Brisbane City Council has no plans to change eligibility requirements for its Go Between Bridge toll credit scheme despite fewer than 1000 residents being granted the subsidy and others hitting unexpected impasses while trying.
Most of the 9000 vehicles that had used the nearby Victoria Bridge daily have re-routed to the William Jolly Bridge, with patronage on the Go Between remaining about 10,500 trips a day and sparking calls from the RACQ for better incentives and discounts for the “under-utilised asset”.
Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey has weighed in, calling for a loosening of the criteria to more renters and private vehicle owners.
The scheme was rolled out alongside the closure of nearby Victoria Bridge to general traffic in late January as part of the $1.2 billion Brisbane Metro project, to help residents south of the CBD with the potential increased cost of crossing the river.
Those in the 4101 postcode suburbs of Highgate Hill, South Brisbane and West End could be granted the $100 annual credit, which would be added to their Linkt account and reviewed each year for a maximum of four years. The council then pays this subsidy to administrator Transurban.
While 2016 census data showed about two-thirds of the 23,000 people who lived in the area rented, well above the Queensland and national averages of closer to 30 per cent, those applying for the scheme must have six months remaining on a tenancy to be eligible.
Others have discovered utes and vans were ineligible for the credit even if only used for personal travel.
One resident, Lucy Gabb, had applied for the scheme only to hit “brick walls” and be told in emails seen by Brisbane Times that her single-cab ute, along with dual-cab varieties and vans, were not included.
“It’s not that much of a big deal but it was just frustrating because I had to do all the legwork to find out,” she said. “If they had said straight away you weren’t eligible, I wouldn’t have applied.”
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Over our first 5 years we’ve found the perfect way to combine some of life’s loves. Many families and friends have ventured to the Bellarine Peninsula to spend a weekend running, eating, drinking, smiling and laughing with friends and love ones.
20 March 2021, 05:00 PM – 10:00 PM
Portarlington – St Leonards foreshore trail Pier St Portarlington
Participant Entry Fee: $55.00 10km entry $55 (bus to start not included)
Half marathon entry $75
Standard entry prices 10/12 until sold out
10km entry $65
Half marathon entry $95
Senior 60+ years old receive 20% discount on entry fees of 10/21km
We hope you enjoyed checking out this news update about “What’s On in the City of Greater Geelong called ”
Flying Brick Bellarine Sunset Run
“. This news update was brought to you by My Local Pages Australia as part of our local and national events & news stories services.
An original ’80s brick house that had its white pillars toppled in an extreme makeover on national TV is now set to smash a Brisbane suburb price record when it goes up for auction this Saturday.
The transformation of the home — at 5 Lewana Street in Mansfield — saw endless red brick and mountains of concrete swapped for chic grey and lavish interiors during an incredible four-month renovation that was aired on Ready Set Reno last year.
The four-bedroom, three-bathroom home – which was once the property equivalent of a bad perm – now features open indoor spaces, an enclosed atrium and a landscaped yard with a fireplace that set professional renovators and Zoubuild duo, Christal and Chris Fysentzou, back endless late nights and close to $300,000.
And, with dozens of buyers already preparing for a battle of the bids, the former ’80s house of horrors could soon be a major cash cow.
During the renovation, and with a camera crew in tow, the pair ripped up the old floor and replaced it with pricey oak herringbone while bulldozing walls and swapping pastel hues for neutral tones to create a family retreat that’s light years away from the decade of fashion faux pas.
The professional renovators confessed they would be sad to say goodbye to their castle – a place they fell in love with while it was still a throwback full of brick and pink shell sinks.
“I love this house. We have a Greek background and we have been brought up to love concrete and those white pillars, so it had a sense of nostalgia for me. It reminded me of my grandma’s home,” Mrs Fysentzou said.
“It really was a traditional wog house and some days I secretly miss it.”
For the formidable couple – who have clocked more than a few large-scale renovations over the years — the Mansfield manor was their first brick-and-concrete project in a long line of timber abodes which, they confessed, had been game changing.
“We would now do a brick over a timber (renovation) any day. Even though it’s hard work, it’s much easier to maintain,” she said.
“In fact, a lot of people don’t appreciate the potential (of these ’80s brick homes) and this experience has given us an appreciation for how homes were built back then because if you tried to build a place like that today it would cost you over $1 million.
The couple originally snapped up the house in 2017 for $779,000 – seeing swathes of potential where other buyers simply saw endless reminders of one of history’s most fashion tragic decades.
While they spent close to $300,000 dragging the home kicking and screaming into the 21st century, Mrs Fysentzou said that was a figure closer to $450,000 for those outside the industry, with the last-minute landscaping blowing out their original budget of $250,000.
“I guess even for us as builders we try and quote our own jobs and stick to a budget but it’s just so hard because of unexpected costs – after all we can’t see behind walls,” she said.
“And, we didn’t allocate any funds for landscaping in our initial cost. We thought we’d just do a few plants here and there and pretty it up but we were really fortunate to meet a good landscape designer who came in and said ‘if you’re going to do it you need to it well’ and that’s evident now with our outdoor spaces — they are amazing.
“I’m really glad we ripped the bandaid off and cut our losses. The floors were another thing that tipped us over. I was hell-bent on getting the herringbone flooring and that’s not a cheap finish.”
While the couple have a penchant for flipping challenging homes with hidden potential, they said it wasn’t just the ’80s Italian nostalgia that drove them to 5 Lewana Street, but the neighbourhood.
“We have two young girls and Chris and I kept on having discussions about high schools and so we looked at the Mansfield State High School catchment. We do like this suburb, too, it has heaps of potential.”
The median house price for a four-bedroom home in Mansfield is still a humble $717,500, according to Domain’s latest property data, with the suburb being just a 20-minute drive from the CBD.
Selling agent Patrick Ivey, of Harcourts Property Centre, said buyers had been quick to pounce on the home in the weeks before the auction, with Melbourne home hunters particularly enamoured by the flawless renovation that left an air of ’80s European charm.
“Everyone is in love with this home and it should be a cracking auction,” Mr Ivey said.
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like it and that atrium is incredibly beautiful with a vine growing inside.
“Everything from the concrete to the industrial look and the herringbone is flawless.”
The impressive 5 Lewana Street is perched on a 539-square-metre block and the home will go up for auction on-site this Saturday at 12.30pm.
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There was strong bidding from the get-go, with auction proceedings kicking off at $450,000.
Hayeswinckle, Drysdale selling agent Michaela Miller said prior to auction that four buyers had confirmed their intention to bid on the entry-level property, that was listed with price hopes of $415,000 – $455,000.
Ms Miller said first-home buyers and investors were keen to get their hands on the house she described as “entry level buying at its best”.
The main bedroom has built-in wardrobes and access to the two-way central bathroom.
“Bidding was incredibly strong, we had more bidders in the crowd but it was going up in such quick increments,” Ms Miller said. “The strong opening bid even took our auctioneer, Danny Hayes, a little by surprise.
“A lovely local couple bought it as an investment and will put tenants in.
Light and bright with a seamless link to the outdoor area.
“The rental demand is out of control at the moment.
“For something unrenovated, it truly shows the growth going on in the area and the potential down there.”
Ms Miller said 24 Takanna Avenue was the only auction campaign currently on the market at Clifton Springs.
“The Bellarine Peninsula is booming,” Ms Miller said.
“It’s a bit quieter and a bit more undiscovered than the Surf Coast.”
The kitchen overlooks the open-plan dining area and second living zone.
The home was built in 1986 and features a large multipurpose living zone and spacious kitchen with electric cooking.
The back garden has a covered entertainment area, plenty of open grassed space, as well as fruit trees, vegetable boxes and a shed.
The property last traded in 2017 for $402,000.
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The U.S. coronavirus death toll has surpassed 130,000 but a U.S. pharmaceutical company says it could have initial doses of a drug ready by the end of summer that could treat or even prevent COVID-19.
A $450 million federal contract awarded Regeneron Pharmaceuticals could help get the drug to “many people quickly, hopefully helping to change the course of this deadly and still-raging pandemic,” the company said in a statement.
The news comes as confirmed cases surge across most of the U.S. – Dr. Anthony Fauci said the country is “still knee-deep in the first wave of this.” Arizona is one hot spot: The state surpassed 100,000 cases Monday, and more than 62,000 of the 101,441 reported cases involve people younger than 44, state officials said.
In Florida, another hot spot, the fall semester begins next month for public schools. The state’s education chief ordered school boards to “open brick and mortar schools” at least five days a week for every student.
Here are some recent developments:
Caesars Entertainment told its employees in an email Monday that they could be fired for not wearing a face mask.
📈 Today’s stats: The U.S. has seen almost 3 million confirmed cases and more than 130,000 deaths, according to John Hopkins University data. Globally, there have been 11.6 million cases and almost 540,000 deaths.
📰 What we’re reading: Hundreds of millions of dollars has gone to COVID-19 contractors accused of prior fraud. Those contracts ranging from masks and medical equipment to janitorial cleaning, video productions and even ferryboat services.
Drug to treat, prevent COVID could be ready by end of summer
New York state-based Regeneron Pharmaceuticals said Tuesday it has won a $450 million federal contract to manufacture and supply REGN-COV2, the company’s antibody cocktail that could begin rolling out “as early as end of summer.” The drug is deep into clinical trials as a treatment and for prevention for COVID-19 infection. The contract will finance manufacturing so the drug can be made widely available in the United States if clinical trials are successful and the drug wins the FDA’s blessing.
“We made the decision early on to begin large-scale manufacturing at our own risk in order to ensure that product would be available immediately,” said CEO Leonard Schleifer.
Miami-Dade shuts restaurants, gyms, some rentals; hospitalizations spike
Miami-Dade County Mayor Mayor Carlos Gimenez has signed an emergency order closing restaurants (except for takeout and delivery services), ballrooms, banquet facilities, party venues, gyms and fitness centers, and short-term rentals. Gimenez, citing a spike in the percent of positive COVID-19 tests and hospitalizations, said th closure are effective Wednesday.
“We want to ensure that our hospitals continue to have the staffing necessary to save lives,” the mayor said. Beaches, office buildings, retail stores and grooming services will remain open “for now,” the mayor said.
Fraud claims no barrier for companies seeking federal COVID contracts
Federal purchasers have rushed out more than $16 billion in coronavirus contracts ranging from masks and medical equipment to janitorial cleaning, video productions and even ferryboat services. A USA TODAY investigation of 15 of the largest and hardest-hit states found hundreds of millions of dollars in non-competitive awards went to vendors that have been accused of defrauding taxpayers. Nothing in federal law prohibits it as long as they are still considered “responsible” and aren’t suspended or debarred from doing business with the government.
But under President Trump, where federal contracting officials have seen their workload increase nearly fivefold, taxpayers are “particularly vulnerable because this administration has diluted the oversight functions,” Steven Schooner, who served as a career official in the Clinton administration procurement policy office, told USA TODAY.
– Josh Salman and Nick Penzenstadler
Dr. Anthony Fauci: US is ‘knee-deep’ in first wave of coronavirus cases
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said Monday that the United States’ handle on the coronavirus outbreak is “really not good” and that action is needed to curb the spread. In an interview via Facebook Live, the nation’s top infectious disease expert said, “We are still knee-deep in the first wave of this. And I would say, this would not be considered a wave. It was a surge, or a resurgence of infections superimposed upon a baseline.”
New cases in the U.S. have reached record highs, climbing to around 50,000 a day. Fauci, speaking online with the National Institutes of Health, linked some of the surge in new cases to some cities and states that may have reopened too quickly.
– Savannah Behrmann
California State Capitol shuts down after outbreak
A coronavirus outbreak in the California Legislature has indefinitely delayed the state Assembly’s return to work from a scheduled summer recess. Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon’s office confirmed five people who work in the Assembly have tested positive for the coronavirus. They include Assemblywoman Autumn Burke, who is believed to have contracted the virus while on the Assembly floor last month.
Rendon said Monday the Assembly will stay in recess until further notice. He said the decision is to protect lawmakers, staff and the public. The Legislature shut down for nearly two months earlier this year during the pandemic.
Report: Caesars tells Las Vegas staff no mask, no job
Caesars Entertainment CEO Tony Rodio told employees in an email Monday that they could be fired for not wearing a face mask, KSNV reported. “We are working to achieve 100% compliance with guests, but we must take strong action if team members violate the rule to always wear their masks at work except when eating or drinking. Please take note, the failure to wear your mask at work will be grounds for termination,” the letter says.
Many Nevada casinos reopened June 4. Gov. Steve Sisolak then mandated face masks in public for residents and tourists on June 24. The state has over 22,000 confirmed cases and 439 deaths as of Monday, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.
Royal Caribbean, Norwegian create panel to make cruising safe from virus
Two major cruise companies have created a joint task force to try to find comprehensive solutions to the industry’s most vexing problem: how to keep ship passengers and crew safe from the coronavirus. Royal Caribbean Group and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings together launched the “Healthy Sail Panel,” as it’s being called, with the goal of looking at every facet of safety, from whether ultraviolet lights can effectively kill the virus to how to improve meal service.
Some of the proposed changes might prove costly, like whether to modify ships to promote social distancing. And such recommendations could smack into the evolving nature of how to best fight the coronavirus, including how soon a vaccine might be on the way.
– Chris Woodyard
FEMA denied requests for COVID-19 testing help, Phoenix mayor says
The Federal Emergency Management Agency denied multiple requests for a mega-COVID-19 testing site in Phoenix, according to Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego. She said her office asked FEMA to implement a large-scale, drive-thru testing site — as they’ve done in other cities, including Houston — multiple times since the earliest days of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
She said her initial request came in April, but federal government officials told her that Phoenix’s case numbers were not high enough to merit that infrastructure. Now that Arizona has surpassed 100,000 known COVID-19 cases and is nearing 2,000 deaths, Gallego asked the federal government again.
“They said they’re trying to get away from that type of testing site … and they don’t want to open any new ones,” Gallego said. A spokesperson for FEMA did not respond to a request for comment.
– Jessica Boehm, Arizona Republic
MLB releases 2020 schedule, beginning with games on July 23
Major League Baseball announced its season schedule Monday, making official a 60-game season that will begin on Thursday, July 23. Delayed more than three months by the coronavirus pandemic, MLB will attempt to become the first major sport to return to action with a pair nationally televised contests at 7:08 p.m. ET: the New York Yankees at the World Series-champion Washington Nationals and the San Francisco Giants at the Los Angeles Dodgers.
All teams, except the Yankees and National will be in action on Friday, July 24. Barring complications because of COVID-19, the regular season is set to conclude on Sunday, Sept. 27. Here’s the schedule.
Kanye West’s Yeezy company received at least $2M in PPP coronavirus aid
Kanye West’s Yeezy brand borrowed at least $2 million from the government to stay afloat during the coronavirus pandemic, according to government data. The streetwear brand Yeezy LLC was listed as being granted between $2 million and $5 million from the Paycheck Protection Program meant to help small businesses keep workers employed during the COVID-19 induced shutdown. The revelation was made on Monday after the Small Business Association released a spreadsheet of all the companies that were granted more than $150,000 from the loan program.
Kanye West, who recently said he’s running for president and previously claimed to be a billionaire, started the company in 2007. The spreadsheet showed that the fashion company out of La Palma, California, would use the forgivable loan to save 106 jobs. At the end of June, Yeezy and Gap announced a 10-year deal for “Yeezy Gap” apparel line.
– Dalvin Brown
FDA: Multiple brands of hand sanitizer recalled due to methanol risk
More than a dozen kinds of hand sanitizer should be avoided because they may contain methanol, a toxic substance when absorbed through skin or ingested. The Food and Drug Administration says many of the products have been voluntarily recalled with other products being recommended for recalls because they may contain the potentially fatal ingredient. All of the products in the FDA’s latest methanol update were produced in Mexico.
The FDA says it has “seen a sharp increase in hand sanitizer products that are labeled to contain ethanol (also known as ethyl alcohol) but that have tested positive for methanol contamination.” The recalls come after the FDA warned consumers in June not to use nine kinds of hand sanitizers because they may contain the potentially fatal ingredient. Here’s the list.
– Kelly Tyko
Florida schools must reopen in August for at least five days per week
An emergency order issued Monday by Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran puts the onus on schools to reopen for in-person teaching in the upcoming term and establishes requirements for remote learning. Local health officials can override the commissioner’s directive if it is not safe to open schools due to COVID-19, but Monday’s announcement makes it clear that districts have to prepare to open their doors.
“All school boards and charter school governing boards must open brick and mortar schools in August at least five days per week for all students,” the announcement said.
– Ryan McKinnon, Sarasota Herald-Tribune
More on the coronavirus from USA TODAY
Where a face mask is required: Many governors are instituting or renewing orders requiring people to wear face coverings in public as cases continue to rise. Is your state on the list? See it here.
Where are states on reopening? Some are taking preemptive measures to postpone further phases of their reopening, while others have rolled back their phases to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. See the list.