One year since his disappearance, Zac Barnes’ family are still searching for answers

Search for answers: Zac Barnes’ mother Karen Gudelj and step father Michael Gudelj at a search earlier this year and (inset) missing teenager Zac. It’s a milestone Karen and Michael Gudeljhoped would never be reached.
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November 13, 2017will mark one year sincetheir son Zac Barnes was last seen, dashing from a friend’s car into bushnear Thornton.

It’s been a difficult 12 months for the 18-year-old’s family.

Zac’s younger sisters still wake in the middle of the night when it rains, scared their beloved older brotheris somewhere outside,getting wet.

The family’s concern for their missing boy hasn’t eased for a second of the last year, leading to their latest attempt to find out what happened that night on November 13.

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The pain of not knowing‘I know he would have not just run off’Help us find ZacThey’re calling for volunteers this weekend for a search of the bushland whereZac is suspected of disappearing. Karenhopes it will shed some light on a question that pains their family every day.

“We just want to know if he’s in there or not,” she said of the stretch of bush along Haussman Drive.

If Zac isn’t located there, they can at least focuson different areas and possibilities, Karen reasoned.

The most recent search comes almost a year after Zac was last seen.

The apprentice bricklayerwas at a friend’s house before he suddenly wanted to leave to get a train at Thornton railway station, according to his friends.On the wayZac asked his friend to stop the car, thengot out and ran off into the bush off of Haussman Drive.

Zac’s family’s anguish: the search for answers a year on TweetFacebook

Six Hunter women, three youngsters named in NSW Sevens national championship squads

OLD HANDS: Brydie Parker, Hannah Southwell and Layne Morgan already have representative experience in spades for rugby sevens. Sarah Halvorsen, Mel Howard and Cheech Baker also named. Picture: Marina NeilSIX Newcastle Hunter players have been named in the NSW Sevens representative squads for the Women’s Opens at the National Championshipsin November and December.
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Sarah Halvorsen, Mel Howard and Cheech Baker have been included as part of the 32 player squad that was announced by NSW Rugby Union on October 29.

The local contingent slated to represent NSW is also boosted by Commonwealth Games representativesBrydie Parker, Hannah Southwell and Layne Morgan.

Layne Morgan.

The Newcastle Hunter area also has two representatives in the 33 player team list for the Under 17s Youth Girls, with Emma Bradford named at 4 and Jorja Holden named at 17. Jessie Southwell was named as a development player.

Although the region has no entries in the Men’s Open division at the championship, they also have players named in the Under 17s Youth Men’s team –Caleb Hopping has been selected fromMerewether High School, and Jacob Rabai has been selected fromIrrawang High School.

Central Coast also has anUnder 17 selection in Lachlan Shelley from Green Point Christian College.

Hopping, Rabai and Shelley will be eager to prove their merits in the squad, with the Under 17s team preparing for their title defence after winning the Youth Cup in 2016.

Jacob Rabai and Caleb Hopping with the State Championship Sevens trophy.

NSW Rugby Coach Education and Pathways Manager, Matt Evrard, was impressed with the talent pool that the rep squads could draw after seeingthe NSW State Championships and the Central Coast Sevens competitions.

“These are the first selected squads for the 2017 National Championships for youth and senior age groups,” he said. “These teams have been selected from a number of identified selection tournaments all around the state, with the Central Coast being the last one.”

“Over the coming weeks, these squads will prepare to win as many national titles across the different divisions but more importantly, get as many players identified for Youth Commonwealth Games and National Senior team selection.”

The final opens squad –to benamed before the event – will travel to Bendigo for the Senior National Championships from November 25.

The youth national competition, which will also have its squads reduced, will be held in Ballymore, Brisbane from December 9.

STEP: Mel Howard, named in the extended squad, puts on the after-burners at the n Uni Games.

The next ASX ‘market darlings’

Signage is displayed outside the Macquarie Group Ltd. headquarters in Sydney, , on Monday, Oct. 25, 2010. Three of ‘s four largest banks are set to post second-half profits that match or exceed earnings before the global financial crisis as bad debts ease in an economy benefiting from the biggest mining boom in a century. Photographer: Sergio Dionisio/Bloomberg .
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There’s a long way to fall when you’ve reached the dizzy heights of market darling. Just ask Domino’s Pizza.

In 2015, the pizza chain operator was riding high, generating shareholder returns of more than 200 per cent in the previous two years (relative to the ASX 200 accumulation index) and was one of the celebrity stocks of the ASX.

It was a similar story for vitamins maker Blackmores, which generated more than 650 per cent above the market for its investors and was one of the companies everyone wanted to own.

“Every equity market has its favourites,” Credit Suisse equity strategists said, calling them the “glamour stocks” of the ASX.

“These stocks have provided great returns, they have saved shareholders big drawdowns and they trade on high price-to-earnings ratios,” the strategists said.

“They tend to be stocks operating on large profit margins. They have strong balance sheets. They are already enjoying solid sales and profits momentum.”

Current market darlings, according to the broker, include a2 Milk, Cochlear, ASX, Corporate travel, InvoCare, REA Group, Steadfast, Costa Group, Altium and Aristocrat.

n investors are firm believers in investing in this type of stock, with market darlings trading on 29 times earnings.

Still, preference for this style of investing isn’t as strong as it was 12 months ago when a market darling basket of stocks commanded a premium of 38 times, the strategists said.

“The relationship between Aussie investors and their market darlings has faded, but still remains strong,” the strategists added.

But, as Domino’s Pizza experience dramatically shows, timing is everything when it comes to investing in the stocks that the market loves the most. Downside to ‘darlinghood’

“The message is clear. Stocks that have already reached ‘darlinghood’ – those that many like to brag about owning at dinner parties – often have their best returns behind them,” said the Credit Suisse team.

They examined the performance of ASX stocks that fit into the market darling category and came to the conclusion that the best time to own these stocks is, unsurprisingly, in the period before they become overwhelmingly popular.

The strategists said that on their calculations, stocks that achieve darlinghood – defined by their share price momentum and valuation premium against their history and the market – outperform by around 20 per cent in the two-year lead-up to achieving that status, and from that point on outperform by only around 1 per cent a year.

Given this relatively short window for maximum outperformance, the strategists are always on the lookout for stocks that are the next potential market hot stocks – those that have large profit margins, little debt on their balance sheet, and solid sales and earnings momentum.

The Credit Suisse strategists suggest that the market darlings of the future could include Computershare, Eclipx, Macquarie Group, Qantas and Webjet.

Their model portfolio of 12 stocks already included long positions in Qantas, Computershare, Eclipx, and they add Webjet.

More broadly, the strategists are keeping the faith with equities, market darling or not.

“We think stock indices will be buoyed by rising profits,” they said.

“While we are at the stage of the market cycle when ‘value’ tends to outperform ‘growth’ we can’t resist the temptation of adding a few growth stocks to our long portfolio. “

‘Unacceptable:’ Government admits more housing needed for Sydney’s key workers

New rental homes for nurses, police officers, childcare workers and all critical services staff are to become a priority in the slew of new developments under way around Sydney, it was announced on Monday.
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The NSW government and the state’s land and development agency, Landcom, have outlined a new commitment to improving the supply, and diversity, of affordable rental housing for key workers.

“We have a situation where a nurse travels an hour down from the Central Coast to work in Sydney every day, and where a police officer travels an hour-and-a-half from the Illawarra because they can’t afford to live in Sydney,” the Minister for Planning and Housing Anthony Roberts said. “That’s unacceptable.

“The government recognises the need to increase the supply of affordable housing to provide homes for key workers.”

The pledge was made at the traditional topping out ceremony for the tallest building in the new $8 billion Green Square Town Centre development, the 28-storey, 224-apartment building Ovo, which will be completed next year, with settlements anticipated to start in April.

Private developer Mirvac, which paired with Landcom to deliver the tower, has already contributed $6.39 million in affordable housing levies for Ovo. But still more needs to be done, said Mirvac CEO Susan Lloyd-Hurwitz.

“We are still working with governments and the Property Council around how to build to rent but it’s very important that we all work together to improve outcomes,” she said. “A solution is still some way off.

“We all want to increase the affordable rental supply but we need a range of measures to improve the sector, like giving renters better security of tenure, so they can move when they want to rather than when their landlord wants them to, and improving amenity for them with issues like pet ownership. We are involved in collaborative discussions.” Related: Buyers pay $350 million for InfinityRelated: Green Square penthouse sets neighbourhood recordRelated: 400 ‘tree houses’ for Alexandria

Landcom CEO John Brogden also said it was vital for key workers to be adequately supplied with quality rental homes.

“It’s important to provide those workers with affordable rental homes so they can afford to live in places like this and they can then save for a deposit and gradually transition from the rental market to home ownership,” Mr Brogden said.

“This needs to be in areas like this, close to transport, and here there’s already heavy usage of the rail and bus services. There’s also lots of amenity, and if you look here there’s going to be a brand new library, parklands, an aquatic centre, the old South Sydney Hospital will be completely refurbished as a community facility and there’ll be opportunities for schools and education.”

The new Ovo tower, which had a tree craned onto its roof to show it has reached its highest point, is close to the new $8 billion town centre and the Green Square train station, and is set to be the new gateway to the area.

Designed by architect Richard Francis Jones, director of practice Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp, it’s a striking ellipsoid shape, clad in 1794 panels of 134 different shapes and 17 colours reflecting the natural landscape and the colours of the other buildings in the area. It sits on a street-level retail podium precinct.

“One of the most important things about architecture is its ability to define public places and occasionally there’s a site where a building needs to be a landmark – and this is one,” he said. “All around it, this neighbourhood is now coming to life.

“As an architect, the thing you like the most really is when the building is finished and turned over to the community and, you hope, embraced by the community. This will be an urban landmark and a beautiful place to live.”

All but three of the apartments in Ovo were bought off the plan in the first two days of sale in 2015, with buyers paying $5000 for a half-hour sales appointment. Prices started from the mid $500,000s.

It will be the tallest tower permissible within the Green Square Town Centre which itself covers 14 hectares as part of the total 278-hectare urban renewal area. Eventually the partnership of Mirvac and Landcom will deliver 1668 apartments, 14,000 square metres of retail space and nearly 44,000sq m of commercial office space at the heart of Green Square.

When fully completed after 2030, Green Square’s total population could reach around 53,000.

Severe thunderstorm warning for the HunterRADAR

STORM SEASON: A severe storm warning has been issued for parts of the Hunter.The Bureau of Meteorology has issued a severe thunderstorm warning for the Hunter.
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Thunderstorms are likely to produce damaging winds and large hailstones in the warning area over the next several hours. Locations which may be affected include Newcastle, Gosford, Cessnock, Maitland and surrounding areas.

NSW Ambulance is urging pedestrians and motorists to take extra care in the wet, with paramedics having attended almost 50 motor vehicle-related incidents between midnight and 2.30pm on Monday.

A two-vehicle collision at Minmi Road, Wallsend, was among the eight incidents that paramedics across the state were called to in the 90 minutes to 2.15pm.

Paramedics are calling on motorists to slow down and adjust their driving behaviour to suit the conditions.

STORM SEASON: A severe storm warning has been issued for parts of the Hunter.

Related:Hunter hit with thunderstorms, ‘huge’ hail and30,000 lightning strikes

The State Emergency Service advises that people should:

* Move your car under cover or away from trees.

* Secure or put away loose items around your house, yard and balcony.

* Keep clear of fallen power lines.

* Keep clear of creeks and storm drains.

* Don’t walk, ride your bike or drive through flood water.

* If you are trapped by flash flooding, seek refuge in the highest available place and ring 000 if you need rescue.

* Unplug computers and appliances.

* Avoid using the phone during the storm.

* Stay indoors away from windows, and keep children and pets indoors as well.

* For emergency help in floods and storms, ring the SES (NSW and ACT) on 132 500.