Letter to the editor: Sunshine Lodge

THE proposed DA currently with council for the demolition of the building known as Sunshine Lodge on Alice Street, Mittagong, number DA 14/1177 is concerning.
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This building was the former Sisters of St Joseph’s convent, a branch of the order founded by Saint Mary Mackillop and council’s heritage register.

This heritage listed building is an extremely important structure located within the conservation area of Mittagong.

Demolition of this historical building has the potential to substantially degrade the quality of the environment by eliminating an important example of a major period in Mittagong’s history and this type of religious architecture.

This historical precinct of Mittagong, once known as New Sheffield, and the demolition of this building will eliminate an important example of architecture and degrade this precinct.

This building deserves protection, honour and continued usefulness, rather than an obliterating destruction.

We should be appreciating the richness and diversity of our architecture and history within our community.

We in the community need to voice our strong support to save this building, which is under threat.

This building represents an important event in early 20th century in Mittagong and marks a passage in our magnificent architectural treasure in our town’s heart that all tell stories of the area’s heritage.

Preserving these prominent landmarks is paramount.

We need to recognise just how important this building is to Mittagong, with its historical connection to education, religious, cultural, economic and general welfare through the preservation of this building with Mittagong’s conservation area and appreciate the richness and diversity of the architecture within our town.

The facade of this building contains a beautiful metre-wide foundation stone depicting the emblem of The Josephine’s, often called Brown Joey’s.

This is the emblem which represents the order founded by Saint Mary Mackillop and should be preserved at all costs.

We need to unite and the vision should be to restore and preserve our cultural relics, which are in danger of disappearing.

We need to take a pro-active approach to avoid a disaster happening in our historical towns.

Approving such a DA will most likely set a precedent and open the door so others can demolish or remove heritage items within the shire, like the historic Maltings in Mittagong, just to name one.

I urge the community to write or contact the council by December 3 to reject this DA and save this important heritage building for future generations.

Tim McCartney

Mittagong

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A dunny tale for Geoff Goodfellow

HERE’S another Bowral toilet tale that Geoff Goodfellow (Across the River SHN November 19) may like to add to his repertoire.
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It was told to me by my husband Ted and it goes something like this:The local dunny can man had an altercation with a pothole in Bendooley Street one cold dawn morning and his cart tipped over spilling the entire contents all over the street.

“Ah sh..!” he exclaimed getting out righting the cart and starting to shovel night soil up and over the side.

Just then a car drove passed slowly, a local wise guy much known for his p…pot views.

“Been drinking mate?” he called out with a bit of a sneer.

“Nah,” the dunny can man replied as the other man stopped to watch for a moment before driving away laughing.

“But mate,” muttered the dunny can man to the retreating car, “you sure are two turds short of a sh…”

Now I could have that a bit wrong, it’s been a few years since it was told, and there may be other versions out there, but Geoff may enjoy it nevertheless.

Alex Springett

Bowral

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Colo Vale service centre exhibition extended

RESIDENTS of the northern villages will have the chance for greater input about the proposed highway service centre and hotel/motel accommodation in Colo Vale.
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Due to public interest in the matter, council will re-exhibit the planning proposal which seeks to amend the Wingecarribee Local Environment Plan (WLEP).

Colo Vale Community Association president John Stead said Colo Vale residents “welcomed” the re-advertising of the proposal.

“The Southern Highlands is such a unique place, relatively unspoiled and green and the proposed service centre is not in keeping with this area,” Mr Stead said.

“We also feel that Mittagong will be the big loser in that travellers may not go into town to use the motels, holes and cafes in town.

“The biggest worry is of course the danger of bushfires coming through our area.”

The proposal was originally placed on public exhibition throughout October but council extended the public exhibition period for a further 28 days from November 12 to December 12.

Land owners potentially affected by the proposal, including those from Colo Vale, Alpine, Yerrinbool, Hill Top and Balmoral will receive written notification from council of the re-exhibition extension.

Even though council originally resolved to refuse the planning proposal, the proposal is now being reconsidered as a result of a review by the Joint Regional Planning Panel (JRPP) who believed the application has merit.

After the closure of the second exhibition period, council will organise a public hearing for mid-February 2015.

All residents who make a submission during the exhibition period will be informed of the February meeting.

The planning proposal and all associated documentation including maps, can be viewed on council’s website via the What’s On Exhibition page at www.wsc.nsw.gov.au/ whats-on-public-exhibition or at Wingecarribee Shire Council Civic Centre and Bowral and Mittagong libraries during normal business hours.

Address to: The General Manager, Wingecarribee Shire Council

Quote file number: 5901/35

Include your name, residential address and postal address.

Submissions can also be lodged to council in person at Civic Centre or via email to [email protected]

Submissions in objection of the planning proposal must clearly state the reasons for any objection.

Details: 4868 0888.

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Travel deals: Get free flights with luxury Kimberley coast cruise expedition

Silver Discoverer is the only vessel with a swimming pool cruising the Kimberley coast. Silver Discoverer is the only vessel with a swimming pool cruising the Kimberley coast.
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Silver Discoverer is the only vessel with a swimming pool cruising the Kimberley coast.

Silver Discoverer is the only vessel with a swimming pool cruising the Kimberley coast.

Cruise Express is offering free return flights from every mainland state capital on bookings of two luxury cruise expeditions along the Kimberley coast in April 2015.

Those booking verandah suites fly business class.

The 10-night voyages between Broome and Darwin aboard the Silversea Expeditions ship, Silver Discoverer carry 120 guests and 96 crew.

The ship is the only vessel with a swimming pool cruising the coast and all cabins are suites with ocean views, butler service, and complimentary mini-bar.

Beverages onboard Silver Discoverer are complimentary throughout the ship.

The first voyage sails from Broome to Darwin on April 9. Zodiac excusions include King George Falls and there’s a flight over the Bungle Bungle Ranges included.

The second voyage goes Darwin to Broome on April 19 on the same itinerary.

The price is from $10,950 a person, twin-share.

Phone 1300 764 509. See cruiseexpress南京夜网.au.

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Motley Fool: China trade deal’s profitable potential

The dairy sector where now looks a really good time to be an investor, says the Motley Fool. Photo: Kitty Hill The dairy sector where now looks a really good time to be an investor, says the Motley Fool. Photo: Kitty Hill
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The dairy sector where now looks a really good time to be an investor, says the Motley Fool. Photo: Kitty Hill

The dairy sector where now looks a really good time to be an investor, says the Motley Fool. Photo: Kitty Hill

If there’s one area of the Australian economy that looks a clear winner from the recently announced Australia-China Free Trade Agreement (FTA) it’s agriculture. China already buys more agricultural produce from Australia than any other market, with the trade worth an estimated $9 billion to the agricultural sector in 2013.

The deal also hands Australian farmers a competitive advantage over trade rivals in the United States, Canada and the European Union. Currently only Chile and the dairy-focused Kiwi economy enjoy FTAs with China, agreed in 2006 and 2008 respectively.

Tariffs on the chopping board

China’s shift from an export-driven economy to one of domestic consumption is ongoing and supported by a fast-growing middle class happy to spend on a wider range of dietary staples. Indeed, the Australian Bureau of Resource Economics and Sciences predicts 43 per cent of the demand for agricultural products will come from China by 2050.

Consequently some of the most significant concessions agreed by the Chinese government are to give agriculture exporters tariff-free access to the Chinese market.  For example, tariffs on dairy products, which are currently up to 20 per cent, will be removed within 4 to 11 years. Notably, international dairy demand remains strong and China is the world’s leading importer of dairy products.

While the Chinese middle-class demand dairy there’s a cashed-up urban elite with altogether more sophisticated tastes. Rock lobster, abalone, fine wines and cheese are all on their menu, with China’s political elite unsurprisingly agreeable to tearing down the barriers to easier importation.

Tariffs on gourmet seafoods will be removed over the next four years having been previously up to 15 per cent, while Australian wine will see the removal of tariffs of 14 to 20 per cent over the next four years. These cost savings could potentially be passed on to make Australian wine available at more competitive prices compared to its European rivals.

The real cash cows

However, it’s the dairy sector where now looks a really good time to be an investor, with companies like Fonterra Australia (ASX:FSF) already declaring the deal a “game changer” to “support the future profitability of the entire Australian dairy supply chain”. The deal is commercial gold and the confidence boost should flow through to further investment encouraged by the knowledge that exporting to the world’s largest dairy market just got more cost effective. Moreover, Fonterra already has significant experience operating in China which it can use to harness the FTA tailwind.

Cheese is another western dietary staple that is seeing growing demand in China and the FTA cost savings will benefit businesses like Bega Cheese (ASX:BGA) and Warrnambool Cheese and Butter (ASX:WCB). Bega’s executive chairman, Barry Irvine, has described the deal as “a key moment in the development and success of the Australian dairy industry”.

The Asian Luxeplosion

The phenomenal demand increase for luxury goods in China is also well documented, with designer clothes, cars, wine and seafood exporters all long-term beneficiaries. Indeed, while many have talked about Australia’s potential to act as the food bowl of Asia, wine maker Treasury Wine Estates (ASX:TWE) has potential to act as the punch bowl of Asia.

Treasury’s stable of premium wine brands includes Lindeman’s, Wolf Blass, Rosemount Estate and the high-margin money-spinner Penfold’s. Due to its sheer size the Chinese market has long been regarded as the ultimate prize for Australian wine exporters, however, they’ve struggled to break the locals’ love for French labels.

Although cost savings of up to 20 per cent within four years are a big bonus, Treasury’s key challenge remains changing consumer fashions and a mentality that always equates price to quality. That’s not a problem likely to be encountered by Tasmania-based seafood producers, with Chinese President Xi Jinping reportedly dining on Tasmanian abalone during this week’s visit to The Apple Isle.

Foolish takeaway

The cost savings for Australian exporters are a bonus that could fall straight to the bottom line, but the real challenge remains cracking a complex and competitive Chinese market. Dairy businesses look a good bet given their relatively recession-proof nature and leverage to the exponential growth of the middle class.

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Tom Richardson is a Motley Fool writer/analyst. You can follow The Motley Fool on Twitter @TheMotleyFoolAu. The Motley Fool’s purpose is to educate, amuse and enrich investors. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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