Murray Goulburn sale clears final hurdle

27/08/2018 Posted by admin

Murray Goulburn’s Koroit factory. Picture: Rob GunstoneThe sale offormer leading dairy processor Murray Goulburn (MG) to Canadian dairy giant has cleared its final hurdle with the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) approvingthe acquisition.

MG spokesman said Saputo had advised it on Wednesday of the FIRB’s decision.

MG said it expected to complete the $1.3 billion sale of the cooperative to Saputo byMay 1, this year.

It said the initial distribution of 80c a share from the sale to shareholders and unitholders will take place on May 15.

The date on which MG will record those on its list of shareholders and unitholders in the MG Unit Trust, and who will receive the 80c a share or unit,has been set at April 23.

Under the terms of the sale, Saputo has agreed to divest itself of MG’s Koroit plant to counterconcerns from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commision that it would have too much control of the regional milk market if it kept the plant.

Saputo already owns the Warrnambool Cheese and Butter factory at Allansford.

The Weekly Times has quoted a Saputo spokesman as saying the Canadian company hopes to sell the Koroit plant by the end of June.

The report said at least two Australian companies had already had talks with Saputoto express their interest in the Koroit plant.

Warrnambool Standard

Vegemite verdict: Putting Darby Street’s $7 gourmet toast to the test

27/08/2018 Posted by admin

Vegemite verdict: Putting Darby Street’s $7 gourmet toast to the test TweetFacebookNewcastle Heraldthe $7 meal served on Monday to regular customerHuon Oliver was meant to give the simple offering a “bit more presentation”.

“To be quite honest, it’s an off-menu item,” she said. “We tend not to focus too heavily on our toast offerings, we do put a fair bit of effort into our poached eggs and smashed avocado on toast.

“But if someone does come in and they request good old-fashioned Vegemite on toast, then we’re prepared to gourmet it up and get some master chef action on the plate.”

Mr Oliver, who lives nearby at The Hill, said he was dining with a friend who had returned from overseas and was “craving” thespread.

Hisoriginal Instagram photo of the meal was shared by popular social-media accountBrown Cardigan, who spread the word about the $7 meal to their 349,000 Instagram followers.

“One of our regulars was in for a quick bite to eat,” Ms Reid said. “He was a bit smitten with our attention to detail. He popped it up on his Instagram and it’s gone from there.

“It’s sparked a fierce debate –not all positive, but we’re not taking it too seriously. The dish itself wasn’t meant to be taken too seriously.

“Maybe it’s the debate the nation needed to have.”

When theHeraldsampled the meal on Wednesday, Core Espresso cook NathanMcCarter said the item was proving popular after the attention.

“Our version is a representation of what we do here, we do take a lot of pride in presentation and quality,” he said.

“It’s a little bit up-market and high-end, but it fits in with the rest of menu. If it’s getting people in here, it’s all good.”

Asked if there was any secret to the meal,Mr McCarter said “any type of coffee” would complement the offering.

“We don’t like to judge anyone’s preference on [the amount of] Vegemite, that’s why we don’t put it on there. We leave it up to them.

“Anything goes with Vegemite really, we do have a few people add to the Vegemite – avocado’s been super popular …getting a scoop of avo on there.”

Newcastle Herald

Skull and Bones warns of impostor pranks

27/08/2018 Posted by admin

Impostors have been contacting Yale students purporting to represent the Skull and Bones fraternity.Skull and Bones, the secret society at Yale University, is warning of an impostor who has called some students purporting to recruit them and then asking them to complete a humiliating challenge.

The campus society has figured prominently in books, films and conspiracy theories. Its secrecy has fuelled the public’s curiosity about a group that counts former Secretary of State John Kerry and both Presidents Bush among its past members.

The note sent out to members of Yale’s junior class through the student government was a rare public statement, according to David Alan Richards, author of Skulls and Keys: The Hidden History of Yale’s Secret Societies.

“While famously its mantra has been ‘Never respond, never explain,’ because it doesn’t see itself as a public organisation, in today’s climate to have allowed that to happen could conceivably damage the society’s reputation,” Richards said. “It was a foul thing to do.”

The Yale police department has received three complaints of harassing phone calls from somebody claiming to be from Skull and Bones, according to university spokesman Tom Conroy, who said the cases remain open. Some students described an anonymous caller who instructed them to hand their phones to somebody nearby and that asked that person questions about the student’s sex life.

Cole Addonizio, a Yale junior, said he suspected it was a prank soon after he received a call from somebody who said it was the start of the “tap” process. He played along and handed his phone to his brother, who was asked inappropriate questions. They hung up on the caller.

“I figured it was a prank since I hadn’t heard about them calling them like this,” Addonizio said.

Skull and Bones, which dates back to 1832, said in its note to students that the prank caller was exploiting the society’s “mysterious nature” and encouraged people who received such calls to report the incident to Yale police or their college dean.

Australian Associated Press

Hunter defends home frontier

27/04/2020 Posted by admin

STRETCH: Hunter Hurricanes player Scott Berry in action last weekend. Picture: Simone De PeakThe Hunter Hurricanes men’s team will be keen to make amends for their first loss at Lambton Poolthis season when they host the Brisbane Barracudas across the weekend.

The fourth-placed Hurricanes have a double header against the cellar-dwelling Queenslanders on Saturday and Sunday after goingdown 6-3 to fellow Australian Water Polo League title contenders UNSW Wests Magpies last round.

Hunter have won theirfour other fixtures at the home venue while they have mixed results from two appearances in Newcastle Harbour. Overall they have an 11-4 record for2018.

Next weekend the Hurricanes, who have triumphed in seven of their last eight outings, travel to meetthe Cronulla Sharks and ladder-leading Sydney University Lions in back-to-back encounters.

They also have a make-up game to play against UNSW Wests Magpies at Lambton on either May1 or 2.

The top-six, three-day finalseries follows in Sydney from May 4.

Hunter coach Dan Robinson said it would be a “busy” end to the season and this weekend he willgive 18-year-old duo AndrewDunford and Bayley Sheather some more “experience” against the Barracudas.

In the women’s competition the Hurricanes havean eighth-versus-seventhbattle against Brisbane at Lambton this weekend.

Play gets underway at 2:30pm on Saturday and 11:30am on Sunday.

Meanwhile, the club’s annual general meeting will be held at Lambton Pool onMonday week (April 30).

Newcastle teen signs major deal to Phillies

27/04/2020 Posted by admin

Newcastle teen signs major deal to Phillies DREAM: Garden Suburb 17-year-old Rixon Wingrove with his new Philadelphia Phillies cap at Kahibah Sports Club on Friday. Picture: Simone De Peak

CONTRACT: Newcastle’s Rixon Wingrove and Philadelphia Phillies scout Howard Norsetter. Picture: Simone De Peak

TweetFacebookNewcastle Herald.“I’ve alwayswanted to represent an organisation, an historicorganisation like the Philadephia Phillies. It’s something that I’m very proud of and hopefully I get to wear for a very long time.”

As an early teenager left-handed batter and catcher Wingrove was discovered in Australiafor the Phillies by Norsetter.

He said “Major League Baseball was the end of the rainbow, but now he [Wingrove] knows it exists.This isn’t the end of something, it’s just the beginning” and plenty of“hard work” over “time” could lead to a debut down the track.

“I see thepotential for an impact bat,” Norsetter said.

“He’s got a great swing, great size, great strength and he can drive the ball, now at his age, over the centre field fence. Plus he has a great approach to the plate.

“I can see someone who has offensive potential for a line-up down the track.”

Norsetter said once the contract and visa were officially approved, the 193-centimetre Wingrove wouldtravel to America.

Therehe should take part in the“extended spring training program” before joining the Phillies minor-league squad at Florida’srookie-level Gulf Coast League.

“I’m excited to get over there and get into the every day grind ofminorleague baseball,” Wingrove said.

“Allin the hopeto achieve my goalof making the major leagues and being successful at thatlevel.”

Wingrove only returned home from the States earlier this week after being part of an “Australian Showcase Tour”.Last year he helped the Australiansquad finish fifth at the Under-18 World Cup.

His rise through the representative ranks, including Newcastle and NSW Country, started with Hunter outfit Phoenix Charlestown.

Following in the footsteps of father Leighton, grandfather John and great-grandfather Jack, who helped form the club almost 90 years ago.

“It’s a proud moment for the club,” Phoenix Charlestown president Ben Terry said.

Over summer Wingrove was part of Australian Baseball League side the Sydney Blue Sox.

Also on Fridaythe Phillies accounted for the Pittsburgh Pirates 7-0.

Meanwhilein the Newcastle Baseball Association and Toronto have started their first-grade title defence with a 13-10 win in a grand-final replayagainst Belmont. Sunday marks round three of the competition with Toronto meeting Boomerangs whilePhoenix Charlestown challenge White Sox. Belmont has the bye.

Hay on the way after Buy A Bale Hunter funds jump $200,000PICS, VIDEO

27/04/2020 Posted by admin

Hay on the way after Buy A Bale Hunter funds jump $200,000 | PICS, VIDEO The Upper Hunter landscape in April 2018

A load of hay from the Buy A Bale Hunter campaign that arrived in April.

DROUGHT: Ron Campbell at his Merriwa property. Picture: Simon McCarthy

TweetFacebookIt looks like Mars up there, it’s just red earth. I showed a photo of it to someone yesterday and they said it looked like Western Queensland, so it’s pretty bad,

Rural Aid CEO and co-founder Charles AlderMaitland Mercury article about it in February.

DROUGHT: A paddock in the Upper Hunter. Picture: Simon McCarthy

Mr Alder then contacted the Mercury to learn more about the situation and find out how the charity could assist.

The Mercury and Rural Aid formed the Buy A Bale Hunter campaign and joined with fellow Fairfax Media mastheads the Newcastle Herald, Dungog Chronicle, Scone Advocate and Hunter Valley Newsto promote the cause.

Take a look at the Upper Hunter landscape

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on 出售老域名.

Perth Glory axe A-League coach Kenny Lowe

27/04/2020 Posted by admin

A-League club Perth Glory has axed coach Kenny Lowe.Perth’s longest-serving A-League coach Kenny Lowe has been axed, and it appears unlikely owner Tony Sage will fork out the big dollars needed to lure Tony Popovic as the replacement.

Lowe, who had one more year to run on his contract, was told on Wednesday of his sacking, just four days after his side had crashed out of the finals race with a 3-2 loss to Brisbane.

But Lowe hasn’t been cast aside altogether, with the Englishman to take up the title of technical director of the Glory’s youth academy.

Lowe was axed only 24 hours after Western Sydney coach Josep Gombau was shown the door.

Former Wanderers coach Popovic might come into the reckoning to replace Lowe or Gombau.

Popovic left the Wanderers on the eve of the A-League season to take up the head coaching role at Turkish club Karabukspor, but was sacked after 11 games.

The Glory’s financial situation might prevent them from making a legitimate bid for Popovic, who would command a hefty pay packet and probably bring assistant coaches with him.

Sage has previously stated he has lost around $26 million in the Glory since taking over in 2007 as owner.

The club spent less than the allowed salary cap this season to save costs, and their back-room office is also run on a tight budget.

Sage has flagged the need for foreign investment in the club, and there are rumours a Malaysian syndicate is interested.

If that foreign investment doesn’t arrive within the next few weeks, it appears unlikely the Glory will be able to meet the financial demands of a proven coach like Popovic.

Glory chief executive Peter Filopoulos said the club sacked Lowe because of disappointing results and the desire to head in a fresh direction.

“We never shied away that we wanted a top-four finish, at the beginning of the year, and we felt the squad should have done better than what it actually did in the end,” Filopoulos said.

“We just felt generally, as part of the review, that after four-and-a-half years, we needed a new, fresh approach in the coaching ranks.”

Lowe declined to attend the media conference because the emotion was too raw, but he posted a thank you letter later in the day on Twitter.

“Who would have dreamed that the journey would have been this long ……. or this interesting!” Lowe wrote.

“… I genuinely believe I have made a fair few friends along the journey and for this alone I would not change one thing … apart from getting sacked ha ha ha!”

Lowe helped guide the Glory through a number of stormy times.

He took over in December 2013 as interim coach when a player revolt led to the stunning dismissal of then-coach Alistair Edwards.

Lowe was appointed full-time coach at the end of that season and he was left to pick up the pieces again when the club’s salary-cap breaches were revealed in 2014-15.

Glory were stripped of their finals spot and fined $269,000 for those breaches.

Lowe was a rock during that controversy, and he guided the club to finals action in the next two seasons.

But they fell just short this campaign, with injuries to key players cruelling their chances.


* Wins: 52

* Draws: 27

* Losses: 49

Australian Associated Press

Turning point in electric transport’s journey

27/04/2020 Posted by admin

Grey nomads make regular pilgrimages to Inverell to fossick for sapphires, but in May electric vehicle aficionados will descend on this northern town for a combined electric car rally and a renewable energy display.This is more than just a small town looking for the tourist dollar, this is the ever widening realisation that electric transport is the way of the future.This is a chance to show that range anxiety is being overcome by the increasing availability of charging stations, by the hybrid vehicles such as the Prius and by the ever growing range of electric vehicles equipped with batteries that allow defined distances to be travelled with ease.

Think back to the advent of the ICE powered vehicle. Early cars were laden with four-gallon drums of petrol to ensure that the distance between sparse petrol bowsers could be travelled with confidence.Electric cars are at that juncture.Leading the charge are once again the NRMA and the ACT government.In 1920, the founders of NRMA lobbied for improvements to Parramatta Road in Sydney and now the NRMA is expanding the availability of charging stations for electric vehicles by building about 40 stations in NSW and the ACT.

A few years ago, the ACT government made the ground breaking commitment to achieve 100 per cent renewable energy by 2020 and this week mandated that all newly leased government vehicles be zero emissions from 2021. A first step in joining the wave of governments moving to electric transport. Holland, Norway, France, UK have already moved to phase out petrol and diesel vehicles and China is following. Similarly carmakers are moving to electrics – Volvo, Jaguar, Land Rover, Volkswagen, Daimler, BMW, General Motors and Ford – in hot pursuit of Tesla and the suite of China EVs. A paradigm shift is underway.

Professor Tim Roberts is the director of the Tom Farrell Institute for the Environment, University of Newcastle

Vic priest spared jail over abuse chats

27/04/2020 Posted by admin

Ex-vicar Philip Murphy who boasted online about his child sex fantasies has avoided going to jail.An Anglican priest in Melbourne who was caught boasting about his child sex abuse fantasies online has been spared jail for his crime.

Former Sunshine vicar Philip John Murphy, 53, was on Friday given a wholly suspended 12-month jail sentence after he was caught engaging in sexually explicit online chats about children.

The priest had pleaded guilty earlier this week in the Victorian County Court to transmitting child pornography material using a carriage service between 2016 and 2017.

Judge Phillip Coish said the priest’s crime did not involve real children.

“I accept that there was no sexual activity with children, nor were there any photos or videos involved in these communications,” he said.

Murphy was working at a parish in East Burwood when he began chatting online about his child sex abuse fantasies.

Under the username “Pervert”, Murphy approached multiple men on Grindr and asked them if they were interested in children and arranged to chat to them on Skype.

Murphy even sent photos of himself in his clerical collar to gain trust.

In one conversation, Murphy offered to get a motel so he could sexually abuse a boy.

“Can’t host I’m afraid. Church house. Can get motel,” he wrote on December 29, 2016.

Two months later, Murphy told another man he was “loyal” to the Anglican Church.

“Well you know my work and I have to be discreet. And other than abusing the trust of the Church in this matter, am loyal,” he said.

Murphy also told one man that he wanted to sexually abuse hundreds of children as young as two years old.

“The communications were grossly offensive and deeply disturbing,” Judge Coish said.

Police searched Murphy’s laptop in February 2017 when he returned from a trip to Hong Kong.

In August police searched his home and Holy Apostles’ Anglican Church in Sunshine West, before charging him with multiple child pornography offences.

During his police interview, Murphy said he was drawn to the online chats because of his depression.

He also told police he did not realise his chats constituted child pornography material.

The prosecution had pushed for an immediate jail sentence, but Judge Coish on Friday said he had decided it was appropriate Murphy be released.

Murphy has also been ordered to undertake a sex offender program and be of good behaviour.

Australian Associated Press

NT lifts fees, charges, cuts public jobs

27/04/2020 Posted by admin

NT Treasurer Nicole Manison says the Territory budget is in difficult spot with a $3.4bln GST cut.The Northern Territory government has become the latest Australian jurisdiction to anger the powerful mining lobby by announcing plans to increase income from resources royalties.

The plans were part of various actions including spending and job cuts and fee hikes aimed at repairing the NT’s budget, which will be announced next month.

More than 200 public service jobs will go over two years through voluntary redundancies, there will be a hiring freeze and cuts to pay rises while fees and charges including motor vehicle registrations will rise.

“We know that the territory budget is in an incredibly difficult position given the $3.4 billion in GST we’ve seen taken out of the budget,” Treasurer Nicole Manison said on Friday.

A hybrid royalty scheme will replace the existing 20 per cent profits-based one to ensure all operating mines in the NT pay a minimum royalty for the value of minerals they extract.

Among those affected would be global giant Glencore’s McArthur River zinc mine.

“What that’s going to mean is that once those minerals are in production that the Territory will start getting a royalty for that, at the moment that is not the case,” Ms Manison said.

“Those resources are non-renewable once they are gone, they are gone forever so we’re ensuring that the Territory gets a royalty for that.”

New stamp duty charges will also be imposed for petroleum leases.

The Gunner Labor government removed its ban on fracking this week, paving the way for the controversial practice to be used to unlock the NT’s vast reserves of onshore gas.

The royalties plan was criticised by Minerals Council of Australia NT executive director Drew Wagner as “still a very long way from a realistic policy proposal” and would put future investment and jobs at risk.

He said it would damage the NT’s attractiveness to industry “with nearly $5 billion of investment at stake and potential massive growth of the resources sector and jobs”.

Opposition leader Gary Higgins said the Labor government’s action threatened exploration and mining projects worth billions of dollars in the NT.

“Instead, the government should be looking at the seemingly ongoing swell of executive level positions and irresponsible spending,” he said.

Australian Associated Press

Stosur shapes as Australia’s Fed Cup key

27/04/2020 Posted by admin

Ashleigh Barty will lead Australia in the Fed Cup tie against the Netherlands in Wollongong.Alicia Molik is backing Ashleigh Barty and Samantha Stosur to pilot Australia back into the Fed Cup elite after naming the pair for both singles and doubles duties in this weekend’s World Group playoff with the Netherlands.

The Australian captain denied pulling a selection shock despite preferring Stosur over the higher-ranked Daria Gavrilova as her No.2 singles player for the indoor hardcourt tie in Wollongong.

With the option of changing her line-up before Sunday’s reverse singles, Molik indicated she’d likely call on Gavrilova if Barty and Stosur put the home team 2-0 on Saturday and within sight of promotion to the eight-nation World Group for the first time since 2015.

In the absence of their top four players, including big-hitting French Open semi-finalist Kiki Bertens, the Dutch accept the heavy underdogs’ tag as Molik looks to take command of the tie from the get-go.

“The players we have fronting up tomorrow have been in this situation and been able to succeed many times over and that’s why they’re playing on the first day,” Molik said after Friday’s draw.

“That’s a real advantage; to have the experience and the runs on the board.”

No one has more experience or runs on the board than Stosur, who, with 27 wins already under her belt, is the most successful singles performer in Australian Fed Cup history.

Despite being on the comeback trail from an injury-hit 2017 season and wearing the green and gold for the first time in almost two years, the former US Open champion looms as a trump for Australia.

The former spearhead faces world No.210 Lesley Kerkhove in Saturday’s opening rubber before Barty plays the 295th-ranked Quirine Lemoine in the second match.

Victory over Kerkhove would leave Stosur – who’s also unbeaten in seven Fed Cup doubles rubbers – with the second-most total wins for Australia in the competition behind only Wendy Turnbull.

“That’d be pretty special if I could manage to do that,” the 34-year-old said.

“Hopefully I can get the team off to a good start and play well.

“It’s no guarantee or anything, having done it before, but it’s a nice feeling knowing I’ve played lots of Fed Cup matches and know what it’s going to feel like.”

Barty, the tie’s highest-ranked player at world No.19, and Stosur have been named to play Demi Schuurs and Indy de Vroome in Sunday’s doubles, a potential tie-decider but also a possible dead fifth rubber at the Wollongong Entertainment Centre.

Molik believes Australia deserve to be back in the World Group in 2019.

“We’ve got the dynamics in the team – not just the camraderie – but the versatility as well beginning with the four players here to really make an imprint on the Fed Cup next year when we’re in a position where we can actually vie for the title,” she said.

“That’s the goal of ours.”

Australian Associated Press

Reds back Smith to offer late-game boost

27/04/2020 Posted by admin

The Reds are backing George Smith (centre) to make an impact when he comes on against the Chiefs.Queensland captain James Slipper has welcomed the return of Wallabies great George Smith, as the Reds try to break a horror Super Rugby streak against the Chiefs.

But he also distanced himself from the possible comeback of two other Reds from the wilderness, admitting out-of-favour Quade Cooper and Karmichael Hunt hadn’t been a topic of conversation at Ballymore.

Australian clubs have lost the last 34 games against New Zealand Super Rugby opponents, but Slipper thinks his side is well positioned to end the drought against the Hamilton-based powerhouse at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday.

Slipper said Smith, 37, would provide plenty off the bench in the last 20 minutes as Brad Thorn’s men play their first game at home in six weeks.

It will be the 111-Test veteran’s first game this season after December back surgery and a New Year’s Eve arrest in Japan for allegedly evading a fare and assaulting the driver.

The incident cost him his contract at Suntory Sungoliath and he was reportedly fined by the Reds.

But Smith has been welcomed back with open arms as the Reds aim to fix their late-game struggles.

“Having someone like George Smith on the bench; he says things but he backs it up and he’s an old bloke but he still competes hard and is one of the best No.7s in the competition,” Slipper said.

“Age is irrelevant when you’re influencing outcomes.”

The Reds started strongly but have flagged since returning from a tour of Argentina and South Africa, with a heavy last-round loss to the Waratahs dropping them to 3-4 and second last in the conference.

Coach Brad Thorn started his tenure by removing Cooper from his plans, while Hunt is yet to resurface on a football field since his December 30 arrest, fine and back-dated suspension.

While Smith’s comeback has been trumpeted, calls for Cooper or Hunt’s return have fallen on deaf ears.

The captain has backed the side’s offence to fire against the slick Chiefs, who sit third in the New Zealand conference, without the pair.

“At the start of year Brad decided on the direction he wanted to go and we haven’t had any discussions,” Slipper said.

“He made a decision and we’re sticking by that … it’s not really my concern.

“We’ve got points in us, but what I’d like to see is us tightening our defence.”

Australian Associated Press

What’s in store: 90 metre towers confirmed for iconic city site

27/04/2020 Posted by admin

What’s in store: 90 metre towers confirmed for iconic city site A view from above. Two residential towers, the oval shaped bus interchange with a carpark on top and an office block with ground floor retail space on the corner of Stewart Avenue and Hunter Street. Image: Supplied

A view between The Store site and Newcastle Interchange. Image: Supplied

One of three public open spaces. Image: Supplied

A view of The Store site from Hunter Street. Image: Supplied

The Store site on April 20, 2018. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

The Store site on April 20, 2018. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

Andrew Constance announces The Store redevelopment plan. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

The Store site on April 20, 2018. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

Newcastle lord mayor Nuatali Nelmes. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

NSW transport minister Andrew Constance. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

The Store site on April 20, 2018. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

The Store site on April 20, 2018. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

The Store site on April 20, 2018. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

The Store site on April 20, 2018. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

The Store site on April 20, 2018. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

The Store site on April 20, 2018. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

The Store site on April 20, 2018. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

NSW transport minister Andrew Constance announces The Store redevelopment plan. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

The Store site on April 20, 2018. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

TweetFacebook The Store redevelopmentDoma Group has been chosen to perform a $200 million redevelopment of The Store site in Newcastle. Two 90 metre residential towers will change the city’s skyline, according to new plans for the iconic Store site in Newcastle West.

Doma Group has won the contract for the $200 million redevelopment ofthe land, next to the Newcastle Interchange train station at Wickham, the state governmentannounced on Friday.

The historicfacade won’t be spared whenthe building is demolished later this year, to be replaced with13,000 square metresof office space, retail premises and unit towers–expected to become Newcastle’s tallest buildings.

Read more: National Trust slams Store building demolition

Concept art released on Friday shows the towers emerging from the top of the oval shaped bus interchange–which sits under a carpark–while a new office block with ground floor retail space replaces the existing multi-level carpark on the corner of Stewart Avenue and Hunter Street.

It will bethe Canberra-based firm’s latest addition toa rapidly growing Newcastle portfolio thatincludes four developmentsin the Honeysuckle precinct,aunit blockin Wickham and a projectin Merewether Street.

The companyownsmore than $45 million worth of property across Newcastle–with its constructionprojects having an estimated value of more than $400 million.

Doma Group will also construct the businterchangeas part of the contract.

Transport minister AndrewConstance said the plan would also allow for the expansion of the city’s light rail network.

The Store site the day the redevelopment was announced. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

“The plan shows how innovative, quality design seamlessly integrates the site with the existing Newcastle Interchange and uses quality architecture that is arguably as impressive as the recent NeW Space and court house redevelopments,” he said.

“The Store site is going to be transformed just like the rest of the city to be able to cater for growth, residential, commercial opportunities.

“I know there’s been a lot of conjecture over the years as to what would happen with The Store site.

Read more:Calling time on The Store

“Well, guess what: now we’re going to see The Store site come to life in the way that The Store used to be,the heart and soul of Newcastle.”

Demolition is expected to start in June, before construction begins early next year. The project is forecast to be complete some time in 2020-21.

Doma Group managing director Jure Domazet, who Mr Constance introduced as“my long-time old uni mate”,said he looked forward to delivering“our vision and the city’s vision and the state’s vision for Newcastle”.

“The interchange is very much a transformative project for the city and we recognise [the site’s]iconic status in the past and how important it will be in the future,” he said.

The Store has a colourful place in Newcastle’s history, starting more than a century ago as theNewcastle and District Co-operative Society–thought to be Australia’s first co-op–and was the city’s retail heart for decades.

By the 1950s, it was believed to have been the largest co-operative in the southern hemisphere.

NSW transport minister Andrew Constance announces The Store redevelopment plan, flanked by Newcastle lord mayor Nuatali Nelmes and parliamentary secretary for the Hunter Scot MacDonald. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

It closed in 1981 after 83 years of operation and has since been on the end of somefailed renewal efforts–including a period as theNewcastlebranch of Sydney’s well-knownParklea Markets.

The state government bought The Storefor $11 million in 2015 before the sitewas put on the market last August.

TheNewcastle Heraldreported last year that the local National Trust branchwas among those who were outraged at the prospect of the building being demolished.

Some in the community suggested thatthe facade, at least, should beretained aspart of aredevelopment because of The Store’s place in the city’s history.

But Mr Constance said the facade had“fallen into a state of disrepair that’s beyond the point where it can be salvaged”.

“So it will go, as part of the development,” he said.“Ultimately, yes, it would have been ideal if it could have been salvaged, but it’s fallen into a state of disrepair and it can’t be.”

Hunter Development Corporation dealt with the redevelopment applications.

HDC chief executive Michael Cassel said theorganisation received no applications for designs that incorporated the existing facade because thedemolitionhad already been approved.

Mr Cassel said a working group was coming up withways to celebrate the site’s history, which would be part ofthreepublic open spaces, but details had notbeen finalised.

“Part of the [review of environmental factors] that was issued byTransport included assessing the viability of retaining the facade and also about celebrating what The Store site means,” he said.

“Part of that approval required us to have a group formed with heritage architects and other people in that sector to advise us how best to interpret the history of The Store site.

“There will be a report that comes out before we start the demolition that will tell everyone how the history of that site will be interpreted.

“We can’t start demolition until that body of work is complete.”

Lord mayor Nuatali Nelmes said the 90 metre height of the redevelopment was part of shifting the CBD west and protecting the heritage of Newcastle’s east end.

“We have to have a good high density population to make a city work.This is what this does on this site,” she said.

“Ninety metres in the west end–that was our vision and that’s what we’ll realise.”

Newcastle MP Tim Crakanthorp said hewelcomed the announcement andlooked forward to seeing detailed plans.

“The missing piece of the puzzle for the interchange now is a ferry wharf in the west end of the city to support the continued growth of the precinct,” he said.

Parliamentary secretary for the Hunter Scot MacDonald said the redevelopment was“one of the missing links” to Newcastle’s revitalisation.

“There’s more to do, but we’re moving along,” Mr MacDonaldsaid.