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2008 NSW TOURISM AWARDS

Northern New South Wales Winners Tourist Attractions – Pet Porpoise Pool (Mid North Coast) Visitor Information and Services – Clarence River Tourism (Northern Rivers) Meetings and Business Tourism – Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley Resort (Hunter) Tour and/or Transport Operators – Boutique Wine Tours (Hunter) Tourism Restaurants and Catering – breeze Restaurant and Bar (Hunter) Tourism Wineries – Bimbadgen Estate (Hunter) Deluxe Accommodation – Shoal Bay Resort and Spa (Mid North Coast) Luxury Accommodation – Tower Lodge (Hunter) Wendy O’Donohue Young Achiever – Nora McWilliam

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TEACHERS WALK OFF THE JOB

Classes in Newcastle didn’t start until almost 11 o’clock today, with 300 of city’s teachers walking off the job to attend stop work meetings in a show of solidarity against the state government’s proposed pay rise of 11.4 per-cent.

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WHALE WATCHERS THANKED

Volunteers were shouted a lunch at Seaworld, after yet another season of observing and protecting whales during rescues off the coast. And while they were officially thanked, they say they do it for the love, not the recognition.

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HUNTER RENTS SKYROCKET

A shortage of rental properties across the Hunter has seen rents skyrocket. Over the past 12 months prices in Cessnock have jumped 13 per-cent, while in Newcastle and Maitland they’ve gone up 12 per-cent, and the situation is only expected to worsen.

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LUHRMANN’S LOCAL CONNECTION

While the world awaits the premiere of Baz Luhrmann’s latest film, Australia, movie goers on the mid north coast are taking an extra interest in the outback epic. The award-winning director has strong ties to the region, having grown up at Herons Creek, near Port Macquarie.

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MIROVIC’S HEAVYWEIGHT MISSION

Former Heavy Weight Boxing Champion Bob Mirovic says he’ll take on all comers, including newly crowned WBF winner Alex Leapai in his quest to regain his title. But first he says he has a score to settle with the man who de-throwned him, and broke his arm.

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