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Swans too Goodes for Adelaide

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SYDNEY 2.2 7.2 8.4 11.5 (71) ADELAIDE 1.3 2.7 3.10 5.12 (42) GOALS Sydney: Goodes 3, Jetta 2, Morton 2, McGlynn, Kennedy, Parker, Reid. Adelaide: Johncock, Callinan, van Berlo, Sloane, Walker. BEST Sydney: Goodes, Kennedy, O’Keefe, Richards, Roberts-Thomson, Shaw. Adelaide: Doughty, Thompson, Dangerfield, Mackay, Vince, Sloane. INJURIES Sydney: McGlynn (hamstring). Adelaide: Talia (broken right arm). UMPIRES Schmitt, Stevic, Farmer. CROWD 44,849, at AAMI Stadium.
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THE Sydney Swans, led by big-game performer Adam Goodes, stood up to all of their doubters and dumped Adelaide by 29 points in a tough second qualifying final at AAMI Stadium yesterday.

Coming off two losses, and going into this game with an appalling record here and against the Crows, Sydney left no doubt it is still very much in this premiership race by advancing to a home preliminary final.

It leaves Adelaide with the mountainous task against Geelong or Fremantle here on Friday night, and if somehow it recovers, it faces Hawthorn away. The finals dream has virtually been extinguished.

Goodes, whose ability in the latter part of this season had perhaps been most scrutinised, typified the ”I’ll show you” attitude and was an inspirational leader.

Adelaide capitulated under the enormous pressure, and remarkably had 22 more inside-50 entries and one more score, yet was never really in the hunt. And don’t dare suggest it was unlucky.

The Crows cracked under the relentless pressure from Sydney, missing many easy shots.

At half-time it was Sydney 7.2 to 2.7, a reflection of how disciplined the Swans were in defence.

The Crows were hustled into mistakes, and Sydney advanced through a suspect defence with pace and brilliant execution of every skill in the book.

To kick 11.5 from only 37 inside-50 entries was outstanding. For Adelaide to be restricted to 5.12 from 59 entries was great defence rather than simply bad play from Adelaide.

Lewis Roberts-Thomson, whose forced return to the back lines because of the suspension of Heath Grundy, was supposed to hurt Sydney badly. It may have up forward, but in the end Sydney did not need a big score, and Roberts-Thomson was magnificent in defence against Kurt Tippett.

Ted Richards was also outstanding as he made it tough for Adelaide’s other key forward, Taylor Walker, who had just two kicks for the game.

However, in a final that required someone to stand tall, Goodes was the man. He had 22 disposals – others had a lot more – but he was the one who really stamped his mark on the game in the first half that set up this win.

He kicked the first two goals of the match, and when Adelaide looked like responding well late in the second, it was Goodes again who goaled from 50 metres and virtually made the challenge too great for Adelaide.

There were many other magnificent performers for Sydney, and a close second to Goodes was Josh Kennedy with 35 hard-earned disposals – 21 of them contested.

Add Marty Mattner against his old club, Rhys Shaw, Ryan O’Keefe – another big-game player – Daniel Hannebery, and Shane Mumford, who matched the brilliance of Sam Jacobs in ruck, and Sydney looked great.

Adelaide not only let itself down badly kicking for goal, but it made far too many unforced errors.

A kick and/or handball a half-a-metre short or wide here and there saw Sydney swoop and clear.

After so many 100-plus-point games this season, the Crows were restricted to their lowest score since round 18 last year, against St Kilda, and not once this season have they been so starved of clear passages of play as they were yesterday.

Scott Thompson and Patrick Dangerfield battled gamely, while Michael Doughty, in his last campaign, Rory Sloane and David Mackay had their quality moments, but overall too many Crows failed to live up to the incredibly high expectations of a state.

Sydney looked so well-drilled, was admirably determined, and remained calm under the pressure. It was a thoroughly controlled performance, one expected of a top-four side come the finals.

In the opening 10 minutes of the third term Walker missed two set shots that he has nailed all season, and Mackay missed one on the run. The Crows could have easily got within a goal or two and reversed the pressure, but instead Sydney steadied.

From Goodes’ goal moments before half-time, to Adelaide’s third goal at the 22-minute mark of the third, there were 31 minutes of goal-less play, but like a classy soccer match it was still great to watch.

Players from both sides threw themselves at everything and everyone, a reminder that this is a game for the courageous.

Adelaide’s endeavour should not be questioned; just its ability to perform on a bigger stage where the pressure can be unbearable.

They call it finals football, and Sydney played it so well.

BEEN THERE, DONE THAT

Experience obviously plays a big part in finals, and Sydney went into this game with four players with a premiership medal from 2005 – Adam Goodes, Ryan O’Keefe, Jude Bolton and Lewis Roberts-Thomson. Adelaide has no premiership players on its list.

COVER-UP FOR JACK

Sydney’s Kieren Jack wore a helmet during the last quarter, but not because of concussion during the match. He had a badly cut head, and the helmet was helping to stem the blood flow. It was effective.

HOME GAME PAIN

The pain goes on for the Crows in finals – they have now lost five of their past six finals, with the only win during these lean times in 2009. This was just the fifth win by Sydney in its past 18 games against Adelaide.

QUARTER BY QUARTERQuarter 1 It was a tight first term with both sides refusing to present easy opportunities. Adelaide went into its inside-50 zone 14 times to Sydney’s seven, yet trailed at quarter time, 2.2 to 1.3.The key was Sydney’s defence, led by Lewis Roberts-Thompson. Adelaide’s three behinds came from set shots; wasted opportunities that may prove costly. The match-ups were absorbing. NAB Rising Star winner Daniel Talia was on Adam Goodes, but could not prevent Goodes kicking both of the Swans’ goals. Swans by 5 points

Quarter 2 Goodes continued to have a huge impact, and the Swans were looking great. He was responsible for setting up another goal, and kicked another just before half-time. The Crows were stunned by Sydney’s ferocity, and failed to capitalise on their inside-50s because of Sydney’s defence. They went in 14 more times in the first half, yet did little to the scoreboard. Sydney’s run and passing was outstanding. Also inflicting pain on the home crowd was Josh Kennedy. The Crows will need to learn to kick for goal. Swans by 25 pointsQuarter 3 The game remained tight, and Adelaide still failed to penetrate Sydney’s superb defence. After 31 minutes of play, from late in the second term, a goal was finally scored – a six-pointer to the Crows’ Rory Sloane. But the Swans responded immediately, from Mitch Morton. Sydney was just far too good the way it moved the ball across and downfield, and keeping Adelaide under pressure. Remarkably, Adelaide had 17 more inside-50s and one more scoring shot, yet trailed by four goals. Swans by 24 pointsQuarter 4 Adelaide threatened a revival when Graham Johncock kicked his first goal. But a few minutes later, Luke Parker snapped a brilliant goal for Sydney, and the writing was on the wall; it wasn’t pretty for the Crows. Sydney maintained the pressure and Adelaide struggled to make the most of its inside-50s, kicking the ball too high and giving Sydney time to position itself well defensively. The Crows got to within 18 points in the last quarter, but merely gave their fans false hope. Sydney simply polished off a great game. Swans win by 29 points

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Crows lick wounds, look for answers

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ADELAIDE was reeling last night after its shock loss to Sydney, and the club’s AFL Rising Star winner, Daniel Talia, was nursing a broken right arm.
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He was taken to hospital minutes after falling awkwardly in the last quarter. It is not known if he will require surgery.

There was also concern with Patrick Dangerfield, who was accidentally struck in the jaw. He will have X-rays to determine if there is any damage.

After almost taunting those who dared to keep doubting the Crows going into the finals, coach Brenton Sanderson is now left to perform a miracle to keep their crumbling hopes alive.

Adelaide plays either Geelong or Fremantle at home on Friday night, and even if it gets through this tough encounter the grand final is still just a dream as it would then play a fresh Hawthorn in Melbourne in a preliminary final.

But Sanderson remained upbeat. ”We will get back to business and recover, review and make sure we put on a better performance on Friday night,” he said.

”I am disappointed with the performance and the result, but we are still a good side and we will make sure we bounce back hard next week. They [the players] have to learn from that. It’s not all doom and gloom – we live to fight another day.

”Sydney played a way that stands up in finals, and it is not too dissimilar to what we are trying to do. We got taught how to play finals footy. We will be better for the experience. We won’t sit around and sulk.

”There were times when we still played some good footy, but we allowed Sydney to dominate us in too many facets of the game. We got out-tackled, their method around the ball was a lot better than ours, and we just didn’t make the most of our opportunities going forward.

”At times we did not have that poise or composure to hit the target. It was almost like Sydney knew where we were going to kick it.”

Sanderson praised the effort of youngster Brodie Smith, who did well on Adam Goodes after half-time, but added that the effort by the Sydney champion was special. ”Goodes loves the big stage. He was one who really stood up for them.

”We have six days to regroup and get on with business next week. I am not looking for excuses, because Sydney were clearly better than us today.”

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Vodafone meltdown leaves callers reeling

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Read Vodafone’s response
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Customers of the mobile phone company Vodafone were left reeling today when parts of its network service collapsed this afternoon.

The Vodafone website states that customers living in NSW are experiencing “issues accessing 2G voice services and 3G voice and data” and that they were “working to resolve” the issue.

The network’s free customer-service line had a 30-minute waiting period for customers wanting to talk to a Vodafone spokesperson.

By 6.30pm tonight the customer line had been closed.

Vodafone’s Twitter feed has been inundated with customers trying to access data and to receive and make voice calls from their mobile phones.

A customer of Vodafone, Mohammad Tariq, 51, said a member of the Vodafone technical service team had told him the whole NSW network had gone down and that they didn’t know when it would go up again.

“I have got seven Vodafone mobiles in my family,” the father of two from Kellyville said. “I have had no phone messages, calls or data,” he said.

“I believe Vodafone is failing in their duty of care and they not are providing the service they have agreed to in the contract. This is not what customers should expect,” Mr Tariq, who owns a Nokia phone, said.

Another customer, Sarah Brown, 23, said her Samsung phone stopped working completely today at noon. “I have had no reception. I had to take the battery out,” Ms Brown from Darlinghurst said.

This is not the first time Vodafone customers have been left without adequate coverage. In late 2010, thousands of customers complained en masse about drop-outs, poor reception and capacity problems.

The company has lost 600,000 customers since mid-2010, The Sydney Morning Herald reported last month.

Vodafone’s Statement

Vodafone experienced a software fault at approximately 1.30pm on Saturday, 8 September, affecting services to customers in some parts of Sydney and the Sutherland Shire and some parts Western and South-Western NSW.

Vodafone engineers immediately responded, and restored data services to customers who are using 3G mobile phones at around 3.30pm today. 3G voice services have been operating as normal and were unaffected by the fault.

Engineers have identified one remaining fault and are working to restore services to customers with 2G handsets in affected areas as soon as possible. We apologise unreservedly to customers who have been inconvenience by this disruption to their mobile service.

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Live: Wallabies v Springboks

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Full-time: One final scrum, with a Wallabies feed in the hands of Nick Phipps, and it’s all over. Australia win. Genia on crutches in the post-match interview. “It’s about the team, mate,” he says. “It’s a credit to the whole group. We all put in.”
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78th minute: Last chance for the Boks – they kick for the line after a penalty. Maul breaks apart and now they’re increasingly desperate. But so is the Wallabies’ defence.

76th minute: Cooper goes the chip kick but this time it seemed a good option, especially given the fatigue level late in the match. Nonetheless, it goes astray. Highlights now showing Shipperley’s runs. A good debut.

75th minute: Back-slaps all round among the Wallabies forwards for some big tackles. They bring the Boks forwards to a standstill and force the error.

72nd minute:  Boks throw it around and the ball gets tied up on the ground. Australia penalised. Replacement Goosen kicks for touch. Robinson on for Alexander.

71st minute: Barnes converts. Genia off with what appeared to be a knee injury. Now Barnes is hobbling. Mike Harris finally replaces him. Wallabies can scarcely afford more injuries.

69th minute: Ben Alexander try! A 15 metre run. He gets budled over in the corner thanks to some friendly oomph from his teammates. It came straight from a Cooper pass and the defence held off Alexander. Mvovo in particular culpable. Poor replacement.

68th minute: Owens gives the skippers Genia and De Villiers a schoolmarmish talking-to. Too many offenses. Too much whistle-blowing. Any more and someone will be marched.

66th minute: Now one goes the other way. Morne Steyn has a chance to level the scores after Saia Fainga’a was penalised. Too easy.

63rd minute: The Wallabies and the crowd energised by the try, their first in something like five halves of Test football. Now a penalty against the Boks while in possession. Off their feet, Owens says. Sharpe down for treatment again.

61st minute: Australia have a 5m scrum. Sloppy work off the restart from the replacement Mvovo. Juandre Kruger penalised right in front of the sticks. Barnes gives Australia back the lead.

58th minute: Ashley-Cooper makes a try-saving tackle at the other end. Australia pinged for coming in from the side, somewhat contentiously. Frans Steyn levels the scores from a decent distance.

54th minute: Cilliers on for Jannie du Plessis. Debutant Shipperly adds some spine to the attack, spearing through the centre and getting across the advantage line. He looks for work two phases later, too, and a short ball from Genia puts Higginbotham over! Try! Barnes adds the two.

52nd minute: Scrappy play from both sides after Habana goes through the middle to no avail and then Shipperley has an air swing at a high ball while his legs are taken from under him. Samo and Habana both off.

50th minute: Shades of Sydney – Beale drops a high ball in a contest with his opposite number, Kirchner. Scrum Boks just outside the Australian 22.

49th minute: Australia ruled offside in the maul that began to form from the restart. More Steyn misses the penalty.

45th minute: Barnes v Kirchner in the kicking stakes. Barnes shades it that time. Flat pass from Cooper to Ashley-Cooper, Polota Nau and then Samo take it up the guts. Cooper grubbers it and this time Iaone regains the ball. After 13 phases Pienaar is ruled offside. Should get a reward for some industry here. What is it with the grubbers, though? Barnes adds the three. Australia creeping back.

44th minute: Morne Steyn misses with a drop goal but he was in good position. Drags it to the left.

41st minute: “Silly, dribbly kicks”. About sums it up. Astounding how much ball was kicked away in the first 40. Barnes then Beale go for clearances, neither that impressive, and the Boks win the net gain. Skipper Jean de Villiers responsible for the lack of space and time. The whole episode is repeated and Beale clears once again. Boks winning the territory stakes early on.

Half-time: Ashley-Cooper in a pit-stop interview en route to the sheds says his side are getting across the advantage line but not making the possession count. Maybe if they kept the ball in hand…

38th minute: Hougaard in the clear on the left wing, he chips through and tackles Shipperley on the follow through. Sloppy lineout from Australia but they clean it up and put it through the hands. Well, a couple of sets anyway. Beale puts through a grubber. Again. It’s the tactic de jour. And as with all previous efforts, it achieves zip.  

35th minute: Vermeulen subbed off and the Boks have a scrum and a penalty. Wallabies can’t take advantage of the loss of Mtawarira. Boks will look to eat up as much time as possible, firstly by making their way ponderously to the lineout and now through a maul, and pick-and-go phase play. They’re keeping it tight in the middle of the park.

33rd minute: Pienaar kicks, Barnes kicks, Steyn kicks… Beale takes the mark and his banana kick has more curve than desired. Net gain of not much. Slipper wins a turnover and a chip kick from Cooper comes to naught – but mainly because Mtawarira took out Beale, who was chasing through. The Beast gets a yellow card.

30th minute: Kirchner kocks the ball forward after chasing a kick… then a bit more arial pingpong before Hougaard off the wing charges the ball down. The Boks butcher the chance, though, with a flurry of handling errors.

27th minute: Boks given possession from a maul but they’re penalised by Owens for a scrum infringement. Barnes strikes the ball well to keep Australia in touch.

25th minute: Sure, it’s AFL country but imitation in this instance is not flattery at all. Plenty of ball being kicked away by both sides. Etzebeth gives Sharpe a Liverpool kiss! Granted it was a soft one – more of a promise – but the Australian lock was none too happy. From the ensuing push-and-shove, the Boks earn a penalty. No justice. And Frans Steyn makes them pay. He kicks a long-range goal.

21st minute: Beale fields a midefield kick, Barnes returns the offering, it comes back… they’re playing forcings-back. A few more rounds and eventually it’s a Boks lineout. Another kick. Genia draws Cooper on the wing and he had nowhere to go but across the sideline courtesy of Coetzee.

19th minute: Springboks swing it left to right and right to left, and almost make the breakthrough. The Wallabies appeared to have slowed the ruck down and the visitors’ momentum but it was only momentary. Then bang! Habana makes a lightning-quick snipe for the line and he’s over. Try Springboks. Steyn converts.

17th minute: South Africa penalised for not rolling away with the Wallabies on the attack just outside the 22. Cooper to Hooper, who goes to ground, and Mtawarira refuses to get out of the way. Barnes converts the penalty from in front.

15th minute: Boks taking far too long to clear the ball from a ruck – it was just sitting there – and the Wallabies win the counter-ruck.

13th minute: What a waste of possession and momentum. Wallabies well inside the 22 only for Cooper to try a chip kick that was easily taken for a mark.

12th minute: More running tonight from the Wallabies but it hasn’t always been convincing – particularly from their own half. And especially when they punctuate their efforts with yet another grubber that goes nowwhere. Beale that time. But now they’re stringing a few phases together.

9th minute: Boks scrum and clearance to halfway. Sharpe penalised for being on the wrong side in the lineout. Australia run it from within their own 22, and a grubber only just gets them out of a bit of potential trouble. They were closed down quickly.

5th minute: Good clearance from Barnes takes play into Boks’ half. Box kick received by Genia and Cooper returns the ball through the boot. Now Cooper puts it through the hands, Ioane comes in looking for work and then Cooper kicks for the corner. Kept alive by the Boks and Australia back on attack. But they blow a chance – a poor pass from Barnes gives the winger no chance and it goes over the sideline.

Polota Nau smashed in the tackle and Wallabies penalised for holding on. Steyn converts.

2nd minute: Boks to kick off on this oval arena. Sharpe fields the kick and then Samo goes for a run but Barnes grubbers badly and loses possession in dangerous part of the field. Now they get rumbling; then slow down. Not much go-forward from the Boks before M. Steyn misses a drop goal.

The Wallabies out on the field to a healthy mix of cheers and boos.

Robbie Deans saying “we’re looking to play some rugby” and “turn the scoreboard over”, after declaring himself happy with the preparation in the lead-in. Is that code for running rugby or corporate speak for the obvious? As for the All Blacks’ enviable superiority when consigning the Wallabies to zero two weeks ago in Auckland (the game of their lives, Quade Cooper said), well, they looked loose and negligent in Wellington earlier tonight, defeating Argentina 21-5.

Welcome to the live blog of the Wallabies v Springboks Test.

Preamble: Who’d be a coach? Variously Robbie Deans has been accused of being an All Blacks stalking horse, a divisive figure prone to playing favourites or, more benignly, a poor cultural fit for the Wallabies. His side have been depicted as lacking heart, obsessed with Gen Y self-branding, fickle under pressure and, more benignly, unfit and unskilled. The more measured critics simply reckon Deans’s time is up, and the death knell could toll as soon as tonight at Paterson’s Stadium if the Wallabies lose.

Springboks coach Heyneke Meyer isn’t short of critics, either, with predecessors Jake White and Nick Mallett both weighing in with helpful analyses such as his team are rudderless, predictable and mono-dimensional. Meyer has responded by brining in uncapped No8 Duane Vermeulen, lock Juandre Kruger and halfback Ruan Pienaar. In fact, he’s picked two halfbacks, with Francois Hougaard moving to the wing. Pienaar is expected to counter Will Genia’s sniping from the scrum base.

So the stakes are high. Nominally this match is a home fixture for the Wallabies but they have found relative anonymity in Perth during AFL finals season, and there are plenty of expat Boks fans expected to cheer the away team. The Wallabies could have used the support.

Head to head: Played 74: Australia 32, South Africa 41, Drawn 1Last match: Australia 11-9 South Africa at Westpac Stadium, Wellington (October 9, 2011)

Australia record at Paterson’s Stadium/Subiaco Oval: Played 11, won 7, lost 3, drawn 1South Africa record at Paterson’s Stadium/Subiaco Oval: Played 6, won 3, lost 2, drawn 1Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)TAB南京夜网.au: Australia $1.70 South Africa $2.15

Australia: 15 Kurtley Beale, 14 Dominic Shipperley, 13 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 12 Berrick Barnes, 11 Digby Ioane, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Will Genia (c), 8 Radike Samo, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Dave Dennis, 5 Nathan Sharpe, 4 Sitaleki Timani, 3 Ben Alexander, 2 Tatafu Polota Nau, 1 Benn RobinsonReplacements: 16 Saia Fainga’a, 17 James Slipper, 18 Scott Higginbotham, 19 Liam Gill, 20 Nick Phipps, 21 Mike Harris, 22 Anthony Fainga’a

South Africa: 15 Zane Kirchner, 14 Bryan Habana, 13 Jean de Villiers (c), 12 Frans Steyn, 11 Francois Hougaard 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Willem Alberts, 6 Marcell Coetzee, 5 Juandre Kruger, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Adriaan Strauss, 1 Beast Mtawarira. Replacements: 16 Tiaan Liebenberg, 17 Pat Cilliers, 18 Flip van der Merwe, 19 Francois Louw, 20 Johan Goosen, 21 Pat Lambie, 22 Lwazi Mvovo.

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The green revolution

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An artist’s impression of garden-friendly Carleton Estate. An artist’s impression of Carleton Estates, Summer Hill.
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An artist’s impression of Panorama, Pacific Highway, Crows Nest.

19/64 Sir Thomas Mitchell Road, Bondi Beach.

Once upon a time, people moved into apartments to escape the gardening. Now, many are finding they can buy an apartment or townhouse, yet still satisfy their green-thumb itch with gardens included in their complexes.

For some, it’s an informal arrangement, with residents setting up committees to help keep the lawns and garden beds around their buildings in top shape. But for an increasing number, it’s now more about communal gardens being planted explicitly for residents to grow fruit, vegetables and herbs.

And in what’s believed to be a first for Sydney, one new off-the-plan apartment development in Summer Hill, Carleton Estate, is selling individual garden plots also off the plan (see the cover property feature).

”We believe this has happened in Melbourne before, but not here,” says the director of Sydney residential property at Colliers International, Ian Bennett. ”The reasoning behind it is that obviously some people would like to have their own little garden, while others mightn’t have either the time or the inclination.”

It’s a reworking of a postwar British idea that led to blocks of council flats springing up with residents allocated their own allotments to grow vegetables and fruit.

The head of landscape architecture at HASSELL, Angus Bruce, has been designing several complexes, including Victoria Park’s 206-apartment East Village, where developer Payce is cultivating 6500 square metres of greenery.

”It will have a whole series of raised planters for an orchard … and below those will be space for growing vegetables and herbs,” Bruce says. ”We’re finding a lot of families and young couples in the city still want to be able to potter and dig some dirt and plant seeds so kids can watch their carrots grow.”

He’s drawn up provisional plans for communal gardens at Mirvac’s Harold Park development, too. ”And, in seven weeks, we’ll be able to announce the biggest rooftop farm in the southern hemisphere on top of a residential development, but we can’t make that public yet,” he says.

Meanwhile, there are also plans for communal gardens on top of the new 139-apartment Harbour Mill in Pyrmont, while at the 209-unit Panorama in Crows Nest there will also be space on the roof for residents to grow herbs and vegetables and reap the benefits of their labour on an honesty system.

”People can garden with 360-degree views,” CBRE’s Tim Rees says. ”It’s certainly proved an added attraction to buyers.”

It’s a system that’s already working well elsewhere. At Redfern’s Signature Apartments, Robert Goodall says residents are enjoying a great crop of tomatoes, courgettes and basil. ”It’s been pretty good … It’s a sharing thing,” he says.

Bruce sees it all as part of the urban-regeneration movement. ”People want the facilities of living in a city, but they still want usable green space,” he says. ”It’s collective urban farming.”

Cover property

How green will your garden grow? At Carleton Estate in Summer Hill, there’s plenty of potential, with 29 garden plots being sold off the plan. The development has a range of 78 apartments set on 12,000 square metres – of which 8800 square metres of parkland is being retained as landscaped gardens.

Sixty of the existing trees will be retained and 39 more will be planted.

”It’s a pretty unique offering,” says a director at Colliers International, Ian Bennett. ”A normal development of this size would have 500 or 600 apartments covering 75 per cent of the land space but the developer here decided to go the other way, with only 25 per cent used for apartments … He’s gone open space and larger apartments to make it a premium offering.”

The boutique project, developed by Nascon and Saade Construction with architectural firm Kennedy Associates, involves restoring the suburb’s largest mansion, which was constructed in the early 1880s. Two heritage buildings – the mansion and the stables – will be converted to apartments, while two four-level blocks will also be built.

For sale off the plan will be 24 one-bed or one-plus-study apartments (45-81 square metres internal) from $489,000; 48 two-bed or two-plus-studies (78-124 square metres) from $660,000; and six three-bedroom or three-plus-study (118-131 square metres) apartments from $860,000.

Prices for the garden plots, 20 of which will be 12.25 square metres and nine of which will be three square metres, are yet to be set.

”We’re expecting this to be an extremely popular offering,” Bennett says. ”There’s nothing else like it, and the light rail from Lilyfield to Dulwich Hill will connect it by the end of the year, with hopefully an extension to the city to come later.”Plant the seed

Should your apartment building start a garden?

Find out first how many residents would be interested in maintaining a garden.

Work out an equitable system for dividing the spoils.

Put money aside for a consultant to advise or to engage a gardener if resident enthusiasm for the work drops away.

Review your bylaws to make sure they’ll help.

Try to anticipate any problems in future; for example, if a resident decides to keep chickens in the garden space.New arrivals love life in the great outdoors

Larissa Gallagher, a newcomer to Australia, decided she simply wanted to enjoy communal gardens when she was looking for a home for herself and her family.

“In the UK, we had a back garden that led out to playing fields beyond,” she says. “So we knew we wanted plenty of outdoor space here as well, so we’d be able to enjoy the kind of Australian lifestyle we’d always imagined.”

After researching lots of neighbourhoods, the 41-year-old e-commerce specialist and her 35-year-old husband, Ian, who works in the pharmaceutical industry, settled on a townhouse in Sydney’s inner west – the master-planned Cape Cabarita community, which is set among landscaped parks and gardens.

As a result, their four-year-old son, Toby, and 17-month-old daughter, Anya, have adapted quickly to life in a new land, spending every spare minute playing outside.

“It’s worked out really well,” Gallagher says. “The gardens here are beautiful and, even better, they’re kept really well by the gardener, so you don’t have to look after them yourself.

“And if you’re going to come to the other side of the world, you want to live in a beautiful landscape. It’s also nice that you can be playing on the grass and you meet other families who are doing the same thing, so you end up having a network of friends very quickly.”

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