Storm’s Slater announces NRL retirement

Melbourne legend Billy Slater is leaving rugby league on his own terms – as the game’s best fullback.

Sitting alongside coach Craig Bellamy, an emotional Slater ended months of speculation on Wednesday when he confirmed that after 16 NRL seasons with the Storm, 2018 would be his last.

He bows out with a bulging trophy cabinet that includes two NRL premierships, two Clive Churchill Medals, a Dally M Medal and two Wally Lewis Medals – the latest from this year’s State of Origin series.

The 35-year-old said while he felt he physically could have played on he was certain he was making the right decision.

After missing half of the 2015 season and all of 2016 due to two shoulder reconstructions, Slater worked his way back to the top of the game.

He said being able to make the final call had been important.

“Two years ago I nearly had to finish due to a shoulder injury and that would have really sunk me,” Slater said.

“I wasn’t ready to finish then and now my body is still allowing me to play at this standard … but I would hate to get halfway through a year and lose that and want to put my body on the line 100 per cent.

“I don’t want to empty the tank and then call it a day – I’d rather have a little bit in reserve.”

Bellamy said Slater should be remembered as the game’s best ever fullback.

“I’ve seen a lot of real good ones and played with some as well but I rate Billy right at the top with a gap between first and second,” Bellamy said.

“He’s been that influential as a fullback he’s changed the way they’ve played and the big thing for me is how consistent he’s been over such a long period of time and to me that’s greatness.”

Rating Slater as one of the smartest and most hard-working players in the game, Bellamy said he would have liked Slater to go on.

“I wanted to keep watching him play and to keep coaching him but that’s a selfish attitude,” Bellamy said.

“He’s made the right decision.”

Slater choked back tears as he thanked Bellamy and credited long-time teammates Cameron Smith and Cooper Cronk, now with the Sydney Roosters, for pushing him to realise his potential.

“Not only have you guys created opportunities for me on the field, but when your peers drive themselves to be the best and they continually succeed – that’s infectious,” Slater said.

“This is why you two have had the greatest influence on my career.”

While Bellamy has recommitted to the Storm, Smith is considering a one-year offer but regardless Slater felt the future was bright.

Slater is planning to stay involved with the Storm as a part-time coach, more media work and to spend more time in his burgeoning thoroughbred breeding business.

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Recipe: Lemon curd tart by Matt Dillow

BALANCE: Pair with a Botrytis Semillon dessert wine. Picture: Dominique CherryTHE EVENTHunter Valley chef Matt Dillow will prepare a gourmet, wine-matched lunch at McLeish Estate as part of the inaugural End 2 End Festival on September 15.

Matt Dillow. Picture: Dominique Cherry

THE DISHThis is one of my favourite dessert recipes as the weather warms up. It’s full of flavour and matches perfectly to a Botrytis Semillon dessert wine. Guests can sample this delicious dessert and wine pairing at the Semillon 2 Seafood event at McLeish Estate as part of the inaugural End 2 End Festival in Pokolbin.

CHEF’S TIPI use a brulee torch to burn the meringue until golden brown. If you don’t have one you can place under a hot grill and this will work fine. For the tart, you can purchase whatever size sweet pastry tart shell you like.

LEMON CURDIngredients

500mlsugar; 500ml lemon juice; 8 eggs; 250g sifted corn flour; 500g butter; 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste


1. In a heavy based saucepan placesugar and lemon juice and bring to a simmer then take off the heat and add the eggs one at a time, whisking quickly.

2.Place back on a very low heat. Add cornflour and cook for a further 10 to 15 minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon constantly. The mix will start to thicken and once this starts to happen you can pour into your sweet pastry tart shell. Remember it will set firm so be careful not to overcook.


4 egg whites (room temperature); 300g sugar; 100mlwater; ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar


1.In heavy based saucepan bring water and sugar to the boil then simmer until it reaches 115 degrees which is known as soft ball consistency.

2.While the sugar mix is coming to boil beat the egg whites on high until they are soft peak. Once this is done add all the syrup slowly and keep whisking on medium to high speed until the mix becomes cool (about 10 minutes).

3.Place mix in piping bag and it’s ready to use. The meringue will last in the fridge in a piping bag for 5 days.Once the mix is set firm (this part is better done a day prior) pipe the Italian meringue on top. Best option is to use a piping bag and a star tube nozzle.


500g raspberries; 300g sugar; 30mllemon juice; 1 teaspoon vanilla essence


1.In a saucepan bring all ingredients to the boil then simmer for two minutes. Take off heat and then blend until fine. Pass liquid through a fine sieve to remove seeds and ensure it’s super smooth.

THE GIVEAWAYBringing together the very best of Pokolbin’s food, wine and produce, the inaugural End 2 End Festival on September 15, 2018, is spread over four venues. More than 20 wineries are involved and hop-on, hop-off shuttle buses will run all day.

McLeish Estate is one of the hubs and is hosting a Semillon 2 Seafood experience. A highlight of the day will be four free masterclasses hosted by celebrity chef Fast Ed, known for his role onBetter Homes & Gardens. There will be platters available to purchase from the Hunter Valley Cheese Company; Olio Mio and Moorebank condiments tastings and stalls; live music by local duo Phonic; Hunter Valley Aqua Golf; a petting farm for the kids; and Slattery Helicopters will run scenic flights over Pokolbin.

Chef Matt Dillow will prepare a gourmet lunch perfectly matched to the incredible wines on offer, including slow-roasted beef cheeks on soft polenta with gremolata; lemon curd tart with Italian meringue and raspberry coulis; and chocolate Muscat and almond cake with raspberry coulis and vanilla mascarpone.

Weekenderhas a double pass to attend this year’s End 2 End Festival to give away; adouble pass to attend one of the four masterclasses at the McLeish Estate hub; and onePremium Single Vineyard Semillon twin-pack from Brokenwood that includes 2009 Oakey Creek Vineyard Semillon and 2015 Poppy’s Block Semillon.To enter, send the words “End2End” [email protected]出售老域名.auor text “End2End” to 0427 369 610, including your name, address and phone number. Entries close at 9am on Wednesday (July 15, 2018).

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David Degning loses bid to halt deportation over criminal convictions

A middle-aged man who has lived in Australia for 50 years has lost a court bid to halt his deportation after his visa was cancelled on character grounds.

David Degning, 57, migrated to Australia from the United Kingdom when he was seven, and until recently lived at Batemans Bay on the NSW south coast where he worked as a tradesman.

In January, hispermanentvisa was cancelled by Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton over criminal convictions including drink driving, stealing, and sexual intercourse with a woman who had a cognitive impairment.

Mr Dutton found there was an “unacceptable risk of harm to the Australian community” if Mr Degning remained in the country, and said the “serious nature” of the sexual offence meant the community would expect Mr Degning should not hold a visa.

David Degning is facing deportation from Australia. Photo: Supplied

“Mr Degning and non-citizens who commit such offence[s] should not generally expect to be permitted to remain in Australia,” Mr Dutton said in his reasons for the decision.

Mr Degning applied to have the decision reviewed in the Federal Court, saying Mr Dutton had denied him procedural fairness, had made a decision that was”illogical, irrational and legally unreasonable”, and had failed to ask Mr Degning’s grandchildren about the impact his deportation would have on them.

On Tuesday, Justice Alan Robertson dismissed the application and ordered Mr Degning to pay costs.

Speaking outside the court, Mr Degning’s solicitor Stephen Blanks – president of the NSW Council for Civil Liberties – said he would look “very carefully” at the possibility of an appeal.

He said his client hasno family in England and “doesn’t know what he will do” if he is sent there.

“He has raised the possibility of ending his life because there is nothing for him there,” Mr Blanks said.

“I hope it doesn’t come to that. David’s sisters were in court to receive the judgment. They were devastated. They know the whole family is devastated by this decision.”

Mr Degning has 28 days to appeal before he is deported from Villawood Detention Centre, where he has been detained since January. More than 2500 peoplehave signed a petition calling for him to remainin Australia.

Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton said there was an “unacceptable risk of harm to the Australian community” if David Degning remained in the country. Photo: Justin McManus

According to court documents, Mr Degning was convicted of sexual intercourse with a person with a cognitive impairment in the NSW District Court in 2013 and sentenced to a 17-month suspended prison sentence.

Other convictions, some of which stretch back to the 1970s and 1980s, include stealing, possession of stolen goods, drink driving and assault. His sentences have included fines, licence disqualification, good behaviour bonds and two terms of imprisonment, of six months and nine months.

Mr Blanks said his client is not a danger to the community and although he has done the “wrong thing”, he has already been punished in accordance with the law.

“He’s done his time,” Mr Blanks said.

“It’s time for the community to get behind one of their own and tell the minister it’s just not acceptable to the Australian people to break up families in this way.”

Lifeline 13 11 14


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Short Takes August 10: readers have their say on the day’s news

WITH 12 car parks and 6000 students at the new uni (‘FeWspace’, Herald 8/8), could Scot MacDonald explain how the trams could possibly cope with so many passengers? Also, the stop shelters are a joke.

John Bonnyman,Fern BayI HAVE driven several thousand kilometres on the M1 (‘Speeding up’, Herald 6/8) in the last eightyears. People are impatient. They tailgate. They fail to observe the two-second rule. They are aggressive, inattentive andfatigued. The last thing we need is a 130km/h speed limit.

Clay Eeson,AbermainWITH the utmost respect to other people’s opinion regarding increasing the speed limit on the M1 (Letters 6/8),it is not the answer. Unfortunately there are people who think their ability to drive safely and professionally at high speed is greater than it actually is. The reason for the majority of the accidents is impatience, a lack of courtesy and a lack of ability. Some say there are motorists traveling at that speed already, and they arecorrect: but these people will continue totravel 20km/h over the limit. If it increases, preparefor absolute carnage.

Jeff Smith,AbermainGIVEN the state governmentappears not to have taken steps to prevent the façade of The Store becoming structurally unsound,it should be reliant on the government to restore and preserve it.They should not merely say it is up to the developerto decide what aspects it wishes to include in its development (“Demolition day nears”, Herald 4/7). Another example of this government turning its back on Newcastle’s heritage.

Susie Johnson, AdamstownSTEPHEN Littlefair (The Australian 07/8) is right about the use of inappropriate, andalso appropriate. They must be two of the great weasel words of our time. Inappropriate usually means someone doesn’t like something but can’t think of a logical explanation. Or in the case of bankers’ mea culpas at the Royal Commission it’s used as a mealy mouthed euphemism to explain their appalling behaviour.

Keith Parsons,NewcastleWOOLWORTHShave been offering free drinks to poker machine addicts in their hotels but make shoppers pay for plastic bags in store. If they can afford to give addicts free drinks, how about giving us long-suffering blokes a free beer whilst doing the shopping with she who must be obeyed?

Steve Barnett,Fingal BayGREAT article, Scott Bevan (‘The architectural life of Brian’, Weekender4/8),and thank you to Brian who has inspired so many of us with his thoughtful and innovative approach to shaping this city. Let’s hope we can capture your enthusiastic vision, salvage some of Newcastle’s architectural history and proceed as a world class city.

Bianca Field,NewcastleAFL vs NRL.Saturday night at the SCG,the Swans and Magpiesdrew 38,000 people. Next door, at theRoosters vs Cowboys, there were 8,000 people. Easy to see what people want. Go the Swans.

Brett Durrance, Cardiff

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A population milestone may be a millstone

GETTING BIGGER: The Australian population was expected to surpass 25 million this week. Reader Phill Howlette questions the wisdom of modern immigration policy. I SAW Australia’s population was set to hit the 25 million mark this week.

Why do we need so many more people coming here when we have such huge problems facing us? If anyone asks why, they often get tagged as a racist for trying to deny foreigners entry, which of course is what the leaders want so they can push the idea that we have to have more people.

How about a forum to discuss the issue properly? Perhaps we could come up with some rational questions to put to the pollies, financiers, capitalists and anyone else wanting to increase the population.

The reasons put forward by some of those in power just do not make sense to a rational person in the street. We have unemployment, we keep giving away our manufacturing base, and we have high power prices and limited water resources.

What are all these extra millions of people going to do to improve the country we all love? I came here as a migrant in 1972 and worked till I retired just recently. I have seen Australia go from a wonderful, thriving, rich country to a place full of self-serving pollies and greedy capitalists channelling profits to their offshore accounts. Adding more people to the population simply serves those lazy money-makers who just want more people to buy stuff. If we, as a country, poured money into water resources to alleviate drought, re-built our manufacturing base – maybe renewable power generating systems, develop our towns and cities with local manufacturing and service industries – then, maybe, the population could grow. To simply bring more and more migrants in with little chance of a real job will cause us to continue to go backwards as a nation.

Phill Howlette,HolmesvilleDON’T PUNISH THE PARISHESCOUNTRYpeople now find their local churches are to be sold to compensate these children abused by members of the clergy (‘Parishioners praying for a better result’, Newcastle Herald 6/8).

Not for sale, apparently, are the bishops’ million-dollar residences or city assets built up over many years. If someone commits a crimepunish them, strip them of their assets, jail them and all those who buy their silence and helped hide their evil secrets. However, those now being punished through the proposed saleofcountry churches are not guilty of any crime and are also innocent.

These places are where you get married, baptise your children and create a community sense of belonging and worship a loving God free from the evils of some men. We find once again the church hierarchy is making decisions to punish those who are innocent of any crime to compensate those sinned against by people the churchselected and in some casesprotected when their evil was uncovered.

John Reynolds,Mt VincentOFTEN NOSIGN OF WORKERSMONDAY’scover photo supporting your M1 story (‘Speeding up’, Herald 6/8)exposes one of the M1’s greatest scourges: traffic congestion through inactiveroadworks. As Ray Dinneen (Letters 6/8)said, centre-lane hoggers interrupt the free flow of traffic.

That problem is exacerbated by long speed reduced sections for roadwork’s when no workers are in fact working. Most drivers now ignore the roadwork “boy who cried wolf” signs,creating risk if workers areactuallythere. Mr Dinneen is correct in saying increased speed limits would improve traffic flow but thatthere must be three lanes available for itto work.

Like Garry Scow (Letters 6/8)says, a more visible mobile police presence will improve safety, especially if employed booking slowdrivers who fail to keep left.

Instead of quoting death rates per head of population, I think theHeraldshould examine deaths per person travelling. If the price of petrol rises markedly causing a rise in ride sharing, you’d expect that there’d be a spike in the death rateassuming the same number of accidents.

If you were to measure the number of people traveling the M1 annually against the death toll, would that equation give a risk statistic worthy of words like “carnage” or “horror”? Theroad toll can never be reduced to zero but the risks inherent in driving modern cars on our well engineered but poorly regulated M1 are minimal.

Stephen Rayfield,Warners BayA NATION NEEDS UNIONSTHE latest figures show that the Australian economy is still stagnating, with low wages growth a big problem. Without disposable income people stop spending, and this has flow-on effects that hurt many businesses.

There are multiple reasons for the low wages growth, but I think a major one is John Howard’s union-busting campaign of a decade or more ago. Most of his measures are still in place. Howard backed high unemployment and low wages as good for business profits, and saw a way to achieve by wrecking the Labor unions. He was partly right, in that some people profited, but his simplistic analysis did not take collateral damage into account.

Increasing the concentration of wealth byproducing fewer prosperous people and leaving many worse offhas not been good for the country. It hasn’t helped that some of the wealth has been moved offshore. If the present government wants to fix this country’s problems, agood start would be to encourage a growth in union membership. In particular, the many casual workers should be helped out of their poverty trap by showing them how to fight for better conditions.

Peter Moylan,GlendaleTERMINOLOGY ISA BLOWWHILE it may make for an eye-catching headline, I believe Tuesday’s front page headline (‘Campus king-hit’, Herald 7/8)was inaccurate as well as being undesirable.

I am personally disgusted by the use of the term “king-hit” to describe cowardly single punch attacks. However, as I read the article I foundthat the event was not a cowardly single punch attack but part of group assault with criminal intent.

It seems to me that any person wearing a knuckle-duster is intent on causing serious harm to any person they assault.

Acting as a group to stop an unsuspecting person on the ring road is not the action of the usual coward attack, often called a king hit,but a deliberate attempt to rob a student on campus.

I have been particularly disturbed by the recent series of media reports slipping back to the use of this offensive terminology, which I thinkgives a higher status to the offender than they deserve.I wish that the media in general would call it for what it is:a disgusting assault by one person on another.

I ask that your paper show some leadership by banning the use of this term.

Stuart King,TorontoSHARE YOUR OPINIONEmail [email protected]出售老域名.au or send a text message to 0427 154 176 (include name and suburb). Letters should be fewer than 200 words. Short Takes should be fewer than 50 words. Correspondence may be edited and reproduced in any form.

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