Archive For 12/29/2018

100-plus baby octopuses to be born in Beauty Pointphotos

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MINISCULE: Baby octopuses have been born at Beauty Point’s Seahorse World for the first time in its 17-year history. Picture: Paul Scambler What’s pale, surprisingly lovable and has eight arms?
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A baby octopus, although we also would have accepted rangy Essendon full-backDustin Fletcher.

Seahorse Worldis expecting about 100 of the former to hatch at its aquariumin Beauty Point, with a handful of octopuses having already emerged from their eggs.

100-plus baby octopuses to be born in Beauty Point | photos Aquarium manager Christopher Carey.

The mother will hide in a basket until the babies are born.

The mother will hide in a basket until the babies are born.

TweetFacebook Pictures: Paul Scambler Aquarium managerChristopher Carey said the new arrivals were the first baby octopusesto be born at Seahorse World since it started up at the turn of the century.

“They’re adorable,” Mr Carey said.

“The baby ones are probably one centimetre long and wide so they’re absolutely tiny – it makes getting photos and videos of them difficult because they’re quite small.”

While they might look cute, baby octopuses can also be a handful.

Mr Careysaid the business had put in a big effortto ensureits tanks wereoctopus-proof in the leadup to the births.

“Keeping octopuses in aquariums can be quite difficult for a lot of reasons, one of them being that because of their tentacles they can climb out of tanks quite easily -it’s almost like a toddler climbing out of a cot -and if they’re determined to get out they’re actually super intelligent and they can find a way out.

“Most of their body is soft and gelatinous, they have one hard bit of their body which is their beak that they eat with, and that beak is the only thing that stops them from climbing through a space.

“They can almost get through a pinhole, so if there’s a small crack in the side where they can climb out, they’ll do it.”

The babies have come courtesy of a Pale Octopus which was supplied to the aquarium by a local fisherman about three months ago.

The remaining eggs are expected to hatch over the next week.

“Pale Octopuses grow to about 1.2 to 1.4kg so they’re quite a small breed, some octopuses grow to 8kg.

“One year is a good life for an octopus which means that they’re going to grow quite quickly, so it’s a little bit daunting to have this many octopuses because they require quite a high level of care.

“The prospect that we could have 100 or 200…we might be overrun soon.”

The Examiner

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Price is right for Tigers leader

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BACK: Nathan Price will return to Newcastle in 2017-2018 as captain-coach of Wallsend. Picture: Max Mason-HubersAfter eight seasons in the Sydney first grade competition talented all-rounder Nathan Price will return to Newcastle in 2017-2018 and captain-coachWallsend.
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The Jesmond 30-year-old has decided to finish his time at Randwick-Petersham and comeback to guide the Tigers while also putting his hand up for NSW Country honours.

“It’ll be a new challenge,” Price said.“There’s a lot of different things I want to achieve on and off the field.”

LEADER: Newcastle Blasters captain Nathan Price (left) last season. Picture: Marina Neil

Price, who was named on the Sydney Sixers supplementary list for the most recent Big Bash League, scored more than5000 runs for Randwick since making his debut in 2009-2010.

He notched up eight centuries, including three in the space of six matches from January 21 to March 11.

The season just gone he also skippered the Newcastle Blasters in the Regional Bash knockout, including Twenty20 semi-finals at the SCG.

In recent campaigns Pricefeatured as a marquee player for Wallsend in the Newcastle T20 competition.

He won the first grade title with the Tigers in 2006-2007.

In other club movements retired Wests captain Shane Burley has confirmed he will continueto overseeNewcastle representative teams this season after committing to coach at Belmont.

Burley will shift to Cahill Oval in 2017-2018 following two summers with the Rosellas.

The wicketkeeper retired from playing in March after more than two decades in the Newcastle first grade competition.

END: Veteran pulls up stumps

MUDBATH:Townson, Harker ovals remain closed

PREVIOUS: District looks at later starts

Meanwhile, the 12 Newcastle district clubs have until July 28 to prepare written submissions responding to proposed competition changes for this season.

Questions surrounding a reduction in overs and later starting times for two-day matches in first grade dominated proceedings at an information session on Tuesday night.

Reverting the T20 format to a stand-alonecompetition was also raised.

Ideas from clubs will get taken back to the original steering group before being presented to the newly-elected NDCA committee in August after the annual general meeting.

It remains unknown if any changes will be implemented this season.

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NDAA on tenterhooks

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FISH OF THE WEEK: Jonah Reed wins the Jarvis Walker tacklebox and Tsunami lure pack for this PB flathead hooked on a soft vibe lure in Lake Macquarie last week. They said it could never happen.
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First Brexit, then Trump won the Whitehouse, now the unthinkable in the Newcastle District Anglers Association crown –a season-endingtie.

Heading into the final round last weekend, the Graham Dorse Memorial, John “Balco” Balcomb (son of “Honest Gordie” Balcomb from Charlestown Tacklepower), was sitting on 45 points, in front of Shannon “Ganghook” Denning (38), and all but declared a certainty to take season honours by NDAA spokesperson Craig “Rolled” Oaten.

(All nicknames are fictitious and bare no resemblance, intentional or otherwise, to characters or events depicted.)

“If Balco didn’t fish and Shannon came first or second, Shannon could knock him off, but it’s looking pretty good for Balco,” quote unquote rolled Oatenin the lead-up to the season-ending showdown.

But Denning came from the clouds last weekend, in a comeback rivalling Jordan, Lazarus and Farnham,to pull off what Craig described as miracle.

If not a miracle, then at least an unprecedented tie, which has left the coveted NDAA crown hanging in the balance, awaiting a countback.

In scenes that give an insight into what a slick operation the NDAA is, the winner will not be decided until Oaten gets back from Sydney this week, where he’s been working,and attends to the paperwork.

“Johnny came into the final round seven points in front but Shannon has ran first last weekend, Balco came sixth, which only gave him four points so they ended up on 49 points,” Craig recounted.

“I’ll have to work out who’s won it, but I’ve been down Sydney working this week so I’ll make them suffer for another weekend and it will be good.”

Talk of tie breakers was in the air last weekend as the race went down to the wire.

“People were theorising that maybe they’d have to run down to the beach and whoever caught the first fish would be declared the winner,” Craig quipped.

There has never been a tie in the illustrious history of the NDAA.

The most notable achievement to date in the many years the Fishing Page has been covering NDAA action was the Bradnam-esque efforts of Adam Hodges, whowon it six years in a row from about 2007.

Interestingly the trophy has been sitting in the window at Charlestown Tacklepower where Balco works, after they were able to wrest it from the grip of last season’s winner, Jason Bandy.

“I’m not saying he has, but it looks like Balco’s made a pre-emptive strike and it may have backfired,” Craig jibed.

“Thought he had it bag, maybe –can’t be beat. But it looks we put the mocker on him.”

All jokes aside, Oaten was quick to praise the possible champion, Denning, although we still have to wait before giving him an official rap.

“He’s a good all-round fisho who knows what he’s doing,” Craig said.

“His old man and uncle used to fish NDAA years ago, so it’s in the bloodline.”

Conditions were “lumpy” last weekend, but a lot of fish were weighed in.

The Graham Dorse Memorial is an open event, meaning you can fish where ever you like.

“Shannon fished down south around Catherine Hill Bay and got trag, squire, tailor and bream,one just over a kilo,” Craig said.

“Mick Price and Balco fished together up around Nelson Bay and got some really good trag, up over 2kg.”

Price beat Oaten, who fished the rocks of Fingal Bay,by half a point.

“I basically got snapper, drummer and tailor. Only small tailor, but a fair few there,” Craig said.

“And some really good bream. I bagged out and they were all around the 700g to 900g mark. All fat, real good looking bream.”

Bob Hodges, fishing the rocks at Nelson Bay too, was veterans champion and landed mainly drummer and luderick.

Brian Downey took super vet honours. No juniors or ladies fished.

“A couple of blokes went wider off Newcastle and got a few jew,” Craig said.

“But the wind was a pest.”

So now, just like when they announce a new Pope, we wait for the smoke signals from Oaten central.

Once he’s worked out where he stashed the paperwork, and done everything around the house his missus wants done after a week away in Sydney, he’ll get to doa fish countback, and we’ll have our new NDAA champion.

In the meantime, we’ll all have to find some way to get to sleep, and this fishing commentator is not ruling out alcohol.

Stay tuned next weekend for the big announcement.

Meanwhile, the new NDAA season starts with the rock comp on August 5 and 6.

Weekend aheadConditions are again looking cold but sunny this weekend, with lots of winter species on the go and plenty of bait about.

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Hurrell can see potential at Lakes

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CONSIDERING: Todd Hurrell. Picture: Jonathan CarrollTodd Hurrell can see the similarities between Lakes’ squad and the young group he took over at Souths in 2013but the premiership-winning captain-coach has yet to decide whetherhe will return to the Newcastle Rugby League ranks next season.
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Hurrell said applying for the job at Lakes, available with current mentor Dean Noonan standing down at the end of thisyear, wasn’t “out of the question” but for the moment he wasenjoying a winter off after experiencing grand final glory with Souths in September.

“Nothing has been put forward to me officially and no one has approached me about doing it, but to be honest Ihaven’t really thought too much about next year,” Hurrell said.

“It’s not out of the question [coming back] and it depends on whether I fit into that particular club, but thechallenge has got to be there.

“Lakes have got good juniors coming through andthey’re ayoung side like Souths were when I first went there.”

Newcastle Rebels coach Todd Edwards has also been linked to Lakes.

Meanwhile, Sunday’sround 10 fixture between Souths andCessnock has beenpostponed until the weekend of August 12-13 with Townson Oval still shut by Newcastle City Council.

CHANCE: Edwards keen to coach again

END: Noonan to finish after 2017

BREAK: Hurrell opts for year off

GLORY: Souths snap title drought

CROSS: Former Knight gets Lions job

With the Lions home groundclosed for a second straight weekend following damage caused last Sunday (June 18) a transfer to No.2 Sportsground was considered but on Thursday theencounter was re-scheduled.

Souths already have a catch-up game withMacquarie at the Merewether venue on July 16.

So from July 9 the fourth-placed Lions play the last eight weeks of the regular season without a break while most other clubs will enjoy at least one, if nottwospare weekends.

In the other draw change Harker Oval is also out of action which meansSaturday’s battle betweenWestern Suburbs and Kurri Kurri movesto the weekend of July 15-16.

As of Thursday night the remaining round 10 matches–Maitland versus Macquarie at Coronation Oval and Lakes versus Central at Cahill Oval–were going ahead as planned.

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Big electricity price rise to hit family budgets

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Big electricity price rise to hit family budgets Paying the Price: As a single pensioner, Frances Burdon struggles to afford rising power bills. She worked all her life, but had to use her superannuation to pay off her mortgage. Picture: Simone De Peak.
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Frances Burdon struggles to afford rising power bills. Picture: Simone De Peak.

Hunter MP Joel Fitzgibbon said the market had decided that no new coal-fired power plants would be built in Australia.

Shortland MP Pat Conroy, who is shadow assistant climate change minister, said: “Renewable energy coupled with storage or gas peaking plants is the cheapest way of getting new baseload power generation”.

Wallend MP Sonia Hornery said: “We have seen [power] prices increase dramatically over the last few years and this latest increase may be the final straw for some”.

Federal Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg said: “The last time [federal] Labor were in office, electricity prices doubled”.

TweetFacebookA divorce20 years ago set her back financially.She ended up having to use her superannuation to pay off her mortgage.

“I have eight grandchildren, I can only give them one present a year. They have to pick either birthdayor Christmas,” she said.

Ms Burdon said she had “worked all my life”.

“I’ve always had a job. I was mostly in administration in hospitals. I reared three children,” she said.

A recent report by Kildonan Uniting Care found an increasing number of the “working poor” and “middle class” were struggling to pay power bills.

EnergyAustralia said it would provide an additional $10 million for“vulnerable customers” under itshardship program.

Wallsend MPSoniaHornery said “young families, students and pensioners” were doing it tough.

“We have seen prices increase dramatically over the last few years and this latest increase may be the final straw for some,” Ms Hornery said.

Ms Hornery accused theNSW government ofdrivingup electricity prices by selling the power generators and deregulatingretail pricing, which “allowed the big power companies to gouge even larger profits from customers”.

Opposition leader Luke Foley said a Labor state government would “re-regulate theelectricitymarket to help households and businesses struggling to keep up with the rising cost of living”.

The pricing regulator (IPART) said last September thatretail price deregulation had increased competition and consumer choice. Iturged people to shoparound for a betterdeal on electricity.

A spokeswoman for NSW Energy Minister Don Harwin said “privatisation has not caused electricity price rises”.

Mr Harwin agreed withEnergyAustralia, whichattributed the latest price hike to “the closure of large coal-fired power stations andincreased demand for gas by LNG projects in Queensland”.

Federal Energy MinisterJosh Frydenberg said:“The last time [federal] Labor were in office, electricity prices doubled”.

“When the Coalition repealed the carbon tax, it led to the largest fall in electricity prices on record.”

Hunter MP Joel Fitzgibbon said former prime minister Tony Abbott’s decision four years ago to axe the carbon tax hadcreated policy uncertainty, reduced electricity supply and increased prices.

There’s concern that the price hikes, whichwill also affect customers of other energy retailers such as Origin and AGL, will continue if energy supply is not secured.

TheFinkel review aims to secureAustralia’s energy future, while reducingelectricity prices andcarbon emissions.

AGL chief executive AndrewVesey said last week that “large-scale renewables [like wind, solar and battery storage], firmed up by open-cycle gas” would become “the new baseload for us”.

Shortland MP Pat Conroy, who is shadow assistant climate change minister,agreesthat this is the way forward.

“Renewable energy coupled with storage or gas peaking plants is the cheapest way of getting new baseload power generation,” Mr Conroy said.

Dr Alan Finkel said it was“allowable”and“conceivable”that gas and new-technology coal generation could fit under a new energy scheme.

But headdedthattechnological advances in renewable generation and storage were making investments in conventional energy sources less attractive.

MrFitzgibbon said the market had decided thatno new coal-fired power plants wouldbe built in Australia.

“You need around $2 billion and a 50-year life to secure the return you’d expectfrom investment in a coal-fired generator. It’s not going to happen,” he said.

Bloomberg New Energy Finance reflected this in its 2017 outlook, which saidsolar and wind would “dominate the future of electricity”.

Mr Fitzgibbon supports increased use of gas, which is expected to be needed as a transition fuel. TheTurnbull government has moved to secure more domestic gas supplies.

However, the governmentis alsoconsidering using taxpayers’ money to help build new, more efficient coal-fired plants.

Mr Conroy said a new coal-fired plant would notbe built in Australia “without a massive government subsidy”.

“Acoal subsidy means that working families and pensioners will have to either pay more tax or higher electricity prices,” he said.

“It is much more expensive to build a new coal-fired power station than renewable energy coupled to storage.”

Newcastle Herald

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