Greens candidate John Brownfights plan to cut rail

15/09/2019 // by admin

JOHN BROWNMAITLAND Greens convenor John Brown has been endorsed as the party’s candidate for next year’s state election.
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Mr Brown will contest the seat against Maitland MP Robyn Parker and Labor candidate for Maitland Jenny Aitchison and opposing the government’s plan to truncate the rail line into Newcastle is his first priority.

Mr Brown, a freelance journalist from Bolwarra Heights, said there was a strong movement of people who did not want the heavy line cut, and he would continue to fight to stop it.

“There is still time to stop it, it will affect people of all walks of life going into the city whether it be young people going to the beach or mothers with prams,” he said.

“The rail line will be the platform of my election campaign. The reality is that light rail will be years away and in the meantime a huge amount of people are going to be negatively affected.”

Mr Brown said the election was an opportunity for voters to pave a new way for the future.

“People have a choice – they can continue along the path of ‘business as usual’ with the two old parties, or choose to take a new direction, down the road to a cleaner and greener future with more jobs and fewer scandals,” he said.

“Clean not only means looking after the environment but also stamping out the greed which appears to have captured many of our state and federal MPs from the old parties.”

Mr Brown was the Greens candidate in the federal election last year where he ran against long-standing MP Bob Baldwin.

He received positive results on polling day and hopes to build on that when voters go to the polls next year.

“I was very happy to see the Greens vote increase in Paterson,” he said.

“It goes to show that voters are beginning to realise that the accusations thrown against the Greens by Labor and Liberal are not true.

“We are ordinary people dedicated to a better future for our children.”

The Greens want a cleaner future, to cease the rush into coal seam gas, and ensure water supplies are protected.

The party also wants more emphasis on renewable energy.

Daniel Ammann to hit back after learning from loss

15/09/2019 // by admin

BIGGER PICTURE: Daniel Ammann is looking overseas for future challenges. Picture: Simone de PeakDANIEL ‘‘the Doberman’’ Ammann may be lacing up for a third Australian cruiserweight boxing title on Saturday night but he remains focused on the international market.
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The Stockton southpaw’s last foray on the global stage was halted on February 22 when he lost his Commonwealth cruiserweight title bout in London against England’s Tony Conquest.

On that night a bloodied and bruised Ammann was out-boxed and lost on a unanimous points decision.

However, the 31-year-old’s trainer, Peter Hallett, said there were plenty of positives in defeat.

‘‘He’s just got to come back and learn from that,’’ Hallett said.

‘‘He changed his style around a little bit. He learnt things from it, so he changed his style to suit that type of fighter.

‘‘The little changes we’ve made, I reckon he’s twice the fighter now.’’

Ammann’s sixth loss in his 36-fight career has forced a change to his boxing stance to enable him to move in closer and deliver more punches.

Those changes will be on display at the Townsville Entertainment Centre on Saturday night when he fights local boy Mark ‘‘Bam Bam’’ Flanagan for the vacant Australian cruiserweight strap.

PETER HALLETT on Daniel Ammann

Ammann was the champion until he was forced to relinquish the title before he challenged for the Commonwealth crown.

Not since May 2004 has an Australian cruiserweight title match not featured Ammann.

He has made 10 successful title defences since first capturing the belt in 2006.

The 23-year-old Flanagan is a renowned big-hitter.

‘‘Bam Bam’’ has knocked out 10 opponents in his 15 career wins, his last four victories coming in under three minutes. The last of his four losses was more than two years ago.

‘‘He’s big, he’s strong and he has a very good knockout record,’’ Hallett said.

‘‘He’s a fair fighting machine.’’

If Ammann can successfully regain the Australian title for a third time, Hallett said his protege would again focus on overseas challengers.

‘‘We’re getting ready for the international market pretty good,’’ he said.

‘‘You’ve got to go over and fight those top-quality fights and learn, because if you stay in Australia all your life you’re not going to improve.

‘‘You’ve got to fight the best and improve.’’

MOVIE REVIEW: The Babadook

15/09/2019 // by admin

HAUNTED HOUSE: Noah Wiseman and Essie Davis in a scene from The Babadook.THE BABADOOK (M)
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Stars: Essie Davis, Noah Wiseman, Hayley McElhinney

Director: Jennifer Kent

Screening: selected cinemas

Rating: ★★★

IN The Babadook, Essie Davis could use a little help from her unflappable alter ego, the TV sleuth Phryne Fisher. She’s gently falling apart in an old house so dimly lit and so well-endowed with cobwebby corners, you can tell a haunting is imminent.

As Amelia, she’s still grieving for her husband who was killed in a car accident six years earlier while driving her to the hospital for the birth of their son.

And the boy, Samuel (Noah Wiseman), is even more disturbed than she is. He’s already seeing monsters – an obsession that brings on tantrums and panic attacks.

The school is worried, and Amelia’s sister, Claire (Hayley McElhinney), and her friends are close to giving up on her. Then the monster materialises.

He’s the Babadook, a scary figure with cloak and top hat who looks as if he’s related to a nightmare dreamed up by German expressionist master F.W. Murnau. The film’s Australian writer-director, Jennifer Kent, acknowledges the German expressionists as an influence, along with Roman Polanski at his spookiest.

The film grew out of Monster, a short feature of Kent’s widely seen on the international festival circuit. This one, too, has had a festival showing – this year at Sundance, where it impressed with the potency of its atmosphere and the strength of its performances.

It’s basically a two-hander. Teachers, social workers, friends and family hover on the fringes, but the essentials occur in the house as Amelia and Samuel grapple with the menacing presence of their demon-in-residence.

It’s Wiseman’s first film, but his wide-eyed yet knowing portrayal of a troubled little boy is so unnerving that it upstages the horror movie contrivances that surround it. I have to admit I’m no fan of horror movies, but this one delivers a powerful study in domestic havoc.

MOVIE REVIEW: X-Men: Days of Future Past

15/09/2019 // by admin

ROLE SHIFT: Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique. X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST (M)
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Stars: Hugh Jackman, Jennifer Lawrence, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Peter Dinklage, Ellen Page

Director: Bryan Singer

Screening: general release

Rating: ★★★

IN the X-Men series, psychology is an important part of the spectacle.

Its mutant heroes might have cool, physics-defying powers, but what they think and feel is crucial.

And underpinning it all is a contrast between two central characters and their ways of approaching the world: Charles Xavier/Professor X is a teacher and conciliator, and Erik Lehnsherr/Magneto a man of action and aggression.

They’ve been friends and they’ve been enemies; in X-Men: Days of Future Past they are both.

To begin with we see them in old age, played once again by Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen, and they’re allies – but in this time-travelling film we also see them as their younger antagonistic selves, played by James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender (as was the case in X-Men: First Class).

We begin with a near-future that looks particularly grim.

Huge mutant-seeking machines known as Sentinels are hunting them down, with devastating success.

The decisive moment, it turns out, was in 1973, when Raven, aka Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence), the blue-bodied shapeshifter, decided to turn assassin. She targeted Dr Bolivar Trask (Peter Dinklage), the scientist who masterminded the Sentinels.

It seems this misfired, and rather than saving mutants her action had the opposite effect.

A plan is hatched to go back in time and change the course of history, courtesy of Kitty Pryde (Ellen Page), who has the ability to transport a person’s consciousness and allow it to inhabit the body of his or her younger self.

The delegated time-traveller is Wolverine (Hugh Jackman).

His task – a suitably paradoxical one – is to save the man who wants to destroy him and his kind.

Back in 1973, Wolverine wakes up on a water bed with a lava lamp in his line of sight and a mission that looks almost impossible.

Mystique is mad as hell; Xavier is a shadow of his former self; and Lehnsherr is in heavily guarded solitary confinement.

It’s hard enough getting them together in one place, let alone convincing Mystique to stand down.

The film has a slightly episodic narrative, a series of set-pieces strung together, with an interesting adversary rather than a villain – Dinklage brings a sense of conviction to a slightly under-developed character.

The scenes in the future, with battling mutants under fire from the Sentinels, don’t feel as character-driven as the ’70s sequences do, even the action-oriented ones.

McAvoy does the hardcore emoting; Jackman – playing a less irate Wolverine – is laconic; and Fassbender is coolly decisive.

Lawrence, in head-to-toe near-naked blue flesh, tends to look like a special effect most of the time.

There are a few moments that will only make sense to franchise devotees, but they don’t affect the story all that much – they might add to a sense of confusion, however.

Peter hedges bets for Challenge heats

15/09/2019 // by admin

Peter HedgesGILLIESTON Heights trainer-driver Peter Hedges believes his chances in the NSW Breeders Challenge heats at Newcastle are fighting for second place against two smart Sydney pacers tonight.
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But second would do just fine.

Hedges will race Sporty Belle in the two-year-old fillies heat and I’m Saint Anthony in the two-year-old colts and geldings qualifier for the group1 series.

Winners will progress in the respective series and a second place will secure a spot in semi-finals if all 10 heats statewide are held. A fastest third place could also lead to a semis berth.

A change in rules means local pacers gain preference for starts in the respective NSW Breeders Challenge heats and Hedges is one of several Hunter trainers with chances tonight.

However, visitors, both from gate one, seemingly hold the upper hand in the heats. Paul Fitzpatrick’s Sally Fletcher will be the filly to beat, while Belinda McCarthy’s Ominous Warning should set the pace in the other $15,000 heat.

Hedges’ charges have both drawn six and he will drive for luck in the hope of snaring a place in the next round of the series.

‘‘I’m Saint Anthony’s a place hope,’’ Hedges said.

‘‘I don’t think we can beat the one. He’s a really nice horse of McCarthy’s, but my fella’s honest and hopefully he can run around the money somewhere.

‘‘Sally Fletcher’s a really nice horse and probably should have won the Gold Tiara at the Bathurst, but she galloped.

‘‘I think she will probably win the whole thing, to be honest.

‘‘But mine’s an honest pacer and only a little horse but she tries really hard.

‘‘She trialled well at Maitland on Monday, running fourth against older horses, and the other guy was third in his trial and did well also.’’

Hedges, who juggles a full-time job with driving locally and training his own small team, will also take the reins of Jedi Superstar for Ken Natty and Miss Aquaville for Darren Reay in other races on the 10-event card tonight.

■ Keinbah trainer Shane Tritton has reached the magical 100 winners for the season in NSW five weeks earlier than last year but he faces an uphill battle to crack the century in Newcastle.

Last year Tritton became the first Hunter Valley trainer to hit 100 winners in a NSW season but fell just five short of the mark at Newcastle alone, finishing on a remarkable 95.

He hit the ton statewide with four victories at Menangle last Saturday and of his 103 victories from 465 starters statewide, Tritton has racked up 59 at Newcastle in just under nine months of racing.

The numbers highlight the four-time defending Newcastle premiership winner’s great efforts and success outside the region this season.

Tritton told Harness Racing NSW he was happy to reach the century but had hoped to achieve it earlier this season after making a flying start to the campaign.

He praised the efforts of his drivers Lauren Panella, David Morris and Jack Trainor and his other stable staff.

Tritton also told HRNSW that Suave Stuey Lombo was scratched last Saturday night due to a virus which caused elevated temperatures in 14 of his horses.

He said all recovered quickly and Suave Stuey Lombo would lead a team of up to a dozen horses in a campaign at the Queensland winter carnival.

Ardghal, Yayas Hot Spot, Aspiring Artist, Marty Monkhouser and possibly stable star Mach Beauty and Light In Every Day would be among the team.

Meanwhile, after a busy night at Menangle tomorrow, Tritton and Panella will head to Dubbo on Sunday to race Pas Ultimate Delight in the $25,000 Red Ochre Mares Classic final.

■ Newcastle-Maitland Mini-Trotting Club will hold an information and training day at Stanford Merthyr Pony Club ground on Sunday from 8.30am.

HRNSW is helping the club stage the event designed to introduce children from five to 16 years of age to general horse care and mini trotting.

Horses and equipment will be supplied for the day, which is already fully booked.

Another day will be held soon and information can be found on nswminitrots南京夜网 or by calling 0418433979.