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Here’s how often you should actually be changing your sheets

<p>Whether you wash your sheets once a week or wait to do a sniff test, you’ve most likely wondered how often you should be changing your bed sheets at the moment. Like many things in life, the answer isn’t so black and white, but we’re here to answer it for you in these unprecedented times. </p> <p>To increase your protection against the new coronavirus, the US Centres for Disease Control (CDC) recommends daily cleaning and disinfecting of “high-touch areas”. That includes doorknobs, light switches, tables, remotes, handles, desks, toilets, sinks, and chairs – but what about your bed sheets?</p> <p><strong>Why do we need to change our sheets?</strong></p> <p>“There are a lot of things that can get in your sheets,” says Dr. Robb Akridge, Co-Founder of Clarisonic and Skin Expert, PhD in Microbiology specialising in Immunology and Infectious Diseases. “First, you need to understand that everyone has tiny mites all over their bodies and these mites feed off dead skin. (You can’t see them, but they are there.) For our skin to be healthy, we need these mites on the body. When these mites — commonly known as dust mites — excrete feces, it is the fecal matter that then causes irritation, inflammation and other allergy responses. When we shower, we wash off the feces, which is often why we can minimise irritation. When you sleep, you often shed skin and mites into your sheets, and remember, dead skin is food for these dust mites which are transferred from your skin to the sheets. If you don’t change your sheets, you create a breeding ground of mites (and they breed very rapidly), and the more mites, the more feces. The more feces, the more likely you will have irritation, especially if you are more sensitive to this.”</p> <p>But that’s not all, as you could also have fungi growing within your sheets. “For example, if you have athlete’s foot, the fungi can live in your sheets and can be passed on to someone who you are sharing a bed with,” Akridge says.</p> <p><strong>What type of sheets are best?</strong></p> <p>“It is important to use sheets that are breathable,” Akridge says. “Cotton is really the best. Also, if you have any skin infections, acne or mite allergies, you should stick to white cotton sheets. That way you can clean them with super-hot water and bleach. You obviously cannot use bleach if your sheets are coloured, so this is something to consider when purchasing. Bleach and extremely hot water will help to get rid of the mites and kill microbes in the sheets.” To deal with dust mites, you need to use water that is at least 55 degrees Celcius and the highest heat setting on your dryer.</p> <p>Get yourself a mattress cover if you don’t already have one. They are designed to keep your mattress safe from mites and prevent their feces from going into the mattress. “You can get an allergy mattress cover and allergy pillowcase covers,” Akridge says. “Your mattress and pillows have ample area for dust mites to expand and multiply, and therefore, over the years, if you don’t have a protective cover, it can easily become the source of irritation and other allergy-related symptoms.”</p> <p><strong>What if my pet sleeps in my bed with me?</strong></p> <p>Then you need to make sure you’re washing your sheets more often. “We see lots of skin rashes and conditions due to pets,” says Board Certified dermatologist Dr Dhaval G. Bhanusali.  “It’s better to do at least once or twice a week to minimise the chance of negative effects.”</p> <p><strong>So how often do you need to change your sheets?</strong></p> <p>Many sources suggest changing your bedsheets weekly even under normal circumstances, and the CDC has not made any specific recommendations about doing it more frequently due to the new coronavirus. However, paying attention to bedding is important because germs can collect there. So, if it soothes you to change your sheets more frequently, go right ahead.</p> <p>“Overall, the amount of times you change your sheets really depends on your lifestyle, personal habits and living conditions,” Akridge says. “For example, if you are active or if you are someone who perspires a lot when you are sleeping, then you should change your sheets at least once a week. Also, if you have acne, then you may want to change your sheets more often.” To be on the safe side, aim to wash your sheets once a week, but try not to stretch it past two weeks.</p>

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"Think before you lash out": Bunnings worker breaks down over cruel customers

<div class="post_body_wrapper"> <div class="post_body"> <div class="body_text "> <p>An overworked and exhausted Bunnings worker broke down in tears on air while describing the abuse and entitlement caused by customers during the COVID-19 pandemic.</p> <p>The employee, only identified as Luke, spoke with GOLD104.3’s<span> </span><em>Breakfast Show</em><span> </span>host Christian O’Connell and begged for customers to be respectful.</p> <p>“I work at Bunnings and the amount of disrespectful, impatient people coming through is disgusting. We are run off our feet, we are trying our best – understand that everyone, and for those that are giving us respect and are being patient we can’t thank you enough,” he said before being overcome with emotion.</p> <p>“It’s a struggle … we are trying, we are definitely trying 100 per cent … trying not to have a breakdown is impossible. Woolworths, Coles any retail worker, we are doing our best.”</p> <p>O’Connell asked how Luke and his team are getting through the challenging period.</p> <p>“We just lean on each other at work, we just get together and support each other,” Luke replied.</p> <p>“I don’t know how people can go home and feel good about themselves making others feel like rubbish and sending them home in tears or making me feel as little as anything.</p> <p>“I understand people are losing their jobs but there’s no excuse to come in and be rude or think you’re the one that should be served first. There are lines, there is self-distancing put in place, and you’ve got people that won’t respect that. And if you’re not going to respect it, then we won’t serve you.”</p> <p>Luke said he hoped his call would prompt people to “think about their actions before they lash at someone”.</p> <p>O’Connell then thanked him and other “frontline” workers for their “bravery and courage”.</p> </div> </div> </div>

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"Stay in your lane!": Dr Chris Brown tries a little quarantine gardening and ends up in hospital

<p>Dr Chris Brown’s self-isolating hobbies do not appear to be working out too well for him as he admitted an inspired attempt to garden left him injured and in hospital over the weekend.</p> <p>On Monday morning, the TV star told Nova 96.9’s Fitzy &amp; Wippa he’d been left with an ulcerated eye while pruning in his garden on Sunday night.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B-Dz3DXp8sb/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B-Dz3DXp8sb/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Chris Brown (@drchrisbrown)</a> on Mar 22, 2020 at 7:33pm PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>“The only problem is, when you’re in this self-isolation period you tend to take on little challenges around the house that you probably shouldn’t,” he admitted to the hosts.</p> <p>“I mean yesterday, I was gardening and did a bit of pruning and didn’t realise I was pruning a highly toxic plant and broke off at the stem and put sap into my eye.</p> <p>“Sap from a toxic cactus ulcerated my cornea and I ended up in ER last night with an ulcerated eye.”</p> <p>Dr Brown went on to urge people to stick to what they’re good at during these difficult times</p> <p>“Stay in your lane, whatever you’re good at, just stick with that. Don’t try to diversify into other areas!” he warned.</p> <p>“The backyard is the most dangerous place on the planet let me tell you.”</p> <p>The TV vet took to Instagram to post about the unfortunate event and thanked emergency staff</p> <p>Posting to Instagram about the unfortunate incident, the TV personality thanked emergency staff for treating him.</p> <p>“The nurses and doctors at Prince of Wales emergency were amazing and diagnosed a burn on my cornea,” he wrote.</p> <p>“Possibly in a last desperate bid to make me feel better, they did assure me this was the second case of cactus induced conjunctivitis in the last 3 days. The lessons?</p> <p>1. Stay in your lane people.</p> <p>2. I’m a veterinary surgeon not a tree surgeon</p> <p>3. And self-isolation DIY injuries are a growth industry,” he joked.</p> <p>Brown went on to say: “On a serious note, the emergency staff in hospitals have never been under more pressure or in more danger yet they’re still fronting up to help us.</p> <p>“Help them by listening to the advice and self isolating. It might not save your life but it could save someone else’s.</p> <p>“I’m now off to kill a cactus. With protective eyewear.”</p> <p>The Channel 10 star recently said his lifestyle program<span> </span><em>The Living Room<span> </span></em>would be returning as a TV program “soon” despite 2019’s announcement seemingly confirming it had been axed for good.</p> <p>Last year, a Network 10 spokesperson said the program would not be returning.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B949jJZp3c_/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B949jJZp3c_/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Chris Brown (@drchrisbrown)</a> on Mar 18, 2020 at 2:26pm PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>However, they did hint towards a new show set to hit our TV screens.</p> <p>“<em>The </em><em>Living Room</em> will not return in 2020,” the spokesperson said.</p> <p>“We are thrilled that the brilliant team of Amanda, Barry, Miguel and Chris will be back at 7.30 on Friday nights next year, watch this space for more information.”</p> <p>Ten is yet to announce what is next for the four presenters, including a premiere date.</p>

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Toilet paper alternatives: What you should and shouldn’t flush down the bowl

<p>As shoppers continue to struggle in their search for toilet paper, more <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/news/news/jacqui-lambie-shares-her-plan-b-amid-toilet-paper-emergency">alternatives</a> have been suggested.</p> <p>However, the public has been warned some of these alternatives could block sewers and push excrements back onto the bathroom floor.</p> <p>SA Water’s Anna Jackson said the utility company was concerned by “advice” circulating on social media about the possible replacements people could use.</p> <p>“Paper towels, wet wipes, baby wipes, even tissues, are designed not to break down, are tough and strong, and therefore get caught in our sewer network and create blockages,” Jackson told the <em><a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-03-18/coronavirus-prompts-sa-water-plea-to-keep-sewers-unblocked/12066880">ABC</a></em>.</p> <p>“The unfortunate side effect of a blockage in a sewer network is that everything that was meant to go down the pipe comes back up.</p> <p>“We don’t want people to be dealing with things on their bathroom floor.”</p> <p>According to Michelle Ringland, head of marketing for commercial and domestic drain specialists Lanes for Drains, flushing nothing might be the best option.</p> <p>Ringland recommended using bidet bowls, ‘bum guns’ or shower heads. “After this is all over I can see a return to bidets,” she told <em><a href="https://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-8127015/Revealed-use-hands-toilet-roll-amid-coronavirus-pandemic.html">FEMAIL</a></em>. “The more we can avoid putting it in the toilet, the better.”</p> <p>Other alternatives that involved flushing nothing included water scooping tools such as the Tabo from the Philippines or gayung from Indonesia.</p> <p>Jackson said only toilet paper, faeces and wee could be flushed down the toilet. “We need to make sure that if you are reaching for an alternative to use in the bathroom, that you are putting it in a bin in the bathroom, and that bin is emptied into the outdoor bin regularly.”</p>

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Sydney man donates toilet paper hoarded for 40 years

<p>A Sydney man has committed to donating packs of toilet paper rolls which had been hoarded by his father since over 40 years ago.</p> <p>Speaking to <em><a href="https://9now.nine.com.au/a-current-affair/coronavirus-sydney-man-donating-shed-of-toilet-paper-hoarded-for-40-years/c6d02183-2d83-4b61-9e9a-d0fe60cdf291">A Current Affair</a></em>, Michael revealed his shed is packed with the goods, which have been highly coveted since cases of COVID-19 were first reported in Australia.</p> <p>The stash was started by his father Sobi, who died 10 years ago. “Dad looking down right now saying, ‘See, I told you so, you are going to need those one day’, and he’s absolutely right!” Michael said.</p> <p>“When he migrated here to Australia, him and mum, they came with nothing absolutely nothing. So whenever there was something on special, they would buy a lot of stock.</p> <p>“So that’s basically what’s happened here and thankfully he has.”</p> <p>Michael and his mother Mary are now giving away the rolls. “I thought to myself, ‘Well I’m not going to sell these, I’m not going to profit cause that’s not what dad would have wanted’,” he said.</p> <p>“He would have wanted me to give these out to people in need.”</p> <p>At first, Michael offered the rolls on Facebook. His post went viral and he received hundreds of messages asking for the item.</p> <p>Michael said he is now limiting the giveaway to two rolls per person.</p> <p>“Anyone who wants a roll or two, that’s desperate that needs it, then I’m happy to give those out Sunday morning 9am Marrickville Woolworths,” he said.</p> <p>“In this time of crisis, I believe we all have to band together and share what we have.”</p>

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Science teacher reveals how to make homemade hand sanitiser with only two ingredients

<p>A science teacher has revealed how to make hand sanitiser in a sauce bottle as people struggle to find stock during the coronavirus outbreak.</p> <p>As the outbreak continues, supermarket shelves have been stripped of everyday essentials such as hand sanitiser and toilet paper.</p> <p>Australian science teacher and YouTuber Jacob Strickling showed how people at home can make their own hand sanitiser in a sauce bottle.</p> <p>“Now it [the sanitiser] has to be alcoholic based and it needs to be a minimum of 60 per cent,” he said in the video.</p> <p>“The alcohols that I see recommended are like isopropyl and also ethanol, but methylated spirits is actually 95 per cent ethanol.”</p> <p>“The alcohol is quite effective against the virus.”</p> <p>Alcohol is effective at killing microbes such as viruses and bacteria as it inactivates their proteins.</p> <p>In the video, Mr Strickling makes the sanitiser out of aloe vera gel so the hands are protected against the stripping alcohol.</p> <p>“Aloe vera will mix with the alcohol and will form a moisture layer gel to protect your skin from the alcohol,” he said.</p> <p>To make the sanitiser yourself, you will need to peel the green skin off the aloe vera plant and put the clear gel into a blender.</p> <p>He then blends the gel until it turns into a foam before mixing it in the methylated spirits.</p> <p>Mr Strickling adds enough so the final mixture has an alcohol content greater than 60 per cent, which is “necessary to break down the envelope protein wall of the virus and destroy it”.</p> <p>He then transfers the solution into a left-over barbecue sauce bottle that he had previously sterilised.</p> <p>Showcasing the sanitiser on his hands, the teacher says “That feels wonderful, that feels very good.”</p> <p>“Now I’ve got my very own virus stopper,” he said.</p> <p><span>NOTE: While even the World Health Organisation offers recommendations for </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.who.int/gpsc/5may/Guide_to_Local_Production.pdf" target="_blank">home-made handrub formulations</a><span>, we urge our readers to exercise caution as home-made solutions such as Mr Strickling's can potentially damage the skin if the alcohol is diluted incorrectly. </span></p>

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Home where Karen Ristevski was killed goes on the market

<p>The home where Karen RIstevski was killed by her husband has gone on the market in the same week that Victorian agents were legally required to reveal information about the past of properties.</p> <p>Victorian agents were banned from “knowingly conceal(ing) any material facts” about homes, such as whether or not the home had been the site of a murder or if the home had asbestos.</p> <p>Previous laws compelled sellers and agents to tell potential buyers only if they were asked, according to<span> </span><a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://www.realestate.com.au/news/karen-ristevski-killing-avondale-heights-house-on-the-market/" target="_blank">realestate.com.au</a>.</p> <p>Barry Plant Moonee Valley sales director Bill Karp said that his agents would be “pointing out to people that the property was part of the Karen Ristevski case”.</p> <p>“We’re not trying to get any extra publicity about it, we just want to be open,” he said.</p> <p>Karen disappeared from the property in June 2016 and her body was later discovered buried in bushland.</p> <p>Her husband, Borce, pleaded guilty to manslaughter in March 2019 and is serving a minimum of 10 years in jail.</p> <p>Karp said that their daughter Sarah would be the beneficiary of the sale of the five-bedroom, two bathroom house which has a $1.2-$1.3 million price guide for its April 4th scheduled auction.</p> <p>“You will want it or you won’t, there’s normally nothing in the middle,” Karp said, as the house has racked up more than 3,000 views since Friday.</p> <p>“Some people will look to … update it throughout. The rear balcony needs a bit of work. But it’s certainly comfortable as is.”</p> <p>Scroll through the gallery to see photos of the home.</p> <p><em>Photo credits: <a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://www.realestate.com.au/news/karen-ristevski-killing-avondale-heights-house-on-the-market/" target="_blank">realestate.com.au</a></em></p>

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Scott Cam’s $350k ambassador role comes under fire

<p>The Morrison government has defended TV tradesman Scott Cam’s $350,000 role as national careers ambassador amid revelations that the Gold Logie winner has only attended one event.</p> <p>The federal government enlisted the host of Nine’s <em>The Block </em>for the 18-month contract job in October 2019 to promote trade apprenticeships and education.</p> <p>Senate Estimates heard that Cam’s sole public appearance since taking the gig has been at a media conference to announce his appointment alongside Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Skills Minister Michaelia Cash.</p> <p>The Department of Education, Employment and Skills said Cam has also published a total of four social media posts and been involved in three National Career Institute videos.</p> <p>“Mr Cam has published social media posts – which is Facebook and Instagram. He reaches more than 113,000 followers,” said the department’s first assistant secretary Matthew Hardy.</p> <p>Shadow Minister for Education and Training Tanya Plibersek questioned whether the six-figure salary was worth it.</p> <p>“Given Mr Morrison’s marketing experience, does he consider that value for money?” she said.</p> <p>“Scott Cam’s a good bloke, but if the Liberals were serious about fixing the tradie shortage they’ve created, they’d stop hiring celebrities and start funding TAFE and apprentices.”</p> <p>Cash defended Cam’s role, citing his “profile” and “influence”.</p> <p>“[We are] utilising his profile, and in particular his story, what happened when he left school, what he did with his apprenticeship, how he has gone on to have different careers, run a small business, employ people and become the successful household name that he is,” she said.</p> <p>“It is actually the influence that that then had of drawing people in and raising awareness.”</p> <p>Cam has pocketed $145,000 of the amount, and is set to receive another $117,000 by the end of this financial year. He will earn a further $85,000 next financial year.</p>

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Deborah Knight’s big avocado haul

<p>Deborah Knight has come into a “goldmine” of avocadoes – and shared some kitchen tips for fellow fans of the fruit.</p> <p>Earlier this week, the TV and radio presenter revealed her “backyard harvest” on Instagram with a picture of a basket full of avocadoes.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B9LXyi6hdeQ/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B9LXyi6hdeQ/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">Backyard harvest. #avocado</a></p> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;">A post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/deborah_knight/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank"> Deborah Knight</a> (@deborah_knight) on Feb 29, 2020 at 8:30pm PST</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Speaking on her 2GB show <em>Afternoons with Deborah Knight</em>, she said her family had pulled out more than 20 avocadoes from the tree in the backyard of their Sydney house.</p> <p>“I hit the jackpot over the weekend, I’m sitting on a goldmine at my place,” Knight said.</p> <p>“And now we’ve got all of these avocadoes. We shared them with the neighbours, but we’re wondering what we can do with the surplus of avocadoes.”</p> <p>She said the avocadoes were not ripe yet and asked <em><a href="https://kitchen.nine.com.au/latest/deborah-knights-homegrown-avocados/38274d4b-9717-4fde-a4e8-c5341a40fa85">9Honey</a> </em>kitchen editor Jane de Graaff for tips on handling the fruit.</p> <p>“Pop them in a paper bag with a banana – the natural gases that the banana releases will help the avocadoes ripen as well,” de Graaff said. “Or just put them in a paperbag by themselves and just leave them on the bench, they will ripen in a couple of days.”</p> <p>If the avocado is still too hard or sticking onto the skin, de Graaff advised using a peeler to peel off the skin and create ribbons of avocado for a salad.</p> <p>Knight continued, “Apart from guacamole, when they do ripen, what else can I be making out of these?”</p> <p>De Graaff recommended smashing the avocado to put on toast or using it as a base for chocolate mousse.</p> <p>“You can actually make a vegan mousse just by pureeing up an avocado, some cocoa powder, bit of honey, bit of mint if you want it in there,” she said. “Puree it all up, pop it in a glass, put it in the fridge, and you’ve got a healthy, vegan chocolate mousse.”</p> <p>If the avocadoes get too ripe or soft, de Graaff offered another tip. “Put it in your pesto,” she said. “You can leave the cheese out. You don’t have to be a vegan to do this … put some avocado, blitz it up with your pine nuts and some basil leaves, and that makes the most incredible, creamy, creamy pesto.”</p>

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Take a peek inside Karl Stefanovic and Jasmine Yarbrough’s five-bedroom mansion

<p>Karl Stefanovic and his wife Jasmine are leaving their home in Mosman as they prepare for the arrival of their new baby girl.</p> <p>The<span> </span>Today<span> </span>host put up the lavish mansion for rent, which is back on the market for a whopping $3,250 a week.</p> <p>Karl moved into the five-bedroom place in 2017 after his divorce from Cassandra Thorburn.</p> <p>The home is located in one of Mosman’s most exclusive streets, has five bedrooms with built-in wardrobes, two bathrooms and an open kitchen.</p> <p>The 715 square metre property also has an indoor fireplace, backyard patio and a swimming pool.</p> <p>There is also a spacious living area where you can relax as well as an attic which ads a unique charm to the family friendly home.</p> <p>The exterior of the home is a gardener’s dream as it’s full to the brim of landscapes hedges and greenery as well as ornate gates and an interesting water feature.</p> <p>According to the listing, the property is available from the 19th of March.</p> <p>Stefanovic confirmed that they are expecting a baby girl, telling<span> </span><em><a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://celebrity.nine.com.au/latest/karl-stefanovic-jasmine-yarbough-pregnancy-baby-girl-due-may/6ccadce3-2d0d-433a-a665-da5cd95f124c?ocid=Social-9HoneyCelebrity" target="_blank">9Honey</a></em> that they’re “really excited”.</p> <p>“We are really excited... Our whole family can't wait to meet our little princess.”</p> <p>According to property insiders, the Stefanovics have been on the hunt for a house to buy in the Mosman area ahead of the birth of their baby girl.</p> <p>Scroll through the gallery to see the opulent home.</p>

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The Bunnings promise that's a godsend for terrible gardeners

<p>Gardening novices would be familiar with the pain of purchasing plants, only to have them die within a week despite your best efforts.</p> <p>Luckily, Bunnings have come up with a policy to help these customers in their quest of growing their own greeneries.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B87Ini_FHD6/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B87Ini_FHD6/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">Not great at keeping your plants alive? 🌿Then a mother in law's tongue is for you! It's low-maintenance and only needs to be watered when the soil is completely dry ✅ Find out how to care for one via the link in our bio, and if it's still too tricky tap to shop the artificial option. #bunnings #indoorplants</a></p> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;">A post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/bunnings/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank"> Bunnings Warehouse</a> (@bunnings) on Feb 23, 2020 at 1:10pm PST</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>The hardware chain has introduced ‘Perfect Plant Promise’, which allows shoppers to return a dead plant within 12 months of purchase for a refund or a replacement.</p> <p>The policy applies on all plants except seedlings. Shoppers can return their purchase with a receipt or a tax invoice.</p> <p>“If you’re not 100 per cent happy, return your plant … and we’ll refund it,” the company’s <a href="https://www.bunnings.com.au/returns">website</a> said.</p> <p>The returned plant is subject to examination by a staff member, who will determine if the customer is eligible for a refund or a replacement.</p>

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Malibu royal abode? Prince Harry and Meghan Markle scoping out $7 million mansion

<p>Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are reportedly scoping out a gorgeous Malibu mansion that is available for $7 million.</p> <p>The couple will end all official royal duties on March 31 and in the meantime are checking out where they will be living next after Megxit is all said and done.</p> <p>The Sussexes are due to split their time between the UK and the US, and during their six-week Christmas holiday, they spent it at a waterside mansion on Vancouver Island.</p> <p>Reports made by the<em><span> </span>Daily Mail</em><span> </span>say the couple are looking to be closer to Meghan’s mother Doria Ragland, as well as Silicon Valley and Hollywood.</p> <p>The gorgeous home they may be considering is one once owned by<span> </span><em>Baywatch</em><span> </span>star David Charvet and his wife Brooke Burke. Altogether the glorious mansion boasts an incredible eight bedrooms, 10 bathrooms, a cosy home cinema and a stylish wine cellar.</p> <p>Along with a view that goes on and on is a chic and meticulously manicured garden, as well as a pool and tennis court.</p> <p>The pad will provide plenty of room for Prince Harry, his wife and their son, Archie who turns one in May, as the home sits on 1.75 acres of land and 12,249 feet of gorgeous living space.</p> <p>Caitlyn Jenner, who starred alongside her former wife, Kris Jenner and their six children, in<span> </span><em>Keeping Up With The Kardashians, </em>was the first to reveal the Sussex couple were looking for a home in Malibu.</p> <p>When asked what she thought about the pair, she said: “I can't predict as I've tried to raise our royal family in the US. It was probably very difficult for Meghan, coming into the Royal Family.</p> <p>“It was a big shock to her, she's probably had enough. Good for them, we'll see how it goes. I heard they were looking for a house in Malibu. It must have been tough. Everyone deserves to be happy.”</p> <p>The 70-year-old added it would have been “very difficult” for Meghan to adjust to her royal lifestyle.</p> <p>The house in question would be just 30 miles away from her Meghan's Doria, 63, in the Windsor Hills.</p> <p>Scroll through the gallery to see the Malibu mansion.</p>

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Ready set shop! Woolies unveils game changing new shopping system

<p>Get ready shoppers – Woolworths is rolling out a new delivery system that could change the way you shop from now on.</p> <p>The grocery chain is allowing customers to use a service that will enable them to receive their groceries within two hours of ordering.</p> <p>The new system was initially only rolled out into major cities including Melbourne, Brisbane, Gold Coast and Sydney – but now Hobart, Adelaide and Perth customers can try out<span> </span><em>Delivery Now</em><span> </span>for the first time ever.</p> <p><em>Delivery Now</em><span> </span>is a system that lets customers order their groceries online and have them delivered. Groceries can be tracked on a smartphone with an estimated delivery time.</p> <p>Woolies says the average time it takes to deliver items to shopper’s doors is 62 minutes. Orders can be placed from Monday to Friday between 9am-7pm, Saturday 9am-3pm, and Sunday 11am-3 pm with a flat delivery fee of $19.</p> <p>Annette Karantoni, Woolworths director of eCommerce, said in a statement that the grocery chain wants to grant customers “new ways to reclaim time in their increasingly busy lives”.</p> <p>“It’s ideal for top up shops of everyday essentials, or more urgent needs like snacks for catering at short notice, nappies, or cold and flu medicine,” she said.</p> <p>Anyone wanting to see if they are able to order groceries can <a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="http://www.woolworths.com.au/now" target="_blank">check if Delivery Now is available for you</a> via Woolies’ website.</p> <p>Retail expert Professor Gary Mortimer from Queensland University of Technology told Yahoo News Australia that it won’t just be “tech-savvy” people who will regularly use out the new service, but instead senior Australians who want to give<span> </span>Delivery Now<span> </span>a chance to impress them.</p> <p>“They can’t get out of their homes in some cases and have less mobility and being able to tap out a couple of items and have them delivered to the kitchen bench is great for elderly consumers,” he said.</p>

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Why the heavy rain is great news for Sydney's dams

<p>Throughout summer, Sydney’s water storage level <a href="https://theconversation.com/how-drought-is-affecting-water-supply-in-australias-capital-cities-127909">fell alarmingly</a>. <a href="https://www.sydneywater.com.au/SW/water-the-environment/what-we-re-doing/water-restrictions/index.htm">Level 2 water restrictions</a> were imposed and the New South Wales government prepared to <a href="https://www.afr.com/politics/rain-could-delay-plans-to-double-sydney-s-desal-plant-capacity-20200209-p53z3p">double the capacity</a> of its desalination plant.</p> <p>But then it began to rain, and rain. Sydney water storages jumped from 41% in early February <a href="https://www.waternsw.com.au/supply/Greater-Sydney/greater-sydneys-dam-levels/weekly-verified-storage-reports">to 75% now</a> – the <a href="http://www.bom.gov.au/water/dashboards/#/water-storages/summary/state">highest of any capital city</a> in Australia.</p> <p>This is great news for the city, but it comes with a big caveat. Floodwaters will undoubtedly wash bushfire debris into reservoirs – possibly overwhelming water treatment systems. We must prepare now for that worst-case pollution scenario.</p> <p><strong>Reservoirs filled with rain</strong></p> <p>The water level of Sydney’s massive Lake Burragorang – the reservoir behind Warragamba Dam – rose by more than 11 meters this week. Warragamba supplies more than 80% of Sydney’s water.</p> <p>Other Sydney water storages, including Nepean and Tallowa dams, are now at 100%. WaterNSW report that 865,078 megalitres of extra water has been captured this week <a href="https://www.waternsw.com.au/supply/Greater-Sydney/greater-sydneys-dam-levels">across all Greater Sydney’s dams</a>.</p> <p>This dwarfs the volume of water produced by Sydney’s desalination plant, which produces 250 megalitres a day when <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/aug/11/sydneys-desalination-plant-set-to-expand-as-drought-continues">operating at full capacity</a>. Even at this rate, it would take more than 3,400 days (or nine years) to match the volume of water to added to Sydney’s supply this week.</p> <p><iframe frameborder="0" class="juxtapose" width="100%" height="770" src="https://cdn.knightlab.com/libs/juxtapose/latest/embed/index.html?uid=49d7abb0-4df8-11ea-b9b8-0edaf8f81e27"></iframe> The Warragamba Dam before the drought and after the recent heavy rains.</p> <p><strong>But then comes the pollution</strong></p> <p>Thankfully, the rain appears to <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/feb/10/rain-deluge-in-eastern-australia-set-to-extinguish-nsw-bushfires-this-week">have extinguished</a> bushfires burning in the Warragamba catchment for months.</p> <p>But the water will also pick up bushfire debris and wash it into dams.</p> <p>Over the summer, bushfires burnt <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-01-15/warragamba-dam-installs-booms-to-catch-bushfire-debris/11866838">about 30% of Warragamba Dam’s massive 905,000 hectare water catchment</a>, reducing protective ground cover vegetation. This increases the risk of soil erosion. Rain will wash ash and sediment loads into waterways – adding more nitrogen, phosphorous and organic carbon into water storages.</p> <p>Waterways and ecosystems require nutrients like phosphorous and nitrogen, but excess nutrients aren’t a good thing. They bring contamination risks, such as the rapid growth of toxic blue-green algae.</p> <p>Drinking water catchments will always have some degree of contamination and water treatment consistently provides high quality drinking water. But poor water quality after catchment floods is not without precedent.</p> <p><strong>We’ve seen this before</strong></p> <p>In August 1998, extreme wet weather and flooding rivers filled the drought-affected Warragamba Dam in just a few days.</p> <p>This triggered the <a href="https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/phb/Documents/1998-8-9.pdf">Cryptosporidium crisis</a>, when the <a href="https://www.safewater.org/fact-sheets-1/2017/1/23/protozoan-parasites">protozoan parasite</a> and the pathogen <a href="https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/giardia">Giardia</a> were detected in Sydney’s water supplies. It triggered health warnings, and Sydneysiders were instructed to boil water before drinking it. This event did not involve a bushfire.</p> <p>The Canberra bushfires in January 2003 triggered multiple <a href="http://www.bom.gov.au/water/about/waterResearch/document/Daniell_and_White_Montpellier_2005.pdf">water quality problems</a>. Most of the region’s Cotter River catchments, which hold three dams, were burned. Intense thunderstorms in the months after the bushfire <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/13241583.2006.11465291?needAccess=true">washed enormous loads</a> of ash, soil and debris into catchment rivers and water reservoirs.</p> <p>This led to turbidity (murkiness), as well as iron, manganese, nitrogen, phosphorus and carbon in reservoir waters. The inflow of organic material also depleted dissolved oxygen which triggered the release of metals from reservoir sediment. At times, water quality was so poor it couldn’t be treated and supplied to consumers.</p> <p>The ACT Government was forced to impose water restrictions, and built a A$38 million water treatment plant.</p> <p><strong>Have we come far enough?</strong></p> <p>Technology in water treatment plants has developed over the past 20 years, and water supply systems operates according to Australian <a href="https://www.nhmrc.gov.au/about-us/publications/australian-drinking-water-guidelines">drinking water guidelines</a>.</p> <p>Unlike the 1998 Sydney water crisis, WaterNSW, Sydney Water and NSW Health now have <a href="http://www.sydneywater.com.au/SW/water-the-environment/how-we-manage-sydney-s-water/safe-drinking-water/our-drinking-water-management-system/index.htm">advanced tests and procedures</a> to detect and manage water quality problems.</p> <p>In December last year, WaterNSW said it was aware of the risk bushfires posed to water supplies, and it had a number of measures at its disposal, including using booms and curtains to isolate affected flows.</p> <p>However at the time, bushfire ash had already <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/dec/15/sydneys-drinking-water-could-be-polluted-by-bushfire-ash-in-warragamba-dam-catchment-expert-says">reportedly entered the Warragamba system</a>.</p> <p><strong>Look to recycled water</strong></p> <p>Sydney’s water storages may have filled, but residents should not stop saving water. We recommend <a href="https://www.nsw.gov.au/news-and-events/news/level-2-water-restrictions-to-start-across-sydney/">Level 2 water restrictions</a>, which ban the use of garden hoses, be relaxed to <a href="https://www.nsw.gov.au/news-and-events/news/water-restrictions-to-start-across-sydney/">Level 1 restrictions</a> which ban most sprinklers and watering systems, and the hosing of hard surfaces.</p> <p>While this measure is in place, longer term solutions can be explored. Expanding desalination is <a href="https://theconversation.com/when-water-is-scarce-we-cant-afford-to-neglect-the-alternatives-to-desalination-111249">a popular but expensive option</a>, however greater use of recycled wastewater is also needed.</p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/more-of-us-are-drinking-recycled-sewage-water-than-most-people-realise-92420">Highly treated recycled water</a> including urban stormwater and even treated sewage should be purified and incorporated into the water supply. Singapore is a world leader and has proven the measure can <a href="https://www.dw.com/en/singapores-toilet-to-tap-concept/a-16904636">gain community acceptance</a>.</p> <p>It’s too early to tell what impact the combination of bushfires and floods will have on water storages. But as extreme weather events increase in frequency and severity, all options should be on the table to shore up drinking water supplies.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/131668/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: http://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/ian-wright-5162">Ian Wright</a>, Senior Lecturer in Environmental Science, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/western-sydney-university-1092">Western Sydney University</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/jason-reynolds-398576">Jason Reynolds</a>, Senior Lecturer in Geochemistry, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/western-sydney-university-1092">Western Sydney University</a></em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="http://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/heavy-rains-are-great-news-for-sydneys-dams-but-they-come-with-a-big-caveat-131668">original article</a>.</em></p>

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How to conserve and utilise stormwater by creating a rain garden

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Ever seen the amount of rain that goes into your garden that flows off and think “what a waste?”. There are ways of capturing and utilising rain before it gets lost in stormwater drains and adds to pollution in waterways, such as a rain garden.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“A significant amount of precious storm water is lost to us and adds pollution to our waterways as unfiltered rain runs straight into rivers and oceans,” says co-founder and creative director of </span><a href="http://www.landart.com.au/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Landart Landscapes</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">, Matt Leacy</span>.</p> <p>“<span style="font-weight: 400;">Creating a rain garden or storm water-smart garden is something property owners can do to make good use of rainfall,” Matt advises.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Rain gardens are self-watering and low maintenance, and help to reduce use of water in the garden, as well as filtering and purifying water so that it is then safe to be reused.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">A rain garden is environmentally friendly, water efficient and can also help boost financial savings on water rates.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">There are also different types of rain gardens, including downpipe diversion, a green roof, a plantar box as well as a vegetable rain garden.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Here are some tips for creating a simple rain garden.</span></p> <p><strong>Choose where you’re going to get the bulk of your storm water from.</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">This can be from a downpipe, driveway or pathway or from a rainwater tank, according to Matt.</span></p> <p><strong>Choose the right plantar box</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Choose a planter box that fits your space, or excavate a trench that leads water to a lower lying point in your garden,” Matt explains.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“You will need to layer your planter box with gravel, soil and sand, and then a bottom layer of gravel to aid with water filtration, and to allow the water to drain freely at the base into an exit pipe” Matt adds.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Make sure you have a waterproof liner for your planter box to ensure the storm water is captured for reuse.”</span></p> <p><strong>Check with the local nursery for best advice on plants</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Speak to your local nursery to check the best plants to use in your rain garden,” Matt suggests. “Some good options include some kangaroo paws, native grasses, native rushes and Dianella.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“The main thing is to ensure that whatever you choose is both drought-tolerant and able to withstand heavy rain and water. Native plants tend to be lower maintenance and more suitable than introduced species.”</span></p> <p><strong>Cover your rain garden with mulch</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Cover your rain garden with mulch to retain moisture (not bark or straw as these float into storm water drains). Gravel is a great option,” Matt says.</span></p> <p><strong>Monitor your rain garden</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“While rain gardens are very low maintenance, you will need to weed until the plants have matured.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“You will also need to monitor your rain garden in the first heavy downpours to ensure the water is evenly distributed,” Matt says. You may need to also add plants or some rocks to help control erosion.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“If it doesn’t rain when you’re first setting up your rain garden, you will need to water your plants until they’re established,” says Matt. “Be sure to do so in compliance with local water restrictions.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">You have officially set up your rain garden!</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Photo credits: </span>Jason Busch</em></p>

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Australia’s most popular locations for over 50s housing

<p style="margin: 0cm; margin-bottom: .0001pt;"><em><span style="font-family: 'Arial',sans-serif; color: black;">By Mark Skelsey</span></em><span style="font-family: '-webkit-standard',serif; color: black;"></span></p> <p>NSW’s Port Macquarie and Queensland’s Toowoomba were Australia’s most searched locations by downsizers during 2019, as consumer interest soared in the over 50s housing sector.</p> <p>Australia’s leading over 50s property portal, <a href="http://Downsizing.com.au">Downsizing.com.au</a>, recently released its key 2019 website statistics, revealing a few new top names when it comes to retirement and downsizing.</p> <p>The NSW Mid-North Coast city of Port Macquarie claimed top prize as Australia’s most popular location for retirement and downsizing property, closely followed by Toowoomba in the Darling Downs region in southern Queensland.</p> <p>Next in line was Chain Valley Bay (NSW), then Hervey Bay (Qld), Burpengary (Qld), Buderim (Qld), Bayview (NSW), Maroochydore (Qld), Bundaberg (Qld) and Mornington (Victoria).</p> <p>Port Macquarie’s rising number of listing views – up from 109,532 in 2018 to 180,668 in 2019 – helped it jump from the nation’s number two most searched locality in 2018 to top spot in 2019. </p> <p>Meanwhile, Toowoomba jumped from the nation’s fifth most regularly searched locality, up to second spot in 2019.</p> <p>“Port Macquarie and Toowoomba both have an attractive climate and relaxing lifestyle, along with a growing range of retirement and downsizing options at a variety of price points,” <a href="http://Downsizing.com.au">Downsizing.com.au</a>’s co-CEO Amanda Graham said.</p> <p>“It’s hardly surprising they have topped the list of our most searched localities for 2019.</p> <p>“Port Macquarie for instance has 17 gorgeous beaches, along with a buzzing city centre with many shopping and business opportunities and a major regional hospital and airport.</p> <p>“Meanwhile, being located 700m above sea level in the Great Dividing Range, Toowoomba has a far cooler climate compared to most other parts of Queensland, which makes it attractive to many downsizers. </p> <p>“The city centre has retained many of its historic buildings, which gives it a charming heritage feel. In addition, being a major regional centre servicing 130,000 people, Toowoomba offers the health services and other services needed by retirees.</p> <p>Both Port Macquarie and Toowoomba have also recently had airport upgrades. Port Macquarie’s $9.875m terminal upgrade was completed in November 2019, while Toowoomba’s Wellcamp airport celebrated its first international flight in 2016.</p> <p>“Importantly, both localities allow you to get into retirement living at a highly affordable price, while also still offering luxury options,” continued Ms Graham. We’ve got properties on our website for as little as $185,000 in Port Macquarie and $163,000 at Toowoomba.</p> <p> “<a href="https://www.downsizing.com.au/news/637/House-price-surge-helps-downsizers-enter-2020-in-market-box-seat">The first half of 2020 is looking to be even better for downsizers</a>, thanks to strong prices being achieved for detached homes on Australia’s east coast.</p> <p>“This means downsizers can take advantage of their strong equity position when selling the family home along with the plentiful supply of new apartments to get a great deal when they downsize.</p> <p>“The retirement industry also recognises this strong market situation, <a href="https://www.downsizing.com.au/news/645/Strong-2020-growth-outlook-for-Australias-retirement-housing-sector">with the latest Property Council of Australia industry sentiment survey</a> reporting that the retirement industry has the most positive outlook of any property sector over the next 12 months.”</p>

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