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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.

Hunter students knuckle down for Selective High School Placement Test

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By , 18/01/2019 12:48

High stakes: From left, Astrid Morson, who said Merewether was “really good”, Brody Rousell, Leo Long, who said he “wanted to do the test even if I don’t go” and Kate McTaggart. Picture: Simone De PeakASTRID Morson was dismayed when she realised she would have to spend her 12thbirthday sitting theSelective High School Placement Test.

“At first I thought ‘Oh I don’t want to do that!’” she said.“But then I realised it wasn’t that bad–some people said getting in may be a belated present. Plus I knew I’d get to go out for milkshakes afterwards.”

Astrid and her best friend Kate McTaggart from The Junction Publicplus Brody Rousell and Leo Long from St Joseph’s at Merewetherare among a record 14,959 students who sat the test on Thursday. They are vying for a chance to secure one of the4226 year seven places atat the state’s21 selective and 26 partially selectiveschools. Merewether Highhas 180 spots available.

“I’d heard this is a really great high school and can open up a lot of opportunities for you in the future,” Brody said. “You can get a great job from getting in so I really wanted to come here.

“I’ll behappy if I don’t get in because I know I’ve tried my hardest, but if I do get in I’ll be even happier.”

The students satthree 40 minute multiple choice tests in reading, mathematics and general ability. They were also given 20 minutes and a statement as stimulus for a piece of writing. Kate said afterwards she was feeling “relieved” while Astrid said she “felt good knowing everything is over and now I can relax”. Brody said he was glad he “used all his time at tutoring well and it’s paid off”, while Leo said he was now a “little nervous about whether I’m going to get in or not”.

Brody and Leo said the tests were easier than expected but still challenging, Astrid said they were“quite difficult, as I had expected” while Kate said they were“easier than when I started practising, but not as easy as school tests”. All said the general ability test was the hardest, “because we only had 40 seconds for each question –and you either knew the patterns or you didn’t”.

Brody started tutoring in term three last year and cut out screen time over the past week to focus on practice papers, while the other three recently completed a six-week course to prepare for the test. They attended their tutor’s house once a week to sit two practice papers, plus takeone home. “We also learned strategies for how to manage our time and how to eliminate answers in the multiple choice questions,” Astrid said. “It made me more confident coming here, I knew what to expect.” The girls also did additional papers each weekend.

The Department of Education will send parents a letter on July 6 about whether their child has been offered a place. Astrid said she was “nervous and wanted to get the results today” while Kate said she would “need something to distract me from the wait.”

Victory re-sign AL coach Muscat until 2020

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By , 18/01/2019 12:48

Melbourne Victory A-League coach Kevin Muscat has extended his contract for two more years.Five weeks ago Kevin Muscat’s future at Melbourne Victory was threatening to sink into the abyss.

Roundly booed by fans following February’s home A-League loss to Brisbane – the latest below-par result of a wishy-washy season – the club legend’s chances of a contract renewal appeared delicate.

But a recent uptick in domestic fortunes, along with this week’s stirring Asian Champions League win over Kawasaki Frontale, has secured Muscat’s tenure for a further two seasons along with a pledge for more internal support.

On the same day as Victory officially appointed long-time chief operating officer Trent Jacobs as new chief executive, the club also re-signed Muscat until 2020.

It comes as reward for a sterling track record, including the 2014-15 championship and last season’s grand final, along with the 2015 FFA Cup.

The 44-year-old former Victory player also boasts the A-League’s second-best winning percentage and hasn’t missed the finals since succeeding Ange Postecoglou in 2013.

That success saw him linked to the Glasgow Rangers last year and also named as a prospective long-term Socceroos coach before the job was given to Graham Arnold.

“I’m honoured the board has given me that opportunity,” Muscat said.

“I’m excited about what is ahead and can assure our members and fans that we will continually be looking at ways to deliver the best outcomes for the club.

“My mind is on the here and now, to deliver the best results in the two competitions we’re involved in.

“The standards at this club are extremely high and we will be looking to deliver success this year.”

From fourth place, this year’s title will be an uphill battle, especially given Victory are also closing in on the knockout stages in Asia.

There are also other challenges, namely rebuilding an ageing squad to ensure the club can maintain its powerhouse status.

Chairman Anthony Di Pietro said a review of the football department concluded Muscat would benefit from an “increased level of support”.

That would allow a more targeted approach to list management and recruitment, as well as better integration of the youth and senior programs.

“We will be looking to add resources around Kevin and we will keep our members and fans informed as this unfolds,” Di Pietro said.

Jacobs, 41, will start on Monday as chief executive, filling a role vacant since Ian Robson moved to Rowing before Christmas.

The former Richmond AFL marketing manager joined Victory in 2007.

Newcastle District Cricket Association: Club coach Michael Hill and first grade captain Steve Mace team up for finals at Charlestown 33 years apart

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By , 18/01/2019 12:48

COMBINATION: Club coach Michael Hill and first grade captain Steve Mace at Charlestown cricket training at Kahibah Oval this week ahead of another finals campaign together. Picture: Simone De PeakIt won’t be the first time, but it may well be the last.

Club coach Michael Hill and first grade captain Steve Mace will join forces at Charlestown for yet another finals campaignthis weekend, 33 years after the partnership started.

Back then the roles were a little different –Hill the former NSW representative and skipper with Mace a 16-year-old debutant in a Newcastle District Cricket Association semi.

They may not have gone on to win that title in 1984-1985 and Hill finished his decorated careernot long after, but the legacy lived on with Maceplaying in each of Charlestown’s seven major premierships since.

The most recent was 2005-2006 with Mace in charge on the field and Hill assisting with all things off it.

And now, another dozen summers down the track, fate has brought them backtogether again after coaxing each other to return at different stages.

Hill, 73,in his third campaignmentoring once more at Charlestown and recently out-of-retirement Mace, 49, leading from the frontfor a second straight season.

It’s a pretty good match, and rare to be done so many years apart.

“It’s a nice circle that’s formed,” Hill said.

No surprises either that symmetry also exists in the upcoming opponents. Charlestown meet Merewether at No.1 Sportsground on Saturday and Sunday, the same battle Hill and Mace first encounteredalong side one anothermore than three decades ago.

“Hilly was my first, first grade captain all those years back,” Mace, then a medium-pace bowler who batted a bit, said.

“He was always a guy I looked up to, admired and respected so it’s good that he’s back involved with the club because he set a lot of the cultures there that I’ve hopefully carried on.”

Hill reckons little has changed with Mace.

“What you see is what you get,” theformer Knights chairmansaid.

“He’s quite an exceptional character, very single minded andvery determined. His success has come through whatever needs to be done.”

Mace said he can feel similarities to 2005-2006,which also featured the club championship claimed by Charlestown after the last round on Saturday.

“It’s a similar sort of campaign,” Mace said.

“We’ve been buildinga little bit of momentum.”

Mace said it was unlikelyfirst-class import Saliya Salanwould return from Sri Lanka for the play-offs.

SEMI-FINALS: Wests v Hamilton-Wickhamat Harker Oval;Merewether v Charlestown at No.1 Sportsground.

A-League: Socceroos squad member Dimi Petratos confirms commitment to Newcastle Jets for rest of season but eyes future overseas

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By , 18/01/2019 12:48

Jets’ Petratos wants more FOCUS: Socceroos squad member Dimi Petratos training with the Newcastle Jets at Ray Watt Oval this week. The 25-year-old remains committed to the A-League club this season despite interest from elsewhere. Picture: Marina Neil

TweetFacebookAt the moment I’ve still got another year on my contract and I’ll be finishing the season off at the Newcastle Jets.”

Dimi Petratos

“There has been a little bit [of interest], but I’ve just left it withmy agent and I just want to focus on where I’m atat the moment.”

Petratos, who joined the Jets in June from Korean club Ulsan, said he was undecided about what overseas league he would like to join but admitted “La Liga is nice. I’d like to play there [Spain] one day if it’s possible”.

Reports last week about Petratos joining former Jets teammate Andrew Nabbout in Japan before thetransfer window closes on March 31 were quickly dismissed by the club’s chief executive Lawrie McKinna.

It all comes as second-placed Newcastle race towards a drought-breaking finals appearance next month after finishing last season with the wooden spoon.

Leading goal scorer Petratos, with nine, and Nabbout have been key ingredients to that dramatic turnaround under new Jetscoach Ernie Merrick.

Both players have been recognised and rewarded for their break-out performances with spots in the Socceroos’ 26-man squad for upcoming friendlies against Norway in Oslo on March 23, followed byColombia in London four days later.

“It came a bit out of nowhere, but it was a very good feeling,” Petratos said.

“It’s every Aussie players dream to represent their country.”

The World Cup will be held in Russia from June 15.

CHANGES:Shabow travels to New Zealand for Brown

SOCCEROOS:In-form Jets attacker one step closer to World Cup spot

A-League: Newcastle Jets forced to make four changes for round 23 encounter against Wellington Phoenix

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By , 18/01/2019 12:48

OUT: Wayne Brown. Picture: Max Mason-HubersNewcastle Jets coachErnie Merrick has even more selection headaches this weekend with Mario Shabowcalled-upfor the clash against Wellingtonfollowing the late withdrawal of Wayne Brown.

Shabow travelled to Auckland on Thursday for the ill Brown and the midfield switch means at least four changes will be made to the first XI that beat A-League leaders Sydney FC at home less than a fortnight ago.

It marks the most disruption to the Jets starting side since the first round of this season, which included six new faces from the team that began the club’s last match of 2016-2017.

The highest number of changes previously this campaign has been three on two occasions –between rounds 13 and 14 as well as 18 and 19.

But all fourtrades for round 23 againstthe Phoenix on Saturday have been forced, rather than any tactical tinkering from Merrick.

Brown, who trainedon Wednesday, joins striker Roy O’Donovan (suspended) andinjured skipper Nigel Boogaard (left leg) on the sidelines while Andrew Nabbout left last week for Japanese clubUrawa Red Diamond.

Joey Champness and Lachlan Jackson are the likely replacements for O’Donovanup front and Boogaard at the back respectively while returning PatoRodriguez may slot on the wing for Nabbout. Ben Kantarovski could interchange for midfielder Brown.

“We’ve just got to give positive information and defend as a team,” Jets key man Dimi Petratos said.

Making up the bench would beShabow, Nick Cowburn, Angus Thurgate, goalkeeper Glen Moss and marquee Ron Vargas, comingback after almost five months out injured.Nikolai Topor-Stanley is captain.

JETS: 1 Jack Duncan, 3 Jason Hoffman, 5 Ben Kantarovski, 6 Steven Ugarkovic, 7 Dimitri Petratos, 8 Ronald Vargas, 11 Patricio Rodriguez, 12 Mario Shabow, 16 Nick Cowburn, 17 Daniel Georgievski, 20 Glen Moss, 22 Lachlan Jackson, 24 Joseph Champness, 27 Riley McGree, 32 Angus Thurgate, 44 Nikolai Topor-Stanley(c).

Newcastle country star Grayson presses play on next album

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By , 17/12/2018 16:22

NEW PHASE: Grayson started recording his fifth album Window Dreams last week.GRAYSON jokes his baby son Hunter had visited 14 US states by the time he was 10 weeks old.That’s the life of a travelling musician, come family man.

Ten months ago Grayson, aka Newcastle country musician Michael Edser, and his Gunnedah bred-wife Brianna (nee MacKellar) welcomed their first baby in Nashville.

“It’s the best thing in the world and also the hardest thing in the world,” Grayson tellsWeekenderfrom Nashville.

“We literally didn’t have time to record with touring and not sleeping with a brand new baby.”

It meant plans for Grayson’s long-awaited fifth album were postponed. Finally last week he pressed play onWindow Dreams, which is expected to be released later this year.

“It’ll be a bit different to the last couple of songs I’ve released,” he says.“A little more stripped back and a little more real.”

Window Dreamswill feature nine tracks that Grayson wrote with American country star Jeff Wood, who has previously written songs for Neal McCoyandPhil Vassar.

In the meantime, Grayson has given fans a sugarypop single that is unashamedly written for US country commercialradio, much like his previous single10-9-8-7that topped theUSNew Music Weekly Country Charts in 2016.

Margaritawas inspired by a three-day hangover that refused to dissipate.The culprit? Taco Tuesday and a lot of tequila-packed margaritas.

“Every Tuesday night I go out for Taco Tuesday, I eat tacos and drink a shitload of margaritas,” Grayson says.“The wife hates it, as every Wednesday I’m hungover as all hell.”

Over the summer Grayson returned to Newcastle to introduce Hunter to his family, play shows and filmMargarita’svideo clip at Redhead and Dudley beaches.

Grayson loved the experience of returning to the beaches where he first learnt to surf, but it created some curious scenes for locals who didn’t realise a country music video was beginning filmed.

Grayson – Margarita“We used drones, which are a great technology, and the guys who manned them werein the bushes,” he says.“So I must have looked like an absolute tool standing on the beach with no cameras around.

“People would have been thinking, ‘what the hell is this guydoing, it’s 5.30 in the morning and he’s singing to himself’. The end product is good and it’s worth the embarrassment.”

Over the past six months Grayson has watched with pride as his“gym buddy” and fellow Novocastrian Morgan Evans hasbecome a breakout country pop-star with his singleKiss Somebody.

“He actually stayed on our couch for the first month he lived over here,” Grayson says.“I went to his wedding in Mexico last year with [US country star]Kelsea [Ballerini], so as a friend, a mentor, and a fellow musician it’s awesome that he’s kicking goals, because nobody works as hard as him.”

Grayson has also been workinghard to crack the lucrative Nashville scene. Since 2011, in fact. But as a new father he admitshis career aspirations are beingre-evaluated.

“If you’re serious about your career you’ve got to be here,” he says.“We’ll see how this album goes and Hunter is only 10 months old. The way the world is going right now I don’t want him growing up in schools here, there’s scary stuff happening.

“The next couple of years are make or break, regardless of whether I’m kicking goals, I’d love to come back home.

“I’m a proud Novocastrian and always will be. It’s the best and worst part of my job in that I don’t know what’s next.”

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