Monthly Archives: August 2019

Port Stephens mayor removes his name from Raymond Terrace domestic violence refuge.

The mayor of Port Stephenshas declared that the future of a women’s refuge in Raymond Terrace named after him is “bigger than Bruce MacKenzie”.
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The Port Stephens councillor says he will remove his name from the new domestic violence refuge following uproar over his admission of the assault of a partner in 1997.

Port Stephens Council resolved last week to officially name the unit, which is yet to be complete, The Bruce MacKenzie Centre for Victims of Domestic Violence.

However the move has drawn widespread condemnation due to the fact that Cr MacKenzie appeared before Raymond Terrace Local Court in November 1997 charged with assaulting his then de facto partner.

CONTROVERSY: Port Stephens mayor Bruce MacKenzie will remove his name from a women’s refuge in Raymond Terrace following reports of his 1997 court appearance in which he pleaded guilty to assault. Picture: Simone De Peak

He pleaded guilty and was ordered to enter into a 12-month good behaviour bond.

The magistrate found the offenceproved but did not record a conviction.

“Forget the name, the name’s gone,” he said on Monday.

“I don’t want to jeopardise the future of the unit. It’s bigger than Bruce MacKenzie.”

Cr MacKenzie said that the establishment of the short-term crisis accommodation centre in Raymond Terrace had been a long-term personal passion of his.

“It’s been in the pipeline for 12 months but I’ve had the idea for years,” he said.

“It’s been left to local government to get it done: federal government’s done nothing, state government’s done nothing.And if I’m still around next year after council amalgamations, I’m going to look into all this youth homelessness.

“It’s a blight on society.”

Port Stephens Council supplied the building for the crisis accommodation and Port Stephens Police LAC has been instrumental in the hands-on renovation and refit with many officers donating their time and skills.

Once completed it will be managed by Port Stephens Family and Neighbourhood Services which has been lobbying on the issue for years.

Representatives from both the police and the support service centre would not be drawn on the recent controversy, stating they would prefer the focus to remain on the refuge and its impact on tackling domesticviolence.

However, on a visit to the Port on Monday,Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter Scot MacDonald touched on the issue sayingthecouncil had taken “real initiative” to establish a refuge but calledfor greater sensitivity.

“Everyone in the provision of services like these has to be verysensitive about the impacts of certain decisions on domestic violencevictims and their families,” he said.

“Naming any centre after someone who has a record in this area is notbeing empathetic.”

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NSW Nationals leader Troy Grant steps down following Orange byelection resultsVideo

Dubbo MP Troy GrantREAD MORE: News from the Orange ByelectionDubbo MP Troy Grant has decided to step down as leader of the NSW Nationals.
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Mr Grant released the following statement at lunchtime on Monday:

“As a result of The Nationals candidate for Orange Scott Barrett facing an uphill battle to hold the seat, I have informed the NSW Nationals leadership team that at tomorrow’s Party Room meeting I will be standing down as Leader of the NSW Nationals,” Mr Grant said.

“It has been an incredible privilege to serve in that role and lead a team whose sole focus is to serve the people of regional NSW.

“At all times I have been guided by my principles of honesty, integrity and hard work but I accept the result in Orange is a clear message that we haven’t always got it right, nor have we always taken the community with us.

“Regional NSW is full of hard-working, decent people that want to see their Government supporting them and otherwise let them live their lives as they see fit.

“I hope that through my actions the NSW Government is given the opportunity to pause and reset the way it is seen to be governing and our record of delivery can once more be front and centre.

“I am proud of the results the NSW Liberals & Nationals have been able to achieve for regional NSW and the state since coming to power and it is vital that this continues.

“I thank those in the party, our branches and our communities for the trust and support they have shown me during my time as Leader.”

The Central Western Daily spoke with Nationals candidate Scott Barrett a short time ago.

Daily Liberal, Dubbo

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Troy Grant steps down as Nationals leader

STANDING DOWN: Nationals Leader Troy Grant will step down from his position after the Orange byelection result. TROY Grant will stand down as leader of the Nationals following the party’s disastrous result at the Orange byelection.
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Mr Grant released a statement on Monday admitting that party was “facing an uphill battle” to hang onto the seat, and stating that he would step down at Tuesday’s party room meeting.

“It has been an incredible privilege to serve in that role and lead a team whose sole focus is to serve the people of regional NSW,” he said.

“At all times I have been guided by my principles of honesty, integrity and hard work but I accept the result in Orange is a clear message that we haven’t always got it right, nor have we always taken the community with us.”

The NSW Nationals had held Orangeby more than 21 per cent, but with more than 50 per cent of votes counted led by a margin of just 3.5 per cent.

The Shooters and Fishers and Farmers Party is picked to have the inside running to win the seat, thanks to preference flows from the Labor Party.

The backlash was widely interpreted as punishing the government for its unpopular council amalgamation laws, and the now-abandoned decision to impose a ban on greyhound racing.

Mr Grant said the government should “reset the way it is seen to be governing”.

“Regional NSW is full of hard-working, decent people that want to see their Government supporting them and otherwise let them live their lives as they see fit,” he said.

“I hope that through my actions the NSW Government is given the opportunity to pause and reset the way it is seen to be governing and our record of delivery can once more be front and centre.”

Earlier on Monday Premier Mike Baird admitted the byelection was a “terrible” result for the government.

“It’s a terrible result, that’s the truth of it,”Mr Baird told reporters in Sydney.

“The community there has sent a very loud message and it’s something that we need to consider over coming weeks, no doubt about it.”

Later on Monday he issued a statement saying Mr Grant had “made an enormous contribution to regional NSW”.

“During the 2015 election, Troy and I campaigned shoulder-to-shoulder in support of the Rebuilding NSW program,” he said.

“As a result, regional NSW will benefit through a once-in-a-generation investment in the state’s roads, schools, hospitals and water infrastructure.

As Deputy Premier and leader of the Nationals, Troy has been a courageous and passionate advocate for regional NSW.

“Troy is a man of great integrity and it has been an honour to lead this government together.”

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Newcastle Jets: Devante Clut pushing for A-League starting spot

Devante Clut playing against former club Brisbane. Picture: Getty ImagesYoungster Devante Clut is pushing imported Jets strikers Aleksandr Kokko and Morten Nordstrand for a starting position after a string of impressive cameos this season.
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The 21-year-old replaced Kokko in the 63rd minute of last week’s 2-1 loss to Melbourne City and immediately helped the side maintain more possession in the attacking half of the field.

Plugging holes in an injury-hit back four has been coach Mark Jones’ priority this season, but he said he could also look to tweak his forward lineagainst the Central Coast on Sunday.

“I’ve been extremely happy with him, and he’s obviously pushing strongly for astarting spot,” Jones said of Clut on Monday.“It basically comes down to three people for two spots, and at this stage it’s very difficult.

“Devante’s always been in the back of my mind. He’s done very, very well every time he’s come on and he did very well when he started as well.He keeps the ball, he gives us a bit of an X-factor, he changes the point of attack. He’s been tidy and made chances for us.

“I’ve been very confident in his ability to keep the ball under pressure, and that gives us a bit of a swagger and a bit of apresence.”

Jones was hardly glowing in his praise of Finnish front man Kokko after his second start for the club last week.

“It’s a solid start. It wasn’t anything sensational but puts him in contention to be in our starting line-up,” Jones said on Monday.

Neither Kokko nor Nordstrand have scored this season, and Nordstrand missed a sitter against City. Clut scored a late tap-in after coming on as a substitute in the 4-0 rout of Brisbane in round two.

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