TOPICS: Cardiff siblings in Opal card ads

SPOTTED: Ellia and Xavier Bertoncello, front, of Cardiff Heights, in an ad for the Opal Card.SPEAKING of the Opal Card (Topics, September 23), if you’ve hopped on a train, bus or ferry recently there’s a good chance you’ll recognise Ellia and Xavier Bertoncello.

The Cardiff Heights siblings are all over the advertising for the Opal, appearing on posters from Newcastle to the Illawarra.

‘‘We’ve spotted them at Broadmeadow station, and at Circular Quay on the ferries,’’ their proud mum, Emma, tells Topics.

‘‘They’ve been recognised quite a bit.’’

Eleven-year-old Ellia and Xavier, 9, who appear in the advertising with actors playing their ‘‘fake parents’’, have been in kids’ catalogues and ads for Charlestown Square and the Sydney Royal Easter Show.

Xavier was in Vogue last November, and is part of the under-9 Emerging Jets program, while we hear Ellia is a bit of a gun at ballet.

HEIGHT OF INNOVATION: Car stackers, increasingly common overseas, can now be found in Newcastle.

YOU know how everyone’s been a bit glum the past 25 years because – despite them appearing in Back to the Future Part II – you can’t go to the shops and buy a hoverboard?

Well, this nearly makes up for it. The future might actually be here. Newcastle, allow us to present what we think is Newcastle’s first car stacker.

A space inside a stacking system comes with a flat in the new development at 44-46 Watt Street, a perk designed to counter the nightmare of inner-city parking.

The $3.7million restoration of the building includes a four-storey, 27-space stacker backing on to the old Steels Garage.

Stackers that allow cars to be parked one on top of the other have been common in Japan and Europe since the early 2000s, but are only now appearing in the Hunter.

The Watt Street stacker is a Hercules Life and Slide model which, according to the brochure, ‘‘allows parking of two to six cars in one space’’.

Which makes a nice change from the Newcastle custom of parking one car across two spaces.

YOU’VE got to be multi-skilled in any job these days, laments Bob of Tingira Heights.

Bob was flicking through the ads in yesterday’s Herald when he found a Wanted for a chef in a nursery cafe.

The employer wanted applicants with the usual qualities; communication skills, leadership, able to start immediately.

Then it got to the matter of experience.

‘‘Must be experienced in all areas of hospitality including front of house and barrister.’’

Bob reckons it’s rough that a chef needs a law degree.

‘‘Perhaps they are installing a bar or think they might need legal advice,’’ he says.

‘‘Maybe a barista would be more suited.’’

Joel Fitzgibbon in parliament (with Clive Palmer). On Tuesday Joel became Speaker Bronwyn Bishop’s No 200 ejection from parliament. Go Joel.

AND there it was. In Parliament yesterday, Speaker Bronwyn Bishop kicked out her 200th MP – and it was the Member for the Hunter.

Amid opposition protests, Joel Fitzgibbon was marched for ‘‘disorderly behaviour’’ to bring up the Speaker’s double-ton.

‘‘Were you aware that you’ve now sent 200 people out in this Parliament?’’ Mr Fitzgibbon’s party colleague, Mark Dreyfus, asked Ms Bishop.

‘‘Indeed I am,’’ she replied, ‘‘and you are one of the worst offenders.’’ ‘‘Are you aware that 98 per cent are from this side of the House?’’ he pressed.

‘‘Indeed … and can I say, two-thirds of them are recurrent offenders.’’

Topics congratulates Mr Fitzgibbon on cementing his place in history.

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