Archive for: ‘March 2019’

Wallsend’s Carols In The Park grows in popularity

16/03/2019 Posted by admin

FAMILY NIGHT OUT: Pastor Phil Skinner from Wallsend Baptist Church promotes Carols in the Park.THE back-to-basics approach of Wallsend’s Carols In The Park has struck a chord with local residents.

Stripped of a rotating line-up of guest singers, the church’s focus has been to create a family-fun environment using their own in-house worship band.

Wallsend Baptist Church pastor Phil Skinner said last year’s carols attracted about 3000 people.

He said the crowd numbers had grown steadily from about a 1000 people since the church started the annual tradition in 2009.

“It’s simply a great family evening – I think everyone just really appreciates the simplicity of it all,” Mr Skinner said.

“We even get people travelling up from the Central Coast.”

This year’s event will start with pre-entertainment from Maxi-Jazz Dance Studio, followed by local magician David Whitson.

The main program of carols will be lead by Wallsend Baptist Church’s worship band with Mount Vincent-based group Iron and Clay to make a special guest appearance. Santa is also expected to arrive before the closing fireworks show by Fireworks Factory.

■ Wallsend Carols In The Park will be held this Saturday, December 13 at Federal Park. Pre-entertainment starts at 6pm, with the carols from 7pm and fireworks at 9pm.

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Newcastle council given authority to approve development on rail corridor

16/03/2019 Posted by admin

VISITORS: Transport Minister and Minister for the Hunter Gladys Berejiklian with NSW Premier Mike Baird in Newcastle.NEWCASTLE council will become the consent authority for developers who want to build on the rail corridor, NSW Premier Mike Baird has revealed.

Mr Baird was in Newcastle on Thursday, with Transport Minister and Minister for the Hunter, Gladys Berejiklian.

Mr Baird said the revitalisation of the former rail corridor would be central to the revitalisation of the CBD.

“Given the importance of this once-in-a-generation revitalisation process, we believe it is critical that Newcastle council plays a key role in the planning decisions for the city’s future,” he said.

“We have always said we would involve the community in any decisions regarding the future of the rail corridor in Newcastle and we are now delivering on that commitment.”

Ms Berejiklian announced five new pedestrian-friendly crossings over the rail line will open in early 2015 at Steel Street, Kuwumi Place, Worth Place, Perkins Street and Wolfe Street.

Stewart Avenue and Merewether Street level crossings will be permanently open.

Ms Berejiklian said more crossings would be announced next year, including new vehicle crossings, with new bus timetables to replace heavy rail released sometime next week.

Newcastle state MP and Newcastle councillor Tim Crakanthorp said allocating approval to the council was “simply smoke and mirrors”, as the council could only only determine smaller developments with capital investment less than $20 million and $5 million if it was development of the crown.

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Children in Lake Macquarie to be tested for lead following Pasminco investigation

16/03/2019 Posted by admin

NORTHERN Lake Macquarie residents can have their young children tested for high lead levels early next year.

Blood lead testing will be offered to all children under five years of age in Boolaroo, Argenton and Speers Point.

Hunter New England Health public health physician Dr Craig Dalton said blood lead levels had declined dramatically since the Pasminco Cockle Creek Smelter closed in 2003.

“We did an earlier survey of children’s blood lead levels in the area in (2005 and 2006) and found a pleasing decline in lead levels and we are hopeful that the new survey will provide evidence that this trend is continuing,” he said.

“Our ongoing surveillance of blood lead levels in the community since the closure has not identified elevated blood lead levels in children in the area since 2009.”

During the 2005-06 blood lead survey 240 children had their blood lead level tested, with 4 per cent of under 13-year-olds and 7 per cent of under five-year-olds returning elevated blood lead level readings.

Last month a joint investigation between the Newcastle Herald and Macquarie University revealed high levels of lead pollution in soil up to eight times recommended levels in children’s play areas in Speers Point and Eleebana.

Lead exposure has been linked with diminished academic abilities and antisocial behaviours in young children in the past.

Planning for the 2015 children’s blood lead survey is under way and parents or carers in the testing area who wish to participate can contact Hunter New England Health.

■ For more information about the lead blood testing phone the Hunter New England Public Health Unit on 4924 6477.

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Lake Macquarie Suicide Prevention and Support Network candle-lighting ceremony at Blackalls Park to comfort bereaved families

16/03/2019 Posted by admin

NEVER FORGOTTEN: Brian and Faye Hawley light a candle in honour of their son Darren (pictured), who took his life in 2006.

FOR most families, Christmas is a joyful time of year. But for some, it brings sadness as they remember those who are no longer with them.

A new event in Lake Macquarie aims to shine a light on the festive season for families that have lost their sons, daughters, brothers and sisters to suicide.

This Sunday, December 14, the Lake Macquarie Suicide Prevention and Support Network will hold a candle-lighting ceremony at Blackalls Park.

Co-ordinated in conjunction with Compassionate Friends Australia, the ceremony will see hundreds of candles lit and floated on a nearby pond.

As well as holding suicide awareness events like this one, the support network distributes information packs to bereaved families.

Behind it all is Edgeworth woman Faye Hawley.

She and her husband Brian lost their 31-year-old son Darren to suicide in 2006.

Not knowing where to turn, Mrs Hawley attended the support network’s inaugural meeting in 2009.

By the end of the year she was president. Today, she is still at the helm.

Eight years have passed since Darren’s death, but the pain is still raw for the Hawleys, who say Christmas is the most difficult time.

“Birthdays are hard but Christmas is harder because it’s a time when families come together,” Mrs Hawley said.

“Do you set up a chair for the person that’s missing?”

Mrs Hawley said she hoped the candle-lighting ceremony would encourage people to talk about suicide.

“I’m open to talking about it because there’s a need in the community,” she said.

“I need people to talk about Darren to keep my memories of him alive.”

■ Lake Macquarie Suicide Prevention and Support Network candle-lighting ceremony, December 14, 7pm at El Keziah outdoor function centre, 48 Rose Street, Blackalls Park.

Email [email protected]苏州美甲美睫培训学校 or phone Faye Hawley on 0407 002 463 to register.

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Newcastle Cycleways Movement to undergo cost-benefit analysis

16/03/2019 Posted by admin

ON YOUR BIKE: Newcastle Cycleways Movement members at Maryville.THE Hunter Medical Research Institute will provide Newcastle Cycleways Movement with a cost-benefit analysis of its ambitious CycleSafe network for free.

The Newcastle Cycleways Movement has been working with Newcastle and Lake Macquarie councils on a $50 million cycle plan that connects suburbs across the two cities, including dedicated bike lanes down Hunter Street.

The Newcastle council has already committed to spend $15 million on cycleways over the next 10 years, but Newcastle Cycleways needs another $35 million to complete the network.

Speaking in the council chambers last Tuesday night, Dr Ben Ewald, Newcastle Cycleways Movement vice-president, said he was counting on Newcastle councillors to support the project.

In September the group announced it had secured the support of several high-profile organisations, including Hunter Medicare Local, the NSW Heart Foundation and the University of Newcastle’s Tom Farrell Institute, to lobby the state government to spend money from the lease of Newcastle port on its CycleSafe network.

Lord mayor Nuatali Nelmes said the council had also recently made a submission to the federal government’s National Stronger Regions Fund in the hope of securing some of the money needed for the network.

Round one of the grant scheme closed on November 28 and funding will be announced in May.

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