Welcome to my inaugural grand tour of ‘s finest restaurants. Please, come in and sit down, have a glass of Tasmanian Arras EJ Carr Late Disgorged bubbly.
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As your tour guide and host, I have spared no expense in sharing my ultimate gastronomic fantasy with you and your fellow members of this small and exclusive group.

We will be travelling by private jet, luxury train and helicopter across the country, with icy-cold beers and refresher towels at every turn. I have woven in bespoke private tours with the best chefs in the country, vertical tastings of ‘s greatest wines, and pit-stops at some of the country’s best food and wine producers.

It’s going to be an incredible journey from one hand-dived scallop to the next freshly dug truffle. And the best thing about signing up for my tour right now, is that it will cost you nothing at all – until some clever tour operator actually packages it up for real, and pays me to lead it, which I am sincerely hoping will happen.

Ready? Let’s go.

Melbourne’s fabled Attica. Photo: Colin Page

FIRST STOP: VICTORIAFOR AVOCADO ON TOAST, PEKING DUCK, A GARDEN TOUR AND A FORAGE, AND THE ULTIMATE WINERY BARBECUEIt’s Melbourne, so we kick off with coffee at Market Lane in the Prahran Market, followed by the signature avocado on sourdough with local kelp sea salt and lime at Kettle Black (thekettleblack苏州夜总会招聘.au) in South Melbourne.

Our private tram takes us on a tour of Melbourne’s parks and gardens before dropping us at the legendary 42-year-old Flower Drum Cantonese restaurant (flowerdrum.melbourne).Master chef Anthony Lui will tempt us with his legendary Peking duck and mud crab with noodles, which his son Jason Lui silver-services down our throats with commendable skill.

Flowerdrum. Photo: Vien Tran

A little snooze at the Langham before we join up for cocktails in the front bar of Andrew McConnell’s informally luxurious Cutler & Co (cutlerandco苏州夜总会招聘.au), for the signature fruits de mer platter and some very fine Victorian chardonnay.

Day two sees an exclusive gardening masterclass with Ben Shewry of the three-hatted Attica restaurant (attica苏州夜总会招聘.au). A tour of his flourishing herb and vegetable garden at the historic Ripponlea Estate will be followed by an impromptu foraging session on the way back to the restaurant for dinner, using our gleanings to create a special eight-course tasting menu that will never be repeated.

Next day, it’s a luxury high-speed train to Geelong that runs perfectly on time (this is a fantasy, remember) for lunch at Aaron Turner’s wood-fuelled Igni(restaurantigni苏州夜总会招聘). It’s a highly personal dining experience with a very hands-on chef, so expect surprises at every turn, from potato noodles cooked in chicken fat to flowering gum ice-cream with pine needle yoghurt, raspberries and Davidson’s plum.

Then we get a cheeky chopper to zip us over the magnificence of the Great Ocean Road, swinging back to Birregurra for dinner at Dan Hunter’s Brae (braerestaurant苏州夜总会招聘), ‘s newest entry (at number 44) in the annual World’s 50 Best Restaurants list.

Brae, Birregurra, Victoria. Photo: Colin Page

It’s all about the local food system, as we eat vegetables from Brae’s own garden and wood-fired bread from flour milled on the premises, on plates made from clay taken from the estate’s dams.

Time for sweet dreams in one of the luxury guest suites, after playing with our personal turntable and record collection. Then it’s wakey-wakey for Brae’s sensational breakfast in bed (googy eggs courtesy of the chooks), followed by a tutored stroll through the gardens with the chef.

The helicopters then whisk us across to the Mornington Peninsula for a vineyard barbie. And what a barbie – personally cooked over wood-fired grills by former Rockpool chef Phil Wood in the midst of the contemporary sculpture park of the Pt Leo Estate (ptleoestate苏州夜总会招聘.au). And so we wave goodbye to the rolling vineyards and lush gardens and great coffee of Victoria, to head south.

NEXT STOP: TASMANIAMODERN ART, OVEN-ROASTED SEAFOOD, HAND-MADE CHEESE, COUNTRY COOKING CLASSES AND A LUXURY CRUISEPrivate jet to Hobart. Soon we are aboard the ferry to MONA (mona苏州夜场招聘.au) where Museum of New and Old Art founder David Walsh takes us on a personal tour and chef Vince Trim opens a stack of Tassie oysters for us to have under the Armana pavilion, as artist James Turrell’s light installation illuminates the skies.

Pan-seared local squid, chorizo, blood orange, coriander and fennel.

Dinner is at Franklin (franklinhobart苏州夜总会招聘.au), where chef Analiese Gregory fires up the wood-fired oven and shows off some of Tasmania’s finest produce, from wood-roasted cabbage with ricotta saltata and flathead butter, to roasted lamb rib with licorice and burnt honey.

In the morning, the chauffeurs line up to drive us to Bruny Island for a cheese tasting with cheesemaker Nick Haddow, where we learn that the quality of Bruny Island cheese is completely dependent on the quality of the milk. It’s a day for kicking back and relaxing, in between a hands-on cooking class at Rodney Dunn and Severine Demanet’s Agrarian Kitchen (theagrariankitchen苏州夜总会招聘) and a slow stroll around the farm and gardens, where we pick herbs and vegies for lunch at their newly opened eatery and store.

​Copa di testa (pig’s head terrine) with salted cumquats at The Agrarian Kitchen. Photo: Peter Mathew

Then it’s back to the sea, to board the luxury cruise liner Seabourn (seabourn苏州夜总会招聘) to sleep the sleep of the innocent and well-fed as we move gently through the southern ocean to our next tour destination, South .

NEXT STOP: SOUTH AUSTRALIASCALLOP-DIVING, LOBSTER FEASTS, BAKED DAMPER, MAGPIE GOOSE, NATURAL WINES, AND HERITAGE FARMHOUSE FEASTSThe day begins out on the blue ocean as we meet up with huntin’, shootin’, fishin’ chef Jock Zonfrillo of Adelaide’s Orana (restaurantorana苏州夜总会招聘) and go hand-diving for scallops just off Kangaroo Island, followed by a beachside lobster feast garnished with native coastal plants.

Dinner that night is at Orana in Adelaide as Zonfrillo inspires us with his passion for native n ingredients, in dishes such as Goolwa pippies and beach succulents with native thyme, and magpie goose with native elderberry and wild garlic.

The signature dessert of buffalo milk, strawberry and eucalyptus at Orana. Photo: David Solm

Next day it’s a thoroughbred horseback trail through the Adelaide Hills to the Summertown Aristologist (thesummertownaristologist苏州夜总会招聘)–a perfect template for the small, independent, regional n restaurant – for an impromptu wine tasting (for us, not the horses) with anarchic winemakers Anton van Klopper and Jasper Button on the long communal table.

We drop in to Africola (africola苏州夜总会招聘.au), Duncan Welgemoed’s rollicking fire-driven Africanesque bistro in Adelaide for peri-peri chicken, then fly out to the picturesque airstrip at Hutton Vale Farm (huttonvale苏州夜总会招聘) in the Eden Valley for a fabulous feast of farm produce in the lovely old farmhouse. The big night out is at Hentley Farm (hentleyfarm苏州夜总会招聘), where head chef Lachlan Colwill dazzles us with his “surprise” menu, a journey through the pick of Barossa produce.

Hentley Farm, Seppeltsfield, South .

At this point, the famed Ghan passenger train (greatsouthernrail苏州夜总会招聘.au) makes a detour to pick us up (not sure how, but it does) and whisks us through the night to Alice Springs in our super-comfortable Platinum Club staterooms.

NEXT STOP: NORTHERN TERRITORYCOCKTAILS AT ULURU, WILD BARRAMUNDI, SUNSET MARKETS, AND MUD CRAB TO GOOh joy. Neil Perry of the Rockpool Dining Group has parachuted in to do a special breakfast in the Platinum Club, just for us. Scrambled eggs, heavy on the Sterling caviar, thanks chef.

Then it’s on through the ancient, raw landscape of the red centre to the luxurious Longitude 131 (longitude131苏州夜总会招聘.au) at Yulara, where we immerse ourselves in the World Heritage-listed wilderness, explore the local Indigenous culture, and join up for cocktails and canapes as the sun sets over Uluru.

Dune-top dinging at Longitude 131’s Dune House, Uluru.

We tootle off to Darwin on the Ghan the next day, grateful for the caffe lattes from our exclusive pop-up espresso bar run by the 2017 Barista Champion Hugh Kelly of Canberra’s Ona Coffee (onacoffee苏州夜总会招聘.au) and thankful that we have not had to ride any camels.

A quick stop to try the famed oysters and wild barramundi with fresh curry leaf and coconut at Jimmy Shu’s ever popular Hanuman (hanuman苏州夜总会招聘.au) before being whisked off to the Mindil Beach Sunset markets for a barefoot dinner on the beach.

Our high-speed jet gives us just enough time to scoff a claws-and-all salad of Darwin mud crab smuggled on board by our private chef.

Tropical cocktails at Hanuman restaurant. Photo: Supplied

NEXT STOP: WESTERN AUSTRALIATropical cocktails at Hanuman restaurant.Photo: SuppliedWe check into COMO The Treasury (comohotels苏州夜总会招聘), home to Wildflower, a contemporary restaurant run by chef Jed Gerrard with a sophisticated menu inspired by the six seasons of the Indigenous Noongar calendar: Birak, Bunuru, Dieran, Makura, Djila and Kambarang. Expect coral trout, red emperor and tastings of Shark Bay caviar.

Wildflower at COMO The Treasury, Perth.

Lovers of well-built Negronis and hand-made pasta can opt in for a masterclass in both the next day at Lulu La Delizia (lululadelizia苏州夜总会招聘.au) at no extra charge.

Then it’s a helicopter to the Margaret River for one of those long, lovely vineyard lunches that make life worth living. And yes, head chef Brendan Pratt of the magnificent Vasse Felix estate (vassefelix苏州夜总会招聘.au), promises there will be marron, the sweet, sought-after, local freshwater crayfish.

Jump on board the Kimberly Quest 2 (kimberleyquest苏州夜总会招聘.au) as she returns us to Perth in time for Chiang Mai chicken larp, spicy pork with rice cakes, and stir-fried softshell crab noodles at David Thompson’s Long Chim (longchimperth苏州夜总会招聘). A fitting way to say farewell and head east for our final round of feasting.

Bean curd laksa with a house-made soda at Long Chim. Photo: Nikki To

NEXT STOP: QUEENSLANDFOR JUST, YOU KNOW, QUEENSLAND. SUNSHINE, SEAFOOD AND SAILINGWhat is fascinating to our small but well-fed tour group, as the new Qantas Dreamliner gets us to Brisbane in record time, is how each state and region has its own unique tastes and “terroir”; how the clean, almost spiritual heat of fire fuels so many feasts, and how many top chefs driving our gastronomy are from second or third generation migrant families.

At the acclaimed Urbane (urbanrestaurant苏州夜总会招聘), we sign up for a seven-course vegan “herbivore” tasting menu from Peruvian-born chef Alejandro Cancino – a vegan himself. Thinksalt and vinegar saltbush with tomato tea, and shiitake consomme with porcini foam. Thinkmeat-free deliciousness.

At the Moubarak brothers’ Gerard’s Bistro (gerardsbistro苏州夜总会招聘.au), we sample Ben Williamson’s inspired take on Middle Eastern flavours, including burghul crackers with Paroo kangaroo, scampi caviar and coal-infused hummus, and Spanish mackerel with caramelised tahini, Aleppo chilli and karkalla (a crisp, refreshing coastal succulent).

Slow-roasted carrots, burnt honey and cardamom vinaigrette, dukkah, mint and tahini curd at Gerard’s Bistro. Photo: Harrison Saragossi

Then we sail down the coast to Noosa in our sleek, elegant, 120-foot Quantum superyacht (quantumcharters苏州夜总会招聘.au) charter for a hands-on cookery class followed by a spectacular omakase at Danielle Gestlandt’s Wasabi Dining Room & Bar (wasabisb苏州夜总会招聘), where chefs Zeb Gilbert and Jiro Numata send out wild scallops with native finger lime, sake-poached bugs with tempura zucchini blossoms, and aburi (seared) Mayura Station wagyu. Then we re-board the boat and sail down to the Northern Rivers.

NEXT STOP: NSWAUSTRALIA’S NEW COASTAL CUISINE, A SIDE TRIP TO CANBERRA, CHAR-GRILLED STEAKS AND OPERA HOUSE PAVWe disembark at Brunswick Heads on the North Coast to see how Astrid McCormack and her partner, chef Josh Lewis, rewrite the idea of a North Coast ma-and-pa restaurant with charm and skill at their tiny 22-seater, Fleet (fleet-restaurant苏州夜总会招聘.au).

Fleet Restaurant in Brunswick Heads. Photo: Kate Nutt

(But secretly, we are really there for the chips-and-dips – the creamy, smoked mullet dip with its frizzy crown of potato crisps.)

An overnight stay at the chic boutique hotel Halcyon House (halcyonhouse苏州夜总会招聘.au) in Cabarita Beach is a must, if only for dinner at Paper Daisy, for Ben Devlin’s highly evolved coastal cuisine, including a brilliant paper bark-grilled fish. By unanimous vote, we stay an extra two nights and two dinners before heading for the nation’s capital.

A fleet of Maseratis ferry us to Canberra for lunch at ‘s oldest and finest Turkish restaurant, Serif Kaya’s Ottoman Cuisine (ottomancuisine苏州夜总会招聘.au), where we go full-on Turkish banquet while playing spot-the-polly.

Ottoman Cuisine in Barton

Dinner is at Canberra’s finest winer and diner, Aubergine (aubergine苏州夜总会招聘.au), for the joys of Ben Willis’ wagyu flank with lentils and Jerusalem artichokes, and sommelier Cyril Thevenet’s deep-diving wine list. The evening ends on a high note for a digestivo – and a sneaky late-night wood-fired pizza – at Canberra’s sexy little wine bar, Bacaro (italianandsons苏州夜总会招聘.au), tucked in behind Italian & Sons in Braddon. Dreams are of Amaro and anchovies in our penthouse suites at QT Canberra.

The Maseratis growl along the highway to Sydney, pulling off at Bowral for a locavore lunch at James Viles’ Biota Dining (biotadining苏州夜总会招聘), where the chefs bring dish after dish to the table that seem naturally rooted in their landscape. Dessert is performance art, as a young chef arrives at our table to twirl fresh honey from Biota’s own hives over twigs of mushroom bark.

With the tour ending soon, there’s a special frisson to our celebratory gala dinner amid the art deco marble columns of Neil Perry’s mighty Rockpool Bar and Grill (rockpool苏州夜总会招聘), where we tour the aging rooms and choose our own dry-aged, grass-fed, marble-scored steak to slap on the mighty wood-fired grill.

Rib-eye on the bone at Rockpool Bar and Grill restaurant in Sydney.

Rib-eye on the bone at Rockpool Bar and Grill restaurant in Sydney.Photo: Christopher Pearce

Sydney is a whirl of good times and great food, from the scallop sui mai dumplings at Mr Wong (merivale苏州夜总会招聘.au) to the uncompromisingly wood-fired menu at Fire Door (firedoor苏州夜总会招聘.au), where Lennox Hastie treats wood as a flavouring ingredient, and not just a fuel, grilling aged beef over vine shoots, marron over applewood, and mushrooms over mallee root.

There’s a memorable lunch at Fred’s (merivale苏州夜总会招聘.au) in Paddington, where the dining room merges with the open kitchen, and former Chez Panisse chef Daniel Alvarez and her kitchen team tend their wood-fired grills, hearths and ovens to showcase sublimely simple, seasonal food.

Highlight is a Sepia (sepiarestaurant苏州夜总会招聘.au) pop-up sunset cruise on one of the world’s most beautiful harbours, with a champagne tasting by sommelier Rodney Setter followed by Martin Benn’s quietly theatrical marbles of ocean trout. The luxury yacht drops us off at the Park Hyattfor some beauty sleep in preparation for our final day of bridge-climbing and Bondi surfing.

Quay restaurant, Sydney. Photo: Brett Stevens

Our farewell dinner is a Peter Gilmore one-two knockout, beginning at Quay (quay苏州夜总会招聘.au) with his meticulous mud crab with white turnip, kombu jelly and hispi cabbage, and continuing – via a fleet of water taxis – across Circular Quay to Bennelong (bennelong苏州夜总会招聘.au) in ‘s most celebrated building for the remarkable Opera House pavlova, its crisp meringue sails hiding soft, gooey poached meringue, raspberries and rhubarb.

The tour wraps up with an after-party at Restaurant Hubert (restauranthubert苏州夜总会招聘), where we tearfully say our farewells and make our way through too much wine, trying to process what an extraordinary country we live in and how well we eat and drink here.

Roasted Murray cod grenobloise at Hubert, Sydney. Photo: Supplied

Would we do it again? Yes, we would, and of course we can, anytime we like.

Terry Durack is a long-timeGood Food Guidereviewer and Fairfax Media restaurant critic. He is a regular contributor to Traveller.

SNACK ATTACKSYou’re on the road. You will be needing snacks.

STEAK SANDWICH AT BREAD IN COMMON, FREMANTLEHow good is this? A nicely charred minute steak, comte cheese and creme fraiche, tucked into house-baked ciabatta bread from the wood-fired oven. Seebreadincommon苏州夜总会招聘.au

FALAFEL BURGER AT MIZNON, MELBOURNEIsraeli wonderchefEyal Shani brings his fabulous street food to Melbourne. Do the pita bread stuffed with falafel, tomato, sour cream and pickles and die happy. Seemiznonaustralia苏州夜总会招聘

THE TIGER, AT HARRY’S CAFE DE WHEELS, SYDNEYHarry’s has been feeding Sydney’s late-night crowd since 1938. Star of the show is the dream team of meat pie, mushy peas, mashed potato and gravy. Seeharryscafedewheels苏州夜总会招聘.au

BRATWURST IN A ROLL AT BRATWURST SHOP & CO, QUEEN VICTORIA MARKET, MELBOURNEA lesson in how to be a Melburnian – wander around the historic Queen Vic Market clutching a smoky, meaty bratty roll for breakfast. Seeqvm苏州夜总会招聘.au

YABBY JAFFLE AT MONSTER, CANBERRAChef Sean McConnell created something of a monster, when he came up with this simple-but-lovely suppertime jaffle filled with yabby, gruyere, and creamy horseradish. Seemonsterkitchen苏州夜总会招聘.au

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When, in August 1770, Lieutenant James Cook arrived at the little island towards the northern section of what we nowadays call the Great Barrier Reef, he and his men on board the HMS Endeavour found it almost uninhabited. Almost. His log reads: “The only land animals we saw here were lizards ??? which occasioned my naming the island Lizard Island.”
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Not overly imaginative but poor old Cook had been traipsing up the east coast of Terra Australis for quite some time, christening stuff willy-nilly, and was obviously coming to the end of his naming tether. We’re just lucky he didn’t come across a couple of goats in heat.

Today Rutting Goat Island, sorry, Lizard Island, is a whole different ballgame. It’s still pretty much uninhabited except for the low-key, 40-villa hotel complex inserted quietly into the landscape on the north-western side. The only resort in the 1013-hectare Lizard Island National Park, it offers luxury and seclusion as well as what it calls “challenging hikes to the top of Cook’s Look”.

You see, Cook wasn’t here for the benefit of his health or for the lizards. He and his ship had become misplaced among the labyrinthine low-lying reefs and he was “altogether at a loss which way to steer”.

So they dropped anchor off one of the island’s bright white beaches and climbed to the top of the granite outcrop in the middle to look for a way out of their predicament. Today, in wonderful understatement, the summit of that hill is known affectionately as Cook’s Look.

Our visit to the island is part of a Coral Expeditions Barrier Reef cruise out of Cairns on the Coral Expeditions II, a small-sized ship named with almost Cook-like forthrightness. We arrive on Anzac Day, having spent the early morning at the dawn service in Cooktown, which is named after a local short-order cook who ??? nah, just joshing, it was named after the good lieutenant.

The weather is perfect and we swim around the reefs offshore from Watsons Beach, while occasionally one or two of the well-heeled denizens from the plush resort in the next bay around swing by to check us out. Here, we play two-up on a big blue tarp with one of the crew before dying light forces us back to the boat.

It’s not difficult to imagine, as the sun sets and Coral Expeditions II turns to shadow in the twilight, what it must have been like for Cook and his crew as they explored this strange new land. We gather for a barbecue dinner on the back deck (cooked by our captain, no less) and then, much as I like to think Cook did, retire early before tackling Cook’s Look at the crack of sparrow’s fart.

When we set out in the dinghy taking us ashore next morning at 5.30am the heavens are a bluey-grey and Cook’s Look a black behemoth against them. Very quickly, though, faded pink hues spread like fingers from the east to reveal a sapphire sky beset with a few insubstantial clouds that soon dissipate.

There are only five of us on the hike, including two members of the crew. Perhaps the others have been put off by the note in our daily newspaper, the Coral Sea News, that participants should have a “very high fitness level” and that it is a “challenging three-hour hike with steep rocky terrain”.

The first part of the hike is easy enough as a well-worn path leads up through the scrub just off the end of the beach. From there it gets a little spongier in parts and finally the path disappears to be replaced with steep, smooth rock. The direction is marked and the climb a little arduous for sure – and it’s certainly not something you’d want to do in the wet.

Eventually we put the rocks behind us, regain the path and begin the long walk to the summit through empty grasslands and truncated forest splashed with tiny but colourful wildflowers. The sun is fully out, the Coral Expedition II is a child’s bath toy in the distance and we still have a way to go to the summit. God knows how Cook, Joseph Banks et al managed in those tight fitted breeches, stockings and buckled shoes.

At the top there are astonishingly beautiful 360-degree views of the ocean and the growing suspicion that James Cook must have been part-eagle if he spied a safe passage through that little tangle of reefs.

Today there is a plaque about Cook at the base of a medium-sized cairn and those stunted, windblown bushes that look as if they’re being permanently blown sideways by a force 10 gale. In a weatherproof box there is a blue visitors’ book in which, among others, Rosie and Leigh Beckett of Stewartby, England, describe the climb as the “perfect honeymoon adventure”.

We step back on the sand at the bottom of the climb, parched, sweaty and a little atremble in the legs, pretty much three hours after we started and head straight for the cool, clear water. By gum, it feels good and I find myself hoping Cook loosened that British stiff upper lip a little and at least dipped a stockinged toe in.

PS. Not one lizard did we spot. TRIP NOTESMORE




Three, four and seven-night cruises depart from Cairns year-round, with a seven-night cruise starting at $3395, including meals, welcome drinks, presentations by marine biologists, access to islands and marine parks, excursions, snorkelling equipment, flotation vests and wetsuits. Stinger suits are available for an extra charge. See coralexpeditions苏州夜总会招聘

Keith Austin was a guest of Coral Expeditions.

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Scottish international Ross McCormack doesn’t hide the fact that his last 12 months at Aston Villa turned into a nightmare.
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But after just three weeks at Melbourne City, the striker says he is now playing with a smile on his face – and might well be interested in extending his stay in the A-League beyond the January point at which his loan deal is set to expire.

McCormack impressed in City’s two opening games, wins over Brisbane Roar and in the Melbourne derby against Victory, and did what every forward wants to do in the team’s third straight win on Saturday night when he scored the only goal of the game.

It wasn’t just the fact that he notched the winner that improved his mood.

He did so in spectacular style with a well-struck free kick from distance, pleasing not just the coaching staff but the City fans, who have never experienced such a strong start to an A-League campaign.

“I have scored a few in recent years, free kicks, but it was good [to get a goal],” he said. “The longer it goes on [and] you are not scoring you start to put a bit more pressure on yourself so it was nice to see it go in.

“I have not had that many chances to score in the first two games really so that was more of a concern. You are never worried if you get a lot of chances and you are missing them because [you know that if] the chances keep coming you will take the next one. It was more frustrating that there were not more chances in the first couple of games.”

McCormack has been in coach Warren Joyce’s starting line-up since he arrived at City. The fact he feels like a genuine part of the set-up has not only eased his transition into the n game but helped him to enjoy his football once more.

“Since I have come to this club all the lads, coaching staff have been different class. I just want to put a smile back on my face really. It’s been a difficult last year since I went to Aston Villa.

“I have enjoyed it, but it’s been tough. With the time difference, the pitches are a lot harder out here and I have had little Achilles problems.

“It’s just good to be on the football pitch again. The first game here was my first start in 7?? months.

“I am not thinking about going back to Aston Villa just yet. There’s no secret it’s not worked out there and we will see if there’s anything that can be done, if I can stay here or go somewhere else on loan to play some more games, or leave permanently. I am not sure what’s going to happen.”

McCormack says the lesser workload in the A-League – just one game a week – will make his recovery easier.

“I have not been able to do too much the first couple of weeks because of the Achilles thing. I am hoping to start stepping it up, do a little bit tomorrow [Tuesday], train properly Wednesday, the boys will have a day off Thursday but I will come in and do a bit, then just as the next 10 days, two weeks go on keep ramping it up.

“My injury is like tendonitis, I have had it 18 or 19 months but in England you play Saturday, Tuesday every week.

“There’s no time to do anything. Now I am not going to do anything for three days. You don’t really have that time in England to plan ahead.”

McCormack said that while it is early days yet, he has been impressed by the standard in the A-League – both of his teammates and the opposition.

He has spent his career mainly in he Championship in England, one of the toughest and most competitive leagues in the world, and while he acknowledged differences in he said he had already seen a number of players who could make their mark at that level.

“I think the standard has been good. It’s been different to what I am used to. Technically it’s been better than I thought it was going to be.

“You always get people back home saying you will score loads of goals there when they found out I was coming to . But it’s not that easy, it doesn’t work like that.

“There are some good players in this league. There’s an adjustment there but it’s the same game as it is in England. In terms of there being better players in England than over here … it’s hard to say. I have definitely seen a lot of good players since I came to and I have definitely seen a lot of players that could easily play in the Championship in England.”

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UNHAPPY: Trudi Field and Martin Robertson, of Boolaroo, have spent $70,000 to get a dirt-covered backyard due to pollution from the former Pasminco lead and zinc smelter. Picture: Marina NeilFROM the street, there is little sign of the ongoing battle Trudi Field and Martin Robertson are having trying to build in Boolaroo.
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It has taken three years of planning and$70,000 for the couple to get adirt-scraped yard.

They are tryingto subdivide their 890-square-metre block and build a house at the back to help fund their retirement.

But the couple fear they could be defeated by cost thanks to pollution from the former Pasminco lead and zinc smelter.

“It’s cost us almost $70,000 so far and we’ve got nothing,” Ms Field said. “Imagine what we could have done with that moneyif we weren’t forced to clean up Pasminco’s mess.”

Lead-contaminated soil hasmeant the couplehasbeen forced to remediate the site before building.

Initially they were told they had to scrape a layer of soil off the block and replace it with clean soil.

Because there is nowhere in the Hunter to dump the contaminated soil, theywere quoted $454a tonne to dump it in Sydney. The bill, without transport costs, would have been more than $63,000.

“We want to know whatLake Macquarie City Council is doing with all the lead soil they dig up, it’s everywhere around here,” Ms Field said.

“Are they doing all the expensive testing and workthat residents are forced to do?”

Boolaroo resident Trudi FieldFairfax Media reported earlier this month that the council refused to reveal where it is dumping the soil.

There is no waste facility in the Hunter licensed to accept lead soil.

“It seems to be one rule for us, the residents, and another for them,” Ms Field said. “There is no consistency in the whole system.”

Unable to afford to take the soil to Sydney, Ms Field said council agreed to let themdo a “cap and contain” method.

This involved trucking in clean soil and spreading it across the yard. The cost, including consultants, was about $25,000.

A spokeswoman for Lake Macquarie City Council said council and residents faced the same problem.

“Residents are able to cap-and-contain material on-site or remove it from site under an approved remedial action plan,” she said.

“In the past, we have disposed of soil contaminated above the health investigation level of 300 parts per million in the Pasminco cell. That option is no longer available to us. As a result, our standard practice is to cap-and-contain material on-site when we are undertaking capital works projects in the city.”

Hundreds of tonnes of dangerous heavy metals were emitted from the stacks of the Pasminco smelterover 106 years.

Lead can cause health impacts, especially for young children and unborn babies, including learning problems, hearing loss, slowed growth and behavioural problems.

Whenthesmelterclosed in 2003, toxic pollution was left across large parts of Boolaroo, Argenton and Speers Point.

Hundreds of homesstill containlevels of leadin soil significantly higher than national health guidelines of300 parts per million. For a development application to be considered, residentsin the contamination zone must test and remediate thesoil.

Residents werepreviously able to dump lead-contaminated soil at no costin acontainment cell on the former Cockle Creek smelter site. The cell was capped in early 2015, leaving residents with nowhere in the Hunter to take lead-contaminated soil.

Following theNewcastle Herald’saward-winning Toxic Truth campaign, the NSW Government agreed to find a way for residents to safely dump the soil in the region.

But the dumping is no longer free. Once acontainment cell is finishedat Newcastle City Council’s Summerhill Waste Management Centre, residents will receive a “reduced rate” after the $138.20 waste levy is waived.

The feewill be $275 per tonne.

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Security fence nearing completion at Parliament House in Canberra. Photo: Andrew Meares Officials at Parliament House concede they have no idea who has possession of a 1000-page security manual lost in November last year, despite calling in private investigators.
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Labor senator Kimberley Kitching used Senate estimates hearings on Monday to reveal the sensitive security manual had been lost by a “private entity”, and ask officials from the Department of Parliamentary Services why an investigation was not launched until February.

Senate President Stephen Parry said there was no indication security had been compromised but the investigation had failed to find the sensitive material.

The n Federal Police were informed the contractor had lost the manual, but senior political figures including Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Attorney-General George Brandis and Justice Minister Michael Keenan were not immediately informed.

The manual was lost by a company involved in security upgrades at Parliament House.

“There has been no compromise to the Parliament House security,” Senator Parry said.

“There is no indication or confirmation that that manual has gone anywhere… I don’t want to leave it out there that this manual is somewhere out there in the public domain.”

He said the manual dealt with security matters in the future.

Labor MP Kimberley Kitching listens as Opposition Leader Bill Shorten addresses caucus meeting at Parliament House in Canberra on Tuesday 29 November 2016. fedpol Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

“Not matters that had actually taken place, which gives the department the opportunity to modify and change,” he said.

“It was an early draft, a lot of the matters are now redundant, a lot of the matters have been modified and over 50 per cent of the materials which were going to be sourced were commercially available.

“It is not a breach of security and security at Parliament House has not been compromised.”

Officials told the hearing an investigation was completed between late February and March 23, with the AFP providing advice on the private investigator chosen for task.

Department of Parliamentary Services first assistant secretary Paul Cooper, who oversees security, said the investigation had been conducted as if a “worst case scenario” had taken place.

He said it found there had been “no substantial breach of security”.

“Often is the case with these things that the conclusion turns out to be far less concerning than it may have looked, but we are obliged to take the worst case scenario with these matters and have them investigated in the way we did,” he said.

Asked if the manual had been found, Senator Parry said he didn’t know where it was.

“It is definitely lost,” he said.

A $126 million security upgrade is under way Parliament House, including a 2.6 metre-high steel fence across the sloping front lawns.

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BRISBANE Roar skipper Matt McKay appears unlikely to face any sanction over the tackle that has probably ended the season ofNewcastle’s marquee signing, Ronny Vargas.
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Vargas was carried from Suncorp Stadium on a stretcher after a 64th-minute challenge from McKay during Newcastle’s 2-1 win on Sunday.

The Venezuelan was rushed to hospital for surgery to repair a broken and dislocated left ankle.

McKay was not booked by referee Matthew Conger and Brisbane coach John Aloisi declared: “We all know there was nothing in the tackle. It was hard, and we just wish him [Vargas] a good recovery and hopefully we get to see him play again.”

Aloisi said McKay was “distraught” after the incident.


The A-League’s match-review panel is due to convene on Monday afternoon and has the authority to charge players if they believed an incident escaped the referee’s attention or he made a “clear and obvious error”.

In this case, it seems most agree that while McKay’s tackle was clumsy –and clearly angered Newcastle’s senior players, Nigel Boogaard and Nikolai Topor-Stanley –it was not reckless or dangerous.

It appears unlikely the MRP will cite McKay.

INJURED: Ronny Vargas

McKay got a foot on the ball and, as he burst through the tackle, knocked Vargas’s right leg off the ground. His left leg then twisted awkwardly underneath him and he immediately appealed for help.

The Jets released a statement on Monday in which coach Ernie Merrick said:“This was a terrible accident and we’re all feeling for Ron, but it was no one’s fault.”

Merrick said Newcastle-based physician Dr Neil Halpin helped arrange immediate treatment for Vargas, who had surgery on Sunday night.

“We actually had one of Brisbane’s best surgeons, Dr Jeremy Bartlett sitting in the stands and he came down straight after the incident to help safely manage Ron’s ankle,” Merrick said.

“In consultation with Dr Neil Halpin, who was already on the phone from Newcastle, Dr Bartlett left the game and operated on Ron immediately and we can’t thank him enough for his efforts.”

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The future boss of the new Home Affairs department has launched a defence against claims it will be a “sinister behemoth” concentrating too much power and adding another layer of bureaucracy to agencies.
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Michael Pezzullo told a Senate estimate hearing on Monday the mega-department, announced in July, would be limited by checks on power and labelled claims to the contrary “fallacious and unworthy”.

“Power must always be exercised with legitimacy and never more so than in the performance of the security function of the state,” he said.

Michael Pezzullo, secretary-designate of the Home Affairs department, said it would remain subject to the sovereignty of parliament. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

“Any contrary suggestion that the establishment of Home Affairs will somehow create an unchecked extrajudicial apparatus of power is ill-informed, even if predictable coming from some quarters.

“It is commentary which bears no relationship to the facts or to how our system of government works.”

Mr Pezzullo, the architect of the Home Affairs department taking in Immigration, ASIO, the n Federal Police, Austrac and the n Criminal Intelligence Commission, has been subject to accusations of “empire building”.

The proposal was hotly contested within the uppermost ranks of the government, and both minsters and officials complained it was unnecessary and potentially counterproductive.

Supporters of the merger have argued that it would improve co-ordination across the government in preventing terrorist attacks.

Mr Pezzullo said any executive actions within Home Affairs must have prior legal authority, to be given by parliament.

“In bringing together the security powers, capabilities and capacities of the Commonwealth into a single portfolio, these fundamentals will of course remain in place,” he said.

“That is constitutionalism, the sovereignty of parliament, and the supreme rule of law. All of which are crucial attributes of liberty.”

Mr Pezzullo revealed that, subject to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s decision, the new department would be formed before February.

n Border Force would remain an operationally independent body, but would be connected to and have its corporate and enabling services provided by Home Affairs.

However commentary that the department would complicate agencies’ work with another layer of administration was unfounded, Mr Pezzullo said.

“I can assure this committee that the department will not act as an overseeing, overriding bureaucratic layer, and nor will it be dictating terms to heads of agencies in the performance of their statutory functions,” he said.

Home Affairs’ role would be to improve the “strategic level of policy development and planning”, and to support the minister-designate, Peter Dutton.

It would coordinate policy strategy and planning for domestic security, law enforcement, counter-terrorism, protection of sovereignty, and resilience of national infrastructure and systems.

Outlining the breadth of the department’s scope of work, Mr Pezzullo said it would also deliver policy, either leading or supporting other agencies, for immigration and citizenship, transport security, biometrics and identity, cyber security, and customs and border protection.

Emergency management, including disaster recovery and resilience, and defending against foreign interference and political subversion would also fall within the department’s remit.

Home Affairs’ work would include countering violent extremism “including working with other departments regarding programs concerned with the cohesion of our society on the basis that it’s open, inclusive, multicultural and united,” Mr Pezzullo said.

Mr Pezzullo told senators the government would reshape the Attorney-General’s department, which would adopt new roles from the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet including oversight for intelligence and security.

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Until recently, the focus of ’s housing affordability crisis was on prices, with people asking, “will I be able to afford my own my own home?”Increasingly, the focus is on intergenerational equity, with people asking, “will I be able to afford to live and raise a family where I grew up?”
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If market conditions have put ownership beyond the reach of many, our politicians must act quickly to prevent renting going the same way. It’s time for a paradigm policy shift at the federal, state, and local level to build a diverse and resilient rental sector.A rental sector with a different value proposition for tenants that includes longer and more secure tenure. One that produces sustainable community development and density done well. One that allows renters to live close to where they work, with easy access to an integrated transport network.

A residential asset class that does all that has been operating successfully overseas for more than 20 years. Known as Build to Rent, these developments are designed specifically forrentingrather than for sale, typically owned by institutional investors and managed with a high service-led culture by specialist operators.

To inform industry policy, last month I led a 30-strong delegation to three US cities to meet with the global leaders in Build to Rent. We learnt first-hand from the investors and city officials who have refined Build to Rent and turbo-charged the supply of new, affordable housing.

On the beachfront in Santa Monica,Los Angeles, affordable high-quality rental homes for working families shared common areas with luxury condominiums. Seattle will produce 50,000 homes in the next decade; 20,000 of which will be for low and moderate-income earners. San Francisco has a pipeline of 40,000 affordable housing units. While the scale may be different to Newcastle, the principles for improving housing affordability and choice in each city were the same.

At the federal level, tax policy supports Build to Rent as a vehicle for delivering new homes. At the state level, there is unprecedented expenditure on public transport infrastructure. At the local level, councils are meeting demand with zoning changes to add development capacity. And the best designed affordable housing projects were part of mixed use property developments, surrounded by amazing public spaces.

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All the Dirty Parts Daniel Handler Bloomsbury, $24.99.
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Parents can do plenty of things to embarrass their teenager, but writing a novel about sex has to be up there with the worst. Which is why Daniel Handler, who is more well known by his pen name Lemony Snicket, is not surprised that his latest novel, All the Dirty Parts, has remained untouched on his 14-year-old son’s bookshelf.

“The book could have come out when he was really too young to care and now it is out at prime embarrassment time for him which is regrettable,” Handler says. “I know he has some friends who have read it but I certainly don’t blame him being embarrassed that his father has written a book about sex.”

There is as much sex in All the Dirty Parts as unlucky occurrences in Handler’s famous 13-part children’s book series, turned film and TV show,A Series of Unfortunate Events.

The novel consists of a series of fragments detailing the erotic fantasies, impulses and activities of high-school student Cole. They are narrated from his perspective and are at times ethically questionable, particularly when it comes to consent.

“Draw a number line, with zero is you never think about sex and 10 is it’s all you think about, and while you are drawing the line, I am thinking about sex.” Cole warns us early on.

The publication of the novel has not only caused discomfit for Handler’s son. There was a lengthy delay between when Handler completed the book and its release, as his publishers debated whether it should be marketed as young-adult fiction. The decision? No.

“They were concerned that if we published it for young people it would be chopped off at the waist. That no one would have it in their libraries and no one would be interested in fitting it into the world of young-adult literature. It would just be too much of a hot potato,” Handler says.

Handler says he witnessed how the guardians of young-adult literature – the critics, publishers and booksellers – remained “terrorised by sexual content”. The harshest criticism, he says, emerged when the concept of the book was publicised and there was outrage it would be a “dirty book for children”.

“If I had written a book about teenagers murdering one another no one would have thought twice about publishing that for young people. The idea that you could write a book about watching porn on your computer in your room and that would somehow be so dangerous that we better not let it in the library was startling to me even though I expected that it might happen.”

There is perhaps some irony in excising sexuality, particularly male sexuality, from young-adult fiction. There is a well-documented gender gap when it comes to young people and reading. Handler says he, and other male authors, are frequently asked what ought to be done to encourage more young men to read.

“Having thought about what was interesting to me and to other people I knew when they were young men, certainly there is a lot of interest in sex and that is the one thing that is policed very sternly in the literature that we’re giving to young people,” Handler says.

Handler, who has published five other novels outside of the Snicket alter ego, has his own anecdotal evidence to support this claim. His mother recently cleaned out her attic and discovered a stack of books Handler read when he was a teenager. When he re-read them, he discovered they all had one thing in common.

“They were all full of sex and I hadn’t really remembered them that way at all,” he says.

But does All the Dirty Partslive up to its title? The novel touches on the themes that recur in young-adult fiction – friendship, confusion about sexual orientation, the joy of falling in love for the first time and the pain of heartbreak.

“I keep writing, and not just, I’m thinking, the dirty parts. There’s more,” Cole eventually concedes after he falls for the new student at his school, Grisaille.

This points to some of the questions Handler was interested in asking. What are the “dirty” parts and can you catalogue them from all the other parts?

“It’s not a work of pornography and it’s not the same as pornography,” he says. “It’s not something that is meant to titillate and to do nothing else but I like the idea of thinking about whether something is dirty or not. On the one hand everyone knows what you mean and on the other hand no one can agree.”

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Wellington: This morning Labour Leader and Prime Minister-elect Jacinda Ardern received a call from US President Donald Trump congratulating her on the outcome of the New Zealand election.
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“The President was genuinely interested in our election, and spoke about the coverage it had received in Washington DC,” Ms Ardern said of the five-minute phone call which came three days after a deal with the NZ First Party landed her the post.

“We are likely to meet at APEC where I look forward to carrying on talks around our role in the Asia Pacific region, and our commitment to a strong relationship with the United States.

“The President also asked that I pass on his warm regards to the people of New Zealand.”

The APEC summit will be held in Vietnam during November. Leaders of the 21 Asia Pacific member economies meet to discuss issues in the region.

The summit could be tense for mr Trump after one his first acts in office was to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), signed in Auckland last year.

After Trump withdrew from US-led TPP negotiations shortly after taking office, some of the remaining 11 nations in the pact – including New Zealand under former prime minister Bill English – have lobbied to keep it going.

Leaders involved in talks were hoping to sign a new agreement on the sidelines of APEC, which meant a tight timeline for trade officials to gain concessions while working to hold ground in other areas.

Mr Trump has repeatedly expressed his opposition to free-trade deals, and was also set to sign an order to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta) deal between the US, Canada and Mexico.

Even though Ms Ardern has worried some investors with policies such as pledging to reform the central bank, cut immigration and boost spending on welfare, she insists that her Labour Party believes in the benefits of free trade.

“We have signed significant free-trade agreements; we’ll continue to do so in the future,” Ms Ardern told Sky News.

She said in a separate interview that Labour wouldn’t cut immigration by as much as that demanded by NZ First leader Winston Peters, her coalition partner and kingmaker.

Mr Peters, whose populist appeal has seen him compared to Mr Trump, campaigned in last month’s election campaign to slash immigration to just 10,000 a year from about 73,000. Labour also wants a cut but only by as much as 30,000.

“Labour’s policy remains absolutely unchanged as a result of these negotiations” with Mr Peters, Ms Ardern said.

Separately, Ms Ardern hoped the Turnbull government wouldn’t go ahead and restrict Kiwis from university courses in as she may be forced to end a reciprocal arrangement.

Ms Ardern told Sky News on Sunday she hoped the mutual access would continue.

“But if we do find New Zealanders aren’t able to access tertiary education the same way as ns currently do, there will be flow-on effects here,” she said.

Stuff苏州夜场招聘.nz, Bloomberg, AAP

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