Keeping children safe

STAY SAFE: Eglinton Public School captain Jane Sheather, vice captain Lachlan Taylor and kindergarten, Year 1 and Year 2 students with the Daniel Morcombe Foundation Big Red truck. Photo:CHRIS SEABROOK 102516cdaniel
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IN 2003, 13-year-old Daniel Morcombe was abductedfrom the side of the road as he waited for a bus.

He was later killed, his remains not found fornearly eight years.

His story is well-known throughout Australia and has spawned the Daniel Morcombe Foundation, which now aims toeducatechildren about personal safety through various school-run programs.

On Tuesday, Eglinton Public School was visited by the foundation’s Big Red truckin a joint-effort with the Australian Federal Police to continue spreading its message.

Assistant principal Ross James said child safety is a very important part of the curriculum at Eglinton Public School.

“It is important for every child to remain safe and ensure that while they are in our care they are safe,” he said.

The school has participated in Day for Daniel, held onOctober 28, for the past three years, but Tuesday was the first time the truckhad visited.

Educators from the truckwere keen to spread one vital message to students: recognise, react and report.

Students were told to trust their instincts in unusual situations and react accordingly.

“In a lot of situations about child safety, instincts tell us that if you don’t feel safe, you probably aren’t safe,” Mr James said.

Internet safety was another focal point of talks during the visit.

Studentswere told to protect their identities online, regularly changes passwords, restrict social media use until they’re over 13 years of age and never add someone they don’t knowas a friend on social media.

“It is one of our biggest concerns and I don’t think we are aware about how dangerous it can be,” Mr James said.

Eglinton Public School will participate in formal Day for Daniel activities on Friday.

Students will wear red to school in support of the day and talk about a specific child safety issue in classrooms, which will be shared at an assembly later in the day.

Mr James said the Daniel Morcombe Foundation has made addressing these issues with students easier thanks to itssupply of classroomresources.

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Funding boost for Wimmera schools

Seven Wimmera schools have received new state government funding for buildings. WIMMERAschools will be able to upgrade old buildings after the state government announced new money for maintenance.
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Seven Wimmera schools are among 400 schools to share in $40 million.

Hopetoun P-12 College will receive $246,000, Horsham Primary School will receive $166,000 andHorsham West and Haven Primary School will receive $60,000.

Dimboola Primary School will receive $47,000, Kaniva College $29,000, Apsley Primary School $13,000 and Beulah Primary School $5000.

Hopetoun P-12 College principal Tony Hand said he was ecstatic to learn about the money.

“We haven’t got the finer details yet about where exactly we can spend it, but it will certainly contribute to our refurbishment work in putting all the students onto one campus,” he said.

The collegemoved all of its students onto the senior school campus from the start of this year.

Previously there was about onekilometre between the junior and senior sites.“This money will allow us to now focus on some of the secondary school buildings and remove some old, decommissioned buildings,” Mr Hand said.

“We had plans in place for these buildings, but we weren’t expecting any money, so this willallowus to get our plans into action.”

Mr Handsaid merging the school’s two campuses had been a positive move.

“The transition of all students onto one campus has been exceptionally smooth, which is a credit to students, staff and the community,” he said.

Horsham Primary School principal Chris Walter said how the money would be spent was still to be decided.

“We are really pleased got some money and it is always very helpful to our school,” he said.

Education Minister James Merlino said the funding boost would allow more schools to replace or upgrade building that were in poor conditions.

“It’s important our teachers and students have the first-rate classrooms they deserve,” he said.

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Shire canoe club face a very Hawkesbury Halloween

Big day: Sutherland Shire Canoe Club members. Picture: SuppliedWhile you and your kids are out trick-or-treating this weekend, some of theShire’s fittest and fastest will be spending their Saturday night in a very differentway.
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Around 14 members of the Sutherland Shire Canoe Club have entered theannual Hawkesbury Canoe Classic, a 111km overnight paddle that raises fundsfor the Arrow Bone Marrow Transplant Foundation.

The Classic, now in its 40thyear, starts at Windsor and ends at Mooney MooneyBridge at Brooklyn, on the Hawkesbury River.

The paddlers will leave Windsor in groups between 3pm and 5pm on Saturdayafternoon, with the fastest taking around 8.5 hours to do the route, arriving inBrooklyn at around 2am. The average paddler will take 13 hours while theslowest will take 16-19 hours – and probably get to see the sun rise.

“A few of our paddlers – and about two-thirds of the entire field – have enteredwhat’s called ‘Brooklyn or Bust’ which is simply focused on finishing the eventrather than racing,” club presidentSteve Dawson said.

“The rest are racing classes divided by boat type, age, and gender. Personally I’drather finish fast because sitting for longer in a boat is physically worse thanworking harder.”

Among the club members hopeful of good results are Dawson and his wife,Kate, who are record holders from previous years, as well as fellow husband andwife team, Ross and Robyn Bingle. Other hot tips are Bob Turner and JasonCooper paddling together, and Kristy Benjamin.

Steve and Ross covered the distance last year in less than nine hours (8h:46m).Bob and Kristy have also posted sub-ninehour paddles previously. Others whohave competed before but not this year will be at the river as support crew.

All the club members who have entered have been training hard. Most haveclocked up 40-50km each weekend; the Dawsons have been doing 60-80km.

Many have been cross-training too, either running or cycling.While it might seem a punishing way to spend a weekend, Mr Dawson saidfinishing the 111km race comes with a real sense of achievement – and more.

“The event has a great atmosphere. Everybody encourages others as they passin the night. In last year’s race, where Ross and I were racing for a podiumposition, we were paddling alongside the other leaders, chatting and swappingstories for almost the entire race,” he said.

“When we came across a paddler in difficultly, all the lead boats stopped tocheck they were okay, even though we didn’t need to. When we knew they werealright, we all went off again together.

“The chatter stopped in the final two kilometres as everyone got down tobusiness. We finished third, two seconds behind the boat that came second.

“There are tough times, because it is such hard work. Between 40km and 60km isthe worst, while the final 30km is almost a relief. Crossing the line is ecstasy.”

Anyone wishing to make a donation to the cause can do so via the club’sEveryday Hero account.

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WTA Finals Singapore 2016: Angelique Kerber beats Simona Halep to remain undefeated

Singapore: In a year of firsts for Angelique Kerber, the prospect of one last success remains. While her place in the semi-finals of the WTA Finals is not quite assured, Tuesday’s 6-4, 6-2 defeat of Simona Halep has enhanced the top seed’s chances significantly.
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On the night the oldest ever year-end No.1 was presented with the diamond-studded trophy, as well as a sparkling Tiffany ring to go with her Australian and US Open silverware, Wimbledon runners-up plate and Rio Olympic medal after an exceptional season’s work, Kerber remained unbeaten in a tournament where she has three times previously failed to progress from the group stage.

Madison Keys’ 6-1, 6-4 overpowering of Dominika Cibulkova in the other Red Group match meant that Kerber’s name has not yet been inked into the last four, but the player who failed to win the one set she needed against Lucie Safarova to qualify for the knockout phase in 2015 is – 12 months later – far more formidable and assured.

“Of course I have much more confidence right now because I know how to win very big matches, tight matches. I know what to do to go for it and just take the game in my hands,” Kerber said after her 82-minute win over third-seeded Halep.

“Of course I believe much more in my game and in myself than 12 months ago, especially after Singapore one year ago. I won so many good matches this year. I won two grand slams … that’s why I believe much more in myself right now.”

Primed by her lengthy three-setter against Cibulkova on the opening night, the 28-year-old won a close first set against Halep, but secured an early double-break in the second, the Romanian’s misfiring forehand a big contributor to a mismatched error count of 35 to 16. Kerber also converted four of five break points compared with Halep’s one from six.

“I think I had the opportunity to get that first set. I was coming back very well, but maybe I didn’t finish the important points and I missed a lot today,” said Halep, who meets Cibulkova on Thursday. “But she played a great tennis. She’s very strong and on her legs she’s moving great. Yeah, she deserve to win. I take it and I’m looking forward to continue this tournament.”

Halep is now equal on one win with Keys, whom she outplayed 6-2, 6-4 on the opening night. “Totally different match,” said Halep. “Keys is hitting very strong; Kerber is not hitting – she’s pushing the balls, but she doesn’t miss. I played worse with my forehand, I missed a lot – I think there was the key.”

Debutante Keys is guaranteed to advance to the semi-finals if she beats Kerber in straight sets; Kerber can only miss out if that occurs and Halep also wins in two. For Cibulkova, it is still possible, but unlikely.

“She’s always tough to play; even tougher to play on a slower court,” Keys said of Kerber, her conqueror in Rio. “I think going out there and looking at what I’ve done well against her before and what I haven’t done well could definitely help me. I think also playing with nothing to lose is going to be a huge thing.”

Meanwhile, Svetlana Kuznetsova’s bizarre DIY hair-chop episode remained a talking point, Keys admitting she had never seen anything like it. “I don’t know what she was doing. I was just wondering what was bothering her so much,” the American said.

“She cut a lot off. Clearly it wasn’t going into her face anymore. That was shocking. I will never be doing that. Ever. Good for her for giving herself a haircut.”

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Bid to drive down ethanol petrol prices dealt a blow

Blow to plans: Innovation Minister Victor Dominello. Photo: Orlando Chiodo Plans to reduce the cost of E10 petrol to give motorists a cheaper alternative to regular unleaded have been dealt a blow after the independent regulator proposed a higher than expected recommended maximum wholesale price for ethanol.
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In December, Innovation Minister Victor Dominello announced changes designed to “put downward pressure” on the price of E10, which is a blend of regular unleaded and up to 10 per cent ethanol.

They included requiring a wider range of petrol stations to sell E10, establishing an online fuel price board and asking the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal to regulate the wholesale price of ethanol.

Regulating the wholesale price was designed to deliver a significant price difference between E10 and regular unleaded to improve competition.

But in a draft determination on Tuesday, IPART announced a recommended maximum wholesale price of $1.35 a litre, significantly higher than the current 60-80¢.

IPART chairman Peter Boxall said the price was “unlikely to affect the price of E10 at the pump”.

“We don’t expect ethanol prices will rise to the level of our recommended maximum price,” he said in a statement.

The draft report notes that “some stakeholders might have expected that a recommended maximum price would need to be much lower to ensure E10 is available at an attractive price”.

“However, there is a risk that recommending a much lower maximum price at this time may not support a sustainable biofuels industry in NSW,” it says.

The report says competition in the wholesale ethanol market is the best way “to support the availability of E10 to consumers at an attractive price and achieve the objective of a sustainable biofuels industry in NSW”.

Mr Dominello encouraged the public and stakeholders to make submissions on the draft report by November 25.

The ethanol reforms were announced to meet the requirement in the Biofuels Act that says 6 per cent of all petrol sold by major retailers is ethanol. The current level is 2.5 per cent.

But they have been controversial amid warnings that retailers forced to sell E10 for the first time need to increase the price of petrol to recoup the cost of equipment upgrades.

Fairfax Media has also revealed that ethanol producer Manildra secured 20 meetings with NSW ministers and donated more than $160,000 to the Coalition in a ferocious lobbying effort before the introduction of new laws.

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Court finds ‘f— Fred Nile’ not offensive language at marriage equality rally

Christian Democratic Party leader Fred Nile. Photo: Brook Mitchell  
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Seldom does a magistrate use the phrase “you f—ing beauty” in a judgment, or reflect on whether the word “f—” is part of a child’s vocabulary.

On Tuesday Sydney magistrate Geoffrey Bradd had cause to do both in dismissing charges against a group of protesters hauled before the Local Court for saying “f— Fred Nile” and calling opponents “f—ers” at a rally in support of same sex marriage.

In a decision touted as a win for free speech, Magistrate Bradd threw out offensive language charges against the group, saying the words were used “to dismiss the argument against marriage equality” rather than to cause offence.

April Holcombe was one of three protesters charged with using offensive language after the rally in Belmore Park in Haymarket in September last year.

“I was called 48 hours after the protest to be told that I had sworn, that this was on police footage, and that my $500 fine was in the mail,” said Ms Holcombe, LGBTI Officer for the National Union of Students.

The protest was organised by activist group Community Action Against Homophobia (CAAH) to counter an anti same-sex marriage march organised by Christian Democratic Party leader and upper house MP Fred Nile and Christian group Unity Australia.

Ms Holcombe said during the protest: “We need to make a stand against them and make sure us using bad language about these f—ers is nothing compared to the epidemic of suicides these people contribute to”.

Patrick Hildehand and Cat Rose, co-conveners of CAAH, were charged with saying “f— Fred Nile” and “bigots f— off” respectively.

Police issued them with penalty notices for offensive language, which were invalid under criminal procedure laws which prevent police from issuing such notices during “an apparently genuine demonstration or protest”.

The trio was subsequently charged with using offensive language – the maximum penalty for which is a $660 fine – and served with notices to appear in court.

The court heard Ms Rose told a police officer “f—” was “part of the common vernacular”, prompting him to respond it was “not part of children’s vernacular” and there were families at the park.

Magistrate Bradd said there was no evidence Ms Rose used the words “f— off” and dismissed the charges against Ms Holcombe and Mr Hildehand on the basis the words were not offensive in context.

He said whether the word “f—” is part of a child’s vernacular “depends on the words that a child listens to from others”.

The word was only offensive if it was “calculated to wound the feelings, arouse anger or resentment or disgust and outrage in the mind of a reasonable person”.

Phrases such as “you f—ing beauty” and “f—ing hell” were unlikely to be offensive, he said.

The protesters were represented by a phalanx of lawyers, including Sydney barristers Stephen Lawrence and Felicity Graham and solicitor Charles Stanford.

Sydney solicitor Christian Hearn, who appeared for Ms Rose, said offensive language laws had “for too long been used as a social control applied disproportionately against marginalised and vulnerable people”.

“The magistrate ruled that the language used by our clients was not unlawful and once again confirmed that a person does not commit a crime merely by using the word ‘f—‘,” he said.

“The police should remind themselves of that before subjecting peaceful protesters and other citizens to arrest and criminal prosecution for nothing more than speech.”

Ms Rose said: “We’ll keep protesting until we have our rights, and you can expect a few f-bombs along the way.”

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Life insurance advice reforms will help better protect consumers

Life insurance bought through an adviser has a greater chance of success at claims time. Photo: FairfaxWhile commissions are being phased out on most of the financial advice industry, they live on when it comes to life insurance.
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Unlike with commissions on other financial products that are paid by the consumer, life insurance commissions are paid by the insurers.

However, with up-front commissions of about 120 per cent of the first year’s premium, there’s an incentive for advisers to switch or “churn” their clients to another policy to trigger another up-front commission.

The government has a bill before parliament that will cap upfront commissions to 60 per cent of the first year premium.

Advisers are paid about 10 per cent of the annual premium by insurers as ongoing commissions. The bill doubles the maximum allowable ongoing commission to 20 per cent.

Under the “clawback” provision of the bill if the adviser switches a client to another policy within one year, the adviser will have to re-pay all of the up-front commission to the insurer of the first policy.

If the switch occurs between 12 months and two years, the adviser repays 60 per cent of the up-front commission.

Life insurance, which includes death and disability cover, is among the most complex of insurances with widely differing definitions of what constitutes disability, diseases and conditions, for example.

Buying insurance through an adviser can often be cheaper than buying direct from the insurer with more chance of the claim going through.

In its latest review of life insurance, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission found higher levels of denial of claims for those policies sold direct to consumers with no financial advice, compared with policies sold through advisers and “group” insurance policies, such as through super funds.

It’s likely that a policy recommended through an adviser is better tailored to the needs of the consumer. And a good adviser will help with the claims process.

But there is something else. Policies bought through advisers are underwritten by the insurer at the time that the policy is accepted.

With most policies bought directly from insurers, the checking of disclosures is done at the time of the claim.

That can mean a higher chance of someone paying premiums for years thinking that they are covered only have their beneficiary’s claim denied.

Many super funds offer automatic acceptance without the need to provide medical history or undergo a medical exam.

Some funds with automatic acceptance now require that pre-existing medical conditions be disclosed and, as long as they are disclosed, cover should not be affected.

This bill and the other reforms that make-up the Life Insurance Framework will help better protect consumers.

They should be passed by parliament so that the new rules are not delayed beyond the scheduled start date of 2018.

Twitter: @jcollett_money

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‘Two sets of rules’: Melbourne Victory coach fuming at referee after loss to City

A fuming Kevin Muscat accused referee Shaun Evans of “insulting people’s intelligence” for his decision to allow Luke Brattan’s opening goal in Melbourne City’s 2-0 FFA Cup semi-final win over Muscat’s Melbourne Victory side.
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The Victory coach was incensed that the strike was not ruled out because of what he believes was blatant interference from an offside Tim Cahill, who was obscuring Victory goalkeeper Lawrence Thomas’ vision of the Brattan shot. Cahill had to duck to avoid being struck by Brattan’s drive from outside the penalty area.

“Staggering,” was Muscat’s response when asked post match for his reaction to the Evans decision.

“If someone had to get out of the way of the ball … it’s a strike by Brattan, Timmy has to get out of the way otherwise it is going to hit him. Lawrence can’t move until the ball goes past Timmy because there might be a deflection.

“If you have to get out of the way of the ball travelling towards the goal I would suggest you are obstructing the keeper.”

He was also angry that a “goal” by Victory was also disallowed in similar circumstances.

Besart Berisha, who was in an offside position, appeared to have touched the ball when it was crossed in from the left before it fell to an onside Marco Rojas who headed it home. Evans ruled that goal out for offside by Berisha who, if he hadn’t touched the ball, was obstructing City goalkeeper Dean Bouzanis.

Muscat said that was another mistake.

“Bes is in an offside position, he doesn’t get anything on the ball. Marco scores and it’s disallowed.

“I will ask Ben Wilson (FFA director of referees) to come and explain to the players the rules … if we are going to insult people’s intelligence.

“Tim had to move out of the way otherwise the ball is going to hit him.

“It did seem at times as though there were two sets of rules.

“It was just blatant, don’t try and cover it up, insulting people’s intelligence.”

Cahill was exultant that he and his City teammates are now only 90 minutes away from winning silverware at his new club.

“It’s great for us, we said we would play our football. We got a reaction tonight (after the A-League loss to Perth Glory last Friday night). This is what it’s about. We are going to compete. For me this is what it’s about.

“I am proud for the boys and the fans … we have to listen to people and keyboard warriors … not now. We knew that was going to be tough. We can’t just lie there and let them kick us.

“All these hashtags, it’s our city… it is tonight.”

The referee said he had no qualms about his decision after the game.

“The assistant referee raised his flag as he saw there was a player in an offside position,” Evans told Fox Sports.

“As the ball went in the net, in his opinion there could have been the possibility that the offside player interfered with the goalkeeper’s line of vision.

“I said that (Cahill) didn’t interfere with the goalkeeper’s movement, therefore the goal stands.”

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La Trobe University campuses to become futuristic mini-cities with Optus partnership

La Trobe vice-chancellor Professor John Dewar expects a five-fold increase in demand for cyber security employees in coming years. Photo: La Trobe University Optus business manager John Paitaridis says the firm will even hire graduates directly from the cyber security course at La Trobe University. Photo: Louise Kennerley
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Demand for skilled cyber security experts is expected to increase in coming years. Photo: Brian A Jackson

La Trobe University campuses and its students will be test beds for futuristic parking, safety and traffic technology, as part for an $8 million partnership with Optus.

The telco will also be involved in the new Sports Park and is a key partner is La Trobe’s new cyber security courses.

Both parties are tipping in about $4 million each and are hoping to discover major technological breakthroughs for future commercial use.

For  example, the new high-tech sports park at the Bundoora campus will be kitted out with WiFi, LTE mobile and network infrastructure to help with data collection and analytics for research in sport performance, rehabilitation and fan engagement. La Trobe already has partnerships with Melbourne City soccer club and Carlton Football Club.

There will be a five-fold increase in demand for cyber security employees in coming years, according to La Trobe’s vice-chancellor, John Dewar.

Optus and La Trobe will use the university’s campus in Bundoora to test technology and see if it can be commercialised. The relationship has a governance framework to help resolve any disputes over who owns the intellectual property for successful technology, Professor Dewar added.

“Our campus is like a large town,” Professor Dewar said. “The sort of technology that we will be working on with Optus will allow us to keep track of usage and monitor movements of people around the campus so we can optimise use of facilities.”

A new security app will quickly locate students who need help, he added.

From early 2017 La Trobe will start offering six-month, one-year, and two-year courses in cyber security.

Optus’ business manager, John Paitaridis, said it would work closely with students and graduates, even hiring graduates directly from the course.

“We know that there is a skills shortage world wide and here in Australia,” Mr Paitaridis said.

Earlier this year Optus partnered with Macquarie University – which sits across the road from Optus’ main offices in Sydney – to create the Optus Macquarie University Cyber Security Hub. This centre will start taking students in 2017.

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Country supermarkets in demand

The Hamilton IGA sold for around $3.2 million.An offshore buyer has swooped on Woodend’s 19th Hole shopping centre, paying nearly $18 million despite only 28 months remaining on a lease to anchor tenant Coles.
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The Chinese buyer was prepared to go higher than local syndicates and institutions put off by the Coles lease that expires in February 2019.

But that did not stop them from looking. Colliers International agent Tim McIntosh, who negotiated the deal with Tom Noonan, said there was a lot of interest in the centre, with more than 150 enquires fielded from investors.

“It all depends on how much risk people are willing to take on. There’s not that many opportunities in the market and on that basis they were looking at this asset,” Mr McIntosh said.

“As part of the sales process, we approached other supermarket groups to gauge their interest in back filling the space and we’re talking to a couple of groups.

The 8491 square metre shopping centre returns $1.48 million a year in rent from 18 specialty shops and a host of mini-majors including Mitre 10, Target Country and Ian Marks Liquor.

The deal reflected a yield of just over 8 per cent although it’s closer to 5.11 per cent if the Coles proportion of the income is excluded.

Elsewhere in regional Victoria, local private investors edged out off-shore investors to buy two IGA supermarkets on very sharp yields around 6 per cent.

The IGA in Hamilton, in the Western District, fetched around $3 million and was part of the freehold portfolio controlled by Alan Fisher, who last year sold his portfolio of country supermarkets to Ritchies. It has a new 15-year lease.

The Kyabram IGA is understood to have sold for around $4.2 million. The deals follow the recent sale of the Nagambie IGA, to a Chinese buyer, for $8 million.

The deals were struck by CBRE agents Joseph De Rieu and Justin Dowers who received nine formal offers.

“The IGA in Hoppers Crossing was sold this year at 5.3 per cent and the one at Wantirna South was done at 5.5 per cent so the Hamilton store is only 50 basis points behind them – that’s not a big difference,” Mr De Rieu said.

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DEXUS Property forecasts solid rental growth

CBD office rents are rising as incentive deals are declining. Photo: Michele MossopDEXUS​ Property, the country’s largest office landlord, says demand for office space is on the increase and that has led to a fall in the average rental incentives being offered to tenants.
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Further endorsing the tight market for tenants is an expected increase in demand from small to medium businesses who are keen for a city address and seemingly willing to pay the higher charges.

DEXUS’ executive general manager, office and industrial Kevin George said one example is the new leases in Governor Phillip Tower, where net effective rents have increased by 20.4 per cent.

In the group’s first-quarter update Mr George said DEXUS has “our overall average incentives fall across the portfolio, driven by some properties which are in high demand and as a result have achieved solid growth in rents and reduced incentives at these properties”.

Over the quarter the key leases have been at its 30 The Bond, in Sydney, where Lendlease​ vacated to Barangaroo with the Roche group taking up 4418 square metres of the space available space.

Mr George confirmed the group’s forecast that office vacancy in Sydney’s premium-grade assets would fall to about 4.2 per cent in the 2018 financial year.

In Melbourne there has also been a solid rise in leasing activity from a variety of smaller space users, which has resulted in a significant amount of leasing activity with over 158,000 square metres of space being leased and occupancy improving from 90.4 per cent at June 30, 2016 to 92.3 per cent in only three months.

The industrial sector is also riding high with activity for the next quarter expected to continue in the small to medium-enterprise category.

“This activity is aligned to the food-processing and material-handling automation sectors seeking central west solutions in Sydney. Various negotiations are also under way within south-east Melbourne involving tenants from the education and wholesale retail sectors for both metro office and warehousing space,” he said.

DEXUS chief executive Darren Steinberg reiterated the market guidance for the 12 months to June 30, 2017, of underlying funds from operations (FFO) per security growth of 3-3.5 per cent and distribution per security growth of 2.5-3.5 per cent.

Mr Steinberg also said as part of the evolution of offices, DEXUS has partnered with Guardian Early Learning Group (Guardian) to offer DEXUS customers priority on waitlists over a proportion of available childcare places.

The offering is expected to provide greater convenience and flexibility for working families of DEXUS customers.

Guardian has more than 90 centres across the country, including a number within the DEXUS portfolio, with plans to expand that offering as opportunities arise.

“The partnership comes as demand grows for childcare placements in high-quality early learning programs particularly in inner-city areas. This partnership provides DEXUS customers with easier access to childcare as families transition back to work and seek high-quality learning environments for their children, close to their home or workplace,” he said.

DEXUS holds its annual meeting in Sydney on Wednesday.

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Investor snaps up Vermont apartment complex for $5.9m

The combination of five ground level shops, four upstairs apartments and rooftop commercial premises in a near-new two-storey building at 580-584 Canterbury Road in Vermont prompted an investor to pay $5.9 million for the complex. Photo: LEE SANDERS 18 Oliver Lane in Melbourne. Photo: supplied
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Investors took a serve of Italian pizza when they paid $1.625 million for a slice of real esate at 38 Jackson Court. Photo: supplied

SALES

Vermont

The combination of five ground-level shops, four upstairs apartments and rooftop commercial premises in a near-new two-storey building at 580-584 Canterbury Road prompted an investor to pay $5.9 million for the complex. CVA’s Ian Angelico and Jarrod Moran said the shops were anchored by Subway and Australia Post. The 5 per cent yield was “only slightly lower than the expected sales result if the 10 individual tenancies were sold separately,” they said.

Box Hill

Fitzroys has sold a strategic landholding at 107 Severn Street for $3.9 million under the hammer. Michael Ryan, Martin Huang and James Gregson said the double-storey rooming facility with seven bedrooms, three bathrooms and caretakers’ residence netted the vendors a 100 per cent lift in value since they bought the site in 2014 for $1.95 million.

Berwick

Multiple buyers helped bid up a building with blue-chip tenant Bendigo Bank at 43-45 High Street when it sold at auction for $3.225 million. Gross Waddell’s Jonathon McCormack and Andrew Waddell said the secure cash flow from tenants Bendigo Bank and Handprint Design represented a yield of 3.9 per cent.

Hawthorn

A blue-chip development site has sold under the hammer for $2.839 million, a land rate of $5655 per sq m and passing yield of 2.1 per cent. Six groups placed bids on 21 Queens Avenue, a modest, single-level warehouse leased until April 2018. CBRE’s Ed Wright, Sandro Paluso and Chao Zhang handled the sale.

Doncaster East

Investors took a serve of Italian pizza when they paid $1.625 million for a slice of real estate at 38 Jackson Court. The shop leased to a popular Italian restaurant Pompeos for more than 40 years was sold at auction by Ray White Commercial’s Brett Diston on a 2.9 per cent yield. Pompeo’s is on three-year lease paying net rent of $48,000 per annum. In another deal, Ryan Amler sold a hairdressing salon at 4/37-39 Station Road in Cheltenham for $382,000.

Bentleigh

A shop leased to Brighton Flooring at 819 Nepean Highway has sold for $790,000. The 137 sq m showroom sold with a five-year lease plus five-year option in place, returning annual rent of $34,000 net, said Crabtrees Real Estate’s Matthew Marenko and Chris McKenzie.

Oakleigh South

John Nockles and Seamus Bolst from CVA have sold two properties, unit nine and  unit 18 at 19-23 Clarinda Road, to local investors. Unit nine changed hands for $635,000. It was returning $38,000 pa net equating to a yield of 5.98 per cent. Unit 18 went for $661,500, on a 4.93 per cent yield.

Cheltenham

A standalone warehouse at 20 Bricker Street was sold to a private investor by Ray White Commercial Oakleigh’s Ryan Amler for $720,000 on a yield of 6.3 per cent. Mr Amler said the warehouse was leased by long term tenant Revamp Refinishing for $45,600 per annum who had recently exercised a three-year option.

Mulgrave

An owner-occupier in the home decoration sector has paid $580,000 for a strata-titled office and warehouse facility at 29 Glenvale Crescent in Enterprise Park. Savills Australia’s Daniel Kelly said the price of $1812 a sq m was a benchmark for this type of strata property.

LEASES

Clayton South

Propertylink Group has secured a 15-year lease for 71-93 Whiteside Road and 84 Main Road, significantly reducing leasing risk and improving the expiry profile across its investment portfolio. Propertylink signed Premoso, a member of the Walkinshaw Automotive Group, for 28,195 sq m in a deal negotiated by CBRE’s Stephen Adgemis and David Aiello.

Richmond

StreetKitchenCo has leased a 171 sq m cafe in Botanicca Business Park in Swan Street on a 5+5-year basis at $75,000 per annum, equating to $438 per sq m. Knight Frank’s Paul Pellegrino said David Jones’ recent announcement it would take office space there made it an attractive move. Landlord Zig Inge group has put the entire building up for sale.

Melbourne

Global marketing company Signal has secured a new home at 18 Oliver Lane. CBRE’s Scott McGlone negotiated the 440 sq m lease for the Chicago-headquartered firm. Signal will move into a fully fitted out premises with high ceilings and polished timber floors on a three-year lease negotiated with landlord M.H. Kremlin.

Mulgrave

Kitchen appliance manufacturer Schweigen has taken on a new office and warehouse lease at unit eight, 3-4 Anzed Court in a deal brokered by Savills Australia’s Daniel Kelly. The 600 sq m office/warehouse was leased for five years at $100,000 per annum net.

MOVERS

Savills Australia’s national valuation and advisory division has promoted three individuals in Sydney and Melbourne. In Sydney Sandra Peachey takes the role of national director, mortgage valuations. In Melbourne Ross Smillie becomes national director – industrial valuations and Joe Phegan is state director Victoria.

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This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Australia to get single food labelling brand to seize China growth under Twiggy Forrest plan

Australian exports are set for a shake-up under a radical labelling proposal. Photo: Jessica Shapiro Andrew ‘Twiggy’ Forrest is driving the change. Photo: Geoff Jones
Nanjing Night Net

Australia’s beleaguered farmers are poised to unlock vast new export markets as producers, peak bodies and both sides of politics prepare to bury their differences to sell products into China under a “one brand, one logo” approach for the first time.

The new strategy – under wording and a trade symbol designed for maximum Chinese impact – would pitch Australia in a head-to-head race against the gold-standard in export marketing, “100% Pure New Zealand”.

The breakthrough, facilitated by the recent free trade agreement, would have all Australian food products including beef, vegetables, cheese, wine and high-end condiments predominantly branded as Australian ahead of their individual branding, while also certifying them as clean, green and safe.

The proposed high-tech, high-visibility labelling would also be designed to be counterfeit-proof and to allow China’s increasingly safety and quality-conscious consumers – in a country where the middle class is projected to grow by 350 million people over the next four years – to trace the origins of individual products back to a specific animal or producer.

Mining magnate and agriculture sector champion Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest has led a campaign to persuade multiple state and industry sectors, who wanted to retain their own established brandings, to back the breakthrough.

His message to them, supported by the government and opposition, is “get on board, or get out of the way”.

Industry sources say the labelling, a virtual revolution in Australia’s primary export practices, needs to be in place within 18 to 24 months or Australia will permanently surrender access to the biggest and most lucrative market the world has seen.

Already, developing countries such as Brazil and Uruguay have stolen the march in getting beef into China in larger quantities than Australia.

In a keynote speech to the National Farmers Federation Annual Congress on Wednesday, Mr Forrest will warn farmers that consumers will develop new habits and the current way of working could see Australia go backwards.

“This is a significant breakthrough,” Mr Forrest’s speech notes say.

“Both parties know, and now acknowledge, that an opt-in unified brand – one that sells safe, clean, green Australia and one that is underpinned by the world’s best traceability technology – is indeed worth the risk.

“We have got to cut through the confusion … states are fighting territories and other states on branding, governments compete with companies on messaging, and there are a multitude of different logos, and that might work in our local supermarkets, but it doesn’t work overseas.

“The clear value proposition of safe Australia, a clean, green Australia was, and is, being completely lost overseas.”

Trade Minister Steve Ciobo will work with Austrade and professional market researchers to design the branding, which would ideally apply to all food and even to high-end wine labelling.

A source involved said the focus had to be on designing a brand and logo based on the Chinese consumer rather than on “what we in Australia think best encapsulates our products”.

Current options identified by Australian consumers – such as the highly identifiable kangaroo symbol – are likely only to confuse Chinese buyers if placed on beef products or milk.

Mr Forrest, a founder of the Australia Sino One Hundred Year Agricultural and Food Safety Partnership, said the move away from the one-child policy alone would add 16 million children to the Chinese market each year.

“The Chinese like to eat what we do because they know they can rely on our pristine environment and stringent quality standards,” he said.

“A little while ago a Chinese soapie put Australia’s Weetbix on the menu. This little box of goodness is available here in Australia [for] $4 to $5, in China it’s $40 to $50.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.