Local News - Victoria

Tired of takeaway, Ocean Grove’s cafes prepare to plate up again

Under the new rules, the Driftwood Cafe will accommodate 20 people inside and 12 outdoors.

Mr Simons said the numbers would need to increase to about 50 per cent of normal capacity – which is about 100 patrons – for the venue to be financially viable without the support of JobKeeper.

But he is still excited to serve food on plates again.

“We’ve gone through an extraordinary amount of takeaway containers,” he said. “We want to use our plates again. We want people to sit down and enjoy themselves.”

Mr Simons, who is also president of the Ocean Grove Business Association, said he was working with traders and the council on a compromise arrangement to use some car parking and more footpath space for hospitality businesses in The Terrace shopping strip.


But Ocean Grove Cellars manager Isaac Fryar took issue with the prospect of losing parking spots, fearing it may deter customers.

“We don’t want to lose access to our businesses,” he said.

Mr Fryar said parking on The Terrace was particularly important during the summer influx of visitors.

The Premier said on Wednesday that hospitality businesses would receive support to expand their outdoor capacity.

But concerns about parking access for retailers loom as a challenge that may need to be managed.

In the White Hart cafe, nestled in an arcade off The Terrace, owner Alisha Cogan was trying to determine whether her walkway tables were considered outdoors. She hoped restrictions would be eased further so she could open her tiny cafe at full capacity in coming months.

“Summer’s coming. We definitely hope to be at full capacity by then,” she said.

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Australian News

One terrible takeaway for Anthony Albanese

There is one big takeaway from the Eden-Monaro by-election for Labor leader Anthony Albanese, and it’s not great, whether the ALP ends up winning or losing.

Labor’s primary vote is down.

What that tells you is that whatever Anthony Albanese has been doing in the year since Bill Shorten lost the unlosable election, it isn’t shifting the dial much on Labor’s biggest problem – its baseline vote.

RELATED: No result reached yet in crucial Eden-Monaro by-election

When the Australian Electoral Commission halted the count late on Saturday night, Labor’s primary vote had gone backwards by 2.8 per cent.

That is in the seat where Prime Minister Scott Morrison was famously serenaded with unprintable words when he turned up in Cobargo during the bushfires, having been busted on a family holiday to Hawaii.

RELATED: Morrison harangued by locals in bushfire-stricken town

RELATED: Firefighter in Cobargo refuses to shake PM’s hand

That should worry Labor MPs. What happens if Scott Morrison is tempted to go to an early election?

The only real upside for Labor is it gives the party a chance to take a long, hard look at its direction.

Mr Albanese can’t walk away from the result. He spent weeks campaigning for Eden-Monaro and was front and centre on Saturday night, delivering a lengthy preamble before the Labor candidate herself, Kristy McBain, got to talk.

Ms McBain, the former mayor of Bega and a strong candidate, appeared to be on the verge of tears as she declared the result was too close to call and vowed to keep fighting for the bushfire-ravaged community.

She should stop blaming herself for a result that says more about the longstanding challenges the ALP faces than her candidacy.

No doubt Labor will trot out the usual excuses.

The circumstances leading to the by-election, with sitting MP Mike Kelly retiring and taking his brand recognition with him, was always likely to see Ms McBain fighting to reclaim ground.

RELATED: Tearful Mike Kelly resigns, citing chronic health problems

But she was a good and energetic candidate, and was certainly more high profile than her Liberal rival Fiona Kotvojs, who appeared to spend the majority of the election in witness protection.

Less appeared to be more for the Kotvojs campaign – along with plenty of posters of the Prime Minister.

But the result is also a reminder that Mr Morrison’s rising personal popularity as he leads the country through the coronavirus pandemic will not always translate into votes on the ground.

The Liberal primary vote went up, but by a fraction of around 1 per cent.

But the result is also a reminder that Scott Morrison’s personal popularity, which has risen sharply as he’s led the country through the COVID-19 pandemic, will not always translate into votes on the ground.

The Liberal primary vote went up, but only by about 1 per cent.

The idea that a marginal seat is won or lost on the personal popularity of a prime minister alone, or that Mr Morrison’s rising personal approval ratings meant an incumbent government could easily take a seat off the opposition in a by-election, was always risible.

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Melissa Eating Takeaway Showed Just How Much ‘MasterChef’ Needs Her

Tonight was takeaway night on MasterChef. Finally, a cuisine we too can indulge in from the safety and comfort of self-isolation.

Did it feel like there was some Deliveroo product placement going on? Kind of. Was it still more relatable than 9dain0% of episodes simply because of lockdown? Yeah.

How convenient…

….a little too convenient, if you ask some people.

But first things first. The ep kicked off with a guess-the-dish challenge featuring a bunch of takeaway classics.

Little did we know how much ~drama~ was about to unfold.

On the final dish, the MasterChef producers may have ignited an international dispute over the origin of laksa.

Almost half of the contestants wrote Singapore. Almost half wrote Malaysia. The remaining handful had no idea what they were talking about.

But back to Singapore vs. Malaysia. The judges were only able to mediated this bitter dispute by accepting both answers.

Crisis averted, thanks to the power of diplomacy.

Now to the cooking. There was a lot of rice being cooked, and the contestants in the gantry has some opinions about that.

Quite strong opinions, actually.

Plating up for the judges was a bit different this time around.

Melissa would be eating at home, while Jock and Andy would be eating in the MasterChef kitchen.

Obviously, this called for the most extravagant montage of Deliveroo riders possible. The producers spared no expense to give Melissa a good feed.

But would you look at that. They’re riding plain white scooters, as if we totally forgot about the poor old Vespa outside the kitchen.

Missed opportunity, smh.

With Melissa eating from home, literally everyone reckoned Jock and Andy were pretty hopeless on their own.

Like, as in, Melissa beamed rays of goodness from her own home while the rest of the time we were stuck watching two guys whose opinions don’t matter.

When the judges got to Ben’s nasi goreng, people were bitterly divided over the fact he gave Melissa a chicken egg for takeaway while he gave the boys a dainty little quail egg.

But in the end, it was Chris who went home. His curry + beer combo just didn’t cut it.

But the real, uhh, takeaway, from all this, is that everyone orders home delivery. Don’t be a hater who pretends not to. Don’t lie to Khanh.

Anything else to add, Khanh?

Ah, same.

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Australian News

Is buying a takeaway coffee risky?

With a cappuccino culture that could rival Italy (big call, but we stand by it) there’s nothing more Australian than going to your local cafe for your coffee of choice.

For many now working from home, strolling up to your local cafe for your morning flat white is probably one of the few daily outings we’re still making.

But with the Government warning against leaving the house for anything other than essential work, shopping or exercise, just how risky is it to be ducking out for a daily takeaway coffee?

Well, caffeine addicts can breathe a sigh of relief because, according to infectious diseases expert Professor Peter Collignon from the Australian National University, the risk of catching coronavirus on your coffee run is “very low”.

RELATED: Follow the latest coronavirus updates

“If the virus was widespread on coffee cups and everything you touched, our epidemic curve (in Australia) would not be turning,” he told

“The fact that our epidemic curve has turned to my mind means – I can’t say you can’t get it from a coffee cup – but the risk must be minuscule compared to the more obvious ones.”

Infection prevention expert Associate Professor Philip Russo from Monash University also said the risk was low as long as social distancing rules were followed.

You shouldn’t “hang around and chat to the other latte lovers” but instead just “get your coffee and leave”.

“The cups will be single use so should be clean. So long as you follow good hand hygiene the risk is minimal,” Associate Prof Russo told

RELATED: All the fines you can cop for ignoring virus rules

“Of course if you are chatting to somebody whilst waiting, you should be maintaining 1.5m distance from them and others.”

The reason that you’re unlikely to catch coronavirus is because Australia has so far had “very low community transmission”, with the majority of cases directly linked to people returning from overseas.

“We can’t say anything is absolutely safe, but relatively speaking what we are doing in Australia means most things are pretty safe,” Prof Collignon said.

“And if you do the things we’re suggesting – wash your hands before you touch your mouth or before you eat … then your risk must be minuscule.”

There was also no need to decant your coffee from a takeaway cup into one you had at home, as has been advised in “high-risk” countries like the United States.

“If you’re in an area of the US where there’s uncontrolled transmission like New York maybe you can think about (doing that),” Prof Collignon said.

“But we’re not in that situation in Australia, and I believe we’re never going to get into that situation, because we haven’t had widespread uncontrolled spread in the community for a month or two months before it was recognised.”

Associate Prof Russo said that as long as your barista was washing or sanitising their hands frequently – and wasn’t unwell – it was perfectly safe to drink from your takeaway cup.

“I don’t see any obvious reason for this so long as the above is followed, other than it tastes better from a proper coffee mug,” he said. “But I would suggest putting the lid on the disposable cup yourself.”

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