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Australian women overtake their daughters in risky drinking

Australian women have overtaken their daughters when it comes to risky drinking, with more women in their 50s exceeding the lifetime risk guidelines for alcohol consumption than those aged 18 to 24 for the first time.
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The most comprehensive snapshot of national vice reveals that while younger people are becoming more abstemious when it comes to alcohol, tobacco and illicit drugs, their parents and grandparents are taking their habits with them into older age.

The National Drug Strategy Household Survey, released on Thursday, provides cross-sectional data on Australians’ drug use every three years and is used to inform government policy.

It was based on the responses of 24,000 people in the last half of 2016.

Young people aged 12 to 24 were more likely to abstain from tobacco, alcohol and illegal drugs than any time since 2001, and those that did consume them are doing so in smaller quantities.

They were also taking up these habits at a later age, with most teenagers experiencing alcohol and cigarettes for the first time at age 16 in 2016 compared with 14 in 1998.

But those aged over 40 were more likely to have used illicit drugs in the past 12 months than they were in 2013, with the proportion rising from 14 to 16 per cent, and more people in their 50s were consuming 11 or more standard drinks on a single occasion.

Eastern Suburbs Mental Health Service clinical lead in old age psychiatry, Brian Draper, said this was largely a function of the big drinking generation getting older, as it was rare for people to develop late-onset drug and alcohol habits with no precedent.

“The baby boomer generation had a much greater use of drugs and alcohol than their predecessors,” Professor Draper said.

“It’s that particular generation, and also it coincided with women getting much more into the workforce and the feminist movement having a big influence on what women could do, so there’s been huge societal changes with that particular generation.

“If you’re a woman or man, say 60 years old, and your friends are drinking and you go out and do things together it influences how you behave.”

Historically, women aged 18 to 24 were most likely to exceed the lifetime risk guidelines for alcohol by consuming an average of at least two standard drinks a day over the past 12 months, but the proportion decreased from 20 per cent in 2007 to 12.8 per cent in 2016.

Meanwhile, the proportion of women aged 50 to 59 exceeding the guidelines rose from 11.2 per cent to 13 per cent.

A similar pattern was observed among men, where those aged up to about 40 improved, while men older than 40 had not changed.

The increase in illicit drug use among people in their 40s was particularly significant among males, whose use increased from 15.6 per cent in 2013 to 20 per cent in 2016.

Curtin University National Drug Research Institute’s Professor Steve Allsop said this could reflect a spike in illegal drug use in the late 1990s, with people then aged in their 20s now getting into their 40s.

Although fewer people were drinking overall, those who did were drinking at harmful levels.

“We’ve got some reporting that suggests some good news but on the other hand we’re seeing more intense use, which is increasing harm,” Professor Allsop said.

“So you’ve got to say, ‘Well, the health message isn’t getting through there’.”

St Vincents Hospital drug and alcohol service clinical director Nadine Ezard said the findings demonstrated the need to get people into treatment earlier.

“There’s an almost 20-year delay for alcohol use disorders and we should be bringing that down,” Associate Professor Ezard said.

Hammondcare general manager residential Angela Raguz said the aged care provider’s general policy was to allow people to drink alcohol to make them feel at home, but illicit drugs would not be tolerated and had not arisen as an issue.

This could be because residents had an average age of 85 and drug users did not live that long.

“We haven’t seen cannabis yet but it may become more of an issue in coming years,” Ms Raguz said.

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How the new NBN pricing plan for retailers affects you

Internet service providers such as Telstra, Optus and TPG have been handed a discount on the price they pay for bandwidth over the National Broadband Network, but there’s one condition.
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Under the new NBN pricing plan, service providers will be rewarded with reduced wholesale charges, provided they increase the average amount of data capacity they provide to their customers.

The model, to take effect from Thursday, is in direct response to Australia’s surging data usage.

Last year the nation downloaded a record 2.5 billion gigabytes of data. NBN-connected homes are downloading 1.2 times the national fixed-line average.

Since the NBN announced the new pricing model three months ago, retailers have increased the average amount of wholesale bandwidth purchased by 11 per cent.

“The discount is absolutely for the retailers but it allows for retailers to control their costs more and provide a greater range of plans for consumers,” Sarah Palmer, NBN’s executive general manager for product and pricing, said.

“We will calculate the discount based on usage from the month before…if retailers choose to pass on their discount to consumers, they can. But regardless, the more capacity they buy, the better the experience for consumers.”

Telstra, however, said NBN had moved in the right direction in lowering wholesale prices, but that the move would not be positive for all consumers.

“The pricing structure means service providers with more low use and voice-only customers will pay a higher price to NBN for all their customers… This gives providers a disincentive to provide services to customers who only use small amounts of data or have voice-only plans,” Telstra spokesman Steve Carey said.

The pricing plan comes as the latest Akamai State of the Internet Report (Q1 2017) revealed Australia’s internet connection speed was now ranked 50th in the world, just up from 51st in the same report last quarter.

Ahead of Australia are the usual suspects in South Korea (1), Switzerland (5) and the US (10), as well as Thailand (21), Ukraine (39) and Kenya (43).

According to Akamai, Australia’s average speed is up from 10.1 Mbps last quarter to 11.1 Mbps this quarter.

Comparatively, the average connection speed in Britain is 16.9 Mbps and in the US, 18.7.

But to Australians disappointed by the result, Akamai’s Asia-Pacific spokesman Vincent Low recommended a “little patience”.

“Australians are some of the highest users of the internet…from last year to this year, even a single digit growth is relatively high,” he said.

“People are using higher quality content, live media broadcasting on different platforms. In the next few years I think it’s going to pop.”

He said Australians should not read into its ranking falling behind nations such as Kenya, which “doesn’t have nearly as many devices” or equivalent broadband penetration.

Mr Lowe added that Australia’s average mobile connection speed of 15.7 Mbps, which leads the Asia-Pacific, was a positive outcome of ongoing investment in the wireless mobile network.

An NBN spokesman said the Akamai report did not provide a full picture of Australia, because it surveyed millions of people who were not yet connected to the network.

“…There may be countries which have reported higher average speeds???[but] some countries do not have extensive broadband networks,” he said.

“The average broadband ranking recorded by Akamai will only see a significant increase if Australians choose to purchase higher speed plans from their retailers on the NBN network.”

A spokesman for the Department of Communications and the Arts said the Akamai results proved that the sooner the NBN was completed, the “better Australia will perform in global rankings”.

“Given the majority of consumers in Australia are still using legacy ADSL connections, it’s difficult to draw conclusions other than the gains being made are coming from the NBN rollout,” he said.

“The speeds measured by Akamai are also influenced by the streaming bitrate at which video and other content is being delivered to Australian homes.”

There are currently more than 2.2 million homes and businesses accessing the NBN. The roll-out is expected to be completed by 2020.

A recent Galaxy survey commissioned by comparison site iSelect found almost 40 per cent of NBN users did not know what speed tier they were currently on. However eight out of 10 connected households were satisfied with their speed.

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Scientists outline blueprint to save Great Barrier Reef

The world’s corals, including the Great Barrier Reef, can be saved but only with concerted efforts to coordinate management, recalibrate research and enact steep curbs to carbon emissions, scientists say.
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In a paper published on Thursday in the journal Nature, researchers led by Terry Hughes from James Cook University argue a narrowing window remains to preserve what’s left of the world’s reefs that have already been altered significantly over the past three decades.

The urgency is driven in part by unprecedented bleaching from marine heatwaves that have triggered the death of about 50 per cent of the Great Barrier Reef’s corals in the past two summers alone.

The impacts have come even though tropical waters have warmed by about 0.57 degrees between 1880 and 2015, well shy of the average global temperature increase of 0.88 degrees. Assuming nations fulfil their Paris climate summit pledges to keep warming to well below 2 degrees, reefs “will be able to secure a future,” Professor Hughes said.

“There’s really no time to lose and the further beyond those [Paris] targets we go, the worse it will be for reefs,” he said.

“Biodiversity is not what needs to be preserved,” Professor Hughes said. “It’s the function of the reef and its capacity to continue to be useful to people, particularly those in poor, developing countries.”

Efforts in Australia had focussed largely on local issues, such as culling coral-munching crown-of-thorns starfish and improving water quality of nearby rivers.

Such spending has to continue because “a dead coral can’t survive climate change,” Stephen Palumbi, director of Stanford University’s Hopkins Marine Station, said.

Instead, management had to extend involvement to limit wider threats, such as from poverty limiting the opportunities of local communities, or coastal development and tourism, Professor Palumbi, one of the paper’s authors, said.

“If you were pick an ecosystem on which human wellbeing pivots, coral reefs would be up there in the top three,” he said, noting half a billion people depend on them.

Professor Palumbi, a geneticist, said scientists should redouble efforts to identify the genes of the most resilient corals to the heat and other stresses and ensure those reefs survive.

Professor Hughes, who is also director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, said scientists had tended to study the impacts of acidification and warming on corals separately. They had also typically assumed fossil fuel emissions would remain at business-at-usual levels.

Research should focus more on how those threats act in concert. Scientists should take a more optimistic view that societies won’t permit temperature increases to hit the 4-6 degrees the higher emission scenarios imply.

At that level it “would certainly be the end of coral reefs but that wouldn’t be too good for people either,” Professor Hughes said.

Expectations are increasing that the Turnbull government will announce further action to address the recent mass die-off of corals.

“The federal government remains concerned about the impacts we are seeing to the Great Barrier Reef from global coral bleaching,” Josh Frydenberg, Minister for the Environment and Energy,” said.

“In light of recent reports of additional bleaching, now – more than ever – all parties must focus on protecting this iconic environmental asset for its intrinsic beauty and its wider value to the nation,” he said, adding the Australian and Queensland governments are planning to spend more than $2 billion over the coming decade as part of the Reef 2050 Plan.

Joshua Cinner, another of the paper’s authors and also at the ARC Centre, said it made little sense to subsidise new coal mines – such as the proposed Adani Carmichael in Queensland – and hope the reef will make it.

“If they’re trying to promote the largest coal mine in the world, and then saying we’re going to invest in killing starfish to offset that, it’s inadequate,” Professor Cinner said. “There needs to be some policy coherence.”

“The majority of people oppose things like the Adani mine and an enormous number of people love the Great Barrier Reef,” he said. “As a society, we’re going to have to make a choice.”

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Flight returns to Melbourne after passenger tried to enter cockpit

A late-night Malaysia Airlines flight was turned back to Melbourne Airport shortly after take-off following a security incident involving a “disruptive” and “threatening” passenger who tried to enter the plane’s cockpit while carrying an unidentified black object, the airline and local police say.
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One fellow passenger described seeing the man behaving erratically and threatening to “blow the plane up” before he was eventually pinned to the floor and subdued by others on the plane. A Malaysian government official later told local media the man had been holding a power bank, or mobile charger, not an explosive device.

Dramatic photographs taken by other passengers on board the flight showed heavily armed security personnel boarding the plane after its return to Melbourne. The aircraft landed safely about 30 minutes after take-off and the passenger was apprehended by airport security.

Flight MH128, which left Melbourne for Kuala Lumpur at 11.11pm, was turned back “after the operating captain was alerted by a cabin crew of a passenger attempting to enter the cockpit”, the airline said in a statement.

In air traffic control audio posted online, a male voice can be heard saying: “We have a passenger trying to enter the cockpit.”

About three minutes later, the same male voice can be heard saying the passenger was “claiming to have an explosive device, tried to enter the cockpit, has been overpowered by passengers”.

“However, we’d like to land and have the device checked,” the voice says.

Victoria Police, who are investigating, said in a statement the man had allegedly threatened the safety of passengers and staff before being subdued.

Former AFL player Andrew Leoncelli was sitting in business class, several seats away from the cockpit, when the incident unfolded. He described seeing a man carrying a large black cylindrical object which looked like speaker, which appeared to have an on/off button and a charging port. iFrameResize({resizedCallback : function(messageData){}},”#pez_iframe_tipstar_409″); iFrameResize({resizedCallback : function(messageData){}},”#pez_iframe_tipstar_408″);

Mr Leoncelli said the passenger was “screaming” at a flight attendant, saying, “I need to see the captain” and walking to the front of the aircraft during take-off.

Mr Leoncelli said the passenger said: “I’ve got a bomb and I’m going to f—ing blow the plane up.”

The flight attendant yelled at the man to sit down and, when he refused, she called out for help.

Mr Leoncelli said at this point he unbuckled his seatbelt and went to confront the man who he said appeared agitated and kept repeating his threat.

“Literally he was eyeball-to-eyeball with me, saying he was going to blow the plane up.

“He looked like a lunatic,” he said.

“For some reason he lost his nerve and he ran … and he headed towards the back of the plane.

“I hadn’t done anything to him except confront him,” he said.

Mr Leoncelli then said others on the plane were able to overpower the man.

Two young Australian men who were passengers “went to work on him and got him in the shackles good and proper, they were the heroes”, Mr Leoncelli said. A picture taken by another passenger and posted to Twitter showed a man lying flat on his stomach on the floor of the plane with his hands bound behind his back with plastic handcuffs. #MH128 guy drunk. In plastic cuffs. Looks like the SWAT team was despatched to the flight @MASpic.twitter南京夜网/FL5TqTEGR3??? saroki (@saroki19) May 31, 2017This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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Army buys $100m fleet of drones to protect soldiers on battlefield

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Bird-sized drones that can hover over a battlefield feeding vital intelligence will become the norm for Australian soldiers going into combat under a $100 million upgrade.

The Army will buy a fleet of the 1.3-kilogram drones, which have a wingspan of less than one metre and can fit into a backpack disassembled. They can be easily put together and flown ahead of a team of soldiers to send back colour and infrared images, looking over hilltops and other obstacles.

Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne and Defence Minister Marise Payne will announce the $101 million purchase on Thursday, continuing a military trend in which machines and software play an ever greater role on the battlefield.

They will initially buy US-designed WASP AE drones, but will tailor them to Australian needs using technology provided by firms in Melbourne and Canberra.

The drones will allow soldiers to “see over the hill, around the corner and down the road”, Senator Payne said in a statement given to Fairfax Media ahead of the launch.

Mr Pyne said the WASP had been successfully used by US Marines and other militaries around the world.

The government would not say how many drones were being purchased, but taking into account maintenance and additional costs such as controllers and communications links, the funding would likely buy at least 200 WASP drones.

It is understood every Australian combat team will have one of the drones once they are rolled out starting in the second half of 2018.

The WASP can fly at a range of up to five kilometres for nearly an hour. It is more robust than the Skylark drone previously used by the Army in Iraq and Afghanistan and has a much more sensitive camera.

“They provide our military with a faster and better understanding of the battlefield than our adversaries,” Senator Payne said.

Mr Pyne said the purchase and ongoing maintenance would create 10 new jobs in Canberra and support more jobs in the supply chain. Australian firms XTEK, Sentient and Mediaware will make modifications to suit the Australian Army and do maintenance.

Defence will get a second generation of the drones – significantly upgraded – within the decade.

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Top cop alerted to ‘rising tensions’ on Sydney’s Scotland Island

It started with a neighbourhood spat over dogs and unflattering Facebook posts.
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Now a Sydney judge has alerted the Police Commissioner to “rising tensions” on Scotland Island in the city’s north and warned the dispute has “escalated out of all proportion”.

In a bid to quell discord on the Pittwater island about 30 kilometres north of Sydney, home to a population of roughly 1000, District Court Judge Judith Gibson suggested the police might be able to use their “skill and expertise to defuse any potential future difficulties”.

Judge Gibson is just one of the city’s judges who has been asked to rule on long-running legal feuds between Nader Mohareb and his neighbours Matthew and Annette Palmer, among others.

Mr Mohareb kicked off defamation proceedings against the Palmers in 2014, after Mr Palmer shared a photo on Facebook of anonymous posters on the island about Mr Mohareb’s King Charles spaniels.

The costly case was settled but has spawned a string of related cases, including one dispute relating to the deletion of an apology on Facebook.

Mr Mohareb has also sought repeatedly to prosecute Mr Palmer himself for alleged perjury under an obscure section of the Crimes Act. /**/

On Tuesday, Judge Gibson said “something must be done” to end the escalating hostilities on the island, accessible only by boat, and questioned whether the police might intervene “to ensure that the residents of Scotland Island can use public facilities such as the roads, car park and ferry without impediment”.

She said she was “greatly concerned” by statements Mr Mohareb had made that he was being publicly vilified and it was “a matter of life and death” for him, whether or not the statements were “fact or fanciful”.

“This litigation is not resolving anything; the situation is simply getting worse,” she said.

“Scotland Island is a small, isolated community of families with children who all have to use the same public facilities for travel and activities outside the home.”

She again refused to give Mr Mohareb permission to prosecute Mr Palmer. And she also rejected his bid to have Mr Palmer referred for contempt of court proceedings over a scuffle in a car park in which Mr Palmer allegedly called Mr Mohareb a “c—” and Mr Mohareb’s glasses were knocked off.

She said the men were “largely equally to blame” for the altercation, which included Mr Mohareb shouting that Mr Palmer was a “criminal”, and said that Mr Palmer was not trying to intimidate Mr Mohareb into dropping an appeal in a related dispute.

Judge Gibson said the case was “difficult” to determine because of the way it was conducted, noting Mr Mohareb’s “loud voice in the course of this application led to complaints from an adjoining court about the noise”.

She said the referral to the police was “for the benefit of the wider community of Scotland Island” and not an endorsement of either party.

A NSW Police spokesperson said: “Police are aware of the judge’s comments and will work with community members on Scotland Island to help resolve any potential conflict.”

Mr Mohareb is also suing Fairfax Media, publisher of The Sydney Morning Herald, over a report in May last year.

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There’s a way to avoid the winter SADs and it starts at home

How to style your home for winterThe pros and cons of winter spent at homePreparing your garden for winter
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As the weather cools down, so too does our desire to be out and about. But with hibernating during the cooler months, a little sadness can kick in.

“Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is also called the ‘winter blues’, and is a type of depression that tends to occur for people in the more dreary, cold and dark months,” says psychologist Marny Lishman. “The symptoms are the same as depression: low mood, unmotivated, oversleeping, and overeating for some people.”

Getting outside is one of the best things you can do to avoid getting SAD, but on the days when it’s far too grey and cold, there are ways to hibernate happily at home without succumbing to the winter blues.

“Coming into winter it’s important to get your home ready for a hibernating period, mainly because you will spend more time indoors than any other time of the year,” says Justine Wilson, director and principal stylist at Vault Interiors. “Due to the cold and shorter days, your home should feel inviting and comforting, a haven and a nice space to rest.” Pretend it’s not winter

Winter can feel like a distant memory when you’re tucked up at home, and this can be good for your mindset.

“Rug yourself up and try to mimic summer in some way within your home,” says Lishman. “Do everything you can around the home to make sure that you are as comfortable as you can be, whatever the season.”

Of course, nobody wants high electricity bills, so think about how you can create warmth while being energy conscious. Wilson suggests: Large rugs and runners for cold floors and hallways.Cosy blankets and throws in your bedroom and living room.Thick curtains to keep the cold out.Use your winter doona to help you feel warm without turning up the heater.

Tone down your winter lighting. Photo: Vault InteriorsCheck your furniture is winter-ready

The layout of your furniture can make a big difference in how comfortable your home is in the cooler months.

“Orient furniture in a way that maximises the heat from fireplaces or heaters,” Wilson says. “Because you won’t be opening doors or windows to the outside as much, you can place sofas, armchairs or consoles in front of these otherwise dead spaces. This may double your feeling of space as you wouldn’t normally opt for blocking access, and it will allow you to get creative and refresh your living and bedroom spaces.”

Colour can make your home a hibernating haven, too. “Adding warm-coloured tones to your decor is a great way to bring warmth to your interior,” Wilson says. “Select rich tones (such as copper, burnt orange, mustard and maroon), which are on trend and luxurious; these deep tones are great for winter styling and they can completely change the look of your interiors.”

Candles are a necessity for winter hibernation. Photo: Vault InteriorsTone down your lighting

While summer is all brightness and light, you want your home to be a little more toned down for winter.

“Soft lighting will help to make your home feel brighter in the cooler months,” Wilson says. “Table lamps and floor lamps are essential as the light is murkier and darker in winter than any season, so you will need the warm glow of a statement table lamp.”

And get your matches ready, because winter is candle season. A good candle will give you that cosy lighting that’s perfect for winter hibernation.

“Candles are essential in winter and will help you resist the urge to turn on every light in the house,” says Wilson. “Candles will also assist in masking damp or unpleasant smells that come with having a house shut up tight during bad weather.”

Invite the outside in with some plant life. Photo: Vault InteriorsInvite the outside world in

If you don’t want to go out (especially on dark, rainy evenings), ask others to come over to see you. Your friends might be happy to have an excuse to leave the house if they’re less inclined to hibernate.

“Make sure your home is conducive to socialising, so you can do more activities with others during the cold months,” Lishman says.

You can also bring a little of the outside in, which can help you feel less housebound. “Bring in fresh flowers, succulents or floor-standing plants,” Wilson says. “They will breathe life into your home, can assist in filtrating the air, and they look amazing.”

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How to spend the perfect Saturday in Redfern

There’s so much to do, see and eat in Redfern, which sits three kilometres south of the CBD between Surry Hills and Waterloo, that you might struggle fitting in all the good bits in a single day.
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It’s possible to bounce from Israeli baked eggs to contemporary art and vintage textiles to small-batch gelato in one fell swoop.

Here’s how to spend an ideal Saturday in the area. 9am: Breakfast at Kepos Street KitchenWhen winter is on the door there is nothing that says breakfast then a Moroccan lamb and pine nut cigars, watercress, poached eggs, goats cheese and vegemite tahini. #keposstreetkitchen #lamb #breakfast #goatscheese #vegemite #watercressA post shared by Keposstreetkitchen (@keposstreetkitchen) on May 30, 2017 at 3:26pm PDTIn props heaven #seasonalconceptsredfern #propsheaven #decor #dekoration #rekvisita #styling #stylist #interiordesign #sydney #redfern #exploresydney #prettycitysydney#swedesinozA post shared by ??se Decor | ??se Ulvtorp (@asedecor) on Sep 30, 2016 at 5:13pm PDTNOW ONLINE: Lillian O’Neil – Escape Velocity | at The Commercial | 11/03/17 – 08/04/17 image: installation view: Lillian O’Neil – Escape Velocity, 2017 | at The Commercial Gallery, Sydney showing Albatross (photo: Sofia Freeman/The Commercial) #lillianoneil #escapevelocity #albatross #collageA post shared by The Commercial (@thecommercial) on Mar 9, 2017 at 2:17pm [email protected]_annadeng perfectly colour coordinated with our Turkish Delight #tealatte. See you soon for tea. #tea #rabbitholetea #vegan #instateaA post shared by The Rabbit Hole Organic TeaBar (@rabbitholetea) on Mar 31, 2017 at 3:13pm PDTBRAT LYFA post shared by Scout’s Honour (@scouts_honour) on May 24, 2017 at 3:26pm PDTAfternoon delight … #DEAmoment @marblebasics @itsapublicholiday @uashmama_au #marbleplanter #palm #afternoondelightA post shared by Delicate Eye Area (@thedeastore) on May 19, 2015 at 10:27pm PDTAnother year older. Happy Birthday to us! If you want to get in on the action don’t forget to enter our birthday competition (see our post from last week with details). Thanks to everyone for making the last two years so wonderful. . @vanessa_levis_photography 30 May 2015. . #redfern #gelato #sorbetto #getinquick #cicconeandsonsA post shared by 195 Regent St Redfern (@cicconeandsons) on May 30, 2017 at 8:02pm PDTClassic Aussie GOLD @missconsunji wears @queenjustinevintage #KB #beer #coldgold #kidsbeer #aussiesofinstagram #beerstagram #tshirt #vintage #80s #sustainablefashion #classic #australia #queenjustinevintageA post shared by QUEEN JUSTINE VINTAGE (@queenjustinevintage) on Apr 6, 2017 at 1:42am PDTWe celebrate all our staff’s…er, lifestyle choices. May the fourth and love be with you! #nerd #trilogytriad A post shared by TheBeardedTit (@thebeardedtit) on May 3, 2017 at 11:39pm PDTSeafood broth with blue swimmer crab, pipis, muscles and prawns served with a side of Iggy’s bread #redferncontinentalA post shared by Redfern Continental (@redferncontinental) on Nov 11, 2016 at 5:40pm PSTAnd we’re off! @syd_comedy_fest ready for the next 4 weeks!A post shared by Giant Dwarf (@giantdwarfhq) on Apr 28, 2017 at 5:00am PDTThis story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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Most polluted suburb records $1m sale as buyer demand grows

6 Millers Road, Brooklyn, sold for a fraction about $1 million last month.Brooklyn rents rise fastest in MelbourneOnce-grotty Glen Huntly now on the mapCan West Footscray keep its character?
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The small industrial suburb of Brooklyn has broken into the million dollar real estate bracket. It’s a long way from its pacy New York namesake, but things are on the up and up.

A two-bedroom home on a 780-square metre Millers Road block sold last month for $1,005,000, to make way for four townhouses. It’s a kick-along in a suburb that was sagging.

Selling agent Gus Anile from Hocking Stuart expects further growth in the coming months, with the introduction of the first-home buyer stamp duty exemption. Brooklyn, he expects, will be a go-to for buying beginners.

He says the average house price has been around $550,000 – $600,000 but he expects it will climb later this year. The official median house price currently sits at $600,000.

The suburb has had an outlaw reputation, putting the “wild” in the west. Crime and pollution have brought it attention. There’s a brothel on Geelong Road and it was in a Brooklyn backyard where Macchour Chaouk met his shooting death in 2010. Also making it sit near the bottom of the liveability list has been been a foul stench.

“It does have its challenges,” Hobsons Bay mayor Sandra Wilson explains, noting its proximity the freeway and industry. “But it’s a snug suburb with a strong sense of pride.”

A Brooklyn neighbourhood project began last year, with laneway street art off Federation Trail, a moonlight cinema and an off-leash dog park, designed to bring people together.

An industrial precinct used by more than 60 industries includes a quarry, landfill and abattoir. But overseeing authorities have now put in place a 20 year plan to make it a key, clean employment node for the west. The EPA has cracked down, issuing 27 pollution abatement notices. Roads have been sealed and strategies like wetting truck wheels used to stop the dust.

But those problems have also had the affect of keeping prices down, so with the dust somewhat settled, affordability is the leftover benefit. Anile says Spotswood is a similar distance from the CBD (10 kilometres) and average home prices there are higher, about $900,000.

A strong Polish community in Brooklyn is aging and being replaced by young buyers. But Mr Anile says there’s only ever a handful of homes for sale at a time.

A real estate stampede of sorts has already happened, with rents rising 37.7 per cent in the April quarter to $365 per week. That figure is now closer to $400. Investors are now seeing the benefit of rippling gentrification, ever pushing tenants away from the CBD.

Mr Anile lived in Cypress Avenue, Brooklyn, 10 years ago and says he never felt unsafe. He’s now bracing for a new financial year influx, agreeing the suburb makes a perfect stepping stone for those buying in to the market to build capital.

Brooklyn is looking less of a place to pass through and more of a destination of its own.

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Tom Hanks sells two Los Angeles homes for $23.5 million

Celebrity developer faces charges over Bel-Air mansionDevelopers using the power of celebrity to market apartments
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Hollywood actors Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson have cast aside not one, but two, of their Los Angeles homes for more than $A23 million.

The producer, director and box-office star and his wife Wilson, also an actress and producer, have found a buyer for their Pacific Palisades homes almost a year after putting them on the market.

Public records show the two neighbouring houses – originally listed with a $US18 million ($A24 million) price tag – have sold for $A23.5 million, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The two-time Oscar winner and Wilson bought the two properties in separate off-market sales in 2001 and 2007 for a combined $US13.1 million.

The smaller of the two homes is a four-bedroom Spanish-style villa originally built in 1933, that has about 365 square metres of living space.

It features a library/den, sunken living room and a panelled dining room, offers panoramic canyon and mountain views and is surrounded by lawns and hedges.

Next door is the larger, flashier home – a seven-bedroom, 6.5-bathroom property which has a screening room, a pub and billiard room.

The house offers approximately 675 square metres of living space and was built in the English Traditional style in 1957.

While the couple have said goodbye to the two properties, they’ve still got a host of homes in the area, with Variety reporting they own at least five other multi-million-dollar homes in Pacific Palisades.

With Hanks alone having an estimated net worth of $US350 million, it’s unlikely they’ll need to sell them anytime soon.

The larger property has a screening room, bar and billiards room and seven bedrooms.Photo: Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices.

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

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