First-home buyers shine in new ABS data

First-home buyers have again lifted their claim on new mortgage lending in Australia, according to official data, with experts calling 2018 the year of the first-home buyer comeback.

The number of loans written to first-home buyers, as a percentage of total owner-occupied loans, rose to 18 per cent in November 2017 from 17.6 per cent in the previous month, ABS housing finance data show.

The last time the figures were at 18 per cent or above was 2012 – although that figure was still a long way off May 2009 when first-home buyers made up 31.4 per cent of all new mortgages.

The figures also show policy measures aimed at dissuading property investors continued to bite in November, with a seasonally adjusted 1.5 per cent gain in finance to investors in the month but an 8.3 per cent fall year-on-year.

Overall housing finance commitments were up 2.1 per cent in November and average loan sizes for both owner occupiers and first-home buyers rose – $11,000 and $3000, respectively.

Chief economist at Market Economics Stephen Koukoulas said a softer national market, low interest rates and better buying conditions were coming together to help many young buyers into the market.

“Opportunities for first-home buyers are certainly improving,” he said, but warned the figures may not continue to rise, but rather track sideways from current highs.

“Once you’ve already had a decent pick-up it’s hard for it to keep growing.”

“Maybe there will be more of a consolidation of these higher levels rather than extra growth.” Aust Nov housing finance: investors +1.5%mom, owner occupiers +2.7%. Stronger than expected but investor share continuing to fall. First home buyer share rose to 18% as decline in investors provides space and improved stamp duty duty concessions in NSW and Victoria help. pic.twitter苏州美甲学校/1T4R0sMElL??? Shane Oliver (@ShaneOliverAMP) January 17, 2018This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on 苏州美甲学校.

Sorry, no one wants your used clothes anymore

For decades, the donation bin has offered consumers in rich countries a guilt-free way to unload their old clothing.

In a virtuous and profitable cycle, a global network of traders would collect these garments, grade them, and transport them around the world to be recycled, worn again, or turned into rags and stuffing.

Now that cycle is breaking down. Fashion trends are accelerating, new clothes are becoming as cheap as used ones, and poor countries are turning their backs on the second-hand trade. Without significant changes in the way that clothes are made and marketed, this could add up to an environmental disaster in the making.

Nobody is more alert to this shift than the roughly 200 businesses devoted to recycling clothes into yarn and blankets in Panipat, India. Located 55 miles north of Delhi, the dusty city of 450,000 has served as the world’s largest recycler of woollen garments for at least two decades, becoming a crucial outlet for the $US4 billion ($5 billion) used-clothing trade.

Panipat’s mills specialise in a cloth known as shoddy, which is made from low-quality yarn recycled from woollen garments. Much of what they produce is used to make cheap blankets for disaster-relief operations. It’s been a good business: At its peak in the early 2010s, Panipat’s shoddy manufacturers could make 100,000 blankets a day, accounting for 90 per cent of the relief-blanket market.

In the early 2000s, though, cash-flush Chinese manufacturers began using modern mills that could produce many times more blankets per day than Panipat’s, and in a wider variety of colours.

Ramesh Goyal, the general manager of Ramesh Woollen Mills, told me that Chinese manufacturing has become so efficient that a new polar fleece blanket costs a mere $US2.50 retail — compared to $US2.00 for a recycled blanket. This has made China the preferred manufacturer of relief blankets worldwide, costing Panipat most of its export market.

So Panipat is changing. Five years ago, nobody in town made new fleece blankets. Today, about 50 mills do. Ramesh Woollen Mills added a Chinese-built line in 2016, and thereby boosted its production from 7,000 kilograms a day to 12,000, two-thirds of which is polar fleece. Consumers appreciate the quality, variety and fast production times.

But what’s good for Panipat and its customers is bad news for donors and the environment. Even if Panipat were producing shoddy at its peak, it probably couldn’t manage the growing flood of used clothing entering the market in search of a second life.

Between 2000 and 2015, global clothing production doubled, while the average number of times that a garment was worn before disposal declined by 36 per cent. In China, it declined by 70 per cent. Fast fashion fiasco

The rise of “fast fashion” is thus creating a bleak scenario: The tide of second-hand clothes keeps growing even as the markets to reuse them are disappearing. From an environmental standpoint, that’s a big problem. Already, the apparel industry accounts for 10 per cent of global carbon emissions; as recycling markets break down, its contribution could soar.

The good news is that nobody has a bigger incentive to address this problem than the industry itself. By raising temperatures and intensifying droughts, climate change could substantially reduce cotton yields and thus make garment production less predictable and far more expensive. Industry executives are clearly concerned.

The question is what to do about it. Some brands, such as H&M and Patagonia, are experimenting with new fibres made from recycled material, which could help. But longer-term, the industry will have to try to refocus consumers on durability and quality — and charge accordingly. Era coming to an end

Ways to do this include offering warranties on clothing and making tags that inform consumers of a product’s expected lifespan. To satiate the hunger for fast fashion, meanwhile, brands might also explore subscription-based fashion rental businesses — such as China’s YCloset — or other more sustainable models.

None of these options can replace Panipat and the other mill towns that once transformed rich people’s rags into cheap clothes for the poor.

But, like it or not, that era is coming to end. Now the challenge is to stitch together a new set of solutions.

Adam Minter is the author of “Junkyard Planet: Travels in the Billion-Dollar Trash Trade.”


This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on 苏州美甲学校.

Hidden Perth: The story behind Australia’s first free colony

There’s no plaque outside 57 Murray Street in Perth’s CBD, nothing to record the significant role it played in Australian history.

Yet had you visited this same building anytime between 1915 and 1940, you’d have witnessed a steady stream of Indigenous Australians queuing up – for permission to marry, the correct form to move to another town, or just to collect a bar of soap.

The imposing, heritage-listed building was once the headquarters of possibly the most infamous public servant this country has ever produced.

Auber Octavius (AO) Neville – sometimes known as Neville the Devil – was appointed Chief Protector of Aborigines by the Western Australian government in 1915, with his title changing to Commissioner for Native Affairs in 1936 until his retirement four years later.

Played by Kenneth Branagh in the movie Rabbit Proof Fence, Neville was the architect of the policy of assimilation we now call “the Stolen Generations”.

As Chief Protector of Aborigines, Neville ironically believed “the Native race” should be genetically absorbed.

As he put it: “Are we going to have one million blacks in the Commonwealth? Or are we going to merge them into our white community and eventually forget that there were any Aborigines in Australia?”

But enough of Neville and the past. I’m here on a two-hour walking tour with Ryan Zaknich, co-founder of the award-winning Two Feet & a Heartbeat company, which offers bespoke walking tours of the city, depending on your interests. And my request had been simple: “Show me what’s new.”

For those of you who haven’t been to the WA capital in the past few years, much has changed. James Packer’s new five-star $650 million hotel Crown Towers, Perth (which opened in December 2016 and is linked to the neighbouring Crown Metropole and Crown Casino) offers superb views of the changing Perth skyline from its top floor club lounge (crownhotels苏州美甲学校419论坛/crown-towers-perth/en).

Look, there’s the 60,000-seater, $1.6 billion Perth Stadium (perthstadium苏州美甲学校419论坛/), due to open in 2018 in time for next year’s AFL season (both West Coast Eagles and Fremantle Dockers will play there), with Test matches to follow.

So what else is new? I meet Zaknich at the Atlas Building, a former assurance headquarters that opened in 1931 on The Esplanade.

If that hardly seems new, we’re here for two reasons. Firstly, it is the home of the Museum of Perth (museumofperth苏州美甲学校419论坛/), a not-for-profit organisation which opened in 2016 to chronicle the city’s social, cultural, political and architectural history.

The exhibition today is Demolished Icons of Perth – a photographic display showing buildings that were bulldozed alongside photos of what replaced them. “Perth could have been the most beautiful city in Australia,” Zaknich says. “But we destroyed it.”

Secondly, Zaknich knows the Atlas Building has arguably the best view (for the time being) of Elizabeth Quay, the multi-billion dollar renovation of the Esplanade Reserve and the “Perth waterfront” (the WA government has spent $440 million developing the site which will eventually feature the future Ritz-Carlton hotel – some 2800 new hotel rooms are due to open in Perth before the end of 2019).

This foreshore was the birthplace of the Swan River Colony. It’s often forgotten Perth is the third oldest capital city in Australia (after Sydney and Hobart). Initially – and isn’t this the story of European settlement of Australia? – it was a debacle.

Captain James Stirling, the city’s founder and WA’s first governor, arrived in 1829 to form the first free colony in Australia (though the Dutch explorer Willem de Vlamingh had named the Swan River after the black swans he saw there in 1697). Of course, the local Nyoongar people had been there for 40,000 years or more. Quite naturally, they took exception when their traditional food supplies were consumed by the newcomers.

As Zaknich points out, the Swan River at this point is a misnomer: it’s actually an easily defended part of the tidal estuary. But although it will be several years before Elizabeth Quay is completed, it has already become a focal point of the city.

A 20-metre high, double-arched suspension bridge for pedestrians and cyclists now crosses to the Isle of Voyage, containing the rebuilt Florence Hummerston Kiosk (isleofvoyage苏州美甲学校419论坛/home).

Then there are the seasonal pop-up festivals, the futuristic Bell Tower on Barrack Street Jetty, and signature $1.3 million, eight-storey steel and carbon fibre installation designed by local artist Christian de Vietri, unveiled in 2016 (apparently it represents water ripples reflecting the Swan River, the land and the sky).

As we walk northwards from Elizabeth Quay, Zaknich points out back lane bars and restaurants that will be thriving come Friday evening, a legacy of the WA government’s 2007 licensing reform designed to encourage a more vibrant streetscape (including the street art prompted by the not-for-profit organisation FORM – form.net419论坛/).

We also venture into COMO The Treasury – the 48-room luxury hotel recast from what used to be the 19th-century State Buildings (comohotels苏州美甲学校/thetreasury). Then we take the lift up to Perth’s most celebrated rooftop restaurant, Wildflower (wildflowerperth苏州美甲学校419论坛/). Sadly, there’s no time to sample the $145 five course tasting plate determined by whichever of the six Indigenous seasons we happen to be visiting in (example: “Slow-cooked Doodlakine pork with sweet potato, sour radish, candied mustard, Davidson and powdered Kakadu plum” – a winner at any corroboree).

Throughout our walk, Zaknich fills me in on the tragedies of Midgegooroo and his son, Yagan.

Midgegooroo was a tribal elder of the Nyungar nation who fell foul of white man’s law. This was (a) because white man’s law had never been explained to him and/or (b) because he was obeying his traditional laws – which meant if someone arrived unannounced and stole your fish, you were fully entitled to pluck his goose.

What is undeniable is that Midgegooroo was captured, imprisoned, then condemned to death without a trial, tied to the gates of the city gaol and executed by firing squad.

The main reason Zaknich is telling me this is because our tour is due to end at Yagan Square.

Since the railway arrived in 1881, Perth has been a divided city. Sandwiched between the Swan and the trains, the city centre has stretched out in a narrow east-west corridor.

Northbridge was home to Chinese market gardeners, opium dens, mahjong rooms, whore houses, nightclubs.

Of course, it had to reinvent itself once that custom (minus the market gardening) was transferred to the newly opened Burswood Island Casino in 1985.

Northbridge is now undergoing another revival, as demonstrated by trendy hotels such as the Alex Hotel (alexhotel苏州美甲学校419论坛/), funky restaurants like Sauma, Meat Candy and Lucky Chan’s Laundry + Noodle Bar, and Northbridge Piazza with its free outdoor movies.

This year, Northbridge is being connected to the Perth CBD for the first time in 137 years. According to its official website, Yagan Square will be “the city’s new heart … a hub of activity both during the day and at night with cafes, restaurants, pop-up shops and kiosks”.

Essentially it is a new public meeting space (similar to Melbourne’s Federation Square) created by enclosing and building over the railway tracks.

“This will be where Eagles fans gather when they win the Grand Final,” Zaknich says. “It can cater for up to 8500 people.”

Of course, the main significance of Yagan Square is its name.

Yagan is one of the few Aborigines to have made it into the Australian Dictionary of Biography. A resistance leader and defender of his people, Yagan was shot dead on July 11,1833, by a young shepherd boy eager to claim the ??30 bounty for capturing him “dead or alive”.

The story of Yagan’s subsequent decapitation, the skinning of his tribal tattoos, the return of his severed head from the UK in 1997, and its final burial in 2010 is too tortuous to repeat (no one emerges with glory).

Yet the naming of Perth’s new civic corroboree space after him – at the same time the revitalised quay is rebadged after the reigning monarch – marks a reconciliation of sorts. Doesn’t it? TRIP NOTESMORE




Tribe Hotel Perth, 4 Walker Avenue, West Perth. See tribehotels苏州美甲学校419论坛/perthTOUR

Two Feet & a Heartbeat has a range of walking tours of Perth, Fremantle and Rottnest Island including bar tours, art and culture, food and beverage and heritage tours. Ph 1800 459 388, see twofeet苏州美甲学校419论坛/perth-home/

Steve Meacham was a guest of Tourism Western Australia.

Wallarah 2 coal mine approved despite risk to Central Coast water supply

Wallarah 2 coal mine approved despite risk to Central Coast water supply Decision: NSW Planning Assessment Commission members (from left) Andrew Hutton, David Johnson and Dr Peter Williams at a November Wallarah 2 hearing.

Protest: Central Coast residents protest outside the Wallarah 2 Planning Assessment Commission hearing in November.

Concerns: Darkinjung Local Aboriginal Land Council chief executive Sean Gordon outside the PAC hearing. An earlier Wallarah 2 proposal proposed mine infrastructure over Darkinjung land without consent.

TweetFacebookWallarah 2 coal project is completely unacceptable and completely unwanted.

Australian Coal Alliance spokesperson Alan Hayes

Mr Phillips said the mine was risky because of its threat to the safe drinking water supply of more than 300,000 people, and “has been knocked back by a previous state government for that very reason”.

“The Coalition came to power promising to end mining in sensitive drinking water catchments. They promised to stop this very coal mine – Wallarah 2 – but now they’ve given it the green light,” Mr Phillips said.

The Planning Assessment Commission approved the underground mine to produce up to five million tonnes of coal for 25 years. The coal would be exported to Korea and used in “local domestic power stations”, it said.

It noted that demand for coal for 25 years and the acceptability of greenhouse gas emissions associated with the end use of coal remained “significant uncertainties for the project”.

The commission acknowledged subsidence of up to 2.6 metres beneath a state forest area;increased flooding impacts for more than 170 property owners that could require lifting or relocating homes andincreased flooding impacts affecting 15 bridges and roads.

It also acknowledged that “economic costs and benefits of the project are finely balanced, with inevitable uncertainties about demand for thermal coal 20 years in to the future”, after Kores’ economic benefit estimate of $1.56 billion to the state was reduced to $32 million in a report commissioned by the Department of Planning.

The commission said it was satisfied impacts on surface and groundwater, and the Central Coast water supply, could be “acceptably managed”.

“The commission has found there is a small risk of impacts including to the drinking water catchment, and a small level of scientific uncertainty to these. On that basis the commission is satisfied the threat of serious or irreversible damage is very low”.

“Any potential loss to the water availability from the aquifer of the Central Coast water supply would be compensated by the applicant providing 300 megalitres a year of treated water to the catchment,” the commissionsaid.

The underground mine would provide 450 jobs during construction and 300 once operating, and any risks could be “appropriately managed and contained” by a “rigorous framework of conditions,management plans, monotiring programs and independent audits”.

Jaliens back for challenge

PLAYING for Westonis a long way from keeping Lionel Messi goalless in a World Cup match.

MARQUEE MAN: Kew Jaliens tries out a Bears playing shirt at Weston Park on Wednesday after the Northern NSW NPL club announced his recruitment. Picture: Craig Kerry

But at 39 and after almost three years out of the game, Kew Jaliens admits competing in the Northern NSW NPL this year will be a mentaland physical challenge.

“For me, the main thing is my conditioning,” Jaliens said.“I never had any injuries, so the body feels good.I think it’s more of my own mental challenge – accepting that I’m not as fit or as strong as I used to be, and can I still do the things that I have in my head?I think it’s more of a personal challenge than being able to play.”

The Bears announced on Wednesday the signing ofthe former Newcastle Jets captain, who will be among the best credentialed players ever inthe top NNSW league.

The centre-back last played in May 2015 after 11 games forMelbourne City and36 with Newcastle. Those stints came aftermore than 400 matches across stays attop Dutch andPolish clubs. Hisinternational career included the2008 Olympics and 2006 World Cup, where he helped the Netherlands contain Argentina’s Messi in a 0-0 draw.

Since retiring, Jaliens’ football focus has been oncreating a youth academy, which the Bears will provide crucial space for at Weston Park.

@WestonBearsFC president Rod Henderson with marquee recruit Kew Jaliens today at Bear Park @[email protected]@NNSWFpic.twitter苏州美甲学校/8bZHSSillb

— Craig Kerry (@craigkerry77) January 16, 2018

Jaliens will join a long listof former A-League stars, including Jets great Joel Griffiths, who have played on in theNNSW NPL. He said the advice from Griffiths was: “Just go in blank because it’s totally different and just enjoy it rather than getting all the frustrations about professional stuff that we were used to …you can crush your head if you get a bad pass or things are not working, but these things will happen and to just enjoy it.”

The Bears have finished last the past two seasons and Jaliens said the goal this year was “just to compete”.

“If you come last two years in a row, you want to leave that behind and just compete,” he said. “I’ve seen some games and in some we weren’t the lesser team, but sometimes inexperience can kill you.”

He hoped to provide crucial leadership and experience alongsidereturning stalwart Nathan Morris and veteran midfielder Josh Maguire at the Bears.

“For me, I just want to be there for the boys,” Jaliens said.

“I just want to make the ones around me better than they are now and contribute to what they want to do.

“I’ve done it all before, so it’s easy for me, but there are a lot of young boys here who might have a passion to play at a higher level or even bring this club to a higher level, and I think that’s where I come in.”

Off the field, he hoped to provide that guidance to juniors in Weston and the surrounding suburbs.

“Where my passion lies is to work with youth, to develop youth and give them a football education like I had when I was back in Holland,” he said.

“The plan still is to have an academy, so my priority and energy was in setting that up and that’s coming off the ground now.

“That’s one less worry for me, so now I can focus on other things.”

Jaliens was technical director at Weston in 2016 and part of last season but now felt the time was right to return to the field.

“I’ve been around Weston for a bit, most of the time working with the kids, but lately also running with the first team,” he said.

“The body feels good, I don’t have any complaints and even when I trained with the boys, I enjoyed it.

“Especially this year, I think we’ve got a good mix of talented boys and some experience and I think that’s a good mix to start with.

“Last year we had a lot of talent but not so much experience and I think that’s what cost them a bit. I think this year there’s a very good mix and I enjoy being with the boys.

“Even though it’s a lower level, it’s still up to you to challenge yourself every game or every training session to be the best you can,” he added about his return.

“In that sense, I think it’s enjoyable to do the thing that you love.”

Jaliens, now a permanent resident in Australia, said he had enjoyed spending extra time in recent years with his young family, who have stayed in Newcastle since he joined the Jets in 2013.

Bears president Rod Henderson said the influence of Jaliens and Morris “will be sensational in guiding the young players through to the next level”.

Blacksmiths receives funding for shark detection technology

SPOTTED: Lake Macquarie lifeguard Darren Hooey at Blacksmiths Beach. Picture: Marina Neil.Shark detection and beach safety will be improved at Blacksmiths Beach after Lake Macquarie City Council received a NSW Government grant to fund the purchase of drone technology.

Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter Scot MacDonald announced the funding on Wednesday, which was part of $200,000 on offer to community groups from the Shark Observation Grants Program.

“I am pleased to announce thatLake Macquarie City Councilhas been successful in receiving$33,290in funding topurchase drone equipment and train staff to conduct a 14 week drone trial for shark observation and beach safety” Mr MacDonald said.

“For a number of years, the NSW Government has allocated grants up to a project total of $30,000 for local surf clubs and councils to improve shark surveillance at a number of the State’s beaches.

“Improved surveillance on beaches provide a clearer line of vision for surf lifesavers to spot sharks and are also useful for spotting people in distress.”

Lake MacquarieMayor Kay Frasersaid the regionis blessed to have such a beautiful stretch of coastline that many residents and visitors can take advantage of.

“This funding will help Council to continue its work in providing the community with accurate real-time updates on shark sightings, which allows our community to make informed decisions when visiting our beaches,” Cr Fraser said.

Council’s professional lifeguards will alsobe working with pilots fromLake Macquarie Airport and the NSW Department of Primary Industries helicopter during the trial.


Rough surf conditions shut Newcastle BeachesSquabble over Bar Beach coffee cartMerewether beats Bondi as best beach

Sail away on holiday, in style and ambition

You choose: Bavaria’s new C50 cruising yacht has three specifications, known as Holiday, Style or Ambition which give luxury finishes and offers extra features and design elements. FIFTY is the old 60 when you consider the amount of space, both on deck and down below, in Bavaria’s new C50 cruising yacht.

Penned by Italian naval architects Cossutti Yacht Design, the 50-footer’s high topsides, raised deck structure and forecastle make this a true holiday home on the water.

They have shrunk a superyacht, yet its scope is still within the realm of two-handed sailing.

Bavaria offers three specifications, known as Holiday, Style or Ambition. Even in the most basic spec, Holiday, the C50 is well equipped and ready to sail immediately, with the added confidence of Category A construction.

For owners seeking a more luxury finish, the Style line offers extra features and design elements.

Bavaria says that a special selection of woods and upholstery afford a higher level of personalisation.

The Ambition model sports performance additives like a black bowsprit in which the anchor is integrated – this pushes the gennaker forward for easier gybing and a better airflow.

The black mast, boom and dual steering wheels are carbon.

Internal layout options are almost limitless, ranging from the classic three-cabin family version with individual ensuites to the charter-oriented five-cabin arrangement. You can also have a crew cabin in the bow.

The owner’s suite, located forward, has a queen-size bed, separate shower and bath, dressing table and generous-sized lockers. In the four-cabin version this area is split into two cabins.

Further aft, the guest cabin has a full king-size bed, while there are two separate berths on the starboard side. The fifth cabin, with bunk beds, is situated in the saloon if required.

The port-side galley can cater for any size of crew. Numerous work spaces and stowage areas make it a pleasure to use, even at sea.

Refrigeration options alone amount to 250 litres, plus there’s a wine cooler to accommodate 20 bottles.

A navigation station to starboard serves as the control centre for onboard systems and a home office for anyone who can’t stay away from work, even on holiday.

“Bavaria offers three specifications, known as Holiday, Style or Ambition. Eventhe most basic, Holiday, is well equipped and ready to sail”Daylight from the large hull windows bathes the entire saloon.

Relaxation is at the forefront when it comes to the cockpit layout.

Behind the large bathing platform there is a dinghy garage and stowage space for diving or snorkelling gear.

The cockpit, feauting twin tables, is the ideal spot for lunch prepared on a concealed barbecue with its own wetbar.

More sunbathing and lounge areas can be found on the deck and forecastle.

Cossutti is well-known on both the regatta and cruising scenes for their fast and elegant sailing yachts, and the team hasn’t disappointed with the 15.55-metre C50.

The buoyant hull accelerates well in light airs and can be hunkered down in harsh conditions.

Bavaria’s development team has also ensured that the yacht is easy to sail, not just fast.

The deck layout is tuned for easy handling, with twin steering columns and nearby winches for setting, trimming and retrieving sails.

A self-tacking jib guarantees quick and precise tacking, while the gennaker can be set and retrieved by a furler.

If the budget or your marina berth can not stretch to 50 feet, there’s also a new C45 with similar looks, features and specifications.

As a world first on a 45-foot sailing yacht, it provides space for a dinghy in the stern, leaving the foredeck clear.

Both new yachts will make their international debuts tomorrow January 20, at the ‘boot Düsseldorf’ boat show.

See bavariasail苏州美甲学校419论坛 or phone 1300 609 900.

Searching for Jayden: ‘I want him to come back’

Searching for Jayden: ‘I want him to come back’ DON’T GIVE UP: Rachel Penno with Inspector Roger Whyte, of Townsville district police, in Charters Towers.

Jayden Penno-Tompsett, who went missing in Charters Towers, has not been seen since New Year’s Eve.

Jayden Penno-Tompsett, who went missing in Charters Towers, has not been seen since New Year’s Eve.

SPREADING OUT: Police ramped up the search to find Mr Penno-Tompsett on Wednesday, covering a massive area that spans 85 square kilometres of rugged terrain.

Police believe Jayden Penno-Tompsett may have driven this Nissan Pulsar to the mystery property. Picture: Queensland Police

TweetFacebook Where is Jayden Penno-Tompsett?RACHEL Penno’s gut instinct tells her there is something more to the disappearance of her only son.

“I just don’t know what that is at this moment,” she said.

“But my gut is telling me there is something else. Jayden just wouldn’t go bush like that.

“I’ve got to let the police piece this puzzle together.”

Ms Penno did everything to get from Newcastle to Charters Towers, in North Queensland, where Jayden Penno-Tompsett mysteriously vanished on New Year’s Eve on a boy’s trip to Cairns.

She hadn’t slept, battled car troubles after hitting a kangaroo, and, just 20 kilometres out of Charters Towers, ran out of fuel on the lonely Flinders Highway in the dark of the night.

When she finally got there, she met with detectives and went looking for herself, sifting through the dry country and navigating the maze of back roads that weaves through farmland, even getting lost herself.

It isn’t hard to do.

SPREADING OUT: Police ramped up the search to find Mr Penno-Tompsett on Wednesday, covering a massive area that spans 85 square kilometres of rugged terrain.

On Wednesday, she was there again with police as they ramped up the search to find Mr Penno-Tompsett, canvassing a massive area that spans 85 square kilometres of rugged terrain near the Burdekin River, north of Stockroute Drive, an area police were told the 22-year-old left the car.

Emergency services have vowed not to stop despite the “huge effort” they have on their hands.

READ MORE: ‘It’s the not knowing that’s most troubling’

Described by senior police as a “slow, arduous” process, the search area is full of dry creeks and large vegetation that has prevented the use of helicopters.

Recent rain, including a massive dumping on Monday of 86.1mm, the drought-stricken town’s wettest day in five years, has hampered search efforts.

From one extreme to the next, there has also been searing heat.

But Townsville District police Inspector Roger Whyte insisted the search effort was “evidence-based” and he vowed to leave “no stone unturned”.

A missing person notice on the entrance to the Charters Towers roadhouse where Jayden Penno-Tompsett was captured on CCTV. Picture: Brodie Owen

Some authorities still believe Mr Penno-Tompsett could be found alive with various water sources in the area.

Detectives have also not ruled out the possibility the 22-year-old hitchhiked out of Charters Towers.

“We would not be searching here if we did not believe we could find Jayden,” Inspector Whyte said on Wednesday.

For a mother in uncharted territory, hope is everything.

“I still have hope he’s going to come back,” Ms Penno said.

“I just want him to come back … I just want him to come back.”

Police again appealed for anyone in Newcastle or the Hunter Region who may have information about Mr Penno-Tompsett’s disappearance to come forward.

READ MORE: He vanished into the night

THROWBACK THURSDAY: The moment a grommet faced up to a great white shark

THROWBACK THURSDAY: The moment a grommet faced up to a great white shark ENCOUNTER: A close-up of Chris Hasson’s photograph as his 10-year-old son, Eden, surfs over the estimated 2.5-metre great white shark at Samurai Beach on Tuesday. Picture: Chris Hasson.

ENCOUNTER: The original Chris Hasson photograph as his 10-year-old son, Eden, surfs over the estimated 2.5-metre great white shark at Samurai Beach on Tuesday. Picture: Chris Hasson.

ENCOUNTER: Another crop of Chris Hasson’s photograph as his 10-year-old son, Eden, surfs over the estimated 2.5-metre great white shark at Samurai Beach on Tuesday. Picture: Chris Hasson.

SURFING FAMILY: Chris Hasson with son, Eden. Picture: Chris Hasson.

SURFING FAMILY: Eden Hasson (left), 10, with brother Archie, 5, and sister Olivia, 12. Picture: Chris Hasson.

TweetFacebookIt was in January last year that one boy’s terrifying close-encounter with a shark caused a collective gasp across the nation.

Take a look back into the archives.


EDEN Hasson was catching the last of the light and the smooth waves at the northern end of Samurai Beach when he took off on a left-hander.

His dad, lifetime surfer and Nelson Bay real estate agent Chris Hasson, was standing on the rocks on the northern headland taking photographs of his grommet son and a few mates smashing off the lips.

But then the dark shadow caught Chris Hasson’s eye.

He continued snapping away before 10-year-old Eden rode the wave into the beach and started paddling out again.

Then he zooms into the photograph and sees it – the head of a 2.5-metre great white shark in the face of a wave as Eden snaps his board over the top of it.

READ MORE:Central Coast beaches closed after shark attack

“Check it’s mouth,’’ Mr Hasson told his friends via Facebook.

“It’s rolled over having a good look at his yummy yellow new wetsuit.’’

The extraordinary photograph was shot on Tuesday night as Eden and four other surfers were enjoying the last of the waves.

“We are a surfing family. Eden is a talented 10-year-old competitive surfer. I’d been using flippers to push [daughter] Olivia and [son] Archie into waves all day,’’ Mr Hasson told Fairfax Media.

“Eden was surfing with his mate Taj and it was late in the afternoon with a storm approaching.

“Olivia and Taj paddled in leaving Eden and 4 other surfers out. I took the camera onto the rocks and started taking photos when I noticed a dark shape.

“I was just about to call everyone in when Eden took off on the wave in the picture and I took a number of shots.

READ MORE:Shark sighting shuts Merewether Beach

“Eden rode the wave to the beach. I quickly zoomed in on the second photo and was shocked when I saw the image.

“Eden was half way out and I called everyone in. I showed them the photo and everyone was in awe laughing.

“One of the surfers said just before the wave a large school of mullet arrived.’’

SURFING FAMILY: Chris Hasson with his son, Eden. Picture: Chris Hasson.

Eden said he didn’t realise the dark shape he saw was a great white shark.

“When I took off I thought I saw something and when I went to do the first snap off the top I hit something and I thought it was seaweed,’’ he said.

“Then when [Dad] called me in I thought it must be a shark because there was a big school of fish we saw.’’

The experience hasn’t scared the Hassons or other surfers along the Tomaree peninsula – they have alwayssurfed and swam knowing they were sharing the water with sharks.

“I’ve always taught the children about respecting the ocean and that sharks are to be respected not feared,’’ Mr Hasson said.

“To trust their instincts if they fear someoneis not right and always come straight in if they see something or feel uneasy.

“Eden is not deterred and has already paddled out for a surf the next day.He loves surfing and the ocean. It’s only created a greater awareness.

“I’ve surfed the area for 30 years and sharks have always been there, and always will be and there’s largely never a problem.

READ MORE:Helicopter shark patrols on NSW coast

“I’ve seen quite a few in that time and simply paddle in if we see one and regroup for another beach or day. When you put a seat belt on you don’t worry about having an accident.’’

Mr Hasson has refuted claims on social media that the photograph was actually a surfer duck-diving in front of his son.

He said there was no one else close to the waveother than surfer Josh Dickson seen on the left of the original picture.

“If you see the original from further away surfers don’t duck dive that deep on shoulders of waves and there is no splash or wake from him paddling or duck-diving,’’ he said.

Mr Dickson said therewere only five people in the water –himself, a friend who was out of picture in a rip, two malibu riders out the back and Eden Hasson on the wave.

He said he didn’t see the shark, but there was no one else near the wave.

Peter McCabe, whohas been shaping surfboards since 1975, said there was no question the image was of a great white shark.

“You wouldn’t get a surfer under the water with a guy turning over it’s head,” Mr McCabe said.

“I have very similar images I have taken myself.

“You can see the shape, I’ve seen quite a few.

“It’s a shark, no question.

“He is lucky he didn’t fall off because the shark looks like it’s going in for the sniff.”

Marine ecologist and shark expert Dr Danny Bucher said he believed the shark may have been startled by Eden and was rolling away as the photograph was taken, giving it an impression it was swimming upside down.

“They will roll after biting into, say, a whale carcass in order to tear off pieces, but the initial approach is in an upright position where they are more stable,’’ he said.

“Rolling on approach would take the surfer out of the shark’s field of vision, so I don’t interpret this move as particularly aggressive or predatory.

“Quite the opposite, it may have been startled by the rapid approach of the board and has broken the surface in a rapid change of direction away from the surfer.’’

Suncorp, Allianz to refund $62.8m to customers who bought insurance from car dealers

Insurance giants Allianz and Suncorp will refund a combined $62.8 million in premiums to more than 100,000 customers, after selling insurance via car dealers that was of little or no use, the corporate watchdog says.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission on Wednesday said Allianz would refund $45.6 million to 68,000 customers who bought the insurance between 2010 and last November.

ASIC also said Suncorp would refund $17.2 million to 41,228 customers who bought the insurance, which was sold under its MTA Insurance brand, which Suncorp bought in 2014.

The payouts take recent compensation payments from add-on insurance to $122 million, after ASIC also announced last month that Swann Insurance would pay out $37 million.

ASIC has repeatedly raised concerns about “add-on” insurance, claiming that in many cases insurers were paying car yard staff big commissions to selling policies that were near useless to customers.

The Allianz compensation scheme will cover a range of questionable products that ASIC said provided little or no value.

These included cover for customers who were unable to pay their car loan because of sickness, tyre and rim insurances, and guaranteed asset protection insurance (GAP), which covers a customer for losses if their car is written off and their car loan exceeds the insured value of the car.

ASIC outlined a series of concerns, including that GAP insurance customers were unlikely to make claims because of how the cover was designed, and that many customers were over-insured.

“The refunds offered by Allianz, together with those from other insurers, make up one of the largest compensation programs achieved by ASIC, with over $120 million in refunds to consumers as a result of ASIC shining a spotlight on these poor consumer outcomes,” said ASIC’s acting chair, Peter Kell.

Allianz acknowledged the refunds, which it said were part of a package of changes that also included improving guidance to car dealers, as well as cutting premiums for some products and the commissions paid.

“As part of an analysis of our motor vehicle add-on insurance products, we have identified some policyholders that purchased cover which may not have been suited to their circumstances and others that did not notify us to cancel their cover,” Allianz said.

The Suncorp refunds also related to GAP insurance policies, which were sold to customers between 2009 and 2017. ASIC said it was unlikely customers would be able to make claims under the policies, the cover was often unnecessary, and clients were sold more expensive cover than they needed.

A Suncorp spokeswoman said it anticipated it would be contacting customers shortly, and that it had made various improvements to its products to provide “better value” for customers.

“Both Suncorp and MTAI continue to focus on delivering high-quality products that provide good value and protection for our customers,” the spokeswoman said.

Consumer groups have long raised concerns about types of add-on insurance, and a senior policy officer at the Consumer Action Law centre, Susan Quinn, said there would be other people outside those identified by the insurance companies who could be eligible for a refund.

“There are groups of people who bought this insurance and should not have been sold it, but there’s lots of other people who bought this insurance through pressures sales and may still be able to get a refund,” Ms Quinn said.

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