Monday, 28 July 2014

QLD Farm Fantastic Expo at Caboolture August 22 - August 24 PREFAB

2014 Farm Fantastic Expo

       Caboolture Showgrounds &

       Qld State Equestrian Centre
       Beerburrum Road, Caboolture, Qld, 4510

       August 22 - August 24


Exciting News - Hoek Modular Homes will have a display at Farm Fantastic!

The Display home will be based on one of our most popular designs, the Huntington 86. It boasts an open plan kitchen, dining and living area and a good sized deck. We’ll be taking this display home to the Farm Fantastic Expo at Caboolture (August 22-24) -  until then  it can be seen here at our Lawnton site. Here’s the best news -  it’s  available for sale now and can be installed on your property straight after Farm Fantastic. So it’s certainly a case of first in best dressed!
The 2014 Farm Fantastic Expo is at the Queensland State Equestrian Centre Caboolture and Caboolture Showgrounds facility, for three days from August 22 to 24, 2014. Farm Fantastic is one of the largest outdoor retail trade expos now in Australia, with a 50ha site. This expo will give prime importance to all kinds of products and services related to industries like food and beverage, travel and tourism, agriculture, entertainment and household consumables.
We are so excited about the Farm Fantastic Expo and our display home that we have embraced the spirit of the event and invented a very unique competition. Are you ready to hear the details? To win an iPad mini, you have to guess the weight of our carefully collected cow pat. Yes you read that correctly, our competition is all about cow dung. Simply visit our display at Farm Fantasic, view the cow pat carefully, then either like our page on Facebook and enter your guess by commenting on our Facebook cow pat post or write your guess down along with your email address on our competition sheet. Get excited this competition is going to be the talk of the expo!
There’s going to be something for everybody! Entertainment,  gourmet food, body and wellness, lots of shopping, a backyard farming/homesteading section, a sprawling adventure and lifestyle section, farming and machinery exhibitions, children's rides, baby animal farms and junior rodeo events and so much more!
•         Council regulations
•         Flexible living arrangements
•         Hassle free building
•         Saving money for you and your family
•         Financing and Government Grants
•         Affordable new home

Sunday, 27 July 2014




- 28 room motel development
- Land size 2400m² approx.
- Prefabricated entirely offsite
- Sauna, spa and library areas
Incorporating 351 sqm of space over eleven modules

Saturday, 26 July 2014

VICTORIA Moonee Ponds, Victoria 9 level building goes up in 5 days YES AUSTRALIA

VICTORIA  Moonee Ponds, Victoria 9 level building goes up in 5 days

(if you get this by email watch video online by clicking blue title text)

Published on May 19, 2014
One9 in Moonee Ponds, Victoria. Built using Hickory's innovative prefabricated construction systems, the 9 levels of eco-friendly apartments were erected in just 5 days on site. Development by the Moloney Group, architecture by Amnon Weber and head contract delivered by Vaughan Constructions using innovative Hickory technology.

Friday, 25 July 2014

Victoria Melbourne Richmond 7 storey apartment built in 11 YES AUSTRALIA

Victoria Melbourne 7 storey apartment building in 11 days YES AUSTRALIA
Published on Apr 4, 2013
(if you gilt this by email watch video online by clicking blue title text)

63 Modules
Installation in 11 days

Using the modular building system from Unitised Building (Aust), all 7 floors of finished apartments were installed in the heart of Melbourne's popular Richmond area in 11 days.

For more information about the Unitised Building system and the 3:East project visit


Thursday, 24 July 2014

South Hedland, Western Australia, 77-unit, six-storey apartment complex in just eight-and-a-half days.

Hickory puts up six-storey prefab apartment block in record time

Wednesday 18 June 2014
Hickory Group has put up an prefabricated 77-unit, six-storey apartment complex in South Hedland, Western Australia, in just eight-and-a-half days.
Using 108 prefabricated modules built in Hickory’s Melbourne factory and transferred to the WA site by road and sea, the $26 million Concorde South development has slashed typical construction time.
“Our integrated structural building system accelerates onsite and offsite construction programs by up to 50 per cent, and provides a real solution to the issues of quality, affordability, materials and skills shortages that often prevent regional development projects getting off the ground,” Hickory managing director Michael Argyrou said.
The company said it was committed to providing quality, sustainable developments for regional Australia, and also providing manufacturing jobs. Hickory has more than 450 staff, with many of the prefabrication personnel coming from the depressed Victorian manufacturing sector.
“Unlike imported modular construction products, the Hickory System is an Australian made construction system that does not have set sizes, building heights or layouts,” Mr Argyrou said.
“We can adapt to complex architectural designs that make a positive contribution to the skyline while having a minimal impact on the environment.
“The Pilbara region has been very supportive of our technology, which uses a unique delivery system that creates construction opportunities in the Pilbara as well as manufacturing jobs for displaced auto-workers in our Melbourne factory.”
Port Hedland Mayor Kelly Howlett said the apartment was a welcome addition.
“The town is excited to see another transformation happening in South Hedland and the construction of the new apartments will only add to the amenity and vibrancy of the South Hedland Town Centre, helping us to achieve our vision of becoming a regional city,” Ms Howlett said.
The Concorde South project is being delivered in partnership with developers AcierMaximus Australasia and Gold Star Consulting.
Agents Hedland First National have been appointed to sell the apartments, which offer a mix of one, two and three bedroom layouts.
By Cameron Jewell, The Fifth Estate, 18 June 2014 

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Perth Success for Hickory in affordable prefab

Success for Hickory in affordable prefab

The Adara development has shaved $1 million off costs and reduced construction time by 50 per cent.
By Cameron Jewell
17 July 2014 — The Western Australian government is behind an affordable modular apartment building currently being assembled in the Perth suburb of Success, expected to be erected in under 10 days. And researchers from the Curtin University Sustainability Policy Institute have been engaged to perform a detailed study of the construction method, which director Professor Peter Newman says “promises to break the cost spiral on high-rise construction”.
The Adara Apartments project is part of the Stella Village community, a transit-oriented development being delivered by the Western Australian Department of Housing in partnership with the private sector, including developer Goldmaster Enterprises. It has been designed to enable affordable and accessible housing to one of Perth’s fastest growing regions, with apartments offered under the National Rental Affordability Scheme as well as the WA Shared Home Ownership Scheme, which allows the purchase of properties from the government with a deposit of as little as $2000.
The apartment development has been largely prefabricated by Hickory Group, with modules being manufactured in the company’s Melbourne plant. It is currently being erected by Goodland Building Company, which has also worked on all the in-situ elements.
Hickory said that the dual construction method being implemented allows buildings to take shape 50 per cent faster than with conventional sequential on-site construction. The building modules are completed at Hickory’s Melbourne factory then shipped to Perth where they are craned into place “like a Lego set”.

Complexity and quality can still be achieved

Hickory managing director Michael Argyrou said the speed of prefab construction didn’t mean there had to be compromises on quality or design outcomes.
“Unlike other modular construction, which has to date consisted of lower quality container type systems that can only produce buildings of a few levels, our systems are engineered for high-rise towers,” Mr Argryou said. “We are also flexible in architectural design, and the complex fa├žade elements of the Adara Apartments development attest to that, it’s a very striking looking building.”

CUSP and Hickory join forces to measure benefits

Hickory is currently working with CUSP to quantify the benefits of its construction methodology.
“Perth has a huge problem with high-rise development being far too expensive and often not being located near good transit services,” CUSP director Professor Peter Newman said. “The Adara Apartments is not just well located but it promises to break the cost spiral on high-rise.”
While there were obvious savings in carbon emissions, time and cost ($1 million for this project) with prefabricated construction, all factors would be greatly improved if Hickory had a local manufacturing plant, Professor Newman said. Preliminary results, he said, suggested embedded energy was reduced slightly across the whole life cycle of the building compared to conventional construction, but the savings would be substantial if the modules did not have to be shipped.
Even so, Professor Newman said, all in all the move to prefab was welcome news.
“It’s a new era for construction in Perth,” he said.

PrefabAUS To Host Conference On Future Of Australia’s Built Environment

The way our cities are constructed and the sustainability of these choices are on the agenda.
Prefab Australia (PrefabAUS) will assemble industry experts from around the world to address the global expansion of prefabricated building technologies and the future of Australia’s built environment.
CEO of PrefabAUS Sarah Backhouse said that whilst off-site construction reduces costs and increases community sustainability, “an innovative, productive and quality local construction industry is critical to a more economical and environmentally sustainable future”.
The inaugural conference will be held in Melbourne from August 11th to the 13th and will see the full spectrum of the prefabrication sector represented.
With the off-site construction sector continuing to expand at a growing rate, “our conference is timed to bring together key representatives from all related areas for the first time; from architecture, engineering, manufacturing, material supply, property development and construction to universities, government agencies and client representatives,” said Ms Backhouse.
The event will feature an influential line-up of national and international speakers and cover all approaches to off-site construction, from commercial to residential and across all key infrastructure sectors including health and education.
Among the key speakers are Professor Peter Newman AO, leading author and environmental scientist, David Hodgett, Victorian Minister for Ports, Major Projects and Manufacturing and distinguished Australian construction director David Chandler.
Responsible for the construction of Australia’s New Parliament House, Mr Chandler is conscious of the green economy and sees prefabrication as the way forward.
“Australia’s construction industry has many competing agendas and until now very few of these have taken a national industry focus, prefabAUS is looking at the bigger picture,” Mr Chandler said.
Under consideration during the three-day event will be both the commercial and residential approaches to off-site construction across key infrastructure sectors including health and education.
Factory tours and site visits to the DocklandsBrooklyn and Salesian College will form part of a conference program that seeks to educate and engage attendees in a broader conversation and promotes the sharing of knowledge and resources.

prefabAUS is the new peak body representing key businesses in the design, manufacture and construction of prefabricated buildings and building modules. It is a not for profit organisation and is hosting Australia’s first national conference on the off-site construction industry  in Melbourne this August from the 11th to the 13th. The conference will feature 19 national and international specialists in off-site design, manufacturing and construction, as well as workshops, panel discussions and site visits.
To get involved in the growing discussion follow prefabAUS on twitter (@prefabAUS) and tweet #prefabAUS2014 during the conference.

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

VIC Austraila has approved rezoning of a $174m biomass power plant near Mildura, Victoria, Australia.

VIC Austraila has approved rezoning of a $174m biomass power plant near Mildura, Victoria, Australia.

Australia approves rezoning of biomass power plant in Mildura

EBR Staff WriterPublished 21 July 2014
Austraila has approved rezoning of a $174m biomass power plant near Mildura, Victoria, Australia.
Victoria Planning Ministry Matthew Guy has rezoned land at Carwarp for the 35MW power station and also approved an 18km electricity transmission line and substation to connect to the existing grid.

Guy said: "Transforming plant waste into a new source of power has numerous benefits for the region and our environment. Residents are likely to see lower power bills, farmers will have a new income stream and the local economy will be bolstered by new industry and jobs.

"With an increasing focus on renewable energy, long-term planning for the region has identified this opportunity to expand on traditional regional industries to drive jobs and economic growth.

"This next stage will confirm the region's reputation as a clean energy centre.

Scheduled to be built next to Olam's existing almond processing plant, the power station will process almond hulls and shells, as well as grape skins from local wineries, into electricity.

The Balfour Beatty Investments power plant, located close to the existing Solar Systems solar power plant at Carwarp, will receive a $3m regional growth fund grant from the Napthine Government and is expected to be operating within three years.

Local Mildura MLA Peter Crisp said: "This project will create 26 full-time jobs, use around 200,000 tonnes of plant waste a year and generate enough electricity to power around 20,000 homes."

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

NSW Camden Council resists Macquarie Grove Road subdivision

Camden Council resists Macquarie Grove Road subdivision

Subdivision conflict: Homes built on large blocks in the Kirkham Meadows estate. Developers want to subdivide the land next to the estate into similar sized blocks. Picture: Jeff de Pasquale
Subdivision conflict: Homes built on large blocks in the Kirkham Meadows estate. Developers want to subdivide the land next to the estate into similar sized blocks. Picture: Jeff de Pasquale


CAMDEN Council has come out swinging against a proposed rezoning and subdivision in Kirkham, saying it is unnecessary and goes against the community's wishes.

The council was scathing in its submission to a Joint Regional Planning Panel pre-gateway review of the rezoning proposal, which would see eight hectares of primary production land rezoned to allow a 15-lot large lot residential subdivision.

"One of the key requirements of a planning proposal progressing beyond the gateway process is meeting the strategic state and local planning objectives, of which this proposal does not," the submission said.

"Council is already exceeding targets with regard to population requirements and does not need to provide additional development.

"The proposal is also contrary to the directions provided within Camden 2040."
Camden mayor Lara Symkowiak said the proposed rezoning and subdivision had "been rejected by two different councils multiple times".

She said the development was "inconsistent with NSW government strategic goals".
Michael Brown Planning Strategies director Michael Brown spoke to the Advertiser on behalf of the developers.

He said the council had originally supported the proposal and initial studies had been done.
He said developers were allowed to ask the Planning Department to review rezoning applications if councils refused them.

"The land was always marked for future development."
Mr Brown said the area in question was already equipped with electricity, sewerage and water services.

"There are not many sewered blocks of 4000 square metres around."
The proposal will go back to the planning panel for determination.

Monday, 14 July 2014

Proposed Zoning Changes For City Of Sydney

Proposed Zoning Changes For City Of Sydney

The City of Sydney Council has recently endorsed for exhibition a new zoning plan and planning controls for much of the city’s employment lands.
The subject areas are currently zoned for either business or industrial purposes and include parts ofAlexandria and Rosebery, as well as along Parramatta Road in Glebe.
The new planning controls were informed by an Employment Lands Study and a Strategy document that recommends a new zoning framework be applied to the area.
While some industrial areas will be retained for traditional industrial uses, new zones are to be introduced and/or expanded including a B6 Enterprise Corridor zone in addition to a B7 Business Park zone.

The report prepared for Council’s consideration note the proposed changes to include:
  • A core industrial zone in the South West part that will continue to accommodate ‘traditional industrial’ uses;
  • A flexible enterprise corridor zone through the centre part that will accommodate lower density industrial and commercial uses; and
  • Business park zones in the North West and South East parts that are close to transport, services and amenities and that will provide for denser commercial activity over time.

Private residential development is to be restricted in the employment lands, given ‘the economic incompatibility of this use with the employment objectives for the zones”.
Exceptions are along a small portion of Botany Road where shop top housing and seniors housings are already permitted.
Affordable housing opportunities are also to be provided for by the new zoning controls particularly within the proposed B7 Business Park zones.
According to Knight Frank’s Manager of Town Planning for Sydney, David Workman, “The proposed zoning and planning control changes are extensive and it is obviously very important to be aware of the implications on an individual property basis”.
“A small change can often make a significant difference either positive or negative, particularly in terms the type of development permitted within a new zone and at what density, “Mr Workman said.
The new zoning plan or Planning Proposal is to be sent to the NSW Department of Planning & Environmentwith a request for a Gateway Determination, which will enable the plan to be publicly exhibited.
Knight Frank’s South Sydney Agency Director, Daniel O’Brien said, the re-zoning of certain lands currently zoned IN1 General Industrial will allow for a broader range of higher order commercial uses, than currently permitted.
“We expect the proposed zoning changes to continue to drive employment and therefore commercial development in these areas.
“The trend for older industrial style buildings, to be regenerated into funky office space will only gather more pace and as long as the current demand for this type of office accommodation remains strong, it will be a win : win for developers, tenants and occupiers and building owners,” said Mr O’Brien.
“The most recent adaptive reuse properties have leased very well, with The Cannery in Rosebery of 10,000sqm being 95 per cent leased on completion and The Woolstores of Alexandria being 55 per cent preleased prior to completion,” Knight Frank’s Manager of Industrial, Brooke Railton said.

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Great DEAL 5.5% on pre-paid fuel cards with BP

Great DEAL 5.5% on pre-paid fuel cards with BP
be quick

About the Big Petrol Switch

The Big Petrol Switch is a national people power campaign to unlock a group-discounted offer to help Australian families save on their fuel bills.
The Big Petrol Switch aimed to aggregate at least $1 million worth of buying power in order to unlock a group discount of 5%.
After four weeks of registration, it amassed more than $24,000,000 in potential buying power and achieved a discount of 5.5% on pre-paid fuel cards with BP.
The cards are valid for all fuel and in-store products at participating BP outlets (using EFTPOS) Australia-wide for 12 months. 
The offer is exclusive to One Big Switch members. But it’s cost-free and obligation-free to join at 
Full FAQs and BP’s terms and conditions for use of the cards are also available by joining or logging in at

sign up too for 30% of life insurance.

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Cashed-up foreign real estate investors view $85k fines as cost of doing business, parliamentary committee told

Cashed-up foreign real estate investors view $85k fines as cost of doing business, parliamentary committee told

Updated Fri 27 Jun 2014, 5:38pm AEST
New rules, tougher fines and greater enforcement of existing regulations could be among the results of a parliamentary inquiry into foreign purchases in the domestic real estate market.
Parliament's Economics Committee is investigating complaints that property price hikes in major Australian cities may be fuelled by an influx of foreign buyers.
Current rules allow non-residents to buy new property, but not purchase existing dwellings.
The committee has heard that some foreign buyers consider the existing $85,000 fine for buying existing dwellings just a cost of doing business.
The committee chair, Liberal MP Kelly O'Dwyer, told the ABC criminal penalties were in place but no prosecutions were being pursued by the Foreign Investment Review Board because of the burden of proof, where intent must be demonstrated.
"We believe it is worth investigating whether civil penalties ought to be applied and whether more significant fines ought to be applied for people who are contravening the law," Ms O'Dwyer said.
"Currently under the criminal penalties that apply, we are talking about $85,000 [in fines] that apply.
"Evidence has been presented to the committee that it is simply seen as the cost of doing business for some individuals and organisations who might wish to contravene the current framework.
"We are going to look at what might be a more appropriate figure in our final recommendations to government."

Number of breaches 'could be reasonably significant'

Ms O'Dwyer believes rules are being broken, but says it is unclear how widespread the issue is.
Part of the concern we have is that if the structure, the enforcement and the compliance isn't in place, then potentially that number could be reasonably significant
Kelly O'Dwyer
"I am not prepared to put a figure on it. These are some of the questions we are asking and we are yet to get conclusive information on this," she said.
"Suffice to say, it is a very real concern. Evidence has been presented to the committee that would give us cause for that concern.
"Part of the concern we have is that if the structure, the enforcement and the compliance isn't in place, then potentially that number could be reasonably significant."
Reserve Bank assistant governor Christopher Kent told a hearing in Sydney today its low interest rate policy has been more responsible for driving house prices higher than foreign investors.
He said that most of the recent demand had come from local residents.
"The rise in prices has primarily reflected increasing housing demand from Australian residents and citizens partly owing to the low level of interest rates," he said.
"The supply of housing is responsive to a rise in housing demand but given the time that is needed to plan to build new housing that typically occurs with some lag."
The Government and committee members believe foreign investment in real estate benefits Australia and the economy, but there are concerns about regulation and enforcement.
The committee's deputy chair, Labor MP Ed Husic, has raised concerns about the so-called "shadow banking" market in China, a system that usually lacks regulation and oversight.
"With the rise of the shadow banking system in China, where people are going outside of the banking system to be able to finance investment, there are some concerns about the quality of the loans and whether or not they will actually be durable," Mr Husic told the ABC.
"If those loans are being used to finance development in Australia, and if they fall over, what is the exposure of the Australian banking system to that?
"I think these are things we are very keen to pursue and we will be looking to talk to the Reserve Bank further about that in due course."
Australian Bankers Association and residential developer Harry Triguboff from the Meriton Group are also scheduled to appear at today's meeting.