Archive for May 2019

Property Watch: Nothing rains on buyers’ parade

Property Watch: Nothing rains on buyers’ parade 8 Bluewater Ave, Fassifern.
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22 Anzac Parade, The Hill

22 Anzac Parade, The Hill

67 Bruce Street, Cooks Hill

TweetFacebookRobinson runRobinson Property is continuing itsrecord run, with stand-out sales in Blacksmiths and Merewether.Close to the beach, a six-bedroom home at 2 Mallawa Street, Blacksmiths,sold firstweek on the market for a suburb record of$920,000.

Ben Robinson said the previous record was$890,000, set by 5 Bali Street.

Local buyers also handed over $1.6million before auction for aknock-downcottage on 622sqmat 41 Curry Street, Merewether. Mr Robinson said the result was a record land price for the suburb.

Prestige pushA striking double-brick (circa 1920s) five-bedroom home in the heart of Newcastle, has sold before auction forfor $2.45million.

Listing agent Mark Kentwell, of PRD Newcastle, said 22 Anzac Parade, The Hill,was originally assessed at $2million to $2.2million,but pre-auction offers from the agency’sdatabase clearly showed that the prestige offering would achieve more.

“By the time we were publicly on the market for 10 days, I was working with a total group of nine interested parties from as far away as UK (expat with family in the area), Melbourne, Sydney the Hunter Valley, Lake Macquarie and the local suburbs,” Mr Kentwell said.

He updated the price guide several times in that period.

“Two buyers took it all the way to a price of $2.45million prior to the June 20 auction,” he said.

“The eventual buyer was a Sydney family returning to the area.”

The property’sstandout features were its land size (822 square metres), views, gardens and character.

“It’s ahard combination to get in this location,” Mr Kentwell said.

“Many of the buyers looking to get intothis 2300 postcode are coming on the back of the urban renewal of the Newcastle CBD”.​

Cooks Hill shinesThree local bidders ignored the weekend drizzle to fight it out for 67 Bruce Street, Cooks Hill, last Saturday.

Auctioneer Sean Redpath, of McGrath Newcastle, said thefive-bedroom, two bathroom house, featuring an ultra-modern revamp and extension, waspassed in at $1.45million but, after negotiations with the highest bidder, was sold under auction conditions for $1.55million.

It was bought by a family relocating from Wallsend.

Selling agents for the property wereMr Redpath andKirstie Shaw, of McGrath Newcastle.

Cop shop toddler tour

ON THE BEAT: A crew of youngsters from Inverell and District Family Daycare visited the Inverell police station last Wednesday.IT was an arresting sight, a parade of teachers, mothers, carers, pushing prams and gently leading toddlers into the Inverell Police Station.
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As the crew from Inverell and District Family Services (IDFS) Family Day Care filled up the stations small vestibule last Wednesday, the staff on site seemed more agitated as the room burst like a clown car with tiny bodies and infants, with sticky fingers touching the walls and pointing in wonder at the officer at the counter.

IDFS Family Day Care manager Lisa Szumowski chuckled when she described the process of packing the room with children.

“I went up first, and I said, ‘Are you ready?’ and they said, ‘Yeah, yeah’, and they kept coming in, and in and they said ‘Is that it?’ and I went , ‘No,” Lisa laughed.

“And then it was quite funny because the girls still had the children in the prams, we actually had the children going into the back where the cells are, and these prams are in there and children were jumping on the beds and it was probably really no idea what the beds and that are for.” she said. The best was saved for last when children clambered into a police car with lights flashing and all the technical gear. “The police people down there, they were all fantastic,” Lisa said.

“A big thing they pushed was a lot of parents unknowingly sort of say, ‘Only the bad people got to the police, so it sort of puts the children off going to the police if they’re in trouble,” she said.

The raft of two and three-year-olds were encouraged to dial 000 if they felt there was trouble.

Lisa said the visit was the first of their community excursions to see people working in emergency services.

“They’ve asked to see the different people, and going from the police station yesterday, they now wanted to see the fire trucks,” she said.

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‘We love Seabird but erosion has left us with a house we can’t rent or sell’

The erosion is undermining both private property and public utilities. Inset: ‘The Bird’ with its truncated driveway. Photo: Jane CliftonA Seabird couple have pleaded for the government to buy back their once beloved WA beach property, now rendered worthless under the attack of erosion.
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Jane Clifton and her husband invested in their property, affectionately nicknamed “The Bird”, more than a decade ago, when its front yard looked on to 40 metres or so of vegetation and a lovely white beach.

They spent every holiday there, where they hoped to retire.

Erosion had already crumbled beachside road Turner Street, which led to their driveway. But they knew councils were obliged to provide road access for homes so they thought – naively, they now acknowledge – the problem would be fixed.

Fast-forward and a metre from the edge of their front pavers is a sheer drop onto what remains of the beach. Their driveway is a stub that leads nowhere and there is no official access to their house.

When friends visited now, they drove to neighbouring Guilderton or Ledge Point for children to play on the beach.

Ms Clifton said being at “The Bird” now felt more like being on a boat.

“There was this beautiful wide beach in front of us. Now standing on our balcony you can’t actually see any sand. The water just seems to come straight up,” she said.  

Ms Clifton’s father and niece fish on the remains of the beach, with its former height seen in the background. Photo: Jane Clifton

“We still go there, because we love the town. But I have felt insecure about if there was an emergency there. How would the ambulance get in?”

The couple bought the rear block as well years ago, using their superannuation, so they could keep accessing their property, a measure they thought was a temporary fix.

The council has suggested they amalgamate the blocks to create a battleaxe with road access from the rear and says it will wear surveying costs.

But the couple think the shire, which cannot formally close Turner Street without resolving this issue, is shifting responsibility.

They said drafting, lodgement, stamp duty, taxes and fees, demolition and so on would make it an expensive and unwise investment, given the land’s – and the town’s – uncertain future.

“We can’t sell it, we can’t rent it. The value is now probably less than what we paid for it. And that is if anyone would take the risk. I wouldn’t – now. So we are stuck with a useless piece of land,” Ms Clifton said.

Once, Turner Street turned here and ran along the beach. Now the council needs to formally close the street. Photo: Emma Young

“We would happily sell back to the government. We’re not after a massive profit or anything. We just want to recover our costs – or fair value. We have to keep paying ridiculous council rates, insurance, upkeep.

“We’ve worked pretty damn hard for this home. Nothing we have is inherited … it did not come easy.”

The council is building a $2 million state-funded seawall in front of threatened properties but it is not expected to last much beyond a decade. Maintenance could cost another $10 million.

“If they are going to have to spend a couple of million every ten to fifteen years to save 20 homes when the rest of the town is suffering because the beach has gone, fishing has gone, tourism is gone, it’s a bit unbalanced,” Ms Clifton said.

“It’s pretty much a ghost town.”

Buyback has been explored as an option in such situations in other Australian states, including in New South Wales, where storm-related erosion has recently devastated properties.

Shire of Gingin chief executive Jeremy Edwards said there were now several homeowners without official access to their properties, but he understood they all had alternate access points.

The shire was continuing to work with them all.

Mr Edwards said the shire was also in continual discussion with the state, but had not been privy to Cabinet discussions leading to the seawall grant and did not know the state’s position on property buyback.

“The Shires of Gingin and Dandaragan are in the process of undertaking a Coastal Hazards Risk and Management Adaptation Plan, however this plan needs to be formulated with community and would be subject to budgetary constraints of government,” he said.

Department of Planning Director General Gail McGowan said the government was exploring long-term options, which would be informed both by the shire’s plan, and by how the seawall performed.

The draft plan has been completed and is being peer reviewed by the department before going out to community consultation.

The shire initially tried to include a clause in the approval of the seawall building to make the state government confirm it would indemnify the shire against responsibility for any further adverse impacts the seawall might cause, but abandoned this under pressure from residents to get it built.

A Department of Regional Development spokeswoman said the shire was responsible for maintaining the seawall and it could put any funding remaining from the construction funding towards this.

She said the shire would monitor the seawall and discuss any environmental impact or maintenance issues with the state.  Follow WAtoday on Twitter

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Where to eat in Hobart: Chef Rodney Dunn

Rodney Dunn has published a second cookbook. Photo: Luke BurgessRodney Dunn grew up on a farm in rural NSW and was an apprentice under Tetsuya Wakuda at Sydney restaurant Tetsuya’s, before moving into food media.
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In 2007 he and his wife Severine opened The Agrarian Kitchen, a farm-based cooking school in Tasmania’s Derwent Valley. In 2013 Dunn published his first cookbook, The Agrarian Kitchen. His second, The Truffle Cookbook, (Lantern, $59.99) is out now. See 梧桐夜网theagrariankitchen南京夜网.  WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE TABLE IN HOBART ?

I always love a meal at Franklin. It’s a wonderful space in an old newspaper printing press room. Centre stage is a modern-day, wood-fired scotch oven, but none of this upstages David Moyle’s food. He has a touch that takes an exceptional local product, applies his own twist and somehow makes it even better. His wood roasted abalone is an absolute must, it melts in the mouth. See 梧桐夜网franklinhobart南京夜网419论坛. THE LOCAL FOOD DISCOVERY OF THE PAST YEAR?

There is a new pint sized Italian-inspired neighbourhood restaurant called Templo. It has only about  20 seats and each of those is hotly contested. The menu is only about eight or so items but the best way to eat is the chef’s menu, a smaller serving of each. Chef Matt Breen knows how to wring ever bit of  flavour from his ingredients, which leaves you licking every last morsel from your plate. See 梧桐夜网templo南京夜网419论坛. WHAT IS HOBART’S BEST-KEPT FOOD SECRET?

The local Farm Gate Sunday farmers’ market is a great way to spend a Sunday morning. Most tourists go to Salamanca on Saturday, which is great, but if they are available on Sunday they should head down to Bathurst Street and check out the local producers and sort themselves out with some food for an afternoon picnic. See 梧桐夜网farmgatemarket南京夜网419论坛. PLACE TO GO ON A DAY OFF?

We love to sort ourselves out with a picnic and head up the Derwent River and find a great spot to watch the river flow by. In autumn it is particularly beautiful as all the deciduous trees change colour. FAVOURITE INDULGENCE IN HOBART?

Something sweet at Sweet Envy, run by ex-Gordon Ramsay alumni and Tassie expat Alistair Wise and wife Teena. This little cake shop, to use Alistair’s modest words, punches above its weight in terms of all things sugar. Try Alistair’s superb ice-cream made from local fruits and nuts, which are usually bartered from nearby backyards. See sweetenvy南京夜网. PLACE TO GO FOR A BIG NIGHT OUT?

Brooke Street Pier is a specially built structure that was floated into place at the Hobart waterfront. It is the leaving point for the MONA ferry. However, it also houses the new Aloft restaurant, looking out over the Derwent and does excellent Asian-inspired food with Tasmanian ingredients.  Directly downstairs is The Glasshouse, a swanky bar serving great cocktails. It has the same amazing view but, as the cocktails kick in, it will become less important. See 梧桐夜网aloftrestaurant南京夜网. BEST TIME TO VISIT, AND WHY, FOOD-WISE IN HOBART?

Late summer/early autumn is a time of abundance when the biggest variety of fruit and vegetables  is available. The seasons in Tasmania are behind the mainland states by a month or two. For example, we don’t see a tomato harvest until January/February. However, there is something amazing happening in each season and they are all unique. Winter, for example, is the time to visit if you want truffles. WHAT SHOULD A VISITOR AVOID, FOOD-WISE, IN HOBART?

Anything not local. I am very much of the belief that if you go to visit a place to eat, you don’t want to waste time eating produce from somewhere else. WHAT’S HOT IN THE AREA NOW?

We are just starting truffle season. Tasmania was where the Australian truffle industry began and it is Tasmania’s cold winter that ripens the truffles and gives them their great flavour. Tasmanian truffles are available  at the markets as well as providores such as Wursthaus Kitchen in Salamanca. See 梧桐夜网wursthauskitchen南京夜网419论坛.

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Bill Gross says negative rates are like ‘supernova’ that will explode

Galaxy where a supernova probably resulted in a black hole: Are global bond markets facing a similar fate?Legendary bond investor Bill Gross has warned central bank policies that pushed trillions of dollars into bonds with negative interest rates will eventually backfire violently.
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“Global yields lowest in 500 years of recorded history,” Gross, 72, wrote this week on the Janus Capital Group Twitter site. “$US10 trillion of neg. rate bonds. This is a supernova that will explode one day.”

A supernova is a star at the end of its life that suddenly increases greatly in brightness because of a catastrophic explosion that ejects most of its mass.

Gross, who manages the $US1.4 billion ($1.9 billion) Janus Global Unconstrained Bond Fund, has argued for some time that the economy is at the end of a decades-long cycle of expanding credit that has culminated in negative interest rates, a situation he said is unsustainable.

Rather than spurring economic growth, low rates are promoting asset bubbles as investors reach for higher yields while punishing individual savers and industries that rely on interest rates, such as bank and insurance companies, according to Gross.

He said in a June 2 note that the era of 7.5 per cent annualised investment gains is history and that investors should eventually take positions to protect principal or profit from market declines. Gross: Global yields lowest in 500 years of recorded history. $10 trillion of neg. rate bonds. This is a supernova that will explode one day— Janus Capital (@JanusCapital) June 9, 2016

“Returns will be low, risk will be high and at some point the ‘Intelligent Investor’ must decide that we are in a new era with conditions that demand a different approach,” he wrote. “Negative durations? Voiding or shorting corporate credit? Buying instead of selling volatility? Staying liquid with large amounts of cash? These are all potential ‘negative’ carry positions that at some point may capture capital gains or at a minimum preserve principal.”

Gross’ fund has gained 3.2 per cent in value this year, outperforming 72 per cent of its peers. It has returned 2.2 per cent since Gross took over management in October 2014 after an acrimonious departure from Pimco, where he was chief investment officer.

Investors added $US144 million to the $US1.44 billion fund last month, the biggest net inflow since December 2014.


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CFA crisis continues: Jane Garrett resigns

RELATED: Wimmera volunteer speaks out about CFA disputeWimmera firefighters battle to be heardEMBATTLED emergency services minister Jane Garrett has resigned from cabinet because she was unable to support the cabinets proposal to end the bitter CFA enterprise agreement dispute.
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Premier Daniel Andrews released a statement accepting Ms Garret’s resignation.

“Despite all concerns previously raised by Ms Garrett being addressed, she had indicated she refuses to support Cabinet proposals to end the long-running dispute over the CFA enterprise agreement,” Mr Andrews said.

Ms Garrett has been vehemently opposed to the government’s proposed deal with the firefighters union.

She has shared the CFA and volunteers’ concern that the deal, as it stands, would undermine the role of volunteers and management to do their job.

There is an expectation that the CFA board will also be sacked this morning as the Premier moves to ram through his agreement with the firefighters union.

“It is a disgraceful morning,” Andrew Ford, chief executiveof the Association of Volunteer Fire Brigades told 3AW.

​Ms Garrett’s resignation comes as asenior government minister wasforced to mounta humiliatingretreat after claiming in Parliament key elements of its industrial dealwith the firefightersunion had been cleared by the Fair Work Commission boss.

In the latest debacle capping off a shambolic week for the Andrews government,Industrial Relations Minister Natalie Hutchins was forced admit to Parliament thatshe “mispoke” after claiming Fair Work president Iain Ross had said the deal would improve diversity in the fire services.

“In an attempt to summarise complex issues for the benefit of the house I paraphrased in a way that unintentionally overstated the President’s comments,” Ms Hutchins said.

After a crisis meeting in Premier Daniel Andrews’ office on Thursday afternoon,Ms Hutchins has written an apology to Mr Ross, which he has accepted.

And in a sign that the industrial standoff with the CFA continues, the board said it hadlegal advice from a senior counsel that “unlawful terms” remain in the latest version of the deal and it would not sign.

That followed a finding from the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission that key elements of the deal breach diversity laws.

Cabinet is set to meet on Friday to discuss the finalised role of Emergency Management Commissioner Craig Lapsley’s role overseeing the implementation of the controversial deal.

But others in caucus are angry at the government’s handling of the entire chaotic week.

“What does it look like to volunteers? The IR minister has had to recant. A minister can’t even read a two minute statement and get it right,” a caucus source said.

“It is pretty poor to see ministers taking pot shots at each other,” another said.

Labor is hoping that the dispute will be resolved this week. Otherwise, the government will be forced to resort to a “plan B” option likely to involve sacking the CFA Board.

Following question time where Ms Hutchins said she had been given assurances that the agreement would not damage diversity,Opposition industrial relations spokesman John Pesuttospoke to Mr Ross and was told nosuch assurances had been given.

Opposition Leader Matthew Guy accused the government of trying “every tactic in the book” to force the CFA board – including verballingMr Ross. He said under the precedentsof the Westminster system Ms Hutchins should resign.

Ms Garrett was grilled in parliament by the Opposition.

“The board and the CEO agree with me and this government that we want a resolution to this dispute that supports both career and volunteer firefighters,” she said.

Before question time Mr Andrews said he was “very, very positive” the government was making progress.

“We are making real headway, real progress and I am just so determined, so determined, to make sure that we get a good outcome for volunteers, for the career firefighters, because unless we do that, we’ll be compromising the safety of our state,” hesaid.

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