Suburban acreage offers range of uses

Suburban acreage offers range of uses TRANQUIL: Bush surrounds give this small acreage in the city a feeling of being a million miles away.

RELAXING: The property features two residences as well as a pool area with adjoining cabana.

WILDLIFE: Noah’s Retreat features many animals including alpacas, a miniature horse and a range of birdlife such as peacocks, chickens and turkeys.

Bush surrounds give this small acreage in the city a feeling of being a million miles away.

There are two homes on this small acreage in suburbia.

Noah’s Retreat features many animals including alpacas, a miniature horse and a range of birdlife such as peacocks, chickens and turkeys.

Noah’s Retreat features many animals including alpacas, a miniature horse and a range of birdlife such as peacocks, chickens and turkeys.

TweetFacebook Noah’s Retreat at Jewells on the marketThe unique 5.2-acre property at Jewells features two residences, stables, fenced paddocks and a range of wildlife.A small acreage in the middle of suburbia which has become a wildlife refuge and retreat for people experiencing difficult life circumstanceshas been listed for sale.

Noah’s Retreat isa 5.2-acre property in Jewells featuringtwo homes, stables, fenced yards and a number of animal enclosures.

It is being marketed throughLance Jensen ofDowling Belmont Eastlakes and is set for auction on February 10 with a price guide of $1.95 million.

Mr Jensen said the “unique” property offered a range of uses including a private hobby farm, rental and agistment potential or a commercial business opportunity. There is also potential for the development of an eco tourist resort, subject to council approval.

Owner John Burke said it was “by accident” the retreat and wildlife refuge was established when a community need for pastoral care was discovered to assist people who were experiencing difficult life circumstances.

After being diagnosed with symptoms of Multiple Sclerosisin 2003, he sold his architecture and engineering business and bought the property at 144 Pacific Highway.

“Ialways had a heart to help other people in similar circumstances,” Mr Burke, who is also a lay pastor, said.

He began with mentoring troubled youths visiting the property who offered to help feed the animals.

Interest followed from other organisations, prompting Mr Burke to develop animal care programs then eventually establish Noah’s Retreat Community Services.

“It’s an awesome place to shift focus wherepeople feel far away from all of life’s problems,” he said.

Administration work has grown with the community services and Mr Burke has decided to sell the property to transfer his efforts more into the leading the charity into helping people.

The first inspection will be held January 20 at midday.

The amount of cabin baggage allowed on Etihad is insane


In response to Rod Sullivan (Traveller letters, January 6) regarding the chaotic boarding of airline aircraft: the amount of cabin baggage allowed on our recent Etihad flight to Europe was insane. We had to put our one small backpack way down the end as people had used up all the space near us.

One woman, with her oversized bag plus heaps of shopping bags, couldn’t even get down the aisle but the flight staff said it was allowed. Really, why do some people need to travel with so much stuff?


Remember the days when Aussies would visit orphanages in Cambodia in blissful ignorance that many of these children in fact had families who were deceived into thinking their children would receive a good education? Thankfully, more travellers are now interested in responsible tourism.

We’ve just come back from a trip in Laos and Cambodia. We did a few activities supported by HUSK Cambodia which is a registered NGO founded by a Melbourne couple now residing in Siem Reap. One such activity was called “Day in a life …”. We spent a day visiting the Lady Bird Village in Siem Reap and helping a poor family. The activities vary according to the time of year and also depend on the needs of the particular family at the time. In our case, we sat under a palm tree sewing dried palm leaves onto a bamboo rod.

The resourcefulness of the Cambodian people was highlighted when they explained that the thread was a young (supple) palm leaf which had a tin sheath fashioned over the tip to improvise as a needle. The end result was a panel that was to be used to build a kitchen for the family.

It was not exactly a comfortable activity as we were bitten by ants and the sewing was quite tricky, not to mention the heat and humidity. This family needed 400 panels. We only managed to make 11 panels but it was very rewarding as we saw exactly how the panels would be used given all houses were built by laying overlapping panels.

Later that day, we also visited a school which is run by HUSK to teach children English. Learning English is crucial if the locals want a better life, as tourism is one of the biggest industries in Cambodia. I wanted to spread the word. .

Sandy Morris, Balwyn North, VIC

Responsible tourism helps improve the lives of locals in Siem Reap province, Cambodia. Photo: AlamyTHE GIFT OF GIVING

At the end of a month-long trip to southern India, I gave several courses of antibiotics – that thankfully I did not need to use – to a hospital in Bangalore. The medication would be offered to patients who could not afford to pay for prescription drugs.

In our bustling whirlwind of a trip, I refilled my water bottles with cooled boiled water, which reduces plastic.

A single piece of hotel soap served its purpose at every one of the 15 places we stayed. Local guides at our various stops in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka made our travel more immersive.

Our aspiration to travel sustainably can be more meaningfully fulfilled by small and simple daily habits that leave the places we visit as unsullied as possible.

Joseph Ting, Carina, QLDSANS SEBASTIAN

After reading an article by Traveller writer Ben Groundwater several months ago, my wife altered our Spanish itinerary and substituted Hondarribia for San Sebastian.

I would advise anyone travelling to the Basque country to look at this gem of a town. It is much smaller in size and tourist numbers than San Sebastian, the pintxos bars are just as good and the French town of Hendaye is just a 10-minute ferry ride away. San Sebastian is only a 30-minute bus drive away.

Peter Miniutti, Ashbury, NSWCREDITS RISK

Since taking a recent cruise to Antarctica had such an enlightening environmental effect on Jamie Lafferty (Traveller, January 6) maybe it would be good if more people made such a visit.

As he wrote in awe, “as omnipotent as those icebergs seemed, they are, of course, vulnerable to climate change, too”. However, sadly, voluntary travel by ships, and also planes, generates massive carbon emissions which are not offset by buying carbon credits.

Barbara Fraser, Burwood, VICCHRISTMAS PRESENT

I must thank Singapore Airlines for getting me home for Christmas. I had a reservation that got me into Sydney on December 24 but I had a meeting cancellation in London and went straight to Heathrow without a booking that night (cap in hand). Singapore Airlines found me a seat and organised a tight connection in Singapore to Sydney, and I got home one day early.

Steven Capper, Mosman, NSWTIGER MAULING

I have flown with Tiger several times over the years, largely without incident. I only have high praise for their service.

However, my flight from Melbourne to Adelaide on September 15 last year was cancelled at the last minute and Tiger found a seat for me on their flight the next day.

As this was not acceptable to me, Tiger agreed to refund the $125 fare within 10 days. I am still waiting. Is this experience shared by others? How can I get my money back?

Reena Iyer, Templestowe, VICCONVENIENCE TRUTH

Moira Heath is wrong in her assertion that “all hotels in New York City must have restroom facilities in their lobby areas for use by the general public”.

There is no NYC law requiring such a convenience. A quick review of several reputable NYC guides show sections on where to find toilets, and none make this claim. As in any city, if you are well dressed and walk into a hotel lobby like you belong there, you may quietly find a toilet and use it. You may even be directed to a restroom if you ask, but you may also be turned away if asked to show a room key you do not have. In any event, NYC hotel toilets are by no means public restrooms.

Robert Lang, Toorak, VIC

‘We pay for access’: Lobby group’s admission on political donations

The Minerals Council of Australia has admitted it makes donations to political parties to gain access to politicians, an unusually candid statement from a donor about the influence of money in politics.

The mining lobby group’s submission to a Senate committee examining the role of donations in Australia’s political system contrasts with the explanations given by other lobby groups and businesses, which said their donations were intended to support democratic processes.

“The MCA makes the political contributions detailed above because they provide additional opportunities for the MCA to meet with members of parliament,” the Minerals Council said.

“The MCA uses these opportunities to update members of Parliament about conditions in the Australian minerals industry and the policy priorities of the MCA.”

In its submission, the organisation said it donated more than $90,000 to political parties over 2015-16 and 2016-17.

The Senate inquiry was established by Labor, the Greens and crossbenchers and is looking at ways to improve the integrity of the political system.

The chair of the committee, Greens leader Richard Di Natale, said the Minerals Council had “admitted what we’ve known all along” by saying it was paying for access.

“Our democracy is broken when a major mining lobby group feels comfortable publicly saying they pay for access to the old parties without fear of any consequences,” Senator Di Natale said.

The Minerals Council, which played a critical role in high-profile campaigns against the former Labor government’s mining and carbon taxes, has recently clashed with its largest member company, BHP, over the lobby group’s advocacy for coal.

Chief executive Brendan Pearson, an advocate for new coal-fired power stations, stepped down in September after BHP said it was reviewing its membership.

In Crown Resorts’s submission to the committee, the gambling giant said the cost of campaigning meant “political parties in Australia rely heavily on donations in order to communicate their messages and policies” to the public.

“Crown makes donations to registered political parties to support the democratic and electoral process in Australia,” the company said in its the submission.

“Crown does not expect the monetary contributions made to registered political parties to have any outcomes for shareholders.”

ANZ Banking Group said it had a role to play in “supporting democracy” by making donations.

“Our donations are aimed at promoting the development of social and economic policies to benefit Australia,” the bank said.

The Insurance Council of Australia, which represents insurance companies, said it donated to help parties mount campaigns and support a “stable political environment”.

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

Time away helps Saint McCartin get fit again

The time away from the “crash and bash” of AFL football has helped St Kilda forward Paddy McCartin get himself in the best shape of his career as he heads into his first AFL season without Nick Riewoldt as a teammate.

Saints best-and-fairest winner Seb Ross said he expected the 21-year-old in full training soon as he overcomes the minor foot strain that sidelined him before Christmas.

“He has been able to get himself the fittest he has ever been, dropped a heap of puppy fat and as soon as he gets back into main training I’m sure he will be clunking them as well,” Ross said.

The Saints have high hopes for the No.1 pick who is on the verge of signing a new two-year deal with the club that selected him in the 2014 national draft.

Although a series of concussions meant McCartin’s 2017 season ended in round 12, he has shown his marking power and competitiveness in his first 22 games.

Ross said the time away allowed McCartin to develop parts of his game that needed attention as he looks to cement a spot in the Saints’ forward line.

“It’s really good for him mentally too to be able to take a step back away from the crash and bash of footy and be able to work on other parts of his game that he might not have been able to work on,” Ross said.

Ross, an experienced midfielder who extended his time with the Saints until the end of 2021, said his sights were firmly set on helping St Kilda make the finals for the first time since 2011.

Ross said a leadership camp in Darwin in the first week of pre-season helped last year’s leaders to set the agenda for pre-season when they joined the main group without having to wait for this year’s leadership group to be appointed.

He said the club was able to quickly move on from the retirements of key trio Riewoldt, Leigh Montagna and Sean Dempster but he said the club also recognised their absence created a void that needed to be filled.

The Saints appointed goalkicking coach Ben Dixon in a part-time role for this season to improve the team’s accuracy in front of goal after being the worst performed in front of the sticks in 2017.

Ross said having a specialised goalkicking coach was making a difference at training and the players were enjoying Dixon’s uncomplicated approach.

He also said he hoped to become more of a goalkicking midfielder as he evolved as a player, having kicked just 13.20 in his 81 games.

“Something I’d like to do a bit more is get forward and hit the scoreboard,” Ross said.

“I think I was one of the guys who probably didn’t kick very accurately last year. If I could sneak forward and help the team that would be great.”

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

Stars captain apologises to fans for dismal season

Melbourne Stars captain John Hastings has apologised to the club’s fans and conceded every spot in the bottom-of-the-ladder team will now be up for review after his side crashed out of the Big Bash League finals race in an eight-wicket loss to the Sydney Sixers at the MCG on Tuesday night.

The Stars have made the finals in all six completed seasons of the BBL but their seventh campaign has been a failure, with just one win from seven games. Their loss to the Sixers, who had already been eliminated from finals contention, snuffed out what were already very slim hopes of making it back to the semis.

They have already started less experienced players like paceman Jackson Coleman and leg-spinner Daniel Fallins, and judging by Hastings’ words after the defeat, that is unlikely to be the end of it, with three games remaining for the Stars to try to finish their season on a positive note.

Significant change is already expected at the club next season. With Kevin Pietersen having already announced he won’t come back to play, and Luke Wright highly unlikely to return either, the Stars are poised to have two fresh overseas players next summer.

More immediately, veterans Rob Quiney, Ben Hilfenhaus and Michael Beer have been squeezed from the XI, while Wright only narrowly beat the younger Seb Gotch to a playing spot on Tuesday night, as evidenced by their names being crossed out and re-written on the official team sheet.

Hastings noted that the Stars have an abundance of problems, although said that the side’s batting would have to face particular scrutiny ahead of the Stars’ next game against Sydney Thunder on Saturday night at the MCG.

Wright has struggled this season, making just 11 from 13 balls against the Sixers, then not fielding due to injury. Fellow opener Ben Dunk has been similarly poor, reaching double figures just once in seven innings, making seven from 12 on Tuesday night. Axed Test batsman Peter Handscomb has been unable to find consistency, while others like Pietersen and all-rounder James Faulkner have had indifferent seasons.

Batsmen Gotch and teenager Will Pucovski are waiting in the wings, and Hastings said batting was an area that would have to be reviewed.

“We’ll have to look at our batting, that’s for sure,” Hastings said after the Sixers got home with 29 balls to spare.

“That’s something that’s let us down this season. With our line-up, it’s not good enough, but in saying that, our bowlers, we haven’t had anyone take over five wickets or six wickets.

“We don’t have anyone sticking their hand up with bat or ball.”

In any case, Hastings had a message for the club’s supporters. “We are a very proud club,” he said.

“We are doing everything possible to try and turn it around. We love the support, we love that people keep coming to support us. Hopefully we can see a few young guys maybe in the next couple of games, and try and get a couple of wins and put some smiles back on faces because these performances we’ve been putting together haven’t been good enough.

“We do have a very strong member base and a strong fan base, so apologies to them.”

The first-season captain also said he was hopeful of leading the side again next summer, but acknowledged that he might not get the chance to do so.

“It hurts, because I’m the captain ultimately,” he said.

“I’d love to have another crack at it. Whether or not that’s going to be the case I’m not too sure. I suppose everything will probably come under the microscope won’t it, because we haven’t done as well as we would have liked.”

Following their game against the Thunder, the Stars also have matches against the Sixers (away) and the Hobart Hurricanes (home) to finish the season.

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