Monthly Archives: February 2019

Coffee time: Corner Lane, New Lambton

Locals favourite: Baristas Olivia Jubb and Sal Buttsworth serving it up at Little Lane on Orchardtown Road, New Lambton. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers
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Corner Lane Espresso, 1/15 Alma Rd, New Lambton, Mon-Fri 6:30am-3pm, Sat 7am-12pm, Sun 8am-12pm.

It might be the tiredest cliché in any other market place but when it comes to getting your coffee right, timing really is everything. Knowing when to pick the cherries from the coffee crop, so that the precious little beans inside them are at their finest, is only the very beginning. Then comes the processing. The drying. The milling. The hulling. The grading and the sorting. By this time, the beans that will be ground to make your morning espresso next Valentine’s Day haven’t even left the farm in South America yet.

Assuming every step of their subsequent journey is taken and timed to absolute perfection, from the ship to the shore, from the roast and the grind and the extraction and the yield, your next excellent cup can still easily pass you by. Especially when your favourite barista catches an untimely bug that just happens to have been going around every hotel in Hamilton the night before you need them the most.

But there is another type of timing in the coffee trade. It is not as much about transporting the crop to the cup as it is about bringing the right cup to the right corner, or if you fancy yours in New Lambton, the Corner Lane. In the three years since owners Graeme and Sarah Thrift established their café alongside a sleepy laneway running into Lambton Road, coffee drinkers all over Newcastle have become as informed about their morning drops as they are passionate about their evening ones. It is part of the reason why small, village-like locations like New Lambton have become able to sustain their own diverse and unique little café cultures.

It has been a change that Graeme and Sarah, who both have a wide and varied experience in cafe hospitality, were keen to have coincide with their coffee project at Corner Lane. If the dedicated gathering of local followers is anything to go by on the morning of my visit, it is an enthusiasm that definately shows up in the cup.

Blending a robusta into their very own, locally roasted three-bean house blend brings a small but sharp kick of acidity to all of their milk-based coffees. It For their espressos, Graeme and Sarah rotate a small number of single origin roasts that have each been selected for their distinctive flavour profiles.

However you enjoy your drop in here, or how busy things get behind the counter, expect the barista to smile widely, move quickly and perform consistently well under pressure.

The same can be said for the experience at Little Lane, a takeaway coffee outlet recently opened by Graeme and Sarah on nearby Orchardtown Road.

Same coffee. Same service.

Yet another project timed to perfection.

Protesters rally at Newcastle’s Chinan Border Force office as Manus Island processing centre closes

Refugees on Manus Island on Tuesday vowed to resist removal for as long as possible. Photo: Twitter – @NickMcKimSydney Morning Herald:Refugees on Manus Island were braced for potential calamity on Tuesday evening as they refused to leave the now-decommissioned detention centre and feared violent clashes with locals and the military.
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Five years after the centre reopened under Labor and took in its first asylum seekers – and six months after its closure was announced following a Papua New Guinea Supreme Court ruling – the ugly and potentially violent standoff marks another dark episode in the history of ‘s offshore processing regime.

– Full report byMichael Koziol

Sit-in protest at Newcastle’s n Border ForceNewcastle:Protestersgathered in the lobby of Newcastle’s n Border Force yesterday morningto rally against the federal government’s treatment of asylum seekers.

About 10 peoplestaged a sit-in at the Border Force’s office on Honeysuckle Drive, while about a dozen more protested in front of the building that houses the office.

Protesters stage a sit-in at the n Border Force office in Newcastle on Tuesday morning. Picture: Nick Bielby

A spokesman for the group, Alexander Mersiades, said the group would remain in the Border Force office until police asked them to leave.

“We’re here today to demand that the n Government and Border Force show some humanity, show some compassion and bring back the refugees from Manus Island to immediately,” he said.

Read more: Manus Island locals are looting the camp, detainees claim

“We are facing a humanitarian disaster there at the moment.

“The n government is committing a human rights violation in our names and we cannot allow that to happen.”

The protest came amid reports on Friday morning that asylum seekers were barricading themselves in the processing centre to avoid being turned over to the Papua New Guinean government.

Protesters rally in front of the Honeysuckle Drive building that’s home to the n Border Force office. Picture: Nick Bielby

Police arrived at Honeysuckle Drive at about 11am and the protesters in the Border Force lobby left the building peacefully when asked to do so.

They joined fellow protesters in front of the building before the group left the area shortly before 11.30am.

Husband of Parwinder Kaur charged over her burning death

It was a horrific scene in December 2013 when Parwinder Kaur ran screaming from her home in Sydney’s north-west, her body covered in flames.
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Neighbours watched on in shock as the 32-year-old emerged at the front her home on Greensborough Avenue, Rouse Hill, after being doused in petrol and set alight.

At the time, witnesses recalled her husband, Kulwinder Singh, then 34, running after her, apparently trying to put out the flames with his hands, saying, “Fire, fire. I didn’t do it, I’m a good man.”

Parwinder Kaur died after being doused in petrol and set alight. Photo: Supplied

But, four years on, Mr Singh has been arrested and charged with the murder of Ms Kaur.

Ms Singh’s arrest was the culmination of a “painstaking” investigation, known as Strike Force Whyalla, established by detectives attached to The Hills Local Area Command, assisted by State Crime Command’s Homicide Squad.

About 7am on Wednesday, Mr Singh, now 37, was arrested at a Rouse Hill home and taken to Castle Hill police station where he was charged with murder.

Superintendent Rob Critchlow described the almost-four year investigation as a “dogged pursuit of truth” to which there were no third-party witnesses.

“Justice rushed is justice delayed … We felt it was important and imperative to the honour of this poor woman that we gathered the strongest possible brief.”

Superintendent Critchlow said the investigation had played out in two stages, involving a detailed brief to the coroner, who then saw cause to refer the matter to the Department of Public Prosecutions.

In September 2015, a coronial inquest into Ms Kaur’s death heard it had followed years of domestic violence.

The couple had spoken about divorce and Mr Singh had, on several occasions, threatened to kill his wife, the inquest heard.

The couple again argued about family finances on the afternoon Ms Kaur died, the inquest heard.

Shortly after the fight, Ms Kaur phoned triple zero, but her call was suddenly terminated.

Within minutes, Ms Kaur’s neighbours reported hearing a “blood-curdling scream”, before emerging from their homes to see what one described as a “ball of fire”.

The inquest heard that the fire was almost certainly caused by lawnmower fuel, from a can that was found in the laundry of the couple’s home.

Strike Force Whyalla performed careful re-enactments of the incident, using the joint services of police, fire brigade, technical and forensic specialists and a cultural specialist.

“One of the biggest delays to the investigation was the analysis of physical evidence … of the burns … how fire behaves ??? a lot of experts were required,” Superintendent Critchlow said.

“It’s a most compelling brief and a strong case that will be put before the courts. The family, through a spokesperson, has expressed an overwhelming sense of relief. They strongly felt [it] was a matter that required investigation.”

Asked if Ms Kaur’s death was considered to be an “honour killing”, Superintendent Critchlow said, “I don’t believe that’s relevant at this stage.”

Mr Singh was refused bail and will appear at Parramatta Local Court on Thursday.

Government MPs break ranks to back full citizenship audit

President of the Senate, Senator Stephen Parry, during estimates hearing at Parliament House in Canberra on Monday 8 February 2016. Photo: Alex EllinghausenGovernment MPs are joining growing calls for a “full audit” of MPs’ citizenship status, with one describing the ongoing constitutional saga as the “death of a thousand cuts” of the Parliament.
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Craig Kelly, Liberal MP for the Sydney seat of Hughes, said the n Electoral Commission was best placed to conduct the audit.

“There’s virtually an informal audit being done by the media, which is like a death of a thousand cuts,” he told the ABC’s Lateline program on Tuesday night.

“I think the best way to bring this to a head, to draw a line in the sand, let’s have a full audit of everyone’s record, put this behind us and move on and then, going forward, everyone will be crystal clear what the rules are.”

Fellow Coalition backbenchers Eric Abetz and Llew O’Brien backed his call on Wednesday, joining the Greens who say an audit would “end the crisis”.

The growing supportfollows the revelation by the Senate President, Stephen Parry that he may be a British citizen through his British-born father, days after the High Court formally disqualified five parliamentarians for having dual citizenship.

Senator Parry is seeking advice from the British Home Office and says he will resign his position as Senate President and cease to be a senator for the Liberal Party in Tasmania if he is confirmed as a dual citizen, which would put him in breach of section 44 of the constitution.

Senator Parry has not said why he waited until after last week’s High Court verdict to come forward.

Greens leader Richard Di Natale told ABC radio on Wednesday morning he was concerned the government might have “misled the Parliament” by overstating its confidence in the advice from the Solicitor-General, which the government said would clear then Nationals leader and deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce.

Senator Abetz said an audit would help restore people’s confidence in the Parliament.

“The unfortunate situation that has seen seven MPs referred to the High Court and now another situation with Stephen Parry does suggest that there needs to be some kind of audit or consideration to ensure that the integrity of the Parliament is maintained,” he told Sky News.

Mr O’Brien said: “I certainly wouldn’t have an issue with it; if the n people want that I certainly would not be rejecting the idea.”

Senator Abetz speculated there could be “quite a few” more MPs in Senator Parry’s predicament.

“And I would simply call on all of them to do the right and honourable thing and follow the principled lead of the President of the Senate, Senator Stephen Parry,” he told the ABC.

Former NSW Liberal premier Barry O’Farrell also said the “only way to restore public confidence is a citizenship audit of all MPs/Senators”.

However, Attorney-General George Brandis maintained after learning of Senator Parry’s revelation on Tuesday: “I have no reason to believe that there is anyone else in this position.”

The citizenship crisis was triggered in July when Greens Senator Scott Ludlam revealed he held New Zealand citizenship. Shortly after, his colleague Larissa Waters discovered she held Canadian citizenship.

Unlike the Nationals and One Nation MPs who were later found to have held or been entitled to dual citizenship, both Greens senators immediately resigned.

Last week the High Court ruled Mr Joyce was invalidly elected, along with his NSW Nationals colleague, Senator Fiona Nash.

Mr Joyce is likely to be returned in a byelection scheduled for the seat of New England on December 2.

The court also disqualified One Nation senator Malcolm Roberts but cleared Nationals senator Matthew Canavan,and South n senator Nick Xenophon, who on Monday quit Federal Parliament to contest the South n state election.

The Greens have been calling for a citizenship audit but have been rebuffed by the major parties. Senator Di Natale said the issue had become a “constitutional crisis”.

A statement issued by acting Opposition Leader Tanya Plibersek did not address the question of an audit.

Instead, Ms Plibersek said it raised questions about the Liberal Party’s vetting processes.

“The Turnbull government is lurching from crisis to crisis,” she said.

“Malcolm Turnbull must tell ns whether he knew there were doubts over Senator Parry’s eligibility.”