Their portfolio also includes a $3.5 million, four-bedroom, three-bathroom manse they picked up last year close to the famous Portsea Hotel.

In September the qualified solicitor placed a caveat on a Brighton home owned by Megan Macaw, wife of former stockbroker-about-town Stephen Macaw. The price for the six-bedroom property is yet to be revealed. The Macaws have had a tough year after Macaw left his role at establishment stockbrokers EL&C Baillieu in February when the corporate finance head fell victim to an embarrassing corporate sting. He was caught on tape boasting about his role in the company and dissing his boss. Alas, the whole thing was an apparent set-up with the “wealthy Arab investor” suspected of being an actor.

Air supply

When chef Denis Hagger, who closed his 25 Toorak Rd restaurant in South Yarra last year, decided to open a French-style rotisserie in Toorak Village, it seemed like a great idea.

The modest 10-seater restaurant on the site of an old bakery would cater for the growing appetite for upmarket pre-prepared takeaway food.

Hagger agreed to fork out for a three-year $45,000-a-year lease.

There was just one vital ingredient missing: gas.

The property had never had it, but it seemed straightforward to get AGL to connect it.

That was way back in September.

Hagger says AGL lost his application, causing him to miss his mid-November opening deadline.

“At my age I don’t get hot under the collar any more but I get so frustrated,” Hagger lamented. That was, until he contacted the Energy & Water Ombudsman Victoria.

“Now I have my own man at AGL who rings me almost every day.”

Hagger, who sold his Maison Maldon Gourmet Retreat during the pandemic, will concentrate on catering gigs over Christmas and open in the new year.

AGL said it was “working closely with all parties to resolve the issue as quickly as possible”.

UPDATE: Hagger said he received a call from AGL last week asking if he would like to make a media statement about how happy he was with its services. He declined.

Off again on again

Ten months after it was postponed indefinitely, the troublesome preselection battle for the federal seat of Menzies is back on.

The race between Liberal veteran Kevin Andrews and barrister Keith Wolahan was delayed in March as the COVID-19 pandemic raged and organisers realised more than 170 of the 300 registered delegates were aged over 70. Since then Andrews has been swept up in a Liberal Party branch-stacking scandal. The Finance Department investigated his office after allegations electoral officers employed there worked as party political staff, a potential breach of the law, but concluded there was not a sufficient basis to form a view that there was serious misuse of Commonwealth resources.

Also, Colour Code, a Get Up community group, is campaigning to blast Andrews out of the seat he has held for nearly 30 years.

Which sets the scene nicely for Sunday, January 31, at the Heidelberg Town Hall, unless party director Sam McQuestin again feels the need to reschedule.

Already Peaked

Kym Peake’s resignation as Department of Health and Human Services secretary “to pursue other opportunities” after the quarantine fiasco has had a knock-on effect.

Peake’s defenestration for refusing to accept blame at the state’s hotel quarantine inquiry has forced major changes to the Victorian branch of the Institute of Public Administration Australia, where Peake had been president for two years and a board member for seven.

But tradition dictates that the office of president be held by a departmental secretary, and after her resignation Peake no longer fitted the bill.

Chief executive David Ali paid tribute, saying Peake was “passionate about the advancement of the public purpose professions reflecting her own innate belief that these professions are the noblest and most rewarding of vocations”. Not sure she still feels the same way after counsel assisting the inquiry said she has been falsely selling a narrative of “harmonious co-operation and collaboration”.

Days after her resignation, the IPAA branch elected John Bradley (secretary, Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning) to the board, which then voted him president.

He will host a farewell event for Peake early next year.

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