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JOHN CHURCH WON’T CONTEST NEWCASTLE

Newcastle businessman John Church has ended 24 hours of speculation and announced he won’t seek Liberal pre-selection for the seat of Newcastle in next year’s state election. Mr Church said he had been “urged” by the party to run for the seat, but decided to focus on “family, the business” and his charity work. There were reports Mr Church would have a tilt at Newcastle, after sitting Liberal member Tim Owen announced he won’t contest the seat, after allegations were aired at the ICAC. Mr Church has left the door open though, saying when the time is right, stating “I hope one day to serve my community and the Party through public office”.

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DEATH OF CAMERON HANDICAP WINNING TRAINER

There’s some sad news in the racing world, with racehorse owner Guy Walter passing away. The Group One winning trainer died of a suspected heart attack at his home this morning. The Guy Walter trained Toydini won Newcastle’s Cameron Handicap in September last year. The trainer celebrated winning the Doomben Cup on the weekend with Streama.

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66 YEAR-OLD MAN AIRLIFTED AFTER SERIOUS CENTRAL COAST CRASH

A 66-year-old man has been airlifted to a Sydney hospital, following a serious crash on the Central Coast overnight. The man’s Nissan Pulsar veered off the road and hit a tree on Patonga Drive sometime after 8pm. Emergency services were called the scene and assisted the man from the car before he was airlifted to Royal North Shore Hospital, with head, chest and leg injuries.

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TINKLER SELLS PATINACK AND PAYS PLAYERS

NRL boss David Smith today remained tight-lipped about what will happen with the ownership of the Newcastle Knights, amid confirmation Nathan Tinkler has now paid players and staff. The mining magnate may now have more financial bargaining power, after selling his thorughbred empire, Patinack Farm.

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TINKLER SELLS HORSE STUD

Embattled former billionaire Nathan Tinkler has sold his thoroughbred business Patinack Farm. The Sydney Morning Herald has reported the former mining mogul has sold the business, that includes a 3,500 hectare property in the Hunter Valley, for an undisclosed sum to “local and overseas parties from the Middle East.” ”Sale contracts have been exchanged and the transaction will be completed in the coming weeks,” the Tinkler Group said. “I am extremely pleased to agree the sale of Patinack Farm to an ambitious group who will continue to build on the foundations we have laid over the last six years,” said Mr Tinkler in a prepared statement. ”I am also satisfied that the investment I have made into the Patinack Farm facilities and bloodlines will continue and that Patinack staff will be offered employment.” It’s unclear at this stage how the …

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