Monthly Archives:November 2018

FALLING property prices, ironically, are proving to be a boon for vendors in Melbourne’s inner north and east, as buyers are lured back into the auction market in the hope of scoring a bargain.

While 40 per cent of properties are still being passed in city-wide, home owners in Collingwood, Fitzroy North, Hawthorn, Carlton, Armadale and Abbotsford still stand a 75 to 80 per cent chance of making a sale.

Defying perceptions of a stagnant market, a dozen suburbs have posted boom-level clearance rates, thanks to eager buyers snapping up properties after prices fell by up to 16 per cent in the past 12 months.

Industry insiders say buyer demand is rising as the property slump has improved affordability in popular gentrified or blue-chip pockets.

”We’re finding the northern suburbs are performing better and more consistently than other areas of Melbourne, and I think it’s mainly to do with price point,” said Hocking Stuart director Rob Elsom. ”We are getting a lot of family homes listed for sale that are in a price bracket that are still affordable to people.”

The latest trend follows a decade of soaring price growth that quickly put many of these areas out of reach of middle-class and aspirational buyers.

Median house prices have fallen by between $40,000 and $74,000 in Carlton ($587,000), Fitzroy North ($800,000) and Collingwood ($666,000) in the year to June, according to the Fairfax-owned Australian Property Monitors.

In the east, Armadale no longer belongs to the ”million-dollar suburb club”, after shedding $170,000 from its median price, now $930,000.

But rather than spooking buyers, the price falls are fuelling competition to the point where more than three in four home owners in these areas make a sale on auction day, according to the Real Estate Institute of Victoria.

Sarah and Mark Adams, who are putting their Collingwood townhouse under the hammer in fortnight, are ”pretty confident” they will find a buyer. ”It’s only been open for inspection twice and already somebody wants to come back to see it again,” Ms Adams said. ”There’s a lot of apartments in Collingwood, so our place is fairly unique.”

BIS Shrapnel analyst Angie Zigomanis said a falling market could inspire prospective buyers, especially those looking to upgrade suburbs. ”Seeing prices fall in an area where a buyer wants to live but couldn’t afford to before, can prove attractive enough for them to choose to upgrade, even though their own home might conceivably be worth less than a year ago.” But the data also shows that a steep fall in prices does not guarantee that buyers will once again flock to an area.

While Toorak’s median house price dropped by 26 per cent, the clearance rate has averaged just 56 per cent. In Maribyrnong, only 38 per cent of properties have sold under the hammer, despite prices falling by 11 per cent.

The REIV has also noted that clearance rate figures are being affected by the unusually low number of properties up for auction, 19 per cent below the 2011 level. ”In a market where volumes are low, the places where auctions work shrink to the historical auction territory of Melbourne, which is the inner city and east,” said REIV spokesman Robert Larocca.

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Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s parents John and Moira in 2010.JOHN Gillard moved his young family halfway around the world in 1966 so his younger daughter, Julia, could enjoy a warmer climate and have some respite from the chronic chest infections that plagued her as a child in Wales.

Only in his wildest dreams could he have imagined that his little girl would grow up to become prime minister.

Mr Gillard, 83, whom the Prime Minister described as her ”inspiration”, died in Adelaide yesterday morning after a long illness. ”I will miss him for the rest of my life,” she said in a statement from Russia, where she was attending the APEC leaders summit.

”He taught me that nothing comes without hard work and demonstrated to me what hard work meant as a shift worker with two jobs.

”He taught me to be passionate about fairness. He taught me to believe in Labor and in trade unionism. But, above all, he taught me to love learning and to understand its power to change lives. He always regretted his family background meant he had not proceeded on to higher education as a young man. He was determined that I had the opportunities he was denied.”

Her father, born into a poor Welsh family, echoed those sentiments in an interview in 2010: ”Because I had been deprived of a proper education, I made a firm affirmation, and Moira [his wife] agreed, that if our children had the academic potential we could bring it to fruition, and we made sure that happened.”

Ms Gillard has often referred to her parents and spoken of their sacrifices.

In return, Mr and Mrs Gillard were vocal supporters of their daughter, often speaking out in her defence and praising her achievements.

During the cliff-hanger 2010 federal election, Mr Gillard said watching his daughter throughout the campaign had been one of the proudest moments of his life.

”I’m proud of my daughter all the time,” he said. ”The English language doesn’t contain enough words – awesome, great, fantastic, tremendous, it is all of those multiplied by 10.”

Acting Prime Minister Wayne Swan said: ”Anyone who saw Julia and her dad together recognised a very special, very close and very treasured father-daughter relationship.”

The Opposition Leader Tony Abbott offered his ”sincere condolences” to Ms Gillard.

Ms Gillard yesterday left Vladivostok for Adelaide to join her mother, Moira, and sister, Alison.

Trade Minister Craig Emerson appeared in her stead at the APEC summit.Father and daughter

John on speculation about the 2010 election date:”I wouldn’t push Julia to divulge something like that. Being a loquacious Welshman, if I’m told I’m likely to blab.”

John on Julia’s decision not to have children:”Women are not breeding machines, you know. Women are unique people in their own right. If they want to marry and have children, that’s lovely. If they want to remain single and build a professional life, that’s wonderful.”

John on Julia’s relationship with Tim:”[Marriage] is a decision that two adult people that have a loving relationship will make. I think they can make intelligent decisions without asking their father.”

John on the kind of prime minister Julia would be:”The best there is … so long as she doesn’t turn into Maggie Thatcher.”

John on Julia’s formative years:”She was steeped in political discourse around the table … When Gough came on TV, the shout would come out, ‘Quick, Gough’s on!'”

John on Julia’s motivation:”Undoubtedly she got her love of politics from me.”

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The tipping point

November 10th, 2018 / / categories: 苏州美甲学校 /

Designer Natasha Fagg at RMIT student runway. Full beam: Designer Bernadette Francis (left) and Ashlea Chong at the MSFW RMIT student runway.

Sideways: SimonaRoeder (left) andHelena Witte,wearing Roeder?swork, at the MSFWRMIT student runway.

How are you feeling, in oneword?’Oh!’ like, ‘Ohh!’Designer Lois Hazel (above left)with Monique Hallowes, in oneof Hazel’s designs, before theMSFW RMIT student runway.

Cake pops and sweet pea at the Brown Brothers Spring Soiree.

A little tipple: Cameron Sherryand Kristin Cavicchiolo at theBrown Brothers minis launch.

When was the last time you weresurprised?’I’m surprised every dayby people, in a good way.’Nick Brown (above) and his cousinKatherine Brown at the Brown Brothersspring soiree.

Aurelio Costarella and Rebecca Judd at the Flemington spring fashion lunch.

What?s brand new in your life? ‘Can I be superficial? This; my new Dion Lee suit!’ Suzy Wilson (left) and Nadia Coppolino atthe Flemington spring fashion lunch.

Lemon slice: Rhia Taranto(left) and Natalie Hunter at theFlemington spring fashion lunch.

Spring Hay fever: Oliver Hay, in DomBagnato, and Maddy Hamilton, in Ellery,at the Flemington spring fashion lunch.

ON THE verge, that must be the sweetest spot; the intake of breath before a kiss, the split second before ”yes”, that moment when everything is possible. On Thursday night, at the Melbourne Spring Fashion Week RMIT student runway, you could almost feel the tipping point as the top fourth-year fashion design students sent their work down the runway at the Melbourne Town Hall.

We were intrigued to learn what could happen next; where would you love to intern? ”Givenchy,” Natasha Fagg (pictured) said without hesitation. “The couture and what they produce just blows my mind.” If you could be at Givenchy tomorrow or on holiday which would you choose? ”Givenchy,” she nodded solemnly. ”No holiday.” Queensland model Olivia Thornton, who walked for Fagg, may find her holidays far away, too. Increasingly in demand, Thornton has, this year, appeared on international catwalks for Mary Katrantzou and Thierry Mugler.

Final year fashion design student Simona Roeder would put herself on a plane to intern for Jean Paul Gaultier. ”I think I love the fantasy within his collections,” she mused, ”the combination of masculinity with femininity. Fashion is always about telling a story.”

Lois Hazel, whose collection was inspired by the raw, organic effect created when structures are manipulated – disrupted – nominated Yiqing Yin. ”She’s incredible,” Hazel said. ”She’s very sculptural in what she does. It’s all about feeling how the fabric moves. The process determines what the outcome is.”A sparkling surprise

‘A springtime soiree’ was the perfect phrase for Brown Brothers’ celebrations. There was croquet and canapes, cake pops and sweet pea (pictured) and a surprise; the launch of Brown Brothers’ ”mini” range. Mini bottles made for spring straw-sipping, of Moscato, Cienna, Vintage Moscato Sparkling and Vintage Moscato Rosa Sparkling. So, at The Trust, in conversations punctuated by the thwack of a croquet mallet and licks of Ricketts Point ice-cream, we were eager to find out, when was the last time you were surprised.

”Today,” Nick Brown said. ”Someone let me in in traffic … in Melbourne!” His cousin, Katherine Brown, told a slightly longer tale. ”My sisters threw me an amazing surprise 30th party, in April,” she said. ”I had no idea. My boyfriend said it was his grandparents’ 60th engagement party and I said, ‘Whatever, as long as you drive, I have to do work in the car’. Then he tried to get me to put on a dress and I’m like, ‘Why would I put a dress on to drive to Milawa for three-and-a-half hours?”’ She blushed, “I started being really ratty in the car. But then we got there … I saw my two sisters walking towards me. I couldn’t talk; my voice went up an octave.” And then, just as you’d wish of any surprise, she said wistfully, ”I wish that it went for longer.”Get set spring racing

IT’S ON for real now; the spring racing carnival. Why now? Because the Flemington spring fashion lunch happened last week, in the Atrium high above the track, and it’s the event that breaks the seal. Like the just-popped cork in a bottle of champagne, or the first tray of glasses dropped at a party, once it happens, we’re on. So, at Flemington racecourse on Thursday, before taking our seat at the Emirates table, we wondered, what’s just starting in your life, what’s on?

”Holidays unfortunately,” Rebecca Judd (pictured with designer Aurelio Costarella) grimaced. Unfortunately? ”Yes, because Carlton didn’t make the finals. We’re four weeks ahead of schedule.” Unlike Judd, Costarella’s life, his career, is right on time … though it is still a secret. ”I’m working on a big deal in the US market” – that’s all he would share.

”I’m just starting birthday parties,” Sara Groen said. ”My little girl (Estelle) is about to turn one and I’m going to try my hand at a little star cake.”

Natalie Hunter was starry-eyed, too, despite her boyfriend’s protestations. ”Sons of Anarchy is my new TV show,” she said. “I’m addicted and I’m in love with Jax (Teller). My boyfriend said, ‘If I had a picture of a girl on the background of my phone … ‘ And I said, ‘Don’t even try it’.” Don’t even get her started.

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Storm within an ace of the big dance

November 10th, 2018 / / categories: 苏州美甲学校 /

One measure of Roger Federer’s sustained brilliance was that, during an incredible stretch, he reached 23 consecutive grand slam finals. In a similar vein, it is testimony to the Storm’s enduring excellence that, in two weeks, they will contest their sixth preliminary final in seven years.

Indeed, on the strength of a powerful 24-6 win during which they overwhelmed a Souths team replete with big names, Melbourne will not merely contest another grand final eliminator. Regardless of who they play, the Storm will start heavy favourites at their AAMI Park fortress – just as they had when ambushed by the Warriors last season.

The memory of that defeat will, no doubt, ensure any sense of complacency is banished from Melbourne’s collective subconscious. Just another motivational bullet in coach Craig Bellamy’s already well-loaded gun.

It has been difficult to tell in the past two seasons whether Melbourne’s trademark was excellence or bloody-minded defiance. Yesterday, there was a touch of both – a comprehensive victory produced despite the withdrawal of winger Anthony Quinn and forwards Jason Ryles and Sika Manu.

The lines through those names seemed to have tipped the balance in South Sydney’s favour. Instead, as a tribute to how the Storm’s system is almost as important as their personnel, Melbourne were left with the pleasant dilemma of adding those three to a team that had hardly missed a beat.

For the Rabbitohs, a finals campaign that presented the best opportunity in decades to break the now 41-year premiership drought hit a speed hump. Was it big-game nerves for a club that had not reached the play-offs since 2007? The excellence of vastly experienced opposition? The exposure of a Rabbitohs team that had the worst big-game record of the so-called Big Four?

Whatever the reason, coach Michael Maguire will have his work cut out restoring the confidence of his team before the cut-throat semi against Canberra or Cronulla – a task made no easier by the arm injury sustained by centre Matt King. At least the new finals system guarantees a home final.

But yesterday was, in every sense, a Melbourne sort of day. Bright sunshine replaced, just before the kick-off, by showers. But, more pertinently, it was a Melbourne day in the manner the home team produced its customary blend of disciplined defence, highly structured attack – peppered with sufficient individual brilliance to befuddle a bigger, more cumbersome, opponent. In the much anticipated battle of the fullbacks between Billy Slater and Greg Inglis, Slater scored the first points on his way to a resounding victory. Seven minutes in, Slater dodged and weaved the first 40 metres of a 90-metre burst by the Storm that led to Ryan Hoffman’s opening try. Although, given Hoffman had earlier been stunned by a heavy blow, the veteran forward might well have thought he was on a ride at Wet’N’Wild rather than sliding across the AAMI Park turf.

Slater’s next move was less stunning, but equally devastating. Seizing a pass from Hoffman, he rolled to the line – and not one centimetre further – with the video referee ruling momentum had taken him that far. More spring in Melbourne’s step, more air out of Souths’ tyres.

On the rare occasions Souths penetrated Melbourne’s defensive 20, they coughed up possession far too easily with misdirected chips or bombs that Slater easily defused. Only late in the first half did the Rabbitohs create any concerted pressure, and then winger Nathan Merritt’s fumble at the other end led, indirectly, to the Storm’s third try.

By half-time, it was hard to tell whether the 18-0 scoreline, or the crowd of 19,750 jubilantly performing the actions to YMCA, was the best indication of where the game was heading. Sisa Waqa kept the party going six minutes into the second half with the game-clinching try. Melbourne’s tireless defence did the rest, with Eddy Pettybourne’s late effort mere window dressing. Thus, with the inevitably of Federer in his pomp, the Storm had made the final four. All that is missing is the single-handed backhand, and the trophies in the cabinet.

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Unknown Raiders ready to star

November 10th, 2018 / / categories: 苏州美甲学校 /

Fresh-faced … one of the Raiders’ up-and-comers, Dimitri Pelo.It hit Don Furner at the Dally M Awards. ”I was sitting and looking across at the Bulldogs table,” the Canberra chief executive said. ”They’ve signed up two internationals during the year, they got an international in James Graham at the start of the year. They get another international next year in Tony Williams.

”As far as I can remember, the only international we’ve ever brought in was Mal Meninga.”

Canberra have been in the big league since 1982. Yet sitting at the Bulldogs table were more imported Test stars at the time of their recruitment than in the entire history of the Green Machine.

So, how did the Raiders get to this point? How does a team that had no major sponsor for the opening seven weeks of the competition make it to the big dance? How does a club with a coach supposedly on borrowed time storm home to book a home final? How do you attract marquee players when, according to one official, you have to pay them overs of about 20 per cent to come to the nation’s capital?

Perhaps the last question is the easiest to answer. They don’t.

Granted their skipper, David Shillington, was poached from the Roosters. But he was only a bench player at Bondi and didn’t go on to represent his state or country until making the shift, leaving Big Mal as their only superstar who was bought rather than made.

Almost every player in the current squad is a local junior or comes from the country. About seven years ago a decision was made to develop players rather than purchase them. The Canberra lifestyle is a much harder sell than the Sydney one, which is why they stopped trying.

”We’re the non-latte set,” Furner said. ”I don’t think you’ll find Shaun Fensom or Jarrod Croker having a latte or worrying about the latest fashions. Our guys aren’t in the social pages and it doesn’t worry them.”

However, it hasn’t stopped the Raiders from being in the headlines. Two months ago, David Furner was gone. The affable coach, according to those supposedly in the know, was warming the seat for good mate Ricky Stuart. There was instability in the ”spine”, they were having more success on the road than at home and the wooden spoon loomed large. The club’s most important forward, Brett White, and key playmaker, Terry Campese, were watching the mess unfold from the casualty ward.

”Put it this way,” said Don Furner, the brother of David. ”If we had to go back halfway through the year and renew memberships then, a lot of them would have come back cut up.”

The easy thing to do would be to cut up the coach’s contract. After all, it’s rare for a man in Furner’s position to pull through. Just ask Stephen Kearney, Brian McClennan or Brian Smith.

But the board persisted with Furner, who is contracted until the end of 2014, and they have their reward. There is now a possibility he may re-sign rather than resign.

Chairman John McIntyre, the NRL’s longest-serving official, said that decision would ultimately be left to the board. But when pressed on his own views, the 72-year-old said: ”I certainly would [re-sign Furner].

”No one is more dedicated to his cause and his job than David Furner. We’ve got a very strong youth policy and it would probably be appropriate to apply that to the coaching staff as well.”

Everyone is looking to pinpoint the moment it all turned around for the Green Machine. McIntyre’s theory is there was ”a change in attitude when the Ricky Stuart story went away”. Don Furner points to the stabilisation of the spine – Dugan returning to fullback, Josh McCrone and Sam Williams gelling in the halves, and Glenn Butriss and Travis Wardell settling into the hooking duties. But for John Waser, that turning point came last year.

Waser and premiership-winning former Knights coach Michael Hagan were brought in to undertake a comprehensive review of the club after a disastrous 14th-placed finish last year. Usually such reviews sound the death knell of the coach. However, this one looked at how they could save rather than skewer the man with the clipboard.

Every player was given an opportunity to vent in a confidential and anonymous manner. Concerns were raised – the absence of a full-time physiotherapist, the length of some of the game reviews, the need for more opposed sessions. Almost all of the key recommendations were acted upon. Significantly, not one of the players thought the problem was Furner.

Waser, who has worked at the Australian Institute of Sport and in an education capacity with the Raiders, believed the navel-gazing process has, belatedly, turned things around. ”Everyone was uncomfortable with where the club was,” he said.

”I think the turning point was when everybody, the board, CEO, the people who sell sponsorship packages, the players, started chipping away to make things better.”

Some sacrifices had to be made. Furner, who proudly wore the green and gold during his playing career, stepped down as Tim Sheens’s assistant with the Kangaroos when things went pear-shaped (although he has since rejoined the Australian coaching staff). His support staff was bolstered. Sam Patterson was appointed as a leadership coach from outside the club to give a fresh perspective and there are big raps on assistant coaches Andrew Dunemann and Justin Morgan.

Momentum is hard to gain but even harder to stop. The Raiders are the only team to have beaten competition leaders Canterbury and Melbourne during the regular season. While today’s clash against Cronulla is a sudden-death encounter, they are accustomed to pressure after winning their past five matches.

”They have actually got nearly the best form, when you look at for and against, of all the teams over the last month,” Hagan said. ”They are probably a chance of getting to week two or week three. They’re full of running. There’s normally a team that has a run of form at the end of the year. ”

Now the Raiders have to prove they deserve to be at the head of the table. Perhaps it’s appropriate Meninga will be sitting in the coaches’ box alongside Furner today.

Twitter – @proshenks

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