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Business feature: Hudson Homes

AWARD WINNING: Hudson Homes has won the NSW HIA Display Home of the Year for the last two years. Pictured is this year’s winner – Viridian at Elara Estate. POWER PACKED: Hudson Homes is offering new customers a free smart solar package that will help people save money and live more sustainably.
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ADVERTISING FEATUREDanny Assabgy, CEO of Hudson Homes, firmly believes that building a home is something to celebrate.

VISION: Rob Borg, General Manager and Danny Assabgy, CEO, have shared a clear philosophy in driving Hudson Homes and keeping the building process transparent.

He stands by his mantra of providing customers with a delightful and rewarding experience, which trickles down to the entire team and their processes. So much so, in fact that the company is, it says, offering a level of transparency to the building process that has never been seen before.

“The whole philosophy of Hudson Homes is to provide our customers with a seamless process that is clear, communicative and simple. No hidden surprises, no extra costs, just an upfront agreement that is adhered to on time and on budget,” he explains.

The basis for the home building company is to provide a service that begins with the buyer’s perspective in mind.

By providing a three-tiered system of home packages, first home buyers, established homeowners and those looking for the ultimate in luxury living are all catered for. Customers simply select the package that fits with their expectations and budget.

This advertising feature is sponsored by the following business. Click the link to learn more:

Hudson HomesUnlike other providers, Hudson Homes promises that everything is included from the start, meaning no surprises with expensive site costs. Additionally, they are also currently offering a complete solar system that uses smart monitoring software to save you more money on your ongoing bills.​

“We don’t generally offer promotions or deals to draw buyers in, we simply make sure that everything you want in a home is included at the time you engage us,” Mr Assabgy said.

“Leading up to Christmas, I wanted to offer an extra bonus for our customers. Our team sat around the table and struggled over the fact that we already include all the necessities in our homes. The majority of builders have air-conditioning, for example, as a upgrade, or an add-on or promotion, whereas it’s already included in our package as standard. The same goes for stone benchtop, al fresco areas, floor covering etc. That’s when we came up with adding on a free smart solar package to every new Hudson Home.”

This practice of transparency is extended throughout all aspects of the company and is the lynchpin to a new online platform for customers, soon to be rolled out by Hudson Homes.

The customer portal will enable customers to login and literally access their building file, view the build in situ, see photos and get a clear picture of how the site is progressing. It’s yet another way Hudson Homes are evolving their service and staying true to the company’s values.

This customer-focused builder has experienced exponential growth over the past four years and won the HIA Display Home of the Year award for the last two years running.

Danny Assabgy, CEO


17/12/2018 0

Hunter schools must have ‘consistent’ enrolment policies

Change: Minister for Education Rob Stokes, pictured in the Hunter on Tuesday, said a principal should not accept out of zone enrolments “from an area without consulting the principal of the school in that area”. Picture: Simone De PeakHUNTER schools need to more consistentlyenforce their enrolment policies to help alleviate overcrowding, according to Minister for Education Rob Stokes.
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Mr Stokes told the Newcastle Herald his department had asked principals to work more closely together and have “clear agreements” about accommodating out of zone enrolments.

“When we have schools which are operating above capacity and there is strong demand continuing in that school from out of area enrolments, we actually have to be real and say ‘We have to identify what that reason is’,” Mr Stokes said.

“Largely I suspect it’s reputation, it’s not based in reality.

“So we need to demystify that, but also make sure there is agreement between local principals before out of area enrolments are accelerated, because otherwise it does not matter how many classrooms we build if we don’t also engage with enrolment policy.

“The heart of public education is there are local schools in local communities to serve local families and when that’s breaking down you can’t win that challenge.”

Several Hunter schools have already amended their enrolment policies and closed places to new out of zone families, with plans to soon ban even the younger siblings of current students.

Belair has 530 students this year. Its enrolment ceiling is 502 and includes a buffer of 19.

Biddabah has 438 students. Its enrolment ceiling of392 includes a buffer of 12.

Hamilton South has 419 students. Its enrolment ceiling of 366 includes a buffer of 14.

Newcastle East has 247 students. Its enrolment ceiling of 211 includes a buffer of 14.

The Junction has 608 students. Its enrolment ceiling is 548 with a buffer of 42.

The Herald reported in May this year the Hunter had topped the state for its proportion (41 per cent ) of public high schools either full or exceeding capacity, based on their number of permanent classrooms.

A NSW Opposition freedom of information request showed 10 Hunter schools installed at least five demountable classrooms, in the absence of permanent infrastructure. Rutherford Technology High had 15.

The department said at the time it was preparing for major upgrades to Hunter Sports High School, Bolwarra Public School and the Hunter School of Performing Arts.

It said nine schools were being upgraded as part of the Secondary Schools Renewal Program, including Cardiff, which is expected to be completedthis year.

It also announced in the same month Rutherford Technology High would receive $1.8 million, Irrawang High $1.1 million, Cessnock High $1.05 million and Hunter River High $1 million for maintenance.

Mr Stokes said the government wouldn’t let a school operate at an unsafe level.

“One of the fundamentals of public education is it’s open to all comers, so we will always find room in a local school and if that requires putting up temporary accommodation to accommodate unprecedented or unexpected demand we’ll do that,” he said.

“However we do need to look at where that unexpected demand is then sustained and you’ve got demountables on a site for extended periods of time.

“We need to build more permanent classrooms and we’re doing that across the state.

“But the second thing is we need to be clear and consistent in relation to enrolment policy.

“We can’t have, for example, a principal accepting out of area enrolments from an area without consulting the principal of the school in that area, so they need to talk to one another.

“As a department I’ve asked for that to be enforced a bit more so there’s some clear agreement.”

Mr Stokes said the innovative major upgrade to landlocked Newcastle East –which involves building a new structure with four classrooms over the top of the covered outdoor learning area –was the kind of “out of the box” solution that could be applied across the state.

“The lessons we can learn from it are not necessarily replicable in Newcastle but they’re replicable in many parts of Sydney where you have these constrained sites, historic buildings and very engaged local communities,” he said.

“There are no fixed rules, every site is different, every school community is different and that is why our method with school infrastructure is to have a project control group locally so the school can be co-created with the community.”

Mr Stokes said the department would continue to build schools to meet growth.


17/12/2018 0

The Murdochs have a $31 billion reason to break up Fox

What does the fox say? I’m still not sure. But I do know what Fox sees: a lot of money hiding, to the tune of $US25 billion ($31 billion).
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Earlier this week came shocking news that the Murdoch media magnates had discussed selling a majority of 21st Century Fox’s assets to Walt Disney — yes, to the owner of ABC News and the increasingly politicised ESPN, of all places. The talks didn’t include Fox News, though, and a deal is said to be off the table … well, for now at least.

Considering just how immediately lucrative the move would be for the Murdochs and minority investors of Fox, I doubt this is the last we hear of it.

An exhaustive sum-of-the-parts estimation by Wells Fargo analysts, led by Marci Ryvicker, implies that Fox may be able to unlock around $US25 billion of value by breaking itself up and selling off certain pieces — whether the company on the acquiring end is Disney or someone else. Something to gain

21st Century Fox may be worth $US76 billion — roughly 50 per cent more than the conglomerate’s current $US51 billion market value — if the Murdochs sell off their less treasured businesses. Beyond news and sports, Fox doesn’t have much scale on its own, and its other cable channels are in a ratings slump. FX’s ratings are down 14 per cent this year through September, while National Geographic Channel has fared worse, plunging 25 per cent.

That didn’t stop the company from reporting another period of solid earnings on Wednesday. Fox Executive Chairman Lachlan Murdoch also defended the company’s structure without commenting on the takeover speculation.

The success of Fox News helped drive an 11 per cent increase in the fees that its cable-programming division earns from pay-TV providers. But Fox News and sports programming are the core, and the other stuff may be worth more to another company.

Assuming, as Wells Fargo suggests, that Fox News and the sports programming are worth nearly $US60 billion, then shareholders are currently getting the rest of Fox’s assets for free or at the very least, on the cheap. X-Men on the cheap

The assets that 21st Century Fox could divest are worth about $US36 billion — that’s 70 per cent of the company’s current market value, implying investors have been getting some stuff for free.While Fox’s movie studio has churned out hits such as “Deadpool,” it’s also had its share of box-office flops like “Fantastic Four.” Overall, the film business is a lumpy one and may be dragging down the company’s valuation.

The division’s operating income before depreciation and amortisation slid 18 per cent last quarter. Wells Fargo assigns the film business a multiple of 12 times Ebitda, versus 15 for Fox News.

Disney CEO Bob Iger has a knack for getting the most out of movie-studio acquisitions, having revitalised the “Star Wars” franchise and built on Pixar’s and Marvel’s successes.

Fox needs to scale up or exploit its rivals’ need to bulk up themselves. The first no longer seems an option: The company’s only viable takeover candidate was Time Warner, owner of HBO and Warner Bros. studios, but it rejected Fox’s advances and struck a deal with AT&T instead (although that’s turned into its own saga).

It makes sense for Fox to focus on doing what it does best. And what precisely that is may be informed by your political viewpoints, but let’s just call it making money off of news and sports content. We can all agree it certainly does that.

The Murdochs see where the future is heading and need to look to where they can prosper.

Then there’s of course the question, if they do sell off billions of dollars worth of assets, what would they do with the money?

Bloomberg???


17/12/2018 0

Charlie Sheen accused of sexually assaulting Corey Haim

Charlie Sheen has “categorically denied” explosive allegations he sexually assaulted Corey Haim when the late actor was 13.
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Haim’s friend, actor Dominick Brascia, made the claims to the National Enquirer, alleging the assault occurred during the filming of the 1986 movie, Lucas.

“Charlie Sheen categorically denies these allegations,” a representative for the actor told The Hollywood Reporter.

Brascia told the National Enquirer that Haim had told him Sheen, then 19, “had sex with” Haim, then 13, when they co-starred in the film.

“He told me they smoked pot and had sex,” Brascia said.

Charlie Sheen has “categorically denied” the allegations. Photo: AP

“Haim said after it happened Sheen became very cold and rejected him. When Corey wanted to fool around again, Charlie was not interested.”

The Enquirer’s report claimed four sources backed Brascia’s testimony.

“Corey was so confused by the sexual encounter he believed, like so many victims, he was ‘in love’ with his abuser,” an unnamed source added.

Haim, who became an ’80s teen heartthrob with roles in films including The Lost Boys, License to Drive and Dream a Little Dream, died of pneumonia in 2010, aged 38, following years of drug addiction.

The Enquirer’s report noted that Haim’s close friend and frequent co-star actor Corey Feldman hinted at the incident in his 2013 memoir Coreyography.

“At some point during the filming [of Lucas], Haim explained an adult male convinced him it was perfectly normal for older men and younger boys in the business to have sexual relations, that it was ‘what all guys do’,” Feldman wrote.

“So they walked off to a secluded area between two trailers during a lunch break for the cast and crew and Haim, innocent and ambitious as he was, allowed himself to be sodomised.”

The Enquirer’s report, described as a “five-year probe” into Haim’s death, also features testimonies from “eight witnesses from the Lucas set” who allege Sheen preyed on young female extras during shooting of the film.

The allegations come in the wake of renewed focus on Hollywood’s culture of sexual misconduct, following exposes on movie mogul Harvey Weinstein and actor Kevin Spacey.

Last month, Feldman announced he would “name names” of Hollywood men he says were involved in child sex abuse.

He has since accused two men, including actor John Grissom, of molesting him as a child. On Wednesday, the LAPD confirmed they were investigating his claims.


17/12/2018 0

Celebrating 200 years of hospital health care in NewcastlePHOTOS

200 years of hospital care in the Hunter Hospital history: A Royal Newcastle Hospital ward in 1939. Dr. R Strurrock, later to become a well-known orthopaedic surgeon in Sydney, is pictured with Sr. Hilda Porter (matron in the late 1950’s) and nurses Sawtell, Atkins and McCam. This photograph is from the Hospital archives held by the University Archives in Cultural Collections, Auchmuty Library, the University of Newcastle, .Royal Newcastle Hospital graduation (1958) From left to right Loraine Newcombe, Margaret Hodgon, Robin Masson, and Heather Pengilley. This photograph is from the Hospital archives held by the University Archives in Cultural Collections, Auchmuty Library, the University of Newcastle, .
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Hospital history: Matron Porter and Dr. McCaffrey, Royal Newcastle Hospital.This photograph is from the Hospital archives held by the University Archives in Cultural Collections, Auchmuty Library, the University of Newcastle, .

Hospital history: Royal Newcastle Hospital graduation (1958). From left to right Loraine Newcombe, Margaret Hodgon, Robin Masson, and Heather Pengilley.This photograph is from the Hospital archives held by the University Archives in Cultural Collections, Auchmuty Library, the University of Newcastle, .

Hospital history: Royal Newcastle Hospital – North Wing.This photograph is from the Hospital archives held by the University Archives in Cultural Collections, Auchmuty Library, the University of Newcastle, .

Hospital history: Royal Newcastle Hospital, Newcastle, [c.1914] In front is a dray with four horses, carrying a miniature horse and a loaded coal skip, as for a parade. Richard McAuliffe is in shirt sleeves.

Hospital history: Royal Newcastle Hospital – North Wing, taken from overlooking building. This photograph is from the Hospital archives held by the University Archives in Cultural Collections, Auchmuty Library, the University of Newcastle, .

Hospital history: Ward room, Royal Newcastle Hospital. This photograph is from the Hospital archives held by the University Archives in Cultural Collections, Auchmuty Library, the University of Newcastle, .

Hospital history: Moving cartons of medication, Royal Newcastle Hospital’s Pharmacy. This photograph is from the Hospital archives held by the University Archives in Cultural Collections, Auchmuty Library, the University of Newcastle, .

John Hunter Hospital: This image was scanned from a photograph in the University’s historical photographic collection held by Cultural Collections at the University of Newcastle, NSW, .

John Hunter: Nick Saunders standing outside the John Hunter Hospital site, New Lambton, . This image was scanned from a photograph in the University’s historical photographic collection held by Cultural Collections at the University of Newcastle, NSW, .

John Hunter: Aerial view of the John Hunter Hospital during its construction, New Lambton, .This image was scanned from a photograph in the University’s historical photographic collection held by Cultural Collections at the University of Newcastle, NSW, .

John Hunter: Sue Johnson with an unidentified nursing student at John Hunter Hospital, the University of Newcastle, – 1992.This image was scanned from a film negative housed in the University’s historical photographic collection held by Cultural Collections at the University of Newcastle, NSW, .

Cake ‘goodbye RNH, hello JHH’, Royal Newcastle Hospital. [n.d.] From: Outpatients – black album, Royal Newcastle Hospital. ColourThis photograph is from the Hospital archives held by the University Archives in Cultural Collections, Auchmuty Library, the University of Newcastle, .

Rankin Park Unit of the Royal Newcastle Hospital, located on the site of the present John Hunter Hospital (n.d.) This photograph is from the Hospital archives held by the University Archives in Cultural Collections, Auchmuty Library, the University of Newcastle, .

Archery at the Rankin Park Unit of the Royal Newcastle Hospital c.1950-1960’s The Rankin Park Unit is located on the site of the present John Hunter Hospital. This photograph is from the Hospital archives held by the University Archives in Cultural Collections, Auchmuty Library, the University of Newcastle, .

Nursing students on training placement at John Hunter Hospital with nursing lecturer, Sue Johnson, the University of Newcastle, – 1992

Unidentified nurse playing mini golf on the grounds of the Rankin Park Unit of the Royal Newcastle Hospital c.1950-1960’s The Rankin Park Unit is located on the site of the present John Hunter Hospital. This photograph is from the Hospital archives held by the University Archives in Cultural Collections, Auchmuty Library, the University of Newcastle, .

TweetFacebook Take a look through the archivesThe photographs are from the Hospital archives held by the University Archives in Cultural Collections, Auchmuty Library, the University of Newcastle, .NEWCASTLE’S achievements in health care during the past 200 years aresomething to be remembered andcelebrated, as history shows theHunter’s medical fraternityto be a down-to-earth but determined bunch,Dr Ross Kerridge says.

The Hunter Postgraduate Medical Institute will host a publicevent at HMRI on Saturday tomark the 200thanniversary of the first hospital opening in Newcastle.

Event convenor Dr Kerridge said while there had been many changes in the past 200 years,such as the closing of the old Royal Hospital on Newcastle beach, the region’s health care was not defined by buildings, bricks or location, but by “people, commitment, and a sense of vocation.”

“It is easy to focus on the negative things,” he said.

“But I think we should concentrate on celebrating all that we have achieved, and are continuing to achieve.

“The buildings may move around, but we’ve got an ongoing tradition of healthcare and hospitals in Newcastle that has its own particular flavour of being based in the community, not taking itself too seriously, of being hard-working and getting on with it – and making do with less resources than people in Sydney have, and that’s an ongoing thing – it’s been there for 200 years, and it’s going to continue for another 200 years.”

Throughout Saturday’s event, the general public would learn about the history of health care in the region, such as battle to get the John Hunter Hospital established.

“There was a huge political fight, and they had to fight,” Dr Kerridge said.

“The waterside workers threatened to blockade all the ports of NSW unless Neville Wran agreed to fund John Hunter Hospital.

“That would have been in the early 1980s.

“Essentially, they had the old Royal, the Mater, and the Western Suburbs Hospital at Waratah,which was a tin shed, and Wallsend –and they were bursting at the seams. But the government in Sydney was still reluctant to cough up the money, and hello, we’re hearing the same thing again about Maitland.

“They are not going to cough up the money easily. You can’t just say we want our fair share, no. You have to fight for it.”

Event-goers would also learn how Newcastle became known as the “Bex capital of the world,”and how our penchantfor “a cup of tea, a Bex and a good lie down” contributed to the opening of a renal department from the subsequent kidney damage.

There will bestories about the Newcastle Medical School, the Hunter medicos who worked on the Burma Railway, and why Newcastle is a good place to have a stroke.

The free event is on at the HMRI building on November 11. Registration from 8.20am.

Find out more.


17/12/2018 0

‘Greed trumps nature’: Leaked report points to big offset savings for developers

Photographs shows the clear felling of the Leard Forest and construction of Whitehavens’ ?? Maules Creek coal mine near Boggabri. Greenpeace activists opposed to the mines’ construction have an established tree sit in place to stop the felling of the endangered forest and?? are surrounded by?? mine security and police rescue units.Photographs by Dean Sewell. S.M.H. News.Taken Sunday 1st June 2014.?? das140601.001.001.send.jpg Coal festival -?? Mining trucks at Glencore??????s Mount Owen complex between Muswellbrook and Singleton.10 Thiess Mt Owen extension.
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NSW’s new biodiversity offsets scheme is likely to save developers such as coal miners millions of dollars, according to a leaked report commissioned by the Berejiklian government.

A cost benefit analysis by the Centre For International Economics, a copy of which was obtained by Fairfax Media, found Glencore’s Mt Owen coal mine extension in the Hunter Valley would have reaped huge savings if the project had been assessed under the new methodology.

Using two methods to gauge the mine expansion’s offset costs, the reforms to the scheme both show savings of “approximately $80 million” compared with existing compensation tally for “disturbing” an extra 485 hectares of native vegetation, the report found.

Similarly, the Dubbo Zirconia Project, a $1 billion venture due to “disturb” 815 hectares, would save the developers about $12.89 million because fewer offset credits would be needed.

The government’s overhaul of native vegetation laws this year has raised concerns by environment groups that land clearing on private land has become easier.

The leaked report notes that almost 1000 flora and fauna species are at risk of extinction in NSW, with more than half the state’s mammal species (including the yellow-footed rock-wallaby) and about a third of native birds (such as the flame robin) are threatened.

Miners wouldn’t be the only winners from changes, with the report estimating developers of the M5 motorway in Sydney would have saved between $300,000 to $500,000 compared with the old formula, the report found. Faster approval

Aside from the lower costs, the report notes the scheme will accelerate projects even if suitable offsets for vegetation destruction can’t be found: “The option for developers to pay into the Biodiversity Conservation Fund (rather than finding their own offsets) could therefore potentially reduce delays.”

“Greed trumps nature again under this government,” said Kate Smolski, chief executive of the NSW Nature Conservation Council, in response to the report’s release.

“The offsets package pushes endangered wildlife closer to extinction while handing mining companies and developers millions of dollars in savings.”

Environment Minister Gabrielle Upton did not dispute the report’s findings but said the outcome of the new biodiversity assessment method will be different for different developments.

“The biodiversity assessment method is scientifically rigorous and meets a no net-loss standard,” Ms Upton said.

The assessment did identify case studies where offset costs would have been higher, such as the Emerald Hills project to rezone rural land near Camden for 1200 new homes. Those costs would have risen $1 million to $1.8 million, it said.

Still, the report said it was “difficult to accurately estimate the impacts at a statewide level”. ‘Deeply distressing’

Penny Sharpe, Labor’s environment spokeswoman, said there was mounting evidence that offsets are “leading to poor environmental outcomes” while allowing developers to save large sums of money.

“Labor believes there is a place for biodiversity offsetting, but only when underpinned by science and a commitment to improve or maintain environmental outcomes,” Ms Sharpe said. “This is what is sadly lacking under the current system.”

Mehreen Faruqi, the Greens environment spokeswoman, said it was “deeply distressing to see Gladys Berejiklian and her government knowingly trash the environment for their mates in mining and property development”.

“It’s pretty clear that the only rationale for the biodiversity offsets policy was to roll out the red carpet for developers, not to protect the natural environment.” Dr Faruqi said.

“It is a policy dreamt up by mining lobbyists, which is why the community, environmentalists, scientists and ecologists are all up in arms about this terrible policy.”

A spokesman for Glencore said its Mt Owen has used the offsets methodology applicable at the time of the project’s approval.

“The credits and offsetting costs shown in the [report] are clearly part of a hypothetical exercise using the Mt Owen project to test the new State biodiversity methodology,” the spokesman said.

“As such, they do not in any way represent actual biodiversity offsetting outcomes for the Mt Owen extension project or savings to Glencore.”


17/12/2018 0

Dining ReviewSusuruDaniel Honan

CHOPSTICKS READY: Vegan ramen, gyoza, and an Orion tap-beer. Pictures: Max Mason-HubersThirty-two years before replicants have been integrated into society and the streets of LA have been turned into a heaving mass of bodies and bright neon lights, Newcastle has a dedicated ramen noodle bar.
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BIG FANS OF RAMEN: The colourful interior of Susuru, on King Street.

In one of the more culturally progressive parts of town (cuisine wise), just up the road from US-style brewpub, Foghorn; Ethiopian restaurant, Habesha; Italian descendents, Napoli Centrale and Popolo; The Tea Collective; and fellow Nipponese cuisine specialists, Asa-don; with lines out the door almost every night since opening, Susuru is to ramen what Messina is to gelato.

Enter through large, web-textured doors into a stark, geometric dining space filled with white-panelled light and block yellow walls that kind of resemble what a hospital cafe might look like when drawn in a Pokémon graphic novel.

An enormous ceiling fan gently spins above a long white table indented with wide pockets to store menus, chopsticks and bottles of sauce.

Hungry diners sit around the outside on heavy, white-coated, high-backed stools made of steel.

The Susuru space feels minimal and modern, and Instagram-ready, like a prelude to the plausible future of 2049.

So, while we wait for the world (as we know it) to end at the hands of a real life Biff Tannen, we can all dive deep into the depth of flavour that’s routine for good ramen, and emerge comfortably numb and engrossed in the virtues of good gyoza and cold, crisp, refreshing beer direct from the Land of the Rising Sun.

For those unfamiliar with ramen, all you need to know is that it’s a savoury Japanese dish consisting of long strands of wheat noddles, typically served with meat or fish and a soft-boiled egg, often flavoured with soy sauce or miso, and usually topped with slices of pork, chicken, nori (dried seaweed) and green onions.

Basically, it’s comfort food, Japanese style.

Susuru (‘soo soo roo’)means ‘slurp’in Japanese, and you’re encouraged to do so. It helps cool the broth and ramen noodles as they slide up into your mouth.The pure white of the tables and chairs will help you to identify the ‘slurpiest’ ramen eaters.

There are seven types of ramen available to order, as well as three kids’ versions that are simply smaller($8). For example, the shio ramen ($15) is a warm, salty broth served with chashu chicken, marinated egg, bamboo shoots and edible seaweed (wakame), and the tonkotsu ramen ($17) is a rich, pork on pork broth, featuring strong umami flavours in a bowl filled with crunchy bean sprouts, black garlic bits, nori, sesami oil, and an egg, of course.

The tantanmen ($18) too is a peculiarly flavoursome take on traditional ramen, consisting of a blend of chilli pork mince floating in an unctuous chicken broth with blanched spinach, chilli hair, egg, and these tiny, tangy bubbles called pickled Brazillian kiss peppers that literally make the dish pop.

There’s also the classic, lightly spiced miso ramen ($16) with slices of braised pork belly swimming in a chicken-based broth alongside bits of charred corn and shallots, with chilli and sesame oil for extra depth of flavour. Even vegans have a bowl of ramen to enjoy.

Gyoza wise, if you’ve ever eaten these Japanese dumplings at Nagisa, then you’ll know what to expect. Fresh ingredients, from pork to prawn to chicken to beef, stuffed into gow-gee pastry, fried on one side, and totally morish ($6.50-$15).

Dip in the accompanying sauces for best results. Also, be brave and order the apple pie or banoffee gyoza ($8); they’re wonderfully weird in their own way.

Susuru is licensed, so you can wash down your newfound love of ramen with anything from a cold Japanese beer or cider, an Aussie glass of wine, even a delicious cup of sake.

Just don’t forget to slurp.

QUICK BITEWhat: SusuruWhere: 140 King St, NewcastleOwner: Taiyo Namba, Chris SchofieldDrinks: Beer, cider, wine, sake, soft drink (incl. some Japanese brands).Hours: Tues-Sat: Lunch, 11:30am-3pm; Dinner: 5pm-9pm / Sun 11:30am-3pmVegetarian: YesBottom Line: $60 for twoWheelchair Access: Some stairs upon entryDo Try: Prawn gyoza, tonkotsu ramen, Ramune (Japanese soft drink)


17/12/2018 0

Coffee mogul Phil Di Bella lists New Farm home with $6m+ price guide

Deep in New Farm, Brisbane’s resident king of coffee Phil Di Bella and wife Gianna built what they had planned to be a forever home for themselves and their two children.
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“We have built other homes before that look stunning, but I didn’t enjoy living there but with Turner Avenue, it’s so liveable and perfect. It just works,” Mrs Di Bella said “It’s got a homely feel yet it has huge street appeal and immense presence.”

The Di Bellas built the exemplary four bedroom home on a rare, empty, 636 square metre block at 30 Turner Avenue four years ago.

The contemporary home was future-proofed for ongoing family life, with Mrs Di Bella advising the architect on what their family needed as the kids grew up.

“We wanted a master suite separate from our kids and our intention was to raise our the kids here as they got older,” she said.

“It’s a wonderful home that has been perfectly designed to include so many features characteristic of modern day living. It’s perfect to lock up and leave which is great when we spend a lot of time at the Gold Coast.”

Phil Di Bella became coffee royalty when his roasting business Di Bella Coffee spread across , and then the rest of the world. He sold the company in 2014 for a potential $47 million, and retains an active role in the business.

The immense house has 547-square metres of floor space, which includes a cinema, guest suite, and a home office. Related: Sunshine Coast’s property hotspots revealedRelated: Why interstate buyers flock to BribieRelated: Millions in Brisbane property left to rot

Outside, the rest of the block is dedicated to outdoor living areas with a pool, sauna, and built-in barbecue.

There’s also full automation throughout the house, with keyless entry, CCTV, lights, and intercom systems.

The striking black facade and screens over the front balconies are also sure to impress.

Ray White New Farm’s Matt Lancashire has the listing, he said the home had left him amazed.

“It’s generously proportioned with a modern and minimalist floor plan. I love it,” he said. “It truly delivers on its brief to have seamless indoor and outdoor entertainment with functionality, space and privacy in mind for the most modern family living.”

The Di Bellas are giving up on what would be their forever home to buy a block with more grass for the two kids, aged nine and seven, to play on.


17/12/2018 0

Santos shares sink 4% on lower sales outlook

Investors wiped almost 4 per cent from Santos’ share price on Thursday morning as it laid out its 2018 strategy.
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While production levels are forecast to remain stable, the energy company predicted a significant fall in sales volume for the year ahead.

The announcement saw its share price sink from a 2017 high of $4.78 to a daily low of $4.57. It was trading at $4.625 at 11.20am.

The company has kept to previously stated 2017 forecasts, expecting production levels to hit the upper end of 58 to 60 million barrels of oil equivalent (mmboe) and sales of 79 to 82 mmboe.

Chief financial officer Anthony Neilsen forecast production to remain steady for the next decade at between 55 and 60 mmboe.

However, sales volumes are expected to fall next year to between 72 and 78 mmboe, “primarily due to lower forecast third-party gas sales volumes and lower non-core asset volumes,” Santos said in a statement.

Santos has pushed the operational price at which it breaks even down this year to $32 a barrel.

The company has expanded its core asset focus to now include the Narrabri coal seam gas project in NSW, beyond the existing pillars of its Gladstone liquefied natural gas project (GLNG); PNG LNG; northern , which includes its Barrosa, Petrel-Tern and Crown Lasseter gas development projects; and additional projects in Queensland’s Cooper Basin.

“This core portfolio is positioned to provide stable base production for the next decade and positive free cash flow in an oil price range of $US35 to $US40 a barrel, pre-major growth opportunities,” Santos chief executive Kevin Gallagher said.

GLNG hitting full-load installed capacity of 6 million tonnes a year by the end of 2019 has been pointed to as a key factor for Santos, which could offset natural declines of some of its assets.

Citibank analysts believe the company’s future market direction depends on its continued strong performance and sales volumes at this project.

“Share price performance is to a large degree hinged on cash-flow generation (GLNG cash flow outlook); an orderly ramp-up of Roma to nameplate capacity should de-risk long-term production,” Citi analysts said.

Santos is also looking to open two potential projects in the Northern Territory, at McArthur and Amadeus.

Santos’ executive vice president for marketing and trading, Phil Byrne, called Amadeus exploration a “basin opener”.

The company also plans to expand drilling within the Cooper Basin alongside Beach Energy to grow production, and provide increased levels of gas supply for the domestic market.

“The Cooper Basin is one of the world’s super basins,” Santos executive vice president, onshore upstream developments, Brett Woods said.

Santos has already committed to supplying 30 petajoules of domestic gas for 2018 and 2019.


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Five tips to achieve early retirement

Your super is available from age 60. But what if you wanted to retire earlier?
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Perhaps you dream of leaving the normal full-time paid work force at age 40 and working as a fishing guide six months of the year in Northern . Or helping your daughter care for your grandkids. Maybe you want to become an independent film maker.

Early retirement does not mean retiring from life. Rather it’s escaping the captivity of the workforce and spending your time as you wish.

I’ve come up with five things you could do to gain the financial autonomy needed to retire early. 1. Understand your livings costs

Is all of your spending really necessary? For you to be in a position to quit your job, you need to know how much money you require to live. Is it $30,000 per year or $80,000 per year? Here’s some overly simplistic maths for you, just to illustrate:

If you wanted to build up a portfolio of investments that would generate $30,000 per year for you to live off, rising with inflation, and with a high level of confidence that it won’t run out in your life time, you would need investments worth approximately $750,000.

If instead you needed $40,000 per year, that would rise to around $1million. So to have just an extra $10,000 per year, you need to save an extra $250,000.

To flip that, if you could reduce your living expenses by $10,000, the amount you need to save to retire early is reduced by $250,000. How much sooner could you escape your current employment captivity? 2. Save

It’s one of the simplest financial rules around yet one so many of us struggle with it – you must spend less than you earn.

Know how much you have coming in, after tax. Check that against your expenses. What is the surplus? Now put this to work. This is cash flow management.

Savings could involve extra payments on your home loan, or building up cash to invest. 3. Invest

First you save, but then what to do with those savings? Sure you could leave it in the bank, but with minimal interest, and tax on that interest too, you’re going to have to do a lot of heavy lifting to get yourself to the point of financial autonomy and early retirement. There are all sorts of considerations here around investment time frame, the use of debt, and diversification, and so it is really important that you seek out professional impartial advice.

But a key concept to grasp is that risk and reward are always linked. You can take no risk and leave your money in the bank. But if you had the capacity to save $2000 a month and you wanted to build up $500,000 in savings to become financially independent that would take you about 21 years.

If instead you invested in a share portfolio that earned 7 per cent a year on average, it would take less than 14 years to reach the same goal. So you are achieving your goal to retire early seven years sooner by taking some risk. Or to flip it, if you want to take no risk, the price you pay is seven years of your life. 4. Minimise or avoid debt

To clarify straight up, not all debt is bad. Most of us could never buy a house in without borrowing. And because any gains made on the increase in value of your home are tax free, usually borrowing to buy a home is a financially wise thing to do if that’s affordable for you. Similarly sometimes debt to help fund good quality investments can make sense.

But the debt to avoid is debt to fund consumption. Credit card debt to buy clothes or a holiday. A loan for a new car when maybe something a few years old would have done.

As touched on earlier, if you are to retire early, you need to get your expenses down and your savings up. Loan repayments push against this objective. 5. Downsize or tree change

I know of several people who have achieved financial autonomy by selling their inner-city home and moving to a rural area or just a smaller home.

In some cases such a move resulted in them becoming debt free, which reduced their living costs and granted them considerably more freedom.

As the NBN rolls out, there should be more and more scope for people to work outside of the big cities. When self-driving cars arrive, longer distance travel may be less of an issue too.

Mortgage repayments or rent tend to take up a large part of people’s budgets. As already mentioned, the lower you can get your living costs, the easier it will be for you to retire early.

As a final thought, consider what you will be doing in your early retirement. Is there any chance that what you want to spend your time doing could earn you some money?

As shown earlier, $10,000 of income needs something like $250,000 of investments to produce it on a sustainable long term basis. So if you can earn $10,000 in your early retirement, that’s $250,000 you don’t need to save. Early retirement could be that bit earlier!

Paul Benson is a licensed financial planner and creator of the podcast Financial Autonomy. Pbenson苏州夜场招聘[email protected]苏州夜总会招聘

This information is of a general nature only and has been prepared without taking into account your particular financial needs, circumstances and objectives. While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information, it is not guaranteed. You should obtain professional advice before acting on the information contained in this article.


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