The Maldives travel guide and things to do: 20 reasons to visit

Sea.Fire.Salt.Sky at Kihavah Anantara resort. Locals fishing Photo: Belinda Jackson
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Maalifushi surf.

Maalifushi Garden Villa bed

The world’s first underwater spa is in the Maldives, at Huvafen Fushi resort.

The world’s first underwater spa is in the Maldives, at Huvafen Fushi resort.

The world’s first underwater spa is in the Maldives, at Huvafen Fushi resort.

The world’s first underwater spa is in the Maldives, at Huvafen Fushi resort.

1.    HAIL THE TAXI

Usually other countries’ taxis are a source of great rip-off tales for travellers. Taxis here are jaunty public ferries linking the islands: most foreigners will use only the route between the airport on Hulhulé Island and the capital, Male. Possibly the world’s most scenic airport taxi rank, it’s a strip of turquoise water teeming with luxury yachts, picturesque dhonis (sailboats) and bright tropical fish. The 10-minute trip costs   $1.30 but the people-watching is free. The seaplane taxis offer another spectacular perspective on the Maldives. 2.    FISHY BUSINESS 

Male’s fish markets are an eye-opener, but not for the squeamish. Giant tuna are laid out in slabs while choosy buyers shop for home and the resorts. Once you see the fishmongers at work, you’ll pray you never meet a cranky one in a dark alley. Expect to pay around 45 rufiyaa  ($3.80) for a kilo of quality tuna meat caught that morning. Go early – it’s clean but refrigeration is scant.  3.    UNDERWATER DINING

Admire fish both on and off the plate at Ithaa, the world’s first underwater restaurant at the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island resort. The 14-seater glass dome sits five metres under the sea and serves plenty of fish, while the wine cellar is dug  two metre down into the island’s depths (hilton苏州美甲美睫培训学校). Nearby Kihavah Anantara resort has followed suit with the four-level Sea.Fire.Salt.Sky, where Sky is a rooftop bar and Sea is under water (anantara苏州美甲美睫培训学校). 4.    ISLAND FARE

Rated the Maldives’ top restaurant, Ufaa is on Cocoa Island by COMO, in the Kaafu Atoll, 30 minutes by seaplane south of Male. New Zealand-born chef Shane Avan serves fish fresh off the boat in a blend of Maldives-Mediterranean-Asian fusion. Book ahead if you’re planning to drop by from another hotel (comohotels苏州美甲美睫培训学校). Reethi Restaurant, in the One & Only Reethi Rah, on the North Male Atoll, is often quoted as its closest rival (oneandonlyresorts苏州美甲美睫培训学校) 5.    SHARK PARK

The Maldives became a shark sanctuary in 2010 when it banned all shark fishing: take a night dive with grey reef sharks, go hammerhead spotting or watch whale sharks. There’s no defined season for the big fellas,  local marine biologists, say. They just appear around bait balls, which are great rolling masses of small, tasty fish. Check out the snorkelling trips in the South Ari Atoll (maldiveswhalesharkresearch.org). If paddling with predators ain’t your thing, most lagoons are shark nurseries, and harmless baby grey tips and little lemon sharks are easily spotted on your walk on the jetty to the overwater spa.  6.    SCREENSAVER SCENERY

You know that picture that comes pre-loaded on your new laptop? Yes, the one with the palm trees and toothpaste-white beaches. It’s probably photographed in the Maldives. Add a hammock, umbrella and icy drink and you’ll know why the little country is high up on the world’s must-visit list. The Maldives straddles the Equator, so temps don’t fluctuate much from the annual average of 30 degrees.  7.    SLEEPING OVER WATER 

Of the almost 1200 islands in the Maldivian archipelago, only about 300 are inhabited, and all with the teensiest land masses. The solution? Sleeping over water is de rigueur here. Generally pricier than garden rooms, you can dive straight into a blue lagoon from your over-water living room.  8.    SENSATIONAL SPAS

Most Maldivian resort spas are over water, preferably with a glass floor so you can watch baby sharks gambol while you’re face-down on the massage table. Spa Cenvaree at the new adults-only Centara Ras Fushi Resort Maldives was named  Best Luxury Emerging Spa in the Indian Ocean at the recent 2014 World Luxury Spa Awards (centarahotelsresorts苏州美甲美睫培训学校), while the  Ayurvedic treatments at Six Senses Spa Laamu (sixsenses苏州美甲美睫培训学校) and Banyan Tree’s luxury Spa Vabbinfaru (banyantree苏州美甲美睫培训学校) also took home silverware. And you can’t go wrong at the One & Only Reethi Rah’s ESPA (reethirah.oneandonlyresorts苏州美甲美睫培训学校/spa.aspx) or the Jiva Grande Spa at the Taj Exotica (tajhotels苏州美甲美睫培训学校). Of course, the world’s first underwater spa is in the Maldives, at Huvafen Fushi resort (huvafenfushi.peraquum苏州美甲美睫培训学校). 9.    SPICE SHOPPING

Opposite the Male fish market is a real local’s market: walk past the fishing boats and dhoni along the harbour wall till you come across boxes and boxes of ripe papayas, chillis and enormous bunches of green bananas slung around a rough building. Must-buy items include local spice mixes for heart-warming curries and proto-Golden Roughs: coconut and palm sugar rolled up in dried leaves like cigars for a quick pick-me-up if you’re flagging in the midday heat.   10.    ELITE RESORTS

The first tourists arrived in the Maldives in only 1972, but all the world’s major hotel brands are now here. Recent openings include Maalifushi by COMO by wellness pioneer Christina Ong (see comohotels苏州美甲美睫培训学校), Club Med’s new luxury face with 52 villas (clubmed苏州美甲美睫培训学校419论坛) and Atmosphere Kanifushi Maldives’ 150 villas and suites (atmosphere-kanifushi苏州美甲美睫培训学校). Expect royalty and rock stars at two newcomers in the Noonu Atoll, exclusive 45-villa Cheval Blanc Randheli from the owners of Louis Vuitton and Moet (chevalblanc苏州美甲美睫培训学校) and super-luxe Velaa Private island, with Michelin-starred restaurants and a golf academy by José María Olazábal’s (velaaprivateisland苏州美甲美睫培训学校). Elite, yes, but more cater to families than you’d first think. 11.    SUPERB SNORKELLING

You don’t have to kit up to the hilt to enjoy the Maldives’ spectacular marine life. Even the scardest snorkeller can spot spectacular lionfish, parrotfish, a range of rays and weird unicorn fish as well as oriental sweetlips and clownfish, which are endemic to the Maldives. The archipelago is a transit zone for fish life, so expect plenty of variety and a rainbow of colours in even the shallowest waters.  12.    SLEEPING WITH THE LOCALS

Traditionally, the Maldives’ 300-odd inhabited islands have been split between resort islands and local islands. The government recently launched its new integrated resort development project, with the first guest house islands occurring in the Laamu Atoll, in northern Maldives. The aim is for 2100 new guesthouse beds on offer by 2017, which is good news for travellers on lean budgets and those seeking a deeper cultural experience. 13.    SURF’S UP

It’s all about reef breaks here, and the best-known are in Male’s Atolls, which can get a tad crowded. The recent 2014 Asian Surfing Championships were held at Sultan’s Point, near the Four Seasons, and the inaugural Maldives Open 2014 ran on September 3-7 at Lohis Point, a long, consistent lefthander near the Adaaran Hudhuran Fushi Resort. Take a surf safari through your resort or off a live-aboard boat. Luxe surf safari outfit Tropic Surf has set up a surf shack at the new Maalifushi by COMO resort in the relatively unexplored Thaa Atoll, deep in the south-west of the country. It lists Farms as its most requested break in the area, but is still discovering new breaks (tropicsurf.net). The peak surf season runs May to October, beginning earlier in the southernmost atolls. 14.    GOING DOWN

With more than a thousand species of fish here, the Maldives’ diving is famed. The dive season runs from January to April, with clear water, little wind and up to 30 metres’ visibility, but year-round is still very good. Expect it all: steep drop-offs, caves, wrecks, reefs, channels, soft and hard corals. North and South Ari Atolls get a mention for great manta ray and whale shark action, while quiet Lamuu Atoll is shaping up as the new go-to spot, say the divers from theperfectdive苏州美甲美睫培训学校419论坛.  15.    SHORT EATS

Get down with the locals and tuck into Maldivian snack food. While super-spicy tuna curry tops the menu, cafes dish up short eats or snacks, to get you over the afternoon slump. Order up on maas roshi (little tuna and coconut patties) and kaashi bokibaa (coconut, rosewater and palm sugar balls). 16.    ON THE LINE

Maldivians surely can fish before they can walk. Net fishing is illegal even for commercial operations: the locals use pole and line fishing, as they have done for centuries, catching one fish at a time. Make no mistake, they can bring the fish in at speed, but sustainably and without the environmental damage of net dragging. You can chase the big game on a tag-and-release fishing safari on liveaboard boats or through your resort. 17.    DOLPHIN SPOTTING

One of the great joys of the Maldives are its little spinner dolphins. They earn their names for their antics: in the late afternoon, as they make their way out of the lagoons and into the deep ocean to hunt, the dolphins will leap into the air to spin, just for the sheer joy, it would appear. They’ll happily follow your boat, but don’t jump on command.  18.    STYLE FILE

The Maldives has its own, laid-back tropical style. Expect sandy floors in chic restaurants, open-air lobbies, thatch roofs overhead and the swish of an overhead fan ruffling the white curtains on your rustic timber four-poster bed. The colour scheme is turquoise lagoons, white sandy beaches, baby-blue skies and yellow, for the big sun and the lemon curl in your martini glass.  19.    THE BIG FIVE

Spot the Maldives’ marine Big Five: manta and eagle rays, sea turtles, dolphins and sharks, including whale sharks. On the protected species list are turtles, great clams, whale sharks and conch shells. Endangered marine species  such as the whale shark, turtles, dolphins, as well as corals, are  all protected by law. 20.    SPEAK EASY

Does your airline ticket send you to Kadhdhoo Kaadedhdhoo or Kadhdhoo Kooddoo? The Maldivian language is Dhivehi, a mix of Arabic, Urdu and Sri Lanka’s Sinhalese, and the script is called Thanna. To the untrained eye, the alphabet could even resemble a series of punctuation marks. Here’s all you need: “fushi” means “island”, and “Hingadhaan!” means “Let’s go!”

The writer was a guest of Como Hotels & Resorts and Conrad Maldives Rangali Island. 

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Rachael Evans ‘cleaned body, stole guns’ after strangling Colleen Ayers, court hears

Victim: Colleen Deborah Ayers. Photo: Police MediaThe black belt used to strangle Colleen Ayers was still around her neck as Rachael Evans washed down the body to remove DNA evidence, a court has heard.
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Ms Ayers, 33, was murdered and her body was buried on her parents’ property in Lakesland, south of Sydney, in May 2012.

Evans, who has pleaded guilty, told the jury in the NSW Supreme Court on Thursday that she, Micheal John Duffy and a young woman were to blame.

The young woman, who cannot be identified because she was a minor at the time, has been granted immunity from prosecution.

The defence argues Mr Duffy is innocent and that the young woman has lied to protect herself.

Evans testified that after a day of drinking and taking drugs including methylamphetamine, she, the young woman, Mr Duffy and two other men went back to Ms Ayers’ parents’ property.

Evans said Mr Duffy and Ms Ayers had been having sex in a guest house bedroom when she and the young woman entered the room.

She said the young woman hit Ms Ayers over the head with a bottle, causing her scalp to split.

The jury heard Evans grabbed a belt off the young woman.

“I looped the belt through the buckle and pulled it over her head … and that’s when she bucked and I fell down,” Evans said.

She alleged that she and the young woman held Ms Ayers down while Mr Duffy pulled on the belt.

“I held her down for the duration until she stopped breathing.”

Evans said afterward she cleaned Ms Ayers’ body – the belt still around her neck – in a shower cubicle to get rid of DNA evidence.

Linen was thrown on a bonfire and four members of the group together helped to dig a hole, shift the body and bury it.

Evans said she and Mr Duffy took two shotguns from the property. They had planned to take guns.

They also took other property, such as jewellery and an Xbox game console, to make the incident appear like a robbery.

A taxi driver, who dropped the group off at the property the night before, picked them up in the morning after the murder, Evans said.

She testified that, referring to Ms Ayers, he said: “You’re missing one.”

Evans said she had explained Ms Ayers’ absence away, saying: “I believe I said ‘She’s sleeping,’ or ‘She couldn’t hold her alcohol.’ “

The young woman told the court on Wednesday that Evans had said, moments before the killing, and while playing with a belt, “I’m going to be the first woman serial killer in 25 years.”

The trial continues.

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History-making day for female umps

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An exclusively female corps of umpires will officiate at a TAC Cup match on Saturday in another first in a milestone-rich season.

Unprecedented certainly at TAC Cup level, and organised to highlight the growth in female umpiring ranks, six field and goal umpires will be joined by two rookie-listed boundary umpires to adjudicate a match between the Oakleigh Chargers and Northern Ballarat at Warrawee Park, Oakleigh. .

Only three women – all  goal umpires – have cracked umpiring at the elite AFL level. There was a six-year gap between the debuts of Katrina Pressley, who stepped into previously uncharted territory in 1998, and Chelsea Roffey. There was a further gap of a decade after Roffey’s 2004 AFL umpiring debut and the rise of Rose O’Dea into the top ranks last year.

But burgeoning field umpires and AFL pathway scholarship holders Eleni Glouftsis, 22, and Lucinda Lopes, 21, plus Libby Toovey, 23, will share officiating responsibilities in Saturday’s state league game. Glouftsis, a physical education teacher, and Lopes, a student, spent the pre-season working with the AFL’s umpire group and are being mentored by retired veteran Steve McBurney. Toovey has also been selected to umpire throughout the week-long AFL Youth Girls national championships that begin on Sunday in Mandurah. If the trio are to step into field umpiring at AFL level, their path will be via the VFL.

Rookie duo Bronte Annand and Greta Miller, plus Shannessy Adams, 30, will boundary umpire Saturday’s game, and Kate Griffiths, 27, and Kirsty Lord, 17, will adjudicate behind the goals.

Glouftsis is from the South Australian National Football League, Lopes, Lord and Miller are from the Northern Football League, Toovey is from the Southern Football Netball League, Annand is from the Bendigo League, Adams is from the Western Regions Football League and Griffiths is from AFL Canberra.

Historically neglected, despite being an obvious and largely untapped group for the likes of the AFL, female participants have in more recent times been cited by Australia’s richest and most popular sporting league as representing the code’s largest area of growth.

Within the past 12 months, AFL Victoria have tripled the number of female umpires it is developing directly. AFL Vic had two women on their list in 2014 but this year have six. A further five women are now involved in AFL Vic’s rookie squad program.

AFL head of umpiring Wayne Campbell, AFL goal umpire Roffey, who has umpired more than 160 AFL games including the 2012 grand final and AFL executive Dorothy Hisgrove, who is leading much of the female football development at league headquarters, are due to attend Saturday’s TAC Cup game because  of the exceptional umpiring contingent.

According to AFL Victoria, the all-female umpiring idea was initiated by state league umpiring head coach Cameron Nash.

Western Bulldogs vice-president and long-time advocate of women’s football, Susan Alberti, is a financial sponsor of AFL Victoria’s Female Umpiring Academy and also a long-time financial sponsor of the women’s football competition in Victoria – formerly the Victorian Women’s Football League, but now known as AFL Victoria Women’s Football.  

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Sydney developer Payce Consolidated and Sekisui House’s plans for West End’s Absoe revamp

Renders of Payce and Sekisui House’s West End development plans. Photo: supplied Renders of the proposed development. Photo: supplied
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Developers have proposed a 25-storey apartment tower – 10 floors over the maximum height limit for the part of West End – as part of an $800 million revamp of the suburb’s heartland.

Of the seven buildings developers proposed for the 2.6 hectare central West End site, three are above the 15-storey maximum height level allowed by Brisbane City Council.

Sydney developer Payce Consolidated and Sekisui House – who were this week rebuffed by the Sunshine Coast Council for trying to force a development over that Council’s guidelines – have on Friday outlined their proposal for the Absoe site, on the corner of Boundary and Mollison streets.

That inner-suburban, retail area of Brisbane has a maximum ceiling height of 15 storeys.

However the developers have today unveiled plans for one 25-storey apartment complex, one 20-storey apartment building, one 19-storey apartment building and four 15-storey apartment buildings on the site.

Two new parks, including a new park on West End’s Boundary Street, are included as part of the upgrade.

Payce Consolidated, builders of apartments in the Sydney suburbs of Riverwood and Victoria Park, and Sekisui House propose building 1350 contemporary apartments over the seven apartment blocks.

The developer’s plans do not yet have Brisbane City Council approval.

Local councillor Helen Abrahams said she was alarmed by the intense development proposed for the site.

“I have represented West End for many years and I know the residents will be shocked, dismayed and angry that yet again this Council appears, yet again, to be not enforcing the City Plan,” Cr Abrahams said.

“The City Plan says 15 storeys. And yet they are coming with a proposal for one 25-storey building, one-20 storey, one-19 storey and four 15-storey apartment complexes on this site,” she said.

Cr Abrahams said ratepayers should question Brisbane City Council’s planners because the developers have been “in constant contact” with council officers.

Fairfax Media has questioned why the Council constantly ignores City Plan ceiling restrictions.

The Payce and Sekisui House plan aims to revitalising the two heritage-listed buildings in the area including the old Peters Ice Cream Factory, and provide a 450-space commercial car park, parking for 1600 bikes and a second 800 square metre public plaza.

A development application for the project was lodged on Thursday, meaning the project will now formally be debated by Brisbane City Council.

Talks between the developers and BCC have been underway since late 2013.

The application shows four pedestrian laneways through the inner-city site, while the park along Boundary Street will be called The Common.

West Village project director Andrew Thompson said the developers understood the inner-city Brisbane community wanted green space in their plan.

“This master plan allows us to incorporate as much green space as possible while delivering imaginative architecture,” Mr Thompson said.

Mr Thompson said Payce and Sekisui House’s design included 25 per cent more public space than is required under Brisbane City Council plans for the South Brisbane Riverside Neighbourhood Plan.

The redevelopment plans will create 2400 jobs during the construction.

Development of the parkland along Boundary Street begins in October.

The apartments will be built from mid-2016 and residents will move in from late 2017.

The West End site is on the major corner intersection of Boundary and Mollison streets at West End, with the other two sides bounded by Little Jane and Wilson streets.

A spokesman for the developer said the developers were allowed to lodge their applications and it was up to Brisbane City Council to approve or reject their application.

The history of West End’s “Absoe” site.

1927 – Peters bought the land and set up Queensland’s first ice-cream factory;

1928-1936 – Peters expanded their ice cream factory with more buildings;

1936-1970 – Peters employed hundreds of people, bought a big new refrigeration room;

1978 – Peters big new coldroom was opened by Queensland Governor Sir James Ramsay;

1996 – Nestle bought out Peters and closed the West End Ice Cream factory;

1998 – Absoe Building Equipment began operating on the site;

1998-2013 – Circus groups, fashion workers and community groups rent spaces at the site;

April 2013 – Fire broke out in the ground floor of Factory One, causing it to be closed;

November 2013 – Fairfax Media breaks story the site has been sold to residential developers;

Early 2014 – Payce and Sekisui House confirm they paid $42 million for the site;

2014-15 – The area is expanded to include Friday night and weekend markets;

May 1, 2015 – Proposal for seven buildings, with three over the City Plan ceiling height limit revealed.

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ACT Architecture Awards People’s Choice Award

Boomerang House by Joanna Nelson Architect Photo: Dianna Snape
苏州美甲美睫培训学校

Altman Hinkson House by Philip Leeson Architects Photo: Ben Wrigley

Altman Hinkson House by Philip Leeson Architects Photo: Ben Wrigley

Altman Hinkson House by Philip Leeson Architects Photo: Ben Wrigley

Altman Hinkson House by Philip Leeson Architects Photo: Ben Wrigley

Altman Hinkson House by Philip Leeson Architects Photo: Ben Wrigley

Boomerang House by Joanna Nelson Architect Photo: Dianna Snape

Boomerang House by Joanna Nelson Architect Photo: Dianna Snape

Boomerang House by Joanna Nelson Architect Photo: Dianna Snape

Boomerang House by Joanna Nelson Architect Photo: Dianna Snape

Boomerang House by Joanna Nelson Architect Photo: Dianna Snape

Boomerang House by Joanna Nelson Architect Photo: Dianna Snape

Boomerang House by Joanna Nelson Architect Photo: Dianna Snape

Boomerang House by Joanna Nelson Architect Photo: Dianna Snape

Altman Hinkson House by Philip Leeson Architects Photo: Ben Wrigley

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ACT Architecture Awards 2015 People’s Choice Award

Box House by Rob Henry Architects Photo: Aarthi Ayyar Biddle Box House by Rob Henry Architects Photo: Aarthi Ayyar Biddle
苏州美甲美睫培训学校

Box House by Rob Henry Architects Photo: Supplied

Box House by Rob Henry Architects Photo: Aarthi Ayyar Biddle

Box House by Rob Henry Architects Photo: Aarthi Ayyar Biddle

Box House by Rob Henry Architects Photo: Aarthi Ayyar Biddle

Harvey Taylor House by Philip Leeson Architects Photo: Ben Wrigley

Harvey Taylor House by Philip Leeson Architects Photo: Ben Wrigley

Harvey Taylor House by Philip Leeson Architects Photo: Ben Wrigley

Harvey Taylor House by Philip Leeson Architects Photo: Ben Wrigley

Kaleen Conversion by Allan Spira Architect Photo: Lisa McKelvie

Armstrong/Payne House by TT Architecture Photo: TT Architecture

Armstrong/Payne House by TT Architecture Photo: Tony Trobe/Peter Overton

Armstrong/Payne House by TT Architecture Photo: TT Architecture

Armstrong/Payne House by TT Architecture Photo: TT Architecture

Armstrong/Payne House by TT Architecture Photo: Tony Trobe/Peter Overton

Armstrong/Payne House by TT Architecture Photo: Tony Trobe/Peter Overton

Esperance by Collins Caddaye architects Photo: Stephan Postles

Esperance by Collins Caddaye architects Photo: Stephan Postles

Esperance by Collins Caddaye architects Photo: Stephan Postles

Esperance by Collins Caddaye architects Photo: Stephan Postles

Esperance by Collins Caddaye architects Photo: Stephan Postles

Harvey Taylor House by Philip Leeson Architects Photo: Ben Wrigley

Harvey Taylor House by Philip Leeson Architects Photo: Ben Wrigley

Markia’s House by Jigsaw Housing Photo: Rodrigo Vargas

Kaleen Conversion by Allan Spira Architect Photo: Red Zebra

Kaleen Conversion by Allan Spira Architect Photo: Red Zebra

Kaleen Conversion by Allan Spira Architect Photo: Red Zebra

Kaleen Conversion by Allan Spira Architect Photo: Red Zebra

Kerry’s House by Jigsaw Housing Photo: Rodrigo Vargas

Kerry’s House by Jigsaw Housing Photo: Rodrigo Vargas

Kerry’s House by Jigsaw Housing Photo: Rodrigo Vargas

Kerry’s House by Jigsaw Housing Photo: Rodrigo Vargas

Markia’s House by Jigsaw Housing Photo: Rodrigo Vargas

Kerry’s House by Jigsaw Housing Photo: Rodrigo Vargas

Markia’s House by Jigsaw Housing Photo: Rodrigo Vargas

Markia’s House by Jigsaw Housing Photo: Rodrigo Vargas

Markia’s House by Jigsaw Housing Photo: Rodrigo Vargas

Narrabundah Duplex Additions Photo: Developing Agents

Narrabundah Duplex Additions Photo: Developing Agents

Narrabundah Duplex Additions Photo: Developing Agents

Narrabundah Duplex Additions Photo: Developing Agents

OS House by Ben Walker Architects Photo: Ben Walker

OS House by Ben Walker Architects Photo: Ben Walker

OS House by Ben Walker Architects Photo: Ben Walker

OS House by Ben Walker Architects Photo: Ben Walker

OS House by Ben Walker Architects Photo: Ben Walker

OS House by Ben Walker Architects Photo: Ben Walker

Stromlo House by Philip Leeson Architects Photo: Rodrigo Vargas

Stromlo House by Philip Leeson Architects Photo: Rodrigo Vargas

Stromlo House by Philip Leeson Architects Photo: Rodrigo Vargas

Stromlo House by Philip Leeson Architects Photo: Rodrigo Vargas

Stromlo House by Philip Leeson Architects Photo: Rodrigo Vargas

Merimbula House by Strine Design Photo: Rodrigo Vargas

Merimbula House by Strine Design Photo: Rodrigo Vargas

Merimbula House by Strine Design Photo: Rodrigo Vargas

Merimbula House by Strine Design Photo: Rodrigo Vargas

Merimbula House by Strine Design Photo: Rodrigo Vargas

Merimbula House by Strine Design Photo: Rodrigo Vargas

MP House by Ben Walker Architects Photo: four corners photography

MP House by Ben Walker Architects Photo: four corners photography

MP House by Ben Walker Architects Photo: four corners photography

MP House by Ben Walker Architects Photo: four corners photography

MP House by Ben Walker Architects Photo: four corners photography

MP House by Ben Walker Architects Photo: four corners photography

Narrabundah Duplex Additions Photo: Developing Agents

Wanniassa Extension by LBW Architects Photo: Denis Wylks

Wanniassa Extension by LBW Architects Photo: Denis Wylks

Wanniassa Extension by LBW Architects Photo: Denis Wylks

Wanniassa Extension by LBW Architects Photo: Denis Wylks

Wonga Street House by Jigsaw Housing Photo: Rod Vargas

Stromlo House by Philip Leeson Architects Photo: Rodrigo Vargas

Szychowski Residence by adhami pender architecture Photo: Donna Sulway

Szychowski Residence by adhami pender architecture Photo: Donna Sulway

Szychowski Residence by adhami pender architecture Photo: Donna Sulway

Szychowski Residence by adhami pender architecture Photo: Donna Sulway

Szychowski Residence by adhami pender architecture Photo: Donna Sulway

Szychowski Residence by adhami pender architecture Photo: Donna Sulway

Ulysses House by Jigsaw Housing Photo: Rod Vargas

Ulysses House by Jigsaw Housing Photo: Rod Vargas

Ulysses House by Jigsaw Housing Photo: Rod Vargas

Ulysses House by Jigsaw Housing Photo: Rod Vargas

Ulysses House by Jigsaw Housing Photo: Rod Vargas

Wanniassa Extension by LBW Architects Photo: Denis Wylks

Wonga Street House by Jigsaw Housing Photo: Rod Vargas

Wonga Street House by Jigsaw Housing Photo: Rod Vargas

Wonga Street House by Jigsaw Housing Photo: Rod Vargas

Wonga Street House by Jigsaw Housing Photo: Rod Vargas

Wonga Street House by Jigsaw Housing Photo: Rodrigo Vargas

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LETTER: Memorial moved for good reason

IN response to Kath Leahy (Short Takes 1/5): The Cooks Hill Surf Life Saving Club’s memorial was moved from Empire Park, Bar Beach, across to the eastern side of Memorial Drive closer to its original location, where it was erected in 1918.
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It was moved in the late 1920s to Empire Park (also a place of remembrance) to allow for the construction of Memorial Drive, which was named in recognition of the memorial.

The relocation was planned over several years and undertaken by the Cooks Hill SLSC to once again allow the distinctive life ring on the modest granite obelisk to overlook Bar Beach. This is the only reason for the relocation.

Over two-thirds of the club membership who voluntarily patrolled Bar Beach at the time also voluntarily enlisted during World War I.

There were nine members who did not return and are named on the granite obelisk above the life ring.

The memorial not only remembers them but also the spirit of volunteering in our community, in my opinion.

While the late surf lifesavers rest in peace, may we all enjoy the view as they did.

John Mayo,

Cardiff

LETTER: Economic policies really the problem

苏州美甲美睫培训学校

CUTTING interests rates again will not improve the deteriorating economic outlook for Australia in my view.

The main cause of the issue is people just do not have the money to spend because of Tony Abbott’s Liberal Party budget policies and attacks on welfare recipients.

Since the Abbott government got elected it has hurt families and those on wages who have to support teenagers who have been cut off welfare because of their age. It is putting budget restraints on family spending.

Individual males like me are just cutting our spending because we cannot trust anything the Abbott government says.

It is like when former prime minister John Howard was in power: He said one thing and did another in my opinion.

The GST tax is also hurting lots of bottom lines because it is the driving force behind many of these price increases and that’s hurting middle- and low-income earners, plus it’s costing jobs.

It is only the government that is blind to what is really causing the problem, the Liberal Party themselves.

Eric O’Malley,

Hamlyn Terrace

LETTER: Power suppliers get off the hook

苏州美甲美睫培训学校

WHEN three years ago the Hunter was hit by violent storms with loss of power, suppliers compensated users for loss of power and food spoilage.

If there was a loss of power over 12 hours, a compensation of $100 was paid, with longer times up to $180 paid.

For loss of food another amount could be made, depending on the loss.

However, as the flooding and power outages have been declared a disaster, no compensation payments will be made by the power suppliers.

People will have to claim via their household home insurance, with the resultant loss of their deduction and no ability to claim power loss from their supplier.

The package the government offers people directly affected is so narrowly defined that the numbers who can claim will only be in the hundreds.

This will save the supplier millions of dollars and calls into question what is the advantage to the vast majority of people who endured hardship due to power loss in the storms.

Surely, the failure to maintain lines at a safe distance from trees contributed to power losses?

In my case we lost power 24 hours before the main storm front struck due to a tree over a power line.

John Reynolds,

Mount Vincent

LETTER: SES thieves rob community

苏州美甲美睫培训学校

I WOULD like all the big businesses in the Hunter to come together and offer to replace the stolen equipment for the State Emergency Service (‘‘Thieves steal thousands worth of equipment from SES vehicles’’ Herald Online 1/5) .

These people volunteer to put their lives on the line and work their butts off for nothing but the good of the community, so let’s get behind them and donate back some of their lost equipment.

Otherwise they will not be able to go on helping the desperate people in the Hunter Region.

This organisation deserves all the accolades possible, but instead ‘‘scumbags’’ decide to take it upon themselves to have a ‘‘laugh’’, because they have nothing better to do with themselves.

I suggest they get out there and volunteer with the SES themselves.

Let’s hope they never need the services of this fine department.

I am an SES wife.

Denise Marshall,

Fennell Bay