If you quiet the mind the soul will speak

My Spirit

If you quiet the mind the soul will speak.

With this in mind, I wondered whatever happened to My Spirit in all the redevelopment of Chermside Shopping Centre? Well, I’ve found them at Old Petrie Town.

My Spirit’s birthplace was in Chermside Shopping Centre and is now positioned in the heart of Old Petrie Town within the charming “Todd’s Cottage” which was built in 1880. Walking around inside this quaint building you can feel an energy resonating within and Kim said that it encompasses a high vibrational energy which has been experienced by the many people and spirits who have passed through it.

There are three separate rooms within filled to the brim with crystal energy, tarot/oracle cards, semiprecious sterling silver jewelry, alternative books, ambient music as well as spiritual giftware all guaranteed to enlighten and soothe the soul. Owner Kim has a team of professional holistic practitioners who utilise the various sacred healing spaces available within My Spirit and Old Petrie Town. They offer relaxation and soul connection through specialised group workshops, meditation, yoga, reiki treatments, training and Reiki share afternoons, holistic counseling, naturopathy, spiritual art, tarot and numerology readings and spiritual art. incorporated a unique gift boutique with specialist spiritual healing services.

Kim has a background in Community Services including 10 year’s experience with the Australian Red Cross. Her passion has always been to help vulnerable people in need and now she shines at My Spirit where it allows her the platform to express her own vision for an aware and inclusive society.

My Spirit continues to offer its long-term and new customers with all their favourites plus new and exciting spiritual gift products and resources. This is now enhanced by the inclusion of their Spiritual Healing Services which is perfectly suited within the ambiance of Old Petrie Town.

Kim and My Spirit support the local community and have become a hub of connectivity to all. It is a safe and supported haven of peace, to share, connect and be your authentic self. They often donate proceeds of their special events such as Reiki Share Days to the Children of Nepal. They also actively contribute to the greater network of their Old Petrie Town community events which are held there.

Kim’s vision for the future is to grow My Spirit’s capacity and the services offered to reach more people and to continue to make a difference in the wider community. Her one wish is in life to live holistically off the grid and to create a soul family community.

My Spirit offers a vibrant hub of spiritual connectivity to all like-minded souls seeking spiritual advancement and is open for shopping Wednesday to Saturday 10am-2pm and Sunday (Market Day) 8am-2pm. Weekly Offerings include - Wednesday 9-10am Group Meditation with Kim, Thursday 9-10am Rhythm/Yin Yoga with Chrissie and Saturday 9-10am Flow Yoga with Mel.

Their next major annual event is on the weekend of 1st and 2nd December at which My Spirit will be hosting for the 4th consecutive year a weekend workshop with international guest Spiritual Healer Patrick Zeigler who will be presenting All Love Brisbane. This is to be a weekend of spiritual growth and healing through love.

The new and improved My Spirit is located at 901 Dayboro Road, Whiteside in the peaceful setting of Old Petrie Town.

As they say at My Spirit I hope this has connected with you, Namaste.

Written by Robyn Baker, Busy Connecting

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Don’t Sell Your Home in 2018 (UNTIL You Read This!)

Don't Sell Your Home in 2018 (UNTIL You Read This!)

Don't Sell Your Home in 2018

2018 is here! For anyone who is considering selling their home in 2018, we are going to dive into a great list of tips that will help your home sell fast and for the highest price possible.

One of the first things you should do is discuss in detail your options with whoever is involved in the selling of the home. Look at the homes for sale in your neighbourhood to give you a rough idea of the anticipated sales price. A lot of locals are shocked at the value of their home in Everton Park and surrounding suburbs thanks to the high level of demand and low stock levels.

Don't Sell Your Home in 2018 (UNTIL You Read This!)

10 Steps to Selling Your Home in 2018

Make Sure You're Ready to Sell

Many people begin to consider selling long in advance of actually putting a for sale sign in their yard. If you're considering selling, it doesn't hurt to start familiarizing yourself with the process by doing research. That being said, don’t put your home on the market until you are 100% ready and committed to selling. Take your time to get prepared!

The listing price for your home is going to determine if it sells. The correct amount is one that the market decides, not one that the seller decides themselves. Your Madeleine Hicks Real Estate agent will review the comparable sales and together you will determine an appropriate selling price for your property!

Knowing you are 100% ready to sell is one of the most important parts of selling your home. If you're considering selling it doesn't hurt to start growing familiar with the process. Many people begin to consider selling long in advance of actually putting a for sale sign in their yard.

Many people don't have a choice. Selling their home is a necessity commonly because they've already purchased another home, are being relocated to work in a new area and sometimes dramatic life-changing events.

Sometimes selling your home isn't so black and white. Sometimes you sell as a part of a growing family or an investment opportunity. Maybe you want to liquidate your assets and move your investments around. Either way, you don't want to sell your home without making sure you are ready and have discussed the options.

Interview Local Real Estate Agents to Help Prepare

Preparation is key to getting your home sold in 2018.

Maintaining a spotless and presentation-ready home for any last minute showings is crucial because it could be the deciding factor in a purchase. A buyer that walks into a home that is messy will walk right back out without having a second thought. Buyers are driven by their ability to picture themselves living in the home that they are being shown. If your house isn’t prepared or appealing, they won’t feel the comfort that is required for them to purchase. Real Estate agents with experience can do a tremendous job of assisting you preparing your home for a sale. They will make many recommendations and offer advice on how you can keep your home clean and charming.

It starts with curb appeal. Before potential buyers even step inside the house, they will have a front view of the property as they are pulling into the driveway. In this moment, the buyer begins to judge whether or not they are interested in looking inside. As soon as they get out of their car, you want their first thought to be, “Wow this home is beautiful.” In order to get them excited to see the home, you need to maintain an appealing yard. Be sure to have healthy mown grass in the summer, and tidy well kept bushes in the winter.

Next, make sure that the inside is swept, vacuumed, dusted, mopped, etc. When your home is sparkling and spotless, the potential buyers are more likely to leave with positive thoughts. If you can maintain a clean home throughout the selling process, you will have a much higher chance of selling.

Once you've discussed the idea of selling your home in greater detail and everyone involved is in agreement, you'll likely want to begin interviewing local Real Estate Agents. We pride ourselves on having some of the best real estate agents in Everton Park and surrounds! This will help you understand some things you can do before you list your home that may help increase your return on the sale. There are a lot of great Listing Agents out there and some that are not so good as well, so you will want to find one that you can work well with.

One of the best things you can do as a Seller is put yourself in the buyer's shoes. What made you want to buy the home? Would you buy your own home?

Your Real Estate agent will be able to see your home through the eyes of a potential buyer. Most sellers have grown emotionally attached to their home and they may have a differing opinion as to how valuable their home is compared to potential buyers... Sometimes it's worth more, sometimes it's worth, less. The only way to truly determine is to let the market decide!

Improve the Home

Selling your home in 2018 is going to give you a great opportunity to make a great return on your investment.

When it comes to selling your home, you want to get the most profit back possible. Repairing or upgrading different details of your home is very beneficial for your return on investment. If your home is worn down, it would be wise to pay for improvements because the home would be placed at a much higher value with these renovations. To start, check the landscaping around your home. Does your house have a positive curb appeal and look beautiful from out front? If not, it might be time to plant some fresh grass seeds or have a professional landscaper come by to make improvements.

You may also want to remodel the bathroom or the kitchen. These two rooms are very important because many people search for a beautiful kitchen and a gorgeous master bathroom when determining which home to buy. Find out what designs would look best in your setting and make the improvements! For the bathroom, this could be new flooring tiles, polishing the bathtub/shower, and remodeling the sink. For the kitchen, you could start by upgrading the countertops to a finish that is more modern, such as granite or marble.

There are other rooms you should also look at and see if they need any improvements as well. Whether it is a room inside or even adding a patio or deck, you will want to choose renovations that will be well worth the investment. Getting a good listing agent can help you find any red flags and help prepare your home for when it is time to hit the market. All of these additions and improvements will make your house stand out and be more likely to sell when competing against other homes. In addition to this, these renovations will tremendously increase the value of your home, giving you a more profitable return on investment.

Determine the RIGHT Listing Price

Determining the best listing price for your home can be a stressful part of the selling process. Since we tend to grow emotional attachments, everyone believes that the home they have lived in is worth more than it really is. However, any good real estate agent will tell you that it is not the seller who determines the price of the home, it is the market. To get a better idea of what your home would be valued at, research what price homes in your surrounding neighborhood have been sold for.

If you list your property in the spring and summer months, you will experience more buyers searching for a home. Since the demand to purchase would be high, you would have the option to test the market for a few prices. If your first listing price doesn’t draw in buyers, you can decrease the amount and repeat this process until you have a sale! If you’re selling during the winter month, usually you would have less leverage to test the market since there are fewer buyers during these months. At this time, you should list your property at a value that similar homes are selling for so that your home isn’t overlooked by buyers for being overpriced.

Real estate agents assist in determining the best pricing point. Their expertise will guide you through the process and they will find other homes that you can compare yours to. After analyzing a few comparisons, the value of your home should be more clear. As long as you don’t let your emotional attachment get in the way of deciding a price, you will be all set and ready to sell your home!

Professional Real Estate Marketingtips to sell in brisbane

Getting your home out on the market for everyone to see will attract a much larger crowd. Since professional real estate agents have access to a greater network than non-agents, they can get your home sold faster than if you were to sell it yourself (for sale by owner).  Listing your home on the MLS will increase your chances of getting potential buyers to see that your home is active. Your real estate agent will also do marketing on their own to make more buyers aware of your listing. For example, they may use billboards, their own website, open houses, flyers, direct mail marketing, and their network with other real estate agent to promote your home. When you have a listing agent, they are extremely determined to help you sell.

Using pictures is another effective way to draw interest in your home. We love to show off your property with images and videos. After capturing all of the rooms, we put the media online and potential buyers can take their own virtual tour of your house. This way, your home is being exposed to numerous people not only who are checking out homes on MLS, but also people who are on the edge of buying in general. This can motivate them to buy and set up a showing for your house if they like what they see.

Have the RIGHT Selling Strategy

There are plenty of different strategies that work for selling homes. For example,  depersonalizing your home, decluttering it to make it look bigger, and letting in more light by opening up blinds and shades are all effective selling strategies. Put yourself in the buyer’s shoes, what is it that they want to get out of taking their time to see your home? They want to walk into a clean home and need to be able to envision themselves living in it one day. Depersonalizing your home is a nuisance but it will help your chances of selling. You can do this by taking out family pictures and replacing them with neutral pieces of artwork. This makes it easier for the buyers to imagine putting up their own family pictures if they purchase the home.

Another selling strategy is removing any pets for showings. Whether you have a dog, cat, bird, hamster or something more exotic, take them out of the home for the day since not every potential buyer will be an animal lover. Be sure to clean up any water bowls, toys, litter boxes, hamster wheels and fur because buyers don’t want to walk out covered in hair. By removing the animals, you also create a safer environment for cleaning supplies and air fresheners to make your home even more appealing.

Let your home shine! Getting as much natural light in through the windows is a smart move to show just how ‘alive’ your home looks. A buyer that walks into a dark home in the middle of the day can leave unsatisfied, without a desire to purchase that property. Natural light makes a home look much nicer and more pleasant. When you have time, walk around the house and determine what is causing light to be blocked from entering the windows. If bushes are causing the unwanted darkness,  cut them down.

Negotiate Professionally, NOT Emotionally

Negotiating can get tricky at times because you have to be careful when it comes to receiving offers from buyers. It is important to not let your emotions take control when you are looking for an offer or if you are making a counteroffer. Remember to always stay professional when you are negotiating, as this would give you the upper hand. Your Madeleine Hicks Real Estate agent will help make sure that you aren’t letting your emotions get the better of you. At the end of the day, you, the buyers and the agents involved are all working toward the same goal:  To sell your house!

When you receive an offer, do not respond right away. Instead, take your time looking it over and review your options. If you are in a multiple offer situation, you will be less stressed out since you have fallback options. When there is only one offeror, that’s when things tend to get hectic. As the seller, you may begin to get unmotivated and worry that you aren’t going to get the best deal. Take a deep breath and take your time looking for the offer to think over your options. Before sending an offer, be sure to debate the pros and cons of making that deal to make sure that it is a smart move.

Let the Buyers Feel As Though They Won

If a potential buyer isn’t constantly showing excitement for the purchase, they may back out at any time. By ensuring that your buyers feel that they are getting a deal of a lifetime, they will remain interested throughout the whole process. As the seller, show that you are excited for them to take this new step!

When it comes to negotiating, it is always important that you make the buyers feel as if they won. When they think that they have received the best deal, they will accept it and the both of you will be heading for a settlement. Similar to negotiating professionally and not emotionally, it is also important that you negotiate strategically. Let the buyers gain as much ground as you think they will need in order to feel like they are getting the better end of the deal. When they are satisfied with the deal in front of them, they will accept it and you both will finally close!

Prepare for your Move-out

Now that you are settling,  all of the stressful steps of selling your home are over and you can let the transactions run their course. Keep in mind that after all of the signing and initiating, you still need to move your belongings out of the house before you are completely finished. Anything that you do not convey with the title will have to go. This may include the refrigerator, the washer and dryer, and anything you specifically jotted down and disclosed to the buyer that would be coming to you after you sold.

Sellers who have already relocated usually have their home completely move-in ready for the buyers throughout the process. This is when a house is entirely empty and vacant when potential buyers are walking through it. If you are a seller that still lives in the home and have not yet relocated, be sure to get pre-approved to purchase a new home ASAP.  You don’t want to be left out in the cold because you don’t qualify for the home you were planning on purchasing. Make sure that you are financially ready to move out so buyers can move in.

Any garbage that is left in the house while moving out must be removed and thrown. Don’t be those sellers who make your buyers clean up your messes for you. Gather your belongings to pack them so that you are ready to move to your new home. If you have many items that you don’t want to keep, two helpful options can be a garage-sale or selling on Gumtree or eBay. By doing this, you are cleaning out the house and making, even more, money at the same time.

Whether you still live in the home or you have already relocated, always remember to leave the utilities on until after the home is settled!

Close and Congrats!

You’ve made it! You have followed all of the steps listed above and you’re finally ready for the last one! The offers are on the table and you have accepted the most appealing one! Congratulations, you now get to move on to closing!  If the buyer’s lawyer and agent approve all paperwork and the bank approves the transactions, there’s nothing much more to worry about. It is a long process for most, and even more, a stressful one. But you did it! Congratulations on officially selling a home!

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Warning! Fire Ants are in our Suburbs (What to Look For!)

Fire ant warning for brisbane north

Biosecurity Queensland is urging residents and businesses to check properties following the detection of fire ants at Bridgeman Downs.Fire Ants in Brisbane North warning

The red imported fire ants were found by a vigilant Brisbane City Council worker and confirmed on January 5.

Biosecurity Queensland officers destroyed the nest and baited the area to ensure all ants in the colony were destroyed.

Biosecurity Queensland urged all residents and business operators in Bridgeman Downs, Albany Creek, Carseldine, Aspley, McDowall, Brendale, Bracken Ridge, Fitzgibbon, Zillmere, Chermside, Chermside West, Stafford Heights, Everton Park, Everton Hills, Bunya and Eatons Hill to check their properties, gardens and work sites, and report any suspicious looking ants.

Fire ant nests look like mounds of loose soil with no visible entry or exit holes.

Labor MP for Aspley Bart Mellish said fire ants could be identified by their coppery-brown colour and darker-coloured abdomen.

“While small, 2—6mm in size, their sting is incredibly painful and in rare cases can lead to anaphylactic shock and death,” Mr Mellish said.

“Fire ants are one of the worst invasive species to reach Australia’s shores and can ruin our lifestyle, restricting everyday activities such as barbecues, picnics

and sporting events.

“Australia is the closest any country has come to eradicating fire ants, but we still have a lot of work to do to beat this serious invasive pest.”

Places fire ants are likely to be found are in and around logs and rocks, gardening materials such as pot plants, lawns, garden beds, taps and utility pits.

Identifying fire ants

Fire ants (Solenopsis invicta) are quite small (2-6mm) and come in an unusual variety of sizes within one nest. Their heads and bodies are coppery-brown and their abdomens are darker. They are aggressive, particularly near the nest, and can inflict painful stings.

It is vital that you are able to identify fire ants on your property. Watch the video for identification help.


Fire ant nests

Fire ant nests have no obvious entry or exit holes.

Nests often appear as dome-shaped mounds, but these mounds are not always easily identifiable. They can be up to 40cm high, but may also be flat and look like a small patch of disturbed soil. They are usually found in open areas such as lawns and pastures, and along roadsides and unused cropland.

Fire ant warning for brisbane northNests can also be found next to or under other objects on the ground, such as timber, logs, rocks, pavers or bricks. Look near pots or any areas of disturbed ground as well as:

  • in pot plants on the ground
  • in stores of topsoil, mulch and potting mixes
  • under landscape materials (e.g. logs, stones)
  • under timber or pallets on the ground
  • adjacent to buildings and other structures
  • in untidy or overgrown areas
  • near areas of permanent water (e.g. the banks of dams, rivers, ponds, aquaculture containers)
  • tufts of grass in open areas, where the soil is built up around the tufts.

If you are worried about possible Fire Ants visit daf.qld.gov.au/fireants or call 13 25 23.


Chermside:- where traffic congestion is getting worse

Talking points

Travelling from Chermside into the city for work takes longer than it did a year ago but the same trip home has become significantly quicker in the same period, according to the Australian Travel Time Metric.

The Infrastructure Partnerships Australia report used Uber's anonymised journey data to track travel times across key roads in four major capital cities.

A report by Infrastructure Partnerships Australia reveals travel times in Brisbane based on anonymous Uber data.

A report by Infrastructure Partnerships Australia reveals travel times in Brisbane based on anonymous Uber data.

During the morning peak from April to June, the average Chermside-to-CBD trip took 27 minutes, compared with almost 26 minutes in the same quarter in 2016.

Where congestion is getting worse and better in Brisbane

Using the time it took to travel during off-peak as a baseline, passengers were losing 6.6 minutes to congestion in the April-to-June quarter in 2016 compared with 9.2 minutes in 2017 on the Chermside to CBD trip.

Travelling from the CBD to Chermside during the afternoon rush hour became almost two minutes faster, dropping from 27.1 minutes to 24.7 minutes.

Where congestion is getting worse and better in Brisbane

The drive from the airport to the city during the morning rush hour remained at 28.5 minutes from the same two quarters in 2016 to 2017.

But that had risen 2.5 minutes since July to September 2015.

The report said the slowing travel time to the airport may be attributed to roadworks on Kingsford Smith Drive.

IPA chief executive Brendan Lyon said measuring actual performance showed why Cross River Rail, the Gateway North upgrade and Logan Enhancement Project were important.

Where congestion is getting worse and better in Brisbane

"But also why it's critical that Queensland finds the money to lift infrastructure funding to allow the next round of road and rail projects to get going," he said.

Brisbane City Council's key corridors performance report from January to June found AM peak average network speeds was 42km/h.

PM peak average network speed was 42.1km/h.

In the morning rush hour, the Centenary Motorway was the fastest corridor with an average speed of 76.49km/h, while Stanley Street was the slowest at 16.83km/h.

The Bruce Highway, managed by Transport and Main Roads was the busiest corridor, with an average daily volume of 156,195 vehicles a day.

Where congestion is getting worse and better in Brisbane

Cleveland Redland Bay Road was the least busy with 20,012 vehicles a day.

In the AM peak, March had the lowest average speed at 38.86km/h while January had the highest average speed at 45.61km/h.

In the PM peak, May had the lowest average speed at 40.21 km/h, with January having the highest average speed at 45.0 km/h.

Source Brisbane Times

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Village Buzz Christmas Lights 2017


Finding the best Christmas Lights in Brisbane all depends on where you live, how much time you have and often how old your kids are.  The kids are the best at finding them.

At Village Buzz we are trying to make it easy for you, simply download the map to your phone and you will be on your way

You can use the map at the bottom of the page to find lights near you or use the list below (the map is easier) – we have kept things fluid as we will be updating if you let us know about any other good ones.



9 Blackwood Ave Mitchelton
10 Longreef Ct Albany Creek
36 Sugarloaf St Wavell Heights
146 Maundrell Terrace Chermside West
123 Dorrington Dr Ashgrove
30 High St Ashgrove
115 Horn Rd Aspley
1/123 Samford Rd Enoggera
12 Bowers Rd S Everton Hills
7 Greenfern Pl Ferny Grove
48 Daisy St Grange
 19 & 16 Barokee St Stafford
27 Minimine St Stafford
7 Minimine St Stafford
34 Ashley Rd Chermside West
146 Maundrell Tce Chermside West
36 Sugarloaf St Wavell Heights
16 Kosta Pl Albany Creek
8 Calhoun St McDowall
6 Calhoun St, McDowall
2 Coleridge St, Stafford Heights
2 Pimelea St, Everton Hills
16 Kambala St, Everton Park
 Please let us know in the comments if you can find any that are not on this list.
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Suncorp blacklists your suburb!


Big banks are set to announce tougher measures to crack down on high rise apartment purchases including blacklisting more than 100 Brisbane suburbs, doubling the minimum apartment size to qualify for funding, evidence of rental cash flows and tough new valuation criteria.

Lenders such as Adelaide Bank are introducing "minimum funding requirements" requiring apartments to have their own bathrooms, kitchens, laundries, and windows in key rooms, such as bedrooms and lounge rooms.

Others, such as Suncorp Bank, the nation's fifth largest mortgage lender, are circulating a list of 39 Brisbane postcodes covering more than 100 city and metropolitan suburbs where the new lending restrictions will apply from next Monday.

"Our settings have been adjusted for postcodes based on recent weakness in the investment unit market in Brisbane, with evidence of a reduction in prices," a Suncorp Bank spokesman said.

suncorp restricts lending to local suburbs

McDowall and Everton Parks No 1 rated real estate agent Madeleine Hicks said "suburbs like McDowall, Stafford, and Everton Park, are really a victim of what has been happening in neighboring suburbs Chermside and Nundah.  A lot of units have been built in those suburbs and we are paying the price"


"Whilst there has been some unit development in our main suburbs it has been nothing compared to our neighbors," said Hicks.

Nervous lenders are turning the screws on apartment buyers amid growing concerns about over-supply, falling prices, restrictions on foreign buyers and potential risk from combustible cladding widely used on high rise apartment exteriors.

For example, new apartment sales in the Queensland capital have reportedly collapsed by more than 70 percent in a year, prompting desperate developers to offer lucrative incentives to attract buyers.

Developers, such as Consolidated Properties, claim Brisbane has been cruelled by restrictions on financing set up to ease speculative buying in Melbourne and Sydney.

Other developers, such as ForceOne Development, have been using incentives like a free Toyota Yaris to encourage apartment sales.

AdelaideBank, a division of Bendigo and Adelaide Bank, will today (Wed) announce stricter controls on apartment lending that include bigger sizes, better design, identifiable cash flows for investor/lands and more stringent calculations of a borrowers' capacity to repay.

 On the Plus side

"Now presents a great opportunity for cashed-up investors to get into the growing Brisbane market and take advantage of bargains that exist.  We know that the population in Brisbane will continue to increase and that will mean there will always be strong demand for homes in the inner suburbs," said Madeleine Hicks

In fact, Ms. Hicks called for "greater investment in infrastructure in the Stafford, McDowall and Everton Park suburbs to better reflect the increase in population that is moving into these suburbs.  This only seems fair as the Council is collecting greater revenues but not spending the money here."

The Minimum requirements for high-density apartments to obtain funding include windows in bedrooms and living rooms, separate bathrooms, and their own laundries and kitchens. High-density apartments are complexes of more than 50 units or five stories.

Minimum sizes for two bedroom apartments have been doubled to 60 square meters and timeframes for off-the-plan valuations have been reduced from six to three months to "better the risk" and "align acceptance of applications and valuers' professional indemnity cover".

Last month Australia and New Zealand Bank also issued a blacklist imposing tougher terms requiring borrowers to have a 20 percent deposit.

The value of apartments has fallen by about 1 percent in Brisbane during the past 12 months, according to SQM Research, which monitors property prices.

Several recent reports by independent consultants have warned demand will be exceeded by the estimated supply of new apartments in Brisbane, which will add to downward pressure on prices.

There is also growing investor concern about the outcome of current investigations into the widespread use of inflammable cladding on apartments, particularly who will be liable for its replacement.

 Under Suncorp's new rules, it will no longer accept investment loan applications for apartments that do not have a minimum deposit of at least 20 percent.

What do you think are the banks right to restrict lending in certain suburbs only?

Source Brisbane Investor

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How fortunate are we in our little Northside pocket?

Surrounded by Mountains to Mangroves area and living so close to three of Brisbane's important nature conserves makes our local area worth protecting.

With Downfall Creek Bushland Centre (Raven Street Reserve), Chermside Hills and Bunyaville State forest on our doorstep we truly live in a wonderfully unique area.

Bunyaville Conservation Park

Bunyaville Conservation Park is bordered by Everton Hills, Albany Creek and Bridgeman Downs. Access to the area is via Old Northern Road and is open 7.30am-5pm daily.

There are great picnic areas with wheelchair accessible toilets, BBQs, drinking water, car parking and picnic tables for a perfect day out. (There are no rubbish bins so please remove any rubbish you might have).

There are plenty of walking tracks also. Guided tours and talks can be arranged through the Environmental Education Centre on (07)3353 4356 or via their website and there are programs designed to suit school aged children.

Raven Street Reserve

Downfall Creek Bushland Centre is located within the Chermside Hills Reserve at 815 Rode Road and is opened every day. The Education Centre opened Monday-Thursday 9am-4pm. There are numerous children's activities held throughout the year along with guided walks and events for all. For more information check their website (Downfall Creek Bushland Centre) or Contact (07)3403 8888.

There are picnic areas, a car park, walking tracks, drinking water, wheelchair access, playground, BBQs, public toilets and a 1/2 court basketball. There also is a sensory trail which is wheelchair accessible with a continuous handrail, braille, interpretive signage and raised text.

The centre also has a meeting room with kitchen facilities available for hire for community-based organisations, government and corporate groups are also welcome.

Chermside Hills Reserve

Chermside Hills Reserve has car parking available on Hamilton Road at Milne Hill Reserve near the fauna bridge and is open 24 hours daily with only the car parking being locked off after 6pm.

This area has many walking tracks and it's advisable to take plenty of drinking water. The views within this area are breathtaking and if you're walking when there is low light it is also advisable to take a torch.

It's also always a good idea to bring water, sunscreen, protection from the sun and insect repellent.

All of these areas are home to wallabies, koalas, echidnas, lorikeets, possums, kookaburras, and a myriad of birdlife and reptiles.

Do you get wildlife where you live?

We'd love to know what wildlife you have visiting you.

Written by guest blogger: Robyn Baker


The 60-year evolution of Brisbane’s first major shopping centre

To many it may be just another shopping centre, but to some Westfield Chermside represents a place where treasured memories were born and the start of Brisbane's modernisation from a country town to a major city.

Next Tuesday, the centre will celebrate its 60th anniversary and despite a regular turnover of retailers and constant expansions, its history has been kept alive by long-serving staff, local residents and a sole retailer.

On May 30, 1957 the 28-acre Allan & Stark Chermside Drive In opened as the first drive-in shopping centre in the southern hemisphere, with 26 stores, 700 car parking spaces and 15,000 people in attendance.

One of the many faces in the crowd was Sue-Ellen Duby. At the time, she was an 11-month-old baby; today, she has 15 years of experience under her belt working on the concierge desk at the shopping centre.

While she has very little memory of the day, Ms Duby has a picture of her father holding her above the thousands of onlookers and can remember feeling a sense of security.

Ms Duby had a chance meeting with a woman at the centre last year who was also at opening day and even won a competition. The stranger said a helicopter dropped ping-pong balls on the crowd and she had caught the one which won her a car.

"She told me that she felt like the Queen when she was in the Ford, because not everyone had a car in those days," Ms Duby said.

"It was a big deal to come to the centre in those days, people would get dressed up and make it a big day out. It's always been a meeting place for families and friends."

A matter of weeks after the opening of the Allan & Stark Chermside Drive In, John Bean made the trip from the southside with his parents and baby brother to see what all of the fuss was about.

Mr Bean was just six years old at the time and came away from the centre with what he described as "the world's best gift" - a red pedal car.

Thanks to his father's love of photography, Mr Bean has footage from the family outing and said he loved spending time with his Dad and watching his films.

He believed the opening of the centre gave the northside the edge over the southside in the ongoing rivalry and also signified the start of Brisbane's modernisation from a country town to a major city.

One of the most significant changes at Westfield Chermside in Mr Bean's opinion, has been what he described as "a cultural shift" in Queenslanders' shopping habits.

Mr Bean said the busiest times at the centre used to be on Saturday afternoon and Sunday, which he described as "rest days" in line with Christian beliefs.

However, he believed due to people's long working hours today, which include weekends, they fit in shopping trips wherever they can, translating to a seven-day shopping cycle at Westfield Chermside.

Comparing his experiences of the centre 60 years ago to today, Mr Bean said the current version was much more spacious and easier to navigate for its size. He said the 1957 centre was packed with people, making it difficult to move around and find your way.

Out of the hundreds of retailers who have come and gone during the centre's six decades, one original store remains - Fulchers Shoes.

It was started by Gordon Fulcher, then his son Trevor joined the business in 1970, before current owner Troy Fulcher, Gordon's grandson, came on board in 1991.

"Because we have been around for so long, we have a very loyal client base, with customers coming in saying they used to get their school shoes from us when they were young," he said.

"I personally select the products, whereas chain stores buy generic stock and distribute it across their franchises. This also allows me to adapt to suit my customers' needs quicker."

Despite the cosmetic changes at the store, it remains a small family business with Gordon's values at its very heart.

"Grandad said you have to sell yourself first and your product second," Troy said.

"And be on the shop floor all of the time to know what your customers' needs are.

"To respond to the greater competition over the years, we continue to focus on customer service and filling a niche with our specialised products."

Today, Westfield Chermside is nearing completion of stage six upgrades.

Centre manager Garth Haslam said the stages of development over the years were a reflection of the community's needs and trends.

"We're very lucky to still have all of the history, right back to the days when the centre first opened," he said.

"You just start understanding how it has evolved in the last 60 years.

"It's so nice that we have people connected to the building and who have been here as the building evolves, such as Sue-Ellen and Troy."

Once the latest developments were completed, which was expected to be next month, Westfield Chermside will boast over 500 shops, more than 7000 carparking spaces and stretch across more than 38 acres. The new expansion will feature "a vibrant dining and entertainment precinct" according to the centre manager.

"As Brisbane continues to evolve, we will continue to react to the demands of our customers," he said.


Originally Published: http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/



New Chermside Library and North Regional Business Centre

New Chermside Library and North Regional Business Centre

Construction of the new Chermside Library, North Regional Business Centre and Marchant Ward Office redevelopment is now complete and will the building was officially opened on Saturday 18 March 2017.

The redevelopment of the existing Chermside Library was in 2014, when an development application was lodged for a new Library and Business Centre, located 375 Hamilton Road, Chermside.

New Chermside Library and North Regional Business Centre

Formally, the application was for development permits for Subdivision (1 into 4 lots) and access easements and Material Change of Use for Community Use, Food, Drink Outlet, Office and adjacent to a Local Heritage Place.

New Chermside Library and North Regional Business Centre

Designed by Cottee Parker, the proposal seeks a construction of a 3 storey building on the site, at the corner of Kittyhawk Drive and Hamilton Road. The building will accommodate the new Chermside Council Library at ground level, and the new BCC North Regional Business Centre in the 2 levels of office space.

The new precinct offers a redeveloped library, a new business centre and the Marchant Ward Office in one convenient location for the northside community.

The upgraded library is larger and can accommodate three meeting rooms, quiet areas for study and reading, news lounges, quiet rooms and booths, an exciting new children’s library, a Maker Space and a dedicated technology facility for digital learning and literacy. The library features the latest in Radio Frequency Identification technology to enable more convenient customer self-service. Library customers can access public computers and free Wi-Fi throughout the new facility, or enjoy a coffee or bite to eat at Café 641.5 while reading a good book or browsing the library collection.

Chermside Council Library (Ground Level)
– 2,970sqm for Library (Community Use)
– 30sqm for Café (Food/Drink outlet)
– Quiet Rooms
– Reading Lounges
– Children Area
– Self Serving lending

BCC North Regional Business Centre (2 Levels)
– 3,350sqm for Office
– Licencing and Permits
– Animal Registration
– Marchant Ward Office

New Chermside Library and North Regional Business Centre


The subdivision will provide for 4 separate lots over 2 Stages, to allow for the access, library/ office building and future residential development.
Stage 1
Lot 1 – 5,371sqm (Proposed office and library building)
Lot 2 – 69.72ha – Balance allotment
Lot 3 – 805sqm – Existing access driveway
Easements A – C (Vehicle Access)

Stage 2
Lot 4 – 3030sqm – Future residential development
Lot 5 – 69.42sqm – Balance allotment

Car Parking
Two (2) levels of basement car parking provides for a total of 221 car park spaces and 61 bicycle spaces, as listed:

Basement level 1
– 106 spaces (including 3 PWD spaces)
– 47 bicycle spaces / storage
– Lockers, shower and change room facilities

Basement level 2
– 115 car parking spaces

– 14 visitor bicycle spaces / storage


New Chermside Library and North Regional Business Centre

Four (4) distinct landscape zones have been integrated into the redevelopment
– the pedestrian entry plaza (between the library and ground level car parking
– the library forecourt
– the building foyer entry
– the streetscape

Feature planting to the library entry, retention of existing trees, higher quality pavement and higher density planting treatment.

New Chermside Library and North Regional Business Centre

The building will have a total Gross Floor Area (GFA) of 6,350sqm on a site area of 5,271sqm, that has a building site cover of 3,328sqm (63%) of the overall 70.33ha site area.

The site is located in the Sport and Recreation Zone (Metropolitan Precinct) and the Community Use and Sports Precinct (NPP-004) of the Chermside Centre Neighbourhood Plan. The proposed development involved the demolition of the exiting single storey Chermside Library and part of the existing car park fronting Hamilton Road. The Chermside Pool and 73 of the parking spaces fronting Hamilton Road were retained.

– Sunday 15 March 2017 (Library’s last day at 960 Gympie Road)
– Monday 6-Tuesday 14 March 2017 (Library closed)
– Wednesday 15 March 2017 (New library opens at 375 Hamilton Road)
– Thursday 16 March 2017 – 4.45pm (Marchant Ward Office closes at 960 Gympie Road)
– Friday 17 March 2017 – 4.45pm (North Regional Business Centre closes at 960 Gympie Road)
– Saturday 18 March 2017 (Official opening of the new library, business centre and ward office)
– Monday 20 March 2017 (North Regional Business Centre opens for business at 375 Hamilton Road)
– Wednesday 22 March 2017 (Marchant Ward Office opens for business at 375 Hamilton Road