How to stop the flood of election junk mail?

Wherever you live in the world, whether it is a Presidential, Federal, Local Council or State election, your mailbox will groan under the weight of materials aimed at getting your vote. It may be the electronic era, but it seems that a piece of paper in your letterbox is still considered the most effective way of getting a message across.

While an informed electorate is essential to the democratic process, there appears to be a glut of over-sending of junk mail for political purposes – and no clear way on how to stop this. What’s worse, the content of most of the political flyers is simply mudslinging about their opponents with no substance. Is anyone else reminded of children in the playground?

How can you help stop this frivolous waste of paper? Imagine the strain on our environment and the large volume of greenhouse gases generated from all the trees cut down, electricity and transport of the materials. Grab a cup of tea or your water bottle and let’s get down to it.

We know in Australia that material deemed to be political, educational, religious and charitable is exempt from “No Junk Mail” signed letterboxes according to standards conducted by the Australian Catalogue Association. So there is no way to stop it being posted in your postbox along with the other junk mail catalogues enticing you to buy all sorts of things you don’t really need. It is likely the same in other countries.

Step 1. Incorrectly addressed political mail
Much of your mail may be addressed to former occupants of the house. You need to “return this to sender” with the note “no longer at this address”.

Step 2. Contact each political party or politician that is mailing you
There is no central database so you will need to call the office of each individual sender and ask to be removed from their mailing list. Remember to be polite! You catch more bees with honey than vinegar.

Step 3. National Standard to stop political junk mail
Write a letter to the Electoral Commission asking them to implement a National Standard to limit the volume of pieces each political party is allowed to put in each household’s letterbox.

Step 4. Polling day
Don’t forget to recycle any materials you are given on the day – often the Greens Party has a box at the booths for such materials on polling day!

Written by Tracey Bailey, Director of Biome Eco Stores in Brisbane, specialists in water bottles and eco friendly, reusable choices for your home, body and lifestyle.

The Best Retaining Walls in Mackay

If you need retaining walls , be sure to use Mackay Fencing’s The Block Blokes. These retaining walls are sure to last you a long time. The soil it contains will not erode and it will not break down. It ensures that you have more control over the land that you build on, and ensures the safety of the people who live and go near it.

First of all, the company’s services are fast! You would not believe it. Other companies might take a long time to construct retaining walls, making a lot of noise and raising so much dust that you might not want to be near there, much less live there, while it is being built. The Block Blokes can build your retaining walls in a fraction of the time, letting you do more.

The construction materials are all made locally. There will be no extra costs because of shipping and transport because all of the things the company will use are available nearby. This reduces the cost substantially – shipping and transport can get really expensive depending on the weight, fragility, and other factors of the cargo.

Speaking of costs, Mackay Fencing will save you a lot compared to other companies. Not only will they save you so much time, they will save you half of the money – or more! You could spend the money you saved on other developments for your property – to make it look good, to give it more facilities and protection, et cetera. The type of retaining walls that Mackay Fencing’s The Block Blokes uses is the cantilever style, which uses a lot fewer materials than the gravity wall.

The people at Mackay Fencing care a lot for your aesthetic tastes. Your property deserves to look the best it can, after all. Mackay Fencing’s the Block Blokes have a variety of designs that you can choose from so that your new retaining walls will not look plain, drab, or God forbid, dirty. Among their designs is wood texture, if you want the walls to contain a garden; blocks, for that friendly, clean look; lined slate, for a no-nonsense secure impression, and more. You could have them leave it as a clean, flat, blank wall so that you could paint your artworks on it yourself if you so wished. Their walls look good and clean – only the best for their customers.

If you are worried about your retaining walls getting destroyed by nasty little creatures, then you have nothing to fear. Mackay Fencing can guarantee that your walls are fully protected against termites and pests. Rats and other vermin are going to crack their teeth on your new retaining walls if they try to gnaw on it. You won’t soon be seeing holes or cracks in your restraining walls if you use Mackay Fencing’s The Block Blokes.

In case you’re still in doubt of their abilities, look them up in the yellow pages. Mackay Fencing is the only one in the yellow pages listed as Master Builders. And they are. Their customers are completely satisfied with their work, and they have been working for sixteen years already – a sign of assured quality. Mackay Fencing follows no standard but their own, for they set the standard other fencing and retaining wall companies.

Mackay Fencing’s The Block Blokes are meant to withstand the test of time. The construction is very solid. The type of wall used is the cantilever style, which uses an anchor to the ground and not to the soil it retains, making it more reliably sturdy. It would take a very strong force to knock a hole in one of their retaining walls, and much more to destroy it. You could take a car and run into one of their retaining walls and the wall wouldn’t be damaged! Mackay Fencing’s The Block Blokes make more than just solid and sturdy retaining walls – they make walls that will last.

You won’t be able to find any other company whose retaining walls are like Mackay Fencing’s The Block Blokes – at least, not without giving out much more money and inconveniencing yourself with the noise and the construction dust and debris. There is no better company for your retaining walls than Mackay Fencing’s. Mackay Fencing’s The Block Blokes are unique. Visit

What are Aluminium Extrusions?

Extrusion is a process used to create objects of a fixed cross-sectional profile, of solid round, square or rectangular shapes, to L shapes and T shapes, tubes and many other different types. Metal is pushed through a die of the desired shape using either a mechanical or hydraulic press, resulting in the finished product. The cavity in which the raw material is pressed is lined with a wear resistant material which can withstand the pressure that is created when the material is pushed through, making extrusion possible without deforming or tearing the metal.

Aluminium extrusion is generally used in the manufacture of windows, doors and balustrades, but is also found in thousands of other items like vehicle parts, truck trays, boats and other marine products and refrigeration, etc to name a few.

Two advantages of this technique over other manufacturing processes are its ability to create very complex cross-sections, plus being able to work materials that are brittle, because the material only encounters compressive and shear stresses. It also forms finished parts with an excellent surface finish. Extrusions often minimise the need for secondary machining. They are not of the same dimensional accuracy or surface finish as machined parts, however, the process produces a wide variety of cross-sections that are hard to produce cost-effectively using other methods.

Extrusion may be continuous (producing indefinitely long material), or semi-continuous (producing many pieces). The minimum thickness of steel is about 3mm, whereas aluminum and magnesium is about 1mm. The extrusion process can be done with the material hot or cold.

Metals that are commonly extruded:

* Aluminium is the most commonly extruded material and can be hot or cold extruded
* Brass is used to extrude corrosion free rods, automobile parts, pipe fittings, engineering parts
* Copper pipe, wire, rods, bars, tubes, and welding electrodes
* Lead and tin pipes, wire, tubes, and cable sheathing
* Magnesium is used in aircraft parts and nuclear industry parts, and is about as extrudable as aluminum
* Zinc rods, bars, tubes, hardware components, fittings and handrails
* Steel rods and tracks -Usually plain carbon steel is extruded, but alloy steel and stainless steel can also be extruded
* Titanium is often used in aircraft components including seat tracks, engine rings, and other structural parts.

Clean Metals for Recycling

The cleaner that a metal is when it’s taken into a scrap metal yard to sell, the better price it will fetch per kilo, as foreign matter is costly to clean off, so this product will always be penalised accordingly in terms of the price. By this we mean no concrete, screws, glass, paper or any other foreign material attached.

All the metal we buy is processed by cleaning any non-metallic off it as required, cutting it into smaller pieces, and then it is put through a baling press to maximise the weights for export to South East Asia, where it will be melted down and manufactured into new products.

The Extrusion Process

The process begins by heating the material (for hot or warm extrusion). It is then loaded into the container for pressing. A dummy block is placed behind it where the ram then presses the material to push it out of the die. Afterward, the extrusion is stretched in order to straighten it. If higher quality properties are required then it may be heat treated or cold worked.

Cold extrusion is done at or near room temperature. Advantages of this over hot extrusion are the lack of oxidation, higher strength due to cold working, closer tolerances, good surface finish, and fast extrusion speeds if the material is subject to heat for a short period.

If you are looking for aluminium extrustion recyclers in Brisbane, make sure you visit Frog Metals.

Ten Common Mistakes To Avoid When Selling Your Home

Selling your home isn’t something that you do every day-unless you’re a real estate agent. Over the years I’ve honed my skills in learning what works when it comes to selling your home, as well as what doesn’t.

Fortunately, other people have made these mistakes so that you don’t have to!

1. Ignoring an estate agent’s style tips

We all develop personal connections to our homes, but sometimes those connections mean that it’s hard to see our home through the eyes of a potential buyer. An experienced agent should know how to present your home in a way that will maximise your home’s selling potential.

2. Underestimating the importance of street appeal

First impressions matter, and potential buyers driving past or inspecting your home will take notice of your property’s exterior. In my experience, people buy in the first five seconds and justify throughout the inspection. Make a good impression from the outset and keep up to date with the mowing and weeding!

3 Under-investing in marketing

A targeted, wide-ranging marketing campaign designed to reach as much as possible of your buying audience is essential. Buyers fall into different groups and demographics, and a high quality marketing campaign will reach out effectively to all of these.

4. Not being switched on about going online

In our office, it’s where about 90% of our buyer enquiry comes from. The more you invest here the better. Only a small percentage of buyers look beyond the first page of property search results!

5. Being afraid to commit to a sale price

Committing to a sale price isn’t an easy task, but it’s one that should be a much easier decision when you consider that almost half of all potential buyers will pass over properties with no listed price. Why? It seems too hard, or worse, they fear it will be out of their range. Take the plunge and name a figure.

6. Holding out for a better price

Though it can be tempting to wait for a better offer, the property market doesn’t play by the rules of Who Dares Wins, so think twice before rejecting that initial offer. In my experience, often the first offer is the highest we’ll receive, and almost every record price we achieve comes from an offer made within the first thirty days.

7. Taking offers personally

A low offer on your property is not a reflection on you, or even on your home. Instead, they’re representative of a willingness to commit to opening negotiations. I always encourage vendors to see a low offer as a starting point rather than a final figure.

8. Opting for appointment-only viewings

Although there is the odd exception, for the most part opening your home for inspection is essential to ensure it’s seen by as many potential buyers as possible. We get around 10 times the buyer traffic if it’s open for inspection as opposed to by appointment viewings.

9. Cutting costs when choosing a real estate agent

If you think the best agent is expensive, try hiring the second best & see how much that costs you!

10. Failing to keep up with property maintenance

It’s almost always cheaper to do it yourself than to let the buyer use it as leverage for a price reduction.

I recently sold a home in Aspley where the building and pest report identified multiple maintenance issues at an estimated repair cost of $15k! As expected, the buyer tired for a $15k price reduction. I intervened & re-quoted with a local trusted trade and they seller got the job done for $3k. Fortunately, I managed to salvage the deal without a price reduction. However this could have been avoided or worse the deal could have fallen through.

So call that plumper you’ve been avoiding! For real estate Aspley, contact Justin Watt of Watt Realty today.

Norths Leagues Mackay Is A Great Place For Food, Gaming and Live Entertainment!

Since 1994 Northern Suburbs League Club has been Mackay’s friendliest and most affordable location for great food, fun gaming, excellent company and weekly live entertainment. With membership available for only $5 for adults and $2.75 for pensioners it offers excellent value for money whether you are eating, enjoying the pokies or listening to one of the clubs regular live bands.

There is an excellent range of gaming options so if you enjoy pokie machines, poker with your mates, or trying your luck at Kino you can do it all at the Northern Suburbs League Club. Saturday and Friday nights at the club feature regular popular live local bands and entertainers along with great food and drink specials. For those members who may not have access to transport getting to the club isn’t a problem. A courtesy bus for members is run almost all days subject to conditions.

Discover more about why over 3,500 people have already joined Northern Suburbs League Club below.

Eating Options at North Suburbs League Club

People might join Northern Suburbs League Club for the company and to support their club but many stay for the food. The food at Northern Suburbs League Club is delicious, includes generous serving sizes and won’t break the bank. Special meal deals are run each month which include additional extras that provide even better value.

Popular regular special meals include Thursdays special steak dinner for only $14.95, Fish Friday for lunch and breakfast, the Club’s Cavery Sunday meal which includes a free glass of wine, beer or your favorite soft drink and Saturdays Vegas meal deal which includes dinner and a free $5 pokie money. Kino lovers won’t want to miss the free $1 quick pick that is provided with every steak meal purchased on Tuesday steak night. The club also runs happy hour from 4pm – 6pm weekdays with great prices on drinks.

Gaming at Norths Mackay features a great range of gaming options including pokies, keno, bingo, raffles and poker. The clubs popular pokie machines are available for use by the members any day of the week. In July the Club is running its highly popular meal deal vouchers. For every $75 payout on the pokie’s member receive a free meal deal voucher which is redeemable for lunch or dinner on Wednesday and Saturday. Saturday afternoon also features the clubs meat tray raffle from 12 – 2pm.

Other regular gaming options include; Friday morning Bingo from 9.30 am – 11.30 am, Spin the Wheel is on Wednesday night from 7pm – 8pm. For members who have missed on their TAB winners, there is the lucky loser draw on Saturday from 1pm – 3pm and a mega multi raffle on Friday evening. For members who favour poker there is the opportunity to take part in the Tuesdays 888 poker league which runs from 7.30pm onwards. Finally Sunday features the Red Hot triple reward points for those members who enjoy trying their luck on the clubs pokie machines.

Weekly Entertainment at Northern Suburbs League Club

Gaming, food and good company are not the only attractions available at Northern Suburbs League club. No evening out is complete without some good live music at the Club features acts each week. Live music usually available on either Saturday or Friday evening at the club. With popular favourites like Al’s Rock & Roll, Cameron Cusak and Warren Kearney Northern Suburbs League Club is a great place to kick back, enjoy a drink and listen to some great tunes.

Special Birthday Draw

Finally when you join the Northern Suburbs League Club at reception be sure to ask about the special birthday offer. Every member of Northern Suburbs League Club is entered into a special $1,000 prize draw during their birthday month. The draw takes place on the last Thursday of each month. All members are also eligible for one free birthday meal as a way of saying thanks for being supporting the Northern Suburbs League Club.

Finding out more about Northern Suburbs League Club

If you want to find out more about the Northern Suburbs Club or have questions about membership you can contact the club manager Wayne Percy by telephone or complete the email form which can be found on the clubs website. Alternatively visit reception at the club and they can answer any questions you may have or provide you with membership forms.