Archive for the ‘苏州桑拿’ Category

World’s most eligible bachelor, Hugh Grosvenor no longer eligible

By admin | 苏州桑拿

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It’s been 200 years since Jane Austen died but it’s both comedic and crushing that we still treat rich, white men with the same reverence as Mrs Bennett.

According to press outlets in the United Kingdom, Britain’s youngest billionaire, the Duke of Westminster, Hugh Grosvenor, who also happens to be Prince George’s godfather and the richest man in the world under the age of 30, is now in a relationship with a woman.

“World’s most eligible bachelor, the Duke of Westminster, is off the market,” is how the The Telegraph broke the news.

“The news will doubtless devastate a generation of Tatlerites hoping to become acquainted with the Duke and his estimated ??8.3 billion fortune (making him the third richest person in the UK and the 68th wealthiest in the world).”

“SORRY LADIES, HE’S OFF THE MARKET. Baby-faced billionaire the Duke of Westminster, 26, is no longer the UK’s most eligible bachelor,” screamed The Sun, as only the The Sun could.

Since we’ve had years to ogle Kate Middleton’s transformation from shy, middle-class professional to Duchess of Cambridge and a few months of Meghan Markle mania, now we have Harriet Tomlinson – the world’s latest Elizabeth Bennett.

Tomlinson, a 26-year-old who works in recruitment, is reportedly the new love in his life.

A source close to the Duke told The Mirror: “Hugh and Harriet are blissfully happy. They have a lot of shared interests and are both very down to earth and ??family oriented. She’s a really lovely girl and very much the love of his life.”

To recap, Grosvenor is relatively new to his new title of Duke of Westminster, following the death of his father last year. He is a man in possession of an extensive property portfolio, impressive wine cellar and an entertaining LinkedIn profile.

Up until August 2016, Grosvenor was just your average old-moneyed millennial living his best life in blissful semi-obscurity, writing blogs titled: “How to produce an espresso from your rucksack”.

Since then, not a lot has changed other than he’s inherited 100 acres across Mayfair and 200 acres of Belgravia – two of the most expensive areas in the world – as well as plots in Oxford, Cheshire, Scotland and Spain. Not to mention his father’s entire $14 billion fortune.

Unlike his good family friends, Princes William and Harry, he’s rarely seen on the social scene dad-dancing or skiing with n models. Now he and his old school friend Tomlinson are reportedly dating.

The pair attended the prestigious Ellesmere College, a co-ed boarding school that costs $16,500-a-term. While the Duke went on to study at Oxford, she got out of the sloaney bubble and attended the University of Wales in Cardiff. Tomlinson has a slew of qualifications including a teaching degree and postgraduate certification in public relations and event management.

Much to the chagrin of the media, Tomlinson – like her boyfriend – doesn’t have a huge online footprint but she is into LinkedIn, the same way Kylie Jenner is into Snapchat.

While not a lot is known about her, she must have been an exemplary student for her former teacher Julian Salisbury to make the effort to log in and write her a recommendation on the professional platform.

“Harriet is very hardworking and an intelligent person who always strives to reach high standards in everything she does,” he wrote.

The couple have reportedly “gone on a string of romantic mini-breaks”. The most recent being to California where they stayed at the exclusive Ventana resort on the Big Sur coast.

Congratulations to the happy, upwardly mobile couple on finding each other. God speed for the flurry of photographers who will now be on your tail.

Former PM Keating turns property financier

By admin | 苏州桑拿

Former prime minister Paul Keating has taken a financial stake and board position at property financiers MaxCap, a group leading the charge on super funds investing in lucrative commercial real estate lending.
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MaxCap group, which specialises in commercial real estate debt, recently teamed up with the nation’s biggest industry super fund, n Super, to offer large $100 million-plus loans direct to developers.

Mr Keating, who added his voice this week to other industry and finance experts warning the Turnbull government against allowing superannuation savings to be used to be used for house purchases, joined MaxCap late last year as a director.

The former PM’s government was behind the 1992 creation of ‘s compulsory employer contribution scheme that now looks after $2 trillion in superannuation retirement savings.

MaxCap managing director and founding partner Wayne Lasky said Mr Keating was providing the firm with strategic advice and had invested in the business.

“If a former head of state seeks to take an investment in a business, they do even more due diligence than institutional investors. Paul carefully guards his legacy, and rightfully so. Having done that work with us, he wanted to get a stake. We’re happy to accommodate it,” Mr Lasky said.

“It’s a big shot in the arm to the sector. When you’ve got the big instos [institutional investors] participating and you’ve got the former prime minister participating, you can see where it’s moving to in the future.”

MaxCap’s investment thesis focuses on filling the gap in commercial lending left by the banks after the country’s financial watchdog, the n Prudential Regulatory Authority, clamped down in the wake of the global financial crisis.

Mr Lasky said ‘s commercial property lending was a $220 billion market, with more than 80 per cent of funding dominated by the big four banks.

APRA’s ongoing clampdown and the imposition of stricter international Basel banking requirements will shrink the bank’s market share and open up a $30 to $40 billion funding gap, he said.

“There’s a structural dislocation which has been taking place since the crisis. If you’ve got the capital, there’s pretty good lending to be done,” Mr Lasky said.

MaxCap placed $300 million in private funds through first mortgage lending over six months to December last year.

It also raised and placed $50 million in the first tranche of a $100 million first mortgage fund, with another raising expected in the next two months, he said.

A spokesman for Mr Keating said the former PM believed it was the right time to invest into MaxCap’s platform which was well placed to take advantage of the structural opportunity as the banks were obliged to withdraw from commercial funding due to Basel III and IV guidelines.

Mr Keating has other business roles including chairman of investment banking firm Lazard .

Shifting safety net would ‘fix youth unemployment’

By admin | 苏州桑拿

Iain Ross, Fair Work President, during a Senate Committee hearing at Parliament House in Canberra on Monday 28 May 2012.Photo: Alex Ellinghausen Photo: Alex EllinghausenThe employment safety net needs a wide-ranging overhaul and minimum rates of pay should be cut in order to help solve youth unemployment, says former Fair Work Commission vice-president Graeme Watson.
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In in his first public appearance since resigning last month, Mr Watson used a speech at the Centre for Independent Studies on Tuesday to criticise his former boss, Fair Work Commission president Iain Ross.

Mr Watson suggested Mr Ross had presided over an administration that marginalised commissioners like himself with a business background in favour of others who, like Mr Ross, had a union background.

The national safety net was set higher than other countries, he said, and was unusual by international standards.

He said the entire safety net including minimum wages, allowances, leave entitlements and penalty rates needed review.

“My view is that a review of the entirety of the safety net, Sunday penalties being only one part of that, is a useful thing to do and it should be conducted in an expert manner and in a comprehensive way,” Mr Watson said.

“We have a very high level of minimum wages. In addition to that we have higher minimums for skilled employees above the minimum rate, which is unusual by international standards.

“Then we have all sorts of add-ons, such as allowances and penalty rates, which are also unusual and leave entitlements.”

Mr Watson said during the global financial crisis, youth unemployment rose in .

“But it didn’t go down after the end of the GFC as it did in other countries. It stayed at quite a high level,” he said.

“I think the level of the safety net that applies in a proscriptive way in entry level employment must be a factor in that.” Commission dysfunctional

A former partner at law firm Freehills, Mr Watson was the last remaining Coalition appointee in a senior role at the commission and a strong dissenter in favour of business.

He declared the Fair Work Commission was “partisan, dysfunctional and divided” when he announced his resignation from the Fair Work Commission in January.

He and another former commissioner Michael Roberts had agreed there was a need to review Sunday penalty rates for restaurants. But he said the commission majority had not agreed. The controversial changes that were proposed in a landmark commission decision last month were more “modest” than he had suggested.

“In the restaurants case Michael Roberts and I said that there was a need to review the appropriateness of penalty rates in contemporary society and that balancing of considerations such as employment opportunities,” he said.

Mr Watson said his analysis of full bench decisions from 2013 to July 2015 found that the presidential members most frequently allocated to the most important decisions had a union background as opposed to a business background.

“The practice of favouring some members and marginalising others in full bench allocations, similar to the NSW commission A and B team approach is well known to close observers of Fair Work Commission practice,” he said.

“However, the practices are heavily camouflaged and difficult to expose. It is very easy, for example, to allocate members to insignificant Full Bench matters and create the appearance of equal treatment.”

Mr Ross was contacted for comment. Aerocare justified

In response to a question about his decision in favour of an enterprise agreement which allowed n aviation services company Aerocare to split shifts for aviation workers, Mr Watson said he had considered the workers were better off overall.

In his decision of 2013, Mr Watson said the minimum three-hour shifts under the Aerocare enterprise agreement was a “disadvantage” to workers compared to the minimum four-hour shifts required under the Award.

“I do not believe that a three-hour work period followed by a subsequent one-hour unpaid meal break is consistent with the award requirement that employers roster part-time employees for a minimum of four consecutive hours on any shift or the minimum payment of four hours for casuals,” he said.

“I propose to consider this change as a detriment to both part-time and casual employees.”

However, considering all the circumstances, Mr Watson said he was satisfied the advantages within the enterprise agreement outweighed the disadvantages.

On Tuesday, Mr Watson said the better off overall test requires a finding that no employee is worse off overall compared with the terms of the relevant Award. Coles failed

“There could well be some detriments in certain respects but there could also be benefits in other respects and you need to make an assessment on an overall basis,” he said.

“Many agreements in retail, fast food and similar industries are designed to soften the impact of award provisions in retail for example, to flatten penalties across the week rather than have them in peaks on weekends.

“Those sorts of agreements need to be scrutinised very closely and an assessment needs to be made of the overall impact on every group of employees affected by it. And that was the basis for my approval of that agreement.

“The company engaged senior counsel and extensive material to demonstrate that all employees were better off overall even though in some respects there were some detriments compared to the Award.”

Mr Watson said if employers believe the better off overall test is inappropriate, “they need to seek a change to the law, but in the meantime the law needs to be applied”.

A full bench decision he presided over had overturned an agreement for Coles workers because it did not comply with the test.

“It appears in that Coles case that the union and Coles had been prepared to see favourable treatment to some employees as a trade off of unfavourable treatment to others,” he said.

“That’s not the proper application of the test. Every employee must be better off overall.”

Child protection worker denied bail

By admin | 苏州桑拿

Cameron Allan
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RELATED:Child protection worker on the run after police child porn raid at his home

A Bendigo child protection worker who fled police after a raid on his home which allegedly uncovered child pornography has been denied bail.

Cameron Dale Allan, 44, faced the Bendigo Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday, charged with one count of knowingly possessing child exploitation images, following the February raid.

The court heard Mr Allan was employed as a senior child protection practitioner at the Department of Health and Human Services’ Bendigo office at the time of the raid and previously worked in various roles working with children and families.

Detective senior constable Tanya Brooks said investigators viewed and categorised about 90,000 of the approximately twomillion images found on a laptop, hard disk drives and other digital storage devices seized in the raid and had so far found less than 100 child exploitation images.

Senior Constable Brooks said most of the images were in the least serious category of offending, while one image was in a moreserious category, involving sexual penetration between an adult and a child.

She said the other images consisted of adult pornography as well as “everyday” things downloaded from the internet, saying it could take up to 12 months to view and categorise the remaining material.

When police returned to Mr Allan’s home on the day of the raid to arrest him, they discovered he had fled the state and he was eventually taken into custody by South n police 10 days later.

In opposing bail, prosecutor Alan Walker said there was an “unacceptable risk” Mr Allan would fail to appear at court and may commit further offences while on bail.

In arguing for bail to be granted, defence counsel Russell Kelly said there was no suggestion of complaints from Mr Allan’s colleagues or the children he had been working with and the “vast majority” of the seized images appeared to be adult pornography.

Mr Kelly proposed bail conditions, including a $5000 surety to be paid by Mr Allan’s father, and restrictions on his access to the internet.

But Senior Constable Brooks said even under such conditions she would still be “very concerned” about whether Mr Allan would be a flight risk or continue to access inappropriate images, saying “when the accused gets stressed he does look up pornography” and may continue to do so.

Mr Kelly said his client understood police were prepared to accept a plea on the basis of the images analysed so far and they may now continue to work their way through the seized material but he was “quite firm” in his decision to reserve his plea.

“He has good grounds for his position and they have to be explored,” he said.

In refusing bail, magistrate John Murphy described the magnitude of the images seized as “just enormous”.

“In my opinion what’s really against him is he took flight and may take off again,” he said.

Mr Allan will return to court on April 24.

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Sacked coach Taylor comes out swinging after Sironen attack

By admin | 苏州桑拿

Sacked Wests Tigers coach Jason Taylor has broken his silence to defend himself against an attack by Balmain legend Paul Sironen, who publicly celebrated the dumping of Taylor.
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Sironen delivered a withering send-off to Taylor on Monday night, saying “karma’s a bitch” and telling the coach not to “let the door hit you out on the way out” – still fuming that he and his son Curtis had been punted from the club.

Sironen blamed the NRL coach, but Taylor has defended himself by insisting the decision to send the club legend packing from his role with the club’s under-20s team was not his.

“I want to respond to some of Paul Sironen’s published allegations about me,” Taylor said. “I never sacked Paul Sironen and I never communicated his sacking to him. I also never made any decisions about NYC staffing at that time.

“As to Paul’s comments about what was said after he was sacked, I in fact went up to him, shook his hand and gave him my commiserations. He looked me in the eye and said, ‘It’s OK, I know it wasn’t your decision’.”

The former NSW State of Origin and Kangaroos forward was filthy over his exit from the joint-venture outfit three years ago following Smith’s review, saying he was told by Taylor and football manager Phil Moss he would no longer be required.

However Taylor rejects the allegations put forward by Sironen on Monday.

“When the great Brian Smith strategic plan was implemented and Taylor came in, I was involved in the club,” Sironen said. “I was involved numerous years as a director and with the 20s. He’s entitled to turn the club upside down but without a single word of explanation he got rid of me.

“They got me upstairs and said, ‘You’re no longer required’, without saying thanks for giving 14-15 years here as an administrator, in football operations and in several different roles.

“I’ve been asked by several blokes over the last couple of years to give comments but I’ve always, out of respect, for the club bit my tongue. Now that’s he’s gone, I’m entitled to say my piece.”

Meanwhile, Wests Tigers’ major sponsor has backed the decision to sack coach Taylor, but warned the joint-venture outfit is now at a “critical juncture” in its history.

The Tigers are at a crossroads as they search for a coach and the signatures of their four most influential players. They do so at a time when their brand has been tarnished by the Tim Simona scandal and the messy departure of club legend Robbie Farah.

However, none of those dramas prompted Lee Hagipantelis, the principal of Brydens Lawyers, to consider ending ending his company’s relationship as the Tigers’ major backer.

Hagipantelis last night described Taylor’s sacking as an “unfortunate” but necessary step to turn the club’s fortunes around.

“It was difficult, but had to be done,” Hagipantelis said. “I don’t disagree with the decision that has been taken by the CEO and the board.

“The suggestion is there were entrails indicative of difficulties that may continue to be encountered, which was a fair enough assessment.

“I have no concerns about my brand being aligned with the Tigers. I regard this as an unfortunate occurrence but one that required addressing. It has been addressed.”

Multi-millionaires compete for Gold Coast’s most expensive homes

By admin | 苏州桑拿

75-77 Monaco Street, Broadbeach Waters Photo: suppliedGold, Sunshine Coasts shine as property market starsBrisbane property record smashed: mansion sells for $18.48mA new era for Brisbane’s prestige property market
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Six of the most expensive properties for sale right now on the Gold Coast are collectively worth nearly $80 million – and buyers can’t get enough, agents say.

A “strong and consistent” prestige market on the Gold Coast is pitting millionaires from across the globe against each other as they compete for small number of multimillion-dollar listings.

Agent Michael Kollosche says a lack of stock means there is a large number of buyers actively looking at any one time.

“The market is strong at the moment, there’s been some big sales, but stock levels in most of the suburbs is very tight. In regards to the beachfront, there’s only three or four prestige properties publicly on the market at the moment – that’s it,” he says.

“If you’re a prestige buyer, it’s tough to find what you’re after.”

Mr Kollosche says when prestige buyers find the right property, they waste no time in securing a deal, citing the recent off-market sale of 255 Monaco Street, Broadbeach Waters, as an example; it sold for $11 million. Last month, Savills Gold Coast sold a waterfront property at 201-205 Monaco Street for $9.5 million to a cash buyer after only three weeks on the market.

“A lack of supply has advantages and disadvantages,” Mr Kollosche says. “One the one hand it keeps prices strong but it can slow down the turn over.

“A lack of supply in suburbs like Cronin Island and the Isle of Capri is lifting prices.”

Prestige property on the Gold Coast continues to go from strength to strength. Figures from the Domain Group’s rental and house price report show houses on the Gold Coast grew by 7.3 per cent overall last year ??? the best result of all major Queensland regional markets.

More than half of the top 20 property sales in Queensland were made on the Gold Coast last year; the top five alone, all located at Surfers Paradise and Mermaid Beach, totalled $76.2 million.

Prestige agent Amir Mian says the demand at the high end is insatiable.

“There’s such an appetite for properties at this end of the market and they come from everywhere: local, interstate and overseas,” he says.

“Many of my clients see the value in a $14 million home on the waterfront, especially when you might pay $20 million for a house on the beach which has no space for a boat, jet ski and a lot less privacy.”

Here’s a look at six of the most expensive properties for sale on the Gold Coast right now ??? they’re collectively worth nearly $80 million alone: 16-22 Parklane Terrace, Paradise Point

16-22 Parklane Terrace, Paradise Point Photo: Supplied$14,288,000

This phenomenal concrete construction sits on a 106-metre water frontage and “sets the benchmark” for Sovereign Islands, agent Amir Mian says.

“There’s a lot of big homes on the Gold Coast that are palatial but not functional – this is not one of those,” Mr Mian says.

“It’s one of my favourite homes I have ever brought to the market because not only is it incredibly impressive, it has warmth. It’s a whole lifestyle package.”

Set on a 2,973 square metre block, it features two 24-metre pontoons plus an additional pontoon in case you’ve got more than two super yachts. The basement garage can fit up to 16 cars and there’s a nine-person lift that services all levels of the home.

The entire residence includes seven bedrooms, seven bathrooms, three powder rooms, four living areas, a media room and two full bars.

Agent: Amir Mian, Prestige Property Agents, 0401 470 499 187-191 Hedges Avenue, Mermaid Beach

187-191 Hedges Avenue, Mermaid Beach Photo: Supplied$17.25 million

The jaw-dropping beach front home of real estate king and racehorse owner David Henderson and his wife Rhonda is located on Millionaires Row along Hedges Avenue.

A masterpiece of contemporary design, it’s spread over three lots (1,215 square metres) of enviable absolute beach front land adjoining parkland, with stunning views of the ocean and coast line through to Coolangatta.

Designed by acclaimed architect Paul Uhlmann, it offers sophisticated entertaining surrounded by rare and exotic granites and marble, African Wenge timber, tinted glazing and the finest quality designer furniture, including imported leather lounges, upholstered bedheads and large designer mirrors.

With five bedrooms, all with their own balconies, five bathrooms, three powder rooms, an outdoor beach shower, lift and stairs to all three levels, a magnesium-chlorinated pool with spa and a multitude of living areas, it’s a dream beach house for anyone. 3250/23 Ferny Avenue, Surfers Paradise

3250/23 Ferny Avenue, Surfers Paradise Photo: Supplied

Price on application

Previously listed for $12.5 million, this phenomenal Chevron Renaissance penthouse complete with its own “cigar and wine tasting area” is owned by developer and former mobile phone king Ron Bakir.

???Agent Michael Kollosche says he’s inviting offers following inspections, in order to fully appreciate the 918 square metre property: “you have to see it to really understand it,” he says.

Spread over the 39th and 40th floors, this fully recreated penthouse has no painted walls, only panels of timber veneer, smoked glass imported marble or lustrous lacquered finishes in caramel tones.

It has touch-pad Dynalite-controlled lighting, climate, blinds, security, multiple living and sitting areas facing east to the ocean or to the city skyline and a fully electronic remote-controlled kitchen with Diana Royal marble, concealed refrigerators, walk-in pantry, deep drawer storage and fully equipped scullery.

All the imported designer furniture is included. Extra include combination-coded access via four lifts, secure basement parking for 21 cars and more than 600 square metres of additional storage areas. 79-81 Commodore Drive, Paradise Waters

79-81 Commodore Drive, Paradise Waters Photo: Supplied

Expressions of interest under $10 million

Marketing agent Sherry Smith says north east-facing double blocks on the main river are hard to come by – and she’s not wrong, if this palatial Paradise Waters estate is anything to go by.

Originally built for Max Christmas, who is considered to be one of the founding fathers of Gold Coast property, it’s been home to Lisa and Peter Le Fanue for the past 19 years.

They’re ready to move on now the kids have grown up and left home, crating an “incredible opportunity for an astute buyers”, Ms Smith says.

It features a separate Mediterranean-inspired guest residence with a fully equipped BBQ entertainer, one of the largest private pools on the Gold Coast, picturesque river and skyline views and it’s only moment by boat to the Broadwater.

It has a home office, full wet bar, sensor alarm system, 48-metre river frontage along deep water, designer fittings and fixtures, marble flooring and timber shutters throughout, irrigation system, boat shed, and ample storage space.

Marketing agent: Sherry Smith, Ray White Broadbeach, 0412 759 781 75-77 Monaco Street, Broadbeach Waters

75-77 Monaco Street, Broadbeach Waters Photo: Supplied

$9,995,000

This five bedroom, seven bathroom masterpiece is more exclusive six-star resort than anything else, bringing new meaning to the term “wow factor” from the outset.

Concealed from the street beyond a long private driveway, the dramatic entry follows a broad marble catwalk surrounded by tiled reflection pools to the glass foyer.

Inside, 987 square metres of living space unfurls amidst classic, timeless interiors. The theme of the home is light and art, bringing together the best of beautiful design with the backdrop of 28 metres of main river frontage.

Architecturally designed, it features high ceilings, travertine marble floors throughout, riverfront living areas, home theatre, library, chefs kitchen and a guest wing with its own private lounge area and designer ensuite.

Marketing agent: Michael Kollosche, Kollosche Prestige Agents, 0411 188 815 3-7 Sir Lancelot Close, Sovereign Islands$14.88 million

This Mediterranean-inspired mansion occupies a 2,103 square metre east-facing block with 55 metres of Broadwater frontage, so the view is as blue as it is wide.

Positioned on Sir Lancelot Close, it certainly inspires images of living like a royal; hidden by wrought iron gates, it boasts a whopping 1,890 square metres of living space. There are 12 bathrooms and each of the seven bedrooms has its own ensuite and walk-in-robe, while the master suite has a dressing room and private balcony.

There is a self-contained suite for guests or staff – because that’s the life you lead if you live in a residence like this – and the basement has enough space for eight cars.

With a stunning 25-metre lap pool providing the perfect background to the gym and steam room, the alfresco entertaining with Teppanyaki is the perfect place to sit back and take in the view of the Broadwater.

Bye-bye wi-fi as APVMA public servants leave Macca’s

By admin | 苏州桑拿

Public servants at the pesticides authority are hoping they can leave their makeshift office at MacDonald’s Armidale behind, launching a search for a real office in the northern NSW town where they are being forced to move.
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The new digs will be a stopgap measure while the n Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority waits for a new office block to be built for it somewhere in the regional town.

Documents from the federal procurement website AusTender show the authority is on the lookout for 150 to 300 square metres of offices somewhere in Armidale after its senior officers “camped out” in one of the town’s burger joints, using the restaurant’s free wi-fi to conduct their work.

It remains unclear why the Canberra-based public servants could not work from the University of New England, which claims to be a “partner” in the authority’s forced relocation from the national capital to the heart of Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce’s New England Electorate.

Nor has it been revealed how much the interim office accommodation will cost or if that spending will be included in the estimated $26 million cost of the whole move.

The authority was widely mocked early this month after its boss Kareena Arthy??? told a Senate Estimates hearing that she and her colleagues were using the restaurant’s free wi-fi to work because they had no base in Armidale and that she was having a tough time convincing her public servants to move from Canberra to northern NSW as ordered by the Coalition government.

It was also revealed at the Senate Estimates hearing that a new office block will have to be built to accommodate the agency with none of the town’s existing buildings suitable.

But in the meantime, the call has gone out, with a March 31 deadline for expressions of interest, to Armidale’s commercial landlords for a stopgap solution.

The temporary offices should be top-of the line “A-grade” quality, already fitted out, to save time and money, come with on-site car parking, comply with the Commonwealth’s exacting environmental and sustainability standards and be offered for the relatively short-term, by commercial property standards, of two years with an option to extend.

In a statement issued through the authority’s public relations firm, Ms Arthy told Fairfax the process of moving to Armidale would not happen overnight.

“The relocation of the APVMA to Armidale is a two and half year process that will be completed in stages to ensure the smooth transition of the agency and maintain continuity of the regulatory function,” the chief executive said.

“While scoping and planning for the construction of a permanent purpose-built building is underway, the APVMA now requires a suitable interim office to establish its operation in Armidale.

“The University of New England has been very helpful in assisting the APVMA in its search for accommodation.

“We are still considering a number of possible options for the APVMA interim office including office space at the UNE campus.

“We hope to make a selection of a suitable location in the next few weeks.

“The APVMA will continue to work very closely with the UNE along with other key stakeholders in the Armidale community to collaborate on opportunities that will support the business into the future.”

Mayfield family sees sunny side of solar power

By admin | 苏州桑拿

SUN SMART: Gwyn and Felicity Williams are saving money by using solar power and being energy efficient. Felicity Williams says she is no born-again hippie. Far from it.
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But when it comes to having an environmental conscience, Williams is one of a growing number of Hunter residents embracing energy-efficient technology in their homes.

The rapid take-up of solar panels and battery storage units has industry specialists calling the region a battery hotspot and Newcastle a city of energy innovation.

For Williams and husband Gwyn, the decision to go solar was an economic and social one.

“With ongoing increases in prices of energy, it’s about how can we have a bit more control over what we’re paying and how we’re paying,” she says.

“The other thing, it’s also factoring in being a bit conscious of the environment, because we do use a lot of energy, and how much responsibility should we be taking for generating it ourselves when welive in a country that has access to the sun.”

The Williams family have about 20 solar panels, installed four years ago, on the roof of their late-1800s Mayfield Federation-style house, and have recently installed a battery to store solar energy.

Williams says that with three children, aged 14, 13 and seven, and three dogs, the family uses plenty of power.

“We’re very high energy users,” she says.

“We have all the bells and whistles. We’ve got ducted airconditioning, fans in every room –a whole family that likes to use lights all the time.”

The installation of energy-efficient technologies has led to the family’s energy expenses being cost neutral.

“They have actually paid our power bill,” Williams says.

The family looked at installing solar panels several years earlier, but cost and complexity delayed the plan.

“I’ve always been interested in renewable energy and being able to use renewables but I originally priced it when we were living in the Upper Hunter,” she says.

“It cost a significant amount of money to go there.”

That was more than 10 years ago, and Williams estimates prices have dropped to about a third or a quarter of what they were previously. Government incentives, advances in technology and an increase in installers has helped reduce the cost.

“I think if you believe in something, you’ve got to put your money where your mouth is,” Williams says.

“It’s important that we recognise we’re high energy users. Everybody thinks ‘modern day hippie’. We’re not.”

Williams and her family are among a growing number of Hunter residents adopting energy-efficient technology in their homes to save on bills and increase their energy independence.

“Profit-for-purpose” social enterprise Suncrowd, working with not-for-profit community group Climate Action Newcastle, chose Newcastle for its first solar power bulk-buy campaign in June 2016, and followed it up with a smaller project in February 2017.

Suncrowd founder and chief energy officer Chris Cooper said about 900 people came to events and more than 200 households from across the Hunter participated in what Suncrowd describes as ’s first solar battery bulk buy.

“Newcastle’s a bit of a battery hotspot now,” Cooper says.

A bulk buy can simplify the experience for home owners through the ready provision of information and research, and lower costs via group discounts, Cooper says.

“All the bulk buys use local installers. They’re allocated based on quality and trading history.”

Cooper says Suncrowd’s aim is to get more solar and new energy technologies to the people.

“The economics of these technologies make total sense and they’re not getting out there quick enough. We’re aiming to overcome the boundaries to adoption of those technologies.”

EFFICIENT: The Williams family, of Mayfield, like their mod cons but pay a lot less than the average household does for using them.

Mistrust of energy industries, complexities in decision making, understanding of energy mattersand price were barriers that were, he says,being overcome.

In the Hunter, baby boomers and families were the chief participants in the solar battery bulk buy.

“They’ve [families] just bought a home and are looking to get some technologies in there to reduce their bills,” Cooper says.

“The unifying factor . . .is independence and reducing cost. Independence from energy companies or coal-fired power.”

Cooper says looking at basic energy efficiencies in the home was an important first step individuals could take. Heating, cooling and lighting systems were the best places to start.

A flow restrictor on the shower could be useful for households with electric hot water systems. Setting water temperature to 60 degrees celsius or less was important too.

Zoning the house well when using airconditioning for heating and cooling was another step home owners could take. UsingLED lights, as opposed to halogen fittings, also improves energy efficiency.

Installing solar panels was the next step. Then, look at getting a battery, if the budget allows.

“It makes sure you can capture any extra solar you have that would otherwise go back to the grid,” Cooper says.

He estimates that a solar power system would cost the average household about $4000 to $7000 to install and a battery from $6000 to $12,000. And having such a system could slash energy bills by 70 to 80 per cent.

But it doesn’t make economic sense to go off grid. “Once you start going beyond 70 per cent energy independence, the return on investment drops,” Cooper says.

Suncrowd is not surprised that the Hunter is leading the way with energy efficiency measures in the home, as evidenced through the solar battery bulk-buy campaign.

“Newcastle hasalways been a city of energy innovation, moving from a coal city, steel city [to a] new-energy city,” Cooper says.

ENERGY EFFICIENCY AT HOMESource: Energy Efficiency Council

Finn geared up for F1 quest

By admin | 苏州桑拿

Ice hockey to Finns is like footy to ns, especially when they’re young. It’s what they play growing up, unafraid of the fast-paced, violent action on the rink.
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So while Formula One’s latest Flying Finn, new Mercedes recruit Valtteri Bottas, was at home on the ice in a friendly encounter with n Ice Hockey League players at Melbourne’s O’Brien Group Arena on Tuesday, it could have been seen as tempting fate.

Bottas is this year taking on arguably the toughest challenge in F1 as triple world champion Lewis Hamilton’s teammate, replacing Nico Rosberg, who quite after winning last year’s title.

Bottas could be said to be skating on thin ice because he is on a one-year deal with Mercedes, which has dominated F1 for the past three years, and has to push Hamilton as hard as Rosberg did to be renewed next year and beyond.

Waiting in the wings are Mercedes AMG proteges Pascal Wehrlein and Esteban Ocon, placed at Sauber and Force India respectively, to gain more experience – and audition for a possible promotion to join Hamilton in a Silver Arrows in 2017.

Speeding around a rink, slamming sticks and firing pucks against professional players might be regarded as a metaphor for the huge challenge Bottas faces to secure his elevation to F1’s top team.

Just a few slips – either on the ice or the track – and he could be badly hurt or his career crippled.

Luckily, Bottas, 27, proved to be a dab hand as he duelled with a small group of star players from the Melbourne Mustangs and the Melbourne Ice AHL teams, thanks to 10 years playing junior ice hockey in Finland.

“I thought he was surprisingly good,” said Melbourne Mustangs forward Sean Jones, one of Bottas’ faux opponents.

Long regarded as a super-talent stranded with a team below his potential, Bottas was Mercedes’ first choice when Rosberg announced his shock retirement after beating Hamilton, finally, in last year’s F1 world championship.

He had to be extricated from the middling Williams squad, but nothing that money – and Williams’ reliance on a supply of top-end Mercedes power trains – couldn’t achieve. However, gaining the dream drive also risks a nightmare if Bottas doesn’t challenge Hamilton for race wins – or even the title – as Rosberg did.

The typically phlegmatic Finn is unfazed by the pressure of joining the leading team and proving himself against Hamilton, who is rated as the fastest driver in F1.

“For sure, it’s a big challenge,” he said. “No doubt, I will definitely need to prove myself to a lot of people and the team that I deserve a place. I just see things very positively. I see it as a great opportunity for my career to fight for race wins and, hopefully, even for the championship.

“I’m very excited about going up against Lewis. He’s a great reference – everyone knows exactly how good he is as a driver.”

It will undoubtedly take Monaco-based Bottas, who never won in his four years with Williams, at least a few races to find his feet at Mercedes, but he is looking to finish on the podium at Albert Park.

“Definitely, the goal for me is to start the season in a good way – get the results early on and continue from there,” he said. “I’m definitely aiming to start the season with a strong result.”

He was slightly slower than Hamilton in pre-season testing, which was topped by Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen and four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel.

Bottas expects Ferrari to be much closer to – if not ahead of – Mercedes in the season-opener.

“I think Ferrari’s looking very strong,” he said. “The pace they had in testing was quite interesting and it’s definitely going to be a tough competition with them.

“We’re definitely expecting a close fight with them, at least to start with. We’re are aiming to be miles ahead, but F1 is a tough competition and we’re definitely not under-estimating any other [leading] team.

“We want to win, but let’s find out if it’s possible.”

He includes ‘s Daniel Ricciardo as a potential threat, expecting Red Bull Racing to make big gains with the new breed of faster F1 cars.

Black Diamond gun Mitch Crawford takes shot at NFLvideo

By admin | 苏州桑拿

Mitch Crawford at gym training in Melbourne.
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Mitch Crawford has 1.2 seconds to prove himself as an NFL prospect.

That’s how long he has to catch the ball, take two steps and launch a punt downfield before the opposition’s special-teams rushers bury him.

The 22-year-old former Newcastle City Blues player was the leading goalkicker in the Black Diamond AFL last year but has moved to Victoria after trialling successfully for a place inthe Prokick program, which trains athletes for US college careers.

It is a crash course on a new sport.

“Kicking-wise there is similarities, but there’s still a lot of technique stuff that’s very different,” Crawford told the Herald from Geelong, where he is living with his aunt while commuting to Melbourne for practice.

“Training is a lot more intense, because over there you might only get three or four kicks in a game, so you have to make sure every one of them is spot-on.

“In an AFL game you have a couple of hours. If one kick goes wrong, you can make up for it. That limited opportunity to create an impact is probably the biggest difference.

“And it’s pretty different with the pressure all coming from the frontrather than 360 around you.From the time the guy snaps it, you have 1.2 seconds toget it on your boot. 1.3 at the latest. That’s a big difference:have your two steps and have to get it off by 1.2 seconds.”

The Newcastle University communications student, an American football fan since he was 12, has never takena snap in a game, but hehas adapted quickly to a different skill set and hopes to transfer to aUS college in July or January.

He decided to take a punt on an NFL career after seeing two of his former Swans Academy teammates make the grade at Texas and Virginia Tech.

“I’m pretty much doing it off my own bat. But if I end up getting a scholarship and get to play over in America for a few years, I think it would be worth it.

“Six of the boys who have been here for a while now, about half have got division one. They’ve had guys at Penn State, Ohio State, the big schools. Anything’s possible if you’re good enough.

“It’s always been a possibility if the AFL hadn’t have come off. Then when I started studying I saw it as an opportunity to enter a college that way.”

Crawford expects to secure a college scholarship, but he knows the step up to NFL is huge, even thoughDarren Bennett(San Diego Chargers), Sav Rocca (Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins) and the New York Giants’ Brad Wing have blazed a trail for n punters.

“At the moment Prokick have put about 65 guys through college, and there’s a couple of guys who have made it onto NFL lists. All the minor leagues as well still pay pretty good.

“The pathway’s been pretty well set by those guys, and now it’sjust about making sure you put in the work.

“With the scholarship, you have five years of eligibility from when you start uni. I think I’ll have plenty of time to be in that environment and hone in on the skills to go pro. The dream’s definitely there.

“I definitely have the confidence to go over there.”

One of Crawford’s weapons is the Aussie rules drop punt, which Bennett pioneered in America on the way to being named the NFL’s best punter of the 1990s.

“The ball gets a lot more hang time but doesn’t have as big a sweet spot,” Crawford said.

“If you don’t kick it perfectly, it’s going to go straight off and you’re only going to kick it about 25, 30 metres.

“At the moment, because they’re pretty happy with how I’m able to drop punt, I don’t really have to work on that. My main focus is getting that consistent feel on the spiral punt.

“A lot of the coaches do like the drop punts being brought into play. It’s definitely something handy to have up my sleeve when I start sending film over.”

He said taking only two steps and holding the ball underneath for spiral punts were key differences to AFL kicking techniques.

“In AFL you’re told to drop it as close to your foot as you can, but to get the height you have to control it out and make contact with it up to your stomach.”

College teams soon will start sifting through their punting stocks for next season. If they’re not happy with their options, they will start looking to recruit from places like .

Mitch Crawford playing for the Blues.

“It keeps you on your toes for every session,” Crawford said.“You want to make sure if that calls comes you’re ready.”

He said he had spoken to two of Prokick’s alumni recently about the pressures of college sport in America, especially for new punters.

“You work as a team, but when you start off, especially if you’ve got a scholarship, you’ve got guys who have paid to be there and you’ve got something they want.

“For the first couple of weeks and months of training it’s pretty hostile until you can prove yourself. You have to make sure you’re ready to go from the start, because if you have a poor first couple of weeks, the coaches are going to be getting on you, your teammates won’t have trust in you.

“That’s kind of their mentality,‘We’re doing all the hard work, taking the hits. All you have to do is go out and put it where we need it. And if you can’t do that, what good are you to us?’ Then they said pretty much like a group of brothers from then on.”