‘Not enough time’: Cavallo decides not to seek Mildura Rural City Council re-election

Nick Cavallo is the second Mildura Rural City councillor to decide not to seek re-election in November.
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The Mildura businessman wants to regain the 20 to 30 hours he spends each week on council commitments and hopes to achieve a better work-life balance.

For similar reasons in March this year, councillor Fiona Hilton-Wood decided against nominating for a second term.

She wanted to spend more time with family and focus on the law firm she runs with her husband.

Both Cr Cavallo and Cr Hilton-Wood will remain dedicated to their council roles until the end of October, just before the election in November.

As well as fulfilling his weekly council commitments, Cr Cavallo is a partner in Leading Edge Computers Mildura, president of Mildura Settlers’ Cricket Club and a committee member with groups including Willowfest, the Iluka Environment Review committee and Sunraysia Sustainability Network.

He said his decision not to run again was “not made lightly”.

“Basically it’s a combination of things, I couldn’t sustain what I did,” he said.

For more of this story, purchase your copy of Tuesday’s Sunraysia Daily 18/09/2012.

Standing down: Councillor Nick Cavallo has decided not to stand for re-election in the Mildura Rural City Council election in November.

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Mayoral race in the dark

Dubbo has one candidate for mayor and one for deputy mayor, but most councillors are keeping their cards close to their chest.
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Incumbent Mathew Dickerson will seek to return to the top job on Thursday while re-elected councillor Lyn Griffiths has announced she will stand for deputy mayor.

Those positions and committee leaders will be subject to a vote at an extraordinary meeting of the new Dubbo City Council on Thursday.

The civic leaders – four new to the role and seven returning – have big decisions before them.

Cr Ben Shields gained the most votes and was the first candidate declared, but he declined to comment on the mayoral race yesterday.

Cr Dickerson gained the second-most votes followed by newcomer John Walkom.

Cr Dickerson said he thought he had worked hard to be a positive representative for Dubbo as mayor and the other leadership positions needed to be filled – for at least the first year of the term – by people with some experience.

When asked if it made sense to have Cr Shields in one of the two top roles, Cr Dickerson said he was not sure of his colleague’s intentions.

“At this stage Ben hasn’t contacted me and asked for my vote so I am not even certain if he will be standing for the position,” Cr Dickerson said.

“If he contacts me and informs me that he is standing and wants my vote I will certainly listen to his reasons why he would make a good deputy mayor.”

Deputy mayor-hopeful Cr Griffiths said Cr Shields’ good poll result was a moot point because Dubbo did not have a popularly-elected mayor.

“The factors that I consider important are the ability of the nominated person to work hard for Dubbo and to work with other councillors in a positive and productive manner,” she said.

Cr Rod Towney ruled out any run for a position and gave his support to Cr Dickerson and Cr Griffiths.

“Mathew Dickerson has done a good job, going out on a limb to try to bring councillors together,” he said.

“For all the females around town it would be good to have a woman as deputy mayor, and Lyn has the runs on the board.”

Bill Kelly ruled out nominating for a position and although he would not declare his support for anyone, he said he knew which way he would vote and why.

“I’m not prepared to discuss this now, you’ll see on Thursday,” he said.

“I have my mind made up and the reasons and then I’ll be doing my best to unify the council.”

He said the actions during the next 12 months of those he voted for would decide whether his support was ongoing.

Mr Walkom was also coy about commenting on the race.

“To ensure a cohesive united council for which I have been a great advocator during my campaign for election to council, I think it prudent that the process of the election of the various positions on council be left to the democratic process of the meeting this coming Thursday,” he said.

Cr Tina Reynolds also said the discussion about the leadership positions should be amongst the 11 councillors, not played out in the media.

The Daily Liberal had not received any other responses to its request for comment from all councillors-elect at the time of going to press.

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Wests winger out of Real NRL decider

WESTERN Suburbs winger Justin Smith’s dreams of playing in the Newcastle Rugby League grand final on Sunday were crushed yesterday after X-rays revealed a badly broken big toe.
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Smith, who is arguably the quickest player in the competition, has been carrying the injury since the Country NSW tour of Samoa.

He played with a pain-killing injection in Sunday’s 36-6 preliminary final victory over Maitland, but failed to finish the game after aggravating the toe injury.

“We’ve bit the bullet and got scans and he’s now on crutches and he will need further whatever, whether it’s surgery, but his season’s finished,” Rosellas coach Craig Miller said.

Wests signed the 21-year-old Aberdeen junior from the Wests Tigers under-20 side at the start of the season.

In his first season of senior football Smith scored 12 tries for the Rosellas and was rewarded with selection in the Newcastle Rebels and Country teams.

“Unfortunately since Country he had to carry an injury and we’ve managed it the best we could. It’s shattering for him to miss the biggest day of his career so far,” Miller said.

“There’s a lot of disappointment for a player to get this far and have such a good year and get so close, but we’ll deal with that.”

Rosellas captain Jermaine Ale will shift from the second row to the wing for the grand final against Cessnock.

Mark Farrar will move into the pack and James Woolford comes onto the bench.

The Rosellas should know today if halfback Zac Walsh will be cleared to play in the decider.

Walsh was heavily concussed after a high tackle from Maitland halfback Jade Porter, but he has been cleared of any long-lasting effects.

The 18-year-old will have CAT scans today.

“He’ll be getting scans tomorrow so we can make a decision whether he can play,” Miller said. “Given it’s a head injury it will decide whether the decision is taken out of my hands or not,” Miller said yesterday.

JUSTIN SMITH

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Paterson swings through Newcastle 

Cory Paterson and Anthony Mundine shape up.FORMER Knights and Cowboys forward Cory Paterson will make his professional boxing debut at Newcastle Panthers next month before continuing his rugby league career in England.
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Paterson will fight Samoan-born Sydney-based heavyweight Anton Tuilotolava on October 5 on the undercard to the rematch between Newcastle’s two-time former World Boxing Foundation welterweight champion Chad “Hollywood” Bennett and two-time former Commonwealth champion James Armah.

Paterson, a three-time Indigenous All Stars representative, insisted boxing was a pastime rather than a new profession, and he wanted to rekindle his league career under former Knights assistant coach Craig Sandercock at Super League club Hull Kingston Rovers next year.

“I spoke with Sandy about it and it’s all good,” Paterson said of his fight plan.

Apart from being coached by Sandercock, Paterson will join former Knights teammates Evarn Tuimavave, Shannon McDonnell and Con Mika at the Robins.

Paterson is training four days a week in Sydney with Anthony Mundine in preparation for his fight with Tuilotolava, who has lost all of his five professional bouts – four by knockout.

“It was mainly just to keep me fit during the off-season and stay active, then a chance came up for me,” Paterson said. “I always wanted to have a crack at it, so I’m going to give it a go.

“Obviously footy’s my heart and soul, so this is more just a hobby, really, and to keep fit.

“I’m not expecting or really wanting too much to come of it, it’s just a bit of fun, but I’ll train hard for it and hopefully I won’t get too bashed.”

Paterson said he felt indebted to his friend Mundine for showing him the ropes.

“He’s helping me out with the technical side, and I’m lucky that I’ve got a bit of a fitness base, because we only finished last week,” he said. “I’m just learning whatever I can off him, and whatever he says, I do, so I’m pretty lucky to have him around.”

Paterson played seven games for the Cowboys last year after being released by the Knights mid-season, but he managed only three NRL matches this season and the Cowboys released him from the final year of his contract so he could join Hull KR.

Unable to secure a regular spot in the Cowboys’ pack this year, he played most of the season for their Queensland Cup feeder team Northern Pride.

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JOANNE McCARTHY: No, we’re not all OK

ON Sunday morning a Hunter man disclosed for the first time to his wife of 45 years that he had been sexually abused by a Marist Brother as a child.
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Last week another Hunter man told workmates he’d been sexually abused by an uncle after they discussed a Herald article about a paedophile priest.

A woman rang me on Saturday night to say she’d been locked in a priest’s room in 1986 and sexually assaulted. She was 43, married and had gone to the priest for help.

The diocese of Maitland-Newcastle has already paid compensation to another woman victim of that priest who is dead. The woman who rang me didn’t know that, because it’s been one of the church’s dark secrets. She had only ever told one other person, a priest, and it must be noted that he has repeatedly encouraged her to seek help.

She rang me again on Sunday night after the same awful images stopped her from sleeping the night before. It was of a mouse trapped in a cage with a snake. The terrified mouse ran around the cage but the snake took its time, she said.

It didn’t have to rush. It knew the mouse was trapped.

I received many emails on Saturday after the Herald printed a list of clergy and Catholic teachers who have abused children over 60 years.

I received many more after Sunday’s meeting in Newcastle, hosted by the newspaper, supporting victims of child sexual abuse and their families who want a royal commission.

I spoke on Sunday with many people and the message was the same. What we witnessed at Newcastle Panthers was people coming together for a common cause and talking about a difficult issue. Strangers cared enough to spend a few hours on a lovely Sunday to find out for themselves why people are talking about the need for a royal commission.

The phone calls and emails were about how media reports helped people talk to their families and friends about child sexual abuse, which is the whole point.

For too many years, for too many people, these secrets have damaged relationships. A child who has suffered sexual abuse feels isolated and alone, and that shapes the adult they become. Their trust in the world around them is shattered, and they’re often overwhelmed by powerlessness.

Politicians and churches love to talk about families. They love to tell us how families should live and operate, and what constitutes a family.

If politicians other than Greens MP David Shoebridge, and Lake Macquarie MP Greg Piper, had been at Sunday’s meeting they would have heard, first hand, the impact of too many secrets on Hunter families. They could have talked with people, as hundreds did.

If clergy representatives other than priest Geoff Mulhearn had been there, they could have done the same, rather than preaching about how “good priests are hurting”.

I’m sure they are, but we’ve got enough victims in this crisis already. Could I suggest good priests should be challenging their own hierarchy from within. Or as good Catholics Lou Pirona and Tom Creigh prefer to say, the good priests should “man up”.

Last week there was publicity about “Are you OK?” day, on which people were encouraged to ask each other how they were going, and talk a little further if the answer wasn’t positive. It comes after years of campaigns about depression and the devastating impact it can have.

What we saw on Sunday was a collective expression of “Are you OK?”, and the church and government were notable absentees, unwilling to communicate.

What is clear is that a lot of people are not OK because of child sexual abuse, and there is no doubt it goes beyond the Catholic church.

What the government is missing here is the perception that it’s singing from the same song sheet as the church – and if you read comments from both, that’s not drawing too long a bow.

In refusing to engage in community discussion the government runs the risk of looking like it’s one powerful institution that won’t tolerate outspoken voices on this subject, lining up with another. And one of those powerful institutions has irrefutably committed crimes against children.

Child abuse is about secrets, silences and darkness. What we’re experiencing in the Hunter is simply a little light.

Help shine the light on this issue. Download and printthis petition, gather as many signatures as you can, and post it back to The Herald. We will help your voice be heard.

The Newcastle Herald’s campaign for a royal commission into church sex abuse.

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EDITORIAL: The case for a higher GST

NSW premier Barry O’Farrell is right about the GST. A strong case exists to raise the rate of the federal goods and services tax from 10 per cent.
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Unless the federal system is reformed and the states are abolished, state governments must have more funding certainty.

There is a case to raise the GST.

Ever since they were forced to hand over the power to levy income taxes to the federal government, the states have struggled to balance their budgets. They are subject to demands from their constituents who naturally want ever-improving health and education systems, good roads and public transport, effective policing, dependable water and power and the myriad other services that states provide. But their income-raising powers are notoriously limited.

The states have their good years, of course. Real estate and mining booms, respectively, provide stamp duty and royalty windfalls that give them scope to spend. But when economic conditions contract, the states feel the squeeze in a very immediate and painful way.

The introduction of the GST was a big advance, providing a set pool of money for funding state activities. But the national slump in retail sales and consumption means that pool is smaller than before.

To make things worse, the real estate market is subdued and there are signs that the lucrative mining boom may at last have passed its peak.

Those factors provide the real background that explains most of the state government’s cost-cutting drive.

With revenue down, spending is hard to maintain without risking the state’s treasured AAA credit rating. The alternative to cutting spending is raising revenue but moves to lift the mining royalty rate have caused a political storm that will probably result in reduced federal grants to NSW.

Raising the GST would be politically difficult too, and neither the federal government nor opposition appears to have the courage to consider it. But if people don’t want their services cut, a higher GST makes sense.

Riding a drone wave

DRONES, it seems, are flavour of the month. And not just in the air.

The attraction of unmanned, remote-controlled aircraft and seaborne vessels are obvious, especially in the case of drone boats that are totally powered by renewable energy sources.

Such boats could stay at sea indefinitely, would require no crew and cost very little to operate and maintain.

Newcastle shipbuilding and engineering firm Forgacs is keen on the idea of building drone boats and no wonder. The defence-related applications of marine drones are almost as diverse as those of airborne versions. Surveillance is the most obvious job for delegation to drone boats, and the company promoting the vessels has suggested that a fleet of 300 could guard Australia’s northern shores better and more cheaply than conventional navy ships.

Drone proliferation is becoming a topic for wide debate, as defence forces, police services and even criminal networks are starting to find useful applications for these tireless, unsleeping sentinels.

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Riewoldt overlooked for All-Australian honour

RICHMOND spearhead Jack Riewoldt has become just the second Coleman medallist in 13 seasons to miss out on All-Australian selection.
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Selectors decided that Riewoldt’s 65 goals – the lowest tally to win the goalkicking medal for 50 years – was not enough to earn a spot in the 2012 team of the year, with Hawthorn’s Lance Franklin (centre half-forward) and Geelong big man Tom Hawkins (full-forward) named in the two key forward posts.

The Riewoldt snub – the first of its kind since St Kilda’s Fraser Gehrig was overlooked in 2005 despite being that year’s Coleman medallist – was one of several surprise selections in the forward line.

Fremantle superstar Matthew Pavlich was also denied his seventh All-Australian honour, with the selection panel instead choosing to name a resting ruckman, West Coast’s Dean Cox; a resting midfielder, Adelaide’s Brownlow Medal fancy Patrick Dangerfield, and two small forwards, Hawthorn’s Cyril Rioli and St Kilda’s Stephen Milne, instead of three genuine key forwards, as has been the case in previous years.

That Cox was not the first-choice ruckman, and was upstaged by his own tag team partner Nic Naitanui, was another selection that has sparked debate.

Most media commentators had predicted Cox was a lock for the No. 1 ruck spot, believing it would then be a close call between Richmond’s boom recruit Ivan Maric and Adelaide big man Sam Jacobs for the No. 2 position.

Naitanui, who ranked fifth in the AFL for hitouts and averaged below Cox in almost every key category, was barely in the conversation.

Pavlich’s elevation to the group of seven-time stars – such as Wayne Carey, Nathan Buckley, Stephen Silvagni and Terry Daniher – was considered by some to be near automatic after the Dockers captain grabbed the competition by storm for an extended stretch mid-season.

The 30-year-old was the hottest player in the AFL between rounds 10 and 19 when he produced 44 goals in nine games, including match-winning bags of eight, seven and another two of six.

Several senior commentators even predicted Pavlich could be named All-Australian captain after leading the Dockers to the finals with a home-and-away season tally of 62 goals, which put him equal runner-up with Hawkins behind Riewoldt.

The honour of All-Australian captain instead went to West Coast key defender Darren Glass, who was named in the back pocket, while Gold Coast skipper Gary Ablett was voted vice-captain.

News of Pavlich’s non-selection leaked out early today after he revealed to media he had not been invited to the ceremony.

Pavlich, who will fly to Melbourne later in the week for hip surgery that will require 6-8 weeks’ recovery, said he was unconcerned by the eyebrow-raising selection, delivered by a panel made up of Kevin Bartlett, Gerard Healy, Leigh Matthews, Luke Darcy, Glen Jakovich, Mark Ricciuto, Danny Frawley and AFL officials Adrian Anderson and Andrew Demetriou, the non-voting chairman.

”Individual awards aren’t what you play footy for, it’s team success,” he said prior to the ceremony.

”I didn’t have the greatest start to the year but certainly felt like I really contributed towards the end of the year and impacted and influenced the games really strongly.”

However it wasn’t all bad news for Fremantle, with defender Luke McPharlin earning his first All-Australian jumper – one of 15 first-timers – which is the most in history since the then-VFL began picking a team of the year from 1982.

The other debutants included St Kilda defender Sean Dempster, Hawthorn pair Grant Birchall and Rioli, West Coast defender Beau Waters, Sydney duo Ted Richards and Josh Kennedy, Richmond midfield partners Trent Cotchin and Brett Deledio, Essendon captain Jobe Watson, Collingwood’s Dayne Beams, Adelaide tag team Scott Thompson and Dangerfield, as well as Hawkins and Naitanui.

The ruck pairing of Naitanui and Cox ensured the Eagles, which finished the season in fifth, provided the most players from one club with four, while Hawthorn and Collingwood each had three representatives, with the Pies’ star midfielders Dane Swan and Scott Pendlebury named on the bench.

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Malthouse plans not by the book

MICK Malthouse’s football and literary commitments are on a collision course, with the publishers of a soon-to-be-released memoir about the controversial coach left frustrated and concerned the book could struggle for relevance given his decision to return to a senior position with Carlton.
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Malthouse: A Football Life, penned by Malthouse’s daughter Christi, is due for release next month but will not include any significant mention of the three-time premiership coach’s decision to end his one-year retirement, a source of disappointment to publisher Allen & Unwin, who paid the author a significant advance estimated at between $75,000 and $100,000.

And Allen & Unwin’s publisher, Foong Ling Kong, confirmed a proposed month-long promotional tour had been hastily rearranged to suit Malthouse’s new coaching commitments and the Blues’ high-altitude training camp in Arizona, which the coach insisted Carlton commit to before taking the job.

Allen & Unwin was forced to insert a one-page stop press in the memoir briefly outlining Malthouse’s decision to join Carlton, something both the coach and his daughter have insisted took place only after Brett Ratten was sacked. The Age understands the publisher has also been frustrated that continuing predictions Malthouse would take the job have been circulating for months and yet the book will have no mention of the fact except in the hastily arranged stop press.

”It’s untidy,” Kong said. ”There’s some parts of the book that are out of step with what has taken place, but I’m sure people will find it a fascinating story. The book is already printing, so all we could do was put in a one-page stop press with breaking news about Carlton.”

Publishing sources told The Age there were also commercial concerns given Malthouse’s fallout with Collingwood and his inflammatory comments in recent weeks regarding Carlton’s interest in Travis Cloke. Collingwood fans have bombarded social media, disenchanted with their former coach’s change of heart regarding his previous insistence he could not coach against his Magpie players. Given he has not yet been embraced by Carlton, he finds himself in limbo in terms of public interest towards the new book.

Malthouse: A Football Life was the second of a two-book deal with Allen & Unwin following last year’s The Ox is Slow but the Earth is Patient, written in conjunction with Malthouse’s former fitness lieutenant at Collingwood, David Buttifant.

With the new book scheduled to be launched on October 23, Malthouse will begin his promotional tour with Christi on October 24 but a lengthy series of engagements in Western Australia have been either cut or brought forward given the Blues’ Arizona trip.

Carlton had booked to return to train in the high altitude and heat of Qatar but changed that plan following talks with Malthouse, who had also previously stated his promotional book tour with his daughter was ”non-negotiable”.

Ratten commented in a radio interview three days ago that the Blues had suddenly found the significant extra money to fund Arizona, with the team departing along with the new coach on November 8.

Ratten also expressed on 3AW how disappointed he was at the club’s treatment of senior assistant Mark Riley, who has been offered a development role with the club after being a midfield assistant. Riley is understood to have taken sick leave while weighing up his future.

The club’s other midfield coach, Paul Williams, has been sacked.

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Adoption support group’s boycott

ONE of the state’s leading adoption support groups will not be in Parliament House on Thursday when Premier Barry O’Farrell officially apologises for the state’s role in forced adoptions.
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Origins NSW co-ordinator Lily Arthur said last night that too much remained undone for the group to accept the apology.

“They’re trying to rush it through because there’s a federal apology planned for early next year,” Mrs Arthur said.

“There’s no sincerity in this and they’ve had far too long to show contrition but instead they have left people languishing in a state of hell.”

Mrs Arthur said some Origins members would probably attend as individuals but she was not going and the organisation would not be represented.

Lynne Williamson, of North Lambton, said she would join the Origins boycott of the event after initially deciding to go on Thursday.

“I was adopted, and then in 1972, as a young unmarried mother, I was forced to give up my child and denied the ability to hold him as the nun ordered the midwife to ‘take it away, it’s for adoption’,” Mrs Williamson said. “Personally, I hope the apology will lead to concrete results, but I cannot go.

“Our advocate support group still has not received funding, as was recommended in the first inquiry into forced adoptions 12 years ago.”

Hamilton South adoption activist Therese Pearson said she, too, had mixed feelings about going but had decided to attend.

“It doesn’t mean anything to me yet because I think they should have done all of the things that they have promised to do before they think they can say sorry,” Ms Pearson said.

“But I do want to see what they are going to say.”

In the lead-up to Thursday’s apology, the government said it would waive the $135 fee parents and adopted children had previously paid to access their personal records.

The government has also indicated it would be guided by a recent Senate inquiry into forced adoptions.

Lynne Williamson, of North Lambton, holding a copy of a photograph of her brother who was put up for adoption. – Picture: Peter Stoop

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Artist transformed by an immersion in Ash

ARTIST Becc Spiteri calls her experience an “immersion” in the landscape of Ash Island.
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The hours of meditation and research she has devoted to the island has produced a new body of work that will be launched in Newcastle this week, as well as the discovery of the remarkable lives of two sisters, Helena and Harriet Scott.

The sisters were the daughters of Alexander Walker Scott and his wife, Harriet, who moved to the Hunter River estuary in 1846.

Over the years, the sisters illustrated the island’s flora and fauna, mainly moths and butterflies, and the works form a spectacular collection that is in the care of the Australian Museum.

The works are touring NSW but are not scheduled in the Hunter until the end of 2013, at Maitland Regional Art Gallery.

Ms Spiteri’s exhibition, Transformations: Reflections of Ash Island, opens officially on Thursday, but it can be seen from tomorrow.

“I was drawn to the place – sketching, meditating, journalling to see what would emerge,” Ms Spiteri said.

“Through my research I found the two Scott sisters.

“And my time was rewarded,” she said.

Ms Spiteri said she did not want to mimic the sisters’ work.

“Mine [works] are more about the form. My aim has been to pay homage to these extraordinary women, while remaining faithful to my own vision in interpreting this sublime landscape,” she said.

Australian Museum archivist Rose Docker describes the sisters as two of Australia’s most talented natural history artists.

One of the Scott family’s famous visitors was the explorer Ludwig Leichhardt.

This year the University of Newcastle’s Professor John Rostas, whose late wife Sue was a leading member of the Kooragang Wetland Rehabilitation Project, donated a book of the selected drawings of the sisters to a school named after Leichhardt in Germany.

The wetland group relied on the Scott family’s illustrations and diaries.

The Newcastle Herald has been told Newcastle Region Library could not host the travelling show because it did not have conservation measures, such as high-standard air-conditioning, available.

BECC SPITERI – Picture: Anita Jones

HELENA FORDE (nee Scott)

Artwork by Helena Scott. Image courtesy of the Australian Museum.

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Boardwalk creator takes hard line as gangster builds his empire

Steve Buscemi is Boardwalk Empire’s gangster-made-bad Enoch ‘Nucky’ Thompson. Margaret (Kelly Macdonald) dreams of flying away at the start of Boardwalk Empire’s third season.
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SPOILER ALERT: this feature contains spoilers about season two.

“There’ll be some changes made,” goes the old jazz classic as we swoop down to the now-familiar boardwalk empire of gangster-made-bad Enoch ‘Nucky’ Thompson. Starting a new season is always hard. But when the creators of HBO’s hit show sat around a table to plan season three, they were stumped.

“We all stared at each other, then [said] ‘let’s eat lunch’, ‘let’s take naps’,” says the creator of Boardwalk Empire, the Sopranos veteran Terence Winter.

Winter is a Brooklyn-raised motormouth with a greying beard, a friendly manner and a habit of turning thoughts into dialogue. He was clearly born to make TV. But that didn’t make it easy. His problem was the season two climax that had furious fans racing to Twitter, and critics in raptures.

Young, ambitious Jimmy Darmody – at the core of the show’s main story-line for the first two seasons – died in a gripping finale that lifted this prohibition drama to new heights, slain at the hand of father-figure Nucky (played to icy perfection by Steve Buscemi).

It was one of those moments that you watch TV for. So now what?

“Originally we talked about, ‘right, what if it’s the next day?'” says Winter. “And as we talked about that it became apparent to me that I felt like I know what happens.

“Nucky comes home and he finds out that Margaret [Nucky’s wife, played by Kelly Macdonald] gave away his land. They have a big fight and then people realise that Jimmy Darmody is missing, and he was dead, and I understood how that would all play out.

“But I thought if we go a year or so or more into the future, anything could happen.”

So series three misses all the predictable fallout. Instead we jump to New Year’s Eve 1922, a year-and-a-half forward in time, as the price of illicit booze soars and the stakes have risen for the gangsters of the east coast.

The characters have moved on, emotionally, physically, even geographically.

“I’m a philanthropist now,” Nucky says.

He’s not, of course. Episode one begins on familiar territory. Nucky delivers a deadpan lecture with a ruthless punchline while his new nemesis makes a bloody debut on a New Jersey beach. Margaret prepares for a New Year’s Eve party, while dreaming of (literally) flying away. And the Chicago boys are negotiating increasingly fierce turf wars.

But the echoes of Jimmy’s death are still there, in the story and also in the minds of the writers.

“He was terrific, he was always interesting and fun to write for,” admits Winter. “So to make the decision to take him out of the series, it was like playing chess, it’s like losing a very important piece, you think ‘wow we still have to play the game but without that piece’.

“But that wasn’t enough of a reason [to keep him in the show]. I always say to my writers ‘let’s make it more difficult on ourselves’ [rather] than easier. It would have been easier to keep Jimmy alive for us – OK, at the last minute Nucky says all is forgiven, he kills Manny and keeps Jimmy alive and they shake hands and he walks off and that would have been easy, because now we could just have Jimmy.

“It’s a lot more challenging to say ‘OK, we’re killing him. What do we do now, how do we fill that gap in the story and move forward?’. But it was the right decision.”

Winter says he tries to be true to his show, to keep the story growing “organically”, rather than be distracted by the reaction to his big decisions.

“It’s funny, when I was a kid we thought it would be great to be able to read each other’s minds. And now we can read each other’s minds, it’s called the internet, and it’s not so great, you know?

“You read all this shit people are thinking about everything, not just your show but any news story. You read the comments and you’re like ‘oh my God, is this what people think?’ So I try not to read that stuff.

“I like that people are invested and they care. I do question the sanity of people who are mourning the loss of a fictional character to the point that they are sending bouquets of flowers but I love that we have affected people, I made you feel something that you either didn’t want to feel or you are shocked by. That’s our job, to make you laugh, make you cry, anger you, all of those things.”

He compares season three to a delicious New York pizza. If you make it delicious enough, no one is going to think about yesterday’s cheeseburger.

Nucky himself – Steve Buscemi, that is – is just happy to play the cards he’s been dealt, even when it’s a tough hand.

“The last scene of season two was hard because I like Michael [Pitt, who played Jimmy] so much and I didn’t want to see him go and I didn’t want to do it, so there was a lot of me resisting what I had to do,” Buscemi says.

“So that was really, really hard. But then I always remember that it’s not real, it’s a job and this is what I’m required to do as the character.”

Buscemi in person is far from his ruthless alter ego – soft-voiced, quick to laugh and preferring quiet truths to showboating . Winter calls him a “gentle guy [who is] not into violence in any way”, and Buscemi worries that Boardwalk should not glorify the evil deeds of its characters.

“Some of the stuff is very upsetting to do on the show,” Buscemi says. Generally he is able to “just leave the work at work” but there is one scene from the new season – which he won’t reveal in detail – but he says it stayed with him long after they called “cut”.

But he is loving the show – he says it is one of the best jobs he has had.

“When I’m challenged by really good work it makes me want to step up and go even further,” he says. “If you feel like people aren’t really giving you that, or everybody’s not there, then I will tend to go ‘well I’m not going to do all the work here’. If they’re doing it [well] then I say ‘oh my God, I’d better step up’.”

But he knows Winter and the writers too well to assume that he’ll be doing Boardwalk for as long as he wants. He remembers keenly signing up for two seasons of The Sopranos, then dying after just one.

“It was hard, I really wanted to keep doing it,” he says. “But I’m not afraid to die – I’m used to it.”

Winter hopes to keep telling the story for years to come: he already has plans that stretch well beyond this season’s arc. It’s a joy to write a long series that can explore the birth of the world of gangsters, he says – one of the first lines of The Sopranos is “I feel like I came in at the end of something” – but with Boardwalk he’s gone back to the beginning.

“The prohibition era really hadn’t been depicted in American television since about 1960, in a show called The Untouchables about Eliot Ness and Al Capone,” Winter says. “That was 50 years ago, so this era was really wide open for exploration on TV. We can actually tell the story the real way and really dig deep into it.

“In terms of the fascination with the gangster genre and criminals, I think we are always interested in people who live outside the law or people who are at least presumably unlike we are, doing things that we wouldn’t do.

“It’s sort of a vicarious thrill, you get to experience that world without the consequences, you get to hang out with a bunch of gangsters but at the end of the day nobody’s going to be chasing you with a machine gun, you can just turn the channel and watch something else.”

Season Three of Boardwalk Empire starts Wednesday on Showcase. SBS will be showing season one from 29 September.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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Malthouse plans not by the book

MICK Malthouse’s football and literary commitments are on a collision course, with the publishers of a soon-to-be-released memoir about the controversial coach left frustrated and concerned the book could struggle for relevance given his decision to return to a senior position with Carlton.
Nanjing Night Net

Malthouse: A Foot-ball Life, penned by Malthouse’s daughter Christi, is due for release next month but will not include any significant mention of the three-time premiership coach’s decision to end his one-year retirement, a source of disappointment to publisher Allen & Unwin, who paid the author a significant advance estimated at between $75,000 and $100,000.

And Allen & Unwin’s publisher, Foong Ling Kong, confirmed a proposed month-long promotional tour had been hastily rearranged to suit Malthouse’s new coaching commitments and the Blues’ high-altitude training camp in Arizona, which the coach insisted Carlton commit to before taking the job.

Allen & Unwin was forced to insert a one-page stop press in the memoir briefly outlining Malthouse’s decision to join Carlton, something both the coach and his daughter have insisted took place only after Brett Ratten was sacked. The Age understands the publisher has also been frustrated that continuing predictions Malthouse would take the job have been circulating for months and yet the book will have no mention of the fact except in the hastily arranged stop press.

“It’s untidy,” Kong said. “There’s some parts of the book that are out of step with what has taken place, but I’m sure people will find it a fascinating story. The book is already printing, so all we could do was put in a one-page stop press with breaking news about Carlton.”

Publishing sources told The Age there were also commercial concerns given Malthouse’s fallout with Collingwood and his inflammatory comments in recent weeks regarding Carlton’s interest in Travis Cloke. Collingwood fans have bombarded social media, disenchanted with their former coach’s change of heart regarding his previous insistence he could not coach against his Magpie players. Given he has not yet been embraced by Carlton, he finds himself in limbo in terms of public interest towards the new book.

Malthouse: A Foot-ball Life was the second of a two-book deal with Allen & Unwin following last year’s The Ox is Slow but the Earth is Patient, written in conjunction with Malthouse’s former fitness lieutenant at Collingwood, David Buttifant.

With the new book scheduled to be launched on October 23, Malthouse will begin his promotional tour with Christi on October2 4 but a lengthy series of engagements in Western Australia have been either cut or brought forward given the Blues’ Arizona trip.

Carlton had booked to return to train in the high altitude and heat of Qatar but changed that plan following talks with Malthouse, who had also previously stated his promotional book tour with his daughter was “non-negotiable”.

Ratten commented in a radio interview on the weekend that the Blues had suddenly found the significant extra money to fund Arizona, with the team departing along with the new coach on November 8.

Ratten also expressed on 3AW how disappointed he was at the club’s treatment of senior assistant Mark Riley, who has been offered a development role with the club after being a midfield assistant. Riley is understood to have taken sick leave while weighing up his future.

The club’s other midfield coach, Paul Williams, has been sacked.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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