Home' The Mt Barker Courier : The Courier - 2017-01-18 Contents PAGE 18 – The Courier Wednesday, January 18, 2017
By Tom Staggard
The mood around the Mt
Barker Bowls Club was brighter
than ever after it was revealed
the club will cut their electrical
bill by two thirds thanks to the
installation of new lights over
the festive period.
The ultra-efficient LED lights
installed under the dome in late
December use significantly less
power than the old lighting system
and provide a much greater light
President of the Mt Barker Bowls
Club Chris de Ron said that the
lights have not only improved
visibility on the green but will help
make the venue a real community
“The new lights are not only more
efficient but they submit a wider
and more concentrated light to a
particular area,” he said.
“We’re really happy with it and
we’re set to save on running costs
because of the efficiency of the new
Aside from the electrical savings,
the new lights offer instant
illumination, whereas the old
system required around 10 minutes
to warm up before the lights were
running at full capacity.
In addition to the dome lights,
six outdoor floodlights have been
installed to light up the back green.
Mr de Ron said that with the
new lights the club now has the
facilities available to host a much
larger night bowls competition.
“A range of clubs around the Hills
have night time bowls,” he said.
“However these competitions are
generally internally run social
“With our new lights and current
facilities, we’d love to invite some
of the best night time bowls teams
from across the region to play off
against each other.”
Fifteen thousand dollars in grant
funding was provided by the Office
for Sport and Recreation with the
club shouldering the rest of the
financial load to make the light
Mr de Ron said that the club
hoped the upgraded light system
would improve the overall state of
“We’ve hosted social events such
as 21st birthdays in the past,” he
“Now that we’ve got these
improved facilities we can start
to embed ourselves within the
community and add to our 70 full
time club members.”
New LED lights installed under the dome at the Mt Barker Bowls Club are
set to slash the club’s electrical bill.
Low costs a club highlight
Fixed rate home loans are proving increasingly
mortgage holders opting for this type of
According to the latest national home loan approval
loans accounted for 19.5% of all loans written in
November, up from 17.40% in the month prior.
Mortgage Choice franchise owner Rob Shearwood
“unsurprising” and said he wouldn’t be shocked
loans in the future.
“Over the last few weeks, speculation about a rate
“I strongly believe the bottom of the rate cycle has
now passed and we will soon see lenders raise the
interest charged across their suite of variable home
“Long term bond rates have started to move
slightly higher in recent weeks and we have
on offer domestically.
“Furthermore, central banks around the globe are
now signalling that the bias for easing monetary
policy is over.
“Closer to home, the Reserve Bank of Australia
strongly suggested during its November board
meeting that the time for easing monetary policy
has now passed.”
Mr Shearwood said if people were waiting for the
bottom of the rate cycle, it may well have already
“I think a growing percentage of borrowers realise
that rates may soon rise and, in a bid to beat
mortgages,” he said.
becoming popular with this type of product
accounting for 24.01% of all loans written.
“I will not be surprised to see a growing proportion
beat potential rate rises.
“That said, even if rates do rise in the near future, it
is important for borrowers not to panic.
“The reality is, interest rates are incredibly low
by long term standards and they will continue to
remain low for the foreseeable future.”
Mr Shearwood said before borrowers made any
decisions about their mortgage, it was important for
them to speak with their local mortgage broker to
ensure they chose the right home loan product for
For more information or discussion please contact
Rob Shearwood or the team on 8398 2955 or visit
By Paul Clitheroe
A colleague had an interesting experience this
week. She received both an email and SMS
from her credit card provider saying her card
had been blocked due to fraudulent activity.
It was an unnerving incident, and a timely reminder
that none of us can assume “it won’t happen to
In this particular instance, a dodgy offshore
company had tried to make a transaction for $0.08
using my workmate’s card. Apparently this is quite
Fraudsters often try out a very small or even zero
dollar transaction to test the waters and see if the
card is active. If all goes well, they can go on to
make far bigger purchases using your card details.
Fortunately, in this case the card issuer’s fraud
system recognised the bogus transaction and
instantly blocked the card.
However, not everyone is so lucky.
A recent report from the Australian Payments
Clearing Association shows credit card fraud is on
Chip technology and mandatory use of PINs is
making it much harder to steal data at the terminal.
But it’s a different story for “card-not-present”
(CNP) transactions where shoppers hand over
their card details online, by phone or by post.
In 2015, CNP fraud accounted for $363m stolen by
crooks – a good chunk of the total $461m lost to
card fraud. Over 60% of these dodgy transactions
were made offshore.
It’s worth noting that fraud impacts just 0.03%
of the seven billion card transactions made in
Australia each year.
Nevertheless, as spending is ramped up to take
advantage of post-Christmas sales, Australians
will be ramping up their shopping activity with
many choosing to shop online. So it’s worth being
mindful of the need to keep your money safe.
Taking a few simple steps can help to protect
First and foremost, stick with reputable online
retailers, and look for the padlock symbol in the
URL bar indicating a secure website.
Equally important, make a point of monitoring the
activity on your card.
Online and mobile banking make it possible to
check credit card transactions regularly without the
need to wait for monthly statements.
If you come across a transaction that looks
unfamiliar, contact your card issuer.
Bear in mind some retail outlets are run by private
companies with a different name to the store
brand. However, if the date or dollar value of a
transaction looks odd, it’s better to be safe than
sorry by speaking with the card provider.
The sooner you take action, the sooner your card
can be blocked to prevent crooks dipping into it
of ipac securities limited, chairman of the
Australian Government Financial Literacy
Board and chief commentator for Money
For more information, please contact Kym Thyer
or Troy Mickan at KTA Financial Services on 8536
Kym Thyer and Troy Mickan of KTA Pty Ltd ABN 19
008 141 080 are authorised representatives and credit
representatives of Charter Financial Planning Ltd,
Australian Financial Services Licensee and Australian
Credit Licensee. This article contains information that
is general in nature. It does not take into account the
and needs before making any decisions based on this
Take care with your cards
TIPS TO AVOID FRAUD
Trailwalkers all set
For most of us getting out of bed in the
morning can be hard work, but for a group
of Hills hikers sleeping may not even be an
option during their next challenge.
Lobethal residents Katrina and Simon Rose
along with their Mt Barker counterparts Ruth
Ferguson and Kevin O’Conner collectively
make up ‘Team Ned’, a group of hikers set to
travel to Melbourne to take part in the Oxfam
The event, held in April, requires teams to
hike a 100km trail in 48 hours through the
Dandenong Ranges and Yarra Valley National
Parks while raising much needed funds for
Mrs Rose said that due to the short time
frame of the event, there is a high chance that
the team will be forced to walk on little to no
sleep to complete the journey.
“It is a really long way to travel on foot in such
a small amount of time,” she said.
“Sleeping is optional but if we’re running
behind schedule we’ll be forced to forego sleep
and get walking.”
Team Ned aims to raise $2000 for Oxfam
Australia prior to the event, with all money
going towards promoting education and
ensuring access to clean water for the world’s
poorest people in Africa and South-East Asia.
Celebrity chef Simon
Bryant will cook up
a storm to help the
Mt Pleasant Farmers
Market celebrate its
Known for his role in
ABC-TV’s series The
Cook and the Chef,
Mr Bryant will create
the market’s produce
8am–12pm on Satur-
day, January 28, at
the Mt Pleasant show-
Genevieve Hebart said
Simon is an “innova-
tive chef and advocate
for fresh locally pro-
duced fruit and veg-
etables, and farmer’s
The market was
established by the
Mt Pleasant Natural
Resource Centre in
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