NRLNewcastle Knights expected to agree to top-up Nathan Ross’ $350,000 a season contract as English clubs circle

The odds of fan favourite Nathan Ross leaving the NewcastleKnights to continue his playing career in England next season appear to be shortening with at least threeSuper League clubs saidto be keen to sign him.

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But there are suggestionsthe Knights maybe forced to significantly top-up his $350,000-a-season deal that still has two years to run if an agreement is to be reached.

Ross re-signed with the Knights on an upgraded deal until the end of 2020 only mid-way throughlast year. But an injury-plagued 2018 has clouded his future at the club with his management told he is free to explore other options elsewhere.

That is a sure sign he is no longer wanted.

The Newcastle Herald has been told Huddersfield, Catalans and Warrington have all expressed interest in picking up Ross.

Huddersfield coach Simon Woolford, who spent a couple of seasons coaching at the Knights, has spoken personally to the flamboyant winger about the possibility of making the move to the Super League.

But Ross, who had successful surgery at the end of the season to re-attach a ruptured pelvic ligament that plagued him for much of the year, has made it clear to his management that he and his family don’t want to be financially disadvantaged if he is forced to leavethe Knights.

Knights recruitment officer Troy Pezet is believed to have met with Ross’ management over the weekend to discuss his future but could not shed any further light on just where the negotiations are at.

“There is nothing new to tell. Negotiations are on-going,” Pezet said.

Washed up?: Unwanted Knights winger Nathan Ross is in the sights of three English Super League clubs. Picture: Marina Neil.

Only last month, Ross, who is back running again and hopingto start pre-season training on November 5 with the rest of the Knights squad, admitted he feels like he is in limbo.

“Once I’m fully fit, I’m confident I can get backto playing some really good footy again,” he said.

“But I’m not 100 per cent sure on where that will be.

“I love the club but if I’m honest, at this point in time, I don’t know what my future holds.

“I certainly don’t want to be moving anywhere else but in the end, it may not be my choice.”

With around $2.2 million still left in their salary cap for next season, the Knights can certainly afford to pay some of the freight for Ross’ departure if he can do a deal elsewhere.

How much will be the key. Andwith winger Ken Sio highly unlikely to be re-signedand the club taking an offer for young centre Cory Denniss off the table, there are those who will question the wisdom of also parting company withthe versatile Ross, particularly if it becomes a costly exercise.

READ MORE: Newcastle KnightsMeanwhile. Knights utility forward Luke Yates is still without a club for next season with his management tryingto securea deal in England, so far without success.

Knights coach Nathan Brown is believed to have played a role in trying to helpYates secure aSuper League contract.

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Palmer gives fugitive nephew new job

Clive Palmer had handed his fugitive nephew a new job as the Europen chief of his Titanic II project, despite two warrants out for his arrest.

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Mr Palmer says Clive Mensink will live in London when he begins his new job as European director of his Titanic II replica cruise ship project.

Mr Mensink is subject to two arrest warrants after he failed to abort his open-ended travels and return to Australia to face questions about the collapse of Mr Palmer’s Queensland Nickel business.

But Mr Palmer still believes in his nephew’s business credentials, saying Mr Mensink was “excited” when the pair met recently in Bulgaria.

He said Mr Mensink did a great job as managing director of Queensland Nickel, which collapsed in 2016 owing creditors millions, and costing 800 Townsville refinery workers their jobs.

“Mr Mensink is the perfect candidate to deliver a world class experience with Titanic II,” he said in a statement on Tuesday.

Mr Mensink’s whereabouts have been fluid since he left Australia after the nickel company folded.

But it’s known he has spent time on various luxury cruise ships, and in the Bulgarian capital of Sofia, refusing calls to come home, resulting in the arrest warrants.

On Tuesday, Mr Palmer said his nephew hadn’t returned because liquidators would not cover his travel expenses.

“He has always been available for any actions required by the liquidators. They have always known where he is,” Mr Palmer said on Tuesday.

Mr Palmer has been coy in the past about his nephew’s whereabouts.

At times he said he couldn’t provide a location as they’d been out of touch with each other, despite Palmer companies continuing to pay Mr Mensink about $4000 a week.

On one occasion, in September 2016, Mr Palmer told the Federal Court his nephew was probably on a cruise ship “up towards the Arctic”.

“Well he might be in the Arctic. He could be in the North Sea,” he said at the time.

In February 2017, Mr Mensink filed an affidavit saying he couldn’t return because he didn’t want to let his new girlfriend down, and because of fears he could have a heart attack.

He said the Queensland Nickel collapse had left him depressed, stressed and anxious, and cited advice from the Boston Medical Center in the US that he was unfit to face questions.

Mr Palmer did not say when Mr Mensink would start work at the London offices of his Blue Star Line.

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Australians on the Western Front: Guns finally fall silent

ANTICIPATION: Miss Myra Harvey (centre) waits in at the Anzac Buffet in Sydney’s Hyde Park to welcome home the soldier she would soon marry. Picture: AWM H11576 In the early hours of November 4, 1918, Corporal Albert Davey was lying under drizzling rain in a shallow trench in northern France, convinced that he was soon to die.

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Davey, a miner from Ballarat, was in a group of Australians waiting to construct a bridge for British tanks to cross the Sambre-Oise Canal.

He had pressured his commanding officer Captain Oliver Woodward the previous day to take care of his belongings and send them to his wife Margaret if he was killed in the battle ahead.

Before dawn broke, Davey was hit by a German bomb, becoming one of the last three Australians to die on a First World War battlefield along with fellow sappers Arthur Johnson and Charles Barrett, both from WA.

On the same day, two ‘aces’ of the Australian Flying Corps were among pilots shot down by German aircraft while escorting British bombers over Belgium.

Adelaide-born Captain Thomas ‘Rich’ Baker, credited with 12 combat victories, was killed along with Lieutenant Jack Palliser, of Ulverstone (Tas), whobrought down five German aircraft in the preceding seven days.

When the guns fell silent at 11am on November 11, 1918, Australia had been at war for four years and three months; they had been fighting battles on the Western Front for almost 850 days.

A generation of young men was shattered. No community and few Australian families remained untouched by the war.

From a population of fewer than five million, 416,809 Australians enlisted for King and Country and 330,000 served overseas. The cost of victory included more than 60,000 dead, 152,000 wounded or gassed and 4000 taken prisoner.

Another 60,000 soldiers died of war-related causes in the decade to follow.

Photographs show triumphant scenes of euphoric Australians gathered in capital cities to celebrate the Armistice.

But for soldiers such as the much-decorated Captain Oliver Woodward of the 1st Australian Tunnelling Company, the feeling was more sobering.

The mining engineer wrote of November 11: “The outward manifestation of joy which could be expected on such a memorable occasion was absent.

“We were as men who had completed a task which was abhorrent to us. The occasion called for thanksgiving. It was … too great for words.”

For Geelong-born nurse Elsie Tranter, November 11 was another heartbreaking day caring for deliriously ill soldiers in an army hospital.

Sister Tranter wrote in her diary that “France went almost mad with joy … singing and dancing in the streets … everyone kissing everyone they met.”

But inside the hospital, a fair-haired soldier nicknamed ‘Sunny Jim’ was dying. “This poor little lad finished his battle towards evening. He was barely 18 years old and we were all so fond of him.”

According to historian Peter Burness, writing in Wartime, about 20 Australians died of illness and wounds in hospitals on the day the war ended.

INSPECTION: Australia’s official war correspondent Charles Bean (left) escorting Prime Minister Billy Hughes at Mont St Quentin on September 15, 1918. Picture: AWM E03292

For soldiers such as Bendigo carpenter Lieutenant George Ingram, who’d lost family members and so many battalion comrades, the end of hostilities must have been bittersweet.

Ingram was the last of 64 Australiansawarded the Victoria Cross in the First World War, for leading attacks at Montbrehain on October 5, 1918. His brothers Ronald and Alex were both killed on the Western Front in 1917.

Australian Corps Commander Sir John Monash said the Australian troops had advanced almost 60kms, captured almost 30,000 prisoners and liberated 116 villages and towns in the last months of the war. They also suffered almost 35,000 casualties.

The toll of war had left battalions at a quarter of their original size or less. Troop numbers were further reduced when Australian Prime Minister Billy Hughes insisted that surviving veterans from 1914 immediately return to Australia on leave in September 1918.

Australian war correspondent Charles Bean drove from Lille to Fromelles on Armistice Day findingthe battlefield “simply full of our dead … the skulls and bones and torn uniforms were lying about everywhere.”

The Australians had suffered dreadful casualties in the trench warfare of Fromelles, Pozières, Mouquet Farm and Bullecourt. After success at Messines, the four-month campaign at Passchendaele in 1917 cost another 38,000 casualties.

Finally, after Germany’s Spring Offensive in 1918, the Australians enjoyed victories at Villers-Bretonneux, Hamel, Amiens, Mont St Quentin and through the Hindenberg Line.

Australia’s volunteer army had faced the power of modern artillery and machine-guns; they’d tasted the horrors of poison gas; they’d endured the inside of German prison camps. In 1918 they were hit by the deadly Spanish Flu.

The dead were buried in scores of cemeteries from Flanders to the Somme.

The remains of an Unknown Soldier who died on the Western Frontwere exhumed and interred in the Australian War Memorial on November 11, 1993. His tomb reads’He is all of them and he is one of us. ‘

The Road to Remembrance is published by Fairfax Media in partnership with the Department of Veterans’ Affairs.

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Dubbo looks stunning as businesses prepare for visit from Prince Harry and Meghan, Duke and Duchess of Sussex

Dubbo looks stunning as businesses prepare for visit from Prince Harry and Meghan Royal ready: Owners of Harry’s for Menswear Peter and Wendy Sutton are among many businesses to celebrate the upcoming royal visit. Photo: Belinda Soole

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12345678910111213 – Across the city businesses have decked-out their shopfronts with lifelike cut-outs, bunting, crowns, jewels and signs to show their excitement for Prince Harry and Meghan’s visit to Dubbo on Wednesday.

DubboRegional Council encouraged local business owners to show their royal excitement by announcingtwo prizes of $1000 for the best window display.

Harry’s for Menswear ownerPeter Sutton said choosing his grandfather’s name for his business had been relevant with Prince Harry’s profilethis year.

Read more royal stories here.

“He seems to berelaxed andcontemporary. He’s doing the name fairly proudly,” Mr Sutton said.

Harry’s for Menswear first celebrated their namesake when they put out a banner of Prince Harry and Meghan’s wedding in May.

“Everyone was talking about iton social media, there was a lot of press about it,” he said.

“Low and behold an incident happened where a car went through our window and the media were on our doorstep and there was Harry and Meghan sitting in our window covering this drive throughit got some attention.”

Mr Sutton said they went all-out for the upcoming visit keeping up with their reputation for window displays.

“We like to get behind these special events, so when Harry and Meghan got married I thought we better put something up,” Mr Sutton said.

“When the announcement was made Iwas pretty chuffed, that’s a pretty good thing for Dubbo it was a case of‘alright lets get out all the flags and the posters and putour best foot forward’,” he said.

“It does bring a smile to customer’s faces, also those that are a little bit anti-royalshave a little bit of a snigger butthey have a smile on their face too.”

Story continues after post.

Read also:Ten thousands smiles: mayor forecasts huge turnout to royal picnic

Another business celebrating the upcoming visit is Bob Berry Real Estate.

Bob Berry Real Estate director Jane Donald said they wanted to fosterenjoymentfor the visit.

“We think it’s nearly a once in a lifetime opportunity for Dubbo,” Ms Donald said.

Shesaid thevisit would bring more than just excitement to the region.

“I think there’s a lot of opportunity for positive exposure for Dubbo, andthe flow-on effects of people seeing Dubbo in a positive light could mean economic benefits to the city,” Ms Donald said.

“It’s not whether you are a monarchist or a republican, it’s about the exposure to the city that we’re getting.

“Wewanted to have a bit of fun, it’s good to enjoy these situations, we’re giving staff time off to go to the picnic.”

See below map of some businesses with royaldecorations and products:

Daily Liberal

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A-League: Petratos confident Jets can soar higher

FOCUSED: Dimi Petratos believes the Jets have more depth in their attack this season. Picture: Jonathan CarrollNewcastle star Dimi Petratos is convinced the Jets can soar a little bit higher and win the A-League this season, despite missing two key strike weapons for the early part of the new campaign.

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The Jets were the feel-good story of the 2017/18 season, going all the way to the grand final after finishing bottom the year before.

They prospered despite long term injuries to playmaker Ronald Vargas and striker Roy O’Donovan, and the late-season departure of Andrew Nabbout.

While Newcastle won’t enjoy the same element of surprise as they did at the start of last season, Petratos pointed out they still had success later in the campaign when they were more of a known quantity.

“I’m very confident,” he said.”I think we’ll do our best to replicate last season and go that one step further and try and win it.I believe we can.I think (coach) Ernie (Merrick) has recruited really well with the new players and kept the majority of the team.”

Newcastle head into their season opener away to Wellington Phoenix on Sunday without O’Donovan and promising young forward Joseph Champness.

Irishman O’Donovan still has eight matches of a suspension to serve for catching Melbourne Victory goalkeeper Lawrence Thomas in the face with a boot in thegrand-final loss.

Champness, who enjoyed a breakout season, is expected to miss at least the first two months after suffering fractured foot at training back in August.

Newcastle do have depth in their attacking arsenal having signed Brazilian Jair, Mitch Austin and Kaine Sheppard.Versatile veteran Jason Hoffman has also enjoyed success in a forward role in the pre-season.

Petratos felt they had the flexibility to compensate for the missing attackers.

“It will be difficult but we’ve got certain players that can play in different positions, so I think that’s a little bonus for us,” Petratos said.

He made his Socceroos debut earlier in the year and was chosen in the World Cup squad, though he didn’t get any game time in Russia.

“It was a great experience for me and I can take a lot from that I think to become a better player,” he said.

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Harry and Meghan thrill Sydney royal fans

Duchess of Sussex Meghan greets Daphne outside the Opera House in Sydney on October 16, 2018. Picture: pool Photo/ Dominic Lorrimer/ Fairfax MediaAfter hours of waiting, royal fans were finally able to meet the Duke and Duchess of Sussex at the Sydney Opera House. And they weren’t left disappointed.

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Prince Harry and Meghan descended the stairs of the Opera House holding hands as thousands of fans erupted in delight.

The royal couple briefly parted ways to shake hands and warmly embrace some of those who had been waiting since early on Tuesday morning.

After Harry bent down for a young boy and waved to another group of girls they were left beaming and yelled out “we love you Harry”.

Meghan, whose pregnancy was announced on Monday night, wore a beige trench coat over a tight-fitting cream dress by Australian designer Karen Gee that revealed a barely-there baby bump.

Many fans who started lining up outside the Opera House at 7am were rewarded with a royal greeting, including 98-year-old war widow Daphne Dunne, who has met Harry twice before and asked him to introduce her to his new wife.

“Oh my goodness, is this Daphne?” Meghan asked.

“She’s said she had heard all about me, she’s so beautiful,” Mrs Dunne told AAP.

“I wished them well with the baby on the way and said this is what Harry has been waiting for for so long.”

NSW Central Coast woman Megan Jones lined up early in the hope of catching a glimpse of Harry and Meghan.

Ms Jones was nine-years-old when she met Harry’s mother Diana during her trip to Sydney in 1983.

“I went up to her and shook her hand … She had a beautiful energy about her,” Ms Jones told AAP outside the Opera House.

Ms Jones says she sees the same energy in Prince Harry and Meghan.

Craig Gill had been waiting at since 6am in eager anticipation to see the loved up couple.

Mr Gill, wearing a cap signed by Prince William, says the duke and duchess represent something new for the royals

“They’ve lifted the game and turned it around … they’re an exciting new thing to happen,” he told AAP.

The walkabout is the first opportunity for the public to interact with the couple – and to be the first to congratulate them after Kensington Palace announced Meghan’s pregnancy.

Australian fags were flapping furiously in the wind as people waved them in anticipation, brandishing signs with affectionate messages, one young girl declaring “Evie [?]s Harry” on her sign.

Evie Treacy, 6, and her seven-year-old sister Dempsey had stayed up until 1am making their brightly coloured banner.

They had been waiting for nearly five hours to hand the royal couple a teddy bear each as an early gift for their baby.

“We hope the baby turns out just as pretty,” Dempsey told AAP.

The duke and duchess were plied with gifts from well wishers which included koala teddy bears, flowers, T-shirts and CDs.

Patricia Handy and her six-year-old daughter Whata were also lucky enough to brush shoulders with the royals and were both screaming with joy after Meghan shook their hands.

“I can’t even remember what she said … I’m trembling from excitement,” Ms Handy told AAP.

“That’s what you call a real princess.”

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Small business tax cuts pass first hurdle

Fast-tracked company tax cuts for small and medium-sized businesses have passed the lower house, bringing the plan closer to reality.

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Draft laws enacting the Morrison government’s proposed tax relief measures are set for the Senate after clearing the House of Representatives on Tuesday.

Companies with turnover under $50 million will receive a tax rate of 25 per cent five years earlier than initially planned under the proposal.

“We believe in the more than three million small and medium businesses in Australia, employing seven million workers,” Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said as he introduced the draft law.

“Reducing their taxes will allow them to invest, grow and hire more Australians.”

Such businesses will have their tax rate dropped to 26 per cent rate in 2020/21, then to 25 per cent the following year.

The legislation sailed through the lower house with Labor’s support, while independent MP Andrew Wilkie and Greens MP Adam Bandt attempted to delay the inevitable on Tuesday evening.

Labor treasury spokesman Chris Bowen said the opposition were happy to facilitate the change in tax policy.

“They (businesses) deserve the certainty to know these tax cuts are locked in,” he said.

However, Mr Bowen says the Morrison government had only shifted to tax cuts for small and medium businesses after its plan for relief for large companies suffered defeat in the Senate in August.

Greens MP Adam Bandt says the looming federal election has resulted in the tax cuts being rushed through parliament to avoid scrutiny.

Mr Bandt said other matters, such as the mental health of refugee children on Nauru, were more important than clearing the parliamentary schedule for business tax cuts.

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Tenders called for artificial reef installation off Blacksmiths Beach

Tenders have been called for the design and construction of an artificial reef off Blacksmiths Beach.

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The artificial reef, to be situated in about 28 metres of water, is designed to promote marine biodiversity off the Hunter’s coastline.

The type of artificial planned to be installed of Blacksmiths Beach.

“The site for Newcastle’s first artificial reef was selected after a detailed environmental assessment and stakeholder consultation process,” Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter Scot MacDonald said.

“The offshore reef will be accessible from Newcastle, Swansea and Norah Head, and is designed to support a large variety of fish species – especially bottom-dwelling and pelagic fish species that are popular with recreational fishers.”

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Hunter site chosen for artificial reefSwansea ocean reef promised as part of Newcastle to WollongongThe Newcastle reef follows the installation of reefs offSydney’s South Head, Shoalhaven Heads, Port Macquarie and southern Sydney.

“On the state’s five other artificial reefs, Department of Primary Industries research monitoring has already identified over 50 different fish species on previously deployed offshore reefs including Yellowtail Kingfish, Bonito, Blue Mackerel, Snapper, Mulloway, Trevally and many more,” Mr MacDonald said.

“The Newcastle reef will offer new, high quality fishing opportunities for recreational fishers and is a great example of how the NSW Government is reinvesting fees from recreational fishing licences back into the community.”

The reef will use large steel “Pinnacle Reef” towers with a vertical profile up to 12 metres high to deflect currents and create upwellings, whilst also providing shelter for fish amongst the large base structure with its various shapes and crevasses

The reef is expected to be completed in 2019 and community stakeholders will be kept updated during the tender process.

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Lock Jones rejoins Super Rugby’s Rebels

Luke Jones played 72 games for the Melbourne Rebels in five Super Rugby seasons.Melbourne remain tight-lipped about securing Queensland Reds discard Quade Cooper but have formally announced that lock Luke Jones is returning to the Super Rugby club.

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Jones was granted an early release from French club Bordeaux last month to return to the Rebels, who he left in 2016, but the contract was only finalised this week.

While the lock/flanker won’t arrive at the Rebels until the start of 2019 on a two-year deal, he’s immediately eligible to play for the Wallabies.

Playmaker Cooper has been strongly linked to the Rebels after failing to play a Super Rugby game for the Reds this year, but Melbourne had no comment on his likely signing.

Jones was a foundation Melbourne player and spent five years with the club making 72 appearances.

He won three Test caps before his move to France.

With his eye on next year’s World Cup, the 27-year-old said he wanted to return to Australia and was impressed by the Rebels’ recent growth.

“Having observed the transformation of the club over the last year, it’s obvious the Rebels have taken massive steps forward on and off the field and I want to be a part of that,” Jones said in a statement.

“I wanted to find a world class rugby program that would help take my game to the next level and speaking with (coach) David Wessels and a few of my former teammates and looking at the quality of the list at the Rebels, it’s going to be a great challenge for me week to week to earn my spot.”

Jones’s return is timely after the departures of Lopeti Timani, Amanaki Mafi and Geoff Parling.

“Luke left Melbourne as a very good player and his game has developed further over in Europe,” Rebels general manager of rugby Nick Ryan said.

Meanwhile, the Rebels are set to lose their major sponsor Legacy Property and Investment Group.

The financially-troubled business is facing prospective strike-off action by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC), which is set to cut short their two-year sponsorship.

Melbourne said it would not have any material impact on their own viability.

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Meet the men behind the headlines breaking the news as we know itBetoota Advocate Roadshow

ON THE ROAD: Betoota Advocate editors Errol Parker and Clancy Overell are coming to Newcastle. Picture: Nic WalkerFor an outback Queensland newspaper that prides itself on being “arguably Australia’s oldest”, The Betoota Advocate has a remarkably astute grasp of the modern media world.

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Overseen by editors Errol Parker and Clancy Overell, the publication’s 2014 transition to a digital format has appealed to an online audience tired of mainstream news. The pairare hitting the road to share theirstories and will stop off at Newcastle’s Civic Theatre on November 13. Tickets are on sale now.

It was 9.20am when Weekender called and Overell was “just starting to tap into the news cycle for the day”. Kind of late for a daily publication with its finger allegedly on the pulse, but OK.

What do you say to critics who reckon the Advocate’s a bit of a joke?We just say, it depends where you get your news from nowadays.Most people recognise what we are. A lot of people enjoy tuning in to a more regional perspective.

Your emblem is a lyrebird. Is there any particular reason you have chosen this bird to represent The Betoota Advocate? It’s native to the shire. And it’s theBetoota Bitter logo …it’s one of those things, in Perth they bang on about the swan, and in Queenslandthey bang on about broncos.

Who covers your sporting news?Tracy Bandinger. She’s an ex-rugby league prop. Female sports journalists are great because when they’re writing, they can do so without having to bring their glory days into it. I find that so refreshing. Any ex-player turned reporter, there’s usually a bit of “what could have been”.

It also removes all-too-frequent references to “the boys”?Yes [laughs]. Fitzsimons eat your heart out. Actually we were talking the other day about how the Newcastle Herald broke maybe one of the greatest stories of the ’90s. It was when that American bloke came out and tricked theKnights into thinking he played for the NFL. Greg Smith is hisname, and he fooled everyone. They pushed him in over Timana Tahu to start with the Knights. It was pre-internet so you can’t look this stuff up, but it was a big sting by you guys.

A lot of your health stories are about alcohol and other drugs. Do your writers speak from experience?No, no, that is honestly by keeping our ears to the ground. Young people these daysdon’t really know what’s right or wrong. You’ve got to wonder about some of the people tagging their mates in those stories.

How has The Betoota Advocatemanaged to survive without a paywall?We’re trying to see how we go without. In this day and age media consumers need to be conditioned to pay for it.

Do you think you will ever win a Walkley Award?Well, wedidn’t know you had to nominate yourself for a Walkely. We spent 100 years wondering why we’d never got one. We did go in 2016 and they put us on the table with the cartoonists. Maybe one daythey will bump us up to a table with our peers, like you.

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