A murder most foul in a mystery gully near Merewether

Mysterious Name: How did Murdering Gully get its name? The truth is out there … somewhere. Image: Google Maps How did Murdering Gully get its name?
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Topics asked this question last week and received some very interesting responses.

The gully is between Glenrock Lagoon and Merewetherin the Burwood beach area.

John from Charlestown told Topics that the gully got its name from its steepness.

John said horses were used years ago to cart materialdown the gully to the sewage treatment works.

“The climb back out of the gully was so steep. It used to exhaust the horses,” John said.

“It was such a dreadful haul for the animals, up and down this steep gully.

“They called it Murdering Gully because it was a murderous climb.”

Former NBN news anchor Ray Dinneensaid it was actually known as “Murmuring Gully”.

This was because of the “subdued, continuous sound made by Flaggy Creek”.

“In fact, the word ‘murmur’is derived from the Greek word ‘mormorõ’, which means ‘of water’.

“However, some Novocastrians got a bit mixed up and began calling it Murdering Gully.

“And that is the name that has stuck.”

We’re not quite sure if Ray is pulling our leg.

Lenore Black(nee Upfold) thinks she knows for surehow the gully got its name.

“Two ladies were picking ferns overnear Glenrock Lagoon in 1933,” she said.

“They found thebody of a man under a clump of lantana bush.”

Lenore, 85, lives at Belmont North, but she lived at Merewether for many years.

She was born in 1932.

“I remember people talking about it [the apparent murder] later on,” she said.

“Itwas a badly decomposed body that could not be identified. It was taken to the city morgue.”

Early Birds Bill Gregson and Jeanne Walls at the old Newcastle Park Royal.

The Newcastle Parkroyal was once in Newcastle West, where the Travelodge now stands.

The hotel used to run a monthlybreakfast for women in the 1980s called the Early Birds Club.

About 100 working women regularly attended thebreakfast.

It was a forerunner of the women’s organisations that exist today in the business world.

Jeanne Walls was amarketing manager for the hotel chain at the time.

Jeanne Walls (nee Raschke) and Peter Burgess, who was Newcastle’s first concierge.

She joked that the “Early Birds” name wouldn’t go down too well these days.

“You wouldn’t get away with it now,” she said.

“If I said that now, my daughter would say ‘mum, that’s terribly inappropriate’.”

But back then, Jeanne said the club gave women “a sense of self”.

A 35-year reunion of the club will be held at Newcastle Travelodge on Saturday.

Contact Julie Vallender for bookings or more information on 0409 714 691.

[email protected]南京夜网419论坛


Knights import Griffin plans a one-two combo with Levi

FRESH START: Slade Griffin won a premiership last season with Melbourne Storm but is excited about the new challenge awaiting him in Newcastle. Picture: Max Mason-HubersSLADE Griffin is confidentDanny Levi and himself can offer the Knights –and potentially the Kiwis –the best of both worlds.
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“Look, me and Danny are going to be a good one-two punch this year,” Griffin said.

“It’s not about who’s the better player and who starts. We both can play different ways in the team.

TRIED AND TESTED: Danny Levi made his debut for New Zealand at the World Cup. Picture: AAP

“If I start, maybe I can take a bit of the sting out of the game with my defensive style and he can come off the bench and provide a good running game.

“So I think we’re going to complement each other. We’re working well together in pre-season and I think we’re both going to make each other better.”

Griffin’s arrival at the Knights, after helping Melbourne win last season’s grand final, has created an intriguing situation that could well catch the attention of New Zealand selectors.

Levi is the incumbent Kiwi Test hooker, having worn the black-and-white four times at last year’s World Cup.

Yet in last week’s trial match against Melbourne, which the Knights won 26-22, Newcastle coach Nathan Brown preferred Griffin as his starting dummy-half, and Levi as his tag-team substitute.

If it works for Newcastle, perhaps it could work at international level.

“I’d love to play for the Kiwis,” said Griffin, who hails from Greymouth on the South Island.

“But I know there’s a lot to do before that happens. I’ve got to work really hard and play some good footyfor the Knights.”

The 94-kilogram utility forward they call “Nugget” is more experienced than his career tally of 25 NRL games would suggest.

He spent nine years with Melbourne and made his top-grade debut in 2013, only to endure the heartache of three knee reconstructions.

“I’m getting to the age where I need to test myself now,” he said.

“I loved my time down in Melbourne. I learned a lot and I got to play with some great players.

“But when the opportunity came to join Newcastle, I couldn’t have gone to a better club. It suits me on and off the field.

“The way we’re going to play our footy this year, it’s going to be eyes-up and not too structured, so I’m really excited about that.”

Last season he established himself as a regular on Melbourne’s bench, playing in 14 games culminating in the grand final, which he described as “a special moment”.

Playing against his former teammates in his first game for Newcastle was“a bit weird”, he admitted.

“I was really excited on the bus, driving to the stadium,” he said.

“Me and the boys were giving each other a few words, and a few facials, which was pretty funny.

“But now I’m wearing the blue and red, so I had a job to do and I tried to focus on that.”



From flood to drought: Fight to keep hope alive that rain will come

From flood to drought: Fight to keep hope alive that rain will come Jock Mackay’s horse stud at Dungog. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers
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Dungog horse stud owner Jock Mackay at his property. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Dungog dairy farmer John Hooke at his property. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Dungog dairy farmer John Hooke at his property. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

The dry bed of Seaham Swamp. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Dungog dairy farmer John Hooke at a drying dam on his property. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Dungog dairy farmer John Hooke at his property. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

The Williams River at Dungog. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Lower Hunter, near Dungog. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

The Williams River near Dungog. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

The Williams River near Dungog. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Dungog horse stud owner Jock Mackay at his property. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Jock Mackay’s Dungog horse stud. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Jock Mackay’s Dungog horse stud. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Dungog dairy farmer John Hooke at his property. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Dungog dairy farmer John Hooke at his property. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Dungog dairy farmer John Hooke at his property. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

A drying dam at John Hooke’s Dungog property. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

A drying dam at John Hooke’s Dungog property. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Dried bed of Seaham Swamp. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Dungog dairy farmer John Hooke at his property. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Jock Mackay’s horse stud at Dungog. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Jock Mackay’s horse stud at Dungog. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Dungog farmer John Hooke, 73, puts on his boots. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Dungog horse stud owner Jock Mackay at his property. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Tallies etched on trees are a way for old farmers to keep track of how many head of livestock are in each paddock, Dungog farmer John Hooke says. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Dungog dairy farmer John Hooke at his property. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Jock Mackay’s Dungog horse stud. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Dungog dairy farmer John Hooke in his lounge room. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Jock Mackay drives through his Dungog property. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

TweetFacebookThe Big Dry is a special ongoing series by the Newcastle Herald, Maitland Mercury, Singleton Argus and Hunter Valley News investigating the widespread effects of drought on farmers and the communities of theHunter.Deeper reading: The Big DryThousands more livestock go to sale as the Upper Hunter sweltersHow you can help a farmer survive the big dryDrought-affected Hunter farmers say they need more help‘They opened me up, I asked the doctor what caused this and the first word he said was “stress”’Advocates express extreme concern for farmers’ mental welfare as hard times hitIncome lost as farmers sell-off stock in dry timesDrought’s decaying effect is not just on the landWhen will the drought end?Farms turning into dust bowlsHot, dry conditions take toll on livestockAmong the most highly-respected AustraliansMeeting an increased demandTough times for the HunterFarmers turn to survival-mode through terrible conditionsHunter drought drains hay suppliesDry times make it tough ahead of the 2018 Maitland Show


Rosie Batty to close son namesake charity

Former Australian of the Year, Rosie Batty is stepping away from public life (File).Former Australian of the Year and family violence campaigner Rosie Batty is stepping back from the public eye and closing the foundation set up in her son Luke’s honour.
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Ms Batty set up the Luke Batty Foundation after the 11-year-old boy was murdered by his father Greg Anderson while at cricket practice in Victoria on February 12, 2014, after she had endured year of violence at Anderson’s hands.

A tireless anti-family violence campaigner, Ms Batty was named Australian of the in 2015.

“It has been a gruelling and unrelenting four years in the public eye and I sincerely thank you for being with me every step of the way,” she said in a statement on Friday.

“Unfortunately I realise that I can’t keep going at this pace forever. It is unsustainable and I am tired. I now need to prioritise my self-care and recognise my limitations – advice that has been given to me by trusted friends for some time.”

Ms Batty resigned as chief executive of the Luke Batty Foundation and an interim CEO will oversee the distribution of the charity’s funds to appropriate not-for-profit anti-family violence campaigns.

“The Luke Batty Foundation has supported me on this amazing but bitter sweet journey and has enabled me to advocate and campaign in a way that would otherwise have been impossible,” she said.

“However, it is now taking steps to respectfully close its doors and transition its programs so that Luke’s legacy can continue to give voices to victims of family violence.”

Ms Batty said she was proud of the foundation’s achievements, giving victims a voice and demanding leaders act.

She said she would eventually look at opportunities that do not require her to be in the public eye “quite so much”.

“I shall be supporting the government’s reform here in Victoria as Chair of the Victim Survivor’s Advisory Council and I shall continue to advocate for victims to influence policy reform where I can be most effective,” she said.

In 2015 the Victorian Andrews Labor government held the Royal Commission into Family Violence and upon its completion, vowed to enact all 227 recommendations.

National domestic violence helpline: 1800 737 732 or 1800RESPECT. In an emergency call triple-zero.

Australian Associated Press


Merewether chasing finals success

RIGHT BEHIND YOU: Merewether Surfboard Club star Ryan Callinan races up the beach in vain to the change-over area during the teams section of the Australian Boardriders Battle national final at Newcastle last year. Picture: Max Mason-HubersJACKSON Baker believes a simple approach will be best when MerewetherSurfboard Club shoot for redemption at the Australian Boardriders Battle national final at Newcastle this weekend.
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Merewether will carry Hunter hopes, along with the winner of Saturday morning’s host wildcard trials, into the annual Surfing Australia clubs event.

Third, sixthandthird in the first three national finals held at Cronulla, Merewether narrowly missed the teams decider last year when the contest debuted at Newcastle.

Merewether fell a countback short of making the decisive teams section grand final in 2017 after a time penalty in the quarter-finals proved costly.Final surfer RyanCallinan was left limited time to chase a score to ensure atop-two finish and was late returning to the change-over area.

Avoca, featuring championship tour surfers Matt Wilkinson and Adrian Buchan and 2018 addition Wade Carmichael, went on to win the crown.

Callinanstarred in the skins section last yearandspearheads a strong 2018 line-up for Merewether, who won their regional qualifying event.

Baker, Travis Lynch, Philippa Anderson, junior Madison Poole and Mitchel Ross are also in the 2018 squad, which hasLuke Egan as coach. Thereserves are Jackson Brent, Gus Nicholson, Amelie Burke and Marc Adam.

This year, Merewether meet Tasmanian club South Arm, Sydney’sElouera and Culburra, who include Tyler, Owen and Mikey Wright, in the teams and women’s rounds. In the knockout skinssection, they face Culburra andBurleigh Heads.

Baker, who has been in top form with back-to-back titles on the World Surf League qualifying series, believed Merewether just had to keep a simple game plan.

“We’ve got a good little team this year but we can’t get caught up in that we’re the local team and we have theadvantage of the crowd,” Baker said.

“We’ve just got to surf. I think everyone has just got to get fives and you pretty much win.

“It’s not hard, but we’ve done it before and thought about it way too much.”

Huge north-east swell is predicted for the event and Anderson, who will take on world champion Tyler Wright in the women’s, hoped local knowledge would pay off.

“Hopefully we can get it together,” Anderson said.

“We’ve got a pretty solid team and all of us have surfed Newcastle quite a bit so if it gets bigger, hopefully we’ll be able to handle it and just have some fun.

“It’s always a good event.It’s just the grassroots of surfingand, as a kid, probably the first events that you do are boardriders.

“I know all the groms from Merewether are always down there cheering at club events, hoping that once they get older, they can compete in the team one day. So it’s just a really good vibe.”

​Twenty-four clubs, manyfeaturingcurrent and former championship toursurfers, will compete.

The Australian Boardriders Battle final will be shown live on Channel 9’s GO! channel onSunday from1pm. Fox Sports More (Channel 507) will broadcast the entire weekend live from8am to 6pmdaily.

The qualifiers are:

























Who will take responsibility for Joyce?

Barnaby Joyce and Malcolm Turnbull have strained relations leaving no one to fix the problem.Who will take responsibility for the harm Barnaby Joyce’s actions have done to the government?
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Clearly it won’t be Joyce himself, who chose to call his own prime minister “inept” and is refusing to resign.

Either Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has to back away from his stinging criticism of his deputy, or the Nationals have to cut loose a man they are strongly backing.

Neither looks likely, so what looks to be an irreparably-damaged relationship at the top of the government is going to drag on.

Regardless of the rights and wrongs, Joyce’s affair with a staffer and the fallout from it has consumed the government for 10 full days.

Sussan Ley lasted 10 days before quitting the front bench over claiming travel expenses to buy a house on the Gold Coast.

Speaker Bronwyn Bishop lasted 18 days before her inevitable resignation over taking a helicopter to a Liberal fundraiser.

How many more days will Joyce last?

For about 24 hours in the middle of the week, Joyce and coalition MPs thought he had pulled out of the death spiral.

The flood of revelations about his affair with staffer Vikki Campion had seemingly dried up.

The 20 other Nationals MPs lined up behind their leader, after some grumbling from a small group.

They see him as an electoral asset, a man who bombastically stands up for the regions, delivering money and votes.

Liberal MPs privately said they thought this scandal was going to end with a resignation until Joyce appeared to pull it out of the fire on Wednesday.

Despite his mistakes, one MP summed up his worth to the coalition:

“We’re better with him than without him.”

Then the pressure ratcheted up.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull told parliament Joyce would be taking personal leave next week instead of being acting prime minister while Turnbull was in Washington.

More questions were raised about a rent-free townhouse Joyce was given to live in for six months, thanks to his rich friend Greg Maguire.

Then there were questions about a function his department paid for at Maguire’s Armidale hotel.

And it was revealed Joyce’s push to move the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority to Armidale meant taxpayers have spent almost $15,000 putting staff in that same hotel.

Turnbull had just spent nine days defending Joyce, in parliament, to journalists, to anyone.

But as each latest revelation came out, the prime minister had to ask himself why he was defending the increasingly indefensible.

A passionate and strident Turnbull waited until 4.55pm on Thursday to unload.

The PM said Joyce humiliated his wife, daughters and new partner, in making a “shocking error of judgment”.

Turnbull told Joyce to consider his position on his week off and when asked if the Nationals leader should resign, he offered this: “Barnaby is the leader of the National party, okay? They are our coalition partners. They have a coalition agreement.”

The message was extremely clear.

Quit, Barnaby, quit.

Instead of heeding that call, Joyce returned fire on Turnbull’s comments.

“I believe they were in many instances inept, and most definitely in many instances unnecessary,’ he said.

He refused to resign, and said there is nothing worse for the Nationals than someone trying to interfere in their internal party affairs.

Turnbull can’t sack Joyce because he’s the leader of the Nationals, and only the Nats can choose their boss.

The Nationals were originally banking on voters feeling the humanity of a no-win situation.

Admittedly Joyce did have a tough choice – to leave his wife of 24 years for his pregnant girlfriend, or stay at home and put her out on the street?

Either story is a bad look, although Joyce should be criticised for refusing multiple media offers to confirm the pregnancy and get out in front of the issue.

But the scandal has created a rift and it is not clear the relationship can be repaired.

Joyce is stubbornly clinging to his leadership, Turnbull is unlikely to make an apology, and the Nationals are so far backing their man to the hilt.

Something has to give – or the scandal will drag on and on.

Australian Associated Press


Gary Harley’s Newcastle racing preview

Sydney trainer Mark Newnham is enjoying a stellar season in only his second year of training and is confident that the quartet of three-year-olds he is sending to Newcastle on Saturday all have winning chances.
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The former jockey’s Newcastle team includes Key to Glory (1200 metre Maiden Handicap) Pulang Pula, (1400 metre Maiden Handicap), Kung Fu Master (1850 metre Maiden Plate) and Divine Breeze (1400 metre Class 2 Handicap).

Newnham has trained 29 winners in the first half of the season.

“I am confident that all four will go close to winning, with Pulang Pula my best chance,” he said.

““The filly went great when a close second first-up at Kembla. She raceson the pace and has trained on well since.

“Key to Glory was all over the place when a close third, first-up at Kembla.

CONFIDENT: Mark Newnham

“The trip was short of his best and he will go much better on Saturday with the blinkers back on.

“Kung Fu Master needs every bit of 1850 metres. He was a bit one-paced over the 1600 at Kembla last start. The horse has never run a bad race and the blinkers come off on Saturday.

“There was no depth in the three-horse race that Divine Breeze won on debut at Gosford recently. However, she won easily and it was a confidence booster for her.”

Newcastle’s leading trainer Kris Lees has five horses running on his home track as he closes in on a century of winners for the season.

Lees has already saddled up 91 ½ winners for the season and he is

on track to break the stables best ever season in 2016/2017 when he prepared 161 ½ winners. At

Newcastle on Saturday Lees Racing will be represented by Lets Get Nauti Gal (race 2), High Power (race 5), Clevanicc (race 7), with Chilly Cha Cha and Unbridled Power in race 8.


At last justice for boys who weren’t believed

ROYAL Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse data released in 2017 on offendingrates against the Catholic Church in Australia shocked the nation.
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It shocked the church’s Truth Justice and Healing Council chief executive Francis Sullivan to the point of tears as he delivered a final address on the church’s behalf to the commission.

For years Catholic leaders argued strongly that the church was unfairly targeted by the media, and child sexoffending rates for the church were comparablewith rates in the general community.

The royal commission blew that myth away. The commission found that across Australia between 1950 and 2009 the rate of priests accused of committing child sex offences was 7 per cent.

But it was the offending rates among religious orders that produced the most horrifying figures, with 20 per cent of Marist Brothers and 22 per cent of Christian Brothers accused of offences. But both these orders –and all other churches and institutions in Australia investigated by the commission –did not reach the truly appalling rate of the St John of God order.

More than 40 per cent of its representatives, or two in five of its members, were accused of child sex offences over six decades.

In a courtroom on Friday the true nature of what that figure represents in terms of the number of victims, and the trail of destruction left by this one Catholic group, was laid bare. The former Brother Bernard McGrath, 70, was jailed on Friday for the fourth time on 64 offences against 12 victims at the notorious Kendall Grange boys’ home at Morisset between 1978 and 1986. McGrath was principal for almost all those years.

McGrath recklessly and opportunistically groomed, assaulted, attacked, humiliated and discarded some of the most vulnerable young children in the community, because he could.

One of the most sobering aspects of Friday’s sentencing of McGrath to 33 years’ jail for his crimeswas the fact that so many boys reported the abuse to adults including police and parents, and weren’t believed.

McGrath’s victims in Australia and New Zealand sought justice for years, with courage and determination. On Friday, with that long sentence delivered, they achieved some justice for the many who were silenced for so long.

Issue: 38,726.


Harris: Venue could be “white elephant”

The newly refurbished Maitland Sportsground will host a sell-out crowd of close to 7000 fans when the Newcastle Knights take on Parramatta in a trial next Saturday night.
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But Newcastle RL CEOMatt Harris has warned the venue could become a “white elephant” if Maitland Council does not make it financially viable for local sporting organisations to play there on a regular basis.

The Council and the Maitland Pickers club are currently in negotiations overthe lease of the facility and canteen rights with the costthreatening to force the Pickers to find an alternative home groundthis season.

At the same time, the Newcastle RL had hoped to play their All Stars game on March 3 at the venue but baulked at the cost with the game to now be played at St John Ovalin Charlestown

“There was a difference of around $1300 between the two venueswhich is a significant amount for us,” he said.

“We are disappointed because we saw it as a good opportunity to promote that event ata really good, new venue and at the same time, assist the Maitland club.

“But it was a dollar decision for us. The fees that they wanted were simply beyond us and we couldn’t justify the extra spend.”

Newcastle RL CEO Matt Harris

Harris said he hopes common sense prevails in on-going negotiations between the Council and the Pickers.

“I’ve been up there and had a look and it looks like a fantastic facility and both us [Newcastle RL]and the Maitland club were looking forward to playing there every second week,”he said.

“Everyone was excited but now everyone’s a bit deflated and nervous aboutwhat’s going to happen and if the Pickers will be able to afford to play there at all.

New Maitland Sportsground grandstand

“We haven’t been able to hold this event there and unless things change, it’s unlikely we will hold other events there. If Maitland aren’t there, I’m not sure who is going to be.

“Potentially, it could just sit there. It’s got white elephant written all over it so hopefully, common sense prevails and it can be resolved amicably.”

All Starsteams:

Newcastle Indigenous All Stars:

Simon Allen, Isaac Briggs, Randal Briggs, Scott Briggs,Brad Russell, Matt Simon, Andy Sumner, Adam Swadling [Macquarie], Josh Charles,Jacob Gagai, Jamie Ghoulmieh, Cody Robbins [Lakes], Steve Gordon [Central], Jordy Mitchell, Jade Porter, Mark Walker [Kurri],Warren Schillings, Brad Tighe, Ryan Walker[Wests],Lincoln Smith [Maitland].Development players:Aaron McGrady [Lakes], Ngangarra Barker [Maitland]. Coach: Ashley Gordon.

Newcastle All Stars:

Brad Murray, Cal Richardson, Shane Gray, TerenceSeuSeu [Central Newcastle],Alex Mammone,Chanel Mata’utia, Paul Carter [Cessnock], Michael Steele,Tyme Dow Nikau [Kurri],Dylan Hartin, Mathew Craig [Lakes United], Kyle Eather,Nathan Cantor [Macquarie], Adam Clydesdale, Dane Tilse [Maitland], Ben Roose, Brendon Simpson,Jake Lawrence [South Newcastle],Mao Uta,Sam Keenan [West Newcastle].Coach: Phil Williams.


Thurston nervous ahead of NRL comeback

Jonathan Thurston admits he’s nervous ahead of his long-awaited NRL comeback.The nerves are already starting to kick in for Johnathan Thurston.
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But the North Queensland co-captain says his troublesome shoulder won’t be the cause of any anxiety in his long awaited NRL comeback this weekend.

Thurston admits to butterflies ahead of his first game in eight months after getting the all-clear from a specialist for Saturday night’s trial against Wests Tigers in Cairns.

It will kick-start his 17th and final NRL season.

Co-captain Matt Scott (knee) will also return for his first game since round two last year.

Thurston, who sustained the injury to his shoulder in Queensland’s State of Origin game two win last June, says he’s confident it’s up for the challenge.

“I am excited but a little bit nervous at the same time after coming back from a major injury but I have done all the work so in my own mind I know I will be right,” the veteran playmaker said on Friday.

Thurston backed his shoulder to stand up to the rigours of a Tigers pack boasting new faces Russell Packer, Ben Matulino and Chris McQueen after a testing contact session with the Cowboys forwards.

“I did a fair amount of contact with the bigger boys and the shoulder has pulled up fine from that,” he said.

“Everything I have been asked to do (by medical staff) I have been able to do it so that has given me the confidence to go out there tomorrow night and be able to play.

“It’s been a long journey, it’s been a tough journey but there is light at the end of the tunnel now.”

Both Thurston and Test prop Scott are expected to get up to 30 minutes on the field on Saturday night in their comeback matches.

Scott said it was hard to tell who was more excited, himself or Thurston.

“Probably both equally I would say. We have both spent a fair bit of time out,” he said.

Scott almost made a surprise comeback in last year’s grand final against Melbourne when he was included in the Cowboys’ extended squad but was cut ahead of kick-off.

The return has been “a long time coming”, Scott said.

“I am at the stage where I just want to get the first game out of the way, tick that box off.”

Australian Associated Press


Man linked to Pullen murder denied parole

Timothy Pullen’s parents Gary and Leanne outside the Brisbane Magistrates Court.A man who disposed of murdered man Timothy Pullen’s body but claimed his burnt remains had been washed away has been refused parole for failing to cooperate sufficiently to find them.
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Stephen Renwick is serving a five-year jail sentence for disposing of the corpse near Collinsville, west of Airlie Beach, after Mr Pullen was killed over a $30,000 drug debt in April 2012.

Under Queensland’s new No Body, No Parole laws, killers and accessories are to be kept behind bars unless they disclosed the locations of their victims.

“The board is not satisfied (Renwick) has cooperated satisfactorily in the investigation of the offence to identity the victim’s location,” Parole Board Queensland said in its judgment published on Friday afternoon.

During a hearing in January, Renwick’s barrister Josh Fenton told the board Mr Pullen’s body was reduced to ash in a 90-minute fire that was fuelled with diesel.

Any microscopic remains of Mr Pullen’s burnt body would have been washed away by Cyclone Debbie, the board heard.

However, they came to a different conclusion.

“There is no evidence of rainfall, or the effect of Cyclone Debbie, at the location identified,” the parole board found.

This wasn’t the first story Renwick had told investigators.

After initially being charged with murder, he claimed Mr Pullen’s body had been wrapped in a blanket and dumped in a paddock.

He pleaded guilty in June 2016 to the lesser charge of accessory after manslaughter with the promise he would reveal the location of Mr Pullen’s remains.

But nothing was found during a search of the area Renwick pointed to that same month.

In September 2017, Renwick wanted to lead police on another search, this time claiming Mr Pullen’s body had been wrapped in plastic, covered in logs and burned.

At the parole hearing, Mr Fenton argued Renwick should be released as he had co-operated satisfactorily with authorities and done his best to recall where Mr Pullen was cremated.

The board ruled they did not believe Renwick was telling the truth and his cooperation until September “was incomplete to a significant extent”.

Friday’s decision comes more than six months after one of Mr Pullen’s killers, Benjamin Oakley, was controversially approved for release on parole just before the No Body, No Parole laws were passed.

Following the publication of the decision, Renwick’s lawyers said they were looking into the possibilities of appealing in the Supreme Court.

“Renwick has cooperated fully with the police and it is unfortunate that he seems to be in the middle of a political argument regarding these controversial new laws,” Nick Dore said.

Australian Associated Press


Renshaw ton has Bulls on top, Vics stumble

Matthew Renshaw’s ton has helped Queensland to a strong Sheffield Shield position against Victoria.Australia’s Test squad had barely left the country, but former opener Matthew Renshaw made an immediate statement of intent with a century for Queensland on day one of their Sheffield Shield match against Victoria in Melbourne.
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Renshaw on Friday dominated a strong Bushrangers bowling attack, scoring 170 – his fifth first-class century.

The left-hander’s majestic 218-ball innings helped the Shield leaders to reach 4-333 at stumps, on a day’s play which contrasted markedly with a host of recent low scores in state cricket.

Renshaw hit Victoria’s bowlers all over the MCG in a knock that included four sixes, before he was eventually caught at slip off the bowling of Fawad Ahmed.

“I have been working on quite a few things over the past month-and-a-half,” said Renshaw. “To have them all come together this week has been really exciting.

“The Twenty20 cricket really helped me work on keeping my head as still as possible.

“The guys that do well there keep their head still, and I tried to apply that with red-ball cricket, and it really worked for me today.”

Renshaw endured a modest first part of the season, but shone last weekend as Queensland comfortably defeated Tasmania as the Shield resumed for the second half of the season.

The 21-year-old impressed by top-scoring with 56 against the Tigers, and added 32 in the second innings on a challenging Gabba wicket.

Despite his new-found form, Renshaw – who played 10 Tests for Australia before being dropped early last summer – would not be drawn on a possible national recall.

“It is just about trying to enjoy my cricket and win games for Queensland,” he said.

“We are a young group and a lot of us haven’t been involved in a Shield final or victory, so that is something we are really striving for.”

Queensland edged NSW out of top spot last weekend, and another win would move them closer to a berth in the Shield final with three more rounds remaining.

Second-last Victoria, struggling to keep their Shield title defence alive, continued to suffer after Renshaw’s dismissal with Sam Heazlett (63no) and Jack Wildermuth (42no) putting on a quickfire 75-run stand as the shadows lengthened.

Australian Associated Press


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