As Lance Franklin racked up 10 goals in Sydney’s thumping win over Carlton on the weekend, this year’s 22nd and final AFL Rising Star nomination Will Hayward picked off his third hat-trick of the season.
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Statistically it was one of Hayward’s quietest games as he managed only three touches in a remarkably efficient performance, but the AFL had seen enough already this year to nominate Hayward as one of its star youngsters after a superb debut season.

The 18-year-old has played 17 games after being taken with pick 21 in last year’s draft, kicking 22 goals alongside Coleman medallist Franklin who Hayward credits as a major influence in his transition to the AFL.

“He’s always there getting around me if I kick a goal, it’s really good and he gives me a lot of confidence,” Hayward said.

“It was very special to witness that, you don’t get to run out on the SCG and witness Bud kick 10 every week so it was pretty special.

“He’s been huge along with everyone else in the forward group and Brett Kirk, the forwards coach, they teach me endless things and I learn something new every training session and every day I’m here.”

Teammate Tom Papley has anointed Hayward as coach John Longmire’s “teacher’s pet”, and it’s easy to see why he’s forged such a reputation.

He kicked three goals in just his second game, the Swans’ one-point loss to Collingwood in round three, and has failed to kick a major in only five matches.

Hayward has played in 10 of the Swans’ 14 wins, and has forced his way into the best 22 while many of his more experienced teammates have been unable to do so after Sydney’s playing list has returned to full health.

“At the start there was that stage where we were struggling a bit and had a few players out,” Hayward said.

“There was just that stage where we went back to doing the basics well and we got a few of our key players back and it all turned around from there.

“Given from how we’ve started they [the fans] have been huge, the crowds at our home games have been getting bigger and bigger the support we have had from our crowds has been really good.

“I always knew how big a club it was, even as an Adelaide boy I knew it was such a successful club and so rich in history and I was stoked when my name was read out by them on draft night.”

Hayward is Sydney’s second Rising Star nomination, following Lewis Melican’s superb showing in the round-18 win over St Kilda.

Swans youngster Callum Mills won last year’s Rising Star, and has been one of Sydney’s most consistent performers again in 2017 having played every game.

The Swans host Essendon on Saturday week in an elimination final at the SCG.

News of a fresh North Korean missile test early Tuesday morning sent traders scurrying for safe-haven assets such as gold and bonds and sent sharemarkets around the region tumbling as investors lost their appetite for risk.
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The S&P/ASX 200 had been set for a cautiously upbeat start before the fresh provocation from the rogue state, but instead sank like a stone at the open and failed to recover from there amid heavy selling in the biggest, most liquid blue-chip names. The benchmark measure ended the session down 41 points, or 0.7 per cent, at 5669, wiping out the year’s gains in the process. Close to three quarters of the top 200 names ended the session in the red.

While markets reacted swiftly as news broke that North Korea had fired a missile over Japan for the first time since 2009, with gold, bonds and the yen bid quickly higher, “the initial knee jerk risk off move was relatively shallow and short-lived,” RBC Capital Markets head of Asia currency strategy Sue Trinh said.

“All things considered, the market reaction to this latest development has been impressive for its muted tone.”

“It is a sad indictment that markets have become increasingly desensitised to otherwise disturbing events, but you can’t really blame them; the buy the dip investment strategy has paid off and will carry on doing so – until it doesn’t.”

The n dollar pushed as high as US79.73?? on Monday night, with traders speculating that the currency was set to make another assault on US80??, only for the Aussie to drop close to US79?? as the news about North Korea’s missile launch hit news wires. The Aussie recovered over the session to fetch US79.3?? in late Tuesday trade.

That sanguine attitude was less obvious on the ASX, which threatened to make a decisive break below its recent multi-month trading range. The big banks weighed heaviest on the bourse, with CBA dropping 1.2 per cent, and Westpac, NAB and ANZ losing a uniform 1.3 per cent. Macquarie was hit particularly hard, shedding 2.1per cent.

Gold miners were a rare bright spot, with the sector adding 2.6 per cent as the stocks traced the yellow metal’s price higher. Newcrest Mining climbed 2.2 per cent. Iron ore miner Fortescue also managed to lift, by 1.4 per cent, while Rio Tinto added 0.2 per cent and South32 finished flat.

Amid the geopolitical drama, the final days of earnings season produced some well received profit updates. Among the highlights was vitamins business Blackmores, which jumped 7.5 per cent, Downer EDI, which moved up 2 per cent, and Caltex, which gained a more modest 0.9 per cent.

New Zealand telco Chorus slumped for a second day on a trio of broker downgrades, bringing its losses since it reported on Monday to a hefty 13 per cent. Stock watchAltium

Shares in Altium surged 12 per cent to $9.50 on Tuesday to approach after the engineering software firm the previous evening reported an annual net profit of $28.1 million, up 22 per cent from the prior year. Revenues climbed 18 per cent to $111 million, around 3 per cent ahead of consensus forecasts. The company’s management reiterated their goal of reaching $200 million in revenue by the 2020 financial year. A final dividend of 12 cents was declared. It was a “strong” result, Credit Suisse analysts said, who maintained their “outperform” rating on the stock despite noting the shares are “not inexpensive”. “However, this should be viewed in the context of [over] 20 per cent earnings per share growth and multiple areas of incremental upside,” they said. Movers’Chump change’

CBA shares dropped a further 1.2 per cent to $75.73 on Tuesday with the bank still under a cloud from the allegations of money laundering that emerged earlier this month. The scandal has wiped more than $13 billion off the lender’s market value this month, meaning CBA has lost its crown as the ASX’s biggest company by market capitalisation, ousted by miner BHP Billiton. Credit Suisse analysts described CBA’s share price slide as a switch “from market darling to chump change”. South Korea

South Korea’s stock market declined as much as 1.6 per cent on Tuesday, while the won weakened 0.4 per cent after North Korea’s missile launch. South Korean “investment risk” is rising as Pyongyang escalates tensions, Huh Nam Kwon, chief executive officer at Shinyoung Asset Management said. The issue could start affecting the Kospi’s fundamentals, he said. “Uncertainties are rising, it’s hard to predict what will happen next.” The KOSPI hit a record high in July and is up 16 per cent this year. TV stocks

Media names with television interests came under pressure Tuesday as investors digested Monday’s surprise news that US company CBS planned to but embattled Ten Network Holdings. Seven West Media slumped 5.1 per cent on Tuesday while Nine Entertainment lost 2.9 per cent. “While the CBS takeover proposal still needs to be signed off by the regulator and creditors, it is very difficult to see any positives for key competitors, Nine Entertainment and Seven West Media,” Credit Suisse analysts concluded. Gold

Gold was, as ever, one of the primary beneficiaries of heightened risk aversion among investors on Tuesday, as the precious metal pushed 0.7 per cent higher over the session to $US1317 an ounce. The yellow metal is trading at its highest point for 2017, extending the year’s gains to 15 per cent. It’s not all about investors seeking shelter in an uncertain world. Weakness in the greenback, in which gold is priced, has added extra lustre to the yellow metal: Bloomberg’s US dollar spot index is at its lowest since January of 2015 and is off almost 10 per cent in 2017.

Moving on: James Sneddon and daughter Charlotte. He is selling Das Hund Haus to support his physiotherapist fiancee Pip Cave’s business and develop his online sexual health clinic Stigma Health. Picture: Marina NeilTHE Newcastle owner of a bar being raffled for sale has sold more than five times his goal number of vouchers for the controversial campaign, which will reach its climax on Thursday.
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Owner of German-themed bar and restaurant Das Hund Haus at Hamilton, James Sneddon, secured a permit from Liquor and Gaming NSW to hold a trade promotion to sell $25 two-for-one-meal vouchers, which gives buyers five free entries into a lottery to win the business plus $30,000 cash.

He aimed in April to sell 2000 vouchers, but has since reached 11,000 – and counting. Only 700 have been redeemed for meals.

“It’s been a terrific outcome,” Mr Sneddon said.

“It was the ultimate entrepreneur journey –I took a leap of faith because I had a hunch. I was not quite sure how it would go, but I’m pretty relieved. We had people buying vouchers from 20 countries. We also had mums come in and call their kids overseas, saying ‘You’re going to win this –I want you to come home’.”

Mr Sneddon will cease selling vouchers at 5pm Thursday, before hosting a $40 per head function where the new owner will be announced at 8pm. He said two justices of the peace and a Liquor & Gaming NSW representative wouldbe present for the draw, which involves uploading a file of voucher holders’ names to website random苏州模特佳丽招聘, which will select the winner.

The Newcastle Herald reported in April Mr Sneddon had decided to sell the business by raffle after n couple Doug and Sally Beitz raffledtheir island resort. “I was not even thinking about it for my venue, but when I decided to sell I realised the traditional method didn’t have certainty.” Mr Sneddon said he listed the business – which he estimated was valued at between $150,000 and $225,000 –for $200,000 earlier this year, but was unable to reach a deal.

He said it was being raffled with 33months left on the lease, no debts, less than 20 litres of alcohol and an offer to train new staff. The liquor licence will be transferred to the new owner.

Mr Sneddon said as well as national media attention, including a Sunrise appearance that boosted his voucher sales from around 5500 to 11,000 in three weeks, he has also received hurtful criticism.“People need to think outside the box a bit more,” he said. “I had the word ‘scam’ thrown my way every day. That word to me is equivalent to the worst four-letter words out there. It really cut to the bone. Some people are downright abusive. I’m looking after my family and my next venture is about helping people, so I’m not motivated by greed. I’ve been 100 per cent transparent. But there’s been overwhelmingly positive messages too.

“I’m feeling excited, but ready for it to be finished.”

A spokesman for Liquor&GamingNSW said it was “monitoring the promotion including the running of the draw to ensure it complies with the Lotteries and Art Unions Act”.

Telstra CEO Andy Penn announcing the full year resultsPhoto Pat Scala , Melbourne , AFRThursday the 17th of August 2017 .Qantas is the star performer of the “mum and dad” stocks this profit reporting season with its declaration of its second-highest ever profit.
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Its share price had soared to about $5.30 at the end of July from about $3.20 a year earlier. After its profit result of last week, the flying kangaroo’s share price jumped to more than $5.60.

Add the dividends and that’s a total return for Qantas shareholders of more than 73 per cent – far and away the best performing of the widely held stocks.

Other highlights from the reporting season from among the stocks favoured by small investors include another record profit for the Commonwealth Bank.

A low point was Telstra’s announcement that it would cut futures dividends for its more than one million shareholders by up to 30 per cent.

Craig James, the chief economist at CommSec, says while dividends remain in vogue it has been apparent for the last few reporting periods that there is a re-assessment by companies about just blindly paying a dividend at all costs.

James created the Mums and Dads Index in 1999 to reflect the stocks mostly widely held by small shareholders – including Telstra, CBA, Woolworths, Qantas, AMP, Tabcorp, Suncorp, IAG and Wesfarmers. Since the creation of the index, it has under-performed the broader market.

However, as these stocks generally pay higher dividends their returns have been less volatile.

n shares, including dividends, returned 6.6 per cent for the year to July 31, 2017 while a portfolio of the nine equally weighted stocks favoured by small investors returned 5.9 per cent.

That is a better relative performance than for the year to January 2017, when the market returned 11.6 per cent and the Mums and Dads Index produced a return of only 0.9 per cent.

Chris Batchelor, independent market commentator, says to get growth in their portfolios, small investors should be adding a bit of exposure to stocks outside of the household names.

“Many investors are attracted to these stocks because of the high levels of franked dividends, but ultimately it’s the combination of dividends and share price growth that determines an investor’s total return,” he says.

Batchelor says small investors typically have no or little exposure to resources, technology, infrastructure and real estate sectors, among others.

The score cardQantas

Result: For the year to June 30, 2017, profit was $852 million, down 17 per cent from 2016, when it received a windfall from the sale of its Sydney Airport domestic terminal.

Positives: It’s Qantas’ second-highest profit; beaten only by the previous year’s profit. Qantas continues to enjoy earnings growth from domestic flights and its loyalty business.

Negatives: Qantas’ international division reduced its profit margin on international routes, contributing to a 36 per cent fall in earnings before interest and tax to $327 million.

Key point: Discounting for international airfares continues to be a challenge for the airline’s international business

Dividend: Announced a $373 million on-market share buyback and declared a dividend of 7?? a share taking the total dividend for the year to 14??. Woolworths

Result: Woolworths reported a 3.6 per cent drop in underlying profit from continuing operations for the year to June 25 to $1.422 billion from $1.476 billion last year.

Positives: Total sales at Woolies and its retail offshoots grew 3.7 per cent to $55.5 billion over the year.

Negatives: Losses at Big W increased from $14.9 million in 2016 to $150 million, with total sales falling 5.8 per cent.

Key point: Same-store supermarket sales grew 3.6 per cent during the year, outpacing the sales growth of rival Coles.

Dividend: A final dividend of 50?? per share to take total dividend for the year to 84??, a 9.1 per cent increase on the prior year. Commonwealth bank

Result: ‘s biggest bank pulled off another full-year record profit of almost $10 billion, almost 5 per cent for the year to June 30 compared to the previous year.

Positives: The bank just keeps making record profits, with a consistently good performances across its divisions.

Negatives: Allegations have been made that ‘s biggest bank breached laws to combat money laundering. The banking regulator is to conduct a public inquiry into “organisational and cultural” issues at the bank.

Key point: The bank will look to sell its life insurance business in and New Zealand in a deal which could be worth up to $5 billion.

Dividend: A final dividend of $2.30 per share, giving a full-year dividend of $4.29. IAG

Result: Net profit after tax increased almost 50 per cent to $929 million, helped by stronger investment income, higher insurance prices and releases from reserves.

Positives: IAG has done well for its shareholders for the year to July 31, 2017 with its share price at about $5.70, about a dollar higher than a year ago.

Negatives: The company’s outlook for reported insurance profit margins left some analysts underwhelmed.

Key Point: It’s expecting claim costs to rise.

Dividend: IAG will pay a fully-franked final dividend of 20?? a share, taking its full-year dividend to 33?? a share. Suncorp

Result: Full-year cash profit of $1.075 billion, an increase of 3.6 per cent on the previous financial year.

Positives: Strong performance of its insurance arm.

Negatives: Despite the lift in profit, the result fell short of market expectations. Banking and wealth earnings were subdued.

Dividend: An increase in final dividend by 2?? to 40?? a share to takes full-year dividend 73??, up 7 per cent on last year. AMP

Result: A fall for six months to June 30 of about 15 per cent to $445 million, compared to the previous corresponding period.

Positives: Underlying profit was $533 million for the half year; almost 4 per cent higher than the earlier corresponding period’s $513 million.

Negatives: Some analysts questioned whether AMP could make better use of the capital released in the life insurance business rather than returning the capital to shareholders.

Key Point: Will complete a reinsurance program for its life insurance business by year-end that would release $1 billion in capital and protect it from spikes in claims.

Dividend: AMP will pay a 14.5?? a share dividend for the half-year, an increase on 14??. Telstra

Result: Full-year profit in the year to June fell by about a third to $3.9 billion. However, that was mainly due to a $1.8 billion windfall gain in the prior year from the sale of Chinese car web site Autohome.

Positives: Without the Autohome sale, comparable earnings were up 1.1 per cent at $3.87 billion.

Negatives: Telstra said it will cut future dividends by up to 30 per cent.

Key point: Telstra is challenged by stronger competition.

Dividend: Telstra will pay a final dividend of 15.5?? to take the full year dividend to 31??. Tabcorp

Profit: Tabcorp reported a full-year net loss of $20.8 million because of costs related to its proposed merger with Tatts, legal battles and expenses at its new British business.

Positives: Though a loss, the gaming company reported a 2 per cent lift in revenue to $2.23 billion for the 12 months to June 30.

Negatives: The gaming giant was hit by $199.7 million in costs, including, among others, costs for its acquisition of gaming tech firm Intecq and proposed takeover of Tatts.

Key point: The main worry is the uncertainty surrounding the proposed merger with Tatts.

Dividend: A final dividend of 12.5?? will be paid, taking its full-year distribution to 25??. Wesfarmers

Result: The conglomerate reported a net profit after tax for the 12 months to June 30 of $2.87 billion, up from $2.25 billion a year earlier, excluding impairments against Target and its coal assets in 2016.

Positives: Its industrials division did well, mostly as a result of higher coal prices. Kmart’s earnings grew 17.7 per cent to $553 million with a 7.5 per cent lift in sales.

Negatives: Coles earnings fell 13 per cent as it tripled it further discounted prices and improved customer service.

Key point: Target again ran into the red, reporting a $10 million loss.

Dividend: Final dividend $1.20, bringing the full-year dividend to $2.23, almost 20 per cent above the prior year.

It’s a fair bet that those making most contributions to super are still workers, especially the over-50s.
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Figures from SuperChoice, which administers super contributions between employers and employees, show just how tight the link is between voluntary contributions and age.

SuperChoice analysed its data on super payments and broke the data down for salary sacrifice contributions by age cohort for the five years to June 30, 2016.

What the data reveals is the extent to which younger workers generally don’t contribute and how little is contributed by those younger workers who do.

Those in their 60s who salary sacrificed, sacrificed about $12,000 on average, a year, while those in their 20s sacrificed $2300.

For the age cohorts in-between, it is as expected with the amount increasing with age.

SuperChoice figures show 13 per cent of fund members in their 50s made salary sacrifice contributions to their super, while almost 17 per cent of those in their 60s salary sacrificed.

Less than 3 per cent of 30-somethings made salary sacrifice contributions and only one in 100 of those their 20s made contributions.

Research by the Association of Superannuation Funds of (ASFA) shows those younger than 29 reckon they will need $625,000, on average, for a comfortable retirement, while those aged 60 years expect they will need nearly $1 million.

There are all sorts of estimates of how much is needed, ranging up to $2 million for a professional couple who are used to a more expensive lifestyle.

As I have written, actuary Milliman has analysed real-world expenditure data of more than 300,000 n retirees, which shows those aged 65 to 69 spend a median of $31,068 a person each year.

Milliman estimates that to fund this expenditure with 75 per cent certainty would require a super balance of about $130,000 invested in a balanced superannuation investment option.

This figure takes into account the substantial contribution of the age pension, set at a maximum of $20,745 a year, including the energy supplement, which funds a substantial portion of most retirees’ spending.

As Milliman alluded to in a recent article, the problem is that people are likely to become disengaged when confronted with a big number, as they lose all hope of achieving it.

“This isn’t to say that $130,000 should be a goal – it shows that even small differences in savings can have a hugely positive impact on members’ actual retirement lifestyles,” Milliman says in the article.

You would want more, as it’s 75 per cent certainly of funding expenditure, based on the history of markets.

And those renting in retirement are likely to need a lot more, especially those living in our most expensive cities.

But it is more of a realistic target. It makes saving for retirement more of a molehill to be climbed than a mountain to be scaled.

Follow John Collett on Twitter. ???

Lucas Papaw, Blackmores and Bundaberg Ginger Beer
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Lucas Papaw, Blackmores and Bundaberg Ginger Beer

Lucas’ Papaw, Bundaberg Brewed Drinks, Blackmores. If not household items, these brands are certainly easy to find in pharmacies and supermarkets across .

All three businesses are still family owned.

Their number of employees range from 30 to more than 1000, but John McLean, chief executive of famous ginger beer brewer Bundaberg Brewed Drinks, said larger didn’t always mean more important.

“You’d be stunned at what is a family business,” Mr McLean said.

“They are the engine room of our economy: they may not get the publicity constantly that the ASX-listed companies get, but family business is the bread and butter.”

Here’s how these once small Queensland businesses grew to have international profiles.???It got a cult following and just went crazy’

Lucas’ Papaw is instantly recognisable for its red packaging. Today it’s most commonly used for chapped lips, but manager Lynette Swinglehurst said that’s not how the ointment was originally marketed.

“It’s always been one of those staples in our medicine cabinet ??? we used to only sell into chemists,” she said.

Since its invention in the early 1900s by Ms Swinglehurst’s great-great-grandfather, Lucas’ Papaw has been used predominantly as a treatment for rashes, burns and other aches and pains.

Never advertised much – when her grandmother May Talbot ran the business, Ms Swinglehurst said it was sold door-to-door – the product became hugely popular after another use for the ointment was found.

“About 15 years ago it was used – and I still remember the phone call – used by a make-up artist on McLeod’s Daughters,” she said.

“She rang me and said it was good for keeping eyebrows in place and gloss on lips.”

Ms Swinglehurst said she was “blown away” by the product’s cosmetic use, and how it then took off.

“Before we knew it, it just turned into this ‘thing’. It got a cult following and just went crazy,” she said.

“Half the people buying it probably don’t realise it has this medicinal purpose as well.”

With requests to put Lucas’ Papaw in a tube, the family started off with a second-hand tube-filling machine before realising, quite quickly, that was not going to keep up with the demand.

“At that stage, we only really had it in pharmacies,” she said.

The Dreamworld theme park tragedy has hit the local hotel sector, with ‘s largest listed resort and hotel operator Mantra Group reporting “challenging” conditions on the Gold Coast, although the group’s net profit was still up nearly 23 per cent on the previous year to 45.6 million.
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Mantra Group chief executive Bob East revealed a strong overall performance with a 1.8 per cent increase in occupancy and revenue growth of 13.7 per cent to $689 million driven by a large portfolio of new acquisitions.

“The greatest momentum for our business this year has been in capacity building in new pipeline acquisitions for FY18 and beyond,” Mr East said.

But Mr East singled out the Dreamworld tragedy, “sluggish” markets in Perth, Brisbane and Darwin and a “surprisingly” flat Melbourne market as areas of concern.

The Gold Coast – which accounts for nearly a quarter of Mantra’s accommodation business (5000-plus rooms) – was an “under-performer”.

“That can most probably be related to the tragedy at Dreamworld and the flow-on effects of that,” he said. “It’s been a challenging market.”

Growth in revenue per average room (RevPAR) – the industry’s income metric – on the Gold Coast was just 2.1 per cent, “quite significantly below where we thought Gold Coast would be at the outset of the year”, he said.

By contrast, Mantra’s strongest leisure market was the Sunshine Coast, where RevPAR growth was up 11.7 per cent. Strong domestic and Asian tourism were the key drivers.

Mr East said the outlook for the Gold Coast was improving, particularly with the imminent arrival of the Commonwealth Games early next year.

“It’s not a market we are nervous about in any shape or form. We’re very positive about the outlook looking forward,” he said.

Mantra Group’s existing hotel portfolio covers 128 properties with more than 21,500 rooms under management in , New Zealand, Indonesia and Hawaii under the Peppers, Mantra and Breakfree brands.

In the CBD markets, Sydney’s RevPAR rose 6.5 per cent and Canberra was a particularly strong performer with RevPAR jumping 10 per cent.

“The biggest surprise was the Melbourne market [being] flat for the year,” he said.

The lack of significant major events resulted in flat RevPAR despite Melbourne’s occupancy running at close to 90 per cent, he said.

Perth, Brisbane and Darwin were all experiencing cyclical downturns.

“We see those markets as continuing to be sluggish,” he said.

Mr East said the group was focusing on establishing the Peppers brand in all of ‘s capital cities, integrating its $52.5 million purchase of the Art Series Hotels, which it finalised in August, and bedding down the acquisition of the Ala Moana resort in Hawaii.

Mantra will retain the Art Series Brand despite a policy of aligning acquisitions under one of its three umbrella hotel brands.

Mr East said the seven luxury lifestyle hotels named after contemporary n artists had enough scale and consumer awareness to stand alone.

“We were able to form a plan that will protect existing positioning in the market,” he said.

Canberra Capitals coach Paul Goriss has backed three of his rising stars to ride a gold medal wave into the WNBL season and boost the team’s hopes of breaking a finals hoodoo.
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Capitals Lauren Sherf, Abbey Wehrung and Keely Froling helped the emerging n Opals win gold at the world university games in Taipei on Tuesday morning.

The Opals beat Japan 85-76 in the final in a timely boost for the Capitals before the WNBL campaign starts in October.

“International experience always helps when coming back to play domestically, so I just think the confidence they will take out of being major minute players can only benefit the us,” Goriss said.

“All three of them are going to be important parts of our team, its great for those three girls to go away and represent to win a gold medal.”

“Im sure they are going to have plenty of confidence coming into this season, fired up and in great shape ready to go.”

The Capitals have rebuilt their roster as the club aims to break back into the finals for the first time since 2011.

Goriss has put his faith in a number young guns and is confident they can rise to the challenge to force their way into the top four.

Scherf is one of those on the rise and she scored 18 points, grabbed 12 rebounds, had four steals and made four blocks in a stellar effort in the final.

???”I love playing sport because of the people I meet and the fun I have playing so to have won a gold medal is just a blessing on top of that,” Scherf said.

“I’m just so happy for myself and all of the girls – we have a gold medal and I have no words on how to describe it.”

Goriss, who is also a senior n Opals assistant coach, said the success in Taipei was proof of a strong development pathway for junior girls.

“It is exciting for the future of womens basketball in ,” Goriss said.

“Most of the girls that are in that emerging Opals team as well as the three that are apart of the Capitals are on a depth chart with the Opals.

“It was great for that team [emerging Opals] to get a win and most of those girls are future Opals.”

???The Capitals start their WNBL season against Bendigo in Canberra on October 6.

Cathy Tate
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The Newcastle Art Gallery redevelopment is being pushed as an election issue, with a cultural group asking lord mayoral candidates where they stand on the controversial issue.

Aquestionnaire has been sent out by former ladymayoress Cathy Tate, from the Save Our Cultural Institutions group and an advocate of the gallery’s redevelopment, which has dragged on for a decade.

Five lord mayoral candidates have responded.

Mrs Tate said the group was seeking the candidates’ views on the art gallery’s future, because “it’s certainly an issue for some people in the electorate”.

The document poses three questions.The first asks, if elected, would the candidate support the gallery’s redevelopment, according to a designpresented to council in 2013.

The second asks, “Do you agree that your role as a Councillor includes the responsibility of, care for, and development of the Newcastle Art Gallery?”

The third poseswhether the candidate would ensure that the council “contributes substantially” to the gallery’s redevelopment. The present design is estimated to cost about $26 million.

Labor candidate Nuatali Nelmes answered “yes” to all three questions, as did the Socialist Alliance’s Steve O’Brien, The Greens’ Therese Doyleand Independent Ron Brown.

Independent Kath Elliott answered “yes” to question two but qualified her other answers. KathElliott said she hadn’t seen the plans, but “I am aware that the design has been looked at with the view to staging the implementation and I support tackling Stage 1 as soon as it can be funded”. To question three, she indicatedany contribution to the redevelopment should be “in line with community priorities”.

Cathy Tate said the questionnaire results werebeing sent to about 200 people in Save Our Cultural Institutions and the art gallery’s society and foundation.

“For those who want to know where the candidates stand, this will give a clear indication of those who supportthe redevelopment, and those who don’t,” she said.

In her coverletter to the candidates, Mrs Tate said the building was 40 years old and housed a collection worth more than $90 million, “the single most valuable asset of Newcastle City Council”.

FILM of a house being lifted off its foundations and propelled away by floodwaters in Dungog in April, 2015 still has the power to shock.
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Floods are not an uncommon event in this land that is regularly belted by powerful natural events. But to see a whole house being propelled away and out of sight simply by the power of water shows how and why people die when floods occur.

Three elderly people died in the Dungog superstorm that hit on April 21, 2015. Brian Wilson, 72, Robin Reid Macdonald, 68, and Colin Webb, 79, died in their homes. It is almost too painful to imagine the final hours of their lives, trapped in homes and probably hoping, at first, that the floodwater would remain at a nuisance level, rather than life-threatening.

We know too much about their final minutes, for the detail is distressing. Elderly andvulnerable,Mr Webb was found with his head just about the water on the patio of his unit. Neighbour Allan Cherry tried to save him. He heroically dived into the floodwater to save his friend, but it was too late.

Brian Wilson and Robin Reid Macdonald’s bodies were later found. It is all too easy to understand how Mrs Macdonald refused to leave without her companion pets.

Flood events go down in history according to where they occurred, and sometimes the year. When they’re referred to in articles years later, they are sometimes written up as the flood where three people died, or five or seven.

The Dungog flood of 2015, that an inquest has already heard was a one in 1000 year event, will one day be referred to as the 2015 flood where three died.

This week, in Newcastle Court, the community is showing that what happened to the town of Dungog in April, 2015 was tragic, and that the deaths of Brian Wilson, Robin Reid Macdonald and Colin Webb need to be investigated, openly.

Inquests are often painful explorations of where things have gone wrong. But they are necessary.

We already know that the State Emergency Service’s response on the morning of April 21, 2015 “could have been improved”.

An inquest after a natural disaster is not about finding people to blame. The superstorm that hit the Hunter atthat time was experienced by hundreds of thousands of people. We all know how powerful it was. But we need to learn how to be better prepared in future.

Issue: 38,584.