Scoping new markets

Ambition: Throat Scope founder Jennifer Holland in Newcastle. Picture: Marina Neil
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You are the first Australian female to win a silver gong at the US-based Edison awards – honouring excellence in product development – for Throat Scope. What does the win mean to you?

It was an honour to win an Edison Award in New York. The award attracts some of the biggest companies in the world, like 3M and Phillips. To be recognised at this level was an amazing achievement for us.

You invented Throat Scope in 2009 after taking your child to the doctor’s and he was in pain during a mouth examination. How has the potential for the use of your product grown since then?

I designed Throat Scope to replace the penlight and wooden tongue depressor. Doctors, dentists, paediatricians, speech pathologists and paramedics now use Throat Scope. Throat Scope makes it possible to check for sore throats, sore teeth, and mouth ulcers at home. We also want to shine light on the importance of monthly self Oral Health Checks. We’re on a mission to educate the world on the early signs of Oral Cancer. Self-examination will save lives.

Your first brush with success was going on Channel 10’s Shark Tank program and landing a financial backer in tech start up multimillionaire Steve Baxter. Is he still invested in your company?

Steve has played a large part in the Throat Scope journey. His advice is invaluable. He is still an investor in Throat Scope.

Since your appearance on Shark Tank, what have been the biggest coups for your company?

In 17 months, we’ve secured 12 distributors across 146 countries. Team Medical Supplies is one of our largest deals to date, marketing and distributing Throat Scope in Australia. We’ve set up a new warehouse in Ohio in the USA, so we can ship direct to the US. We have three new US distributors and that number is growing.

How has the focus of your business changed since its inception and are there any new markets you envisage for Throat Scope?

Throat Scope provides medical professionals with an Easy, Fast and Accurate view of the mouth, throat, teeth, gums and soft tissue. Now we want to educate everyone about the benefits of at-home, monthly oral health self-checks. If a mole changes colour or shape we know to see a doctor. The early signs of oral cancer are also simple to detect but nobody knows what to look for. Throat Scope is partnering worldwide with Oral Cancer Foundations to educate everyone on the early signs.

What does an average day entail for you?

Most nights I have one or two calls to the US. I start my morning about 4:30am to get some work in before the children wake and also to coincide with US hours. I jump on the treadmill to run for 20 minutes and read emails. When the children wake, I’m in mum mode, getting breakfast, making lunches, dressing them, last minute homework, bags packed and then school drop off for three of my four children. With my fourth child in tow I head into the office for the day and leave about 2:55pm to do school pick up. I’m with the children in the afternoon, taxiing everyone to after school sports and dance. Then its homework, dinner, bath, books, bed and back to work for another couple of hours. My life is crazy but somehow it works. I love Sunday; I switch off and spend quality time with my family.

What are your current business goals?

The goal for Throat Scope and Holland Healthcare is to invent and develop revolutionary medical devices for the healthcare and home market. In 5 years our business will be on par with some of the leading global medical device companies.

What other medical devices are you working on?

We’ll soon be launching the Throat Scope App for parents and healthcare professionals. We’re also working on two new medical devices due out in 2018.

What drives you?

My motivation and drive come from my children. I want them to understand the importance of hard work, persistence and above all I want them to believe in themselves and have the confidence and courage to follow their dreams.

What is the biggest challenge to your business?

Challenges are part of growing, building and learning in business. A challenge for us now is the US company set up; finding the right staff, setting up the warehouse and office to run efficiently, and the intercompany transactions between home and the US.

What is the best part?

Definitely donating Throat Scope to doctors overseas who complete aid work in third world countries. I hope to one day go over and experience this first hand.

You have four young children and a hubby who is away a lot for work. What are your survival tools?

Becoming a mother during my start-up journey gave me all the skills, patience and perseverance I needed to succeed as an entrepreneur. Let’s face it; negotiating with a sick toddler at 3:00am is tough. If you survive that you can do anything.

Jennifer Holland

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Kantarovski survives Jets cleanout

Kantarovski survives Jets cleanout LAST MAN STANDING: Ben Kantarovski has been offered a one-year contract extension at the Jets. Picture: Jonathan Carroll
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OUT: Andrew Hoole

OUT: Daniel Mullen

OUT: Mateo Poljak

OUT: Ma Leilei

OFF-FIELD OPTION: Labinot Haliti

OUT: Morten Nordstrand


OUT: Tomislav Arcaba

OUT: Harry Sawyer

OUT: Joel Allwright

TweetFacebook The cleanout means the Jets have 17 contracted players, plus Kantarovski if he accepts the offer of a one-year contract extension, leaving five vacancies for new players.

Kantarovski’s wage lies outside the salary cap under the A-League’s concession for club loyalty.

The Jets have signed Mariners striker Roy O’Donovan, Melbourne Victory defender Daniel Georgevski, who won the Joe Marston Medal as player of the match in Sunday’s grand final, and youngsters Kosta Petratos and Mario Shabow for next season.

It is understood club management have drawn up a list of potential recruits which includes 31-year-old Socceroo Mark Milligan, who is halfway through a two-year contract at Baniyas SC in the United Arab Emirates, and former Jets forward Nathan Burns.

Also mentioned as possible targetsare 28-year-old Wanderers midfielder Mitch Nichols, Victory’s 31-year-old Spanishcentre back Alan Baro, Adelaide midfielder Marcelo Carrusca and former Wellington Phoenix keeper Glenn Moss.

Meanwhile, Queensland winger Joe Champness, one of two youth players the Jets sent to Portugal this year to develop their games, has earned a trial with Brighton and Hove Albion’s under-23s.Brighton won promotion from the English Championship to the Premier League last month.

Champness, a former Roar youth player, has not played for the Jets but signed an 18-month scholarship deal with the club in January before joining Portuguese club Academica on loan with Antonee Burke.

In other news, Spanish coach Guillermo Amor has left Adelaide after the Reds finished ninth this season.

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Whatever suits in battle to dress up

FASHION DARTBOARD: Statistics suggest that when it comes to selecting a suit it’s all in the eye of the beholder.SIMON WALKER: That’s Life archive
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Buying a suit for a pressing social engagement is a fashion crisis we all face at some stage of life. Usually the last minute.

Generally the experience is graphic, so in an effort to encapsulate, and indeed pixelate, the factors at play, I’ve come up with a graph (see right).

You’ll notice a slight gender bias, and that the criteria are vague and the percentages don’t add up. Welcome to fashion. Invert to to your needs as we dive deep into the data.

To put you in the picture, we’d been invited to a wedding weeks ago and we/I obviously needed some new clothes.

To quote the treasurer, “better days ahead”.The oldfallback of recycling what’s in the wardrobe, yet again, had been rejected. We/I needed to regenerate fashionistically. But why rush into it? Cue the last minute.

So we’re fashion in the field, hitting the change rooms like Australia’s Next Top Model, not. Clothes of various ill-fitting fabric, texture, length and style are being flungat pace in the face. The Met ball has nothing on some of the garb beingparaded.

Legs aren’t long enough, cuffs aren’t peaking out, shoulders are too puffy and eyes are getting that way too.

One of them’son the mirror checking the crotch, the other’s on the partner who has a kind of “over it” look on theface.

There’s a lot of intel to take in. The lighting’s poor. The music’s loud. The sales assistant has stopped asking my opinion and is communicating directly to the partner. And we’ve only just got here.

It feels likeI am being accessorised, and I have to say, it’s dehumanising. “Now you see what we go through!!!” exclaims the partner.

In that moment I am able to distil the four major ingredients that influencea man when it comes to selecting a suit. And you’ll see that none of them really count until you get to the last one.

Starting in descending order of importance, colour.

Worth 10 per cent of worry afterRobbie O gave us mustard yellow. Then there’s undertaker black, accountant grey and poo brown. Say no more. That is until you discover that the new black this year is blue.

Which is how the ego feels as I don a flecked and textured borderline cobalt number, copping in the process an observation from sassy second shop assistant that this style is really “common”.

I think he meant “popular”, but itcame across as aninsensitive thing to say, particularly to the second shop assistant who thought I wasabout to pull out of the sale.

It was touch and go, but we are now up tothe third most important point on the graph –the suit nearly fits.

Definitely worth another 10 per cent of fretting, particularly after three hours of squeezing into and out of all manner of neck-choking, gut-pinching, derma-braising combos.

Which gets us to the second most important thing,timing. The wedding is basically tomorrow and the shops are nearly shut.This is definitely worth worrying about unless you want to turn up to the ceremony nude.

Which heraldsthe ultimate factor that undoes all other considerations – does the partner like it?

Hard to tell as theyslump in the corner. But with one last effort thethumb comes up. We have a winner –my credit card company. Good debt or bad debt? Let the wedding snaps decide.

In the meantime I’m dressing this up as a graphic relief.

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‘Missing’ construction figure’s company seeks funds

Vince Santoro owner of Elite Civil Group. Supplied Photo: Supplied
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An excavation firm, whose owner vanished claiming to be in police protection while owing more than $5 million in unpaid bills, has made an application to access more money from the sale of two Sydney properties.

Vincent Santoro, the director of Elite Civil Group, vanished from Sydney in February 2014 amid claims from subcontractors he owed at least $5 million in unpaid debts across seven construction sites to more than 50 firms.

It led to bikie gangs turning up at construction sites across Sydney and loading machinery onto trucks in a bid to reclaim debts.

At one site bikies even took the microwave from the staff kitchen and loose change from a worker’s pocket.

Now, Elite Civil Group and its liquidator Mitchell Warren Bell have made an application in the NSW Supreme Court to be paid money held by the court on behalf of Mr Santoro’s wife, Rene Santoro.

That money is from the court-ordered sale of two homes in Mrs Santoro’s name – one at Horningsea Park in Sydney’s south-west and the other in the southern suburb of Barden Ridge.

Creditors have contacted Fairfax Media concerned they still will not see any of the $5 million in payments they are owed by Mr Santoro, who was most recently seen fishing in far north Queensland.

In the days before he was last seen in Sydney, Mr Santoro transferred $500,000 in 12 transactions from his company’s bank accounts into that of his wife.

Mr Santoro later told a hearing in the Federal Court of Australia that he did so because he was being extorted and forced to pay $300,000 to a known identity.

He told the court he paid the money because he had been sent a text message that read: “Vince, you dog, Vince you dog. If you don’t go and withdraw that 100k and bring it to me today I’m gonna … kill your dog of a son. Got it?”

But Mr Santoro’s phone records, and those of the person he claimed to have been extorted by, were produced before the court and revealed the threatening message was never sent.

Mr Santoro claimed he visited Green Valley police station a few days later and was placed in “police asylum”.

He told the court that due to the level of threats he received over a 48-hour period, he was told he was being put in protection and moved away. The $500,000 he withdrew from the company accounts were meant to be his living expenses, he told the court.

Fairfax Media has ascertained that Mr Santoro is not in police custody.

During the court hearing Mr Santoro also admitted to having a membership to an exclusive level of The Star casino for “spending more than the average person on the gaming floor”.

At the time he fled Sydney in February 2014, Mr Santoro and his family also had more than 40 bank accounts in their names.

He is now understood to be living in Cairns while court action continues in a bid to recoup the money he owes.

Mr Santoro has previously been the manager of more than a dozen companies, all of which have been “sunk” or deregistered.

Bank statements, viewed by Fairfax Media, show Mr Santoro transferred hundreds of thousands of dollars from the company’s bank account into personal accounts via a number of transactions between December 2013 and February 2014.

His bank accounts were frozen by the courts after he attempted to withdraw money from a bank in South Australia in the weeks after he left Sydney.

Fairfax Media was unable to reach Mr Santoro for comment.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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Don’t play the blame game

Don’t play the blame game Helping Hand: Dr Anousha Victoire helps sexual assault victims at the Newcastle Sexual Assault Service. Hundreds of Hunter people are victims of sex crimes each year. Picture: Simone De Peak.
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TweetFacebookNewcastle Herald reported on Monday that1246 sex crimes occurredin the Hunter last year.

Three quarters of the victims were children and juveniles, including about 700 females and more than 200 males.

Dr Anousha Victoire said 98 per cent of the service’spatients were female.

Nevertheless, the service does see male and transgender clients.

Dr Victoire said it was important for victims to have people who “believe them and are ready to support them”.

“If someone as a friend comes to you and discloses a sexual assault, the main thing you could do is validate what they’re saying,” said Dr Victoire, who is the Newcastle Sexual Assault Service’s medical lead.

“Often the first thing people will say is ‘what were you doing there, why were you wearing that, why did you go to his house?’.”

She said this type of reaction can worsen the guilt and shame that victims feel.

“It might make them less likely to come forward to police,” she said.

About 100 to 120 victims seek help each year from the service for “crisis support” after an assault.

“That’s the last couple of years. Five years ago, we were only seeing half that,” Dr Victoire said.

“I don’t think less assaults were happening back then, I think it was just that people weren’t coming forward to get help because of the stigma around sexual assault.

“People worry about being blamed.”

Dr Victoire urged victims to contact the service or present to John Hunter Hospital or police, as soon as possible after an incident.

“Don’t delay. Some people wait and go home and think about it and then come.

“Every hour, the potential for evidence to be lost increases.”

She added that there were time limits for emergency contraceptive pills to be effective.

Dr Victoire said victims who attend the service do not have to proceed with reporting the crime to police.

Some victims who seek the service’s help choose not to have a forensic medical examination.

“Sometimes we’re just giving medical care for pregnancy prevention and advice about sexually transmitted infections,” she said.

Treatment may involve a prophylaxis to stop a victim acquiring an infection.

The service provides support to dozens of other victims, beyond the immediate time surrounding an incident.

“Even if ithappened a while ago, the service is there to provide ongoing counselling and support,” she said.

“We can also give support to victims who have decided to go forward to court.”

The Newcastle Sexual Assault Service is on 4924 6333.

The NSW Rape Crisis line is 1800 424 017,Kids Helpline is 1800 551 800,Lifeline is13 11 14 and MensLine Australia is1300 789 978.


Hunter MP’s terrifying sexual assault ordeal

Offences for rape and other sexual offences hit 1246 in the Hunter last year

Hundreds of children abusedin the Hunter

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Pig farmer bashed to death while wife played dead in home invasion: court

Lucina Boldi (2nd from right) at Darlinghurst Supreme court for the trial of Ryan David Evans who has pleaded not guilty of murdering her partner Keith Cini in May 2014. Sydney, NSW. 10th May, 2017. Photo: Kate Geraghty Photo: Kate GeraghtyWARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGES
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The partner of a pig farmer bashed to death in their Badgerys Creek home has described how she “played dead” so a masked intruder would stop hitting her.

Lucina Boldi told the NSW Supreme Court on Wednesday how she was woken in the early hours of May 30, 2014, by her de facto husband Keith Cini calling out her nickname, “Luce”.

She turned on the light and opened her bedroom door and saw two men dressed in dark clothing and with their faces covered standing with Mr Cini outside his bedroom door.

As one of the men turned towards her, she went back inside her bedroom.

“I put my back to the door trying to hold the person out but I wasn’t strong enough,” she told the court.

“The door got pushed and I was pushed in and I think I got hit in the head and the person kept hitting me and I put my arms up to protect my face.”

She fell to the ground and asked her attacker to stop, but he didn’t.

Senior Crown prosecutor Christopher Maxwell, QC, said, “Was there a point when he stopped?”

“When he thought I was dead,” she said.

“What did you do to make him think that?” Mr Maxwell asked.

“I didn’t move,” she replied.

Ms Boldi said she then heard one of the men say, “That’s enough, Brian.”

She continued to play dead while she heard smashing sounds and a voice saying, “Here it is.”

One of the men then returned and kicked her on the leg.

About 10 minutes later, she went and found Mr Cini lying on the floor, unconscious. She called triple zero.

Ryan David Evans, 28, is charged with murder in connection with the death of Mr Cini and with wounding with intent to murder Ms Boldi.

She suffered fractures to her arm and hand. She has a steel plate in her arm and cannot close her hand. She also had 50 stitches to her head.

Mr Cini was a pig farmer who would deliver pigs to restaurants in his trucks. He would keep the days’ cash takings in two safes in his home office.

Mr Evans allegedly once worked for him.

Mr Evans has pleaded not guilty to a total of seven charges related to the home invasion and another that occurred a month earlier in Medway, in the NSW Southern Highlands.

In that incident, Mr Evans allegedly attacked Brett Delamont??? with a pick handle in the early hours of April 28, 2014.

On Tuesday, Mr Delamont’s wife Alana Bush told the court she woke up to find two masked men in her bedroom, with her husband, suffering an injured and bloodied head, convulsing beside her.

One man yelled at her to stop screaming, saying, “Shut up, or I’ll hit him again” before he lunged and hit across the bed where her husband was lying.

Asked who else was in the house, Ms Bush eventually told him her daughter, Kirby Delamont, and her boyfriend both were.

Ms Bush said when the intruder replied “Nobody’s going to get hurt” she gestured towards her bleeding and convulsing husband and said: “He’s going to die.”

The couple’s hands and legs were tied and, as a pillowcase was put over her head, Ms Bush begged: “Please don’t kill us.”

The first intruder left while the other man stayed.

“I asked him to stop the crazy guy going into my daughter’s bedroom,” Ms Bush said.

When the second man said nobody was going to get hurt, Ms Bush stated: “Look at the hole in his [her husband’s] head.”

“We need help … he is bleeding, he is shaking, he is going to die.”

The man later told her: “This is not personal, it’s random.”

Ms Delamont said she woke to hear her mother screaming.

Two masked figures appeared at the bottom of her bed, one holding a pole-like weapon and the other a light.

“Their faces weren’t visible, they were covered by something,” she said.

One man yelled at her and her boyfriend to “get under the covers” before their wrists and legs were tied and he said: “I will be softer on you, sweetie.”

The Crown alleges Mr Evans and two other men were involved in the Medway invasion, one of whom had previous contact with the family and knew the house layout.

Mr Delamont was left with severe brain damage and $8000 in cash was stolen from the home.

The trial, which began before Justice Robert Allan Hulme on Monday is expected to go for 20 days.

With AAP

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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Sport plays a united game

PROUD: Newcastle Knights centre Dane Gagai (seventh from left) with representatives from all 16 clubs showcasing the specially-designed jerseys ahead of this weekend’s annual Indigenous round. Picture: NRL mediaThis weekend I will once again wear the red and blue jersey, but it will carry moremeaning than most.
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Beyond simply representing the Hunter regionand NRL as per normal, the specially-designed uniforms for the now-annual Indigenous roundpresenta special opportunity for players, fans and the community alike to recognise the original land owners of this country as well as their traditional culture.

For us at the Newcastle Knights, teammates Dane Gagai and Jaelen Feeney have crafted something from their own heads and their own hearts for individuals to wear and everyone to share.

This instils me with passion and pride.

I am a white Australian, but I feel honoured to stand alongside those boys and wear this Indigenous jersey on such a special occasion.

Dane and Jaelen have incorporated images from their own heritage, including personal totems the shovel nosed shark and goanna respectively, but also added the Southern Cross to reinforce the fact we are one Australian nation. Reconciliation is our aim together.

Sport, especially rugby league, acts as the perfect platform to help unite people because when you’re in a team youstrive for a common goal, soit doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from.Differences should be embraced on a level playing field.

“The jersey and the round mean so much to me and my family because I get to represent my people and culture by playing the game I love,” Jaelen told me this week.

To the game itself against Canberra at McDonald Jones Stadium on Sunday afternoon, and following on from my representative experience in the final chapter of City-Country Origin, I hope to have that winning feeling two weeks in a row.

I feel rejuvenated after learning from the likes of coach Brad Fittler, captain Paul Gallen and young gun Nathan Cleary and I want to implement that energy back at the Knights.

Now we’re at home for the first time in a while and close encounters with the Raiders last season and a trial win this year give us a certain amount of confidence.

But we know the men in green present a difficult challenge, especially with attacking weapons like Joey Leilua and Jordan Rapana, and we’ll have to execute our game plan for 80 minutes if we want to claimtwo valuable competition points.

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Surgical answer for GERD

WORTH CONSIDERING: Ideal candidates for GERD surgery Include young people not willing to be on medication for life, people not getting complete relief of symptoms with medication, and people with very large hiatus hernias. Gastroesophageal reflux disorder (GERD) is one of the commonest ailments in the community.
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It occurs when the contents of the stomach reflux back up into the oesophagus.

Often referred to as heartburn, about 10 per cent of the community suffer symptoms at least once a week.

Most cases are treated by over-the-counter medications which alleviate the effects of the acid, but notthe reflux.

In a small proportion of sufferers, left untreated the reflux can deteriorate to the point it is debilitating, causingserious complications, including oesophageal cancer.

These people should consider surgery, according toDr TIm Wright, from Eastern Surgical Services at Charlestown.

“The procedure is called a fundoplication and is done with keyhole surgery,” he said.“Cure rates are approximately 95 per cent and any side effects are very manageable.”

Many people with bad reflux are unaware that surgery is an option. Robert Prosser, from Edgeworth, was one. The57-year-old suffered from what he thought was bad heartburn for years.

He tried all the over-counter treatments –Mylanta, Gaviscon, Quickeze, Somac, even bi-carb soda in milk. None to any great effect.

“It got to the point I was waking up four of five times a night with the contents of my stomach spilling into my lungs,” Mr Prosser said.

“It caused so much damage to the back of my throat it led to Barrett’s Condition where the skins cells become pre-cancerous.”

After consulting with Dr Wright, Mr Prosser underwent afundoplication.”

“I haven’t had reflux since,” Mr Prosser said. “Not one Somac tablet, Quickeze, nothing. As far as I can be, Iam normal, although some of my friendsmight disagree.”

Mr Prosser was in hospital for two nights and back at bowls within two weeks.

“It’s a fantastic outcome,” Mr Prosser said. “I didn’t realise I had the problem until Ihad the bowel screen thing six years ago which picked up blood, which led me to having a gastroscopy and colonoscopy.”

Dr Wright emphasises that if considering such an operation, take time to find an experienced surgeon.

As far as Mr Prosser is concerned, the message is simple.

“Don’t put up with heartburn, for gods sake. It’s not normal in any way shape or form if it’s happening four or five times a day.”

For more information contact Dr Wright at Eastern Surgical Services on4032 8777.

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Newcastle Knights make play for Cooper Cronk

IN DEMAND: Melbourne Storm halfback Cooper Cronk. Picture: Getty Images NEWCASTLE Knights will do “everything withinthe club’s power”to sign Cooper Cronk if the Melbourne star decides to continue playing in the NRL next season.
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Cronkdropped a bombshell last month when he revealed he will quit the Storm at the end of 2017 to be closer to Sydney-based fiancee Tara Rushton.

The Queensland and Australian star is weighing up retirement and a career in the media after recently penning a deal with Fox Sports.

Chief executive Matt Gidley confirmed that the Knights had “very recent talks” with Cronk’s management and were formulating a proposal to present to the superstar playmaker.

“Are we interested in Cooper Cronk?Absolutely.” Gidley said. “Everyone is aware that he is looking to relocate and move closer to Sydney next year. We will certainly have a conversation with Cooper, and if he is interested in playing next year then we will do everything within our power to try and get him to our club.”

Asked if living on the Central Coast would be an option for Cronk, Gidley reiterated: “We will do everything in our power”.

Cronk was noncommittal about his future on Fox Sportspanel show Sterlo On the Couch on Tuesday night.

Newcastle Knights make play for Cooper Cronk TweetFacebook Cooper Cronk’s career in picturesPictures: Getty ImagesHis manager,George Mimis, has indicated that the dual Dally M winner willmake a decision at end of this year’s Origin serieson July 12.

“At the appropriate time there will be discussions had and we will make it very clear how interested we are in bringing him to our club,” Gidley said.

Cronk is the fourth marquee player the Knights have approached after missing out on Jack Bird, Matt Scott and Kieran Foran.

The Knights they are one of a few clubs with room in the 2018 salary cap for the $1 million price tag Cronk is likely to command.

A veteran of six grand finals, he has been linked to Parramatta, St George Illawarra, Canterbury and WestsTigers. Those clubs have either re-signed players or recruited other halves.

“Most clubs have already strengthened their rosters,” Gidley said.

Cronk would be the biggest signing in the Knights’30-year history and,with the uncertainty over the future of Trent Hodkinson, is seen as the ideal man to groom young halves Brock Lamb, Jalen Feeney and Jack Cogger.

As well as Cronk, the Knights are also in talks with Canterbury captain James Graham.

“Cooper and James,in terms of the qualities they bring to a club on and off the field, are exactly what we are after,” Gidley said. “They are super talented players, they are both experienced and bring genuine leadership traits which is what our young squad is in need of.There are obviously some challenges to work through to make that happen.”

Graham,31, is contracted to the Canterbury for 2018 but could be squeezed outas the Dogs look to free-up $2 million in the cap to accommodate the arrival of Kieran Foran and Aaron Woods.

“Weneed to respect the fact he is contracted to the Bulldogs,” Gidley said.“But if circumstances change there,he certainly knows how we feel and how much we would love to have him at the club.”

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How to catch ‘target’ sharks without killing other marine life

The latest marine bycatch data shows drum lines are more effective at catching target sharks and safer for all marine life than shark nets, prompting the Greens to call for an immediate end to the North Coast shark net trial.
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But despite committing to increase the number of drum lines deployed on the North Coast from 25 to 35, Minister for Primary Industries Niall Blair insists a decision has not yet been made about the fate of the nets, which are to be removed on June 13 at the end of what will then be a six-month trial period.

Former premier Mike Baird announced a shark net trial in October 2016 on five beaches in and near Ballina after a series of shark incidents alarmed the north coast community.

It was just two weeks after the government had committed to using “smart drum lines”, which use GPS technology to alert Department of Primary Industries scientists when a shark is caught.

The shark net trial announcement came just two days after Mr Baird’s backflip on banning greyhounds.

Critics of nets claimed they would be lethal not just to sharks, some of which are endangered, but to other forms of marine life, including humpback whales.

In the five months from early December to early May, 127 “non-target” animals were found dead in the five trial nets at three Ballina beaches, Seven Mile Beach and Evans Head Beach, including an endangered green turtle. Another 117 animals were released alive.

Six target sharks were caught – two white, one bull and three tiger sharks – and three were tagged and released alive.

In the same period, the 25 North Coast drum lines, which are designed as a non-lethal shark “management tool”, caught 29 target sharks, 24 of them white sharks, with just one found dead after it was tangled in the line.

Two non-target animals – grey nurse sharks – were caught and released alive.

The department says that potentially dangerous sharks caught on the drum lines are tagged and relocated at least one kilometre offshore.

“Recent tracks from tagged sharks shows that they often head further offshore immediately after release (for the first 24 to 48 hours), so in addition to minimising any threat of an interaction with water users, having them move offshore after release further enhances the utility of SMART drum lines as a non-lethal bather protection tool,” the department’s website says.

NSW Greens marine environment spokesman Justin Field said: “The evidence is in – shark nets are little more than floating death traps for all marine life while SMART drum lines appear to be an effective means of catching target sharks.”

Mr Field called on the government to end the shark net trial early and backed the use of drum lines “supported by other non-lethal shark management techniques” such as Shark Watch, better resourcing lifeguards and personal deterrent devices.

But Mr Blair said the nets would continue to be used until mid-June and the community, the federal government and DPI shark scientists would be consulted before a final decision was made by early spring.

“When the nets are removed, we will increase the number of SMART drum lines to 35 (currently 25) – this will also be the most effective measure as the whale migration period begins on the North Coast,” Mr Blair said.

Helicopter surveillance would continue to operate on the north coast on weekends and there would be daily flights, supplemented by drones, during the July school holidays to provide shark surveillance at popular beaches, he said.

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