Regional Hospital for further care.

After undergoing multiple surgeries in Burnie, Ms Bee was transported to Smithton District Hospital, where she expects to remain for weeks.

Tasmania Police Sergeant Steve Shawpraised Ms Bee for herbravery and endurance.

“[Ms Bee] was particularly brave and focused on her survival which was a Herculean effort,” Sergeant Shaw said.

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17 Dec

Claremont serial murders accused arraigned

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The man accused of the Claremont serial killings has been formally arraigned ahead of a lengthy trial next year, reiterating his intention to fight the allegations as the fathers of two victims watched on.

Bradley Robert Edwards pleaded not guilty in Stirling Gardens Magistrates Court in July to all charges against him including the murders of 23-year-old Jane Rimmer, 27-year-old Ciara Glennon and Sarah Spiers, 18, in 1996 and 1997.

All three women were last seen in the Claremont entertainment strip in Perth’s affluent western suburbs after a night out.

The bodies of Ms Rimmer, a childcare worker, and Ms Glennon, a lawyer, were discovered in bushland weeks after they were killed, but the body of Ms Spiers, a secretary, has never been found.

The 49-year-old is also accused of attacking an 18-year-old woman after breaking into her Huntingdale home in 1988, and abducting a 17-year-old girl in Claremont then raping her at Karrakatta Cemetery in 1995, just under a year before Ms Spiers disappeared.

Edwards, who was a Little Athletics coach and reportedly an electrical engineer, was formally arraigned in the Supreme Court on Friday, when he again had the charges read to him and entered not guilty pleas to all eight.

Don Spiers and Denis Glennon have attended Edwards’ previous appearances and again watched on in the public gallery.

At his first Supreme Court appearance earlier this month, prosecutors applied for a trial before a judge sitting without a jury.

That was expected considering the huge amount of media coverage about the case over the past 22 years and will be determined at a hearing on November 1 when the extent of disclosure of sensitive material to the defence team will also be discussed.

It will take up to two months to hear pre-trial applications and Edwards may continue to appear in court via video link from jail, rather than in person, until the trial.

He has been at Hakea prison since he was charged with two of the murders in December 2016.

Edwards was charged with Ms Spiers’ murder in February.

Trial dates, starting May 1, have been set aside but defence lawyer Paul Yovich has indicated that may be too early.

The case, dubbed Operation Macro, has gripped WA for decades and is believed to be ‘s longest-running and most expensive police investigation.

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17 Dec

BUSINESS NEWS: Newcastle startup Decktec shakes up the decking market with its deck spacing assembly product

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Labour of love: Decktec founder and carpenter Peter Hass with company general manager Steve Byrnes. Picture: Simone De PeakTHE Hunter inventor of a new decking system believes it can slash by at least half the time involved in building a deck.

Carpenter Peter Hass came up with the idea for Decktec while he was doing a deck for a client in 2015.

“It was the middle of summer, I was on my knees all day in the sun and fixing every deckingboard to every joist, andI just thought there has to be something,” he says.

He searched online and in stores for an alternative before hitting the drawing board. About 18 months later he had a prototype for Decktec, a finalist in the HIA Hunter Housing awards 2018 for new product innovation.

Decktec isa deck spacing assembly that sits on the joist of a deck and allows a builder to lay boards with precision. Protecting the joists and allowing the timber to move, it has fixed and removable spacers and can be used with all natural timbers.

Mr Hass said a key benefit was that once laid down, boards can be laid from multiple positions rather than just one point as is standard: “If you have to lay a beer garden in one day, there’s never been a way you can work from two ways, but using this you can have 10 tradies on one deck –no other system allows that,” he says.

Decktec is for sale in some independent hardware stores, is exporting to NZ and intends to soon be in Canada, the US and UK.

Not bad considering that when Mr Hass and his mate and Decktec general manager Steve Byrnes travelled to Chinaplas, the largest plastics and rubber fair in Asia, all appeared doomed.

“We werelooking to see if the product could be manufacturedat all because it’s a long skinny piece of plastic for the deck strip, and there are not many of those, andwe weretold it couldn’t be done,” says Mr Byrnes.

Back in , the duo were flat but after “headbutting a lot of doors” and due diligence, they found a Sydney manufacturer.

Decktec canbe used when replacing existing decking boards that are binding, cupping or rotting. Mr Hass says its biggest market will befor tradies, but that it will also appeal to DIYers.

“Once you get it down, you can’t go wrong,” he says.

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17 Dec

Hayne slams greedy banks, weak regulators

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Pure greed is behind the widespread misconduct by ‘s major banks and financial institutions who have ignored the law “because they can”, banking royal commissioner Kenneth Hayne QC says.

The financial services companies appear to believe the law only applies when and if they chose to obey it and weak regulators have let much of the misconduct go unpunished, Mr Hayne’s interim report concludes.

The commissioner was blunt about why misconduct had occurred in the financial services industry.

“Too often, the answer seems to be greed – the pursuit of short-term profit at the expense of basic standards of honesty,” he said.

“How else is charging continuing advice fees to the dead to be explained?”

Banks searched for their “share of the customer’s wallet” and rewarded staff from the executive suite to the front line by reference to profit and sales.

Mr Hayne said the banks have gone to the edge of what is permitted, and too often beyond that limit, in the pursuit of profit.

“And they have gone beyond the limit because they can and because they profit from the misconduct that is described in this report,” he said.

Mr Hayne said risk to reputation was ignored and the discovery of misconduct was “managed” by words of apology and promises to do better.

“But little more was done than utter the apology and make the promise.”

He said programs to compensate customers were eventually set up but usually after protracted negotiation, with profit remaining the informing value.

Mr Hayne was particularly scathing over the $1 billion, industry-wide problem of people being charged fees for financial advice when no service has been delivered, which he labelled dishonest and inexcusable.

“Whether the conduct is said to have been motivated by greed, avarice or the pursuit of profit, it is conduct that ignored the most basic standards of honesty.”

Mr Hayne slammed the regulators ASIC and APRA for failing to mark and enforce the bounds of permissible behaviour, saying the misconduct either went unpunished or the consequences did not meet the seriousness of what occurred.

His interim report released on Friday noted ASIC rarely went to court to seek public denunciation of and punishment for misconduct, while APRA never did.

He said more often than not little happened beyond an apology, a drawn-out remediation program and protracted negotiation with ASIC of a media release, an infringement notice imposing fines immaterial for the big banks or an enforceable undertaking where the penalty was far less than a court could impose.

Mr Hayne criticised ASIC for adopting a starting point of resolving misconduct issues via agreement and for its reluctance to prosecute companies for the criminal offence of failing to report breaches on time.

“Too often, entities have been treated in ways that would allow them to think that they, not ASIC, not the parliament, not the courts, will decide when and how the law will be obeyed or the consequences of breach remedied.”

n Banking Association CEO Anna Bligh said it was a day of shame for ‘s banks.

“There is nothing in this report for banks to feel proud of,” she said.

“Too many customers have been hurt and it has to stop.”

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has demanded the banks and regulators fix an insidious culture of “greed over honesty” outlined in the report.

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17 Dec

Newcastle travel plan models population growth and all modes of movement to build a transport fix

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A NEW 40-year transport plan for Greater Newcastle has been released by the NSW government,promising a range of public transport, road and rail improvements.

The 158-page Greater Newcastle Future Transport Plan 2056 follows a 61-page draft document made public in November last year in tandem with a draft of the Greater Newcastle Metropolitan Plan 2036, which was finalised and launched earlier this month.

The report is heavily skewed towards wanting people to use more public transport, notingthat more than 80 per cent of trips in Greater Newcastle are by private vehicle, with public transport accounting for just 3.2 per cent of travel during the week, and 1 per cent at weekends.

In a section that will provoke further debate in Newcastle, it continues with a strategy of making parking more difficult and expensive as a way of driving public transport use.

In a statement accompanying its release, a Transport for NSW (TfNSW) spokesperson said the Newcastle plan was one of a series of regional transport plans that sit under a statewide Future Transport 2056 framework.

“The vision for the Greater Newcastle Future Transport plan is for the region’s residents, businesses and visitors to have access to a world class transport system that meets everyone’s needs,” a TfNSW spokesperson said.

“We want to provide customers with more choice around how and when they travel, with turn-up-and-go services on high demand routes, on-demandsolutions for more geographically isolated regions and better integration with train stations around Greater Newcastle.”

As always, the reality looks somewhat different from the spin, with many of the proposals – extensions to the light rail and Stockton ferry services being prime examples –described as being many years off in the future.

Progress on light rail extension to Broadmeadow and John Hunter

Priority buses are seen as a precursor to any light rail extension while the Stockton ferry expansion –including possible “on-demand” services related to the proposed cruised terminal–are 10 to 20 years off for the “investigation” stage.

ONE DAY MAYBE: A triangular Stockton ferry service or a ferry to Carrington remains off in the future. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

Corridor protection for the Hexham to Fassifern freight rail bypass is in the same category, while electrification of the heavy rail line from Wickham to Maitland –which has been demanded for decades –is more than 20 years away away as one of six“visionary initiatives” in the plan.

Covering the five local government areas of Greater Newcastle –Newcastle, Lake Macquarie, Cessnock, Maitland and Port Stephens –the plan describes the sorts of transport systems and developments the bureaucracy believes will be needed as Greater Newcastle grows in population.

Although it says Greater Newcastle is “growing rapidly” with population expected to rise from 575,000 to 760,000 by 2056, this is anincrease of 0.75 per cent a year –well under the national average of 1.7 per cent and much less than Greater Sydney’s growthof more than 2 per cent a year.

With successful public transport heavily dependent on population density, Greater Newcastle’s relatively slow growth will likely be a factor as future governments look where to spend money on public transport and road and rail infrastructure.

Over the next 40 years, the plan sets a target of more than doubling public transport’s share of travel from 3.2 per cent now to 7.55 per cent in 2056.

ACTIVE TRANSPORT: Bykko hire bikes arrived this year in Newcastle. The plan promotes more cycling and walking on short journeys. Picture: Simon McCarthy

On walking and cycling, it sets a target of 17 per cent, compared with the 2015-16 figure of 7.5 per cent.

In comparisons withWaterloo and Halifax in Canada, Portland in the US, Cardiff in the UK and Malmo in Sweden, the plan says Greater Newcastlehas“relatively low shares of public transport and walking and cycling in comparison to similar cities internationally”.

But it also notes that: “A large proportion of Greater Newcastle is rural, semi-rural or has low population and employment densities. It is often not cost effective to provide frequent scheduled public transport services to these areas due to their distance to centres and lower level of demand.”

The information on how and why people travel in Greater Newcastle comes from the state government’s Household Travel Survey, in which 5000 households are surveyed at random across the Sydney, Hunter and Illawarra regionsevery year, with about 3000 to 3500 participating.

The government describes the survey as “the largest and most comprehensive source of personal travel data” available for the region, and the Greater Newcastle plan usesfive years of information,from 2011 to 2016,as well as journey to work data from the 2011 Censusin its calculations.

As part of its pro-public transport stance, the plan includes a section on parking in “strategic centres” that positions parkingas an influence on public transport.

“Previous parking policies have focused on providing parking to meet the demand in centres,” the plan says.

“However, ease of parking results in traffic congestion, decreases the viability of public transport and detracts from the amenity of places as they focus on vehicle access and not access for people.”

It says “sustainability” rather than demand should drive parking supply, citing a need for parking turnover and a push for the “reallocation of all day parking away from centre that are supported by strong public transport networks”.

The plan proposes using on-street parking for short stay uses only and reducing time limits for on-street parking.

It proposes using a “progressive reduction of relative parking supply or pricing as a travel demand management tool to encourage mode shift to public [transport] and active transport [walking and cycling]”.

Across the board, the plan lists 39 transport “initiatives”, which it breaks into four areas: committed within 10 years, for investigation inside 10 years –and then between 10 and 20 years –and “visionary” projects for 20 years and on.

A rapid bus package –a precursor to more light rail –is in the 0-10 year section, as are further improvements to Nelson Bay Road, faster services on the rail line to Sydney and a series of public-transport-related projects including on-demand services (already being runin Lake Macquarie by Keolis Downer) and various “smart” technologies.

The Stockton Ferry route extensions are in the 10-to-20-year section,along with work to “begin the preservation of a corridor” for a north-south high-speed rail running through the region.

The plan stresses the importance of Newcastle Airport to the region, but any improvements to Tomago Road as an airport link from the Pacific Highway are also in the 2026 to 2036 time scale.

Newcastle Airport

Apart from electrifying the Maitland rail line, other “visionary” initiatives include new suburban rail services, including “additional services on the existing rail lines”, a passenger rail service from Newcastle to Cessnock and better freight connections to western NSW.

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