House price growth tipped to slow

Written by admin on 30/07/2019 Categories: 苏州美睫

Rising unemployment and weak consumer confidence are likely to put the brakes on rapidly rising house prices, a real estate data firm predicts.


Consulting analyst with Onthehouse广西桑拿,广西桑拿网,, John Edwards, says a 15 per cent rise in Sydney house prices in the past 12 months is unlikely to be repeated in 2014.

A slide in consumer sentiment in the past few months, and a lack of job security due to rising unemployment, would make people less inclined to buy property in the next few years, he said.

“There is a natural limit on the maximum value of an asset at any point in time and that is the value at which the masses deem it to be unaffordable,” he said.

“Sydney’s property market, which is a leading indicator for the national market, has consistently outperformed wages growth which continues to push property out of reach of buyers.”

Capital city house prices have risen much more quickly than wages growth, taking Sydney’s average house price to around $780,000.

Mr Edwards expects price growth in Sydney to slow to around four per cent a year over the next half decade, which is closer to expected wages growth.

The rest of the country should follow suit, he said, with average growth of three per cent in Melbourne and Perth over the next five years.

But the slowdown may be a while away in some areas, Mr Edwards said.

“The good news for investors is that while house price growth for the balance of the year in Sydney will slow from here, other states and capital cities are probably yet to reach their peak value for this growth period,” he said.

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Majority of dementia patients in aged-care restrained with psychotropic drugs: report

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Up to 80 per cent of dementia patients in Australia’s aged-care facilities are receiving psychotropic medications, according to a new report by Alzheimer’s Australia.


The report, titled The use of Restraints and Psychotropic Medications in People with Dementia, suggests that such medications have serious side effects and low rates of effectiveness for people with dementia.

Dr Ellen Skladzien, the national policy manager at Alzheimer’s Australia and co-author of the report, told SBS the numbers were staggering.

“If you think that approximately 50 per cent of people in aged-care facilities have dementia and then up to 80 per cent of those people are receiving psychotropic medications, it’s quite a large proportion of the number of people in aged care,” she said.

She said that while the drugs could be useful in controlling patients, they should be used only when there was a “severe and complex risk of harm.”

“Our concern is that they are being used as a first line in a lot of cases,” she said.

But John Kelly, CEO Aged and Community Services Australia (ACSA), said in a statement today that all medications administered in aged care were done so on advice from medical professionals.

“All medications given in residential care are prescribed after proper examination of the resident by medical practitioners,” he said.

He noted that the needs of people in aged care were complex.

“People are entering residential aged care at older ages and with more complex health needs than was the case a generation ago.”

According to Dr Ellen Skladzien, part of the problem is that there is not enough awareness about different strategies for treating dementia patients.

“The underlying fact is that these behaviours that people experience are often caused by a number of things such as unmanaged pain or difficulty communicating, and if you can address some of those concerns or some of those difficulties, the need for medication goes away,” she said.

ACSA is now working toward reducing the use of sedatives in aged care as part of the RedUse (Reducing use of sedatives) project.

“This project is being rolled out nationally after a pilot in Tasmania proved that education, communication, conversations and medication reviews involving relevant health practitioners, staff and the family of the resident are important to reducing medication usage,” Professor Kelly said.

In a statement to SBS, a spokeswoman for the Department of Social Services said there were guidelines in place to assist aged-care facilities on this issue.

“Under the Residential Aged Care Accreditation Standards, facilities must demonstrate that medication is managed safely and correctly,” she said.

“The standards also provide significant guidance on the use of restraint in any form.

“Because this is such an important issue, the government supports and funds a range of activities that promote a person-centred approach to the management of the underlying causes and non-pharmacological strategies for people with dementia showing behavioural disturbances.”

A Senate Committee has been examining this issue and will this week release a report of its findings.

Read the full Alzheimer’s Australia report:

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Santa worker accused of touching girls

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An elderly man working as Santa Claus indecently touched five girls despite onlookers taking photos at the time, an Adelaide jury has been told.


“He used his Santa Claus costume as a thin and pitiful veil to indecently assault these children,” crown prosecutor Melissa Wilkinson said in her opening address on Wednesday.

William John Graham Webster, 77, has pleaded not guilty in South Australia’s District Court to five counts of aggravated indecent assault of girls aged between five and 12 in December 2012.

He is accused of touching their genital areas or bottoms or both, over their clothes, when he worked as Santa in an Adelaide shopping centre and at a community event.

The younger girls were sitting on his lap at the time, while the 12-year-old refused his request to do so and moved away.

She then told her mother: “he is a f*****g pedophile” and that he had touched her “arse”, Ms Wilkinson said.

Ms Wilkinson said dressing as Santa gave Webster access to the children.

“But for the fact that the accused was dressed as Santa Claus, these children would not have sat on his lap,” she said.

“But for the fact that the accused was dressed as Santa Claus, the accused would not have had the opportunity to touch these child inappropriately in plain sight of witnesses.”

The touching took place despite some parents or carers taking photos of the children with Santa, Ms Wilkinson said.

When interviewed by police, Webster described the claim as unbelievable.

But the prosecutor said any suggestion that the touching was accidental was “fanciful” given there were five individual cases.

The jury would hear evidence from the recruitment company which hired Webster that all Santa Clauses underwent a seven-hour training session which included topics such as hand placement, and appropriate and inappropriate comments and levels of affection.

The trial is continuing.

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How Johnson kept Hercules look a secret

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It was extremely hard for Dwayne Johnson to keep his Hercules look under wraps while filming the Brett Ratner-directed movie in Hungary in 2013.


But he did it for the greater good of the big reveal.

“As an actor, not showing my chiselled, extraordinary, handsome face was a tremendous sacrifice for me,” he joked on Monday before the premiere of the film’s trailer at Las Vegas movie-theatre convention CinemaCon.

“Paramount, MGM and I made a pact,” he added. “We wanted to make a massive global and entertaining movie while doing all we could to never reveal the actual look of Hercules.”

Slowly rolling out photos from the set of the film for the past few months via his Twitter page, Johnson aimed to bring fans along on his journey – from his training to his diet and preparation.

On Sunday, the 41-year-old actor finally unveiled his Hercules look in its entirety.

He posted a photo via Twitter revealing his full beard, shoulder-length brown locks and armour. In the caption accompanying the photo he wrote: “The world’s first superhero. #TilDeathOrVictory.”

We’re offered hints of the Greek hero’s abilities in the film’s trailer, which debuts on Tuesday. In it, Hercules battles the multiheaded Lernaean Hydra water monster, the behemoth Erymanthian boar, and the Nemean lion. In the following clip he classically dons the skinned lion as a headpiece.

But, of course, Hercules is a multifaceted figure, so we’re also treated to a brief snapshot of the hero absorbed in a tender lip-lock.

The teaser’s conclusion takes us right back to the barbarousness, with the Greek hero fiercely yelling, “I am Hercules!”

At just under two-metres tall, the extremely muscular Johnson said he trained harder for Hercules than any other role. “But in the end,” he added. “It was all well worth it.”

*Hercules opens in Australian cinemas on July 31.

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US inspectors cite safety flaws on liners

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US maritime inspectors found leaky lifeboats or faulty fire doors on several cruise liners last year in the wake of several highly-publicised scandals in the booming industry.


A forum organised in Washington by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) heard about the problems on Tuesday.

Captain Eric Christensen of the US Coast Guard said 140 cruise ships – the majority of them flagged in other countries – were inspected in US ports in 2013.

The most commonly deficient parts were fire screen doors that fail to close properly, followed by lifeboats with leaky hulls, engines that didn’t start or faulty davits – the cranes that lower them into the water.

“Means of escape” came third on the list, followed by improper storage areas and inadequate emergency drills and crew training.

The Coast Guard operates a “robust examination program” with semi-annual inspections of cruise ships on stopover in US ports plus, starting this month, unannounced spot checks on vessels with “a worse that average compliance history”, Christensen said.

Out of the ships inspected in 2013, one was in bad enough condition to be detained – the Carnival Triumph, which made headlines earlier that year when an engine fire left it stranded in the Gulf of Mexico for several days.

“It’s not like these deficiencies go uncorrected,” he told AFP. “They are identified and repaired” before a ship gets a green light to return to sea.

The NTSB is holding two days of hearings in Washington on cruise ship safety in the wake of several highly-publicised incidents, notably the Costa Concordia disaster off Italy in 2012 in which 32 people died.

NTSB chairwoman Deborah Hersman welcomed representatives from the cruise industry and regulatory bodies including the UN International Maritime Organisation (IMO).

“Worldwide, about 22 million people will take cruises in 2014. That’s more than four times as many as just 20 years ago,” she said.

“The largest ships can now accommodate more than 6000 passengers and 2000 crew.”

By comparison, the “unsinkable” Titanic was carrying 2224 passengers and crew when it hit an iceberg off Newfoundland on its 1912 maiden voyage and sank, in history’s most infamous maritime disaster.

More serious accidents and incidents, Hersman said, can only be headed off “by continually seeking safety improvements”.

About 350 cruise ships are now sailing, with seven to nine new ones joining them every year, said Thomas Weigend of Germany’s Meyer Werft, one of five shipyards worldwide specialising in the increasingly mammoth vessels.

But only “a really small percentage” meet an IMO design standard, set in 2010, whereby a ship is fitted with sufficient safety features to make its way back to port in the event of an emergency, said Daniel Povel of Det Norske Veritas-Germanischer Lloyd, a non-profit maritime inspection service in Norway.

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Anasta’s word of warning for Brooks

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Speaking from experience, Braith Anasta has advised boom Wests Tigers teammate Luke Brooks to avoid reading his own press.


More than a decade ago, Anasta was where Brooks is right now, being feted as an NRL superstar in the making with the football world at his feet.

In many respects, Anasta lived up to his billing, tasting premiership success with Canterbury, playing four Tests for Australia and helping NSW to their last State of Origin series win in 2005.

But the 32-year-old has also had to battle critics throughout his rollercoaster career with the Bulldogs, Sydney Roosters and now the Tigers in his twilight days.

“I’m used to it,” Anasta said on Wednesday.

“I’ve been playing a long time now so you’re going to cop your critics, and you’re also going to get a pat on the back every now and then.”

Brooks has been getting plenty of back slaps this season after guiding the Tigers to two straight wins, with many likening the teenager to halfback of the century Andrew Johns.

Anasta has been impressed with how Brooks has taken the accolades in his stride, but still offered a word of warning the 19-year-old.

“Seeing him getting the best out of his football, I’ve been pretty proud of him actually,” Anasta said.

“It’s been a big couple of weeks for him. He’s had a lot of pressure on him. There’s been a lot of media beat-up and high expectations on him and I think he’s handled himself with a lot of class and dignity.

“He just goes about his business and he seems to be handling the games quite well.

“For him, it’s about just doing what he does best. The reason he got to the position he’s in is because he’s played good throughout the grades and he’s a natural talent.

“So don’t read into it too much and just don’t read the papers too much.”

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The Lego Movie, colourful fun

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One thing is for certain, when you walk out of The Lego Movie, it will be while chanting the catchy song Everything is Awesome.


And it only seems fitting for a movie that is, well, awesome.

With zany colours and characters, clever gags and self-referential humour, The Lego Movie is one of those special films that’s a blast for adults and kids alike.

In fact, as the jokes fly thick and fast, some of the funniest pop culture winks are likely to sail straight over children’s heads.

From writer/directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller, of Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and 21 Jump Street, The Lego Movie is perhaps one of the most fantastically imaginative and creative films to hit screens in some time.

Made almost entirely in Australia by animation and visual effects house Animal Logic, The Lego Movie looks incredibly real. But it’s when MasterBuilders like Wyldstyle (voiced by Elizabeth Banks) work their magic, creating anything from motorcycles to submarines on the run, that it’s really spectacular.

Amid all the craziness is Emmet, a happy-go-lucky Lego mini figure voiced by Chris Pratt, who’s mistaken for the MasterBuilder who according to prophecy, will save the future of the Lego world from the evil clutches of President Business (Will Ferrell).

Wyldstyle realises Emmet isn’t the real deal, but with the help of Batman (voiced by Will Arnett), Vitruvius (Morgan Freeman) and a gaggle of other characters, including the lovable Unikitty (Alison Brie) they must try to save the day.

Remember in Who Framed Roger Rabbit, when Daffy and Donald Duck played the piano?

Well, that gets cranked into a whole new level in The Lego Movie. Pop culture icons from Superman to Gandalf to Dumbledore mingle in dazzling worlds, such as Cloud Cuckoo Land.

And there’s a twist into live-action toward the end, which adds a whole other layer to the story and injects a nice dollop of emotion.

Brick by brick, the creators of The Lego Movie have defied cynics and created a movie that’s not a toy advertisement, but a fun-filled imaginative escape that’s so detailed, you could find something new every time you watched it.

* The Lego Movie releases in Australian cinemas on April 3.

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Obama’s Secret Service agents sent home

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Three Secret Service agents protecting US President Barack Obama in Amsterdam this week were sent home and put on leave after a night of drinking, The Washington Post reports.


“One of them was found drunk and passed out in a hotel hallway,” the Post reported, citing three unnamed people familiar with the case.

The latest eye-raising incident recalls the April 2012 scandal involving Secret Service agents and prostitutes in Cartagena, Colombia.

And in this case, “the alleged behaviour would violate new Secret Service rules adopted” after the scandal in Colombia that involved agents drinking and bringing prostitutes to their hotel before Obama arrived in the Colombian Caribbean resort city, the Post reported.

Secret Service spokesman Ed Donovan confirmed the agency “did send three employees home for disciplinary reasons” and that they were put on administrative leave pending an investigation. Donovan declined to comment further, the Post added.

The incident happened before Obama arrived in the country on Monday and did not compromise his security in any way, Donovan said.

The newspaper said all three were on the Counter Assault Team, which defends the president if he comes under attack, and that one agent was a “team leader”.

One agent was discovered highly intoxicated by staff at a hotel, who reported it to the US embassy, said a person familiar with the situation.

The other two agents were deemed complicit because they didn’t intervene despite being in a position to assist the drunken agent or tamp down his behaviour, the person said.

“It wasn’t like a big, crazy party,” the person said.

Obama arrived in The Netherlands early on Monday on the first leg of a week-long, four-country trip. He departed for Brussels on Tuesday night, and there were no known security issues during his stay in The Netherlands.

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Pressure on new Aussie swim coach: Dawn

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Jacco Verhaeren won’t see out the year as Australia’s head swimming coach if the team fails to perform at the Commonwealth Games and world championships, says Olympic legend Dawn Fraser.


Verhaeren took over the role from Leigh Nugent in January after a seven-year stint as technical director for the Dutch Swimming Federation.

With five Olympic Games under his belt, the 44-year-old has guided some of The Netherlands’ greatest swimmers, including Pieter van den Hoogenband, Inge De Bruin and Ranomi Kromowidjojo.

His first big test will come next week when Australia’s best head to Brisbane for the national titles.

The event will double as selection trials for the Commonwealth Games starting in July.

“He’s got a big job ahead of him,” Fraser told AAP ahead of the Laureus World Sports Awards in Kuala Lumpur.

“Whether he is as successful as some of our Australian coaches or what he brings into the country, I don’t know.

“But if he’s being paid the money that I’ve heard he’s being paid, he’s going to have to do a bloody good job. Otherwise his contract will be torn up and told `see you later’.

“I think they’ll give him until the world championships to see what the improvement is.

“But from all accounts, there is an improvement and that’s all I can go by.”

Fraser was confident that the Australian team had learnt their lesson from a disastrous campaign at London 2012, praising the likes of Cate Campbell and James Magnussen, who she says had “settled down a bit”.

“We’ve got a couple of young kids coming through which might make a bit of a scene at the Commonwealth Games this year,” she said.

“That will be the start of our up and coming, I think.

“We had a bad year in London … but they’ve all taken a notch out of the book and said `Right, we’re not going to do that anymore’.

“I don’t think that the London team had the right sort of coaching there to stop them from taking Stilnox and stuff like that.

“I don’t think that’ll ever happen again. They’ve had their fingers burnt once – which is good.

“I think we are on the road to recovery – a big road to recovery.”

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Greek yoghurt almost unknown in Greece

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It’s a global health fad with millions of fans in Europe and the United States, and yet in Greece, many people have never heard of “Greek yoghurt”.


Equally surprising in an age when billions are spent on marketing, the term is basically a quirk of fate.

“What is known abroad as ‘Greek yoghurt’ is called ‘straggisto’ (strained yoghurt) in Greece,” explained Prokopis Ploumbis, a cheesemaker in the rural outskirts of Athens.

“The secret lies in the milk.”

Creamy, rich in protein and low in fat, strained yoghurt made from cow’s milk is increasingly prized by health-conscious consumers, and it has benefited from the growing popularity of the Mediterranean diet in the Western world.

And yet, in terms of marketing, neither the Greek state nor any Greek company had sought to stamp a patent on the product, unlike feta cheese which is now a protected EU term.

No court would have accorded protection for “Greek yoghurt” when the term is not even used in Greece.

It therefore lay open for the taking.

Sensing an opportunity, Turkish entrepreneur Hamdi Ulukaya was able to make a killing on the American market with his yoghurt company, named Chobani, which comes from the Turkish word for shepherd.

It is also similar to the Greek word for shepherd, and Chobani packages prominently call it ‘Greek yoghurt’ in the US.

Meanwhile, the Greek company that first broke open the US and European markets decades ago, Fage, features ‘Greek strained yoghurt’ in smaller type on its packages.

In just seven years, Chobani’s ‘Greek yoghurt’ has become the best-selling yoghurt brand in America, and strained yoghurt now accounts for 35 per cent of the US yoghurt market, from only four per cent in 2008.

“Because it was introduced in this country by a Greek company, they called it ‘Greek yoghurt.’ It doesn’t matter whether it’s Greek yoghurt or Turkish yoghurt, as long as it’s a good yoghurt,” Ulukaya told Fortune magazine in 2011.

Fage fought back.

“Fage is the one that made known to the world the creamy texture of Greek yoghurt, its protein concentration, its rich taste,” said the company’s commercial director Alexis Alexopoulos.

However the 88-year-old Athens-based family company, which exports dairy products to 40 countries, eventually had to concede defeat in the US.

But it moved to protect its 95-per cent share in the British market.

In British courts, Fage based its argument on the fact that unlike Chobani, its yoghurt is actually made in Greece, and won the case on appeal in January.

Chobani now markets its yoghurt as ‘strained’ in Britain, and ‘Greek’ in the US.

Fage sells its product in Britain as “authentic Greek yoghurt”.

Strained yoghurt is also popular in Greece, where it also serves as a key ingredient for staple dishes like tzatziki dip.

But for traditionalists, there is also a significant yearning for non-strained and more fatty yoghurt made from sheep’s milk.

Yoghurt made from sheep’s milk has 6.5 per cent natural fat, compared to around 2.0 per cent in cow’s milk.

All over the country there are hundreds of traditional yoghurt-makers catering to the countryside or island markets.

Many of these products are consumed locally and never reach the big supermarket chains in Athens.

“Greek ewes graze in the mountains and receive no additives in their food,” said Ploumbis, the cheesemaker in Vilia, some 60km west of Athens.

“The best milk comes in the spring. The animals eat hundreds of different plants, it’s an unimaginable richness,” he added, pointing to the valley around the sheep pens, covered in shrubs and almond trees in bloom.

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Overstretched system put Vic wards at risk

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They are Victoria’s most vulnerable children yet we are failing them.


That is the conclusion of Victoria’s Auditor-General John Doyle, who says the needs of children living in residential state care are being compromised because the system is overstretched.

“Regrettably, there has been a fundamental failure to oversee and ensure the safety of children in residential care,” Mr Doyle says.

Victoria’s child care commissioner is investigating claims that organised gangs of pedophiles are grooming and sexually exploiting children in out-of-home care.

But Mr Doyle says this is only one of many serious issues in a system failing to find good answers to difficult social problems.

Residential care is often a last resort for children unable to live with their parents due to abuse or neglect.

The Department of Human Services (DHS) knows about 500 children a year will need residential care but does not plan for this number, Mr Doyle said in his report tabled in parliament on Wednesday.

This means decisions on where some of the state’s most vulnerable young people are placed depends on availability rather than matching their needs, leading to increased risks for their safety.

The government on Tuesday announced it will pump $128 million into out-of-home care services to help children and young people living in state care.

Its five-year plan includes providing more beds in residential care facilities and increasing support for alternatives such as foster care and boosting staff.

Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare head Deb Tsorbaris says the government has taken up many of the recommendations in Mr Doyle’s report.

“The prevailing view of the sector though is this will need to have the investment to make it happen,” she said.

While these children are among the most vulnerable, many people were not aware of their plight.

“These children, people don’t know about them. They live down the road from you and me,” she said.

“They don’t have, necessarily, mums and dads to take care of them.”

Sandie de Wolf, head of the largest provider of residential care Berry Street, said there were good things about the government’s plan but it failed to address the rise in demand highlighted by Mr Doyle.

“It deals with some of the issues but it doesn’t go far enough,” she said.

“Unless the funding follows the increased demand, all the reforms that are suggested are really going to be at risk.”

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