Protest against new Newcastle and Lake Macquarie bus timetable at Gregson Park, Hamilton

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By , 18/02/2019 16:13

A rally against the new Newcastle and Lake Macquarie bus timetable will be held on Sunday at Hamilton.The decision to send an‘out of service’ bus to taketwo passengers from Broadmeadow to Redhead was an“isolated” response,Newcastle’s public transportoperator Keolis Downer said ahead of a public rally against the region’s newtimetable this weekend.
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The response came after Charlestown MP Jodie Harrison told NSW Parliament this week that an empty bus was sent to Broadmeadow on February 23 to take the passengers to their destination after they missed their connecting service.

Ms Harrison called on the government to reveal how often“public buses are being used as apersonal taxi due to missed connections”.

Read more:‘Constituents are angry’: Labor MPs hammer at government on buses

Fairfax Media received a shortstatement when Keolis Downer was asked about the issue this week.

“The use of a‘not in service’bus to transfer customers after a missed connection on 23 February was an isolated operational response to an isolated operational issue,” the company’sHunter general manager Mark Dunlop said.

Tension: Last month, the auditorium at Belmont 16 Footers was packed for a public meeting over concerns about the new Newcastle and Lake Macquarie bus timetable.

A public rally calling for Newcastle and Lake Macquarie’s new bus timetable to be scrapped will be held on Sunday morning.

The rally will start at Gregson Park, Hamilton, at 10.30am before a march to the Newcastle bus depot in Hamilton.

Read more:New bus timetable faces first test

The suburb is one of the focal points of criticism aboutthe new timetable, with business owners complaining that there is no longer a bus service that runs down Beaumont Street–one of the city’s busiest shopping and dining precincts.

Helen Necovski,store manager ofPiggott’s Pharmacy on Beaumont Street, said there had been adrop in customers since the new timetable was introduced.

Keolis Downer, the private operator of Newcastle buses, introduced a new timetable for Newcastle and Lake Macquarie in January.

MsNecovski, who catches the busbetween work and her Adamstown home each day, said the servicenow drops passengers at Tudor Street–a road that intersects Beaumont Street.

”I find there is hardly anyone on the bus, where before it used to take all these people down Beaumont Street,” she said.“[Some elderly bus patrons]can’t walk that far. The bus does drop them off at Tudor Street,but to get to my shop and to IGA, that’s three blocks down, where they could [formerly] get off at my block. I havea bus stop across the road.”

When asked about Keolis Downer’s recent data that showed an almost five per cent increase in patronage on some routes in January, 2018, compared with the previous year, Ms Necovski said:“it’s not in our area at all”.

Changes to thetimetable introduced in January have drawn community backlash, with a 10,000 signature petition calling for the change to be reversed sent to parliament and about 1000 people attending a public meeting in Belmont last month.

Related content:

Bus patronage up in January despite ‘teething problems’Live blog: Hunter bus timetable public meetingKeolis Downer releases new timetableDrivers cop abuse as tensions boil overProtest against bus timetable announced

Ask Noel: energy discounts, capital gains and more

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By , 18/02/2019 16:13

RECENTLY you stated that Commonwealth Seniors Health Card (CSHC) holders also receive an Energy Supplement, viz. $366.60 per year for singles and $275.60 per year for each eligible member of a couple. I’m told that this is incorrect. Apart from the recent one-off supplement of $125 per household which was recently paid, CSHC members have no other energy entitlement, so I am advised. Would appreciate your thoughts. What is the Low Income level that applies, and what are the requirements in order to meet the Low Income Test?
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A department spokesperson says that CSHC holders may receive the Energy Supplement depending on when they claimed and were eligible for the card. Since March 20, 2017, the Energy Supplement is no longer paid to new CSHC holders. CSHC holders who were receiving the Energy Supplement on September 19, 2016, will continue to receive the Energy Supplement as long as they remain eligible for a qualifying card or income support payment.

To receive a Low Income Health Care Card (LIC) individuals must meet residence and income test requirements. The income test looks at the gross income earnt for the eight weeks before a claim is submitted. The amount that can be earnt depends on the individual’s situation.

More information on the LIC can be found on the Department of Human Services website.

I am 76 and in the process of writing my will. I have $380,000 in super. I intend to leave the balance on my death to my two grandchildren, ages 25 and 22. I understand this will incur a death tax of some 15 per cent, plus 2 per cent Medicare Levy.

If this is correct, is it advisable to withdraw the balance and place the funds into a term deposit or an alternative that you may recommend. Would putting the money in the bank affect my pension?

This is partly true. Your superannuation will probably, but not necessarily, have a taxable component and non-taxable component. Only the taxable component would incur the death tax if left to a non-dependant. I assume from the information provided your grandchildren are not dependants. Yes, I agree you should withdraw the money at some stage, but when this should occur will depend on your age and the state of your health. For example, if you are in good health I wouldn’t be rushing to do it. Keep in mind that you can appoint an enduring power of attorney and give that person the power to withdraw all your superannuation and place the proceeds in the bank if you are at a stage in life when you believe that death is imminent.

Putting the money in the bank should not affect your pension as your super is being assessed now under the deeming provisions.

My wife and I are trustees of a SMSF, established about 15 years ago. The fund has substantial unrealised capital gains, but also some unrealised capital losses. The gains far exceed the losses. We are thinking about establishing a corporate trustee but do not understand whether such action would trigger a capital gains event. Could you please advise?

There should not be a capital gains/loss event because the beneficial owner remains the same. However, in some states, I believe there could be stamp duty issues depending on the assets the fund holds and how the paperwork of the trust deed was prepared. Make sure you take expert advice every step of the way.

I’ve read conflicting information about the ability to ‘‘convert’’ a property from non-tax deductible owner-occupied to a tax-deductible investment property. My understanding is that if a home loan is taken out for the purposes of buying a home to live in, and that property is later rented out, the loan interest cannot be claimed as a tax deduction against rental income because the original purpose of the loan was not for investment purposes. Is this correct? I’ve recently read commentary that suggests that when the property becomes an investment property the interest becomes deductible even for the same loan.

The interest is not deductible while you are living in the property but as soon as you move out and rent it the rents become taxable income and all expenses, such as interest and rates, become deductible. However, if you move into your rental property the interest ceases to be deductible.

Noel Whittaker is the author of Making Money Made Simple and numerous other books on personal finance. His advice is general in nature. Readers should seek their own professional advice before making decisions. Twitter:@noelwhittaker

A home in Curry Street, Merewether has sold off market for $4 million

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By , 18/02/2019 16:13

$4 million sale sets new ceiling for Merewether’s Curry Street NEW CEILING: This near-new home in Merewether’s Curry Street has sold off market for $4 million.
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CLEAN LINES: The home was designed by award-winning Space DesignArchitecture.

“HIGH END”: It has ocean views, soaring ceilings, a four-person lift, entertaining zones and a saltwater pool.

A home in Merewether’s Curry Street has sold for $4 million.

A home in Merewether’s Curry Street has sold for $4 million.

A home in Merewether’s Curry Street has sold for $4 million.

A home in Merewether’s Curry Street has sold for $4 million.

A home in Merewether’s Curry Street has sold for $4 million.

A home in Merewether’s Curry Street has sold for $4 million.

A home in Merewether’s Curry Street has sold for $4 million.

TweetFacebook $4 million sale in Merewether’s Curry StreetThe four-bedroom home was designed by Space Design Architecture and has ocean views, a four-person lift and saltwater swimming pool.It may not be a suburb record but a $4 million sale has eclipsed any other for Merewether’s Curry Street.

The seven-figure sum was paid in an off-market exchange during the week andeasily surpassed the previous highest sale amount for the street of $2.399 million, according to n Property Monitors data. That was paid for No.1 last December.

The $4 million sale of 30 Curry Street –a near new “high end” residence which has ocean views and featureda four-person lift –was brokered by agent Mike Flook, of Robinson Property.

The four-bedroom home, built two years ago,was bought by an interstate businessman relocating to Newcastle.

“The home is in thatgolden triangle of Pell, Curry andJanet streets, anything that hugs the back of the school there and is a block or two back from the beach,” Mr Flook said.

“What the purchaser appreciated was it offered privacy -not being smashed by the elements that you get right on the beach –and it is by far one of the best quality homes that he had seen, and he looked at several other that are currently on the market.

“For a build of that quality combined with position, location and what blocks with older homes are selling for in the immediate area, itwill prove to be a sound investment for the future.”

Merewether continued to setthe pace for propertyin the region last yearwith prices soaring more than 20 per cent on the previous12 months and the suburb’s median rising to $1.38 million,according to APM sales data.

Read more: House prices still on rise in beachside suburb

The biggest sale for the year was $5.05 million in May,when Mr Flook sold 107 Frederick Street, which attracted local, national and international interest.

The Frederick Streetsale was on market but the Robinson Property agentsaid a number of sales in and around that exclusive pocket of Merewetherwere doneoff market.

“We’re working closely and tightly with professional people who have made it clear what they’re seeking,” Mr Flooksaid.

“This was an enquiry I received off a completely different property and everything he described was Curry Street and this one rose to the top of the pile.

“A lot of these people don’t make quick decisions. They’re looking for that right property andon the seller’s side, especially up in that bracket, theyare private people and want to keep it low key.”

The record sale comes after a string of other new benchmarks set for suburbs in Newcastle and Lake Macquarie in the past six months.

Read more: Strong 2017 for ‘blue chip suburbs’

New price highs were set in Stockton ($2 million), Garden Suburb ($1.1 million),Adamstown Heights($1.6 million),Hamilton South ($2.625 million), Lambton ($1.54 million), Kotara South ($1.09 million),Broadmeadow ($1.25 million) and Redhead ($1.6 million).

A Hamilton East home which hitthe market last weekend will by far surpass any other sales in that suburb if it reached its price guide of$2.7 million to $2.9 million.

Read more: “Jaw-dropping” Hamilton East home poised for new suburb record

ADVERTISING FEATURE: Focus on cultural Fringe

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By , 18/02/2019 16:13

SCRUMPTUOUSLY WIERD: Performance artist, theatre designer, and questioning showgirl, Carletta The Great presents the surreal “A Showgirl. Deconstructed”.
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The Newcastle Fringe Festival will bring a smorgasbord of local, national and overseas performing arts to Newcastle for five amazing days from the March 22 to March 26.

NERDIEST SHOW YET: Local comedian Clark Gormley offers nerds a riveting plot line linking famous and eccentric boffins throughout history.

This year there will be over 100 acts taking in comedy, theatre, children’s theatre, music, dance, cabaret and circus, promisingsomething for everyone.

All Fringe venues –the Royal Exchange (Bolton Street), The Grand Hotel (Bolton St), the Cathedral, Catapult Dance Studios (Hunter St – Newcastle West). The Gallipoli Legion Club (Beaumont St, Hamilton) and the Wesley Church (Beaumont St, Hamilton) – are within walking distance of the Newcastle CBD and each venue will have at least three shows a day starting at 6pm on week days and six, starting at 1.30pm, on the weekend.

SIT BACK AND RELAX: Masterful A capella ensemble the Accapelicans perform old and new arrangements ranging from recent hits, jazz standards and traditional ballads.

Feature acts include the Accapelicans (from Sydney), Laurie Black Live (from London),Amelia Jane Hunter‘s “The Blue Hour” (n but resides in Germany),Charlie De Barkle’s “Shaken. A James Bond Cabaret” (from Melbourne), Carletta Childs’”A Showgirl, Deconstructed” (Melbourne),Madelaine Culp’s “The Future Now” and “Aunty Plop Plop’s Useless Shop”, and Canadian stand-up comedian Ally Baharoon’s “The Fun Talker”.

The aim of the Newcastle Fringe is multi-faceted, according to festival director Phil Aughey.

“It gives local artists a platform to produce their work in a professional manner,” he said.“It attracts acts from all over the globe to give a variety of performing arts for the audiences and inspire future artists.

“It creates a cash flow for the venues, local businesses and artists.And it establishes Newcastle as a cultural city with international status.”

Newcastle now boasts five different cultural festivals, namely TINA, the Writers Festival, A Music Festival, Micro Theatre Festival and Newcastle Fringe Festival.All designed to increase Newcastle’s importance as a truly cultural city.

It is no coincidence that the Newcastle Fringe follows Adelaide and Perth Fringes, therefore adding to an n circuit.

It’s something the local business community is increasingly recognising, with NFF’s major sponsors this year includingPort of Newcastle,Port Waratah Coal Services and Newcastle City Council (Make Your Place).

With so many acts to choose fromPhillip suggests audience members get a plan.

“My suggestion to audiences is to chose a venue for each night,” he said. “For example at the Royal Exchange there are three cracker shows following each other.

“The Saturday night program at the Gallipoli club is a standout. Lots of really good shows following each other.”

For more information visitwww.newcastlefringe苏州夜总会招聘.au.

Another Trump lawyer linked to Stormy case

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By , 18/02/2019 16:13

New documents show a second lawyer was involved in legal efforts to silence Stormy Daniels.New documents show a second lawyer with ties to President Donald Trump was involved in legal efforts to keep adult film star Stormy Daniels from talking about her alleged affair with Trump.
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Attorney Jill A Martin signed the documents, which were filed on February 22 as part of confidential arbitration proceedings.

She’s referenced in the filing as counsel for EC LLC – a company formed by Trump’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen, to facilitate a $US130,000 payment to silence Daniels during the 2016 presidential campaign, though the address she lists is that of Trump’s Los Angeles golf club.

Cohen has acknowledged making the payment, but said he was not reimbursed and denied the campaign and the Trump Organisation were involved in the transaction.

Daniels’ attorney, Michael Avenatti, confirmed the authenticity of the new documents to The Associated Press and said the documents show that “contrary to Mr. Cohen’s representations, there is little to no difference between EC LLC and The Trump Organisation/Donald Trump.”

In a statement late Wednesday, the Trump Organisation said Martin worked on the filing in her individual capacity and the company has had no involvement in the matter.

The White House says Trump has denied the affair with Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford.

Earlier this month, Clifford filed a lawsuit seeking to invalidate her hush agreement because it was signed only by her and Cohen, but not Trump.

She’s also offered to return the money she was paid for agreeing not to discuss the alleged relationship.

Clifford alleges that she began an intimate relationship with Trump in 2006 and that it continued well into the year 2007, according to the lawsuit.

She said the relationship included encounters in Lake Tahoe, Nevada, and Beverly Hills, California.

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