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More Australians cook at home, using Taste.com.au Dinner site


Ordering takeout has never been easier but an increasing number of Australians still prefer to cook at home.

Freshly cooked recipes rule the menu at dinner time with takeout and meal kits a last resort.

But Australians are pushed for time, on a typical weeknight, the home cook takes only 18 minutes to plan and 36 minutes to prepare and cook.

New data from Australia’s top food website Taste.com.au delved into the state of Aussie dinners.

Taste’s Dinner Decoder survey of more than 6000 people found overall Australians enjoy cooking dinner with the majority of home cooks feeling satisfied (34 per cent), confident (32 per cent), motivated (27 per cent) and happy (27 per cent) planning what to cook for dinner.

In a typical week, most dinners are home-cooked, followed by takeout, eating out, leftovers or home delivery. Few Australians use meal kits.

And we’re also making healthier dinners.

Half of all Australian households cater for special dietary needs, with low calorie the most common (23 per cent), followed by vegetarian (18 per cent), gluten free (9 per cent) and diabetes friendly (10 per cent).

Other findings include more than half (52 per cent) of Australians want to cook more dinners from scratch.

But feeling tired (63 per cent) and lack of time (35 per cent) get in the way.

Australians also feel dinner requires more effort because expectations are higher with social media raising the bar, a greater sense of health awareness thrown in the mix and the “premiumisation of our lifestyle” which has extended to the ingredients we buy.

Taste.com.au has recently launched its Dinner Revolution section to help find recipes by typing in just three ingredients they have at home.

The section, which has clocked more than six million hits online, also offers recipe ideas they can prep in 10 minutes and cook in 20 minutes.

They can also choose one of the 10 most popular dinners of the day.

“I don’t know of another recipe site in the world that has made the dinner journey from planning to cooking so simple and streamlined,” Editor-in-Chief of Taste.com.au Brodee Myers-Cooke said.

“All of us at Taste genuinely believe in the power of dinner. It’s not just a proven cornerstone for so many good things – like physical and mental health, and kids’ school results – it can actually be the best part of your day.”

Sydneysiders Cara Staniforth and her boyfriend William Potter love a home-cooked dinner.

Ms Staniforth said life in lockdown had pushed them to do a lot more home cooking which was “really nice to get into”.

She said they did not use meal kits and only ordered takeaway once every couple of weeks because they were often high in calories.

“I track my calories because we’re quite fitness-focused, and while a lot of the meals are delicious, they are high in calories”.

She said she was a gluten-free pescetarian, and while her boyfriend followed a regular diet, he was “very accommodating” and often cooked meals that met her dietary requirements.

Despite their love of cooking, she conceded that sometimes it was difficult to find motivation to whip up a meal at the end of the day.

“But the more you do, the more efficient you are at it because you know what goes together and you can get dinner together a bit quicker,” she said.

“And it helps to learn a few recipes that you can follow if you know you’re short on time.”

She said she used the Taste Dinner Revolutions site on her phone regularly and loved that there was now an easy way to find quick, easy and nutritious recipes based on what was already in the pantry or fridge.

“There’s a few things that I love to eat, and my boyfriend is the same. It’s great there’s a way to generate quick and healthy meals based on a few key ingredients.”

Clinical nutritionist Michaela Sparrow said home-cooked meals were “part of our culture and part of coming together as a family”.

She said that her clients often said the least enjoyable and stressful part of home cooking was trying to figure out what to prepare and eat. But the process didn’t have to be difficult.

“My number one tip for all my clients and for busy people is to meal prep some of your meals for the week when you have some time,” she said.

“Soups, stews, casseroles are all great for meal prep as they freeze well and most taste even more delicious the next day. You can make big batches of these and get many serves out of them.”

She said families were likely to be shying away from takeaway because of the expense.

“People are also becoming more aware of the detrimental effects of highly processed foods and want to support their family’s health with healthy whole foods.”



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Local News - Victoria

Premier criticises union protest at Hawthorn East work site


Police at the building site on Wednesday morning.

Police at the building site on Wednesday morning. Credit:Penny Stephens

They helped to escort workers off the site and by 4pm all parties had dispersed.

Hundreds of union members gathered again on Wednesday morning, with police returning to the site to ensure public safety.

Premier Daniel Andrews said the protest could “potentially spread the virus”.

“I want to be very clear that no gathering that size is appropriate no matter what the cause, no matter what the issue, no matter what the reason, because all those sorts of gatherings do is potentially spread that virus so police and public health officials will deal with that matter,” he told radio station 3AW.

“But I just urge anyone, there’s ways to make your point, there are ways to be heard. Spreading the virus is in no one’s interest, no one”.

The protest comes after two union officials were allegedly assaulted at the site on Tuesday morning.

The protest comes after two union officials were allegedly assaulted at the site on Tuesday morning. Credit:Penny Stephens

Police Minister Lisa Neville told the radio station she understood that police would fine those not abiding by the rules unless they cooperate with social distancing guidelines.

On Tuesday night, CFMMEU Victorian state secretary John Setka said the two union officials were “just doing their job when attacked by a bunch of cowards”.

“Members’ safety is our main priority. This is unacceptable,” he tweeted.

The left lane of Toorak Road is closed in both directions between Auburn Road and Tooronga Road, and the speed limit decreased to 40km/h.

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Local News - Victoria

CFMMEU official in hospital after alleged assault at Hawthorn East site


A spokeswoman for the CFMMEU said two officials had arrived on site with “all their paperwork in order” when they were “attacked and jumped” by up to seven men.

She said one of the men was knocked unconscious after being struck in the back of the head with some kind of object. He was taken to hospital and has since woken up but was “not in great shape”, she said.

The investigation is now in the hands of police. They are on site investigating the circumstances surrounding the incident.

Toorak Road is closed in both directions between Auburn Road and Tooronga Road due to the incident.



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Australian News

man, 41, falls four metres from construction site balcony into creek


A man has been injured after a balcony collapsed at a building site in Hornsby, NSW.

The incident occurred at a construction site on Maranta St.

It’s understood the man fell at least four metres.

He’s currently conscious but sustained injuries to his head and wrist.

Rescue crews are currently trying to retrieve the man from a creek.

More to come.



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Local News - Victoria

New development plan for contentious St Kilda site ‘where ideas come to die’


The new $3.8 million proposal includes the creation of a plaza by closing the road in front of the theatre and linking the area with the public space outside Luna Park.

“Previous ideas have involved hundreds of millions of dollars and they have always gone wrong on the triangle, whereas this one is just … to provide a public open space,” Cr Gross said in a promotional video for the new forecourt.

An artist's impression of what ice cream and penguin shaped anti-terrorism bollards could look like at the site.

An artist’s impression of what ice cream and penguin shaped anti-terrorism bollards could look like at the site.

The road closure will see 20 car parks removed from a total of 767 in the precinct.

The project also includes a raised pedestrian crossing on Cavell Street, which runs between Luna Park and the Palais Theatre and new garden beds, trees and lighting.

Cr Gross said part of an “incredibly ugly” breeze block concrete fence that runs along the St Kilda Esplanade would be removed.

He told The Age he expected it to be a popular proposal, as it was modest and didn’t include any commercial developments.

Port Phillip councillor Dick Gross.

Port Phillip councillor Dick Gross.Credit:Simon Schluter

“There’s always controversy about anything to do with that site, but I did take comfort that some of the old warriors from past battles chimed in on Facebook and said they liked it,” he said.

“This is an iconic site. It’ll be a place where people can congregate.”

However, it’s not set in stone yet, with St Kilda residents set to have their say during a consultation period.

“You’d be mad not to be scared,” Cr Gross said.

The site in 1915.

The site in 1915.

If the consultation process goes smoothly, work is expected to take nine months to complete.

Port Phillip council will contribute $2.5 million to the redevelopment and an additional $1.3 million will be provided by the state government as part of its $154 million local parks program.

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Some disruptions are expected during the forecourt’s construction, but visitors will still have access to the amusement park and theatre.

Cr Gross said there were still no plans for what could be built on the 418-space car park beside the theatre, across from the beach.

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Local News - Victoria

Building near Queen Vic Market was not obvious site, Lord Mayor Sally Capp says”


“That’s why sadly, tragically, the City of Melbourne has the second highest levels of heroin-related deaths on its streets behind the City of Yarra.”

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The Department of Health and Human Services had been scouring sites for two weeks before the government announced it had identified Cohealth Central City, opposite the Queen Victoria Market, as the site of a new safe-injecting facility.

Cr Capp said it “doesn’t seem obvious” why the site was chosen.

“Well, it’s our fastest growing neighbourhood in terms of residents, and that includes a lot of international students,” she said.

A residential building adjoining the proposed facility includes affordable housing and a number of residents who are transitioning from homelessness.

“Look, we’re a big enough municipality to think that we can find an appropriate site,” Cr Capp said.

Lack of consultation: Lord Mayor Sally Capp said Melbourne council should have been involved in the site's selection.

Lack of consultation: Lord Mayor Sally Capp said Melbourne council should have been involved in the site’s selection.Credit:AAP

“It’s just that we’d like to be involved in that discussion, we want to be able to represent the best interests of our community.”

On Friday, Premier Daniel Andrews said the site of the second facility had been chosen because the City of Melbourne had recorded 51 public overdose deaths between 2015 and 2019, second only in the state to the City of Yarra, which recorded 93 deaths.

“This is very important because it will save lives,” Mr Andrews said. “I am convinced of that.”

Plans for a new injecting room come after a two-year review of the service found the North Richmond centre had safely managed 3200 overdoses and saved “at least” 21 people’s lives since it opened.

There have been an estimated 119,000 visits to the centre and 271 “extremely serious” overdoses, none of them fatal.

The review – led by Professor Margaret Hamilton, an executive member of the Australian National Council on Drugs – was expected to consider whether to extend the trial for another three years, or to close the centre.

But Professor Hamilton recommended the government open a second facility, given the overwhelming demand at the existing centre at North Richmond.

Mr Foley did not directly answer questions on Monday about why he had not brought the City of Melbourne into the search for a new site, but said he had told Cr Capp of the plans shortly after the plan was signed off by cabinet on Thursday.

The extent to which injection facilities were used was highly dependent on their location, Mr Foley said, and it was important the facility be close to places drugs were purchased, and close to services.

“This is about getting on and saving lives, and making sure that we deliver this facility in a location that is already providing alcohol and drug services to Victorians who need it, so as to make sure that the 50-plus lives that are lost in miserable circumstances on the streets of Melbourne is stopped.”

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Business

Rio Tinto apologises to Indigenous owners for blasting of ancient Pilbara site


Mining giant Rio Tinto has issued an apology after blowing up a 46,000-year-old Aboriginal cave site in Western Australia, vowing to urgently review its plans for other sites nearby and its approach to dealing with heritage matters.

After the miner last Sunday detonated explosives at the Juukan Gorge site, sparking international outcry and a federal government pledge to review the relevant laws, Rio’s iron ore chief executive Chris Salisbury apologised for the distress it had caused.

The view on May 15 over the rock shelters, cleared, but before the blast.

The view on May 15 over the rock shelters, cleared, but before the blast. Credit:PKKP

Mr Salisbury said the miner had been operating on the Puutu Kunti Kurrama and Pinikura People’s country under an agreement since 2011, and it had followed a heritage approval processes for more than 10 years. He said that in 2014 the mining giant carried out a salvage exercise designed to preserve cultural heritage artfacts, recovering about 7,000 objects from the area.

“We pay our respects to the Puutu Kunti Kurrama and Pinikura People (PKKP), and we are sorry for the distress we have caused. Our relationship with the PKKP matters a lot to Rio Tinto, having worked together for many years,” Mr Salisbury said in a statement.



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Rio Tinto blast destroys 46,000-year-old Aboriginal heritage site


A mining blast has destroyed a significant indigenous site dating back 46,000 years in Western Australia’s north, but it is hoped similar devastation will never happen again under proposed legislative changes.

Rio Tinto detonated explosives in an area of the Juukan Gorge on Sunday, destroying two ancient deep-time rock shelters, much to the distress of the Puutu Kunti Kurrama and Pinikura people.

The mining giant was granted approval for work in 2013, but subsequent archaeological excavation revealed ancient artefacts including grinding stones, a bone sharpened into a tool and 4000-year-old braided hair.

Puutu Kunti Kurrama Land Committee chair John Ashburton said there were fewer than a handful of indigenous sites that were as old, and the importance of the discoveries should not be underestimated.

“Our people are deeply troubled and saddened by the destruction of these rock shelters, and are grieving the loss of connection to our ancestors as well as our land,” he said.

Mr Ashburton acknowledged Rio Tinto had complied with the law, but said he was concerned the rigid system did not consider new information after ministerial consent had been granted.

“We are now working with Rio Tinto to safeguard the remaining rock shelters.”

Rio Tinto iron ore chief executive Chris Salisbury said the company took cultural heritage and its partnerships with Aboriginal groups seriously.

“We have had a longstanding relationship with the Puutu Kunti Kurrama and Pinikura people for over two decades, and have been working together on the Juukan area since 2003, which includes having secured the necessary approvals for mining activity.”

The Australian Archaeological Association said the fact Rio Tinto did not revisit the decision after the cultural significance was identified was “inconsistent with modern standards of heritage management”.

Aboriginal Affairs Minister Ben Wyatt said he was unaware of the blast or concerns beforehand.

Mr Wyatt said the state government hoped to pass its new Aboriginal cultural heritage bill this year, although COVID-19 had delayed the consultation process.

“It will provide for agreements between traditional owners and proponents to include a process to consider new information that may come to light, and allow the parties to be able to amend the agreements by mutual consent,” he said.

“The legislation will also provide options for appeal.”

Yamatji Marlpa Aboriginal Corporation chief executive Simon Hawkins welcomed a replacement to the 40-year-old Act, saying it was unfortunate Aboriginal heritage was not currently treated equally to colonial heritage.

“If an act can deliver an economic outcome, then development activity appears to override any other interests every time.”



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Business

Financiers sell Clint Bartram’s development site


Multiple offers were made for the property which has a permit for a four-level 18-unit project, Mr Hoath said.

The row of shops at 43-47 Simpson Street is tucked away between Dennis railway station and Westgarth Primary School.

Mr Bartram turned to property development after his AFL career finished in 2012 and has a second apartment project in Northcote at the old bank building at 340-342 High Street.

Old warehouse

A locally based Malaysian investor has paid $3.2 million for an old warehouse at 656-658 Elizabeth Street, near the Haymarket Roundabout.

656-658 Elizabeth Street, Melbourne.

656-658 Elizabeth Street, Melbourne.Credit:

CBRE agent Julian White, who negotiated the transaction with Nathan Mufale, Alex Brierley and Chao Zhang, said the property sold off-market on a 21-day settlement.

The single level Victorian-era warehouse is leased to Health Foods and Allied Products and sold on a pointy yield of 1.16 per cent.

But the lease expires at the end of August and the buyer has long-term development plans, Mr White said.

The 173-square metre property came with a permit for a 13-storey development designed by Kerstin Thompson Architects.

Back in the CBD centre, the building housing The Mess Hall restaurant at 51 Bourke Street has just come to market with price expectations of about $6 million.

“This will be the first test for prime city freehold in the COVID era,” Mr White said.

The Mess Hall has a six-year lease, with a six-year option on the 190-square metre double-storey property.

Student digs

Also for sale on the city fringe is 21-23 Anthony Street, a three-storey apartment building that comes with a permit for an 11-storey student apartment tower.

The off-market listing is expected to be converted into a formal campaign soon, according to agent Tiga Commercial’s David Sia and Martin Leong, who said it had attracted 100 enquiries already.

It’s expected to fetch more than $8 million for the vendor, Rufino Viilaluz’s Dysin Investment Partners, who paid $5.65 million for the 291-square metre site in 2017.

Dysin Investment Partners has a solid pipeline of suburban projects but this was the sole CBD development on its books.

Tiga Commercial is one of a bevy of new smaller agencies started by agents who recently worked at tier-one agencies, and its founders include CBRE’s Nick Hii, Patrick Sia and Melissa Sahin.

St Johns

Another former CBRE agent, Guy Naselli, has started up NSL Property Group and is marketing an office warehouse in West Melbourne with a three-year lease to St Johns Ambulance.

Records show Manfax Hardware and Paint mogul Robert Larsson bought the city-fringe warehouse in March 2019 for $5.04 million

Mr Naselli shares the listing of 6/88 Dynon Road with CBRE agents Bryce Paine and Tim Homes and is expecting more than $4.5 million for the 1400-square metre property. What a difference a year makes.

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Local News - Victoria

Workers told to meet at work two days after site was shut


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The western suburbs meat company said workers were given the option not to attend the meeting if they felt unsafe and insisted they adhered to physical-distancing guidelines and that employees were broken up into groups.

A senior employee, who asked not to be named because it could endanger his job, told The Age that employees were “bunched up” at the meeting.

“You bring all these guys in a week after you know about positive cases, and they’re just standing around talking. It spread on that morning, of course it did,” the employee said.

A spokeswoman for the company said workers were split into five groups, the largest including 70 people and the smallest made up of 15. The groups met for no more than 15 minutes in an indoor lunchroom large enough to ensure workers spread out, she said.

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Cedar Meats said it had been in discussions with the Victorian Health Department to conduct on-site testing for its workforce. The senior employee said some workers believed they were coming on site to get tested by the Health Department.

The company decided against on-site testing, and asked its workforce to gather to discuss where to get tested and how to ensure they did not infect others in the community.

The company opted not to provide this information digitally because its workforce is comprised largely of non-native English speakers, making communication more difficult.

The Health Department did not answer questions about whether it had told Cedar Meats it would conduct on-site testing. A spokeswoman said in a statement that it had “provided Cedar Meats with information about a range of nearby testing facilities to ensure the testing could happen as quickly as possible”.

Quarantined workers are not subject to the same isolation policy applied to returned travellers, who are not allowed to leave their hotel room other than for medical care.

“The health and safety of those in hotels is managed through the use of physical distancing, and appropriate use of personal protective equipment by staff and hotel guests,” said a Health Department spokeswoman.

An infection-control consultant hired by the Health Department has been overseeing the workers’ quarantine period at the hotel and random checks are conducted to see if workers are in their rooms.

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