POLL: Paid parking for Charlestown

NO PARKS: Leo Nicola says no to parking meters. PAID parking is being investigated as a way to alleviate problems in Charlestown central business district, Lake Macquarie City Council officials say.
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NO SPACE: John Russell wants parking plans progressed. Picture: Anita Jones

Parking has been a problem in Charlestown for years and is expected to worsen with an extra 500 workers planned in the town in July.

HealthShare NSW, a branch of NSW Health, is planning to house 440 office workers in the Sky Central building in Charlestown in July.

A further 65 workers will start work at a National Disability Insurance Scheme regional office in Hilltop Plaza.

Cr Barry Johnston said a new multi-level car park with paid parking should be considered.

Cr Johnston said he was open to discussing street parking meters, but he was “not a supporter” of the concept.

Parking was a Lake Macquarie City Council responsibility, he said.

Cr Johnston said the council had considered the parking problem but had not “followed through on it”.

A council statement said it was investigating paid parking and additional off-street parking.

The council said it was examining the “potential use of spare car parking capacity in privately owned developments”.

The council released a plan in 2007 for an underground car park in Tallarah Street, Charlestown, along with a park, theatre and conference centre.

Cr Johnston said the council did not have the money for the proposed underground car park and until they did more temporary parking should be created.

The council-owned former public school site at Charlestown, on the Pacific Highway, with a rear access in Smith Street, is used for temporary parking.

The council is planning to demolish a building on the site, which Cr Johnston said should be used to expand temporary parking.

Charlestown Business Chamber president Jason Pauling, who is a Lake Macquarie councillor, opposes street parking meters. He said people still loved their cars and Lake Macquarie was not ready for paid parking.

Businesses push for solution

BUSINESSMAN Leo Nicola hopes he never sees street parking meters in Charlestown.

‘‘Parking is tough enough as it is,’’ said Mr Nicola, who co-owns Charlestown shop, Carla Swimwear.

But Mr Nicola would not oppose a multi-level car park being built in the town with paid parking.

Lake Macquarie City Council revealed plans in 2007 for an underground car park in Tallarah Street, Charlestown, but the plan is on the backburner.

Russell Property Partners owner John Russell said the council should progress the plan.

Mr Russell said Charlestown would become ‘‘more densely populated and people should become accustomed to that’’.

‘‘Temporary car parking is not the answer,’’ Mr Russell said.

Some business owners believe the council should do more to police parking in time-limited zones in the town.

Live: Bulldogs look to bounce back

s KICKOFF
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ANZ Stadium, Sydney Olympic Park, Friday 7.35pm (AEST)Last meeting: Round 23 2012 – Bulldogs 22 bt Broncos 14 at ANZ StadiumHead-to-head: Round 23 2012 – Bulldogs 22 bt Broncos 14 at ANZ StadiumReferees: Jared Maxwell, Henry PerenaraTV: Channel 9 (live)TAB Sportsbet: Bulldogs $1.50 Broncos $2.65FootyTab: Broncos +6.5

Phil Mitchell writes: Just when it appeared Canterbury had put their campaign back on track with three successive wins, they produced their worst performance in a month and were duly whipped 44-8 by Newcastle last Sunday. The Bulldogs’ woes were then compounded when centre Krisnan Inu was suspended for the second time this season, for an ugly tackle on winger James McManus. Tim Lafai again replaces Inu, having done a fine job in his earlier five-match absence.

The Broncos handed the Titans their biggest loss of the season last weekend but continue to be dogged by bad luck, with David Stagg and Jack Reed joining an injured list that already included Ben Hannant and Scott Prince. But Justin Hodges is expected to return on Friday night, and his imposing presence could be the difference on Friday night.

Phil’s tip: Broncos by two

BULLDOGS: Ben Barba, Mitch Brown, Josh Morris, Tim Lafai, Sam Perrett, Josh Reynolds, Trent Hodkinson, Aiden Tolman, Michael Ennis (capt), Sam Kasiano, Tony Williams, Frank Pritchard, Greg Eastwood. Interchange: Dene Halatau, Josh Jackson, James Graham, Dale Finucane, Martin Taupau, Tim Browne (two to be omitted).

BRONCOS: Corey Norman, Josh Hoffman, Jordan Kahu, Justin Hodges, Lachlan Maranta, Ben Hunt, Peter Wallace, Josh McGuire, Andrew McCullough, Sam Thaiday (capt), Alex Glenn, Matt Gillett, Corey Parker. Interchange: Jake Granville, Scott Anderson, David Hala, Jarrod Wallace, Dunamis Lui, Denan Kemp (two to be omitted).

Good evening, welcome to our coverage as we bring you all the action from the Bulldogs-Broncos match. As expected, big T-Rex, aka Tony Williams, has been ruled out of the Bulldogs’ team, so Josh Jackson will start and Tim Browne comes onto the bench.

Players are on the field. Stand by for kick-off.

5 min: Neither team has looked like scoring yet in a scrappy opening to the game.

6 min: First penalty of the evening, to the Broncos, who find touch about 40 metres from the Bulldogs’ line.

1 min: We’re away, Broncos kick off.

7 min: Brilliant tackle by Ben Barba denies the Broncos a try, and the Bulldogs have the ball back.

15 min: Knock on from the Broncos deep inside their own half. Another chance for the Bulldogs.

21 min: Bulldogs defence is equal to the ask. They then receive back-to-back penalties to move upfield easily.

20 min: Penalty to the Broncos after Peter Wallace was taken out after hoisting a bomb. Tough call against the Broncos.

10 min: The Dogs draw first blood via a brilliant individual try to Ben Barba. Shades of 2012. Trent Hodkinson converts. Bulldogs 6-0.

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Tensions rise between Mariners and Sydney FC as Bojic departs

Central Coast Mariners are fuming over the manner in which defender Pedj Bojic departed the club, and have accused Sydney FC of making an approach for the player while he was still under contract.
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The Mariners granted Bojic his request to be released from the final year of his deal on Friday morning after he expressed his desire to play in Sydney, where he has other work commitments.

Coach Graham Arnold was not going to stand in his player’s way but is seething after talks took place between Bojic’s representatives and Sydney FC while the defender was still contracted and preparing for their Asian Champions League knockout games.

Arnold said he agreed to release Bojic during the off-season to avoid disrupting his team’s performance, and requested that he delay all talks with other clubs until he was released. The Mariners boss and the club are ”hurt” by the alleged contract negotiations between Bojic and Sydney FC.

”I was disappointed with the way it came down in the end. Sydney can say they weren’t talking to him, well that’s not true because they were talking to him for three or four weeks … they didn’t leave discussions until after the ACL like I asked because of the long off-season,” Arnold said.

”All I asked [is] that the club be respected, I be respected and the team be respected and for it to be done after the ACL, not for him to be bothered. The player admitted to me after the game [against Evergrande on May 15] that his brain was rattled by everything that was going on about it.”

Sydney FC confirmed they spoke with Bojic’s agent to discuss a potential move but denied having spoken directly to the player while he was contracted to the Mariners. Sydney’s chief executive, Tony Pignata, said he was approached by Bojic’s agent, Lou Sticca, and discussed the possibility of signing Bojic but never held any formal talks with the player or discussed personal terms. ”If you mean by talking to his agent, as I said, a few weeks ago we did. I’m not going to deny that. Actually physically talking to Pedj? No.” Pignata said. ”Nothing ever with Pedj, it’s always been with his manager. The only time we’ve spoken about Pedj was via his player agent. That’s it.”

Since signing for the Mariners in 2008, Bojic has balanced his personal training business based in Sydney with his A-League duties, and revealed he could no longer manage the constant travel between Sydney and Gosford. Arnold said he understood the player’s position, and was prepared to release Bojic on ”compassionate grounds” during the off-season. He said that the nature of his departure and the alleged approach by Sydney FC disrupted the performance of the player during the first-leg knockout match against Evergrande and threatened to derail the focus of his team.

”The player admitted to me on the Friday or Saturday after when I spoke to him, and basically I went off my brain at him a bit because I didn’t like the way it was handled in the last few days and it hurt our team,” Arnold said. ”For me, the team is the most important thing. The team overall, we got let down. I don’t blame Pedj that much, I blame Sydney FC.”

Bojic was dropped for the second-leg of the tie in China after Arnold lost faith in the player due to the discussions with the Sky Blues.

”I told Pedj, this is really hard for me deal with,” Arnold said. ”Let’s make it clear, the reason he has been released is because he’s agreed to a deal with Sydney FC.”

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Dortmund dream of fairytale European finish

One is easy to admire, the other easier to embrace. One has grandeur and self-importance, the other the common touch and a sense of humour. One calls itself, with no false modesty, ”a Club Less Ordinary”, the other just invites you to embrace its motto ”Real Love”.
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So, which of these two clubs, who grow less enamoured with each other by the day, do we wish to see lift the Champions League trophy at Wembley Stadium on Saturday (Sunday morning, Sydney time)? The strutting FC Hollywood burghers of Bayern Munich? Or Borussia Dortmund and their young, working-class heroes, who just believe in fairytales? Germany, it seems, has made up its mind.

Most seem to be plumping for Dortmund, because there is something universally appealing about the resurrection from near-bankruptcy of the people’s club under a manager, Jurgen Klopp, who adds greatly to the gaiety of the footballing nation.

So when Klopp, following up his touchline fracas with Bayern sporting director Matthias Sammer in the Bundesliga, likened his fellow finalists to Bond villains this week, it was proper refreshment of an old enmity.

As the rest of football laughed, Bayern just got shirty. Sammer sniffed: ”When Jurgen Klopp thinks they have to send out pictures to the world, then he has to answer for that. But we do not always feel the need to address that.”

As for Klopp’s other joke, before Bayern’s semi-final against Barcelona that ”I would bet my backside” the Bavarians contacted next season’s manager, former Barca manager Pep Guardiola, for advice, Sammer countered: ”He bet his rump, but where is it? We have not spoken to Pep about Barcelona, even indirectly. Where is it then?”

Another source of friction between the two clubs is an injured 20-year-old who now will not even be playing on Saturday, Mario Gotze, a diamond polished in Dortmund who will from next season glitter in Munich red.

You cannot overstate how betrayed Dortmund fans felt when the revelation of Bayern’s ”theft” of Germany’s best young player came in April, less than 36 hours before Dortmund’s Champions League semi-final with Real Madrid. He has not been forgiven. ”The pursuit of money shows how much heart one has. F— you Gotze,” read the giant Dortmund banner during the recent Bundesliga game with Bayern.

Although this Champion’s League final is being painted as a glittering demonstration of German football’s muscle and blooming health, actually it is just a glamorous cover for a good, old-fashioned, spiteful, bad-tempered domestic dust-up.

Telegraph, London

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Linda Pearce: Stosur looks on bright side of Paris memories

THE incongruity of Roland Garros for Sam Stosur is that the place where she has produced her most consistent grand slam results has also been the scene of two of her most devastating losses. The clay court major that, in some ways, made her career, has also made her weep, question, and lament.
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This week, almost 12 months after her painful semi-final defeat to Italian Sara Errani, Stosur walked back through the gates to prepare for a 10th appearance at the tournament that hosted her breakthrough semi-final appearance in 2009, and debut grand slam final the next year. Some great memories, certainly, but also, one would think, the ghosts of chances lost.

”I think you’d have to say it’s more of a happy place and a place you look forward to going back to. There’s maybe that missed opportunity or those really disappointing moments, but at the end of the day it’s all good going back there, that’s for sure,” Stosur said before arriving in Paris this week. ”Three out of the past four years I’ve made semis or better and they’re very good results, but in those results I’ve had probably two of the hardest losses that I can really remember, so, yeah, it is kind of bittersweet.

”Of course, getting that far is great, but you always want to keep going and do that little bit better. But I do always enjoy walking into Roland Garros and starting the tournament, and I seem to play well. For sure there’s also those lingering disappointing moments, but that’s all part of tennis. I just happened to have two of them in the same spot.”

The last, against the crafty but relatively unimposing Errani, came when a third grand slam final beckoned the 2011 US Open champion, and ranks as Stosur’s toughest loss of 2012. Seeded three places lower – ninth – this time, she has also had a compromised preparation, missing five weeks with a calf injury sustained at Indian Wells in early March that caused more problems during her aborted return in Charleston in April.

Only last week, by reaching the quarter-finals in Rome, did the 29-year-old rediscover some of the momentum she had again failed to gather during her wobbly start to the year in Australia, and which had eluded her while feeling her way in Stuttgart and Madrid. At the Foro Italico, defeats of Su-Wei Hseih and Shuai Peng and then a first career win over Petra Kvitova preceded a three-set loss to Victoria Azarenka.

”Having won those couple of matches in Rome obviously makes you feel better, then beating Petra for the first time, and then [having] a good match against Victoria, I feel like I’m back on track now,” she says. ”Even though the start of the clay court season wasn’t what I wanted it to be, I feel like now I’ve found some form before the French … You don’t like losing consecutive matches, or having not a very good win/loss record for the year at any point, especially at this time of the year, where I feel like the surface is [one] that I can do well on. So Rome was vital to at least feeling a little bit better going into the French. There’s no guarantees of what’s going to happen, but at least I’m back to where I kind of should be.”

And to where Stosur’s powerful, kick-serving, topspin game is so well suited. Indeed, the wreckage of another Australian summer would suggest that Stosur is one of the many who has found it easier to play away than at home, where the expectation is magnified.

”What’s easier is just that the French is her favourite tournament,” counters Todd Woodbridge, Tennis Australia’s head of tennis. ”It’s the tournament where she’s had the most consistent results and she doesn’t get as nervous there, I feel, because it’s a comfort zone, it’s her domain. It’s the surface that’s the standout for her and it’s the tournament that made her career – the tournament that set up her career.”

More recently, the former world No. 4 has held steady in the lower half of the top 10, despite the interruptions and indifferent results of 2013, but the player whose last title was her first major, at Flushing Meadows almost 21 months ago, will take a rankings hit if she makes an early exit in Paris this time. Not that she feels any more or less pressure in that regard, insists Stosur, who is 19th in the race to the WTA Championships that measures calendar-year results.

”I look at the year more on the whole and just try and do as well as I can every single week, and I know there’s repercussions for not doing that but, honestly, I don’t look at that too much, I don’t study it.”

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