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"I want answers": Simon Dorante-Day's cunning plan to prove royal connections

<p>The Queensland man claiming to be the son of King Charles and Queen Camilla has shared his new plan to prove once and for all that he has royal family connections. </p> <p>Simon Dorante-Day has long claimed through his 30 years of research, he discovered that he is the illegitimate son of the monarch, and has attempted to prove his theory through various means. </p> <p>Now, his new plan to get his hands on royal DNA to unequivocally prove his family heritage involves another member of the royal family. </p> <p>Speaking with <a href="https://7news.com.au/lifestyle/aussie-man-claiming-to-be-charles-son-drops-new-prince-harry-dna-bombshell-c-13488374" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>7News</em></a>, the 57-year-old said he and his wife have been told by a “trusted source” that Prince Harry could be amenable to helping them gather proof.</p> <p>“We got advice from a really good, really trusted source that we should approach Harry and make a connection there and ask for DNA,” Elvianna said.</p> <p>Simon added, “I was really taken aback when he said that. But it’s definitely something I’m going to do. I’ve long been a supporter of Harry and Meghan, I think it’s disgraceful the way they’ve been treated by the royal family."</p> <p>“The way they are treated on social media too, it’s just one big ‘Punch-Meghan-and-Harry-a-thon’, seriously. It’s really starting to annoy me."</p> <p>He said he is planning to "make contact with him and explore this as an opportunity," pointing out that the royal family's treatment of Harry could make him more willing to help.</p> <p>"At the end of the day, I feel like he just might be as keen as I am to expose what Charles and Camilla and the powers that be have done to me. The injustice."</p> <p>“It’s worth me pointing out that Charles and Camilla, Buckingham Palace, the entire royal family - not one of them has ever said my claims are not true. They’ve never denied what I believe, told me I’m wrong."</p> <p>Simon said “the wheels are in motion” in terms of making contact with Prince Harry, and that he’s hopeful of a positive outcome.</p> <p>“I want answers,” he said. “And I feel Prince Harry is the man to help me find them.”</p> <p>“And I think their silence speaks volumes.”</p> <p>Simon said “the wheels are in motion” in terms of making contact with Prince Harry, and that he’s hopeful of a positive outcome.</p> <p>“I want answers,” he said. “And I feel Prince Harry is the man to help me find them.”</p> <p><em>Image credits: Facebook / Getty Images </em></p>

Family & Pets

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One humble Sydney pub's big plans for Princess Mary's coronation

<p>A pub in Sydney has shared their plans to celebrate Crown Princess Mary's coronation as she ascends to the Danish throne. </p> <p>The Slip Inn, a Merivale-owned pub near Sydney's Darling Harbour, was where Princess Mary met Denmark's Prince Frederik in 2000 during the Olympic Games. </p> <p>Now, the Aussie princess is set to become Queen of Denmark following the shock announcement of the abdication of Queen Margrethe, who announced she will be handing the throne to her son as of January 14th. </p> <p>In celebration of the Princess Mary <a href="https://oversixty.com.au/lifestyle/family-pets/crown-princess-mary-set-to-make-history" target="_blank" rel="noopener">making history</a> as the first Aussie to ever hold the title of Queen Consort, the Slip Inn have shared their plans for coronation day. </p> <p>The pub will be honouring the occasion with a Danish themed menu and decorations ahead of a busy weekend expected to attract tourists and royal punters.</p> <p>The Slip Inn is closed on Sunday, so there will be no live broadcast of the official proclamation ceremony taking place in Copenhagen, however the pub couldn’t let the day pass without paying tribute to the couple.</p> <p>Danish flags will fly throughout the venue, while Daisies, the national flower of Denmark, will adorn the venue and King and Queen thrones have been installed for people to pose on and take photos with.</p> <p>A special menu will feature hotdogs and a Scandinavian inspired cocktail titled “There’s Something About Mary”. </p> <p>The Danish-inspired menu will run at The Slip Inn for the whole month of January to celebrate the new King and Queen. </p> <p>Chief operating officer at Laundy Hotels Justin Tynan said the Sussex St pub was “the place to be” in Sydney’s thriving night-life scene of the time, and soon became the centre of royal attention after the couple disclosed it as their meeting place.</p> <p>“I think I did about 50 live crosses around the world when the news broke,” he said of the time.</p> <p>“The Danish flag still hangs out the front of the building but back in the day we put Carlsberg beer on, we put Danish food on the menu, we had buses turning up with Danish tourists just wanting to see exactly where they were.”</p> <p>“It was absolutely crazy.” </p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p>

Relationships

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Poh reveals birthday plans for her big 5-0

<p>Aside from her cooking skills, <em>MasterChef's </em>Poh Ling Yeow is also known for her “ageless beauty” and this year, the beloved cook is gearing up for a double celebration. </p> <p>“My 50th birthday falls close to Christmas, and my dad wants to combine the two celebrations this year,” she told <em>Yahoo Lifestyle</em>. </p> <p>Poh told the publication that she opted to merge her birthday celebration and Christmas festivities in an effort to make the holiday season “stress-free” for her and her loved ones. </p> <p>“The key to a stress-free Christmas is reducing your personal workload, and I can’t think of a better way to get into the festive spirit than sharing preparations for the big day with family. It’s always potluck at the Yeow family Christmas!”</p> <p>And as you'd expect from a seasoned chef, this year's menu consists of a few of her own “centrepiece mains”.</p> <p>Her other tip for reader's at home hoping to make Christmas more stress-free is to ask guests to bring a side or dessert.</p> <p>“I love a grated beet, chickpea and mint salad with white balsamic that’s full of crunch and almost like a pickle,” she said. </p> <p>"Also, a Thai roast chicken and glass vermicelli salad, and a Korean japchae (sweet potato noodle salad).</p> <p>“My family, bless them, loves a proper retro trifle. It starts with making finger jello by adding 1 tablespoon of powdered gelatine to a raspberry or strawberry jelly so you can easily cut them into cubes after it’s set." </p> <p>She then shared her tip for making the trifle. </p> <p>“Then it’s just a matter of layering sliced, store-bought jam rollettes drowned in regular strawberry jelly mixture, tinned peaches, fresh strawberries, custard made with powdered custard mix, fresh cream then piling on the prepared jelly cubes.”</p> <p><em>Images: Yahoo Lifestyle</em></p>

Food & Wine

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The Beast's exciting Down Under plans

<p>Mark Lambett, better known as The Beast on <em>The Chase Australia</em> is living in a state of "pure happiness" with his girlfriend.</p> <p>Months after going public, Mark and his partner, British presenter Hayley Palmer, are busy planning the next stage of their relationship. </p> <p>The couple could be heading to Australian shores, as Palmer told <a href="https://7news.com.au/entertainment/celebrity/the-chase-star-mark-the-beast-labetts-girlfriend-hayley-palmer-tells-of-australia-plans-c-12666368" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>7News</em></a> that it would be "a dream" to spend some quality time Down Under. </p> <p>“I would love to come out to Australia. Mark and I have talked about it,” she said. </p> <p>“I have been to Sydney and Manly Beach is my favourite,” she says, adding that the picturesque ferry ride from the city is part of the fun.</p> <p>“So I really do hope to come out — that would be an absolute dream. I must put it on my vision board.”</p> <p>Palmer admitted that part of her love of Australia comes from watching <em>Home and Away</em>, with the Channel 7 soap showcasing influencing her love of the country's sandy beaches. </p> <p>“I am a huge Home and Away fan. Anyone will tell you that. I absolutely love it,” the presenter says.</p> <p>A trip to Australia would be a welcome holiday for the couple, who have been doing long distance for most of their relationship. </p> <p>Lambett has been in Australia filming the local version of <em>The Chase</em> game show, while Palmer has been working in her native England. </p> <p>It is because of this that they have learned to embrace “long distance”, with Palmer convinced it is why their relationship “really works”.</p> <p>“I think regarding the long distance, we both have our passions and dreams that we follow, so you have your own thing going on and then when you come back with your partner it is the cherry on top,” she says.</p> <p>“It’s a lovely feeling when you get together."</p> <p>“We’re both quite similar like that. We’re always busy and we come together and it’s pure happiness.”</p> <p><em>Image credits: Instagram </em></p>

Relationships

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“Coast-to-coast”: Rinehart's radical plan to save the Commonwealth Games

<p>The 2026 Commonwealth Games has faced grim uncertainty ever since the <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/finance/money-banking/i-m-not-here-to-apologise-dan-andrews-fires-up-as-comm-games-is-scrapped" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Victorian government withdrew its commitment to host the event</a>, leaving Australia in a precarious situation.</p> <p>However, a new and radical proposal by Australia's wealthiest individual, Gina Rinehart, supported by Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate and Perth Lord Mayor Basil Zempilas, suggests a unique solution to save the Games. Rinehart's proposal involves hosting the event in two cities at opposite ends of the country – the Gold Coast and Perth.</p> <p>The initial plan by the Victorian government to host the Games across multiple towns in regional Victoria was abandoned due to the reported $4 billion price tag. This decision left Australia without a host city for the 2026 Games, and no alternative has been proposed since. Additionally, the withdrawal of support from the Canadian city Alberta for the 2030 event further complicated the future of the Commonwealth Games.</p> <p>Now, in a letter addressed to Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, Rinehart, Tate and Zempilas have suggested a bold coast-to-coast approach for the Commonwealth Games.</p> <p>The idea is to utilise existing facilities in the Gold Coast and Perth, with each city hosting a week of the Games. The proposal aims to showcase Australia on a national scale, providing a unique background for discussions with Commonwealth heads.</p> <p>“We believe that a coast-to-coast Games presents a special opportunity to showcase Australia and provides an excellent background for you to invite those heads of the Commonwealth you may wish to have further discussions with, and/or entertain,” the letter reads. “A background where Australia pulls well above its weight, and shines!”</p> <p>While the proposal has gained support from key figures, including Rinehart's assertion that it would not be too difficult to execute, some critics have raised practical concerns. Melbourne radio host Tom Elliott expressed skepticism about the feasibility of a dual-city approach, citing the vast distance between the Gold Coast and Perth, which is over 4000km.</p> <p>“You could not pick two cities in Australia that are further apart from each other," Elliott said on his 3AW radio talk show. </p> <p>He also questioned the logistical challenges, such as the need for two athletes' villages and the movement of officials and volunteers between the two cities: “To have a Commonwealth Games split between the Gold Coast and Perth, I just think is utter madness... The idea is that they do the first week of events on the Gold Coast and the second week in Perth. But think about it – unless every official and volunteer moves between the Gold Coast and Perth – and where would you put them all? They effectively have to recruit all the people again just to make the Games run. You’ve got to build two athletes villages. It’s just such a dumb idea.</p> <p>“I think we need to accept, as sad as this is, that the era of the Commonwealth Games is over. Not that many people watch it, not that many countries compete in it, it doesn’t make any money – that’s the reason cities don’t want to host it.”</p> <p>Rinehart's letter counters that criticism, claiming that the dual-city approach would be popular, in the national interest, and beneficial for athletes and cities. She contends that the proposal would be more popular and less expensive than other recent expenditures, suggesting that funds allocated for other purposes, such as Papua New Guinea football, could be redirected to improve Australian facilities for the Commonwealth and later Olympic Games.</p> <p>Rinehart's bold proposal to host the 2026 Commonwealth Games in two cities at opposite ends of Australia certainly presents a novel solution. While critics question the practicality of the idea, proponents believe it could not only save the Games but also showcase Australia on a grand scale. As discussions unfold, the fate of the Commonwealth Games hangs in the balance, with Rinehart's vision offering a unique and ambitious alternative.</p> <p><em>Images: Getty / Facebook</em></p>

Money & Banking

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Downsizing cost trap awaits retirees – five reasons to be wary

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/erika-altmann-361218">Erika Altmann</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-tasmania-888">University of Tasmania</a></em></p> <p>It’s time to debunk the myth of zero housing costs in retirement if we want to understand why retirees resist downsizing. Retirees have at least five reasons to be wary of the costs of downsizing.</p> <p>Retirees living in middle-ring suburbs face frequent calls to downsize into apartments to free up larger allotments in these suburbs for redevelopment. Retirees who fail to downsize into smaller units and apartments are viewed as being a greedy, baby-boomer elite, stealing financial security from younger generations.</p> <p>It also makes sense to policymakers for retirees to move into less spacious accommodation and make way for high-density housing. Housing think-tank AHURI <a href="http://www.ahuri.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0021/14079/AHURI_Final_Report_No_286_Australian-demographic-trends-and-implications-for-housing-assistance-programs.pdf">fosters this view</a>. Yet seniors remain resistant to moving, in part because of the ongoing costs they would face.</p> <p>The concept of zero housing costs in retirement is based on a 1940s view of a well-maintained, single dwelling on a single allotment of land where the mortgage has been paid off. This concept is incompatible with medium- and high-density housing and refusing to acknowledge ongoing housing costs may cause significant poverty for retirees.</p> <h2>Reason 1 – upfront moving costs are high</h2> <p>When a house is sold the owner receives the sale funds minus the real estate and legal fees. When the same person then buys a different property to live in, they pay legal fees plus stamp duty.</p> <p>For cities such as Melbourne and Sydney, these costs are likely to exceed A$70,000.</p> <p>These high transfer costs may mean it is not cost-effective <a href="https://theconversation.com/why-older-australians-dont-downsize-and-the-limits-to-what-the-government-can-do-about-it-76931">for the person to move</a>.</p> <h2>Reason 2 – levies are high</h2> <p>Because apartment owners pay body corporate levies, people often assume this is just the same as periodic payment of rates, water, insurance and other costs. It is not.</p> <p>Fees remissions for low-income retirees for rates, power, insurance and water are difficult to apply within a body corporate environment. As a consequence, these are usually not applied to owners of apartments.</p> <p>The costs of maintaining essential services, such as mandatory fire-alarm testing, yearly engineering certification, lift and air-conditioning inspections, significantly increase ownership costs.</p> <p>When additional services are supplied, such as swimming pools, gyms and rooftop gardens, these also require periodic inspections. Garbage collection, cleaning, gardening, concierge and strata management services also <a href="https://eprints.utas.edu.au/cgi/users/home?screen=EPrint%3A%3AView&amp;eprintid=23322">must be paid</a>.</p> <p>Owners of standard suburban homes choose whether they want these services, with those on fixed incomes going without them.</p> <p>Annual levies for apartment buildings vary, but expect to pay between $10,000 and $15,000. They <a href="https://www.strata.community/understandingstrata/faqs">may be more than this</a>.</p> <h2>Reason 3 – costs of maintenance</h2> <figure class="align-right "><figcaption></figcaption></figure> <p>Apartments are often sold as a maintenance-free solution for older people. The maintenance is not free. It needs to be paid for.</p> <p>Maintenance costs are higher in an apartment than a standard suburban home because there are more items and services to be maintained and fixed. Lifts and air conditioning need periodic servicing and fixing. This is in addition to the mandatory inspections listed above.</p> <h2>Reason 4 – loss of financial security</h2> <p>It is a mistaken belief that the maintenance costs that form part of the body corporate fee include periodic property upgrades. This relates to items that are owned collectively with other apartment owners.</p> <p>Major servicing at the ten-year mark and usually each five-to-seven years after that include painting, floor-covering replacement, and lift and air-conditioning repair or replacement.</p> <p>Major upgrades may also include garden redesign or other external building enhancement including <a href="https://eprints.utas.edu.au/cgi/users/home?screen=EPrint%3A%3AView&amp;eprintid=23315">environmental upgrades</a>. All owners share these upgrade costs.</p> <p>Costs of upgrading the inside of an apartment (a bathroom disability upgrade, for example) are additional again.</p> <p>Once the body corporate committee members pledge funds towards an upgrade, all owners are required to raise their share of the funds, whether they can afford it or not. Communal choice outweighs an individual owner’s need to delay upgrade costs.</p> <p>Owners who buy apartments that are part of a body corporate effectively lose control of their future financial decisions.</p> <h2>Reason 5 – loss of security of tenure</h2> <p>Loss of security of tenure is usually associated with renters. However, the recent introduction of <a href="http://www.lpi.nsw.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0009/25965/Termination_of_a_strata_scheme_by_RG.pdf">termination legislation</a> in New South Wales gives other owners the right to vote to terminate a strata title scheme. When this occurs, all owners, including reluctant owners of apartments within that scheme, are compelled to sell.</p> <p>There are valid reasons why termination legislation is desirable, as many older apartment complexes are reaching the end of their useful life.</p> <p>Even so, as termination legislation is rolled out across the states, owner- occupiers effectively lose control of how long they will own a property for. They no longer have security of tenure, which means retirees may face an uncertain housing future in their old age.</p> <h2>Downsizing raises poverty risks</h2> <p>Because current data sets do not adequately take account of ongoing costs associated with apartment living, the effect of downsizing on individual households is masked.</p> <p>Downsizing retirees into the apartment sector creates ongoing financial stress for older people. Creating <a href="https://theconversation.com/it-will-take-more-than-piecemeal-reforms-to-convince-older-australians-to-downsize-51043">tax incentives to move</a> does not tackle these ongoing costs.</p> <p>Centrelink payments for of <a href="https://www.humanservices.gov.au/customer/services/centrelink/age-pension">$404 per week</a> are well below <a href="http://acoss.wpengine.com/poverty-2/">the poverty line</a>. Yet we expect retirees to willingly downsize and to be able to cede most of their Centrelink payments to cover high body corporate costs.</p> <p>Requiring retirees to downsize for the greater urban good will shift poverty onto retirees who could barely manage in their previously owned standard suburban home.</p> <p>Failing to understand the effect of high ongoing costs associated with apartment living and reinforcing the myth of zero housing costs in retirement will continue to lead to poor policy outcomes.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/80895/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/erika-altmann-361218"><em>Erika Altmann</em></a><em>, Property and Housing Management Researcher, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-tasmania-888">University of Tasmania</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/downsizing-cost-trap-awaits-retirees-five-reasons-to-be-wary-80895">original article</a>.</em></p>

Retirement Income

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When King Charles is planning to visit Australia

<p>King Charles is preparing to make his first visit to Australia as a monarch. </p> <p>According to reports from the British Media, King Charles and Camilla are expected to head Down Under in late 2024. </p> <p>The reports of the visit comes after many have accused the royal family of snubbing Australia, after there was no offical visit from the royal family during the late Queen Elizabeth II's Platinum Jubilee, despite other royal family members travelling to Commonwealth countries. </p> <p>Prince William has also been called out for not travelling to Australia for the FIFA Women's World Cup final that took place in Sydney, which saw England take on Spain.</p> <p>While Buckingham Palace has yet to officially announce a visit by King Charles and Queen Camilla to Australia, the <a href="https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/royals/article-12606099/Charles-monarchy-Australia-King-Sydney-trip.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>Mail on Sunday</em></a> has reported that royal aides are busy preparing for a trip to Sydney to coincide with the King's first attendance as the head of the Commonwealth at its meeting in Samoa.</p> <p>A senior Australian government minister told the publication that a royal visit would lead to a "renewed conversation" about the country having its own head of state.</p> <p>Assistant minister for the republic Matt Thistlethwaite said, "The King will always be welcome in Australia and greeted fondly by the Australian people."</p> <p>"But in modern-day Australia his visit will trigger a renewed conversation about having our own head of state who lives with us, represents us and is an Australian."</p> <p>However, shadow defence minister Andrew Hastie said, "The King will be very welcome on his first visit. There is a renewed enthusiasm for the Crown down-under and a sense that we share in something special and historic."</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p>

Domestic Travel

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Sam Newman backs down on controversial Grand Final plans

<p>Sam Newman has remarkably backed down on his plans to boo during the Welcome to Country acknowledgement at the upcoming AFL grand final. </p> <p>The former AFL star <a href="https://oversixty.com.au/news/news/sam-newman-encourages-aussies-to-boo-during-welcome-to-country" target="_blank" rel="noopener">made waves</a> last week as he called for footy fans to boo and drown out the traditional welcome by First Nations Australians, with many quick to call his plans "racist" and "disrespectful". </p> <p>Newman even seemed to <a href="https://oversixty.com.au/news/news/sam-newman-grilled-point-blank-are-you-a-racist" target="_blank" rel="noopener">double down</a> on his claims that the Welcome to Country was somehow more divisive that uniting, as some outraged Aussies even called for him to be removed from thew AFL Hall of Fame. </p> <p>However, the 77-year-old has now quickly back-tracked his statements, saying he will not be booing during the Welcome to Country at the AFL grand final on Saturday. </p> <p>"I wouldn't boo at the grand final, but it was just a flippant throw away line, I disagree with the Welcome to Country at the grand final," he said on his podcast.</p> <p>"My point is that every single thing you go to now, you go into a library, you go into anywhere at all, the whole thing starts with it."</p> <p>"The whole thing makes you feel guilty for being here."</p> <p>"When is it ever enough that we say 'hang on a minute, this is enough, how much further do we want to keep going?'"</p> <p>Newman again went on to say that he believed the Welcome to Country ceremony does not "unite us".</p> <p>"I said last week that we should boo the Welcome to Country, it was an extravagant statement."</p> <p>"(The Welcome to Country has) gone overboard and the social elites are only trying to placate their own white prejudice by feeling virtuous that they keep going on and on with this."</p> <p>"This is why I criticised the AFL, it's just become a minefield of nonsense, they've got to pull it back."</p> <p>"(It's) not uniting us, that is my point. Standing on the MCG on grand final day and saying 'you're welcome to the country and we give you permission to play on the ground', that's not uniting us."</p> <p>"That's showing the world that we are a divided nation, that's my point."</p> <p>Since Sam Newman's original statement, senator <span style="caret-color: #212529; color: #212529; font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, 'Helvetica Neue', Arial, sans-serif, 'Apple Color Emoji', 'Segoe UI Emoji', 'Segoe UI Symbol', 'Noto Color Emoji'; font-size: 16px; background-color: #ffffff;">Lidia Thorpe has </span><span style="color: #212529; font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, Segoe UI, Roboto, Helvetica Neue, Arial, sans-serif, Apple Color Emoji, Segoe UI Emoji, Segoe UI Symbol, Noto Color Emoji;">blasted his comments, saying he is missing the point on what the Welcome to Country is about. </span></p> <p style="font-size: 16px; box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 1rem; caret-color: #212529; color: #212529; font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, 'Helvetica Neue', Arial, sans-serif, 'Apple Color Emoji', 'Segoe UI Emoji', 'Segoe UI Symbol', 'Noto Color Emoji';">"Sam Newman, I'm not sure why he's even in the news. He's irrelevant to any debate of the time," she said on <em>Today</em>.</p> <p style="font-size: 16px; box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 1rem; caret-color: #212529; color: #212529; font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, 'Helvetica Neue', Arial, sans-serif, 'Apple Color Emoji', 'Segoe UI Emoji', 'Segoe UI Symbol', 'Noto Color Emoji';">"It's about peace. The whole message behind it is respect."</p> <p style="font-size: 16px; box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 1rem; caret-color: #212529; color: #212529; font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, 'Helvetica Neue', Arial, sans-serif, 'Apple Color Emoji', 'Segoe UI Emoji', 'Segoe UI Symbol', 'Noto Color Emoji';"><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p>

News

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Five things to do before you die – because planning your eventual demise takes preparation

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/hui-yun-chan-715995">Hui Yun Chan</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-huddersfield-1226">University of Huddersfield</a></em></p> <p>Many people who are struck with sudden, progressive or terminal illness are <a href="https://theconversation.com/why-are-patients-in-permanent-comas-routinely-kept-alive-43365">kept alive mechanically</a>, while families and doctors make decisions about treatment. As a researcher in medical law, particularly end-of-life decision-making, I have seen how this can become a minefield of legal and ethical problems.</p> <p>UK law allows people to plan in advance of any debilitating illness, and thus have some control over future treatment. This is known as “<a href="https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/end-of-life-care/advance-decision-to-refuse-treatment/">advance decisions</a>”. While these laws are in place, research shows the <a href="https://rm.coe.int/cdcj-2017-2e-final-rapport-vs-21-06-2018/16808b64ae">majority of people disregard or defer the discussions</a> primarily because they do not know how to raise them, or what to expect.</p> <p>While planning for your eventual demise probably sounds as fun as pulling teeth, it can be empowering. Following from <a href="https://pure.hud.ac.uk/en/publications/advance-directives-rethinking-regulation-autonomy-amp-healthcare-">my recent book</a>, here are five tips for how you can use the law to help you plan for what you want in the future – and make your voice heard when you may no longer have one.</p> <h2>1. Gather information from experts</h2> <p>First, you must think, gather information and talk to experts about how life can unfold in the case of progressive illness. This is important whether you are well but thinking about future incapacity, or whether you have actually been <a href="https://www.4pb.com/case-detail/re-ak-medical-treatment-consent/">diagnosed with illness</a>.</p> <p>A solicitor with expertise in advance directives can help you understand important laws, such as those that dictate when a person has <a href="https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2005/9/contents">sufficient “mental capacity”</a> to make lawful decisions. Lawyers can help you draft your will, and advise on how to protect or pass on your estate – including <a href="https://www.gov.uk/inheritance-tax">hidden costs</a>. They can also help you <a href="https://www.gov.uk/power-of-attorney">nominate someone</a> to make medical decisions for you when you become incapacitated, and decide the limits of their power. Do not just assume that your family members automatically have the power to decide for you legally.</p> <p>If you are ill, ask a doctor to inform you how your condition will progress so you can decide how you will deal with future events. For example, with dementia and other progressive illnesses, you must consider what quality of life you would tolerate. Similarly, in the case of pain, what treatment you would accept or refuse?</p> <p>Think big picture about your future life. Would you trade quantity of life for quality, opting for less time but with better quality of life?</p> <h2>2. Setting your decisions in stone</h2> <p>Now you have made some important decisions, the next step is about making these decisions clear in the right way, to the right people, and at the right time.</p> <p>I have <a href="https://www.springer.com/gp/book/9783030009755#aboutBook">documented many cases</a> across England and Wales where advance directives are disputed because they are invalid or inapplicable and there is a dispute about whether they are still legally able to make decisions. Considering your health, you may want to get a <a href="https://www.bma.org.uk/advice/employment/ethics/mental-capacity/assessing-mental-capacity">formal assessment</a> of your mental state and ability to make decisions. You should record any conversations you have in writing. Documents that show you have been supported (by friends, family or professionals) in your decision-making boost the validity of your choices, <a href="https://brill.com/view/journals/ejhl/25/1/article-p24_24.xml?lang=en">making them more binding</a> for healthcare professionals.</p> <p>Legally, just revealing your treatment preferences to your doctor or friends <a href="https://swarb.co.uk/w-healthcare-nhs-trust-v-kh-ca-17-sep-2004/">is not enough</a>. Writing things down is important, though never easy. Ask family or friends to support you in this process. If a loved one is aware of the choices you have made they are less likely to object to your medical decisions because they have been part of the decision process.</p> <h2>3. Update when your situation changes</h2> <p>Many people are caught out when their <a href="https://compassionindying.org.uk/making-decisions-and-planning-your-care/planning-ahead/advance-decision-living-will/review-update/">personal situation changes</a>, but they have failed to update their advance directives to reflect this – such as changing romantic relationships. Family conflict by your bedside is the last thing you want. Even if your circumstances are the same, regularly update to avoid “what was I thinking?” moments when it’s too late.</p> <h2>4. Make sure it gets found</h2> <p>Inform your family, doctors and lawyers what your advance directives are <em>and</em> where to find them. If the right people don’t have access to your directives, they are useless. In a recent example, the family of a Warwickshire woman was granted a £45,000 payout after she was <a href="https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-coventry-warwickshire-42240148">kept alive for 22 months against her will</a> – as the relevant documents had been misplaced.</p> <h2>5. Don’t forget your online life</h2> <p>Discussions on social media about how you wish to spend your twilight days may help as <a href="https://brill.com/view/journals/ejhl/25/1/article-p24_24.xml?lang=en">supporting information</a> to ensure the wishes in your advance directives are strengthened. You should also think about who you want to be granted (or denied) access to your online accounts and social media after your death. Streamlining this process, you can now <a href="https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2013/04/google-death-a-tool-to-take-care-of-your-gmail-when-youre-gone/274934/">create a social media will</a> online.</p> <p>Drafting an advance directive is an exercise in liberty. It allows our beliefs and preferences to be made clear even when we are physically or mentally unable to express them ourselves. An advance directive is our voice when we no longer have one. Use your voice wisely.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/122296/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/hui-yun-chan-715995">Hui Yun Chan</a>, Senior Lecturer in Law, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-huddersfield-1226">University of Huddersfield</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/five-things-to-do-before-you-die-because-planning-your-eventual-demise-takes-preparation-122296">original article</a>.</em></p>

Legal

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"Thoughtful and sensitive": The Crown's plan to recreate Diana's death

<p><em>The Crown</em> have announced that they will be covering the death of Princess Diana in the upcoming season of the show, saying they will be handling the recreation "carefully". </p> <p>The Netflix drama based on the story of the royal family will be returning later this year for season six, which is expected to be the final season of the show. </p> <p>The final season of <em>The Crown</em> is set to take place between the years of 1997 to the early 2000s, including a delicate recreation of the death of the late Princess of Wales. </p> <p>Producer of the show Suzanne Mackie spoke of the upcoming season at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre, saying it took a long and careful conversation to reach the decision to cover Diana's death on the show. </p> <p>She said, "The show might be big and noisy, but we're not. We're thoughtful people and we're sensitive people."</p> <p>"And so there was a very, very careful, long, long, long conversation about how we do it – and I hope, you know, the audience will judge it in the end, but I think it's been delicately, thoughtfully recreated."</p> <p>Australian actress Elizabeth Debicki will be returning as Diana after her portrayal of the late Princess in season five. </p> <p>Mackie said Debicki was an "extraordinary actress" who treated the subject carefully.</p> <p>"She was so thoughtful, considerate and loved Diana," Mackie said.</p> <p>"So there was a huge amount of respect from us all. I hope that's evident when you see it."</p> <p>Season six of the show is also set to include the early days of Prince William and Kate Middleton's love story, beginning when they met while at St Andrew's University in Scotland in 2001. </p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p>

TV

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Why millions of Aussies are delaying, modifying or scrapping their travel plans

<p>While it might seem like everyone around you is enjoying a luxurious European summer vacation, recent data reveals that the majority of Australians are facing obstacles in pursuing their travel dreams. The rising cost of living and inflated travel prices are compelling millions of Australians to reconsider and adjust their holiday plans, according to the latest consumer sentiment survey conducted by NAB, which involved approximately 2,000 local respondents.</p> <p>According to an alarming <a href="https://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/why-millions-of-australians-are-cancelling-or-postponing-their-holidays/gbyz8v0yt" target="_blank" rel="noopener">piece by SBS</a>, the survey found that nearly two-thirds of Australians (65 per cent) who had intentions of traveling in the next 12 months have been forced to either cancel or postpone their trips. Among them, 24 per cent decided to scrap their plans entirely, while 42 per cent opted to delay their vacations. The data shows that an overwhelming number of individuals believe that travel and holidays have become considerably more expensive.</p> <p>According to the SBS piece, Tara Hartley, NAB's retail customer executive, offered some reassurance to those experiencing FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) on extravagant European holidays. She stated that many Australians are making prudent spending decisions, prioritising their expenses based on what they value most. With the cost of living rising, including grocery bills and fuel prices, Australians are finding it increasingly challenging to budget for their holiday plans. As a result, they are making thoughtful adjustments to their spending habits.</p> <p>Approximately 40 per cent of respondents have scaled back their travel plans, opting to explore domestic destinations instead of traveling abroad to save money. Hartley mentioned examples like people swapping trips to the Mediterranean for Maroochydore or Bali for Burnie, indicating that Australians are finding joy and relaxation within their own country.</p> <p>One significant factor contributing to the hesitance in making travel arrangements is the soaring cost of airfares. Airlines have been slow to resume normal operations after the COVID-19 pandemic caused international flights to come to a halt. The combination of increased demand for flights, inflation, rising fuel prices, and a shortage of staff has led to a surge in airfare costs.</p> <p>Data released by online travel company Kayak in May indicated that return flights from Australia to overseas destinations are now over 50 per cent higher than pre-pandemic levels. For instance, the average return economy international flight between July and December currently costs $1,827, compared to $1,213 in 2019. Domestic flights have also experienced a notable increase, with costs up by 10 per cent compared to 2019 figures and 15 per cent higher than last year.</p> <p>Even though capacity is expected to return to the airline industry, outgoing Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce cautioned that airfares might not return to their pre-pandemic affordability. Nevertheless, the adjustments in travel plans have had some positive financial impacts. On average, Australians have saved around $392 each month by changing their travel plans. Over the course of a year, these adjustments have translated to approximately $4,704 in savings.</p> <p>The rising cost of living and inflated travel prices are causing millions of Australians to reconsider their holiday plans. With airfares surging and travel becoming more expensive, many are opting to modify their trips or explore domestic destinations instead. While these changes may bring financial benefits, it remains uncertain when airfares will return to their pre-pandemic levels.</p> <p><em>Image: Shutterstock</em></p>

Travel Trouble

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Sam Frost reveals why she cancelled her wedding plans

<p dir="ltr">Sam Frost and her fiancé, former<em> Survivor</em> star Jordie Hansen have called off their wedding - for now.</p> <p dir="ltr">The couple revealed that after the birth of their first child Ted, in March, their priorities have shifted.</p> <p dir="ltr">“To be honest, I'm the one putting the brakes on it,” Frost told <em>The Morning Show</em> hosts on Friday.</p> <p dir="ltr">“It is just so expensive! It's hard to justify spending so much money because we want to buy a house, and now we've got a baby,” she added.</p> <p dir="ltr">Frost also explained that the pair still do want to get married in the future, but their current focus is on their son.</p> <p dir="ltr">“We will eventually, but I think that our focus at the moment is little Teddy,” she said.</p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/reel/Cu3GqscBMci/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/reel/Cu3GqscBMci/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by The Morning Show On 7 (@morningshowon7)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p dir="ltr">The former <em>Home &amp; Away </em>star has been very open about her motherhood journey and recently shared that for her, the most “difficult” part of being a mother is breastfeeding.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I found it really difficult emotionally, mentally and physically...When Teddy was born, he latched on perfectly,” she wrote in her personal blog, <em>Believe by Sam Frost</em>.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I remember looking at him thinking how amazing this experience is, how primal and special breastfeeding your newborn is,” she added.</p> <p dir="ltr">“After a few days my nipples were chapped, raw and bleeding. I was in so much pain. A girlfriend had said she found breastfeeding harder than labour - I had an epidural, so I wholeheartedly agreed.”</p> <p dir="ltr">The actress and her partner welcomed their son on March 7 this year.</p> <p dir="ltr">The pair got engaged last July after dating for five months.</p> <p><em>Images: Instagram</em></p>

Relationships

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Renée Zellweger’s secret wedding plans

<p dir="ltr">Renée Zellweger is reportedly planning a secret wedding following her low-key engagement to her British boyfriend Ant Anstead.</p> <p dir="ltr">According to <a href="https://www.thesun.co.uk/tvandshowbiz/23098826/bridget-jones-renee-zellweger-engaged-wedding-tv-ant-anstead/" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>The Sun</em></a>, Zellweger has told a few of her close friends that she and her beau are planning to tie the knot in a private ceremony.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Renée and Ant are keeping their plans incredibly private, they’re not planning a big public announcement,” her friend told the publication.</p> <p dir="ltr">“She has been telling her inner circle about organising their nuptials, everything will be very low-key.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Her relationship with Ant is super strong and they’re madly in love, and they can’t wait to get hitched.”</p> <p dir="ltr">This is the <em>Bridget Jones’ Diary</em> star’s second marriage. She was previously married to country music star Kenny Chesney in 2005, but the pair divorced after just four months.</p> <p dir="ltr">Following the end of her first marriage, Zellweger dated a few other stars including musician Doyle Bramhall II who she dated from 2012 to 2019, <em>A Star is Born</em> actor Bradley Cooper, <em>White Stripes </em>rocker Jack White, and comedian Jim Carrey.</p> <p dir="ltr">Zellweger and Anstead, who is a TV presenter and father of three, began dating in September 2021. The pair were spotted together at the Goodwood Festival of Speed last weekend.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Images: Instagram</em></p>

Relationships

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How a secret plan 50 years ago changed Australia’s economy forever, in just one night

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/alex-millmow-4462">Alex Millmow</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/federation-university-australia-780">Federation University Australia</a></em></p> <p>At a time when governments are timid, keener to announce <a href="https://www.pc.gov.au/inquiries/completed/productivity/report">reviews</a> than decisions, it’s refreshing to remember what happened 50 years ago today – on July 18 1973.</p> <p>Inflation had surged to <a href="https://www.datawrapper.de/_/vu9by/">14%</a>. Australia’s biggest customer, the United Kingdom, had joined the <a href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/january/1/newsid_2459000/2459167.stm">European Economic Community</a>, agreeing to buy products from it rather than Australia. And the newly formed Organisation of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries had <a href="https://advisor.visualcapitalist.com/historical-oil-prices/">doubled</a> the price of oil.</p> <p>The tariffs imposed on imported goods to protect Australian manufacturers from competition were extraordinarily high. For clothing, they reached <a href="https://www.pc.gov.au/inquiries/completed/textile-clothing-footwear-1997/59tcf2.pdf">55%</a>; for motor vehicles, <a href="https://ro.uow.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1077&amp;context=commwkpapers">45%</a>.</p> <p>Then, with absolutely <a href="http://andrewleigh.org/pdf/Trade%20liberalisation%20and%20the%20ALP.pdf">no</a> public indication he had been considering anything as drastic, at 7pm on Wednesday July 18, the recently elected prime minister Gough Whitlam made an <a href="https://pmtranscripts.pmc.gov.au/sites/default/files/original/00002971_0.pdf">announcement</a>.</p> <h2>Every tariff cut by one quarter overnight</h2> <p>From midnight, all tariffs would be cut by 25%. As Whitlam put it: “each tariff will be reduced by one quarter of what it is now”.</p> <figure class="align-right "><figcaption></figcaption></figure> <p>If Australian businesses (and the Australian public) were caught by surprise, it was because Whitlam had planned the whole thing in secret.</p> <p>He had given a six-person committee just three weeks to work out the details.</p> <p>Although the committee was chaired by the head of the Tariff Board, Alf Rattigan, and included an official from Whitlam’s own department, the department of industry and the department of trade, it met in an obscure location in Canberra’s civic centre rather than in public service offices, where the project might be discovered.</p> <p>Not included in the committee was a representative of the treasury, which its then deputy head John Stone said “<a href="https://cdn.theconversation.com/static_files/files/2744/Stone__The_Inside_Story_of_Gough%E2%80%99s_Tariff_Cut__in_The_Australian__18_July_2003..pdf">knew nothing</a>” about what was unfolding.</p> <p>But driving the work of the committee were two academic outsiders – Fred Gruen, an economics professor at the Australian National University and adviser to Whitlam, and Brian Brogan, an economics lecturer at Monash University who was advising the trade minister, Jim Cairns.</p> <h2>Outsiders, not treasury insiders</h2> <p>As economists rather than bureaucrats, Gruen and Brogan were able to see benefits where others saw entrenched interests. Going to the tariff board and asking for extra tariffs, whenever it looked as if your prices might be undercut by imports, had become a reflex action for Australian businesses.</p> <p>In the words of <a href="https://esavic.org.au/385/images/2013_GaryBanks.pdf">Gary Banks</a> – later to become head of the successor to the tariff board, the Productivity Commission: “it was not a shameful thing for a conga line of industrialists to be seen wending its way to Canberra”.</p> <p>Tariffs were good for business owners, although bad for their customers, who had to pay much higher prices and often got <a href="https://www.afr.com/opinion/bill-scales-the-rise-and-fall-of-the-australian-car-manufacturing-industry-20171018-gz3ky4">worse goods</a>. They were also good for government – bringing in tax revenue.</p> <p>Whitlam was more interested in bringing down inflation. His announcement said increased competition would "have a salutary effect upon those who have taken advantage of shortages by unjustified price increases which have exploited the public".</p> <p>Any firm seriously hurt by the extra imports could apply to a newly established tribunal for assistance, but the tribunal "should not provide relief as a matter of course – that is, simply because the question of relief had been referred to it".</p> <p>So Whitlam offered “rationalisation assistance” to encourage firms to refocus their operations, and “compensation for closure” where that couldn’t be done and production had to cease.</p> <p>For displaced workers, the 7pm announcement offered anyone who lost their job retraining, as well as "a weekly amount equal to his [sic] average wage in the previous six months until he obtains or is found suitable alternative employment."</p> <p>Over the next seven years, manufacturing employment fell by <a href="https://www.bitre.gov.au/sites/default/files/report_136_CHAPTER_6_WEB_FA.pdf">80,000</a>, but few of those job losses were immediate. Fifteen months after the 25% tariff cut, fewer than <a href="https://www.jstor.org/stable/20634782?seq=10">6,000</a> people had claimed the wage replacement offered on the night of the announcement.</p> <p>When Whitlam went to the polls a year after the cut in the double dissolution election of May 1974, 122 university economists signed an <a href="https://pmtranscripts.pmc.gov.au/release/transcript-3267">open letter</a> of support.</p> <p>The letter said the general thrust of the government’s policy responses had been in the best interests of the nation as a whole, and added, "more importantly, we seriously doubt that the previous government would have had the wisdom or the courage to undertake it. It had certainly given no indication of moving in that direction while it was in power, even though the need for such policies had become obvious".</p> <p>In its later days in office, the Whitlam government was roundly criticised for its irresponsible public spending. Ironically, in its approach to tariffs in the 1970s, it had taken the first steps in a neoliberal direction that characterised western governments of the 1980s.</p> <p>By acting boldly after decades of inaction, Whitlam showed what a government could do. It was a lesson his Labor successor Bob Hawke took to heart a decade later, when he floated the dollar, revamped Australia’s tax system and put in place a series of further cuts that reduced tariffs to near zero.</p> <p>It’s something we see less of today.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/209378/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/alex-millmow-4462">Alex Millmow</a>, Senior Fellow, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/federation-university-australia-780">Federation University Australia</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/how-a-secret-plan-50-years-ago-changed-australias-economy-forever-in-just-one-night-209378">original article</a>.</em></p>

Money & Banking

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Rebel Wilson’s wedding planning chaos

<p>It’s been an exciting couple of years for Aussie access Rebel Wilson, with 2022 marking <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/news/news/beautiful-miracle-rebel-wilson-s-huge-baby-news" target="_blank" rel="noopener">the arrival of her baby</a> and 2023 seeing her <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/lifestyle/relationships/we-said-yes-rebel-wilson-drops-major-news-about-personal-life" target="_blank" rel="noopener">engaged</a> to now-finance Ramona Agruma.</p> <p>Although the pair had a fairytale engagement at Disneyland, their wedding planning process has highlighted divided opinions.</p> <p>”Ramona and I have discussed a lot, but it turns out we have different ideas about what the wedding should be," Wilson told <em>E! News</em>. </p> <p>"So I don't know. I don't know who's gonna win," she continued. "We'll do a very beautiful compromise.”</p> <p>Although preparations are well underway, the actress admitted the planning process is going “very slow”.</p> <p>”I've got two movies to shoot this year," the actress said, "and with a 7-month old…so we'll probably get into it more next year.”</p> <p>Wilson welcomed her daughter Royce via surrogate in November 2022 — a process she started in 2019, before meeting Agruma.</p> <p>"It's weird. It's kind of like she came into my life at the exact right time, and then the surrogate getting pregnant and Ramona was really into that. So, it was kind of awesome. It just kind of came together at the right moment."</p> <p>The lovebirds met through a mutual friend, Aussie actor Hugh Sheridan. He told 2Day FM that he loves playing matchmaker, and that he’d been trying to set the two up with other people for years before realising they may be perfect for each other.</p> <p>"'Both were really hard to set up," he confessed in the interview.</p> <p>"Ramona is really smart, and Rebel is really smart. I was in New York with my ex and feeling very sad, and Rebel said she can't imagine how I feels because she's never been in love before!”</p> <p>"I thought, 'Gosh, she's a hard one to crack.' So I thought of Ramona straight away."</p> <p><em>Image credit: Getty</em></p>

Relationships

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“Slay while I decay”: 93-year-old grandmother’s hysterical funeral plans

<p>A 93-year-old grandmother has taken the internet by storm after sharing a video she wants to be played at her funeral.</p> <p>Lillian Droniak from Connecticut — already a social media icon — with more than 10.1 million followers on her TikTok is known for posting very candid clips.</p> <p>She’s now revealed a series of events she’d like her family to put into action after she passes away.</p> <p>The clip, which has raked in more than 24 million views, shows Lillian talking to the camera as she lounges about in an armchair while wearing a pink t-shirt emblazoned with the slogan, “You’re not invited to my funeral”.</p> <p>The cheeky 93-year-old began, “Thank you for coming everyone. There's probably a lot of people here so have fun.</p> <p>“If you're crying, stop being a baby. Find a tissue and move on. Don't be sad, I lived a long time.</p> <p>“I slayed every day and now, I'm going to lay every day. I hope you slay while I decay.”</p> <p>The grandmother continued, “And Bertha better not be here. If she's here, kick her out right now. I'm going to haunt you Bertha.</p> <p>“And my ex George better leave. I know he's here, I'm going to haunt him too.”<br />She concluded, “I hope everybody gets drunk after this. You better take a shot for me. Love you all.”<br /><iframe title="tiktok embed" src="https://cdn.embedly.com/widgets/media.html?src=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.tiktok.com%2Fembed%2Fv2%2F7243826555644808491&amp;display_name=tiktok&amp;url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.tiktok.com%2F%40grandma_droniak%2Fvideo%2F7243826555644808491%3Flang%3Den&amp;image=https%3A%2F%2Fp16-sign.tiktokcdn-us.com%2Fobj%2Ftos-useast5-p-0068-tx%2Fe292006686a3487bb3da94441b230627_1686584808%3Fx-expires%3D1687507200%26x-signature%3DbI%252BPoMCv2yA5KqPQ10NN1r%252FaolM%253D&amp;key=59e3ae3acaa649a5a98672932445e203&amp;type=text%2Fhtml&amp;schema=tiktok" width="340" height="700" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <p>She uploaded the clip paired with the caption, “Play this video at my funeral or I will haunt whoever is in charge thank you.”</p> <p>Social media users flocked to the comment section to have their say on her playful piece.</p> <p>One commented, “I hope Bertha and George show up just so they can be told to leave in front of everyone.”<br />'We can't slay while you decay,” another said.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">“Why am I crying?” a third added.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><em>Image credit: TikTok</em></p>

Caring

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10 tips for planning a staycation that’s better than an overseas trip

<p>We spent so much of our lives daydreaming to be somewhere else that sometimes we lose sight of how amazing our surrounds actually are! Of course it’s nice to venture overseas, but sometimes it’s equally as nice to take a moment to smell the roses.</p> <p><strong>Here are 10 tips to help you get the most out of your staycation:</strong></p> <p><strong>1. Plan ahead </strong></p> <p>Not having a clear idea of what you’re actually going to do on the day is the death knell of any staycation. So do some research and figure out some interesting activities to try in your city. A little bit of planning ahead can go a long way.</p> <p><strong>2. Find timely events</strong></p> <p>Is there a festival you’ve always wanted to go to but never managed to find the time? Well, a staycation is the perfect opportunity to try this. Staycations are pretty much designed for this sort of experience, so enjoy!</p> <p><strong>3. Don’t go it alone</strong></p> <p>A staycation is also a great opportunity to catch up with some old friends (or even make new ones) so make sure you invite some other people along.</p> <p><strong>4. Set a budget</strong></p> <p>Even though you’re not really travelling anywhere, it makes sense to set a weekly budget to make sure you’re not spending too much. Or if that seems like a bit too much, even just set out a basic daily limit. Also, take advantage of free regular events in your own city.</p> <p><strong>5. Check the weather before you head out</strong></p> <p>There’s nothing worse than getting rained on without an umbrella. Check the forecasts and make sure the weather suits your staycation.</p> <p><strong>6. Say yes as much as you can</strong></p> <p>We spend so much of our lives saying no, but when you’re on a staycation this is your opportunity to say yes as much as possible. Be spontaneous and fun!</p> <p><strong>7. Ice cream and junk food</strong></p> <p>Well you are on vacation after all! This is a great opportunity to take advantage of those foods you avoid on a weekly basis, even if your belt ends up fitting to a different notch.</p> <p><strong>8. Mix up your routine</strong></p> <p>Sleep in, stay out late and throw your routine out the window. Enjoy your city for what it is and make sure you take advantage of everything.</p> <p><strong>9. Be silly</strong></p> <p>Don’t take yourself too seriously when you’re on a staycation and make sure you spend plenty of time enjoying the company of those that are nearest and dearest.</p> <p><strong>10. Reward yourself</strong></p> <p>While you’re technically not travelling everywhere, staycations still require a lot of work, so make sure you reward yourself with a glass of wine.</p> <p><em>Image credit: Shutterstock</em></p>

Domestic Travel

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When babysitting your grandkids is not the retirement plan

<p><em><strong>Megan Giles is a retirement designer for women. She supports and coaches women approaching retirement to successfully transition and create a lifestyle that is fulfilling, meaningful to them and lights them up each day.</strong></em></p> <p>You’re retiring, or maybe you’re about to cut down to part-time hours and you can smell freedom in the air. You have the schedule for a pilates studio on your fridge, a list of restaurants to try, and a couple ideas for that abandoned corner of your garden. At last you have time to do all of those things you’ve always wanted to do.</p> <p>And then the phone rings. “Mum, now that you’re not working, it would be great if you could look after [grandchild] on a Friday…” And your heart sinks. You love your grandchild to bits, but a regular baby-sitting gig is not part of your plan.</p> <p>While this is the perfect scenario for many people approaching retirement, it’s important to recognise that it’s not for everyone.</p> <p>What happens if your family has other ideas for your life after work, e.g. caring for grandchildren, or they have assumptions about what you can and can't (or shouldn't!) do in retirement. Do you acquiesce and abandon your dreams or do you recognise the value of your time and dreams and decide to ‘just go for it’?</p> <p>The trouble with choosing to pursue your own path is the huge amount of guilt this can bring up, particularly for women. You feel that you should be there for your children and grandchildren. You know that your support will make their life easier as they have demanding jobs and because the cost of living and day care is expensive. Or perhaps you convince yourself that you do have the time and energy because, well, you’re not working anymore. But the risk that goes with this is that you start to feel resentful because you’re not being true to your dreams.</p> <p>Broaching this with adult children, however, can be a tricky thing to do. It brings up conflicting emotions including love, guilt, joy, fear and obligation and the last thing you want to do is make a loved one feel bad.</p> <p>In recognition of this, the following provides tips for sharing your retirement ideals with your family in a positive way:</p> <ul> <li><strong>Make an uninterrupted time to talk.</strong> While it might be an easy time to catch your children, try to avoid the early evening ‘witching hour’ when feeding and bathing can create mayhem</li> <li><strong>Share your goals.</strong> Rather than assuming your family know what will be important to you, let them know what you would like to get out of retirement, particularly while you are active and have good health</li> <li><strong>Articulate your concerns or fears.</strong> Let them know, for example, that you worry about being able to keep up with your energetic grandchild, or that you risk letting them down in the longer term when you decide to go travelling and can’t do that regular Tuesday ‘gig’</li> <li><strong>Listen to what it is that your adult children are seeking</strong> and see if you can come up with alternate options together (it doesn’t always have to be one thing or the other)</li> <li><strong>Let your family know that you love and care for them unconditionally.</strong> Not being able to provide regular baby-sitting duties does not mean that you love them any less</li> </ul> <p>As the saying goes, you first have to look after yourself before you can look after others and this applies especially in retirement. However uncomfortable it may seem initially, have the conversation in order to understand and align both your and your family’s expectations, and then give yourself permission to follow your dreams in retirement!</p> <p><em>Images: Getty</em></p>

Retirement Life

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An El Niño looms over Australia’s stressed electricity system – and we must plan for the worst

<p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/dylan-mcconnell-1602">Dylan McConnell</a>, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/unsw-sydney-1414">UNSW Sydney</a></em> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/iain-macgill-576">Iain MacGill</a>, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/unsw-sydney-1414">UNSW Sydney</a></em></p> <p>The Bureau of Meteorology this week declared a 70% chance of an <a href="https://media.bom.gov.au/releases/1170/the-bureau-of-meteorology-issues-an-el-nino-alert/">El Niño</a> developing this year. It’s bad timing for the electricity sector, and means Australians may face supply disruptions and volatile prices.</p> <p><a href="http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/updates/articles/a008-el-nino-and-australia.shtml">El Niño events</a> are <a href="https://theconversation.com/from-floods-to-fire-a-climate-scientist-on-the-chances-el-nino-will-hit-australia-this-year-197408">associated with</a> increased temperatures and heatwaves. These conditions drive demand for electricity, especially in summer.</p> <p>These same conditions can also mean some generators don’t produce at full capacity. And unfortunately, the likely El Niño comes as the electricity sector grapples with other significant headwinds.</p> <p>Australia’s electricity grid may be fine this summer. But given what’s on the horizon, it would be prudent to plan for the worst.</p> <h2>How does hot weather affect energy supplies?</h2> <p>Increased air conditioning use in summer can cause <a href="https://aemo.com.au/-/media/files/electricity/nem/planning_and_forecasting/nem_esoo/2022/forecasting-approach-electricity-demand-forecasting-methodology.pdf">demand to peak</a>, particularly during heatwaves, as the below graph shows.</p> <figure class="align-center "><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/530604/original/file-20230607-27-m1kddg.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" sizes="(min-width: 1466px) 754px, (max-width: 599px) 100vw, (min-width: 600px) 600px, 237px" srcset="https://images.theconversation.com/files/530604/original/file-20230607-27-m1kddg.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=208&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 600w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/530604/original/file-20230607-27-m1kddg.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=208&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1200w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/530604/original/file-20230607-27-m1kddg.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=208&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 1800w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/530604/original/file-20230607-27-m1kddg.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=262&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 754w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/530604/original/file-20230607-27-m1kddg.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=262&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1508w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/530604/original/file-20230607-27-m1kddg.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=262&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 2262w" alt="Scatterplot of New South Wales demand and temperature, example based on 2017 calendar year" /><figcaption><span class="caption">Scatterplot of New South Wales demand and temperature, example based on 2017 calendar year.</span> <span class="attribution"><span class="source">AEMO</span></span></figcaption></figure> <p>At the same time, electricity generators – including coal, gas, <a href="https://www.climatechangeinaustralia.gov.au/en/projects/esci/esci-case-studies/case-study-heat/">solar and wind</a> – can become less efficient in hot temperatures, and so provide less energy to the system. And the hotter transmission lines get, the less electrical current they can safely carry. This lowers their capacity to transport energy.</p> <p>When the electricity grid is under stress, this can lead to “load shedding” or blackouts – when power companies deliberately switch off the power supply to groups of customers to prevent the overall system from becoming dangerously unstable.</p> <p>This happened in Victoria in early 2019, when more than <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-01-26/victorian-blackouts-what-caused-them-and-is-this-the-new-normal/10751412">200,000 customers</a> lost power during a period of extreme heat.</p> <p>El Niño events are also associated with reduced rainfall. Among other effects on the electricity grid, this can reduce output from hydroelectricity generators (which produce electricity by pumping water through turbines). This <a href="https://theconversation.com/praying-for-rain-50085">occurred</a> in Tasmania in 2016, and contributed to an energy crisis in that state.</p> <h2>Other headwinds are blowing</h2> <p>Aside from facing a likely El Niño, the electricity sector faces other headaches.</p> <p>Earlier this year, the Australian Energy Market Operator <a href="https://aemo.com.au/newsroom/media-release/aemo-issues-nem-reliability-update">warned</a> electricity demand “may exceed supply” at times over the next decade due to factors such as weather conditions or generator outages.</p> <p>The market operator pointed to delays to the Snowy 2.0 hydro project and the gas-fired <a href="https://www.afr.com/companies/energy/new-snowy-ceo-can-t-rule-out-further-delays-at-projects-20230213-p5cjzr">Kurri Kurri Power Station</a>, both in New South Wales.</p> <p>The Kurri Kurri project has been delayed for a year. It was scheduled to begin operating in December this year – in time for the first summer since the Liddell coal-fired power station closed.</p> <p>The Australian Energy Market Operator said the electricity system was expected to meet the “reliability standard” in all regions for the next five years. The <a href="https://www.aemc.gov.au/energy-system/electricity/electricity-system/reliability#:%7E:text=What%20is%20the%20Reliability%20Standard,to%20be%20met%20each%20year.">standard requires</a> at least 99.998% of forecast demand be met each year. Unmet demand can lead to interrupted supply, or blackouts.</p> <p>But the operator also said delays to the Kurri Kurri project posed risks to reliability in NSW this summer.</p> <p>Adding to the pressures on the system, Queensland’s Callide C coal-fired power station is still not back to capacity more than two years after an explosion at the site. The station’s owners last week <a href="https://www.afr.com/companies/energy/energy-grid-fears-as-callide-c-return-delayed-until-mid-2024-20230529-p5dc90">announced</a> the plant would not be fully operational until mid-2024.</p> <p>Combine all this with a likely El Niño, and the electricity sector may be facing a challenging summer.</p> <h2>El Niño years are not normal</h2> <p>In August, the Australian Energy Market Operator is due to publish a new <a href="https://aemo.com.au/-/media/files/electricity/nem/planning_and_forecasting/nem_esoo/2022/esoo-and-reliability-forecast-methodology-document-2022.pdf">assessment</a> of the grid’s expected reliability over the next decade. It may well show reliability standards will be achieved.</p> <p>On first blush, that sounds like good news. However, the way the assessment is derived may mask the real risk during El Niño periods.</p> <p>The assessment combines a number of scenarios, which are based on different <a href="https://aemo.com.au/en/energy-systems/electricity/national-electricity-market-nem/nem-forecasting-and-planning/forecasting-and-reliability/projected-assessment-of-system-adequacy">forecasts</a> of electricity demand. The scenarios based on average weather conditions are given the most weight.</p> <p>But if an El Niño arrives, this summer will not be average. We’re likely to experience very hot and dry conditions. This may lead to higher demands on the energy system, and a greater likelihood of blackouts.</p> <p>This won’t be properly reflected in the assessment. So the grid may be deemed reliable even though electricity supplies are under immense pressure.</p> <figure class="align-center "><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/530771/original/file-20230608-30-lb28wc.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" sizes="(min-width: 1466px) 754px, (max-width: 599px) 100vw, (min-width: 600px) 600px, 237px" srcset="https://images.theconversation.com/files/530771/original/file-20230608-30-lb28wc.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=450&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 600w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/530771/original/file-20230608-30-lb28wc.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=450&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1200w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/530771/original/file-20230608-30-lb28wc.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=450&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 1800w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/530771/original/file-20230608-30-lb28wc.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=566&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 754w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/530771/original/file-20230608-30-lb28wc.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=566&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1508w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/530771/original/file-20230608-30-lb28wc.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=566&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 2262w" alt="repair person climbs power pole" /><figcaption><span class="caption">The grid may be deemed reliable even though it’s under pressure.</span> <span class="attribution"><span class="source">Shutterstock</span></span></figcaption></figure> <h2>What can be done?</h2> <p>You might find all this news worrying. But there are measures and technologies in place to help reduce the risks.</p> <p><a href="https://aemo.com.au/en/energy-systems/electricity/emergency-management/reliability-and-emergency-reserve-trader-rert">A mechanism</a> exists that allows the market operator to secure emergency energy reserves. It could mean, for example, calling on a large industrial plant to pause operations to reduce its electricity use, or starting up a standby diesel generator. The operator can start procuring this months ahead of time, and will no doubt be monitoring the situation closely.</p> <p>In the medium term, the uptake of so-called “consumer energy resources” such as rooftop solar farms and small-scale battery storage shows promise. These technologies are located at homes and businesses. They can reduce demand on the grid at peak times and can potentially be built faster than big projects.</p> <p>Longer term, we need to build more “stuff”. This includes renewable energy and other “dispatchable” resources – which can provide energy when it’s needed – as well as more transmission infrastructure.</p> <p>Several federal funding measures – the <a href="https://www.energy.gov.au/government-priorities/energy-supply/capacity-investment-scheme">Capacity Investment Scheme</a> and <a href="https://www.energy.gov.au/news-media/news/rewiring-nation-supports-its-first-two-transmission-projects">Rewiring the Nation</a> – might help realise these projects.</p> <p>The reality is that ageing coal plants are closing – and while they remain open, they’re contributing to reliability challenges in the energy system. Unchecked climate change will also add considerable strain, through natural disasters and more extreme weather.</p> <p>Unfortunately, investment in renewable and other low-emission technology has been <a href="https://www.cleanenergycouncil.org.au/news/clean-energy-construction-peaks-as-investment-pipeline-battles-headwinds">slower than necessary</a>. This has slowed Australia’s emissions reduction efforts and cast questions over the reliability of our energy supplies as an El Niño looms.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/207210/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/dylan-mcconnell-1602">Dylan McConnell</a>, Senior Research Associate, Renewable Energy &amp; Energy Systems Analyst, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/unsw-sydney-1414">UNSW Sydney</a></em> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/iain-macgill-576">Iain MacGill</a>, Joint director, Collaboration on Energy and Environmental Markets, and Professor, School of Electrical Engineering and Telecommunications, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/unsw-sydney-1414">UNSW Sydney</a></em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/an-el-nino-looms-over-australias-stressed-electricity-system-and-we-must-plan-for-the-worst-207210">original article</a>.</em></p> <p><em>Images: Getty</em></p>

Technology

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Property from a galaxy far, far away heads to the market

<p dir="ltr">The time has come for dreams to be realised, particularly if you’re someone with a passion for outer space - or more specifically, a galaxy far, far, away - and want to live among the stars while keeping your feet planted firmly on the ground. </p> <p dir="ltr">Approved plans for a <em>Star Wars </em>light cruiser-inspired property are heading to the auction block, with a Melbourne-based IT specialist launching his 131 Pipers Creek Road campaign on May 4 - better known as ‘Star Wars Day’. </p> <p dir="ltr">With a price guide of $1.05m-$1.15m, the 2.42ha block in Kyneston is perfect for any buyer with enough passion to carry out Shyam Avatapalli’s galactic-level plans. </p> <p dir="ltr">As Avatapalli explained, his intention was to either build the home and sell it, or just to sell it along with the appropriate permits. </p> <p dir="ltr">“It’s inspired by one of the space ships from one of the older films and The Mandalorian TV series, called a<em> Star Wars</em> light cruiser,” he told <em>Herald Sun</em>. </p> <p dir="ltr">“I’ve always been a <em>Star Wars </em>fan and always like to think outside of the box when designing or building something.”</p> <p dir="ltr">It isn’t the first unique approach to property planning that Avatapalli has taken, with his own home in Donvale boasting a kitchen that also draws heavy inspiration from<em> Star Wars</em>. </p> <p dir="ltr">The potential Kyneston home’s location was selected for its otherworldly and treeless landscape, with Avatapalli even securing a permit for “a low cost culvert crossing” over the block’s creek, along with those for the property itself. </p> <p dir="ltr">The five-bedroom home was designed in collaboration with an architect, and would feature Colorbond steel as well as a hallway resembling one aboard a fictional spacecraft, and three water tanks that may draw Boeing 747 jet engine’s to mind, as they were inspired by the real-life planes.</p> <p dir="ltr">As for where the hallway’s ‘middle cylinder’ might come from, Avatarpalli intends to put the buyer in contact with an art dealer who could help them to get their hands on a jet engine “built by Rolls Royce in the 1970s”. According to Avatarpalli, it would even be from a “real British Airways flight”.</p> <p dir="ltr">As Ray White’s Brendan Milner said, “the sky was the limit” for the property’s next proud owner, as well as noting that they were likely to be someone searching for “a bit of a wow factor, one-off property, with eccentric taste that goes with the design …</p> <p dir="ltr">“Because it’s a spaceship anyone with an otherworldly fascination would definitely have an interest.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Images: realestate.com.au </em></p>

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