Test your knowledge about beef and its future as an industry.
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The latest RACQ data reveals Brisbane service stations were pumping fuel at a 15-month record high in April, despite a fall in the international oil price.
In recent weeks, prices at many petrol stations have hovered between $1.60 and $1.70 a litre, giving the big oil companies more than 45 cents profit for every litre pumped into a car.
RACQ spokeswoman Lauren Ritchie said the data showed what many people feared.
“Brisbane is the most expensive capital city in Australia when it comes to unleaded petrol prices,” Ms Ritchie said.
“When we are seeing jumps of around 40 cents a litre from the bottom of the cycle to the top of the cycle that really hurts.
“Retailers are taking a very healthy margin on top of what we should be paying here.”
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When TV and radio personality Emma Freedman purchased an 1890s three-bedroom, two-storey Paddington terrace with husband Charlie Rundle, the couple had heard about the sale only three hours before the auction while inspecting a neighbouring suburb. The whirlwind decision comes with no regrets and it’s been their family home for the past five years.
On a leafy street, the terrace feels bright thanks to a skylit living area that’s been fully renovated to open up the rear of the home. A modern kitchen is functional and features a mirrored splashback Freedman has come to love – allowing the space to appear larger than it is. A floor-to-ceiling glass wall opens onto a private courtyard for entertaining.
The family of four spend most of their communal time in the kitchen and lounge. Here, Freedman’s love of Scandi styling meets a passion for eclectic home furnishings.
Colourful artworks are dotted throughout, including a piece by Shane Bowden, which the Lexus ambassador purchased while working on the Today show doing a live cross from Noosa, chatting to the Archibald Prize artist about his portrait of Steve Jacobs painted 10 years ago. There’s a mix of vintage posters to be found as well, from a nod to the couple’s love of skiing to a retro surfing print in the bathroom.
“I am big on colour, especially when it comes to art in the home,” Freedman says. “I like mixing original works with prints, and I love vintage and modern mixed together. We also have a white couch in the lounge – which people think is crazy with two kids under two – but it works well because it has a linen cover that we throw in the wash every few weeks. It works well to open up the space to appear airy and bright.”
A large Marrakesh rug adds an earthiness to the lounge room, and coffee table books tempt her to turn a page when she needs to switch off from life’s hustle.
The daughter of five-time Melbourne Cup-winning trainer Lee Freedman doesn’t mind getting in on some renovation action. She hired a sander to strip the floorboards at the front of the home, which had been lacquered in black.
“It wasn’t suitable for a family with a golden retriever and kids so I did it myself and got someone to come and lacquer them back to enjoy the original feature,” Freedman says.
The renovation completed before their purchase also features concrete floors in the kitchen and lounge.
A revamp of the laundry provides for more room to move. A backyard makeover has added greenery and seating. They’ve fitted a barbecue, a new outdoor bench and railing for al fresco dining.
“Traditional terraces are always long and thin and make for tight living – this is no exception,” Freedman says. “But we love the location and, so far, it’s working nicely for our family.”
In the main bedroom upstairs, a photographic artwork by Georgina Skinner adds a serene touch. “I love that our art choices really reflect that space; the sense of a calm, nature-filled vibe is ideal for the bedroom,” Freedman says.
The mother of two (Will, 2, and Edie, 7 months), is busy juggling a radio and TV career with raising a young family, and admits her home looks lived in, feels homely and comes with all the cliched nods to raising a family.
“It’s not a display home. We have kids’ drawings on the fridge, Lego lined on the TV cabinet, toys in the bathroom. It’s our safe and happy place. The kids like to draw, we enjoy cooking and it’s a place to unwind,” Freedman says.
Their daughter Edie’s room is also her husband’s makeshift office for now, and their son Will’s bedroom is filled with art (an original John Olsen print Freedman purchased in Melbourne), a Night Sky artwork gift from friends Emma and Tom Hawkins on the night Will was born, and a portrait of their dog (a wedding present from Emma’s mother Janelle).
“That’s a quirky wedding gift, but Will loves dogs and it made sense to put that in his bedroom,” she says.
A portrait of a horse hangs in the lounge room; but don’t be fooled, it’s not Makybe Diva. “The horse doesn’t have a name,” Freedman says. “And it’s the only horse reference in the home, probably much to people’s surprise. If I had the space, I’d have a room dedicated to sport and horse racing memorabilia, but for that, we’ll have to wait.”
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Ms Mitchell is a pensioner and knew finding something suitable they could afford could prove almost impossible.
“The difficulty on the Gold Coast is it’s virtually impossible to get anything at all, certainly for affordable rent,” Ms Mitchell said.
“Some of the things that are affordable rent, you really wouldn’t commit to — the streets would be a better option.
Ms Mitchell recalled the first time they tried to put their names down on the wait list for public housing.
“There were people in there — women who’d been sleeping in cars with their children,” she said.
“On the Gold Coast, it’s impossible to get anything — they said ‘look, you’re better off going to Brisbane’.
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On a quiet block in the Pyrenees town of Lexton, Grayling’s Gift is a church conversion that encourages quiet contemplation.
With original stained glass windows, a cavernous peaked ceiling, no TV, and very patchy internet, owners Annie and Shane Brereton say it’s an atmosphere that inspires people to relax.
And the boutique accommodation has a vintage clawfoot bath, wood-burning heater and king-sized bed with luxury linen, just to nudge that unwinding process along.
“Everything’s slow,” Annie says. “There are no teabags, everything’s about brewing tea, beautiful watercolour paints, books, and things to really encourage people just to slow down.”
It took about 10 months for the Breretons to turn the run-down, 19th-century church into a luxurious open-plan guest house.
“The floors were termite-ridden – you couldn’t even walk on the floor,” Annie recalls.
The couple would drive up from their Melbourne home on weekends, sleeping overnight in their converted van so they could do all the work themselves.
Annie and Shane were enamoured with the church from the moment they saw it. Found via an internet search of Victorian properties under 100K (though it sold for more), the couple became its owners within 30 minutes of arriving to see it in person.
“Absolutely no due diligence,” Annie jokes. “We got home and went ‘what have we done?’”
But Shane, who’s “an absolute jack of all trades”, was soon at work cleaning bat droppings out of the roof, replacing the rotten floors with salvaged boards from two old houses in Melbourne, and fashioning kitchen cabinetry out of the leftover timber.
Recycled materials are the couple’s first preference when renovating – the church is their second project together.
Annie says their approach is based on “the overarching ethos of reuse and repurpose”, despite the extra time that requires.
“We’re both very focused on sustainability and reuse of materials, so renovating old places is right up our alley.”
A closer look at the individual pieces inside the church confirms the lengths the couple went to in finding salvaged pieces they loved.
Corner seating where guests take their meals was made from two original church pews, which Shane transformed into a bespoke piece of furniture. “We’re really proud of using those again,” Annie says.
The square kitchen sink “we pulled out of a house in Brighton”, and the tiny timber shelf that holds dishwashing detergent was once used to support parishioners’ hymn books.
“That’s what we do,” Annie says. “[The timber] was there, it needed to be reused, and we just saw no need or no value in buying new things.”
And she was thrilled to find a hymn board at the Amazing Mill Markets, 40 minutes away in Ballarat, after searching far and wide for the right thing.
“It’s actually got our little arch windows – exactly the same shape – so it really looks like it’s an original piece even though it’s not. It was such a great find.”
Annie says many of the original church’s artefacts had been removed prior to sale, but there are some pieces they’ve managed to retain, such as bibles from the 1800s.
Members of the local Lexton community have also helped them preserve historic church pieces, particularly their next-door neighbours, former parishioners now in their 80s and “just beautiful souls” who’ve enjoyed seeing lights back on in the church.
Annie says she and Shane are very grateful the community has been supportive of what they’ve done. On auction day, when “pretty much all of Lexton’s population of 200 were at the auction”, she understood how invested locals were in the future of the church – formerly St Mary’s Anglican – after almost 150 years.
“Everybody came up to us afterwards and they were so excited.”
Although the Breretons don’t live there, Grayling’s Gift (named for William Grayling, donor of the church’s land) has become central to Annie and Shane’s lives.
This year they left Melbourne to move closer; their home is now a rural property outside Ballarat, where they can be hands-on hosts and offer a personalised experience for Grayling’s guests.
Bookings have been solid, and Annie’s had to block out a few days in the calendar so she and Shane can do some maintenance at the church, and drink in some of that serenity for themselves.
“It has an energy in it that is just divine,” she says.
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Originally from London, Ms Wright had lived in Sydney for a decade but was seeking a better climate for her health.
“I suffer with multiple sclerosis. I was diagnosed in 2008 and the weather was starting to affect my disease in Sydney,” she said.
Ms Wright and her husband considered homes from Mermaid Waters to the Hinterland, before eventually settling on Coomera Waters.
“The sense of community, the similarities between our homeland in the UK; lush, green, the trees, the gated community were tick, tick, ticks for us,” she said.
The couple are not alone.
Other residents in their street had moved from interstate or overseas.
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A Metro South Health spokeswoman said the hospital was waiting for the outcome of engineering assessments before a decision could be made on when the ward would reopen.
“The closure of Ward 5D, which is a 24-bed ward, has resulted in a need to establish areas within the hospital to treat the patients who would normally be treated in this ward, which does have impacts on the hospital,” she said.
“The engineering report is being conducted by an independent engineering contractor and is expected to be received in the coming week.
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Those in the immediate area of the blast were badly burned and one of the the men describing the experience as “like standing in a blowtorch”.
Wayne Sellars suffered burns to 70 percent of his body and needed dialysis after his kidneys failed.
Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) representative Steve Smyth said the incident had deeply affected workers.
“There is still ongoing trauma and pain as a result,” he said.
“I believe the men are still getting treatment and trauma counselling.
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A once-foundering 1921 arts and crafts-style home in South Yarra has undergone a series of magnificent changes – by one of Melbourne’s most well-regarded heritage architecture practices – that goes way beyond an alteration and addition.
The result is more a remarkable resurrection.
When Tina Tam of Lovell Chen’s design team first saw the white-painted Edwardian brick bungalow with the arched entry, she says the roof tiles had reached the end of their life, the chimney was missing, the front verandah was infilled, and it had other issues, including rising damp.
A deceased estate, “the interiors were sound but tired,” she says.
Ordinarily, such an old pile on a corner block would excite developers. Fortunately, heritage overlays prevented demolition, and so it came into the ownership of a professional couple who had the idea of creating their forever home.
Lovell Chen’s design strategy was to extend up into the roof cavity and out to a new, three-level rear pavilion to adapt the house to fit this new brief.
Today, the upstairs, lantern-like new room, or “His study” above the garage and deep basement gym, sauna and cinema room, does present to the street as an obvious novel extension.
But with the tall chimney reinstated, the lower brickwork stripped back and re-tuckpointed, the upper facades re-rendered, the front porch reinstated, and a suitable new fence, the Jewel Box appears to be a rather interesting period house that’s been polished back to respectability.
Yet, so much more has happened underneath those replacement Marseilles tiles that had to be imported from France.
A huge works program that Tam explains “kept the principal structure of the floor plan intact” commenced with dismantling and rebuilding the roof. The ground floor’s former 3.6-metre ceiling height was brought down by 600 mm, creating a viable attic space and enabling the internal accommodation to almost double.
“The owners,” Ms Tam says, “wanted to keep the humble nature of the house”. And duly, that’s how it might appear to an uninformed eye.
“Yet with a gross floor area that is now 450 square metres, it’s quite a lot of house to be fitting onto a small site.”
Up the new staircase that fits in seamlessly beneath a large custom-made leaded ceiling light is a charming suite of inserted rooms that includes two bedrooms, two bathrooms and masses of storage.
New dormer windows, invisible from the street, infuse the upper level with daylight. And from the main bedroom, a small rear balcony and an aerial bridge lead to the “Master’s study”, which is surrounded by timber-framed windows with wide sills, providing “views to the treetops on all sides”.
Also accessible via a new spiral stair, arrival in the aerial workspace gives a sense of coming up into the trees. Tina Tam talks of “a sense of release”.
Augmenting the agreeableness of the space is, she says, “the horizontality of the room, which is so different”.
The couple also asked for one of the downstairs rooms to be dedicated as a library and along the same north, garden-facing frontage, a “Hers study”.
It is this room – perhaps more than any other of the spaces that have been so perfectly composed in a collaboration between the Lovell Chen team and the equally estimable interiors specialists, Nexus Designs – that makes a case for employing the best in the business to get the best of results.
Nexus introduced wallpaper and matching curtaining designed by the Arts and Crafts Movement founder William Morris. So not only is it period-appropriate, it creates an enwrapping verdant atmosphere, somewhat like an interior garden.
Without being overly beholden to one of the most influential decor movements of the Industrial Age, Nexus has acknowledged the style, but throughout the house has mixed in an effortless collation of modern art, furnishings and jewel-like paint colours and fabrics.
The totality of the makeover is the hallmark of the now extraordinary home.
Everything about it has been deliberated, even down to the bronze-coloured stainless steel lining beneath the eaves of the extension, put there, Ms Tam explains, “to reflect the garden underneath”.
The great room of the home, the living, dining and kitchen space is another achievement that sits agreeably in the house’s 1920s context.
Working as structure to support the upper floor and characteristic of the craftmanship of arts and crafts style, a new grid of exposed Victorian ash beams distinguishes the ceiling.
It’s another aspect of “contemporary arts and crafts”.
“It’s an interpretation,” Tam says, “but it all feels harmonious.”
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Charles William Davidson was described as a “predator” during sentencing in the District Court in Brisbane this morning.
The court heard Davidson preyed upon clients at his home or at physiotherapy or chiropractic clinics in Brisbane, Maryborough and Hervey Bay.
While offering massage services, he committed offences that included touching the semi-dressed or naked clients on the nipples and groin areas as well as digital penetration.
The crimes occurred over a 12-year period beginning in 2003.
In 2018, Davidson was jailed for five years and six months after being found guilty of sexually assaulting 10 female clients and raping one.
A jury on Tuesday found him guilty of 40 further offences, including seven counts of rape, against 16 more victims.
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