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TrueBlue June/July 2019

OUR HEART IS IN THE COUNTRY

WILDLY WINTON

Outback Queensland’s spirit shines in this quirky, buzzing town

SOMETHING IN THE AIR

Exploring the beautifully pristine Eyre Peninsula

DOCTOR DOCTOR Meet actor Rodger Corser

A real Australian business magazine


Since 1983, Hollick Estates has been producing some of the Coonawarra’s finest handcrafted wine. Come and enjoy an exceptional cellar door experience and indulge in our region’s fantastic culinary offerings at our award-winning restaurant, Upstairs at Hollick, with sweeping views over the vineyards.

+61 8 8737 2318 | www.hollick.com | 11 Racecourse Road, Penola, SA 5277


Letter from the COO

EDITORIAL

Welcome aboard, and to the June/July issue of True Blue As we approach the winter solstice in late June, and summer’s long warm days are behind us, perhaps we could use a little sunshine – and where better than Australia’s sunshine state? Queensland State Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk declared 2019 the Year of Outback Tourism and, having cemented our footprint across the sunny state, Rex is in full support. With a bustling calendar of events throughout the winter months and beyond, there is plenty to do in Outback Queensland. Perched on the eastern edge of the Simpson Desert, Birdsville is known for its iconic pub, the Birdsville Hotel. In July the town hosts the world’s most remote music festival, the Birdsville Big Red Bash. Thousands of people from around the globe flock to this usually sleepy town to witness country music greats play under the open desert skies with a 40-metre sand dune backdrop. Just 380 kilometres north, on the banks of the Burke River, is Boulia. With a population of just 300, the outback town is home to Boulia Camel Races, the longest camel race in Australia at 1,500 metres. Held in July and

dubbed the ’Melbourne Cup of camel racing’, the event is the biggest on the professional camel racing circuit, also offering visitors the opportunity to participate in yabby races and hilarious camel and sheep tagging competitions. Another 300 kilometres north is Mount Isa, proud host to the Mount Isa Mines Rodeo every August. Founded in 1959, this legendary event showcases Australian outback culture at its finest. The rodeo is filled with non-stop gritty action, from bull riding to saddle and bareback bronc and steer wrestling. In partnership with Queensland’s Department of Transport and Main Roads, Rex operates flights throughout Queensland’s central west. The Western 2 route departs from Brisbane for Mount Isa via Brisbane West Wellcamp, Charleville, Quilpie, Windorah, Birdsville, Bedourie and Boulia on Mondays and Thursdays, and from Mount Isa to Brisbane (all stops as above) on Tuesdays and Fridays. Until next time, safe travels. Neville Howell Chief Operating Officer

Publisher: Michelle Hespe publisher@publishingbychelle.com Art Director: Jon Wolfgang Miller Lifestyle & Travel Sales Manager: Sonja Halstead sonja.halstead@publishingbychelle.com AusBiz. Sales Manager: Effe Sandas advertising@publishingbychelle.com Sub-editors: Claire Hey, Shane Cubis Assistant Editor: Sarah Hinder editorial@publishingbychelle.com

CONTRIBUTORS

Libby Masi Jac Taylor Marie Barbieri Winsor Dobbin Daniel Honan Brian Johnston Sarah Hinder Darren Baguley Lisa Smyth Ian Lloyd Neubauer Kirsten Craze Ryan Watson

PRINTING

Blue Star PRINT 81 Derby St, Silverwater, NSW 2128

True Blue is published by Publishing ByChelle, (ABN: 78 621 375 853 ACN: 621 375 853) 3 Westleigh Street Neutral Bay, NSW 2089 publishingbychelle.com The reproduction of any content, in whole or part without prior written permission by the publisher is strictly prohibited. Opinions expressed in the content are those of the contributors, and not necessarily those of the publisher. All information in this magazine was believed to be correct at the time of publication, and all reasonable efforts have been made to contact copyright holders. Publishing ByChelle cannot accept unsolicited manuscripts or photographs. If such items are sent to the magazine, they will not be returned. We apologise if we don’t get back to your email, as we do receive a large volume of communication via various online channels. Some images used in True Blue are from iStock and Getty images, and we make every effort to credit all contributors.

JUNE/JULY 2019

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Publisher's Letter

As the sun was falling, Gavi led a smoking ceremony and everyone circled a fire pit by the dam – smiling, holding hands and some even dancing around it.

A special connection in the Hunter Valley between Gavi and my little nephew Campbell.

@TRUEBLUe _ MAG

/TRUEBLUEMAG

Putting this issue together has been a lot of fun. We met Rodger Corser, aka Doctor Doctor, for a chat about how he made his way from being a performer in the musical Rent, to the Aussie household name that he is today. We also ventured far and wide across this wonderful country to Ceduna and the Clare Valley in South Australia, Winton in beautiful Outback Queensland and the Bellarine in Victoria. We checked out the vineyards around the ACT and even crossed the country from top to bottom on a road trip from Adelaide to Darwin. But one of the most magical experiences I had this month was closer to home, on a weekend away at a friend’s new winery in the Hunter Valley called Winmark Wines. The property was formerly Poole’s Rock Wines, and now, after its first vintage of chardonnay being released, it looks set to live up to its former wine glory. Winmark’s goal is to share the land and to create a place for others to connect. There were many highlights of the weekend created so that family and friends could explore the property – such as rides around the vines in a 1928 hot rod, drinks and food by an open fire, glamping in tents in the paddocks and waking up to magpie and currawong calls. But one setting stole the heart of many... Gavi Duncan (pictured) attended the weekend to bless guests and the

property with a Welcome to Country speech, a moving song/story from his people, and some beautiful music on the didgeridoo. Later, as the sun was falling, Gavi led a smoking ceremony and everyone circled a fire pit by the dam – smiling, holding hands and some even dancing around it. Then he played his didgeridoo by the water, and my five-year-old nephew was utterly enchanted. He couldn’t take his eyes off the didgeridoo. Gavi moved closer and Campbell held the end of the instrument, feeling its vibrations. He was transfixed. They stayed there for a long time, silently enjoying one another’s company as the sun set. I thought I should share the photo here, as it certainly was a special connection, and a new experience for Campbell that I think he will remember. As they say, you never know when you are creating memories. We hope you enjoy this issue as much as we’ve enjoyed putting it together. Happy travels.

MICHELLE HESPE & THE TEAM AT TRUE BLUE JUNE/JULY 2019

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THE GULF

COUNTRY

Frontier Days

Festival 15-18 AUGUST 2019

BURKETOWN QLD RODEO // MUSIC // CULTURE // COMMUNITY

With a vision to create a landmark Indigenous festival in the Lower Gulf of Carpentaria, the inaugural Gulf Country Frontier Days Festival is now in its third year. Presented by Goodidja Productions, the event includes: A combination of National and International First Nation’s Dance Performances The first APRA affiliated Australian Indigenous Rodeo Championships Three nights of live concerts by Australia’s top Entertainers and International Acts Jibardi Pride Young Women’s Empowerment Program Presentation

TICKETS ON SALE 1 APRIL 2019

www.thegulfcountryfrontierdaysfestival.com.au /thegulfcountryfrontierdaysfestival

@tgcfdf


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Cover Story

We meet Aussie actor Rodger Corser, star and producer of Channel 9 series Doctor Doctor.

Inside TrueBlue AusBiz. Check out AusBiz. at the back of the magazine. THE SMART FARM Is the Australian agriculture industry ready for digital farms?

upfront

Features

07 Rex News

32 Big Aussie Icons

Rex takes 28 eager Albury schoolkids on their first flight; Airservices Australia protects travellers around the country; the Julia Creek Dirt n Dust Festival celebrates 25 years.

13 Rex Directory

AUSTRALIAN EGGS We investigate how the Australian egg industry is changing.

Some of the best places to eat, stay and play across the exciting Rex network.

WHY WAGYU? We explore the bright future ahead for Australian Wagyu beef cattle farmers.

The latest theatre, art, movies, books and tours.

PROPERTY BIZ. Why are so many Aussies opting to buy off-the-plan?

21 Entertainment

22 Events Calendar

A line-up of some the best events around the country this winter season.

24 Out & About

The latest offerings from hotels around the country.

We count down seven true blue ’big’ objects around the country, worth visiting when road tripping.

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36 Winton

We explore this Outback Queensland town, where dinosaurs once roamed and pioneers ruled the roost.

40 Clare Valley

Our top picks on where to drink, dine and stay in this fertile wine country.

44 Eyre Peninsula

We take a food adventure in one of the country’s top spots for quality seafood.

47 Explore Bellarine A short drive outside Melbourne, this seaside town is a hidden gem.

50 ACT Wineries

An exciting up-and-coming destination for wine, we explore all the ACT has to offer, beyond Canberra.

54 Road Trip

Adventure abounds on a classic Aussie road trip along the Stuart Highway from Adelaide to Darwin.

62 Glamping

We count down Australia’s best glamping experiences from the plains of Arnhem Land to the wilderness of Karijini National Park. JUNE/JULY 2019

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Want to be a

High Flyer?

The Rex Cadet Pilot Programme From zero to FO (First Officer) within 14 months*

Find out more at www.aapa.net.au

Programmes Offered

Rex Pilot Cadet Programmes

Graduate with a AVI50215 DIPLOMA OF AVIATION (COMMERCIAL PILOT LICENCE - AEROPLANE) AVI50415 DIPLOMA OF AVIATION (INSTRUMENT RATING)

For more information and to apply for the Rex Cadet Pilot Program, please visit our website at rex.com.au/cadetpilot *Course duration may vary depending on individual aptitude and ability.


Rex News Rex Airlines initiatives supporting regional causes.

Kids with Wings For many of us, flying is second nature, whether for business, holidays or visiting friends and relatives. For others, the idea of taking to the skies is exciting and fanciful, an adventure to be dreamed of but never fulfilled. On March 10, 28 eager Albury school children in Years 5 and 6 took to the skies for the first time to view the world from above and become ‘Kids with Wings’. Albury Airport became a hub of excitement as the children prepared for their first flight, with their parents, siblings and a sprinkling of grandparents standing by to witness the moment. There were mixed emotions, with some parents and grandparents more nervous than their children. With boarding passes in hand, a briefing from the flight crew, final hugs and kisses, and a quick photo shoot beside

the aircraft, the thrilled Kids with Wings took to the air. The flight, under the command of Captain Ben Jones, First Officer Daryl Sheedy and flight attendant Belinda, took the junior flyers over Lake Hume and down towards Shepparton in Central Victoria. Gleeful gasps erupted as the aircraft turned for home, its right wing dipping gently to reveal a spectacular view of the ground below. A short burst of turbulence was greeted with cries of “more!” before the aircraft touched down safely on the runway back in Albury. Family members, who had been enjoying a traditional Rotary Club barbecue on the ground, were reunited with their children and their stories of dreams fulfilled. For some, it was the opportunity of a lifetime. “My grandson has muscular

dystrophy. This was his first flight, and it will likely be his last. I can’t thank you enough for the joy you have given him today,” said one proud grandmother. The Kids with Wings flight was an initiative of the Rotary Club of Albury West, made possible by the generous support of Aus Flight Handling, Aero Refuellers and Air Services Australia. And a very special thanks to the Regional Express crew who donated their time and to Rex for making the day’s aircraft available. The final word belongs to flight attendant Belinda, who said the flight was the best thing that she had participated in during her 23 years working in the industry. “I’d love to see these kids again in the years ahead to check on how many were inspired to work in the aviation industry as a result of their first flight with us.” JUNE/JULY 2019

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THE FASTEST WAY TO THE SNOWY MOUNTAINS Fly with

Fly between Sydney and Cooma (Snowy Mountains) in 60 minutes

Photo Credit: Perisher

to the snow this winter


Rex News

Airservices Australia, Aviation Rescue Fire Fighting Services Airservices Australia has a team of more than 900 operational Aviation Rescue Fire Fighting Services (ARFFS) staff ready to protect travellers and employees at 26 of Australia’s busiest airports. In operation at eight Rex Ports, Aviation Rescue Fire Fighters provide critical aircraft and airport emergency assistance by responding to fire alarms, aircraft incidents and medical emergencies within a matter of minutes. The ARFFS contributes to Australia’s reputation as one of the safest countries in the world when it comes to aviation. Upon receipt of a call, ARFFS staff must be in attendance within three minutes. From the end of the runway to a busy airport terminal, the Aviation Rescue Fire Fighters are never far away. Last year alone Airservices ARFFS responded to almost 6,800 emergencies and saved 17 lives. Essential to the ARFFS operation is its fleet of more than 100 specialised, high-performance aviation fire fighting vehicles, which include aerial rescue trucks, water rescue boats, difficult terrain vehicles and domestic response automobiles. The fleet assists in providing crucial services when responding to a broad range of aviation and airport emergencies, including aircraft incidents, structural fires, medical assistance requests, water rescues and fire alarms. Keeping the skies safe too, Airservices Australia provides air traffic control at 29 Air Traffic Control (ATC) towers around Australia – accounting for 11 per cent of the world’s airspace and 156 million passenger movements a year!

LFF Brendan Ferguson, LFF Stefanie Baird and SO Justin Woo, who in February helped save a life at the airport when a passenger travelling through Melbourne was reported unconscious on an aircraft.

Training being undertaken at the Tullamarine training school for our experienced firefighters last year. The mock aircraft is the largest simulator in the Southern Hemisphere, and all our firefighters do additional training here throughout their career as refreshers and ongoing development.

• Since 1993, when the ARFFS participated in a 22-kilometre run from Melbourne Airport to Flinders Street, the ARFFS has maintained a proud history with the Royal Children’s Hospital Good Friday Appeal and has raised more than $300,000. • The ARFFS is there to help in times of need, so again this year the Melbourne ARFFS team were out in full force at Melbourne Airport to support the 2019 Royal Children’s Hospital Good Friday Appeal. • To find out more or to donate visit: aviationrescue-melbourne-2019.everydayhero.com/ au/aviation-rescue-fire-fighting-melbourne JUNE/JULY 2019

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SO MANY REASONS TO VISIT

Outback Queensland

Visit an iconic attraction, a unique outback event or look for Tat one of the world class paleo attractions

Bamaga NPA

Mornington Island (Gununa)

KARUMBA

BURKETOWN

Normanton

Cairns

Doomadgee

Townsville

Julia Creek OUTBACK QLD MASTERS

Longreach

Bedourie

Windorah

St George

Thargomindah Cunnamulla

Brisbane West Wellcamp

Brisbane

Photo Credit: Tourism and Events Queensland


Rex News

Julia Creek Dirt n Dust Festival Located on Overlander’s Way, some 650 kilometres west of Townsville and 250 kilometres east of Mount Isa, Julia Creek sits proudly in true outback country. The town, with a population of less than 400, is the home of the Julia Creek Dirt n Dust Festival. First held in 1994 as a way to place the small town of Julia Creek on the map, the festival has since expanded annually into a major event on the Queensland sporting calendar, and today forms an integral part of Julia Creek culture. The event is a truly unique experience, incorporating an array of activities set in Aussie outback conditions. From Australia’s Best Butt dancing competition and a junior triathlon for kids, to horse racing and nightly live concerts, there’s something for all outback tastes and interests in this three-day, action-packed festival. Acclaimed as one of the toughest sprint triathlons around, the senior triathlon is certainly not for the fainthearted – the event combines Queensland’s hot and harsh climate with a tough, not-to-be-underestimated course. Over the years the event has hosted some of Australia’s best triathletes, including the late Luke

Harrop, as well as Olympians Lorretta Harrop, Courtney Atkinson, Brad Beven and Emma Jackson. For those not tackling the famous triathlon, the inaugural Lorna Jane Adventure Run was added to the festival earlier this year. The custom-built 25th anniversary event challenged competitors in a 5.5-kilometre, 11-kilometre or 16-kilometre adventure trail run, with its fair share of mud, sweat and tears. With its choice of a shorter distance, the event attracted participants both young and old, with some families entering and completing the run together. The festival also boasts an exciting selection of quirky novelty events, including cow pat throwing, fly catching and, of course, the famous bog snorkelling competition held in the bog pit – aka mud-filled trench! Kids can enjoy old school games such as sack races and quoits, while all can enjoy the line-up of fantastic artists performing outdoor concerts well into the night. The Julia Creek Dirt n Dust Festival encompasses the spirit of true Australian authenticity, country hospitality and adventure in what can be harsh outback conditions. For more information visit dirtndust.com TB

JUNE/JULY 2019

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Regional News

Nominating our community champions The 2019 Australia Post One Netball Community Awards nominations are now open. The awards shine a light on outstanding locals, recognising champions in communities who develop inclusive environments. Past winners have demonstrated a commitment to creating welcoming environments for existing and new participants, including people with disability, regional and remote communities, Indigenous communities, and multicultural and

socio-economically disadvantaged communities. Each winner will receive prizes worth more than $1,000, including an Australia Post Gift Card by Mastercard, a netball signed by the 2019 Australian Diamonds Team, and a visit from an Australia Post One Netball Ambassador. Nominations are open until June 30, with one winner from each state and territory to be announced on August 15. To learn more or nominate visit onenetball.org.au

Australia Post One Netball Ambassadors Kate Moloney (L) & Caitlin Thwaites (R) with Maya, 7.


Directory

TrueBlue Experiences

Great places to stay, and awesome things to do across Australia.

Outback at Isa

Nautilus Arts Centre

Quilpie to Eromanga

19 MARIAN STREET, MOUNT ISA QLD 4825 T 07 4749 1555 E info@outbackatisa.com.au experiencemountisa.com

66 TASMAN TERRACE, PORT LINCOLN, SA 5606 T 08 8621 2351 E nautilusartcentre@plcc.sa.gov.au nautilusartcentre.com.au

DIAMANTINA DEVELOPMENTAL ROAD, QUILPIE QLD 4480 T 07 46 56 0540 E tourism@quilpie.qld.gov.au visitquilpie.com.au

Outback at Isa – your starting point for true Outback adventures! Learn about Mount Isa’s mining history on the Hard Times Mine Underground Tour and in the Isa Experience Heritage Display. Discover the region’s ancient past in the Riversleigh Fossil Centre and relax in our café, plan your trip and book tours.

Nautilus Arts Centre is a place to gather, innovate, and celebrate. Located in the heart of Port Lincoln’s CBD, it is also an outstanding venue for weddings, special events and conferences. In the building you will find art galleries, the Gallery Shop and the Nautilus Theatre.

In south-west Queensland is the Pioneers and Prehistoric Trail from Quilpie to Eromanga. Enjoy a historical walk and visit Eromanga Living History Museum, or take a guided tour and meet Australia’s largest dinosaur ‘Cooper’ at Eromanga Natural History Museum.

Hard Times Mine Underground Tour

Quilpie Visitor Information Centre

Sapphire Waters Motor Inn

19 MARIAN STREET, MOUNT ISA QLD 4825 T 07 4749 1555 E info@outbackatisa.com.au experiencemountisa.com

Head underground into the Hard Times Mine to explore Mount Isa’s mining history with real miners as guides who enthral you with their stories of working under the earth. Try your hand at the air-leg drill, see the machinery moving and feel the earth rumble with the firing of the blast face.

51 BROLGA STREET, QUILPIE QLD 4480 T 07 46 56 0540 E tourism@quilpie.qld.gov.au visitquilpie.com.au

This stunning south-west Outback Queensland region is steeped in rich pioneering and Mesozoic history. Pick up a brochure, souvenirs and free Wi-Fi before visiting our museums and gallery. Call us to order your free Quilpie Shire book.

32-34 MERIMBULA DRIVE, MERIMBULA NSW 2548 T 02 6495 1999 E info@sapphirewatersmotorinn.com.au sapphirewatersmotorinn.com.au

An award-winning motel located just a short walk from the CBD, restaurants and clubs of Merimbula. We have a large range of room types to suit all occasions. Set on Merimbula Lake on the Sapphire Coast, we offer some of the most spectacular scenery on the NSW coast. JUNE/JULY 2019

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Directory

TrueBlue Experiences

Mercure Albury

Sundowner Cabins

Hell Hole Gorge

579 OLIVE STREET, ALBURY, NSW 2640 T 02 6021 6100 E hb2v4@accor.com mercurealbury.com.au

226 BROADBENT TERRACE, WHYALLA NORRIE, SA T 08 8645 1535 E sales@sundownercabinpark.com.au sundownercabinpark.com.au

ADAVALE, QLD T 07 46 56 0540 E tourism@quilpie.qld.gov.au visitquilpie.com.au

Whether it’s for business or pleasure, Mercure Albury is the perfect place to enjoy a delightful weekend, corporate get-together or special event. Home to the renowned Restaurant 579 on Olive, our stylish accommodation and facilities offer luxury with relaxed country charm.

Offering accommodation for all budgets at daily or weekly rates. Choose from 72 Modern Cabins: three with disability access, 52 two-bedroom, seven one-bedroom with full kitchens and 10 Studio Cabins. We also offer a great range of fully furnished units or houses in Whyalla.

Take a drive to Hell Hole Gorge and explore this stunning region. Take a picnic lunch and hike or bushwalk through the surrounds. Stop in Adavale en route and enjoy the historical walk, visit the character-filled Adavale Pub & General Store, and pop by the Police Hut Museum.

RoofClimb Adelaide Oval

Adelaide Oval Stadium Tour

Port Lincoln Visitor Centre

ADELAIDE OVAL, WAR MEMORIAL DRIVE, NORTH ADELAIDE SA 5006. T 08 8331 5222 E enquiries@roofclimb.com.au roofclimb.com.au

ADELAIDE OVAL, WAR MEMORIAL DRIVE, NORTH ADELAIDE SA 5006 T 08 8205 4700 E enquiries@adelaideoval.com.au adelaideoval.com.au/tours

3 ADELAIDE PLACE, PORT LINCOLN, SA T 1300 788 378 E info@visitportlincoln.net.au visitportlincoln.net.au

Take a fascinating journey behind the scenes. Explore the 100-year-old heritage scoreboard, gain an insight into match-day preparations inside the players’ change rooms, feel the roar of the crowd on the hallowed turf through the interactive players’ race, and much, much more.

The Visitor Centre is the perfect place to start planning your Eyre Peninsula adventure. Visit us to obtain permits, book land-based tours, ferry tickets and charters for shark, tuna and seal dives, and fishing. Drop in for travel brochures, souvenirs and postcards and internet access. Open seven days a week.

Image: A Conscious Collection/ Brooke Meredith.

An unforgettable experience awaits with this exhilarating adventure across Adelaide Oval’s iconic roofline. Enjoy picturesque views of the city and beyond before testing your nerve with a lean-out point 50 metres off the ground! With a wide range of climb possibilities, RoofClimb is a must-do for locals and visitors alike.

Rock Cottage, Winmark Wines

King Island Escapes

229 WOLLOMBI ROAD, BROKE, NSW T 0429 265 268 E info@winmarkwines.com.au

135 BARNES RD, LOORANA, KING ISLAND, TAS T 0417 580 550 E stay@kingislandescapes.com.au kingislandescapes.com.au

Winmark Wines is a stunning property situated on 116 acres. Nestled into the landscape is Rock Cottage — a perfect getaway for exploring the Broke region. The residence has three bedrooms, a cosy living area with a fireplace, and a kitchen and dining room.

Immerse yourself among the raw beauty of King Island from the comfort of our luxury four-bedroom retreat. Enjoy the breathtaking views from the red cedar hot tub and glass sauna, with access to your own private beach. Relax and reconnect at Porky Beach Retreat.

14 TrueBlue

Oyster Farm Tours Coffin Bay 100 ESPLANADE, COFFIN BAY, SA 5607 T 0488139032 oysterfarmtours.com.au

Enjoy an up-close, personal experience, and a true once-in-a-lifetime culinary adventure, on our Oyster Farm Tour. Sit on the deck overlooking the pristine water and enjoy our famous Coffin Bay Oysters at Oyster HQ.


EXPLORE

South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula CAN GET YOU THERE WITH DAILY FLIGHTS BETWEEN

ADELAIDE AND PORT LINCOLN

Shark Cage Diving, Calypso Star Charters Photo Credit: Tourism Australia


HOME TO OVER 75 STORES

87 BAYLIS STREET, WAGGA WAGGA NSW 2650 | T: 026931 7277

wagga-marketplace

@wagga.marketplace

WAGGA M ARKE TP L AC E .C OM


Rex FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions As you sit back in comfort en route to your destination, the Rex crew hope you enjoy this entertaining and informative light reading.

Q. Why do the flight attendants insist that all window blinds be up for take-off? A. The most critical phases of a flight are the take-off and the landing. In the most unlikely event of a situation that requires an emergency evacuation, it is important that crew and passengers are able to have a clear view of the outside conditions in case of obstructions. For example, before exits are opened, staff must check for fire or other obstacles that may present potential hazards during the evacuation. Q. Why do you have to stow your hand luggage in the overhead lockers, under the seats or in the seat pockets for take-off and landing? A. Flight crews are required by Civil Aviation Regulations to secure the cabin as well as possible for take-off and landing. As mentioned, these are the most critical phases of the flight and securing as much hand luggage as possible ensures that in the unlikely event of an emergency, the exits and aisles stay as clear as possible, in case evacuation is necessary. It is also important to keep hand luggage secure whenever possible to ensure that heavier items do not become airborne within the cabin. This is especially important when the aircraft is experiencing turbulence. Q. Why do you feel so tired from flying? A. As the aircraft altitude increases, air pressure decreases. As the pressure of the air decreases, the body absorbs less oxygen than it would at sea level — therefore, it must work harder to supply oxygen to the body’s cells. As the body is working harder, it becomes more tired. Q. Why do you sometimes feel pain in your ears or sinuses during ascent or descent? A. The sinuses and middle ear are aircontaining cavities that connect with the nose via narrow channels. As aircrafts ascend and cabin pressure drops, air passes out of these cavities (without any effort from the passenger) to balance the cabin pressure. It is a different matter during descent, as the cabin pressure increases. The channels close down and must be actively opened by holding the nose and

blowing to inflate the cavities. Facial and ear pain can occur during descent if re-inflation does not occur, and this is much more likely if the passenger has nasal congestion. If you must fly with a cold or hay fever, use a decongestant nasal spray before descent and buy some ‘ear planes’ to plug your ears. (Information contributed by Dr Daniel Hains, ENT Surgeon.) Q. When can electronic equipment such as laptops, iPods and mobile phones be used? A. All Personal Electronic Devices (PEDs) must be placed in flight mode inside the departure terminal and must remain in flight mode until inside the arrival terminal. Small hand held PEDs weighing less than 1kg, such as mobile phones, can be used in flight mode during all stages of flight on Rex’s Saab 340 aircraft. PEDs over 1kg, such as laptop computers, must be stowed appropriately for taxi, take-off and landing, and are permitted to be used only during cruise when the ‘Fasten Seatbelt’ sign is switched off. PEDs cannot be used while crossing the tarmac. Q. What is the average speed of the aircraft when cruising in-flight? A. Approximately 500 kilometres per hour. Q. Why do you have to get permission from the Captain to move to a vacant seat? A. The aircraft’s take-off speed is calculated by the weight and balance of the aircraft, and many factors need to be considered for a successful take-off. Factors include the weight of passengers and where they are seated, the weight of cargo, freight and fuel, the distance available on the runway, etc. For example, if there are 100 or more kilograms of freight in the cargo, the balance of the aircraft will be better maintained if passengers are seated in the forward rows.

AIR TURBULENCE

Q. Aircraft often experience air turbulence, but what causes it? A. Imagine the air around the aircraft is water in a stream. We can see how water is disturbed around rocks or when two streams converge. Turbulence in the air is similar: as the aircraft passes through cold air or in the vicinity of

terrain that has disturbed the airflow — often incorrectly referred to as ‘air pockets’ — the aircraft climbs and descends in the same way that a boat moves on water. Though turbulence can be uncomfortable, it poses no threat to the aircraft and is akin to driving on a rough or unsealed road. More severe turbulence can be associated with developing thunderstorms. The Saab 340 has a sophisticated weather radar that pilots use to avoid these areas. Occasionally, a flight attendant will discontinue serving passengers in turbulent conditions; this is a precaution to ensure everyone’s safety. Q. Why should you keep your seatbelt fastened even when the ‘Fasten Seatbelt’ sign is switched off? A. On occasions, the flight crew cannot foresee turbulence or it is not picked up on the flight-deck radar. Because of this, we could unexpectedly experience turbulence at any time. The company recommends that you always keep your seatbelt fastened while you are seated — for your safety, just in case unexpected turbulence is encountered.

ENGINE NOISES

Q. Why do the aircraft’s engine noises change during flight? A. Aircraft need more power to climb than to descend, in the same way that a car needs more power to go up a hill than down one. The Saab 340 turboprop has more than enough power to climb, so shortly after take-off you will notice a change in noises as the power is reduced. The pilots also control the pitch angle of the propellers for various stages of the flight and as they ‘change gears’, this can also be heard in the cabin. Q. What should you do if you see or hear something that does not look or sound right? A. Please advise your flight attendant. The flight attendant may be able to answer your query and allay any fears. If not, the flight attendant will contact the flight deck and advise the pilots of anything unusual. Rex encourages open communication and will always treat a passenger’s concerns with the utmost seriousness.

JUNE/JULY 2019

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Rex Exercises and Stretches

Exercise and stretch regularly while seated Exercise and stretch regularly while seated

IN-FLIGHT COMFORT

SEATED EXERCISES

Exercise and ExerciseSTRETCHES andstretch stretchregularly regularlywhile whileseated seated SEATED

Inflight comfort

Flying can be demanding and altitude may make your body more sensitive to the Flying can be demanding and altitude effects of alcohol and caffeine. Sitting in one may make your body more sensitive place for a long time can be uncomfortable to the effects of alcohol and caffeine. and slow down your blood circulation. Flying be and Sitting in one place for a long time can Flyingcan can bedemanding demanding andaltitude altitude To helpmay your body adjust to flying make your body more be uncomfortable and slow downand your may make your body moresensitive sensitive to maintain your personal comfort and to and caffeine. blood circulation. To help your body tothe theeffects effectsofofalcohol alcohol and caffeine. wellbeing, wein recommend you take the Sitting one place for a long time adjust to flying and to maintain your Sitting in one place for a long timecan can following steps: be your personal comfort and and wellbeing, beuncomfortable uncomfortable andslow slowdown downwe your blood ToTohelp recommend you take theyour following bloodcirculation. circulation. help yourbody bodysteps: ANKLE CIRCLES —floor, Lift feet FOOT PUMPS —with Start withonboth ANKLE CIRCLES Lift feet off draw a circle with FOOT PUMPS Start both heels the floorheels and pointon feet the upwardfloor as high Keep hydrated. Drink plenty of fluids — adjust to flying and to maintain off draw a circle with and point feet high as Then youliftcan. Then put adjust to flying and to maintainyour your thefloor, toes, simultaneously moving one foot the clockwise as you can. Thenupward put both feetas flat on the floor. heels high, keeping the water, juice, non-caffeinated soft drinks — to personal comfort and wellbeing, we toes, moving both balls feet flatfeet ononthe floor. Then lift heelsintervals. high, keeping and thesimultaneously other foot counterclockwise. Reverse circles. of your the floor. Continue cycle in 30-second Keep hydrated. Drink of fluids personal comfort andplenty wellbeing, we – Do each direction for 15 seconds. Repeat one foot clockwise and theif desired.the balls of your feet on the floor. Continue cycle in preventrecommend dehydration, fatigue and headaches. you take the following steps: water, juice, non-caffeinated soft drinks recommend you take the following steps: ANKLE CIRCLES Lift feet off floor, draw a circle with30-second FOOT PUMPS Start with both heels on the floor and point feet upward as high other counterclockwise. intervals. Minimise– intake of dehydration, alcohol andfatigue coffee. ANKLEfoot CIRCLES Lift feet off floor, draw a circle with FOOT PUMPS Start with both heels on the floor and point feet upward as high to prevent and the toes, simultaneously one foot clockwise as you can. Then put both feet flat on the floor. Then lift heels high, keeping the Reverse circles. moving Do each Exercise Exercise and and stretch stretch regularly regularly while while seated seated the toes, simultaneously moving one foot clockwise as you can. Then put both feet flat on the floor. Then lift heels high, keeping the Moisten the face to help reduce drying and the other foot counterclockwise. Reverse circles. balls of your feet on the floor. Continue cycle in 30-second intervals. Keep hydrated. Drink plenty of fluids –– direction seconds.Reverse circles. balls of your feet on the floor. Continue cycle in 30-second intervals. headaches. Minimise intake ofthe alcohol and the otherfor foot 15 counterclockwise. Keep hydrated. Drink plenty of fluids Do each direction for 15 seconds. Repeat if desired. effects of cabin air. Repeat if desired. water, juice, drinks Do each direction for 15 seconds. Repeat if desired. SEATED SEATED EXERCISES EXERCISES and coffee. Moisten the facesoft to help water, juice,non-caffeinated non-caffeinated soft drinks –reduce dehydration, fatigue and the drying effects of cabin air. to Eat lightly. Eat lightly on longer flights –totoprevent prevent dehydration, fatigue and headaches. intake alcohol avoid indigestion — our in-flight is headaches.Minimise Minimise intakeofofmenu alcohol and Moisten the totooptions. help Eat lightly. Eat lightly onface longer flights designed tocoffee. provide lighter meal and coffee. Moisten the face help to reduce the ofofcabin air. avoid indigestion –effects our inflight menu reduce thedrying dryingeffects cabin air.is Exercise. We encourage you to do the designed to provide lighter meal options. gentle on-board exercises on this flights page to Eat Eatlightly. lightly.Eat Eatlightly lightlyon onlonger longer flightstoto enhanceavoid yourindigestion wellbeing during the flight. – our inflight menu isis Exercise. We encourage you to the avoid indigestion – our inflight do menu We recommend you do these exercises for KNEE LIFTS Lift leg with knee SHOULDER ROLLS Hunch ARM CURLS Arms held at 90° angles, designed totoprovide lighter meal gentle onboard exercises on thisoptions. page to designed provide lighter meal options. bent while contracting your thigh shoulders forward, then upward, elbows down, hands in front. Raise hands about five minutes every one to two hours. enhance your wellbeing during theStartheels flight. muscle. Alternate legs. Repeat 20 then backward, then downward, up to chest and back down. Alternate ANKLE CIRCLES ANKLE LiftCIRCLES feet off floor, Lift feet drawoffa floor, circledraw with a circleFOOT with PUMPS FOOT StartPUMPS with both withonboth the heels floor and on the point floor feetand upward point feet as high upward as h should also occasionally walk down We encourage you to do the theYou toes, simultaneously the toes,Exercise. simultaneously moving one foot moving clockwise one footyou clockwise as do you can. Then as you putcan. both Then feet put flatboth on the the feetfloor. flat on Then theliftfloor. heels Then high,liftkeeping heels high, the keeping to 30 times for each leg. using a gentle, circular motion. hands. Repeat in 30-second intervals. We recommend these exercises Exercise. We encourage you to do the and the other and foot the counterclockwise. other foot counterclockwise. Reverse circles. Reverse balls circles. of your balls feet on of your the floor. feet on Continue the floor. cycle Continue in 30-second cycle in intervals. 30-second intervals. KNEE LIFTS Lift leg with knee SHOULDER ROLLS Hunch ARM CURLS Arms held at 90° angles, aisles, as space permits. In addition, weto exercises on this page Do each direction Do each forgentle direction 15 seconds. foronboard Repeat 15onboard seconds. if desired. Repeat if desired. every KNEE LIFTS Lift leg with knee SHOULDER ROLLS Hunch ARM CURLS Arms held at 90° angles, for about five minutes one to two gentle exercises on this page to bent whileLIFTS contracting thighleg shoulders forward, then upward, elbows down, hands in front. Raise hands KNEE —your Lift SHOULDER ROLLS ARM CURLS Arms recommend that you avoid crossing your bent while contracting your thigh shoulders forward, then upward, elbows down,— hands in front. Raise hands enhance your wellbeing during hours. You should also occasionally walklegs. muscle.knee Alternatebent legs. Repeat 20 then backward, then downward, to chest and back down. Alternate enhance your wellbeing duringthe theflight. flight. with — Hunch shoulders heldupup at muscle. Alternate legs.while Repeat 20 then backward, then downward, to90° chestangles, and back down. Alternate to 30 times for each leg. using a gentle, circular motion. hands. Repeat in 30-second intervals. you do exercises SEATED down the aisles, as permits. In MovingWe about the aircraft. You may move contracting your forward, upward, elbows down, to 30 times forSTRETCHES each leg. thigh using athen gentle, circular motion. hands. Repeat inhands 30-secondinintervals. Werecommend recommend youspace dothese these exercises muscle. Alternate legs. then backward, then front. Raise hands up to for minutes one toand two addition, we recommend that you avoid about the aircraft as spaceevery permits when forabout aboutfive five minutes every one to two Repeat 20 to 30 times for downward, using a chest and back down. hours. You should walk crossing your legs.also the seatbelt sign is off. However, when the hours. You should alsooccasionally occasionally walk each leg. gentle, circular motion. Alternate hands. Repeat SEATED aisles, asas space permits. InInremain SEATEDSTRETCHES STRETCHES seatbeltdown signthe is you are required in 30-second intervals. down theon aisles, space permits.to addition, we recommend that you avoid Please note: you should not do any of seated with the seatbelt fastened. addition, we recommend that you avoid crossing your legs. these exercises if they cause you pain or If you feel unwell, tell the cabin crew. They crossing your legs. cannot done withcommon ease. can assist withbe the more in-flight KNEE LIFTS KNEE Lift legLIFTS with knee Lift leg with knee you should SHOULDERnot SHOULDER ROLLSdo Hunch ROLLS Hunch ARM CURLSARM ArmsCURLS held atArms 90° angles, held at 9 Please note: any offurther complaints and, if necessary, can seek note: you shoulders should not do any bent while contracting bent whilePlease your contracting thigh your thigh forward, shoulders then forward, upward, thenof upward, elbows down,elbows handsdown, in front. hands Raiseinhand fron muscle. Alternate muscle. legs. Alternate Repeat legs. 20 Repeat 20 then backward, then then backward, downward, then downward, up to chest and up to back chest down. and Alternate back down. these exercises if they cause you pain or Moving about the aircraft. You may and assistance these exercises iffor they cause you pain to advice 30 times for to 30 each times leg. for each leg. using ayou. gentle, using circular a gentle, motion. circular motion.or hands. Repeat hands. in 30-second Repeat inintervals. 30-second cannot be move about thewith aircraft ascan space permits On descent. Ears and sinuses cause cannot bedone done withease. ease.

SEATED SEATEDEXERCISES EXERCISES

Inflight Inflightcomfort comfort

and when thethe seatbelt sign is discomfort, due to change inoff. air pressure on descent. To minimise discomfort: Moving about the aircraft. You may about the asasspace you are required to remain seated with • Yawn move or swallow frequently. move about theaircraft aircraft spacepermits permits the seatbelt sign isisoff. the seatbelt fastened. • Pinch and your nostrils together blow firmly andwhen when the seatbelt signand off. However, when the seatbelt sign into your cheeks with mouth However, when theyour seatbelt signisclosed. ison on you are required to remain seated with Ifyou you feel unwell, tell the cabin crew. are required to remain seated with the fastened. They can assist with the more common theseatbelt seatbelt fastened. inflight complaints and, if necessary, If you have ongoing discomfort, seekcan the Ifseek feel tell cabin further advice and assistance for you. advice of the cabin crew Ifyou you feelunwell, unwell, tellthe the cabincrew. crew. They Theycan canassist assistwith withthe themore morecommon common inflight complaints and, if necessary, can descent. Ears and sinuses can KNEE TO CHEST KNEEBend TOOn CHEST forward Bend slightly. forward slightly. FORWARD FLEX With both FLEX feet With oncan both the floor feet on theOVERHEAD floor OVERHEAD STRETCH Raise STRETCH both hand Rais inflight complaints and, ifFORWARD necessary, Clasp hands Clasp aroundhands left knee around andleft hugknee it toand hug it toand stomach and heldstomach in, slowly held bend in, slowly forward bend forward straight up over straight yourup head. overWith yourone head. han seek further advice and assistance for you. cause discomfort, due toassistance the change seek further and for you. your chest. Hold yourthe chest. stretch Holdforthe15 stretch seconds. for 15advice seconds.and walk your and hands walkdown your hands the front down ofin your the front ofgrasp your the wrist grasp of the theopposite wrist of the hand oppos and

SEATED SEATED STRETCHES STRETCHES Moving about the aircraft. You may However, when the seatbelt sign is on KNEE TO CHEST Bend forward slightly. Clasp hands around left knee and hug it to your chest. Hold the stretch for 15 seconds. Keeping hands around knee, slowly let it KNEE TO —10slightly. Bend down.TOAlternate legs. times. KNEE CHESTCHEST BendRepeat forward KNEE TO CHEST Bend Clasp forward slightly. forward Clasp hands slightly. around left knee and hug it to Clasp hands around left knee and hug it to your chest.around Hold the stretch knee for 15 seconds. hands and your chest. Hold theleft stretch for 15 seconds. Keeping aroundchest. knee, slowly let it hug it hands tohands your Hold Keeping around knee, slowly let it down.stretch Alternate legs. Repeat 10 times. the seconds. down. Alternatefor legs.15 Repeat 10 times.

Keeping hands around knee, slowly let it down. Alternate legs. Repeat 10 times each leg.

FORWARD FLEX With both feet on the floor OVERHEAD STRETCH Raise both hands and stomach held in, slowly bend forward straight up over your head. With one hand, and walk your hands down the front of your grasp the wrist of the opposite hand and legs toward your ankles. Hold the stretch for gently pull to one side. Hold the stretch FORWARD FLEX —back With STRETCH — for 15 seconds. RepeatRaise on theboth other side. 15 secondsFLEX and slowly sit up. FORWARD With both feet on the floor OVERHEAD OVERHEAD STRETCH hands FORWARD FLEX With both feet on the floor OVERHEAD STRETCHstraight Raise both hands both on floor both hands andfeet stomach heldthe in, slowly bend forward Raise straight up over your head. With one hand, and stomach held in, slowly bend forward straight up over your head. With one hand, walk your hands down front of your grasp theyour wrist of the opposite hand and andand stomach in,the slowly With and walk yourheld hands down the front of yourup over grasp the wristhead. of the opposite hand and legsforward toward your and ankles.walk Hold the stretch for onegently pull to one side.the Hold the stretch bend hand, legs toward your ankles. Hold the stretch for gently pullgrasp to one side. Holdwrist the stretch for 15opposite seconds. Repeathand on the other side. seconds and slowly the sit back up. your1515 hands front of the for 15 seconds. Repeat on theand other side. secondsdown and slowly sit back up.

of your legs toward your ankles. Hold the stretch for 15 seconds and slowly sit back up.

gently pull to one side. Hold the stretch for 15 seconds. Repeat on the Please note: you other side.

should not do any of these exercises Please note: you note: you SHOULDER STRETCH — Reach your right handcause over you ifPlease they should not do your left shoulder. Place your left hand behind your right should not doany any PLEASE NOTE: You pain or cannot be elbow and gently press your elbow toward yourexercises shoulder. ofofthese shouldSTRETCH not do any SHOULDER Reach your right hand HoldNECK With your these exercises the ROLLS stretch forshoulders 15 seconds. Repeat on thewith other side. done ease. over left shoulder. Place yourifleft hand relaxed, drop your ear to shoulder and ofyour these exercises ififthey theycause causeyou you behind right elbow andpain gently press your gently roll your neck forward and to the theyyour cause you NECK ROLLS —each With your drop your elbow toward your be shoulder. Hold the stretch other side, holding position for shoulders relaxed, pain or cannot be or cannot done pain or cannot be ear to shoulder and gently roll your neck forward and to forwith 15 seconds. RepeatReach on theyour otherright side.hand five seconds. Repeat times. SHOULDER STRETCH NECK ROLLS With yourfive shoulders ease. SHOULDER STRETCH Reach your right hand the other NECK ROLLS With your shoulders done with ease. side, holding each position for five seconds. over your left shoulder. Place your left hand relaxed, drop your ear to shoulder and done with ease. over your left shoulder. Place your left hand relaxed, drop your ear to shoulder and

Keeping hands Keeping around hands knee, around slowlyknee, let it slowly it legs toward your legs toward ankles. your Holdankles. the stretch Holdforthe stretch gently for pull togently one side. pull Hold to onetheside. stretch Hold air pressure onletdescent. Toslowly minimise for Repeat 15 seconds. on theRepeat other on sideth down. Alternate down. legs. Alternate Repeatlegs. 10 times. Repeat 10 times. 15 seconds and 15 seconds sitand back slowly up. sit back up. for 15 seconds.

On discomfort: Ondescent. descent.Ears Earsand andsinuses sinusescan can cause discomfort, due to •cause Yawn or swallow frequently. discomfort, due tothe thechange changeinin air pressure descent. ToTominimise •air Pinch youron nostrils together and blow pressure on descent. minimise discomfort: firmly into your cheeks with your discomfort: • •Yawn swallow mouth closed. Yawnoror swallowfrequently. frequently. • •Pinch Pinchyour yournostrils nostrilstogether togetherand andblow blow into your cheeks with your Iffirmly you have ongoing discomfort, firmly into your cheeks with your mouth seek theclosed. advice mouth closed.of the cabin crew.

times. behind your right elbow and gently press your Repeat gentlyfive roll your neck forward and to the gently roll your neck forward and to the other side, holding each position for other side, holding each position for five seconds. Repeat five times. for 15 seconds. Repeat on the other side. five seconds. Repeat five times.

behind your right elbow and gently press your toward your shoulder. Hold the stretch 12 elbow elbow toward your shoulder. Hold the stretch for 15 seconds. Repeat on the other side.

SHOULDER SHOULDER STRETCH Reach STRETCH your right Reach hand your right hand NECK ROLLSNECK With ROLLS your shoulders With your shoulders over your leftover shoulder. your left Place shoulder. your left Place hand your left handrelaxed, droprelaxed, your eardrop to shoulder your earand to shoulder and Ifyour have ongoing discomfort, Ifyou you have ongoing behind your behind right elbow and right gently elbow press and gently your press your gentlydiscomfort, roll your gently neckrollforward your neck and forward to the and to the elbow towardelbow your toward shoulder. your Hold shoulder. theadvice stretch Hold the stretch other side, holding other side, each holding positioneach for position for seek the of the cabin crew. seek the advice cabin crew. for 15 seconds. for Repeat 15 seconds. on theRepeat other on side. the other side.of fivethe seconds. five Repeat seconds. five times. Repeat five times.

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Please note: Please you note should not should do any not d of theseofexercises these exer if they cause if theyyou cause pain or cannot pain orbe cann done with done ease. with e


Up, up and away! Regional Express: Our heart is in the country Bamaga NPA

Mornington Island (Gununa) Karumba Normanton

Cairns

Burketown Doomadgee

Townsville Mount Isa

Julia Creek

Hughenden

Richmond

Winton

Boulia

Longreach Bedourie

Windorah Charleville

Birdsville Carnarvon

Brisbane West Wellcamp (Toowoomba)

Quilpie Cunnamulla

Monkey Mia Coober Pedy

Brisbane

St George

Thargomindah

Lismore Ceduna

Grafton (Yamba) Armidale

Broken Hill

Perth

Port Augusta Whyalla

Ballina (Byron Bay)

Dubbo

Parkes

Orange Esperance Albany

Mildura

Port Lincoln

Adelaide

Kangaroo Island (Kingscote)

Griffith

Newcastle Bathurst

Narrandera-Leeton Wagga Wagga Albury

Mount Gambier

Melbourne

Sydney

Moruya Snowy Mountains (Cooma) Merimbula

King Island

Burnie

JUNE/JULY 2019

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Check-in Info

CHECK- IN

BAGGAGE

Online check-in You can check-in online through the Rex website, rex.com.au, on your desktop or mobile devices between 48 hours and 60 minutes prior to the scheduled departure time of your flight.

Checked baggage Passengers on all fares (except Rex Flex) are permitted a 15 kilogram free baggage allowance.  Passengers in possession of a Rex Flex Fare are permitted  a 23 kilogram free baggage allowance. 

Airport check-in If you have checked baggage, we recommend that you arrive at the airport for check-in at least 60 minutes before the scheduled departure of your flight at all airports except Burketown, Queensland (90 minutes before).

Passengers with international connections (within 24 hours) are permitted a 23 kilogram free baggage allowance upon presenting a valid itinerary or ticket. Cabin baggage A maximum of two pieces per passenger up to a total of 7 kilograms of cabin baggage is permitted on board.

Rex check-in closes: •6  0 minutes prior to scheduled departure time at Burketown airport. •3  0 minutes prior to scheduled departure time at Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney, Perth and Queensland airports (with the exception of Burketown above). •2  0 minutes prior to scheduled departure time at regional airports in NSW, SA, Tas, Vic and WA.

Excess baggage Excess baggage is permitted subject to restrictions of the day and a surcharge of $7.70 per kilogram. Virgin Australia Baggage Agreement Rex accepts the checking of baggage to/from Virgin Australia flights. Ask at check-in for more information.

Passengers with special requirements Passengers with special requirements must check-in at the airport (online check-in is not available) no later than: •6  0 minutes prior to scheduled departure in major cities and all Queensland regional airports except Burketown (please see below). • 45 minutes prior to scheduled departure in NSW, SA, Tas, Vic and WA regional airports. • 90 minutes prior to scheduled departure in Burketown.

REX AIRCR AFT FACTS

AIRCRAFT

MAX. TAKE-OFF WEIGHT (KG)

SPEED (KM/H)

AVAILABLE SEATS

GALLEY

REST ROOM

FLEET SIZE

CRUISE ALTITUDE (METRES)

CREW

SAAB 340

13,155

520

34

Y

Y

58

8,000

3

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Entertainment

Entertainment

Compiled by: Sarah hinder

books TOUR

Fleetwood Mac

Alice to Prague, Tanya Heaslip

Out May 2019, Allen & Unwin, memoir This true story follows the journey of a Territory girl who leaves her comfortable life as a lawyer in outback Australia to travel to post-Communist Czech Republic. Heaslip recalls the ups and downs of throwing herself into a life very different from anything she had ever experienced.

Outpost, Dan Richards Out May 2019, A&U Canongate, travel This journey to the wild ends of the earth explores the outposts set along the edges of civilisation, and the impact that visiting these has on the human spirit. Richards reminds us that there are still wild places out there, seemingly untouched by humanity, on our overcrowded planet.

ART

Out June 2019, Harper Collins, fiction This heart-stirring novel is set in glamorous 1950s Hollywood and a rural 1990s Queensland town. Working in a male-dominated Aussie industry, Claire pursues her filmmaking dreams, while Lena longs to act in roles of strong women in an unwilling Hollywood industry.

SPECIAL EVENT Margaret Olley: A Generous Life

Margaret Olley, Australia, b.1923, Bonnie Sue at Farndon 1965, Oil on board / 36.9 x 29cm, Collection: Tweed Regional Gallery.

The Cinema at Starlight Creek, Alli Sinclair

August 9–September 9 in Perth WA, Sydney NSW, Brisbane Qld & Melbourne Vic Music legends Fleetwood Mac will hit Australian shores this August. Their new line-up will feature Mick Fleetwood, Stevie Nicks, Christine McVie, John McVie and newcomers Neil Finn of Crowded House and Mike Campbell of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. livenation.com.au

June 15–October 13 at QAGOMA, Brisbane Qld Reviewing the legacy and influence of treasured Australian artist Margaret Olley, this exciting retrospective exhibits a profile of her life and artistic work. Olley was known for her lasting impact on several artists, including Ben Quilty – whose exhibition ’Quilty’ at QAGOMA (from June 29) will coincide with hers. qagoma.qld.gov.au

Professor Brian Cox Universal World Tour

June 19–29 in Brisbane Qld, Sydney NSW, Melbourne Vic, Perth WA & Adelaide SA Renowned UK physicist Professor Brian Cox tours the country to discuss topics from black holes to the origin of life. Accompanied by stateof-the-art graphics and joined by comedian Robin Ince, Cox makes the most challenging ideas in science accessible to everyone from the avid science reader to the complete novice. lateralevents.com JUNE/JULY 2019

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Out & About

What’s on & What’s hot Our pick of the very best gigs, festivals, and cultural and sporting events from around the country. Compiled by: Sarah hinder july 12–14 Australian Art Deco Festival

Leeton NSW Calling all flappers and felons! Travel to Leeton to immerse yourself in a weekend of juice joints, murder mysteries, gangsters and all things 20s at the Australian Art Deco Festival.

Dress up and step back in time to experience a gangster-style Parisian casino. Arrive in a vintage 20s car and join in mystery games for aspiring suave detectives or notorious gangsters.Meet the characters of Sydney’s underworld during the 1920s at the ’Underworld’

photography exhibition from Sydney Living Museums. Its police mugshots are unlike anything ever taken before or since, with suspects pictured holding handbags, papers and cigarettes and having casual conversations. leetonartdecofestival.com.au

Sidney Reilly, Kenneth Whittaker and Kenneth Bruce Lewins, 19 July 1921, Suspected of break, enter and steal, Special Photograph number 443, NSW Police Forensic Photography Archive, Sydney Living Museums.

May 24–June 15

May 31–June 9

June 1–30

Sydney NSW Sydney is artistically transformed each winter in a city-wide festival of free events, art installations and light displays. Join the Vivid Ideas program for thought-provoking workshops or wander the sparkling city streets through night markets and forests of light. vividsydney.com

Melbourne Vic You don’t have to be a jazz fanatic to enjoy this fiesta. Appealing to young and old, this world-class celebration of music takes place in arts venues, concert halls and jazz clubs around Melbourne. melbournejazz.com

Southern Highlands NSW This month-long festival celebrates everything to do with the great Aussie pie! From fun pie-themed treks and tours to the two-day Pie Fest main event in Bowral, the Southern Highlands goes all out for the humble pastry. pietime.com.au

Vivid Sydney

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Melbourne International Jazz Festival

Pie Time


Out & About Events

Birdsville Big Red Bash

June 1–September 1

June 28–July 14

Canberra ACT Now in its 11th year, guests can celebrate this special ingredient throughout the winter season, from cooking classes to truffle hunts. trufflefestival.com.au

Tasmania Tasmania’s towns transform into singing cities with pop-up choir and musical performances across the state festivalofvoices.com

The Truffle Festival

June 5–16 Sydney Film Festival

Sydney NSW At Sydney’s State Theatre and cinemas around town, more than 200 of the world’s best new films and documentaries – not normally found in multiplexes – will screen amidst nights of premieres, talks and parties. sff.org.au

June 7–10

Peak Music Festival

Perisher NSW Featuring big names in both Aussie and international music, when not listening to the killer tunes visitors can hit some of the first slopes of the season. peakfestival.com.au

June 7–22

Adelaide Cabaret Festival

June 6–23 Dark Mofo

Hobart Tas The winter equivalent of Mona Foma, Dark Mofo celebrates the darkness of the winter solstice with large-scale light installations and artistic events. The annual nude solstice swim sees hundreds of brave souls plunge into the waters of Long Beach on the shortest day of the year. darkmofo.net.au

Adelaide SA In the biggest event of its kind, this vibrant festival highlights the best of local and international cabaret artists. adelaidecabaretfestival.com.au

June 28–July 6

The Vision Splendid Outback Film Festival

Winton Qld Winton is quickly becoming known as the ‘Hollywood in the Outback’ for its Sundanceinspired film festival. Guests sit back under a star-studded sky in an open-air cinema to take in flicks every night. visionsplendidfilmfest.com

Festival of Voices

July 6–21

Bathurst Winter Festival Bathurst NSW Each night from sundown, spectacular light installations bring this town’s historic buildings to life, transforming it into a wintry wonderland. bathurstwinterfestival.com.au

July 10–14

Cloncurry Stockman’s Challenge

Cloncurry Qld Regarded as one of the greatest horse events in Australia, this thrilling competition is designed to display the horses’ athleticism and riders’ horsemanship. currychallenge.com.au

July 16–18

Birdsville Big Red Bash

Birdsville Qld The world’s most remote music festival is an experience of a lifetime. Australia’s best-loved country and rock musicians play the Simpson Desert. Midnight Oil headline this year. bigredbash.com.au JUNE/JULY 2019

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Out & About

First Nations performers star in Gulf Country Frontier Days Festival The third annual Gulf Country Frontier Days Festival is heading back to Burketown, in Queensland’s Gulf Country, for four days of music, dance, culture and rodeo this August. Festival goers will have the experience of a lifetime in 2019, as the dance performances, music program and cultural workshops will be held on the awe-inspiring Sacred Salt Flats of the Gangalidda People, which are the largest salt pans in Australia. Powerful Australian songwriter Dan Sultan will headline the 2019 festival, joined by the likes of legendary American rock pioneer Micki Free and First Nations musicians Northern Cree,

Albany’s wild whale tales Here they come again! The first of the 2019 winter season’s whales have been sighted. Albany has a long history and connection to whales. A new local tour narrates the story of the migration of whales from the Antarctic waters to the warmer north – from the earliest years of Norwegian, Canadian and Chinese mariners on the Southern Ocean and the whaling industry on Albany’s shores, to whale watching in the 21st century. The tale is told in the wild and rugged environment of Western Australia’s amazing south coast, which is a biodiversity hotspot and eco wilderness. The tour is delivered by experienced local operators joining forces to create an exhilarating experience of Albany’s wild side. Naturaliste Charters has been sailing the Southern Ocean observing orca at the Bremer Canyon for almost a decade. In 2019 Naturaliste will launch whale watching tours out of Albany Marina daily between June 1 and August 31. Together with Busy Blue Bus Tours + Charters, a full day of touring will include the history of the Whaling Station, the rugged Torndirrup National Park and an exceptional whale watching experience with Oceanic Guide. For an experience capturing the essence of the Albany region, this day tour has it all. Visit busybluebus.com.au

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as well as Australia’s own Busby Marou and Sara Storer. This year’s festival continues in the tradition of showcasing top Indigenous and First Nations cultural performers, from at home and abroad. First Nations dance groups from around Australia will be joined by their counterparts from North America, New Zealand and Thursday Island in the Kabarrijbi Wangkijbi Spectacular – The Coming Together of Native Nations, for a showcase performance under the night sky on the Sacred Salt Flats. For more information and to purchase tickets, go to thegulfcountryfrontierdaysfestival. com.au


Out & About

The SKYE’s the limit SKYE Suites Sydney is Crown Group’s first boutique serviced apartment building in Sydney’s CBD. There are 73 luxurious serviced apartments for shortterm and long-term stays, including a mix of studio, onebedroom and two-bedroom options. In true Crown style, the incredibly modern and stylish complex offers a luxury five-star resort feel, with an ice cave-themed lobby, dreamy indoor swimming pool and excellent gym facility, situated within the 25-storey residential apartment tower, which was designed by globally renowned architect Koichi Takada. Crown Group Director of Hotels and Suites Wayne Taranto says: “SKYE Hotel

Suites is redefining the boundaries of the five-star luxury hotel experience with its seamless combination of the excellent atmosphere of an urban resort, the convenience and comfort of an apartment and the amenities of a hotel. We endeavour to differentiate ourselves by offering something creative and inspirational to our guests, making their stay comfortable, enjoyable and memorable.” Guests who book via skyehotels.com.au will receive the mini bar complimentary for the duration of their stay to make their hotel experience more extraordinary. Visit skyehotels.com.au or email info@skyehotels.com.au

New standard for apartment hotels is coming to Orange Located on the corner of Kite Street and McNamara Street in Orange’s CBD, Quest Orange is set to open this August, offering apartment-style hotel rooms for short and extendedstay business travellers. Coupled with a growing population and incoming commercial activity from the state’s capital, Orange enjoys strong business growth, a world-class wine region and a cultural calendar to match, attracting new business and leisure travellers to the region each year. The property’s spacious and light-filled apartments give plenty of reasons to relax and unwind indoors. For guests who prefer to explore the local dining culture, Quest’s restaurant chargeback

options and proximity to the city centre provide the best of both worlds. The property contains a mix of studio, one, two and three-bedroom apartments, with a total of 77 rooms. Each apartment features a fully equipped kitchen and laundry facility for a true home-awayfrom-home experience. The Australian hotel brand has made its name in business travel accommodation. Offering daily housekeeping and 24-hour onsite management, Quest Orange is also a perfect hotel alternative for tourists. Whether you’re visiting for work or one of the region’s well-known vineyards, there’s something for everyone when staying at Quest Orange. Visit questorange.com.au TB JUNE/JULY 2019

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Cover Story

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Cover Story

We chat with Aussie actor Rodger Corser about life, family, work, and finally being a ‘normal person.’ WORDS: michelle hespe | Photography: Peter Brew-Bevan | Styling: Maia Liakos | Grooming: Gina Cartwright Actor and producer Rodger Corser lives in Sydney with his wife and kids, and is pleased to say that these days he feels like a “normal person with a mortgage and regular work.” He’s referring to the fact that as an actor, especially when starting out, you have no idea where your next gig is coming from, or if you’ll even have another one. However, since his breakthrough in 1998, when he scored the lead role in the Australian production of the smash musical Rent (playing an HIV-positive musician), he’s had one impressive gig after another. You’ve probably seen Rodger’s face on screens more times than you even realise, as his roles tend to vary in both character style and appearance. He played a detective in Water Rats in 2001, and was a semi-regular character in McLeod’s Daughters from 2001 to 2004. He’s had roles in various Aussie films and was in Home and Away from 2006 to 2007, while also appearing in many television advertisements. In 2008 he became more widely recognised when he took on the role of Detective Senior Sergeant Steve Owen in the hugely popular crime mini-series Underbelly, based on the notorious Melbourne gangland killings. “People started stopping me in the street

GLITCH WILL AIR NEXT IN: Season 4 of Doctor Doctor is currently in production and will air in 2019 on Channel 9. Season 3 of Glitch airs in 2019 on ABC.

around then, and asking if I was ’that guy’ from Underbelly,” he says. “I didn’t get as much attention as the bad guys did – don’t they always? – but a bit of fame came with it,” he adds with a laugh. The roles kept flowing in, and from 2008 to 2011, Corser starred in the Australian police drama Rush, which is still streamed in many countries and had more than 60 episodes. In 2010 Rodger was cast in TV series Spirited, and in 2013 starred alongside Rachel Griffiths in the US television series Camp. He was also in the popular period drama Puberty Blues, and since 2015 he’s co-starred as John Doe in the ABC series Glitch, as well as taking on a lead role in the ABC series The Beautiful Lie, a modern adaptation of Anna Karenina. Glitch will hit TV screens again this year, continuing to follow the story of six people from a small town who inexplicably return from the dead, and Rodger will continue his stint on the Channel 9 series Doctor Doctor, which is currently in production for Season 4. It’s based upon the life of an arrogant, highflying heart surgeon who is forced to leave his debaucherous inner city life to become the local GP in the small country town where  JUNE/JULY 2019

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Hugh Knight (Rodger Corser) and his brother Matt Knight (Ryan Johnson) on the family farm.

he was born. Excitingly, he has also recently stepped up as a producer on the show, which is shot in Sydney and Mudgee. “The cast and I all love Mudgee,” he says. “The locals have embraced us like family, and it’s nice to have that feeling of a bit of a homeaway-from-home, because as an actor you are away a lot, and it does mean missing your family and friends. Mudgee’s wineries, cafés and pubs are awesome. It’s a lovely, chilled-out place.” There are other elements of acting that aren’t as glamorous as the red carpet strolls and invitations to the Logies (Rodger has been nominated for two), such as having to continually change shape, losing or gaining weight for a particularly hard-won role. “It’s all mental,” Rodger explains. “Losing and gaining weight is all about will power, and knowing that you have to a look a certain way to make a role work. For instance, I had to lose a lot of weight to play the bony, hungry, sick-looking convict in Glitch, and there are scenes where I’m topless and being whipped. There’s nowhere to hide – the audience can see everything. And before that on Party Tricks I was playing a media personality running for politics in a suit who lived the high life and drank red wine at lunch!” He laughs. “During that time I also had to do a body transformation for Men’s Health magazine, where I had to be buff, have abs, the whole bit. I was personally trained by Chief and Emilie Brabon for that, and it was hard work. When it comes down to it though, a lot of weight loss is about common sense: give up your vices – whether they be bread, chocolate or wine – and eat food that comes from the ground! As an actor, you are paid to turn up and do the job. No excuses. And if the role means something to you, you really don’t  JUNE/JULY 2019

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Cover Story

Rodger Corser as John Doe in ABC’s Glitch, which is now available on Netflix worldwide too.

Rodger was 25 when he went to the casting for Rent, and that’s when his life changed and he first set foot on the road he’s been on ever since. Rodger with celebrity trainers Chief & Em who trained him for his Men’s Health cover.

want to mess up the opportunity.” Rodger wasn’t sure what he wanted to do after school, and confesses that his brother was more theatrical than he was. His brother was a drama student at university while he studied film and TV. “This is where my interest for the ‘behind the camera’ jobs came from, as I studied photography, film and editing,” he says. Even though acting hadn’t been part of his early life, Rodger was on the stage from a young age – in a rock band playing gigs at pubs around Melbourne from when he was 17. “I played in several bands and we did quite well,” he says. “It was a lot of fun, and we got to play in pubs under-age, and drinking beer was definitely a perk. No ID required if you had a guitar! It did also make me realise that I really enjoyed performing.” Rodger was 25 when he went to the casting for Rent, and that’s when his life changed. “Being in Rent kick-started my career,” he says. “But through other roles I learnt on the job, alongside all actors who had spent years in drama school. I wanted to know everything going on behind the scenes – how costumes were chosen or made, who took care of this or that. I was really interested in all of it, because so many choices are made by so many people. And that’s led to me now taking on the role of producer on Doctor Doctor.” Soon Rodger will also appear in the SBS documentary series Who Do You Think You Are?, which follows the lives of celebrities as they uncover their ancestry. The show took Rodger on a journey from Sydney to the gold fields of Victoria and the harsh coast of Tasmania. “It was a really interesting project,” he says thoughtfully. “I think if you are talking about or researching people way, way back, say a few hundred years, they don’t seem real. But if you see photos or paintings of someone, and can hear their voice in letters that they’ve left behind for instance, that’s when it all becomes really fascinating, because you get a real sense of who that actual person was. “It made me realise how determined people were back then to make a good life for themselves. And that so much of what we complain about today is so trivial. I realise just how fortunate I am, with a family I love and a career I could only once dream of. I’ve had lots of little wins along the way and hopefully there’s still a few more to come… maybe even a big one.” TB


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Explore

7 True Blue Big Things Aussies love their big things. Spread all over the country, they make for fun pit stops. WORDS: Libby Masi

1. THE BIG MERINO

Goulburn NSW The Big Merino was built in 1985 modelled on Rambo, a stud ram from local property Bullamallita. Blown up in size to 15.2 metres high, the giant ram is 18 metres long and weighs 97 tonnes. After a change in the expressways around Goulburn, the Big Merino was left in no man’s land, so the gigantic concrete and steel ram was transported 800 meters to ’greener pastures’. Today it celebrates the 200th anniversary of wool history in Australia. It marks a place for passers-by to purchase quality Merino products and to learn about the industry.


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3. THE BIG MINER

2. THE BIG MANGO Bowen Qld Adjacent to the Bowen Visitor Information Centre, where visitors can enjoy fresh sorbet, this 10 metre mango is the largest in the world. The Big Mango was at the centre of a Nando’s publicity stunt back in 2014, when it mysteriously disappeared overnight and reappeared at one of its restaurants. Now, back in its rightful place, it’s the perfect backdrop for a funky fruity photograph.

Kapunda SA Known as Map the Miner, the Big Miner is a massive monument dedicated to the work of the Cornish miners in the Kapunda and other South Australian mines. Established in 1844, the Kapunda mine is the site of Australia’s first successful metal mine, which boosted the country’s economy. Map the Miner was first revealed in 1988, and was destroyed by a fire in 2006. A little more than a year later he was rebuilt and now stands proudly for all visitors to see.

4. THE BIG PRAWN

West Ballina NSW Designed 30,000 times larger than a real prawn, the Big Prawn was built in 1989. Visitors enjoyed walking up the spiral staircase which brought them into its head and allowed them to see the view through its eyes. The Big Prawn’s fate was up in the air in 2010, when the service station it was built upon went out of business. Ballina locals started a petition that was signed by thousands to save the landmark. The faded prawn went through a $400,000 renovation in 2013, in which a tail was added. Although the staircase feature was removed, the nine metre high and 35 tonne prawn remains quite a sight to see. 

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5. THE BIG ROCKING HORSE Gumeracha SA The Big Rocking Horse towers over Gumeracha in South Australia at 18.3 metres high and 17 metres long. This massive children’s toy is set within 80 tonnes of concrete to prevent the rocking horse from actually rocking. The attraction was built with three viewing platforms which visitors can climb up to, located on the rocker bows near the base, on the saddle, and at the top of its head. The Big Rocking Horse is a part of a larger complex which includes a wooden toy factory, café, and wildlife park.

6. THE BIG BANANA Coffs Harbour NSW Opened in 1964, the Big Banana started Australia’s craze for big things. This 11 metre long and five metre high banana is located in front of a gift shop surrounded by banana plantations and plenty of exciting things for families to do. The Big Banana Fun Park in Coffs Harbour is equipped with a water park, toboggan track, laser tag, and a mini golf course. After a long day in the park, visitors can enjoy a banana split as a tasty treat next to the Big Banana.

7. THE BIG NED KELLY Glenrowan Vic Wearing his iconic tin mask, the Big Ned Kelly pays tribute to the infamous outlaw. He is located in Glenrowan, Victoria, which is also the site of the last stand shootout that ended both the bushranger’s life and his notorious gang in 1880. Today, Ned Kelly stands immortalised at six metres tall and 1.5 tonnes. TB

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H O M E O F WA LT Z I N G M AT I L DA & D I N O SAU R CAPITAL O F AU STR ALIA

Q U E E N S L A N D

|

A U S T R A L I A

P: 1300 665 115

experiencewinton.com.au


Outback Adventure

Stampede Winton is full of surprises, 95 million years in the making. words & photography: jac taylor

The watchful Winton ornithopod is known as Guardian of the Bridge. This life-sized bronze dinosaur guards the bridge to Dinosaur Canyon. Visitors are encouraged to give the ever-alert dinosaur a pat before commencing their journey to the outdoor galleries.

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Outback Adventure

There was a dinosaur as big as a chicken standing in front of me – just here. Over here was an emu-sized ornithopod, and then here and there, and there… 170 more of their mates, their footprints marking the spot forever. The red rock is telling me the most amazing tale – a story as gripping as any effects-laden Hollywood movie – and I find myself spending the lion’s share of a day surveying a single rock face, 110-odd kilometres out of the outback town of Winton. The dried streambed has kept every last 95 millionyear-old footprint unbelievably well preserved at Lark Quarry Dinosaur Trackways, laying out the entire story before my very eyes at the Dinosaur Stampede National Monument. And what a story. This area was once a wide river plain, surrounded by fertile forest, where herds of smaller dinosaurs would come to drink and cross the river, leaving more than 3,000 footprints in the mud. One day, it is theorised, a rather un-noteworthy event occurred: a hungry, carnivorous theropod – not as large as a T-rex but certainly scary enough for these small fry – strolled up to the watering hole ready for his dino lunch. At least 150 smaller dinosaurs scattered everywhere in terror then formed a stampede, their tracks heading in the same direction east-north-east across the mudflats. The conditions just happened to be perfect to fossilise those chaotic, terrified footprints for a full 95 million years, for us to see today, printed deep and definite (no squinting required), making the episode actually very noteworthy indeed. Lark Quarry is the only place in the world thought to have captured a dinosaur stampede. Its sheer clarity and preservation, as well as great tours led by passionate people, have made it a must-visit even here, so far out from a town so far out, itself, from Queensland’s cities. Winton seems so humble – a single main drag centring a town that sits in a few neat rows until the red earth claims the landscape again in every direction, it’s more than 1,300 kilometres from Brisbane – but it’s no stranger to firsts. We head into the outback to see Australia’s roots: our country at its most primary and intrinsic. And if that’s what you’re looking for, Winton is your essential stop. It is the birthplace of so much that defines Australia, and continues to be the archetypal outback Aussie town. Winton is the home of our unofficial anthem ’Waltzing Matilda’, for one. Banjo Paterson penned it here in 1895, and it was performed for the very first time in the same year by one Sir Herbert Ramsay over at the North Gregory Hotel – a retro beauty in town where you can still grab a bite, a room and a welcoming beer. To the delight of outof-towners (and more than a few locals), the whole thing has been immortalised forever in the new and very fancy Waltzing Matilda Centre. In true Winton form, it’s another first: the first museum in the world dedicated to a song. It’s not a bad spot to while away a few hours, either. You’ll also find local art exhibited here, great food at the  JUNE/JULY 2019

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Outback Adventure

Above: A bronze right dinosaur femur at the Dinosaur Canyon Outpost. Below: Banjo Patterson tribute statue. Top right: Prep-A-Dino Experience at the Australian Age of Dinosaurs museum.

Tuckerbox Café, and more important local history. Qantilda Museum documents the birth of Qantas in this area – yes, Qantas may have ‘grown up’ in Longreach, but it was begun right here in Winton, again reportedly at the North Gregory Hotel – and the Great Shearers’ Strike of 1891, which helped mould the modern union movement Australia has today. Head out a little to the Musical Fence installation (on Kennedy Developmental Road, just north of town) – the first and only one of its kind in the world, of course – and you’ll find one of Winton’s quirkiest attractions: a musical fence. The surrounding musical instrument ‘band’ made of junkyard parts is ready and waiting for visitors to go all Partridge Family (if you’re of that vintage), and no matter how old or young you are, it’s free, fun and certainly unique. Back in town, there are more family-friendly fascinations at the Diamantina Heritage Truck and Machinery Museum, with exactly the kind of shiny, red firetrucks and such that the eight-year-old inside you would hope to see. And if you’re looking for the outback pub of your dreams, grab a table under the fluttering striped awning of the Tattersalls Hotel (78 Elderslie St) and watch the world go by very, very

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Outback Adventure

Right: North Gregory Bar. Far right: Welcome to Winton sign.

sparsely. At best, you can watch the local birdlife stream overhead to catch their dinner at sunset, if you’re missing the traffic at home. Inside, popular publican Paul Neilsen keeps the place nice with the basic rules of no jukebox, no pool table and no swearing around the ladies. He loves a chat and, with his history as a tour guide around Lark Quarry, you can get him chatting about dinosaurs for as long as you like. Then you have one more important visit on your must-do itinerary, and it involves our prehistoric friends once more. The Australian Age of Dinosaurs museum really pulls it all together in a fascinating collection of exhibits that are, once again, a far cry from the traditional bone or two presented under glass. This is as interactive as 95 millionyear-old fossils get, split between the Fossil Preparation Laboratory, Collection Room and the Dinosaur Canyon. Book in advance for a combined ticket with Lark Quarry, or get the ultimate golden ticket, a week’s Dig-a-Dino

experience literally digging for dinosaurs on site, helping to find, prepare and study specimens. This year is booked out, and next year is already looking so-so, but if you’re hunting for something more immediate, the Prep-a-Dino two-day package at the Age of Dinosaurs museum might work for you. It’s the first tour of its kind in the world – but, of course, you probably already guessed that, being in Winton. TB

Fact File Lark Quarry Dinosaur Trackways dinosaurtrackways.com.au North Gregory Hotel northgregoryhotel.com Waltzing Matilda Centre matildacentre.com.au

Diamantina Heritage Truck and Machinery Museum wintontruckmuseum.com.au The Australian Age of Dinosaurs australianageofdinosaurs.com JUNE/JULY 2019

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EXPLORE

CLARE VALLEY

With its sinuous folds of fertile hills, rustic villages and breeze-tousled wheat fields brushing its bucolic canvas, South Australia’s Clare Valley could have been plucked straight from the Tuscan countryside. words & photography: Marie Barbieri While this wine region, located 120 kilometres north of Adelaide, may be smaller and less visited than its Barossa Valley neighbour, it is no less alluring. Intimate, welcoming and photogenic, Clare Valley is home to some of South Australia’s most celebrated vignerons and producers. Dotted along its slender expanse between Auburn and Clare, around 40 cellar doors sit like a 40 kilometre long daisy chain, each with individual personality and charm. In the towns

you’ll find butchers, bakers, and – not candlestick makers, perhaps, but farm gates, weekend markets, locavore diners and providores at the top of their game. The Clare Valley comes steeped in history, too. The Burra Burra ’Monster Mine’ is today a protected archaeological site. It reveals relics of buildings around its open-cut copper mine, and dugouts along the creek where squatting migrants somehow lived and worked.

Even more impressive is nearby Red Banks Conservation Park, one of Australia’s most significant megafauna sites. Diprotodon fossils excavated from here are on display at Burra Railway Station. And just outside Mintaro is Martindale Hall: the grand 19th century home of pastoralist Edmund Bowman Jr. It houses parquetry floors, a blackwood staircase and Mintaro’s famous slate. It also featured in Peter Weir’s movie adaptation of Picnic at Hanging Rock.

Imposing Georgian-style mansion Martindale Hall provides visitors with a unique living museum experience.


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DINE

1. BARBECUE DELIGHTS Food cravings will spike when hitting Clare Valley’s gourmet food scene. Wild Saffron café in Clare is a weekend breakfast hangout, with smoked bacon and saltbush sausages filling plates. The prized sausages can also be found at three-time National Sausage King winner Mathie’s Meat Shoppe. The Clare-based butcher offers 45 varieties of snag, sending local barbecues into a sizzle. 2. SEASONAL SAVOURIES Housed in an old settler’s cottage, Skillogalee Winery Restaurant sits sun-dappled with a mature olive tree and vine-draped veranda, overlooking its award-winning Riesling terroir. Its changing seasonal menu includes charcuterie platters for two, Cabernetinfused wallaby shank and duck breast in brandy and orange sauce.

Skillogalee Winery Restaurant and its mature olive tree.

DRINK 1. MUSICAL INSPIRATION At the southern gateway to the Clare Valley is quirky Claymore Wines. Its unorthodox, music-inspired labels include Dark Side of the Moon (Shiraz), Joshua Tree (Riesling) and London Calling (a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec). 2. STRONG ROOTS Sevenhill Cellars is home to the Clare Valley’s first vineyard, planted back in 1851. It’s still owned and run by Jesuit winemakers, who today produce distinctive table wines as well as altar wine. A visit to the chilly underground cellar will thrill,

as will tiptoeing into the crypt at St Aloysius’ Church, where 41 Jesuits are interred. 3. WINE & CYCLE Winner of the IWSC Australian Wine Producer of the Year in 2018, Kilikanoon Wines offers not just tastings in the 19th century farmhouse, but selfguided Wine by Cycle tours. 4. IN GOOD HUMOUR Humour is also harvested in the Clare Valley. Forget online quizzes: whether you head for the tasting notes at Mad Bastard Winery or Good Catholic Girl Wines will be the ultimate personality test! 

Sevenhills Cellars’ chilly tunnels.

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Fast Facts 1. The Clare Valley Gourmet Weekend, held in May each year, is one of Australia’s longest-running regional food and wine fiestas. Enjoy fine food, wine and live music at cellar doors throughout the valley. 2. The 35-kilometre Riesling Trail, named in honour of the region’s signature varietal, is a pedestrian and bike path tracking a former railway line. The pine-bordered trail leads to multiple wineries, and the 1839-built John Horrocks Cottage.

Cosy Skillogalee House is surrounded by beautiful, well-kept gardens, and one of the most photographed vineyards in Clare Valley.

STAY 1. BOUTIQUE LUXURY Skillogalee House is one of three luxury boutique sleeps belonging to the eponymous winery. Tucking in up to six, its stone farmhouse has been sensitively restored with contemporary furnishings while preserving its historic fabric. Featuring an open fireplace, a freestanding bathtub, and local gourmet breakfast provisions, it comes complete with a private garden and vineyard views.

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2. FINE DINING, FINE FURNISHINGS Antiques and artworks reside within stylish suites at Thorn Park by the Vines in Sevenhill. Gourmet breakfasts follow sweet sleeps, curated from produce plucked straight from the property’s vegetable gardens. And dining is divine here too, cooked up by owner and esteemed Clare Valley chef David Hay, who also offers guests inventive cooking classes.

3. SLEEP UNDER THE STARS If an intimate Bed & Breakfast is your desire, then head to Trestrail Cottage. It lures you in with a bush shower and sauna, and an outdoor double bed (fly-screened) on a dreamy stringybark-surrounded deck. You’ll be counting the stars until the kangaroos come home. For further information visit clarevalley.com.au TB


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Destination Highlight

Take a Bight of

EYRE PENINSULA

Image: Maxime Coquard

Take one glance at any of Australia’s many beautiful beaches, mesmerising coastlines and pristine oceans, and you’ll understand why 85 per cent of the country’s population choose to reside within 50 kilometres of the seaside, and relish in an enviable coastal lifestyle. This oceanic obsession goes hand-in-hand with Australia’s burgeoning tourism and food industries, which today, as more and more people become fascinated with where their food comes from, increasingly merges recreational and commercial activities. For most Australians it should come as no surprise

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that dining on seafood and fishing have become key aspects of Australian life – both result in enjoyable days spent in or near the ocean. Indeed, fishery and aquaculture production in the country is now valued at $3.06 billion and continues to grow, which is testament to the global appetite for quality Australian seafood. At the forefront of Australia’s fishing industry is the Eyre Peninsula region – where whiting, snapper, tuna, crabs, squid and oysters can be transferred from the ocean to your plate on the same day. The far west coast region of the Eyre Peninsula offers


Destination Highlight

impeccable conditions for aquaculture with its pristine waters, sheltered bays and upwellings from the Great Australian Bight – perfect for oyster growing and ideal for exploring while gaining insight into one of the country’s biggest industries. In fact, the seafood here is so good that the fishing aquaculture sectors of the Eyre Peninsula make up more than 80 per cent of South Australia’s seafood exports, primarily in southern bluefin tuna and oysters.

Images above: Courtesy of Ceduna Foreshore Hotel Motel

The World is Your Oyster The districts of Smoky Bay, Denial Bay and Saint Peters Island (just off the coast of Ceduna) are renowned for their flavour-filled, fresh and juicy oysters – a welcome result of the pristine waters of the Great Australian Bight. Local oyster grower Bruce Zippel says oysters in the region are unique because of the remarkable conditions. “There’s no doubt about it, oyster growers in the far west coast of South Australia have some of the most pristine growing conditions in the country,” he says. ”Here, oysters are ocean-fed by annual upwellings from the Great Australian Bight and they don’t have any fresh water at all. The salty water is what gives our oysters that sweet ocean flavour.” When in full bloom, natural oysters from different growing regions will have variance in taste. Oysters grown in the Smoky Bay region are well known for their sweet taste, but oysters from the Cowell region – on the eastern Eyre Peninsula – have a saltier flavour. Bruce Zippel also loves to share his passion for pairing oyster flavours and wine with visitors and locals. “Once you have that first natural oyster, you can let the taste sit on your tongue and choose a wine that matches the flavour,” he explains. “Salty oysters will go well with a sweet white wine, whereas sweeter oysters are better matched with a dry white wine. If you prefer something like Oysters Kilpatrick, you can start to experiment with matching

red wines to this dish. Natural oysters from the bay leave a lingering salt taste on the back of the tongue, which goes perfectly with Sauvignon Blanc. There’s no wrong way to enjoy your oysters, however, as long as you enjoy them.”

Celebrating Oysters & Seafood

In Ceduna oysters are such an integral part of the community that they are celebrated every year over the October long weekend at Oysterfest, which has been the largest event of the region since it launched in 1991. What started as a one-day event has grown into a three-day food and wine festival celebrating the seafood culture of the west coast region. It now features live music, local food and craft stalls, entertainment, art and so much more. The growing interest in these industries is also apparent in the local schools, where students gain hands-on experience. Ceduna Area School, for instance, runs a successful Farm to Plate program using the school’s aquaculture centre, providing the Ceduna Foreshore Hotel with fresh local barramundi for its ever-changing menu. The hotel is positioned right on the water, so keen recreational fishers can experience prime fishing conditions straight from the local jetty, where they can snag some fresh whiting, squid, crab or tommy. Food and wine lovers can skip the fishing and head straight to the bar or bistro for a fillet of fish or natural oyster. The trip from the ocean to your plate is not far at all when you’re dining in the west coast – with some of the best seafood in the region caught and grown right outside your door. It’s no wonder the food tastes so fresh when you can sit on the Ceduna Foreshore and look out over Murat Bay to where your meal was caught that day. For more information on Ceduna and Oysterfest visit cedunatourism.com.au and to stay at Ceduna Foreshore Hotel visit cedunahotel.com.au TB JUNE/JULY 2019

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Snowy Mountains, NSW

SO MUCH TO SEE AND DO OFF THE MOUNTAINS TOO: On a slow snow day, there’s plenty to do around the Snowy Monaro region. Discover the past at Cooma’s Snowy Hydro Discovery Centre and Corrective Services Gaol Museum, Burnima’s Historic Homestead, and Delegate’s Early Settlers Hut and Nimmitabel’s Geldmacher House. Explore Bombala’s Historic Railway, Lavender House and Platypus Reserve. Tour Adaminaby’s Snowy Scheme Museum and Eucumbene’s Dam and Trout Farm. Don’t miss Jindabyne’s Corroboree Frog Display and the Thredbo Ski Museum. Foodies can try Shut the Gate Wines, Snowy Vineyard Estate, Kosciuszko Brewery and Macenmist Black Truffles & Wines. For outdoor adventures, seek out Yarrangobilly Caves, Cascades and Tuross Falls, Mount Gladstone Lookout and the Snowy Wilderness High Country. For local art, visit Cooma’s Monaro Art Group Gallery and Raglan Gallery, Berridale’s Pauline Coxon Art Gallery and Delegate’s Borderline & Bundian Way Galleries.

visitcooma.com.au


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EXPLORE

THE BELLARINE Vineyards, boutique distilleries and breweries, fine dining and great beaches: the Bellarine Peninsula has the lot. All that, and it’s just an 80-minute drive or bracing ferry ride from Melbourne. words: winsor dobbin

The Bellarine is surrounded by Port Phillip, Corio Bay and Bass Strait. It’s home to around 55,000 people and is a burgeoning tourism region. Most of the peninsula is part of the City of Greater Geelong. Australian TV series SeaChange was filmed at various locations along the peninsula, particularly at Barwon Heads, and the region is a popular weekend destination for Melburnians, many of whom catch the ferry across to the picturesque small town of Portarlington, where you can still buy

Campbell Point House.

mussels from the fishermen on the wharf. With uninterrupted bay views across to the You Yangs, Portarlington is a great base for those looking to escape the city hustle and bustle – and there are plenty of dining options including cafés and a classic old country hotel. The booming seaside towns of Ocean Grove, Barwon Heads and Point Lonsdale are all popular in summer. The Bellarine is also home to one of Australia’s great walks: the Bellarine Rail Trail, and to a few of the top 100 public access golf courses in the country. 


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Lon Retreat & Spa at Point Lonsdale.

STAY 1. KEEP IT SIMPLE Most visitors to the Bellarine tend to stay in campsites, rental cottages or motels. For those who prefer to camp, the Dylene Caravan Park is a short walk from Portarlington Beach. 2. THE HUMBLE COTTAGE A short drive out of Portarlington, the Bungalino is a quaint cottage on Airbnb, perfect for a couple on a budget. It is also dog-friendly, should you want to bring a furry friend. 3. STUNNING VISTAS The most luxurious option is Lon Retreat & Spa at Point Lonsdale, which opened last October. Previously known as Lonsdale Views, it sits perched on a hill on the edge of Point Lonsdale with 360-degree views of The Heads (the entry to Port Phillip Bay), the lighthouse and Ocean Grove. Set on 200 acres of rural and conservation land, Lon features seven luxurious suites and a mineral spa.

Image: Nikole Ramsay

4. WATERFRONT LUXURY Nestled above Lake Connewarre is luxurious waterfront estate Campbell Point House. Accommodating only up to 30 guests at a time, the private property is a sought after wedding destination.

DRINK 1. FOOD & WINE TRAIL The Bellarine Taste Trail is helping to reinforce the region’s reputation as a top destination for avid foodies and wine lovers, providing almost 50 locations where visitors can discover various epicurean delights. Download the Bellarine Taste Trail map at thebellarinetastetrail.com.au. 2. SPIRITS GALORE Enjoy a picnic or pizza along with an alfresco gin tasting at The Whiskery – a brand new distillery complex just down the road from historic Scotchmans Hill winery. Be sure to try their outstanding Teddy & the Fox artisan gin.

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The Whiskery’s Teddy & the Fox artisan gin.

3. WINERY WANDERINGS Other fantastic wineries well set up for visitors include Leura Park Estate, Bellarine Estate – home to French restaurant Bouchon – and Curlewis Winery. 4. CIDER LOVERS Several other smaller wineries request appointments for visits, but cider lovers are well catered for at the Flying Brick Cider Co, which is open seven days a week. 5. CAFFEINE HIT Serious coffee lovers will want to head for Geelong, where the passion for caffeine approaches that of Melbourne. Alternatively, seek out The Driftwood Café in Ocean Grove.


Explore

DINE

Fine dining at Jack Rabbit Vineyard.

1. POPULAR SPOTS Merne at Lighthouse, in the former Loam premises at Drysdale, is a popular venue serving share plates, while BeachHouse Barwon Heads is an eatery with a local focus in what was previously the old fire station. 2. WINERY LUNCHEON Several of the local wineries provide vineyard lunches. Terindah Estate features excellent seasonal and regional food, local wines and top-notch service with sweeping views from the terrace. 3. FINE DINING WITH A VIEW Oakdene Vineyards at Wallington offers tastings, two dining experiences (Marty and Mr Grubb) and on-site accommodation, while Jack Rabbit Vineyard also has fine dining and casual lunch experiences, and can be packed to the rafters at peak times thanks to its amazing views. 4. BEER & PIZZA JOINTS Leura Park Estate at Curlewis features pizzas and platters as well as wine tastings, while beer lovers can head to the Queenscliff Brewhouse in one of the region’s cutest seaside villages. 5. LOCAL SEAFOOD A favourite with locals and visitors alike is to take a stroll along the Portarlington pier and seawall and take in the spectacular bay views. Buy some fresh mussels from local fishermen if the boats are in port. 6. FISH & CHIPS Head for the township of St Leonards to pick up some delicious freshly cooked fish and chips from The Golden Flake, and enjoy them while overlooking the bay. 7. CASUAL DINING The Bungalow Restaurant in Drysdale is a casual eatery serving hearty meals, which is popular with both locals and visitors.

Fast Facts The Bellarine Community Farmers’ Market is held on the third Saturday of each month at Ocean Grove. Queenscliff is a historic seaside village with heritage streetscapes, Victorian-era hotels and quaint fishermen’s cottages.

8. THE BIG SMOKE Alternatively, take a trip into the ’big smoke’ of Victoria’s second-largest city Geelong for a pre-dinner drink at the Geelong Cellar Door Wine Bar & Store, and the possibility of trying some local boutique wines before you buy. For gourmets, some inventive food at Igni is a must. 9. PACK A PICNIC If you fancy a picnic, pop into the Bellarine Smoked Fish Co for a tasty range of smoked seafood and pâtés. TB JUNE/JULY 2019

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Food & Wine

Capital wines, capital eats, and capital places to stay: journey outside of Canberra and you’ll find plenty to do, drink and eat. Words: Daniel Honan An exciting food and wine revolution is taking place across the Australian Capital Territory. Hidden in amongst the hills of the burgeoning Canberra District, intrepid travellers continue to discover what this often overlooked part of Australia is truly capable of. Within just 50 years, the Canberra District has grown from a few fledgling vineyards in the 1970s to a region now highly regarded for producing many top-quality wines. Here are some of our top picks that you can enjoy on either a day trip or a weekend away, just a short drive outside the capital.

COLLECTOR Be sure to stop in at Collector; a tiny, blink-and-you’ll-miss-it town with one of the strangest sculpture displays, coolest cafés, and cutest cellar doors (boasting some of the best wine) in the district. Here, beneath a red tin roof, you’ll find charming chardonnays, racy rieslings, and stunning shiraz. Refuel at Some Café, just next door. It’s got great coffee you can sip amidst the cosy, country atmosphere, or enjoy a delicious bite to eat of something from the simple, seasonal menu. collectorwines.com.au

LERIDA ESTATE Four Winds.

BEYOND CANBERRA

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Situated opposite the ephemeral Lake Weereewa (Lake George), just outside of the city, is the contemporary stylings of Lerida Estate. Sit, sip and savour while tasting a selection of the winery’s finest wines – from fantastic fizz and blushing rosés to elegant whites and robust reds. Café Lerida is perfect to take in the magnificent view as you while away the day, grazing on a lunch menu for all tastes. leridaestate.com.au


Food & Wine

Poacher’s Pantry.

Shaw Vineyard Estate.

FOUR WINDS

POACHER’S PANTRY A visit to the ACT is simply not complete without a day trip to the Poacher’s Pantry in Murrumbateman. Home of Wily Trout wines and some of the finest smoked meats and cheese anywhere in Australia, Poacher’s Pantry is a quintessential Canberran institution. Just 20 minutes’ drive out of dodge, it’s the perfect day trip for the discerning traveller. Graze all day on a leisurely lunch beside the landscaped gardens or spend some time inside tasting the excellent estate-grown wines from the property’s sprawling 700 acres. poacherspantry.com.au

Murrumbateman is the poster child for fine Canberran wine, and Four Winds is no exception, particularly with its penchant for fine rieslings and delicate rosés. Located along Murrumbateman Road, Four Winds winery offer personalised tastings for two or more, while its new wood-fired pizza oven pumps out fresh pies all weekend long. Time your trip right and you could be visiting during one of its many celebrated events, such as Watercolours & Wine. fourwindsvineyard.com.au

SHAW WINES & OLLEYVILLE RESTAURANT With the recent opening of its new, state-of-the-art cellar door and tasting rooms, Shaw Wines must be placed right at the top of your list of things to visit in the ACT. Its reputation for outstanding wine is well documented them (and you’ll want to give its Reserve Range a try), as is the deliciousness of the food coming from the onsite restaurant, Olleyville. Lunch could easily turn into dinner if you’re not careful. Luckily, there’s excellent accommodation nearby. shawwines.com.au & olleyville.com.au  JUNE/JULY 2019

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Food & Wine

Brindabella Hills Winery

LAY YOUR HEAD It’s been a long time coming, but Murrumbateman finally has accommodation worthy of its wines. As Murrumbateman is a town in the Southern Tablelands of New South Wales in Yass Valley Shire, it’s not actually part of the ACT, however it’s only a 30-kilometre cruise north-west of Canberra, and so is a convenient and lovely place to stay while enjoying the region’s riches.

ABODE HOTELS

Abode Hotel – Breakfast

The new Abode Hotel in Murrumbateman boasts 50 brand new, spacious and tastefully appointed rooms, which means you can now spend a weekend (heck, why not a week?!) away adventuring through one of the coolest wine regions in Australia. The open-plan modern kitchens have great facilities (including a cool pop tart maker) and animal lovers will rejoice in knowing that pets are welcome. Abode also has cool bicyles that guests can borrow if they’d like to go on a picnic or travel along safe footpaths to the wineries. abodehotels.com.au Abode Hotel – Guest lounge room

SURVEYOR'S HILL VINEYARD

Fast Facts Canberra is Australia’s largest inland city. Despite summer temperatures reaching well above 30˚C, the Canberra District is considered a cool climate wine region because of its inland elevation.

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If big open spaces, clean country air, breathtaking views, and quiet and comfortable accommodation is your preferred method of relaxation, then head for the hills. Surveyor’s Hill Vineyard, to be exact. Spend your evenings unwinding amongst the vines with a glass of wine in your hand, admiring the sweeping, panoramic views as the sun gently sets behind the Brindabella mountain range, right across the river. surveyorshill.com.au TB


ASTRA LODGE

The grand dame of the mountain at Falls Creek, with stunning accommodation, an underground pool and a world-class restaurant and bar.

Alpine Offerings The Traverse Alpine Group presents 5 of its outstanding properties in Falls Creek and Albury

FRYING PAN INN

Enjoy craft beers and delicious BBQ dishes in an elegant rustic-inspired pub atmosphere with live music and entertainment in the heart of Falls Creek

CLOUD 9

Perched on top of the mountain at Falls Creek, at Cloud 9 enjoy wood-fired pizza, pasta, a carvery, gourmet sandwiches, amazing coffee and a luxurious mezzanine bar.

THE BOAT SHED LAKE HUME

The ultimate destination for those in pursuit of sunshine, modern Australian meals and lakeside, carefree weekends.

HUSKI KITCHEN

A delicious all day menu including breakfast and an enviable range of sharedstyle South East Asian dishes & cocktails for lunch and dinner.

astrafallscreek.com.au | fryingpaninn.com.au | cloud9fc.com.au | theboatshedlakehume.com.au | huski.com.au


Road Trip

oad R On the

to nowhere

The Stuart Highway between Adelaide and Darwin is a classic outback route. We took to the long road to discover its attractions. WORDS: Brian Johnston

The Stuart Highway is the sort of place where lizards die of boredom and roadhouse owners go troppo squinting at the horizon, I’m told. Fair enough. True, the route is mostly flat, straight, and features plenty of nothing, unless you count rocks and roadkill. But where there’s red dust, there’s wanderlust. This is a classic Aussie journey that will take me in just more than 3,000 kilometres from cold seas to arid outback and steaming tropics, and links two cities across ancient Aboriginal lands. The route is perfect for travellers like me: a grand adventure for the not-entirelyadventurous. The road is sealed, and I probably won’t need to fix a crankshaft or

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find water. As for plenty of nothing, that’s an outback experience in itself. I think I’ll be happy, trundling along a black road between red rock under a hot, blue sky. There isn’t much fanfare to the start of the highway out of Adelaide. Only after Port Augusta do I feel I’m on an adventure as I leave the last traffic lights for 1,200 kilometres and drive through scrubby hills and past occasional petrol stations. The sunset is a great slash of pink that sets the reddening earth on fire and sparks the sky with evening stars. I stay in the town of Woomera, a curiously suburban-looking place with an interesting visitor centre display on the region’s 


Road Trip

DARWIN

ADELAIDE

JUNE/JULY 2019

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Road Trip

Main: Canoeing in Katherine Gorge, Nitmiluk National Park. Inset: Landscape near Alice Springs, the gravesite of John Flynn, founder of the Royal Flying Doctor Service, just outside Alice Springs.

P H O T O G R A P H Y: N O R T H E R N T E R R I T O R Y T O U R I S M

weapons-testing years. Next morning, I drive by salt lakes. Emus lurch across the road. Distances get longer, the emptiness oppressive. I’m distracted only by big red kangaroos, strange rocky outcrops and a green car overturned. At Coober Pedy I take to the golf course for a leg stretch. There’s no grass whatsoever at Opal Fields course; golfers carry a square of artificial turf around to tee off. Bunker sand is soaked in oil to prevent it blowing all the way to Western Australia, while dirt mounds provide obstacles. The lunar, saltbush-studded landscape is scorching hot. Night games with glow-in-thedark balls are a good way to avoid the sun. Next day I’m zipping past the famous Dingo Fence and through cattle stations. Wedgetailed eagles hover over roadkill. Then I’m in the Northern Territory, with its twisted rock formations and mulga trees. Finke River is a wide ribbon of sand, then come stony escarpments and straggling gums. Along the Hugh River near Alice Springs, white-trunked eucalyptuses follow the courses of dry riverbeds, hungry for water. Alice Springs signals itself with the first dubious signs of civilisation: telegraph poles, discarded beer cans and tin shacks. Then the road slips through a gap in the MacDonnell Ranges into town. I visit the Royal Flying Doctor Service, whose founder John Flynn lies in a grave marked by an impressive 

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Next morning, I kayak on Katherine Gorge, where white butterflies dance against rust-red cliffs.


Northern Peninsula Area Regional Council WITH RESPECT AND PRIDE WE STRIVE TO BUILD A FUTURE FOR OUR CHILDREN BASED ON UNITY, EQUITABLE SELF–GOVERNANCE, EDUCATION AND CULTURE.

Cape York is at the very northern tip of Australia. It’s a narrow peninsula only 80 miles south of Papua New Guinea, with the Coral Sea to the east, the Arafura Sea/Gulf of Carpentaria to the west and the Torres Strait Islands to the north. The Northern Peninsula Area (NPA) is a land of two seasons: the wet season, December to April, and the dry season, May to November. NPA is made up of five Indigenous communities; three Aboriginal communities: Injinoo, Umagico and New Mapoon, and two Islander communities: Seisia and Bamaga. Northern Peninsula Area Regional Council (NPARC) NPARC is the governing local council involved in developing the local economy through everyday municipal services, operating local enterprises and administering social, community, cultural and recreational activities. Visit Cape York to create memorable experiences including cultural performances, Indigenous arts and crafts, fishing tours, boats trips, scenic helicopter flights, horse trail riding, Lockerbie Station tours, sunset cruises, croc spotting tours and ‘TIP’ of Cape York tours. Accommodation options range from motel units and self-contained cabins, to lodge rooms, eco tents and camping. Embark upon adventure in the Cape York region. Come and experience the unexpected.

Visit or contact us: 180 Adidi Street, Bamaga Qld | (07) 4090 4119 | info@nparc.qld.gov.au


Road Trip

Main: The Devils Marbles in the Northern Territory. Below: Taking a dip in the hot springs at Mataranka in the Northern Territory, driving along the Stuart Highway north of Alice Springs.

red granite boulder just outside of town. I’m really only halfway on my journey along the Stuart Highway but, squint-eyed and dusty-haired, I feel happy that there’s still 1,500 kilometres to go on this epic route. Next morning I’m powering on northwards. At Barrow Creek, an old pub features a ‘bush bank’ of foreign banknotes pinned to the walls. The inevitable men in singlets – where do they come from? – are sitting on bar stools slurping beer as if they haven’t moved in weeks. I flash through Wycliffe Well, where more UFOs have been spotted than anywhere else in Australia, and stop at the Devils Marbles, said by local Aboriginal people to be eggs laid by the Rainbow Serpent. It’s one of the world’s most ancient religious sites and an extraordinary natural feature. The rounded granite boulders have been exfoliated by wind-borne sand; a few have been split apart by the outback’s extremes of temperature. In another few million years, just a few pebbles will be left. Outback travel is forever reminding me of my insignificance. At Tennant Creek, I inspect the town’s old telegraph station and remains of its gold rush, the last in Australia. It’s a long haul north to Daly Waters. The sign outside its campground says pets are allowed, before adding: 

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Fast Facts

5,614km

Australia’s Dingo Fence, the longest in the world, is 5,614 kilometres long and cuts across Queensland and South Australia, with parts along the NSW border.

Stuart Highway The Stuart Highway is named after John McDouall Stuart, the first explorer (in 1861) to travel from Adelaide to Darwin, roughly along the route of today’s highway.


Stay connected with us for the best in regional people, places, travel and experiences FOLLOW US

@TRUEBLUe _ MAG /TRUEBLUEMAG


Road Trip

I camp by the river and watch blue-winged kookaburras. Wallabies nibble on the grass as my sunset sausages sizzle.

Above: Inside the pub at Daly Waters in the Northern Territory. Right: Aerial view of the Stuart Highway in the south of Alice Springs, Northern Territory.

“No elephants”. Its chief attraction is its 1893 pub, whose lunchtime surf-and-turf offering of beef and barramundi is surprisingly good. Bras hang from the rafters like medieval pennants, and numberplates and underwear decorate walls. I like these curious outback pubs, with their eccentricities, sense of humour and slight air of Mad Max madness. There are unexpected pleasures in the middle of nowhere. Hot water bubbles up in Elsey National Park near Mataranka, providing a startling oasis where travellers float in clear water surrounded by bird-haunted pandanus. In Katherine I stock up on supplies before detouring off the highway to Nitmiluk National Park, where I camp by the river and watch blue-winged kookaburras. Wallabies nibble on the grass as my sunset sausages sizzle. Next morning, I kayak on Katherine Gorge, where white butterflies dance against rust-red cliffs. The end is in sight, but I’m in no hurry: easy stages and frequent stops are the best antidote to monotony on the road. At Leliyn (Edith Falls) I float on my back in the water, admiring a cloudless sky through shimmering paperbark leaves. In one-time gold-rush town Pine Creek I pan for gold. Next morning, I take a cruise on the Adelaide River to see crocodiles lurch from the water, snapping at chunks of meat. When Darwin arrives, the billboards and traffic lights and warehouses seem almost shocking, but thrilling too, marking the end of a remarkable journey. TB

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22ND, 23RD, 24TH AUGUST

The Northern Peninsula Area (NPA) is home to the ultimate bucket list hot spot for every 4WDer and camping enthusiast – the northern most tip of Australia. To get to this part of the country, you’ll need to pass through five remote and incredibly unique communities governed by the NPA Regional Council. This is their country, community and home. This is not your average show – the NPA Show has it’s own brand, with jam-packed local and

national cultural performers. It’s truly a show like no other, and promises to provide visitors with an unforgettable experience in Red Dust Country. The rodeo is a huge highlight, as local boys and girls compete for prestigious prizes. Some entrants are locals who work away and return home just for the show . Two classic horse racing events have been a part of the NPA Show ’since forever’: The Cowal Creek

Cup – a 100-metre horseback sprint, holding great pride for the winning rider! And the prestigious Trumby Cup – a 200-metre run around the track, where bidding amounts often reach into the thousands. This year, the annual Cake Bake competition comes with a cultural difference – a Cake Bake Traditional Damper and Scones section, which promises to be a serious bake-off between the talented damper and scone makers of the region.

CULTURAL PERFORMERS | MAU POWER | LOCAL TALENT ENTERTAINMENT | FIREWORKS!!! WOOD CHOPPING | PIG HUNT | GREASY POLE | WATER SLIDE | COCONUT HUSKING

All enquiries to the Northern Peninsula Area Regional Council on (07) 4090 4100 or Email events@nparc.qld.gov.au


Glamping Experiences

Happy glampers! Nestled among sand dunes and hidden between towering gums, these are some of the top glamping destinations across the country. Words: Sarah Hinder

WANDERING SOULS AUSTRALIA, KANGAROO ISLAND SA This bespoke glamping experience provides pop-up five-metre bell tents right across Kangaroo Island. Individual tents make for a romantic getaway, while your own tent city could provide the rustic accommodation for your next exciting event or wedding. From medieval to Australian luxe to Hollywood glam, each tent emanates its own theme and provides all your required essentials, right down to a powerpack to charge your devices. All that’s required is to book your tent, pick your location and arrive – Wandering Souls can even help organise transport to your site. wanderingsouls.com.au


Glamping Experiences nts

SAL SALIS, NINGALOO REEF WA Set upon outback dunes overlooking one of Australia’s most wellpreserved coral reefs, this remote eco-luxe retreat offers guests a truly surreal experience. An outstanding oasis where the outback meets the reef, Sal Salis is one of the Luxury Lodges of Australia. With 15 wilderness tents, plus a special hut for honeymooners, the ethos here is to ensure only a minimal footprint upon the pristine landscape. From April to July you can take a swim with local whale sharks at Ningaloo Reef, while from August to October you can jump in beside migrating humpback whales. salsalis.com.au

LADY ELLIOT ISLAND ECO RESORT, GREAT BARRIER REEF QLD Situated at the southern tip of the Great Barrier Reef, Lady Elliot Island is a coral cay that provides a sanctuary for more than 1,200 species of marine life. The island’s eco resort has recently added secluded glamping tents alongside its comfortable rooms. The aim is to engage and educate guests with minimal impact, and with such an abundance of manta rays, turtles, sea birds and tropical fish, for which the island provides a haven, there’s plenty of opportunity for natural encounters. Guests are encouraged to join in the efforts towards conservation and sustainable living. ladyelliot.com.au

KARIJINI ECO RETREAT, KARIJINI NATIONAL PARK WA

GLAMP SANDRIDGE, BOAT HARBOUR TAS

SWELL LODGE, CHRISTMAS ISLAND

Set among one of Western Australia’s largest and most awe-inspiring national parks, these low-impact glamping lodges are designed to cause no harm to the surrounding (astouding) natural environment. The spacious solar-powered eco tents feature a king-size bed, quality linen and their own ensuite bathroom. The region is home to gorges, rock formations and waterfalls that have been virtually untouched for more than two billion years, providing plenty of opportunities for abseiling, hiking, rock climbing and swimming. karijiniecoretreat.com.au

This campsite and wedding venue is all about the location: at the centre of a 500-acre wilderness reserve in rugged north-west Tasmania, overlooking the distant Bass Strait. When it comes to the eight-tent eco village, Sandridge Estate really throws in the good stuff – everything from wine and cheese to fairy lights and log fires – plus Tassie’s extraordinary star-studded skies and abundant native wildlife. Book your wedding here and guests need only walk a short distance from the reception to spend a night beneath the stars. sandridgeestate.com.au

Christmas Island’s first luxury eco-accommodation opened just last year. A single glass-fronted chalet on the island’s rugged west coast (eight are planned), the lodge marks the first ecologically sustainable accommodation to be approved inside an Australian national park. The lodge is strikingly remote, set within wild country overlooking the Indian Ocean. The island is known as ’Australia’s Galapagos’, where guests can snorkel among marine life and enjoy food made by a private chef. swelllodge.com  JUNE/JULY 2019

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Glamping Experiences

LONGITUDE 131°, ULURU-KATA TJUTA NATIONAL PARK NT A true glamping experience of a lifetime, Longitude 131° has been thoughtfully and sustainably designed to preserve the natural lay of the land. Atop acacia-coloured sand dunes, 16 tented pavilions overlook Australia’s most recognisable natural landmark: Uluru. When you’re not dining under the desert stars or peering out from your lodge at Uluru basking in the sunset, perhaps venture out for a helicopter ride to see the Red Centre from the air, hike the Valley of the Winds walk at Kata Tjuta, or learn about the local Anangu people, the traditional custodians of this ancient land. longitude131.com.au

COSY TENTS, DAYLESFORD VIC Deep in Victoria’s spa country, in rural Hepburn Shire, Cosy Tents aims to provide maximum creature comforts in a low-key environment. From goose down quilts and a woodfired heater to a continentalstyle breakfast basket and Bose Bluetooth speakers, a stay here is like checking into a luxury hotel – but outside under the stars and with a firepit at your door. In the surrounding region you can book yourself into a day spa or explore local restaurants and wineries. cosytents.com.au

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Paperbark Camp, Jervis Bay NSW

With safari-style tents inspired by the owners’ time spent in South Africa, Paperbark Camp seamlessly combines luxury with sustainable camping in a bushland setting. Surrounded by towering gums, 12 deluxe canvas tents boast all manner of five-star luxuries, while allowing you to entirely switch off from the outside world – meaning no power points or TV. The intimate site is a beautiful wedding and event venue, while the licensed restaurant serves gourmet breakfast and dinner as well as offering picnic hampers: the perfect lunch to accompany your day exploring the surrounding Jervis Bay region. paperbarkcamp.com.au TB


AusBiz.

NEWS+VIEWS | MINING | AGRIBUSINESS | INFRASTRUCTURE

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27 p.10 digital effectiveness in mining P.16 the smart farm P.22 aussie eggs: the cage-free movement P.27 australian wagyu beef P.32 property biz: buying off the plan P.37 education spotlight: st ann’s college P.39 financE tips: wealth protection


We’re there in person when it counts At Elders Insurance we’ll make the effort to come to you, no matter how remote. While other insurance companies may think that’s going too far for a customer, we don’t think we can go far enough. Because in a crisis the last thing you need to be chasing is your insurance company. Whatever insurance you need, there’s a good chance we can help. Contact us for a personalised quote.

eldersinsurance.com.au | Call 13 56 22 Underwritten by QBE Insurance (Australia) Ltd. ABN 78 003 191 035. AFSL 239545. Consider the PDS to decide if a product is right for you.


Business News+Views Bringing you the latest insights and analysis.

WORDS: libby masi & sarah hinder

Maqro’s hybrid robo-advice model could be the next big thing for investors Robo-advice is the latest innovation shaking up the financial services industry. A combination of a loss of faith in existing adviser services and the growing popularity of high-tech, self-serve digital solutions has led to a spike in the use of online investment advice. Maqro is on a mission to harness this change in preferences to robo-advice and is working to provide Australian investors with smart technology-driven solutions. Robo-advice is an automated financial service using portfolio management algorithms to optimise clients’ investments. Maqro co-founder Conrad Song explains: “By being able to gather huge amounts of information together more effectively than a human adviser – such as years of market movements, fund performance, product features and more – robo-advice is one of AI’s most exciting applications.” What sets Maqro apart from other organisations offering robo-advice services is its ground-breaking hybrid model, which provides clients access to systematic algorithmic investment strategies online and combines

the best features of this financial service, the objectivity of robo-advice and a human connection via its chat interface, which allows investors to communicate with their adviser. Maqro has a team of knowledgeable, experienced advisers with a passion for investment and innovation. “Maqro’s solution is forging new ground in two ways. For investors it’s a transparent, cost-effective way to get high-quality, unbiased advice delivered by a real human,” says Song. “For advisers in a rapidly changing and increasingly competitive marketplace, it’s an innovative solution they can white-label and scale to suit their business.” Maqro works to provide profitable, convenient and technology-focused products that can be taken anywhere with its mobile app. It’s a useful tool for those looking for affordable investment advice options. The robo-advice market is currently worth $500 billion and is expected to grow beyond $1 trillion in 2020. As an innovation that is changing the way everyday Australians invest, Maqro’s trajectory is one to be watched. For more information visit maqro.com.au  JUNE/JULY 2019

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Business News+Views

Atlas People expands to New Zealand Atlas People recruits qualified chefs to work in regional and remote towns around Australia. Remote pubs, clubs and restaurant operators find Atlas People’s service invaluable when they require an extra hand, as one call to the team provides access to a pool of high-quality accredited chefs. Now, after 15 years in operation, the company is expanding into New Zealand, both broadening its first-rate talent pool and providing chefs from both countries the opportunity to work abroad and expand their skill set. Aussie chefs will have the opportunity to work New Zealand’s ski season surrounded by picturesque landscapes, while Kiwi chefs can embrace the small-town charm of regional Australia. Managing Director Doug Fletcher explains that when working with

Kennards Hire: meeting the needs of Australia’s resources sector As operators in the resources sector know all too well, even the smallest delay can cause significant disruption to a project. Managing large-scale operations in some of Australia’s most remote locations means operators require access to reliable equipment, innovative technology and skilled technicians who put safety first. “What [Kennards Hire] offers is a complete partnership, where we work with our customers from initial planning right through to equipment delivery and ongoing management for the life of their projects,” says Tony Symons, Kennards Hire General Manager, WA and NT. Major resource operations, such

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AusBiz.

as mine sites, are as diverse as they are complex, and rely on their supplier to provide equipment that will meet the tough demands of any task. This is where technology is increasingly taking a front seat. Cloud-based fleet and Bluetooth tracking systems, mobile sign-in/ sign-out systems and the use of QR codes are a few ways that equipment technology is meeting the growing demands of the construction, mining, oil and gas industries. By implementing the latest technology, Kennards Hire is leading the industry and delivering new service innovations to its customers. For more information call 135 135 or visit kennards.com.au 

Atlas People you are dealing with a team of experienced staff who understand the hospitality industry and, in particular, clients’ needs in regional and remote towns. “Our ‘try before you hire’ service and available talent pool means we can have a chef in place within 24 to 72 hours, no matter the location,” he says. “Let’s face it, anyone can find a chef in the city because of the sheer number of people who live there, however away from the city, as any owner or manager of any business will tell you, it is hard to find qualified people.” Call (07) 3088 3700 for Australian east coast locations, (08) 9468 7500 for west coast locations, and +64 3 6694796 for New Zealand locations. You can also visit atlaspeople.com.au or email admin@atlaspeople.com.au


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Business News+Views

Mining industry supports AIMEX Registrations for Asia-Pacific’s International Mining Exhibition (AIMEX) 2019 edition are now open, with more than 6,000 mining industry professionals and an additional 2,000 exhibitor personnel set to take over Sydney Showground for three days this August 27–29. More than 500 exhibitors are expected to attend the event, which brings decision makers and mining leaders from across the world to AIMEX, with ContiTech Australia, ESS Engineering, ALFAGOMMA, Cummins, Hitachi and Volkswagen signed up for the exhibition. For the second time, a free-to-attend multi-stream mining conference will be embedded within the exhibition, providing visitors the opportunity to hear from mining innovators and disruptors. The AIMEX conference, brought to visitors by Davey Bickford Enaex, will focus on the changing of mindsets and how to survive the impact of future technological, social and environmental changes. The conference will also cover the rise of automation and robotics as well as the use of AR and VR to enhance safety training for staff. In a first for AIMEX, five of Australia’s biggest mining companies will come together to create the AIMEX Mining Pavilion. Centennial Coal, Glencore, MACH Energy and Whitehaven Coal will join Yancoal Australia to outline their enterprises, connect with suppliers and drive recruitment strategies. Centennial Coal’s Executive General Manager

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Approvals, Sustainability & Corporate Communications Katie Brassil said involvement in the AIMEX Mining Pavilion allows Centennial Coal to promote the company’s initiatives and engage with the industry and suppliers more broadly. “We think it is a perfect opportunity for us to tell our story, not just in terms of Centennial and what we do and that we are loud and proud coal miners, but also the story of our communities and our most valuable asset: our workforce,” says Brassil. “Our people look forward to AIMEX. As a company, we encourage and promote innovation, and [are] on a digital transformation journey. AIMEX provides a fantastic opportunity for our people to experience the latest products and equipment up close, and to network with suppliers and industry peers.” AIMEX Event Director Brandon Ward said the newly launched Mining Pavilion, along with the conference component of AIMEX, adds significant weight to encourage mining professionals to attend the biennial event this year. “AIMEX is the most important mining industry event in 2019,“ says Ward. “We are delighted to welcome five mining companies onboard this year as part of our first AIMEX Mining Pavilion, and are excited to bring together our second free-to-attend conference, which will again give attendees the chance to hear from industry experts and to challenge them on what the future holds for the sector.” Registrations for AIMEX are now open at aimex.com.au


Business News+Views

Keypoint demystifies property investment for Aussie taxpayers Keypoint Management Group is an investment management company based in the heart of Leederville, Perth. Stimulating conversation around the aspirations of hardworking ‘Pay As You Go’ Australians, Keypoint uses property investment as a vehicle to leverage tax and inflation to build a future asset base and to provide everyday Australians with greater financial and lifestyle options, such as funding education, travel and retirement. Property investing requires co-ordinating a myriad of services, including builders, finance brokers, accountants, property managers and financial planners, which can prove to be arduous in the often time poor world of their clients. Keypoint has fostered the best mix of these services over the last 12 years to ensure a smooth progression from goal setting, financial modelling to implementation. Keypoint empowers its clients to ‘jump off the treadmill of life’, to consider their finances and how they could be doing things more efficiently. With an aim to demystify the world of property investment, Keypoint ensures its clients are armed with the knowledge to build an asset base with the confidence of having a seasoned team doing all the heavy lifting. To find out more call 1300 859 320 or visit keypointmg.com.au

Inland Rail project delivers savings to the agricultural industry Recent research by the CSIRO into the Melbourne to Brisbane Inland Rail Project has recognised a shift in the transportation of agricultural products from road to rail. The national science agency’s analysis predicts that by replacing existing agricultural road trips with Inland Rail lines, the industry could save between $64 and $94 per tonne, with an overall potential to reduce industry costs by an estimated $70 million per year. CSIRO Principal Research Scientist Dr Andrew Higgins explains that the savings will be beneficial across all levels of the Australian agricultural industry. “The benefit is for those selling to market, basically large farming corporations, food companies and those behind processing facilities... the savings would then be passed back on to farmers.” The Australian Government has committed $9.3 billion to complete the 1700-kilometre spine of Australia’s freight rail network, connecting Melbourne to Brisbane in 24 hours. For more information on the CSIRO research report findings visit csiro.au  JUNE/JULY 2019

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Business News+Views

World’s largest telescope will have you seeing stars A team of Australia’s brightest has joined forces to design local infrastructure for the world’s largest radio telescope, the Square Kilometre Array (SKA). This billiondollar project will provide scientists the ability to explore the universe in unprecedented detail, hundreds of times faster than any current facility allows. The entire SKA project was designed by more than 500 engineers and scientists from 20 countries, making it a global mega-science undertaking. The SKA will be co-hosted in South Africa’s Karoo Region and Western Australia’s Murchison Shire, which were chosen for several reasons – from their above atmosphere, to the radio quietness as a result of being some of the most remote locations on the planet. While South Africa is set to host high- and mid-frequency dishes

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across the continent, Western Australia will host 132,00 lowfrequency SKA antennas, with more than 65,000 fibre optic cables connecting to a data-processing facility stretching 2,000 square kilometres across the outback. “The data flows will be on the scale of petabits, or a million billion bits, per second – more than the global internet rate today, all flowing into a single building in the Murchison,” says CSIRO’s SKA Infrastructure Consortium Director Antony Schinckel. SKA Infrastructure Australia will be led by CSIRO with the help of Australia’s national science agency and industry partner Aurecon Australia, building all that is needed to make the radio telescope a reality. Aurecon’s Senior Project Engineer Shandip Abeywickrema claims the design team’s biggest challenge

was minimising radio ‘noise’ created by the systems placed at the hightech astronomy observatory – which is essential to avoid drowning out the faint signals from space the telescope is designed to detect. Australian SKA Director David Luchetti says: “CSIRO and Aurecon have delivered world-class designs, and the collaboration between the Australian and South African infrastructure consortia is a great example of the massive global effort behind the SKA project.” Once all designs are completed, they will go through a rigorous design review for the entire SKA system, to ensure there are no errors. This will take place ahead of the development of a construction proposal, with construction expected to begin in 2020. For more information, visit csiro.au/mro or ska.gov.au


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Mining

AI and the digital mine BIG DATA, ANALYTICS AND AI ARE TRANSFORMING OUR WORLD. THEY WILL HAVE A SIMILAR IMPACT ON THE MINING INDUSTRY.

In its recent report, ‘The top 10 business risks facing mining and metals 2019–2020‘, consultancy firm Ernst & Young (EY) placed digital effectiveness as the number-two business risk facing mining companies, down one place from its position last year. According to the report, although Australian mining companies lead the world in automation, they’re well off the pace when it comes to the digital transformation gathering force in other industries. According to EY, “a recent poll of over 600 mining and metals executives revealed that a significant 37 per cent of

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management have little or no knowledge of the digital landscape. The stark reality is that digital is the key to achieving productivity and margin improvements. Miners are making significant strides in applying digital solutions to single issues or bottlenecks. But it is only when miners apply these solutions across the entire value chain to create a digital mine that they can truly transform and emerge as the dominant players in the market.” Like any fundamental transformation, transitioning to a digital supply network (DSN) will take time. It cannot be done overnight,

however industries that have already begun their digital transformation journey have left clear signposts for those following. The transition to the digital mine of the future begins almost invariably with a focus on core mining processes, working towards the goal of automating mining operations and digitising those assets. The technologies driving this step change include autonomous vehicles, wearable technology, threedimensional (3D) printing, drones and a plethora of Internet of Things (IoT) sensors all connected in real time through a pervasive network. While this level of automation


Mining

Darren Baguley Darren specialises in the fields of technology, mining, agriculture, energy and business.

Fast Facts

1951

In 1951, CSIR Mk.1 (later CSIRAC) was the first computer in the world to play music at the first computer conference held in Australia.

2.5 quintillion

The world currently creates 2.5 quintillion bytes of data every day.

and interconnectedness will greatly increase safety and improve profitability through efficiency and reduced maintenance costs, the real value will be found in the data these systems generate and capture. Nevertheless, when it comes to big data, remember what they say: data is not information, information is not knowledge, knowledge is not understanding, understanding is not wisdom. Nowhere is this truism more correct than in the mining industry. To truly create the digital mine, information must flow from node to node of the digital supply network through a series of iterative steps known as the physical-digital-physical (PDP) loop. In a PDP loop, data is first captured in the physical world through sensors and warehouse in enterprise resource planning (ERP) or similar systems – essentially creating a digital record. The captured data is analysed and useful insights are gleaned, informing actions and decision-making in the physical world. In the report, ‘Tracking the trends 2019: The top 10 issues transforming the future of mining‘, consultancy Deloitte contends, “Although most mining companies have the first stage

of the PDP loop in place, and many have the second, far fewer are yet able to harness the last, most important stage – the ability to act on the data they have analysed. In fact, some research shows that miners may use less than 1 per cent of the data they collect from their equipment. “Before the industry can use the supply network to fuel growth, rather than merely driving incremental improvements, a cultural shift must take place – one that empowers executives to make decisions by relying on data outputs rather than on gut experience. This is ultimately the nirvana of the DSN – the ability to leverage advanced algorithms, AI and machine learning to turn data into insights that allow companies to reduce their capital expenditures, respond to changing project requirements on the fly and optimise mine planning to integrate real-time changes.” To truly unlock this value, companies will have to completely rethink the way they use information. Creating an information layer that aggregates data in multiple timelines from across the digital supply network will enable mining companies to use data-driven analytics to inform planning, control and decision-making.  JUNE/JULY 2019

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Mining

One of the many challenges this data-gathering presents, however, is its sheer volume. The world currently creates 2.5 quintillion bytes of data every day, and as the IoT becomes ever more pervasive this number will increase exponentially. For a human to draw insight from this data unaided is akin to drinking from a firehose, so mining organisations are tackling the challenge with the aid of analytics and artificial intelligence (AI). For the purposes of definition, AI can be thought of as machines that are able to perform tasks that up until now required human intelligence. As AI becomes a reality, three stages of development are becoming apparent. Stage one is AI that digitises processes but still requires human assistance and interpretation – robotic process automation, for example. In stage two AI uses machine learning to augment human decision-making. Machine learning ‘trains’ algorithms with large amounts of data and the algorithm responds without being explicitly programmed. Finally, in stage three AI decides and executes autonomously in response to an overarching directive, eg a fully

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autonomous haul truck or dragline. Many mining organisations, especially those below the top tier of miners, are only working at stage one AI, or not working with AI at all. Leading mining companies have been at stage one for some time now and are now moving towards stage two, where AI drives cognitive insights which are used to augment human decision-making. In a case study cited by Deloitte, “A global miner’s haul trucks that operate within the pit were often observed queuing at the crusher and shovels. Analysis of truck fleet data revealed an uneven distribution of haul trucks between shovels. This resulted in longer cycle times and truck bunching. Through the adoption of machine learning and Internet of Things (IoT), truck cycle efficiency was improved, resulting in greater capital utilisation and increased annual material movement.” To succeed in transitioning to a digital supply chain which fully uses the capacity of AI to transform operations, miners will need to think big, start small and scale fast. Thinking big means getting clear on the vision, strategy and desired

business outcomes for the future. Starting small means executing on the strategy by designing and delivering in sprints. Scaling fast means developers work quickly to get to minimum viable product, rapidly scale up and embed successful products operationally before moving on to the next one. According to Deloitte China’s Mining and Metals Leader, Kevin Xu, “The mining sector is at the earliest stages of building a digital supply network – which is both a risk and an opportunity. Those organisations that crack the code around fully interlinking their supply chains can gain the end-to-end visibility they need to enhance their asset utilisation, operational efficiency and productivity – realising hard dollar savings as a result.” Australia was the third country in the world after the UK and the USA to have an operational computer, an early lead which subsequent generations squandered. Top-tier Australian mining companies are leading or level with the rest of the world when it comes to AI and digitally transforming the mining supply chain. Hopefully we’ll learn from history.


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Increase safety on your site with proximity detection systems According to Safe Work Australia, the mining industry has seen a 51 per cent increase in the number of serious claims for disease and injury between 2000-01 and 2013-14. Proximity detection and collision awareness systems are the kind of safeguards that mine operators can implement to reduce accidents, keep track of machine movements and mitigate risk across the site. Proximity detection systems can increase safety onsite by alerting machine operators, drivers of light vehicles and individuals on foot to their proximity to other workers via small devices fitted to the machine or worn on clothing. Collision awareness technology alerts operators to collisions, either with other machines or assets such as coal valves or stackers and reclaimers on stockpiles when they enter an avoidance zone. Since the technology’s inception, proximity detection and collision awareness solutions have become both more sophisticated and easier to use. Historically some systems have been known to ‘over alarm’ or be very complex to install and manage, becoming a hindrance to productivity. This ‘boy who cried wolf’ situation can lead to more dangerous conditions onsite with machine operators and workers not treating alarms with the same seriousness due to the high number of false alarms. The way to reduce these false alarms and increase urgency and reaction to alarms is to improve accuracy. Some systems, such as those by Blue Electronics, have features that increase accuracy and greatly reduce false alarms. Blue Electronics has improved the technology around its collision avoidance systems with the use of

SBAS and Bluetooth low-energy technology – a fail-safe method that covers you if your GPS drops out. According to Position Partners, Blue Electronics’ solution provider for Australia, New Zealand and South-East Asia, the systems offer a highly modular and user-friendly solution. “The devices can be installed in a matter of minutes on any machine, heavy or light, so they can be swapped between plants,” said Andrew Granger, Position Partners Business Development Manager for Mining. “A relative accuracy of +/- 1 metre is achievable with no special infrastructure,” he added. “However, for applications requiring higher accuracy, such as stockpiles and rehabilitation, operators can upgrade the system by adding a base station or our AllDayRTK network and achieve accuracies of +/- 25mm. These systems are extremely reliable and easy to deploy – they are a great option for all mine sites, large or small.” JUNE/JULY 2019

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Agribusiness

THERE IS NO DOUBT THAT ‘SMART FARMS’ CAN INCREASE YIELDS AND REDUCE OPERATING COSTS, BUT IS THE AUSTRALIAN AGRICULTURE INDUSTRY READY FOR DIGITAL FARMING?

IoT is coming to a farm near you Australian farmers are often romanticised as ’battlers’ – men and women who persevere through wildly unpredictable events such as drought, plagues of pests, floods and our country’s woeful internet coverage to deliver fresh produce and goods to millions of people around the world. Extreme hardship is accepted as a way of life for many Australian farmers – but does it have to be? What if managing thousands of hectares of crops or hundreds of paddocks filled with livestock could all be done at the touch of a button from an iPad or smartphone? What if farming could be smart not hard? “The next generation of Aussie farmers is much more open to

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new technologies,” says Dominik Baumeister, Strategy, Innovation & Technology Partner at PwC. “It keeps them tied to the industry, and, surprisingly, our research shows that the agriculture industry as a whole is really open to new technologies, compared to the construction industry, for instance.” Baumeister is referring to the research he helped pull together for a 2018 report that PwC prepared for the Australian Computer Society, titled ’Australia’s IoT Opportunity: Driving Future Growth’. The report predicts that the Internet of Things (IoT) and ‘smart farming’ could deliver benefits of $14-22 billion to the Australian agriculture industry

annually through improved crop and livestock yields, reduced wastage and livestock mortality, operational process improvements, and maintenance and labour cost savings. But what exactly is a ’smart farm’?

Connecting things

The Australian Government’s Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation defines IoT as “a wirelessly connected network of objects and devices enabling computers, machines, infrastructure, animals and people to transfer data between each other, without human interaction”. Unlike agtech that seeks to solve only one problem – such as how to shear a sheep faster or automate 


Agribusiness

Lisa Smyth Business and travel writer Lisa Smyth is a non-stop nomad, living everywhere from Myanmar and Germany to PNG.

Fast Facts

2%

The digital IQ of Australians is 2 per cent below the global average.

USD $0.30

The average cost of a sensor in 2023 will be USD $0.30, down from USD $0.50 in 2016. JUNE/JULY 2019

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Agribusiness

irrigation processes better – IoT technology allows farmers to closely monitor, in real time, the environment and health of their entire property, plus all their machines, crops and livestock, using a series of sensors and drones connected to a central system. Using historical data from that specific farm alongside data sets from the region and even the country, a farmer can be alerted to the best time to harvest, when a machine needs maintenance, and even when a cow is about to give

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birth. A smart farm helps the farmer predict the future and act proactively, rather than reactively. “We found that smart farms can help in two key areas: process improvements and efficiencies, which will lead to cost reduction and, more dramatically, predicting things like water and fertiliser needs could increase yields by up to 25 per cent,” explains Baumeister. “This will be crucial to maintaining Australia’s global competitiveness in the sector.”

The future is here

It is estimated that by next year the number of IoT devices for agricultural use will have reached 75 million. Already, in 2016, it was reported that 40 per cent of growers in the US corn industry (producing 70 per cent of the crop) were using IoT applications to manage their cropping program, helping with decisions about

pesticide use and planting density. Closer to home, dozens, if not hundreds, of projects and trials are taking place across the country. In Tasmania the government is developing an IoT solution to help oyster farmers predict and adapt to disease and climate change. Calum Carruth, co-owner of the 170,000-hectare Murchison House Station in Western Australia, told iTnews in January that he believed his recently installed whole-of-farm connectivity system would save the business $25,000 in water costs in the first year alone, and “that’s without factoring in that my workers can do something else instead of trough runs.” “Technologies like servers and drones are still quite visible, but in the future the technology will be very much in the background, working autonomously, without the need for people to do the analysing and number-crunching,” explains Dr Rachelle Hergenhan, a member of 


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Agribusiness

the University of New England’s SMART Farms project team. “But connectivity and cost are two of the major hurdles to implementing IoT solutions on Australian farms. You need the internet for remote access, so a poultry farmer can check the temperature and humidity in their henhouses, or a crop farmer can monitor soil moisture and adjust accordingly in real time. IoT is a decision support tool, and the flow-on effects from making better decisions earlier are numerous.”

Social licence to operate

While many regional and remote telecommunications networks have sprung up in recent years to service areas where the NBN can’t reach and 3G or 4G services are patchy, cost-effective connectivity remains the biggest hurdle for Australian producers to implement IoT technologies. In the US, Microsoft’s Project FarmBeats has been trialling the idea of laying Wi-Fi over TV whitespaces – essentially unused

TV channels – but such advances are few and far between down under. “Australia needs to up its game in innovation; we are a reasonable way behind the rest of the world,” says Baumeister. “An unprecedented 27 years of economic growth has made us complacent and created a culture of limited innovation.” A lack of connectivity and innovation is of even bigger concern when you consider just how far-reaching the effects of IoT technologies can be. With more consumers than ever demanding information about the environmental and ethical impacts of agricultural production, actors all along the supply chain can benefit from full traceability and transparency of a product from paddock to plate. For instance, Woolworths is pursuing one of the country’s largest IoT projects, installing sensors throughout its supply chain. Codenamed Fresh Insights, it won’t just optimise

efficiencies – the company plans to make data available to shoppers so they can check the provenance of produce and goods. “These days farmers must prove they looked after the land and livestock in order to have a social licence to farm in Australia,” notes Hergenhan. “A group might accuse a farmer of polluting a water source, but if they have a smart farm, the data can disprove those claims. It’s a win for farmers and customers.”

Fast Fact

IBM

IBM launched the world’s smallest computer in March 2018, the size of a grain of salt.

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Australian Eggs

THREE good eggs HATCHING FRESH PLANS TO FREE HENS FROM CAGED LIFE.

Ian Lloyd Neubauer With nearly 20 years’ journalism experience, Ian is abreast of global news as it happens.

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Australian Eggs

U

ntil the 1980s, keeping a few chooks in the backyard for eggs was an everyday part of the Australian experience. But as our population expanded and cities became denser, we started buying commercially produced eggs at supermarkets and grocery stores. To keep hens safe from predators and disease, farmers developed a new system of production whereby flocks were housed in individual cages about the size of a sheet of A4 paper. By the 80s, caged eggs accounted for 80 per cent of consumption in Australia. The system proved highly efficient, but according to animal welfare groups was cruel as it restricted the birds’ behavioural needs: fluffing their wings, perching, bathing in dust and scratching around in the grass for insects. In the past decade, the movement has sparked a return to non-cage production systems which allow hens to move around freely and enjoy a better quality of life. Today, nearly 45 per cent of all eggs sold in Australia prescribe to animal welfare norms. This issue at AusBiz we meet three Australian egg farmers who’ve transitioned from cage to non-cage systems, including one who’s pioneered an entirely new way to house hens – a system that’s now being adopted by farmers all over the world.

The veteran

From humble beginnings in 1946, Golden Eggs has become Western Australia’s largest producer, with seven farms processing a million eggs per day. “I’m old enough to remember when all our chooks were free-range,” says Managing Director Peter Bell. “But in the 60s and 70s, we moved about 95 per cent of our flock to cages. Now we’ve moved about 60 per cent back to non-cage systems. The major supermarket chains have been a real driver of egg-purchasing habits. The media has also had a huge impact.” Bell and the 200 staff at Golden Eggs use two kinds of non-cage production systems – free-range and barn-laid, the latter referring to eggs laid by hens who live in big sheds equipped with nesting boxes, perches for hens to jump on, and food and watering systems. “Essentially it’s very similar to the free-range system,” says Bell. “The barns are highly automated and we control the temperature to create the optimum environment. The only real difference is the hens can’t go outside during the day. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing because when hens are indoors they’re safe from eagles and foxes. One free-range farmer in New South Wales said he had to shoot 12 foxes every weekend.” Barn-laid eggs cost less to produce than free-range 

F R E E - R A N G E H E N S AT G O L D E N E G G S FA R M .


Australian Eggs

eggs because they take up less farmland. They retail in supermarkets for about $4 a dozen – $1 less than Golden Eggs’ free-range equivalent. “The biggest challenges for farmers who transition from caged to non-caged are livestock management practices,” Bell says. “When hens are in cages, not that much can go wrong with them. But the moment they start scratching around on the ground they’re exposed to bacterial infections and all kinds of diseases.”

The free radical

Morry Wroby’s egg farm in the Victorian town of Seymour originally produced fertilised eggs or embryos for a pharmaceutical producer of human flu vaccines. But when demand for vaccines hit rock bottom in 2012, he retooled his business to produce free-range eggs, renaming it Lucky Chicken Eggs. “Imagine the boss at your office locked the doors and you couldn’t go outside. You’d feel pretty stressed, wouldn’t you?” Wroby asks. “But if the doors were open, you wouldn’t worry about it. Your office has air conditioning in the summer and heating in the winter. You’re better off being inside. “In the same way, we never close the doors on their barns. Some hens will spend all day outside, some only go outside once every two or three days, and about 15 per cent never go out – we don’t know why. But the

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important thing is that the hens get to decide.” Lucky Chicken Eggs has tripled in size since 2012, with nine free-range egg farms across the state producing 250,000 dozen eggs a week, sold exclusively at Coles. The company also produces a niche brand of even ’freer’ free-range eggs called Valley Park – the only egg brand in Victoria certified by the RSPCA. At $6.90 a dozen, they cost double the price of caged eggs, but sell like hotcakes in the supermarket. “The reason they’re so expensive is that the freer the hens are, the higher the mortality rate,” Morry explains. “If you want to make sure your kids never get sick, you’d keep them locked up all day. But if you send them to school, they’re going to fall down in the playground, scratch their knees, get into fights and catch the flu. But that’s life and it’s also our creed. We give our hens a good life worth living.”

The caravan kid

In 2010, at the age of 24, Port Macquarie man Daniel O’Brien set himself the goal of producing the best certified organic eggs in Australia. He assumed it would take him a few years, but within 12 months his company Oxhill Organics was supplying restaurants like Rockpool by Neil Perry and Agape – one of Sydney’s top organic restaurants. “Chefs would say this was the best egg they’d ever tasted; they held together so well and were so bright,” O’Brien says. One day he was looking at a large patch of ground, which


Australian Eggs

his chooks had very quickly turned from grass to dirt. Hens don’t like to move far from their barn because of their innate fear of predators, so it was very hard to shift them around. But what if he moved the barn? Not just once, but regularly? It would spread the hens’ manure evenly across his paddock, giving the grass a chance to regrow and the chickens a ’salad buffet’ – fresh grass stocked with bugs and beetles. The solution? A mobile pasture-egg barn that you can hook up to a tractor and move around like a caravan. “One day someone said, ’you should sell these’,” O’Brien recalls. “I thought the cost would be prohibitive – I spent $25,000 building the first one. But when I put a video up on YouTube showing how it works, I started getting emails and calls from farmers in America saying they wanted to buy one. It was so big it could never fit in a shipping container, so I teamed up with my brother and we re-engineered them as flat-packs. We sold our houses and lived on noodles for a year – put everything on the line. The investment paid off. We sold 12 in the first year.” In 2013, the Chicken Caravan was named Australian Farm Invention of the Year by NSW Farmers Federation. Today they sell in more than a dozen countries and are recognised as the industry leader. “We’re constantly improving them,” reveals O’Brien. “Now they have solar panels and we have people flying in from as far away as Angola to see how they work.”

OVER CHOOK EGGS? TRY THESE: Duck eggs

Blue in colour and higher in protein, duck eggs are 50 per cent larger than hens’ eggs. Demand is driven by the Filipino community and restaurants who use them in sponges and pavlovas. RRP: $9 per dozen

Quail eggs

Olive-sized, quail eggs are full of vitamin D. Great for canapés, bento boxes and a whole gamut of Asian food. Raising Japanese quails at home is easy – five can live in one square metre. RRP: $5.50 per dozen

Emu eggs

F R O M L E F T: GOLDEN EGGS; C H I C K E N C A R AVA N ; DANIEL O'BRIEN, FOUNDER O F C H I C K E N C A R AVA N .

Emerald green and the size of a mini-football. Prized by Indigenous Australians and bodybuilders for their super-high concentration of protein and healthy fats. RRP: $3 each.

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Australian Wagyu Beef

Darren Baguley Darren specialises in the fields of technology, mining, agriculture, energy and business.

Bright future for Wagyu beef

CURRENTLY IN A HOLDING PATTERN DUE TO REDUCED PROFITABILITY, WAGYU BEEF OFFERS AN ALTERNATIVE FOR CATTLE PRODUCERS LOOKING TO BREAK OUT OF THE COMMODITY BEEF MARKET. There is no doubt that Australian beef producers have been doing it tough in recent years, with drought in New South Wales and Queensland leading to skyrocketing feed prices. But while higher grain costs have reduced profitability and seen herd expansion stop, premium Wagyu beef retains a bright future in Australian agriculture. So, what is Wagyu beef and how are Wagyu cattle different from common beef breeds such as Angus

and Hereford? Wagyu beef is grain-fed to a high degree and has rapidly developed a reputation as a premium product. Indeed, Australian Wagyu producer Jack’s Creek has had the current title of World’s Best Steak Producer for two consecutive years, as well as World’s Best Fillet Steak in 2017. Fans of Wagyu say it is almost as different as lamb is to beef; its fine intramuscular marbling of mostly monounsaturated fat has a low melting point which, when  JUNE/JULY 2019

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Australian Wagyu Beef

cooked, gives the meat an incredibly tender and juicy flavour. ’Wagyu’ translates simply as ’Japanese cow’, and there are four distinct breeds: Japanese Black, Japanese Polled, Japanese Brown and Japanese Shorthorn. All four derive from cross-breeding Asian cattle with mostly European and British breeds in the 20th century. The Japanese Black makes up 90 per cent of all fattened cattle in Japan, and most Wagyu in Australia derive from that breed. While there are Wagyu herds in Canada, the US and the UK, due to an accident of history Australia has the largest herd outside of Japan. During the 90s, the genetics from 220 animals were exported from Japan to Australia via the US, because at the time there was no trade protocol for the export of semen or live animals from Japan to Australia. Not long after the material was received in Australia, Japan banned the export of Wagyu genetics. According to Australian Wagyu Association CEO Dr Matt McDonagh, from that initial importation the Australian Wagyu herd has continued to grow, expanding 20 per cent year on year between 2013 and 2018. Currently, around 100,000 purebred Australian Wagyu can trace their bloodlines back to the original 220 animals. There are a further 200,000 Wagyu-cross animals that are mostly Wagyu bulls over Angus cows and Wagyu bulls over Angus-cross Wagyu cows – known as F1 and F2 crosses. Surprisingly for an animal that originated in Japan, where they were hand-fed from birth and used as beasts of burden, Wagyu and Wagyu-cross animals have thrived in every part of the country from Tasmania to Northern Australia. According to McDonagh, a big part of their success is the breed’s biology. “Wagyu females are quite small compared to European breeds. Females are typically around

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500 kilograms – 600 kilograms is considered a very big cow by Wagyu standards, whereas bulls can get to 800 or 1000 kilograms,” he says. “And Wagyu cows are very efficient and effective. They can thrive in just about any of the Australian conditions; their inherent fat makes them very fertile and they produce small calves that grow out into large cattle that can go into feedlots.” One of the salient features of Wagyu in Australia is the high level of vertical integration; typically, the beef producer, feedlot and exporter will be owned by the same company. According to McDonagh, “90 per cent of Australian Wagyu production is exported, but with the increase in production of Wagyu beef in Australia, Australian consumers are starting to get exposure to Wagyu products. They’re starting to understand the difference in Wagyu and non-Wagyu, so supermarkets, high-quality butchers and hatted restaurants such as Rockpool and Cha Cha Cha are leading to recognition of Wagyu in the domestic market. “Wagyu is a very different paradigm to standard commodity beef, as highquality cuts are worth several hundred dollars per kilogram in export markets. So, where the rest of the industry is focused on how you can produce at as low a cost as possible, Wagyu is a race to the top – how can you produce the best-quality product possible?” While Wagyu has been on an upward trajectory for several years, in the past few years growth has flattened out. Because Wagyu cattle’s diet has a high grain content, the recent drought in New South Wales and Queensland, and subsequent rise in grain prices, has led to reduced profitability for mainstream producers. There is, however, a small number of pasture-fed Wagyu producers who have not been impacted by the rise in grain prices. One of these is 

Fast Facts

90,000

Australia produces 90,000 tonnes of Wagyu beef annually.

0 to 9+

Meat Standards Australia grades marbling on a scale of 0 to 9+; typically only full-blood/ purebred Wagyu can score at the upper end of that scale.


Australian Wagyu Beef

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Australian Wagyu Beef

Gundooee Organics’ Rob Lennon, Australia’s only certified organic pasture-fed Wagyu producer. Lennon purchased his 760-hectare property near Leadville in 1998 and became organically certified in 2006. A practitioner of Allan Savory’s Holistic Management™, he currently runs 300 F2 Wagyu cattle (75 per cent purebred Wagyu and 25 per cent Angus) across 30 paddocks, which have around 70 species of deep-rooted primarily native perennial pastures. During winter, green oats are ‘pasture cropped’ into the dormant native pasture to provide a supplementary food source. According to Lennon, “Our focus fundamentally revolves around building soil fertility, with healthy soils being our greatest farming asset. Our health is inextricably linked to soil. Healthy soil

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“Wagyu is a very different paradigm to standard commodity beef, as high-quality cuts are worth several hundred dollars per kilogram in export markets... Wagyu is a race to the top – how can you produce the best-quality product possible?” is needed for healthy grass, which in turn feeds the cattle we consume. “Our grasses have a symbiotic relationship with the microbes living in our soil. Root exudates, containing minerals and sugars, feed beneficial (hopefully) microbes. In turn, these microbes form a barrier against pathogens that attack the roots.” Gundooee Organics supplies to nearly a dozen fine quality butcher shops

in New South Wales and Queensland, as well as several hatted restaurants. While there is little doubt that the drought is causing growth in Wagyu production to slow down, the opportunities for producers to supply a high-end product to a luxury market mean demand for Wagyu will continue to grow globally, and Australian producers are ideally positioned to meet that demand.


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Property Biz. INFINITY BY CROWN IN S Y D N E Y WA S D E S I G N E D B Y AWA R D - W I N N I N G ARCHITECT KOICHI TA K A D A A N D I S H O M E TO MORE THAN 300 A PA R T M E N T S , M O S T O F WHICH WERE BOUGHT OFF THE PLAN PRIOR TO COMPLETION.

Kirsten Craze Kirsten Craze is a freelance journalist who has been writing about property in Australia and overseas for more than 15 years.

Buying off the plan PURCHASING AN APARTMENT WITHOUT BEING ABLE TO KICK THE SKIRTING BOARDS CAN MAKE SOME BUYERS FEEL LIKE THEY’RE FLYING BLIND. HERE’S SOME ADVICE ON ENSURING PEACE OF MIND. 32

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Property Biz.

When you’re buying off the plan, timeframes can blow out and final finishes may differ from the glossy marketing material that originally reeled you in. And while buyers often count on their new apartment’s value rising during the months (sometimes years) between signing on the dotted line and receiving the keys, there is a chance that asset could actually be worth less. These are the calculated risks when buying off the plan, but nevertheless the process can still be a rewarding one, both emotionally and financially, if done with due diligence. According to the ’Developer Insights Series 2019’ on new apartments by REA Group (the company behind property portal realestate.com.au), 40 per cent of potential purchasers were drawn to buying off the plan because of modern features, 35 per cent liked the fact no one else had lived there and 31 per cent were attracted by the customised finishes. Conversely, the barriers buyers saw included 47 per cent who were put off by unexpected costs and 36 per cent who thought buying off the plan would be stressful. The NSW Office of Fair Trading suggests buyers of new property should “exercise caution and obtain appropriate legal advice before signing any documents or paying any money.” But even after the lawyers and accountants

have dotted the ‘i’s and crunched the numbers, there is still more homework to be done to make sure you’re on to a good thing.

Is it all good in the ‘hood?

Chances are your new apartment is being built in an established suburb, so a few Saturday mornings cruising local cafés or evenings spent passing by could enlighten you on the area. Michael Romano, Development Director at Crown Group, says savvy buyers should also study what new infrastructure is in the pipeline and if it can cope with an influx of residents. “Ask yourself if it’s near travel amenities,” he says. “Where’s the train station? Where’s the bus stop? How long would it take me to get to work? Look at other retail and recreational amenities such as supermarkets, food and beverage outlets, sporting facilities and clubs.” He adds that health and education facilities are also key: “Does the location have access to good quality schools, universities and medical facilities? For young families, what about access to childcare? Buyers can then do an assessment of the pros and cons of a location. If it’s ticking lots of pros, then they can narrow down with respect to the kinds of projects that are available in that location.” 

Fast Fact

80%

When flathunting, 80 per cent of would-be apartment buyers are considering new and established properties, while 20 per cent are specifically seeking to buy off the plan.

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Property Biz. UPON COMPLETION, MASTERY BY CROWN – A FIVE-BUILDING DEVELOPMENT IN SYDNEY – HAS AT T R A C T E D M A N Y O F F -T H E - P L A N B U Y E R S DUE TO PERKS SUCH AS I T S ‘ S TA C K E D F O R E S T ’ FA C A D E , P O O L A N D ROOFTOP GYM, PLUS ITS J A PA N E S E F O O D C O U R T.

Who is the builder?

Fast Fact

57%

As they shortlist potential projects, 57 per cent of offthe-plan buyers are concentrated on the purchase price, 47 per cent focus on the location of the development, and 42 per cent want to be close to public transport.

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Without a tangible product, buyers need to have faith in the builder of their future flat. Each state and territory has a department or office of fair trading that can offer advice on how to research a builder and their reputation. But beyond that, Romano says the internet is a valuable resource. “Go to their website to help you understand what past projects they’ve done and to see their track record,” he advises. “It’s important to look at the developer and builder’s credentials and even see if they’ve won industry awards.” REA’s Insight study showed 75 per cent of new apartment buyers found value in visiting a developer’s corporate website, with half of those seeking information on specific units and floor plans while a third were looking to scrutinise the developer and builder. “Take it a step further and visit their completed projects and make inquiries with the owner’s corporations to get some feedback with respect to its quality and condition,” says Romano.

Are you paying too much?

If an apartment’s value is less on settlement day than the agreed price, a buyer’s funds might not be approved for the full amount, leaving them financially vulnerable. “We suggest buyers stress test what the outcome will be if the market goes up when they settle; and equally, what the outcome will be if the market goes down,” says Romano. The REA survey showed that 31 per cent of potential buyers saw the upside of buying off the plan because it allowed them extra time to save, and 72 per cent said special offers like developers paying stamp duty or initial body corporate fees got them over the line. Most experts agree that, in today’s market, one thing off-the-plan buyers can’t do is get rich quickly. “We’ve always recommended to our customers that investing off the plan is a long-term decision. It’s not an asset class that can be speculated,” Romano says. “What customers want to ensure is that they don’t buy at the peak of the market and, as we know from all the information out there – we’re not at the peak of the market.”


Property Biz.

What’s the plan?

Author and interiors expert Naomi Findlay advises buyers to consider a practical plan of attack when buying off the plan. “Do a solar study to look at daylight access. Where is the sun and where is the shade? That’s a big thing in apartment living because if the only outside area is a west-facing balcony, you’re not going to be able to enjoy it much in summer. Really think about what it is going to be like to live in the place,” Findlay says, adding that noise pollution and ventilation are also incredibly important elements that don’t show up on a plan. “Lots of buildings being built now – unless you have your front door open and another unit has its front door open – then there is very little cross-ventilation, and that’s really important. “Look at the overall size and layout, and consider exactly how you are going to live in that space. Where do you put a TV or a feature piece of art? Is there enough area for you to circulate around a dining table? Visit a display suite and see the size of the furniture in there as well. Is the two-seater that is being used really a two-seater or is it just a giant armchair?” Findlay says size and aspect really do matter when it comes to the finished product: “If one day you fell out of love with a brass tap, or the carpet, you can change those. But you’re never going to be able to change the ventilation, ceiling height or the actual size of the unit. So dive a little deeper into how you might use the space, don’t just fall for what you’ve seen in the beautiful brochures.”

Think outside the box

Buying off the plan is not just about purchasing an apartment. In today’s developments, purchasers are buying a lifestyle. Of those surveyed in the REA Insights study, the most popular amenity – at 30 per cent – for house hunters was a common barbecue area, landscaped gardens or communal decks, while outdoor pools and gyms were also highly desired at 24 per cent. “There are hidden special facilities that might not show up in the floor plans,” Romano explains. “For example, a lot of projects now are offering storage cages, which is quite important for people moving from a house to an apartment. We’re also seeing trends with respect to electric charging stations on site, car share spaces and car wash bays.”

Case Study: Zoran Pilic

Boasting more than 30 years’ experience in the construction industry across a variety of projects and countries, Zoran Pilic has bought two brand-new apartments in the same Sydney development by Crown Group, including one off the plan. “I’m a builder by trade, and I could see the quality of the construction was good. I couldn’t see cracking or waterproofing problems in the bathrooms, or any of those problems, so I was happy,” he says. “When we look for apartments off the plan, we look for location, a return, an investment that will last, and the quality of the building that won’t require maintenance in years to come. “There are a lot of shonky builders out there today, and in my job I go around and fix a lot of developers’ problems. Crown Group wasn’t on the list, so long-term I knew the sinking fund would not get burnt by putting extra money into repairs.”

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St Ann’s University Residential College

Transforming School Leavers into Young Professionals

Accepting applications for 2020 www.stannscollege.edu.au

St Ann’s University Residential College Affiliated with The University of Adelaide University of South Australia Flinders University 187 Brougham Place, North Adelaide SA 5006 (08) 8267 1478 info@stannscollege.edu.au


Education Special

St Ann’s College St Ann’s University Residential College provides accommodation in a safe and inspiring environment where opportunities for education and personal development are encouraged. New students from diverse backgrounds are invited to contribute to a happy social atmosphere in which fun and academic success are priorities. St Ann’s is proud of its academic results, with 95 per cent of its subjects passed with the help of 63 academic tutors. Ten residential tutors provide academic and social leadership, as well as pastoral care, to students. St Ann’s College annually provides more than $80,000 in scholarships and prizes to both first-year and returning students, which can ease the financial burden on rural and regional students and their families. In 2018 Renae Kretschmer made the move from Wirrabara to St Ann’s College in North Adelaide while studying at the University of Adelaide. “I had a good education at Booleroo Centre District School, became interested in science subjects early on, and that led me to study Animal Science at the University of Adelaide,” she explains. Renae was awarded a Regional Science & Engineering Scholarship by the Playford Trust in 2018, which provided assistance with college fees and created a smooth transition to Adelaide for both Renae and her family. “My move to Adelaide in 2018 was a challenge because of my big involvement in the family farm. The Playford Trust Scholarship, which was an honour to receive, gave me confidence that the move was the right decision, as finances had been a great concern. St Ann’s College and its welcoming community of

ST ANN'S COLLEGE OFFERS SCHOLARSHIPS TO STUDENTS WHO ARE EXCELLING IN THEIR CHOSEN FIELD

people experiencing similar changes helped me adapt to a new lifestyle right from day one.” Thomas de la Perrelle completed his senior schooling at St Joseph’s School in Port Lincoln, and is currently living at St Ann’s College while in his second year of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Adelaide. Since moving to Adelaide, Thomas has been supported by the St Ann’s College community. The support provided him the opportunity to take on several leadership roles at St Ann’s, coaching both the college band and hockey team as well as offering pastoral care as a residential tutor. In 2019 Thomas was awarded the Chartwells/St Ann’s College/ Playford Residential Scholarship. “I am extremely grateful to have been selected for this scholarship. It means a great deal to not only myself, but my family and extended family, that I should be recognised in this way,” says Thomas.

“This financial assistance will allow me to focus more on my studies throughout the year. I am sure that this focus will hold me in good stead as I continue my degree and move into the workforce, so I thank the college for choosing to invest in my future.” St Ann’s College applications for 2020 are now open. Apply now to join an exciting and diverse community you will never forget. For more information, contact St Ann’s College on (08) 8267 1478 or email info@stannscollege.edu.au JUNE/JULY 2019

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Finance

Ryan Watson Tribeca Financial’s CEO knows all about money management.

Wealth protection in uncertain times Life can be unpredictable. And when it comes to managing finances, instability can have a devastating impact. The good news is that by being strategic about planning for wealth protection in uncertain times you can help safeguard yourself against financial insecurity – and prosper. The first sensible steps towards protecting your wealth should involve fresh diversification and rebalancing of your portfolio. Changing the way you invest and growing your money is not an overnight deal. The start of the 2018 financial year was marred on a global scale by significant upheaval and uncertainty that included the ongoing Brexit saga, as well as growing trade tensions between China and the US. Fears of the economy putting the brakes on are well-founded and will continue to be an issue – factors that will see economic growth in the year ahead remain uncertain. Inflation that exceeds returns on savings account interest rates and the worry about hanging on to bonds, shares and assets that might take a dive in what is clearly an unstable climate are all legitimate reasons to feel nervous about the direction of your own wealth protection.

To help you feel more in control of your financial future, try these practical tips to help your investments remain as protected as possible while we all ride out the storm:

Diversify your investments

Different industries are impacted by different events and the flow-on effect negative news has on the stock market is just as varied. An economic crash in one sector can lead to a boom in another. By diversifying across different industries, your finances will be better protected. When you spread investments over a combination of assets you have access to potential for both shortterm and long-term financial growth – without all your eggs in one basket. Diversification also means mixing up your investments within each asset class. A portfolio that has a good balance of shares in both small and big business, as well as different geographical territories, is another smart way to reduce risk.

Seek professional advice

Sure, you might have managed your share portfolio well yourself to date, but do you really have the insights to weather a volatile financial future?

Honing a robust investment portfolio requires experience and professional knowledge. Even if you only utilise a professional adviser to set things up, it can be an important investment for your financial future. Advisers aren’t just relying on their own understanding. Most quality financial advisers have access to a team of support people who help them monitor daily market fluctuations and to make informed decisions about when to invest and when to get out.

Cash creates a buffer

Any wealth protection strategy needs to incorporate a cash-onhand buffer to help you ride out inevitable tough times. Liquidating assets when times get tough is never a positive thing, so to minimise the impact investment losses may have on your day-to-day life, keeping cash close by for emergency situations is a critical way to protect your secure financial future and prevent you from making impulsive decisions that might see your losses become even worse. Investing money is always a roller-coaster. By being prepared for the downturns, you can enjoy the good times even more. JUNE/JULY 2019

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Puzzles

CROSSWORD

I T R O A C R B T S C C D

R A P C G A A A D A E T I

R N A Y C R K R R R A L G

A R R R W E A C E M A G A

C A K T R D E C A M W C N

P C R D R A C T I D E R C

C A R P E N T E R N P O F

C A R O L M A C A R O N I

SOLUTIONS:

A R R R W E A C E M A G A

C A K T R D E C A M W C N

P C R D R A C T I D E R C

C A R P E N T E R N P O F

C A R O L M A C A R O N I

AusBiz.

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A I A R D R O N U E A S R

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CARNATION CARNIVAL

Find all the words listed hidden in the grid of letters. They can be found in straight lines up, down, forwards, backwards or even diagonally. Theme: CAR WORDS

E N I R R C R M B V S A C

CAR PARK CARAMEL

WORD SEARCH

M H O D E A I O E T A O C

40

DOWN 1. Pitiful 2. Fashion direction 3. Holed atmosphere layer 4. Bun seed 5. Court clown 6. First-born 10. Greenish-blue 11. Inflatable mattress 12. Disc jockeys (1,2) 13. Emollient, ... vera 14. Italy’s currency unit 15. Good-luck pet 16. Removed (hat) 17. Lose concentration 18. Volunteers 19. Cowardly person 20. Passionate dance

C L D E C Q N V P L B L L

ACROSS 1. Bidding sales 5. Bop 7. Prank 8. Fixated 9. Crib 12. Most beloved 15. Leas 19. Begin journey (3,3) 21. Shares secret 22. Bare 23. Heavy thump 24. Actress, Debbie ...


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True Blue Magazine - June/July 2019  

Rex Airlines was founded in 2002, and is Australia's largest independent regional airline, serving 58 ports in New South Wales, South Austra...

True Blue Magazine - June/July 2019  

Rex Airlines was founded in 2002, and is Australia's largest independent regional airline, serving 58 ports in New South Wales, South Austra...

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