Friday, June 09, 2006

For all the late starters, a quick recap on what’s happening here.
Classified advertising has lived next to the heart and soul of publishing, for centuries on paper, now also on the web.
News gatherers feed the news and feature mills with story leads from classified advertising but usually fail to acknowledge the source of their inspiration. I have written at length about this elsewhere on this blog.
During my sentence in chains at the coalface of mainstream and traditional publishing, I tried to get an editor or two to make a policy to use the tag, "The lead for this story came from our classified advertising."
Readers would be amazed at how often such a credit would appear. The suggestion drew those sickly smiles that say "next subject". That’s how many journalists react to any suggestion their profession owes a debt to "the Classies".
Now, it’s off the hobby horse and on to today’s post from the Classie Corner archives, giving an insight into the lives of the rich and famous on the Gold Coast.
This column appeared in the Tweed Daily News about five years ago but I don’t expect things have changed much.
GEE, it would be nice to be some people. Like certain cashed-up buyers of modern canalfront homes.
Wouldn’t it be nice to walk into a home for which you’ve just paid a bigger sum than the standard first division lotto prize and say, "Rip the guts out of it – replace the lot – kitchen, bathroom, windows, doors"?
Envious types like me can always take consolation by hopping on to the end of the chain for a flow-on benefit by buying top quality secondhand building materials.
Hinterland Salvage proprietor David Martin has seen luxury homes just five years old receive total update after "the lady says ‘I don’t like it’.’’
"Renovation is a really big thing in this area," says David, who took over the Nerang business about two and a half years ago.
David keeps Daily News readers up to date with the lifestyle of the rich but not always famous prestige property owners through his regular "specials" in the Checkout Classifieds.
The view we get may often be of the things the rich do not like (any more) but beauty is in the eye of the beholder when it comes to recycled materials.
One of the hottest items David put on the market has been a white powder-coated aluminium gazebo that came from the canal front.
Jaws dropped when David and his four-member team put the gazebo on show at the firm’s Brendan Drive yard.
"I could have sold it 15 times," he says.
Flashy garden goods aside, Hinterland Salvage has a big range of many materials waiting to cycle into a new life.
The list includes coloured glass for leadlighting, hundreds of windows, whole kitchens (sometimes, solid tassie oak), rangehoods, old hoop pine, plywood and chipboard sheets, roofing iron and guttering, security screens … add anything to do with building.
David, a commercial pilot, does not regret his move from the Riverina where he had a business dusting rice crops for about 12 years.
"I wanted a change of pace and it’s good here," he says. "I meet a lot of interesting people."
David says that because the Coast was a quiet spot basically until the 60s a lot of the locally recycled product is fairly recent.
But the firm runs two trucks, which often head for Brisbane to get some of the older materials. He also has storage on acreage so if the yard cannot meet a buyer’s needs he may already have the right item elsewhere.
One of my first questions was, "Do you ever get any cedar?"
David: "I haven’t got much at the moment but it’s surprising with things like that; you might get a run on it for two months or so.
"It comes and goes."
I’ll keep watching David’s ads for the latest news on secondhand timber including my pet species, the one that started the Aussie timber industry when my ancestors had those funny arrows on their shirts.
You can watch for an insight into what the rich, sometimes for mysterious reasons, do not like.

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