FILE PIC (P – CLARKE, John) 28-10-1976. Ernie Sigley and John Clarke as Fred Dagg pictured in 1976***FDCTRANSFER*** Photo: SuppliedJohn Clarke’s daughter Lorin Clarke has described to her father’s beloved ABC audience what happened in the Grampians in Victoria on Sunday, when the comedy veteran died suddenly while hiking with his wife.
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Speaking for the first time since his death on Jon Faine’s morning radio program, Ms Clarke said while her father’s death had come as a shock, he was doing what he loved with her mother, in the company of a qualified medic who couldn’t possibly have saved his life.

“On the weekend he was doing what he and my mum do most weekends, which is go and find some nature, and just go and exist in it, and look at it, and take photos of it,” she told Faine’s ABC listeners.

“There are not many family photos of dad because dad was always behind the camera … The first pictures that little kids started drawing of John, he had a camera: it was like two arms, two legs, a head and a camera.

“So he’s always behind a camera and that’s exactly where he was on the weekend when he died very suddenly and it happened very quickly.

“There were marvellous people there, who we would also like to thank … including qualified people; there was a doctor and nothing could have been done.

“It was a shock and it is a shock but at the moment we just all feel so lucky to have had that man in our lives and shape our lives.

“We will feel other things, I know, but … I feel like that’s what everyone who came across him should be feeling and if you felt like you had a connection to him, then you did.”

Ms Clarke thanked the huge outpouring of support and amusing anecdotes surrounding her father.

“He always said that one of his big strengths was he came from the audience,” she said.

“You know when he was on telly in New Zealand, he sort of was the first person to get up on TV and sound like a New Zealander. Everybody before that sounded very British … and he shambled up there and did this Fred Dagg character and people recognised themselves, and I think there’s an element of that is coming through now and we wanted to acknowledge that.

“… He loved his audience, he never forgot his audience or who they were and he loved the people at the ABC who he worked with. He just loved people, he just loved life.”

Ms Clarke said her family was yet to consider how they could best memorialise her father. They were still dealing with his death and “all of the logistical things that any family has to deal with [after a death], at the moment, plus a few more”.

Ms Clarke said she did not know if a public funeral would be held for her father but the family wanted to involve his loyal fans.

“We haven’t been able to deal with all of that just yet. We’re figuring all of those things out at the moment. We’d like to include people in some way and we’re not quite sure how to do that.”

As a father, Clarke “was just unreal. He was the best.

“We always knew we were lucky, we always felt lucky. He was a great dad.

“He and my mum, Helen, who he described as the brains of the outfit, they were a team united … and they worked together as a kind of funny, wise, understanding couple and we had a lovely close family and we still do.

“His sister Anna, he was incredibly close with … so he was close to us all. You can probably imagine the kind of dad he was because he wasn’t that different, I think, from how you imagine.”

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Patients are less likely to die within 30 days of hospitalisation for major conditions in NSW than they were in 2009 and the greatest improvement has been in ischemic stroke.
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A NSW Bureau of Health Information report published on Wednesday compared mortality and readmission rates in 2012-2015 with 2009-2012.

It found improvements in mortality in all seven conditions analysed, including heart attack, stroke, pneumonia, hip fracture, heart failure and lung disease, while readmission rates reduced for four of eight conditions.

But more hospitals performed below expectations when it came to the number of people who died from lung disease and pneumonia since the last time the data was assessed.

NSW is the only state in to publish mortality and readmission rates at individual hospitals, allowing trends in the system to be identified and hospitals to evaluate their own performance.

Professor Philip Clarke, from the University of Melbourne Centre for Health Policy, said the most recent mortality data he could find at a Victorian hospital dated back to 1859.

“People often have the view that somehow hospitals were better a decade ago,” Professor Clarke said.

“But what this shows in terms of hard outcomes is actually things are improving over time.

“How does NSW hospitals compare with the rest of ? Unfortunately no other state regularly publishes comparable information to enable such comparisons, so it is impossible to say.”

Compared to other countries NSW performed similarly for most conditions, but had a higher mortality rate for ischemic stroke and a relatively low mortality rate for heart attack.

Professor Brad Frankum, president of n Medical Association NSW, said mortality rates were falling due to better treatment and prevention measures, with cholesterol medication lowering the incidence of heart attack and stroke units in hospitals allowing doctors to respond faster.

It was not clear from the data why some hospitals performed better than others, but the identification of outliers would allow those hospitals to investigate their practices, he said.

Professor Frankum did not support the publication of the readmission and mortality rates for individual doctors because it would allow the public and media to compile league tables without taking into account the risk profile of the patients that those doctors treated.

“I do think as practitioners we should be doing it ourselves,” Professor Frankum said.

“I would be much more interested in a system where part of our registration included auditing our outcomes and comparing that to other practitioners.”

This would ensure that a profession renowned for evidence-based practice could apply the same scrutiny to its own performance.

“I do think the evidence base needs to increase,” he said.

Readmissions rates improved most notably for heart attack and total hip replacement, but became more frequent in the case of ischemic stroke and pneumonia.

Prince of Wales and St Vincents had better than expected mortality rates for three conditions – heart attack, coronary heart failure and pneumonia in the case of Prince of Wales, and coronary heart failure, pneumonia and hip fracture for St Vincents.

Four hospitals – John Hunter, Port Macquarie, Manning and Tamworth – had lower than expected mortality rates for three conditions.

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FAMILY FIRST: Labor Councillor Stephanie Posniak will step down from her council role after one term in the job. PICTURE: Jonathan Carroll
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THE prospect of guiding her two twin daughters throughthehigh school certificate next year was enough to convince Labor Councillor Stephanie Posniak to bow out of local politics after a single term.

Labor’s ticket for the September council election is close to being decided after preselection results were released on Friday.

They include two new faces –with former ABC presenter Carol Duncan running in Ward 2, and CPSU secretary Emma White running in Ward 1.

Ms White will replace Cr Posniak at the head of the ticket, after she made the decision to run in an unwinnable position down the ticket.

Cr Posniak, a senior solicitor with Shine Lawyers whowas elected in 2012, said it was a decision based on “life in general”.

“I have myjob as a lawyer, my older daughter just started universityand the twins are going through the HSC, soit’s a lot,” she said.

“Ward 1 is the biggest ward with a lot of issues soit is very time consuming. I have enjoyed being on councilbut it has been a struggle.”

Ms Posniak said she was proud of the work she had done behind the scenes for constituents.

“There seems to be two ways of doing the job– oneis to do it for the purpose of publicity, and the other way is to do it to helppeople. Ilike to think that’s the road I’ve taken.”

While most spots on the Labor ticket were uncontested– including Nuatali Nelmes running for re-election as Lord Mayor, and Declan Clausen in Ward 3–her deputy, Jason Dunn, faces a challenge in Ward 4 from Darren Potts, a former electrical supervisor at the Kurri Kurri aluminium smelter who lives in Fletcher.

Mr Potts –who, the Newcastle Heraldunderstands is not known to most of the Labor ticket –said he decided to put his hand up because of a lack of infrastructure spending in Fletcher and the surrounding suburbs.

“There’s no road infrastructure to support the growing traffic in the area,” he said.

“You can sit at the traffic lights at Merrylands for up to half at 8.30 in the morning,right back to the new Coles at Fletcher village.”

He said he didn’t believe the current Labor council had done enough to address the issue, and said he had “never head of” Cr Dunn before he decided to run.

“And I’m getting a lot of support,” he said.

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Adamstown1.00pm – 1.30pm | 48 Bryant Street | $680,000 – $720,000 | 0249 260 600
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1.00pm – 1.30pm | 196 Brunker Road | Auction | 0408 525 362

Adamstown Heights10.00am – 10.30am | 88 Princeton Avenue | $595,000 – $645,000 | 4908 5900

11.00am – 11.30am | 33 Bulkara Street | Guide on Request | 0249 260 600

11.00am – 11.30am | 160 Princeton Avenue | $1,250,000 – $1,375, | 4902 7222

11.15am – 11.45am | 20 Rachael Avenue | Auction | 4908 5900

2.00pm – 2.30pm | 10 Russell Street | Price On Request | 4902 7222

Arcadia Vale10.00am – 10.30am | 62 Glade Street | $390,000 | 4959 1466

Belmont10.00am – 10.30am | E109 11 Ernest Street | By Neg $415,000 – $4 | 4945 8600

10.00am – 10.30am | 7/57 Maude Street | $350,000-$385,000 | 4915 7888

10.00am – 10.30am | 305/17 Edgar Street | $550,000 – $600,000 | 4902 7222

11.00am – 11.30am | 31 Henry Street | Auction | 4945 8600

1.00pm – 1.30pm | 403/58 Brooks Parade | $1,100,000 | 4945 8600

Belmont North12.00pm – 12.30pm | 2/51 Mirambeena Street | Auction | 4945 8600

1.00pm – 1.45pm | 123 Wommarra Avenue | $395,000-$430,000 | 4960 0499

Blackalls Park12.00pm – 12.30pm | 27 Venetia Avenue | $699,000 – $749,000 | 4959 1466

Buttaba10.45am – 11.15am | 25 Haslemere Crescent | $579,000 | 4959 1466

11.00am – 11.30am | 38 Ilford Avenue | $540,000 | 4975 4800

12.00pm – 12.45pm | 15 Fred Avery Drive | $795,000 | 4959 1677

12.00pm – 12.30pm | 2 Newark Street | $569,000 – $579,000 | 4975 4800

Cameron Park11.30am – 12.30pm | 73 Araminta Chase | Guide on Request | 0249 260 600

12.00pm – 12.30pm | 1 Lucia Crescent | $490,000 – $525,000 | 4952 6500

12.00pm – 12.30pm | 27 Floresta Crescent | $495,000 – $530,000 | 4952 6500

Cardiff12.30pm – 1.00pm | 6 Hendrick Street | Preview | 4908 5900


10.00am – 10.30am | 53 Bourke Street | Preview | 4908 5900

Caves Beach10.30am – 11.00am | 93 Macquarie Grove | – | 0249 260 600

Charlestown9.30am – 10.00am | 5 Chester Close | $840,000 – $920,000 | 49 439755

11.15am – 11.45am | 12a Juncea Close | $850,000-$930,000 | 0410 468 968

1.00pm – 1.30pm | 502 Warners Bay Road | $820k-$870k | 4961 5201

1.00pm – 1.30pm | 19 Kirika Street | $500,000 – $520,000 | 4943 6333

Coal Point10.30am – 11.00am | 127a Coal Point Road | AUCTION 04.05.17 | 4959 1466

11.00am – 11.30am | 17 Coal Point Road | AUCTION 20.04.17 | 4959 1466

12.00pm – 12.30pm | 179 Coal Point Road | AUCTION 20.04.17 | 4959 1466

12.00pm – 12.30pm | 1 Coal Point Road | AUCTION 04.05.17 | 4959 1466

Cooks Hill10.50am – 11.20am | 196 Darby Street | $640,000 – $680,000 | 4902 7222

Dudley12.00pm – 12.30pm | 4 Knoll Avenue | $1,640,000 – $1,800, | 4902 7222

Eleebana11.00am – 11.30am | 16 Gordon Street | Auction | 4945 8600

11.00am – 11.30am | 27 Rothbury Street | Guide on Request | 0249 260 600

11.00am – 11.30am | 3 Boatmans Row | $1,275,000 – $1,400, | 4902 7222

Fern Bay9.30am – 10.00am | 8 Oimara Street | 590,000 – $649,000 | 4989 4002

Garden Suburb11.00am – 11.30am | 14 Whalan Street | Auction | 4904 8400

Georgetown11.30am – 12.00pm | 39 Mabel Street | Auction | 0408 525 362

1.00pm – 1.30pm | 3/13 Wentworth Street | $330,000 – $360,000 | 4908 5900

Glendale10.00am – 10.30am | 262 Lake Road | Expressions of Inter | 0425 290 322

Hamilton12.00pm – 12.30pm | 138 Tudor Street | $725,000 – $750,000 | 0410 447 054

Hamilton South10.30am – 11.00am | 35 Churchill Circuit | $1,095,000 | 0402 009 532

Heddon Greta2.30pm – 3.00pm | 6 Errol Street | $440,000-$460,000 | 4915 7888

Jewells12.00pm – 12.30pm | 1 Silverdale Parade | AUCTION 20.04.17 | 4915 3800

Kotara9.30am – 10.00am | 27 Joslin Street | Auction | 4943 6333

11.00am – 11.30am | 57 Springfield Avenue | $490,000 | 0249 260 600

12.00pm – 12.30pm | 8 Clayton Crescent | $579,950 | 4943 6333

2.45pm – 3.15pm | 18 Joslin Street | Price on Request | 4902 7222

3.15pm – 3.45pm | 83 Joslin Street | $695,000 | 4902 7222

Kotara South11.00am – 11.30am | 30 Elvidge Crescent | $629,950 | 4943 6333

Lambton10.00am – 10.30am | 7 Belford Road | Auction | 0408 525 362

10.00am – 10.30am | 11 Jerrawa Close | $750,000 – $800,000 | 4908 5900

11.30am – 12.00pm | 17 Kendall Street | $510,000 – $535,000 | 0412 352 490

11.30am – 12.00pm | 1 Copeland Street | $545,000 | 0413 209 500

4.00pm – 4.30pm | 101 Young Road | Price on Request | 4902 7222

Marks Point1.00pm – 1.30pm | 154 Marks Point Road | Auction | 4945 8600

Maryville10.00am – 10.30am | 93 McMichael Street | Friendly Auction | 0249 260 600

Mayfield East11.00am – 11.30am | 54 Mounter Street | Preview | 4908 5900

Merewether9.45am – 10.15am | 69 Henry Street | $985,000 | 0402 009 532

10.30am – 11.00am | 7 Cram Street | Auction | 0412352490

11.40am – 12.10pm | 2/30 Janet Street | $1,050,000 – $1,150, | 4902 7222

12.30pm – 1.00pm | 110 Janet Street | Auction | 4902 7222

Mount Hutton11.30am – 12.00pm | 137 Auklet Street | $500,000-$550,000 | 0423120030

Murrays Beach2.00pm – 2.30pm | 27 Lake Forest Drive | By Neg $730,000 – $8 | 4945 8600

Newcastle10.15am – 10.45am | 8/113 King Street | $890,000 – $950,000 | 0249 260 600

11.30am – 12.00pm | 4/22 Brown Street | $425,000 | 0402 009 532

Newcastle East12.15pm – 1.00pm | 13/71 Scott Street | Auction 6/5/17 4pm | 0402 009 532

Newcastle West12.00pm – 12.30pm | 77/741 Hunter Street | $595,000 – $625,000 | 4915 3800

New Lambton10.00am – 10.30am | 19 Kings Road | $675,000-$725,000 | 0499 051 050

10.00am – 10.45am | 1 & 2/45 Fairfield Avenue | $590,000 – $630,000 | 0410 468 968

11.30am – 12.00pm | 49 Portland Place | AUCTION | 4957 6166

1.00pm – 1.30pm | 31 Jellicoe Parade | Price On Request | 4902 7222

New Lambton Heights11.00am – 11.30am | 37 Walkern Road | $590,000 – $649,000 | 4989 4018

North Lambton12.15pm – 12.45pm | 28 Spruce Street | $499,000 | 4908 5900

Pelican1.00pm – 1.30pm | 30 Karog Street | $645,000-$695,000 | 4915 7888

Rathmines11.00am – 11.45am | 15 Lincoln Close | $465,000 | 4959 1677

11.00am – 11.30am | 38 Harborne Avenue | $649,000 – $689,000 | 4975 4800

Raymond Terrace10.30am – 11.00am | 6/33 Gwen Parade | $340k-$360k | 4961 5201

Redhead12.00pm – 12.30pm | 2a Brown Street | Guide on Request | 0249 260 600

Speers Point11.00am – 11.45am | 7 Ash Street | $650,000 | 0418 700 884

2.00pm – 2.30pm | 65 Thompson Road | $699,000 | 4915 3800

2.15pm – 2.45pm | 60 Lakeview Street | Preview | 4908 5900

Tighes Hill12.00pm – 12.30pm | 27 Hewison Street | Guide on Request | 4929 5999

Tingira Heights12.00pm – 12.30pm | 6 Canning Close | Preview | 4908 5900

1.00pm – 1.30pm | 23 Victoria Road | AUCTION 20.04.17 | 4915 3800

Valentine10.00am – 10.30am | 56 Berringar Road | $770,000 – $830,000 | 4942 8377

10.30am – 11.15am | 92 Berringar Road | Preview | 0410 447 054

11.00am – 11.30am | 2/39 Berringar Road | $480,000 – $520,000 | 4904 8400

11.00am – 11.30am | 5/58 Allambee Place | $390,000 – $420,000 | 4915 3800

11.00am – 11.30am | 117 Connaught Road | Preview | 4908 5900

12.00pm – 12.30pm | 49 Dilkera Avenue | Auction | 4945 8600

Wallsend10.00am – 10.00am | 15 Moresby Street | $549,000 – $589,000 | 0400 911 802

10.30am – 11.00am | 33 Macquarie Street | $455,000 | 0412449333

1.00pm – 1.30pm | 8 Boambee Close | Preview | 0410 447 054

Wangi Wangi11.00am – 11.30am | 320 Dobell Drive | $949,000 – $995,000 | 4959 1466

11.30am – 12.00pm | 4 Crescent Road | $750,000 – $780,000 | 4959 1466

12.15pm – 12.45pm | 60 Dobell Drive | $995,000 | 4975 1644

1.00pm – 1.30pm | 49 Dobell Drive | AUCTION 04.05.17 | 4975 1644

Waratah9.30am – 10.00am | 3/42 Coolamin Road | Auction | 4943 6333

10.00am – 10.30am | 1 Ada Street | $595k-$645k | 4961 5201

Warners Bay10.00am – 10.30am | 2/13 Martin Street | $459,000 | 4943 6333

10.00am – 1.00pm | 226/6 King Street | $699,000 | 4908 5900

10.00am – 1.00pm | 120/6 King Street | $359,000 | 4908 5900

11.00am – 11.30am | 6/68 Albert Street | AUCTION 04.05.17 | 4915 3800

Whitebridge10.45am – 11.30am | 34 Lonus Avenue | Expressions of Inter | 49439755

11.30am – 12.00pm | 53 Bulls Garden Road | Auction | 4943 6333

Woodrising11.00am – 11.30am | 6 Vim Close | Auction | 4959 1677

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Shute Shield – Rebels v Randwick.Picture John Veage Photo: John VeageThere is a very broad theory in politics that most democratic political systems will usually have two broad parties that political analysts characterise as “Left” and “Right”, but which can also be understood – if you can cope with culturally outdated, cliched, stereotypes – as “Mummy” and “Daddy” parties.
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This theory has it that just as kids need the succour of Mum and the firm hand of Dad to grow into balanced adults, so too does a country’s population need regular bouts of both parties in power to prosper and grow. The Mummy Party of the left will be excellent at ensuring that the nation’s apple pie – its gross domestic product – is fairly divided. It will ensure cuddles for everyone, regardless, and display endless understanding even for kids that behave badly. No child will go unloved, or unfed, even if Mum herself has to go hungry.

Too much indulgence for the kids from the Mummy Party, though, the littlies get spoilt, and it becomes obvious that the more stringent approach of the Daddy Party is needed … The Daddy Party, see, is far more focused on ensuring that it is a big apple pie to begin with, and – after helping himself to a big slice of pie – Dad brings back discipline and a clear-eyed focus on rewarding those who have worked hardest to produce the pie.

Are you still with me, tree people? Gawd bless you, I’m singing for you, too. Which brings us, oddly enough, to n rugby, what’s gone wrong and how to even begin fix it.

For you see, despite its macho image, for most of the rugby code’s history it has – still forgiving the stereotypes – a Mummy-type administration and culture. The very nature of the game has been to embrace all body types and sizes, all levels of ability, and love them all equally. In the amateur era, what money the elite level of the game brought in didn’t go back to the elites, it was spread throughout the whole game. And people loved the game for that, adored the sheer nurturing warmth of the whole thing.

And then rugby went professional, and the trouble started. With big money on the table, the culture radically changed. Right at the time of change, in 1995, when some of the Wallabies were going after even bigger money than was offer, this columnist turned a little feral, writing them an open letter:

“Rugby is your mother, dammit,” I thundered. “For the past two decades she’s nurtured you, taken care of you, taught you, been proud to call you her own, and held chook raffles so that you could travel around the world. She’s allowed you to walk taller down George Street than ever you would have dreamed, and now that she has come into a large amount of money you are guaranteed to enjoy enormous amounts of her largesse as one of her favourite sons. If you make a decision that that is still not enough, that you want instead her to whore for you, too – to earn the very last buck for you she can and to hell with the consequences – then you will be deserving of your fate.”

Yes, I was upset.

But since that time, Dad – a fairly dull accountant, in this instance – has been all but exclusively in charge of rugby. Decisions have been made all but exclusively on financial bottom lines, and the mass of money made has gone back all but exclusively to the biggest kids only, the front-line generators of the wealth – the Wallabies and provincial teams – not to mention the administrators themselves, and the massive infrastructure supporting the professional teams.

The results, after two decades of solid Dad? The other kids, the little ones – the club teams and wider grassroots – are getting ever more malnourished, much of the romance is gone, and people are drifting away, seeking warmth elsewhere. Things are now so bad that, as you know, ratings are down, attendances are down, and even the elites themselves are affected, with one n super franchise to be cut.

In that field, a bitter decision must be made. How to decide?

Well, in the press conference on Monday, Dad said it would be made “on financial lines”. They’ll look at profit and loss, etc, and make the decision accordingly, without fear or favour. I have one thing to say to that:

“MUM! Come quick. We need you. Dad is being a data-driven dickhead again, and not showing us any love.”

What rugby needs right now is to nurture the love once more. Show warmth. Distribute largesse where the love can grow – read grassroots and club levels – and in this specific case, I would not measure the worth of the Rebels or Force by money alone, but by the strength of their rugby community, the passion they have for it, the likelihood that they can help grow a big rugby family.

Does that all make sense? Or do you think I have been drinking too much again, and Dad should punish me?


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In almost 50 years of n cinema, there can’t be a film with more fondly remembered lines than The Castle.
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“This is going straight to the pool room” has become part of everyday conversation. So has “Tell him he’s dreaming”, “It’s the vibe” and “How’s the serenity?”.

There are plenty more lines that are also regularly quoted, “Waddya call that, love?”, “We’re going to Bonnie Doon” and “Can you move the Camira? I need to get the Torana out to get the Commodore”.

The warm-hearted comedy about Darryl Kerrigan’s battle to save his home from compulsory acquisition for an airport extension opened 20 years ago this week.

While there are plenty of n films that admired, there are precious few that are genuinely beloved. The Castle is one of them.

Yet when it opened in 1997, some critics ripped into it. “The Castle is out to get laughs, and it gets them the wrong way: by making Darryl and his family into figures of fun,” wrote one. “One moment we are asked to sympathise with their plight, in the next to sneer at their naive simple-mindedness.”

The film industry didn’t warm to it much either. The Castle wasn’t even nominated for best film at the n Film Institute Awards in 1997, when the thriller Kiss or Kill won from Blackrock, Doing Time For Patsy Cline and The Well.

You’d think Michael Caton must have won best actor though for playing Darryl – now seen as one of the great comic performances in n film. Not so: the award went to Richard Roxburgh for Doing Time For Patsy Cline.

In among a batch of films that are mostly dimly remembered, The Castle won just best original screenplay for Santo Cilauro, Tom Gleisner, Jane Kennedy and Rob Sitch, who also directed it.

But plenty of other critics and cinema-goers saw the affection the Working Dog team brought to a film that cost a bargain basement $750,000 and took more than $10 million at the box office.

Watching The Castle again now, the familiarity of the jokes adds to the enjoyment.

While the cinematography and design are about as basic as you get and some of the acting doesn’t quite work, the balance between comedy and heart is handled beautifully.

As well as the famous lines, some of the visual gags still have you laughing out loud: like when Tracey and Con walk back from the airport with their suitcases after their Bangkok holiday and when Darryl serves up a lump of charcoal masquerading as steak saying “who ordered medium rare?”.

And you have to admire the resourcefulness behind the film. Coming off the success of the TV news satire Frontline, the Working Dog team wrote the script in just two weeks and shot it in 11 days.

If the story is familiar – an ordinary man takes on uncaring system and wins – it is given new life in The Castle. Partly because it’s such a likeably daggy portrait of suburban , partly because Darryl is such a warm-hearted optimist and partly because the family’s connection to their home is also a story about Aboriginal land rights.

The other great performance is by Bud Tingwell as retired barrister Lawrence Hammill. He says a lot with a look.

A decade ago, Oscar-winning British producer David Puttnam (Chariots Of Fire,The Killing Fields) reckoned it was time for a sequel to The Castle focusing on Farouk, the Lebanese neighbour who likes the planes that fly over his home because, unlike the ones in Beirut, they don’t drop bombs.

But he’s dreamin’.

Mad Max: Fury Road aside, long-delayed sequels rarely recapture the magic. Let’s just enjoy The Castle for the classic it is.

Twitter @gmaddox

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The former lover of Seven West Media boss Tim Worner has suffered a setback in her court battle with the company, after a Sydney judge refused to transfer the case to a court in her home state.
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Amber Harrison, a former executive assistant at the media company, has been locked in a bitter court battle with Seven since she revealed embarrassing details of her affair with Mr Worner in December.

The NSW Supreme Court imposed a temporary gag order in February preventing her speaking publicly about the relationship or the company, and Seven will push for a permanent order at a four-day hearing starting on July 10.

Ms Harrison returned fire in March with a cross-claim alleging Seven breached an implied term of her employment contract to keep and maintain a safe system of work.

She also lodged a claim in the Federal Court in Melbourne seeking compensation and penalties from Seven for alleged breaches of the Fair Work Act.

Ms Harrison applied to the NSW Supreme Court for an order that the entire dispute, including Seven’s Supreme Court application for a permanent gag order, be transferred to the Federal Court in Melbourne and heard alongside her Fair Work claim.

But Supreme Court Justice John Sackar rejected the application on Wednesday.

Justice Sackar said it was “in the interests of justice to allow Seven to have its matter fully and expeditiously determined … before any consideration is given to Ms Harrison’s Federal Court proceedings”.

He said the Federal Court case was still in its “infancy” while the Supreme Court case was at a more advanced stage.

Justice Sackar noted the two cases had a central issue in common, which meant resolving the Supreme Court case might shed light on Ms Harrison’s ability to continue with the Fair Work Act claims in the Federal Court.

A Seven West Media spokesman said: “Seven West Media welcomes the NSW Supreme Court’s decision today and will continue working towards the final hearing in July.

“We have also lodged an application to strike out the Melbourne Federal Court applications.”

The heart of Ms Harrison’s Fair Work claim is that Seven initiated an investigation into her alleged misuse of a corporate credit card after she complained to Mr Worner in 2014 that she was suffering from “distress, shame, helplessness, anxiety, and panic attacks”.

Ms Harrison’s lawyers say the company contravened the Fair Work Act because it altered her role with the company “to her prejudice” and “injured her in her employment” after her 18-month affair with Mr Worner soured in June 2014.

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West Coast are in a state of denial.
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The Eagles will more than likely “get back on the horse” and beat Sydney, because they are back at home in their comfort zone.

However, it’s totally irrelevant what happens on Thursday night.

The Eagles will probably win and the players who had a down game against the Tigers will probably star, but it’s about the bigger picture.

I don’t think the club can win a flag with the list they’ve currently got.

What West Coast has got is a team that can challenge for the Top 4 or Top 6 every year but, that’s mainly due to the distinct advantage the Eagles and Dockers get from playing 12 games at home every season.

If they win 10 of those games, then they only need to win a minimum of three away games to make finals and if they win six away games against lesser lights they finish Top 4 or Top 6.

I’d almost consider playing at Domain Stadium a five-goal advantage for the Eagles and Dockers.

However, it’s a false economy and the problem for the Eagles is getting it right away from home.

Josh Kennedy told 6PR breakfast on Tuesday morning there isn’t a MCG hoodoo but history doesn’t lie.

The Eagles have won just six out of 23 games they’ve played at the home of football since the 2006 flag.

However, it’s their form in the last four or five big games which is more concerning for me.

The 2015 Grand Final. The rematch against Hawthorn in round three last year. The elimination final against the Bulldogs – a big game at home, in their comfort zone.

In those matches they’ve been found really, really wanting like they were against Richmond on the weekend.

Although it was only a home and away game, it was a pretty significant one for the Eagles because it was at the MCG where they have a very lean record, and they failed again.

I won’t stick it to the second-tier players and the youngsters coming through – I think West Coast’s problems are at the top end.

The performances aren’t coming from players like Josh Kennedy, Matt Priddis, Jack Darling and Shannon Hurn – the guys you expect to be the leaders of the club.

And, although he didn’t play on the weekend, you can throw Nic Naitanui into that mix as well because he’s been the same when it really counts – non existent.

LeCras could have been in that mix but he at least he showed something on the weekend and had his best game at the ‘G for some time.

I think this is because he’s playing closer to goal this season.

They completely messed that up [playing him through the midfield].

LeCras is for me a 12-16 possession player who gets most of his touches in the forward 50, hopefully having three or four shots at goal and having a hand in a few others.

You can’t kick goals from the wing.

If the West Coast brains trust sat down and worked out who plays well at home and who plays well away they will be frightened by what they see.

The dimensions of the MCG are clearly killing the leg speed of the Eagles and their players don’t get to as many contests as they seem to do at home.

West Coast just don’t have that same pressure and they’re leaking at the back end which is due to a lack of pressure through the midfield.

One area you can give Kennedy and Darling a tick is their forward pressure and ability to lock the ball in the forward 50.

But once the ball escapes the Eagles have a problem.

If McGovern doesn’t take an intercept mark then they’re in a power of trouble, which was plain to see against Richmond.

Hawthorn pulled the Eagles apart in the 2015 Grand Final and in Round 3 last year with their precision kicking game, so next week will be the real test for West Coast.

The Hawks have been very ordinary this season so it will be interesting to see how that game goes.

I would be throwing the gauntlet down to Lewis Jetta this week.

Give him one more go but say to him: “You gave the Swans nothing on the way out and you’ve given us nothing while you’ve been here. This is your last chance otherwise you’re playing a fair amount of your football at East Perth”.

I can see why they played Jetta last week because they needed his leg speed on the open spaces of the MCG however, he didn’t utilise it anywhere near enough.

But if he can’t cut it the club needs to try and unearth another player like him and they have one performing at East Perth.

Francis Watson has got the pace, can run and carry and most importantly has footy smarts.

I watched him in the preseason against GWS in Narrandera and he impressed.

He’s continued to do so at East Perth this season and I’d be willing to give him a push.

Dom Sheed is a good honest player too and Liam Duggan’s worth another crack.

If they’re playing well in the reserves, they Eagles should give them a run of games in the side to build their confidence instead of bringing them in and out.

Although East Perth is struggling from results perspective (they yet to win a game this season), that’s inconsequential.

Some blokes rise to the occasion while others are really good WAFL footballers and fail to make the leap to AFL level.

However, you don’t know if they can make the leap unless you give them a shot.

With a better class of player around them who’s to say they won’t grow?

Look at Hawthorn. After taking several guns out of their side, all of a sudden Gunston and others have been reduced to rabble.

It begs the question – were they really good players or were they good players because they had better players with them?

Goats of the week:Things that make you go hmmmm:Read More →

ThursdayFormer Wallaby Peter FitzSimons appears to have seen the light as he proposes a rule change that will potentiallyrevolutionise rugby union –reduce each team from 15 players to 13.
SuZhou Night Recruitment

Great idea,Fitzy. Now if you can just get rid of lineouts, mauls, three-point field goals and ex-private schoolboys, you might have a decent game.

But in typical rah-rah fashion, he can’t resistputting the boot in: “You’re thinking that no sooner had it become 13 man, than every second or third bastard playing the game would then have to havetattooscovering every bit of skin up to the beard line, looking as if they have the imprint of the carpet of the Goulburn RSL on them, from having spent too many drunken nights sleeping upon it?

“Well, you’re wrong. Rugby league has that territory so well staked out, I really don’t think rugby union can make much of an impact.”

Seven Days is no fan of neck tattoos. Or body ink in general. Mind you, at least rugby league players don’t wear red bandannas.

RAH-RAH: Peter FitzSimons

Speaking of NRL fashion statements, ex-Knight Korbin Sims scores his first try for the Broncos in their 32-8 toweling of the Chooks.

What’s doing with Korbin’s hair? He bought himself a Harley last year and now he’s trying to look like that bloke off Sons of Anarchy.

FridayThe weekly correspondence arrives from the Maitland Maniac, and he gets straight to the point.

“You’re a gutless c— like Wayne Bennett! Canterbury-Bankstown will f— you soft—– on your “sacred ground” on Friday night.

“Nathan Brown is THE worst coach in NRL history. Type that in your Seven Days in League rubbish.

“Better still, jam another wooden spoon up your a—. You f—ing spastic.’’

The Maitland Maniac is entitled to his deranged opinion, and normally I just file his dimwitted diatribes in an asbestos-lined folder. But this time he’s overstepped the mark. He’s gone too far.

I take offence at being compared to Wayne Bennett. That’s below the belt.

SEPARATED AT BIRTH: Sons of Anarchy star Korbin Sims and Broncos prop Jax Teller, inset, have never been seen in the same room.

Sadly, in the 6pm graveyard-shift fixture, the Dogs duly down the Knights 22-12. But I’d like to think that 10 minutes from the end, when the video refs are reviewing a possible Sione Mata’utia try that will give the home team a chance to level scores, the Maitland Maniac is briefly in the foetal position.

Saturday The Dragons are putting the cleaners through Manly at Brooky when the commentators flash back to Aku Uate’s withdrawal in the pre-match warm-up.

It prompts a late backline re-shuffle and commentator Warren Smith observes:“It could be Ken Irvine himself out there on the wing and it would still be 16-0.”

Given that poor old Kenny been dead for 27 years, I doubt he’d be much use in stemming the flood of tries.

Elsewhere, in a sobering weekend for the Panthers, their star-studed Reggies –featuring night owls Matt Moylan, Waqa Blake and Peta Hiku –cop a 26-20 dusting from the Knights.

Later, up in Townsville, the Tigers score a mind-boggling 26-16 win against the Cows.

The result is overshadowed by a leg injury that causes champion halfback Johnathan Thurston to hobble off.

NSW fans start dreaming of an Origin series triumph. I mean JT is surely irreplaceable …unless you have AnthonyMilford, Daly Cherry-Evans, Corey Norman and Ashley Taylor waiting for a chance.

Bloody Cane Toads.

SundayThe Newcastle Jets lose 2-0 to Central Coast Mariners in the A-League match at Gosford, in a staunch display of solidarity and support for their NRL counterparts, the Knights. The result leaves the Jets last on the points table and staring directly at the wooden spoon, with one game to play.

Bankrupt Boganaire Nathan Tinkler once declared, in the process of buying both the Jets and Knights, that the two clubs had many “synergies”.

That theory isreinforced with a quick glance at their respective competition ladders, which both feature Newcastle on the bottom rung.

Some Novocastrians might view this as slightly embarrassing. But is it really such a big deal?After all, in the words of champion stockcar driver Ricky Bobby, star of Talladega Nights: “If you ain’t first, you’re last.”

MondayIVAN Cleary is hailed as a supercoach byTigers players …but he had better be careful he doesn’t get sued for plagiarism.

Tigers forward Elijah Taylor says Cleary had one simple instruction for his troops before they upset the Cows: “Be the player that other playerswant to be inspired by and want to play with. It was so simple. He didn’t come in and say do this, do this, tackle like this, attack like this. He did none of that. That’s genius.”

Genius? Hardly. The late, great Allan McMahon was telling his players to “be the bloke everyone wants to play alongside” 30 years ago.

I doubt Macca invented that motto. It’sprobably been getting tossed up sincethe days of Dally Messenger.

Bet Jason Taylor wishes he’d used it.

Tuesday“Put your bloopers out” is trending on social media …and Seven Days has almost produced a clanger.

At aKnights media opportunity, I’m about to ask Mitch Barnett how he’s looking forward to doing battle with Jason Taumalolo this weekend.

Then another reporter asks him about the Roosters and it dawns on me I’ve got my dates mixed up. The Cowboys game is next week.

You learn something new every day in this business.

WednesdayOne last thingbefore I head off for the annual religious festival known as binge Easter egg eating.

Do yourself a favour and get to Passmore Oval on Thursday when Northern Suburbs Bluebags make an emotional homecoming.

They’re up against fellow 1910 foundation club, South Newcastle, and I’m assured the tinnies will be cold and the sausage sangers will be delicious. Kick-off, 7pm.

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