Gallery: TMCA annual get-together

Hundreds gathered for the annual Tasmanian Mountain Cattlemen’s Association get-together, held at The Rough Paddock at Penstock in the Central Highlands. Picture: Paul Scambler Hundreds gathered for the annual Tasmanian Mountain Cattlemen’s Association get-together, held at The Rough Paddock at Penstock in the Central Highlands. Picture: Paul Scambler
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Hundreds gathered for the annual Tasmanian Mountain Cattlemen’s Association get-together, held at The Rough Paddock at Penstock in the Central Highlands. Picture: Paul Scambler

Hundreds gathered for the annual Tasmanian Mountain Cattlemen’s Association get-together, held at The Rough Paddock at Penstock in the Central Highlands. Picture: Paul Scambler

Hundreds gathered for the annual Tasmanian Mountain Cattlemen’s Association get-together, held at The Rough Paddock at Penstock in the Central Highlands. Picture: Paul Scambler

Hundreds gathered for the annual Tasmanian Mountain Cattlemen’s Association get-together, held at The Rough Paddock at Penstock in the Central Highlands. Picture: Paul Scambler

Hundreds gathered for the annual Tasmanian Mountain Cattlemen’s Association get-together, held at The Rough Paddock at Penstock in the Central Highlands. Picture: Paul Scambler

Hundreds gathered for the annual Tasmanian Mountain Cattlemen’s Association get-together, held at The Rough Paddock at Penstock in the Central Highlands. Picture: Paul Scambler

Hundreds gathered for the annual Tasmanian Mountain Cattlemen’s Association get-together, held at The Rough Paddock at Penstock in the Central Highlands. Picture: Paul Scambler

Hundreds gathered for the annual Tasmanian Mountain Cattlemen’s Association get-together, held at The Rough Paddock at Penstock in the Central Highlands. Picture: Paul Scambler

Hundreds gathered for the annual Tasmanian Mountain Cattlemen’s Association get-together, held at The Rough Paddock at Penstock in the Central Highlands. Picture: Paul Scambler

Hundreds gathered for the annual Tasmanian Mountain Cattlemen’s Association get-together, held at The Rough Paddock at Penstock in the Central Highlands. Picture: Paul Scambler

Hundreds gathered for the annual Tasmanian Mountain Cattlemen’s Association get-together, held at The Rough Paddock at Penstock in the Central Highlands. Picture: Paul Scambler

Hundreds gathered for the annual Tasmanian Mountain Cattlemen’s Association get-together, held at The Rough Paddock at Penstock in the Central Highlands. Picture: Paul Scambler

Hundreds gathered for the annual Tasmanian Mountain Cattlemen’s Association get-together, held at The Rough Paddock at Penstock in the Central Highlands. Picture: Paul Scambler

Hundreds gathered for the annual Tasmanian Mountain Cattlemen’s Association get-together, held at The Rough Paddock at Penstock in the Central Highlands. Picture: Paul Scambler

Hundreds gathered for the annual Tasmanian Mountain Cattlemen’s Association get-together, held at The Rough Paddock at Penstock in the Central Highlands. Picture: Paul Scambler

Hundreds gathered for the annual Tasmanian Mountain Cattlemen’s Association get-together, held at The Rough Paddock at Penstock in the Central Highlands. Picture: Paul Scambler

Hundreds gathered for the annual Tasmanian Mountain Cattlemen’s Association get-together, held at The Rough Paddock at Penstock in the Central Highlands. Picture: Paul Scambler

Hundreds gathered for the annual Tasmanian Mountain Cattlemen’s Association get-together, held at The Rough Paddock at Penstock in the Central Highlands. Picture: Paul Scambler

Hundreds gathered for the annual Tasmanian Mountain Cattlemen’s Association get-together, held at The Rough Paddock at Penstock in the Central Highlands. Picture: Paul Scambler

Hundreds gathered for the annual Tasmanian Mountain Cattlemen’s Association get-together, held at The Rough Paddock at Penstock in the Central Highlands. Picture: Paul Scambler

Hundreds gathered for the annual Tasmanian Mountain Cattlemen’s Association get-together, held at The Rough Paddock at Penstock in the Central Highlands. Picture: Paul Scambler

Hundreds gathered for the annual Tasmanian Mountain Cattlemen’s Association get-together, held at The Rough Paddock at Penstock in the Central Highlands. Picture: Paul Scambler

Hundreds gathered for the annual Tasmanian Mountain Cattlemen’s Association get-together, held at The Rough Paddock at Penstock in the Central Highlands. Picture: Paul Scambler

Hundreds gathered for the annual Tasmanian Mountain Cattlemen’s Association get-together, held at The Rough Paddock at Penstock in the Central Highlands. Picture: Paul Scambler

Hundreds gathered for the annual Tasmanian Mountain Cattlemen’s Association get-together, held at The Rough Paddock at Penstock in the Central Highlands. Picture: Paul Scambler

Hundreds gathered for the annual Tasmanian Mountain Cattlemen’s Association get-together, held at The Rough Paddock at Penstock in the Central Highlands. Picture: Paul Scambler

Hundreds gathered for the annual Tasmanian Mountain Cattlemen’s Association get-together, held at The Rough Paddock at Penstock in the Central Highlands. Picture: Paul Scambler

Hundreds gathered for the annual Tasmanian Mountain Cattlemen’s Association get-together, held at The Rough Paddock at Penstock in the Central Highlands. Picture: Paul Scambler

Hundreds gathered for the annual Tasmanian Mountain Cattlemen’s Association get-together, held at The Rough Paddock at Penstock in the Central Highlands. Picture: Paul Scambler

Hundreds gathered for the annual Tasmanian Mountain Cattlemen’s Association get-together, held at The Rough Paddock at Penstock in the Central Highlands. Picture: Paul Scambler

Hundreds gathered for the annual Tasmanian Mountain Cattlemen’s Association get-together, held at The Rough Paddock at Penstock in the Central Highlands. Picture: Paul Scambler

Hundreds gathered for the annual Tasmanian Mountain Cattlemen’s Association get-together, held at The Rough Paddock at Penstock in the Central Highlands. Picture: Paul Scambler

Hundreds gathered for the annual Tasmanian Mountain Cattlemen’s Association get-together, held at The Rough Paddock at Penstock in the Central Highlands. Picture: Paul Scambler

Hundreds gathered for the annual Tasmanian Mountain Cattlemen’s Association get-together, held at The Rough Paddock at Penstock in the Central Highlands. Picture: Paul Scambler

Hundreds gathered for the annual Tasmanian Mountain Cattlemen’s Association get-together, held at The Rough Paddock at Penstock in the Central Highlands. Picture: Paul Scambler

Hundreds gathered for the annual Tasmanian Mountain Cattlemen’s Association get-together, held at The Rough Paddock at Penstock in the Central Highlands. Picture: Paul Scambler

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Unliveable Redfern cottage sells for $1 million

The three-bedroom weatherboard has been left empty for half a decade. Photo: Supplied 48 Chelsea Street, Redfern: broken floorboards, rising damp and termite damage. Photo: Supplied
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Despite having broken floorboards, rising damp and termite damage,  a rundown, unliveable Redfern cottage has sold for $1,025,000 –  $75,000 above reserve.

And buyer Tai Phan, a 34-year-old lawyer from Bondi, immediately suffered buyer remorse. ‘‘What have I done?’’ he joked. ‘‘Now that I look back at it, [I have] a bit of remorse.’’

The three-bedroom weatherboard on a tiny 107 square metres of land at 48 Chelsea Street had been left empty for half a decade and was being sold by the Public Trustee. It was built in 1910 by a Redfern bootmaker named William Steward and last traded in 1956 for £435.

The auction attracted about 200 people, 13 of whom had registered to bid. When bidding passed the $1 million mark, one neighbour in the crowd remarked, ‘‘This is ridiculous.’’

They may have been familiar with the sale of the equally dishevelled property directly behind the house, which sold for $650,000 in 2012.

But Mr Phan said the market had changed considerably in the past 12 months. ‘‘It is pretty crazy, hey?’’ he said. ‘‘Just before summer it really kicked off and people went a little bit nuts, but I’ve found something now so I’m pretty happy. I didn’t expect to pay that much, but it is what it is.’’

According to the senior economist at Australian Property Monitors, Dr Andrew Wilson, the Redfern median house price has just surpassed $1 million for the first time.

“I’ve re-run the numbers and the median price for Redfern is $1.01 million,” he said.

“Redfern is now one of those million dollar suburbs of Sydney, with a top price last year of $2.45 million.”

The house in Chelsea Street is Mr Phan’s third property purchase; he plans to renovate with his builder brother Tom and lease it out. The rental return, Tom joked, would depend on ‘‘how many bunk beds we can fit in there’’. The pair estimate it will cost about $150,000 to make it liveable, which would include replacing the floorboards and adding a fourth bedroom in the attic.

Selling agent Warren Gibson from Century 21 Parkins Gibson said more than 100 groups had toured the property before the auction.

Many Sydney properties blitzed their reserves on the first Saturday of the 2014 auction season.

Another deceased estate, at 5 Chiswick Street, Strathfield South, also drew in a huge numbers, with many in the 100-strong crowd gobsmacked to see the rundown two-bedroom home sell for $932,000.

‘‘It was in pretty bad condition,’’ selling agent Joe Campisi from Devine Real Estate said.

Across Sydney there were 93 properties scheduled for auction on Saturday, 21 more than the same weekend last year.  Sydney recorded a preliminary clearance rate of 80.3 per cent on the day, in line with the strong results that characterised the city’s market late last year. There are 1467 properties already scheduled for auction this month – 43 per cent more than the 1026 last February.

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Versatility put to test

SKILL in runs, jumps and throws was put to the test at the weekend’s Little Athletics Victoria multi-event championships in Bendigo.
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The hot form of many girls and boys from across the state was matched by the scorching heat.

Misting sprays, a sprinkler at the finish line of the distance runs, a water slide and shortened program were all ways of trying to minimise the impact of the heat.

Little Athletics Victoria CEO Dean Paulin said despite the heat, the two-day titles at the Latrobe University Bendigo athletics complex in Flora Hillwere a great success.

“We had various policies in place because of the extreme heat,” Paulin said.

“Attempts at throws and jumps for under-9s to under-14s were two instead of three.

“We were to take a break on Saturday afternoon, but the competitors were keen to keep going.Saturday night’s program started at 5.30.

“The support from athletes, officials and parents was absolutely fantastic.”

The titles were a five-discipline contest for under-9 to under-13, and seven events for under-14 to under-16.

Paulin said a packed calendar for Athletics Australia,Athletics Victoria, LAV and schools meant the multi-event titles could not be re-scheduled to next weekend or the week after.

LEAP: Kate Wilcock in action in the under-11 long jump. Pictures: PETER WEAVING

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All eyes on South Sydney

Development sites across South Sydney are the hottest tickets in town with Asian-based and local developers prepared to pay up to garner a site.
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The limited supply of large development sites in the sought-after area, and general undersupply of housing in the wider Sydney market, are two of the key drivers of demand into 2014.

New Savills research on the sector notes that prime industrial net rents as at December 2013 in South Sydney ranged from $130 a square metre to $190 sqm; secondary buildings ranged from $90 sqm to $115 sqm.

The research says compared with the 12 months prior the figures are stable. This indicated that developers would look at the land for conversion to housing to generate higher end values.

According to Jones Lang LaSalle’s head of metropolitan sales and investments, NSW, Sam Brewer, demand in South Sydney was getting stronger as supply tightened and off-the-plan unit sales continued to be strong.

”We are seeing far more developers looking at purchasing larger development sites in South Sydney, of say 200-plus units, than there were a year ago, highlighting the increased demand for the area,” Mr Brewer said. He confirmed that Asian investors and developers were the keenest of the buyers.

Jones Lang LaSalle’s senior negotiator, metropolitan sales and investments, Scott Timbrell, said there was a consensus that there was an undersupply of housing in Sydney.

A large residential development site in South Sydney is being offered to the market by Mr Brewer and Mr Timbrell of Jones Lang LaSalle on behalf of Goodrich Control Systems Pty Ltd. The 10,300 sqm development site, at 84-92 Epsom Road, Zetland, is part of the redevelopment area of the $8-billion Green Square precinct. The property is within 4.8 kilometres of the Sydney CBD, 5km from the Sydney Airport, with all main public transport within walking distance.

The site is rectangular and represents an outstanding opportunity to acquire a large residential development site in the new Green Square Town Centre.

”Land values have slightly increased over the last 12 months,” says Savills research. ”A fall in debt finance and the lack of available stock has resulted in a return of ”cashed up” owner-occupiers to the market.

”Owner-occupiers are willing to pay solid prices for land to develop their premises in their desired location. These rates fall anywhere between $250-$350 per square metre.”

Savills anticipates owner occupiers will continue to seek 1 to 2 hectare sites, which should see a further lift in land values.

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Pub sales toast to bounteous year

A new round of sales and potential new floats will dominate the pub sector in the coming year, with more than $50 million having changed hands in the past two months.
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Private investor Anthony Medich paid $6 million for the Centennial Hotel at 88 Oxford Street, Woollahra, from Cos Psaltis, and it is expected there will be a newly launched restaurant joint-venture at the pub with celebrity chef Justin North.

Two of the biggest sales this year, yet to be finalised, were by Coles of The Palms at Chullora for $22.5 million to Iris Capital and the Long Jetty at Wyong to private investor Peter McDougal for $4.9 million.

In November, Coles put the assets on the market as part of its continued non-core pub divestment.

The potential float of the Australian Pub Fund is still to be finalised.

The sales come as the NSW pub sector works through the new late-night closing regulations introduced by NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell. Pub investors say most hotels will be immune, because most have midnight closing times. Only those with 3am closings will be affected.

Other recent sales by Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels pub investment sales director John Musca and associate Sam Handy include the Lansdowne Hotel, Chippendale, for $6.2 million to the owner of the Oscars Hotels chain, and Triple 888 Hotel, Chinatown, for $10 million to a private chinese investor.

Late last year the Jacksons on George Hotel in the city was bought for $23 million by developer Lend Lease, while the Lantern Hotel Group bought the Crown Hotel, Surry Hills for $15.5 million.

Mr Musca said he was not surprised to see a rush of hotel transaction activity in the last half of 2013 as recognition of the differential between hotel earnings and the cash rate inevitably transcended market investment malaise.

“The movement of the equity markets towards yield will preface interest in larger suburban hotels, where earnings histories are transparent, barriers to entry highest and growth manifestly evident,” he said.

Andrew Jolliffe, managing director of Ray White Hotels Australia, said he had spoken to a number of major lenders during the past week and all were pragmatic about the likely impacts of the proposed legislative amendments.

“Fundamentally, hotels are well positioned businesses with both loan-to-value ratios and interest cover ratios in better than good working order,” he said.

“Few industries are as resilient as the hotel industry.”

Mr Jolliffe sold the Plumpton Hotel for about $20 million last year and the Ray White Hotels Darwin office recently sold two hotel assets, with Woolworths hotel arm Australian Leisure and Hospitality rumoured to be the buyer.

“Darwin and the Northern Territory are emerging markets and hence key strategic objectives for our national business,” Mr Jolliffe said.

A new deal on the market is the Carrington Hotel at 563 Bourke Street, in Surry Hills, being sold by the private group of investor Greg Magree, Drink’n’Dine.

The inner-city venue forms part of Drink’n’Dine’s pub portfolio, which includes the renowned Forresters and Norfolk hotels.

Dan Dragicevich and Joel Fisher, of CBRE Hotels, who have been appointed to sell the venue, said the sale was in line with Drink’n’Dine’s expansion strategy.

“Having entered the industry initially with the 2009 purchase of the Norfolk Hotel, Drink’n’Dine has expanded rapidly, adding to its stable of five venues with the recent reopening of the Oxford Hotel in Petersham,” Mr Dragicevich said.

The sale marked the first time Drink’n’Dine had sold one of its venues, and the divestment would free the group up for further expansion.

Drink’n’Dine co-founder Jaime Wirth said the decision to sell was bittersweet. “It’s difficult parting with any of our venues, but we have decided that streamlining the group is best for the immediate future.”

Mr Fisher said the sale came after a watershed year in 2013 for the pub market, where yields had sharpened considerably and sales activity had continued to grow.

“There is a resounding appetite from current players, as well as new entrants for quality metro assets. This can be directly attributed to continued low rates and a lack of stock available,” he said.

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Real estate firms join forces

Consolidation of real estate agencies has led to the formation of LJ Hooker Commercial South Sydney, with a mandate to expand as the area moves from its traditional industrial tone to higher-end residential offerings.
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As part of the merger, agency Alexandria Commercial was also recently acquired.

The director of LJ Hooker Inner City and managing director of City Commercial, Warren Duncan, said increased demand from local and overseas investors would dominate business in the coming year.

Last year Mr Duncan and Patrick Brush, head of LJ Hooker Commercial, joined forces with Kristen Marsh, managing director of Billicorp, a high-profile agency for the past decade in South Sydney.

Ms Marsh is the new investment and development site specialist for the merged group, based in Shanghai. Mr Duncan said she would provide opportunities for Asian investors to get a foothold into the South Sydney residential market.

“This area has been one of the best-performing sectors across the Sydney metropolitan area and we expect a busy year ahead,” Mr Duncan said.

“There is the Green Square development that will add commercial, retail and residential space, along with East Village for food and retail.”

One of the key impacts on South Sydney has been the growing exit of the traditional industrial/warehouse business to the west and south west, which has left the properties ripe for residential projects.

Mr Duncan said growth in housing has meant the area is also emerging as an “eat street” precinct.

East Village Urban Marketplace is three kilometres from the Sydney CBD and within the Green Square Urban Renewal Project. Green Square is a catalyst for change across the entire suburb of Zetland, Danks Street area and Greater South Sydney.

The gentrification of the primary trade area began in the mid-1990s and is now characterised by the Danks Street precinct and neighbouring suburbs populated by a young, affluent professional market earning a high per capita income.

Mr Duncan said the increase in the cash from China would continue this year as many investors prefer to be near the City, but are attracted to higher density and off-the-plan new developments. “We envisage that more commercial and industrial space will be keenly sought after by cashed-up overseas investors who want to eat, live and work within close proximity for transport and the City,” Mr Duncan said.

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Come together right now

While the state government in NSW plans to give planning powers back to communities via their councils, the federal government is currently bringing 244,000 immigrants into Australia each year, well above the annual surplus of births over deaths of 162,000.
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So the federal government creates the need for more houses, apartments, office buildings, industrial workshops and retail outlets – but even the state government seems to want to pass the difficult planning and building issues down to local councils. The problem with this is that councillors are elected often to protect local character and oppose new unsympathetic development. There would seem to be a chain of command problem here.

Australia’s economic prosperity has come from 226 years of immigration and we need this growth. Current projections continue Australia’s immigration at about 250,000 people a year so it would seem that local communities are going to have to get used to growth and change.

The federal government should provide infrastructure grants to those councils that support strong growth. Alternatively it could contribute funds to state governments for infrastructure, as with WestConnex, on the proviso that local councils support growth.

A classic example is the potential urban renewal of Parramatta Road: nine separate councils are unlikely to support a unified approach to new mixed use development. The $1.5 billion from the Commonwealth may well help fund the road tunnel but what about accommodation for a proportion of the new population flowing from immigration policies?

Wound up with the three tiers of government is the debate on the role of Infrastructure Australia, the Productivity Commission infrastructure studies, the potential reform of local government and of the NSW planning system. If all of these reviews worked together and used Parramatta Road/WestConnex as their case study we could get the three tiers of Australia’s governments working like a national business with efficient state offices and local distributors.

Chris Johnson is the chief executive of the Urban Taskforce of Australia.  

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Busy year for local REITs

The start of 2014 has already set a busy tone for the coming year. Over the summer holidays we saw Dexus win over GPT for the Commonwealth Property Office Fund and analysts tip there could be more mergers and acquisitions among the real estate investment trusts (REITs).
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Not that all investors are enamoured with takeovers. They shrink the sector, concentrate the S&P/ASX property index into fewer, bigger trusts and give smaller shareholders a headache at tax time.

Analysts suggest Investa Office may be a potential takeover target. CLSA says it believes a reverse merger with Investa Property is a strong possibility given office REITs trade at about $7331 a square metre versus IPG’s privatisation price ($7091 a square metre in 2007).

GPT, Stockland, Australand and Charter Hall are other companies that may be involved in M&A activity in 2014. John Kim at CLSA says industrial remains the firm’s preferred asset class, offering the highest yields, low incentives, and cap rate compression potential given structural increase in demand.

“We expect resi prices to increase 7 per cent in 2014, led by NSW. We see a strong Queensland recovery given historical spread to NSW and Victoria, and an increase in tourism,” he says. “We like B-grade offices given high yields (8 per cent) and an expected 4 per cent decline in supply by 2016 due to conversions and upgrades.”

This speculation is against the backdrop of an improved year ahead for office leasing – from the low base in 2013 – rising demand for residential and industrial properties and a flat market in retail.

The Property Council of Australia releases its office vacancy data on February 6 with Sydney and Melbourne tipped to be stable at between 6 and 8 per cent.

According to the Dexus First Quarter 2014 update, demand for properties will remain strong, driven by weight of capital. That is predicated on a lack of available investment stock, that the firm says will be a big issue for investors.

The Australian economy will respond to easing monetary conditions with positive effects on housing construction, spending and confidence, while office demand will improve after a negative year in 2013, led by sectors such as business services, IT, health and education. Dexus says retail and industrial sectors will experience a better year as retail turnover growth improves, while capitalisation rates are expected to tighten further, supporting property valuations. Sales activity is also expected to increase this year as offshore investors battle it out against the local REITs for a limited number of investment-grade assets.

Knight Frank’s national director of research, Matt Whitby, said the trend was highlighted by sales activity across major CBD office markets, with almost $9.4 billion of sales ($10 million plus) changing hands in 2013, more than double 2012’s $4.65 billion. He notes the data was boosted by a number of large asset and portfolio sales.

“Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane CBDs all recorded over $2 billion of sales in 2013, with Melbourne CBD the most invested city in 2013, however Perth also recorded a standout year,” Mr Whitby said.

So let’s all buckle up for a busy year.

[email protected]南京夜网.au

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PM, Foreign Minister headline LNP Griffith byelection launch

The LNP’s Griffith candidate Bill Glasson supported at his launch by Prime Minister Tony Abbott, Premier Campbell Newman and his wife, Lisa Newman. Photo: Michelle SmithA week out from the Griffith byelection, high-profile Liberal National Party candidate Bill Glasson pulled out some of the Coalition’s biggest names to help launch his second campaign for Kevin Rudd’s old seat.
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Prime Minister Tony Abbott launched Dr Glasson’s official campaign in front of a packed room of the party faithful at Brisbane’s Easts Leagues Club on Saturday.

But the event was not without its hitches, with Foreign Minister Julie Bishop repeatedly referring to the seat of “Griffin”, causing audible murmurs from the floor.

“Perhaps Labor thinks that the people of Griffin (sic) do not want to see yet another union puppet in the parliament,” she said of Labor candidate Terri Butler, an industrial lawyer.

“That’s what the people of Griffin (sic) will get if they vote Labor – a union puppet.”

Still, that verbal gaffe did little to dampen the enthusiasm of the LNP supporters, many of whom were decked out in the now-traditional blue party shirts.

As a small band of protesters traded barbs with Young LNP members outside the Coorparoo venue, Dr Glasson and Mr Abbott were given a hero’s welcome inside the club.

Mr Abbott told the crowd, estimated by party officials to be about 450-strong, that Dr Glasson was one of the best candidates he had ever encountered.

He recounted his time as health minister in the Howard government, when Dr Glasson was the president of the Australian Medical Association and the soaring cost of medical indemnity insurance was forcing many doctors out of the profession.

“It was a real crisis, as opposed to the confected crises we often see reported and talked about, this was a real crisis and suddenly I was called on to resolve it,” Mr Abbott said.

“Luckily, leading the medical profession at that time was an outstanding Australian in Bill Glasson and what Bill did was to persuade the doctors of Australia that the national interest was at least as important as their own.”

Mr Abbott said he was “thrilled” Dr Glasson had decided to run for the LNP in Griffith for the 2013 general election.

“It wasn’t the kind of seat that a candidate of this calibre would normally run for because, at that stage, the margin was something like 8 per cent … it was the safest Labor seat in Queensland, no less,” he said.

“Bill said, ‘if I’m going to run for Parliament, I want to represent where I live – I don’t want to be one of those political mercenaries … I just want to represent the place where I live’ and we agreed to go forward.”

Sitting to Mr Abbott’s immediate left was Premier Campbell Newman, who chose to contest the state seat of Ashgrove rather than the Brisbane Central electorate in which he lived.

The Premier gave no visible reaction to the comments.

The biggest cheer of the launch came when Dr Glasson got up to address his so-called “Glasson Gladiators”.

Dr Glasson said he had the knowledge and experience to be an effective member of Parliament.

“Remember on February 9, the day after the election, Tony Abbott will still be the prime minister,” he said.

“Julie Bishop will still be the deputy leader and foreign minister, George (Brandis) will still be attorney-general.

“The question is, will the new member of Griffith be sitting beside the incumbent government, making decisions that will affect what happens in Griffith?”

At a doorstop media conference at the end of the event, complete with seemingly compulsory nodding supporters assembled like a choir as a backdrop, Mr Abbott reiterated his admiration for his candidate in Griffith.

“This contest is going to be close, but anybody who wants to improve the quality of our public life should be supporting Bill Glasson,” he said.

But, given that praise, would Dr Glasson be in line for a position in the Abbott ministry?

“This is a question that every candidate gets asked, particularly a candidate of Bill Glasson’s calibre,” the Prime Minister said.

“…Bill is not seeking to be a frontbencher, Bill is seeking to be a member of Parliament. I don’t believe I’ve ever met someone whose motives for coming into the Parliament were as true and as pure as Bill’s, so I think the last thing that has gone through his head is all of that kind of stuff.”

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GALLERY: Firies battle Milroy blaze

Tuesday 3pm:
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Firefighters patrolling the Milroy blaze south of Gunnedah are keeping a close watch on the situation as falling burnt-out trees continue to pose a threat to crews on the ground.

The fire broke out in bushland at around 3pm on Saturday at the cross-section of Milroy and Wandobah roads, 20 kms from Gunnedah.

Fire crews from the Gunnedah and Liverpool Plains shires responded to the call, as the fire began moving rapidly through the Wondoba State Conservation Area.

At the height of the blaze, there were 45 firefighters on the ground, battling hot weather of almost 40 degrees Celsius.

They were assisted by three aircraft dousing the flames from above.

No properties were under direct threat, however, if the blaze jumped the Wandobah Road, a number of houses and farming infrastructure would have been in the path of the fire front.

A FOREST fire burns out of control at the cross section of Wandobah and Milroy Roads.

A FOREST fire burns out of control at the cross section of Wandobah and Milroy Roads.

A FOREST fire burns out of control at the cross section of Wandobah and Milroy Roads.

A FOREST fire burns out of control at the cross section of Wandobah and Milroy Roads.

A FOREST fire burns out of control at the cross section of Wandobah and Milroy Roads.

A FOREST fire burns out of control at the cross section of Wandobah and Milroy Roads.

A FOREST fire burns out of control at the cross section of Wandobah and Milroy Roads.

A FOREST fire burns out of control at the cross section of Wandobah and Milroy Roads.

A FOREST fire burns out of control at the cross section of Wandobah and Milroy Roads.

It did come close to the Namoi Valley Archers clubhouse, however it was saved by crews.

“It was fairly fast moving,” said Liverpool Range Zone District Officer, Graham Brown.

“We had to put a lot of resources in.”

By Saturday night, crew numbers had dropped to 25, with 20 returning on Sunday when it was brought under control due to further aerial attacks, bulldozers constructing containment lines and backburning.

The fire burnt a large number of trees in the forest, which began to fall over and threaten crews on the ground.

The Milroy Road was closed on Saturday night due to falling trees.

“They’ve had a difficult time with trees falling down and cleaning up hotspots,” Mr Brown said.

Another tree fell across Wandobah Road with crews clearing it quickly so traffic could pass.

Yesterday, there were two RFS trucks on site and three National Parks and Wildlife Service crews patrolling the area, extinguishing hotspots and making it safe.

They are again on site today.

Around 130 hectares of bushland has been burnt out.

The cause of the fire is currently under investigation.

.”

Monday 9am:

The bushfire which was burning between Milroy Road and Wandobah Road, south of Gunnedah has now been contained.

The fire was brought under control yesterday afternoon with the help of aircraft and firefighters, following backburning and the construction of containment lines.

There are crews currently patrolling the area this morning with two RFS vehicles on site, along with three National Parks and Wildlife Service teams. There is also a bulk water truck at the scene.

The RFS said the crews have had a difficult time given the hot weather, and falling trees which led to the closure of Milroy Road on Saturday night. There was also a fallen tree on Wandobah Road, posing a threat to traffic.

The fire started on Saturday afternoon, and has nowburnt out over100 hectares.

Firefighters continued to monitor the fire ground throughout last night, and residents are being warned fire affected trees may be a threat along Wandobah and Milroy Roads.

People are urged to take care in these areas.

Sunday 12:30pm: Rural Fire Service crews are still battling the Milroy Forest blaze, but managed to create a containment line around the majority of the fire ground last night.

The fire has now burnt out around 200 hectares and five RFS tankers, a helicopter and two fixed-wing water bombers are still working on maintaining the fire inside containment lines.

Residents on Stevensons Lane and Wandobah and Milroy Roads need to continue to monitor conditions and take advice from firefighters on the ground.

Fire affected trees may be a threat along Wandobah and Milroy Roads and the RFS urgesresidents to take care in these areas.

Strong south-easterly winds of up to 40-45km per hour have been forecast for this afternoon after 4pm, which have fire crews concerned that embers may cross the dozer line and start new fires.

Today’s fire danger rating is very high.

Saturday 8pm: The bush fire burning between Milroy Road and Wandobah Road, south of Gunnedah has now burnt out 39 hectares.

Firefighters from the NSW Rural Fire Service and the National Parks and Wildlife Service worked to slow the progress of the fire throughout the afternoon.

The fire poses a threat to someproperties on Wandobah and Milroy Roads and a number of pieces of rural infrastructure such as fences and sheds.

Back burning operations were conducted this afternoon. Heavy machineryalso workedon the fire ground to construct containment lines.

Under these conditions, fires can be difficult to control. Embers may be blown ahead of the fire, creating spot fires. These spot fires may threaten homes earlier than the predicted main fire front.

4:30 pm:A FOREST fire is currently burning out of control near the cross section of Wandobah and Milroy Roads, with firefighters onsite trying to contain the blaze.

The fire started just after 3pm and has burnt out 10 hectares of forest timber country and is not animmediate threat toany homes orproperty.

Two fixed-wing water bombers are in the air assistingnumerous Rural Fire Servicecrews, including Gunnedah, Curlewis, Currabubula, as well as group officers and specialist vehicles.

Rural Fire Service Superintendent Andrew Luke said while there is no immediate threat to homes, residents in the areashould ensure they have bushfire survival plans in place.

“It isvery challenging conditions out thereand people should make sure their bushfire survival plans are up-to-date,” Superintendent Luke said.

Meanwhile, the Oxley Crossing scrub fire has breached containment lines and is burning35kms north east of Coonabarabran near Yaminbah Road.

Smoke is reducing visibility on the Newell Highway, which may need to be closed in the coming hours.

Three aircraft are assisting fire crews to contain the fire, which has burnt out around 3295 hectares.

Michelle vanGorsel and Ian Guest from the Gunnedah RFS prepare to extinguish hot spots on Monday.

The scorched bushland.

Ian Guest tackling a burning tree.

Falling trees are a problem for crews on the ground.

Around 130 hectares of bushland was burnt out.

The fire aftermath.

The fire tore through the Wondoba State Conservation Area.

The Namoi Valley Archers Clubhouse was saved, but not the ranges.

The Milroy road has been closed since Saturday night.

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