Netball: Sam Poolman gains inclusion in Chinan Fast5 squad

Poolman earns call-up to national squad CONTACT: Sam Poolman, right, has made the n Fast5 squad. Picture: Getty Images
SuZhou Night Recruitment

Sam Poolman was in stand-out form for the GWS Giants in Suncorp Super Netball this year.

Sam Poolman in action for GWS Giants in Suncorp Super Netball.

TweetFacebookNewcastle Heraldin May that26-year-old Poolman would get “some sort of opportunity” this year after impressing national selectorsas she helped steer GWS to a grand final appearance.

The 189-centimetre-tall goal keeper was overlooked when the n Diamonds 18-player squad was named last month.

She has since been one of four players invited to join the Diamonds in camp next week as they build towards the Netball Quad Series this month and ended a nearly two-decade drought for Newcastle when she was named in the 10-player n Fast5 squad on Wednesday.

will play New Zealand, England, Jamaica, Malawi and South Africa in the World Series at Hisense Arena on October 28 and 29.

The last Newcastle player to be in the mix for national duties was former Sydney Swift and Hunter Jaeger Raegan Jackson when she was in the n squad in the late 1990s. Before that it was sisters Lois and Nola Green, who played for in the 1960s

“I’ve always been a big believer of when it comes to n stuff that you need to look after what you’re doing at club level and if you’re doing your job and getting yourself up there then those opportunities and rewards come with that,” Poolman said. “I had a fantastic season in terms of lots of different elements and I enjoyed it at the Giants, and that’s what it was all about for me.

“Now to get this opportunity, it’s something really special and I’m very excited about it.”

Fast5 hasless players, shortened quarters, multiple point shots and power plays.

“It’s a really exciting event,” Poolman said. “You don’t have your wing attack and wing defence so it becomes a really tactical and fast game of netball.”

Nathan Ross: Taking a Newcastle Knights home game elsewhere

ON THE MOVE: Newcastle fullback Nathan Ross (left), in action against the Canterbury Bulldogs at Belmore Sports Ground on Sunday, reckons one Knights home game should be taken on the road next season. Picture: Getty ImagesSunday afternoon, winter sun andpacked house at a Knights home game –not in Newcastle.
SuZhou Night Recruitment

Hitting the road and sharing the love with fans elsewhere in Cessnock, Scone or further afield throughoutthe club’s catchment area.

Sounds pretty good to me and while logistics must be considered in shifting an entire NRL roundit’s something I’d love to see on the Knightscalendar forfuture seasons.

A fewthings got me thinking about this concept recently, including our trip to Belmore on Sunday and a visit to Gloucester for a fundraiser,but just to clarify before I go any further.

The Knights have the best supporters in the competition. Bar none. Full stop.

In their thousands they turn up alongTurton Road week-in,week-out regardless of the circumstances andfrequentthe only patch they’ve ever known.

Have done for 30 years and running out in front of a red and blue armyat that very stadium never gets old.

It’s why contemplating such a move is difficult, but also pertinent.

Tackling the Bulldogs at their spiritual home, rather than their larger adopted house at Homebush, created a much different atmosphere with potentially on-par crowds closer by on the hill at an older suburban venue.

It also reminded me about the final City-Country clash at Mudgee in May, a pre-season trial match in Orange and rival clubs playing in places like Cairns, Darwin, Adelaide, Perth and even Dunedin.

But while what the Knights have is close to perfect, why not spread that good will to others in regional or country towns for 80 minutes.

The effect of setting up camp, conducting clinics and greeting passers-by can be both real and immediate.

Case in point being theyoung boys I crossed paths with near Barrington Tops last week.They used to fancythe Eels andWarriors, for no particular reason, butafter a first-time meeting with an NRL player assured me they now follow the Knights.

So while the weather and kick-off time mentioned in my opening line are obviously subject to change, the idea remains the same.

And of course the finances andfacilities raise tough questions for organisers, but I can picture the punters scrambling for a seat on the roof and already feel the excitement building in the air.

It might be simply planting a seed, but let’s see if it grows.

In the end it’s all about taking the game to the people.

Marlon Solofuti keen to help Southern Beaches break premiership drought

SHOWING THE WAY: Debutant Marlon Solofuti giving instructions behind the tryline during Southern Beaches’ win over Nelson Bay on Saturday. Picture: Max Mason-HubersAFTER just one game, Marlon Solofuti is already enjoying the change of pace at Southern Beaches following the pressures of eight years in French professional rugby.
SuZhou Night Recruitment

But the 35-year-old flanker can also feel the drive for a maiden premiership at his new club, who he debuted for in a 38-26 win over Nelson Bay on Saturday.

Solofuti has settled in Charlestown with wife, Marlene, and seven-year-old son, Maximus, after finishing his time in France.

The Samoan powerhouse comes from Pro D2 French club Soyaux Angoulêmel, who he joined after helpingSection Paloise progress to the Top 14 league in 2015.

He also played with Toyota Verblitz in Japan for two years and for Manly in the Shute Shield between international contracts.

Now, though, he is keen to take a step back and explore life after professional rugby with theBeaches.

“I enjoyed it,” Solofuti said of his debut.

“I’m used to a lot ofpressure to perform. It’s a different type of rugby here. It’s actually quite fun.

“It’s so dirty, the rugby back in Europe, in the rucks and scrums, so you’ve really got to be prepared.

“On the weekend, I really just enjoyed myself, going back to the basics and just playing rugby.”

Solofuti and his family chose the easygoing lifestyle of Newcastle over a return to Sydneyand a potential stint in the Shute Shield.

He is keen, though,to play on past this season and offer guidance on and off the field.

“Rugby has given me so much, I’ve travelled so much around the world and I wouldn’t have experienced what Ihave without rugby, so I’d like to give a little bit back as well,” he said.

“I thought this was a league town but there’s so much rugby talent here and in ,so I’d like to get involved in development. I coach my son’s team a bit as well, so it’s just about giving a bit back.

“And I know all the guys at Southern Beaches are pretty keen to win something, because I don’t think they’ve won a premiership.

“Every team I’ve been with, we’ve won something, so I want to use my experience and transfer it to these guys.”

Beaches coach Johan Lourens believed Solofuti would offer leadership and a professional edge to his third-placed side as they looked to challenge the competition’s elite.

”He’s a strong ball carrier and he’s got a real rugby mind on his shoulders, so I only see good things ahead for us with him,” Lourens said.

“He really adds something to the team and the boys really enjoy his company which is probably the most important thing. On the weekend, he obviously hadn’t touched a ball in quite a while, but what we saw we were happy with, so we’re looking forward to the future.”

Nations of Origin 2017: Rugby 7’s action in Raymond Terrace

2017 PCYC Nations of Origin: Rugby 7’s | photos, videos The Worimi Nation before the march past and official opening of the 2017 PCYC Nations of Origin rugby 7’s event in Raymond Terrace.
SuZhou Night Recruitment

Scenes from the 2017 PCYC Nations of Origin rugby 7’s event in Raymond Terrace. The Dunghutti Nation (Mid North Coast).

The Worimi Nation before the march past and official opening of the 2017 PCYC Nations of Origin rugby 7’s event in Raymond Terrace. The Worimi girls.

The nations before the march past and official opening of the 2017 PCYC Nations of Origin rugby 7’s event in Raymond Terrace.

Before the march past and official opening of the 2017 PCYC Nations of Origin rugby 7’s event in Raymond Terrace. Kamilaroi North (yellow) and Kamilaroi South (pink).

Before the march past and official opening of the 2017 PCYC Nations of Origin rugby 7’s event in Raymond Terrace.

Kane Chester, 16, from Lemon Tree Passage with the Worimi flag.

Before the march past and official opening of the 2017 PCYC Nations of Origin rugby 7’s event in Raymond Terrace.

Before the march past and official opening of the 2017 PCYC Nations of Origin rugby 7’s event in Raymond Terrace. The officials.

The march past and official opening of the 2017 PCYC Nations of Origin rugby 7’s event in Raymond Terrace.

The march past and official opening of the 2017 PCYC Nations of Origin rugby 7’s event in Raymond Terrace.

The march past and official opening of the 2017 PCYC Nations of Origin rugby 7’s event in Raymond Terrace.

The march past and official opening of the 2017 PCYC Nations of Origin rugby 7’s event in Raymond Terrace.

The march past and official opening of the 2017 PCYC Nations of Origin rugby 7’s event in Raymond Terrace. Wiradjuri East.

The march past and official opening of the 2017 PCYC Nations of Origin rugby 7’s event in Raymond Terrace. Kamilaroi North.

The official opening of the 2017 PCYC Nations of Origin rugby 7’s event in Raymond Terrace. Worimi man Lee Ridgeway performs the welcome to country.

The official opening of the 2017 PCYC Nations of Origin rugby 7’s event in Raymond Terrace.

The official opening of the 2017 PCYC Nations of Origin rugby 7’s event in Raymond Terrace.

Superintendent Phillip Flogel, commander of the NSW Youth Command, at the official opening of the 2017 PCYC Nations of Origin rugby 7’s event in Raymond Terrace.

The official opening of the 2017 PCYC Nations of Origin rugby 7’s event in Raymond Terrace.

Sarah Mitchell MLC, the Minister for Early Childhood Education, Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, and Assistant Minister for Education at the official opening of the 2017 PCYC Nations of Origin rugby 7’s event in Raymond Terrace.

PCYC NSW CEO Dominic Teakle at the official opening of the 2017 PCYC Nations of Origin rugby 7’s event in Raymond Terrace.

The official opening of the 2017 PCYC Nations of Origin rugby 7’s event in Raymond Terrace.

Scenes from the at the 2017 PCYC Nations of Origin rugby 7’s event in Raymond Terrace on Wednesday.

Scenes from the at the 2017 PCYC Nations of Origin rugby 7’s event in Raymond Terrace on Wednesday.

Scenes from the at the 2017 PCYC Nations of Origin rugby 7’s event in Raymond Terrace on Wednesday. A Wonnarua player.

Scenes from the at the 2017 PCYC Nations of Origin rugby 7’s event in Raymond Terrace on Wednesday. Wonnarua players.

Scenes from the at the 2017 PCYC Nations of Origin rugby 7’s event in Raymond Terrace on Wednesday. A Wonnarua player.

Scenes from the at the 2017 PCYC Nations of Origin rugby 7’s event in Raymond Terrace on Wednesday. A Wonnarua player.

Scenes from the at the 2017 PCYC Nations of Origin rugby 7’s event in Raymond Terrace on Wednesday. Worimi v Wonnarua.

Scenes from the at the 2017 PCYC Nations of Origin rugby 7’s event in Raymond Terrace on Wednesday. Worimi v Wonnarua.

Scenes from the at the 2017 PCYC Nations of Origin rugby 7’s event in Raymond Terrace on Wednesday. Worimi v Wonnarua.

Scenes from the at the 2017 PCYC Nations of Origin rugby 7’s event in Raymond Terrace on Wednesday. Worimi v Wonnarua.

Scenes from the at the 2017 PCYC Nations of Origin rugby 7’s event in Raymond Terrace on Wednesday. Worimi v Wonnarua.

Scenes from the at the 2017 PCYC Nations of Origin rugby 7’s event in Raymond Terrace on Wednesday. Awabakal v Awabakal.

Scenes from the at the 2017 PCYC Nations of Origin rugby 7’s event in Raymond Terrace on Wednesday. Awabakal v Awabakal.

Scenes from the at the 2017 PCYC Nations of Origin rugby 7’s event in Raymond Terrace on Wednesday. Biripi at half time.

Scenes from the at the 2017 PCYC Nations of Origin rugby 7’s event in Raymond Terrace on Wednesday. Wirradjuri and Darung after their game.

Scenes from the at the 2017 PCYC Nations of Origin rugby 7’s event in Raymond Terrace on Wednesday. Birpai in action.

Scenes from the at the 2017 PCYC Nations of Origin rugby 7’s event in Raymond Terrace on Wednesday. Birpai v Worimi.

Scenes from the at the 2017 PCYC Nations of Origin rugby 7’s event in Raymond Terrace on Wednesday. Birpai v Worimi.

Scenes from the at the 2017 PCYC Nations of Origin rugby 7’s event in Raymond Terrace on Wednesday. Birpai v Worimi.

Scenes from the at the 2017 PCYC Nations of Origin rugby 7’s event in Raymond Terrace on Wednesday. Birpai v Worimi.

Scenes from the at the 2017 PCYC Nations of Origin rugby 7’s event in Raymond Terrace on Wednesday. Birpai v Worimi.

Scenes from the at the 2017 PCYC Nations of Origin rugby 7’s event in Raymond Terrace on Wednesday. Gumbaynggir players runs across the field.

A Raymond Terrace welcome. A jet flys over the fields.

Scenes from the at the 2017 PCYC Nations of Origin rugby 7’s event in Raymond Terrace on Wednesday. Gumbaynggr v Wonnarua.

Scenes from the at the 2017 PCYC Nations of Origin rugby 7’s event in Raymond Terrace on Wednesday. Gumbaynggr v Wonnarua.

Scenes from the at the 2017 PCYC Nations of Origin rugby 7’s event in Raymond Terrace on Wednesday. Gumbaynggr v Wonnarua.

Scenes from the at the 2017 PCYC Nations of Origin rugby 7’s event in Raymond Terrace on Wednesday. Gumbaynggr v Wonnarua.

Scenes from the at the 2017 PCYC Nations of Origin rugby 7’s event in Raymond Terrace on Wednesday. Wiradjuri East (green) v Wiradjuri South (blue).

Scenes from the at the 2017 PCYC Nations of Origin rugby 7’s event in Raymond Terrace on Wednesday. Wiradjuri East (green) v Wiradjuri South (blue).

Scenes from the at the 2017 PCYC Nations of Origin rugby 7’s event in Raymond Terrace on Wednesday. Wiradjuri East (green) v Wiradjuri South (blue).

Scenes from the at the 2017 PCYC Nations of Origin rugby 7’s event in Raymond Terrace on Wednesday. Wiradjuri East (green) v Wiradjuri South (blue).

Scenes from the at the 2017 PCYC Nations of Origin rugby 7’s event in Raymond Terrace on Wednesday. Wiradjuri East (green) v Wiradjuri South (blue).

Scenes from the at the 2017 PCYC Nations of Origin rugby 7’s event in Raymond Terrace on Wednesday. Wiradjuri East (green) v Wiradjuri South (blue).

Scenes from the at the 2017 PCYC Nations of Origin rugby 7’s event in Raymond Terrace on Wednesday. Awabakal (red) v Darkinjung (yellow).

Scenes from the at the 2017 PCYC Nations of Origin rugby 7’s event in Raymond Terrace on Wednesday. Awabakal (red) v Darkinjung (yellow).

Scenes from the at the 2017 PCYC Nations of Origin rugby 7’s event in Raymond Terrace on Wednesday. Awabakal (red) v Darkinjung (yellow).

Scenes from the at the 2017 PCYC Nations of Origin rugby 7’s event in Raymond Terrace on Wednesday. Gamilaraay (orange) v Dunghutti (green).

Scenes from the at the 2017 PCYC Nations of Origin rugby 7’s event in Raymond Terrace on Wednesday. Gamilaraay (orange) v Dunghutti (green).

Scenes from the at the 2017 PCYC Nations of Origin rugby 7’s event in Raymond Terrace on Wednesday. Gamilaraay (orange) v Dunghutti (green).

Scenes from the at the 2017 PCYC Nations of Origin rugby 7’s event in Raymond Terrace on Wednesday. Gamilaraay (orange) v Dunghutti (green).

Scenes from the at the 2017 PCYC Nations of Origin rugby 7’s event in Raymond Terrace on Wednesday. Gamilaraay players.

Scenes from the at the 2017 PCYC Nations of Origin rugby 7’s event in Raymond Terrace on Wednesday. Yuin (blue) v Barkindji.

Scenes from the at the 2017 PCYC Nations of Origin rugby 7’s event in Raymond Terrace on Wednesday. Yuin (blue) v Barkindji.

Scenes from the at the 2017 PCYC Nations of Origin rugby 7’s event in Raymond Terrace on Wednesday. Yuin (blue) and Barkindji come together after the game.

Scenes from the at the 2017 PCYC Nations of Origin rugby 7’s event in Raymond Terrace on Wednesday. Darug East (blue) v Kamilaroi North (yellow).

Scenes from the at the 2017 PCYC Nations of Origin rugby 7’s event in Raymond Terrace on Wednesday. Darug East (blue) supporters.

Scenes from the at the 2017 PCYC Nations of Origin rugby 7’s event in Raymond Terrace on Wednesday. Kamilaroi South players.

Scenes from the at the 2017 PCYC Nations of Origin rugby 7’s event in Raymond Terrace on Wednesday. Worimi players.

Scenes from the at the 2017 PCYC Nations of Origin rugby 7’s event in Raymond Terrace on Wednesday. Darug West players.

TweetFacebook

TIGHT HEADS: Wanderers find another gem, ref reaches milestone and Tahs welcome returns

RD 12: Hamilton v Singleton, Wanderers v Nelson Bay, Southern Beaches v University, The Waratahs v Lake Macquarie, Merewether Carlton v Maitland.Wanderers coach Viv Paasi will have some selection headaches after the debut of flankerSam Schmidt in the 43-23 win over Singleton on Saturday.
SuZhou Night Recruitment

Schmidt, a coal miner,came to the club this year after moving from Mudgee for work. With Bailey Hefren out with a leg cork, Schmidt was given his chance in the top grade against the cellar-dwellers and delivered a man-of-the-match effort.

“His work rate was really high and everything he’s been taught over the last few months, he was able to bring that to the table in first grade,” Paasi said.“It felt like he’d been there for a while.”

He said Schmidt would get another chance but Hefren had also been in top form.

“He’s definitely earned his jersey for this weekend and that’s where we are at at the moment,” Paasi said of Schmidt.“We’ve got a lot of guys coming back from injury and whatnot and there’s a lot of really good competition for a jumper from one to 15, so it’s exciting times.”

** Rob D’Elboux will join an exclusive group when he referees the Merewether-Maitland match at Townson Oval on Saturday.

D’Elboux willbecome the seventh referee to control 150 Premier 1 games. He officiated his first in2006 and has gone on to Country level.

** Waratahs coach Carl Manu welcomes back prop TalanoaTaufaao and winger Chase Hicks from suspension for the crunch match with Lake Macquarie on Saturday.

Both missed the 25-all draw with Merewether last week and their return will soften the blow of losingDylan Heins (back) and fullback Pat Ingall (concussion). Fly-half Dane Sherratt passed a concussion test.

Former RDA Hunter and Newcastle Permanent chairman Michael Slater dies

Michael Slater.THE Hunter’s business community is in mourning after the shock passing of Michael Slater.
SuZhou Night Recruitment

Mr Slater, a married father of two sons, is understood to have died on Tuesday morning after a short illness.

He had recently stepped down from his roles as chairman of the Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation and Regional Development Hunter.

Newcastle Permanent chief executive officer Terry Millett said his staff were“devastated”.

“Mike was Novocastrian to his bootstraps,” Mr Millett said.

“He was so proud of the community and wanted so much to make a contribution.

“He was a person who cared –a lot –and was very hard working and diligent.

“He could be stubborn and hard to move on some things, but you knew his heart was in a great spot.

“Mike was also a great dad, heused to talk to me about his family and how much he cared about them.”

Mr Slater, 71, was the longest servingchairman ofNewcastle Permanent Building Society, a role he held foralmost 10 yearsuntil he stepped down in October 2016.

He was also involved with theNewcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation from its inception to March 2017.

He was still on the board of directors for both the building society and the foundation when he died.

“Mike’s been part of the organisation as a director for more than 15 years and made an incrediblecontribution, so we are devastated,” Mr Millett said.

“When he came to the organisation it was less than one third of its current size, now it’s an $11 billion organisation. We would not have beenin the position to achieve what we achieved without Mike.

“He’s going to be missed for his wisdom, good humour and wise counsel.

“We’re now thinking ‘Wow, we’re not going to have Mike’.

“The grieving process will be intense and long. He was so well loved.”

Mr Millett said he last saw Mr Slater in May and understood his illness had been “quick and severe”.

“The fact he pushed on and was still an active board member tells you about commitment of the guy.”

Newcastle Permanent chair Jeff Eather said he admired Mr Slater’s “knowledge, passion and tenacity in the boardroom as well as when carrying out his many other roles in community organisations”.

“Mike demonstrated an unsurpassed passion for continuous improvement, robust governance and corporate philanthropy,” Mr Eather said.

“His stewardship of the Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation over the past 10 years further demonstrated his passion for supporting the community and his commitment to making a significant difference to less fortunate people in our community as he helped the foundation to become what we believe is the largest of its kind in regional .

“Mike’s contribution to Newcastle Permanent can’t be overstated, and we know his loss will come as a heavy loss to the Hunter and broader NSW business and not-for-profit communities.”

Mr Slater told the Herald last yearbusiness leaders should not fail to take on a challenge.

“I believe all business leaders, whether they operate a small enterprise or govern a large organisation, have an obligation to represent the interests of the community and give back to it in any capacity they can,” Mr Slater said.

RDA Hunter acting chair John Turner said Mr Slater had been the organisation’s “driving force” throughout his tenure, fromJanuary 2015 to April 2017.

“His vision was very good for RDA because he knew the Hunter so well,” Mr Turner said.

“The implication was he would be the first invited to anything going, because he knew how the Hunter was ticking. He could pinpoint areas where we could be looking to put our attention to.

“Where his leadership came in was in relation to programs like the STEM program, which was looking at developing technology based businesses for employment purposes, and the ME program for getting young kids involved.”

Mr Turner said Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull invited Mr Slater to launch the STEM program in Parliament House “as an example of what he would like to see with STEM programs rolled out across ”.

“Without his drive we would not have achieved the runs on board we got for those programs,” Mr Turner said.

“He will be remembered as a leader within the Hunter community.

“He influenced many spheres and organisations and was respected by allof the bodies he touched.

“He was developing RDA Hunter into one of the leading RDAs in .”

Mr Turner saidMr Slater was “very friendly, gregarious and the proverbiallife of the party”.

He said he last saw Mr Slater about three months ago, when they discussed the job handover.

Mr Turner said Mr Slater was planning to travel to Europe.

“He was frail but in good spirits and looking forward to the trip,” he said.

“We’re all shocked to hear of his passing –he’llcertainly be missed in Newcastle, there’s no question of that.”

Hunter Business Chamber CEO Bob Hawes expressed the chamber’s sympathies to Mr Slater’s family, friends and colleagues.

“He made a significant contribution to the region over a long period of time,” Mr Slater said.

“I personally met Michael back in the 80’s and he was a very impressive man then who kept on growing and kept on giving.

“It is always a tragedy when we lose a significant business person such as Michael who gave a significant contribution to this region.”

Mr Slater, an accountant, graduated from the University of Newcastle with a Bachelor Of Commerce in 1972 and Master Of Business Administration in 1985.

Mr Slater was named last yearas the Hunter Business Chamber’sBusiness Leader of the Year.

He also took home the NSW Business Chamber’s Business Leader of the Year 2016.

Mr Slater was a member of Surf Life Saving for 50 years and a patron of the Hunter, North Coast and Mid North Coast branches.

He was also on the Westpac Rescue Helicopter board of directors for more than 19 years.

Government pays $262 million to buy half Watermark exploration licence as coal plans firm

SHENHUA has taken a massive step forward in its plans for the Watermark coal project at Breeza, on the Liverpool Plains.
SuZhou Night Recruitment

NSW Government announced this morning it had reached a deal with the Chinese miner to excise half of the area covered by Shenhua’s exploration licence, reclaiming high value cropping country, includingblack soil floodplains.

Despite the move to protect farmland, it willstir fears the remaining tenement will be extended into an underground mine.

Map shows Shenhua’s reduced exploration area.

In return Shenhua gets a $262 million refund from the original $300m exploration fee paid to government by the company in 2008.

Shenhua has previously received development approval for the Watermark mine, but the project has languished for years

Shenhua still requires Commonwealth approval of management plans for water, biodiversity and environment.

NSW must also issue a mining licence, which is largely a legal formality now development consent has been granted.

Excising the strategic agricultural leaves in play the area planned for Watermark’s westernmost of three open-cut coal pits, which have been approved under the planning process to remain an open void when mining stops.

Shenhua may be able to tap about just one third of the coal resource available under the initial exploration area.A large amount of coal left in the project boundary is too deep for open cut mining.

Earlier this year, speculating on a potential licence excise, local farmer Andrew Pursehouse said Shenhua would have a “backdoor” to pursue an underground mine.

“Reducing Shenhua’s footprintleaves potential for an extensioninto anunderground longwall mine,” Mr Pursehouse said at the time.

Last year, NSW bought back BHP’s exploration licence for the Caroona coal mine for $220m.

Caroona was planned as an underground operation underneath black soil plains, and then premier Mike Baird said potential damage to valuable farmland justified the buyback.

Said the exploration licence buyback will not protect the unique water resource that makes the region unique among farmland, and able to produce two crops a year.

Chairwoman of the Caroona Coal Action Group Susan Lyle said the exploration area buyback does not remove the risks that the mine poses to farmland and the underlying water table.

“It makes no difference to the effect the mine will have on the surrounding agricultural area. There will still be a mine in the middle of the Liverpool Plains. This hasn’t protected the water,” she said.

“The mine, even in the remaining area, will dig below the aquifer, it could even puncture the aquifer.

“NSW Resources Minister Don Harwin said mining would now be restricted to ridge lands.”

Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Water, Niall Blair, said future mining operations must abide by strict water management conditions Shenhua’s plans have been “exhaustively assessed” by the NSW Aquifer Interference Policy, and will be subject to continual monitoring.

“Today’s agreement unlocks prime agricultural land for farming, helping to maintain the region’s reputation as one of the great food bowls of .”

Tamworth MP Kevin Anderson said the agreement strikes “the right balance” between farming and creating up to 600 new jobs and investment in the region.

Mrs Lyle said government consultation had fallen short.

“We’ve been kept out of the loop almost forever,” she said.

“We have written to the Premier and minister, but we’ve only heard that government is negotiating to excise land. We have not seen a minister or departmental person here.

“To throw it back at us like, here’s the decision and here’s a map, if nothing more it’s bad manners.

“Seeing we’re the ones who will be affected it would’ve been good if government had at least told us ‘this is what we’re considering’”.

Shenhua major approval document, the Environmental Impact Statement has been approved by government. It says the mine will no damage farmland.

Shenhua has missed several key deadline on its development approval process, which has been held up by state and federal assessments and community opposition.

Shenhua’s exploration licence, set by the NSW Labor Mining Minister Ian Macdonald, expired in March this year. The eight year deadline to start development has also long expired

Shenhua iseight months overdue with water and biodiversity management plans that are required by federal government for assessment by its independent expert science panel.

The companyhas been contacted for comment.

FarmOnline

State of Origin 2017: Remembering the last NSW win over Queensland

The last time the Blues won | PHOTOS Jarryd Hayne on the fly. Pic: Getty Images
SuZhou Night Recruitment

A “balletic” Billy Slater. Pic: Getty Images

NSW fullback Jarryd Hayne grits his teeth. Pic: Getty Images

NSW Blue Greg Bird gets the leg drive into overdrive. Pic: Getty Images

Three, almost, on one at Suncorp Stadium during Origin III. Pic: Getty Images

Billy Slater holds on tight to the ball as NSW Blue Ryan Hoffman is sandwiched. Pic: Getty Images

Queensland skipper Cameron Smith scores. Pic: Getty Images

Cer-unch. Pic: Getty Images

Greg Inglis spots a familiar face in the crowd after Cameron Smith’s try. Pic: Getty Images

Daly Cherry-Evans chips ahead. Pic: Getty Images

The wrestling continues over the line at Suncorp Stadium. Pic: Getty Images

Greg Inglis attracts some attention from the NSW defenders near the stripe. Pic: Getty Images

The Maroons huddle up after skipper Cameron Smith’s try. Pic: Getty Images

Queenslander Justin Hodges does his best to shrug off NSW defenders. Pic: Getty Images

Paul Gallen stops referee Ben Cummins to ask a question in 2014’s third State of Origin match. Pic: Getty Images

Maroon Billy Slater has his sights set on scoring at Suncorp Stadium in the third State of Origin clash of 2014. Pic: Getty Images

Queensland players celebrate one of their five tries in the third State of Origin clash of 2014. Pic: Getty Images

Legs a-go-go. The NSW defence swarms. Pic: Getty Images

Aaron Woods celebrates with his Blues teammates after Josh Dugan’s try. Pic: Getty Images

The Maroons celebrate Aidan Guerra’s four-pointer. Pic: Getty Images

Dave Taylor feels the love as the Blues defence closes in. Pic: Getty Images

Beau Scott takes on the Queensland defence during game three of the 2014 State of Origin series. Pic: Getty Images

NSW Blues skipper Paul Gallen holds the State of Origin Shield aloft at Suncorp Stadium.

The State of Origin-winning NSW Blues camp. Pic: Getty Images

The Queenslanders celebrate a strong win in game three at Brisbane. Pic: Getty Images

Darius Boyd celebrates scoring a try with Queensland team mates Greg Inglis and Billy Slater. Pic: Getty Images

Darius Boyd celebrates his try. Pic: Getty Images

Darius Boyd evades Jarryd Haynes’ clutches to score. Pic: Getty Images

Queenslander? Pic: Getty Images

Nate Myles is put on his back. Pic: Getty Images

NSW skipper Paul Gallen knows one way – forward. Pic: Getty Images

Excuse me, says Billy Slater as he leaves Josh Dugan on his hands and knees. Pic: Getty Images

Greg Inglis motors upfield. Pic: Getty Images

Greg Inglis of the Maroons palms off Josh Reynolds. Pic: Getty Images

Josh Dugan celebrates scoring the Blues try with a quick pogo dance. Pic: Getty Images

TweetFacebookThere would be no “bluewash” or fairytale finish to the 2014 State of Origin series as Queensland gatecrashed the NSW party.

But the title still came south as the Blues held the shieldfor the first time in eight years, a feat they hope to repeat at Suncorp Stadium on Wednesday night.

Do you remember how the 2014 series win felt? Here’s a reminder.

Maitland Pickers miss out on playing final three home games on No.1 Sportsground

A request from Maitland Rugby League for the Pickers to play their last three home games on the new No1. Sportsground has been knocked back by Maitland City Council.
SuZhou Night Recruitment

The Pickers have been playing home games at Coronation Oval,Telarah throughout the season while their home base underwent a major refurbishment.

With therecent unveiling of the new $8.6 millioncomplex, the club thought playersmay be able to finish the season on a high note and playon new turf.

Unfortunately the request was denied at a Maitland City Council meeting on Tuesday night, a decision that has upset not only players but also president Frank Lawler.

Mr Lawler said the move to Coronation Oval has hurt the club financially resulting ina 30 per cent drop in game day takings.

“I reckon we’ve lost about $30,000 so far this year,” Mr Lawler said.

“It’s a bit of an honesty system at Coronation with someone manning the gate but it’s easy enough for people to access the ground from South Street cemetery or the area near the railway line,” he said.

“They drive their cars up to the fence line, bring their own beers and watch the game. How are we supposed to police that,” he said.

A report to this week’s council meeting by council’s Infrastructure and Works Manager Chris James said the playing surface at No.1 Sportsground required further preparation works.

Mr James said this was to ensure the maximum benefit is realised during the critical spring regrowth period. It is recommended that the ground is not used until next year.

“Although the playing surface appears complete it still requires a program of work to ensure its viability for the long term,” Mr James said.

“Council is in the process of finalising operational procedures for the facility and establishing the playing surface and grassed spectator areas,” he said.

The new turf at No.1 Sportsground has had limited time to establish as it was laid at the end of the growing season.

“The period between nowand spring is needed to undertake surface preparation works to ensure the maximum benefit is realised during the critical spring regrowth period.

“The work put in at this time will have a significant impact on the quality of the surface for the 2018 winter season,” Mr James said.

The works include:

. Installation of sand drains which should only be undertaken with an established turf cover. The drains are programmed to be installed in August/September followed by two top dressings of the field.

. A program of weed control, slow release fertiliser, pesticide and root development improvements over the next six months.

BoatingSportsfishing boat a prize catchMark Rothfield

SPORTSFISHING BOAT: Whittley’s new 1950 delivers plenty of comfort and is built to tackle rough conditions.IF you’re looking for a sportsfishing boat that doesn’t skimp on comforts or break the budget, and is light enough to be towed by a family sedan, then your ship has come in.
SuZhou Night Recruitment

Actually, it’s a runabout – the Clearwater CW1950 built by Whittley Marine in Victoria.

SEA LEGEND BABY: Fishos will appreciate that the SL20 includes plenty of big-boat attributes.

The hull is unashamedly based on the evergreen Savage Mako hull, which won Boat of the Year honours in its day. Sometimes you can’t improve on tradition in the boating world, and it’s a smart way to keep development costs down.

Atop this goes a new deck and modern layout, including walk-through access for both the transom door and bowsprit with lazy anchor system.

“Our R&D team have enhanced the styling with a slick new dash that can accommodate a massive 16-inch screen, a flat transom, folding engine well and folding door,” Whittley Marine director of sales and marketing Alan Whittley says.

“They’ve also given the hull more aggressive chines and moulded boarding platforms, adding to the hull’s already impressive bluewater credentials.”

The roomy cabin has a vee-berth large enough for a snooze.

Aft is one of the largest fishing cockpits in the 1950’s class, boasting ample storage and fishing-friendly featuressuch as an underfloor fish box and full-length shelves.

Deadrise is a moderate 19 degrees with a fine entry, allowing the hull to slice reasonably well through chop while delivering good stability and planing performance from outboards ranging upwards from 115 horsepower.

The 1950 slots in neatly between its Clearwater sisterships, a 1650 and 2150, and old-fashioned family value is a big part of the equation.

Pricing starts at $56,990 (excluding delivery charges) when packaged with a four-stroke Yamaha 115, Mackay dual-axle trailer, and the standard bimini top, bow rails, side windows, two-tone hull and bunk cushions.

Whittley has also extended its Sea Legend family with a SL 20 and SL 25 HT.

At 6.37 metres in overall length, the 20 is the baby of the SL fleet but has all the big-boat attributes that fishos look for. For starters, its hull has a relatively deep-vee of 23 degrees to improve the offshore ride.

Alan Whittley adds: “The deep-vee SL hull is a proven performer on the water but the market was crying out for a 6-metre version at an affordable price.”

It looks as good as it performs with a new-look cabin entry sitting in front of the most comfortable seats in the class. The full-length double vee-berth has identical dimensions to the SL 22.

Whittley has packaged the SL20 with a Mackay dual axle trailer and Volvo Penta’s V6 200 G SX engine, priced from just under $80,000.

The SL 25 HT sports a hardtop, if you hadn’t guessed from its title. Having evolved from the SL 24, it’s a high-performance tourer with inbuilt creature comforts such as a slide-out fridge.

Buyers can choose from a range of Volvo sterndrive engines in petrol or diesel, with optional Duoprop drive. Packages start from $129,990.Contact dealer Terrace Boating on 4983 5600.