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Andy and Charlie’s AFL draft bromance

The Brayshaw family has a Christmas tradition. This one has nothing to do with ham, carols or anything particularly festive.
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No, the way Andy Brayshaw and older brothers Angus and Hamish spend Christmas Day is by going down to their local park in Sandringham, marking out 100 metres, and running the distance 100 times. They have 30 seconds to run each 100, with 30 seconds rest in between each run.

The tradition started five years ago with Angus and Hamish. Andy has done it three times.

“The idea behind it is on Christmas Day, your opponents aren’t doing anything and so you’re getting a step above them,” explains Andy, a well-rounded midfielder with an outstanding workrate, expected to be taken early in the draft later this month.

Of course being a Brayshaw family event, it should come as no surprise that when the brothers go for it again this Christmas, Charlie Constable will be there.

Constable is also set to be drafted, and to put it mildly, he and Andy have a bromance going on. In Charlie’s words, the pair “do everything together”. And that’s not just in a football sense, although the pair have played together at Haileybury College, Sandringham Dragons and Vic Metro.

It started in year 7. “I didn’t actually know him for probably the first term,” Charlie says.

The turning point was a school footy warm-up. “The coach said ‘pick someone you don’t know to warm up together,'” recalls Charlie.

“Probably from that day we just clicked. We like the same things, got along really and obviously became best mates.”

They play golf together (Charlie is better, playing off a handicap of 14 compared to Andy’s 22), and talk to each other every day. Charlie – six months older than Andy – got his P-plates earlier in the year, so has acted as Andy’s chauffeur too. “I’m over [at his house] a fair bit. We have a really close relationship, and I’m really close with his brothers, too,” Charlie says.

The Brayshaw family has impacted Charlie’s life to the point that his nickname, “Chook”, is an Angus Brayshaw creation. “I’m not too sure why. I think it might be because I really like chicken.

“That’s stuck everywhere I go now. That’s all I’m really known as.”

Of course Melbourne midfielder Angus has had a fair impact on Andy too. It’s only three years ago that Angus was drafted by the Demons with the third pick. He had an impressive first season in the AFL too, finishing fifth in the Rising Star award.

But things didn’t go as planned from there, with a series of head knocks and poor form proving a challenge for Angus, and changing Andy’s views about football.

“His first year … he had such great success. That’s when I thought it was going to be easy,” Andy says.

“But then he’s gone through head knocks, struggling to get a game. Watching how he’s had to adapt.”

Angus’ hardship came once he’d entered the AFL system. For Hamish, the big setback came earlier after he was overlooked at last year’s draft, leading him to return to the Dragons as an over-age player. Brothers Hamish and Andy played together this year as Sandringham made it to the grand final, only to lose a heart-stopper against Geelong.

Andy was on his way to a Dragons pre-season session during last year’s rookie draft, following the picks on his phone. He called Hamish after the draft. “He was pretty flat,” Andy says.

“Angus going at pick three, I thought it was all going to happen, just off talent, but then watching Hamish miss out, how he’s responded to that, it was a bit of a wake-up call in the sense that it doesn’t happen for everyone,” Andy says.

“I feel like having Hamish suffer from that really helped me pick up the slack and work really hard. But also to see him, his resilience that he’s shown over this year … I’m really proud of the way he’s gone about it.

“After a week or two he was back on the horse.”

Andy has loved playing with Hamish too, suggesting that it is comforting having someone so close to him as a teammate.

Hamish’s attitude – one which has helped him into contention to be drafted this year – should be no surprise if you listen to Andy talk about his family’s values. Parents Debra and Mark – chief executive of the AFL Coaches Association – offered each of their sons $1000 if they abstained from drinking or smoking before their 18th birthdays. Andy turned 18 on Wednesday, and Mark confirmed that the money had been paid.

“With footy it’s showing a bit of professionalism as well, the clubs really like it,” Andy says.

“Not putting on weight by drinking beers.”

Mark doesn’t just stand for abstinence though. Andy has high praise for his old man. “I feel like the values Dad holds is what’s keeping me in good stead. Keeping both feet on the ground, being polite.”

Mark – who also played 32 games for North Melbourne in the early 1990s – and Angus both go through game footage with Andy.

Andy is proud too of oldest brother Will, a member of the n army set to be deployed to Afghanistan next year. “He loves what he does, and the whole family’s so proud of him. I just think ‘good on him, he’s loving what he’s doing.”

Like Charlie, Andy’s nickname “Snea” is also the making of the Brayshaw family. “Basically when I was a kid according to my parents I used to sneak around a bit, and so ‘Sneaker’ got shortened to ‘Snea’ and now there’s heaps of variations like ‘Shnea’ and ‘Shneazer.'”

Indeed, when he was very young Andy snuck around that much that when playing hide and seek he’d hide in the toilet. Yes, the actual bowl.

“Get in there, have my feet in the water. It’s disgusting!”

It’s not all about the Brayshaws though for Charlie. His own family has made a difference too, from older brother Joel, mum Nicki, and dad Michael, who Charlie says was a huge influence on his football as a junior coach at East Sandringham – the club probably best known for producing Chris Judd and Jobe Watson. Those two, of course, are midfielders, and Charlie – listed at 191 centimetres – is getting there too, and could be the prototypical big, modern midfielder. He has gained a reputation for his clean hands around stoppages.

“Last year I was only a backline player, and this is my first year since probably under-12s that I’ve played in the midfield,” Charlie says.

“The more games I played, the more I developed my craft.”

And he had plenty of games – 35 or so including practice matches.

The big challenge for Charlie to make it as an AFL midfielder will be do to improve his tank. He still doesn’t consider himself a “great runner”.

Maybe a few more 100x100s will do the trick.

25/04/2020 0

Peru-China agreement a sign of negotiating weakness rather than strength

The government is hailing the free trade agreement with Peru as the fastest has ever negotiated. There’s a reason for that.
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Negotiations began in May this year, after it became apparent that President Trump would pull the United States out of the 12-nation Trans Pacific Partnership agreement, signed but not ratified by the United States and 11 other nations in February last year.

The so-called TPP 11 are trying to go it alone, or at least some of them are. It’s rules say it can’t come into force without the US. But a near-identical agreement could come into force, and could even include a clause allowing the US to join later, under another president.

and Japan are keen. The other nine are less keen, and Canada, led by Justin Trudeau, is close to hostile.

When and Japan hinted on Friday that an agreement was close, Canada’s trade minister Francois-Philippe Champagne took to Twitter to declare it was not.

“Despite reports, there is no agreement in principle on TPP,” he tweeted twice, once in French and once in English.

Canada doesn’t want it right now because it is in the middle of negotiations with the United States about reworking the North America Free Trade Agreement. It’s unclear whether it wants it at all.

Which is where the Peru- Free Trade Agreement comes in. Peru and were to be part of the TPP, and was to get special access for sugar and other exports. It’s been able to salvage that by cutting and pasting the Peru- bits of the TPP into a standalone agreement.

Bringing it forward is a sign of despondency about the prospect of a TPP 11 rather than a sign of confidence.

Peter Martin is economics editor of The Age.

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25/04/2020 0

Glebe home sells $210,000 above reserve

A bidding war between investors saw a 91-square-metre block in the heart of Glebe sell for more than $1.6 million on Saturday.
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It was one of 867 auctions scheduled across Sydney. By evening, Domain Group had recorded a clearance rate of 64.8 per cent from 520 reported results.

While owner-occupiers were out in force at the auction of the two-bedroom house at 58 Derwent Lane, it was investors who dominated the bidding.

Auctioneer Clarence White had barely finished calling for an opening offer when the proceedings kicked off at $1.3 million.

It took just three more bids to reach the $1.4 million reserve, after which the bidding continued to rise rapidly in $10,000 and $5000 increments for much of the auction.

As the bids increased so did the crowd, with the auction capturing the attention of those at the popular Glebe Markets across the laneway.

While there were 10 registered parties, the bidding was left to three investors and a business owner looking for a new premises.

The home, a converted former stable house built about 1850, sold under the hammer for $1.61 million – $210,000 above reserve.

It was snapped up by Darling Point investor Rosanne Burkhart, who was quick to outbid each offer that came from her competitors.

Related: First-home buyer numbers on the rise Related: The perfect Saturday in Glebe Related: Glebe no longer just a bohemian hangout

“I was [taking the ill-advised approach of] buying with my heart instead of my head,” she said after the auction. “It’s the design of the place that got me. It’s cute as a button.”

Ms Burkhart said she was delighted to have ended her six-month search for an investment property.

Selling agent Jack Parry, of BresicWhitney Balmain, said he had been surprised to see such competitive bidding from investors, while owner-occupiers took a back seat.

Figures released by the n Bureau of Statistics during the week revealed investor mortgage lending had seen its biggest drop in two years.

Mortgage lending to investors slumped 6.2 per cent in September, compared with the previous month, while lending to owner-occupiers dropped 2.1 per cent, according to Thursday’s ABS release.

Mr Parry believed the property’s price point – well below the suburb’s $1,922,000 median house price – was a big part of its appeal to investors.

“It’s reasonably entry-level for a warehouse conversion [style home] and for Glebe,” he said.

Mr Parry said while the market had definitely changed in recent months, the increase in properties passing in at auction wasn’t due to a lack of buyers.

“It’s not that there’s not much buyer interest, it’s that it’s not at the level the vendors thought it might be,” he said. “Buyers now have more power. Based on the current conditions, they can be a bit more disciplined [in their bidding].

“Vendors are taking some time to adjust [their price expectations] and that’s why some good properties aren’t selling.”

Records show the Glebe house last traded for $870,000 in 2012.

It was a different story in the city’s west, where bidding between two investors wasn’t enough to see a six-bedroom Doonside property sell under the hammer.

The house at 2 Berrima Place drew interest from families and investors, thanks to a new granny flat with separate access and a driveway.

Bidding on the home, which records show last sold for $760,000 in 2016, started at $900,000. Bids from two of four registered parties saw it climb to $1.1 million, at which point it passed in.

Selling agent Andrew Chrysanthou, of Harcourts Unlimited Real Estate, was negotiating with the two investors on Saturday afternoon and expected the property to sell in the coming days.

Meanwhile in Lakemba, a five-bedroom and a three-bedroom home that went under the hammer together passed in at $4.75 million.

The two properties, at 20 and 21 The Boulevarde, which records show last sold for $210,000 and $120,000 respectively in the 1980s, drew strong interest from developers due to high-density zoning.

Bidding on the two blocks, which span 1730 square metres, started at $4.3 million and quickly went up in $50,000 increments. However, it came to a halt about $150,000 short of the reserve and passed in.

Selling agent Dean Stojanovski, of Quest Realty Group, was in negotiations with interested parties on Saturday afternoon. Elsewhere in Sydney:

67 Elliott Street, Balmain. Photo: Supplied.

SOLD $1.41 million Balmain 67 Elliott Street 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, 1 car space

Fifteen people registered to bid on this terrace on the market for the first time in almost 100 years. However only a third of them were prepared to make an offer at auction, after the bidding opened strongly at $1.2 million. Going up in $20,000 increments, the bidding quickly hit the $1.3 million reserve, and went up another $110,000 before the hammer fell. The home sold through Tim Moltzen of McGrath Hunters Hill to a young local buyer looking to upsize from a unit. With the help of her father, who is a builder, she plans to update the original-condition home.

8 Lyne Road, Cheltenham, NSW. Photo: Supplied

SOLD $1,775,000 Cheltenham 8 Lyne Road 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 2 car spaces

Lovers of architecture were drawn to this mid-century modern home designed in 1962 by Towell, Jansen and Rippon architects. Selling agent Douglas Macarthur of Ray White Beecroft had well over 100 groups inspect the house, with buyers coming from right across Sydney. On the day it came down to just two of seven registered bidders who went head to head for the property. After an opening offer of $1.4 million was knocked back, bidding started at $1.6 million and quickly climbed to the sale price. The buyers were a builder and architect, who plan to make the residence their family home.

2 Osborne Road, Greenwich, NSW. Photo: Supplied

SOLD $1,475,000 Greenwich 2 Osborne Road 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 2 car spaces

About 55 groups inspected this tightly-held home before auction, but on the day just one family wanted to bid. After the auction opened at $1.4 million, a vendor bid of $1.45 million was made, which the young family from Putney counteracted with an offer matching the $1,475,000 price guide. When the second registered bidder remained silent, the house sold to the family for $50,000 below reserve. They plan to rent out the property in the short term, before renovating it and moving in. The home sold through James Bennett of Belle Property Lane Cove.

25/04/2020 0

Postecoglou: ’11 kangaroos out there but kangaroos can play’

Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou has hit back at “disrespectful” belittling of his team from Honduran media after a dominant performance from rattled the host nation inside their intimidating home venue.
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Despite being held to a 0-0 against in San Pedro Sula in the first leg of the World Cup qualifying play-off, was the only team that looked like winning – dominating possession, commanding the better of the territory and firing four shots on target compared to just one for the hosts.

While the most important statistic didn’t go in the favour of Socceroos – the final goal tally – Postecoglou used the performance to hit fire a shot at the local media, accusing them of dismissing the ability, calibre and strength of as a football nation. A local newspaper La Prensa ran the headline “Eight million against 11 Kangaroos” on match day during a week in which Honduras’ most decorated player, David Suazo, slammed ‘s footballing credentials.

“Maybe you thought we were going to be easy. I saw in the newspaper you said it was 11 kangaroos out there, but kangaroos can play football,” Postecoglou said.

“I think some people made some comments about Honduras – they were wrong and we apologise for that but I also thought there some comments made in Honduras about our team that I thought was disrespectful. All I heard was that we have a simple game plan and that was our motivation.”

The Socceroos began the match facing one of the most hostile crowds ever experienced by an n team but Postecoglou says the noise, tension and animosity tapered once his team took a commanding grip on the contest.

“I said to the players at half time that they could hear my instructions. I think we silenced the crowd a fair bit with the way we played. Certainly from our perspective I think the players handled themselves really well. The pitch was a challenge for us as well but even then we were brave enough to keep playing. For the most part, we kept the crowd pretty quiet.

was awarded a first-half penalty after Bailey Wright was taken out by Honduras’ goalkeeper Donis Escober only for referee Daniele Orsato to award a goal kick after consulting the linesman, despite initial suggestions he had flagged for offside.

“The linesman played a goal kick, which I’m scratching my head because it meant Bailey got cleaned up,” Postecoglou said.

Tim Cahill did not feature in the match but Postecoglou says the veteran striker was available but chose not to risk him due to the conditions, specifically the poor state of a heavy, soggy pitch.

25/04/2020 0

Maitland councillor Mitchell Griffin resigns from Morpeth Museum Committee

Cr Mitchell Griffin.
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One week after Maitland Liberal councillor Mitchell Griffin declared there was a need to protect Morpeth’s heritage,he has resigned fromMorpeth Museum Committee.

An item on Maitland City Council’s Tuesday meeting agenda, callsfor a new councillor representative on the committee.

In a Mercury opinion piece last week, Cr Griffin declared there was a need to protect Morpeth’s Heritage and commendedMorpeth Conservation Group for itsongoing efforts to protect the town.

“I feel there is a need for protection in some sections of Morpeth, although I do hold concerns for the current nomination (from the Office of Environment and Heritage tohave the entire suburb placed on the State heritage register),” he said in the editorial.

“Morpeth is now a mixed suburb with its historical precinct, as well as new outlying estates. The proposed area would include these new sub divisions such as Morpeth Manor and Closebourne Estate which contain houses less than 5 years old,” Cr Griffin said.

He told Fairfax Media he has to resign from the museum group because of work commitments.

“I was quite excited to be part of the Morpeth Museum, especially considering my family’s strong links to thearea over the last 180 years,” Cr Griffin said.“Unfortunately shortly after appointment to the committee I found meetings met at a regular time which was not possible for me to attend due to work commitments. I have tried to have the meeting moved to another time to allow me to participate, but council was unable to do this.

“Morpeth Museum is a very important part of our city, and I feel it needs a councillor on the committee who is able to make each of their meetings. Therefore I have made the decision to step aside. Despite resigning from the committee, I will continue to support the ongoing growth of the museum, especially in regards to the restoration of the building,” he said.

Morpeth has been in the spotlight recently after council voted not to acton a request fromthe Office of Environmentand Heritage to hold a community consultation process onthe possibility of placing the town on the State heritage register.

The decision has outraged members of Morpeth Heritage Conservation Group who have vowed tofight to have the decision overturned. This consultation would allow residents to express their views and concerns.

The group has organised a community meeting for Monday, November 27 at7pm at Morpeth Public School.Representatives from council and the Office of Environment andHeritage will attendto explain the State’s plan for the town.

25/04/2020 0

Canada is AWOL, America at home playing with its guns

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau failed to show up. Photo: APThe no-show of Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, to a critical meeting on the Trans Pacific Partnership might have shocked diplomats and regional leaders, but it was indicative of something far more significant than poor diplomacy, says former foreign minister and NSW premier Bob Carr.
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Earlier during the APEC summit in Vietnam, the United States President, Donald Trump, had given a fiery speech complaining of unfair trade practices and actively renouncing broad trade treaties like the TPP.

“From this day forward, we will compete on a fair and equal basis,” he said. “We are not going to let the United States be taken advantage of any more. I am always going to put America first the same way that I expect all of you in this room to put your countries first.”

Mr Trudeau’s failure to attend the trade meeting, at which 11 nations were to discuss a TPP without the US, hours later reflected a new world disorder brought about by America’s abandonment of its leadership role, said Mr Carr.

“America is saying to the world that it is tired of the being the global leader. It is saying it wants to stay at home and play with its guns.”

Without a liberal, confident, internationalist America “that often got things right” its friends and allies are left scrambling to maintain the conventions and agreements that have marked international affairs in the postwar era, said Mr Carr.

Just 18 months ago the US was confidently finalising negotiations over the TPP, which it viewed as the diplomatic and economic substance of its so-called pivot to Asia.

But then Donald Trump ran on an “America first” platform, and Hillary Clinton, who had personally championed the treaty as Barack Obama’s secretary of state, was forced to abandon it before her shock loss to Mr Trump.

Or as Mr Carr put it: “Trump set fire to the TPP and made Hillary dance around the flames.”

He said already had free trade agreements with many of the key nations currently in talks over what is now known as TPP II, so in practical terms the agreement would not have a critical domestic economic impact. But as a mechanism and signifier of America’s role in the world, the abandonment of the TPP was hugely significant, he said.

According to a Canadian report, Mr Trudeau failed to attend the meeting because a meeting with the Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, ran long, so he skipped the event and went straight into another scheduled appointment with Facebook.

Mr Abe, meanwhile, attended the TPP and told his shocked counterparts that Mr Trudeau would not be appearing.

This was a “disappointing development”, the n Trade Minister, Steven Ciobo, observed, according to an ABC report. An official who spoke off the record was blunter. “The Canadians screwed everybody,” he reportedly said.

With the planned ratification abandoned, the Japanese delegation – as chair – issued a statement saying that core elements had been agreed to but that more work needed to be done.

Canada represents the second-largest economy among the remaining TPP nations, and its negotiations over the deal have been complicated by the Trump administration’s determination to renegotiate its other key trade treaty, the North American Free Trade Agreement.

This does not explain Mr Trudeau’s no-show though, said Mr Carr.

“Ninety per cent of diplomacy is just showing up. Canada has puzzled its friends.”

25/04/2020 0

Time to get the job done, Socceroos

The temptation now is to see the job as almost done.
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The temptation now is to regard the second leg of ‘s World Cup qualifier against Honduras as almost a formality after the Socceroos secured a 0-0 draw in San Pedro Sula.

After all, the stars seem to be aligning.

The Socceroos dominated their away leg against the Central Americans, controlled the game, spurned several good chances and should really be coming back to Sydney at least one, and probably two, goals to the good. With any luck at all an automatic place at the finals next year in Russia would be all but sealed.

, thanks to greater financial strength, can afford to charter a plane and will fly directly to after a brief stopover in Hawaii.

Ange Postecoglou and his team will arrive Sydney some 24 hours before the Hondurans, who must now undertake a gruelling journey via Los Angeles on scheduled airlines, with some players travelling in economy class.

But succumbing to temptation, no matter how alluring that may be, could be fateful.

At best, it is disrespectful to opponents who have little to lose and everything to gain, at worst it would be hubris of the sort that ill befits any team when the scores are still level, even if they look to have all the advantages on their side.

Twenty years ago looked to have done a similar job, when they travelled to Tehran and returned from the Iranian capital with a 1-1 draw thanks to a precious Harry Kewell away goal.

It looked like a lay down misere for Terry Venables’ team, especially when they went 2-0 up in the second leg; nobody foresaw the tenacious Iranians battling back and scoring twice in the last 15 minutes to draw 2-2 and progress to France in 1998 on the away goals rule.

These days, are smarter, wiser, and better prepared than 20 years ago, even if they had the cream of the golden generation who were about to reach their prime as players.

And this Honduran team, on the evidence of the 90 minutes of the first leg, is nowhere near the quality of the Iranian side that faced on that day at the MCG.

They looked, in fact, very poor for a team that had reached this far in the World Cup qualifying race: it beggars belief, on that performance, that a nation like the US, with all their money, resources and players, finished behind them in the qualifying group.

Still, judging them only on the evidence of Saturday morning’s game might be a mistake – after all, they had only lost once at home during the Central American qualifying competition and had beaten good teams like Mexico along the way.

But if that effort against was the best they can muster, then the Socceroos, while not quite starting at Winx-type odds, will be very short priced favourites to make it to a World Cup for the fourth time in succession.

Honduras – who might now be known as the Cabbage Patch Kids of the world game thanks to the cow paddock of a pitch they served up – offered little going forward and posed few threats.

If teams prepare pitches and playing surfaces to benefit them and discomfort opponents it certainly didn’t work this time.

The Socceroos have had to get used to playing on poor surfaces and in inhospitably warm environments in Asia over the past dozen or more years, and all that experience showed through as they took control of the game.

Not only were the Hondurans ineffective and unadventurous, they were given little chance to show anything by an n team pumped and primed by coach Ange Postecoglou to take this game by the scruff of the neck.

were faster, stronger and physically better. They were able to take control of the midfield and impose themselves on opponents who had few answers to the press of the Socceroos and the sheer tenacity and aggression they displayed.

But, once again, finishing off all their good work was the problem. n fans now have to hope that it won’t, through a twist of fate, prove to be their Achilles heel in the game that matters most on Wednesday evening.

This has been a recurring theme for in this qualifying period, and the failure to score an away goal was the one blemish on what was an excellent performance by a team set up to take the game to their hosts.

Mile Jedinak once again proved what a calm and steadying influence he is for this team and, in retrospective, how much he was missed during the crucial games in the latter stages of the qualifying process.

should now go on and do the job in Sydney with the minimum of fuss.

They will fly back on their own plane which will effectively be a luxury recovery chamber complete with physios, massage facilities and all the latest sports science equipment to ensure they land in the best shape possible.

While they will undoubtedly be feeling tired, so will their opponents, who will have none of those advantages.

In addition Matthew Leckie and Mark Milligan, both suspended from this first leg, will be available, while Robbie Kruse is also another one who could come back from injury to play a role.

Tom Rogic will in all likelihood be unleashed on the Hondurans in the second leg and he should prove pivotal, while Tim Cahill should be fully recovered from the ankle injury which put him in doubt.

The Socceroos will almost certainly have the bulk of possession and his quick feet and close control should be essential to unlock what is likely to be a massed Honduran defence.

The Central Americans, on what we saw on Saturday, are there for the taking.

The Socceroos will be buzzing. Now is the time to go out and finish the job: expects them to.

25/04/2020 0

$6000 could have been the difference in blue-chip Morningside auction

Sometimes called “the last house in Morningside”, 105 Main Avenue stands right on the edge of Morningside, just a stone’s throw from the prestigious suburb of Balmoral.
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The auction result was just as close, with buyers coming within a few thousand dollars of what the vendors may have been willing to take.

“It was very spirited bidding,” auctioneer Paul Liddy said. “There were four registered bidders and they all participated.”

Mr Liddy at first called for an opening bid of $700,000 but got just $650,000. It wasn’t long before the eager buyers got cracking and within just a few minutes, the price climbed to $885,000 with barely a break to breathe between.

Past that, buyers weren’t willing to take the auction any further. After consulting with the vendors, Mr Liddy placed a vendor bid of $890,000 and invited bids of $1000 or $500, and indicated the property was close to being placed on the market. However no bidders came to the table and the house passed in.

“If we didn’t have anything higher than the people here on the day we may have pushed them to put it on the market,” Mr Liddy said, indicating there was interest from buyers who couldn’t or wouldn’t bid at auction. “They were reasonable vendors, it was a great house for the money and we think they’re better off waiting out the day’s negotiations.”

Mr Liddy said there was a bit of go left in the buyers, but they couldn’t be coaxed to continue bidding.. Related: Coffee king lists $6m+ New Farm homeRelated: Former drug baron lists Sydney homeRelated: Developers plan hanging pool between skyscrapers

“If it were announced it was on the market two of those bidders may have come back in but they may have set limits and thought they’d have a better chance of negotiating afterwards,” he said.

However, the listing for the house has now been changed to an asking price of $900,000 to $930,000.

The elevated three-bedroom Queenslander had a classic exterior, living areas and bedrooms, but was updated with modern fittings in the kitchen and bathrooms.

With just one bathroom, Belle Property Bulimba principal Tony O’Doherty said the house was a good opportunity for buyers looking into to get into the better side of Morningside.

“It’s the last house in Morningside. The neighbour next door is Balmoral,” he said. “This is blue-chip Morningside.”

The corner block of land also had further room for growth, if the buyers renovated down the line.

“There’s a bit of growth left in it, there’s still opportunity,” he said. “For a young couple, move in, enjoy it and work on it down the track.”

Mr Liddy agreed. “Theres the ability to improve it relatively inexpensively. You’re getting into a whole new league of housing with very little effort,” he said. “With $100,000 to $150,000 spent on this, you could make $200,000 to $250,000.”

25/04/2020 0

Final chance to resolve Ashes selection puzzle

Ryan Harris was right to declare through the week that he thought the national selectors would already have a good idea who they wanted in the Test side come Brisbane.
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Selection chairman Trevor Hohns would have known even before the Sheffield Shield campaign began who he really wanted at No.6 and as wicketkeeper.

Now, whether those men have since done what Hohns had hoped they would through the opening two rounds of the shield is another story. So far there has yet to be a standout candidate for either role, and that hasn’t helped anyone. But will Hohns and fellow Test selectors Darren Lehmann and Greg Chappell back their original hunch come official selection this week? Or could a last-ditch bid in the third round of the shield, beginning on Monday, vault Peter Nevill or Shaun Marsh into the side or ensure one of Glenn Maxwell or Hilton Cartwright retain their spots from ‘s last Test, in Bangladesh?

The battle for berths has sparked plenty of chat on the first-class scene, according to Victorian captain and n batsman Peter Handscomb.

“We all understand there are a couple of spots there up for grabs and batters and keepers know they are very close. They just need to score and for someone to put their hand up and they could potentially be playing in the Ashes,” he said.

Maxwell, after a shaky start against the Bulls in Brisbane, came good against South at the MCG with a pair of half-centuries. That said, his first innings dismissal against the Redbacks, when he awkwardly attempted to evade a short ball delivered from around the wicket, with the delivery trickling on to his stumps, was not a great look.

He has played all seven of his Test overseas and surely deserves a chance on home soil.

It’s been said the selectors are after a batsman who can come in at 4-20 and, through temperament and graft, restore order. It was Brad Haddin who led the later-order rebound four years ago when England was in town. This hasn’t been lost on those close to the team in wake of recent batting collapses – although it could be considered an overly defensive mindset if that is what is at the forefront of thinking. If it is, why shouldn’t Maxwell be given the opportunity to perform that role?

He is adamant he has the game to flourish in Test cricket, eschewing his long-time X-factor tag. He also offers brilliant fielding and handy overs of off-spin.

West ns Hilton Cartwright and Marsh and South n bolter Jake Lehmann will also be keen for a big week. Lehmann has runs on the board already, having crunched 103 and 93 in the draw against Victoria. He had been among those threatening for Test selection last summer but could not deliver the major knock needed in the shield immediately following ‘s collapse in Hobart, which sparked widespread change.

When it comes to taking the gloves, it’s felt Nevill has inched ahead of Wade but South n Alex Carey also remains in the frame. One senior Victorian player believes the selectors will stick with Wade.

Wade’s batting has been on a disturbing freefall through recent Tests, the one-day series in India and the opening rounds of the shield, where the new Tasmanian captain made one and six against WA and nine and 17 against the Bulls. Victoria is up next.

His two Test centuries came in his first incarnation as gloveman. He has passed 50 only once in 16 innings since his Test return against South Africa in Adelaide.

Even wicketkeeping great Ian Healy is unsure which way the selectors should go, declaring Nevill and Wade both have a lot to offer.

What needs is a gloveman who is safe behind the stumps but can average 30 with the bat. Forget trying to find someone capable of producing the dynamic innings of Adam Gilchrist (it could be decades before his type is seen again) or even Haddin, who plundered 493 at 61.62 four years ago.

Nevill looked to have turned the corner with the bat in his third last Test knock, an unbeaten second innings of 60 when crashed to defeat against South Africa in Perth last summer.

When he conjured only three and six in Hobart, with concerns about his lack of voice behind the stumps having also mounted, his time was deemed up by Hohns, who had just replaced Rod Marsh as selection chairman. Was he unlucky? Perhaps. He is seen as having better technique as a gloveman but, again, his form with the bat so far this summer has not been what he nor the selectors had wanted.

He will hope the Blues’ trip to Queensland this week is fruitful, where local lad, Test opener Matt Renshaw, will also be keen for a long knock after a modest start to the season.

One thing so far is clear – the selection puzzle has become more like a headache. iFrameResize({checkOrigin:false},’#ashes-squad-selector-2017′);var frame = document.getElementById(“ashes-squad-selector-2017”);


25/04/2020 0

Is it time to kill the office Christmas party?​

Has the Christmas party become so politically correct it feels like another boring work function? Photo: Janie BarrettA friend is imploring his employer to ditchthis year’s Christmas party. Not because he hates the joint or his colleagues, but because the party has become so politically correct it feels like another boring work function.
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The party used to start early on Thursday evening and extend well into the night. The company paid for everything. There was an unwritten rule that staff came to work a little later on Friday and left earlier. There was always some gossip and plenty of fun (those crazy accountants!).

For the past few years, his firm’s party has been at lunchtime on Wednesday. Staff pay for their drinks. Most return to work by mid-afternoon, for appearances. Conversation is stilted. The biggest scandal is someone ordering a light beer.

Worse, staff receive multiple emails from the HR department in the lead-up to the party, reminding them of their responsibilities and the firm’s expectations. The party starts to resemble a wake, where staff mourn the death of workplace fun.

“It’s excruciating,” my friend complained. “Christmas parties used to be great. Ours has become so dull that it’s not worth going to.” Fewer staff are attending each year because they are supposedly “snowed with work”, he says.

I understand companies putting the clamps on Christmas parties. There’s too much reputational, legal and financial risk from drunken staff who forget the party is at a workplace and that usual occupational health and safety rules, and company expectations, apply. No employee should face or tolerate inappropriate behaviour at their firm’s party.

That said, being too risk averse about Christmas parties defeats their purpose. A good party rewards staff for hard work, celebrates success and motivates people. It brings employees together in one room, some of whom rarely meet face-to-face.

In some ways, a good Christmas party has never been so important. As more staff communicate online, hot-desk, work remotely or are buried in mobile devices all day, the chance to get together in person – even if just once a year at the Christmas party – is valuable.

Also, as companies restrain wages growth and expect staff to work longer for the same or less pay, a Christmas party is one way to reward staff without pay rises. Done well, it is a useful contributor to office morale and organisation culture.

A bad party can do harm. I recall an employer who decided employees should pay for their meal, after the firm made record profits that year. Staff complained.

Holding the party at lunchtime and expecting staff to return to work soon afterwards is equally annoying. The flexibility to take a few hours off work during or after the party, within reason, was a way to thank employees for their efforts. Now, staff feel a shortened Christmas party is a yet another way for employers to squeeze them.

Perhaps the biggest loss is not being able to talk to your boss, their boss or a manager of another department in an informal setting. There’s nothing worse than being stuck at a boring table and making awkward small-talk with colleagues over lunch. So much for the benefits of company networking at the Christmas party.

Again, I won’t downplay the risks of poorly organised Christmas parties. Companies that provide too much alcohol, for too long, and do not monitor behaviour at the event or consider how staff will get home, must share the blame if things go wrong.

The protection and welfare of every staff member at Christmas parties must be paramount in the event’s planning. One person being harassed by an alcohol-fuelled moron is one too many and ample evidence why companies should limit their party.

But there’s always a risk that companies go too far and become a “nanny state”. They forget that 99 per cent of staff do the right thing, treat each other with respect and know which boundaries cannot be crossed at the Christmas party. And that the other 1 per cent can be managed in the lead-up to the event or monitored during it.

With good corporate communication before the party, staff can understand the risks, adapt their behaviour if needed, monitor their colleagues and take early action at the first sign of problems. And still have some workplace fun.


25/04/2020 0