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Rainbow Trout with Black Garlic, Roasted Sweet Potato, Yoghurt, Salsa Verde, QuinoaRECIPE

THE DISHRainbow Trout with Black Garlic, Roasted Sweet Potato, Yoghurt, Salsa Verde, Quinoa
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TASTY: A diverse mix of flavours. Picture: Nicole Butler Photography

CHEF’S INSPIRATIONThis dish is relatively simple with some unique flavour pairings. Hopefully it will encourage people to add some new ingredients to their pantry.

CHEF’S TIPSUse Fawk Foods black garlic paste and continue to use and play with it in other dishes. Add some to the family’s bolognaise or serve with BBQ’d meat and Hunter Valley shiraz.

Troy Rhoades-Brown and Mitchell Beswick. Picture: Nicole Butler Photography

INGREDIENTS1 whole rainbow trout (ask you local fish supplier to fillet and de-bone)

50g Fawk Foods black garlic puree

5g Murray river pink salt

2 large sweet potatoes

250g yoghurt, hung for 5 hours prior in a cheese cloth lined sieve with 1 teaspoon of table salt

80g mixed quinoa

Salsa verde

½ bunch parsley

½ bunch mint

½ bunch coriander

2 eschallots, peeled and sliced

2 cloves garlic, sliced

2 lemons, zested and juiced

150ml olive oil

30g baby capers

40g anchovies

20g anchovy oil

10g Murray river pink salt

10g dried lemon myrtle

METHODSalsa verde

1. Blitz all salsa verde ingredients in a blender until smooth and set aside trout.Pre-heat oven to 170⁰C.

2.Rub the inside of each rainbow trout fillet with black garlic and pink salt, press together and wrap in baking paper and then in foil and set aside. Cook the quinoa in boiling water for approx. 12 minutes, or until the grains are soft.

3.Wash sweet potatoes, bake in pre-heated oven for 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until soft, turning every 20 minutes. Place wrapped rainbow trout in oven and turn up temperature to 200⁰C. Bake for 15 minutes.

TO FINISHPlace yoghurt on platter and push a well into the middle. Add a spoonful of salsa verde into the well. Unwrap and crush the sweet potato and place onto the yoghurt. Cover the sweet potato with the quinoa. Make an opening in the wrapping of the trout and serve directly from the parcel. Serve the remaining salsa verde on the side.

THE RESTAURANTMuse Restaurant is located at the Hungerford Hill winery in Pokolbin, NSW. The restaurant is family owned and run by Megan and Troy Rhoades-Brown.The Muse recipe series was created by Rhoades-Brown and head chef Mitchell Beswick.



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Teenage driver find, banned after Snapchat crash

150kmh drink-driving Snapchatting P-plater in court Crash: The overturned car
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TweetFacebook​A DRINK driving P-plater who crashedat 150km/hwhile taking a Snapchat videohas been banned from driving for 16 months and fined $2000.

​Tahlyshia Potts, 19, of Dennington Rise, Dennington, pleaded guilty in the Warrnambool Magistrates Court to drink driving and driving in a dangerous manner.

Magistrate Cynthia Toose asked why on earth would someone who had been drinking try and take a Snapchat video while driving at 150km/h around a bend.

She questioned why anyone would film themselves while travelling at such an “outrageous speed”.

“You are so lucky to be here and not seriously hurt or even killed,” she said.

“You made a very very poor decision. It could have had far reaching consequences. You could be here on a culpable driving charge and facing serving many years of imprisonment.

“You are just very lucky. You are a young person with no prior court appearances and I’m very confident you have learnt your lesson.”

Police said that at 9.40pm on August 21 Potts was driving on the Warrnambool-Caramut Road in a new Mazda​work car near Winslow.

She was holding her mobile phone and taking a Snapchat video while driving at 150km/h but failed to negotiate a bend and lost ccontrol.

​Pottscrashed through a road sign, into trees and collided with a power pole.

The road was wet and the car flipped onto its side.

Potts was u​ninjured but the new car was an insurance write-off.

She later recorded an alcohol reading of .164.

Defence counsel Alex McCulloch said his client had a good​family ​background andstill​had her job.

He said Potts had been drinking on the night, failed to get a ride home and made a “bad” and “foolish mistake” of deciding to drivehome​.

The solicitor said his client had met with nearby residents who assisted at the time of the crash who couldn’t believe she had walked away from the accident with​ou​t a scratch.

Potts has also been approached by police officers to attend schools and talk about her experience.

The magistrate encouraged Potts to become involved in talking about her accident and the serious ramifications it had​and could have had ​on her life.

The Standard, Warrnambool



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Sylvania bakery fined $122k after Salmonella hits 200 customers

Kiama Down’s Kane and Ashley Buchanan, pictured after Ashley’s emergency caesarean after contracting food poisoning from a Sylvania bakery. Picture: Kirk GilmourA bakery in Sydney’s south behind a Salmonella outbreak that affected more than 200 people last year has been hit with a $122,000 fine.
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The owners of the Box Village Bakery in Sylvania, Thi Thu Ngo and Hung Son Le were each fined $61,000 after pleading guilty to five breaches of selling unsafe food and five breaches of failing to meet food safety standards. They were also ordered to pay $7,199 in professional costs.

All up, there were 203 documented cases of people who presented to hospitals or doctors with gastroenteritis symptoms after eating food linked to the bakery, including chicken rolls and salads in January 2016.

One woman was forced to undergo an emergency caesarean and deliver her baby five weeks early when she became violently ill after eating a hot chicken roll with gravy from the bakery.

Ashley Buchanan gave birth to her daughter Ava at Wollongong Hospital, and was admitted to intensive care after her caesarean surgery.

“It was all quite frightening, because my blood pressure went right down; they had to rush me to ICU straight after the delivery,” Ms Buchanan said at the time.

“My husband was actually in hospital at the time, but because he was sick he wasn’t allowed to come into the theatre with me to see the birth, so it was all very stressful and frightening.”

A number of children also fell ill: Engadine building contractor Damian Sullivan said his 11-year-old son Cooper was hospitalised after eating a chicken salad roll.

“Cooper started feeling sick on Sunday night and when we took him to the GP on Monday he said, ‘take him straight to hospital’,” Mr Sullivan said at the time.

The business was forced to close while the NSW Food Authority investigated the outbreak, and was only permitted to reopen after the owners thoroughly cleaned the premises and completed extensive work to make sure it was fully compliant with food safety laws.

The Food Authority also tested the skills and knowledge of staff and management to improve their food safety knowledge, and inspected the bakery a number of times after its reopening.

The bakery has since changed hands: the bakery told the St George and Sutherland Shire Leader new owners had taken over five months ago and changed its name to Sun Valley Bakehouse.

NSW Food Authority chief executive Dr Lisa Szabo said the fines were a reminder that proper food safety is crucial.

“Consumers have the right to have confidence and certainty that the food they purchase and consume is safe to eat and won’t harm the health of them or their family,” Dr Szabo said.

However on Facebook, people who had been affected by the Salmonella outbreak were saying the fine was not enough.

“I lost a 15k job cause I was bed ridden for eight days. As far as I’m concerned the business should be closed down,” said plumber Matthew Cherry.

“I’m sure if I did something that resulted in 203 people showing up to hospital I would be no longer trading”.

Others said they had never been so sick, and the money from the fines should be distributed to people who had fallen ill.



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Rugby China announces new women’s competition

???Rugby has unveiled a new national women’s XVs competition, called Super W, to begin in 2018.
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The new women’s competition will see five teams – NSW, Victoria, Queensland, ACT and Western – play each other over six weeks from the beginning of March and concluding with a final in April.

Rugby Union becomes the last of ‘s major football codes to launch a women’s competition. The inaugural AFLW season was held earlier this year and a new NRL women’s competition was announced last week, with the W-League, which began in 2008, already established in the national landscape.

“For a young girl picking up a rugby ball for the first time next season, she will now have a clear and accessible pathway to represent her country through the Wallaroos and n Women’s Sevens team,” outgoing Rugby CEO Bill Pulver said.

“The Super W will allow our Women’s XVs players the opportunity to play in a high-quality competition, fully entrenched within the professional programs at each state giving them access to elite coaching and high performance facilities. This will make the Wallaroos a significantly stronger outfit moving forward.”

“The n Rugby community has been incredibly proud of the growth of the women’s game in recent times and I know that this crucial competition is going to supercharge this growth in future years.”

women’s sevens co-captain and Wallaroos captain Shannon Parry is excited about what the competition means for the future of women’s rugby in .

“I am really proud and excited about this competition launching next year and what this means for the game in ,” she said.

“Since I started playing rugby in Brisbane the game has come along in leaps and bounds and this competition means that there is opportunity now for all XVs players and sevens players at the elite level.

“It’s going to be great to see women’s state teams slug it out against each other and will open a lot of girls’ eyes up to the opportunities for them in rugby.”

Pulver also announced that Rugby will bid to host the 2021 women’s rugby World Cup.

“Bidding for the women’s rugby World Cup I hope signifies to the community how serious we are about making rugby a game for all and growing female participation. If we are successful with our bid, it will have an immediate and significant impact on women’s rugby,” he said.

“I have played in three Women’s Rugby World Cups and I know that we would be amazing hosts for the tournament,” Parry said.

“ns love putting on a sporting show when we host major tournaments and events and it would be huge to bring the pinnacle of Women’s XVs Rugby to our shores.”



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Blue Mountains council facing suspension over alleged asbestos breaches

The Blue Mountains council is facing suspension by the NSW government over alleged serious asbestos breaches, after the substance was discovered at a number of council-owned sites including two pre-schools and a library.
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Local government minister Gabrielle Upton issued the council with a formal notice of “intention to suspend” on Wednesday in relation to its asbestos management practices.

The council must respond to the allegations within seven days, or it will be suspended for three months and a temporary administrator appointed. Councillors will remain in place during the seven-day response period.

“I am concerned the council is not functioning effectively following the volume and scope of recent regulatory notices issued by SafeWork NSW and the Environment Protection Authority,” Ms Upton said.

The minister’s intervention follows the launch of an investigation by SafeWork NSW on Monday, after inspectors discovered asbestos at a number of council properties.

The properties included a pre-school building at Wentworth Falls, a pre-school in Katoomba where asbestos was discovered in leaf litter in the backyard, and the Lawson Library ceiling.

Asbestos was also discovered in large waste piles at the council depots at Lawson and Katoomba, buildings at Springwood council depot, the ceilings and walls at Warrimoo Citizens’ Hall, and the fireplace at Heatherbrae Cottage at Lawson.

Following these discoveries, minister for better regulation Matt Kean announced on Monday he had directed SafeWork NSW to investigate asbestos management practices at the council.

“This is a very significant step but it’s absolutely warranted as the number of asbestos discoveries in the mountains, and council’s poor asbestos management, are alarming,” Mr Kean said on Monday.

He said SafeWork was inspecting around 20 locations nominated as potential asbestos hot spots.

Blue Mountains mayor Mark Greenhill, a Labor councillor, hit back at the government’s move to suspend the council, saying the decision was “politically motivated.”

“[The government is] setting aside a democratically elected council before their own inquiry has even got underway,” Cr Greenhill said.

Cr Greenhill said he first became aware of the council’s asbestos issues in May and elevated them to the full council.

Since then, he said the council had been working “hand in glove with SafeWork NSW” and had “complied with every request, announced our own investigations, and opened every part of the organisation to scrutiny”.

“I am confident that there is nothing more that the council can do, over and above what it is already doing, to deal with the asbestos management issues.”

He said the council would respond to minister Upton’s notice within the seven-day deadline.

Greens councillor Kerry Brown said she had attempted to raise the issue at recent council meetings after becoming aware there was a “systemic problem” in October.

She said members of the community had begun approaching her with concerns that their family members had been exposed to asbestos.

“The focus should not be on protecting the council or protecting ourselves. It’s about protecting workers and the community,” she said.

She said she believed the councillors had “not knowingly participated in negligence and had assumed that safety systems were in place and they weren’t”, but added that “we weren’t asking hard questions”.

“We have not, as a governing body, been across the issue anywhere near as well as we should have been.”

However, she claimed a “culture of secrecy” within the organisation had made it difficult for councillors to get information.

“It’s almost rude to be asking questions. As a councillor, I have struggled to get information,” she said.

Wentworth Falls Pre-School has been closed by SafeWork until it’s safe for children to return. At other sites, SafeWork has ordered council to take immediate measures including exclusion zones to ensure safety.



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Tone of Sydney’s Chinese media shifts amid Bennelong furore

Growing tension between the Chinese and n governments over allegations of undue political influence has filtered into coverage of the Bennelong byelection in Chinese-n media, potentially hurting the Liberal Party’s chances in Saturday’s knife-edge poll.
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As attacks by the Coalition on Sam Dastyari over his association with Chinese government-linked donors ramped up over the past few days, the People’s Daily, a major Chinese state-controlled outlet, took a hard line against the n government, publishing an opinion piece on Monday decrying the debate as racist and urging the government and media to “discard their political biases and prejudices.”

After that piece was published, the tone of coverage of the byelection rapidly began to change in n-based Chinese media. That coverage may prove crucial in the election on Saturday, as Bennelong has the highest percentage of Chinese-ns of any seat in the country.

Hours after the People’s Daily piece ran, Sydney Today, one of Sydney’s largest online Chinese media outlets, described Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull as “standing at the front line of anti-Chinese sentiment”.

An online poll of the Chinese community seen on Monday by Fairfax Media indicates Labor’s candidate, former NSW premier Kristina Keneally, holds a large lead over the Liberals’ John Alexander, drawing 66 percent of the votes.

The ongoing poll is being circulated on the popular Chinese social media app WeChat by Sing Tao Daily, the largest Chinese newspaper in Sydney, and ends on Thursday.

Also on Tuesday, the ACTU ran an advertisement in Sydney Today – a large online Chinese media outlet – calling on constituents to “stop the unfair citizenship test, and criticising a proposal to require prospective citizens to have resided in for four years instead of one year. The advertisement, authorised by ACTU secretary Sally McManus, also struck out at perceived closeness between the Liberal Party and One Nation, claiming “their political positions are extremely similar”.

The government had tried to toughen citizenship requirements, adding a more difficult English test, but the legislation was blocked in the Senate.

On Monday, Ms Keneally said Chinese and Korean ns she had spoken with were becoming alarmed by the Liberal Party rhetoric.

“They see it as China-phobia,” she said. “They see it as scaremongering. They see the suggestion from the Prime Minister that people from Chinese or Asian backgrounds are somehow suspicious and they don’t like it.”

Though Ms Keneally has been seen to be running behind Mr Alexander, a poll published by News Corp on Tuesday suggested that the race had closed to a dead heat.



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The secret to ageing, is in fact socialising

This article is sponsored by Aveo.
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HUMANS are by nature social creatures.

Our brains are wired for social interaction so we unconsciously yearn connection.

So as we age and retirement nears the thought of being alone, of losing one’s purpose and life generally slowing down hangs heavy in our minds.

Admittedly life takes a new direction but retirement doesn’t have to be dull.

It’s an open invitation to find meaningful things to do, challenge yourself, make new friends in your community and fill your calendar with exciting activities to look forward to.

In fact, recent neuroscience studies reveal the increasing value of social interaction, mental stimulation and physical activity as a preventative measure for cognitive decline and dementia.

This is otherwise known as ‘environmental enrichment’ according to globally recognised neuroscientist Professor Michael Nilsson, Director of the Hunter Medical Research Institute and a University of Newcastle researcher.

“It’s fascinating to see how strong the effects of environmental stimulation can be,” Professor Nilsson said.

Professor Nilsson has played a significant role in a number of initiatives involving architects, neuroscientists, designers and psychologists who are working together to further understand the aspects of environmental stimulation and how to bring them to reality.

These studies observed various social contexts and environmental aspects of multi-sensory stimulation, such as light settings, geometry, colours, textures and landscape. Conversely, if you’re alone, inactive and living in an unstimulating environment it can set you on a negative path.

Professor Michael NilssonStress accelerates the ageing processProfessor Nilsson explains the concept of environmental stimulation as a myriad of factors that collectively stimulate the brain and in turn can reduce our stress levels.

“Stress is regarded as an important contributor to cognitive decline,” Professor Nilsson said.

“One goal for everyone is to manage stress levels each day and work actively to do that.”

Professor Nilsson believes the focus should be on prevention through being physically active on a regular basis.

“I’m not talking about going out and running marathons, just a brisk walk when you get your pulse up three times a week,” he said.

“This can be anything like working in the garden, walking or playing sport.”

He recommends walking in green environments like parks or forests where you have strong visual stimulation, as past studies have shown that modern built-up environments can be partly responsible for stress and cognitive impact.

“There’s research that if you just pass by such monotonous environments you can become stressed, your blood pressure goes up and the heart rate increases.”

He said the opposite happens if you walk in green landscapes or around interesting buildings that encourages stimulation and helps you ease stress.

“Design, architecture and public urban environments don’t necessarily have to be expensive to orchestrate,” he said.

“Other studies show it may be initially more expensive but it’s paid off multiple times when you follow the consequences of these interventions.”

Professor Nilsson’s involvement in various research programs have shown promising results for cognitive stimulation and neural repair through the use of therapeutic gardens, stimulating architecture, social interactions and intense physical activity, but more research is required to further validate the findings.

He said they will take the results further by bringing the ideas into prevention with a goal of stimulating health resilience, particularly for the elderly.

“We believe the same principles should be implemented into aged care facilities, residential spaces and home settings.”

Everything can be organised like this in a retirement village to facilitate the holistic approach to your living in your older days.

Professor Nilsson said a lack of daily stimulation and social interaction can lead to depression, lethargy, and also trigger other psychiatric conditions.

Natural interventions the answer to our contentmentAs we age our priorities and concerns change depending on our circumstances but regardless of what those are, we all seek contentment.

Professor Nilsson emphasises the importance of keeping the brain active in our later years as a means to maintaining mental wellbeing.

“If you keep your brain healthy you maximise your opportunities for healthy ageing,” Professor Nilsson said.

“You should keep your brain active in different ways, as natural stimulation affects all of our senses like the way we feel, the way we see and the way we hear.”

Dance your heart out”Social interaction combined with cognitive challenges is very important,” he said.

“A great example of that is dancing, which gives yousocial interaction, music, physical activity, and a little bit of emotion.

“It’s very positive, it drives motivation, keeps your mood up and de-stresses you.

“I really favour dance for everyone but particularly for the older population.”

Professor Nilsson advocates good cardiovascular health, like dance and regular social engagements in natural environments to improve your state of mind each day and help pave the way to a fulfilling and healthy life.

This article is sponsored by Aveo.



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Moving forward

LOOKING BACK: A lot of water passed under the bridge in 2017 and the flow ain’t going to slow much heading into the new year.SIMON WALKER: That’s Life archive
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Christmas is calling and that can mean only one thing for columnists –time for year in review.

As usual,That’s Life has dealt with the big issues –anxiety, loss, frustration, elation, despair –and I haven’t even begun to shop for Christmas presents yet.

Taking a dartboard approach to the last 12 months of topics, January 2017 saw end-of-year holidays to cyclone-afflicted islands addressed. Nothing like a Force 10 hurricane to bring families together, literally, tethered –in case a tsunami struck. So relaxing.

February saw us hurtling down the roadin a rent-a-car. It could have been anyone going anywhere: the point being how loved ones can say such unloving things when they miss their turnoff on afreewayat speed.

March we dealt with political nutbaggery. Again, it could have been any month and any politician, butPauline Hanson’s advice about relying on Dr Google rather than your local GP really was sick mate when it comes to vaccinating.

April saw the changeover from Daylight Savings accompanied by that perennialconundrum –is it time to dig out the uggies, and should you really cross dress your summer bottoms with a flanno long-sleeve top?

May saw us buying suits for a pressing social engagement. A last-minute crisis that can be boiled down to three key considerations: Is the wedding tomorrow? Is the proposed suit too shiny? And does it fit? All ignorable if your partner ultimately approves (of the suit, I mean).

June wasBowel Cancer Awareness Month, and “Don’t die of embarrassment”was the message when it comes to screening. Just get the job done (ahem). Julywe pondered internet service providers, and a Christmas-in-July moment when our particular providersaid they were going to do something, and it actually happened!! Then we got the letter from the NBN saying that particular service provider would soon be disconnected.

August, I banged on about modern technology and how it doesn’t really improve communication. To back that up I pointed to the simple phone text on the way home from work – “Get coriander” –the world’s hardest-to-access herb after 5pm. Let’s leave it at that.

September was all about man flu –the virus we didn’t have to have last winter but most of us did. October canvassed the “hum”, in my head. Reader feedback suggested i wasn’t alone, or that I was mad. I still haven’t made up my mind. November, I dropped and destroyed my precious work coffee cup. Like I said, big issues.

December we bid farewell to our beloved family cat, the second for the year,rounding out a fairly poor year for family cats.

And so it went. A veritablepot pouri of personable experiences which hopefully generated a few snorts of mirth over the Saturday cereal. Not that the death of our cats was funny, but it’s not always about feline groovy. That’s life.

And so as the year draws to a close Iextend to all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and look forward to touching basein January.



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W-League Newcastle Jets: Emily Van Egmond on the attack ahead of top-of-the-table clash with Perthvideo, photos

Emily Van Egmond, left, playing against Canberra. Picture: AAPEMILY Van Egmond is happy to play anywhere in midfield, but Jets coach Craig Deanswill be happier toseemore of the Matildas star at theattacking endin the blockbusteragainst Perth on Saturday night.
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Newcastle rose to a three-way tie and second place on goals difference with a 3-0 win away over Brisbane on Sunday, setting up the top-of-the-table clash with Glory at McDonald Jones Stadium from 8.15pm.

Deans paired Clare Wheeler and Tori Huster in central midfield and pushed Van Egmond, who returned to the side from Matildas duties, forward.

Emily Van Egmond on the attack for high-flying Jets TweetFacebook Emily Van Egmond 2017AAP and Fairfax Media imagesThe move paid dividends as Van Egmond put Arin Gilliland away on goals for the second and third goals of her hat-trick.Deans said the form and hard work of homegrownYoung Matilda Wheeler had paved the wayfor the change.

“We can play Em further forward nowbecauseClare Wheeler has come in with Tori, and they’ve been reallygoodthe last three games they’ve played together,” Deans said.“It takes a bit of defensivepressure off Em and she can get further forward.

“Em is calm on the ball and she can obviously pass the ball well. She can strike a ball and she’s got some creativity, so having Clare come in has made a big difference.

“ItalsomeansGilly can play as a winger, and she’s dangerous up there.”

Van Egmond played through a back complaint against Roar and was rested for the final half an hour with the Jets up 3-0. She was glad just to contribute to the win.

“It was the first game where I’ve played more as an attacking midfielder and I’m just happy to play wherever Deansy wants me to play,” Van Egmond said.“I like all positions in the midfield, and I was lucky enough to find Gilly a couple of times off really nice forward runs and we capitalised in transitions, which was very pleasing.

“We’re starting to get familiar with each other and it’s just good competitiveness within the squad. Clare’s come in and done a fantastic job, and I thought she did a really good job on the weekend, as did Tori.”

For Deans, the attacking success in round seven broughtwelcomedselection headaches for the second half of the season.

“Cortnee Vine missed out on the weekend but she’s been playing well,” Deans said.“It’s nice to have a situation whereyou’re leaving good players onthe bench. Tara Andrews didn’t travel with the squad so we’ve got her to hopefully come in.It’snice to have some depth in the attacking area.”

The Perth clash brings with it the added challenge of stopping superstar striker Sam Kerr, one of Van Egmond’s best friends.

“Sammy’s obviously a great player, not just in the W-League, but on the world stage,” Van Egmond said.“She’s definitely a threat, but I think if we can minimise the space in behind for her to make those forward runs, I think that’s definitely going to be the key.”

Returning MatildaGema Simon is likely to miss another week of action for Newcastle in her recovery from a knee injury.

Defender Natasha Prior is nursing a knee injury but isexpected to be available.



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‘Unacceptable’: Martin Place twin towers proposal angers neighbours

The Macquarie Group’s unsolicited proposal to build two towers either side of Martin Place has angered the owners of a neighbouring skyscraper, who complain it will be overshadowed and its views ruined.
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The owners of the MLC Centre say Macquarie Group’s proposed tower on the south of Martin Place represents a “tipping point” and the “critical site in determining the future” of the pedestrian mall. The MLC’s owners argue the centre’s sky views will be “significantly impacted” if Macquarie’s proposal is approved.

The bank is seeking significant changes to the local building controls in order to build commercial towers on either side side of Martin Place – one more than 40 storeys at the “north site” and the other at least 28 floors on the “south site”.

The MLC centre, which sits at the corner of Martin Place and Castlereagh Street, is located directly opposite the proposed south tower.

In order to build the towers, the bank needs approval from the Department of Planning to increase the maximum floor space possible under the local environmental plan by more than 154,000 square metres, or 54 per cent.

To build the south tower, the bank is asking for a 76 per cent increase to hand it an extra 18,000 square metres of floor space.

It claims the increase is needed “to develop high-quality commercial floor space on an otherwise constrained south site, which if developed under the current controls would produce very small tower floor plates that are not preferred for office uses and would limit the viability of the site.”

But the MLC Centre’s joint owners, property management firms Dexus Funds Management and GPT group, have slammed the increase as “unreasonable and unacceptable.”

They hired prominent architectural firm Harry Seidler and Associates to conduct an analysis of the buildings’ impact on the MLC Centre and to prepare a submission objecting to the proposal. The MLC Centre was designed by Harry Seidler.

According to the submission, which was submitted to the Department of Planning this month, both of the towers will “reduce the amount of sunlight received by the MLC Centre public plaza in the morning, throughout the year” compared with the current situation.

The submission accused the bank of failing to “adequately quantify and address impacts on the [centre]”, despite its close proximity to the proposed south tower.

Macquarie claims its unsolicited proposal will deliver “a single, fully integrated Martin Place Station”, in line with the government’s $20 billion-plus Sydney metro line linking the city’s north-east to Bankstown via Chatswood, the CBD and Sydenham.

Five towers will be demolished at Martin Place to allow for construction of the metro station, which will connect to the existing station.

The bank’s proposal, which is currently being assessed by the department, enables its headquarters at 50 Martin Place to be incorporated into the design of the new station. It also includes an “all-weather” walkway from Martin Place to Hunter Street, with an option to connect further north to O’Connell Street.

“This future development will support the advancement of modern workplaces and resilient office accommodation, improve access to jobs, and strengthen ‘Global Sydney’ as a centre for economic and cultural activity,” the bank’s proposal said.

The MLC Centre’s concerns add to those raised by the City of Sydney and the n Institute of Architects, which lodged separate objections with the planning department earlier this year.

The City claimed the proposal in its current form would result in a “poor urban outcome for Sydney, reducing amenity levels,” while the Institute submitted that such significant developments should be decided through a competitive tender process.



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