Stockton bowlo barman’s inside job

IT was an inside job.
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A planned heist where Stockton Bowling Club barman Scott Lynch not only helped plan the armed robbery of his own club, but says he gave the all clear for masked raiders to storm the place armed with a shotgun and threaten another employee.

Lynch, now serving a sentence for his part in the robbery on August 26 last year, was in the witness box yesterday giving evidence against a man he claims first approached him to hold up the struggling club.

Damien Lee Hudson, 35, has pleaded not guilty in Newcastle District Court to the armed robbery on the club’s biggest day, following the Jellyblubbers Ball, where bandits got away with $34,520.

Lynch admitted to getting a 25 per cent discount on his prison term for giving evidence against Mr Hudson but denied he was pointing the finger at the accused in an effort to protect another person.

Instead, Lynch told the jury he had only known Hudson as “Damo” when he was approached about six months before the robbery about whether he wanted to make some money.

Lynch admitted he had a $100 a day drug habit, was only earning $400 a week with his bar work and was behind in rent.

He told the court he had had several meetings with “Damo” before taking him and another man, known as “PJ”, to the club’s car park to talk them through its layout and show them the back door where no security cameras showed.

He said he met the pair again on the day of the heist and was given $30 to buy a pre-paid phone which he used to call “PJ” when the coast was clear.

Two men wearing balaclavas then smashed through the back door and robbed Lynch and a female employee.

Lynch said he used a friend’s car to drive to Damo’s place later that night but could not find the men.

He claimed he met up with them two days later where they were supposed to split the money evenly.

Lynch said he got $4000 and under cross-examination said he did not complain, despite his dire financial position, because he was afraid of the pair.

The court heard he had identified Mr Hudson and PJ using photographs as the men responsible for the robbery.

Under cross-examination, defence barrister Mark Preece pressed Lynch on why he had told police he heard the “Islander” talking during the heist but not the other man.

Lynch agreed he told detectives he had just assumed Mr Hudson was the second masked man, although he would later claim he had heard and recognised Mr Hudson’s voice.

The trial, before Judge McLoughlin, continues.

Bayley McGill, James Psarakis co-captains country U-17s cricket 

NEWCASTLE skipper Bayley McGill and Central Northern counterpart James Psarakis were named co-captains of the NSW Country under-17 cricket side after standout performances at Raymond Terrace at the weekend.
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Psarakis, from Tamworth, led the unbeaten Central Northern to the NSW Country championship with 242 runs from three games, including 148 not out against Central Coast and 61 against Western.

Cardiff-Boolaroo batsman McGill belted 135 not out against Western and 145 against Southern in his competition-leading 283 total.

The pair will show the way for Country against City under-17s in two 50-overs-a-side matches at Bradman Oval in Bowral on November 10-11.

Central Coast’s Daniel Hueston was the leading bowler with 9-115 for the tournament and was also selected in the Country team.

The side is: James Psarakis (Central Northern-co-captain), Bayley McGill (Newcastle-co-captain), Tobyn Burvill (North Coastal), Luke Corlis (North Coastal), Daniel Heuston (Central Coast), Henry Hunt (Western), Nathaneal Jones (Southern), Charles Litchfield (Western), Connor Matheson (Riverina), Jayden Park (Central Northern), Joshua Pettigrew (Newcastle), Jaymes Thomas (Central Northern).

■ Denman’s Riley Ayre had plenty to talk about when he returned to St Joseph’s High School, Aberdeen, yesterday after a memorable week in his burgeoning cricket career.

The 17-year-old spinner debuted for NSW in the second XI Futures League competition, finishing with 0-27 and 0-16 and scoring six not out in a rain-marred draw in a four-day game with Victoria at Junction Oval in St Kilda.

The left-armer then again bowled tidily on Saturday for Sutherland in Sydney first grade, finishing with 0-16 off seven overs in a 10-wicket loss to Manly-Warringah.

On Sunday, he backed up in under-21s and senior Twenty20 wins for Sutherland against Gordon.

He opened the bowling in both games, taking 1-23 and 2-21 in his four-over efforts.

■ Hunter District Cycling Club’s Kai Chapman made it back-to-back wins in a race dedicated to his grandfather, Mick Chapman, on Sunday.

Kai, who won the Australian under-15 track sprint championship at Adelaide in March, defended his under-15 division crown in the Mick Chapman Memorial Criterium on Honeysuckle Drive, edging out Central Coast’s Tom Lynch and Illawarra’s Zach Marshall.

In the girls’ under-15s, North Sydney’s Laura Jones beat Central Coast’s Jess Fields and Hunter’s Lucie Fityus.

Manly’s Ella Falzarano claimed the girls’ under-17s ahead of Hunter’s Nicola Macdonald and Amelia Follett.

North Sydney rider Jacob Jones took out the boys’ under-17s from Port Macquarie’s Liam Magennis and Armidale’s Sam Jenner.

■ Twin Rivers YMCA gymnast Jacobi Patrick has delivered the small Raymond Terrace club a NSW title.

Patrick claimed the overall Level 5 Intermediate crown at Homebush this month after finishing fourth on the vault, fourth on bars and third on beam. It followed her overall win at the NSW Country titles in Orange in September.

■ Knights junior Heath Gibbs has been named alongside Wendell Sailor’s son Tristan in the NSW Indigenous under-16 team to play Queensland.

Gibbs is a member of the Knights’ under-16 squad training for the 2014 Harold Matthews competition.

The NSW-Queensland game will be played during the Festival of Indigenous Rugby League in Newcastle on February 3-8.

Another feature will be a trial between the Knights and an invitational team made up of players from the NSW Koori Knockout and Queensland’s Murri carnival.

■ More than 20 junior basketball teams from Newcastle and Lake Macquarie will head to Port Macquarie this weekend for the annual Seaside Classic.

Under-11, under-13, under-15 and under-17 girls and boys matches will be played on courts at Port Macquarie Sports Stadium, St Joseph’s Regional College, St Columba Anglican School and St Paul’s High School.

The teams will represent Newcastle and Lake Macquarie clubs City Limits, Port Hunter, United, Wests and Lakers against teams from Cessnock, Central Coast, Port Macquarie, Coffs Harbour, Tamworth, Byron Bay, Bellingen, Grafton, Lismore, Ryde and Springwood.

Bayley McGill

Sabrina Kliousis smashes javelin record

PET EVENT: Sabrina Kliousis says that the javelin is her favourite sport. Picture: Phil HearneTHE sky is the limit for javelin thrower Sabrina Kliousis after a record-breaking start to her time in the sport.
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The 13-year-old from Newcastle Grammar School is targeting the Australian All Schools championship in December at Townsville after she won the state title in Sydney this month.

The winning throw of 33.87 metres on a hot and windy day followed an outstanding run by Kliousis, who claimed the Association of Independent Co-Educational Schools title with a throw of 34.32m. It broke the previous mark by almost seven metres.

Then came the NSW Combined Independent Schools championships, where the year 8 student bettered the meet mark of 32.82m with an effort of of 34.32m.

Coach Liam Speers, 21, is discus champion who finished eighth at the IAAF World Youth Championships in Bressanone in 2009.

Now juggling his own training and competition with coaching, Speers takes Sabrina and her older brother, Rugby, through their paces at least once a week.

Speers said Sabrina had great natural ability and was an exciting prospect.

“She has limitless amount of potential,” Speers said.

“She’s been with me for only two years and in that time she’s added 17 metres or more to her throw.

“In the lower school comps you can get people who can play other sports like baseball who have a good arm already, but when you get to state or nationals you see the girls who have the training and potential – Sabrina’s proven herself that way.”

He believed she had an excellent chance of adding the national schools title to her growing list of achievements.

“She’s an awesome thrower and I can see she is capable of throwing further than what she is at the moment,” he said.

“On the day, anything can happen. If she clicks all that technical training together, I know she’s a chance to win.”

Speers said Sabrina’s older brother, Rugby, 16, could also go a long way in javelin.

“He has just as much potential, if not more,” he said.

“He could become a national representative at javelin, rugby, soccer – he just has so much natural talent. Whoever can grab hold of him will do well with him.”

Sabrina competes for the Adamstown-New Lambton Little Athletics club.

She said she followed her brother into the sport and just “liked it”.

A touch football player and cheerleader, she said she wanted to go as far as she could with javelin, which was her favourite sport.

Zac Walsh on fitness mission

MACQUARIE first grade coach Barrie Moore is taking a hands-on approach when it comes to reshaping new recruit Zac Walsh.
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It has been the worst-kept secret in Newcastle Rugby League that the enigmatic Walsh would join the Scorpions after an unhappy season at premiers Western Suburbs.

Walsh, 19, spent limited time in first grade this season due to injuries and was often overlooked by Rosellas coach Craig Miller as his weight ballooned.

No one can doubt the halfback’s immense potential.

At his best, Walsh is one of the most talented play-makers in the competition, as seen when he led Wests to the 2012 premiership at 18.

Due to weight issues, Walsh was unable to play to his potential consistently at the Rosellas but Moore believes he can succeed.

Moore, who has taken over the first-grade job from Noel Dent after a premiership in reserves, has started weekly one-on-one training sessions with Walsh at Jesmond’s Heaton Park.

Last summer Moore lost 42 kilograms to stand at 68kg and he is passing on his experiences to Walsh.

‘‘I told him when I signed him I would get him fit,’’ Moore said.

‘‘I’ve taken it personally. No one has ever given the kid a go and I just wanted to sit down and help him.

‘‘It means a lot to him that we’re working one-on-one,’’ he said.

Walsh’s weight has been a constant hurdle in his promising career, which included a handful of Western Suburbs Magpies NSW Cup games in 2012.

Mid-way through 2012, the Knights signed Walsh and placed him with Wests, hoping the club’s professional set-up would improve his fitness in time for this year’s National Youth League.

Walsh gained weight over the summer after an injury and it cost him an opportunity in the Knights under-20s.

However, Moore was committed to getting Walsh down from 107kg to about 90kg.

‘‘So many of people have said to me, ‘If you can get him fit, good luck’,’’ he said.

‘‘I’ve taken that as a personal challenge and there’s no reason he can’t do it if he sticks to it and at the moment he is.’’

Walsh finished last season in Wests’ beaten reserve grade grand final side.

‘‘I just thought I didn’t want to be in that environment and wanted to start afresh,’’ Walsh said.

Walsh says Moore’s personal experiences with battling the bulge makes his challenge to drop the weight easier.

‘‘It’s good to have someone who understands where I’m coming from, with him being 40kg heavier than he is now and knowing what it’s like to be big,’’ he said.

‘‘He knows we need help and that’s what he’s trying to do at the moment and I respect him for that.’’

Walsh is also hopeful he can resurrect his opportunity at the Knights as he is still eligible for their under-20 squad next season.

‘‘I’ve set myself a goal and I’m starting to get there and get my life back on track and 2014 should be a good year,’’ he said.

‘‘I get on with [recruitment and development manager] Peter Mulholland at the Knights. He said to give him a call when I get to the 100kg mark – I’d like to be there before Christmas, so I’m not too far away if I keep doing the right things,’’ he said.

HELPING OUT: Zac Walsh trains with Scorpions head coach Barrie Moore at Heaton Park. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

O’Connor set to announce deal

In demand: James O’Connor. Photo: Brendan EspositoDisgraced Wallabies winger James O’Connor will announce a short term deal with English Premiership side London Irish on Tuesday.
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Fairfax Media understands the club and O’Connor will announce the marquee signing at their club headquarters at 10am on Tuesday (9pm Tuesday AEDT).

O’Connor was due to arrive in London on Monday. He tweeted on Sunday that he was “London bound for a few months to play some rugby”.

London bound for a few months to play some rugby, can’t wait.. see you soon Aus! Thanks for all the… http://t.co/BQSXAVyutp— James O’Connor (@JamesOConnor832) October 27, 2013

The exact length of the deal is not known, but O’Connor has made it clear he wants to return to Australia in time to make the Wallabies’ 2015 World Cup squad.

His contract with the Australian Rugby Union was terminated last month after a disciplinary investigation found he had failed to ”uphold the behavioural and cultural standards expected within the team”.

The investigation was sparked by an incident at Perth airport, in which a drunk O’Connor was banned from boarding a flight to Bali and escorted from the terminal the morning after he played on the wing in the Wallabies’ Rugby Championship win against Argentina.

The ARU suspended the 44-Test winger, later announcing he would not be offered a Wallabies “top-up” in 2014 but would be eligible to sign with an Australian Super Rugby team.

He had been clubless since the middle of the year, when he and the Rebels decided not to renew his contract with the Melbourne side.

O’Connor was in advanced talks to join the Western Force but the deal did not materialise, O’Connor instead announcing he would head overseas.

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Labor’s carbon backflip

Labor is expected to support axing the carbon tax, with senior figures – including leader Bill Shorten – now convinced that its case for action on climate change is more easily sold if the politically ”toxic” tax is abolished.
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The Opposition has been wrestling with the repeal of the tax, with some saying it must hold the line to show voters and demoralised supporters it still stands for something. But party leaders have progressed their thinking to consider what the party will put to voters in the lead-up to the next election.

They argue that Labor proposed to ”terminate” the tax at the election and to simply block its repeal would allow the government to continue to punish it politically.

Mr Shorten is also worried an endless focus on the carbon tax would distract from serious flaws in the government’s $3.2 billion Direct Action policy, which Labor will oppose.

Direct Action uses taxpayer funds to pay polluters to start reducing emissions and pay for other initiatives in forestry, carbon capture, and recycling.

A survey of economists by Fairfax Media found only two out of 35 supported Direct Action over an emissions trading scheme.

Labor will continue to back some form of carbon pricing but reserves the right to deliver its policy closer to the election. In the meantime, it will scrutinise Direct Action, independent analysis of which suggests it won’t be able to reduce emissions by 5 per cent in 2020, a bipartisan goal, without more funding, something expressly ruled out by Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

A senior Labor source said the party would not countenance weakening the target, amid concern that the draft legislation to repeal the carbon tax changes the status of the 5 per cent reduction from a legally enforceable cap to merely an aspiration.

‘‘We are happy to get rid of the tax but we do think there should be a cap on pollution,’’ said a Labor insider.

The Climate Change Authority will release its recommendations for Australia’s emissions cuts target on Wednesday morning. The independent advisory body may recommend that the 5 per cent cut be revised upward to 10 or 15 per cent. It will also assess the nation’s progress towards its short and medium term emissions cuts.

Mr Abbott has made the repeal of the carbon tax his legislative priority when Parliament resumes in three weeks. He urged Labor to ‘‘repent’’ and support the government.Multiple Labor sources acknowledged there had been a shift since the election.

Even so, shadow cabinet is yet to finalise Labor’s position and the party also wants to see the final shape of the government’s legislation before finally committing to its position.

Labor’s climate change spokesman Mark Butler hinted strongly on the weekend that the option of allowing the repeal bills through was being actively considered, revealing the final policy ‘‘will be informed by the fact that we took to the last election a commitment ourselves to terminate the carbon tax’’.

John Scales from JWS Research said polling showed that the carbon tax had dominated the climate change debate in recent years and undermined support for action.

He said the tax was widely seen through the prism of former prime minister Julia Gillard’s broken promise when she introduced the impost, as well as its impact on electricity and other prices.

Mr Abbott has already begun calling Mr Shorten ‘‘Electricity Bill’’ as he goads him to support the repeal of the tax.

With it gone, Mr Scales  reckoned that Labor would have the clear air to make direct action the target and develop its alternative.

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Time has arrived: Foreteller off to Cup

Leading Sydney trainer Chris Waller said he had given up looking for reasons not to run his import Foreteller in next week’s $6 million Melbourne Cup, maintaining the horse’s time to compete in Australia’s most important handicap had arrived.
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”It was a cracking run on Saturday in the Cox Plate. OK, will he run a genuine two miles is the question. Saintly went from a Cox Plate to winning a Melbourne Cup with a doubt on him staying.

”I know the horse was trained by a genius [Bart Cummings], but I am just hoping Foreteller could do exactly what Saintly did and win the Cup. We have been finding reasons not to start him, but his time has come.”

While Waller will not be the biggest player in this Melbourne Cup, as wealthy businessman Lloyd Williams could have up to a quarter of the field with six runners, the former New Zealand trainer has three hopefuls – Foreteller, Hawkspur and Kelinni.

”That’s how I’m looking at it,” Waller said. ”They are all in great order and I can’t fault them so the Cup is their mission. But Foreteller will not run on Saturday, he will go straight into the Cup.”

Local jockey Craig Newitt looks set to take the ride on Foreteller.

Cummings’ mission to get an incredible 88th runner in the Cup is still alive, although hanging by a thread, after Moonee Valley Cup winner Precedence was given a one-kilogram penalty .

Racing Victoria chief handicapper Greg Carpenter said the weight penalty for the group 2 win was in line with what the horse carried in last year’s race when a brave ninth to Green Moon, and was a penalty that took into consideration the horse’s age and the fact he has won a group 3 and a group 2 staying race in the past 12 months.

”The penalty takes Precedence back to the same weight he carried when running ninth to Green Moon in last year’s Emirates Melbourne Cup,” Carpenter said.

”The penalty is the same given to Vatuvei for winning the 2012 renewal at Moonee Valley and does not guarantee the horse a start in the race. After withdrawals at the third declarations stage Precedence has moved from 45th to 29th in the order of entry but is far from guaranteed a place in the final field of 24.”

To make the field Precedence must win either the Mackinnon Stakes or the Lexus Stakes on Saturday at Flemington or sit back and rely on attrition to improve his position in the order of entry.

Cummings’ grandson and training partner James said that if Precedence managed to sneak into the Melbourne Cup field his grandfather would be at Flemington to watch his 88th Cup runner.

The Melbourne Cup dream is still alive for the connections of 47 horses that were paid up at the third stage of declarations on Monday, with Saturday’s Derby day meeting at Flemington to play a significant hand in the final field.

Key Cup hopefuls that face a must-win scenario this Saturday include Caulfield Cup fourth Jet Away and English raider Forgotten Voice. Both must win the Mackinnon to get a start.

Saturday’s group 1 Mackinnon Stakes and group 3 Lexus provide the winner with ballot exempt passage into the field, meaning that horses on the borderline of a Cup start could be forced out.

And it would seem the Lexus will be a hard-fought affair considering there are 18 hopefuls attempting to force a way through to the Cup.

Key absentees from the list of nominations were the Gai Waterhouse-trained Glencadam Gold, Peter Moody’s Manighar, It’s A Dundeel, Royal Descent, and early Cup favourite Puissance De Lune, with tension building as the final field begins to take shape.

West Australian trainer Adam Durrant kept Mr Moet in the race after finishing sixth at Caulfield.

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Berry tough training schedule has Cup pair on track

Winning combination: Tommy Berry and Gai Waterhouse. The pair will combine with Tres Blue in the Melbourne Cup. Photo: Dallas KilponenIf he didn’t know any better, Tommy Berry could have sworn that he’s the one Gai Waterhouse is training to run the two miles of the Melbourne Cup and not French three-year-old Tres Blue.
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But Berry knows Waterhouse too well to second-guess her methods as she prepares her latest European import for the Cup. He also understands that the champion trainer is in a strange way training the young jockey just as carefully for the rigours of the race as she is her horse.

While Tres Blue has been settling into the Werribee quarantine centre, Berry has been doing his own trackwork, pounding out the kilometres on the road and the race track in preparation for his second Melbourne Cup ride.

”Gai’s got me running the track, two laps of Flemington every day just so I can get used to it, she’s training me more than the horse, don’t worry,” he said.

”She’s got me going from Flemington trackwork to Werribee trackwork then back to Flemington for training every day, so I’ll be here (Werribee) every day until Cup day getting familiar with the horse – it’s what Gai wants.”

Waterhouse has made no secret of the fact that it is the Melbourne Cup trophy that she craves most, recently announcing a major public syndication group that will race horses specifically for the purpose of winning the Cup.

And along with her runners, race favourite Fiorente and recent French purchase Tres Blue, Berry has become a crucial part of her quest and is now regarded as Waterhouse’s No.1 rider following a separation from long-time stable jockey Nash Rawiller.

Berry was entrusted with the ride on Waterhouse’s Glencadam Gold in last year’s Cup, his first ride in the race, and has been handed the reins to Tres Blue along with the responsibility for helping the young stayer to acclimatise to Waterhouse’s methods in the week before the race, a challenge that excites the young rider.

”He’s got great form behind him, it is just as good as Fiorente’s when he came out last year. He can be a little quirky but we can’t fault him at the moment but we’ve got a little bit over a week to the Cup, so fingers crossed it all holds together,” he said.

”I think he’s a better chance than Glencadam Gold. This horse can adapt to races a little bit better than Glencadam and he has a lot better form coming into it.”

Tres Blue has emerged as a Cup player this season in France. The three-year-old (four by southern hemisphere season) was a narrow winner of a minor listed race at Lyon in May and then runner-up in what was considered to be an average edition of the German Derby. But from there the horse’s form improved significantly.

A dominant win against his own age group in the Prix De Reux over 2400 metres was followed by a grinding victory in the Prix De Deauville, leaving star galloper Cirrus Des Aigles behind at the line. The horse was then sold to Waterhouse’s former racing manager Bruce Slade and his Round Table Racing syndicate for a reported seven figure sum.

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Globetrotters promise hoops of fun

ENTERTAINER: Herbert LangHERBERT “Flight Time” Lang has promised a mixed bag of new tricks and old-school favourites when he and the Harlem Globetrotters touch down at Newcastle Entertainment Centre tonight.
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The world-famous Globetrotters are midway through their first Australian tour since 2004 but this is Flight Time’s first visit Down Under, despite being in his 15th year with the team.

Flight Time and his teammates were enjoying some down time on a day off in Sydney yesterday after wowing crowds in Brisbane, Gold Coast, Townsville and Cairns last week. They will head to Melbourne, Canberra, Adelaide and Hobart after playing in Newcastle tonight.

“We haven’t been here since 2004 and for myself, I’ve been with the team now for 15 years and I missed the last two times that they came here so for me, this is my first time, and it’s been pretty much everything that they’ve advertised,” Flight Time told the Newcastle Herald.

“I can’t believe it’s been so long since we’ve been here. The tour’s been going great, attendances have been great, so hopefully it won’t be that long again before we get a chance to come back.

“It seems like you’ve missed us, according to the way people have been turning out so far. It’s always nice to know that you’re liked, and to be a part of a team that’s been around for so long.

“Coming to places like Australia, places around the world that you wouldn’t get to come to with a normal job, for me it’s a blessing, and I enjoy every minute of it.”

A fan, and star, of reality television, the 37-year-old guard from Brinkley, Arkansas, has appeared on The Amazing Race, Hell’s Kitchen and The Bachelorette, but basketball is his passion and he has never tired of entertaining fans with his sublime skills.

“We get a chance to go out on the court and entertain every night. Once we start the crowd participation, it’s a different show every night because you never know how people are going to respond,” he said.

“With social media the way it is, we can go on Twitter and Instagram and see what people think about us, and for the most part, we always get positive feedback. It’s always nice to hear how good you are.”

The International Elite All-Stars have replaced long-time whipping boys the Washington Generals as the Globetrotters’ opponents on this tour.

“We’ve been breaking ankles, and almost breaking backboards as well,” he said.

“This is our 87th year of touring the world, and the thing about the Globetrotters is, everybody has a Globetrotters story. We do a lot of crowd participation and bringing people out on to the court.

“You might see some water thrown on somebody, kids out there spinning basketballs, a lot of dancing, high-flying slam dunks, and great family fun. We’re all about making memories that will last a life-time.

“We’re a great family show. I always tell people that even if you don’t like basketball, you can still come to a Harlem Globetrotters game and have a great time.”

Globetrotters stars “Cheese” Chisholm, “Moose” Weekes and 224cm Jermaine “Stretch” Middleton, the third-tallest player in team history, will be at Newcastle Basketball Stadium at Broadmeadow at 4pm today to showcase their skills to junior basketballers preparing for the Seaside Classic at Port Macquarie this weekend.

A limited number of tickets remain for the show tonight, starting at 7pm, and they are available through Ticketek on a two-for-one basis.

Lawyer buys $710,000 city unit to set up son, 5, on ground floor of property market

dion vertzayas and dean A birthday present: The view from the Potts Point pad. Photo: Supplied
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Dion

Helping your adult daughter to buy a million-dollar Surry Hills terrace is one thing, but spending $710,000 on an apartment for your five-year-old son is another.

Sydney property lawyer Dion Vertzayas has moved to secure his son’s future in the market by buying a bolt-hole in the inner city.

His son, Dean, probably won’t be moving in until sometime around 2025, but Mr Vertzayas said he had to act now to prevent his son being forever priced out of the market.

”There is only limited stock in Sydney,” he said. ”He’s turning six next month. It is going to be a surprise for his birthday. ”When he is at university he can have it as his place and he can commute from there to wherever he wants to study or work.”

The one-bedroom apartment with parking on Victoria Street, Potts Point, has views over the Domain to the Harbour Bridge.With the market on the rise, more first-timers are being forced to fall back on their parents for help.

The median house price in Sydney surged past $700,000 for the first time over the September quarter to $722,718. The median unit price also rose to $515,035, figures from Australian Property Monitors show.

Potts Point agent Nuri Shik from Laing+Simmons said parents had been showing up to inspections with their kids ever since the first home owner grant for established properties was scrapped in 2012.

”The government used to assist first home buyers, now it is parents who have stepped in to fill the gap,” he said. ”It’s the best way to get in to the market because if they [young people] wait until they’ve saved their money they could be priced out even further.”

The extent that parents will go to help their kids became apparent on Saturday when a Mosman couple helped their 23-year-old uni-student daughter buy a Surry Hills terrace for $1,094,000. The purchase price was $119,000 over the $975,000 reserve.

General manager at AFG mortgage brokers Mark Hewitt said more parents were acting as guarantor for their children’s purchases. ”The most popular tool is where parents provide a charge over the property they own to support the lack of deposit that their children have,” he said.

Television and radio personality Tim Webster thought up a low-risk way to help his two sons get into the property market: get them to pay his mortgage.

Mr Webster and his wife bought a property in Wahroonga and his sons, aged 22 and 24, make payments into the mortgage account.

”That way when we sell the house they’ll get whatever they put in back plus a percentage of whatever the increase in value of the home is,” he said. ”Hopefully, that will give them enough cash to put in to a place of their own.”

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