Monday, 30 April 2012

NSW CHINATOWN OFF THE PLAN CASH IN NOW MAKE PROFIT ON COMPLETION


"if you are getting blog via email click above heading for missing pictures and video"



       The Quay development on long-dormant Sydney Chinatown site sells well in first weekend

Monday, 30 April 2012

If you ever wanted to buy off the Plan this is the the ONE......When you buy off a plan 
you can make money between the waiting for construction period and then re sell on completion.
Why? because its Chinatown, and the chinese from China will consider it the number 1 building to buy into. 
Read article below from Property Observer. 



Construction has begun on the last of 20 “black holes” in Sydney’s Chinatown that were formerly part of Paddy’s Market, as Ausbao’s The Quay development gets under way.
The 270-apartment complex launched on Saturday, and CBRE director Murray Wood told Property Observer nearly 200 sold on the day. He says he expects more to sell today.

Of these, about 55% sold to owner-occupiers and many to locals, according to the Australian Financial Review, which reports that any unsold stock will be marketed in Hong Kong after May 7.
The agents report that buyers queued up from seven in the morning, and buying activity was "frenzied" once doors opened at 7.30am. Buyers have a five-day cooling-off period to change their minds.

Chinese-backed Ausbao Group bought the site at 61-79 Quay Street in 2009 for $38.38 million, according to RP Data, and has plans for a two-tower, $280 million development.

After purchasing the site the developer held a design competition, and Sydney City Council granted WMK Architecture’s winning entry 10% “bonus” floorspace because of its environmental features and ability to re-activate public spaces on the long-dormant site.

The site was the poultry section of Paddy’s Market from 1912 until the 1950s (historical photo above), and was a retail warehouse for a time. The building burnt down in 1985, leaving just a portion of the façade, and in the late 1980s and early 1990s recession projects to revitalise the site were abandoned.
It has been a car park in recent years, and is bounded by Quay Street, Thomas Street and Thomas Lane.

The Quay development will incorporate the façade of the former warehouse and will include 255 car spaces, three retail levels and copious bike parking along with the residential component.
Apartments will range in price between $390,000 and over $1.7 million, according to marketing agents CBRE, which notes that the prices are not finalised yet. One-bedroom apartments will range between 36 and 64 square metres internally. Most will come with car spaces and some will include studies.

The two-bedroom apartments in The Quay will range from 76 to 88 square metres and will all include at least one car space, and the three-bedroom offerings will range between 104 square metres and 131 square metres internally. All the three-bedroom units will come with two car spaces.
CBRE head of residential project David Milton says the car spaces may be unnecessary for residents’ day-to-day life.
“We’re sure businesspeople and working couples will like the convenience of living in a walk-to-work situation, but if they do need to travel there is light rail and buses virtually outside the front door and Central Railway just across the road,” he says.
“This is certainly one location in Sydney where you can do without a car.”

A terrace garden will connect the two towers, and it will also feature an indoor/outdoor gymnasium.
“We introduced elements previously only seen in prestigious hotels, which gives The Quay an unique architectural point of difference over other residential developments,” says WMK managing director Greg Barnett.
“The geometric glass, aluminum and louvre facades embrace strong vertical and horizontal planes, and the subtly different architectural expression of each tower reflects the diversity of the inner city Haymarket precinct. You could say the buildings have different personalities within a common language.”
The interiors have been designed by Smart Design Studio and are set to be both unconventional and striking.
““Our concept is ‘life beautifully packaged’, and we’ve taken inspiration from the world of luxury brands,” says Smart Design Studio founder William Smart. “We’ve foregone the overhead cupboards, white polyurethane joinery and blond timber accents in order to create a special place that is crafted and unique. This concept pursues the idea that things that surround us can create the mood of a space, just like a stage set builds the scene that transports us to another world.”

The buildings will include sustainable extras like plantation-grown timber, eco-friendly building services and a gas heated central hot water system.
The development will be directly opposite the University of Technology Sydney’s Haymarket campus, where Australia’s first Frank Gehry-designed building is due to be built.

Construction began on the development a few weeks ago and is due to be completed in mid-2014.


source: http://wotnews.com.au,

Friday, 27 April 2012

Gold Coast tycoon extradited to Sydney


"if you are getting blog via email click above heading for missing pictures and video"

Gold Coast tycoon extradited to Sydney


April 26, 2012
One of the Gold Coast's richest men has been extradited to Sydney after being arrested on charges of running a $67 million tax evasion and money laundering scheme.


Michael Issakidis, 67, has been charged with conspiracy to deal in the proceeds of crime and conspiracy to dishonestly cause a loss to the Australian Taxation Office.


Issakidis, who was arrested by Australian Federal Police (AFP) officers at his lavish mansion on the Sovereign Islands on Tuesday, faces up to 25 years in jail if convicted.


The AFP alleges the Greek-born property developer and company director committed tax fraud through his medical company Neumedix, and funnelled company funds through offshore accounts.
Police have seized a collection of luxury cars including four Rolls Royces, a Lamborghini, an Aston Martin, a BMW and a Mercedes as well as two yachts, a waterfront mansion on the Gold Coast and a luxury property at Northbridge in Sydney.


The AFP says more arrests are possible.


Issakidis was flown out of the Gold Coast on Thursday afternoon and is expected to apply for bail when he appears in Sydney Central Local Court on Friday.


He recently successfully sued former friend and Wheel of Fortune host "Baby" John Burgess for $30,000 in back rent and costs for living in his 71st floor Gold Coast penthouse.



Today's raids followed a seven-month joint AFP and ATO Project Wickenby investigation and is the largest tax fraud probe since Wickenby was launched in 2006.


It will be alleged in court that through a complex unit trust structure, prices of Australian patents were over inflated once transferred offshore.


Corresponding depreciation expenses were then claimed and, as a result, a benefit of about $63 million was received over a three year period.


It will be further alleged these funds were then laundered through an account in the UK - and numerous accounts in Hong Kong - before being transferred back into Australia.


The scheme was identified by the ATO Trust taskforce, which was established to focus on arrangements to exploit perceived weaknesses in tax legislation for trusts.


Project Wickenby involves the ATO, AFP, Australian Crime Commission, Australian Securities and Investments Commission, Australian Government Solicitor, the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre and the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions.


The proceeds of crime action was undertaken by the Commonwealth criminal assets confiscation Taskforce. The AFP-led taskforce brings together resources from the AFP, ATO and the ACC.


This is the first time the AFP has conducted the litigation to restrain assets on behalf of the taskforce since legislation came into effect in January this year giving the AFP the power to commence and conduct proceeds of crime litigation.




Mr Issakidis is the managing director of Queensland-based NeuMedix Health Group, a consortium of 16 investment and technology companies.


It will be alleged in court that through a complex unit trust structure, prices of Australian patents were over inflated once transferred offshore.


Corresponding depreciation expenses were then claimed and, as a result, a benefit of about $63 million was received over a three-year period.


It will be further alleged these funds were then laundered through an account in the UK - and numerous accounts in Hong Kong - before being transferred back into Australia.


The scheme was identified by the ATO Trust taskforce, which was established to focus on arrangements to exploit perceived weaknesses in tax legislation for trusts.


ATO Commissioner Michael D'Ascenzo today claimed the operation uncovered a serious abuse of the integrity of the tax system and serious tax evasion involving hundreds of millions of dollars.


"Parties who rely on tax driven deals to justify the commercial viability of business transactions are on notice that we will use our anti-avoidance rules to deal with such schemes,'' he said.


"The ATO will pursue all means available, including partnering with other law enforcement agencies, to respond firmly to these tax avoidance and evasion behaviours and protect the public revenue.''
AFP Commissioner Tony Negus said the operation combined the specialist skills of the AFP and the ATO to disrupt a complex money laundering scheme.


"Taking the profit out of crime is the aim of the criminal assets confiscation taskforce, which is targeting organised crime's deep pockets,'' he said today.


"This operation demonstrates the ongoing commitment by the AFP and its partner agencies to disrupt serious criminal activity.''


Mr Issakidis was expected to appear in the Southport Magistrates' Court today to face charges of:
  • Conspiracy to deal in the proceeds of crime of $1 million or more, contrary to Sections 400.3(1) and 11.5 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 - which carries a maximum jail term of 25 years.
  • Conspiracy to dishonestly cause a loss to a third person, namely the Australian Taxation Office, contrary to Sections 135.4(3) and 11.5 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 - which carries a maximum jail term of 10 years.

 

source: http://news.smh.com.au, http://www.heraldsun.com.au, http://www.goldcoast.com.au


Wednesday, 25 April 2012

NSW Coal and Allied rezoning GWANDALAN

"if you are getting blog via email click above heading for missing pictures and video"
GWANDALAN


http://express-advocate-wyong.whereilive.com.au/news/story/anger-over-rezoning-of-land-at-gwandalan/
GWANDALAN residents are furious that the rezoning of sensitive land has paved the way for 623 new homes on the tiny peninsula.
Three sites owned by Coal and Allied in the Central Coast/Lower Hunter area have been rezoned by the state government, opening the door for a 935-home development at Gwandalan, Nords Wharf and Middle Camp.
The controversial 3a planning provision st local councils of planning approval rights, allowing developers to apply direct to the state government for approvals.


http://www.riotintocoalaustralia.com.au/
Coal and Allied in the Central Coast
2010 docs


Tuesday, 24 April 2012

RAISE THE GROUND cool product fix defects in ground


If you are getting this through your email "sometimes pictures,video dont appears on emails click blue heading above for website"

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    Friday, 20 April 2012

    QLD mining Surat Basin Rail (SBR) Video

    If you are getting this through your email "sometimes pictures,video dont appears on emails click blue heading above for website"


     QLD mining Surat Basin Rail (SBR) Video 



    A $1 billion joint venture project, involving Xstrata Coal, ATEC and QR, to construct a 214km Surat Basin Rail line was first announced in 2006.
    It was labelled by the resources sector as the "Southern Missing Link", which will connect the Western Railway System, near Wandoan, with the Moura Railway System, at Banana, and ultimately to the coal loading facility at the Port of Gladstone.

    It is estimated this project will enable at least 6.3 billion tonnes of coal reserves to be extracted across the Surat Basin. However the project's environmental impact statement (EIS) claims it is anticipated that freight traffic, including agricultural produce, could eventually be moved along the line as well.

    The project has been slow off the ground with the three- year construction period, originally scheduled to begin in 2009, still to commence.

    With a project capacity to transport up to 42Mtpa of coal, landholders could see up to 24 trains, each up to 2.5km in length, rolling along the rail lines every day.

    The line has a minimum design life of 50 years.


    The move follows the state government’s recent approval of the proposed $3 billion Wandoan Coal project, which would produce coal to be transported on the railway line to port facilities at Gladstone.
    Up to 1,000 workers would be employed during construction of the railway, with a further 44 positions required to operate and maintain the infrastructure.


    Watch video below







    Thursday, 19 April 2012

    First homebuyers pay off stamp duty like a uni HECS debt / File


    "sometimes pictures dont appears on emails click blue heading above for website"

    First homebuyers pay off stamp duty like a uni HECS debt / File


    Homes
    There are plans to let first homebuyers pay off stamp duty like a uni HECS debt / File
    FIRST homebuyers could be allowed to pay off their stamp duty over several years in a HECS-like scheme to reinvigorate the property market.
    The pay-as-you-go plan is one of several proposed by the Real Estate Institute of NSW and being considered by the state government.
    Purchasers would be able to pay off their tax burden over three years but the government would be "protected", with stamp duty guaranteed against the property in the same way as unpaid land tax.
    The REINSW also called on the government to slash red tape and apply stamp duty concession on homes purchased by residents over 65, to make it easier for the elderly to downsize their homes.
    Since the removal of bonus grants, the stamp duty exemption for purchases under $500,000 and the discount for purchases between $500,000 and $600,000, first-time buyers now only have the benefit of the original $7000 federally-supplied First Home Owners Grant when buying a pre-existing property.
    State treasurer Mike Baird said the government kept the stamp duty exemption for newly built property purchases as an incentive for the building sector.
    However, he said a pay-as-you-go stamp duty scheme for first-time buyers was "an interesting idea" that was being considered.
    "I can specifically tell you that is under active consideration," he said.
    The state's housing shortage is the worst in the country according to the Housing Industry Association, which estimated in September 2011 that by 2020 it would face a shortfall of 155,700 dwellings.
    The Population And Residential Building Hotspots report released last week showed no NSW suburb in the national top 20 of fastest-growing metropolitan and regional areas.
    "Housing supply and affordability are the key issues facing NSW and need to be tackled head-on in the upcoming state budget," REINSW president Christian Payne said.
    "Convoluted planning controls are delaying the delivery of new housing stock, which is urgently needed to meet the growing demand of thousands of people flocking to live in Sydney."
    He said that, as a result, housing affordability was being squeezed. "Add to the already high price of real estate in Sydney the significant additional burden of stamp duty, and you have a market which is pushing the Australian dream beyond the reach of many," he said.
    John Symond of Aussie Home Loans said while the proposed scheme looks good on paper, young buyers need to do their sums.
    "I think you've got to be careful. Young, inexperienced buyers can easily get over their heads," he said.
    "Australians have traditionally been better borrowers than savers. If first home buyers have the possibility to repay it in time then great, but I wouldn't like to see it impede young people ... by just deferring the inevitable."
    Mr Baird said dropping or cutting stamp duty was not a solution to the affordability crisisthat the government's focus was on providing more dwellings - rather than offering incentives.

    Wednesday, 18 April 2012

    Renovation Home Loan

    "sometimes pictures dont appears on emails click blue heading above for website"
    Renovation Home Loan
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ky7XKvD8N3c&feature=digest_tue
    Some good advice from John , I like the fact that there is a loan for renovation and that Aussie has one.
    This type of loan can sometimes be hard to get so nice to know that Aussie has a solution.



    We have to understand also that some brokers are very very good at doing the big loans and others are better for small loans.
    Brokers often don't get a commission if you pay the loan of early so better to find small loan (pay of early) and another long term well negotiated bigger loan from a investment specialist broker that will deliver a better long term loans and relationships.

    Tuesday, 17 April 2012

    BOGGABRI -MINING town Property BOOM -What I have learnt....

    "sometimes pictures dont appears on emails click heading for website"

    BOGGABRI -MINING town Property BOOM
    I was reading the Australian Newspaper about Whithaven (mining company) "
    NATHAN Tinkler could sell down part of his $1 billion stake in the new-look Whitehaven Coal in a matter of weeks"
    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/mergers-acquisitions/go-ahead-for-5bn-coal-giant/story-fn91vdzj-1226328184358
    Pictures from "The Australian" below

    This just happened to remind me about my BOGGABRI research , 
    (wiki info) Boggabri is a small town on the Kamilaroi Highway in north-western New South Wales, Australia in Narrabri Shire, between Gunnedah and Narrabri. In 2006, the town had a population of 901 people.[1

    The main income for these farm boys now comes from the Whitehaven owned mine .

    (wiki) Whitehaven Coal Limited is currently developing and operating coal projects in the Gunnedah Region of New South Wales and exploring other opportunities. 
    The Group operates five open cut mines, Canyon (formerly Whitehaven), Tarrawonga, Werris Creek, Rocglen (formerly Belmont) and Sunnyside and is developing the Narrabri North underground mine.

    The Canyon (formerly Whitehaven) open cut mine is located 15 km east of Boggabri. Annual production is up to 1 million tonnes, all of which is exported.

    Sorry for all the pre info but it is the best way to demonstrate what are the impacts of a mine in a Farming Town / Mining Town.
    Next I looked at my favourite website to see if any property price changed had happened over the last year 2011.
    In red is all the properties sold in 2011 according to the best RE website www.onthehouse.com.au

    Ahh haa , HMMMMM thats quite a lot I thinks for a town of 1000 so people. 
    sorry mistake here new population 1426

    So why do so many properties sell in 2011. Answer positive gear !!!! yes investors are now listening to the no.1 Positive gear Coach in Australia-----DYMPHNA BOHOLT. http://www.dymphnaboholt.com/
    Its really quite simple go and read her book "Confessions of a Real Estate Millionaire"
    on her website and it shows how with a little direction and change in mindset life gets BETTER.....
    Download an extract of her book and go listen to her free one day conferences. 
    I know that without her influence in my life I would not have a website like this and you would not be reading me now.

    Anyway ....what else did I gather by this find. 
    I think that this little town Boggabri has more growth available and rents in some case have been positive geared and others seem a bit more neutral. 
    This gets back to doing your research and not buying without seeing a property. In any mining town it is about bedrooms bathrooms and conditions of property, along with the big one "proximity to the pub. "

    Another factor is how long a town stays a good investment and again Dympha outlines that only towns that you can prove have of a mine being there for a long time and plans of expansion even better.
    So a quick google on town and I find this from a government website:
    Boggabri Coal is seeking approval to continue its mining operations via open cut methods up to 7 Mtpa product coal, within its current mining tenements for a further 21 years.

    another 
    http://www.downergroup.com/Investors/ASX-Announcements/2010/Downer-signs-A$900-million-Boggabri-contract.aspx  ok so this says "The new contract starts in December 2011 and will extend the company's involvement at Boggabri to over a decade." Keep an eye on Downer.

    That looks like good news have to keep up to date with that one.
    Lets look at the history of the town in 2010.
    Lets look at another great website links:
    The most recent median house price for Boggabri is $225,000 and the median unit price is $420,000. 






    now also look at another great website link :
    This link you need to keep in your favourites, here are the results 3bedroom 1 bathroom


      

    This is interesting maybe its worth a trip up there and have a look for your self.
    Go look at the properties with the highest rent.
    Before you go check with all the agents. Get a list of possible buys and do some research on granny flats and council regulations for sub divisions in this area too....

    OK lets look at before 2009 2010 2011
    here are the listings. SOLD LISTINGS






    Have a look at this site again click link in relation to property above http://www.onthehouse.com.au/reports/property_profile/3661879/138_Wee_Waa_Street_BOGGABRI_NSW_2382/
    now look at picture on the site link above this shows possible repayments for possible buy price  (great site)


    result below 2010 sale $159,950 , now with $600 a week rent its listed at $259000
    now if you bought this for $159,950 and you might pay $400 a week in mortgage , this still gives you $200k in your pocket each week. And who can possibly get a $160,000 loan ???
    Enough said/shown !!!!! 

    If you want to get results like this but need direction as to how to do it right!
    It is easy just start here http://www.dymphnaboholt.com/






    Monday, 16 April 2012

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    13 April 2012
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    Sunday, 15 April 2012

    Xstrata Wandoan faces new restricted land set backs , its not over yet?



    Xstrata Wandoan, take two: greenhouse gas emissions, mining, and environmental approvals

    By Darren Fooks and Mark Geritz.

    Key Points:
    Queensland's Land Court has clarified the relevance of greenhouse gas emissions to mining lease and environmental authority applications, but created uncertainty about restricted land.

    The recent decision of the Land Court of Queensland regarding objections to the Xstrata Wandoan coal project has clarified the Court's position on the relevance of greenhouse gas emissions to mining lease and environmental authority applications and the interaction of key legislation, however, it has also created uncertainty for future projects in respect of restricted land.
    The Court also found that it had power to impose conditions on environmental authorities requiring the miner and the landowner to enter into make-good agreements relating to impacts of mining on the availability and quality of groundwater supply. This latter point will be discussed in a subsequent article on make good agreements generally but most likely means that the parties would have to proceed back to Court if agreement could not be reached.
    Greenhouse gas issuesThe mining lease and environmental authority was objected to by Friends of the Earth (FoE) based on the potential climate change impact of a project of this scale. The Court was required to consider the contribution of coal mining to climate change and ocean acidification through emissions in the context of its jurisdiction under the Mineral Resources Act 1989 (MRA) and Environmental Protection Act 1994 (EPA).
    The basis of the FoE objections were that:
    • emissions resulting from the end-use of the project's coal in electricity production must be considered when assessing its impact under the MRA and EPA;
    • the public right and interest were prejudiced by the contribution the mine would make to climate change and ocean acidification; and
    • the mine was not consistent with the principles of ecologically sustainable development.
    In rejecting those objections, the Court considered:
    • it had no jurisdiction to consider the downstream impacts of the project as the MRA confined its consideration to the physical activities associated with winning and extracting coal from the place where it occurs or from its natural state;
    • it similarly had no jurisdiction under the EPA to consider the global environmental impacts as it was restricted to consideration of the environmental impacts of prospecting, exploring and mining;
    • that even if the interpretation on jurisdiction was incorrect, and the impacts of activities such as the transportation and burning of coal could be considered, the greenhouse gas impacts were not sufficient so as to justify refusal of the project;
    • that while there was no doubt that climate change was an issue of general public interest, it is only one of the matters which the Court must weigh up in considering the project and specifically must be balanced against the economic and associated benefits of the project proceeding.
    Interplay of legislative frameworks
    State Development and Public Works Organisation Act 1971
    The objections by FoE required the Land Court to consider whether it held jurisdiction to impose or alter the conditions made by the Coordinator General under the State Development Act. It is relevant to note that there is no ability for objections to be made to the Coordinator General's conditions.
    In considering the objections, the Court determined that:
    • insofar as the EPA provides that any recommendations made by the Court cannot be inconsistent with the Coordinator General's Conditions, that should be construed to mean that any recommendations must not contradict or lack harmony with the Coordinator General's Conditions;
    • the question of inconsistency did not prevent objections being raised in respect of the subject matter of the Coordinator General's conditions.
    Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999Objections were raised by affected landholders that the draft EA was issued, and the objections period had closed, before a determination had been made under the EPBC Act on whether the controlled action would be approved. The Court clarified that there was no legislative requirement for the EPBC Act determination to be received prior to the issue of the draft EA and no prejudice had been suffered by the objectors.
    Restricted landObjections were raised that the applicants had not properly identified all restricted land within the mining lease area, including stock troughs, water storages and network water pipelines providing water supply.
    The Court determined that:
    • water troughs (although arguably temporary and relocatable) can fall within the MRA definition of restricted land (category B) so long as they are connected to a water supply;
    • while water pipelines are not artificial water storage for the purposes of category B restricted land, if they were removed and the restricted areas left without water supply, the evident purpose of the MRA would be defeated.
    On that basis, the Court recommended that water pipelines providing water supply to the restricted land (troughs) should also be protected by a 50m carve-out (each side) from the ML surface area.
    It is unclear whether President MacDonald treated the pipelines themselves as restricted land or decided they should be protected so as to achieve the purposes of the restricted land provisions. In any event, this approach appears to be inconsistent with the view that the aim of the restricted land provisions was to protect certain structures from mining, as opposed to allowing continued access to and use of such structures during mining.
    It has been the view of the courts and the Minister to date that the purpose of restricted land is to protect the relevant structures for use again, but only after mining has been completed. That results in small pockets of the mining lease area being protected whilst allowing mining to be conducted virtually unimpeded. It may be that in this case it was possible to allow continued use of the restricted land without impeding substantially on Xstrata's mining operations and it was on this basis that the Land Court allowed pipelines to be protected.
    It appears to us that this issue will require further clarification, perhaps by way of legislative amendment.
    What it means for project proponentsThe decision provides some comfort that only the project-specific environmental impacts are relevant for the purposes of the application process. It also clarifies certain aspects of the interplay with other State and Federal legislation. However the uncertainty that this decision creates in respect of carve-outs for restricted land is one which will need clarification for project proponents and landowners alike.

    You might also be interested in...

    Saturday, 14 April 2012

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    Friday, 13 April 2012

    IPHONE APP -PROP GUIDE

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    Thursday, 12 April 2012

    New housing investors on Ballarat fringe warned to be cautious: HTW


    source: http://www.propertyobserver.com.au

    SUBSCRIBE TO THIS WEBSITE TOO FOR GREAT UPDATES   

    Below is a reblog from propertyobserver

    New housing investors on Ballarat fringe warned to be cautious: HTW

    By Larry Schlesinger
    Thursday, 12 April 2012
    Ballarat has been identified as a potential hotspot, but investors should tread cautiously when considering housing in new estates further out of town, according to property valuers Herron Todd White.
    In its April property market report, HTW notes that “Ballarat property values soften as the distance from Lake Wendouree, [schools], shops or CBD increases”.
    “The modern outer suburbs of Lucas, Alfredton, Sebastopol and Delacombe continue to be developed to new housing and estates, which are largely filled by young families and investors.
    “It is these outer suburbs that are generally hardest hit by government announcements, interest rate movements and economic uncertainty, due largely to the high loan to value ratios and relatively generic product in the $200,000 to $350,000 price range,” warns HTW.
    Currently developers are offering house-and-land packages in Lucas and Sebastopol starting from about $240,000 for a two-bedroom house on a 375-square-metre block rising up to $435, 000 to a two-storey, four-bedroom house on a 522-square-metre block.
    There more than 500 off-the-plan house-and-land packages on offer in these two suburbs alone.
    Among them is this three-bedroom house-and-land package on a 375-square-metre block (pictured below) priced at $267,000 and listed by Vince Cavarra of Burbank Homes Melbourne.

    There are no established houses for sale in Lucas, according to Realestate.com.au.
    On Spencer Street in Sebastopol this “updated” three-bedroom house (pictured below) is targeted at first-home buyers or investors with a price tag of $195,000 and is listed by Mark Nunn of Hocking Stuart Ballarat.

    In contrast, the inner suburbs offer a more stable investment environment for property investors.

    Four Ballarat suburbs within a two-kilometre radius of the city centre feature among Smart Investor magazine’s list of 601 suburbs that delivered the best capital growth over 2011.
    Two of them – Soldiers Hill and Ballarat East – have median house prices under $300,000 while a third, Ballarat Central, has a median house price just over $300,000.
    Only Lake Wendouree has a median house prices approaching that of some Melbourne suburbs:
    Suburb
    Median house price
    Capital growth over 2011
    Median rent
    Gross rental yield
    Ballarat East
    $237,000
    4.8%
    $255
    5.6%
    Soldiers Hill
    $285,000
    9.6%
    $255
    5%
    Ballarat Central
    $302,000
    7.9%
    $270
    4.9%
    Lake Wendouree
    $540,000
    6.3%
    $295
    4%
    Source: Smart Investor magazine
    According to Herron Todd White, proximity to the Ballarat CBD continues to remain important, with the residential property market “largely driven by infrastructure, planning, amenity and return on investment”.
    The report notes that proximity to Lake Wendouree for walking, running and water sports remains important, with the suburb remaining predominantly owner-occupied with some of Ballarat’s most expensive housing.
    “Areas such as Lake Wendouree, Soldiers Hill and Newington are thinly traded and tend to maintain steady value patterns as outer suburbs grow and become more or less expensive,” says HTW.
    Currently the most expensive home in Lake Wendouree listed for sale is this rather grand-looking five-bedroom home on Wendouree Parade (pictured below) listed by Laurie Gillett from Professionals Ballarat, which has an asking price of around $1.4 million.

    According to HTW, market volatility in new housing areas is a good indicator for the greater region.
    “In a softening market, as buyers become more hesitant, property type begins to significantly impact purchasing decisions.
    “Features such as street appeal, access and the detached/semi-detached nature of a property begin to create larger price variances and impact marketing periods. Traditionally, detached homes with good access are preferred,” says HTW.
    Photograph of Ballarat courtesy of Tourism Victoria