ULTIMATE MAN CAVE: Mark Tinson at work in his Adamstown Heights garage that has been converted into a home music recording studio. Picture: Max Mason-HubersMARK Tinson is living the work-life balance most of us only dream about. There’s no long commutes or car park dilemmas, he simply walks through a door and clocks on.
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Better still, work revolves around recording, playing and mixing music.

For the past decade Newcastle’s “godfather of rock’n’roll”has operated his music studio out of his Adamstown Heights home. With views from the studio’s window over the leafy Fernleigh Track, it provides an idyllic location for creativity.

“It’s pretty comfortable and best part is I have a whole wall of guitars to give me the sounds I need,” Tinson says.“Some of the acts who come here to record do because they don’t have to bring any guitars. There’s a whole stack of them here.”

Tinson has been entrenched in the Newcastle music scene for more than four decades. His bands Rabbit and The Heroes, were leaders in the ‘70s pub rock scene.The latter mythologisedfor their closing set on the night of the1979 Star Hotel riot.

Later Tinson became aTAFE teacher and producer,workingwith some of Newcastle’smost popularacts inThe Screaming Jets,Silverchair and DV8.

“I’ve had a home studio for almost forever,” he says.“The first studio was just a four-track set up in the bedroom in Cooks Hill when I was with Rabbit. We needed to be able to record demos for our record company CBS. If we didn’t have demos we couldn’t play them the songs.

“Basically I just started fooling around on that, and it’s really good and I enjoyed it. It’s always been a parallel career for me almost, with playing music and teaching. When I was teaching at TAFE Iwas teaching recording. So two parallel streamsintertwinedwith each other.

“Every now and again if live work is at a low, the studio seems to cover it, so it’s been a good featherin the quiver.”

Some studios are considered holy ground in the music world. Think London’s Abbey Road orLos Angeles’ Sunset SoundRecorders.

Tinson’s studio is a far more humble affair. Theconverted garage is soundproofed by gyprock and Wavebar, a noise deduction material made from vinyl, to enable recording at all hours.

The studio is fully digitalised with Pro Tools software after Tinson was “dragged kicking and screaming” away from analog recording. This freedup space forTinson’s treasuredguitar collection. Digital recording also allows for unlimited tracks to be used in songs.

“The old 24-track and two-inch tape recorders are as big as two washing machines, so I don’t have to put that in there anymore or the Hammond organ because there’s a bit of software that sounds close enough,” he says.

“I used to say if you have more than 24 tracks you’ve gone too far. Now having that facility, you go ‘what was Ithinking?’ It can be a nightmare later to mix, but it gives you a lot of flexibility.”

The studio is in operation most days and recently recorded and mixed DV8’s Like It On Top and Tony Johns’Natural. During his interview with Weekender, Tinson was recording Hornet frontmanTy Penshorn’s next album.

“Working with bands, soloists, songwriters, composers it covers all angles,” Tinson says.“I’ve got a client base built up over 35 years and they keep coming back.”

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THE Greens have criticised the cost of rail spending in Newcastle, but the government says the work has been allotted using competitive tender processes.
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Under state government transparency rules, updatesof the government’s spending on contractors and consultants are made public on the government’s eTender website. A recent list of hundreds of Newcastle and Sydney rail contracts, viewed by the Newcastle Herald, shows a number of manager contracts –apparently for one person –costing hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.

At the Wickham interchange, a tender for a “contracts administrator” for a year to the end of February was let at$230,400. The same Lake Macquarie company had another contract, for the same role, until August 1, at$307,200. It was listed as providing a commercialmanager on the Newcastle light rail –also for the year to August 1 – at $345,600.

Contacted by the Newcastle Herald, a spokesperson for the company declined to comment, saying the contracts were covered by binding confidentiality agreements.

Greens transport spokesperson Mehreen Faruqi said the government had a “real problem in delivering value for money with one cost blow after another”.

“It seems to me that they are throwing as much taxpayers money as they can at the problems they created by truncating the Newcastle rail line and having no proper plan for light rail,” Ms Faruqi said.

Revitalising Newcastle program director MichaelCassel saidthe government kept a close eye on costs.

“At all times we use government procurement processes that ensure value for money in a transparent and ethical manner,” Mr Cassel said. “The results are on the web.”

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PARTY’S OVER: Detectives visit a house in Ida Street, Charlestown, where an out-of-control party allegedly began in February. Anger in the party’s aftermath has prompted a vote at Lake Macquarie council tonight. Picture: Marina NeilOUT-of-control party laws like those in Queensland and Western Australia willbe proposedfor NSW, if a planbefore Lake Macquarie councilwins support on Monday night.
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Crusading councillor John Gilbert will tonightmove that the council tell the NSW government to“heed the lesson” of recent raginghousepartiesin Charlestown and Coal Point.

“I’m well aware there arepeople [on the council]who will try to shoot me down. The Liberals are going to say to keep our nose out of state government business, I’ve heard it all,” Cr Gilbert said.

“But my argument is that it affects my constituents, so I’m still going todo something about it.”

Cr Gilbert’s plan involves the council writing toPolice Minister Troy Grant and Attorney General Gabrielle Upton requesting “out-of-control” event powers for NSW police.

The council would alsoadvocatestricterparty laws at both the state and national councilassociations’general meetingsthis year.

The lawsCr Gilbert ultimatelywants would mirror thosein Queensland.

In that state,organisers and hosts of events that become “out-of-control” can be fined up to $12,000 or imprisoned for a year.

Queenslanddefines“out-of-control”as12 or more people,if three of them interfere with the public by swearing, making excessive noise or being drunk in a public place.

But Liberal councillor Kevin Baker told the Newcastle Herald he was “quite concerned” the council was wasting time and resources fighting causes that are not, he said,the responsibility of councils.

“While we agree that these parties are a menace, these issues are best handled by law enforcement and the state government,” Cr Baker said.

The issuereached a flashpoint in Charlestownin February as police shut part of the Pacific Highway after more than 300 people –many drunk and drug-affected teenagers –left a house party in Ida Street.

The crowdpelted policewith bottles and threeteenagers, including two girls aged 13 and 16, were taken to hospital sufferingsuspected drug overdoses.Elevenpeople were arrested.

The scene, described by some witnesses as a “riot”, prompted talks between senior police and Lake Macquarie mayor Kay Fraser, who described the damage and disturbance in Ida Street as “unacceptable”.

Cr Gilbert said a constituent had since complainedabout a wild party of100 peoplein ahouse at Coal Point, and that mostresidents wouldn’t care at which level of government stricterregulationoriginated.

Hewas“very confident” most councillors would back his plan.

Eleven arrested after wild Charlestown party | video

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Human Rights Commission President Gillian Triggs has blasted the Turnbull government’s “highly unsatisfactory” and “curious” changes to Australia’s race hate laws, warning they were being rushed through and could harm minorities.
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She also clashed with Victorian senator Derryn Hinch over the commission’s handling of the Bill Leak case at a fiery inquiry in which they accused each of other of misleading the Senate.

Professor Triggs said it was “categorically nor correct” for anyone to imply the commission supported removing the words “offend”, “insult” and “intimidate” from section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act.

“It’s very, very clear that we do not approve the changes to the substantive provision of the [act],” she said on Friday. “The current language has worked extremely well.”

In her first public comments since Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced the proposed changes this week, Professor Triggs said she was “especially concerned” about allowing people to humiliate others on the basis of their race.

Inserting the word “harass” instead was “curious”, “an entirely circular process” and “highly unsatisfactory”, she said. The speed with which the changes were being pushed through was also “troubling”.

While backing many of the procedural changes to the way human rights complaints are handled, Professor Triggs said she had deep concerns about shifting the burden of proof to what an ordinary member of the community would find objectionable, rather than a member of the affected minority group.

Often heated, the inquiry resurrected a long-standing grudge between Professor Triggs and Liberal senator Ian Macdonald, who warned her at one point: “You’re here to answer questions, Professor Triggs, not to go off on a frolic of your own.”

Tempers also flared when Senator Hinch, a long-standing free speech advocate, questioned the Human Rights boss about controversial News Corp cartoonist Bill Leak, who died two weeks ago at 61.

He was the subject of a high-profile complaint under section 18C concerning a cartoon that depicted an Indigenous Australian as a negligent parent.

Senator Hinch publicly accused Professor Triggs of misleading the Senate when she said Leak’s lawyers had refused to use the “free speech” defence to have his case dismissed. His lawyers say they did make such a claim, accusing Professor Triggs of being “just wrong”.

The case is significant because proponents of changing section 18C argue the Leak case shows the system is failing, while opponents of change believe Leak wanted the case against him to proceed to make a political point.

Professor Triggs said Senator Hinch had been “utterly irresponsible in relation to the truth”.

“That is a false statement, and I believe that I am owed an apology,” she said. “It is very clear … that you have misled the Senate itself in making the allegations.”

Senator Hinch replied: “I don’t accept that and you will not be getting an apology.”

Documents shown to Fairfax Media by the commission indicate Leak’s lawyers believed the cartoon did not breach 18C in the first place but did not make a formal submission regarding an 18D defence.

It was the third time Professor Triggs has been hauled before a Senate committee accused of making misleading claims.

The inquiry is due to report on Tuesday before the proposed changes head to the Senate, where they are likely to be defeated by Labor, the Greens and the crossbench.

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KEEPING THE DREAM ALIVE: Burrumbuttock Hay Runners founder Brendan Farrell was awarded a Rotary badge of honour for his ongoing efforts to help the country’s drought-stricken farmers. Picture: JAMES WILTSHIREThe latest visit to western Queensland by the Burrumbuttock Hay Runners has reignited the debate over whether money should be spent on carting hay or whether it would be serve a better purpose given as cash.
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Last April, some Longreach businesses caused an uproar when they said the world’s biggest hay relief effort and associated giving of produce and services had impacted on their business.

Itresultedin a public meeting in Ilfracombe, attended by what Hay Runners founder Brendan Farrell described as 80 supportive landholders and families, and no business presence.

Longreach travel agent and event promoter Danny Sheehan has calculated that the most recent visit to Queensland cost $6168to bring hay to each of the 100 landholders registered to receive hay in the greater Muttaburra region.

Danny SheehanMuttaburra grazier Jenni Gray agreed that the human element of the hay runs needed to be considered and valued.

“A lot of these people have been on the land and affected by drought themselves –they’ve got their own stories to tell,” Ms Gray said.

“It got people up here from Tasmania, from South Australia, Victoria, the Riverina, all seeing with their own eyes what’s happening.

“New friends have been made. I think that’s important, to share.”

The cost of hay –Darlington Point to Muttaburra3600km return journey1.2l of diesel/km4320 litres x $1.33 = $5745Take off $1000 for trucks not travelling the whole distance$4745 x 130 trucks = $616,685100 registered hay recipients = $6168/registered person

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