Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Will Abbott ‘axe the tax’ and what are the impediments to this being achieved

Will Abbott ‘axe the tax’ and what are the impediments to this being achieved?

Scott Laycock, Partner, Sydney

Scott Higgins, Senior Associate, Sydney and Stephanie Venuti, Solicitor, Sydney

The Leader of the Opposition, Tony Abbott has pledged that if the Coalition is elected in this year’s federal election, he will repeal the carbon tax and proceed to a double dissolution if his repeal legislation doesn’t pass the Senate. 

Save for exceptional circumstances (such as the Government losing a vote in the Lower House or a new Prime Minister being installed and choosing a different date) 14 September 2013 is the date when Australians go to the polls in a national election.  Amongst other things, the future of the Australian carbon price hangs in the balance.

Carbon price basics

In Australia, liable companies are nearing the end of their first compliance year (1 July 2012 – 30 June 2013) of the carbon price, introduced by the Clean Energy Act 2011.  For the first three years, there is no cap on emissions and the carbon price is fixed at $23 (adjusted marginally each year to account for inflation) (Fixed Price Period)

From 1 July 2015, the carbon price moves from operating like a fixed ‘tax’ to an emissions trading scheme (Flexible Price Period).  Under the Flexible Price Period a cap on emissions will be set and a limited number of carbon units (operating like a permit to pollute) will be auctioned and sold on secondary markets.  The price of these units will not be fixed.  In meeting their annual carbon liability, liable entities will also be able to supplement their use of carbon permits purchased in Australia with international carbon permits.

Impediments to repeal
Whilst few would doubt Mr Abbott’s determination to repeal the legislation, if the Coalition is elected this year, there are certain legal, practical and political impediments to implementing a repeal of the carbon price:

Double Dissolution - Timing
  • Given that Labor and the Greens will almost certainly oppose any repeal legislation, Mr Abbott needs to secure a majority in the Senate.  On 13 March 2013, the ABC’s chief election analyst, Antony Green described the scenario in his Election Blog as follows: [i] 
“The Coalition is highly unlikely to gain enough Senate seats to achieve control of the Senate in its own right.  However, if the election can change the composition of the Senate cross-bench, then the Abbott government could achieve its goal of repealing the carbon price legislation, and also find itself a negotiation path on other legislation that avoids having to deal with the Greens and Labor….The election of a WA National and a Katter candidate from Queensland would almost certainly give an Abbott government the numbers to repeal the carbon price legislation. However, it would not necessarily deliver government control over all legislation.”
  • If this occurs, then there will be no need for a double dissolution and Australia could find itself without a carbon price shortly after the new Senators take their seats (1 July 2014). However, if these Senate victories do not eventuate for the Coalition in September 2013, a double dissolution would almost certainly be necessary before a Coalition government can pass its repeal legislation.

  • A double dissolution may only be called if a bill to repeal the carbon price legislation is voted down in the Senate twice.  An interval of three months between tabling the same bill twice is required by section 57 of the Constitution and the Senate must be afforded a ‘proper opportunity for debate’ on each occasion.

  • A curiosity of the electoral system means that the newly elected Senators from the 14 September 2013 election (a half-Senate election) will not take their seats until 1 July 2014.  A double dissolution in the interim could be subject to challenge because the Governor-General would effectively be terminating the terms for those newly elected Senators (and before they had even been sworn in) on the basis of a decision by the pre-existing Senators to block the repeal legislation. [ii]

  • It is therefore likely that any attempt to call a double dissolution prior to the latter part of 2014 or early 2015 might be subject to challenge. 

Double Dissolution – the politics
  • Any double dissolution means going back to the polls after the Coalition will have only just regained power following six years of Labour-led government.  The Coalition is unlikely to take this step unless it is confident of achieving a more favourable result than it achieves in the September 2013 federal election.

  • Early indications from the operation of the carbon price over the past nine months suggest that it has had a limited impact on inflation and the Coalition’s dire predictions of it being a ‘wrecking ball’ to the economy have not been realised.  Compensation payments via tax breaks for low income families are also now in operation.
One would expect this to result in a softening of voter opposition to the carbon price, however the latest Australian Financial Review/Nielson poll shows that consistent majority of voters who believe they are no worse off still oppose the policy and support its repeal.[iii]
The change in the level of voter support or opposition to the carbon price will be monitored closely throughout 2013 and into 2014 as this will dictate the success or failure of any double dissolution.
  • The level of support for repeal from business is less clear.   Earlier this month, the manufacturing lobby group, Ai Group called for a move to the emissions trading period rather than scrapping the carbon price in its entirety.  This approach might attract increasing support from the business community to the extent that a market-based system (with availability of cheap international permits, no floor price and free allocation of permits for some industries) is more attractive than the Coalition’s current ‘Direct Action’ policy.

  • There is already evidence that this is occurring with the Australian Financial Review reporting[iv] that generators and key industry bodies have been voicing concern to the Coalition over how the Direct Action policy will work in practice, whether it will be cheaper than international abatement options under the current scheme and whether it will cause unfair advantage to some companies given compensation which has already been paid and which the Coalition has said will not be clawed back.

  • EU and Australian bureaucrats are racing to implement an inter-governmental Registry link by mid-2013 (prior to the September election) to facilitate trading in EU Allowances by Australian liable entities in anticipation of the emissions trading scheme commencing in Australia by 1 July 2015 (see Linking Australian and European emissions trading schemes for more details click here).  If this expedited timetable can be met, and if Australian entities take up the trading opportunity with some enthusiasm, repeal could become much more unpopular amongst the Australian business community and also more unsavoury from an international relations perspective.

  • A repeal of the Fixed Price Period whilst retaining emissions trading from 1 July 2018 (or another date) might be an available compromise for the Coalition.  Whilst it might be a semantic distinction, a Coalition government could also claim that by removing the Fixed Price Period and going to a Flexible Price Period they are still honouring their commitment to repealing the carbon ‘tax’ (as opposed to the emissions trading scheme).  Alternatively, introducing some mechanism for the use of cheap international carbon units by liable companies under the Direct Action policy might assist the Coalition to secure industry support for the repeal of the emissions trading scheme.

Potential challenges to repeal legislation
  • Even if the Coalition is successful in ultimately obtaining Senate support for repeal legislation, section 56(xxxi) of the Constitution would make any repeal legislation which resulted in the acquisition of property on unjust terms, subject to challenge on the basis that it is outside the power of Parliament.

  • Shadow Minister for Climate Action, Greg Hunt and some legal commentators[v] have suggested that repealing the carbon price legislation would be an ‘extinguishment of a proprietary right’ and not an ‘acquisition of property’ in the meaning of section 56 (xxxi).  However, detractors[vi] emphasise that carbon units generated under the scheme (along with prescribed international units proposed to be incorporated into the scheme after 1 July 2015) are expressly stated in the legislation to be ‘personal property’ and are subject to ownership, transfer and other equitable dealings like any other type of property or chattel.  Assuming carbon units are ‘property’ (which seems the better view) the more pertinent question is whether any repeal legislation will amount to an ‘acquisition’ of that property and, if so, is it on ‘just terms’.

  • At the time of any likely repeal legislation, liable entities will have already purchased units from the Clean Energy Regulator at $24.15 each, purchased Australian Carbon Credit Units in respect of the Carbon Farming Initiative, received free allocation of permits (which it can sell to others for a price) and perhaps purchased Kyoto units like CERs and European units (known as EUAs) in anticipation of being able to use these from 1 July 2015.

  • In respect of the Australian units, unless compensation is offered or some buy-back system is provided for, arguably this ‘property’ has been ‘acquired’ by the Government with an absence of ‘just terms’ because the liable entities have been deprived the opportunity to generate income from the sale of those units.

  • Assuming a European and international carbon market still exists for the sale of Kyoto units and EUAs, then liable entities would be able to offload these credits in those markets (albeit perhaps at a price disadvantage).  A repeal of the domestic market for such credits would not constitute ‘acquisition’ of such property.

  • Repeal legislation is therefore quite capable of being implemented without offending section 56(xxxi) of the Constitution, however, lawmakers will need to be careful in their drafting and some compensation may need to offered before one can be truly confident that it would withstand any challenge.

What this means for your business
Notwithstanding the potential for repeal, in light of the above factors, liable entities would be prudent to proceed on the basis that the fixed carbon price may well remain in place for most of the next two years.  There also remains a potential for the emissions trading scheme to commence operation from 1 July 2015 as per the current legislation and perhaps equally a likelihood of this date being brought forward pursuant to a Coalition Government compromise.

In addition to maintaining current compliance obligations under the Clean Energy Act 2011, Australian liable entities and interested stakeholders should consider the implications of the new EU linking proposal, the changes to the legislation in respect of availability of foreign carbon units and the removal of the floor price.

These issues are addressed in the following articles:

  • European carbon markets in turmoil as EU Parliament dithers on rescue plan (to view article please click here)

  • Linking Australian and European emissions trading schemes (to view article please click here).

[i] ‘Antony Green’s Election Blog: Could Western Australia Deliver Control of the Senate’ 13 March 2013 at http://blogs.abc.net.au/antonygreen/2013/03/could-western-australia-deliver-the-coalition-control-of-the-senate.html#more
[ii] At the time of writing, Prime Minister Gillard has successfully thwarted a leadership spill in which Kevin Rudd elected not to challenge.  Controversial media laws have also been abandoned.  The prospects of a new leader being installed and an earlier election date being chosen or required now seem unlikely.  However, if this were to occur and if an earlier election date is chosen by a new leader (or required under the Constitution due to a key independent such as Tony Winsor removing support for the Government) then this has profound implications for the matters discussed in this article.  These include opening the door for the Coalition to try to avoid the need for a half-Senate election by May 2014 by engineering a double dissolution trigger in the interim.  See for example: ‘Antony Green’s Election Blog: In which Party’s Interest is an Early Election’ at http://blogs.abc.net.au/antonygreen/2012/09/which-party-wants-an-early-election.html#more
[iii] ‘Climate same on carbon price’ Philip Coorey Australian Financial Review 18 March 2013
[iv] ‘Carbon tax repeal plan draws fire’ Marcus Priest, 19 March 2013 Australian Financial Review
[v] Andrew Macintosh (Associate Director of the ANU Centre for Climate Law and Policy), Abbott has pledged to repeal the carbon tax – but could it be done?  2 July 2012 The Conversation
[vi] George Williams, Professor of Law at University of NSW ‘Abbott courts trouble with carbon tax plans’ 26 October 2011 Sydney Morning Herald

Victoria increases First Home Owner GrantVictoria increases First Home Owner Grant

Victoria increases First Home Owner Grant


The Victorian Government has announced an increase to the First Home Owner Grant and stamp duty cuts for people purchasing new homes.
From July 1 the grant will be increased from $7,000 to $10,000 for newly constructed homes, and stamp duty for all first purchases will be decreased by 40 per cent.
Treasurer Michael O'Brien says Victorian families will be thousands of dollars better off.
"The average price of a newly constructed first home is about $400,000," Mr O'Brien said.
"With these announcements, Victorian families will be over $16,500 better off with the combination of the increased grant and the stamp duty cuts."
But the Real Estate Institute of Victoria's says it is disappointed the Government is scrapping the grant for people who are buying established properties.
The institute's chief executive Enzo Raimondo says the changes effectively mean those purchasing existing homes will be subsidising a discount for those buying newly constructed homes.
"History has shown first home buyers generally buy established [homes]," Mr Raimondo said.
"They generally want to buy close to where they work, and in Melbourne that's inner and middle suburbs, so this is going to make it a bit more difficult for first-home buyers of established properties in Melbourne."
Mr Raimondo says the changes just bring Victoria into line with most other states.
"A number of other states have removed the first home owners' grant for established housing," he said.
"Every state in Australia, with the exception of the resource states, are facing some tough economic times.
"What the Treasurer's done is not unexpected."
But Mr O'Brien says the advantages will be wide-reaching, with the housing construction industry also set to benefit.
"We acknowledge the housing construction industry is a really important employer of people in this state. We want to see that grow," he said.
"We want to see more jobs and we also want to make sure we have more housing stock to meet the needs of a growing population."

Friday, 26 April 2013

NSW Community’s feedback on the NSW Government’s White Paper – A new planning system for NSW

View Online
26 April 2013
Public invited to White Paper forums
Community forums have been announced for 17 metropolitan and regional locations around NSW, to listen to the community’s feedback on the NSW Government’s White Paper – A new planning system for NSW.

The sessions will be held in nine regional centres across NSW and eight metropolitan Sydney locations.

The first two community sessions will be held next week at Hornsby RSL Club and Castle Hill RSL Club on Thursday 2 May 2013 from 6pm to 7.30pm.

Events all over NSW Click below to see list.
Online registration is also now available for all other locations. For a list of events and to register, click here. White Paper link hite paper link 

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

SAVE MONEY ON PRINTER INK 50000 pages Full colour Cost $14.99c dollars

SAVE MONEY ON PRINTER INK - No ink change for a Year
50000 pages Full colour Cost $12.99 dollars

I got sick and tied of buying new ink , When one cartridge ran out, the whole printer stopped.

So I now use Continuous Ink. All cartridges and lasts about 2 years for me a Power Printer.
Here is how simple it is to install
You wont see below video on your phone so just click Blue title and go to webpage.

I have a Hp printer 7280

My solution

Continuous Ink

for 2 years now I have used 50000 pages

Then ink last at least a year and then you refill

Continuous Ink cartridge
Cost $65 dollars - all full mind you so full of ink 


To top up - Replacement ink about from $14.99c
to for a full set

I think you can get the system for most printers and the eBay seller
devinshredder has one for every model.

Monday, 22 April 2013

NSW Central Coast School land won't be 'rezoned and sold off' in Bateau Bay, education department says

            School land won't be 'rezoned and sold off' in Bateau Bay, education department says     


Bateau Bay Public School
The Education Department has denied there is no truth to claims that areas of land surrounding Bateau Bay Public School will be rezoned and sold off. Picture: Peter Clark Source: NewsLocal
CLAIMS that land surrounding Bateau Bay School will be rezoned and sold off have been ruled out by the Education Department.
In State Parliament last week Greens MP Dr John Kaye accused the government of planning to sell off public school land including Bateau Bay.
Dr Kaye said Finance Minister Greg Pearce refused to rule out selling public school land to "fatten up the state's accounts".
He said he was asking questions after concerned parents from the school had contacted him.
"The minister let the cat out of the bag," Dr Kaye said.
"Public schools like Bateau Bay are firmly in the sites of Treasury's bean counters."
An Education Department spokesperson said the department had no plans to sell the Bateau Bay Public School site.
"Any claim to the contrary is simply wrong, as is the allegation made recently in the NSW Parliament that the department has a list of Central Coast public school sites for sale," he said.
Rezoning was just being standardised.
The Entrance state Liberal MP Chris Spence said Dr Kaye was not dealing with facts.
"Nothing has changed," he said.
"The government is not selling off public land.
"He is stirring up people's emotions."
A Wyong Council spokesman said the land was not being rezoned.
The land had always been zoned 2a, low density residential and, under the new LEP, would be zoned R2 which is also low density residential.

Planning reforms mean new homes in NSW could get approval from councils in just 10 days

We're delighted to invite you to:
download white paper here

The opportunities and perils of the ‘New Planning System’ - how the new White Paper impacts on NSW developers and property owners

Gadens Lawyers' planning, environment and government team in partnership with Urban Taskforce Australia invite you to join us for our seminar "The opportunities and perils of the ‘New Planning System’ - how the new White Paper impacts on NSW developers and property owners".
Come and hear expert industry analysis from our panel of speakers:
  • Will Dwyer, Goodman
  • Sue Francis, City Plan Services and Sydney East JRPP member
  • Aaron Gadiel, Gadens Lawyers
  • Sylvia Hrovatin, Walker Corporation
  • Chris Johnson, Urban Taskforce.
The discussion will include:
  • The strengths and weaknesses of the proposed new system – from a developer’s perspective
  • A frank assessment of which reforms are likely to work and which ones may not reach the finish line
  • Whether the changes are likely to be attractive to the private sector
  • Practical advice on how to protect yourself from adverse changes and take advantage of beneficial reforms
  • What the proposal means for land acquisition and other development decisions that you might be making now.
Our expert panel of speakers will concisely identify critical issues and provide some unique insights into the proposed reforms, and will then invite discussion and debate from the floor.

This seminar is a must for those in the development industry, and guests will be welcome to stay for networking drinks and canapés at the conclusion of the presentation.

Event information:
Tuesday, 30 April 2013
5:30pm for a 5:45pm start
Followed by drinks and canapés
Gadens Lawyers
Level 16
77 Castlereagh Street
Sydney NSW 2000
Please RSVP before Wednesday, 24 April 2013 to:
Michelle Beattie
(02) 9035 7145
Seats are limited!

A member of
International Lawyers Network

Planning reforms mean new homes in NSW could get approval from councils in just 10 days

Construction contractors are in the ATO's spotlight this year.
NEW homes could be approved within 10 days under radical changes to planning laws that are tipped to spark a construction boom in Sydney.
In a bid to address the state's housing shortage and affordability crisis, councils will be forced to give the green light to 80 per cent of all suitable NSW buildings in just 25 days, according to a state government white paper to be released today.
As long as new homes and renovations are under two storeys and do not affect neighbours with overshadowing or privacy issues, authorities will have to give their rulings within 10 days or risk losing decision-making powers on major projects.
Suitable apartments in town centres, developments of up to 20 townhouses, new shops and land subdivisions will also get the go-ahead in less than a month.
Councils currently take an average of 71 days to decide on new development, from garages to subdivisions, and more than eight months on developments worth more than $5 million, such as apartment blocks.
"If you put in a DA for a new house that meets all the requirements, you shouldn't have to wait for up to two or three months to get an approval like you do now," Planning Minister Brad Hazzard said.
"We expect our changes to the DA system will generate savings for the community and industry of up to $1.7 billion over the next 10 years."
Councils will also be forced to spend millions of dollars of infrastructure levies they have been hoarding - with the 43 Sydney councils accumulating $760 million paid by developers, earning $40 million in interest last year. Under the changes, authorities will only be able to charge infrastructure fees for essential roads, drainage and parks, instead of saving for decades for pet projects.
The state government has rejected calls to bring in a flat tax of $160 on every ratepayer in the state to fund $1.2 billion of infrastructure a year for new urban growth.
Instead, it will make dramatic changes to council taxes on new properties, forcing new apartments in the affluent east to pay infrastructure levies to stop western homebuyers copping up to $40,000 on the cost of their houses, while $2 million properties in the east pay just $5000.
At the moment, a $450,000 new house in Camden will cost homebuyers more than $40,000 in combined local and state infrastructure contributions, while the owners of a new three-bedroom, $2 million apartment in Double Bay would pay just over $5000 in local contributions.
"Whether you are in Camden or Collaroy, if your new development creates demand for infrastructure, you should make a modest contribution to the cost of new or upgraded infrastructure to support growth," Mr Hazzard said.
The white paper will allow NSW councils the chance to keep their powers to determine the fate of DAs worth up to $20 million.
However, they will be encouraged to appoint independent hearing and assessment panels in an effort to depoliticise local government decision making and "remove any potential corruption risks".

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Understand GST implications Sub Divisions of Land and sell them

Understand GST implications Sub Divisions of Land and sell them


Understand GST implications Sub Divisions of Land and sell them!!

Max Newnham from SMH

I am buying a block of Land and sub dividing it into 5 lots.
The property has to first see if it is possible to sub divide , by looking at minimum lots size then 
we look at the building ratio to land for each block. 
What will they be worth with a house on them. How much does it cost to Build a house.
The council I am working with says I can do like the 2 up the street which is 5 lots.
I know need to know if I sell them if GST is payable.
Article below helped.

Property investors urged to understand GST implications

Max Newnham from SMH

In most cases the only taxes property investors have to deal with are income tax and capital gains tax.  But there are some situations that require an understanding of the implications of the goods and services tax on property investments.
Q. What are the GST consequences of someone building a new residential property to sell? Would your answer vary if the property in question was a main residence rather than an investment? Would the subsequent sale of the new dwellings attract GST in that instance?
The costs associated with getting a property into a condition where it can be rented are not deductible but form part of the purchase cost of the property.
A. A person or entity must register for GST if they are carrying on an enterprise and the expected GST taxable turnover will exceed $75,000. Carrying on an enterprise applies when something is done for the purpose of making a profit. In the Australian Taxation Office ruling setting out what constitutes carrying on an enterprise the activity of sub-dividing land and building a unit to sell is classed as carrying on an enterprise.
As most properties would have a selling value of more than $75,000 the activity of subdividing a property, demolishing the existing residence, building two units with one to be sold and the other one to be lived in, would result in the carrying on of an enterprise. If on the other hand the existing home was not demolished and only one unit was built, which would become the owner’s home, this is not carrying on an enterprise.

When a person must register for GST all of the GST they pay related to the residence they will be selling can be claimed. The individual must also include GST in the selling price if it is sold within five years of it being completed. If the property is sold after five years GST is not included in the selling price.
Q. As an owner of a rental property do I need an ABN to be able to claim back the GST portion that has been paid on any on-going property expenses?
A. In most cases people who own rental properties do not need to have an ABN. To be able to claim GST paid on expenses a business must be registered for GST and be earning GST taxable or exempt income. Income received from domestic properties is classed as input taxed income. Under this GST category no GST is charged and no claim can be made for GST paid on expenses related to the earning of that income.
In your situation if you are renting commercial properties this would be classed as GST taxable income. If you earn more than $75,000 a year you would need to be registered for GST and include GST in the rent you charge. You could then claim GST you paid on the expenses relating to that property.
If you only own residential property there is no need to register for GST and there would be no point in registering. This is because residential rentals are classed as input taxed and you could not claim the GST paid on the rental expenses.
Q. Is stamp duty tax deductible?
A. Stamp duty paid on the purchase of a rental property is not tax deductible but it forms part of the purchase cost. When the property is sold the stamp duty paid reduces the amount of capital gains tax payable.
Q. For an investment property is the initial cleaning claimable as an expense and tax deductible?
A. The costs associated with getting a property into a condition where it can be rented are not deductible but form part of the purchase cost of the property.
Investment tax questions can be emailed to max@taxbiz.com.au

High land costs spell doom for cottages

High land costs spell doom for cottages

Sydney's two- and three-bedroom cottages are disappearing as the high cost of land makes them increasingly uneconomic.
The number of two-bedroom detached homes occupied in greater Sydney fell by more 7230, or nearly 9 per cent, between 2006 and 2011, analysis of census data shows. The number of three-bedroom detached houses fell by about 2 per cent in that period.
The small cottage just can't cut it with high land prices.
Bob Schwartz, chief economist of Pitney Bowes Software, which did the analysis, said two- and three-bedroom houses were becoming ''too small'' for the Sydney housing market.
''Those types of houses are in decline because they are simply not the best use of space,'' he said. ''The small cottage just can't cut it with high land prices.''
Some two-bedroom houses moved into a larger category between 2006 and 2011 because of extensions. But many had been demolished to make way for a bigger house or higher-density development. There was now ''an imperative in the Sydney housing market'' to renovate or demolish small detached homes in order to get a better return, Mr Schwartz said.
The census underscored the popularity of large detached houses. More than 37,000 houses with four or more bedrooms were added in Sydney between 2006 and 2011. Home builders also favour building new detached houses with four or more bedrooms because the returns are higher.
But the analysis revealed that almost 40 per cent of homes with four or more bedrooms added in the five years to 2011 had only one or two occupants. Mr Schwartz said this trend was also being driven by the high cost of housing.
''It's not just that they're looking for comfortable digs,'' he said.
''The reason we are going to four bedrooms or more is because of house prices. It's a property play … but it is also symptomatic of how the property market is being skewed.''
The number of two- and three-bedroom semi-detached homes and apartments also grew strongly between 2006 and 2011. Two-bedroom apartments proved the most popular higher-density option, increasing by 30,000.
Last month a Reserve Bank assistant governor, Christopher Kent, said strong growth in approvals for new higher-density housing, especially in Sydney's inner and middle suburbs, ''may be an early indication of a new trend in the housing market''.
Even though the total number of two- and three-bedroom detached houses fell between 2006 and 2011, those occupied by large families - with six or more members - rose by about 1200.
''That's an equivalent number of households to a small city postcode,'' he said. ''So it's a fair number of large families with six or more people squeezing into two or three bedrooms.''

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Glencore-Xstrata Deal Said to Win Chinese Approval -Market Up on News

Glencore-Xstrata Deal Said to Win Chinese Approval -Market Up on News
April 16 (Bloomberg) -- Bloomberg's Manus Cranny reports that Glencore International gained approval from Chinese authorities, clearing its final regulatory hurdle in its $30 billion takeover of Xstrata. He speaks on Bloomberg Television's "The Pulse."



Glencore International Plc (GLEN), the largest publicly traded commodities supplier, said it expects to close the $30 billion takeover of Xstrata Plc (XTA) next month after agreeing with Chinese regulators to sell a Peru copper mine.
The Ministry of Commerce in Beijing yesterday approved the deal, provided the new company disposes of the Las Bambas mine, according to a statement on the ministry’s website. BMO Capital Markets values the asset at $6.5 billion, while Liberum Capital Ltd. estimates it is worth $4.4 billion.
A sign directs visitors and goods vehicles at the headquarters of Glencore International Plc in Baar. Photographer: Gianluca Colla/Bloomberg
April 16 (Bloomberg) -- Bloomberg's Manus Cranny reports that Glencore International gained approval from Chinese authorities, clearing its final regulatory hurdle in its $30 billion takeover of Xstrata. He speaks on Bloomberg Television's "The Pulse."
China’s signoff removes the last obstacle to completing the 14-month-old acquisition. Glencore’s largest shareholder and Chief Executive Officer Ivan Glasenberg is poised to create the fourth-biggest mining company by adding coal, copper, nickel and zinc mines to a commodities trading empire. He will run the combined group from its inception, after Xstrata’s Mick Davis yesterday dropped a plan to do the job for six months.
“This seems to me another master-class of Ivan demonstrating why he’s smarter than everybody else,” Paul Gait, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein & Co., said by phone. “At the bare minimum, he breaks even on the capex that Xstrata have already sunk on Las Bambas which is arguably already baked into the Xstrata share price.”
Xstrata is building the Las Bambas mine at a cost of $5.2 billion, the Zug, Switzerland-based company said in January. The site is expected to produce 400,000 tons of copper a year starting 2015 for at least the first five years. Xstrata has spent about $2 billion at the site so far, Liberum analyst Ash Lazenby estimates.

Australia’s first two-storey integrated modular and flat pack built apartments built in Wandoan

Australia’s first two-storey integrated modular and flat pack built apartments built in Wandoan

15 April, 2013

Australia’s first ever two-storey integrated modular and flat pack built apartments, called the Wayfarers, are being made in Wandoan.
The Wayfarer is designed, manufactured and constructed by Pearls MiiHome, a rapid build housing solutions company based on the Gold Coast.
Taking five weeks to build, each Wayfarer will provide four, two and three bedroom apartments set over two levels.
The two level core of the building is a ready-built module comprising four kitchens and eight bathrooms, complete with all plumbing, electrical, air conditioning and appliances, and has been transported to the site by truck.
Once the module combination has been craned into place, one on top of the other, then the flatpack walls, floors, roof, decks and landings will be built around them.

Two apartment buildings are to be erected in main street of Wandoan in the heart of the Surat Basin. The apartments will be occupied by gas giant QGC as an extension of their current accommodation lease with Central Queensland Management Pty Ltd who operates a 170 room mining resort in Wandoan.
Pearls MiiHome CEO Mark Winfield said the Wayfarer had been specifically designed for the mining industry and remote areas.
“Living away from home does not mean you can’t live in style,” Mr Winfield said.
“We have the technology to produce accommodation that is high quality, low cost, energy efficient and can be tailored to local conditions.
Pearls MiiHome’s ‘MiiPanel’ system, an integrated steel panel with an interlocking structural joint for continuous floor and wall building, is a feature in the Wayfarer apartments. The steel panels have a bonded structural core containing various elements providing thermal, structural, acoustic, and fire resistant properties.
Mr Winfield said the construction of the Wayfarer also provided job opportunities for the Wandoan community.
“Our panel technology and rapid build system means that almost anyone can build and assemble our apartments – the requirement for skilled people in traditional construction is significantly reduced,” Mr Winfield said.
“The Wayfarer is being constructed almost entirely by local people,” he concluded.

Australia’s First Flat-Pack Apartment Building


Australia has been inundated with flat-pack furniture and developed flat-pack water tanks, portable offices and shipping containers. Now the country is set to welcome its first flat-pack apartment building in Queensland.
Flat-pack building technology has garnered immense interest due to its speed to market and its efficiency thanks to the use of prefabricated materials.
The two-storey modular apartment building, dubbed the Wayfarers, will be located in Wandoan, a small regional town and one that is becoming renowned for supporting flat-pack buildings.
Earlier this year, the town also announced a new flat-pack local health clinic as part of its hospital.
The Wayfarers building will feature two, three and four-bedroom apartments and is expected to be completed in an amazing five weeks as opposed to the six months it would generally take to build such a project using traditional means.
Flat-pack buildings use a similar system to flat-pack furniture but on a larger scale.
Flat Pack Apartment China
Construction China’s Flat Pack T30 Tower. Image Source: Terminalu
Materials from floors to walls are prefabricated and are fitted in factories. The materials are then delivered to the work site and linked together.
The idea offers a prospective building alternative for housing and small buildings and is especially suitable for regional sites such as mining locations that have restrictive access.
The two-level core of the Wayfarers building – including its floors, walls, roof and decks – will be prefabricated in a Wandoan factory, as will the architectural elements that make up the building’s four kitchens and eight bathrooms.
All plumbing, electrical, air-conditioning and appliances will also be installed in the factory, delivered by truck and linked together on the building site.
The Wayfarer is designed, manufactured and constructed by Pearls MiiHome and will feature their innovative ‘MiiPanel’ integrated steel panel system for the building.
The durable panels interlock seamlessly and provide acoustic, thermal and fire resistant properties.
Renzo Piano Flat Pack Timber-Structure
Renzo Piano Flat Pack Timber-Structure. Image Source: Wired Magazine
“We have the technology to produce accommodation that is high quality, low cost, energy efficient and can be tailored to local conditions,” said Pearls MiiHome CEO Mark Winfield.
China Proposed Flat Pack Skyscraper
Sky City, China’s Proposed Flat Pack Skyscraper. Image Source: Responding to Climate Change
“Our panel technology and rapid build system means that almost anyone can build and assemble our apartments – the requirement for skilled people in traditional construction is significantly reduced.”
Flat-pack architecture has already made an impact around the world.
Late last year Pritzker Prize-winning Italian architect Renzo Piano replaced an auditorium which was destroyed by a 2009 earthquake in L’Aquila, a city in Abruzzo, with a flat-pack venue.
The building was made using 1,165 cubic metres of wood, which was fabricated and installed on site. Timber is a popular form of prefabricated material for its durability and sustainable qualities.
Chinese firm Broad Sustainable Building (BSB) also recently completed a 30-storey tower in under three weeks prefabricating as many architectural components as possible.
Now, BSB Design is looking to develop a 220-storey Sky City tower project in Changsha in South Central China in as little as 90 days through flat-pack construction.
If approved, the building will become the tallest building in the world, overtaking the Burj Khalifa in Dubai and the largest flat-pack structure.
By Angela Fedele

Main Image: Wayfarers Flat Pack Building. Image Source: Architecture & Design

more about Pearls MiiHome

Pearls MiiHome and GenerationOne Covenant Signing 100 Jobs

Pearls MiiHome and GenerationOne Covenant Signing 100 Jobs

Pearls MiiHome and GenerationOne Covenant Signing 100 Jobs

Gold Coast, Qld, 12th March 2013 -  On Tuesday 12th March 2013, Pearls MiiHome will be having a big event at their Research and Development Factory in Yatala.

Pearls MiiHome will join Australia’s largest demand led Indigenous employment campaign, by signing an Australian Employment Covenant, a GenerationOne initiative.

Pearls MiiHome will be making the commitment to play its role in ending the disparity in one generation through employment.

Kicking off at 10.00am, Pearls MiiHome CEO Mark Winfield will be signing an Employment Covenant with GenerationOne CEO Warren Mundine.

This will be the announcement of 100 jobs over the next year for the Gold Coast region to service current contracts.

At the covenant signing Mr Mundine said that he was thrilled that Pearls MiiHome were committed to providing real jobs, and only training jobseekers for those jobs. “Employment is the key to ending the disparity between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians”, he said. “Through pre-employment programs, on-the-job training and continued career support, employers like Pearls MiiHome are leading the way”.

“When employers make the commitment to Indigenous people, particularly long-term unemployed, it demonstrates the ground swell of support behind GenerationOne," said Mr Mundine.

Mr Winfield said, “Pearls MiiHome are expanding their workforce and will be placing these jobs at Yatala and at Coomera where there is a temporary factory of 9,000m2.

“These jobs are targeting Indigenous employees and already there is currently up to 150 jobs available through our alliance partner Mission Australia”

An Access Employment Program will be run by both Pearls MiiHome and Mission Australia, targeting a further 60 Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander jobs.  The first recruitment day for this course will be held on Wednesday 13th March 2013, with further days planned for Beenleigh and Southport soon after.

For Further Media Information Contact :

Johanna Kerin- GenerationOne – Media Officer- 0425 835 566
Gary Oliver – Pearls MiiHome - 0405 723 648

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Monday, 15 April 2013

Queensland government released the draft single State Planning Policy

  Next Step Taken on the Planning Reform Road

Today the Queensland government released the draft single State Planning Policy intended to replace the existing 12 State Planning Policies.  The single State Planning Policy (SPP) clarifies state interests in the planning and development system. The document details 18 matters of state interests in the planning and development assessment system, organised into five categories including:
  • Housing and liveable communities
  • Economic growth
  • Transport and infrastructure
  • Hazards and safety
  • Environment and heritage
In addition, the document outlines the State’s expectations with regards to best practice planning principles. The State Planning Policy (SPP) sets out the state interests and related policies that local governments must take into account in preparing or amending local planning instruments, and that the state may consider in preparing and amending regional plans.  As well the SPP prescribes the development assessment requirements for certain applications and sets out the matters that must be considered by a Minister before designating land for community infrastructure.

The draft single SPP will be on public display until 12 June 2012 and can be found here.
Thanks NIFTY

Sunday, 14 April 2013

WA news PMH site may be rezoned for apartments

PMH site may be rezoned for apartments

Kim Macdonald, The West Australian April 10, 2013, 7:19 am
PMH site may be rezoned for apartmentsThe West Australian ©

    The urban infill program has been given a fillip by revelations Princess Margaret Hospital is likely to be rezoned for apartments and other commercial opportunities, as two other inner-city development sites hit the market.
    The State Government's land agency, LandCorp, confirmed it could also add to the stock of inner-city residential sites in 2015 when PMH is decommissioned.
    A multi-storey development site on William Street, Northbridge, and a vacant lot for up to 150 apartments in West Perth both came on to the market this week.
    The projects have the capacity to add hundreds of new apartments to the inner city, helping to achieve the State Government's aim outlined in its Directions 2031 and Beyond blueprint for 50 per cent infill.
    LandCorp, which stressed that a final decision had not been made, said it was expected the 36,300sqm PMH site would deliver opportunities for commercial, residential and tourism developments.
    Only one building on the Subiaco site has heritage value and must be retained. The rest of the site is likely to be rezoned from public use to a mixed use development.
    _WestBusiness _ understands that most of the structure will be bulldozed when the hospital is decommissioned in 2015.
    A spokeswoman for Health Minister Kim Hames said the PMH site offered an opportunity for a "highly sustainable new inner-urban community that incorporates the site's history and complements the surrounding areas."
    "(It is) a redevelopment opportunity for the State Government to direct growth and intensification around a transit route," a spokeswoman for Dr Hames said.
    "The PMH site will deliver on the principals of the Directions 2031 policy fulfilling the State Government's plan for inner-city living."
    The Urban Development Institute of Australia backed plans to rezone the Government-owned land, with chief executive Debra Goostrey claiming developers were already interested in the prime land.
    The West Perth site that hit the market this week is 7416sqm, comprising five privately owned lots on the Cowle Street site that back on to Dorrien Gardens.
    Jones Lang LaSalle has launched a five-week expression of interest campaign. Jones Lang LaSalle director of sales and investments, Phil Fogliani, said the site had the potential to host up to 150 apartments and was 1.5 km from the CBD.
    The Northbridge development for sale, at William Street, on the corner of Francis Street, included three heritage-listed buildings for sale by the Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority.
    The site has a 61m street frontage and contains three single-storey buildings. It has the potential for a three-storey development with a four-storey corner element.
    Jones Lang LaSalle director of sales and investments, Tom Nattrass, said there had already been 40 inquiries.
    Planning Minister John Day said the State Government had invested millions to restore buildings within the William Street precinct, to upgrade public areas and implement a targeted leasing strategy to encourage a diverse mix of uses by day and night.
    "The precinct is now WA's foremost inner-city heritage precinct - a vibrant urban quarter and thriving home for creative industries, restaurants and galleries occupying restored historic buildings," Mr Day said.

    Thursday, 11 April 2013

    Bantacs Latest Changes to Superannuation

    Latest Changes to Superannuation
    Currently if a superannuation fund is in pension phase any income on its investments are tax free and it remains tax free when paid out to members. 

    Starting on 1st July, 2014 the government will claw back some of this tax concession for the big end of town. When the superannuation fund earnings of an individual member exceed $100,000 in a financial year the excess will be taxed at 15%. 

    The $100,000 threshold will be index to CPI increase in $10,000 intervals.

     The tax will not apply to capital gains on assets purchased before 5th April, 2013 for 10 years ie 2024. It is estimated this will only affect 16,000 superannuation fund members. 

    There will be no further taxing of this excess when it is paid to the member over 60 years of age.
    Stay tuned for more detail as it becomes available but it would seem that members in this situation should take advantage of the ability to split their superannuation with their spouse. 

    Before you start thinking that this is a reason why you should not invest in superannuation consider that once the fund is in pension phase the member is entitled to take the money out so at worse they will be in the position they would have been in if they had not utilised superannuation but during the accumulation stage and to date they have received tax concessions. 

    But they will not take their money out of the superannuation fund because it is still a tax haven for them, just a little less so.

    From 1 July 2013 the concessional superannuation contributions cap will increase from $25,000 to $35,000 for people over 60 years of age

    From 1 July 2014 the concessional superannuation contributions cap will increase from $25,000 to $35,000 for people over 50 years of age

    Taxpayers who have exceeded their contribution cap, from 1st July, 2013, will have the option of withdrawing the excess from the fund to be taxed at their marginal tax rate plus a shortfall interest charge.

    Note all of the above is proposed, not legislation yet. The following has been passed.

    From 1 July 2012, individuals with income greater than $300,000 had the tax concession on their contributions reduced from 30% to 15%. As people on $300,000 a year are in the 45% tax bracket this means their superannuation will be taxed at 30% (45% - 15%)

    The definition of 'income' for the purpose of this measure will include taxable income, reportable employer superannuation contributions, adjusted fringe benefits, total net investment loss, target foreign income, tax-free government pensions and benefits, less child support. 

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