‘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.

17/12/2018 0

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.

17/12/2018 0

The pull of Hawthorn: why people love this leafy suburb

When Graeme Smith and his wife Liz decided to move closer to the city, Hawthorn was the obvious choice. Long-time residents of the eastern suburbs, the couple had lived in Burwood East for 28 years before downscaling to a three-storey townhouse in Hawthorn East.
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“We wanted somewhere that was a bit more convenient to town,” says Smith, as well as somewhere with a wide range of public transport. “And just to have more things at our doorstep.”

Smith was no stranger to the leafy blue-ribbon suburb. He grew up in nearby North Balwyn and Kew, and his mother had lived in Hawthorn for many years after becoming an empty nester. He appreciates its more cosmopolitan qualities, but also its peace and quiet.

One of Melbourne’s more moneyed suburbs, Hawthorn’s tree-lined streets host heritage homes and manicured gardens, but the presence of Swinburne University ensures a buzzing atmosphere along its main drags. The west side of the neighbourhood follows the curves of the Yarra and there’s no shortage of sprawling parks and sports facilities.

“My favourite market in Melbourne,” is how Andrew Leoncelli, CBRE Victoria’s managing director, describes it. “Hawthorn ticks all the boxes. You’ve got very good retail amenities, lifestyle amenities, and then good public transport.”

In recent years the suburb’s more traditional restaurants have been supplemented by a new generation of on-trend cafes and eateries, such as Bawa on Burwood Road, which opened to much hype in October 2015 and still does a roaring trade two years later.

Inspired by the designs of Sri Lankan architect Geoffrey Bawa, which blended built environments with nature, the cafe’s fit-out is airy and decked with foliage – fitting for a Hawthorn venue.

“Our design aspect really does fit into the suburb well,” says co-owner and head chef Chris Griffiths, who grew up in Hawthorn. “It’s a beautiful suburb. You can drive down side streets and feel covered by trees.

“I find Hawthorn’s not as relaxed as Fitzroy and not as snobby as Toorak. People are very approachable and very friendly.”

Wade Nicholson-Doyle, owner of Hello Sailor cafe on Auburn Road, agrees. It’s an approach he’s tried to mirror in his business.

“We wanted to create a cafe that has zero attitude, so there’s no too-cool-for-school kids working there, everyone’s very relaxed and chilled,” he says. “I’ve noticed that a lot of the locals know all our staff by name.”

Occupying a heritage building on a corner site, Hello Sailor draws a wide and varied clientele, from older customers and mother with babies during the week, to younger groups on weekends and even the odd Hawthorn footy player.

Nicholson-Doyle believes that alongside its proximity to the city and its friendly locals, Hawthorn’s extensive array of cafes is one of its biggest drawcards.

“It brings more people to the streets,” he says. “I think everyone offers something a little bit different as well. They all kind of compliment each other.”

Smith says there are “tonnes” of cafes close to his home, and he has some favourite spots for dinner too, like south-east Asian fusion restaurant Okra, The Beehive Hotel, and The Meat & Wine Co.

“We can walk to quite a few of the restaurants and the rest of them we get on public transport,” he says.

The suburb’s strong student cohort also means there’s no shortage of places to eat on a shoestring.

“If you want a quick, cheap meal, you go down Burwood Road or Glenferrie Road and you’re lost because of the degree of choice you have,” says Smith. “I find that aspect rather good. Even when you’re just walking around the streets, it’s a bit more interesting than just having old fogies like me.”

Boutiques are another fixture of Hawthorn, dotting Auburn and Glenferrie Villages, with stores such as Hokey Curator, Swoon and Muse stocking high-end fashion and homewares. The suburb is also home to one of Readings’ beloved bookshops.

Andrew Leoncelli says as more Hawthorn residents become empty nesters and their family homes feel too large, they’re seeking smaller alternatives.

“They’re looking for large, high-quality, well-finished apartments,” he says.

A new development that’s seeing interest from local downsizers is The Auburn, a project that will comprise just 14 apartments once completed. Located at 177 Auburn Road, it will sit just 400 metres from Auburn train station, and even closer to Auburn Village.

“This project is actually tailored to that mature buyer, buyers coming out of a big family home where the kids are no longer with them or the final kid is getting ready to leave school,” Leoncelli explains.

The Auburn, built by award-winning WAF construction, will have one one-bedroom residence, nine two-bedroom apartments, and four three-bedroom apartments. Both its architecture and interiors are the work of award-winning Fitzroy practice Splinter Society. All offer wide courtyards for indoor-outdoor entertaining, and Leoncelli says their large-sized kitchens are a particular highlight.

“What we’ve got is a beautiful kitchen with enormous, natural granite finished to a very high level, and double ovens,” he says. “Also the scale of the master bedroom with walk-in-robes and an en suite.”

In addition to its location and design, Leoncelli believes The Auburn’s boutique status is something that makes it particularly appealing.

“It’s a bit of an enclave,” he says. “They’re all big apartments, they’re not investor or student-focused, so they’re going to have like-minded people sharing their spaces.”

17/12/2018 0

Federal government was preparing to sell Lobby Restaurant before occupation

Police remove Aboriginal activists from the old Lobby Restaurant.A man is arrested and removed from the restaurant.
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The federal government was finalising plans to sell a disused restaurant in the Canberra’s parliamentary triangle before Indigenous land rights activists began a controversial occupation this week.

Acting National Capital Authority boss Andrew Smith told Ngunnawal elders and Aboriginal Tent Embassy campaigners the future of the Lobby Restaurant near Old Parliament House had not been settled on Wednesday.

But documents provided to The Canberra Times show authority staff were finalising a commercial marketing campaign late last month, ahead of a sale through crown lease.

It is understood the building was to be put on the market within days.

One person was charged after police removed a group of activists from the Lobby on Thursday morning, a day after negotiations with leaders of the group failed to secure any resolution.

The man was arrested after a stand-off lasting more than an hour, as police escorted about five other members of the group from the building.

He was later charged with failing to leave a Commonwealth premise when directed and was released on bail to face court in December.

Activists forced their way into the restaurant on Sunday in an attempt to reclaim what they described as Ngunnawal sovereign land.

They issued the authority with an eviction notice and demanded $7 million in back-paid rent, before requesting a week’s grace period to remain inside.

“ACT Policing were advised that permission provided to the group on Sunday, November 5, 2017, to remain in the building has now been removed and have been asked to restore the building to an unoccupied state,” a spokesman said said.

“ACT Policing supported liaison between the NCA and the group’s representatives in an attempt to negotiate a peaceful resolution.”

Ngunnawal representative Serena Williams said it was seriously concerning plans to sell the building had not been publicly disclosed, accusing the government of lying.

“We live in this so-called capital of . The government has failed to see our sovereignty of Ngunnawal land, Canberra is based on Ngunnawal country,” she said from Darwin.

“We were asserting our rights, because we wanted to educate people on our past, our history, our land.

“They’ve failed to give us anything in the whole of the ACT and there’s been dishonesty all together.

“There’s more to come here. This isn’t the end,” she said.

Another activist described the group’s removal as feeling like “a burst of tears”.

‘We’ve been pushed out and all that but it’s one in a long succession of agonised [incidents] right across the country and that’s what really gets you in the belly,” the woman said.

Mr Smith repeatedly asked the group to leave the building this week, describing their occupation as illegal and unauthorised.

He was escorted into the building as police worked to remove activists, while media and supporters watched on.

Last month, the authority’s senior officer for diplomatic properties and leasing had been involved in preparation of real estate marketing materials for the building’s sale.

An authority spokeswoman confirmed planning for a sale had been under way.

“The NCA is always monitoring and reviewing its assets that ensure the best opportunities for the enhancement of the National Estate are pursued,” she said.

“Within this remit, the NCA has investigated options to market the Lobby under a crown lease.”

The building has been left empty after previous commercial tenants left before their lease expired, with it’s prolonged vacancy prompting renewed land rights tensions around in the embassy encampment.

The Tent Embassy has occupied space in front of Old Parliament House since four Indigenous land rights activists started a protest on the site on Day 1972.

17/12/2018 0

Citibank to refund $4.3m to customers

Citibank will repay more than $3.3 million to about 39,500 current and former customers for failing to refund them when they closed a credit card account with an outstanding balance.
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The refunds relate to Citibank, Virgin Money, Bank of Queensland, Suncorp and Card Services-branded credit cards and Citibank Ready Credit loan customers. Citibank is the credit provider for these products.

The n Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) said in a statement the errors had occurred when some accounts were closed as far back as 1994.

Citibank will contact affected customers by November 30. They will receive a refund of the credit balance with interest via a bank cheque or direct credit into their account.

“Customers should be confident that when they close an account, they are refunded any outstanding balance,” ASIC deputy chairman Peter Kell said on Thursday.

ASIC said Citibank reported the issue to the regulator and co-operated to fix it.

Separately, Citibank will refund $1 million to another 4000 customers after misleading them about its responsibilities to investigate unauthorised transactions on their accounts.

ASIC said Citibank had refused customers’ requests to investigate unauthorised transactions because it claimed the requests were made outside a time period permitted by Visa and MasterCard.

“Citibank incorrectly stated that because the request was made outside the timeframe specified by Visa and MasterCard, it was not required to assess the claim, and that the customer’s only options were to approach the merchant or a fair trading agency,” ASIC said.

“The letter would likely have misled customers about their protections under the ePayments Code.”

The ePayments Code provides protections to consumers for unauthorised transactions.

A Citibank spokeswoman said the bank had strengthened its systems to ensure the errors did not occur again.

17/12/2018 0

Twenty reasons to love the Dandenongs

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No other n capital can boast such a wealth of attractive towns and regions so readily accessible from it than Melbourne. But while the likes of the Mornington Peninsula, the Goldfields and the Yarra Valley have won the hearts of many an interstate visitor, the Dandenong Ranges, by contrast, have failed to register. Nowadays, with a range, as it were, of better places to eat and stay, the Dandenongs, just an hour from Melbourne, will do just dandy, thanks. See visitdandenongranges苏州夜总会招聘.au2. DRIVE: THE ROADS

Motoring around the Dandenongs remains a real pleasure of any visit. It’s fairly hard to get lost in the ranges since it’s dominated by Mount Dandenong Tourist Road, which runs right through the heart of the ranges, and its off-shoots thoroughfares. Don’t forget to wind down the windows of your vehicle to take in the fragrance of the forest and the sounds of its birds. If you’ve driven from Melbourne consider taking a different route back to the big smoke to fully appreciate the area. See visitdandenongranges苏州夜总会招聘.au3. STAY: VALLEY RANGES GETAWAYS

The best way to experience the delights of the Dandenongs, which has been for too long relegated to day-trip status, is to stay in one of the many gorgeous, and often historic, houses nestled in superb bushland and formal garden settings. Book with Valley Ranges Getaways, a highly-professional operation which manages, with a few hotel-style touches, high-standard private homes for local owners. See vrgetaways苏州夜总会招聘.au4. VISIT: THE VILLAGES

It’s no surprise that one of the favourite pastimes for visitors to the Dandenongs is “village-hopping”. The ranges, after all, are dotted with a chain of charming, if at times a tad twee, villages and hamlets brimful of restaurants, cafes and shops, all of which, including Sassafras and Olinda, are situated in delightful settings. A good time to visit the villages is during the week when there are fewer day-trippers from Melbourne and when you’ll get a better opportunity to commune with the locals. See visitdandenongranges苏州夜总会招聘.au5. STAY: BEECHMONT GARDEN RETREAT

Described as a sophisticated “country house” and owned by Cherrie Mirikilis-Pavlou, owner of Melbourne’s Flowers Vassette florist in inner-city Fitzroy, the four-bedroom Beechmont is one of the many private houses in the Dandenongs available to visitors to stay in. Located just outside of the Olinda township and including a large and magnificent garden, it may also be the best. See vrgetaways苏州夜总会招聘.au6. EAT: THE PIGGERY CAFE

Many of the stuck-in-the-mud (or is it sty?) locals fail to appreciate it, but the relatively recent arrival of Melbourne star chef Shannon Bennett in the Dandenongs is exactly what the rather dowdy, at times, region needed. Housed in a former piggery and stables, Bennett’s cafe at Sherbrooke is part of the Burnham Beeches estate where a famous art deco hotel is being slowly restored. Serving sophisticated city-style comfort food in a gorgeous bucolic setting, the Piggery Cafe quickly, and rightly, become the place for breakfast and lunch in the Dandenongs these days. And another revolution awaits the Dandenongs once Burnham Beeches is finally opened. See piggerycafe苏州夜总会招聘.au7. MARVEL: MOUNTAIN ASH TREES

The Dandenongs are dominated and distinguished by this towering species of eucalypt trees, native to southeastern and Tasmania. Along with billowing ferns, the trees line every main road in the Dandenongs and make for a sublime natural setting for visitors and locals alike. One of the world’s tallest trees, mountain ash, or eucalyptus regnans, can grow nearly 100 metres, though usually to about 85 metres. See visitdandenongranges苏州夜总会招聘.au8. OBSERVE: WILDLIFE

The Dandenongs is a haven for wildlife, particularly for birds. It’s not uncommon to wake up at your accommodation to the unmistakable cackle of multiple kookaburras lined up along a rustic wooden fence outside. Keep an eye out, too, for parrots, including crimson rosellas, lyrebirds wombats, wallabies, possums, and, if you’re really fortunate, platypus. See parkweb.vic.gov.au; See visitdandenongranges苏州夜总会招聘.au9. DINE: COONARA SPRINGS

This is oldest restaurant in the Dandenongs, and it may possibly also be one of the oldest in with origins that can be traced dating back to the late 19th century. Coonara Springs is conveniently just down the road from the aforementioned Beechmont and, below, Moorabina, is set in a historic weatherboard house two-sided open fireplaces. The unpretentious, though skilled, cooking, is as fine as the views. There’s no better, or classier, place in the Dandenongs at which to linger over a languid lunch and a fine Victorian drop than here. See coonarasprings苏州夜总会招聘10. VISIT: COOL CLIMATE GARDENS

Although the densely-vegetated Dandenongs is effectively one giant garden, the region is graced by a plethora of impressive formal gardens with access for the public that thrive in the cool mountain conditions. These include the National Rhododendron Gardens, the George Tindale Memorial Garden, Cloudhill and the William Ricketts Sanctuary, considered the most iconic of them all. See visitdandenongranges苏州夜总会招聘.au11. EAT PROSERPINA BAKERY

On the site of an erstwhile nursery in the main drag of the village Sassafras this bakery and cafe, with a focus on artisinal-style organic breads, opened only earlier this year. Aside from those loaves, you can also buy pastries, pies, sausage rolls and soups. The wheat used for the bread comes from southern NSW and was once judged by the CSIRO to be the most nutritional in . See visitdandenongranges苏州夜总会招聘.au12. VISIT: ART COMMUNITIES

The beauty and quietude of the Dandenongs have long been an attractive lure for artists to the ranges. Each year in May, Dandenong Ranges Open Studios allows visitors to interact with emerging and experienced artists and craftsmen and women right across the region. The event, which has been running for more than a decade and includes a month-long group exhibition, is held in Burrinja. See visitdandenongranges苏州夜总会招聘.au13. EAT: RIPE CAFE

There’s no shortage in the Dandenongs of quaint cafes serving Devonshire teas to eager day-trippers. But if you’re staying here overnight or, ideally, a little longer you’ll find this cosy, no-nonsense cafe a good breakfast option. Popular with locals and not just tourists, Ripe Cafe is located on the main street of the village of Sassafras. See ripecafe苏州夜场招聘14. STAY: MOORABINDA

Robin Boyd was the acclaimed Melbourne architect who authored the seminal book from the early 1960s, The n Ugliness. But there’s nothing that could be considered unsightly about this three-bedroom hillside house, next door to the Coonara Springs restaurant, which Boyd designed in 1962 at Olinda and which guests can nowadays stay and experience. Characterised by open interior spaces and lavish floor-to-ceiling windows designed to allow the outside world and light to filter in, it was in its day a revolutionary modern house. Architecture buffs will love it. See vrgetaways苏州夜总会招聘.au; robinboyd苏州模特佳丽招聘.au15. VISIT: CUCKOO RESTAURANT

If you fancy a taste of the Dandenongs of yore then pop in for a gander at the Cuckoo Restaurant right at the opposite end of the dining spectrum to new generation places like The Piggery and The Independent (see below). Christmas in July is big in the Dandenongs and nowhere is it more enthusiastically celebrated than here at the Bavarian-style Cuckoo Restaurant which dates to the late ’50s. See cuckoorestaurant苏州夜总会招聘.au16. DETOUR: THE YARRA VALLEY

Even though they neighbour each other, the Yarra Valley, with is acclaimed wineries and hatted restaurants, has robbed the Dandenongs of much of the attention once afforded it. But these days it’s a snitch to combine both stunning regions on a visit and using one or the other as a base for exploration. See visitdandenongranges苏州夜总会招聘.au17. RIDE: THE PUFFING BILLY

Aside from its glorious natural setting, the one attraction for which the Dandenongs is renowned is this world-class, and extremely well-operated, tourist train that puffs and steams its way for 24 kilometres from Belgrave to Emerald or Gembrook. Despite being known as a daytime attraction, nowadays you can experience the Puffing Billy by night. Steam & Cuisine After Dark allows passengers to dine aboard the train in restored first-class carriages well after the last of the tourists have headed home. See puffingbilly苏州夜总会招聘.au18. TOUR: PRIVATE GARDENS

Each October, as part of the “Secret Gardens of the Dandenong Ranges” event, many of the owners of Dandenong’s impressive private homes open their gates and allow the public in for a stroll around their botanic treasures. Those who sign up and take part to experience these showpiece gardens are fortunate since for the rest of the year are largely hidden behind hedges and fences. See visitdandenongranges苏州夜总会招聘.au19. THE INDEPENDENT RESTAURANT AND BAR

The Independent, located in Gembrook just across from the main station for the Puffing Billy tourist train, is just the thing you thought you didn’t need: an Argentine restaurant set in a cavernous former mechanics shop. But this is one of the few Dandenong entries in the Good Food Guide, published by The Sydney Morning Herald. See visitdandenongranges苏州夜总会招聘.au20. ADMIRE: THE VIEWS

At 633 metres above sea-level at its highest point, the Dandenongs is home to many easily-accessed lookouts where superb views of Melbourne and its surrounding Port Phillip Bay can be savoured. One of the most popular, and touristy, viewing spots is SkyHigh Mount Dandenong which also includes a restaurant, maze and forest walk. See skyhighmtdandenong苏州夜总会招聘.au; See visitdandenongranges苏州夜总会招聘.au

Anthony Dennis was a guest of Yarra Ranges Tourism, Visit Victoria and Valley Ranges Getaways

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