12,000 students told to ‘disregard’ preliminary QCS grades after results accidentally published

Queensland students were shocked to find their QCS results were available online on Saturday, however the Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority has told school-goers to “disregard” what they saw because these were only “preliminary” grades.
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An “administrative error” has been blamed for the accidental publication, with 12,000 concerned and confused students, who accessed what they thought were their final results, sending frantic messages to the QCAA demanding clarification.

Queensland students found what they thought were their final QCS results available 11 days early. Photo: Janie Barrett

“Preliminary QCS Test grades could be viewed in student learning accounts for about half a day earlier this weekend. About 12,000 students accessed them,” QCAA chief executive Chris Rider said.

“The results were published due to an administrative error, and QCAA is reviewing its processes to ensure this doesn’t happen in the future.

“We have advised schools and students to disregard the grades published yesterday. Official results will be released on November 15 as originally planned.

“We apologise for the confusion caused.”

To all my fellow OP people, QCS results are out already on the QCAA student connect website. You don’t have to wait until the 15th November. Posted by Caitie Kennedy on Friday, 3 November 2017

The news of the QCAA’s mistake spread quickly across social media, with students tipping each other off and proud parents celebrating what they thought were their children’s final results.

Education Minister Kate Jones said Mr Rider and the QCAA were taking all measures to ensure the right data was published on the due date.

“The CEO has briefed us that he’s taking all measures and is doing a thorough investigation,” she said.

“I’ve got full confidence that they’ll get to the bottom of this.”

QCS results out early… Lauren got an “A” QCS is Queensland Core Skills Test and is part of the Overall Position…Posted by Eric Drabwell on Friday, 3 November 2017

The leak comes as Queensland students enter the last two weeks of exams, before Schoolies Week kicks off on Saturday, November 18.

It’s Jamie Whincup’s title to lose as the V8 Supercars series heads to Newcastle for the deciding race.

He’s the six-time Supercars champion battling a young challenger but JamieWhincupdoesn’t think his experience is an edge heading into this month’s title-deciding season finale on the streets of Newcastle.
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Whincupsecured victory ahead of Ford’s Scott McLaughlin in Sunday’s 200km race at Pukekohe Park Raceway in New Zealand.

WINNER: Jamie Whincup.

Thewin ensures he’s in the box seat for the final two races of the year.

Heading into the races on the new street circuit in Newcastle, the Red Bull Holden Racing Team star holds a slender 30-point championship lead over McLaughlin.

With the next closest rival being McLaughlin’s DJR Team Penske stablemate Fabian Coulthard – whose fifth-place finish on Sunday leaves him 176 points adrift of the championship lead – the title race now looks like a two-way battle.

“If it was Scotty’s first or second year, potentially, but no we’ve both been around for a while now,” Whincup said. “I’m as hungry as I’ve ever been. It’ll mean the world to me. We’ll make sure we go there well prepared and do the best job we can.”

McLaughlin said: “Atthe end of the day, I’ve just got to beat him.”

“We’ll go there, be the chaser and enjoy it.”

Ford’s Cameron Waters came third on Sunday to continue his strong finish to the year but a first lap incident involving him and Prodrive Racing teammates Chaz Mostert and Mark Winterbottom marred his day.

Mostert being spun on the opening lap left him struggling to stay in the championship hunt, and while he recovered to finish seventh, he sits 264 points off the pace.

It means he and defending series champion Shane Van Gisbergen essentially needWhincupand McLaughlin to fail to score any points in Newcastle to have any hope of winning the title.

Van Gisbergen, who won Saturday’s race to close within 159 points out of the title lead, is now 274 points off the pace after a costly mistake where he rear-ended Tim Slade’s Holden coming into the pits.

While the New Zealander was able to get his damaged Commodore back into the race, his 24th-place finish effectively ends his title defence.

The inaugural Newcastle 500 will be held from November 24 to 26.

‘King’ Kenny in line for Victory debut on Cup Eve

Keeping things tight at the back makes a team hard to beat. But to actually win anything, you need to score goals and have strikers capable of netting on a regular basis.
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And that is Melbourne Victory coach Kevin Muscat’s biggest headache as his side searches for its first win of the season against Western Sydney Wanderers at Etihad Stadium on Monday night, the now traditional Victory Cup Eve fixture.

But one man’s problem is another man’s opportunity, and as Muscat searches for the right blend in front of goal he might turn to cult hero “King” Kenny Athiu to solve his problems – if not from the start of the game, then off the bench.

With main forward Besart Berisha is still unavailable through suspension, attacking midfielder James Troisi away with the Socceroos and Kosta Barbarouses in World Cup qualifying action with New Zealand, Muscat is running out of options.

Athiu built his reputation in the National Premier League over the past few seasons as a regular goalscorer with Heidelberg United, his height, close control and mobility convincing Muscat (and a few other coaches) that he might be able to make the transition to A-League level.

The African-born forward had a heavy workload with his former club, so Muscat has given him a break to freshen up.

Athiu has been training with Victory for several weeks now, and while Muscat says he still has to make the adjustment to the pace of the game at the higher level, he is a chance to be involved at some stage of the game against Western Sydney Wanderers.

Another fringe striker likely to come into consideration, at least for part of the game, is youngster Pierce Waring, a proven scorer at youth and junior level who has not yet had a chance in the first team.

Muscat acknowledged that he would have liked to have had Athiu training with the first team for longer to build on his sharpness and hone his technique in an environment where the game is much quicker. But Muscat accepts that he has to use the cards now available to him.

“We’ve got a few options, Kenny comes into the squad. We would have liked to have left him another week, but circumstances have fast-tracked that.

“He’s now been here for three or four weeks, he’s starting to understand what’s required of him so we’ll wait and see to make the final decision.

“He’s had a long (NPL) season so he needs some rest and recovery, then you’re going to have to pick his fitness up.

“Is he anywhere near where he needs to be? No, without doubt, but the circumstances fast-forwarded that and he’ll be involved tomorrow night.”

If Athiu does become a regular at Victory it will be a feather in his cap and that of his club, Heidelberg, and the NPL Victoria as a whole

There are several coaches in the second tier who believe that there are numerous players such as Athiu, who, given the chance to play as full time professionals, would be able to make the grade in the A-League

Muscat has already raided the second tier competition once, signing Jai Ingham from Hume City after he impressed against Victory in the FFA Cup in 2015.

“I just liked giving opportunities (to players),” the Victory boss said.

“At the level he played, you could see there was enough that he deserved an opportunity.

“Previously we’ve done it with Jai and he’s turned things for himself in a positive way and Kenny has got that opportunity now.

“He’s certainly different to what we’ve got in the squad and he’s relishing the opportunites, The way he’s come in, in an environment that’s very different to what he is used to.

“The thing is when these players come into these environments, the first thing you notice and should be noticeable, no disrespect to players coming from the NPL, things are done so much quicker to what they’re used to (and they have to get up to speed).”

In those situations a player’s technique is put under much more scrutiny, but Athiu’s height and nose for goal should ensure he gives Western Sydney something to think about when he gets on to the pitch.

It is likely that Muscat will look to the experienced Dutchman Leroy George to play a key role up front from the start. While better known as a wide player, George has the technical ability and smarts to play a central role, with Ingham and Mitch Austin on the flanks.

Victory do get a major boost from the unexpected presence of Socceroos skipper Mark Milligan.

Milligan is suspended from the first leg of the World Cup qualifier against Honduaras and the FFA has ruled that he can play against Wanderers.

‘Gravely ill’ John Bradfield avoids jail for $3m fraud

The lawyer grandson of chief Sydney Harbour bridge engineer John Bradfield will not be jailed for a $3 million fraud because he is gravely ill and “likely to die” within months, the District Court has ruled.
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John Gordon Bradfield, 74, was at the centre of a drawn-out investigation and prosecution for misappropriating clients’ and friends’ money as part of pyramid-style scheme spanning 30 years from the late 1980s.

He lost $2.3 million of his own money in the scheme, the court heard.

The fraud squad launched an investigation into Bradfield in 2010 and the former suburban solicitor pleaded guilty on February 5 last year to 10 charges of making false statements and using false instruments to obtain money.

On Friday, Judge Julia Baly said Bradfield was “seriously and gravely ill” and doctors had estimated in February that “he might live for 12 months”.

Judge Baly said Bradfield was “likely to die” within months and she had “no doubt” a custodial sentence would “hasten his death, I expect quite dramatically”.

The judge said she had “changed my mind … a number of times” in arriving at her decision was but this was a “most exceptional case” and Bradfield’s imminent death warranted his two-year sentence being suspended.

He entered into a good behaviour bond.

The court heard Bradfield had heart disease, renal failure and glaucoma, among other conditions, and required oxygen at all times.

Notwithstanding Bradfield’s prognosis, the Crown had urged Judge Baly to send him to jail.

The court heard Bradfield tried on two occasions in 2008 to take his own life and had expressed remorse for his behaviour, although Judge Baly said that remorse was “belated”.

“I accept that prior to the commission of these offences Mr Bradfield was a man of good character,” she said.

Judge Baly said there was “no evidence he was gambling or living the high life” but he had committed a “gross and egregious” breach of trust.

“His clients … were often friends who had known and trusted the offender for many, many years – sometimes since childhood,” she said.

This was “serious conduct meriting in all but the most exceptional circumstances a custodial sentence”, she said.

Judge Baly said she was not sentencing Bradfield for fraudulent misappropriation or larceny but for making false statements and using false instruments to obtain money.

Bradfield’s lawyer, former Auburn MP Peter Nagle, appeared in the case pro bono. He told the court in October that Bradfield came from a prominent family and was driven by “trying to keep his status”.

His grandfather, John Bradfield snr, is known as the “father” of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Born in Brisbane in 1867, Bradfield snr oversaw the design and construction of the bridge and had the Bradfield Highway named in his honour.

Mr Nagle said Bradfield jnr could be sentenced to home detention and was effectively confined to his north shore home already because he had been required to remain close to home for court appearances since about 2014.

Bradfield was struck off the roll of practising solicitors in 2009, a move that he did not oppose.

Judge Baly said this mitigated the sentence that would otherwise apply because he had already been punished outside the court process.

Victims of the scheme are expected to receive compensation for their losses.

Your photos: This That Festival 2017 brings the party to Wickham Park at Newcastle

This That 2017: The MEGA-Gallery! Photo: Mitch Lowe Photo // SaveTonight
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Photo: Mitch Lowe Photo // SaveTonight

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Photo: @allexishbu love love love my smol bean #thisthat

breepobie Rain hail or shine 💃🏻 @thisxxthat

Photo: @redfrogsau Festy Frogs safeguarding patrons at #thisthat festival yesterday – what a team! Love our Newcastle crew 😍 making a difference for young people in NSW ✨ #redfrogsau #safeguardingageneration #festivalfrogs

Photo: @mynameisjessej Absolute cracker of a day 🔥👑#thisthat2017 #thisthat #festival #family #funtimes #memories

Photo: @_hannah__b__ No outfit malfunction this year, just a shiz tonne of rain and glitter ✨🕺☔️ #thisthat

Photo: @hiding_in_wonderland This that did not disappoint #thisthat #thisthat2017 #fam

Photo: @melmetcalfee ✨Saaa Majestic ✨#thisthat

Photo: @duncanshumack Some people say punting is like throwing your money down the drain but I’ve never pulled 2k out of a drain #thisthat

Photo: @chris_evstez #thisxxthat 2017! #thisthat

Photo: @jessy_hearnee Livvy 💕💕💕✨#thisthat

Photo: @michael_taylorr What a rip snorta of a day #thisthat #morechilli

Photo: @bekwatters 🌞🌧 #thisthat

Photo: @bbrielleee Rain, hail, or shine 🌦💃🏽✨#thisthat

Photo: @babasimmons Sparkle Sleeves, cool baby cool. @TheDazzleDolls created these incredible sparkle sleeves.

Photo: @ashtheflash10 When you finally get to the same festival as your cousin! 💙 @bronte_isabelle #thisthat #thisthat2017 #lafamilia #family #livelovelaugh #smile #blondesdoitbetter

Photo: @angusmckeown

emmaa_travel 🎈21🎈#thisthat

Photo: @jakeburton2320 Good to get the brothers back together for a good old fashioned play up to remind ourselves that we can’t handle it anymore,back into retirement I go 👋🏼 #thisthat ⏩

Photo: @zennieshia Thanks for having me @thisxxthat !

Photo: @tomcaldwell Candid #thisthat

Photo: @thekingofinvergowrie She told me we looked like dorks. We left with a cult following as This That legends #thisthat #2017 #livemusic #flaphat #protectyaneck #tunerag #musicfestival #cult #hawaii #craftbeer #dr

Photo: @taylorjade_mac What a day 😂 #thisthat#festivalhead

Photo: @shelbysnowdenn Had a bit of a boogie and it was great 👏 #thisthat

Photo: @nicbates_ thanks for making me happy every day 💞 #thisthat #appreciateyou

Photo: @milkycowdrink

Photo: @melmetcalfee ✨FAM✨#thisthat

Photo: @adamphillips11 Just us noticing a rare smiling Brandon in the wild #thisthat #cheersboys #newcastle

Photo: @laurenwulf__

Photo: @laurenwulf__

Photo: @kierenfcknmayer Somebody get this thing away from me 😳 #ThisThat #crazyraincoatlady

Photo: @jedpartridge Cheeky lil day with the fellas #thisthat #myboysparra

Photo: @glar_ Apparently we were at This That yesterday❓#thisthat

Photo: @ebbbb_xx #thisthat #festival #rain #goodtimes #weekendshenanigans

Photo: @danyhearn When you nail the family photos 📸🙌🏼 #thisthat #family

Photo: @drewfaz Family photo, #thisthat

Photo: @mitchlowephoto It rained confetti w @alisonwonderland last night. cc @thisxxthat @savetonightofficial

Photo: @courtneywevers rain dancing #thisthat

Photo: @christina_ollerup Thisthat with my girl #thisthat #festivaltime

Photo: @carrrrleyyyy Goal for the day see Tash Sultana… does not see Tash Sultana FFS🤦🏼‍♀️ still a good time though 🤘🏽 #thisthat

Photo: @_jessicaswan_ A sea of poncho’s and WATERMALONES!!! 🍉 #thisthat

Photo: @gxbriellemxry 🎶I open up my eyes underwater🎶 📸 for @theinterns_net

Photo: @shona1611 #HappybirthdayElo #yewwyfornewy #thisthat

Photo: @melmetcalfee CHOO CHOO 🚂🚂🚂 #thisthat

Photo: @laurenwulf__

Photo: @kia.whitehall We don’t know these people 😂😂 #thisthat #strangers #makingfriends #musicfestival

Photo: @caleblethlean Just woke up from a nap, it’s kinda dark out but are you silly I’m still gonna send it #Sendit #thisthat

Photo: @burns96hayden Probably a good thing you can’t see the state we were in @tommmyhowe #thisthat #festival #music

Photo: @_joogs_ 💃🏼💃🏼#thisthat

Photo: @_the_tempest_

Photo: @_ninoganal ✨✨#thisthat

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Photo: Zennieshia Photography || SAVETONIGHT

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TweetFacebookIt was the first time This That hadbeen held at Wickham Park, after it was shifted from the Newcastle Foreshore due to construction on the Supercars race track.

Electronic heavyweights The Presets stole the show by attracting the largest crowd of the evening.Julian Hamilton and Kim Moyes performed a selection of their most-loved material like My People, This Boy’s In Love and Are You The One, plus several songs off their long-awaited fourth record like Do What You Want and the premiere of Until The Dark.

Why the Melbourne Cup is not China’s race anymore

Wizard of Odds: Live Odds, Form and Alerts for all Racing
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The Melbourne Cup will never lose its relevance as a national event but it is becoming a folly that our horses, trainers and jockeys are increasingly becoming spectators.

The legendary Bart Cummings warned when Vintage Crop won the Melbourne Cup in 1993 that it would change the people’s race, but it has never been as evident as in 2017.

Of the field of 23 for Tuesday’s Cup, two horses bred in New Zealand, three in , and the rest have European roots.

There are 11 who have flown in from Europe for our race, which has become the world’s staying championship – as the VRC has wanted.

Even seven of the jockeys mainly earn their living in other countries, although five of them are ns returning to chase the dream.

Ask any n or New Zealand trainer, owner or jockey and it is the race they want to be part of, and want to win.

It is the one that will have school kids and offices around the country focusing on Flemington at 3pm on Tuesday. It is the race that fuels interest in the sport, the one all n knows and is known for around the world.

But the race that stops a nation needs to have more representation from the country where it is run.

It has come to a tipping point where internationals appear to have learnt what it takes to beat our handicapper and get to Melbourne to race for a prize many times what they can race for at home.

Part of the Melbourne Cup intrigue has always been getting in with a winning weight but getting in is proving more of a problem for n-trained stayers.

Three stayers who were penalised for wins during the spring in , Harlem, Vengeur Masque and Foundry, the group 1 Metropolitan winner, no less, could not make the field.

It has become a frustration for local trainers that they can’t get the weight to gain a start in the Cup.

Comeback: Single Gaze survived a crash at the Oaks last year. Photo: AAP

We still have runners from the three W – Weir, Waller and Waterhouse. David Hayes has a couple and Canberra trainer Nick Olive provides the fairytale story of this year’s Melbourne Cup with Single Gaze.

But there is not a Derby or Oaks winner from among the field, which shows the changing nature of the race.

It is accepted that Europe has better stayers than down under but the idea should be that our horses can get into our biggest race.

If that means some positive discrimination towards horses who win n staying contests then do it. If it means more ballot-free races like the Bart Cummings and Lexus, which delivered Amelie’s Star and Cismontane to Flemington on the first Tuesday in November, then do it.

Our best horses are still at the top of the weights – Hartnell, Almandin and Humidor top the field this year, and are among the favourites but we need more of them in the field.

It needs to have Sydney Cup and Brisbane Cup winners, it needs to go back to being a race for ns that invites the world.

It has become the world’s race with a dash of n flavour

The ultimate racing form guide with free tips, live odds and alerts for all racing.

THE HERALD’S OPINION:Rental market eases despite property price boom

EVIDENCE of a slowing growthinNewcastle rental prices may be bad news for investor landlords, but it will be welcomed by thoseNovocastrians paying rent.
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As the Newcastle Herald is reporting on Monday, Housing NSW figures show only modest increases in rental prices, with the average rent of a detached home in Newcastle rising only $20, to $420, since the start of 2015.

Yet over the same time, the purchase price of Newcastle housing has risen dramatically, increasingby some 40 per cent over the past four years. Suburban records are being broken seemingly every week, thanks mainly, it would seem, to the belief that our historically low interest rates are here to stay, encouraging borrowers to take on far more debt than would have been thought wise a generation or two ago. While most economic commentators seem relatively at ease with our levels of indebtedness, it would only take a rate rise of a couple of percentage points to put numerous n households under more mortgage stress than they are already –investors and owner-occupiers alike. In the meantime, meeting the cost of renting is a problem for the less well-off in our community, especially, as various welfare agencies attest.

A recent Samaritans survey found a decrease in the number of affordable rentals in the Newcastle market, despite there being more properties available to rent. The Samaritans say housing affordability stress is one of the top three reasons that people have sought its support over the past year. The organisation points to various pieces of evidence, including the latest n Bureau of Statistics Household Expenditure Survey, to argue that the cost of living is well and truly on the rise, with housing costs a major contributor.

In a similar light, a recent rental affordability index report by SGS Economics and Planning found that regional NSW had “moderately unaffordable” rents, consuming 28 per cent of average household income.

In the short term, it may be well be that the “discovery” of Newcastle by outside investors has led to enough new properties being brought onto the market to give renters more of a choice across their real estate agent’s counter.

But with census figures showing steady declines in the great Aussie dream of home ownership, the rental market is for many a place of necessity rather than choice.

ISSUE: 38,641.

How you can live inner city but get the peace and privacy of the bush

Life in the inner city isn’t for everyone. The noise, the parking, the neighbours ??? sometimes we can despair for the lack of privacy and yearn for something a bit greener and quieter. Obviously you can’t have both, right?
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Wrong. In Brisbane, it is still possible to have your own private bush retreat whilst at home, yet still be only minutes from the city centre.

These homes are deceptively close to the city while offering a respite from the hustle and bustle of city life.

Whether it’s a tree-lined grove in an inner city block or a sprawling Brookfield estate, there’s plenty of green oases to disappear into. 400 Birdwood Terrace, Toowong

The outdoor area at 400 Birdwood Terrace, Toowong is surrounded by beautiful nature. Photo: Supplied

Price: Auction 11/11/17

Agent: Beth Mitchell

5 bedroom, 2 bathroom, 3 car parks

At the base of a private estate at the foot of Mount Coot-tha, this architecturally designed home perfectly fits the bill.

It’s just five kilometres from the city, and comes with its own private, state-protected forest. 3400 square metres of it.

“There aren’t that many properties in this estate area, and when you sit on the deck it’s like there’s nothing else around you,” selling agent Beth Mitchell said. “If you don’t want to move completely out of area this is an amazing in between.”

Ms Mitchell said the design of the house was another winning feature.

“It was designed to fit into the landscape. It’s practical for a family but it has that high end feel to it,” she said. “Architecturally it’s quite impressive.” Related: “Bomb bid” blows away competition in Brisbane

Related: Gen Y is being short-changed on money management

Related: Steven Lowy drops $14.2 million on next door block36 Solar Street, Coorparoo

36 Solar Street, Coorparoo, has a bush feel, thanks to its backyard that borders acres of parkland and reserve. Photo: Supplied

Price: By negotiation

Agent: James Curtain, Place Bulimba

5 bed, 4 bath, 3 car

Coorparoo is only five kilometres from the CBD yet it’s peppered with a number of beautiful reserves and parkland. Peaceful valleys of bushland form the backdrop for this contemporary family home, which really makes the most of its surroundings.

Set on 698 square metres of elevated land, the house features clever living areas with double height ceilings, large windows and louvres that make the most of the natural light and breezes. A spectacular deck, wet bar and BBQ area overlook the pool.

This backs onto parkland and features direct gate access to peaceful bush walks and bike trails. Essentially a large family home, with five bedrooms, fully equipped cinema and luxury master suite all within walking distance of public transport and local cafes, it’s a little piece of bush living in inner suburbia.242 Herron Road, Pullenvale

Price: Expressions of interest, due 30/11/117

Agent: Rachel Spinks

5 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms

Pullenvale is one of those suburbs that is a little bit further out from the city, but guarantees privacy and space. This slice of heaven features a large five-bedroom home, overlooking a private dam.

There’s no designated car parks on the property but it should be fairly easy to find a place to park your car on the massive 4 hectare estate.

The listing even says that wallabies frequent the area, so it would be easy to forget that you’re 15 kilometres from the city. 26 Castile Street, Indooroopilly

Price: Offers above $2 million

Agent: Taylah Rossiter and Emil Juresic

4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 2 car parks

The 728sq m block at 26 Castile Street in Indooroopilly isn’t as expansive as some of the other properties on this list, but it features a beautifully landscaped backyard.

Selling agent Taylah Rossiter said the home was built to make the most of the lush yard.

“It’s completely open plan out to the pool and living area. I think they have may have built the house to match the outdoor area,” she said. “It’s got these massive wide doors that open up right to the wall.”

Ms Rossiter said multiple owners had gradually turned the home into the modern masterpiece it is today. “It’s one of my favourite properties we’ve listed so far. It’s been completely renovated. It was built around the 1970s,” she said.80 Peronne Place, Brookfield

Price: $2.2 million – $2.4 million

Agent: Jodi Meynell

5 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms, 5 car parks

Another big block of land, this time out in Brookfield. This home doesn’t have a dam but it does have a creek running through the back of the block, which is beyond picturesque.

Properties like this are perfect for owning horse or other animals and there’s plenty of room for the kids to play on the 1.3ha that make up the west Brisbane land holding. 142 Airlie Road, Pullenvale

Price: $3.3 million plus

Agent: Alex Jordan

6 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, 4 car parks

Once the Moreton Bay Ladies’ College, 142 Airlie Road is stunning renovation of a character home. It fits right in with the rest of the large land holdings in Pullenvale, sitting on an expansive 3.4ha.

What was once school grounds now features rolling greenery, a pool and tennis court.

‘We are family’: Turnbull and Ardern sidestep awkwardness in Sydney

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They say a week is a long time in politics. But in the case of the -New Zealand relationship, is two-and-a-half months enough time to overcome some major awkwardness?

It was only back in August that an enraged Julie Bishop said if there was a change of government across the Tasman, she would find it “very hard to build trust” with New Zealand Labour.

The foreign minister had been bothered by revelations ‘s Labor opposition had been in touch with New Zealand’s (then) Labour opposition about the citizenship of people born to New Zealand parents (as questions swirled about Barnaby Joyce’s Kiwi paternity).

It was highly theatrical stuff. But it quickly turned highly flammable when NZ Labour ended up winning the election.

Fast forward to Sunday, and New Zealand’s new leader Jacinda Ardern paid a visit to Malcolm Turnbull in Sydney, her first overseas trip as prime minister.

With Bishop safely in Perth on other business, this left to the two prime ministers to meet and greet without baggage at Kirribilli House.

It may have been pouring, but no rain could wash away Turnbull’s charm.

The n PM talked at length of the two countries’ shared values and history, adding, “we’re family” (translation: you forgive all kinds ???of stuff in families!). He left nothing to chance, heaping praise on both the Kiwi approach to governance (“we have so much to learn from New Zealand”) and Ardern’s intellect (“your understanding of the Pacific is second to none”). He even gave a shout out to her DJing skills.

For her part, Ardern gave no indication of the stern words she had exchanged with Turnbull’s deputy mere months before.

“It is absolutely fair to say that we are family,” she agreed, before inviting her counterpart to come fishing when he had time (translation: you’re OK, Malcolm).

Indeed, Ardern later told reporters Bishop’s comments weren’t even raised in the official talks.

There were signs, however, that the behind-close-doors conversation, which also canvassed the Trans-Pacific Partnership and North Korea, was less sheepish.

As the stand-off continues in Papua New Guinea, with about 600 refugees and failed asylum seekers refusing to leave a recently-closed n-funded detention centre due to security fears, Ardern confirmed she had repeated New Zealand’s offer to take 150 refugees from Manus Island and Nauru.

She acknowledged New Zealand did not have the same “circumstances” as its neighbour, but noted: “We can also not ignore the human face of what is dealing with.” Political Insider: Sign up for our newsletter

Melbourne Cup 2017: Hunter owners have mixed fortunes in lead up to dual shot at second win

FRESH: Red Cardinal gallops at Werribee racecourse on Sunday in preparation for the Melbourne Cup. Picture: AAP Image/Julian SmithPART-owner Luke Murrell kept up his great run of luck at Melbourne Cup barrier draws to boost Big Duke’s chances for Tuesday’s $6.2 million (3200 metres) race.
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But the Aberglasslyn-based n Bloodstock co-founder and director was banking on jockey Kerrin McEvoy’s skills with his other chance of a second Cup victory, Red Cardinal, after it copped the extreme outside gate of 24.

Murrell and company partner Jamie Lovett won the 2014 Cup with Protectionist and the Hunter syndicators will have two runners in the race for the first time.

While Murrell drew barrier five for the Darren Weir-trained Big Duke, Lovett’s wife, Kellie, pulled out number 24 forRed Cardinal. That became23 on Sunday when Who Shot Thebarman (barrier 20) was scratched because of an elevated temperature.

Murrell, who had previous grabbed good gates for Illustrious Blue (2010), Lucas Cranach (2011) and Protectionist (2014) in the Cup, had mixed emotions after Saturday night’s barrier draw.

“Big Duke, I think it was very important for him,” Murrell said.“I’ve got no doubt Red Cardinal is the best horse in the race, but he’s going to have to be to be in the race, whereas Duke is not quite as good.

“But by him having a softer run, that gives him obviously more or a chance and hopefully he saves a few carrots for the finish.”

As for the Andreas Wohler-trained Red Cardinal, which was out to $19 on Sunday from $14 before the draw with NSW Fixed Odds, Murrell was taking heart from McEvoy’s record in the race.

“Kerrin rode Almandinfrom 17 last year and won the race, and when he won on Brew [in 2000] I thinkhe was in the outside gate that year, which was 22, so if there was one guy you wanted on, it was probably him.

“Before the barrier draw, I thought both could run top four, on form and ability overall. I still think that can happen.

“Red Cardinal’s chances are probably a little bit dented but like always in the big races, you need a bit of luck and we’ll see what happens.”

Big Duke’s jockey will be Brenton Avdulla, who has ridden the six-year-old gelding in his past three races, including a second in The Metropolitan and victory in the St Leger.

“He knows the horse, he ridden him a few times and, personally, I think he’s the most consistent rider in ,” Murrell said.

“He makes the least amount of mistakes. He’s a nice, patient rider but he’s also very strong, so he’ll suit that horse.”

Big Duke was $21 on Sunday and will carry 53.5 kilograms. Red Cardinal, which will be having his first run in , will carry 55kg.