Monthly Archives: December 2018

Breaking Bread: Philippa Anderson, surfer

Philippa Anderson competing at the 2016 Surfest, taking on her home break at Merewether Beach. Picture: Jonathan CarrollMEREWETHER Beach on a late summer morning is a picture of laid-back perfection. Under a flawless sky, the sea is irresistibly turquoise. On the sand, and along the promenade,sun lovers in swimwear stroll, while the more active are jogging or preparing to paddle out into the swell.
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The last thing on anyone’s mind, it seems, is work. Except for Philippa Anderson. For thebeachis her workplace. Anderson isa professional surfer.

“I feel like I’ve been competing for so long,” Anderson says, as she scansthe waves from our outside table at the Merewether Surfhouse cafe. “Someone asked me this morning what year I won Surfest, and I was like, ‘I think it was …’.”

SWELL LIFE: Philippa Anderson talks about the peaks and troughs of being a professional surfer over brunch at Merewether Surfhouse. Pictures: Max Mason-Hubers

For the record, it was 2009, when a 17-year-old Anderson won Newcastle’s biggest surfing tournament, which attracts competitors from around the world.

As we have brunch, Anderson is mentally preparing for the 2018 Surfest. Just along the beach,infrastructure for the tournament has been erected, and out on the waves, early heats are underway.

Yet it’s not just the pressure of a past victorythat weighs on Philippa Anderson. Merewether Beach is her home break. She lives with her parents,just five minutes away.

“It is hard here being local, because everyone has expectations,” she muses.

No one’s expectations are higher than those of Anderson herself.

She wants to make this her year to finally break through to compete onthe women’s championship tour and be recognised as one of the top 17 female surfers in the world.

INTO BATTLE: Philippa Anderson paddling out at Newcastle Beach in 2017.

THE surf has always had a defining presence in Philippa Anderson’s life. Only the waves rolled onto a different shore when she was a small child.

She was born in South Africa and grew upacross the road from the beach in a community nearPort Elizabeth.

Among her earliest memories are being on the sand with her parents and older brother and sister. From about the age of eight, Philippa was on a board –and falling off it.

“Dad used to say I would get really angry at him for pushing me onto a bad wave and wiping out,” she smiles.“Now I understand it was never Dad’s fault, but I did blame it on him when I was younger.”

Philippa’s life was all surf and sunshine, but not for many in her country. The legacy of apartheid still affectedeveryday life. In the Anderson household, she says, there was no discrimination. The Andersonshad nannies, who wereblack, and “they were part of the family”.Yet the vast gap in opportunitiesin South Africa later struck Anderson.

She recalls her parents hosting a pool party at home for her birthday. Philippa’sentire class from the all-girls’ school she attended were invited. For someof her black friends, this presenteda new experience.

“Four or five of them had never been in a swimming pool before,” Philippa says. “Looking back, that is so crazy, the opportunities that as a white person growing up there we might have had.”

BEACHSIDE BRUNCHING: Philippa Anderson and Scott Bevan.

When she was 12, Philippa’s life was about to change: “My parents [Rod and Debbie] could just see a better future in another country for us. Iremember being at the dinner table, and Mum and Dad were like, ‘We have some news. We are moving to ’.

“And Ihonestly didn’t know where that was on the map. Not that I wasn’t educated at school. I guess I was in that bubble of our awesome lifestyle. I actually went and looked it up, and it was ‘kangaroos’ andwe were fascinated by that.”

Rod Anderson emigrated first, and his family followed about six months later. Philippa already felt sad and dislocated, leaving behind her homeland and friends, and those emotions only intensified duringher first night in . The family was staying in Manly, and, after dinner, Philippa asked for an ice cream. Her father said no, because it was about four timesthe price of an ice cream in South Africa.

“I remember being so sad, ‘Oh my gosh, this is going to be the worst place ever!’,” she says.“For a long time, that was hard for us. We had to leave that behind, because we couldn’t keep comparing to the [South African] rand. It would mess our life up.”

Philippa Anderson at brunch with Scott Bevan, and, in the background, the stretch of coastline that won her over the first time she saw it. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Rod’s sister,her husband and their children lived in Maitland. So the Andersons headed north andlived with their relatives. Theyfrequently travelled to Newcastle, and the kids would surf at the local beaches.

However, the new arrivalshad no ideawhat was onthe other side of The Hill.

“I think one day we just drove over The Hill and we we were coming down this stretch [between Bar Beach and Merewether]and were like, ‘Woah, look at this whole other side of Newcastle!’,” Anderson says.

“Maybe that’s what made us fall in love with Newcastle.”

Herfamilymoved to the coast, and Philippa started to find her feet on the sand at Merewether, joining the surf life saving and boardriders’ clubsand making friends.

“Friends made it feel like that hole was getting a little bit smaller,” she says. “The hole in your heart, from just missing home.”

Just as she had done in South Africa, Philippa oftensurfed with her older brother Craig, who already had a sponsorship deal and would develop intoa well-known surfer.

Yetin her new home, Philippa quickly realised she was hardly the only girl on a surfboard.Back in South Africa, she had to compete in the boys’ under-12 division, but in , Philippanoticed there were enough girls and women surfing to havetheir own contests.

“That’s probably the main thingthat clicked for me,” Philippa says. “‘Oh, there’s a girls’ division. Let’s try this out!’.”

She began tearing down the waves againstother up-and-comers, including the current women’s world champion, Tyler Wright: “Seeing other girls [competing] made me feel like, ‘This is what I want to do’.

Philippa Anderson at the 2016 Surfest. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

That desire was fuelled by sponsorship from Roxy swimwear. As part of “Team Roxy”, the teenagertravelled the globewith a chaperone and a coach. The experience, she says, gave her “a bird’s-eye view of the whole surfing scene, and how you can be a professional surfer and travel the world and do what you love as a job”.

Yet when she was 21, Anderson was dropped by Roxy: “That was a massive lifestyle turnaround.” She began working in a bar,sought new sponsorship, and her resolve hardened: “Every day you’ve got to wake up and tick the boxes.”

And that’s how it has been for Philippa Anderson, training on the waves and in the gym, working part-time jobs, grabbing smaller sponsorship deals, scrimping and saving to travel from one contest to the next around the globe.

Indeed, as soon as this brunch interview is over, Philippa has to dash to a babysitting shift.Soit is not quite the idyllicexistence many imagine.

Surfer Philippa Anderson. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

“That does frustrate me, because a lot of people don’t understand that,” Anderson explains. “There’s a lot of us on tour who don’t have major backing, so a lot of us work. Last year there were three girls on tour who didn’t have major sponsors and they were among the top 17 female surfers in the world.”

Andersonsays women’s prize moneyisnot equal to the men’s, “but it’s a massive improvement on what it used to be”.

More than prize money, Anderson competes for points, hoping to crack into the Top 17:“I’ve been doing the QS [Qualifying Series] for almost eight years now, and I’ve come close four years now to qualifying.

“You look back and think, ‘There’s one heat, if I’d just made that, I would have qualified and reached my goal’.”

At the end of 2016, Andersonalmost quit, after a trying yearin the surf, and out of it. She was heartbroken after splitting with her partner of three years.

“That was a really bad year for me, surf-wise,” she says. “I just couldn’t put it together because of the heartbreak, and everything else just tumbled down. I was really ready to give up [professional surfing] that year.

“We had the last event [the Sydney International Women’s Pro]. I had done so bad all year, so there was no pressure. And I ended up getting second. And that was, I think, maybe a sign to give it another go.”

Philippa Anderson. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

Anderson keeps giving it a go. She has the support of her family, and her Christian faith. She travels with a small Bible and the belief that “God has a plan for everyone”.

But shealso has her own plans for when she eventually retires from competitive surfing. She hopesto study architecture and design.

As Philippa Andersongazes at thewaves rolling towardsMerewether Beach, that day hasn’t come yet.

“Maybe I’llnever reach my goal of qualifying,” Anderson says. “But I guess I look and say, ‘You’ve had an amazing time surfing, and what it’s brought you’.”

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Surfest 2018: Philippa Anderson shakes off disappointment of 2017 finish to fire up for home event

Philippa Anderson, left, with Sally Fitzgibbons, Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes and Tatiana Weston-Webb at a Surfest press call on Monday at Merewether Surf Club. Picture: Paul DanovaroAFTER the disappointment of falling just short again of the championship tour, PhilippaAnderson wasn’t sure if she would be back at Surfest chasing her dream again this year.
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At 26, the Merewether natural-footer has finished 13thor better five times on the World Surf League qualifying series rankings and was within reach of the CT again in 2017.

Watch Surfest live here

Last year, Anderson fell one short of the quarter-finals at the season-ending 6000-point Port Stephens Pro when a chance of making the top six on the QS and securing a place in the dream tour.

“l was just really down, knowing it was just one or two heats,” Anderson said.

“The same again. It’s been like that for ages and I wasn’t too sure what I was going to do this year.

“I was kind of over it. Just over losing, because you put so much effort into it and to see it not pay off, you ask yourself heaps of questions. Like, what am Igoing to do?

“I just sat down with my team, and I was locked into another year of sponsorship with my mainsponsor ION, which was really good.

“And all my minor sponsors said they were going to back me again for another year, so to have that kind of family beside you and obviously just my normal family, my Mum and Dad, they thought to just give it another go.Then I just switched on and started training.

“It’s just that fire from losing and not qualifying for a few years and just trying to turn that into fire in the gym everyday. Waking up everyday and getting closer to your goal.”

Anderson, the 2009 Surfest champion and runner-up in 2015, was disappointed to bow out in round five of the 6000-pointRon Jon Florida Pro and semi-finals of the 1000-point Great Lakes Pro to start this year and was keen to hit back on her home break. She starts in theround of 48, against Brazilian veteran Silvana Lima, at Surfest’s Grandstand Sports Clinic Women’s Pro this week.

“I had a really heavy pre-season in the gym with Adam [Tyrpas], and that’s why I was thinking the first two events were going to go really well,” she said.

“It’s always heart-breaking when you lose, as athletes and even in your personal life when things don’t go your way, it’s hard to cop.

“But I’m just really grateful. My boards are feeling really good and with Surfest,I’m just really happy I’ve got no injuries, I’m healthy and ready for it, soI guess you’ve just got to look at the positives and take it heat by heat.”

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CCTV crucial to road-rage motorway trial

Tamate Heke is accused of the manslaughter of a man he punched into the path of a truck. (file)A man accused of killing a man he punched into the path of a rubbish truck on a busy Brisbane motorway retaliated in self-defence amid a road-rage attack, his trial has heard.
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Factory worker Tamate Heke was driving home from a 12-hour shift when he was tailgated and challenged to pull over on the afternoon of December 1, 2015, the Brisbane Supreme Court was told.

During the manslaughter trial’s opening on Monday, CCTV footage was shown of Heke and Shane Merrigan arguing after stopping their cars near an exit on the Gateway Motorway.

Heke’s defence barrister Joshua Fenton said his client had been pushed twice and punched in the face before striking Mr Merrigan.

That blow caused Mr Merrigan to topple backwards onto the motorway where he was run over by the rear wheels of the rubbish truck.

Heke later told police he tried to catch Mr Merrigan as he fell over after being hit.

When asked why he punched Mr Merrigan, Heke told investigators he wanted him to “back off”, Mr Fenton said.

Crown prosecutor David Meredith, however, argued Heke had never been pushed or hit by Mr Merrigan.

“Shane Merrigan did not even touch him,” he said.

“Shane Merrigan approaches (Heke) but makes no further move towards him, and while he might be speaking he does not strike or even threaten to strike the accused by his physical movements.”

Both sides agreed the CCTV evidence would be critical to the cases they were putting to the jury.

The rubbish truck driver, Clinton Livingstone, said there was no hope of his 13.7 tonne vehicle avoiding Mr Merrigan.

In the witness box, Mr Livingstone said he saw Heke and Mr Merrigan outside their cars near an exit on the motorway and sounded his horn to warn them.

“They seemed a bit agitated and they were quite close to each other,” he said.

“It looked like it was in an aggressive manner.”

While approaching the pair at about 90km/h, he saw Heke punch Mr Merrigan before feeling something under his tyres.

Mr Meredith asked the truck driver if he had any opportunity to avoid the men.

“I don’t think so,” he said. “Not at that speed.”

The trial continues.

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Surfest: Ryan Callinan says knee injury will not hold him back from shot at CT return

Ryan Callinan is returningwith a renewed competitive drive at Surfest and says an ongoing knee problem will not hold him back from his shot at regaining a place on the championship tour.
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ON BOARD: Sally Fitzgibbons and Ryan Callinan on Monday. Picture: Paul Danovaro

Callinan, a CT surfer in 2016, has not competed on the World Surf League qualifying series since the 10,000-point Cascais Proin early October last year.

The 25-year-old is on the road back frompatellar tendonitis, known as “jumper’s knee”, whichis an inflammation or injury of thepatellar tendon.

Well-knownfor his aerial skills and powerhouseturns, Callinan has had to scale back his surfing and work on strengthening the muscles around his left knee.

He returned to winMerewether Surfboard Club’s King of the Rocks event last month and starredin their second place finish at then Boardriders Battle last weekend at Newcastle.Callinan claimed three heats wins in the skins division on Saturday but was rested from some of Sunday’s action because of his injury.

However, Callinan said on Monday that he was ready to go for this week’s Burton Automotive Pro, the first 6000-point event of the men’s QS season, at Merewether.

“I had the end of last year off and didn’t go to Hawaii, just for it to get better and kind of takesome time for myself as well,” said Callinan, whose parents Garry and Janice died in February 2016 and May 2017 respectively.

“It was a bit of a double hitter to miss that and it’s been a while since I put on the rashie, but over the weekend I started to feel really good. It’s still there a little bit but it’s nothing I can’t push through. It’s not holding me back.”

Watch Surfest live here

Asked if he would have to manage the injury for the rest of his career, he said: “I’m not sure at this stage.From all accounts, it should be something I can overcome. It’s just a long, slow process, but it’s definitely manageable around competition and surfing in general.

“It got really bad the middle of last year but it’s been on and off for a few years now, but not enough to hinder me.I was dealing with it all through Europe and when I got home, I was like, ‘I’ve got to take care of this’.”

Working with trainer Adam Trypas, Callinan has seen “really big improvements in four months” since pinpointing the problem.

“To me, it feels like it will clear up,” he said.“When Istarted, I could maybe surf half a normal surf for one day then have a few days off.Now I can surf a few days and have a few days off, just depending on how hard I push it.”

Although a setback, the injury gave the popular goofy-footer a welcomed break from tour surfing.

“I had a bit of a lapse, for kind of a year and a half probably,” he said of his motivation to compete.“It just didn’t mean as much to me as it did when I first started.But in the time I had off, it really helped me to regain the drive. And putting the rashie back on over the weekend, and a fewweeks ago, I really felt something I haven’t in a long time. I’m just really excited for this year.”

Callinan, a wildcard entry, starts in the round of 96 at Surfest, possibly on Tuesday.

He took confidence from his performances so far this year.

“I haven’t really had the chance to test it too much. I had a boardriders comp here a few weeks ago but that was on twin fins,” he said.

“On Saturday, I had a few skins heats and that’s the first time I’ve really tested it.

“There wasn’t really the opportunity for anyairs but I felt like I waspushing pretty hard on the waves I gotand it was feeling really good.

“It was good signs for me heading into this event.”

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Zenda Casey reminds us what it’s like to be left behind

WE are tough on politicians in .
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We should have high expectations, of course. People are elected to represent us, to govern us, to make laws in the public interest and to provide leadership on big issues.

They are remunerated well, at most levels. A federal backbencher pulls in about $200,000 in 2018, with plenty of additional benefits and allowances.

At state level the pay is not much less, and the benefits as accommodating.

But in recent months we have seen displays of real emotion from politicians at state and federal level. The citizenship debacle has forced politicians to reveal things in their lives that many would no doubt prefer to have remained hidden. The same sex marriage debates revealed the pain many politicians have suffered for years because their sexuality had to be kept hidden.

Many politicians have spoken eloquently in state and federal parliaments about the deaths of loved ones. In other words, despite the facades they adopt to give the impression that power sits gently on their shoulders, politicians are human too, with all the emotional freight that goes with that.

In recent weeks we have watched as the messy personal life of Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce has been exposed. For months Mr Joyce blocked media attempts to clarify the circumstances of his marriage breakdown, and rumours of a relationship with a younger staffer. Then there were rumours of a baby.

When the story broke, with a photograph of a very pregnant Vicki Campion, it was Mr Joyce’s former wife Natalie who reminded us of the family left behind, and the woman who put her life on hold to be the parent who stayed at home.

On Sunday Upper Hunter MP Michael Johnsen’s former wife Zenda spoke for the first time about the devastation of her marriage of 30 years ending, only months after supporting her husband to fill George Souris’s place in NSW Parliament.

No doubt many will say it’s a private matter, but we must be careful not to use that as an excuse to not explore bigger issues.

Zenda Casey, as she is now known, has held the way we do politics –with politicians required to be away from home for extended periods, and available in a world of 24-hour news –responsible for taking over their lives.

Only a woman who is paying the pricefor that political culture can tell us that.

Issue: 38,728.

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Students plan protest march after shooting

Students have mobilised across the US to organise rallies and a walkout for stronger gun laws.Stunned by the deadliest high school shooting in US history, students have mobilised across the country to organise rallies and a national walkout in support of stronger gun laws, challenging politicians they say have failed to protect them.
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Students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where a former student is accused of murdering 17 people on Wednesday using an assault-style rifle, joined others on social media to plan the events, including a Washington march.

“I felt like it was our time to take a stand,” said Lane Murdock, 15, of Connecticut. “We’re the ones in these schools, we’re the ones who are having shooters come into our classrooms and our spaces.”

Murdock, who lives 32 km from Sandy Hook Elementary School where 20 children and six adults were shot to death five years ago, drew more than 50,000 signatures on an online petition on Sunday calling on students to walk out of their high schools on April 20.

Instead of going to classes, she urged her fellow students to stage protests on the 19th anniversary of an earlier mass shooting at Columbine High School in Colorado.

Students from the Florida high school are planning a March for Our Lives in Washington on March 24 to call attention to school safety and ask lawmakers to enact gun control.

They also plan to rally for gun control, mental health issues and school safety on Wednesday in Tallahassee, the state capital.

Students from the Florida school have lashed out at political leaders, including President Donald Trump, for inaction on the issue. Many criticised Trump for insensitivity after he said in a weekend Twitter post that the FBI may have been too distracted with a Russia probe to follow leads that could have prevented the massacre.

“You can’t blame the bureaucracy for this when it’s you, Mr. President, who’s overall responsible,” David Hogg, an 18-year-old Douglas senior, said in a phone interview.

‘The White House said Trump planned to host “a listening session” with high school students and teachers on Wednesday, but did not specify which students or school would be involved.

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Working it with styleTrending

By now the summer holidays are a faint memory and most of the workforce are looking forward to a productive year ahead.
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There are plenty of stylish accessories that can help pull your look together, and day-to-day essentials, whether you work in an office or from home.

Then there’s the all-important work attire. From choosing what to wear to the office, to personalising an otherwise basic outfit,here’s some inspiration for how to kickoff the working week instyle.

Cotton linen flared short sleeve dress, $79.90. This frock has a simple yet flattering shape that could be accessorised according to your workplace and its dress code. uniqlo苏州夜总会招聘/au

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Midnight Madrid tote, $649.95. A gorgeous leather handbag that can move seamlessly from the office to after work dinner and drinks. zurii苏州夜总会招聘.au

Keepcup, $32. From the makers of the original Keepcup comes the limited edition Cork Brew, with a cork band sourced and made from both sustainable cork forests in Portugal and upcycled cork waste from the wine industry. upcyclestudio苏州夜总会招聘.au

Colour Crush matte lipstick, $21. A swipe of lipstick can really complete your work ensemble and help you feel polished. thebodyshop苏州夜总会招聘.au

Elie Beaumont large watch, $99. It all of a sudden seems rather old school to check your wrist for the time, but when the watch looks this gorgeous, why wouldn’t you? watchfactory苏州夜总会招聘.au

Native Moisturiser, $55. Offices can be incredibly dehydrating environments. This silky cream formula includes hyaluronic acid to ensure your skin is hydrated and plumped, while rosehip oil soothes and nourishes sensitive or dehydrated skin. luxallurebeauty苏州夜总会招聘.au

Gatsby jacket, $969. If you’re a self-confessed clothes horse, there are plenty of ways your can dress for the office and still make a bold fashion statement. carlazampatti苏州夜总会招聘.au

Silk art scarf, $185. Designed by n artist Phillip Ayers, this beautiful unisex wool/silk blend scarf is an easy way to make an otherwise drab work outfit pop. silk-art-scarves苏州夜总会招聘

Filofax classic A4 organiser in textured leather, $329.95. Remember writing your appointments down on paper? Invest in a stunning organiser and your electronic organiser will suddenly seem rather dull. filofax苏州夜总会招聘.au

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Jackson belt, $49. Accessories are the easiest way to jazz up your workwear and also allow you to wear basics, but with your personal style. buckle1922苏州夜总会招聘.au

Rustic black boots, $209. Usually synonymous with work on the land, these days Blunnies are smart enough to be worn in many workplaces. blundstone苏州夜总会招聘.au

Cheswick table lamp, $169. Work from home? Wearing your trackies? At least your home office can look the part. beaconlighting苏州夜总会招聘.au

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Aussie surfers invent rubbish bin for sea

Two n surfers have invented a bin to vacuum up rubbish from the ocean.Two Aussie surfers have invented a rubbish bin for the sea and after finding success in Europe, will bring the you-beaut creation Down Under.
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The Seabin is a simple idea, similar to a rubbish bin in appearance, but fitted with a pump to draw in nearby floating trash.

The concept started when Pete Ceglinski and Andrew Turton, both keen surfers, grew tired of spotting rubbish in the waves.

“Andrew was sick of being out there surrounded by plastic and pollution,” Mr Ceglinski told AAP.

“He thought ‘we have rubbish bins on land, why can’t we have them in the water?'”

Sitting on the water surface, each bin has the potential to vacuum up more than 1.5 tonnes of rubbish and debris from harbours, marinas and ports each year.

It can catch everything from plastic bottles and paper to oils, fuel and micro-plastics less than 5mm in size.

Already the invention has proved popular in 11 countries and the start-up business has attracted interest from scores more, with orders for some 2500 in place.

In Europe, trials of the bin found cigarette butts were the item most commonly collected.

When the invention hits n waterways in March, the results might be different.

“There’s not as many smokers in ,” Mr Ceglinski noted.

The Seabin team is searching for a location in for a global head office and plan to develop all new technologies and prototypes on home soil.

They’ve already received an order for 10 Seabins from the City of Melbourne as well as interest from councils in Sydney, Queensland and Western .

“Our dream is to one day live in a world where Seabins aren’t necessary – it sounds a bit contradictory as we are a business, but we’ll just find something else to do,” Mr Ceglinski said.

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Huge crowd demands review of Newcastle and Lake Macquarie’s new bus timetable

Rage: There was a huge turnout of angry public transport users at a meeting calling for a review of Newcastle and Lake Macquarie’s new bus timetable on Monday night. Hundreds of furiouspublic transport users gave full voice to their resounding message to the NSW government ata public meeting on Monday night.
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They want transport minister Andrew Constance toconduct a thorough, transparent, consultative review of Newcastle and Lake Macquarie’s new bus timetable.

The auditorium at Belmont 16s was packed to capacity for the meeting, hosted by the Hunter’s state Labor MPs, with the vocal crowd spilling out the front door of the club–someleft because they couldn’t get in.

Read more:School kids missed by bus again

It came after weeks of anger from public transport users, who said the new timetable introduced in January by private operator Keolis Downer hadimpacted their ability to get around.

The meeting heard fromseveral community members who told of how the new timetable had affected them.

Kimberley Anderson, a mother on maternity leave with a new baby,said she had usedpublic transport for two decades and her father was a bus driver for 25 years.

Ms Anderson told the meeting of a recent bad experience she had with the new on-demand bus service.

The meeting at Belmont 16s on Monday night.

“I needed to be in Charlestown on a Wednesday for a 10am appointment,” she said.

Read more:New bus timetable faces first test

“I booked this service on the Sunday before, to make sure I gave them plenty of notice. I was to be picked up between 9amand 9.30am. I do not live in the on-demand service area. I had to take my son and walk 20 minutes to get into the area.

“On the Wednesday, it was raining, and I arrived at the area by 9am to be sure I was there for the bus. At 9.02am I received a text message stating that my service had been cancelled.So I was waiting in the rain with my three-month-old son for a bus that wasn’t going to show.After numerous calls…a bus finally arrived at 9.45am.”

NSW Labor leader Luke Foley told the meetinghe believed the situation in Newcastle was akin to a public transport service in a“third world country”.

Mr Foley said the government should undertake a public and“damn urgent review”.

He invited parliamentary secretary for the Hunter Scot MacDonald to speak.

Angry public transport users.

Mr MacDonald accepted, but could hardly get a word in over the top of shouting and booing from the crowd and a chant of“fix our buses”.

He said he wanted to invite a Transport for NSW spokesperson to speak and answer questions at the meeting, but had not been allowed.

TheHeraldunderstands Keolis Downer was prepared to send a representative if the company had been invited to be part of the meeting but it received no invitation.

Newcastle MP Tim Crakanthorp said arally would be held at Gregson Park in Hamiltonon March 18.

Related content:

Live blog: Hunter bus timetable public meetingKeolis Downer releases new timetableDrivers cop abuse as tensions boil overProtest against bus timetable announced

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Shooters, Fishers and Farmers fire a shot ahead of possible Lyne byelection

NSW Shooters, Fishers and Farmers MLC Robert Borsak and (inset) Lyne MP Dr David Gillespie. The Shooters, Fishers and Farmers have confirmed they’ll likely field a candidate if aHigh Court challenge involving Lyne MP Dr David Gillespie pitches the electorateinto a sudden byelection.
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Dr Gillespie’s placein parliament remains under a cloud as the High Court deliberates over whether to proceed with a challenge relatedto his ownership of a post office in Port Macquarie.

Fairfax Media revealed last year that Dr Gillespie owns a strip of shops in the coastal city, with one being leased to a franchisee of Post – a government-owned corporation.

Laborbelieves the Post outlet could be anindirect financial interest in the Commonwealth – grounds for disqualification from parliament.

Dr Gillespie updated his register of members’ interests on February 15 confirming he had sold the property in question, which means he can run if a byelection is triggered.

Related content:

David Gillespie offloads post office amid constitutional challengeLyne MP Dr David Gillespie sold post office to a Sydney investorUpon hearing the news, NSW Shooters, Fishers and Farmers MLC Robert Borsak fired a shot at the Nationals, while confirming they’d likely contest thebyelection if a “suitable candidate” was found.

“If these reports of the Federal Member for Lyne being ineligible to remain in the House of Representatives are correct, then it is just another example of the arrogance we keep seeing in the National Party,” Mr Borsak said.

“Just like at the State level, federally the Nationals have forgotten the rural people they’re supposed to represent. They seem to think they can do whatever they want and that the rules don’t apply to them.

“Instead, they’re just caring about themselves and doing whatever the city Liberals tell them to do.”

Any party looking to contest a byelection has a mountain to climb, with the Nationals sweeping to a comfortable victory in 2016.

During that election, Dr Gillespie polled 49.6 per cent of the first preference vote. The next nearest was Labor’s Peter Alley –the same man who referred Dr Gillespie to the High Court –with 26.6 per cent of the vote.

The SFF Party’s Robert Borsak.

The Shooters, Fishers and Farmers didn’t run a candidate in 2016.

Following a boundary redistribution in 2016, the electorate of Lyne now stretches from south of Port Macquarie downto Lorn, which includes the Maitland suburbs ofLargs, Bolwarra and Lorn.

Dr Gillespie declined to comment when contacted by Fairfax Media.

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