Here’s everything you need to know about this week’s supermoon

How to photograph a supermoonTake any amazing Supermoon photos? Share them with us!Mark December 4in your calendar because you’ll have a chance to see something very special in the sky that night –supermoon.
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A ‘supermoon’ is a popular term for thelunar event which coincides with a new full moon and the moon making a closer-than-usual approach to Earth. Basically, because the moon orbits earth in more of an oval than a circle it means that sometimes it is much closer to Earth than normal –combine that with a full moon and you have yourself a big, beautiful ‘supermoon’.

This won’t be the first supermoon of the year, but it isthe only one we’ve been able to observe with the naked eye –this is because each other time the moon has been close, it’s been during a ‘new moon’ or when the moon is basically blacked out.

Got a smart phone? You can hand hold it over a telescope eyepiece and be careful aiming –youmight get you a few nice moon shots for Instagram.

The best time to enjoy a Super Full Moon is at moonrise, a little after 8pm on the east coast of on December 4.

Fun supermoon facts:

The Supermoon on November 14, 2016, was the closest since January 26, 1948.The point on the Moon’s orbit closest to Earth is called the perigee and the point farthest away is the apogee.A Micromoon is afull moon or new moon that takes place when the center of the Moon is further than 405,000 kmsfrom the center of Earth.Although the Sun and the Moon’s alignment cause a small increase in tectonic activity, the effects of the Supermoon on Earth are minor and they definitely aren’t linked with mood changes in people.Remember to share your amazing Supermoon photoswith us!

Paul Carter signing: Cessnock Goannas confident of overcoming obstacles to have NRL bad boy on board in 2018

SETBACKS: Paul Carter at the Roosters this year. Picture: AAP ImageCESSNOCK remain confident of having Paul Carter on board next Newcastle Rugby League season despite the troubled former NRL player facinga sentence hearing on cocaine supply on Wednesday after being deregistered by the CRL andhaving a clearance to the Goannas denied.
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Carter pleaded guilty in October to supplying a small quantity of cocaine to former Sydney Roosters teammate and now Knights back Shaun Kenny-Dowallat the Ivy nightclub onMay 5.

In June, the Roosters released Carter, who was previously sacked by Gold Coast and South Sydney for code of conduct breaches,and he joined the Coffs Harbour Comets in group 2, playing just two games in July.

Cessnock announced the signing of Carter two weeks ago and followed that with confirmation of the recruitment of former Knights back Chanel Mata’utia lastSunday.

However, CRL operations manager Bert Lowrie said Carter had beenderegistered by his board“based on hishistory” and “will remain that until he makes an application to be registered”.

Lowrie also said Coffs Harbour had denied Cessnock’s request for a clearance.

Cessnock president Darrell Wilkinson said “the clearance is nothing”.

“We will get him cleared,” Wilkinson said.

“Like a lot of players, he just owes a little bit of money and they want that back. It’s not much at all and we will pay that once the Country Rugby League clear him.

“We are still pursuing him hard. He has signed with us and he has the court case on Wednesday and I think everyone is justwaiting to see how that goes.

“At the end of the day, the ball is in Paul’s court.For the CRL and ourselves, he’s got to keep his nose clean and if he manages to do that up until we kick off in April, I can’t see the CRL being able to hold him back.

“We’re excited and we would be shattered if Country Rugby League put a hold on this.”

Player-coach Al Lantrywas “pretty confident” the Goannas would have Carter, who has been in aThairehabilitationfacility, for next season.

“Every time Paul and I chat, and we chat pretty regularly, it’s all about Cessnock,” Lantry said.

“We talk about a few things he’s got coming up but it’s all positive and we’re all just trying to focus on football.”

Wilkinson said Carter and Mata’utia were“going to be a positive for this club”.

“With those two and with our juniors coming through, we’ve kept most of our players from last year, we are definitely putting a good side together,” Wilkinson said.

Mata’utia,25, shocked the Knights when he walked away from the final year of his NRL contract just three days into pre-season.

The decision was believed to have cost the former n Schoolboys representative close to $200,000. The outside backplayed13 NRL games in four seasons at Newcastle.

Lantry was excited to see what Mata’utia could produce as a centre for Cessnock, who have missed the finals for the past two seasons.

“Sometimes you’re getting blokes coming back from NRL who are 29, 30, 31, but he’s coming back as a young fella and he should bring plenty of spark with him,” Lantry said.

“He’s going to bring a lot to us, just from everyone he’s worked with and played with as well, it’s going to a big reflect on everyone and be a good pick up for all these young fellas too.”

Lantry said club sponsors would help Mata’utia find work in the new year.

“He just said he wanted to get the love for local league that he’s seen getting around and that’s something he really wants to do,” Lantry said.

“He wanted to come to a club with a good culture and family behind it and I think that’s what we’ve got at Cessnock and what I’m trying to build even better there.”

“Seeing Cessnock not make the semis over the past two years has been pretty disappointing for me, so obviously I just want to get them going back in the right direction.”

Lantry said Cessnock were now“pretty well set” in terms of 2018 recruits and just had“two or three to lockdown”.

How Meghan Markle’s ‘engagement outfit’ crashed the internet

How Meghan Markle’s ‘engagement outfit’ crashed the internet Britain’s Prince Harry and Meghan Markle pose for photos following their engagement announcement. Picture: Dominic Lipinski/AP
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Britain’s Prince Harry and Meghan Markle pose for photos following their engagement announcement. Picture: Dominic Lipinski/AP

Britain’s Prince Harry and Meghan Markle pose for photos following their engagement announcement. Picture: Dominic Lipinski/AP

Britain’s Prince Harry and Meghan Markle pose for photos following their engagement announcement. Picture: Dominic Lipinski/AP

TweetFacebookIn what was surely icing on the cake for retailers marking Cyber Monday, one of the biggest online shopping days on the calendar,Meghan Markle’s engagement announcement outfit has caused websites to crash and the pieces to sell out worldwide.

For the official announcement of herengagement to Prince Harryon Monday, theSuitsactresswore a white wrap coat by Canadian labelLINE, a celebrity favourite.

The images that went around the world immediately sent the LINE website into meltdown, with the labeltellingUSA Todaythe coat, which originally sold for $CAD700 ($823),had sold out.

“We are incredibly honoured that Meghan chose to wear a LINE coat to mark this very special occasion,” LINE president and co-founder John Muscat reportedly toldUSA Today.

“Meghan has an effortlessly chic sense of style, which we’ve always admired. We know this particular coat is one of her favourite pieces so we have officially decided to name it the ‘Meghan’. We are elated for Meghan and wish her a lifetime of happiness with Prince Harry.”

As speculation intensified around what the bride will wear to the couple’s wedding, set to take place in early 2018 in the northern hemisphere spring, Markle demonstrated her sartorial sophistication for the engagement announcement and first interview.

Under the white coat, Markle wore a forest green dress by Italian brandParosh, which sells for€490 ($767).

On Tuesday morning, the brand’s website was saying “email us for more information” on the page featuring the dress.

Markle showed she’s also a trendsetter when it comes to accessories, wearing a pair of nude heels from her wardrobe by Florentinedesigner Aquazurra, and gold and opal earrings by Birks.

But nothing in her outfit could top the sparkler on her ring finger, a three-stone diamond ring designed by Prince Harry himself. The world’s most anticipated engagement ring features a centre stone from Botswana, where the couple first holidayed, and two stones from Princess Diana’s own collection.

Since the couple went public with their romanceearlier this year, Markle’s fashion choices have sparked the “Meghaneffect”, causing many items to sell out.

It’s a similar story to her soon-to-be sister-in-law, the Duchess of Cambridge, whose outfits often sell out immediately after she is photographed in them.

Kate Middleton’s engagement dress, by UK label Reiss,sold out in a matter of minutes. Given how far online shopping has come since 2011, the Meghan effect could break those records.

Hay fever tablets no benefit, guidelines confirm

Hay fever generichayfever2.jpgWhen hay fever season blows in, don’t bother popping tablets. Stick to nasal sprays, revised US guidelines confirm.
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Roughly 18 per cent of children and adults in and New Zealand have seasonal allergic rhinitis, triggered by windborne pollen most commonly from grasses, weed and sometimes trees. Many seek relief with over-the-counter antihistamine tablets from the pharmacy.

But a Joint Task Force of US allergy, asthma and immunology specialists have confirmed intranasal corticosteroids alone should be used to treat allergic rhinitis in people 12 years and older.

The guidelines echoed recommendations from the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA) that have long recommended corticosteroid nasal sprays to prevent and treat seasonal hay fever, rather than antihistamine tablets or a combination of the tablets and sprays.

A systematic review found taking the oral antihistamines to treat allergic rhinitis offered no additional benefit, according to the paper published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

The tablets, particularly the first generation oral antihistamines, were instead likely to cause drowsiness and other adverse events, particularly when used with alcohol or other medications.

Intranasal corticosteroids reduce inflammation in the blood vessels of the nose, which causes a runny nose, congestion, itching and sneezing. They work best when used daily, starting at the beginning of pollen season to stop the swelling in the mucosal lining of the nose, and applied correctly to avoid irritation.

Oral antihistamines work by blocking the histamine immune response to foreign pathogens or allergens but do not relieve congestion.

Professor of immunology and allergy at Western Sydney University Connie Katelaris said the revised guidelines were very sensible and in line with recommendations n doctors had been following for years.

Professor Katelaris said people who experience hay fever should follow their doctor’s advice when it came to using nasal sprays to prevent and treat the symptoms, instead of opting for the “quick fix” tablets from the chemist that were in fact no fix at all.

“People with chronic hay fever need a proper plan that involves starting on [corticosteroids] early so they don’t get to the stage where their nose is blocked and they’re miserable,” Professor Katelaris said.

The taskforce also recommended doctors consider a combination of corticosteroid and antihistamine nasal sprays for people 12 years and older with moderate to severe allergic rhinitis, concluding the two nasal sprays were more beneficial than the combination of intranasal corticosteroids and an oral antihistamine.

Clinicians should also opt for intranasal corticosteroids over leukotriene receptor antagonists for initial treatment in people 15 years and older, the guidelines advised.

APS job cuts should go further: Abetz

The Coalition government should shed more public servants after cutting 3600 jobs last year, leading conservative backbencher Eric Abetz says.
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Senator Abetz, who was responsible for the bureaucracy under former prime minister Tony Abbott, said no “noticeable” impact on the government’s service delivery had followed its cuts since in 2013.

After a public service commission report released on Monday showed the government had slashed its headcount to 152,095, the Coalition senator said the changes would save about $1 billion per year and help reduce the budget deficit.

Senator Abetz, who oversaw the loss of about 15,000 n Public Service jobs, urged more cuts to agency staff and said the public would welcome the latest drop in APS employment.

“The fact that the reduction was achieved without any noticeable impact on the service delivery of government shows that Labor allowed the APS to get out of control,” he said.

“I congratulate the government on again reducing the size of government and hope that there is a continued focus and emphasis on a further reduction of public service numbers by way of natural attrition.” Senator Abetz in February used a column in his local Hobart newspaper to decry a rise in APS staff numbers since he was in charge, and urged the Turnbull government to cut 4000 public servants, a figure largely met by agencies before the end of the financial year. !function(e,t,s,i){var n=”InfogramEmbeds”,o=e.getElementsByTagName(“script”),d=o[0],r=/^http:/.test(e.location)?”http:”:”https:”;if(/^\/{2}/.test(i)&&(i=r+i),window[n]&&window[n].initialized)window[n].process&&window[n].process();else if(!e.getElementById(s)){var a=e.createElement(“script”);a.async=1,,a.src=i,d.parentNode.insertBefore(a,d)}}(document,0,”infogram-async”,”https://e.infogram苏州夜总会招聘/js/dist/embed-loader-min.js”);

While he no longer holds any government roles, he remains a powerful influence among conservative Liberal parliamentarians and his views regularly mirror those of ousted leader Mr Abbott. ‘What’s the evidence?’

Crawford School of Public Policy director Helen Sullivan said the size of the public service was less relevant than its ability to carry out its role.

Senator Abetz’s comments were sweeping statements made without referring to clear evidence, she said.

“You can have a big public service that’s not very adept or a small public service that’s agile, or a large public service that’s agile.

“It really depends on what you want the public service to do, and I think that’s the fundamental question they’re not asking,” she said, referring to the Coalition government.

Cuts impacted the public service’s ability to prepare for and respond to changes including technological disruption, she said. ‘Abetz dishonest’

Senator Abetz’s claim job cuts had not hurt government services has drawn fire from the main public sector union and Labor, who pointed to Centrelink call wait time blow-outs, IT disasters and other departmental crises as the result of falling APS staff numbers.

The Community and Public Sector Union said Senator Abetz was being dishonest, adding that the Coalition was wasting billions of dollars on contractors and labour hire to pretend it could keep cutting the public service.

CPSU national secretary Nadine Flood described the cuts as an ideologically-driven waste of money.

“Try telling someone who’s tried to get through to Medicare or Centrelink on the telephone or has been caught up in the robo-debt debacle that there’s been no noticeable impact from the Abbott-Turnbull government’s cuts?” she said.

“This government pretends it has cut more but then turns to a private company through labour hire or contracting arrangements to do that work at a higher cost under terrible pay and working conditions.

“Not only do they pay more for less but it means there’s none of the transparency or accountability that’s essential to good value, quality services.”

Fenner Labor MP and shadow assistant treasurer Andrew Leigh said the government had treated public servants abysmally, referring to job cuts and the rise in contractors.

“No wonder the tax office website keeps crashing, 55 million Centrelink calls went unanswered and the rollout of the Health Care Homes initiative has been botched.”

Workplace union Professionals ‘s ACT director David Smith said more public service job cuts would hurt regional in addition to Canberra.

“Yet at the same time as the government has continued to cut jobs, the cost of the public sector continues to go up because of an over-reliance on consultants, contractors and labour hire,” he said.

“In Defence alone this has ballooned to being larger than the ongoing APS workforce.”

Despite implementing a “recruitment freeze” after the Coalition won the 2013 election, the government was unable to shed public service staff by natural attrition alone and the number of redundancies during that period was about triple the usual rate.

Adelaide neurologist to give evidence about Archbishop Philip Wilson’s ‘cognitive capacity’

Questions: Archbishop Philip Wilson trial on hold after pacemaker surgery and questions about his ‘fitness’ to give evidence. THE trial of Adelaide Archbishop Philip Wilson is on hold after a Newcastle Local Court was told he is “not in a fit state to give evidence at the moment” after pacemaker surgery five days ago and questions about his cognitive abilities.
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Magistrate Caleb Franklinwill hear evidence on Tuesday afternoon from an Adelaide neurologist after the court was toldthe archbishop was placed on medication after concerns about his mental capacities.

Barrister Stephen Odgers for Archbishop Wilson, 67, told the court the neurologist advised the “best case” was the medication could take three to six months to be effective, but there was the possibility it would not be effective.

Archbishop Wilson –the most senior Catholic clergyman in the world charged with failing to report child sex allegations to police –has not attended any court appearances since he was charged with the offence in March, 2015, and pleaded not guilty.

The local court hearing, after three failed attempts by the archbishop to have the charge dismissed, would not go ahead without the archbishop in attendance, the court was told.

Archbishop Wilson’s legal team applied to have the hearing delayed until at least Thursday, to give the senior cleric seven days after pacemaker surgery last week to treat a heart condition, and to have the trial proceed without requiring the archbishop to give evidence.

Mr Odgers told the court the neurologist’s assessment that Archbishop Wilson’s cognitive capacity was impaired raised concerns about whether the senior cleric could instruct his legal team during the trial that was set down for two weeks.

The Crown told the court it would require a separate assessment of the archbishop if the Adelaide neurologist tells the court the senior cleric is unfit to give evidence and instruct his lawyers.

Mr Franklinsaid it was likely, under that scenario, that the trial would be held over until a later date.

“We’re in a state where noone can really say what’s going to happen. Even the experts are going to be saying, in all likelihood, there’s a need for further investigations,” Mr Franklinsaid.

The court heard the Crown will call 16 witnesses and the defence up to four.

Hunter to trial new app to help protect domestic violence victims

APP TEAM: Dr Colin James, Sher Campbell and Associate Professor Lynne McCormack.A MOBILE phone app designed to protect domestic violence victims by stopping offenders breaching Apprehended Violence Orders is set to be trialed in the Hunter.
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The Bernie app was developed for domestic violence perpetrators. It aims to help strengthen positive decision-making to prevent reoffending and was developed by psychology and law researchers from the University of Newcastle and the n National University.

With statistics showing about 15 per cent of people charged with domestic violence assault reoffend within one year, and almost half of those before the court process has been finalised, it is hoped the app will act as an early intervention tool by remindingdefendants how to comply with court orders, the University of Newcastle said.

The app also has an “emergency button” for accessing immediate behavioural prompts during stressful situations.

Bernie is currently being refined before it is expected to be endorsed by the NSW government. A trial in the Hunter will then commence.

Clinical psychologist and UON Associate Professor Lynne McCormack said the app would be with offenders constantly.

“Bernie is a digital resource that can be in a defendant’s pocket at all times and can help reinforce the practical and legal information given by lawyers – information that is often forgotten due to heightened anxiety in court,” Associate Professor Lynne McCormack said.

“We have designed Bernie to support the information defendants receive at court and to help keep family members safe.

“The behavioural-education information reinforces responsibility for behaviours that negatively impact on others; making healthier and safer choices; and how to seek professional help to begin the process of positive change.”

Associate Professor McCormack said the behavioral prompt button could be pressed when offenders were struggling to manage their emotions.

“The immediate behavioural prompt button, once pressed, provides reminders to manage accelerating emotions, move away from any potentially high-risk situation, and to seek professional assistance,” she said.

Intimate partner violence is the leading contributor to death, disability and ill health in n women aged 15-44, the university said.Over a 12-month period, an average of one woman is killed every week by a current or former partner.Domestic violence is also the principle cause of homelessness for women and children andviolence against women is estimated to cost the economy $21.7 billion each year.

Bernie’s team includes Associate Professor McCormack; UON law lecturer and member of the Executive of NSW Women Lawyers’ Association, Sher Campbell; and UON Conjoint Dr Colin James, solicitor and senior lecturer from the ANU College of Law, School of Legal Practice at the n National University.

The team is seeking financial support and government endorsement to trial the app in Newcastle. Besides the legal and psycho-educational resources, Berniealso provides contact numbers for counselling, legal advice, and financial and housing assistance.

It is the result of the NSW government’s Innovation Launch Program, which provided a $150,000 grant from the NSW Department of Finance, Services and Innovation to develop the mobile phone app.

Meghan Markle is finally going to make the royals cool

We knew it was coming but that has not made the day any less joyous. Royalists and non-royalists, Britons and Americans alike have begun celebrating over the engagement of Prince Harry to Meghan Markle. Harry, is after all, the most popular royal, but in Meghan we’ve found someone we can fall in love with too.
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It’s not simply that she is in possession of, as one British journalist put it, “remarked-upon beauty”, nor is it her charity work, impressive as that may be. It’s the fact that, after years of conservative, pantyhose wearing millionaires, austere horse-lovers, plaid-clad ladies-in-waiting with their unfortunate Philip Treacy hats, we have, at long last, someone who is cool.

Princess Diana understood fashion, she was well-connected, and, as time wore on, she became known for her glamorous lifestyle. But she was also shy, and found the glare of the media, not to mention, the Royal family, to be too much. It didn’t help that her husband, Prince Charles, was not in love with her. More challenging was the fact that she was engaged at just 19.

Los Angeles-raised Meghan Markle is, at 36, a woman of the world, who is used to being in the spotlight. An established actress, she graduated from Northwestern University, which is considered on par with the Ivy League. Not that Markle could be accused of elitism; her mother, Doria Raglan, a yoga instructor and social worker, once had to file for bankruptcy. Indeed, until her father won a sizeable prize in the lottery, the family were struggling.

Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, has done her level best to eschew any sort of lofty associations to snootiness, being careful to recycle her outfits, and remain cheerful – and even athletic – despite her third bout of debilitating morning sickness. And yet, because of her station, as mother of the future king, and her own background, as the daughter of millionaires with their own distant ties to the throne, Catherine is not perceived to be all that relatable. This is despite our best hopes and projections, and that stunning Alexander McQueen wedding dress. But poor Catherine, so desperate to appear uncontroversial, actually left such a gaping hole in gossip that the populace turned to her sister, Pippa, for some flavour. Alas, this also proved to be a dead-end.

Before she deleted them, Markle’s blog, The Tig and Instagram account portrayed a confident, well-travelled, fun-loving foodie, who had her own opinions on everything from race, (her mother is African-American, her father, white) to human trafficking, to the best way to roast a chicken. Markle already released her own fashion line and just happened to be a U.N advocate for gender equality. Her fashion-sense has no need to be deliberately relatable, or “high street”, it already is. (To wit: the ripped jeans she wore at the Invictus Games sold out almost instantly.)

Almost exactly 80 years ago, in 1937, an American divorcee, Wallis Simpson, changed the course of history, when Prince Edward, abdicated the throne so he could marry her. Simpson then went on to be known almost in disparaging terms, as a socialite. Fortunately, times have changed. And this is perhaps the core reason for Markle’s coolness: put simply, she is cool because she’s allowed to be.

Prince Harry, at fifth in line to the throne, faces none of the pressures of his brother William or his father, Charles. He’s also had quite the personal trajectory, (including naked romps, NAZI uniforms, and numerous dalliances with society girls). The result of this life well-lived is that expectations have been rather low for the Prince. All he has had to do is act like a grown-up, and resume his charitable efforts, including of course, the very cool Invictus Games.

Harry is known for his cheek, his irreverence, and so this has freed him up to choose a person who is similarly laid-back, (royally-speaking). In Markle he’s landed someone who is not only prepared for the spotlight, she’s already bathed in it. But while her celebrity and looks have endeared her to a thousand Royal commentators, women’s magazine covers and websites, it is her poise, and her self-awareness that will ensure that long after her cool factor fades, her character will remain the most exciting thing about the union.

WineUpper Hunter HWS powerhouseJohn Lewis

DIVERSE: Hunter Wine Services winemakers Thomas Hordern, John Hordern and Kiri Irving do some taste testing in the Muswellbrook winery. Photo: Rod ThompsonTHE Oak sign still stands on the town outskirts at what was the Muswellbrook dairy factory and few passers-by would be aware that hereis a major winery that produces four million bottles of wine a year, exports to 30 countries, is ’s biggest seller of wine to Russia and may soon become a distillery producing vodka, gin and whisky.
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A key figure in the transformation of the factory that shut in 1994 after 50 years of Upper Hunter milk processing is veteran Hunter winemaker John Hordern.

John, a descendant of the family behind the Anthony Hordern department store empire, heads the Muswellbrook wine production and bottling operations of Hunter Wine Services (HWS) and is developing a distillery that will make vodka, gin and whisky.

As a schoolboy, John had casual jobs in Hunter vineyards and wineries and in 1977 went off to South ‘s Roseworthy College to do a wine production and marketing course – in which a classmate and great pal wasRex D’Aquino, the grandson of the founder of what has become the remarkably diverse Orange-basedD’Aquino Group.

D’Aquino’s assets include Highland HeritageEstatewines, liquor stores in Orange, Bathurst,Parkes and Wellington, a wholesale wine and spirits division, an expansive cellar door, restaurant and 130-seat function centre and even its own helicopter charter service.

And it shares ownership ofHunter Wine Services with John Hordern and John and his Muswellbrook winemaking team of son Thomas and Charles Sturt University wine sciene course graduate Kiri Irving have made the Highland Heritage wines since 1993. A recent demonstration of their expertise with Orange grapes came when the current-release $20-a-bottle Highland Heritage2016 Orange Fume Blanc won the 2017 NSW Wine Awards trophy for the best young sauvignon blanc.

The conversion of the Oak factory to wine production began in 1995 when thelandmark art deco-style building was leased by contract winemaker Simon Gilbert, who later moved his operation to Mudgee.

During the Gilbert leasehold, John Hordern worked on the site doing contract winemaking for such vineyards as Catherine Vale and producing his own-brand wines and in 2000 the Wine Services Pty Ltd company formed by John Hordern and Rex D’Aquino, took over the lease and gave the wine production facilities a $2 million upgrade.

It now crushes up to 2000 tonnes of grapes from Orange, the Hunter, Mudgee, Nygan, the Hilltops area centred on Young and from other sources outside NSW.

John and his family also own the 7.5-hectare Pyramid Hill vineyard located on the banks of the Goulburn River, near Denman, which was bought last year from acclaimed viticulturist Richard Hilder.

Richard, the winner of the2011 NSW Wine Awards’ Graham Gregory prize foroutstanding contributions to the State’s wine industry,supervised the planting of many of the Upper Hunter’s best vineyards.

John Hordern’s wine expertise has been inherited by his two sons. Stuart, 35, is senior winemaker at Brokenwood and was dux of the 2016 Len Evans Tutorial, which gave him judging positions at the Sydney Wine Show and the National Wine Show in Canberra and the business-class air travel and visits to the greatest European wine houses he is currently undertaking.

Thomas, 31, is doing a Charles Sturt University wine science degree and works alongside his dad at the HWS winery. Earlier this year he won the Alasdair Sutherland Memorial Scholarship, whichhonours the memory of one of the Hunter Valley’s most admired and respected winemakers and provides entry to the intensive, four-day n Wine Research Institute Advanced Wine Assessment Course and also the opportunity to be an associate judge at the 2012 Royal Sydney Wine Show.


IN today’s trio of two-variety blends, this French St EmillionCamille de Labrie 2012 Merlot-Cabernet Sauvignonis garnet-hued and has 14 per cent alcohol, potpourri scents and juicy mulberry front-palate flavour. The middle palate shows dried cranberry, licorice, cloves and toasty oak and the finish ferric tannins. It’s on discovervin苏州夜总会招聘.au. PRICE: $39. DRINK WITH:paella. AGEING: four years.

RATING: 4 stars


THEMeerea Park 2016 Indie Marsanne-Roussanneis from theKindred Lochleven vineyardand is atmeereapark苏州夜总会招聘.auand thePokolbincellar door. It is green-tinted straw and has lychee scents and zingy quince on the front palate. Kiwifruit, cumquat, mineral and cedary oak show on middle palate and the finish has slatey acid.PRICE: $30. DRINK WITH:salt and pepper squid. AGEING: three years.

RATING: 4 stars


THIS 15 per cent-alcoholHarewood Estate 2015 Flux1 Shiraz-Tempranillois fromWA’s Great Southern area and is deep purple and displays berry pastille scents and spicy blackberry front-palate flavour.The middle palate shows Maraschino cherry, spice and mocha oak and the finish has minty tannins. It’s atharewood苏州夜总会招聘.auand independent wine stores.PRICE: $35. DRINK WITH: pasta. AGEING: five years.

RATING: 4 stars

Regional business back to boom-time buoyancy

SOLID FRAMEWORK: Construction activity appears to have helped underpin jobs and consumption within the region. Photo: Louie DouvisBusiness confidence in the Hunter economy is back to a boom-time high, according to the HRF Centre’s latest Hunter Region Economic Indicators.Our business confidence measure – a composite of profitability, trading volume and hiring intentions – reached a decade high for the September quarter. Capital expenditure intentions are well above their five-year average, as are forward orders taken by businesses in the three months to September.High levels of business confidence, sustained since March 2016, are reflecting positive hiring intentions and expectations of higher trading volumes, profitability and forward orders.
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National business conditions are also at a decade high.

National trends that are likely to play a role in the region include the strong housing market and a construction boom. Low interest rates and the low dollar are likely to be affecting regional businesses. A pick-up in advanced economies will also play a part for businesses that are exporting or part of a global supply chain. It is likely that the rally in coal prices is having a greater influence in the region than the nation. Public investment is also providing important stimulus in the region and the nation.

Another positive indicator is improvement in the Hunter labour market. The Hunter has had stronger growth in full-time jobs (7.4 per cent) than NSW (4.3 per cent) over the year to September. The most recent quarter, however, shows a loss of full-time employment and a growth of part-time employment within the region.

Household expectations of personal finances over the next 12 months strengthened in September, moving well above the five-year average. Reported household spending over the previous three months climbed as well. However, the spending reported by Hunter consumers remains cautious. This conservatism mirrors the national trend, and contrasts with the sustained upward trend in business performance.

The surge in the region’s housing market is likely to have contributed to the growth in confidence. Median house prices have risen by 30 per cent over the past five years. However, in the September quarter, the Hunter’s median house price fell by 4.1 per cent. Falls in median house prices were reported in all Hunter LGAs bar Muswellbrook, which appears to be in a post-decline recovery phase.

There is local evidence that the construction boom may be past its peak. New housing construction approvals fell by 7 per cent between September 2016 and September 2017, compared to a 12 per cent fall for NSW as a whole.

Despite softness in the housing market, will renewed confidence and business buoyancy improve the region’s 2018 economic outlook?Household debt, underemployment and the rising cost of essentials all pose challenges. While declines in house prices are good news for first home buyers, theymight adversely affect the economy. Rising house prices create wealth effects and construction activity that appear to have underpinned jobs and consumption in the region. A weakening of these factors may stymie regional economic activity in the coming year.

On the upside, one in four Hunter businesses indicated in September that they intend to increase employment for this quarter. Further tightening of the labour market may help to lift wage growth, spurring increased spending in 2018.

Dr Anthea Bill, Lead Economist, HRF