Archive for: ‘July 2019’

Two iconic clubs with the urge to merge

28/07/2019 Posted by admin

Maitland District Leagues Club and Club Maitland City have announced a proposal to amalgamate,with both business entities tipped to trade from Club Maitland City’s Rutherford site.

Leagues Club administrators and Maitland City CEO Ian Martin announced the proposal on Thursday and said both organisations have entered into a memorandum of understanding which has been agreed to”in principle”.

The final say however,will be up to clubmembersandleagues club creditors who were also notified of the news this week.

The history making agreement proposes to sell the Leagues Club’s Bulwer Street property and consolidate the business with Maitland City at its Arthur Streetsite.

The Leagues Club premises, valued at more than $3million,will be sold to extinguish creditors’ claims against the Leagues Club, and Maitland City willreceive any remaining Leagues Club assets to support it in honouring its commitments under the memorandum.

This includes entering into a30-year sponsorship agreement with Maitland Pickers, offering membership of Club Maitland City to Maitland District Leagues Club membersand providing them with the benefits of membership and the ongoing display of Leagues Club memorabilia.

Club Maitland City CEO, Ian Martin, said his club isexcited about the opportunity to potentially amalgamate with the Leagues Clubto secure the future of Rugby League in Maitland and enable theexpansion of youth and junior rugby league programs in the local community.

“Unfortunately,as recommended by the administrator, the financial position of the LeaguesClub is not sufficient to enable continued trade past the completion of amalgamation and assuch, the Leagues Club building willbe sold to pay creditors and otheroutstanding debts,” Mr Martin said.

Fairfax Media understands the club owes in the vicinity of$2million, over$1.5 millionto St George Bank andmore than $468,000to unsecured creditors.

Club Maitland City has also entered into an in principle, limited, temporary funding agreementwith theLeagues Club’s administratorsShaw Gidley, to allow the clubto continue to trade during the voluntaryadministration period while theamalgamation opportunity is explored.

“Club MaitlandCity has reached this agreement with the administrators for temporary funding to allow them some time to work with creditors to achieve and ensure the best possible outcomes for RugbyLeague in the Maitland district and members of the LeaguesClub,” Mr Martin said.

Fairfax Media reported last month how the Leagues Club had gone into voluntary administration. It is understood to have been insolvent since September last year.

In a report to creditors, administrators Shaw Gidley said Leagues Club directors cited a number of factors had contributed to the club’s demise including increasing competition, a decline in traffic and patrons, inability to increase poker machine income,lack of management, increases in operating costs, substantial capital outlay and the underutilisation of the club premises.

“Our preliminary investigations lend support to the directors’ reasons for failure,” the report said.“In particular we note that poor management and management’s inability to improve the company’s gaming income to a level sufficient to cover its increased service costs associated with the Tabcorp Gaming Solutions agreement, has significantly contributed to the failure of the company over recent years.”

The Leagues Club employs about 15 people, but no decision has been made on their future at this stage.

The Leagues Clubdoors are expected to close at the end of the year.

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Harsh verdicts

28/07/2019 Posted by admin

HAMMER TIME: There is no greater injustice than justice denied, according to some people who miss out on selection for jury duty.SIMON WALKER: That’s Life archive

Getting called up for jurydutygenerates mixed emotions in many of us.

Some see it as an honour to participate in the justice system. Otherswonder aboutthose types of people.

The contrastwas never quite so clear the other day when I witnessed someone who was genuinely disappointed to miss out.

They got called up, which as citizens of this proud fair land, we’re all destined to do at some stage of our lives, usually an inconvenient stage, somewhere between canteen duty and going to work.

But unlike most of us, she made it through several stages of balloting before being cut.

As a result, she was gutted. That struck me as odd because the idea of being stuck in court with a bunch of strangers for an indeterminate amount of time determining the guilt, or otherwise, of some strangerfills me withreasonable doubt in terms of what I generally think is “fun”.

And I have been known to supply letters from my employer backing up this conviction which usually fall on deaf eyes at the court house.

The usual refrain being to ‘get in line and wait your turn’ for the cattle call that is the jury selection process. Designed, as far as I can tell, to earn you a parking ticket.

But not this particular person the other day.She was, as they say in legal circles, “right up for it”.

Attracted by the heady mix of paid time off work, the chance to see the legal system up close and personal, and if guilty, strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger.

Not that power should go to your head.

She made it through several screening rounds before being rejected at the last hurdle on the basis, according to her, that she was not the a) right genderb)not the right age, and/or c)not in the right attire.

A tricky one to adjudicate from my point of view because, prima facie, I had lobbied forthe yellow top, which she had chosen not to wear.

Not that we knew the reason why she was cut, but instinct told me that in this sensitive moment I should go with the vibe, because some people CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH!! (about my fashion advice).

“Objection your honour”, but no, she’d had to walk, bitterly noting that there were others left in the jury who didn’t look half asimpartial as her.

The sense of rejection was palpable.

She claimed the defence, or the prosecution, or both, had profiled her.

Quite rightly marking her down as someone of superior intelligence and unwavering diligence who may very well pose a threat to any barrister off their game.

Not that she’d formed any biased opinions, but if the evidence presented …

A conspiracy, a plot, a great outcome, I reasoned.

But she couldn’t see that. She’d wanted to participate and had been spurned.

Justice denied before the arguments had even started.

Getting called up for jury duty’s like that, I’d said, only to be told to rest my case.

Sowing seeds for business

28/07/2019 Posted by admin

PASSION: Stacey Kelly thrives on bringing employers and employees together to resolve conflict, enhance communication and drive a positive change.Change couldbe the theme tune to Stacey Kelly’s life to date. The Founder and Principal Consultant of Seed Consulting had spent over 15 years, working in and around organisational change when she and her husband decided to make a change of their own, leaving Sydney for their hometown of Newcastle.

Having held senior positions in private and public organisations, Stacey decided to launch Seed People Consulting in 2014, to fulfil her passion for enabling people and unlocking leadership, while helping organisations deliver a sustainable, cohesive culture.

“I guess I came back to Newcastle and wanted to do something that I really did love and this made perfect sense.”

The boutique firm works with councils, not for profitsandcorporations or multinational companies, offeringexpertise across industrial relations, leadership development, team development and organisational change.

“Much of the work that we do is with teams that may be experiencing conflict, undergoing change or transformation projects. We run workshops that aim to bring teams together and resolve conflict or enable clearer methods of communication by learning to understand the different ways that others like to work or engage with colleagues,” Explains Stacey.

With the world in a constant state of change, organisationsoften see workplace productivity fall prey to the need for efficiency and in an “e-society”, individual needsis low on the list of consideration between co-workers.

“Organisations are becoming more aware that technology can’t resolve issues – no matter what industry we work in, change is the only constant and if we are to retain resilient and agile teams we need to work on the development of people,”

“We provide a map forpeople to have honest conversations with each other. There’s generally key issues such as a lack of trust, lack of communication or at least a lack of honest communication, all of which can be escalated by the way in which we connect with each other, particularly if it’s always on email.”

With 3 consultants, each with anarea of focus, clientsbenefit from targeted expertise that helps themidentify the problem, hear the perspectives of others, see triggers and challenges and determine a successful outcome. It’s a process that can varyand requires complete buy-in from management.

“It’s not a silver bullet, we need commitment and engagement fromemployersto enable us to deliver a positive and sustainable outcome.”

Through interactive sessions and thorough feedback Stacey and her team customise their processes for each and every client.

“The return on investment is far greater thancan be measured, organisations often tell us they wish they had done it sooner.”

Short Takes: readers have their say on the day’s news

28/07/2019 Posted by admin

YEARSago we would truck sand from Stockton to the harbour and ship it to Hawaii. Now maybe nature is doing it for us, thus cutting out the middle man.

John Bradford,BeresfieldNIB membership costs skyrocketing, benefits are reducing and share price tumbling. What’s going on Mr Fitzgibbon?

Ron McGregor,HamiltonOh dear, more patronising spin: “A new exciting chapter in the city’s future”, says Jeremy Bath.“This gives certainty”: Scot MacDonald. Yes, but for what? Certainty for, to quote former Newcastle lord mayor Jeff McCloy,“a (transport) recipe for disaster”. And lord mayorNelmes: “Council held them to account every step of the way”.Seriously?

Keith Parsons,NewcastleBEVAN Ramsden (Letters 19/4)says the Syrian government has invited the international body to investigate the chemical weapons usage, and that they have nothing to hide. Well Bevan, tell me why the investigators weren’t allowed in straight away when they asked to go in? Maybe the Syrians needed to clean the area up a bit.You know, pick up any sharp missile partsso the investigators don’t get hurt! Investigators don’t need to know where the missile came from, do they? Seriously, Bevan, Syria had gassed there citizens before and they will probably do it again.

Gregory Grey,MarylandINSTEAD Instead of the Fernleigh Track let’s rename it Kurt’s Track in recognition of a fine man.

David Jack, Adamstown HeightsTHE plan to convert Latrobe Valley brown coal to hydrogen gas (“Victoria turns coal to hydrogen for Japan”, Herald 13/4)involves federal and state subsidies of $100 million.The project is expected to create 400 jobs.Whoopie! That’s $250,000per job from taxpayer money.It would be more energy efficient and cheaper to convert coal to methane gas and ship that to Japan. Better still, why not just burn the coals to make electricity?

Peter Devey,MerewetherTHIS week’s ABCCompass was beyond expectations. It encompassed with sensitivity the lives of young people with a disability. The happiness they shared when they accomplished their particular fields was a joy to behold.

Daphne Hughes,KahibahIN REPLY to Allen Small (Letters 19/4):yes Allen, pathetic one-eyed refereeing in first half of theStorm vsKnights game. After a penalty count of 7/0 I had enough and changed the channel. In the eye of some referees, the Storm cannot do anything wrong in Melbourne.

Colin Atkins,WyongYOU have got to be joking. Who would charge $7 for Vegemiteon toast(“When Vegemite goes viral”, Herald 19/4)? Would it be$5 extra for a slice cheese with my favourite brekky, a Vegemite and cheese toastie? Money for jam takes whole new meaning.

Michael Casey,WaratahVEGEMITE on toast for $7? A hipster and his money are soon parted.

Scott Hillard,New Lambton

A-League: Hoff turns clock back for Jets’ finals fling

28/07/2019 Posted by admin

JASON Hoffman was 18 and in his first season as a professional footballer when he came off the bench to help the Newcastle Jets beat Central Coast 2-0 in the first leg of the 2007-08 major semi-finalat a heaving McDonald Jones Stadium.

SEIZE THE MOMENT: Jason Hoffman and rookie Joe Champness celebrate a goal. Picture: Darren Pateman

Of course, the Jets went on to beat the Mariners in the grand final and secure the club’s first and only premiership.

It was a heady time.

Adecade later, Hoffmanis in a similar situation.

The Jets will host a grand-final qualifier against one of either Melbourne City, Melbourne Victory or Adelaide on Friday week.

“It will be massive,” Hoffman said.“Everyone knows the club hasn’t played finals football in a long time.

“The biggest thing–and I think our coach summed it up straight away–is that we need to enjoy the moment. There has been some fantastic players who haven’t had an opportunity to play finals football in their career. Whether you are young or an experienced player, you need to seize the opportunity and enjoy the moment.I will definitely enjoy the vibe and the preparation and hopefully we can achieve something specialnext Friday.”

The current squad boasts a handful of players who are in a similar position to that of Hoffman in 2008.

A-League: Hoff turns clock back for Jets’ finals fling TweetFacebookFinishing school. Riley McGee gets angles perfect @NewcastleJetsFC training. @[email protected]出售老域名/oVS54bANpF

— James Gardiner (@JamesGardiner42) April 19, 2018

If third-placed Melbourne City beat Brisbane (sixth) on Friday night, the Victorians will meet the Jets in the semi-final.

If the Roar record an upset, the Jets will play the winner of Sunday’s game between Melbourne Victory and Adelaide.