One of the luxury units in the Pietra development at New Farm, although not Barlow’s own apartment.The luxury riverside apartment owned by the alleged Queensland Health fraudster will soon be auctioned on behalf of the state’s public trustee.
Nanjing Night Net

Prestige real estate agent Josephine Johnston-Rowell, of Johnston Dixon Quality Property confirmed today she has been engaged to take Hohepa Morehu-Barlow’s multimillion-dollar New Farm apartment to auction.

The former public servant, also known as Joel Barlow, is accused of fleecing more than $16 million from Queensland Health while working as a funds manager between 2007 and 2011.

While claiming to be a Tahitian prince, Mr Morehu-Barlow had lived an extravagant lifestyle funded by millions of dollars he allegedly fleeced from the public purse.

The Public Trustee of Queensland was given the green light in April to sell assets seized from the alleged fraudster, including his $5.65 million Moray Street apartment in the boutique Pietra development.

Pietra comprises eight luxury apartments, which each spread over an entire floor and have sweeping views of the Brisbane River and CBD.

Each apartment is said to boast three generously-sized bedrooms with private ensuites, Italian marble and granite finishes, Miele appliances and fully integrated entertainment and light and sound systems.

Mr Morehu-Barlow was still in the process of moving in to the New Farm apartment when he was arrested in December last year and charged with two counts of aggravated fraud, two of aggravated forgery, one of aggravated uttering, two of possessing dangerous drugs, one of possessing a relevant substance and one of possessing drug utensils.

Items already approved for sale by the Public Trustee also include, a 2009 black Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG, a 2007 black Audi A4 sedan, two 2012 Sea Doo jetskis worth $25,900 and $16,400, and one baby grand piano.

He has been remanded in custody awaiting trail.

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1. The Brumbies aren’t ready to win this competition. Beating a poor Waratahs outfit is one thing, but winning three games on the trot in the finals series – two of which would probably involve trips to New Zealand or South Africa – is a feat beyond better sides than Jake White’s team. Still, they are further advanced at this stage of his tenure than perhaps even the coach imagined. Throw in a David Pocock next year, if he signs, a fully recovered Christian Lealifaano and perhaps another damaging back-rower and the future is plump with possibilities.
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2. Quade Cooper made a statement. The Reds’ five-eighth did some nice things on attack – he really has a lovely appreciation of drawing and passing – but his return to the No.10 channel on defence was the more significant development. It clearly doesn’t come easy to him, and he will never be a Jonny Wilkinson, but if he can manufacture a technique than works for him it will take his game to a new level. The Waratahs will target him at Suncorp and they did a decent job of isolating Danny Cipriani earlier in the season. The game might even help Robbie Deans decide if Cooper is ready for Bledisloe.

3. Chiefs v Crusaders didn’t look like a hangover. One optimistic theory opined that the Kiwis would be weary after their World Cup success, but the match in Hamilton suggested the opposite. The collisions were heavy, the cleanouts brutal and the support play outstanding, often from the lesser-known players such as Tawera Kerr-Barlow and Luke Romano. But the most worrying aspect for Wallabies fans – and a contrast to the Australian derbies – was the sheer pace. The Reds, at their 2011 best, still look to be the only Australian side that can match that sort of sustained intensity. As an aside, the threat of Sonny Bill Williams and Aaron Cruden was almost entirely extinguished by Crusaders pressure at the set-piece. Williams is a loss but the old truth remains: forwards win the big games.

4. The Waratahs are not even close. Be suspicious of the argument that a lot of close losses adds to up a team of the verge of a lot of close victories (try that argument with your boss after a week of “almost” doing your job). The Waratahs are as ponderous as they were in round three, when the Highlanders first raised the question marks about their fitness. Passes failed to go to hand, the back-line was again clogged up with tight forwards at first receiver and proven class acts such as Adam Ashley-Cooper, who barely put a foot wrong on Wallabies duty, were caught out defensively. In 2012, they have played like a team with only two gears.

5. Frans Steyn: nice work if you can get him. Picture the grim faces at Reds HQ if Steyn lines up a 60-metre penalty in the last minute or crashes over for a try to send the Sharks into the play-offs at the Reds’ expense. His signing is legitimate – he isn’t eligible for the play-offs and will also play for the Sharks next year – but his late arrival for the final two games of the regular season will raise a few questions if he plays a defining role. The Sharks will present the Brumbies with a significant challenge if they meet in the qualifiers in Canberra – Marcell Coetzee’s classy offload to Bismarck du Plessis at the weekend just one example of their threat.

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Nanjing Night Net

Snow at Mount Canobolas, Orange. June 2012.

Snow at Mount Canobolas, Orange. June 2012.

Snow at Mount Canobolas, Orange. June 2012.

Snow at Mount Canobolas, Orange. June 2012.

Snow at Mount Canobolas, Orange. June 2012.

Snow at Mount Canobolas, Orange. June 2012.

Snow at Mount Canobolas, Orange. June 2012.

Snow at Mount Canobolas, Orange. June 2012.

Snow at Mount Canobolas, Orange. June 2012.

Snow at Yetholme. June 2012

Snow at Yetholme. June 2012

Snow at Yetholme. June 2012

Snow at Yetholme. June 2012

Snow at Yetholme. June 2012

Snow at Yetholme. June 2012

Snow at Yetholme. June 2012

Snow at Yetholme. June 2012

Snow at Yetholme. June 2012

Snow at Yetholme. June 2012

Snow at Oberon. June 2012.

Snow at Oberon. June 2012.

Snow at Oberon. June 2012.

Snow at Oberon. June 2012.

Snow at Oberon. June 2012.

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CANDIDATE FOR COUNCIL: Bathurst man Mick Ford will run as a candidate in September’s local government election. Photo: BRIAN WOODA LOCAL greenskeeper has listed improved health services and a second track at Mount Panorama as big-ticket items for Bathurst ahead of September’s council election.
Nanjing Night Net

Mick Ford will to throw his hat in the ring as a candidate in this year’s local government election and hopes to bring a host of fresh ideas to the table.

A self-described hard-working family man, Mr Ford believes there should be more emphasis on public involvement in council.

“I thought about all the different things I’d like to see get done,” he said. “I’m sick of sitting back, so I’m going to do something about it. Bathurst is growing massively and is only going to get bigger and better.

“That’s due to the councils we’ve had over the years and I’d like to be a part of that.”

Born and bred in Bathurst, the 54-year-old and his wife Janette have four children, and seven grandchildren.

He said the city’s biggest issue was health and, if elected, he would lobby for improved services.

“I’d like to see more specialists encouraged to come to Bathurst,” he said.

“Anybody who has to go to Orange has to find their own way and the travelling is very hard. Something more has to be done.”

Mr Ford’s second priority is to work towards a second track at Mount Panorama.

“The numbers of people a second track would bring to Bathurst is unbelievable,” he said.

“It’s mind-boggling what you could do – bikes, sidecars, cars, driver training, go-karts.

“You’d have drivers and their families staying and eating in Bathurst, so that’s good for local businesses.

“Let’s not get caught up in all the frills mentioned in the feasibility report. Let’s just get the basic structure up there and build on it later.”

Mr Ford believes the issue of popularly-elected mayor should be settled by Bathurst ratepayers, saying “it should be thrown to the public”.

He also emphasised he would not run on a ticket.

“I don’t believe in tickets,” he said. “I believe you should get in on your own merits.

“If I do get elected, it’s the public I’m answerable to. It’ll be hard work and a lot of time, but I think I can handle it.”

Formerly a panel beater, Mr Ford now works as a greenskeeper at Bathurst Golf Club. He has volunteered on the Christmas Miracle Appeal for 14 years and is known in sporting circles for his involvement in soccer and lawn bowls.

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The worst day of George’s life … MasterChef George Calombaris
Nanjing Night Net

Good evening and welcome to Italy, said to be the final resting place of Carmen Sandiego and where gently ageing women lean out the window to sip their coffee and contemplate their former lives as international women of mystery … games.

For Masterchef, the adventure has only just begun. This is clear not just because Gary says so but because cameras have been handed to the contestants who won’t be cooking today in order to see if they are any better as unpaid TV crew than they are as unpaid chefs. Ermm, if I said it’s touch and go, you know that’s not a good thing right?

And now as Italian directors** say: Bells! Nuns! Aaaction!!!

(**ok visual stereotypes)

We’re on the streets of Roma which is Aus-talian for Rome, with the chefs getting wolf-whistled at and the judges briefly reprising what happened last night for those who didn’t see last night’s episode, or the first part of tonight’s episode or an ad for either episode… oh they always do it and we always mock it, let’s just move on.

George tells the four winners from last night that their challenge tonight, which is really today Italian time, is to buy food from the market in the square, then wander over to the restaurant Mercato off the square to cook lunch … for EVERYONE IN ITALY. Still, that’s nothing. The real challenge is going to be finding a Coles somewhere in this Italian market square.

Mindy tells us that she doesn’t normally cook Italians, which is a good effort for international diplomacy. Then Alice explains that when Gary said each ingredient can only be chosen by one contestant it means that once a contestant chooses an ingredient it can’t be chosen by another one, which is a good effort for basic comprehension.

The rest of the Top Ten will be playing the role of front of house, which is Italian for complaints department, except for Audra and Beau who are the dish-pigs. George and Gary say they have previously been dish-pigs, while Matt tells us he hasn’t, hence his silky hands. Of course Matt is a food critic which is well-padded c.v. for dish-hog, hence Matt’s rather rotund form.

The fantastico four are set loose and Julia heads straight for the beautiful eggplants and a conversation with a grocer that I hope is either (a) innuendo-packed or (b) a you say “eggplant” I say “aubergine” musical number, but instead we cut away to Alice who heads straight for a plant of a totally different kind – an English speaking chef’s assistant who is able to translate Italian into English into Large Plastic Glasses.

Wade is worried about the big issues, he suspects that his name doesn’t sound Italian enough, so he tries out the name Wadeo, pronounced Wade-o. With the addition of one letter he is now sure he doesn’t sound Italian at all, but does sound that much more xenophobic/American, so he decides against the change and tries to rub the name out from his menu board … only to learn a name like Wade-o sticks. As does semi-permanent chalk.

Mindy and Julia then do their best to confirm the Italian stereotype of men doing anything to hit on a woman – along with the Australian stereotype of thinking being ditsy is the same thing as flirting – as they ask the local providores to carry their supplies for them with a giggle. Alice is carrying enough stereotypes on her own though, so she just lugs her own produce back to the restaurant.

The kitchen is tiny so Wade-o takes a moment to come outside and tell us that the kitchen is full while sitting in a wide, open and empty square. This is a genuinely small kitchen though, which four chefs make even smaller, and four wannabe chefs, two camera crews and an unrealistic set of demands make absolutely tiny.

Then, in a first for MasterChef time gets away from the contestants while one of their core ingredients hits a snag. Only in Italy!

The dough is taking too long. Alice has the solution, throw it in the bin. George has the solution too, bring in someone who knows how cook and take over the pass for service.

It’s half an hour before service and Wade-o is helping his water to boil by attempting to cultivate an Italian bonsai tree, while a queue of incredibly patient looking (but oddly not stereotypically Italian) future customers stand outside looking for all the world like a bunch of people happy to wait for a meal they know they won’t have to pay for.

Mindy takes the time to explain to we cultural luddites how pasta in Italy is more al dente than we have ever seen. The pasta in Italy is so al dente that it picks you up, tosses you in boiling water and devours you like a surprisingly chewy demon … or it would except Julia can’t boil water, so the pasta might be even more al dente than the Italians have ever seen, or as we call it, uncooked. George contemplates why the show didn’t run a boiling water elimination challenge earlier, then offers to give each challenger one “helping out.” He slices some eggplant to help Julia, then slices off his thumb to help Wade-o, mostly so that he will feel better about himself as Wade-o is only now realising that he has to prepare his food during preparation, having previously understood this to be a time of self-contemplation and spiritual relaxation in which the chefs became at one with their food and ready to cook.

George then heads downstairs to explain his actions to Gary and Matt, who, like you and I, become concerned that perhaps this whole episode might just collapse and not happen. Only this time for realsies.

After the break a reassuring voice arrives in the form of Deb, who points out that there are only 120 people waiting in the queue, which is ok because she and the team have no idea what to do. Deb is Myteamsuxsis the Italian goddess of group reassurance.

Service begins and this disturbs Alice as it means she’ll have to start cooking and pleases Julia as this means she can apparently stop cooking. This seems confusing, but not as confusing as Alice’s dawning realisation that in cooking pizza and pasta she will have to cook pizza AND pasta. Despite the realisation, she chooses to ignore her pizza and serves up a pasta dish to George. Oddly, he seems strangely displeased that the pizza isn’t also ready. Alice mimicks George and his old-school traditions, while throwing in a few random “yes chefs” at mostly inappropriate intervals, and still George isn’t satisfied. Seriously, what does this man want?! Oh right, pizza.

Matt and Gary stand downstairs generally making a nuisance of themselves and noting that the entire sub-plot of this episode that had been planned, featuring the inept Aussie waiters dealing with the irate locals won’t make the cut at this rate.

Back upstairs, George dons his Evil Angel outfit and attempts to stand on Wade-o’s shoulder and convince him to steal some of Julia’s pizza sauce. Wade-o folds like the sort of pizza dough he wishes he had made earlier and nabs ladlefuls of the stuff, all the while mumbling to himself that is sure he will have the opportunity to make some more … sometime.

In an entirely unrelated turn of events, Julia’s pasta dishes are walking out the pass, and she’s running low. Thankfully she knows she has extra pizza sauce which can double as her pasta sauce. She’s sure she left it around here somewhere. Oh wait. I think I’ve seen this one before. Is this the one where Bugs Bunny ends up serving red house paint to Elmer Fudd?

Julia takes a moment to peacefully realise that Wade-o has been taking all her sauce, but that’s ok because he’s had such a tough day, what with his awful pizza dough and that terrible nickname he gave himself-o, plus one of those lovely men who helped her with the vegetables earlier has promised to kill Wade-o in return for a date.

Gary comes upstairs to find out what’s wrong. And by find out, I mean observe that the kitchen really is a sheltered workshop for untrained spider monkeys, before letting George know that he hasn’t seen one tenth of the orders from downstairs. He then withdraws with a demonic laugh.

A mere commercial break later George is talking about seeing it through and Wade-o has to make the tough decision to take his pizza off the menu as he has decided to actually make some tomato sauce for Julia. Of course we learnt earlier that actually taking something off the menu is nigh-on impossible didn’t we WADEO so we can expect another thirty odd people to order Wade-o’s pizza-o before service is finished-o.

George is a broken man. He admits to the camera that this is the worst day of his life. Gary is also feeling awful. Awful that he has been forced to sit downstairs and order one of every dish, aware that he is just adding to the workload, then force to not only eat them but do so critically and vocally. Matt is incapable of offering such a disingenuous regret as he is a professional dish-hog and wants one of everything, the pain is other people’s problems.

Gary and Matt work their way through the pasta dishes, noting that Wade-o’s is too heavy and Julia’s is just a bit meh. Meanwhile the people around them are noticing that the two men competing to wear more pink than each other (Gary has more square-pink in his shirt but Matt’s cravat is just more PINK) have now had four dishes served while they haven’t managed as much as a bread stick.

George takes another moment to camera in order to say note awful this whole situation is and how proud he is of his team and how he is firing his agent for not getting him one of the smug table spots for this episode. He finally passes the last dish and congratulates the four for getting it done, getting applause from Audra and the professional chef who we last saw at the beginning of service, which presumably means he’s either been cooking quietly and without complaint all service (yeah, like a real chef would ever do that) or syphoning off tomato sauce whenever no one is looking to sell on the black market.

Alice has had George on her case all service and she has found his relentless need for her to do her job and his demands that she achieve a basic level of hygiene and edibility really hard, yet strangely useful. She’s almost reached that point of enlightenment where she realises sarcastically calling him Captain isn’t actually endearing. Almost. So she just calls him captain once … in an accent. Oddly it’s like he doesn’t realise this is a step forward for her.

After the break George has advice for each of them.

Alice had it hard, produced popular dishes but needs brains in the kitchen. Alice nods, George is right, she should have cooked brains.

Mindy focused and got on with it which was great. It made for good dishes but also made for terrible television. Hopefully her competence isn’t catching.

Wade made the ultimate sacrifice (a phrase not at all belittled when it refers to tomato sauce) and George respects that.

As for Julia, if George were selecting one person to be in his kitchen after this it would be her … as long as George was still in Italy. ZING!

Then it’s time to select the two to compete for an Italian immunity pin tomorrow and it is Mindy (whose pasta was nailed) and Alice, who actually does the dance of Brains-from-Thunderbirds – invisible strings and all.

The exhausted chefs are now allowed to head back to the hotel to relax and get some sleep, which means packing and getting on a bus as the production heads for some Tuscan sun.

Tomorrow the contestants cook in the far more practical and realistic surrounds of kitchens built in shrubbery.

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