Taste of Jamaica in town

FUNKY FUSION: Winnie’s Jamaican at Finnegan’s Hotel introduces Newcastle to classic Caribbean dishes in a colourful and comfortable space right in the heart of town.Winnie’s Jamaican restaurant, at Finnegan’s Hotel on the corner of King and Darby,is breaking new ground in Newcastle with a funky fusion of mouthwatering Caribbean cuisine.
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Riffing off the Rastafarian Ital diet withloads of vegie and vegan options and also boasting classic staples like jerk chicken and goat curry, Winnie’s is the brainchild of chef Jamie Thomas.

Born in North London, Jamie grew up immersed inJamaican food and culture.

“I was cooking Jamaican food with my best mate’s mum and his family since I was a baby,” Jamie said.

“I’ve never known anything different and as I’ve grown older I’ve dug deeper into the cuisine and culture.”

Jamie is passionateabout introducing the Hunter to this style of food.

“Jamaica has been this cosmopolitan place historically for centuries, so the food is really diverse, got great kick and super healthy,” Jamie said.

“There’s Spanish, English, French, Chinese and even Japanese influences.

“A lot of the dishes are grilled while the Rasta Ital diet is almost vegan in approach, avoiding processed food, additives, oil, salt and sugar –so it has that vegie dimension that will appeal too.

“From a chef point of view, you can give nearly any food a Jamaican twist and not crucify the fusion factor.”

Jamie moved up to the Hunter last year having run Queenie’s Jamaican restaurant at The Forresters Hotel in Surry Hills for 5 years.

He has partnered with best mate Luke Smith under the heading Two Poms Pty Ltd.

Luke is running the kitchen at Town Hall Hotel in Waratah, while Jamie, havingspent last year delivering dude foodat the transformative Family Hotel on Hunter Street,has set up Winnie’s at Finnegan’s.

“Newcastle is always looking to try something new and I thinkNovocastrians will love Jamaican food,” he said.

Finnegan’s has shifted focus from Irish themes in recent years but Jamie still sees symmetries.

“There’s a massive Irish culture in Jamaica, the locals drink loads of Guinnessand both peoples are happy go lucky and love a celebration,” he said.

“I think most Novocastrians will relate to that.”

Visitors to Winnie’s will discover a bright, comfortable space withgreat food, awesome music and laid-back vibe.

Winnie’s Jamaican operatesTuesday to Friday for lunch (12-3pm)and dinner (6pm-9pm) and Saturday for dinner from 6pm till late.

“I’ll play Saturday by ear because we’re right in the entertainment hub of the city –the perfect place to meet, eat and kick on,” Jamie said.

“The bottom line is if people are hungry, I’ll be cooking.”

For more info, visit www.finneganshotel南京夜网.au.

Support CBD traders ‘taking one for the team’

GROWING PAINS: “Let’s walk that extra block past the hoardings … and put our hands in our pockets and some money through those empty tills to help businesses.” WE’LL all be rooned,” said Hanrahan, “before the year is out.” (Thank you, poet – P.J. Hartigan).We’re hearing a lot of that around town at the moment – roadworks, deliveries, construction, Supercars, power costs, lost trees. And more, more.
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Some businesses are doing it tough while the city gets dragged through this period of growing pains. Newcastle Now, like the council, Urban Growth, Transport NSW and others, is doing its best behind the scenes to cut down the disruption that comes with change.

But there’s no doubt – it’s a nuisance.

For some businesses, it’s more than a nuisance and we really need to do more to help them keep their heads above water.

Leonie Pearson in The Conversation (June 26, 2017) reported that ‘city population size does not determine economic performance’ and that contrary to popular opinion, regional cities generate national economic growth and jobs at pretty much the same rate as metropolitan cities.

However, she counsels, immediate action is needed if that is to continue. And that action must build on existing strengths and capabilities.

It seems that Australia’s economy is turning to the service industries, with growth concentrated in what is called ‘new economy’ industries – finance, education, health and professional services. Regional cities already produce more output in these industries than they did in the old ones of agriculture, mining and manufacturing that we used to rely on in the Hunter. The change is happening quickly and it will mean a large number of jobs will be affected.

(There are some interesting numbers in the Regional Australia Institute’s (RAI) Data Tool at regionalaustralia.org.au. It’s good bedtime reading.)

It is quite worrying that while Greater Newcastle has, in the past, outpaced the field in these new industries, the projections are not good. RAI has relegated us to the ‘slipping’ category.

As Pearson says, we need to take immediate action.

Some of that action is already happening. In the CBDit seems that we face 18 months of disruption to business while people build the essential infrastructure we need for the next stage of growth. Our streets will be a mess of road works, while rail lines and new power, lighting and water systems are installed, block by block.

While that is happening there will be hoardings, detours, and men and women in orange shirts all over the place.

The impact on some businesses will be as devastating as a big fire or flood, but they will have little recourse to insurance while the banks, landlords and everyone else still expect them to pay their bills on time.How do you cope if your income just stops for six months? That’s a jaw-dropping thought.

RAI urges us to build on our strengths and capabilities. We’ve always had the reputation of being a strong community. So, let’s think about those people who are taking one for the team as the city builds a new future.To loosely quote a Shakespearean line, “What is the city but the people?”

So, let’s walk that extra block past the hoardings and people in orange shirts, and put our hands in our pockets and some money through those empty tills to help businesses through the crisis.

If we can’t stick together and do this little thing for our neighbours when they hit hard times, then, in the long run, we may indeed ‘all be rooned’.

Edward Duc is chairperson of Newcastle Now

Shepherds Hill cottage to be restored to ‘original condition’

Shepherds Hill cottage to be restored to ‘original condition’ DISREPAIR: Newcastle Marine Rescue’s Graham Silcock and Ron Calman at the damaged Shepherds Hill cottage. Picture: Marina Neil
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HISTORIC: The Shepherds Hill battery observation post. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

DISREPAIR: The Shepherds Hill cottage with badly damaged roof after the April 2015 storm. Picture: Darren Pateman

SCENIC: The Shepherds Hill battery post and cliff-face. Picture: Peter Stoop

TweetFacebookTHEShepherds Hill cottage,one of Newcastle’s most scenic butrun-down buildings, will be restored to its original condition while the state government considersthe future of the entire heritage-listed militarysite.

Newcastle council will begin renovations today on the late-19centuryKing Edward Park cottage, which was badly damaged in the storm of April 2015.

It will be given a new roof,plumbing, cladding, posts and beams, andits wooden windows will be repaired.

The overhaul will also, the council said, include demolition of “unathorised extensions made by various tenants”.

The council gained approval for the restoration when it lodged a conservation management plan, together with a separate heritage application,for the Shepherds Hill sitewith the state government last December.

“The restoration of Shepherds Hill Cottage is another exciting project at an exciting time in Newcastle’s history,” Newcastle lord mayorNuatali Nelmes said.

“All works to be undertaken to restore the building will be overseen by a heritage architect. The future use of the cottage is yet to be determinedbut, whatever it is, it will become a community asset and focal point courtesy of its location at the top of King Edward Park on the Bathers Way.”

Work vehicles will be confined to the site during the restoration, the council said.

Shepherds Hill Defence Group, as the cottage, battery observation post and gun placement are collectively known,sits on Crown Land for which Newcastle City Council is the trust manager.

The military installment wasdesigned to defend Newcastle’s burgeoning coal port after the 1878 Royal Commission into Colonial Defences. It served as an integral command position untilthe end of World War Two.

The observation post is one of the only coastal defence sites in Australia manned simultaneously during the war by the Royal Australian Navy, Army and Royal Australia Air Force.

MORE TO COME

Cardinal Pell case prompts calls for judge-only trials

Senior lawyers say Victoria should allow judge-only trialsin some cases, after expressing concerns Cardinal George Pell would not get a fair hearing on historic sex charges.
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As Cardinal Pell returned to Australia on Monday ahead of his July 26 court appearance,two QCs not connected to his case have raised doubts about the 76-year-old getting a fair hearing, should his case proceed to a jurytrial.

They said it was time Victoria followed NSW, Queensland and Western Australia and had the option of judge-alone trials in cases with high-profile defendants.

Peter Chadwick and Remy van de Weil​, QCs with more than three decades each of experience as barristers, questioned whether jurors could shut out their perceptions of the cardinal and the Catholic Church and focus solely on the criminal allegations.

Cardinal Pell has denied the offending.

“There’s been an awful lot of publicity, a lot of discussion and it’s a good argument for a judge-alone trial,” Mr Chadwick said.

Australian Lawyers Alliance spokesman Greg Barns declined to comment on Cardinal Pell’s case, but also said it was time Victoria followed the other states.

He cited as examples Lloyd Rayney, the Perth lawyer charged with murdering his wife; Simon Gittany, the Sydney man accused of killing his fiancee; and Dennis Ferguson, tried for sexual offending in Queensland, as cases where judges heard the cases alone after concerns were raised about the defendants getting a fair trial before juries.

Cardinal George Pell arrived back in Australia on Monday. Photo: Nick Moir

“One of the difficulties in high-profile cases is it relies on people to put everything out of their mind that they have read, heard or seen. And it cuts both ways,” Mr Barns said.

“I am simply saying the option of a judge-alone trial would stand as an added protection.”

Victorian criminal trials are heard before juries of ordinary citizens. Lawyers cannot ask for jurors to be excluded on the basis of their religion, however jurors can raise their own circumstances with the judge if concerned they could not be impartial.

But Nick Papas, QC, a former Victorian chief magistrate who now defends and prosecutes in trials, insisted the current system worked well.

He said judges gave strong directions to jurors about the importance of focusing solely on the evidence, and that the courts’ faith in juries to perform their roles was well established.

A robust, well-advised jury would give Cardinal Pell a fair hearing, Mr Papas said.

“My experience of the law is that jurors can be trusted to do their job. I am confident the system will cope. There are some stresses and strains but my expectation is he can get a fair trial,” he said.

Mr Papas said concerns Cardinal Pell would not get a fair trial were not as bad as the case of paedophile priest Michael Glennon​, whose earlier convictions were broadcast before a trial by Derryn Hinch in the 1980s.

Glennon argued in the High Court he could never get a fair trial, but the court ruled he could and the trial went ahead, albeit after a long delay. Glennonwas eventually jailed.

The Law Institute of Victoria said it was confident all accused people could receive a fair trial, and that jurors were regularly confronted with prejudicial material before they were selected.

“Juries are a crucial part of our judicial system and there is no reason that the right decision should not be reached between 12 ordinary citizens who have carefully assessed the evidence presented to the court,” a spokeswoman said.

Mr van de Weil said it could be time to rethink Victoria’s long-held belief that accused people should only be judged by their peers, so long as it was the defendant who could request a judge-alone trial.

“I think it’s not a bad idea,” he said.

Peter Morrissey, SC, said it was up to the courts to manage Cardinal Pell’s case and up to jurors to keep their conscience and decide the evidence fairly, should the case get to trial.

Mr Morrissey said he supported the jury system and was not convinced “there’s the evidence you get a fairer trial with a judge alone”.

Attorney General Martin Pakula said he was confident Victoria’s justice system would provide a fair trial.

His opposition counterpart, John Pesutto, said juries were important because they allowed the public to be directly involved, which was “something we should not give away lightly”.

The Supreme Court, the County Court and the Office of Public Prosecutions all declined to comment.

The Age

‘Donald Trump’ and the Tasmanian wall

TRUMPING THE USA: Tasmazia’s Laura and Brian Inder with their Donald Trump-style Mexican border wall. Picture: Brodie Weeding.‘Donald Trump’ will open aUS-Mexico border wall in November …in Tasmania.
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In fact, the wall has already been constructed, at Staverton tourist attraction Tasmazia and the Village of Lower Crackpot, south-west of Sheffield.

And it won’t be the Mexicans who pay for it.

“The Laird of Lower Crackpot got stuck with the bill,” Laird and Tasmazia developer Brian Inder admitted.

The Tasmaziacomplex includes an embassy garden, which has “embassies”of various countries.

It so happens,the US embassy (based on the Statue of Liberty) is next to thenew Mexican embassy (a cactus).

President Trump’s election campaignwas partly based on erecting a hugewall between the southern US and Mexico and making Mexico pay for it, in a bid to control the border.

Those two facts turned on alight globe at Staverton.

“So, with the advent of the creation of our new Mexican embassy, which just so happens to be right beside the embassy of the United States, it seemed natural to build a wall between them;a Trump wall,” general manager Brett Harston said.

And so, on November 25, the first “Trump” wall will be opened, some years before the US-Mexico wall is likely to be complete.

It will be opened by a President Trump impersonator who has greatly impressed Mr Inder.

“He’s so good, he’s awful,” Mr Inder said.

“You’d think it was him.”

Mr Inder said he was expecting a record crowdfor the event.

Tasmazia includes eight mazes, one of which is said to have been the world’s biggest when it was planted.

Other attractions include the model Village of Lower Crackpot and a lavender farm.

In a video promoting the wall opening, the impersonator describes Tasmazia as “a-maze-ing”.

“This ain’t fake news …,” he says.

It is not clear whether President Trump has ever visited Tasmania.

It was suggested last year that a Westbury cricket ground be named after him.

MrInder is bullish about Kentish and the surrounding region’s potential for a tourist boom, which would presumably help make Tasmania great again.

“We’ve got a huge future here,” he said.“It’s going tobe one of the best little destinations in the country.”

He said he had always regarded the Devonport-Ulverstone-Latrobe-Kentish-Deloraine districtas one big area.

“They are coming round to it now, starting to advertiseeach other and to acknowledge it as one place,” he said.

“It’smadness to think of it any other way.”

The Advocate