Throwback Thursday: 2013 Hunter bushfires in pictures

The devastating 2013 Hunter bushfires in pictures FIRE: It’s the fourth anniversary of the catastrophic fires we had in our area, might bring it all back for some of the locals. Picture: Dylan St John
SuZhou Night Recruitment

FIRE: It’s the fourth anniversary of the catastrophic fires we had in our area, might bring it all back for some of the locals. Picture: Dylan St John

A fire sign near Nords Wharf. Picture: Phil Hearne

Scenes from the fires at Catherine Hill Bay and Chain Valley Bay on Friday. Photo by Phil Hearne

Scenes from the fires at Catherine Hill Bay and Chain Valley Bay on Friday. Photo by Simone De Peak

Checking power lines in Catherine Hill Bay. Picture: Simone De Peak

The scene at the Gwandalan motorbike club. Picture: Phil Hearne

A scorched sign pointing to the Catherine Hill Bay pub. Picture: Peter Rae

Scenes from the fires at Catherine Hill Bay and Chain Valley Bay on Friday. Photo by Simone De Peak

Scenes from the fires at Catherine Hill Bay and Chain Valley Bay on Friday. Photo by Simone De Peak

Exhausted firefighters take a rest while fire burns beside them in Cragan Bay Road, Nords Wharf. Photo by PHIL HEARNE

The remnants of the old Jetty Masters Cottage, Catherine Hill Bay. Picture: Simone De Peak

Fire damage at Catherine Hill Bay. Picture: Simone De Peak

Rural Fire Service crews taking a break at Finnan Park. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Scenes from the fires at Catherine Hill Bay and Chain Valley Bay on Friday. Photo by Phil Hearne

Scenes from the fires at Catherine Hill Bay and Chain Valley Bay on Friday. Photo by Phil Hearne

Scenes from the fires at Catherine Hill Bay and Chain Valley Bay on Friday. Photo by Simone De Peak

Scenes from the fires at Catherine Hill Bay and Chain Valley Bay on Friday. Photo by James Brickwood

Damage at the Byrne property on Cabbage Tree Road, Williamtown. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Josh Fitzroy and his brother Brandon evacuate Nords Wharf. Picture: Phil Hearne

A scene from the corner of Flowers Drive and the Pacific Highway, Catherine Hill Bay. Picture: Phil Hearne

The remains of historic Wallarah House. Picture: Simone De Peak

A view towards the jetty at Catherine Hill Bay. Picture: Simone De Peak

NSW Rural Fire Service crew resting at Finnan Park, Campvale. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

NSW Fire and Rescue at the Finnan Park command post. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

THE NSW Fire and Rescue command post. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

National Parks staff hose down smouldering logs along Medowie Road. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Darren Watkins, of Medowie, shows how close fire came to his shed. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

A burnt-out garage on the Pacific Highway. Picture: Phil Hearne

Scorched pottery pigs at the Big T roadhouse, alongside the Big Prawn. Picture: Phil Hearne

Firefighters at Nords Wharf. Picture: Phil Hearne

The Gwandalan motorbike club. Picture: Phil Hearne

The razed roadhouse and the Big Prawn. Picture: Peter Rae

The Big T roadhouse. Picture: Phil Hearne

The Big T roadhouse. Picture: Phil Hearne

The remains of historic Wallarah House. Picture: Simone De Peak

Destroyed greenhouses owned by David Kilgannon on Cabbage Tree Road, Williamtown. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Iskey and his owner Meryl Mansour at the Swansea RSL evacuation centre. Picture: Darren Pateman

Emergency Services Minister Mike Gallacher speaks to evacuees.

Jack Byrne at the family residence on Cabbage Tree Road. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Incident controller Stuart Farleigh discussing strategy. Picture: Phil Hearne

Fires near the Nords Wharf bushfire centre. Picture: Phil Hearne

Scenes from the fires at Catherine Hill Bay and Chain Valley Bay on Friday. Photo by James Brickwood

Scenes from the fires at Catherine Hill Bay and Chain Valley Bay on Friday. Photo by James Brickwood

June Hammond, of Murrays Beach, with her dog Pebbles at the Swansea RSL evacuation centre. Picture: Darren Pateman

Sally Marsh and her dog Tillie at the Swansea evacuation centre. Picture: Darren Pateman

Rural Fire Service Hunter zone group captain John Ryan at the Finnan Park command post. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Firefighters at Nords Wharf. Picture: Phil Hearne

Scenes from the fires at Catherine Hill Bay and Chain Valley Bay on Friday. Photo by James Brickwood

Scenes from the fires at Catherine Hill Bay and Chain Valley Bay on Friday. Photo by James Brickwood

Scenes from the fires at Catherine Hill Bay and Chain Valley Bay on Friday. Photo by James Brickwood

Scenes from the fires at Catherine Hill Bay and Chain Valley Bay on Friday. Photo by James Brickwood

Michelle Byrne, whose home dog grooming business burnt down along with the family’s shed on Cabbage Tree Road, Williamtown. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Scenes from the fires at Catherine Hill Bay and Chain Valley Bay on Friday. Photo by James Brickwood

Scenes from the fires at Catherine Hill Bay and Chain Valley Bay on Friday. Photo by James Brickwood

Scenes from the fires at Catherine Hill Bay and Chain Valley Bay on Friday. Photo by James Brickwood

Scenes from the fires at Catherine Hill Bay and Chain Valley Bay on Friday. Photo by James Brickwood

Scenes from the fires at Catherine Hill Bay and Chain Valley Bay on Friday. Photo by Phil Hearne

Scenes from the fires at Catherine Hill Bay and Chain Valley Bay on Friday. Photo by Phil Hearne

Scenes from the fires at Catherine Hill Bay and Chain Valley Bay on Friday. Photo by James Brickwood

Scenes from the fires at Catherine Hill Bay and Chain Valley Bay on Friday. Photo by Phil Hearne

Scenes from the fires at Catherine Hill Bay and Chain Valley Bay on Friday. Photo by Phil Hearne

Scenes from the fires at Catherine Hill Bay and Chain Valley Bay on Friday. Photo by Phil Hearne

Scenes from the fires at Catherine Hill Bay and Chain Valley Bay on Friday. Photo by Phil Hearne

Scenes from the fires at Catherine Hill Bay and Chain Valley Bay on Friday. Photo by Phil Hearne

A scene at Ricardson Road Raymond Terrace on Friday. Photo by Phil Hearne

Fire at the back of Amaroo Crescent, Fingal Bay, on Sunday. Picture Jonathan Carroll

Scenes from the fires at Lemon Tree Passage, Port Stephens, on Sunday. Picture: Phil Hearne

Scenes from the fires at Lemon Tree Passage, Port Stephens, on Sunday. Picture: Phil Hearne

Fire at the back of Amaroo Crescent, Fingal Bay, on Sunday. Picture Jonathan Carroll

Scenes from the fires at Lemon Tree Passage, Port Stephens, on Sunday. Picture: Phil Hearne

Fire at the back of Amaroo Crescent, Fingal Bay, on Sunday. Picture Jonathan Carroll

Scenes from the fires at Lemon Tree Passage, Port Stephens, on Sunday. Picture: Phil Hearne

Scenes from the fires at Lemon Tree Passage, Port Stephens, on Sunday. Picture: Phil Hearne

Scenes from the fires at Lemon Tree Passage, Port Stephens, on Sunday. Picture: Phil Hearne

Fire at Fingal Bay. Picture submitted by Selwyn Cox

Fire at the back of Amaroo Crescent, Fingal Bay, on Sunday. Picture Jonathan Carroll

Scenes from the fires at Lemon Tree Passage, Port Stephens, on Sunday. Picture: Phil Hearne

Scenes from the fires at Lemon Tree Passage, Port Stephens, on Sunday. Picture: Phil Hearne

Scenes from the fires at Lemon Tree Passage, Port Stephens, on Sunday. Picture: Phil Hearne

Scenes from the fires at Lemon Tree Passage, Port Stephens, on Sunday. Picture: Phil Hearne

Fire at the back of Amaroo Crescent, Fingal Bay, on Sunday. Picture Jonathan Carroll

Scenes from the fires at Lemon Tree Passage, Port Stephens, on Sunday. Picture: Phil Hearne

Fire at Fingal Bay. Picture submitted by Selwyn Cox

Fire at Fingal Bay. Picture submitted by Selwyn Cox

Fire at Fingal Bay. Picture submitted by Selwyn Cox

Fire at Fingal Bay. Picture submitted by Selwyn Cox

Fire at Fingal Bay. Picture submitted by Selwyn Cox

Scenes from the fires at Lemon Tree Passage, Port Stephens, on Sunday. Picture: Phil Hearne

Fire at the back of Amaroo Crescent, Fingal Bay, on Sunday. Picture Jonathan Carroll

Scenes from the fires at Lemon Tree Passage, Port Stephens, on Sunday. Picture: Phil Hearne

Scenes from the fires at Lemon Tree Passage, Port Stephens, on Sunday. Picture: Phil Hearne

Scenes from the fires at Lemon Tree Passage, Port Stephens, on Sunday. Picture: Phil Hearne

Fire at the back of Amaroo Crescent, Fingal Bay, on Sunday. Picture Jonathan Carroll

Fire at the back of Amaroo Crescent, Fingal Bay, on Sunday. Picture Jonathan Carroll

Fire at the back of Amaroo Crescent, Fingal Bay, on Sunday. Picture Jonathan Carroll

Fire at the back of Amaroo Crescent, Fingal Bay, on Sunday. Picture Jonathan Carroll

Scenes from the fires at Lemon Tree Passage, Port Stephens, on Sunday. Picture: Phil Hearne

Scenes from the fires at Lemon Tree Passage, Port Stephens, on Sunday. Picture: Phil Hearne

Fire at the back of Amaroo Crescent, Fingal Bay, on Sunday. Picture Jonathan Carroll

Fire at the back of Amaroo Crescent, Fingal Bay, on Sunday. Picture Jonathan Carroll

Fire at the back of Amaroo Crescent, Fingal Bay, on Sunday. Picture Jonathan Carroll

Fire at the back of Amaroo Crescent, Fingal Bay, on Sunday. Picture Jonathan Carroll

Fire at the back of Amaroo Crescent, Fingal Bay, on Sunday. Picture Jonathan Carroll

Fire at the back of Amaroo Crescent, Fingal Bay, on Sunday. Picture Jonathan Carroll

A bushfire burns south of Taree. Picture: Carl Muxlow

Fire burns at Glenrock recreation area, near Newcastle. Picture: Max Mason Hubers

Fire burns at Glenrock recreation area, near Newcastle. Picture: Max Mason Hubers

Fire burns at Glenrock recreation area, near Newcastle. Picture: Max Mason Hubers

A bushfire burns south of Taree. Picture: Scott Calvin

Fire burns at Glenrock recreation area, near Newcastle. Picture: Max Mason Hubers

Scenes of the Glenrock fire by Bradley Cody.

Fire burns at Glenrock recreation area, near Newcastle. Picture: Max Mason Hubers

Fire burns at Glenrock recreation area, near Newcastle. Picture: Matthew Kelly

Fire burns at Glenrock recreation area, near Newcastle. Picture: Matthew Kelly

Fire burns at Glenrock recreation area, near Newcastle. Picture: Kieran Resevsky, of Merewether

Fire burns at Glenrock recreation area, near Newcastle. Picture: Kieran Resevsky, of Merewether

Fire burns at Glenrock recreation area, near Newcastle. Picture: Leonie Davis

Scenes of the Glenrock fire by Bradley Cody.

Scenes of the Glenrock fire by Bradley Cody.

Scenes of the Glenrock fire by Bradley Cody.

Scenes of the Glenrock fire by Bradley Cody.

Scenes of the Glenrock fire by Bradley Cody.

Scenes of the Glenrock fire by Bradley Cody.

Scenes of the Glenrock fire by Bradley Cody.

Fire burns at Glenrock recreation area, near Newcastle. Picture: Leonie Davis

Scenes of the Glenrock fire by Bradley Cody.

Fire burns at Glenrock recreation area, near Newcastle. Picture: Leonie Davis

Scenes of the Glenrock fire by Bradley Cody.

Scenes of the Glenrock fire by Bradley Cody.

Scenes of the Glenrock fire by Bradley Cody.

Scenes of the Glenrock fire by Bradley Cody.

A bushfire burns south of Taree. Picture: Carl Muxlow

CHAOS Scenes from Williamtown as a fire breaks containment lines. Pictures by Jonothan Carroll

CHAOS Scenes from Williamtown as a fire breaks containment lines. Pictures by Jonothan Carroll

CHAOS Scenes from Williamtown as a fire breaks containment lines. Pictures by Jonothan Carroll

CHAOS Scenes from Williamtown as a fire breaks containment lines. Pictures by Jonothan Carroll

CHAOS Scenes from Williamtown as a fire breaks containment lines. Pictures by Jonothan Carroll

CHAOS Scenes from Williamtown as a fire breaks containment lines. Pictures by Jonothan Carroll

CHAOS Scenes from Williamtown as a fire breaks containment lines. Pictures by Jonothan Carroll

CHAOS Scenes from Williamtown as a fire breaks containment lines. Pictures by Jonothan Carroll

CHAOS Scenes from Williamtown as a fire breaks containment lines. Pictures by Jonothan Carroll

CHAOS Scenes from Williamtown as a fire breaks containment lines. Pictures by Jonothan Carroll

CHAOS Scenes from Williamtown as a fire breaks containment lines. Pictures by Jonothan Carroll

CHAOS Scenes from Williamtown as a fire breaks containment lines. Pictures by Jonothan Carroll

CHAOS Scenes from Williamtown as a fire breaks containment lines. Pictures by Jonothan Carroll

CHAOS Scenes from Williamtown as a fire breaks containment lines. Pictures by Jonothan Carroll

CHAOS Scenes from Williamtown as a fire breaks containment lines. Pictures by Jonothan Carroll

CHAOS Scenes from Williamtown as a fire breaks containment lines. Pictures by Jonothan Carroll

CHAOS Scenes from Williamtown as a fire breaks containment lines. Pictures by Jonothan Carroll

CHAOS Scenes from Williamtown as a fire breaks containment lines. Pictures by Jonothan Carroll

CHAOS Scenes from Williamtown as a fire breaks containment lines. Pictures by Jonothan Carroll

CHAOS Scenes from Williamtown as a fire breaks containment lines. Pictures by Jonothan Carroll

CHAOS Scenes from Williamtown as a fire breaks containment lines. Pictures by Jonothan Carroll

CHAOS Scenes from Williamtown as a fire breaks containment lines. Pictures by Jonothan Carroll

CHAOS Scenes from Williamtown as a fire breaks containment lines. Pictures by Jonothan Carroll

CHAOS Scenes from Williamtown as a fire breaks containment lines. Pictures by Jonothan Carroll

CHAOS Scenes from Williamtown as a fire breaks containment lines. Pictures by Jonothan Carroll

CHAOS Scenes from Williamtown as a fire breaks containment lines. Pictures by Jonothan Carroll

CHAOS Scenes from Williamtown as a fire breaks containment lines. Pictures by Jonothan Carroll

CHAOS Scenes from Williamtown as a fire breaks containment lines. Pictures by Jonothan Carroll

CHAOS Scenes from Williamtown as a fire breaks containment lines. Pictures by Jonothan Carroll

CHAOS Scenes from Williamtown as a fire breaks containment lines. Pictures by Jonothan Carroll

CHAOS Scenes from Williamtown as a fire breaks containment lines. Pictures by Jonothan Carroll

CHAOS Scenes from Williamtown as a fire breaks containment lines. Pictures by Jonothan Carroll

CHAOS Scenes from Williamtown as a fire breaks containment lines. Pictures by Jonothan Carroll

CHAOS Scenes from Williamtown as a fire breaks containment lines. Pictures by Jonothan Carroll

CHAOS Scenes from Williamtown as a fire breaks containment lines. Pictures by Jonothan Carroll

CHAOS Scenes from Williamtown as a fire breaks containment lines. Pictures by Jonothan Carroll

Pictures taken from the corner of Cabbage Tree Road and Nelson Bay Road. PIC JONATHAN CARROLL

Pictures taken from the corner of Cabbage Tree Road and Nelson Bay Road. PIC JONATHAN CARROLL

Pictures taken from the corner of Cabbage Tree Road and Nelson Bay Road. PIC JONATHAN CARROLL

Pictures taken from the corner of Cabbage Tree Road and Nelson Bay Road. PIC JONATHAN CARROLL

Scenes from Williamtown as a fire breaks containment lines. Pictures by Jonothan Carroll

Scenes from Williamtown as a fire breaks containment lines. Pictures by Jonothan Carroll

Firefighters battle fire Michelle’s dog grooming shed beside a home on Cabbage Tree Road. Photo by PHIL HEARNE

Firefighters battle fire Michelle’s dog grooming shed beside a home on Cabbage Tree Road. Photo by PHIL HEARNE

Firefighters battle fire Michelle’s dog grooming shed beside a home on Cabbage Tree Road. Photo by PHIL HEARNE

Firefighters battle fire Michelle’s dog grooming shed beside a home on Cabbage Tree Road. Photo by PHIL HEARNE

SMOKE GETS IN OUR EYES Newcastle is shrouded in the fallout from the Heatherbrae fire. Pictures by Simone De Peak (2)

SMOKE GETS IN OUR EYES Newcastle is shrouded in the fallout from the Heatherbrae fire. Pictures by Simone De Peak (2)

SMOKE GETS IN OUR EYES Newcastle is shrouded in the fallout from the Heatherbrae fire. Pictures by Simone De Peak (2)

SMOKE GETS IN OUR EYES Newcastle is shrouded in the fallout from the Heatherbrae fire. Pictures by Simone De Peak (2)

SMOKE GETS IN OUR EYES Newcastle is shrouded in the fallout from the Heatherbrae fire. Pictures by Simone De Peak (2)

SMOKE GETS IN OUR EYES Newcastle is shrouded in the fallout from the Heatherbrae fire. Pictures by Simone De Peak (2)

Pictures from Twitter and Facebook Ashlee Colhoun

OMINOUS The view from Newcastle looking north this afternoon. Picture by Simone De Peak

Twitter pic – Smoke at the Williamtown RAAF base by Amanda Douglas.

Twitter image from Andrew Valler – the corner of South Street and Medowie Road near the golf course.

Supplied pic of Lake Munmorah fire from Wangi over Pulbah Island. Photo Jason Gordon

Scenes from the fire at Catherine Hill Bay on Thursday night. Pictures by Jonathan Carroll

Pictures from Twitter and Facebook

Pictures from Twitter and Facebook University Drive, by Hannah Sunderland

Pictures from Twitter and Facebook Tomago Road by Michael Mcgowen

Pictures from Twitter and Facebook The view from Pelican at Lake Macquarie

Pictures from Twitter and Facebook The view from Pelican at Lake Macquarie by Morgan Williams.

Pictures from Twitter and Facebook jiissee

Pictures from Twitter and Facebook The view from Newcastle looking north, by ndrewg

Pictures from Twitter and Facebook suzaan

Pictures from Twitter and Facebook ross smart

Pictures from Twitter and Facebook natasha fearon

Pictures from Twitter and Facebook mrschandlerbing

Pictures from Twitter and Facebook morgan campbell

Pictures from Twitter and Facebook Looking south from Bar Beach towards Lake Munmorah by Peter Harrigan

Pictures from Twitter and Facebook Lisa Allan

Pictures from Twitter and Facebook Kate Stokes

Pictures from Twitter and Facebook Heatherbrae by Michael Mcgowan

Pictures from Twitter and Facebook emmabk

Pictures from Twitter and Facebook brittanyjhumphry89

Pictures from Twitter and Facebook brent gibson

Pictures from Twitter and Facebook boonz

Pictures from Twitter and Facebook awa meech

Image from Dave Bean from the top of King Edward Park, looking north to the fires.

HELL ON EARTH A shot of the Port Stephens fires as seen from Newcastle’s Christ Church Cathedral. Photo by Mark Snelson

GROUNDED Firefighters battle the flames at Newcastle Airport.

FIRE: It’s the fourth anniversary of the catastrophic fires we had in our area, might bring it all back for some of the locals. Picture: Dylan St John

FIRE: It’s the fourth anniversary of the catastrophic fires we had in our area, might bring it all back for some of the locals. Picture: Dylan St John

FIRE: It’s the fourth anniversary of the catastrophic fires we had in our area, might bring it all back for some of the locals. Picture: Dylan St John

FIRE: It’s the fourth anniversary of the catastrophic fires we had in our area, might bring it all back for some of the locals. Picture: Dylan St John

FIRE: It’s the fourth anniversary of the catastrophic fires we had in our area, might bring it all back for some of the locals. Picture: Dylan St John

FIRE: It’s the fourth anniversary of the catastrophic fires we had in our area, might bring it all back for some of the locals. Picture: Dylan St John

FIRE: It’s the fourth anniversary of the catastrophic fires we had in our area, might bring it all back for some of the locals. Picture: Dylan St John

FIRES: October 2013. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

FIRES: October 2013. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

FIRES: October 2013. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

FIRES: October 2013. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

FIRES: October 2013. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

FIRES: October 2013. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

FIRES: October 2013. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

FIRES: October 2013. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

FIRES: October 2013. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

FIRES: October 2013. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

TweetFacebook The Hunter in flames 2013In October 2013 high fuel loads, coupled with warm, dry and windy weather provided the perfect conditions for a firestorm.

Bushfires raged across several locations in theHunterandCentral Coast. The skies turned orange and smoke was seen from most vantage points in the city. Fires ravaged more than 33,000 hectares in the region, but the inferno wasfelt across the state.

The NSW Premier Barry O’Farrelldeclared astate of emergencyon October 20.The fires were said to bethe worst in the state since the 1960s.

2013 REPORTS

Lake Macquarie homes under threatYOUR PHOTOS: The Hunter in flamesFiries prayfor respiteLake Munmorah bushfire tragedy as man dies defending homeThe burning investigation into whether the 2013 NSW infernos were deliberate

How to choose a paint colour that won’t go out of style

When a house looks tired and in need of an update, a lick of paint can be just what the interior designer ordered. Painting is a relatively inexpensive way to enhance a home’s appearance, as well as a straightforward job that many people can do themselves.
SuZhou Night Recruitment

But before getting busy with rollers and brushes, it’s important to give some serious thought to colour, lest you wind up with walls that date as soon as they dry (think: ’70s mustard or ’80s salmon tones).

So what are some house colours that are as safe as – well, houses? According to the experts, as boring as neutrals might initially sound, they’re often a good bet – though they too can be subject to trends and fads.

In general, white is a classic shade that’s perfect for showcasing works of art and blending into the background, allowing soft furnishings and decor to supply dashes of colour instead.

“White is obviously everyone’s favourite safe colour, but then there are different tones of white which can make things look dated,” says Meredith Lee, an interior designer who runs her own business, Meredith Lee Interior Design.

“In the ’90s there was a yellow-toned white that looks quite dated. Now it’s more grey-whites that are in.”

Sophie Carr, interior designer and founder of Studio Arrc, recommends a “crisp white”, particularly for ceilings, because “it always finishes off a room”.

“The greys stay classic as well,” she says. “If you do want to add depth to a room, bringing stone neutrals in is a nice way to do it.”

For those who feel white is just a shade too plain, Lee suggests a “neutral colour range”: paler, pastel versions of other colours.

“Every colour has a different value; it goes from the lighter ones down to the darker ones,” she explains. “Using the lighter ones can be safer.”

Carr says peach and nude tones can be a subtle way of introducing colour to a house, and tend to work well with a wide variety of furnishing schemes.

Wendy Rennie, colour and concept manager at Haymes Paint, says the company has a palette of whites and neutrals, as well as a variety of colour-based neutrals, that are popular with customers.

“We have a whole range called Natural Series, and they go from beautiful greys to some taupe colours,” she says. “The majority of people pick from that. The series has been created so that each colour has seven different strengths, going from light to dark tonally.

“For example, we’ve got Pale Mushroom, which starts with a nice bone white and goes into a really gorgeous green/grey tone.”

And several months ago, Haymes released their Blended Neutrals palette; nine new washed pastels that contain neutral elements.

“It’s a gorgeous array of peach to dusty pink and also some lovely powder blues,” Rennie says. “It’s this idea of creating spaces that are beautiful, light and airy, and we’re treating them as alternatives to standard neutrals. And it’s also this idea of making these colours feel more genderless.”

People who prefer a bolder splash of colour might opt for a single feature wall in an otherwise neutral room, but our experts advise against this.

“Feature walls are a bit passe, so I wouldn’t do that these days,” says Lee.

Carr agrees. “I think the feature wall has been overdone and it’s not as successful as people think it is ??? People do it when they’re terrified of making a mistake because they think one wall is less of a risk but I think it’s more successful if you paint the entire room.”

If eager-yet-cautious about choosing a stronger shade for a whole room, then start with a bedroom or bathroom, rather than a communal space such as the living room. Lee is a big fan of different colours for different zones of a house.

“The last thing you want is a whole house the same colour, because that really makes it quite bland,” she says. “Most clients are still very wary of using really strong and dark colours, but definitely the bedroom is a really great place to do that.”

Lee’s tip is to use cooler colours such as blues, greys and olives in bedrooms, and to steer clear of reds and oranges in areas meant for resting.

Carr concurs. “You’d never paint a bedroom red – it’s meant to be a tranquil, relaxing space.”

Instead, try warmer hues in areas that are more active, such as family rooms or a study. Greens can work well in spaces that connect to the outdoors, enhancing the connection between the inside and the outside.

Rennie notes that as people’s lives have become busier and more technologically switched on, with smart phones and tablets flashing constantly, darker tones are increasingly popular for a home’s “quiet” areas.

“Black is becoming the new white in terms of that meditative space,” she says. “A palette we’ve got which is a real curveball is Pitch Dark, all about low contrast, really dark colours used in the interior.”

At the end of the day, paint should be the backdrop for what’s going to be created in a space. And for that reason, there’s no colour Lee would ever definitely say “no” to.

“It all depends on the house and the circumstances,” she points out. “There are so many variables that there’s nothing I would really rule out.”

“It’s a matter of having confidence and having a holistic scheme,” Carr affirms. “If you’re going for an obscure paint colour, make it work and own it. If the scheme is strong, the more unique you go, the better!”

Turnbull’s plan guarantees emergence of a carbon price

23 March 2012. AFR. Hazelwood Power Station and Coal Mine in the Latrobe Valley, Victoria. Energy, power, electricity, coal, coal mine.Photograph by Arsineh Houspian. +(61) 401 320 173. [email protected]苏州夜总会招聘Energy07.jpg
SuZhou Night Recruitment

The Turnbull government’s new national energy guarantee could introduce a de facto carbon price, measuring the cost of emissions for the first time since the Abbott government scrapped the carbon tax in 2014.

The long-awaited energy plan, released by the government on Tuesday, requires electricity retailers to ensure improved reliability levels while also reducing carbon emissions in line with ‘s Paris Agreement commitments.

Buried in the detail of advice presented by the new Energy Security Board to state and federal governments is a mechanism to be added to the National Electricity Market in two stages in 2019 and 2020 that could produce a default carbon price.

“Some electricity retailers will not be able to meet the required emissions profile, while others will overachieve,” it reads. “Therefore a secondary exchange will occur between retailers to balance their portfolios.”

That “exchange’ will also be open to those underachieving retailers to buy a yet-to-be-determined portion of any “emissions guarantee” shortfall using n carbon credit units or international units, the briefing note says.

Hugh Grossman, Executive Director of advisory group RepuTex, said that mechanism creates a de facto carbon price, even if its level may be hard to pin down.

“It’s not a transparent price,” Mr Grossman said. “Certainly from a structural design point of factoring in that cost of carbon, [it’s] a very good step.”

Since n carbon credit units (ACCUs) already float and would be available for purchase by retailers, “the effective carbon price for the market would be the price of those ACCUs”, he said.

Josh Frydenberg, the Environment and Energy minister, though, downplayed the prospect, telling Fairfax Media there would be no explicit carbon price.

“Under the new initiative, the commonwealth will legislate the target and retailers will be required to have an average emissions level across their portfolio,” he said. “They can use existing contracts to meet this obligation, potentially including international permits and domestic credits.”

At least one state government, though, interpreted the advice to mean Canberra was backing linkage to carbon markets.

Craig Kelly, chair of the Coalition’s backbench energy committee, took a similar view, saying: “there is a potential price but what that price will be is an unknown factor”.

“There will be a cost or price there if you are not meeting your obligations,” he said.

Mr Kelly said it is possible the price could be zero, depending on what trajectory for emissions is set by the n Energy Market Operator.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has in the past supported a price on carbon as the most efficient way of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, which are blamed for driving climate change.

However, carbon pricing as been kryptonite for the Coalition since Tony Abbott grabbed the leadership of the Liberal Party in 2009. Mr Abbott campaigned heavily to scrap the carbon tax introduced by Labor in 2011, a goal he achieved as prime minister in 2014, a little more than a year before he was toppled by Mr Turnbull.

Mark Butler, Labor’s energy and climate spokesman, said that even without an “upfront market” setting a carbon price, the plan designed by the government will “inevitably [set] a secondary market that provides a pricing of the carbon arrangements”.

“Now that might not be what Josh Frydenberg and Malcolm Turnbull told the Coalition party room [on Tuesday], but I think it is the response of everyone in the industry,” Mr Butler said.

“At the end of the day companies will start contracting and trading with each other and a price will emerge on that which reflects the carbon obligation,” he said.

RepuTex’s Mr Grossman said access to international markets may also be one way to link whatever carbon market emerges in to efforts in Europe, China or elsewhere to price carbon.

While international prices of carbon credits have been cheap in the past, those prices are likely to increase in the future, he said.

Given the large opportunities for carbon sequestration and other projects in that could supply low-cost carbon credits, this country may even become an exporter of such market instruments to the benefit of land users and other ventures here, Mr Grossman said.

Michael McCormack hospitalised after shirtfront from Coalition colleague

Small Business Minister and rural NSW Nationals MP Michael McCormack recovering in hospital today.
SuZhou Night Recruitment

POLITICS is a tough and bruising business at the best of times.

Just ask the federal Small Business Minister and rural NSW Nationals MP Michael McCormack.

Mr McCormack was ordered off to hospital today where he was diagnosed with a slight case of concussion and whiplash along with a badly cut inner lip, following an incident this morning during what was supposed to be a friendly touch rugby match.

The game was being held as part of preparations leading into the Rugby League 2017 World Cup events – for men and women – that are due to start at the end of this month in and NZ.

But as he sized an opportunity to head for glory and score a decisive try, and to run past one of the game’s biggest legends in Darren Lockyer on the sporting grounds adjacent to Parliament House in Canberra earlier this morning, the energetic and sports-man Riverina MP was shirtfronted by one of his own political allies.

McCormack hitAnd no, it wasn’t Tony Abbott concerned that his team-mate was exhibiting too much fresh natural energy for his liking.

Playing on the yellow team where Mr McCormack was accompanied by the likes of n Jillaroos captain Ruan Sims and other federal MPs and staffers, the Small Business Minister encountered the rugged and sizeable shoulder of larger-than-life Queensland Liberal MP Scott Buchholz.

While the video footage of the physical incident may be somewhat less dramatic, that didn’t stop Mr McCormack from adding a few additional points in recounting his own stunning version of events.

And what’s more, his take on the incident is even somewhat necessary, given his party leader and the Agriculture and Water Resources Minister Barnaby Joyce – playing on the other team on this occasion – made an untimely walk in front of the camera to block the winning shot from being captured for eternity’s viewing, in much the same way that Mr Buchholz inconveniently lunged, shoulder first, to thwart his rugby opponent’s run at the try line, for glory, to re-live achildhood dream.

“We were down by a try or two and they’d just dropped the ball and so we had it in our possession and we were on zero tackles,” Mr McCormack said.

“It was a tap and go situation and I said to myself, ‘if I can get past Darren Lockyer who is rugby league’s equivalent in terms of legendary status to what Tim Fischer or Barnaby Joyce are to the Nationals, there’s only daylight between me and the try line.”

“Lockyer was off-side and in rugby, just like politics, you have to back yourself so I tucked the ball under my arm and with nothing ahead of me blocking my run, I charged off down the flank towards the touch line to score in the corner.

“But there he was from out of virtually nowhere – the man mountain Scotty Buchholz.

“We may be Coalition colleagues in the world of politics but I’m sure he dropped his shoulder on me in the tackle.

“I’ve seen some big objects in my time – Uluru and the Snowy Mountains – but nothing quite as big as Scotty Buchholz coming towards me on the touch rugby ground.

“I could hear the crowd gasping as he hit me – and I’m pretty sure Barnaby Joyce didn’t see any of it.”

Mr McCormackdidn’t hit the deck immediately but he spent time on the sidelines to assess and did take his injuries seriously.

“I thought I was all-right but when Barnaby Joyce was giving a speech after the game – and normally I like to listen when he’s speaking – my head started spinning,” he said.

“I was assisted back to my office by (Queensland Nationals MP) Keith Pitt which I greatly appreciated and then went to see my party colleague Dr David Gillespie who insisted I visit the nurse.

“I headed to hospital where they diagnosed me with a slight case of concussion and whiplash and a badly cut lip, on the inside.

“And for the record, Barnaby was also named player of the match which was another good win for the Nationals.”

Some say you should mix politics with sport and sport with politics when it comes to reporting on both; a point Mr McCormack as an ex-journalist would find hard to disagree with.

But he said the game was won and lost and played in good sporting spirits by those who turned up and had fun, while they enjoyed fresh air and exercise in serving a good cause.

Now he’s under doctor’s orders to rest and recover from his bruises but being a man used to operating a busy work-schedule, he’s not likely to miss question time today.

But are there any ill-feelings towards his Coalition colleague Scott Buchholz?

“We hugged it out after the game,” he said.

“He’s a good man and he’s a big man too and now we know Scotty Buchholz will stand up to anyone and anything to get the right result.”

FarmOnline

APS needs permission to innovate without fear: Bowles

Scott Morrison minister for Immigration and Border Protection appeared before a Senate Committee hearing with Joint Agency Taskforce Lieutenant General Angus Campbell and Department Secretary Martin Bowles at Parliament House in Canberra on Friday 31 January 2014 Photo: Andrew MearesFormer Department of Health boss Martin Bowles has called for the public service to embrace a permission culture, giving employees the chance to try new approaches without fear of “crucifixions”.
SuZhou Night Recruitment

In a valedictory address to the Institute of Public Administration in Canberra, Mr Bowles reflected on 40 years in the public service, including high profile controversies such as the Rudd government’s home insultation scheme and the backlash to Abbott government budget cuts.

He said a permission culture would give departments and agencies the ability to innovate and succeed.

“What I mean by that is [an environment] where people are prepared to try different things and not be worried.

“One where, if things go wrong, there’s no crucifixions held at dawn or dusk.

“Things do go wrong, quite regularly in fact. The real thing is how do we get ourselves through it, how do we change that dynamic?

“If you create a culture where people feel like they have permission to do things, you can get anything done.”

A former Immigration Department secretary and deputy secretary at Defence, Mr Bowles announced in August he would join the Calvary Health Care network.

The move followed reported differences with Health Minister Greg Hunt.

A royal commission found the $2.7 billion home insultation scheme, which included the deaths of four people, was not properly designed or implemented.

As deputy secretary in the former Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, Mr Bowles said he saw first hand the impact on public servants.

Public service leaders should remind their colleagues of significant failures to avoid repeating past mistakes, he said.

“You would hope that we would never get to another home insulation issue but it is entirely possible if we as public servants don’t do our job properly.

“We had providers wanting to beat us, we had suppliers wanting to beat us, we had home owners wanting to beat us.

“I said ‘this is the best professional development you ever get’ and they thought I was stupid. But it was.

“It taught them a whole range of things they would have never ever have got anywhere else.”

Mr Bowles said he had been “absolutely smashed” in the immediate aftermath of Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey’s controversial 2014 budget, which included plans to charge a $7 co-payment for patients visiting their doctor and cuts to rebates for short appointments.

The plan was killed off in 2015 after months of controversy

“The media, Senate estimates, everyone wanted a victim,” Mr Bowles said.

“I kept saying, ‘I’m the secretary, I’ll get it right next time”.

“We got it wrong. Me bashing to death the person or persons, and there were quite a few persons involved in this issue, was not going to help.

“They knew they buggered it up, they didn’t do it again and I didn’t say anything.”

Praising ministers Greg Combet, Chris Bowen and Scott Morrison for their support of public servants, Mr Bowles said he would miss Canberra and would never rule out returning to government.

“The integrity of the public service has to be uncontestable,” he said.

“With the ever changing world that we are currently in, I think we need it more than ever.”

Follow Tom McIlroy on Facebook and Twitter