RSS Feed

  1. JEFF CORBETT: Manners maketh nil

    0

    October 9, 2019 by admin

    DO you remember when much was made of manners? If so you’re likely to be middle-aged, a term used politely for those well past the halfway point of their life.
    Nanjing Night Net

    Children in the company of a parent in public were appraised and complimented on their manners, and to do so was a part of the ritual of adult manners; guests in the family home would make a small fuss about the loveliness of the children’s table manners; and parents saw even the most informal meal as a training opportunity.

    Elbows on the table! Oh the shame!

    And so for a long time eating at a table was more an exercise in keeping elbows uncomfortably by my side than in actual eating, and I could never understand then why elbows and table should never meet and I cannot now. Naturally, now, I allow my elbows to rest naturally, which may well be on the table.

    We went through the “may I” stuff, but it is such a silly affectation that I’d be horrified if my children asked: “May I be so rude as to ask you to pass the butter?”

    Well-behaved children spoke only when spoken to, in company at least, then we were limited in what we should say. Boldness was cheekiness, and cheekiness was shame.

    Honorifics were de rigueur for all children, and such is the change that I don’t think I’ve heard my children refer to anyone apart from a teacher with a Mr or Mrs or Miss. All the family’s friends regardless of age have been known by their first name, whether they like it or not.

    And training in manners has been limited to the use of cutlery, eliminating animal-like noises at the table (although I’ll have to revisit this with my eldest son), mouth closed while eating, please and thank you, and excusing yourself. The combing of hair has been a bigger and less successful battle.

    Well, mouth closed while eating, or not talking while eating, has given way to the reality of interaction, and I can’t recall a cutlery correction being issued to any child over the age of five, and it seems that my family’s attitudes are common. Well, common as in widespread.

    Have we lost anything of value? Have we failed our children by not harping endlessly about straight backs and formulated language and ladies first and not eating until the head of the table eats?

    I suspect that the purpose of manners, and the reason for manners, has changed in one or two generations.

    Until my generation it seems that manners were a statement of social position and a template for interaction, so that an exchange between people would proceed according to a formula. The formula would open with exaggerated concern for the other’s health, for family, and move through discussion of the weather to an almost apologetic raising of the business at hand.

    Responses were largely by rote and in studious agreement, and this can be seen in older people nodding and issuing sounds of agreement as the other’s story proceeds, even when they disagree with the points being made.

    For at least one generation manners have been about consideration rather than a social statement and a template, and consideration is a much more sincere response than structured platitudes. There are, for example, no manners stipulating that we dip finger food into the sauce only once, but it is inconsiderate to dip the sausage roll or whatever more than once.

    As informality has seen off formality, the emphasis has moved from being courteous to being not rude – we are not offended when someone we encounter does not pay even lip service to manners but we are offended if that someone behaves rudely. Such rudeness may range from disregard to hostility.

    And while manners are no longer a social marker, rudeness certainly is.

    I have noticed on my blog, however, that those few contributors who use what we see as old-fashioned manners are more likely to allow for the possibility that the opposition is right, that they may be wrong. And a consequence of this is that they are far more likely than others to find common ground.

    Maybe there is a value in discussion of the weather.

    Have manners and their role changed in your life? For better or for worse?


  2. Our region speaks as one

    0

    October 9, 2019 by admin

    THE idea of the Hunter not getting a sizeable share of the $5.6 billion Regional Infrastructure Fund should be unthinkable. Cash in the fund comes from the federal government’s mineral resource rent tax and one of the fund’s purposes is to “promote development and job creation in mining communities, and in communities which support the mining sector”.
    Nanjing Night Net

    As one of the most productive coalmining regions in Australia, the Hunter should be in the box seat to receive a decent cut of the fund without having to roll over and beg. But based on experience so far, that doesn’t seem likely to be the case.

    To date, Queensland and Western Australia have received commitments for about $2 billion each from the fund, with only $2 million coming to NSW. Of that sum, $1.8 million was for a study of rail crossings at Scone, where coal trains are isolating the two halves of the town from one another for extended periods.

    In this context, it’s disturbing and disappointing to hear the Regional Development Australia Hunter chief executive, Todd Williams, warning the Hunter that it stands to miss out on funds unless its local government and other representative organisations speak with a united voice.

    For a start, it should be inconceivable that the Hunter would miss out, given its vital mining region status. Further, the region has demonstrated repeatedly that it is willing and able to present a united front in support of important goals. Every council in the Hunter, for example, threw their weight behind Lake Macquarie’s successful request for money for the Glendale interchange from the federal government’s Regional Development Australia Fund.

    No doubt Hunter organisations can do more to ensure their submissions meet funding application guidelines and fit neatly with each other’s ideas.

    But most Hunter people won’t readily accept advance blame for government decisions to cut them out of funding programs. Indeed, many people in this region are becoming more and more convinced that the real reason their needs keep being pushed to the bottom of federal and state priority lists is political.

    The Hunter’s infrastructure requirements have repeatedly been made known to government. If government chooses, again, to ignore those needs, it will be because it suits government to do so.

    Marvellous Maddi

    GILLIESTON Heights golden girl Maddi Elliott has won plenty of hearts, as well as medals, with her plucky efforts at the London Paralympic Games.

    At just 13, Maddi has become Australia’s youngest Paralympic gold medallist, taking first place in the freestyle relay alongside teammates Jacqui Freney, Ellie Cole and Katherine Downie.

    Apparently unfazed by the pressures of top-level competition, Maddy has carved chunks off her personal best times, surprising everybody with her performances.

    With a bronze medal last Friday and a silver on Monday, the young swimmer now has a medal in every colour from the games. She also has thousands of new fans who will be cheering her on in her remaining events this week.


  3. Dart Energy fights need for impact statement

    0

    October 9, 2019 by admin

    LAST week’s residents’ blockade of Dart Energy’s pilot coal seam gas project at Fullerton Cove cost the company between $16,000 and $22,000 a day, the Land and Environment Court heard yesterday.
    Nanjing Night Net

    Dart Energy is fighting an injunction to stop all work on the project until an environmental impact study has been undertaken.

    Fullerton Cove Residents’ Group barrister Verity Williams told the court that the assessments being relied on to gain approval for the project were scientifically and legally flawed.

    She said an urgent injunction was necessary to prevent irreparable damage occurring to the site before the group’s case for an environmental impact study had been heard.

    “If we are ultimately successful we will not have a remedy [if the injunction is not granted]. The work will have been carried out and the horse will have bolted,” she said.

    Ms Williams said evidence suggested the project would affect three aquifers: Stockton, Tomago and Tomaree. It was also on a floodplain and within two metres of the groundwater table.

    The residents’ challenge to the project is regarded as a test case for other coal seam gas projects in the Hunter and elsewhere in the state.

    The company argued that it should not have to undertake an environmental impact study because it had received all necessary state and Commonwealth approvals.

    The company’s barrister Craig Leggat cited a Hunter Water Corporation letter, which said the project would not adversely affect the Tomago beds.

    He said all available evidence indicated the project would not cause lasting environmental damage. If the project did not proceed to the production stage the two pilot wells would be capped.

    “The project will affect two hectares of pasture that will be rehabilitated,” Mr Leggat said.

    Justice Terry Sheahan will deliver judgment in the case this afternoon. If an injunction is granted, it will be followed by a further hearing about the need for an environmental impact study.

    BLOCKADE: The Fullerton Cove CSG protest. – Picture: Peter Stoop


  4. Big plans for Wangi Queen

    0

    October 9, 2019 by admin

    THE iconic Wangi Queen left Lake Macquarie yesterday bound for its new home on Sydney Harbour.
    Nanjing Night Net

    The timber vessel was on the lake as a party boat for almost 40 years, but will return to the harbour where it worked from the 1940s to ’70s.

    Marmong Point Marina owner Les Binkin said he sold the vessel to Sydney Harbour Tall Ships.

    “The operator will renovate and recondition it,” Mr Binkin said.

    Mr Binkin said it would have cost him up to $700,000 to “bring it back to new condition”.

    “We wanted to keep the boat operating, but it became tired and needs a rebuild,” Mr Binkin said.

    He was pleased the new owners had said they would retain the vessel’s name and heritage.

    The boat was listed for sale for $115,000, but the sale price was confidential.

    “Sydney Harbour Tall Ships have the shipwrights and finance and they charter timber boat cruises,” he said.

    The new owners said yesterday the Wangi Queen would be berthed at Campbell’s Cove, The Rocks, and used for ‘Convict Castles and Champagne’ tours to Goat Island.

    Mr Binkin said he was planning to invest up to $800,000 in a 70-seat floating restaurant on the pontoon where the Wangi Queen was moored at his marina.

    “It will be very unique to NSW and great for Lake Macquarie,” he said.

    Speers Point resident Graham Burgess named the Wangi Queen when he brought the vessel to Lake Macquarie in 1974.

    “I had her for 30 years,” Mr Burgess said.

    “We did more than 900 weddings onboard and we think we carried our millionth tourist just prior to selling it.”

    Mr Burgess said his vessel became an icon, especially on Christmas Eve.

    “Up to 25,000 people would gather on the shore to see Christmas lights and Santa onboard,” he said.

    “It’s the end of an era and a sad day.”

    The vessel was built at Empire Bay on the Central Coast in 1922 and initially was named “Ettalong”.

    GOODBYE: The iconic Wangi Queen leaves Lake Macquarie.


  5. GALLERY 3: My Hunter, My Way

    0

    October 9, 2019 by admin

    HUNTER newshounds have helped drive the Newcastle Herald’s new offering to the top of Australia’s iPhone news application rankings.
    Nanjing Night Net

    So far more than 8000 people have upgraded from the original app or downloaded the new version in under a week.

    The Herald was No.1 in the App Store free news category at the weekend, and remained in the top five yesterday.

    To download the app, click here.

    Officially unveiled on Saturday, the next-generation app features a new “Report” function that allow readers to make and break the news.

    Readers can contribute to special assignments and have the ability to email tips to our newsroom straight from a button on the iPhone app.

    The first assignment – to send in a photograph of favourite places in the Hunter region – has already drawn hundreds of responses.

    My Hunter, My Way – iPhone app submissions

    Check out the hundreds of fabulous images that have been submitted by our readers by browsing through the carousel above, andclickinghereandhere.

    Newcastle Newspapers advertising manager Jason King said the app also provided easier and better access for the 50,000 or so iPhone unique users who each month visit theherald南京夜网.au website.

    My Hunter, My Way – iPhone app submissions

    My Hunter, My Way – iPhone app submissions

    My Hunter, My Way – iPhone app submissions

    My Hunter, My Way – iPhone app submissions

    My Hunter, My Way – iPhone app submissions

    My Hunter, My Way – iPhone app submissions

    My Hunter, My Way – iPhone app submissions

    My Hunter, My Way – iPhone app submissions

    My Hunter, My Way – iPhone app submissions

    My Hunter, My Way – iPhone app submissions

    My Hunter, My Way – iPhone app submissions

    My Hunter, My Way – iPhone app submissions

    My Hunter, My Way – iPhone app submissions

    My Hunter, My Way – iPhone app submissions

    My Hunter, My Way – iPhone app submissions

    My Hunter, My Way – iPhone app submissions

    My Hunter, My Way – iPhone app submissions

    My Hunter, My Way – iPhone app submissions

    My Hunter, My Way – iPhone app submissions

    My Hunter, My Way – iPhone app submissions

    My Hunter, My Way – iPhone app submissions

    My Hunter, My Way – iPhone app submissions

    My Hunter, My Way – iPhone app submissions

    My Hunter, My Way – iPhone app submissions

    My Hunter, My Way – iPhone app submissions

    My Hunter, My Way – iPhone app submissions

    “The response has been terrific,” Mr King said.

    My Hunter, My Way – iPhone app submissions

    My Hunter, My Way – iPhone app submissions

    My Hunter, My Way – iPhone app submissions

    My Hunter, My Way – iPhone app submissions

    My Hunter, My Way – iPhone app submissions

    My Hunter, My Way – iPhone app submissions

    My Hunter, My Way – iPhone app submissions

    My Hunter, My Way – iPhone app submissions

    My Hunter, My Way – iPhone app submissions

    My Hunter, My Way – iPhone app submissions

    My Hunter, My Way – iPhone app submissions

    My Hunter, My Way – iPhone app submissions

    My Hunter, My Way – iPhone app submissions

    My Hunter, My Way – iPhone app submissions

    My Hunter, My Way – iPhone app submissions

    My Hunter, My Way – iPhone app submissions

    My Hunter, My Way – iPhone app submissions

    My Hunter, My Way – iPhone app submissions

    My Hunter, My Way – iPhone app submissions

    My Hunter, My Way – iPhone app submissions

    My Hunter, My Way – iPhone app submissions

    My Hunter, My Way – iPhone app submissions

    My Hunter, My Way – iPhone app submissions

    My Hunter, My Way – iPhone app submissions

    My Hunter, My Way – iPhone app submissions

    My Hunter, My Way – iPhone app submissions

    My Hunter, My Way – iPhone app submissions

    My Hunter, My Way – iPhone app submissions

    My Hunter, My Way – iPhone app submissions

    My Hunter, My Way – iPhone app submissions

    My Hunter, My Way – iPhone app submissions

    My Hunter, My Way – iPhone app submissions

    My Hunter, My Way – iPhone app submissions

    My Hunter, My Way – iPhone app submissions