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.

AGL sells digital metering business to Ausgrid

AGL has sold ‘s largest digital metering business, Active Stream, to Ausgrid in order to become “technology agnostic”.
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The acquisition marks the first major investment by Ausgrid since it was partially privatised and its ownership transferred from the NSW government to superannuation funds nSuper and IFM Investors in December 2016.

While the purchase price has not been revealed, AGL said it expected to record a post-tax profit on the sale of about $25 million.

The company said the divestment of the digital metering business was part of the company’s strategy to broaden its reach and retain access of non-digital customers.

“AGL’s decision to divest Active Stream reflects the evolution of AGL’s strategy to become technology agnostic in the development of innovative, data-enabled energy products and services that are accessible to all customers, regardless of meter provider,” the company said in a statement.

Active Stream was started by AGL in 2015 to install digital metering capabilities ahead of the n Energy Market Commission’s Power of Choice regulatory reforms, which come into effect on December 1, and will give consumers more capability to participate in the energy market and establish a demand-side response mechanism.

Ausgrid said these regulatory reforms will provide a new area of growth for the industry, as “digital meters will be required for all new and replacement meters for small customers”.

AGL developed the business as part of its wider ‘New Energy’ division, which it called its ‘corporate innovation accelerator’, and was part of the generator and retailer’s push into non-traditional energy and technology.

This included rooftop solar, battery storage, and the potential integration of electric vehicle battery charging stations into the company.

Ausgrid said the acquisition of Active Stream was part of its strategy to gain increased exposure to the Power of Choice metering market.

“Ausgrid’s ambition is to be the metering service provider of choice to major and minor retailers,” Ausgrid chief executive Richard Gross said.

The company added that the “acquisition provides a solid platform to grow its significant digital meter footprint and will provide broader benefits to its unregulated business strategy”.

Following the sale, Active Stream will still continue to provide digital metering services to AGL.

Active Stream has installed more than 230,000 digital meters across the national electricity market, which comprises Queensland, NSW, Victoria, Tasmania and South .

The sale is expected to be completed early next month.

AGL’s shares rose 1.5 per cent in early trading to reach $25.56, its highest point since March this year.

Cr John Mackenzie urges NSW to join national ‘Ban the Bag’ campaignPHOTOS, VIDEO

NO PLASTIC: Councillor John Mackenzie displays a discarded plastic bag that was floating in the water near the Carrington Mangrove Boardwalk. Picture: Isaac McIntyreNewcastle City Council iscalling on the state government to implement a state-wide ban of single use plastic bags, after joining thenational‘Ban the Bag’ campaign.
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Greens councillor John Mackenzie has put his support behind the movement, and stated“the issue of plastic pollution is crucial in New South Wales”.

Cr Mackenzie pointed out New South Wales isthe last state in not to commit to a total ban on plastic bags.

“We’re in this extraordinary situation where all major states are committed to banning the bag–except New South Wales,” Cr John Mackenzie said. “Coles, Woolworths, Aldi …all have [also] committed to reducing their plastic consumption.”

“The problemis decades old, we’ve known for a long time about the impact of plastic pollution, particularly on our marine environment and the marine food chain. It’s a toxic legacy, and something that we’re leaving for future generations to clean up.”

Newcastle joins national ‘Ban the Bag’ campaign | PHOTOS, VIDEO LITTERED: Plastic bags, cans and bottles cover the Carrington Mangroves, pictured here at high tide. Picture: Isaac McIntyre

LITTERED: Plastic bags, cans and bottles cover the Carrington Mangroves, pictured here at high tide. Picture: Isaac McIntyre

LITTERED: Plastic bags, cans and bottles cover the Carrington Mangroves, pictured here at high tide. Picture: Isaac McIntyre

LITTERED: Plastic bags, cans and bottles cover the Carrington Mangroves, pictured here at high tide. Picture: Isaac McIntyre

LITTERED: Plastic bags, cans and bottles cover the Carrington Mangroves, pictured here at high tide. Picture: Isaac McIntyre

LITTERED: Plastic bags, cans and bottles cover the Carrington Mangroves, pictured here at high tide. Picture: Isaac McIntyre

LITTERED: Plastic bags, cans and bottles cover the Carrington Mangroves, pictured here at high tide. Picture: Isaac McIntyre

LITTERED: Plastic bags, cans and bottles cover the Carrington Mangroves, pictured here at high tide. Picture: Isaac McIntyre

LITTERED: Plastic bags, cans and bottles cover the Carrington Mangroves, pictured here at high tide. Picture: Isaac McIntyre

LITTERED: Plastic bags, cans and bottles cover the Carrington Mangroves, pictured here at high tide. Picture: Isaac McIntyre

LITTERED: Plastic bags, cans and bottles cover the Carrington Mangroves, pictured here at high tide. Picture: Isaac McIntyre

LITTERED: Plastic bags, cans and bottles cover the Carrington Mangroves, pictured here at high tide. Picture: Isaac McIntyre

LITTERED: Plastic bags, cans and bottles cover the Carrington Mangroves, pictured here at high tide. Picture: Isaac McIntyre

LITTERED: Plastic bags, cans and bottles cover the Carrington Mangroves, pictured here at high tide. Picture: Isaac McIntyre

LITTERED: Plastic bags, cans and bottles cover the Carrington Mangroves, pictured here at high tide. Picture: Isaac McIntyre

LITTERED: Plastic bags, cans and bottles cover the Carrington Mangroves, pictured here at high tide. Picture: Isaac McIntyre

LITTERED: Plastic bags, cans and bottles cover the Carrington Mangroves, pictured here at high tide. Picture: Isaac McIntyre

LITTERED: Plastic bags, cans and bottles cover the Carrington Mangroves, pictured here at high tide. Picture: Isaac McIntyre

LITTERED: Plastic bags, cans and bottles cover the Carrington Mangroves, pictured here at high tide. Picture: Isaac McIntyre

LITTERED: Plastic bags, cans and bottles cover the Carrington Mangroves, pictured here at high tide. Picture: Isaac McIntyre

LITTERED: Plastic bags, cans and bottles cover the Carrington Mangroves, pictured here at high tide. Picture: Isaac McIntyre

LITTERED: Plastic bags, cans and bottles cover the Carrington Mangroves, pictured here at high tide. Picture: Isaac McIntyre

LITTERED: Plastic bags, cans and bottles cover the Carrington Mangroves, pictured here at high tide. Picture: Isaac McIntyre

LITTERED: Plastic bags, cans and bottles cover the Carrington Mangroves, pictured here at high tide. Picture: Isaac McIntyre

LITTERED: Plastic bags, cans and bottles cover the Carrington Mangroves, pictured here at high tide. Picture: Isaac McIntyre

TweetFacebookIt’s a toxic legacy, and something that we’re leaving for future generations to clean up.

Cr John Mackenzie

THE HERALD’S OPINION: Fighting Sydney’s giant footprint

AS our weekly Newcastle Herald columnist, Phillip O’Neill, observed on Monday, the state government has released a new Regional NSW Services and Infrastructure Plan, althoughwith an absolute minimum of fanfare.
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Given that this document, currently in draft form, sets out the government’s planning priorities for regional NSW between now and 2056, it has the potential to be a vitally important initiative.But as it stands, it is little more than a compilation of wish-lists of every infrastructure project ever touted, but with very few of them –as Professor O’Neill pointed out –in the here and now. Perhaps that is inevitable in a document with a 40-year time frame, in a political realm where most governments are battling to see beyond their next visit to the polls. But strip away the rhetoric of Newcastle being a Global Gateway City –and the Central Coast and Greater Newcastle being the state’s “largest regional centres in 2056” –and what we find is a document dominated by the already massive and rapidly growing footprint of greater Sydney.

For all of the emphasis on regional growth, the key demographic assumptions underpinning the document reveal something entirely different.

The report puts greater Sydney’s population at 4.7 million in 2016, rising to 6.3 million in 2036 and 7.9 million in 2056. That’s an increase of 3.2 million people, or 68 per cent, over 40 years.

By comparison, greater Newcastle goes from 630,000 in 2016 to 850,000 in 2036 and 910,000 in 2056. That’s an increase of 280,000 people over 40 years, or less than one-tenth of the population increase envisaged for greater Sydney.

What this means is that for all of the talk about frustrated Sydneysiders making their way north to our more hospitable way of living –and it is happening –this isonly a tiny part of the overall population picture.

Many of us don’t want the region to change, and are happy with the way things are, but in a capitalist democracy our fortunes are tied to jobs and jobs growth, and employers go with the flow of the people, rather than against it.Yes, Newcastle is getting some attention from the government, and ourconstruction-riven CBD will soon enoughbe revealed anew, but we are fighting a global trend of people everywhere crowding into already dominant capital cities. Treading water is not progress.

ISSUE: 38,642.

Richmond re-sign premiership duo, Miles

Richmond have re-signed two of their premiership heroes, Jacob Townsend and Jason Castagna, while they have also locked in the services of VFL best and fairest winner Anthony Miles for next season.
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Townsend came from nowhere late in the season to be an important goalkicker for the Tigers while Castagna played every game in 2017 as one of Richmond’s diminutive but crucial high pressuring forwards.

Miles, 25, only played five AFL games in 2017 and had considered leaving the club to seek more opportunities.

However on Monday the club announced Miles had signed a one-year contract extension, along with Townsend and Castagna who signed for one and two more years respectively.

“Anthony is highly regarded by his teammates and the club as a whole,” Richmond’s general manager of football talent Dan Richardson said.

“His strong work ethic, contested ball-winning ability and commitment to the team are second to none. Despite limited opportunities in 2017, he is a proven AFL player, who will continue to make a significant contribution to the club.”

Miles, a ball-winning midfielder, was integral to the Richmond VFL side’s runner-up finish in 2017.

Townsend, who played for the GWS Giants between 2012 and 2015, didn’t play his first game in 2017 until round 22.

From that game to the grand final the 24-year-old kicked 16 goals, including two in the Tigers’ drought-breaking premiership triumph over Adelaide.

“Jacob played a significant role for the team in all our finals games, none more so than the grand final. He is a strong competitor and, having found his niche up forward, we expect he will continue to build on this in 2018 and beyond,” Richardson said.

Castagna, who was drafted by the Tigers from the Northern Knights in the 2015 rookie draft, kicked 26 goals in 2017 but more importantly was part of the club’s mosquito-fleet forward line that harassed and wrangled opposition backline’s into submission during the year – a trademark of Richmond’s premiership winning gameplan.

Anthony Miles in action for Richmond’s VFL team in the loss to Port Melbourne Photo: AAP

“We are really pleased with Jason’s on-going development and his work-rate, both on and off the track. His pressure around the ball is a highlight and his brand of footy was very much aligned to the team success this year,” Richardson said.

Wounded Knee siege leader dies

Dennis Banks was the militant Chippewa who founded the American Indian Movement in 1968 and led often-violent insurrections to protest the treatment of Native Americans including the famous Wounded Knee seige.
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He has died aged 80 following open-heart surgery.

Banks and his Oglala Sioux compatriot Russell Means were by the mid-1970s perhaps the best-known Native Americans since Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse, who led the attack that crushed the cavalry forces of George Armstrong Custer at the 1876 Battle of the Little Bighorn.

American Indian activist Dennis Banks has died at the age of 80. Photo: AP

Banks, whose early life of poverty, alcoholism and alienation mirrored the fates of countless ancestors, led protests that caused mass disorder, shootouts, deaths and grievous injuries. He was jailed for burglary and convicted of riot and assault, and he became a fugitive for nine years. He found sanctuary in California and New York but finally gave up and was imprisoned for 14 months.

He once led a six-day takeover of the Bureau of Indian Affairs in Washington, and mounted an armed 71-day occupation of the town of Wounded Knee, South Dakota. Wounded Knee was the scene of the last major conflict of the American Indian Wars, in which 350 Lakota men, women and children were massacred by US troops in 1890.

While his protests won some government concessions and drew national attention and wide sympathy for the deplorable social and economic conditions of American Indians, Banks achieved few real improvements in the daily lives of millions of Native Americans, who live on reservations and in major cities and lag behind most fellow citizens in jobs, housing and education.

To admirers, Banks was a broad-chested champion of native pride. With dark, piercing eyes, high cheekbones, a jutting chin and long raven hair, he was a paladin who defied authority and, in an era crowded with civil rights protests, spoke for the nation’s oldest minority.

Banks, left, reads an offer by the US government seeking to effect an end to the Native American takeover of Wounded Knee. Photo: AP

To his critics, Banks was a self-promoter, grabbing headlines and becoming a darling of politically liberal Hollywood stars like Jane Fonda and Marlon Brando.

Banks and Means first won national attention for declaring a “Day of Mourning” for Native Americans on Thanksgiving Day in 1970. Their band seized the ship Mayflower II, a replica of the original in Plymouth, Massachusetts, and a televised confrontation between real Indians and costumed “Pilgrims” made the American Indian Movement leaders overnight heroes.

In 1973, after a white man killed an Indian in a saloon brawl and was charged not with murder but with involuntary manslaughter, Banks led 200 American Indian Movement protesters in a face-off with the police in Custer, South Dakota. It became a riot when the slain man’s mother was beaten by officers.

“We had reached a point in history where we could not tolerate the abuse any longer, where mothers could not tolerate the mistreatment that goes on on the reservations any longer, where they could not see another Indian youngster die,” he told the author Peter Matthiessen.

Weeks later, the siege that made Banks and Means famous began when 200 Oglala Lakota and A.I.M. followers with rifles and shotguns occupied Wounded Knee. About 300 United States marshals, FBI agents and other law-enforcement officials cordoned off the area touching off a 10-week battle of nerves and gunfire.

Amid wide news media coverage, the significance of the battlefield was not lost on many Americans. Dee Brown’s 1970 best-selling book Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West had recently explored the record of massacres and atrocities against Native Americans on the expanding frontier, undermining one of the nation’s fondest myths.

Proclaiming a willingness to die for their cause, Banks and Means demanded the ousting of Richard Wilson, the elected leader of the Oglala Sioux Tribal Council, whom they called a corrupt white man’s stooge. The government refused. Shootings punctuated the days of stalemate, leaving wounded on both sides. Two Indians were killed, and a federal agent was shot and paralysed.

When it was over, Banks and Means were charged with assault and conspiracy. After a federal trial, with the defence raising historic and current Indian grievances, a judge dismissed the case for prosecutorial misconduct, including illegal wire taps and evidence that had been tampered with.

By then, Banks was a pre-eminent spokesman for Native Americans. He mediated armed conflicts between Indians and the authorities in various states. But his own legal troubles were not over.

Charged with riot and assault with a deadly weapon for his role in the 1973 melee in Custer, he was found guilty in 1975. Facing up to 15 years in prison, he jumped bail and fled to California.

With 1.4 million signatures on a petition supporting Banks, Governor Jerry Brown granted him asylum in 1976.

Deprived of California sanctuary when Governor Brown was succeeded by a Republican, George Deukmejian, in 1983, Banks returned to South Dakota voluntarily and was sentenced to three years in prison.

Paroled in 1985 after serving 14 months, he moved to the Pine Ridge Reservation to work as a drug addiction and alcoholism counsellor. He also turned his life around, embracing sobriety, giving talks on public service and organising cross-country events that he called Sacred Runs, which became popular among supporters of Native Americans in later years.

He is survived his wife Banks Rama and 19 children.

Robert D. McFaddenoct

New York Times

It’s snowing at Perisher…in November

A surprise dump of snow at Perisher has social media users flipping for joy.
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No, you’re not dreaming, it really is snowing in November.

A spokesperson from Weatherzone said the snowfall was not unusual for this time of year and said the unexpected fall can even happen in December.

The late dump came about 7am on Monday, just 24 days out from summer, after it dropped to zero degrees overnight.

Melisha Liegl from Perisher said about 7cm of snow had fallen across the resort.

“It’s a real winter wonderland here in Perisher today and we can’t believe how much snow has fallen for this time of year, it’s amazing,” Ms Liegl said.

“The weather does change quickly in the mountains and it can snow at any time of the year as these cold fronts pass through.”

At lunchtime it was 1.6 degrees.

A video posted by Perisher Resort on Facebook has attracted more than 3500 reactions and 1300 comments.

The snowfall came as Canberra received 39.4mm of rain between midnight and 7.30pm on Monday, more than half the November rainfall average, as heavy rain and hail lashed the south coast.

The Bureau of Meteorology issued a warning on Monday, saying that severe thunderstorms in the Illawarra and Sutherland areas could lead to flash flooding, with areas near West Wyalong, Young, Yass and Goulburn also affected.

A weak low pressure system off the southern New South Wales coast deepened and was expected to intensify further in the evening before rapidly moving away towards New Zealand on Tuesday.

It was forecast to be a chilly minus 2 degrees in Perisher on Monday night and the snowfall was expected to continue.

Weatherzone is owned by Fairfax Media.

Mark Stocco to appeal 40-year sentence for murder, shootings

Special Operations Group officers gather in Yea in a massive manhunt for the elusive father and son Gino and Mark Stocco in bush north of Melbournein October 2015. Picture: Jason SouthMark Stocco and his father Gino are notorious for spending years on the run. Now, Mark is making another dash for freedom.
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The younger Stocco will appeal his 40-year prison term on November 24 in the NSW Court of Criminal Appeal.

He and his father were dubbed modern day bushrangers when they shot and sped their way to infamy in 2015.

Mark Stocco was sentenced to a minimum 30-year term for murder, recklessly destroy property by fire, and two charges of discharging a firearm to avoid apprehension.

Gino Stocco was also sentenced to 40 years, but is eligible for parole two years before his son.

The pair were charged in NSW in 2015, but have since been questioned by Victorian and Queensland detectives about crimes in those states, and have made full admissions.

Those states are expected to charge them – mostly with property-related offending – once the pair complete their NSW sentences.

In sentencing the men in March, Justice David Davies said Gino Stocco had been given a shorter non-parole term because of his age: he is 59, Mark is 38.

Gino Stocco will be 85 before he is due for release.

“It is likely he will spend his eighties in prison,” Justice Davies said.

“It may be accepted that imprisonment is more onerous for an older or elderly person and I find special circumstances in that regard. I do not accept that there are special circumstances in respect of Mark Stocco.

“The time he will spend on parole will be adequate for further rehabilitation and re-integration into the community.”

The pair pleaded guilty at an early stage, and were accordingly given a 25 per cent discount on their sentence.

But Detective Chief Inspector Michael Sheehy of NSW Police still described it as “exceptional”.

“Both Gino and Mark Stocco are callous, violent criminals who today have been held accountable for their actions,” Detective Chief Inspector Sheehy said.

“These individuals chose a path of crime.”

The Stoccos became itinerant farm workers in 2007 after being jailed in Victoria for robbing the Port Fairy Yacht Club, among other offences.

For the next eight years, they irrationally lashed out at farmers, stole without thought, and conducted vengeful acts of destruction under cover of darkness, but their bizarre crimes were relatively unknown until Gino was listed as one of ‘s most wanted.

Days later, the pairs shot at police near Wagga Wagga, sparking a 12-day manhunt and thrusting them further into the national spotlight.

When police found the Stoccos hunkered down at an isolated property east of Dubbo, they also uncovered the body of caretaker Rosario Cimone.

The pair had shot Cimone dead after a squabble about their work on the property.