Barwon Heads suspected hit-run crash in Victoria leave teen P-plater with broken bones


A Victorian father says it’s a miracle his teenage daughter escaped a horror car crash with a few broken bones after being run off the road.

Kaitlin Singleton was driving to work on Tuesday at about 6am when she was involved in a suspected hit-run in Barwon Heads, near Geelong.

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The 19-year-old P-plater said she was clipped by another car.

“I went off the side of the road and spun around and went into a pole,” Singleton told 7NEWS.

She managed to crawl out, but said the other driver did not stop.

“It’s very inhumane to leave a young girl on the side of the road helpless with the car torn apart,” the teenager’s father Jason Singleton said.

“It’s a miracle she got out without even a scratch on her face.”

Singleton has been left with broken fingers and said her body is bruised, but is thankful the injuries were not worse.

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Flesh-eating Buruli ulcer cases discovered in inner Melbourne suburbs


Cases of the flesh-eating Buruli ulcer have been discovered in the Melbourne suburbs of Essendon, Moonee Ponds and Brunswick West, Victoria’s Department of Health has said — the first time a non-coastal area has been identified as a potential area of risk.

A “handful” of cases had been discovered over a period of time which are linked, the department said.

The bacteria had also been isolated in the faeces of a local possum but the source had not been established.

Tim Stinear from the Doherty Institute in Melbourne said initially it was hard to know if these people caught the illness at their homes or at their coastal holiday homes where the ulcer was more prevalent.

“Recently we’ve been able to use the power of genomics to establish evidence of the local transmission of Buruli ulcer in these inner suburbs,” Professor Stinear said.

“Yes it is a flesh-eating disease but it’s a very slowly moving one, one we can treat and if we detect it early then it’s not a serious infection.

The skin infection caused by the bacterium mycobacterium ulcerans (M. ulcerans) can initially be mistaken for an insect bite.

Over a period of months it can progress to potentially destructive skin lesions known as Buruli, or Bairnsdale, ulcers.

While the condition is not lethal, it can leave people maimed or scarred for life.

“If people present with a small mosquito bite that doesn’t look quite right there’s a very good diagnostic test,” Professor Stinear said.

“If you’re given the right antibiotics then there’s a really good clinical outcome for people.”

Professor Stinear runs the Beating Buruli research project which he said had shown if mosquito numbers were reduced, “we can stop this disease from spreading to people”.

He said the risk of transmission in the Melbourne areas was considered low.

Usually the ulcer is associated with locations on the Mornington Peninsula, including Rye, Sorrento, Blairgowrie and Tootgarook.

Other coastal areas, including the Bellarine Peninsula and the Frankston and Seaford areas, have a moderate risk.

Cases have also been discovered in the south-eastern bayside suburbs and East Gippsland.

The disease is not transmissible from person to person, and there is no evidence of transmission between possums and humans, the department said.

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Japan Is the New Leader of Asia’s Liberal Order


Over the last decade, and especially over the last four years, Japan has emerged as a quiet leader in the Indo-Pacific. While the United States abandoned its allies and succumbed to illiberal populism under President Donald Trump, Japan remained a stalwart of the liberal, rules-based international order. It deepened ties with its neighbors, expanded multilateral initiatives, and set the regional agenda on trade and digital governance, among other issues. Through a combination of good timing, clear-eyed leadership, and innovative domestic reform, the island nation has proved not only a reliable partner to the United States and its allies in the Indo-Pacific but an architect of the region’s emerging liberal order.

In an era of Chinese bellicosity, North Korean provocations, and a raging pandemic, Japan’s inconspicuous ascent to regional leadership has gone mostly unnoticed. But as the administration of President Joe Biden seeks to repair frayed alliances, Japan has become the key to restoring American credibility in Asia. Only by solidifying relations with its longtime Asian ally and collaborating on multilateral efforts can the United States repair its damaged reputation in the Indo-Pacific and regain a foothold in the region’s future.

DOING MORE

For much of the second half of the twentieth century, Japan’s role in international affairs was constrained by its postwar treaty obligations. In 1951, Japan and the United States signed a security agreement that codified the former as a pacifist nation tethered to the latter for military support. As a result, Tokyo pursued a largely reactive foreign policy that Japanese diplomats described, on various occasions, as “sterile,” “naive,” and plagued by “a conspicuous absence of strategic thinking.” Some Japanese scholars wryly dubbed Japan’s postwar strategy “karaoke diplomacy”—Tokyo merely singing the tune set by Washington. 

In the 1960s and 1970s, Japan began a miraculous climb to become the second-largest economy in the world. Partly as a result, the United States and other Western powers began to push Japan to play a larger role in regional security. The collapse of the Soviet Union and the United States’ expanded role in the Middle East during and after the first Gulf War made Washington ever more insistent that Japan shoulder more of the security burden in Asia. “For decades, Washington’s message to Tokyo on defense had been simple,” the journalist Richard McGregor writes in Asia’s Reckoning. “‘Do more.’”

In the first decade of the new millennium, an up-and-coming group of nationalist politicians led by Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and later by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe answered the call. In what the political scientist Richard Samuels has called “the most consequential political change in Japan since 1945,” the nationalists consolidated power, bolstered Japan’s self-defense capabilities, and strengthened the executive branch of government at the expense of the country’s once powerful bureaucracies.

Gradually, under the leadership of the nationalists, Japan began to play a more proactive role on the international stage. The country’s Self-Defense Forces took part in major disaster relief operations, including those organized after Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and the tsunami in Southeast Asia that same year, and in UN peacekeeping operations in Cambodia, Mozambique, and the Golan Heights. In 2015, Japan’s parliament passed legislation reinterpreting the constitution to allow the country’s military to engage in collective self-defense under the United Nations Charter. The reform, Abe remarked, made U.S.-Japanese relations “much stronger,” adding that “we can defend each other from now on.”

A NEW LIBERAL LEADER

The domestic reforms of the first decades of the twenty-first century made Japanese leadership in Asia possible, but Trump’s election made it necessary. Shortly after taking office, Trump withdrew from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a twelve-nation trade agreement championed by President Barack Obama. But Japan salvaged the deal, convincing the remaining countries to go ahead with a version of the pact, rechristened the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership. The CPTPP established new rules on trade, intellectual property, and data governance that stand in stark contrast to China’s illiberal vision for the region—and that are expected to generate an additional $147 billion in annual income for member states. Biden has indicated that his administration is interested in joining the CPTPP. If he does, he will be recommitting the United States to a liberal international trading system of which Japan has become the anchor.

Japan has further raised its profile by lavishing countries in the region with economic assistance at levels competitive with China. Between 2001 and 2011, Japanese development agencies funneled a total of $12.7 billion in aid to countries in Southeast Asia and the South Pacific—more than double the $5.9 billion China spent on aid in those years. And while Chinese aid and investments have ramped up since then, Japan has kept pace: in 2015, Tokyo established the $110 billion Partnership for Quality Infrastructure, whose recipients include the Philippines ($8.8 billion), India ($15 billion), and Indonesia ($1.2 billion), all of which have territorial and maritime disputes with China and are concerned about Chinese expansionism. Prioritizing transparency, environmental sustainability, and accountability, Japan’s infrastructure program stands in stark contrast to China’s notoriously opaque Belt and Road Initiative. And whereas China’s megafinancing efforts have occasionally generated ill will, Japan’s seem to be translating into genuine trust: in a 2019 poll commissioned by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, more than 90 percent of respondents in the ten countries that make up the Association of Southeast Asian Nations described Japan as “friendly” and “reliable.”

For the past four years, Japan has steered the ship of liberal internationalism with skill.

In addition to economic leadership, Japan has assumed a role that was once the pride and prerogative of the United States: shaping international norms in opposition to those of an illiberal competitor. Abe has been an active promoter of liberal values, not just on trade but on law and security. His administration helped develop the concept of a “Free and Open Indo-Pacific” governed by the rule of law, freedom of navigation, and free enterprise. After Japan and the United States both formally adopted the concept as a strategy in 2017, a Japanese official wrote anonymously in The American Interest that “the Japanese side contribut[ed] equally—if not more—to its content. . . . For some Americans, it may be easy to overlook the significance of this transition.” But for Japan, the official wrote, “this was a critical breakthrough.”

In 2019, at the G-20 summit in Osaka, Abe made another significant contribution to emerging international norms—this time in the arena of digital governance. In contrast to China’s vision of “cyber-sovereignty,” an Internet splintered along national boundaries, he laid out a vision for a future where data flow freely and securely across borders. With his concept of “Data Free Flow with Trust,” Abe accomplished something the Trump administration never bothered to attempt: the application of liberal values to new frontiers. By the end of Trump’s presidency, the flag bearer of liberalism in Asia was not the United States but Japan.

FOLLOW THE LEADER

Biden has promised to rejoin international bodies and agreements, recommit to allies and multilateralism, and renew American leadership, including in Asia. But after four years of Trump and a disastrous response to the coronavirus pandemic, many in Asia no longer view the United States as a defender of the liberal order or even a trustworthy partner. Any attempt to reassert American primacy overnight will further alienate countries in the region. The Biden administration must pursue a more tactful approach to restoring U.S. credibility and leadership—bolstering relations with Japan and coordinating closely with it on regional multilateral initiatives. Over the last four years, Japan has built up a reservoir of trust and goodwill with Asian countries. The United States can access that goodwill, but only if it learns to listen and follow the lead of its longtime ally, instead of attempting to reinvent the wheel.  

Washington must first work to reduce areas of friction with Tokyo. Swiftly and amicably renewing the agreement under which Japan hosts U.S. troops would send a strong signal to other Asian countries, and to Beijing, that there is little daylight between Washington and Tokyo. Biden should also seek to join the CPTPP, enhancing the ability of Japan, and of the United States by extension, to shape Asia’s economic norms and standards. Finally, Japan’s Partnership for Quality Infrastructure program is already a competitive alternative to China’s Belt and Road Initiative, both economically and ideologically. Washington should supercharge it, aligning the work of its new development institution—the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation—with Tokyo’s. Reinforcing Japan’s value diplomacy and its network of partners will enable the United States to repair its credibility and win back trust in the region.

For the past four years, Japan has steered the ship of liberal internationalism with skill. Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, an Abe protégé who took office in September, has already made clear that he intends to continue leading in the tradition of his predecessor. He has sustained Abe’s active diplomacy, reaffirmed Japan’s commitment to the multilateral trading system, and continued to advance international norms on digital governance. The United States is not used to taking cues from another nation, but four years of unsteady U.S. leadership in Asia should be a lesson in humility for Washington. The Indo-Pacific karaoke parlor is still open to Americans, but it is time to let Japan choose the song.

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A swimming carnival for the ages: Goulburn West Public School students shine | Goulburn Post


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There’s no better time for a splash in the pool than during the summer. Well that’s what Goulburn West Public School students did on Tuesday, February 9. School teacher Bron Livesey said the school’s annual swimming carnival went exactly to plan, despite COVID-19 restrictions still lingering. READ ALSO: David Ryrie captures the beauty of fleeting moments “We managed to have the support of some of our parents who gave great feedback on the day,” Ms Livesey said. “They called it absolutely amazing and claimed it was the best swimming carnival ever.” The weather may not have been the best in the morning, but it cleared just in time for a perfect carnival. READ ALSO: Goulburn Mulwaree Council to rollout Goulburn Reuse Scheme Ms Livesey said without the help of the pool staff and student volunteers from Mulwaree High School, the carnival wouldn’t have been as good as it was. Miss Betts and her team also contributed to a seamless event. READ ALSO: Preliminary report released on cause of fatal helicopter crash “With her great organising, Miss Betts even found time to put two teacher races into the program as well as novelty events and an aqua aerobics class,” Ms Livesey said. Some competitive swimmers will now move on to the district swimming carnival on Friday, February 26. Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can access our trusted content:

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The decor decisions that could mean you’re turning into your parents


A generation ago, the biggest signifier of adulthood was marriage. Twenty years ago, it was buying a house together. But 21 years into the 21st century, with renting and singlehood more popular than ever, there are no clear-cut signs that you’re officially “adulting” anymore. Instead, we must rely on more nascent symbols, such as being tired all the time, and signing off using the word “best” on your emails.

But for those fully immersed in adulthood; the ones who’ve been at it for a while, clearer signs may become visible, not in the purchase of a home, but what is inside it. If you have any of the following in your place of residence, then, congratulations, you’ve hit peak grown-up.

A motivational quote 

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The ubiquitous ‘Live, Laugh, Love’ signs. Photo: Supplied

If you’re a properly grown-up person, you recognise that frameless posters have no place in your house any longer, but phrases, slogans and words somehow mean more than ever. 

Do you have “Live, Laugh, Love” etched in repurposed wood above your lounge? Does a cushion read “Save the drama for your llama” when you smooth the sequins a certain way? Do you have a small, framed phrase in your kitchen saying “It’s wine o’clock” or “Coffee is always a good idea” or “Anything is possible”? Then you probably remember the ring of your landline telephone.

Unintentional collections

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‘How did I end up with all of these cushions and throw rugs?’ Photo: iStock

When you’re living in a share-house as a younger person, it’s natural to pick up the detritus of one another’s decor. Maybe you end up with a cushion or a cheese knife you never actually bought yourself. But, if you’re an adult, you will have an entire collection of these types of things, with no memory of how you came to acquire them – despite the fact that you bought them yourself. 

Nobody can tell you when it will happen, but one day, you’ll look around and realise you have 20 cushions, or four cheese knives or 50 different mugs. It will remain an unsolved mystery, because, as an adult, you’re just lurching from one administrative task to the next, your only mode of distraction – home decor sales. You go into these things entranced. Who even knows how many mohair blankets you bought? You were too busy trying to download the app that lets you know how much homework your kids aren’t doing to notice.

Unused exercise equipment

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You had the best of intentions when purchasing that exercise bike, but it will soon be relegated to the garage. Photo: Stocksy

There was a time, in your youth, when you could break those health promises you made to yourself without consequence. But if you’re a grown human, things such as “blood pressure”, “lung capacity” and “changing metabolism” begin to take on a new, urgent meaning. You’re not about to debase yourself by exercising in public – that’s for people under 40 who have spent enough time online to acquire a healthy body image. Instead, you get yourself an exercise bike, or a rowing machine, or one of those stair masters and you use it – for a few weeks. But then, lockdown hit or something, and life became too hectic. And so, the equipment remains in the garage or the “office”; a black and brushed-steel reminder that it’s just not going to happen this year. Oh well, maybe when this COVID thing blows over you’ll get back into running. At night.

More than one photo frame on any given surface

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Printed photos will likely be littered throughout your home. Photo: iStock

Gen Z might post their entire lives on TikTok and those younger Millennials throw it all over Instagram, but if you’re serious about adulthood you have photos that have been printed out and framed. Lots of them. And not just on the wall, but the mantle and the side bench and the top of your chest of drawers, in your bedroom, too.

Handy stuff nobody thinks of – until they need to borrow it

If summer screams barbecues while winter whines for nights in with the slow cooker, what should the next few months hold for keen entertainers?
Think you don’t need a matching 12-piece dinner set? Think again. Photo: Stocksy

Kids today think they can get by without a top sheet, a step ladder or a full, 12-piece dinner set. That is, until they need it and come running to us. Sure, that overpriced luxury candle smells nice, Maddy but you won’t be able to light it in a blackout if you don’t also have a torch! Yes, Jordan, cocktail parties are “super fun”, but without proper champagne glasses, you’re really just playing house. And so, we hang onto our ageing symbols of adulthood, smug in the knowledge that though we may not always know how they got here, we’re certain they’ll come in handy for something and we’ll be damned if we have to throw them away.

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Racing Victoria withdraws charges against trainer Richard Laming at Victorian Racing Tribunal


Richard Laming was relieved to put a 28-month legal battle behind him after Racing Victoria withdrew charges against the Cranbourne trainer.

Trainer Richard Laming says Racing Victoria made the “right decision” dropping all charges against him for the alleged race-day stomach tubing Jamaican Rain in November 2019.

In a brief sitting on Thursday, Brendan Murphy, QC, acting on behalf of RV, told the Victorian Racing Tribunal his “instructions are to withdraw all charges”.

No reason was given for the decision.

Laming faced two charges in relation to a stable inspection in November 2019, while stable hands Marnu Potgieter and Zeyaur Rahman faced one charge each for the alleged breach.

Following RV’s sensational about-face, Laming’s barrister Damian Sheales, who also represented Potgieter and Rhaman, requested all charges be dismissed rather than withdrawn.

VRT chairman Judge John Bowman granted the unopposed application.

“We were very confident, even before the case started, we done nothing wrong,” Laming told News Australia and Racenet on Thursday.

“I don’t want to talk out of school and mention anything but there was something there that wasn’t right and their barristers picked up on it and made the right decision.”

The relieved 38-year-old continued.

“It dragged out for a long time and it’s very good for my family and friends and loyal clients, it’s good to have it behind us now,” Laming said.

“It affects your business, it affects everything, it‘s great to have it behind us to be honest.

“We can get on and train horses.

“My team has gone down in size, obviously, while the case was running, a lot of owners don’t want to support you while you’ve got that hanging over your head, now it’s behind us it’s great.”

The snap withdrawal followed an RV-led decision on Wednesday to halt proceedings midway through the five-day hearing, with Murphy citing information that could put the tribunal in “a difficult position”.

“I am making application that the matter be adjourned until tomorrow, but I will not indicate the basis of that application,” Murphy told the VRT on Wednesday.

“In our professional view it would be very dangerous to ignore the circumstances and it would put the tribunal ultimately, I would have thought, in a difficult position.”

Laming, allowed to train on a stay of proceedings, plans to appeal the three-month ban he received last week from the VRT for a cobalt presentation charge.

“Once again, we’re very confident of the right outcome there,” Laming said.

“It should’ve been a harsh fine in our opinion, and that’s probably what it should be and it wasn’t, we’ll definitely be appealing and we’re definitely confident there.”

Racing Victoria declined to comment on Thursday.

GELAGOTIS CLEARED ON DRENCHING COUNT

The Victorian Racing Tribunal has dismissed charges against trainer Peter Gelagotis, unable to be “comfortably satisfied” he illegally administered an alkalising agent on the horse Strong Influence.

Citing interviews stewards conducted from June 2019 and evidence heard by the tribunal last year, Judge John Bowman deemed Gelagotis, stable staff and the horse’s owner as “witnesses of truth”.

In a pre-race blood test taken at Sandown in June 26 2019, Strong Influence, who ran third on the day, returned a reading of 37.8 millimoles per litre in plasma on a threshold of 36 millimoles.

In its decision, which included a lengthy summary of evidence heard, the VRT said “the cause of the high reading remains a mystery”.

It also discounted “undocumented administration” within one clear day of the positive swab.

“Even if that is so, the question remains, by whom?” the decision reads.

“Further, can we be comfortably satisfied that the administration was by Mr Gelagotis or on his orders? Was it done with his knowledge?

“In our opinion, we cannot be comfortably satisfied that the evidence supports a conclusion that any administration was done by Mr Gelagotis, on his orders or with his knowledge.”

The tribunal said speculation the illegal stomach drenching was done by someone with a grudge or vendetta against Gelagotis “has led nowhere”.

A penalty in relation to the lesser charge – detection of a prohibited substance – Gelagotis pleaded guilty to will be handed down at a later date.

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Sunrise host Samantha Armytage announces ‘big news’


Sam Armytage has some “big news” to announce just weeks after her surprise wedding to Richard Lavender.

The Sunrise presenter took to Instagram to share her fresh venture with her followers and confirmed she’s hosting her own podcast called Something to Talk About with Samantha Armytage.

“BIG NEWS: I’m starting a podcast,” Armytage captioned the promo post.

The podcast is in collaboration with Stellar magazine, the same publication the Seven personality writes a weekly column for.

“A little weekly chat – similar to my columns. First one drops this Sunday.. pls tune in,” she wrote.

It comes after the 44-year-old married Lavender, in an inmate ceremony on New Year’s Eve.

Armytage’s dog Banjo and Lavender’s daughters were among the few guests at the nuptials, which were held at the businessman’s 40 hectare property in the Southern Highlands in NSW.

The couple are notoriously private and have kept their romance away from the cameras. But the bride did share photos from her big day to the delight of her fans and further details back at the Sunrise desk.

“We decided three days before we were going to get married and we did. It was lovely. Twelve of us there and it was just gorgeous,” she said on the breakfast show.

“We just didn’t know when we were going to get it done.

“Rich’s family were all in lockdown on the northern beaches so they couldn’t come, my sister is in London, and dad was like, ‘Just do it’. We’ve done it. Dad loves a party so we gave him one.”

Armytage announced her engagement to Lavender in June with an Instagram post of the pair snuggled up together, showing off an engagement ring.

They have been together since April, 2019.

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@Home A&H fitness strength



Friday, February 26, 2021, 11:30am – 12:30pm

@Home A&H fitness strength

Enjoy these short time efficient HIIT Fitness Classes from the comfort of your own home. You will gain the benefits of cardiovascular fitness, strengthen and tone up your whole body. Options to suit most fitness levels using minimal equipment. Perfect easy to follow short classes that can fit into your busy day.

Venue: @Home
Category: Active parents, Group fitness, Online
Contact name: Get Raw, Simone Kelly
Contact phone: 0415 578 114
Cost: Free
More info: www.getraw.com.au…

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Resurgent home lending boosts Resimac



The company said if the domestic economy continued its recovery path and funding markets remained open and stable, it expected 2021 fiscal year net profit of $100m-$105m. That would reflect a jump of as much as 90 per cent on the prior year. Resimac on Thursday reported that net profit soared 86 per cent to $50.5m in the six months to ­December 31, compared to the period a year earlier. Normalised profit, excluding lumpy one-off items, surged 88 per cent. “The momentum and the performance, we believe, is sustainable and that’s because the drivers behind it are real drivers,” chief executive Scott McWilliam said, referring to loan growth, the management of margins and the credit performance of the portfolio. “The pipeline looks healthy, the outlook looks healthy, and we’re aiming to push out a strong fourth quarter.”On the outlook for house ­prices, Mr McWilliam noted regulators would closely assess any emerging risks over the medium term, although demand this time round was being dominated by owner-occupiers rather than ­investors. “The regulators will look at the heat in the market if there is any,” he said. Resimac’s interim dividend doubled to 2.4c, compared with the previous corresponding ­period.Net interest income climbed 45 per cent, even though loan settlements during the period dropped to $2.1bn, from $2.4bn. Total assets under managements rose 7 per cent to $15.1bn. The group’s net interest margin — what it earns on loans minus funding and other costs — increased to 2.11 per cent in the first half, from 1.98 per cent in the prior six months.Resimac chief financial officer Jason Azzopardi said the group had pulled back slightly in the prime lending market in the first half, where fierce competition for customers was occurring predominantly in fixed-rate home loans. “Margin management is a huge focus for us and there were very aggressive pricing strategies put in place by competitors, banks among them, and sometimes you don’t want to give away such huge margin just to write some more settlements,” Mr Azzopardi said. The results showed settlements of prime home loans fell 16 per cent in the first half, while settlements of specialist loans — with a higher risk profile — rose 9 per cent. Banks have been boosted by ultra-cheap funding provided by the Reserve Bank through its COVID-19 Term Funding ­Facility.COVID-19 repayment pauses accounted for about 1.55 per cent of Resimac’s loan book, down markedly from 10 per cent at the end of June. Of the remaining 500 customers on loan repayment pauses, a proportion had only ­requested assistance during ­Melbourne’s second pandemic lockdown. “We are heartened by the fact that there is good equity in that portfolio,” Mr McWilliam said of the portfolio’s loan-to-valuation ratio, but he also noted he was closely monitoring the situation as JobKeeper support payments ended next month. Resimac’s home loan collective provision edged up to $33.5m in its first half.The lender’s cost-to-income ratio fell sharply to 31.1 per cent as at December 31, from 42.1 per cent a year earlier. The group is also boosting its technology and credentials as a digital non-bank.

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