Monthly archives: April 2019

A hunger for coastal property is returning

Artist’s impression of the Alfresco Collection at Shell Cove. Artist’s impression of The Alfresco Collection at Shell Cove.

A view of Catherine Hill Bay.

The sellout of a south coast residential development is the latest indication that Sydneysiders’ hunger for coastal property is returning.

All 13 residences in the first stage of the Alfresco Collection at Shell Cove were sold at their release on Saturday. Prices for the three- and four-bedroom residences ranged from $550,000 to $670,000.

The coastal market started to lift last year after spending the post-global financial crisis years in the doldrums. Developers of masterplanned coastal communities have noted the renewed interest.

Nigel Edgar, NSW residential division general manager at Australand, developers of the Shell Cove site, said: ”This is a fantastic result and a real testament to the overall lifestyle on offer.”

The Alfresco Collection is part of a beachside community planned around a new 300-berth boat harbour 18 kilometres south of Wollongong. The homes are due for completion next April.

Even last year’s bushfires failed to dampen interest in a residential development at Catherine Hill Bay, two hours north of Sydney. The first two stages of a planned 550-lot development have sold out. A third stage is due to be released in August, with four more to follow.

Forty per cent of buyers are from Sydney, mostly the north shore and the Hills District. The others hale from Newcastle, Lake Macquarie and the central coast.

”Buyers are getting a brand new beachfront house,” says Bryan Rose, managing director of Rose Group. ”They’ll work from home and spend two days a week commuting to work.”

Others plan to retain a city bolt-hole and share their time between the city and beach.  Land prices start at $265,000 and from $800,000 for waterfront lots. Houses range from $250,000 to architecturally designed residences costing millions.

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French say they have done their homework on Wallabies rookie Will Skelton

There is no chance of Wallabies rookie Will Skelton slipping under the radar of the French in the third Test of the series in Sydney on Saturday afternoon because of his lack of international experience.

The 140-kilogram and 203-centimetre second-rower has been in France’s sights for some time, according to French coach Philippe Saint-Andre at the Thursday announcement of his team to play the Wallabies at Allianz Stadium.

Saint-Andre said he had watched Skelton play Super Rugby for the Waratahs.

“I saw him. I was very impressed because he looked like a giant,” Saint-Andre said of Skelton, whose selection was one of two changes to the Wallabies starting side that beat France 6-0 on Saturday – Wycliff Palu’s return from an ankle injury to No.8 being the other.

“We know he is strong, powerful and he will bring much more power in the pack with the No.8 [Palu].

“We need to be focused to play, to play a good game and find some solution. They have more power, but I think he [Skelton] will lift [in the lineouts] rather than jump because he is very, very heavy.

“To be honest, we know this player because we watch Super [Rugby], but we are more focused about our players and our team and our game plan and our organisation than about the Australian team.”

Saint-Andre has made two changes to the French side that played last week in Melbourne.

In the back row, Fulgence Ouedraogo returns to the side for his ball-carrying ability at No.7, meaning captain Thierry Dusautoir will shift to No.6 and Yannick Nyanga drops to the bench.

In the backs, Hugo Bonneval, who played full-back in the first Test, which France lost 50-23, has been picked on the wing for his speed and finishing prowess. He replaces Maxime Medard.

While France have lost the series, there is still the lure of claiming their first win against the Wallabies in Australia since 1990.

A win would also be the best way to celebrate Dusautoir’s record 43rd captaincy, superseding the reign of retired Fabien Pelous.

But it is a tall order, with the French tired and facing a side Saint-Andre admires for its speed and athleticism.

Saint Andre conceded his selection of six back-rowers in his 23 reflected a concern for Australia’s mobility at the breakdown, saying when asked: “Yeah … a little bit, a little bit.”

But he said it was also to cover for the greater time the ball is in play in a Test against sides conditioned by the speed of Super Rugby.

“It’s always like this …  first Test is a big shock for our players because game time in the Top 14 is around 25 to 26 minutes, and in internationals it is 38 to 40 minutes,” he said.

“It is a big, big gap or big difference. Our Top 14 is very physical, very strong, but it is not as quick as an international game.

“And when we play against Australia, you know they like a tempo game, they like a quick game.”

France: 15. B Dulin, 14. Y Huget, 13 M Bastareaud, 12. W Fofana, 11. H Bonneval, 10. R Tales, 9. M Parra, 8. D Chouly, 7. F Ouedraogo, 6. T Dusautoir (c), 5. Y Maestri, 4. A Flanquart, 3. R Slimani, 2. G Guirado, 1. A Menini, Res: 16. C Tolofua, 17. V Debaty, 18. N Mas, 19. B Le Roux, 20. L Picamoles, 21. Y Nyanga, 22. M Machenaud, 23. R Lamerat.

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ANZ’s ‘GAYTMs’ wins honours at Cannes advertising awards

Penny Tration (centre) and friends pose in front of ‘GAYTMS’ at the ANZ bank in Oxford Street in Darlinghurst. Photo: JENNY EVANS GAYTMs

Ten bedazzled ATMs that were part of ANZ’s sponsorship of Sydney’s Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras took out one of the top honours at the annual Cannes Lions Festival advertising awards.

The bank’s GAYTM campaign won a Grand Prix award in the Outdoor category at a ceremony held in France overnight.

“We’re very pleased that this flagship campaign celebrating diversity, inclusion and respect has been recognised at such a prestigious event, particularly considering the global brands that were also shortlisted,” ANZ managing director of marketing Matt Boss said.

Bedazzling ordinary ANZ ATMs with rhinestones, sequins, studs, leather and fur during the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, Whybin \ TBWA Group’s colourful work received awards in both the “Promo and Activation” and “Outdoor” categories.

Outdoor Grand Prix award jury president Jose Miguel Sokoloff said that the ANZ GAYTMs campaign was so popular that even a juror from a competing agency voted for it.

Australia received a total of five Lions in the “Promo and Activation” category with one gold, two silvers and two bronze prizes.

All bar one of the agencies involved were from Melbourne.

Grey Agency Melbourne won a Gold Lion for “Ungiven Gifts” campaign and a Bronze Lion for “Wipe off 5”. Both pieces were part of work done for the state’s Transport Accident Commission.

“Ungiven Gifts” aimed to remind Victorian drivers to drive safely during the Christmas period with the message that a lot of gifts would not be given those who lost their lives on Victorian roads.

An installation was created and displayed at the State Library in Melbourne with all gifts sprayed a ghostly white to highlight the sense of loss.

Photos and messages from the installation were shared online. This, combined with coverage through traditional media, helped expose 3.5 million people to the campaign. At the end of December 2013, Victoria had its lowest road toll in 90 years.

Other Australian agencies to receive Lions in the “Promo and Activation” category were Clemenger BBDO Melbourne and George Patterson Y&R Brisbane, which both won silver. and Whybin \ TBWA Group Melbourne with a bronze.

The festival of creativity runs from 15 to 21 June, includes 12 000 people from 94 countries and this year will see workshops and seminars conducted by business people and celebrities such as Bono, Twitter CEO Richard Costolo and Jonathan Ive from Apple.

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Dan Stains takes walk down memory lane

Legend: Arthur Beetson leads the Roosters to the 1974 premiership. Photo: John O’GreadyFormer Queensland forward Dan Stains, his feet freshly blistered from trekking the 800-kilometre El Camino de Santiago pilgrimage through France and Spain, took time out from one of the most enriching experiences of his life to remember the man who gave State of Origin its soul – big-hearted Artie Beetson.

Stains, who represented the Maroons in 1989 and 1990, walked along goat tracks over mountains and trudged through ancient villages to complete his pilgrimage, which ended at  the Cathedral Santiago de Compostela, where the remains of Saint James were believed to have been buried after he was martyred in AD44.

As the former Cronulla and Balmain prop recuperated on a beach in Italy he recalled the impact the footballer from Roma in the Queensland outback had on his life. He described Beetson as a man who worked miracles on the footy field and who lifted people by simply being himself.

“Arthur was such a generous man,” Stains said.

“He didn’t worship money. He didn’t worship goods. He respected all people. He could walk with the wealthy and he could walk with the commoner.”

Stains said he idolised Beetson when “Big Artie” starred for the Eastern Suburbs Roosters in the 1970s, and he wasn’t too proud to admit that he cried the day his hero left the red, white and blues for Parramatta.

However, all was forgiven when Stains watched Beetson, then aged 35 and carrying a spare tyre around his waist, spearhead the Maroons to a shock victory over NSW at the inaugural Origin match at Lang Park, in 1980.

“I’d just turned 16, it was 1980 and the first-ever game of Origin,” Stains said. “I can remember very clearly how back then Queensland would get pumped in every [interstate] series.

“What added to our pain was we were being beaten by our own players – blokes from Queensland were picked for NSW because they played in Sydney. In those days just to get close to the Blues was considered a Queensland triumph.

“As a boy Arthur Beetson was my hero and to be lucky enough to be in the crowd as the players were introduced one by one for the Origin match was an amazing experience. When the ground announcer read the number and name of Arthur Beetson, the roar of the crowd was deafening – and I added to it, screaming my lungs out.

“It was at that moment I felt so proud to be a Queenslander and I truly believed we could win. And win we did, through Arthur leading the way.”

The pair shared a common goal nine years later when Stains was selected to pack down for the Queenslanders.

Stains remembers how Beetson, the coach then, knew when to rescue him from an attack by a squadron of nerves as he sat in the dressing room before kick-off.

“I was fortunate to be selected for my Origin debut in game one of 1989 when Arthur had returned to coach the side,” he said. “The whole week was such an amazing experience for me.

“To be rubbing shoulders and sitting on the bus with some of the then modern-day greats of the game was surreal. However, for me to be sitting at the same table and eating with Arthur Beetson was another thing altogether … humbling. I pinched myself every day we were in camp.

“That all paled into insignificance when I was preparing myself for my first game. It was an hour before kick-off at Lang Park and I was going through my usual pre-match rituals. The nerves had really kicked in and the dreaded ‘doubt monster’ was taking over my thinking.

“It was at that point Arthur casually walked over, he gave me a hug and then handed me a note that he’d personally written for me. After reading it … realising the belief he had in me … those nerves and all the self doubt evaporated and a complete feeling of peace and calmness enveloped me.”

While Stains can now add “pilgrim” to his list of life achievements, he won’t go as far to say the late, great Arthur was a saint. However, he remembers Beetson as a special soul who never allowed for his legend as a giant of Australian sport to cast a shadow over those who sought to shake his hand or request an autograph.

“He was a great person, very genuine, and after all those years since that game back in ’89 the memory of what Arthur did [for me] has lived with me,” he said. “And I know that moment and the State of Origin memory will live with me forever.”

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Wallabies tackle defence with renewed vigour for Test series against France

Wallabies defence coach Nick Scrivener likes to keep things simple.

In the modern, numbers-driven game, where GPS trackers and analysts heap upon coaches mounds upon mounds of data, Scrivener takes a pared-back approach.

“I was once told that the best defence tactic is to pick blokes who want to tackle,” he said. “We’ve been working hard on having a good appetite for it, being physical. We want guys who show commitment and aggression and work rate week to week.”

It has been a work in progress for the Wallabies, who conceded an average of 3.14 tries per game during the Rugby Championship and Bledisloe Cup series. After last weekend’s much-criticised grinding 6-0 win, which was the third time Australia held a Test rival tryless under Ewen McKenzie, the Wallabies have their average down to 1.3 tries per game across the spring tour and the first two Tests against France.

McKenzie has targeted defence as a priority this year, meaning it is now Scrivener’s time to shine. Not that the former Edinburgh and ARU national academy coach sat at the back and watched while the All Blacks tore through Australia’s defence to score six tries in the first Bledisloe Cup match last year.

“I had a fair bit to say after a couple of those games in the Championship,” he said.

“We put ourselves in the position a lot of the time of trying to play too much, and we were ill-disciplined at times, there were a lot of turnovers against New Zealand and South Africa that put our defence under enormous stress. We got the balance better as we moved forward and we saw it start to come to the fore on the spring tour.”

Going on Scrivener’s broad-based selection mantra – have arms, love to tackle – this weekend’s third Test against France could be Rob Horne’s opportunity to stake a claim for ongoing selection. Horne has emerged from a few injury-plagued seasons in the form of his life for the Waratahs and will start on the bench at his home ground on Saturday.

He hasn’t played in a gold jersey since the Wallabies’ second Test against the British and Irish Lions last year but was named in McKenzie’s squad to play France and replaced an injured Pat McCabe on the bench this week. “Missing out on the initial [Rugby Championship] squad was message enough [from McKenzie], I went away and worked extremely hard,” Horne said. “I’m not feeling vulnerable in my body anymore … I feel like I can contribute throughout the whole game and I feel a lot better for it. This is the best I’ve felt, no doubt. The past two seasons I’ve really enjoyed my footy and that’s contributed to getting my fitness levels up and playing the way I want to play.”

With the series sewn up, the Wallabies are resisting the temptation to look ahead to the Bledisloe Cup, but Scrivener conceded it was good preparation. “[France] are good at set piece as well as all the bells and whistles, the offloads. They muscled up last week on us in attack and defence and that’s what you’re going to get against any team you play,” he said. “The All Blacks like to offload, South Africa have developed their game … It’s been a good test for us in terms of the style of game, to experience a game that was reasonably loose to a game we had to win in a different way. That’s going to stand you in good stead.”

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