Category Archives: 老域名出售

Series of heatwaves drive up Sydney’s thirst for water

WEATHER: Claudia White (4 yrs) plays in the water area of the recently opened Ian Potter Children??????s Wild Play Garden in Centennial Park, Sydney, where the design emphasis is on kids interacting with the natural enviroment, on 2 January 2018. Photo: Jessica HromasA record summer in Sydney and a series of early-season heatwaves helped make 2017 the city’s thirstiest year since 2004, Sydney Water said.
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The results come as the city braces for another burst of heat this week, with the mercury set to climb to 37 degrees on Sunday. The searing temperatures will be even worse in the west, with Bureau of Meteorology forecasting 41 and 45 degrees in Penrith for Saturday and Sunday, respectively.

Sydney’s summer of 2016-17 was almost 3 degrees above average for mean temperatures, breaking a high mark set in 1990. This summer also got off to a warm start, with December expected to be among its four warmest in records going back to 1858.

Across the year, average daily water demand for Sydney was 1.587 billion litres, or 14 per cent higher than the 10-year average, Sydney Water said.

In December alone, average daily water use crept 1.9 per cent higher than the same month a year earlier to 1.744 billion litres. That demand was almost 50 per cent more than the long-run average for December.

Along with exceptionally hot weather pushing up water demand last January and February, the city also endured a lengthy dry spell from July to September, Robert Ius, Sydney Water’s Hydraulics Operation Manager, said.

The city’s rain gauge registered just 0.2 millimetres in September, the lowest for that month and the second lowest for any month in Sydney’s history.

Average dam levels are running at just under 82 per cent. The city’s biggest dam, Warragamba, is at 83.3 per cent full as of Tuesday, down from 92.1 per cent a year ago, according to WaterNSW.

Sydney’s demand for water would be much higher – and dam levels much lower – given its swelling population if not for reduced per capita use over the decades.

“The current average daily water use per person per day is running at 315 litres,” Mr Ius said. “This personal use per day figure is the same as it was in the 1940s.”

Total water use by Sydney’s 4.8 million residents and businesses was about 588 billion litres for the year to June 30, 2017, or about the same as in 2003-04. The population had risen about one-fifth since then, he said.

With another hot spell on the way, Sydney was urging residents to make appropriate use of water.

“It’s important to keep well-hydrated during the hot weather,” Peter Hadfield, Sydney Water spokesman, said.

“However, water is a valuable resource and we need to make sure that we don’t waste it.”

While residents may be keen to water gardens during the heatwave, doing so in the mornings or evenings would help reduce evaporation, he said.

Residents could also avoid unnecessary water use by adding a 7.5-centimetre layer of organic mulch to help keep soils moist.

Similarly, sweeping or raking driveways and paths rather than using a hose would save on water and water bills, Sydney Water said.

The city’s water use has remained relatively stable since drought restrictions were lifted and replaced by Water Wise Rules in June 2009.

Water-saving measures have included greater use of water-efficient appliances and dual-flush toilets, and increased use of water from alternative sources such as rainwater tanks or recycled water, Sydney Water said.

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Double trouble: Brumbies twins to add backyard battle spice to selection

Brumbies forwards coach Laurie Fisher measures up against twins Richie and Rory Arnold. Photo: Sitthixay DitthavongIf the Arnold backyard battles are any indication, the ACT Brumbies second-rowers better prepare to spill blood in 2018.
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Brothers Rory and Richie Arnold will renew a 27-year rivalry when the 208 centimetre identical twins team up for the first time in six years when they compete for the same spot at the ACT Brumbies.

The good news is their mum and dad won’t have to play favourites after Richie joined Rory in Canberra after the demise of the Western Force.

The bad news, for the other Brumbies locks at least, is that they have no intention of showing brotherly love at training and will draw on years of backyard cricket bust ups for extra motivation.

“I would always get him out with electric wicket-keeper, but he’d never walk. There’s been some good [fights], that’s for sure,”Richie said with a grin before Rory jumps in.

“Everything always started off pretty friendly. But it didn’t take long before we were steaming in to bowl bouncers at each other,” Rory said.

“Not long after that there were the punch-ons for whatever reasons. It was pretty brutal. But it was just what brothers did and we were back out there playing again the next day.

“We didn’t think we would be here together, and thinking about how far we’ve come. I can’t wait until the New Year for when I can get out there and do some training with him.”

The Arnolds have walked very different paths since they were plucked from the pub by a club rugby team in Murwillumbah in 2010 to start their Super Rugby journeys.

Rory was recruited to the Brumbies and made his Wallabies debut two years ago, but injury delayed Richie’s rise before playing his first game for the Force this year.

The n rugby axing debacle opened the door for them to team up in Canberra, creating the confusing nightmare for commentators, fans and even Brumbies coaches.

When Brumbies coaches thought they saw Rory, who is recovering from a thigh injury, run out for full-contact training they had to intervene to make sure he had been cleared by medical staff.

“But it was Richie. He got a haircut a couple of days before that and they thought I was out there when I wasn’t supposed to be,” Rory said.

Rory reckons the brothers are easy to tell apart because, “I’ve packed more scrums than him, so he looks taller. That’s what the boys are saying anyway.”

But when Richie was in Fiji earlier this year for a National Rugby Championship game and the locals thought he was Rory, he went along with it.

“They all said: ‘You’re Rory Arnold, Wallabies player’. I just smiled and went along with it and got some photos,” Richie said.

Richie’s arrival at the Brumbies has added spice to an already intense battle for lock spots in the starting side for next year.

Rory and Brumbies skipper Sam Carter were the regular starters this year, while back-up Blake Enever made his Wallabies debut on the end of year spring tour of Europe.

Add Richie and young gun Darcy Swain to the mix and all of a sudden new Brumbies coach Dan McKellar has a second-row selection headache.

Rory is expected to return to full training duties in January after having surgery to repair his injured thigh, which was first diagnosed as a knee injury and prematurely ended his Wallabies season.

Richie has already thrown himself into Brumbies preparations and is hoping to make a name for himself, admitting he never thought it was possible he and his twin brother would be professional athletes.

“I was a bit of a mess when I finished school, I think I was 208 centimetres and 135 kilograms,” Richie said.

“Seeing Rory go well and how fast he climbed the ranks definitely fuelled the fire. I’m excited to be in Canberra, we’ve got some good depth at lock so I think that’s only going to be a good thing.

“Back when we were in the pub, I thought Rory was talking trash when he said he was going to play rugby when the guys asked him to.

“A few weeks later we went down to training and now here we are. It’s pretty crazy.”

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Model of seaplane that killed five Britons in Sydney’s north ‘reliable’: investigator

The model of seaplane that crashed and killed six people on New Year’s Eve is generally reliable, according to a transport safety official leading the investigation.
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But investigators do not know if the plane had the stall warning system recommended by Canadian authorities after the same model crashed and killed another British family in 2015.

The Sydney Seaplanes aircraft plunged into Jerusalem Bay north of Sydney, killing British chief executive Richard Cousins, 58, his sons Edward, 23, and William, 25, his fiance Emma Bowden, 48, her daughter Heather, 11, and pilot Gareth Morgan, 44.

The plane remains largely intact beneath 13 metres of water.

ATSB Executive Director of Transport Safety, Nat Nagy speaks on Tuesday afternoon. Photo: AAP

“The aircraft took off in a north-easterly direction, followed by a turn to the north-east, then a subsequent right hand turn prior to impact,” Nat Nagy, an executive director of the n Transport Safety Bureau, said.

The 1964 aircraft then sank and settled on the bottom of the river in an “inverted, slightly nosedown altitude”, Mr Nagy continued. He could not confirm that the plane nose-dived before hitting the water.

Authorities hoped to have recovered the plane by the end of the week. They may attempt to float it to the surface with internal airbags, pull it up with a crane, or both.

Three investigators from the ATSB are working to piece together the plane’s brief, final flight, looking at factors from pilot history to maintenance to components.

In 2015, a plane of the same kind, a DHC-2 Beaver, crashed in Quebec, Canada, killing six on board. The Canadian Transport Safety Bureau recommended in September that all such planes be fitted with mandatory stall warning systems.

Mr Nagy said he did not know if the Sydney Seaplanes aircraft had this system but “we haven’t seen any systemic issues with this aircraft”.

Asked whether the model was reliable, he said “an aircraft that’s been used this long in this many operations, I would say yes”.

The safety bureau is appealing for witnesses to come forward, especially those who have video footage of the flight.

Investigators will try to recover any footage taken on the flight from mobile phones or body-cameras, before finishing a preliminary report within a month.

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80 new shops: stage four of $412m Stockland Green Hills development set to open in March 2018

80 new shops to open at Stockland Green Hills in March An artists impression of how the new centre will look.
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Stockland stage three opening. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

Stockland stage three opening. Picture: Sage Swinton

Stockland stage three opening. Picture: Sage Swinton

Stockland stage three opening. Picture: Sage Swinton

Stockland stage three opening. Picture: Sage Swinton

Stockland stage three opening. Picture: Sage Swinton

Stockland stage three opening. Picture: Sage Swinton

Stockland stage three opening. Picture: Sage Swinton

Stockland stage three opening. Picture: Sage Swinton

Stockland stage three opening. Picture: Sage Swinton

Stockland stage three opening. Picture: Sage Swinton

Stockland stage three opening. Picture: Sage Swinton

Stockland stage three opening. Picture: Sage Swinton

Stockland stage three opening. Picture: Sage Swinton

Stockland stage three opening. Picture: Sage Swinton

Stockland stage three opening. Picture: Sage Swinton

Stockland stage three opening. Picture: Sage Swinton

Stockland stage three opening. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

Stockland stage three opening. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

Stockland Group Executive and CEO of Commercial Property John Schroder. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

Target CEO Guy Russo. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

Target CEO Guy Russo. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

Target CEO Guy Russo. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

Maitland mayor Loretta Baker. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

Stockland stage three opening. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

Maitland MP Jenny Aitchison. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

Target CEO Guy Russo. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

Stockland Group Executive and CEO of Commercial Property John Schroder. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

Stockland Group Executive and CEO of Commercial Property John Schroder. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

Stockland Group Executive and CEO of Commercial Property John Schroder. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

Stockland stage three opening. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

Stockland stage three opening. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

Stockland stage three opening. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

Stockland stage three opening. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

Stockland stage three opening. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

Stockland stage three opening. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

Stockland stage three opening. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

Maitland mayor Loretta Baker. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

Target CEO Guy Russo. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

Target CEO Guy Russo. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

Target CEO Guy Russo. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

Green Hills stage two opening. People line up outside Price Attack. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Green Hills stage two opening. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Green Hills stage two opening. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Green Hills stage two opening. Maitland mayor Peter Blackmore making a hand print in the ceremonial last pour of concrete, while Tim Beattie watches on. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Green Hills stage two opening. Tim Beattie, Harry Young and mayor Peter Blackmore watching the ceremonial pouring of the last bit of concrete. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Green Hills stage two opening. A hand print from Maitland mayor Peter Blackmore in the ceremonial last pour of concrete. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Green Hills stage two opening. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Green Hills stage two opening. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Green Hills stage two opening. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Green Hills stage two opening. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Green Hills stage two opening. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Green Hills stage two opening. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Green Hills stage two opening. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Green Hills stage two opening. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Ariel view of Stockland Green Hills. Picture: supplied

An artists impression of how the new centre will look.

An artists impression of how the new centre will look.

An artists impression of how the new centre will look.

An artists impression of how the new centre will look.

An artists impression of how the new centre will look.

An artists impression of how the new centre will look.

Stockland Green Hills in its former days

Jeff Wall from Multiplex and Tim Beattie from Stockland at the construction zone for the next stage of work. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

Jeff Wall from Multiplex and Tim Beattie from Stockland at the construction zone for the next stage of work. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

Jeff Wall from Multiplex and Tim Beattie from Stockland at the construction zone for the next stage of work. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

An aerial view progress shot. Picture: supplied

Stockland Green Hills stage one opening. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

Stockland Green Hills stage one opening. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

Stockland Green Hills stage one opening. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

Stockland Green Hills stage one opening. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

Stockland Green Hills stage one opening. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

Stockland Green Hills stage one opening. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

Stockland Green Hills stage one opening. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

Stockland Green Hills stage one opening. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

Stockland Green Hills stage one opening. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

Construction of Stockland Green Hills. Picture: Marina Neil

NSW Resources and Energy Minister Anthony Roberts and Maitland Mayor Peter Blackmore at the construction of Stockland Green Hills. Picture: Marina Neil

Stockland Green Hills centre manager Chris Travers, Maitland Mayor Peter Blackmore, Stockland development manager Daniel Brabant, Stockland Group Executive and CEO Commercial Property John Schroder, New South Wales Minister for Industry, Resources and Energy The Hon. Anthony Roberts MP, and NSW & ACT Brookfield Multiplex regional managing director David Ghannoum at the construction of Stockland Green Hills. Picture: Marina Neil

Stockland Group executive and CEO of Commercial Property John Schroder, NSW Resources and Energy Minister Anthony Roberts, and Stockland Green Hills centre manager Chris Travers at the construction of Stockland Green Hills. Picture: Marina Neil

Peter Blackmore, Jenny Aitchison, John Shroder and Joel Fitzgibbon turning the sod.

New traffic lights were installed

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Ellen Page weds girlfriend Emma Portner

Ellen Page and Emma Portner, left, arrive at the world premiere of “Flatliners” in Los Angeles. Photo: APEllen Page has tied the knot with her partner, choreographer and professional dancer, Emma Portner in a secret ceremony.
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“Can’t believe I get to call this extraordinary woman my wife,” the Juno actress wrote in an Instagram post on Thursday that featured photos of their wedding bands, as well as an intimate moment between them.

Portner also announced the surprise marriage on her Instagram page, writing, “@ellenpage I LOVE YOU.”

The Inception star reportedly reached out to Portner last year on Instagram after seeing one of her dances on the social media platform. They have been together since July.

The pair, who are both from Canada, has remained largely private about their relationship since making their first appearance together at the premiere of Page’s movie, Flatliners, last September, although they have featured each other on their respective Instagram accounts.

Other celebrities and organisations have been quick to congratulate the couple on social media.

“MAZELTOV, Girls!” wrote activist and actress Lucy Lawless on Twitter.

American LGBT rights organisation GLAAD also replied to Page’s announcement with a series of celebratory emojis.

Page came out as gay in an emotional speech in 2014, stating her desire to “to push back”, “to be authentic”, and to inspire others grappling with their sexuality.

In 2017, she joined the wave of actresses exposing instances of sexual misconduct with a damning post against Hollywood director Brett Ratner, who she said outed her during the filming of X Men: The Last Stand.

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Major fire at Thomas Foods International, Murray Bridge, SA

Fire rips through Thomas Foods International Photo: Peri Strathearn.
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Photo: Peri Strathearn.

Photo: Peri Strathearn.

Photo: Peri Strathearn.

Photo: Peri Strathearn.

Photo: Peri Strathearn.

Photo: Peri Strathearn.

Photo: Peri Strathearn.

Photo: Peri Strathearn.

Photo: Peri Strathearn.

Photo: Peri Strathearn.

Photo: Nathan Koenig.

Photo: Katelin Kneebone.

Photo: Peri Strathearn.

Photo: Bea Kynaston.

Photo: Daniel Marsh.

Photo: Katelin Kneebone.

Photo: Amy Marston

Photo: Chloe Watson

Photo: Peri Strathearn.

Photo: Jeffery O’Connell.

Photo: Jeffery O’Connell.

Photo: Simon Douglass.

Photo: Simon Douglass.

Photo: Simon Douglass.

Photo: Sophie Louise.

Photo: Daniel Marsh.

Photo: Chloe Watson.

Photo: Michelle Dabinett.

Photo: Jimmy Marston.

Photo: Jimmy Marston.

Photo: Jimmy Marston.

Photo: Michelle Dabinett.

Photo: Michelle Dabinett.

Photo: Jimmy Marston.

Photo: Jasmine Hogg.

Photo: Jasmine Hogg.

Photo: Jasmine Hogg.

Photo: Hailey Fiebig.

Photo: Hailey Fiebig.

Photo: Jason Mcglew.

Photo: Jason Mcglew.

Photo: Jason Mcglew.

Photo: Kaitlyn Grabowski.

Photo: Mark Bolton.

Photo: Amy Marston.

Photo: Amy Marston.

Photo: Jasmine Hogg.

TweetFacebookFire rips through Thomas Foods Internationalhttps://nnimgt-a.akamaihd苏州夜场招聘/transform/v1/crop/frm/38rLF2HYptBvXzqD7DTy6bq/0b3bf42c-70bd-4736-a408-982511d2808e.JPG/r2_131_4926_2913_w1200_h678_fmax.jpgWorkers were evacuated safely but damage is expected to run into the millions at South ‘s giant meatworks.Thomas, Foods, international, Murray Bridge, fire, meat works, South 2018-01-04T06:55:00+11:00https://players.brightcove苏州夜场招聘/3879528182001/default_default/index.html?videoId=5701030930001https://players.brightcove苏州夜场招聘/3879528182001/default_default/index.html?videoId=5701030930001The company issued a statement just after 10pm, saying the cause of the fire and extent of the damage were yet to be determined.

“While this is being assessed, the company is making alternative processing arrangements to meet our customer requirements,” it said.

The Murray Bridge abattoir is TFI’s largest, but it has smaller facilities at Lobethal; Tamworth, New South Wales; and Wallangarra, Queensland.

The local facility’s production lines will be closed for Thursday at least, and only senior managers and office staff will be required on site; the company will contact other employees in the morning.

SA Police advised that the fire had been contained to the one building, but that extensive damage had been caused.

Investigators will visit the premises in the morning.

The Metropolitan Fire Service (MFS) advised that the threat to public safety from the fire had passed by 10.30pm, but police suggested keeping doors and windows closed to shut out any smoke.

At least 80 MFS and Country Fire Service firefighters from 25 units are estimated to have been involved in the fight.

They were still monitoring the scene at 10.30pm, and SA Police said they would remain throughout the night.

Lagoon and Nilpena Roads also remained closed.

Nathan Koenig captured this footage of the fire burning at Thomas Foods International, January 3, 2018 Post by Nathan Koenig captured this footage of the fire burning at Thomas Foods International, January 3, 2018 .

Help us tell this [email protected]苏州夜总会招聘.au or messageThe Standard’s Facebook page.Fire rips through Thomas Foods Internationalhttps://nnimgt-a.akamaihd苏州夜场招聘/transform/v1/crop/frm/38rLF2HYptBvXzqD7DTy6bq/0b3bf42c-70bd-4736-a408-982511d2808e.JPG/r2_131_4926_2913_w1200_h678_fmax.jpgWorkers were evacuated safely but damage is expected to run into the millions at South ‘s giant meatworks.Thomas, Foods, international, Murray Bridge, fire, meat works, South 2018-01-04T06:55:00+11:00https://players.brightcove苏州夜场招聘/3879528182001/default_default/index.html?videoId=5701008389001https://players.brightcove苏州夜场招聘/3879528182001/default_default/index.html?videoId=5701008389001Video: Daniel MarshEarlierFirefighters are tackling a significant blaze at Thomas Foods International, Murray Bridge.

Smoke and flames are pouring out of the largest building at the meat works, and dozens of MFS and CFS officers are combating them as police ward off a growing crowd of onlookers.

The fire reached a fifth alarm, which an MFS spokeswoman said indicated it was “quite significant”.

The MFS issued a warning message for residents of Northern Heights and surrounding suburbs, advising that smoke is drifting across the area –as almost anyone in that area would have noticed.

Fire rips through Thomas Foods Internationalhttps://nnimgt-a.akamaihd苏州夜场招聘/transform/v1/crop/frm/38rLF2HYptBvXzqD7DTy6bq/0b3bf42c-70bd-4736-a408-982511d2808e.JPG/r2_131_4926_2913_w1200_h678_fmax.jpgWorkers were evacuated safely but damage is expected to run into the millions at South ‘s giant meatworks.Thomas, Foods, international, Murray Bridge, fire, meat works, South 2018-01-04T06:55:00+11:00https://players.brightcove苏州夜场招聘/3879528182001/default_default/index.html?videoId=5701008353001https://players.brightcove苏州夜场招聘/3879528182001/default_default/index.html?videoId=5701008353001Video: Trent Buddle read more »

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Diane Kruger: Ending her relationship with Joshua Jackson was ‘liberating’

After ending their decade-long relationship in 2016, Diane Kruger and Joshua Jackson released a brief statement on their separation and future as friends. Now more than a year later, Kruger shared some candid details in an interview with Vulture Magazine.
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Discussing how grief led the German-actor to her bravest performance yet, the 41-year-old revealed that the demise of their relationship “was a long time coming,” and occurred after she the passing of her grandmother, the first immediate family member she’d ever lost.

Actress Diane Kruger attends the premiere of “In the Fade” at the Museum of Modern Art on Monday, Dec. 4, 2017, in New York. Photo: Evan Agostini

“We broke up many months before we said we were broken up, so by the time I made that decision it didn’t feel like it was so urgent anymore,” the star said after revealing seeing both friend grandfather and mother grieving were “difficult blows.”

“You don’t break up overnight in 10 years, you know what I mean?”

For Kruger, the experience was sad and inevitable rather than anxiety-inducing. In fact the process in the end felt somewhat liberating.

“I wasn’t like an urgent, ‘Oh my god, I can’t sleep at night’, thing. Actually, it felt liberating,” she said.

“I didn’t have to worry about that anymore, so I could immerse myself 100 per cent into something else. I felt like I did nothing else but that. Nobody came to visit me, I didn’t have to worry about anything else but this,” referring to her latest project In The Fade.

The German-language film follows the story of a woman whose Turkish husband and son are killed in a neo-Nazi terrorist attack, one that Kruger spent her days intensely researching and immersing herself in the story. She won best actress for the role at the Cannes Film festival last May.

During all the grief and the process of filming, Kruger said, “I felt like I was drowning.”

But asked if a support system was missed during the filming she replied, “I didn’t want one. It’s a distraction.”

Jackson publicly congratulated Kruger on Instagram after her Cannes win. The Dawson’s Creek alumni wrote, “having witnessed the integrity and dedication that you bring every job, I’m over the moon to see you getting the recognition you deserve. Only question is what took em’ so long.”

Kruger is now dating The Walking Dead’s Norman Reedus, with the couple going public with their romance last March.

“Coming out of it was a long process that mostly involved my family because we were healing and grieving the loss of my stepdad together,” she said about wrapping up filming, also revealing she could not pick up another script for five months. “And I was lucky to have my friends and my partner there to just be present and walk that walk with me to the light.”

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Leadership, tax cuts top business leaders’ wish lists for 2018

Qantas chairman Leigh Clifford at an Institute of Company Directors lunch in Melbourne today. Picture by Wayne Taylor 14th November 2017. AFR. AFR. Pic of Lindsay Maxsted chairman of Transurban at the Infrastructure Partnership Conference held at the Four Seasons in Sydney. Pic by Nic Walker. Date 18th october 2013.
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An end to squabbling in Canberra, and corporate tax cuts to ensure stays an attractive investment destination, are business leaders’ top issues for 2018.

But corporate heads who gathered at the Victorian seaside town Sorrento on Wednesday for KPMG’s annual Couta Boats Classic acknowledged that the corporate community needed to win the public’s support if politicians are to back business-friendly legislation.

After taking out line honours on the boat Bella, Macquarie director Patricia Cross told Fairfax Media the biggest issue globally was how to stabilise 2017’s growth and “make hay” while the sun shone on the economy.

At home, she hoped for an end to political partisanship, and corporate tax cuts to keep pace with the United States, after President Donald Trump late last month secured support to slash the rate there from 35 per cent to 21 per cent.

is lowering its rate from 30 per cent to 25 per cent for small businesses, but Malcolm Turnbull’s government has not been able pass cuts for companies with more than $50 million in turnover.

“The wider the gaps gets between a country like and the US… the less attractive is in terms of investment,” Ms Cross said.

“You want companies to invest here, you want them to pay tax here, you want them to employ people and create opportunities.”

Ms Cross said business had “a lot of work” to do closing the disconnect between corporate and mainstream in order to win support for such measures.

“When the economy’s good the disconnect narrows, and that’s the time you do really need to get serious about what your longer term agenda is,” she said.

Westpac chairman Lindsay Maxsted agreed, saying politicians were reluctant to support business-friendly policies when negative public sentiment was being stoked by issues that have lead to the banking royal commission.

“Our objective as big business ought to be to get across to the community, who then will influence the politicians, and then to go to the issues we want addressed,” Mr Maxsted said.

Qantas chairman Leigh Clifford said the community expected a more mature political debate in Canberra, and “rather than one-line grabs, comprehensive statements from both sides of politics about what their policies are and how they’re going to impact on growth and jobs.”

The former Rio Tinto CEO said he was sick of hearing the business community called “the big end of town”.

“Most ns, through their super funds, own the big end of town. They’re the ones that employ a lot of people and pay a lot of taxes.”

Deutsche Bank vice chairman, former ABC director, and chair of the federal government’s $10 billion green energy agency Steven Skala said he expected a positive year for business, “as long as nothing existential occurs that causes the market to collapse”.

Former Post CEO and now non-executive chairman of packaging group, Pro Pac, Ahmed Fahour, said the national debate had been captured by important but short-term issues, such as the tax rates and energy security, at the expense of long-term issues like building infrastructure to support an export economy.

“When in the last 12 months was national conversation about how we participate in the Asian Century?” Mr Fahour asked.

Peter Yates, deputy chairman of the Myer Family Company, decried Canberra’s inability to “make decisions for the benefit of the entire community, as opposed to making decisions for some small part of the community that has excess power”.

KPMG chairman Alison Kitchen said 2018 would be defined by the digitisation of business, an unstable geopolitical environment, consumers that are both empowered and under pressure from stagnant wage growth, and higher utility prices.

“They’ve got to do more with less,” she said. “So they will shop around more, and so they are more sensitive to different pricing – they’ll try online models, they’ll try different models.”

“If you go to the energy customers and look at their churn rates, they’ve probably all ticked up quite significantly.”No #yachtbanter this year

JB Hi-FI CEO Richard Murray, who was the subject of social media ridicule after last year’s race, with netizens using the hashtag “Yacht Banter” to criticise the apparent tone-deafness of high-paid executives calling for cuts to Sunday penalty rates while boat racing, declined to comment after he “had so much fun last year”.

Fellow retail CEO Richard Umbers, of the under-siege department store Myer, took part in the race but also decline to talk to journalists.

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Miners in the fast lane on electric vehicle surge

In car factories and showrooms, and on highways and streets around the world, a quiet revolution is gathering speed.
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In ever-growing numbers, motorists in the world’s biggest auto markets are getting behind the wheels of electric vehicles.

Experts from UBS believe that worldwide sales of electric vehicles in 2017 will be about 1 million for the first time. And they predict that in 2025, a massive 16.5 million electric vehicles will be sold – equal to almost one in every six new cars sold.

But in this country the take-up has not been as fast as some countries. Electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla opened the doors of its first n showroom in 2014, simultaneously offering n motorists performance and a stylish way to avoid petrol bowsers. All of course, if you could afford the hefty price tag.

A few short years on and there are about 1100 Tesla pure electric vehicles registered in , according to a recent report from the federal Department of the Environment and Energy. These Teslas are among 4000 electric and plug-in hybrids registered across , according to the Department.

It’s only a tiny fraction of ‘s overall vehicle fleet, but it’s part of the wave of change sweeping across the globe.

But if you’re searching for evidence in of the rise of electric vehicles, there’s a much better place to look than on our highways, freeways and city streets. A good place to start, in this country at least, is the sharemarket.

There are a vast number of ASX-listed companies involved in lithium, a key ingredient in the manufacture of electric vehicle batteries.

And lithium companies have been among the best performed stocks on the sharemarket this year, with stocks in Orocobre and Galaxy Resources more than double their price of just a few months ago.

Both companies have market capitalisations of more than $1.4 billion and are producing the stuff and selling it, while experts say that some others in this space are at the beginning of what could be a very, very long road to developing a productive asset, if they get there.

So how will the rise of electric vehicles affect the commodity landscape? And is it too late for interested investors to get on board, and invest in n companies mining commodities used in EV batteries?

Glencore, which describes itself as one of the world’s largest diversified natural resources companies, gave a snapshot of the “disruptive force” that electric vehicles will be in a recent presentation to investors.

The company commissioned CRU to conduct research into what 30 million sales of EVs by 2030 would mean for metal demand “across the supply chain, from generation and grid infrastructure through to storage, charging and vehicles”.

The report found that the metal required to support 30 million EV sales in 2030 was about 4.1 million tonnes of copper (equal to 18 per cent of 2016 supply), about 1.1 million tonnes of nickel (or 56 per cent of 2016 supply) and 314,000 tonnes of cobalt (about 314 per cent of 2016 supply).

“As early as 2020, forecast EV related metal demand is becoming material, requiring an additional circa 390,000 tonnes of copper, circa 85,000 tonnes of nickel and 24,000 tonnes of cobalt,” Glencore’s investor presentation said.

“Transportation/mobility will be transformed – driven by environmental pressures, political mandates, consumer experience and technological progress,” it said.

“The energy and mobility transformation currently underway is forecast to unlock material new sources of demand for enabling underlying commodities including copper, nickel and cobalt.

“These commodities offer compelling fundamentals when coupled with persistent supply challenges,” it said. !function(e,t,s,i){var n=”InfogramEmbeds”,o=e.getElementsByTagName(“script”),d=o[0],r=/^http:/.test(e.location)?”http:”:”https:”;if(/^\/{2}/.test(i)&&(i=r+i),window[n]&&window[n].initialized)window[n].process&&window[n].process();else if(!e.getElementById(s)){var a=e.createElement(“script”);a.async=1,a.id=s,a.src=i,d.parentNode.insertBefore(a,d)}}(document,0,”infogram-async”,”https://e.infogram苏州夜总会招聘/js/dist/embed-loader-min.js”);

While Glencore is already a significant producer of copper, nickel and cobalt, there are plenty of other miners, of varying sizes, hoping to get in to the driver’s seat of the electric vehicle express.

“There are now, I think, over 300 listed lithium plays across and North America. It’s over 100 in ,” said Lachlan Shaw, global commodity strategist with UBS.

“Now of that the number of producing businesses, that is businesses that are producing lithium today and making cash, would be probably less than 10. And then, of the next cohort, that are businesses with a project that has been appropriately explored, defined, put through a feasibility study and is shovel ready, (there) may be half-a-dozen,” he said.

Which means there are many others with a fair way to go.

Lithium stocks have already been a hit with investors for some time, but a number became jet propelled in 2017.

Pilbara Minerals, for instance, closed at 50 cents on January 3, the first trading day of 2017, and was as low as 32 cents in April. On the last day of trading in 2017, it closed at $1.115, and is now a $1.83 billion company.

Kidman Resources, which has one of the biggest lithium projects in the world at Mount Holland in Western , closed at 60 cents on the first day of trading in 2017, and was as low as 35 cents in April. In the months since its stock price has boomed, and it closed on the last trading day in 2017 at $1.88. It now has a $658 million market capitalisation.

Kidman’s managing director, Martin Donohue, told the International Mining and Resources Conference held in Melbourne recently that Chinese companies had been busy striking deals with lithium companies to secure lithium supply.

“It’s very hard to find a lithium developer or producer that hasn’t signed some kind of an off-take with the Chinese converters, or even further upstream,” he said.

“What’s that meant, in some ways it’s almost like an arm’s race as we get into this electric vehicle market,” he said.

As Chinese companies chase lithium supplies, and n investors chase lithium stocks, how much room, if any, is left for the stock prices of companies in lithium and other electric vehicle commodities to climb higher?

Asked if it’s too late for n investors to get into the electric vehicle theme, Mr Shaw pondered the question carefully, then responded: “Yes, and no.”

He added: “In many ways, some of the easy money on punting hopefuls, that may have been done. But I think the real money, in terms of actually investing in businesses that have assets in production, and that have options to grow production either at their existing asset, or with new assets, I think there are still good options out there.”

While investors “need to do their homework”, shrewd ones would be able to find opportunities, he said.

“When I sit back and I look at the potential growth in electric vehicle penetration globally, on a 5-10 year view, and I look at what that means for the materials required to make the batteries that will be needed, that there’s a huge opportunity in lithium markets. And I think for me right now, the best way to play that is to be investing in businesses that have current production today, that are making cash, but businesses which have options to grow in the future.

“Because then you’re talking about a real business that is running well today, positioned well today with the opportunity to grow and be part of this emergence on a five to 10 year view. And I think that’s when the opportunity gets a lot more tangible, and the risk becomes a lot more reasonable and the potential for an ongoing sustainable business that has growth and good cash flow and returns to owners, that sort of prospect emerges,” he said.

Among the lithium stocks UBS likes Galaxy and Orocobre.

“Both those businesses have assets that are producing today, that are making positive cash flows. Both of those businesses have growth options ahead of them.

“There’s a degree of risk there, to be sure, but it’s a lot less risky in my view, than a much earlier stage proposition. Those businesses have pathways ahead of them,” he said.

Another way for investors to tackle the EV theme is to consider other commodities involved in EV batteries, he said.

“Also important in today’s batteries is graphite, and we like Syrah Resources. They have an enormous resource project in Mozambique, they have just commenced shipping first production, it’s very low cost, they have huge optionality at that project.

“It’s possible for Syrah to meet the world’s expanding graphite demand by just adding extra production to their Balama project. And so they have a great market position,” he said.

Among other companies UBS likes in the EV thematic includes the nickel and cobalt producer Independence Group.

Adrian Prendergast, senior resources analyst at Morgans, believes the EV theme will continue to be a “hot area of investment” for n investors in 2018.

“Certainly, the space has had an extremely good run, speaking generally. For those people who are only just seeking to enter this space now, you’d have to be much more selective. Whereas in 2017 you really could just play a basket of exposures in this space and really enjoy that real big mark-up in equity value re-ratings we’ve had.

“I think 2018 will be more a story of carefully going through this space and picking out which of those stories actually have the potential to be commercialised, and really, there’ll be a limited number, versus the large list of aspirants trying to enter the space,” he said.

The reporter owns shares in Syrah Resources.

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2018: the year getting a mortgage will become harder

National housing prices are officially in decline. There are a couple of issues those in the market for a house and those with a mortgage should be looking at in 2018.
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The first is, what is the increasing difficulty buyers will have in securing a loan for residential property? The other is, will there be growing pressure to pay down the mortgage while interest rates are still low?

There will undoubtedly be ramifications for the broader economy if too much household income is being funnelled into reducing debt and taken away from general spending.

The punt for 2018 will be predicting how far house prices will fall.

Based on the expectations of most economists, mortgage holders have between nine and 18 months of the current record low interest rates before the Reserve Bank will begin the process of moving them up towards more long-term historical norms.

Spurred by the growth in house prices, household debt held by ns has more than doubled in the past 12 years. A recent report from the n Bureau of Statistics said almost 30 per cent of households fell into the class of “over-indebted”.

Numerous analysts have described the levels of mortgage stress as significant in various pockets across the country, particularly in mining communities in Western and Queensland.

The financial regulator, the n Prudential Regulation Authority, has already moved to curb the growth in investor loans and interest-only loans – thus pushing bank lenders to give more favourable interest rates to owner-occupier and interest and principal borrowers.

Therefore, 2018 should see more of a focus on measures to ensure over-extended households pay down loans.

It was the move by regulators that put a cap on the growth rates in property. APRA engaged in the first of its macro-prudential moves in 2015, but the impact was offset when the RBA twice dropped interest rates.

Last year’s second attempt by APRA was far more successful at putting the brakes on house price gains and (over the past month) putting them into reverse.

Corelogic’s Tim Lawless takes the view that in 2018 “we are likely to see lower to negative growth rates across previously strong markets, more cautious buyers and ongoing regulator vigilance of credit standards and investor activity”.

This time around, the Reserve Bank is not likely to repeat previous mistakes and lower interest rates.

The declines in national housing prices should now be sustained.

Figures released in late December by the Reserve Bank showed housing credit grew by only 0.4 per cent in November – the slowest in 20 months. This took the annual rate of housing credit growth to 6.4 per cent. Not surprisingly, growth in investor loans slowed proportionately more than loans to owner-occupiers.

Lawless points out that when the cycle moves down from peak to trough, so does the level of transactions. This will put pressure on credit growth.

Already, we have seen a fall in clearance rates as seller expectations have not adjusted to what is now a fall in prices.

Meanwhile, and not surprisingly, Sydney has been the main culprit in pushing down the national value of the residential property market. Its prices were the hottest among the capital cities and had the largest portion of investors.

It has taken a few months but Melbourne has now joined its northern neighbour. Thus, the new game for pundits is guessing how far and how fast house prices will fall.

On the more conservative side some economists predict Sydney house prices will fall by about 5 per cent in 2018 (they have already dropped by more than 2 per cent over the past three months).

At the other end of the spectrum there are those anticipating it could fall by more than 10 per cent – an outcome which could represent a bursting of the property bubble rather than a managed deflation.

The most important factor in maintaining a gradual easing in prices will be continued low unemployment.

The other swing factor will be what happens to interest rates. Despite some projections from economists that the RBA will move rates up mid to late 2018, the central bank will be keeping a very close eye on the housing market and will be loathed to become accountable for any precipitous fall in house prices.

Low wages growth and inflation and very weak consumer spending will provide it with the conditions to retain interest rates at 1.5 per cent.

Interest rates are more likely to go nowhere this year.

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