Young gun Daniel Walsh has added eight properties to his portfolio in the past six years. Photo: SuppliedWhen Daniel Walsh was a child, he watched his parents renovate and flip homes for a profit.

Today, the Picton-based young gun is 26 years old and working as a train driver. And he hasa portfolio of eight propertiesacross the east coast of Australia, worth $3 million.

It hasn’t all been smooth sailing. When he started buying property, at 19, he was working as an apprentice auto-electrician for his father and earning minimum wage.

By working overtime, and selling his own car and skydiving equipment, he was able to scrape together a deposit of $34,000.

With these funds, he bought a $342,000 new home in the Macarthur region of NSW, inThirlmere. By using it as his first home he managed to avoid paying stamp duty.

Then, he turned it into an investment property rented for $470 a week, which more than covered his mortgage –leaving him about $150 better off a month at the time. Today, that property is worth an estimated $600,000.

At the time, he was looking around Thirlmere and “realised I could repeat the process”.

So, a year later,after a bit of saving, he could afford to buy again –this time buying a $303,000 older house in the same suburb that needed some attention.

“I was there renovating every night after work. I learnt how to repair, paint and fix the whole home,” he said.

With a $5000 budget, he was able to spruce it up and rent it out for $430 a week –giving him some more cash after the mortgage was paid.

But when he went back to find out if he could get another mortgage, he hit a dead end.

“I went to two banks for a third loan and couldn’t get one –I found out the first two werecross-collateralised. I didn’t know what that was at the time,” he said.

Because his loans were crossed, which meant one home was used as collateral for the other, this meant the bank had greater control over how he could use any additional equity for future investments.

So he spent the next year and a half saving up and realising he needed help to get to the next property.

Standing proud: Daniel Walsh outside his Carrum Downs investment property. Photo: Supplied

“I went and sought out a mortgage broker as I wanted to get past the barrier. I found a mortgage broker who had 19 properties himself, he looked at it and said we had to uncross the loans,” he said.

In 2014, when they’d rearranged his financing and created a plan for which banks to approach for lending, he was given the green light to carry on investing.

As he was earning under $60,000 a year until his fifth property, it was critical he maintained a high cash flow so the banks would still lend to him.

These suburbs were areas that fit his strategy of looking for low-priced suburbs with established houses, higher rental yields and, where possible, the capacity to add value with renovations, granny flats or future subdivisions.

When he had identified these areas, he went on a spending spree. In 2014, he bought two houses –in Brisbane’sCrestmeadandDeception Bayfor $305,000 and $259,000 respectively.

One year later, he bought another house in Queensland –this time a $310,000 property in Ipswich suburbRaceview.

And months later, he bought a $182,000 house inDavoren Park, South Australia.

By 2016 he was ready for one of the most lucrative purchases of his portfolio –a house in Greater Melbourne’sCarrum Downs.

Having had the area on his radar as being a low-price suburb surrounded by areas with higher values, with comparatively high rents, he had been watching the listings online.

And when a three-bedroom home on a relatively larger block hit the market, with side access, he had a hunch that it could be subdivided. A quick call to council revealed that it would be possible, and he put in an offer.

But his initial offer was gazumped by someone else.

“I was devastated when I lost it as I had flights booked to Melbourne and I knew I would have made money instantly from buying it,” he said.

A few days later and the agent was back on the phone –the contract had fallen through and the owners were now getting desperate to sell.

His $345,000 offer was accepted and, now in the stages of subdividing and building a second home on the block, he added properties seven and eight to his portfolio.

Today, he is positive cash flow by $25,000 a year and if he sold his properties he would walk away with $1 million before costs are considered.

Selling costs could be substantial, including any applicable capital gains tax and transaction fees that would erode his profit.

Yet he isn’t ready to stop yet.

As his income has started to increase, now in the six-figure bracket when he works additional hours, so have his plans for his investments.

The ambitious Gen Y aims to reach $5 million worth of property in his portfolio –with $2000 a week in positive cash flow.

He also wants to build a rent roll and create abuyer’s agencybusiness.

At the moment, driving a train and working shift work whilerenting in Pictonwith his fiance, who is a property manager, he sees his lifestyle as short-term pain.

“I bought a $30,000 car in the early days, then sold it for $11,000 [to help fund his initial deposit]. I had the wrong idea. I then bought a car for $2000 that I blew up and had to rebuild twice but I sold it later for $2000.”

“It’s better to sacrifice now for better things later on,” he said.

While he’s not completely sure what his future lifestyle will look like, it’ll probably involve “renting a mansion on the northern beaches [of Sydney] near the water … and buying a Lamborghini,” he laughed.

Daniel’s top tips for property investors1) Balance your portfolio:Consider your cash flow, and remember to look for a balance of growth and rental income.

2) Find an expert team:Look for experienced mortgage brokers and mentors who can guide you through the process.

3) Strategic planning:Know where you want your portfolio to be and always aim to be three-steps ahead in your mind before buying.

4) Compound interest:Sacrifice now and do the hard yards while you’re young, because the longer you have to grow your investments the better off you’ll ultimately be later.

5) Stress-test your portfolio:Work out how much you need to have in savings to cover you for 12 months if interest rates rise or you lose your job.

I have had a lesson in vulnerability this week, compliments of The Herald.Experimenting with sharing information using different media platforms, The Herald asked me to be videoed for their Facebook page.It is really quite confronting to see yourself speak, and I have a new-found respect for bloggers who post their random thoughts to millions of followers each day, with confidence that what they say has meaning.

I was raised with cameras where a film cartridge was dropped into k-mart and, a week later, the images would appear.Unflattering shots could be sorted through and thrown out before anyone else saw, and rarely would anyone see any of your shots outside your immediate family.

We may judge the vanity of youth today (perhaps as every generation has), yet we struggle to comprehend what it is to be exposed to constant images of ourselves on social media and knowing those images are there for everyone, for ever.

For young people, social media is a huge part of their lives, and as it’s certainly not going to go away. Bullying cancomewith comments about images, with people (particularly girls)holding themselves up to the risk of being called ugly or worse.There’s the effort that goes into looks – hair, make-up, pouting poses – at the expense of time for other things that are healthier.There’s the pressure to appear sexual and also to send sexual images to others with the risk that the sender never really knows where the images will end up. There’s also the risk for the recipient in sharing images as this is legally considered to be disseminating child pornography.There’s also the impact of the distraction of social media upon families, where phones distract children and their parents alike.

Much of the story whichadults of my generation or older have of themselves is that their value comes from what they do, not who they are.Many of us were praised for our performance -at school, sport, pleasing others -and not so much just who we were.That experience often drives us into our adult lives, continuing to need to achieve in order to be worthy.I wonder what the story will be for the adults of this generation, who have been valued so much for how they look at the cost of learning to feel good about themselves for who they are.

Tarnya Davis is a clinical and forensic psychologist and principal of NewPsych Psychologists. Her book of columns, All Things Considered, is at theherald南京夜生活南京桑拿

TALENT: Chloe Rebellato completed her Higher School Certificate studies at St Philip’s Christian College last year.Three Hunter art students are among just38 in the state to have their major works exhibited at the Art Gallery of NSW as part of ARTEXPRESS 2017.

To put their achievementin perspective, last year9004 public and private school students sat the Higher School Certificate visual arts examination, and each submitted a major artwork.

Max Galbraith (Newcastle High School),Chloe Rebellato(St Philip’s Christian College in Port Stephens) andAlex McVey(Warners Bay High School) impressed selectors with their originality and creativity. All three were shocked to learn their artworks had been selected.

CREATIVE: Alex McVey studied visual arts at Warners Bay High School.

“My teachers always spoke about the works that were chosen soseeing my artwork hung on the gallery wall was quite surreal,” McVey says.

Rebellato considers it “an amazing opportunity to enable others to think and ponder about my world and the way in which I think”.

McVey’s work, Somewhere near, nowhere close, used a series of photographsto examine the transient state between children and adulthood. It was, she says,a theme close to her heart.

“My major work reflected the struggle I experienced throughout the year. As myartchanged the concept followed,” she tells Weekender.

“Although the subject of the photos is not me, the combination of personal spaces and an ambiguous figure symbolically represents myself and how I view the world.”

Finding a starting point was the difficult part.

“The lack of guidelines and freedom of deciding medium, concept and overall direction of the piece was pretty daunting and it took me a while to find a strong concept,” she says.

“I did a lot of experimentation with different medias and techniques and tried to expand out of my usual painting style. I began taking photos as part of my experimentation and built my concept from there.”

ART SUCCESS: Max Galbraith, a former Newcastle High School student.

Galbraith used photo-media in his work, Liquid time, to explore the concept of timeand how it is reflected within the ocean. The ocean was depictedas an ever-changing force, and timeas an abstract concept.

“I’ve always used the ocean as a major theme in my work and liked the concept that time is like a river, although I liken it to a construct that has no set state, just as no two waves are ever the same,” he explains.

“I had a series of photographs that I knew I wanted to use in the work but it wasn’t until late in the year that I came up with a solid idea of how to present them. I never would have been able to do it without the help and guidance of my teachers Jody Robinson and Rory Davis.”

Max Galbraith: Liquid time

Rebellato used textiles and fibre to create her major work,The acknowledgement of our coexisting suffering.

“My artwork was inspired by the industrial nature of our contemporary society. It explores the impact of this on a physical and metaphysical level, and on humanity. The pieces also symbolise the celebration of our unity as humans,” she says.

“Itwas a frustrating and non-linear process which involved blood, sweat and tears from both myself and my teachers. My success would not have been possible withoutsupport from Vicky Brown and Jayney Carter.”

When asked to explain what art means to them, all three considered it a valuable form of self-expression.

“Arthas allowed individuals over time to openly discuss and at times disagree with personaland worldly events on an open platform. I like thatartcanexpresstimes of accomplishmentand also disgrace,” McVey says.

Rebellato, a disability support worker,says art has enabled her to represent complex ideas and beliefs in a non-restricted, natural way.

Alex McVey: Somewhere near, nowhere close

“Although I do believe the audience is entirely responsible for forming their own ideas on social issues I bring up,artallows people to observe the way in which I observe the world around me.”

For Galbraith,photography was “initially just a bit of fun” but after studying visual arts in years 11 and 12 he says he developed “a deeper respect forartin all forms and its place in society”.

As for the future, a creative door has been left ajar but each artist is keeping their options open.

ARTEXPRESS 2017 is on display at The Art Gallery of NSW until April 23.

POLITICAL: Trevor Richards at the Princess Street, Morpeth site which he plans to develop for housing. PICTURE: Jonathan Carrol.Debate over a nine-lot residential subdivision proposed for Morpeth became political this week when Maitland’s four ALP councillors voted to defer the project.

Clearlyin election mode after the merger between Maitland and Dungog was quashed,councillorsdebated for 35 minutes before approving the development eight votes to four.

Maitland Mayor Peter Blackmore was not present at the meeting.

Councillors were keen to take centre stage before an almost packed gallery ofmostly Morpeth residents.

Morpeth businessman Trevor Richards lodged an application with council almost two years ago for the proposed subdivision. He told Fairfax Media after the meeting that all issues, including concerns over storm waterand a turning circle, had been addressed andwould in fact improve traffic flowand run-off.

Residents who addressed councillors in public access said they were not against the development but were concerned aboutaccess, lot sizes, the number of lots, traffic management and Morpeth’s heritage standing.

Councillor Robert Aitchison moved a motion to defer the matter to have “more dialogue” between council staff, councillors and residents but Cr Steve Procter said councillors should support the officers’ recommendation for approval.“We’re never going to satisfy all involved and this is as good as we can get it after it has been worked and reworked. The applicant has done everything asked of them,” Cr Procter said.

Cr Philip Penfold moved that council adopt planners’ recommendations to approve the subdivision. “The four ALP councillors are proposing a deferral. I’ll leave that foryou to decide the reason why,” Cr Penfold said.

He said it was time the four Labor councillors stood up for the people of Maitland and not bringpolitics into the debate.

Deptuy Mayor Ken Wethered, who chairedthe meeting, called councillors into order and told councillors Aitchison and Penfold their discussion had nothing to do with the debate.

Cr Aitchison said he was “disgusted where the conversation had gone”.

‘This will be the most important thing I do here’ Important: Senator Derryn Hinch campaigned for a Senate inquiry into transvaginal mesh.

Senate: Derryn Hinch says he believes the fight for justice for women left with catastrophic injuries after pelvic mesh surgery will probably be the most important work he does as a politician.

Mesh: Examples of pelvic mesh devices implanted in women, and the anchors used.

TweetFacebookNewcastle Heraldhas previously revealed that mesh devices were approved for prolapse surgery in Australia without clinical evidence of safety and efficacy.

Senator Hinch in the Senate in November.This was after the American Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2001 approved the first prolapse mesh device for surgery through a woman’s vaginabased on it being “substantially equivalent” toan existingdevice used in surgery to treat women for urinary incontinence.

Any differences between the devices“do not raise new questions of safety and efficacy”, the FDA stated, so a new prolapse mesh kit device was approved without the rigorous pre-market testing required of new devices or Class III high risk devices.

The decision, which provided a treatment option for gynaecologists in a difficultarea whereup to 50 per cent of women seek help for prolapse and incontinence problems over their lifetimes, opened adoor and manufacturers responded.

Within a few years up to 40 companies had more than 60 surgical mesh kits for prolapse patients on the American market stating they were “substantially equivalent” to other mesh products, and all reliant onthe 2001 FDA approval.They included biological or“natural” mesh products as well as polypropylene plastic devices for vaginal access, or transvaginal, surgery.

By 2012 there were 47 prolapse and incontinence devices on the Australian market.

The only problem was the FDA’s decision processwas flawed, said leading Australian urogynaecologistand Queensland University Associate Professor Chris Maherin a paper in 2013 headedThe Transvaginal Mesh Decade.

Senator Derryn Hinch

The device approved in 2001 was subject tohigh complicationand infection rateswhen used to treat prolapse, and was modified and gained a new clearance seven years later.

But the genie was out of the bottle.

The first mesh kits with tools to insert the mesh through incisions in a woman’s vagina were on the market in America in 2004. By 2010 more than 300,000 mesh kits a year were being used for prolapse surgery.

But by that stage adverse event reports were also being logged, with a five-fold increase in adverse reports to the FDA between 2005-2007 and 2008-2010.

The adverse eventsincluded mesh erosion and extrusion into the vagina and urinary tract, bleeding and infections, organ perforation, severe and chronic pain, nerve entrapment and urinary problems.

In a passionate speech to the Australian Senate in November, Senator Hinch said Australian medical watchdogs like the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), which registered mesh devices for use, had let women down.

The TGA approved the devicesdespite no evidence of their safe use in prolapse cases and clear warnings in 2003of the need for controlled trials on related mesh devices used for incontinence surgery cases.

The women – many from the Hunter –were then “treated like mushrooms: kept in the dark and fed bullshit by doctors, hospital administrators, the drug companies and even the TGA”, Senator Hinch said in his November speech.

His background as a journalist who championed the victims of child sexual abuse, and his recent health battles leading to a liver transplant, meant he was more aware than many politicians of how betrayed and abandoned women left with catastrophic injuries felt, he said.

“You trust your doctor. I know how desperate you can get when you need treatment. When people say they have cures for you, you’ll listen to them. Doctors are some of the most respected people in the community. Doctors are gods. We need to find out how this happened. How the trust these women placed in doctors and our health system was so betrayed,” Senator Hinch said.

”Here we have a situation where you have one device approved and you can use that approval to get another device approved for a different problem. It seems crazy to me.

“I want women to make submissions. This is the chance for their voices to be heard.”

FISH OF THE WEEK: Shaye Hamilton, right, wins the Jarivs Walker tacklebox and Tsunami lure pack for this monster flathead caught in Lake Macquarie.

The 2017 NSW Game Fishing Association Interclub tournament went down to the wire last weekend at Port Stephens.

Although the marlin were patchy, the competition was tight with only 200 points separating first from third heading into the third day.

“The lead changed a couple of times during that day, a couple of dolphin fish in it, before the winning fish was tagged about 3pm,” NSWGFA president Gary Chenoworth said.

Central Coast GFC was crowned champion club tag and release with 77,781 points. Lake Macquarie took club capture honours with 32,272.80 points. Champion boat tag and release was Ambition from Sydney GFC with 55,025 points

Champion boat capture was Broken Bay vessel with Murrifin with 20,763.96 points. Martin Booth, who fished on Murrifin, weighed the heaviest marlin, a 151.90kg blue marlin on 15kg line, which was enough to earn him champion male angler tag and release.

Steve Dial (LMGFC), fishing on Redemption, weighed the heaviest shark, a 256.1kg tiger on 15kg line worth 16396.80 points, and took out male capture honours. The heaviest other game fish weighed was a 26.1kg mahi mahi caught by Newcastle GFC angler Luke Henkel on 24kg line.

A total of 55 marlin were tagged and released, and three weighed, with the species breakdown22 black, 23 blue and 13 striped marlin.

Newcastle and Port Stephens anglers Cassie Herbert and Ebony Pearson rose to the occasion on the Monday to claim tag and release and capture honours in the Lyndy Grieves Memorial Ladies Day.

“We had good weather Friday and Saturday with the Sunday a bit ordinary and same for the Monday,” Gary said. “Everyone had fun and the new three-day format was well received and will be back next year.”

Port Stephens Game Fishing Club secretary Nigel Rushworth was very pleased with the way his club hosted the event.

“We were up by 30 per cent in participation and as aclub performed well both in and out of the water,” he said. “We didn’t take out any of the major Interclub prizes, which were well spread,but we were competitive and our women rose to the occasion to grab the double on Monday at the Lyndy Grieves Memorial.

“We’re looking forward to doing it all again next year.”

The game fishing focus now turns to the Newcastle East Coast Classic which will be held out of Newcastle next weekend, followed by events at Broken Bay, Sydney and Port Hacking.

Tune into VHFMarine Rescue representative and NSW Game Fishing Association life member Neil Grieves is planning to run a VHF radio operators certificate this winter for Lake Macquarie Game Fishing Club members and urges all to think about registering.

“It is a legal requirement to have a VHF licence on your boat if you have a VHF radio, and if you get caught unlicensed, the fine is a couple of thousand dollars,” Neil said.

“It’s important to know the right terminology on the radio because when the shit hits the fan on the water, that’s when you really need to know what you’re doing.”

Stormy weatherNeil manned the radios during Interclub and reports a clean bill of health safety-wise for the event, but aclassic example of the trouble that can blow up occurred during a storm that hit Nelson Bay during the Billfish Shootout last month.

“It only lasted 40 minutes, but within that period, three or four boats triggered their EPIRBs,” Neil said

Compton got caught in a water spout and lost its aerials, clears andelectronics.

“Water was going up into the air and the boat was doing 360s,” Neil, who saw phone footage from owner Dougie Russell, reported.

Another boatcoming through the heads got in trouble and was being washed onto the rocks at Tomaree before being assisted with a tow line.

Zulu, a visiting 50ft Riv, lost its clears and aerials in 80 knot gusts of wind and water.

Mida Touch, which was competing in the Shootout, had a 250kg mako draped over the back of the boat, still very much alive, when it started to sink in driving rain.

“There were two problems with the bilge pump; one, it was blocked, and two, there was this bloody big shark next to the pump,” Neil said.

“Gary Russell, president of Lake Macquarie Game Fishing Club turned around and went to its aid and thankfully they sorted things out.

“Before you knew it, the storm was over and everyone was OK, but in that brief window, things were very hectic on the radio and that’s when your procedures and protocols come into their own.”

Annual eventsThe Maitland City Offshore Fishing Club will hold their annual members weekend at Swansea Gardens Caravan Park from Friday March 10 to 12.

Meanwhile, the NSW 12-man Team Anglers Association titles will be held on Lake Macquarie this weekend.

ThursdayDRUGS, booze, infidelity, revenge porn, domestic violence, match-fixing, mutineers storming the corridors of power … ho hum. Another rugby league off-season has come and gone without incident.

Well, almost.

In a world exclusive, Seven Days can reveal the two major dramas that somehow escaped saturation media coverage.

The first is the phone call we receive, from a loyal Herald reader (God bless him), informing us he has just heard a radio news bulletin declaring that star Knights recruit Kalyn Ponga has signed to play in Korea.

Now there’s a scoop.

To borrow a line from Gus Gould … wow.

Not just that young KP had reneged on his deal with the Knights, but that the NRL is expanding into a whole new market where, as far as we’re aware, nobody has even heard of rugby league.

We suspect it’s a false alarm. On the same day that we receive this hot tip, the Newcastle Jets reveal recently signed Dimitri Petratos is on his way to Ulsan Hyundai FC.

Ponga, Petratos … easy enough mistake to make.

In an even more stunning revelation, my trademark weekly abusive, uninvited, hand-written letter from the Maitland Maniac culminates in the following outburst:”I have no respect left for you whatsoever as a sports journalist … this is THE last missive to you, a—hole.”

After years of expletive-laden, demented dribble, the Maniac has apparently hung up his poison pen. So far he’s been as good as his word, but it shouldn’t be too hard to lure him out of his dark, dingy lair.

All it will take is the following predictions: Canterbury to finish with the 2017 wooden spoon, and David Warner to be dropped before the end of the series in India.

I’d like to think Australia Post will pay me some sort of commission.

FridayOLD-timers swear that rugby league was a better game before the interchange rule was introduced, but I find myself pondering this logic as I reflect on events overnight in Pune, India.

In his first Test on the sub-continent, Aussie opener Matt Renshaw dramatically retires “ill” before making a frantic dash to the dunny.

“When you’ve gotta go to the toilet, you’ve gotta go to the toilet,” he explains afterwards.

Indeed you do.

But what about back in rugby league’s golden era, pre 1963, before the rules changed to allow teams to make two injury replacements? What would have happened if, on his first hit-up of the game, a big, fat prop at full velocity had copped a shoulder fair in the midriff, forcing an involuntary bodily function?

He would have played on, that’s what. Without so much as a second thought.

SaturdayTHIS is surely an Academy Award-winning movie in the making.

After more than 25 years in mothballs, arguably the most famous Real NRL club of them all, the once-mighty North Newcastle Bluebags, announce they are staging a resurrection.

And who is to be cast in the lead role? None other than inaugural Knights skipper Sam Stewart, aged 54. Fair dinkum, you couldn’t make this stuff up.

All they need now is Tina Turner belting out “Simply The Best” as Slammin’ Sam leads them out on the field for their first game.

The only issue for the Bluebags at the moment is securing a home ground. Apparently McDonald Jones Stadium – or the ISC, as Sammy still knows it – is the best available option, but it might not be big enough.

SundayADDING weight to the theory that fact really is stranger than fiction, news surfaces of an unusual interchange looming in the south of France.

Former Wallaby and boy-band wannabe James O’Connor is facing a stint in the doghouse with his club side, Toulon, after getting arrested trying to buy cocaine.

There is speculation that while he serves his penance, his replacement is likely to be rugby league convert Ben Barba … no stranger to a touch of white-line fever himself. Toulon are hopeful both players can eventually feature in the same backline, providing they keep their noses clean.

Meanwhile, rumours surface that former AFL star Ben Cousins is pondering a shock move to French rugby.

Monday HOLLYWOOD SCRIPT: Knights legend Sam Stewart is planning a comeback for no-longer-defunct North Newcastle Bluebags.

I read with interest that former Knights winger James McManus has filed alawsuit against the club over his career-ending concussions. The club who still employ him, that is.

Hmm …awkward.

Apparently the Flying Scotsman is suing not only the current Knights, but also the former entity owned by billionaire-cum-bankrupt Nathan Tinkler. Can’t say I like his chances of getting 10 cents out of Tinks. Plenty have tried and failed. He’d be better off buying a scratch lottery ticket.

TuesdayTwas the week before Christmas – sorry, season kick-off – and that means it’s time to chase up the Herald tipsters.

In a devastating blow, it appears as if glamours Tegan Martin andCatherine Britt might not be available for selection.

At least we’ll have James Gardiner, who might not be a good sort but can certainly carry on like one.

In the first omen bet of the year, ABC guru Craig Hamilton tips the Warriors, then changes ship and jumps aboard the Knights.

I applaud his bold selection. Then again, Knights legend Tony Butterfield bravely tipped his old club in every game last year, and not surprisingly joined them in collecting the wooden spoon.

WednesdaySO here we are, one sleep before greatest game of all is again under way.

Before we know it, the last week in September will have arrived and we’ll be getting ready to cheer for the Knights in the grand final.

Between now and then, I can’t guarantee that I’ll make you laugh so hard you’ll Matt Renshaw yourself.

But I’ll give it my best shot.

SOMETIME, somewhere, there must be a city with an harmonious city hall. But wherever that place might be, it’s certainly not here in Newcastle, where the political differences between our elected councillorsseem to have again eclipsed whatever abilities they may possessto work together for the good of the region.

After months of simmering tensions behind the scenes, the Liberal Party’s Lisa Tierney has resignedwithout warning from the council, letting fly at Labor Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes on the way out the door.

As she did publicly in July last year, Ms Tierney accused Cr Nelmes of bullying behaviour. Then, as now, Cr Nelmes deniesthe allegations, and accusesher Liberal critics of being politically motivated.

For its part, the Office of Local Government has done nothing to help clarify the situation, and declinedto comment.

Only time will tell whether this spat acts as an effective pressure valve to easerecent tensions, or whether further accusations are traded across the political divide.

But whatever happens, the existing council is now just half a yearaway from going to the polls, with an election likely to be held in early September. Had it not been for the Coalition state government’s bungled local government mergers, an election would have been held last year.

By truncating the process the way she did, Mike Baird’s replacement as premier, Gladys Berejiklian, has allowed Newcastle City Council and its forced marriage partner, Port Stephens Council, to walk away from the altar with their relationship unconsummated. Their respective dignities intact, the two councils have been given a perhaps unexpected chance to prove the pro-amalgamation lobbywrong.

In Newcastle especially, the stakes are incredibly high. As the Newcastle Herald has repeatedly observed in this space, the Newcastle CBD is in the early stages of a make-or-break process of regeneration. This is not to ignore the rest of the region, or to put the inner city ahead of the needs of the bulk of the population, living in the suburbs.

But it is to say that now, with so much at stake, that Newcastle needs a council capable of strong and united leadership.

Those councillors wanting to stand again have the next few months to show they are worth re-electing. Because after September, we need acouncil prepared to leave its political differences at the door, and to govern for the greater good.

ISSUE: 38,479

WINNER: Georgetown newsagents Paul Smith and Kim Monaghan on Wednesday. Picture: Brodie OwenANSWERthe phone.

That was the message from NSW Lotteries on Wednesday after another lottery win in Newcastle –this time for a staggering $10 million –but it was a windfall yet to be claimeddespite repeated attempts by lotteries staff to contact the winner.

The ticket was sold at Georgetown Newsagency and was registered.

It was the only division one winner in Tuesday’s Oz Lotto jackpot, and is the second lottery win to sweep Newcastle in a week, after a man came forward at the weekend to cash in a year-old ticket bought at Marketown to win $1 million.

NSW Lotteries spokesman Matt Hart said several attempts to contact the winner using their “Players Club” registration details were unsuccessful.

Mr Hart pleaded with the winner to answer the phone so NSW Lotteries could “break the news that they’re now $10 million richer”.

“We don’t know if this winner knows about their huge $10 million windfall yet, but we’d love to get them on the phone to confirm the news to them. I suspect it’s really going to turn their week around!” he said in a statement.

“If you bought a ticket at Georgetown Newsagency in last night’s Oz Lotto draw and your phone is ringing, please pick up! You’ll really want to take our call!”

Georgetown Newsagency owner Paul Smith said he was thrilled to have sold the winning ticket.

It is the newsagent’s first division one winner since taking over the store three years ago.

“I’ve never heard of it [the prize money] getting over $5 million in Newcastle,” Mr Smith said. “I haven’t heard of anything this big in a single win before.”

His wife, Kim Monaghan, predicted the $10 million win would be life-changing.

A savvy Georgetown butcher senses a new business opportunity … pic.twitter南京夜生活/S0CTTyv4Le

— Brodie Owen (@Brodie_Owen) March 1, 2017

“When I heard, I just said ‘wow’,” she said. “Ten million is a lot of money. To the winner, congratulations, well done, I hope it makes a big difference to your life.”

There was a buzz in Georgetown after the win. A butcher sought to capitalise on the stroke of luck by putting out a tongue in cheek sign to entice passers-byto “Lotto winning meat” of “millionaire quality”.

The winning numbers were2, 37, 26, 17, 42, 33 and 27, with supplementaries 44 and 4.

File photoBallarat’s position as the beer capital of Victoria has been cemented with the announcement of a $1.2 millionAustralian Craft Beer Centre of Excellence.

The centre which received $500,000 in state government funding will work in partnership with Hop Temple off Armstrong Street and will include a brewery, a tasting bar, a teaching space and a function area.

The space which was first proposed in Visit Ballarat’s 2014Destination Management Planis expected to create up to 25 full time jobs within five years.

Thirsty: Federation University’s Geraldine Lewis, Peter Aldred and Sam Henson along with Australian Craft Beer Centre of Excellence director Brian Taylor. Picture: Lachlan Bence.

Centre director Brian Taylor said the centre would provide a great asset for the city’s professional micro-brewers as well as promote Ballarat as a destination for beer enthusiasts.

“Ballarat’s got a long history of beer and we want to really drive that, especially given the university has the number one beer course in the southern hemisphere,” Mr Taylor said. “Like the wine industry in the past,people want to experience flavour, know where the product has come from and they want a story.”

The centre will partner with Federation University to deliver a range of small courses and programs designed to help educate beer lovers who make the trek to Ballarat.

Brian Taylor – Australian Craft Beer Centre of Excellence director

The centre’s brew space will also provide a hub for up and coming brewers to hone their craft and develop their business.

FedUni head brewer Dr Peter Aldred said the centre would compliment the university’s academic offering by providing consumers with a greater appreciation of the trade.

Artist’s impression of the centre

“We can do a whole series of courses on things like beer styles, beer faults we find in the industry, and we can talk simply about how beer is made without the hardcore science we do,”Dr Aldred said.

The announcement comes on the back of a wave of craft beer in Ballarat, which has seen the establishment of two new micro-breweries in the past 12 months.

It also follows the announcementBroo Beer Company would be setting up a $100 million brewery which is expected to create 100 ongoing jobs.

In a statement Wendouree MP Sharon Knight said “Ballarat is the craft beer capital of Victoria and soon, people will have new ways to learn about and appreciate the region’s brewing strengths”.

Construction of the centre is expected to begin within 12 months, pending planning applications.

Artist’s impression of the centre