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Matildas narrow focus for Japan clash

Australia goalkeeper Lydia Williams says the focus is on beating Japan and not goal difference.The Matildas can’t get sucked into chasing goals in their Tournament of Nations finale against Japan, goalkeeper Lydia Williams says.
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The Australians meet Japan in Chicago on Friday (0745 AEST) knowing a victory could deliver them consecutive titles in the four-nation tournament.

Goal difference could prove decisive – the Matildas are equal with the United States, who play Brazil on Friday, with all three nations a chance of claiming the trophy.

Australia and the US both have four points and a plus-two goal differential, with Brazil on three points and a minus-one goal difference.

Japan (zero points, minus-three goal difference) are out of the running to win the tournament.

But keeper Williams says the Matildas will be focused purely on a win, not a winning margin, against the Japanese.

“It will be maintaining our performance and getting a good result, maybe not necessarily the scoreline,” Williams said.

“The better we do play, we can build on scoring goals. But I think it’s about being focused.”

The Matildas could also extract some revenge for their 1-0 loss to Japan in the Asian Cup final last April, a result Williams said was in the back of the minds of the Australians.

“You can’t really focus on past performances too much,” she said.

“So whilst it still burns a little bit that we didn’t get the Asian Cup … this is a chance to get that revenge a little bit.”

The Australians downed Brazil 3-1 in their tournament opener before conceding a last-minute goal in a 1-1 draw with the US.

Williams and defender Alanna Kennedy were embroiled in a heated post-match argument after conceding the goal from a corner.

“We were just disappointed that it was the last corner of the game … (it) was just in the heat of the moment,” Williams said.

“The emotions were running high and we were both pretty disappointed that we got scored against.”


Mounting M1 horrors hard to bypass

SLOW GOING: A screen shot of Google maps showing the length of the queue (2.71km) on the M1 following Tuesday’s fatal crash.On Tuesday, July 31, I was enlisted to help my son move into a shared house in Sydney.
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We swayed down the M1, my ageing four-wheel-drive and borrowed trailer packed to the gunnels, to start a new, exciting chapter in his life.

After a day’s hard labour it was with some trepidation that I entered the rat race of the M1 afternoon return trip.

As neither my old banger nor I were up to prolonged stints at high speed, we were both content to potter north at a comfortable pace in the slow lane while a desperate flow of commuters poured past in relentless haste.

Not far from Asquith, I did notice an illuminated sign above the road warning traffic was queuing ahead, at the Gosford exit.

I wondered which Gosford exit was causing the problem; there are a couple.

Despite the warning, it was with some surprise that I discovered cars stopped dead immediately after I crossed the Moonee Moonee bridge, still several kilometres away from an exit to anywhere.

Like everyone else, I had gunned it across the bridge in anticipation of the long climb ahead.

Shocked, I stood the old beast on her nose and sat there with my hazard lights flashing, hoping to warn the drivers behind me.

I looked nervously in the rear vision mirror as car after car struggled to pull up behind me.

Then it was a long slog, bumper to bumper, one car length at a time for almost three kilometres to the Kariong exit.

There was no escape from that queue, you were trapped by crazed commuters howling past in the outside lanes at undiminished speed.

Finally declining to turn off to Gosford, I was free to resume my stately progress.

In doing so, I noticed a number of Highway Patrol cars and a fire engine tearing down the southbound carriageway.

Arriving home, I learned there had been a calamitous and fiery crash at the end of the queue I had been in.

Tragically, two people died and a number were injured. Charges have been laid, so it would not be appropriate to comment on or speculate about what did or didn’t happen, of course.

The situation does cry out for some observations in general, however, and raises some questions that the Coroner might well decide need investigation.

During long, hot summer holiday trips north, for example, I recall seeing Highway Patrol vehicles parked beside the Pacific Highway, south of Kempsey, with their lights flashing and displaying a warning that traffic was stopped ahead.

On Tuesday, the Transport Management people were apparently well aware that a hazardous situation was developing south of Kariong; they put a warning about it on their sign – the same signs that normally exhort you to avoid fatigue, watch out for motorcycles and so on.

In cases where long queues of vehicles are stationary on a 110 kmh road, are Traffic Management obliged to inform the Highway Patrol of this deadly combination?

Did they on Tuesday?

When traffic is queued on an expressway, does NSW Police policy require the Highway Patrol to stop whatever else they are doing and engage in accident prevention rather than racing to the scene after the horse has bolted?

And who is responsible for whatever unholy mess in Kariong is causing a three kilometre traffic jam on a high speed motorway; the RMS, or Central Coast City Council?

In either case, what are they doing to resolve the mess and why didn’t they do it before lives were lost and ruined?

Emergency workers and police have a statutory obligation to inform the Coroner when a death is caused by a motor vehicle accident or other such traumatic event.

But it is up to the Coroner to decide whether to conduct an inquest into such deaths.

Given the regular horrors and mounting death toll of the M1, the Coroner would do well to inquire into the tragic deaths on Tuesday.

They may just uncover facts and come up with recommendations to inform a state government apparently flush with cash how to prevent lethal traffic congestion where people are simply trying to escape from the M1 and get home from work alive.

Chris Craig is a Lake Macquarie author and commentator.He is also a trepidatious M1 user.


Australia’s $20b food waste problem to be tackled head on

DONATION NETWORK: Foodbank SA CEO Greg Pattinson said surplus Riverland citrus was being transported to every state to help those in need. Anestimated $20 billion worth of food is wasted each year in Australia, while64,000 people are turned away from food charities each month due to shortages,according to Fight Food Waste CRC chief executive officer Steven Lapidge.
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It’s a problem he is set to tackle with the startof the new Adelaide-headquartered nationalresearch centre, where Dr Lapidgeis hoping to have projects dealing with food waste underway later this year or early next year.

He said concern about food wastehad been building globallybutcame to prominence locally in the past two to three years, withtheNational Food Waste Strategyshowing awillingness to address the issue.

“The strategy commits Australia to reducing food waste by 50 per cent by 2030, which will be a massive undertaking,” he said.

Most of the wastehappens in the household, after it has been bought and taken home by consumers.

Dr Lapidgesaid more than $10b is thrown away at home – with some figures calculating this at $1000 per household each year and others saying it is as much as $3800.

Food service is the second largest waster of food.

“Restaurants, cafes, hospitals – wherever food is served, large amounts of food are wasted,” he said.

Between those two categories,nearly 70per cent of food waste is accounted for, but Dr Lapidge saidresearch was still needed on-farm.

“Under international definitions, food grown for human consumption that is not consumed is consideredwaste,” he said. “We certainly are still losing a lot on-farm,primarilythrough gradingoutduring harvest, or if we have a storm or drought.

“Wasted food also wastes the fresh water, soil, fertiliser and energy that went in to producing food, all of which are limited.”

Foodbank SA CEO Greg Pattinson said it was important to have a facilityable to provide real data and insights on where food waslost all alongthe supply chain.

He said there had been increased public knowledge and awareness on food shortages, particularly with the airing of ABC television show Waron Waste, whichled toincreased contact from retailers and food companies.

In recent months, Foodbank SA has begun receiving donations from all OTR outlets across the state, leading to an estimated extra 2000 tonnes of food.

“The real issue (for us) is food security and distribution,” he said. “We need to get food from where it is waste to where it is needed.”

He said Foodbank collected surplus fruit and vegetables but the short shelf life of meat and dairy was an issue.

Stock Journal


Crashes, fires and fatalities: a year of carnage on the M1 motorway

Crashes, fires and fatalities: a year of carnage on the M1 motorway Two men died last week after a truck collided with cars near Moonee Mooney Bridge.
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A woman was seriously injured when her car rolled while towing a caravan at Mount White.

The scene of the accident which killed a woman and a boy at Cameron Park in November.

One person died after a truck carrying ethanol burst into flames at Cooranbong on January 15.

A man was lucky to escape after he fell asleep and rolled his Jeep at Black Hill on April 3.

A B-double ploughed into the back of a line-marking truck on April 23 at Mandalong.

Two men died last week after a truck collided with cars near Moonee Mooney Bridge.

TweetFacebookPeople need to remember that every time they get behind the wheel they are responsible not only for their own lives but the lives of every motorist.

12 months of carnage on the M1August 2

A 72-year-old man diesafter a collision with a ute in the southbound lanes near roadworks at Warnervale. In separate incidents, three vehicles are involved in a crash near Mandalong Road, and an accident near the John Renshaw Drive roundaboutclosesone of twonorthbound lanes.

July 31

A fiery crash involving a truck and five cars in the northbound lanesjust north of Mooney Mooney Bridge killstwo men, aged 19 and 52, and leaves five in hospital. A Newcastle truck driver has been charged.

July 16

A multi-vehiclecrash closestwo lanes atMooney Mooney Bridge. Traffic backed up 6km.

July 4

Multiple vehicles are involved in a northbound crash at Somersby approaching Central Coast Highway.

July 2

Two crashes within 500 metres of each other nearthe Hawkesbury River Bridge back up southbound traffic for 12km about 7am.

June 19

A car crash just south of the Hawkesbury River Bridge disruptsnorthbound traffic.

June 11

A person is trapped in their vehicle after a southbound multi-vehicle crash at Asquith,near Ku-ring-gai Chase Road.

June 3

The rescue helicopter flies a 46-year-old man to hospital with shoulder, arm and leg injuries aftera single-vehicleaccidentnear Wyee.

May 27

All southbound lanes are closed north of the Hawkesbury after a serious motorcycle crash at Jolls Bridge.

May 15

Police charge a 27-year-old man after he allegedly stole a Nissan Navara ute in Maitland and crashed into another vehicle on the M1 atTuggerah Lakes.

May 9

Witnesses say a womanwalkedacross six lanes of traffic before a 10-vehicle crash on the Mooney Mooney Bridge leaves three people hurt.

April 24

A multi-vehicle crash near Wyong backs up southbound cars for 7km.

April 23

A B-double loaded with steel runs into the back of a line-marking truck at Mandalong about 11pm, spilling 400 litres of diesel and 200 litres of hydraulic oil over 300 metres of motorway.

April 7

A 58-year-old man wandersinjured on the road at 8am at Calga before police find him in nearbylong grass with critical injuries consistent with a vehicle collision.

April 3

A man escapes serious injury after fallingasleep and rollinghis Jeep intoseveral trees near the end of the M1 at Black Hill.

March 9

A 46-year-old man dies at the scene of a crash involving two utes and a pantech truck at 4.45pmat Mount White. A 25-year-old man is charged.

February 5

Two cars collide in the southbound lanes at Brooklyn, just south of the Hawkesbury.

January 22

A three-car accident causes a 3.5km traffic jam near the Hawkesbury River bridge.

January 15

A truck driver dies after a B-double carrying ethanol bursts into flames at Cooranbong, igniting a bushfire which spreads over 16 hectares. Three trucks and a car are involved.

January 2

A female driver is critically injured when a car towing a caravan flips onto its roof near the Mount White weigh bridge.

December 21

A multi-vehicle crashslows northbound traffic atCooranbong.

November 24

A truck crash disrupts southbound traffic at Cooranbong.

November 23

Traffic backs up for 8km after two separate carcrashesnear the Mount White weigh bridge.

November 19

A car and truck crash closes the northbound lanesnear Jolls Bridge while another accident disrupts southbound traffic at Calga.

November 5

A 28-year-old female carer from Cooranbong goes to the rescue of an eight-year-old boy who walkedinto traffic nearCameron Park, but both are struck by a southbound pantech truck and killed instantly.

October 28

A 68-year-old Blue Mountains man dies when his hatchback and a ute collidein the northbound lanes about 5.30am near West Wallsend.

October 25

Two of three northbound lanes are closed afteracrashinvolving a small bus and a car towing a caravan at Mooney Mooney Creek.

October 19

A 6km traffic jam follows a northbound crash at Tuggerah.

September 29

A car and truck collide in the northbound lanes atMooney Mooney Creek.

September 12

Multiple vehicles are involved in a crash at Freemans Waterhole.

September 4

Northbound traffic is queued for 10km after a crash near Wyong.

August 16

A motorcycle crashes in the southbound lanes near thetwin service centres at Wyong.

August 14

A 20-year-old man dies after surviving a rollover near Wyong only to be struck by another vehicle after exitinghis car.


Precision strikes earn PTAM multiple honours

MAJOR WINNERS: The team from Precision Taxation Accounting & Management. Pictures: Martin Sully DesignPrecision Taxation Accounting & Management (PTAM) have been recognised at the 2018 Lake Macquarie Business Excellence Awards for their no-nonsense and precise approach to helping small business owners and individuals.
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The Warners Bay business took out three awards at last Saturday’s gala dinner including Excellence in Digital Technology, Excellence in Customer Service by an Individual for their chief operations officer, Kelly Eke, and the team also won the coveted Business of The Year award.

Founder and Principal, Peter McCarthy is grateful for the recognition of their hard work and customer-focused approach.

Peter lives by the popular Simon Sinek quote, “People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it. And what you do simply proves what you believe.”

“This recognition from the business community highlights the rewarding aspect of what we do each day, and that is, making a difference in people’s lives,” he said.

The independently judged awards are open to the 10,000 plus businesses in the Lake Macquarie region.

“Lake Macquarie is such a supportive business community and having the ability to interact and create relationships with other businesses is a highpoint of the awards process,” he said.

“The awards are a recognition of the journey we have been on.”

Excellence in Technology combined with a passion for customer service are some of the reasons PTAM, who embrace cloud-based technology,took home the top prize on Saturday night.

“Technology is not just something we use; it is a concept that underpins everything our firm does,” Peter said.

“At PTAM we consider our applications as an extension of our team. We implement, develop and embrace digitial technology within every aspect of the business.

“The rapport that Kelly has developed with customers across a broad range of industries has enhanced our firm’s relationship with them.

“They trust her, they respect her, and they have absolute comfort in the knowledge that she is taking care of their affairs.

“As an employer, I find Kelly’s passion for delivering such a high standard of customer service inspiring, and this has had a massive impact on the exceptional growth PTAM has experienced since commencement.

“Kelly is a leader through and through and brings out the best in our team. She inspires and supports those working with her and the local business community.”

PTAM has a strong corporate culture with a team-focused strategybased on an inclusive, fun, encouraging, and supportive workplace.

“One of the best things about owning a business is that you can design and implement the culture you want to have,” Peter said.

PTAM’s commitment to the community, customer service, business practices and overall corporate culture has proven to be the successful recipe that has led the accounting firm being named the 2018 Lake Macquarie Business of the Year.


US conspiracy theorist seeks end to case

Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones (C) is trying to have a defamation lawsuit against him dropped.Lawyers for US conspiracy theorist Alex Jones have asked a Texas court to dismiss a defamation lawsuit brought against him and his InfoWars website by the parents of two children killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook school massacre.
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Jones, from Travis County, Texas, has used the platform to call the mass shooting in Connecticut that killed 26 people a hoax.

He also suggested a political cover-up took place by left-wing forces seeking to advantage of the shooting to promote gun control.

Jones’ lawyer Mark Enoch has described his client as a political commentator expressing his views and played a 2017 broadcast where Jones said he did not believe the Sandy Hook shooting took place. Jones was not in court.

“Maybe it’s fringe speech. Maybe it’s dangerous speech, but it is not defamation,” he told Judge Scott Jenkins in the Texas court.

In 2013, Jones called the massacre “staged” and continued to stoke his conspiracy theory for years.

“Sandy Hook is a synthetic, completely fake, with actors, in my view, manufactured,” he said in a January 2015 broadcast.

Although Jones’ theory is false, people who believe him have for years harassed and taunted families of the victims, court papers showed and the families have said.

The lawsuit filed in April by Leonard Pozner and Veronique De La Rosa seeks at least $US1 million in damages. They claim they were subject to harassment that forced them to move seven times after Jones claimed the parents were liars and frauds who helped in a cover-up, according to court documents.

Mark Bankston, an lawyer for the parents, told the judge that InfoWars viewers understood Jones was alleging that the parents were part of a criminal conspiracy and subjected the parents to years of threats.

A gunman killed 20 young children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, on December 14, 2012, in an attack that ranks among the five deadliest mass shootings by a single gunman in US history.

Facebook last week suspended Jones from its social network for bullying and hate speech, after Google’s YouTube removed four of his videos from its site.


Beauty and the bucks

A couple of years ago twoglobal companies battled it out in Australia over the patent of a cosmetic“filler”product.
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If you haven’t been on the internet for the past five years orpaying attention as you’ve wandered around your local shopping centre recently, a“filler” is material injected into people’s faces–reportedlyto reduce wrinkles and helprecipients“turn back the clock without surgery”.

And when I say people, it’s probably more accurate to say women. Some men go down the“filler” path, but they’re in the minority.

“Fillers” and anti-wrinkle products can take many forms. Submissions to a NSW parliamentary inquiry have citedbotulinum toxin, a“neurotoxic protein” sold as Botox;the now not-so-commonly-used collagen; fat transfers from one part of the body to the face;andhyaluronic acid, a lubricating fluid found in the human bodyand a component of cartilage.

You can walk into any number of outlets these days–sometimes in your local shopping centre –throw your money down and have one or a number of these products injected into your face.

I’d rather hit my head with a brick a few dozen times if it came down to it, but each to his or her own. The issue is about whether it’s safe for people to have the procedures, over and above the usual caveats about all interventions and procedures carrying risk, and whether Australian regulators are keeping up with the rise of the cosmetic procedure industry.

There are big bucks in it.

The Australian Medical Association’s NSW branch told the inquiry Australians spent $350 million on Botox injections alone in the past year. That figure has been consistent for a number of years and is only available because it is a prescription drug.

Because the cosmetic procedure industry is largely unregulated, and some of the materials being injected aren’t prescription drugs or are being imported illegally,we don’t have solid figures on how many people are receiving other injectables or how much is being spent.

We do know people have died in this unregulated field, which is why regulators and governments are scrambling to respond.

For the past fouryears I’ve been writing about the pelvic mesh scandal and the failure of regulators, the medical profession, health departments andgovernments to protect women implanted with devices that might have been approvedfor use, but where too many devices had very little credible evidence to back their safe use.

It was quite shocking to discover how much pharmaceutical industry money sloshed through that device approval and marketing process, and how profoundly the health system failed women despite their complaints about the devices from a very early stage.

The rise of the cosmetic procedure industry –fuelled by the internet and operators able to advertise directly to consumers, and largely unregulated because doctors are only involved with some aspects of it –mirrors the pelvic mesh scandal in one main respect.

Everything boils down to consumers or patients giving“informed consent” in situations where too many people believe that if a product or procedure is legally available to them, then it must be safe. Our health system wouldn’t let anything that’s a riskbe out on the market, right?

Let’s go back tothe patent dispute between two global companies. Company A was challenging Company B over the granting of a patent for a filler with a “non-sulphated glycosaminoglycan” to reduce wrinkles, an anaesthetic, and a compound to reduce bruising and bleeding. Company A objected on a number of grounds, including that combining the three chemical compounds wasn’t a new product at all, but just a combination of existing compounds.

My favourite part of the decision, that ultimately went Company B’s way, relates to a study or studies involving rabbits that was cited in some of the material before the Australian Patent Office.

The studies found the filler product with its enhanced capabilities reduced inflammation and irritation when injected into rabbits. Leaving aside concerns –fine, possibly just my concerns –for the poor bunnies, Company A objected to Company B being able to claim the filler product would be effective in humans, based on the bunny studies.

The Patent Office helpfully noted that “a rabbit is not considered to be an individual in need of treatment with a dermal filler”, but for various other reasons found in Company B’s favour. Its product was patented.

The decision didn’t have to consider the efficacy of the product and whether it isfit for purposeor safe. Other agencies do that. It didn’t have to consider whether medical supervision is required. Other agencies consider that. It simply had to consider whether one company’s product could be distinguished enough from another company’s to be registered as a completely different product, presumably to be marketed in Australia.

We’ll go back to the issue of informed consent becausein the end, and sometimes even when things go wrong, it is the consumer’s willingness to pay for a service and incur the risks that is the only protection.

As the NSW Health Care Complaints Commission put it in a warning issued in September, 2017: “Individuals seeking cosmetic procedures or cosmetic surgery should be vigilant in their research prior to proceeding.”

That includes checking what exactly is in the compounds someone’s proposing to put in your face; what recognised evidence is available supporting its safe use; what emergency procedures are in place if things go wrong; the complaint history of the person holding the injection, and the list goes on. And if it sounds like it’s more than a person should reasonably be expected to know or be able to find out, that’s exactly the point.


New national soils research centre established at Newcastle uni

Australia’s largest collaborative soil research initiative, aimed at enabling farmers to increase their productivity and profitability, has been established at the University of Newcastle.
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Partnership: Zed Seselja (L) and Soil CRC chief executive Dr Michael Crawford at the University of Newcastle on Thursday. The CRC aims to provide farmers with knowledge and tools to improve the performance of their soils.

The Soil Collaborative Research Center brings together scientists, industry and farmers to find practical solutions for the nation’s underperforming agricultural soils.

Chief Executive Officer of the Soil CRC, Dr Michael Crawford said the new research centre held enormous promise for Australian farmers.

“Our research is led and shaped by farmers. We are listening to what they want, and our research programs are designed to address the issues outlined by them, our participants,” Dr Crawford said.

He said the Soil CRC was uniquely placed to make a difference because of its collaboration across a wide variety ofdisciplines and between farmers, industry and science.

“We are not just about soil science,” he said.

“The Soil CRC is bringing together research across a range of disciplines including social science, economics, chemistry, biology, agronomy and soil science to find practical solutions to the problem of underperforming soils.”

Assistant Minister for Science, Jobs and Innovation, Zed Seselja, said the launch of the Soil CRC was a great example of the possibilities of industry and research collaboration.

“CRCs have a proven track record in delivering tangible benefits for industry. By linking industry expertise with our world-class research capability, CRCs generate new knowledge, solve problems and offer opportunities to commercialise new ideas” MrSeselja said.

“As the Australian Government’s longest-running grant program, the CRC Program is at the heart of our effort to bring researchers and industry together to focus on solving industry-related problems and offer opportunities to commercialise new ideas.”

The practical, real-world outputs will allow farmers to optimise their productivity, yield and profitability, and ensure the long-term sustainability of their farming businesses.

The Soil CRC aims to provide farmers with knowledge and tools to improve the performance of their soils. It is a collaboration of 39 partners including eight universities, 20 farmer groups, three state government agencies and eight industry partners.

The Soil CRC is funded until 2027 with $40 million from the Australian Government, $20 million from Soil CRC partners and $104 million in-kind contributions.

The Soil CRC is headquartered at The University of Newcastle and UON is a leading science contributor to its programs.


Cops seize cars, close in on Hawi’s killer

The killers of former bikie boss Mahmoud “Mick” Hawi have been warned police are closing in after investigators seized four cars connected to his execution.
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“At the moment we would say there would be a number of people feeling very uncomfortable, and we would like them to feel uncomfortable,” Detective Superintendent Deb Wallace said on Thursday.

Strike force investigators swooped on six properties in Sydney’s south on Thursday morning and seized four cars believed to have been used in planning the brazen daylight shooting of the former Comancheros president outside a Sydney gym in February.

Investigators in March seized a stolen silver Toyota Aurion believed to be one of two getaway cars.

Forensic evidence found in the car made Thursday’s raids possible, police say.

A total of six cars – including a burnt out Mercedes found near the crime scene a few hours after the attack – have now been seized.

“This was well coordinated and well planned … a number of vehicles were used in the movement around that time of the murder,” Det Sup Wallace said.

Investigators say the Aurion was driving near the Fitness First gym in Rockdale on the morning of the murder in convoy with a black Toyota Prado.

After the shooting it’s believed the attackers fled on foot before getting in the Mercedes – it was later abandoned and set on fire. They then jumped in the Aurion and fled the area.

The Aurion was seen two days later on a tow truck in Botany and was seized by police in Beaconsfield in March.

The seizure of the cars makes up “important pieces of the jigsaw puzzle,” Det Supt Wallace said.

“We believe this involves a number of people involved in the planning, the facilitation, the execution – so we’re closing the net.”

Along with the cars impounded on Thursday – which police say weren’t stolen – authorities seized $22,000 in cash, mobile phones, documents and a radio capable of monitoring police activity.

The properties targeted had no specific links to the Comancheros motorcycle club which Hawi once led, NSW Police said.

Footage of the shooting aired in March shows the 37-year-old getting into his four-wheel drive parked outside Fitness First before a gunman – dressed in black – runs towards the driver’s side of the car.

The gunman – at arm’s length from the car – appears to fire multiple shots at Hawi in the driver’s seat.

The attacker then leans into the car and continues firing before running from the carpark. Hawi died a few hours later in St George Hospital.

His luxury 4WD was peppered with at least half a dozen bullets.

Hawi, himself a convicted killer, was imprisoned over the 2009 bashing death of Hell’s Angels associate Anthony Zervas in a wild brawl at Sydney Airport.

He was released in 2015 and mainly flew under the radar until he was murdered.


Short Takes August 3: readers have their say on the day’s news

YES, Dennis Crampton (Short Takes1/8) a scary nightmare:Bill Shortstop in the Lodge. You, sir, nailed it. The country will be broke again in under 12 months.
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Tony Cooper,BelmontCONTRARYto Alan Metcalfe’s beliefs (Letters1/8) the population bomb is a myth.Poverty has never been lower,both locally and globally. Food prices are at the lowest levels in recorded history, with food consuming the smallest portion of Australian household spending since ABS records began.We’re back to where we were in the 1970s, when hysterical predictions of imminent starvation and depletion of oil, gold, iron and other resources were rampant. None of that came to pass, and we now have greater known reserves of all than we did at that time. We produce enough food to feed the entire global population several times over. In the past few decades hundreds of millions of people have escaped poverty to live a middle-class lifestyle.Australia is a big country, and Earth is a big planet. With the population density of Manhattan, the entire global population can be accommodated in a space the size of Texas.I suppose that no matter how full, the glass will always appear half-empty to some.

Scott Hillard,New Lambton THEphoto of the Frederick Ash Ltd building (Letters1/8) gave me the idea that a gallery could feature some tools of trade. As kids my sister and I would make the train trip from Gosford to Newcastle in the ‘50s so Dad, a carpenter by trade, could visit Fred Ash and stock up with new tools. Our reward was lunch in Scott’s dining room, linen tablecloths and napkins along with a full setting of cutlery. The presence of the lady maître d’ added to the class. Meanwhile, 60 years on, some of Dad’s tools lie silent in a wooden fruit box in my garage.

Allan Gibson,CherrybrookI BELIEVE there is a disarmingly simple solution to the secret Newcastle container fee(Herald, 1/8). The Port of Newcastle was leased for the unauthorisedpurpose of charging the fee. Either the fee is declared invalid or the leaseis declared invalid.

Greg Cameron,WamboinTHE federal government has created a scheme whereby millionaires can get permanent residency in Australia if they invest $5 million in land or shares (“Rich investors buying $5 million visas”, Canberra Times 26/3/2013). Sky News’ Peta Credlin saidthat up to date 2000 Chinese people had taken up this scheme.Most had bought shares, acquiring residence status and then reselling their shares back to the stock exchange. Some have profited and some have lost money, but they have all gained permanent status here in Australia, potentially with their families.I believeit makes a mockery of Minister Dutton saying everything is done by the book.I haven’t heard of this scheme before, does it sound right?

John Matthews,Belmont NorthIF BRAD Hill and Colin Fordham are unavailable for half-time entertainment (Short Takes 2/8), I bet the Bay Bandit would prove popular. Then again, Steve “Butcher” Barnett may find the steakstoo high.

Charles Farley,Adamstown Heights


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