Canberra auction market produces near-record sales

The robust Canberra home auction market continues to strengthen, producing near-record results for May sellers.
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Canberra recorded an overall home auction clearance rate over May of 70.1 per cent, which was well ahead of the 66.3 per cent reported over the previous month and significantly higher than the 61.5 per cent recorded over May last year. The May result was the second highest on record for that month and just behind the 73.7 per cent reported over May 2017.

Canberra recorded a median auction price of $721,000 over May, which was 1.5 per cent higher than the $710,000 recorded over April and 7.6 per cent higher than the $670,000 recorded over May 2016.

Belconnen was the top performing Canberra auction region over May, with a clearance rate of 80.5 per cent and also the highest sales at 62. Next highest was Canberra Central, with 72.5 per cent, followed by Gungahlin 70.6 per cent, Woden Valley 69.4 per cent, Tuggeranong 59.5 per cent and Weston Creek 47.6 per cent.

Next week the Reserve Bank will convene for its regular monthly meeting to determine the direction of official interest rates over June. Although the Bank is more likely to leave rates on hold again at the record low rate of 1.5 per cent, the odds are narrowing for a near-term cut given the continuing underperformance of the national economy.

Although the national jobless rate has improved, underemployment remains a challenge in a continuing low incomes growth economy. This is predictably being reflected recently in declining retail sales with ABS data recording latest trend growth at the lowest levels in nearly five years.

Planned residential building is also declining, with ABS building approvals down by 4.6 per cent this year so far compared to the same period last year.

And, most sobering, the national economy may record yet another quarter of negative growth over March, following the decline recorded over the previous September quarter. Surely this will offset the recent focus by the Bank on the direction of Sydney house prices.

Dr Andrew Wilson is Domain Group chief economist. Twitter: @DocAndrewWilson Join on LinkedIn and Facebook at MyHousingMarket.

Soccer a cultural bridge builder says Victorian Premier

At a time of increasing community tensions, the rise of identity politics and fear of “the other”, could soccer play a stronger role in bridging the gaps that are now appearing in society?
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It’s a fascinating idea, loosely promulgated by Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews this week when he addressed a South Melbourne soccer club function honouring their relationship with the great Brazilian footballer Roberto Carlos.

Using soccer as a vehicle for togetherness might sound simplistic at best, naive and idealistic at worst. It would certainly not be a substitute for education, economic and integration policies designed to help newcomers assimilate into this country with an easier transition than they often manage.

But in a nation such as , made up of myriad ethnic, national and religious groups, the global game at least has a reach and currency that few other things do.

Almost every immigrant – whether they are a refugee from the Middle East, a new arrival from Africa or South America in search of a better life, or someone coming from Asia, Europe or North America for career or business development – will have either played, watched or at least know about soccer.

In my travels – and not just covering the game – I have found it to be the lingua franca of the street, a sort of global sporting esperanto.

That for me was never better exemplified than in New York 20 years ago when I got chatting, in a somewhat fractured way, with a cab driver. I found out that he came from Haiti, and when I told him I remembered Emmanuel Sanon scoring the opening goal for Haiti in a game against Italy in the 1974 World Cup (the Azzuri went on to win 3-1) his face lit and we became firm friends for the duration of the journey.

Andrews stressed the role that soccer has already played in in integrating millions of post-war migrants, helping them establish an identity and a community in a city they were unfamiliar with, adding greatly to the diversity and cultural mix in return.

The Premier is pushing South Melbourne’s case for inclusion in the A-League – a campaign that has been going on for several years now – but rather than concentrate on the football or economic benefits that the traditional clubs can provide if they get a seat at the top table of the game, Andrews talked of the role that those clubs, and the game, has already played in creating the of today.

“You go back 50-60 years and you think about our capital city and our state, and indeed our nation, much more broadly,” Andrew said.

“We didn’t celebrate our cultural diversity, we didn’t know what multiculturalism was. We barely knew what football was. We had a very black and white view of what defined us and almost an intolerance to things that were a little bit different.”

Soccer had played a key role in changing for the better, Andrews told the crowd, helping provide immigrant communities a hub, through clubs and social values, where they could find their feet in a new environment but also retain some of the cultural values which would enrich the broader n society.

“Trailblazers, leaders just like the South Melbourne Football Club not only provided an option for all of those who came to Melbourne (and) Victoria after the war to build a better life for themselves and their family, and in so doing to build a better state for all of us and a better for the future.

“It wasn’t always easy. In fact, it was very difficult at times. And we look at, all these decades later, football, the beautiful game, has never been in a stronger position than it is right now – and that is not due to big TV rights deals, it’s not due to the money that’s in this game.

“It’s due to the hard work of clubs like South Melbourne and others never forgetting where they came from, never forgetting their critical purpose to unite and celebrate and to pass on values and learnings to the younger generation, to pass on culture, to be part of the community, to define what a modern, multicultural, inclusive, sport-mad Victoria and Melbourne was all about.”

Okay, Andrews might be said to be playing to the gallery somewhat given the nature of the event and the constituency he was addressing, but he could have taken a much blander line and merely soft-soaped for a minute or two before enjoying dinner and the highlights package accompanying some truly extraordinary Roberto Carlos goals.

Soccer certainly can’t build all the bridges required to bring in disaffected and disengaged parts of the community, but it can help as a pathway, particularly for young men who often find themselves alienated in a new environment.

The Roberto Carlos visit was largely a PR stunt, but the fact that they could attract a player of his standing to come out and then draw a big crowd to the Palladium at Crown at short notice for an expensive dinner says a lot about South’s latent supporter base and standing.

It is one of several Victorian bids – rivals from south-east Melbourne and from Geelong are also throwing their hats in the ring – for a spot in an expanded A-League, or at the very least in a national second division.

There is some prejudice against the club because of its Greek heritage and a perception of arrogance about its belief that it should be among the game’s elite, but that doesn’t worry its leaders, especially Bill Papastergiadis, a Melbourne lawyer who is heading up its A-League bid.

While some fans are concerned that its claims of exceptionalism could hurt its bid, Papastergiadis is happy to celebrate South’s successful past and its great historical record.

It does have some significant factors in its favour, not the least a 40-year lease on the newly-refurbished Lakeside Stadium and the newly-finished social club at the venue.

Papastergiadis remains optimistic that finances will not be a problem, saying that the terms of its long-term lease deal mean South could break even with crowds of just 1500 at A-League games, although he is confident that gates would be 10 times higher.

Will they be successful? That is in the hands of the FFA. But it won’t be for lack of government good wishes, anyway.

Three arguments against light rail in Canberra

Socrates, the champion who examined life, thought democracy was ”The least bad system available”. Fighting from within the system, however, he described the role of the individual as ”a gadfly on the rear end of a noble and sluggish horse”. The noble horse that this columnist gadfly wishes to bite the backside of has unfortunately already bolted. And what horse is this? Having driven Northbourne Avenue recently I completely lost my bearings; the little visual clues from the vanished micro urban forest in the centre of the road had, at a stroke, been sacrificed on the high altar of our gleaming new light rail network.
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Although one part of me strongly supports the notion that the disadvantages of a decentralised, spread out urban area are tremendous, and the environmental damage of urban sprawl cannot be ignored, I would like to make three main points in an argument against the light rail being the best vehicle to save us from walking backwards into this chaos.

The first point takes a belated round arm swipe at Capital Metro’s economic viability. A ”Deep Throat”, inside source, and former senior member of the government who had their hands all over the ACT budget, described the expenditure on the light rail “fiscal suicide”. He said that if you were to compare the expenditure to one made by the federal budget it would be equivalent to three to 10 times the cost of rolling out the costs of the NBN. As with individuals, governments have a limited cheque-book and it begs the question, is the light rail the next best thing for us to spend more than $1 billion on? My feeling is that this level of expenditure is akin to living in government-assisted housing and blowing your dough on a Ferrari.

For the second point imagine you are an alien in a spaceship looking at Canberra from above and trying to work out where the centre is? Our green man may logically conclude that the locus is somewhere between the Braddon and Dickson. Scientists say Europe and America are physically moving apart either side of a trench in the Atlantic ocean at about the pace your fingernail grows, although ideologically it appears somewhat quicker in recent times. It seems to me as if the centre of Canberra is similarly on a tectonic plate sliding carelessly and inexplicably northwards away from our most beautiful ”almost natural” feature, Lake Burley Griffin. Only a short time ago we were being soft peddled the virtues of the City to the Lake initiative with the West Basin being activated. The urban fabric between it and the current city centre was to be revitalised with pedestrian links, parks, a conference centre and potentially a stadium. Is this not a better use of resources than seeking to get a couple of thousand people from Gungahlin to the centre of Civic moments quicker? The rub is that we don’t suffer from peak hours but merely peak minutes and you actually don’t need a light rail to increase urban density along the Northbourne corridor, just a few changes to the planning codes.

Thirdly, in the way that the stagecoach lost out to the canal, which lost out to railways in the Industrial Revolution which in turn lost out to the car, it is not reasonable argument that the light rail will very soon become a technology of the past? Just about every time you turn the television or leaf through an in-flight magazine (???ah! ”publishing”, another disappearing technology) there appears an article about the oncoming tsunami which is the driverless car. We are a gas-guzzling town whose design is predicated on a rolled gold road system, second to none. Would not a serious investment in the technologies of the future be a better bet than laying down inflexible, suburb-skipping pathways for an iron horse?

As I watch the backside of the metaphorical horse bolting down our now denuded grand boulevard I wonder whether I have mistaken the prancing stallion for a white elephant? History has shown in places such as Copenhagen everyone is an ”urban guerrilla” and can take a city by stealth and intervention. This little gadfly has the same notion.

Tony Trobe is director of the local practice TT Architecture. Is there a planning or design issue in Canberra you’d like to discuss? Email [email protected]苏州夜总会招聘.au

Housing affordability solutions require everyone at table

There is no doubt that housing affordability is at the top of agenda for governments and the communities they represent and it is timely to discuss what the role of the private sector is in tackling housing affordability.
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Often it is the private sector who is asked to do the heavy lifting in delivery of the product for purchase and for rent. But we can’t do it alone. Policy settings must enable developers to deliver what is needed.

The property sector is at the housing affordability table, but it’s not our sole responsibility to fix the diverse social and economic issues that pertain to this issue. But we do want to help deliver on affordable housing targets and, more than that – we know we can do it well and reconceive the notion of ”affordable product”.

There are countless examples of innovative affordable housing models. We have our own members in new suburbs in Denman Prospect and Ginninderry delivering it right now. And it isn’t about building the cheapest one-bedroom unit possible. It is about the ability to be innovative in design, leverage flexibility under planning controls and removal of disincentives to development – coupled with supply of land – that will deliver desirable and diverse housing types.

What is needed is a true understanding that nobody can fix affordability on their own. We all need to be at the table to find the solutions that create the impetus to deliver what is needed. This is the only way to meet our communities’ most fundamental of needs in a way that creates the capacity for everyone to thrive.

The Property Council is holding a forum on housing affordability to bring the government, property and community sectors together to discuss the challenges. Tickets are available here www.propertycouncil苏州夜总会招聘.au/EventDetail?EventKey=ADL130617

Adina Cirson is the ACT Executive Director of the Property Council of .

Brazil at Lakeside means South men and women on the move

Neymar – and several of his big name team-mates – may be no-shows for the MCG blockbuster with Argentina next week.
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But the man widely regarded as the world’s best player, Lionel Messi, and his Argentina colleagues will spend the week training in Melbourne ahead of Friday night’s big clash, the second game in a mouth-watering triple treat for soccer fans over the next week and a half.

Brazil is using South Melbourne’s Lakeside venue as a training base while they are here for the games against their traditional South American rivals and also the Socceroos, who they face on Tuesday week, also at the MCG.

The Socceroos are rather pre-occupied with a match of far greater significance themselves later this week as they prepare in Adelaide for Thursday night’s crucial World Cup qualifier with Saudi Arabia at the Adelaide Oval.

Ange Postecoglou’s squad has been arriving piecemeal in the South n capital for a game which could determine whether they get a saloon passage to the World Cup in Russia or have to earn their spot in the finals the hard way by coming through continental and then intercontinental play offs.

If they fail to beat the Saudis their chances of securing one of the top two spots and automatic qualification will be difficult: if they can take three points, then four points from their final two matches – away to Japan and at home against Thailand – should see them through.

The -Brazil game will be the team’s final hit out before they head off to the Confederations Cup for tough games against Chile, Germany and Cameroon over the following two weeks.

Brazil’s presence at Lakeside means that both South’s NPL team and its Womens NPL side cannot train or play home games at the Albert Park venue.

As a result South will play one of their traditional blockbuster games, against former NSL side Heidelberg, at AAMI Park next Sunday, June 11, while their Women’s NPL side will play the curtain raiser against Alamain FC in the first ever Women’s NPL fixture to be played at the venue.

Females are no strangers to AAMI Park as both Melbourne Victory and Melbourne City women have played at the ground in the W-League, City winning their first ever Grand Final there in 2016.

Still, the government is pumping up the occasion, sport minister John Eren saying: “It’s a great chance for fans to see Matildas captain Lisa De Vanna in action … also on show will be high-profile national and international talent such as Alexandra Gummer, Alex Cheal, Caitlin Doeglas, Amy Jackson, Erin Hudson and Young Matildas international stars Melina Ayres and Ashleigh Lefevre.”

* Fans that purchase tickets to the double-header will go into the draw to win a VIP experience for four people to the Socceroos v Brazil match on Tuesday 13 June, including MCG pitch side access during the team warm-up.

Auction watch: Hot start to the winter season

What’s in store for the hot Canberra property market this winter?Renovation lifts architect’s Deakin home to new levelAuction watch: Fierce competition for Hackett house with potential
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A frosty start to the winter season failed to take the heat out of the Canberra property market.

An architect’s own house in Deakin was the biggest sale of the day, selling under the hammer for $2.2 million.

Number 23 Gawler Crescent attracted more than 100 groups to inspections and seven parties registered to bid for the five-bedroom property.

LJ Hooker Manuka principal Stephen Thompson said owner-architect Alastair McCallum had completely transformed the home.

“He had the vision that other people didn’t and put a lot of thought into the design,” Mr Thompson said.

The McCallums added a modern extension to the front of the 1940s red brick home.

Newly created living areas progress from formal entertaining at the entrance to casual family spaces at the heart of the home.

Mr Thompson accepted an opening bid of $1.5 million, which climbed quickly in $50,000 and $100,000 increments to $1.9 million. Bidding continued in smaller increments before stalling at $2.1 million.

Mid-auction negotiations with the vendor and highest bidder secured the $2.2 million sale.

Five of the seven registered parties placed a bid.

Mr Thompson said the result reflected the strength of the market.

“It’s the first auction day of winter and those thinking of selling in spring should move now,” he said.

“It’s more about the economic climate than the seasons.”

Mr Thompson said demand was outstripping supply in the tightly held inner south.

The Deakin house was the only property auctioned in the inner south this weekend.

A five-bedroom house at 18 Tennyson Crescent in Forrest was set to go under the hammer on Sunday.

It was snapped up prior to auction for $3.5 million through Luton Properties Woden agents Anthony McCormack and Anthony Weston.

Saturday’s clearance rate of 72.5 per cent was a slight drop from last week 78 per cent, according to Domain Group data.

See the entire list of auction results here.

18 Tennyson Crescent sold for $3.5 million prior to auction.Photo: Supplied

NPL: Valentine edge out 10-man Lake Macquarie to climb ladder

Valentine ensured they will sit second after round 13 of the Northern NSW National Premier League with a 1-0 win over a 10-man Lake Macquarie at Cahill Oval on Saturday.
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Jalon Brown

American import Jalon Brown scored a fortunate goal in the 75thminute when his strike was deflected over the head of Roosters goalkeeper Benn Kelly by an attempted block from Corey Fletcher.

Lake Macquarie were down to 10 men in the 63rd minute when defender Matt Toohey was shown a second yellow card for a foul on Brown.

Genuine chances were few and fair between in a scrappy affair which left Lake Macquarie in fifth place on 16 points, two outside the top four ahead of the rest of round 13 on Sunday.

The win took Valentine from third to first on 25 points with plus eight goals. They will be second by the end of the round because Edgeworth (24 points, + 14) and Lambton Jaffas (23, +9) are due to face off on Sunday at Jack McLaughlan Oval.

Valentine coach Darren Sills believed his side deserved the win.

“It was a scrappy goal but I think they had a total of two shots the whole game, possibly,” Sills said.

“And one was from 40 yards out. Ourkeeper did nothing and we had a lot of possession.

“I think we had a couple of chances, and Jalon should have scored in the first half. We had a couple of other chances and it was a scrapfest towards the finish, but I think we definitely deserved the three points.

“The goal was from a massive deflection but you’ve got to be in those areas to score and we got in plenty of times. We’re just really happy with the three points.

“We weren’t winning those games last year.”

Lake Macquarie coach Anthony Richards did not believe the second yellow against Toohey was a foul.

“Itchanged the game and made it difficult for us but it is what it is and I think our guys did terrific to keep going,” Richards said.

He said his side “didn’t do enough going forward” but defended well.

“Without threatening too much, they probably had the better of it, without too many clear-cut chances, and going a man down with half-hour to go didn’t make it any easier,” he said.

“I thought we deserved at least a draw out of it.”

Also Sunday, Hamilton play Adamstown at Darling Street Oval, Charlestown are away toMaitland at Cooks Square Park and Broadmeadow travel to Weston Park.

‘Betrayed’: Couple’s hopes dashed after forking out $10,000

Mitch Van Oosten is an aspiring engineer, married his n wife last year and looked forward to paying his way through n tax system. Now, the 24-year-old is looking down the barrel of taking his wife home to Canada after the Turnbull government’s visa changes for permanent residents.
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He is one of 31,000 permanent residents at n universities who will have their benefits stripped and be slugged with thousands of dollars in extra fees under the federal government’s higher education reforms, leaving many considering their future, and businesses and universities fuming.

“We had some tears on budget night,” Mr Van Oosten said. “We feel betrayed.”

“I’m an immigrant and I understand that we don’t get the same rights as n citizens but it’s not as though it doesn’t affect ns. My wife is a proud n and now she has to think about moving out of the country.”

After forking out $10,000 in visa fees, the Canberra resident had planned on completing his engineering degree at the n National University.

Those hopes have now been dashed by the prospect of paying tens of thousands of dollars more for his education as part of a claw back that will see more than $1.5 billion in fees returned to government coffers.

Under changes from federal Education Minister Simon Birmingham permanent residents will no longer be able to access a subsided Commonwealth Supported Place, but will be able to defer the cost of their degree, worth up to $50,000 more, through a HECS loan.

“There is strong evidence that we need to get the costs of higher education under control, that universities are capable of making a contribution and that our student loans program must be made more sustainable,” Mr Birmingham said when he announced the budget measure.

But former Liberal leader John Hewson has labelled Mr Van Oosten “collateral damage”.

The economist has delivered a scathing assessment of the government’s policy, claiming the Coalition has bowed to anti-immigration sentiment and its determination to take money out of universities threatens our future economic prosperity.

“You get this complex mix of political considerations that end up with a decision that they haven’t thought through properly,” Dr Hewson told Mr Oosten at an ANU event in May. “You are the collateral damage of that decision.”

Businesses have lashed out at the changes. Accounting giant KPMG has pointed to a drought in highly skilled technical workers putting a drag on the economy that will only be exacerbated under the new measures, which include widespread changes to 457 visas for skilled workers.

The firm said the 457 changes would cause widespread uncertainty for business.

“This move does not align with ‘s stated commitment to increasing innovation and causes uncertainty for foreign companies considering investing or doing business here,” KPMG immigration practice national leader Michael Wall said following the announcement of the new scheme. !function(e,t,s,i){var n=”InfogramEmbeds”,o=e.getElementsByTagName(“script”),d=o[0],r=/^http:/.test(e.location)?”http:”:”https:”;if(/^\/{2}/.test(i)&&(i=r+i),window[n]&&window[n].initialized)window[n].process&&window[n].process();else if(!e.getElementById(s)){var a=e.createElement(“script”);a.async=1,,a.src=i,d.parentNode.insertBefore(a,d)}}(document,0,”infogram-async”,”//”);

Mr Van Oosten’s wife, who asked not to be named out of concern for her ongoing employment, said the restrictions would also drive away potential talented migrants who had yet to decide about coming to .

Last year took in more than 190,000 people through its permanent migration program.

“I know so many people who I have spoken to who wanted to contribute to the economy, who have decided it’s just too hard to move to together and now they are taking their skills, their work and their tax to another country,” she said.

The sentiment is echoed by Dr Hewson.

“One of the greatest assets we have is a genuine multicultural society,” he said.

“The government should be on the front foot to try to start defending it, rather than running back and trying to minimise damage.”

Macquarie and Cessnock score big wins in Newcastle Rugby League

KURRI Kurri coach Ron Griffiths lamented the lack of effort and desire from his side as they conceded 26 points in the first half en route to a 40-14 loss to Macquarie on Saturday in Newcastle Rugby League.
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Scott Briggs was a key man for Macquarie on Saturday.

The sixth-placed Bulldogs, missing key playersTerence Seu Seu and Mick Steel on Old Boys’ Day,had no answer to the third-placed Scorpions at Kurri Kurri Sportsground in the round seven game.

Fullback Mitch Manson scored in the sixth minute after an offload from Matt Geoffrey, Blake Gallen put Tye Alchin over in the 25th, Chris Hyde went through poor try-line defence in the 28thand Scott Briggs combined with Manson to hand Nathan Cantor a try in the 31st.

Briggs kicked a penalty goal for 26-0 after the half-time siren following a swinging arm, head-high tackle on Manson by Kurri centre Tyme Dow-Nikau.

Royce Geoffrey made it 30-0 in the 58thminute before Bulldogs winger Mark Walker crossed twice and fullback Jarom Haines scored to make it 30-14 with 10 minutes remaining.

Macquarie responded with tries fromTeason Faa’vae-Eli and Andrew Sumner.

Griffiths was disappointed with the first-half effort in defence.

“There was no desire,” Griffiths said.

“I challenged them after last week’s game about their desire in defence and it certainly went missing in the first half today. Not by everyone, but by too many.”

The coach, though, was happy with the response in the second half.

“They were extremely clinical in the first half,” he said of the Scorpions.

“They are pretty fair unit and they’ve been together for a while, and played in the last two grand finals, but what we spoke about at half-time was just coming up with 40 minutes of effort, which we haven’t done.

“I was extremely proud of how they fought back, although it does not excuse the first 40 when there was a sheer lack of effort.”

Macquarie coach Adam Bettridge said his side were focused on starting strong.

“We set it up with that first half, and we’d spoken about it before the game, taking the crowd out of it and the old boys, and we thought if we got some early points we’d have success doing that,” Bettridge said.

“Credit to the boys, they did that. We lost our way there for 10 minutes in the second half, but got back to the job and finished off strong.”

He saidforwards in Brad Russell and Alchin “offered us great impact off the bench,but the show was controlled by Scotty Briggs, he was pretty good again today and that’s a few good ones in a row for him now.”

“They showed their class today and their discipline’s improved,” he said of his side.

“They are a lot more mature side from when I was out there three years ago, so it’s really good. It was a good day today.”

At Cessnock Sportsground, the Goannas defeated Lakes 34-0 with tries toChris Pyne, Haimona Hiroti, Marvin Filipo, Brendan Hlad, Jake Watts andBlake Andrews.

On Sunday, Maitland play Wests at Harker Oval andCentral take on Souths at St John Oval.

US warns of ‘most urgent threat’ to China’s regional security

US Secretary of Defence James Mattis has warned North Korea is the “most urgent threat” to ‘s regional security and foreshadowed an increased US defence force presence in the Asia-Pacific region as he prepared to land in Sydney on Monday.
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Mr Mattis praised Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull for his “dogmatic pragmatism” and his optimism to challenges in the region, before meetings with Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop, Defence Minister Marise Payne and US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson next week.

Mr Mattis signalled the military aggression of the North Korean regime would be a central part of discussions in , warning the “current situation cannot continue”.

“North Korea’s particular pursuit of nuclear weapons is not new but the regime has increased the scope and pace of its efforts,” he said at the Shangri La Dialogue in Singapore. “It’s nuclear weapons maturing is a threat to us all.”

Mr Mattis said North Korea had a clear intention of acquiring intercontinental missiles.

“The era of strategic patience is over,” he said. “There is a strong international consensus that the current situation cannot continue.”

Mr Mattis said the Trump administration would increase diplomatic and economic pressure until Pyongyang permanently abandoned its ballistic missile program.

On Friday, the UN Security Council voted to increase sanctions against North Korea after a series of missile launches. The council instigated asset freezes on 14 North Korean officials and the national Koryo Bank.

Speaking after Mr Mattis in Singapore, Senator Payne said would work closely with the US to “increase the cost of North Korea’s behaviour”.

In strong comments on China, Mr Mattis condemned it for its ongoing territorial expansion in the South China Sea while also hinting at a closer strategic relationship with Taiwan.

Asked by a general of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army in the audience if this meant the US was abandoning the “one China policy,” which treats China and Taiwan as one country, Mr Mattis denied this was the case.

He said while competition between the US and China was bound to occur, “conflict is not inevitable”.

On Friday, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull addressed the dialogue and also took aim at China, warning a “coercive China would find its neighbours resenting [it]” over its expansion in the South China Sea.

Mr Turnbull said would not use the US alliance to “abrogate our responsibility for our own destiny” and that the “United States’ own interests in the Indo-Pacific demand more US engagement, not less”.

He also urged leaders to “reject the de-globalisation impulse,” in what could be seen as a criticism of some of the US administration’s more isolationist policies, after the US withdrawal from the Paris accord and the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal.

Mr Mattis said while the TPP “didn’t suit the needs of our population”, it did not mean the US was turning its back on bilateral trade.

“What a crummy world we would live in if we all retreated into our own countries,” he said.

Mr Mattis said the Prime Minister’s speech reminded the world that “large nations, small nations and even shrimps” can thrive in robust relationships but that every country needed to contribute more to their security, drawing on similar comments by US President Donald Trump at NATO this week.

Before talks with Ms Bishop and Senator Payne on Monday, Mr Mattis said the Trump administration would expand the Department of Defence’s footprint in the Asia Pacific and “strengthen US operational capability in the region”.

With David Wroe