Australian accountant arrested in Bali has history of depression: lawyers

Australian accountant Isaac Emmanuel Roberts, who has been arrested in Bali on drug charges. December 2017.?? Picture: Amilia RosaJakarta: Australian accountant Isaac Emmanuel Roberts, who is being detained in Bali on drug importing allegations, has a history of depression and past trauma according to his legal team.
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Bali police claim Roberts, 35, from Queensland, admitted he bought the drugs in Bangkok paying 2500 bhat (about $100) per gram of methamphetamine and 600 bhat ($24) per ecstasy pill.

Roberts was arrested on December 4 after he was allegedly nabbed with five packets of clear crystal meth weighing 19.97 grams, which Indonesians refer to using the slang term shabu, and 14 ecstasy tablets at Bali’s international airport on December 4.

He faces charges of importing more than five grams of drugs under article 113, which carries a maximum punishment of death and a minimum of five years’ jail.

“He bought it for his personal use. (He admits) ???that he’s a user,” Joni Lay, third division narcotics chief with Bali police told Fairfax Media.

He said police did not know why Roberts had bought the drugs in Thailand and not Bali.

One of Roberts’ lawyers, Deni Sedana, told Fairfax Media that Roberts’ medical records from Australia indicated he was depressed, had suffered past trauma and had suicidal tendencies.

He said he had complained of shock after being dramatically paraded before the media wearing a balaclava and orange jumpsuit with two other alleged foreign drug felons, guarded by customs officers holding guns.

Sedana said Roberts attended a scheduled health check at a Bali hospital on Tuesday.

“He wasn’t rushed to the hospital, he didn’t faint,” Sedana said. “He was stressed. He complained??? of shortness of breath and said he can’t sleep. But it was just a check up.”

Sedana said Roberts did not need to be hospitalised after his check-up and was taken back to Denpasar police station.

He is being detained at the police station while his case is processed before being handed over to prosecutors. He is expected to soon to be transferred to Kerobokan prison.

Lay, the third division narcotics police chief, confirmed that Roberts had been returned to his police cell.

“During interrogation, he was cooperative, ???he didn’t complained of any illness, maybe just shock,” he told Fairfax Media. “There were no problems.”

Lay said he had been scheduled to have a hospital check-up yesterday and another was scheduled for next week.

In a heated outburst after he was escorted out of a media conference yesterday, Roberts said he had been set up and he was “just a f???.g addict”.

“They want to waste their resources on addicts. They want to punish addicts, this is ridiculous. What about the f???..g importers? I wasn’t going to sell it to anyone here, no one was going to use it here.”

Roberts said: “This is an embarrassment for the Indonesian police. They are parading small-time users in front of media for tiny amounts when there are kilos going through this airport. This is ridiculous.”

He claimed he was invited to Indonesia by someone who was working with the customs officer and “they knew I was going to bring something”.

In 2012, Roberts, who was then working for Pitcher Partners in Queensland, won the National Advanced Tax Dux Award.

A press release at the time said he had completed a Bachelor of Commerce at the University of Queensland before completing the chartered accountant (CA) program and a Master of Applied Tax at Atax, University of New South Wales.

Asked at the time how his professional life ended up in tax, Roberts said: “After ‘fluking’ a top-in-class award in income tax law at UQ while studying a finance major, and then a merit in the tax module of the CA program it seems I have a talent for it.”

Roberts also stood as a candidate for the Liberal Democrats in the Melbourne seat of Higgins in the 2009 by-election triggered by the resignation of former Treasurer Peter Costello.

“I recall Isaac Roberts name but not much else, other than that he was our candidate in a by-election,” Liberal Democratic Party Senator David Leyonhjelm told Fairfax Media.

“As a general comment, the Liberal Democrats are strongly in favour of decriminalising drugs (along the same lines as Portugal). However, we obviously don’t condone breaking the law.”

With Toby Crockford

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Christmas behind bars for alleged North Korean agent

A 59-year-old man who allegedly provided services to a “weapons of mass destruction program” on behalf of the rogue North Korean regime has appeared in court.
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Chan Han Choi was arrested at his Eastwood apartment at the weekend, and faces six charges related to brokering the sale of missiles, missile parts and expertise from North Korea to “other international entities” and attempting to transfer coal from North Korea to non-government buyers in Indonesia and Vietnam.

All offences allegedly relate to the period between August and December this year.

Mr Choi, from Eastwood, appeared in prison greens at Central Local Court on Wednesday via audio-visual link from Silverwater Correctional Centre.

The 59-year-old has been charged with two counts of contravening a sanction law, two counts of contravening a United Nations enforcement law and two counts of providing service for a weapons of mass destruction program.

It is the first time anyone has been charged under Australia’s Weapons of Mass Destruction (Prevention of Proliferation) Act 1995.

Federal police allege Mr Choi was acting to raise funds for the North Korean regime, which could have raised tens of millions of dollars for Pyongyang, if successful.

The attempted transactions related to the sale of coal, to third parties in Indonesia and Vietnam, and the sale of missile guidance systems and other missile componentry.

Outside court on Wednesday Mr Choi’s barrister Alex Radojev said he was on his way to meet Mr Choi for the first time.

“I don’t know how he’s going because I haven’t met him,” he said, adding that the charges “appear to be very serious”.

Mr Choi first came to the attention of the Australian Federal Police several months ago, following a tip-off by an overseas agency.

In response the AFP formed Operation Byahaut and began conducting surveillance.

Following Mr Choi’s arrest AFP Assistant Commissioner Neil Gaughan stressed that there had been no risk to the Australian public.

“This is black market 101,” he said. “We are alleging that all the activity occurred offshore, and was purely another attempt for this man to trade goods and services as a way to raise revenue for the government of North Korea.

“This was his goal.”

Mr Gaughan said the South Korean-born man had been acting “to serve some higher patriotic purpose” to the rogue state.

On Wednesday the AFP announced it would be investigating itself after a social media bungle, which saw a minute-long discussion about managing media surrounding Mr Choi’s arrest accidentally aired on the live-streaming app Periscope.

“The incident occurred when testing a piece of social media broadcasting equipment,” an AFP spokesman said.

“The matter has been referred to the AFP’s Security area for review. As such, no further comment will be made at this time.”

Mr Choi will remain behind bars over Christmas, to reappear in court via audio-visual link on February 28.

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Hunter suburb the hottest in Australia

Camels from Oakfield Ranch were in the Christmas spirit earlier this week on the Birubi Beach sand dunes. Pictures: Ellie-Marie WattsTemperatures soared past the 40 degree mark across the Hunter on Wednesday as a heatwave engulfed the northern part of the state.
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By midday,Maitland, Cessnock and Singleton had all hit 40degrees, while readings at Williamtown crept to 42.5.

Nobby’s Beach pushed to 39 degrees as Newcastle cityand the region sweltered in the dry heat.

At 3.26pm, Tocal was the hottest place in Australia with a 43.8 degree temperaturereading.

TheBureau of Meteorology (BOM) said aslow-moving high in the Tasman meant hot air was being drawn south towards the coastfrom central and northern parts of Australia.

A cold front that was expected to move through on Wednesday afternoon wasenabling the hottertemperatures to continue to move the whole way down the coast.

Read more: The Hunter’s best swimming spots

“We will have some showers in the wake of that cooler change and then that shouldstart to clear off later on this week,” BOM’s Gabrielle Woodhouse said.

“We are looking at the chance of showers or thunderstorms[on Saturday and Sunday] and it does look be an afternoon feature again.”

Overnight respite is expected with the cooler change and temperatures are only predicted to be in the mid-20s on Thursday.

Weekend peaks will return to the 30-degree range, but nightly temperatures should sit at around 19-20 degrees.

Total fire ban’s are in place across the Hunter, Greater Sydney and North Western regions as fire danger ratings increased throughout the week.

The Greater Hunter and North Western regions moved from ‘Very High’ danger warnings to ‘Severe’ on Wednesday morning.

Fires in Lovedale and Patersonwere deemed to be under control as of Wednesday afternoon.

Update:

As of mid-afternoon on Wednesday, NSW Ambulance paramedics had attended 23 cases ofdizziness, fainting and entrapment acrossNorthern NSW, which was the highest call out region in the state.

Severe thunderstorms have also been predicted to role through Illawarra, Sydney and Newcastle on Wednesday evening. They are likely to produce large hailstones, damaging winds and heavy rainfall that may lead to flash flooding.

NSW Severe T’Storm: Large Hail, Heavy Rain, Damaging Winds. Coffs Harbour, Port Macquarie, Taree, Newcastle, Gosford, Sydney, Wollongong. #storm#NSW#hailhttps://t.co/ljheuiv6T5pic.twitter南京夜网/JvpWJnKLXE

— Lake Macquarie (@lakemac) December 20, 2017

Electricity market in intensive care, but improvement coming

The National Electricity Market is in bad health and wholesale change is needed, but recovery is on the horizon.
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A new Energy Security Board report has found electricity prices have increased by around 80 to 90 per cent in real terms over the last decade, and ???bill shock’ is hitting both residential and business customers.

It called for widespread change in the energy market, supported by strong policy, to ensure the NEM can transition to a new energy future driven in part by increased renewables.

“The pattern of the transmission grid in the NEM must change,” the report said.

“The grid was designed in the last century to run from large coal-fired generators to the load in the cities. It must now be reconfigured so that it runs from renewable energy zones to the cities.”

The ESB outlined the National Energy Guarantee as one of the important developments in the sector but noted that it is not a panacea for all of the electricity sector’s woes.

“The National Energy Guarantee is not designed to solve all the reliability and system security issues in the NEM,” the ESB said.

“Modifications to existing tools may be needed, and new mechanisms may have to be introduced.”

Federal Energy and Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg said the NEM is facing the most challenging period in its history.

“The report finds the NEM faces numerous challenges as it goes through its greatest change since its development in the 1990s, including a tight supply-demand balance, a marked changed in the generation mix towards intermittent sources and rapid technological change,” Mr Frydenberg said.

“The ESB finds while there is much work to be done, the situation is improving as a result of measures put in place by the Turnbull Government, the COAG Energy Council and the energy market bodies.”

The ESB also broached the subject of ongoing carbon policy uncertainty, an issue raised earlier this week in the federal government’s climate change policy review.

The ESB put part of the blame squarely on successive federal governments’ inability to put decisive emissions policies in place.

“One reason for this unwelcome situation is a decade of uncertain policy about emissions reduction and what this means for the NEM in particular,” the report said.

“Despite international commitments to emissions reductions, no settled policy has been possible at the federal level.”

The NSW energy taskforce also released a report this week, urging the states to build their own clean energy targets.

“While further development of the National Energy Guarantee is proceeding for the COAG Energy Council, for the purposes of this report the Taskforce assumes that some form of market mechanism that addresses both dispatchability and emissions reduction will be agreed by the National Electricity Market jurisdictions,” the NSW report said.

“In any case, a mechanism will be needed and NSW should continue to advocate this nationally.”

The Grattan Institute’s Energy Director Tony Wood told Fairfax Media there was little surprising in the ESB’s report, but by setting out the major issues it puts them on the front foot to solve the ongoing energy crisis.

“Given that the ESB was a primary recommendation of the Finkel Review and one of its first tasks was to produce a Health of the NEM report, it’s hardly surprising it had this view as if it were healthy it wouldn’t need the ESB in the first place,” Mr Wood said.

“It sets out the challenges around the NEM; if the role of the NEM is to deliver affordable and reliable energy it, and now we’re imposing an emissions objective as well, it’s clearly not doing it,” he said.

“They’ve admitted the NEG need more work, although I think they’re a bit light in relation to the role of network regulations in impacting on all these issues.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Cemetery plan causes grave fears

Backlash: Wallsend MP Sonia Hornery has criticised a plan to introduce optional 25-year renewable interments for the state’s cemeteries. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers
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The families of people who die in NSW will soon be able to lease a grave site for 25 years, before the remains are dug up so the site can be used for another burial.

The state government says the optional 25-year term, which can be renewed for up to 99 years,will help free-up space at over-crowded cemeteries.

But critics of the plan argue that it could place more pressure on families during the already emotionally-testing periodof losing a loved one.

Opponents also say introducing a 25-year option could drive up the cost for families who want gravesites that remain in place forever.

Amendments to the Cemetery and Crematoria Act 2013 are open for public feedback on the Crown Lands website until Friday.

According to the new regulation, cemetery operators must disclose the relevant fees to the family of the deceased person, but it “must include a statement that the disclosed fees and charges are subject to change”.

Leesa Warren, who has about 40 family members buried at Sandgate Cemetery,fears the offer of 25-year plots would drive prices up and make perpetual graves unaffordable for many people. She was also concerned that the new regulation would create a situationlong into the futurewhere people could beblindsided byfees to keep a relative’s remains in the ground.

“It’s also going to put pressure on families as to who is going to be the person that the decision is put to,” Ms Warren said.

“It’s always emotional, because it’s your loved one.”

A Cemeteries and Crematoria NSW fact sheet about the change noted that the regulation “will not operate retrospectively – all existing graves and rights continue exactly as they were prior to the new legislation”.

“Perpetual interment rights will continue to be available and there will be no impact on existing perpetual graves or rights,” it noted.

Aspokesperson told Fairfax Media that a cemetery capacity report for the Hunter and Central Coast would be released in the first half of 2018.

The spokesperson said the renewable interment rights would be “entirely voluntary and will not impact on perpetual interment rights currently in place”.

“The introduction of a consistent regulatory framework for renewable interment is just one initiative proposed to address projected cemetery capacity shortages,” the spokesperson said.

Cemetery operators will have to contact the holder of the renewable interment right 12 months before it’s due to expire–every three months until the expiry date if they receive no reply.

Wallsend MP Sonia Hornery heavily criticised the new regulation.

“Your loved ones could only get 25 years in their grave before being dug up and stashed in a bone room under this new plan,” she said.

“We are potentially looking at a situation where families will be contacted years down the track by cemetery operators demanding additional payment or face having their loved ones dug up.

“This plan creates a situation where long-term burial would depend on someone’s capacity to pay.”

Is one of Sydney’s longest closing down sales really about to end?

It’s the retail equivalent of John Farnham’s “last ever” tour – the “closing down sale” for a shop that never seems to close down.
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Well, for one of Sydney’s longest-running closing down sales, the show is almost over.

Empress Rugs in Rozelle has had end-of-lease or closing-down signage up since 2008, and in 2018 the building will celebrate its 10th year of closing down by finally shutting up shop.

The Roads and Maritime Service has confirmed the Victoria Road site is part of its acquisition of land for WestConnex.

Iranian-born Frank Nasre, who came to Australia in 1995, brought his Empress Rugs business to Sydney from Melbourne around 2005. Three years later, chronic health problems and frustration with the local market led to his decision to close it.

But, as he told Fairfax Media, after purchasing signage advertising the closing down sale he was convinced instead to keep the shop open and hand over its management. That way he could keep family members employed at the business.

Google Maps shows the shop in April 2008, before the closing down signs went up.

“Different people have come and gone but the signage has been on the shop,” he said.

More recently added is a sign noting the WestConnex acquisition and a “demolition sale” sign. Mr Nasre expects to close the shop around April.

The longevity of the closing down sale hasn’t gone unnoticed by locals – the shop has even had graffiti scrawled on its wall: “closing down since 2008”.

Google Maps shows the end of lease signs in 2013.

Lyssa Tredgett, 30, is a lifelong resident of Rozelle. She says she’s never been inside the shop, but locals joke about how long it’s been closing down.

“At one point in Rozelle we had three major corners housing rug shops – we thought, ‘Who’s buying all these rugs?’.

“When that particular shop said it was closing down we looked forward to it, waiting to see what might be there next,” she said. But it never did close – and now, “every time you see anywhere closing down, you’re suss because of ‘that rug shop in Rozelle’.”

According to the ACCC, businesses can be found to have misled consumers about prices if they promote a “sale” or “special” price which is not in fact a temporary sale price, thus creating an unwarranted sense of urgency to make an immediate purchase.

Still closing in September 2016.

A spokesperson from Fair Trading NSW said it had received three complaints since January 1, 2016, about businesses advertising closing down sales while continuing to trade. “Complaints relate to a cake maker, carpet store, and discount store,” she said.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Mindy Kaling celebrates the arrival of her first child

Mindy Kaling has welcomed her first child, a baby girl named Katherine last week according to E! News.
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While the 38-year-old actor has remained tight-lipped on the identity of the father, back in August she told US Today show interviewer William Geist that she was “very excited” about the pregnancy, but becoming a mother was an area very “unknown” to her. She is currently not publicly linked to anyone romantically.

“I’d like to be the fun mum, I know I’m going to be the dorky mum,” she said on the Today show.

“I have a lot of control over a lot of aspects of my life, and this is one where I’m like, okay, it’s out of my hands, which is kind of a fun feeling.”

For Kaling this next life chapter is also intensely personal, with The Mindy Project star reflecting on how she will draw inspiration from her late mother’s nurturing nature to navigate motherhood.

“My mum was incredibly fierce and so devoted to us, just loved us and really wanted us to be happy no matter what we did,” Kaling said.

The actress confirmed on The Ellen De Generes show in October that she was expecting a girl, because she “wanted to know way early.”

However it was her fellow cast member and friend Oprah Winfrey that publicly revealed the pregnancy after Kaling shared the news with her and Reese Witherspoon on the set of Wrinkle in Time.

“At first it was like, ‘OK, if anyone was going to announce big news about your private life, Oprah Winfrey is the person,'” she said. “You can’t complain that much about it. You also can’t be like, ‘Hey, Oprah, zip it.’ Because she’s almost like a religious figure.I actually thought, ‘Well, ok, if there’s one person I have to tell my daughter about that revealed her existence to the world, Oprah’s pretty good.”

Her new arrival is not the only news Kaling will be celebrating, with the trailer for her latest movie, the all-female Ocean’s Eightalso released this week. how I look recording Mindy Lahiri’s lines. “Exsqueeze me, sir?!?!” #themindyproject #laterbabyA post shared by Mindy Kaling (@mindykaling) on Nov 2, 2017 at 2:48pm PDTThis story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Moving to the north shore? Here’s what you’ll have to do to fit in…

OPINION
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A friend of mine, let’s just call her Helen, is selling up her gorgeous semi-detached in Annandale and moving to Wahroonga with her husband and children.

Helen reckons it’s a no-brainer. For less than she’s asking for her cosy three-bedder (about $2 million) she recently bought a four-bedroom freestanding house, on a leafy 1400-square-metre block.

The classic 1960s’ home features sandstone fireplaces, formal and informal living areas, a large deck and even a fire pit. She paid $1,875,000 and will pocket the change.

“The home offers a lot more space both inside and out, plus the area is a lot quieter,” she says.

“Obviously, the commute to the city will be a lot longer, but it’s a trade-off for the extra room. And the boys are excited; their new public school is set in a blue-gum forest and has two swimming pools.”

There was a time when no inner-westy such as Helen, would ever have considered moving to the north shore, or the “dark side”, as we referred to it. We knew that what divided us was a lot more than the big grey coat-hanger ??? it was cultural.

North shore people remain different to us, but their stately houses are such good value compared to our three-metre-wide shoe-boxes, that a few of us (not me ??? heavens, no) are making the move and hoping we can slip right under the radar.

To help make the transition as seamless as possible, here are the nine things you’ll need to do if you want to fit right in: Drop the spray can and move away from the wall

While the inner-west laneways boasts some of the greatest graffiti in Australia, this isn’t the case north of the bridge. Let’s cut right to the chase. North shore people don’t do graffiti.

In Sydney’s inner west, street art is cool. Not so much on the north shore. Photo: Fiona Morris

They don’t like it and they don’t understand it. Recently, when a Mosman cafe owner commissioned a coffee-themed mural, the locals rioted, parking out the front of the cafe in their Volvos and playing ABC Classic FM at almost full volume. One complained that the mural was the thin end of the wedge, turning their quiet village into “bogan central”. Better to channel your creative energy in accounting. Follow rugby union

The north shore is the suburban heartland of rugby.

There’s nothing middle-aged north shore men like more than watching beefy blokes in small shorts. Tragics can be seen on weekends wearing their Gordon Highlanders jersey to Bunnings. Buy a polo shirt

Even more than the aforementioned rugby jersey, the official uniform of the north shore is the polo shirt. Indeed, one of the major milestones of any north shore child’s life is being presented with their first navy polo. This usually happens between the ages of six months and two years of age. The polo is always teamed with beige chinos, or cotton walk shorts (from Country Road, Sportscraft, or Gant).

Having your own boat wouldn’t go astray either. Photo: Glenn Hunt

Of course, as north shore people are perpetually prepared to step aboard the Beneteau, boat shoes are de rigueur.

It is essential that the polo is ALWAYS worn with the collar popped. Under no circumstances should you tell a north shore person to turn their collar down. They will mumble something about sunburn and never invite you to lunch at the marina again. Forget about coffee

We are really spoiled in the inner west when it comes to coffee.

With top-notch roasters such as The Little Marionette in the area, we approach our morning drop with a degree of seriousness that cannot be overestimated. Inner westies have been known to travel across five suburbs for the right grind.

If you don’t know what crema is, do you even coffee? Photo: Bloomberg

One hipster I know, cycled his fixie from Newtown to Dulwich Hill just because he liked the little flower the barista fashioned in the crema.

When you move to the north shore, your caffeine fix becomes a distant memory. Nobody on the north shore has ever heard of crema, let alone knows the difference between Arabica and Robusta. And by the time you hit the upper north shore they are speaking a different coffee dialect completely ??? International Roast. Forget about night life

You know how everyone in the inner west complains about the lock out laws?

Well the north shore makes Kings Cross feel like a 24-hour party. If you do fancy a game of bingo on a Saturday night, be warned that Pymble has noise restrictions from 6.30pm.

Bingo… what more is there to say? Photo: Paul JeffersJoin the bushfire brigade

Apart from the occasional council-planted bottle brush or wattle on the verge, the inner west is more known for its asphalt than its foliage.

Some Leichhardt children as old as 10, have never seen a eucalypt. On the other hand, there’s a reason the north shore is referred to as leafy; it’s because there are bloody gum trees everywhere.

In fact, there are entire forests of the things, just waiting to erupt in a ball of flames every December. The way to ingratiate yourself with the locals is to join the local bushfire brigade. If it’s good enough for Tony Abbott… Vote Liberal

Speaking of Mr Abbott, there really is only one political party on the north shore and that’s the LNP.

This may be hard to get used to if you’re used to electing a left-wing power broker named Anthony Albanese. Australia’s smallest electorate, Grayndler (which takes in most of the inner west) is the kind of place where folks discuss the destruction of capitalism, while knocking back an unwooded Margaret River chardonnay.

On the other hand, the electoral division of Bradfield is more blue ribbon than a tub of Streets ice-cream. Indeed, it’s such a safe Coalition seat that nobody from any other parties bothers to show up. Learn to love banks

If you move to the north shore under no circumstances should you say nasty things in public about our financial institutions.

So, you reckon they make obscene profits? Keep it to yourself. The reason for this is simple: Your neighbour is probably an executive from one of the majors.

Start dissing CommSec and you’ll end up with a burning dollar sign on your front lawn. About 11 per cent of the workforce in Gordon are employed in finance. The other 89 per cent stay home and count their dosh. Grow old

It’s a well-worn stereotype that north shore people are old fogies. And in fact, the average age does hover around 92. Actually, I made that up.

The average is between 40 and 59 in most north-side suburbs. Not exactly one foot in the grave, but definitely getting to the stage where they are thinking about pensioner’s insurance schemes and Rod Stewart compilation albums.

If you’re a young buck from the inner west, the only way you can appear older and fit right in, is to put a Kleenex tissue box on the rear parcel shelf of your white Camry.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

The three biggest unseen money suckers in your home

power. a 4 point power outlet. mon 30 jan 06. afr generic pix robert rough. generic, power, electricity, fossil fuel, plugs, greenhouse gas, generators, electrical. SPECIALX 46572powerpoint power pointSome of the most expensive costs associated with owning a home are automated and occur out of sight, making it all too easy to underestimate their financial impact.
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To save potentially hundreds of dollars a year, it is worth paying close attention to the following three factors, all of which are easily comparable online. Your mortgage

Choosing a home loan is a decision that can alter your financial future by literally tens of thousands of dollars.

The two main elements to consider are the provider’s fees and rates, and whether the product suits your lifestyle.

If changing from an existing loan, you need to determine how much interest you’re likely to save by switching per month, then multiply this by the remaining loan term in months. Be sure to include any additional costs such as exit, break and start-up fees in this equation.

“For instance, if you can save $50 a month in lower repayments, but it’s going to cost you $2500 to switch [existing and new lender costs], your payback period is $2500 divided by $50, which equals 50 months or four years and two months,” says independent financial expert Peter Boehm.

“You need to assess whether this is worth doing, especially if there is scope for your new lender to raise interest rates during this period which could wipe out your monthly savings.”

A professional mortgage broker or comparison website can help consumers make an informed decision about switching.

“A difference of just 0.53 per cent can save nearly $55,000 in interest over a 30-year loan term,” says Marion Mays, property investing mentor from Thalia Stanley Group.

“Those figures are staggering and really impact homebuyers, which is why it is so important for them to do their research and find the best interest rate and conditions, such as redraw facility, flexibility of repayments and offset.” Your energy supplier

While it is relatively easy to switch your electricity provider about half of Australian households have never made a change.Photo: Robert Rough

Prices between different energy providers can vary significantly, posing huge potential savings for consumers.

You can view the rates and benefits associated with multiple energy suppliers via a comparison website, and for those in states with competitive energy markets, it’s possible to find a better deal in minutes. (Tasmania and the Northern Territory only have one electricity retailer each, and there is limited variation in products in Western Australia and some parts of Queensland.)

Many providers do not stipulate lock-in contracts, making it easy for consumers to switch as they like. It’s also common for providers to coordinate the switching process on your behalf, meaning there is no work required or costs to consider.

Despite the ease in switching, about half of Australian households say they have never switched retailers or plans, according to the latest Energy Consumers Australia’s Consumer Sentiment Survey.Your appliances

Running your appliances off-peak can considerably cut down your energy bill.

It’s not just your energy provider that affects the cost of your energy bills, but also the appliances these service.

The Energy Rating Label is a government-regulated initiative enabling consumers to compare the energy efficiency of appliances before buying. The more stars an appliance has, the more savings it offers.

The way appliances are programmed and used can also have a significant financial impact.

Aim to turn devices off at the wall when not in use, keep the air conditioner set upwards of 22 degrees and make sure appliances are in good working order.

“If your electricity plan is based on ‘time of use’, one of the most effective ways to reduce running costs is to run your appliances during off-peak times,” says Simone Poulter, co-founder of MyNextAdvice.

“Most new appliances feature a delay start function so you can set your washing machine or dishwasher to run after you’ve gone to bed.”

Ensure your home is well-insulated, as this can also cause excessive energy use restoring lost heating or cooling.

“Also consider whether you need the air conditioner and turn on the fan instead. A 3kW air conditioning unit can cost roughly 30?? per hour to run, whereas a 30W ceiling fan costs roughly 1??,” Poulter says.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Light your fire

The Bay of Fires has been doused. Rain pours over the normally luminous coastline, and waves brawl over rocks and a reef. On a good day, this is arguably the most beautiful slice of coast in Tasmania, and yet today the dulled views seem almost incidental.
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I’m hiking on the wukalina walk, a new four-day guided hike along Tasmania’s north-east coast that’s about so much more than its pretty beaches. The first tourism venture from Tasmania’s Aboriginal community, the walk brings together culture and scenery, weaving stories, bush tucker, living culture and millenniums-old traces of Aboriginal existence into the immense beauty of the Bay of Fires region.

It’s an area that was home to Tasmania’s North-east Aboriginal nation, with up to 500 people living here at any time. When English explorer Tobias Furneaux sailed past in 1773, he named the Bay of Fires for the Aboriginal fires burning along the coast. Perhaps most fitting of all to the wukalina walk, the area around St Helens, now the area’s largest town, was known to Aboriginal people as “kunnara kunna”, meaning “easy walking place”. It’s an apt description.

We begin the walk on the eponymous wukalina. In this unusually flat corner of Tasmania, this 215-metre-high hill is what constitutes a mountain, and was indeed rather grandiosely named by Europeans as Mount William. It’s now the centrepiece of Mount William National Park, with the mountain peeping above grassy clearings that are studded with grazing wallabies, Forester kangaroos and wombats.

It’s a short walk to wukalina’s tip – about 45 minutes – climbing through slopes flaked with granite outcrops. Though the summit is low, it’s still a significant point, with a view that takes in the islands that run north in an ellipsis along the fringe of Bass Strait.

Aboriginal people used this summit to send messages to the islands, lighting fires to communicate. “One fire meant people coming from the islands, and two fires meant leaving,” says Ben Lord, one of three palawa (Tasmanian Aboriginal) guides on the walk, pointing to two indents in the summit rock.

“I’ve wondered if they used those as fire pits. I’ve been on the mainland and seen fire pits that looked like that.”

As we descend from the mountain we turn off the public trails at a cleverly hidden junction, swinging on to a faint trail built specifically for the wukalina walk. It’s easy walking, as it will be every day, on what feels like a secret portal from mountain to sea. The murmur of the ocean beckons us forward, kunzea bushes scent the air like butterscotch, and at times we’re weaving through swaths of grass trees like star bursts.

At a glance, it could be almost any section of coastal bush, but seen on this walk it’s bush that talks. The green sheoak nuts suddenly become ways that Aboriginal people would assuage thirst, chewing on them as they walked. Among the grass trees, Ben forages beneath the foliage, pulling out a lump of sap like red amber.

“This is what was used to make glue,” he says. “Mix it with something fibrous like roo poo and it makes a really strong glue.”

As we hit the coast, we also arrive at wukalina walk’s beautifully designed krakani lumi camp, where a series of cube-shaped sleeping pods are dotted through the scrub. A large communal hub slides open to reveal a domed lounge area, replicating the shape of the shelters traditionally used by local palawa. The dome looks out onto a fire pit where, as we wander into camp, a dinner of muttonbird and wallaby is already cooking.

There are neat touches throughout the camp, from kelp fruit baskets, made by Aboriginal elders, in the kitchen, to warming wallaby skins that cover the beds and the hub’s beanbags.

The sleeping pods crank open with an ingenious winch system, one wall lifting to reveal the entrance to safari-tent-style rooms, also shaped like domes. Blackout curtains hold the dawn at bay, leading to languorous, slow-to-stir mornings.

“That’s the best sleep I think I’ve ever had,” one walker announces the next morning.

In the evening, the camp is visited by palawa elders, who recount local creation stories in a yarning circle around the fire pit. Among them this night is Clyde Mansell, chairman of the Aboriginal Land Council of Tasmania and the progenitor of the wukalina walk. For Clyde it has been a project more than a decade in the making.

“It just came about as a result of a desire to have something on country that allowed us to tell stories and to bring people out here to learn a bit of our culture,” Clyde says. “The walk includes all the natural attributes of the land, but it’s also about getting a cultural story happening.”

Running like a white stripe across the front of the camp is a classically spectacular north-east beach. It’s this beach that will form the core of our second day – one of gentle exploratory walks in the camp’s vicinity, designed to refresh us ahead of wukalina’s longest walking day.

The day dawns fiercely. A strong southerly wind whips the beach into a blur of sand, and pelicans blow across the sky. Along the sand, the ocean has deposited a bounty of curiosities: shark eggs, bluebottle jellyfish, leathery antlers of bull kelp.

But the most impressive thing here isn’t natural. On a sandy point near camp we come to a dune that is an Aboriginal shell midden, rising metres over our heads. The discarded shells of ancient meals gleam across its surface.

“This is like a dinner table to us,” Ben says. “People would eat and throw the shells over their shoulders. It hurts my brain to think of how many meals had to be eaten to make a midden this size.” It’s a window into thousands of years of seafood dinners.

The third day will see us walking 17 kilometres of coastline to larapuna – the Bay of Fires – following the paper-white beaches to Eddystone Point Lighthouse. Rounded boulders huddle like colonies in the sea, and the horizon is a lumpy line of swell. It’s an impossibly beautiful scene, even under a steel-grey sky.

Along the coast, the beaches are broken by bouldery headlands smothered in orange lichen. They’re classic north-east scenes, especially with the Bay of Fires now just steps away.

At Picnic Corner, we turn up into a break in the dunes, climbing over the narrow Eddystone Point, crossing to the Bay of Fires, where the ocean this day is indeed in a fiery mood. Waves slam down on to one another, and the air is blurred with sea spray and rain.

At the end of this beach, just a few hundred metres away, we turn back up on to the point, climbing to the lighthouse keepers’ cottages. A wombat and its joey graze along the edge of a cottage in the finest of Tasmanian welcomes.

One of the restored cottages will be our home this final night. Inside, Aboriginal art work hangs over a fireplace, a leather sofa invites relaxation in the lounge, and a roast is in the oven.

Immediately above the cottage, the 35-metre-high Eddystone Point Lighthouse rises like a granite spike. The lighthouse was constructed atop an Aboriginal midden in 1889, and by most contexts it would be a historic structure, but even here it’s more like yesterday when compared with the Aboriginal relics that surround it.

On the final morning we walk around the lighthouse grounds, where another large shell midden cascades down the slopes, and hut depressions from ancient Aboriginal shelters dimple the land.

The walk’s steepest climb comes this morning – inside the lighthouse, ascending on the elaborate spiral staircase that coils its way up to the light. From the metal deck around the top, there’s a view along the length of the north-east coast, which is finally lit by sun. It’s a coast I’ve visited and walked many times, but suddenly the view looks and feels very different, for it’s now etched in stories and culture.

“I feel so lucky to be here,” one walker comments.

“That’s the country,” Ben says. “It’s such a special place. It’s like coming home for us.” FIVE OTHER NORTH-EAST TASMANIA ACTIVITIES

BAY OF FIRES LODGE WALK

Wander for two days along the Bay of Fires coastline, with a third day kayaking on Ansons Bay. Two nights are spent in the wonderful Bay of Fires Lodge, complete with spa treatments. See taswalkingco南京夜网419论坛

BLUE DERBY PODS RIDE

Ride the world-class mountain-bike trail network at Derby, sleeping among the trails in comfy pods with a side serve of luxury and fine Tasmanian food and wine. See bluederbypodsride南京夜网419论坛

FLINDERS ISLAND WALKING ADVENTURE

Head offshore for almost a week of beautiful day walks along Flinders Island’s coast and mountains. See tasmanianexpeditions南京夜网419论坛

FLINDERS ISLAND KAYAKING

If you’d prefer to see Flinders Island from the water, try a six-day paddle, exploring its many nooks and bays. See roaring40skayaking南京夜网419论坛

BARNBOUGLE

If your idea of a good walk involves a golf club, the two links courses among the dunes at Barnbougle have been rated among the world’s top 40 courses. See barnbougle南京夜网419论坛

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FLY

Virgin Australia flies direct to Launceston, where the trip begins, from Sydney and Melbourne. See virginaustralia南京夜网

TOUR

The wukalina walk is a four-day hike, staying two nights at the krakani lumi camp and one night in the lighthouse keepers’ cottage at Eddystone Point. Trips run from November through April and cost $2495. See wukalinawalk南京夜网419论坛

The writer travelled as a guest of wukalina walk.