FFA set for showdown talks with active fans and A-League chairmen

Under fire: Football Federation chief executive David Gallop and chairman Steven Lowy. Photo: James BrickwoodWednesday is D-Day for Football Federation as the governing body comes face-to-face with their biggest adversaries: A-League chairmen and active fans.

In what rates among the most important 24 hours in A-League’s recent history, the FFA will be steeling itself for a brutal grilling from two of the sport’s key stakeholders.

Both the men in suits and fans from the stands will come armed with a suite of complaints and it promises be an enormous test of will for new FFA chairman Steven Lowy and the chief executive David Gallop.

The meeting between the FFA and the A-League chairmen is a scheduled part of their ongoing dialogue but the roundtable with the active fan leaders is an unlikely, extraordinary development.

It is the first time active fans have collectively met with the FFA on such a large scale, with representatives from all 10 A-League clubs. The presence of the fans is being funded by an unspecified “third party”.

While the FFA is confident it can placate active fans and avoid the continuation of a boycott that marred last weekend’s round of matches, various fan groups have promised to stand their ground should their requests not be met.

What originally began as a response to the naming of 198 banned fans in a Sunday Telegraph article a fortnight ago has evolved into a league-wide movement, led by those who are lobbying for the better treatment of active supporters.

In a shared statement on their official Facebook pages this week, the Western Sydney’s Red and Black Bloc and Sydney FC’s The Cove, outlined how they have repeatedly let the FFA know about their concerns for many years but had failed to see a response.

“The FFA has been aware of these issues for a number of years and we have only reached this point with the support of every fan who has supported the cause,” it read. “We will continue to stand up for our rights and the rights of every single person who attends a FFA-sanctioned event. The outcome of Wednesday’s meeting, and subsequent actions will be dependent solely on FFA’s willingness to address those issues fully.”

The statement confirmed that the various fan groups were united on the issue of how active fans should be treated.

“We have been communicating with leaders of the other active supporter groups in order to go into this meeting with clear objectives and expectations of what is required from the FFA in order to end our protests,” it read. “These objectives are consistent across all fan groups as is our commitment to co-operating with everyone involved in order to find a solution.”

While some believe that the movement has been about freeing banned fans who have committed illegal acts, the groups confirmed this was not the case.

“One thing is certain. Change will only come about through unity of the fans. This is not about avoiding punishment for those who do wrong. We don’t want or expect special treatment, simply fairness,” the statement said.

In a statement on Melbourne Victory’s North Terrace page, they confirmed that three of their representatives would be present.

“We urge people not to raise their expectations,” it read. “This is a first step in a long journey.”

Raising the GST to 15 per cent is far harder than it seems

All but one of the options listed for boosting the GST are fraught with danger for Treasurer Scott Morrison. Photo: Andrew MearesEverything is on the table’Once in a lifetime opportunity’ for tax reform

The agenda paper prepared for Thursday’s treasurers’ meeting ought to come with a big red stamp that reads “danger”.

All but one of the options listed for boosting the GST are fraught. Each requires “compensation”.

If the GST was lifted to 15 per cent, households earning up to $100,000 would need to be completely compensated. Households earning up to $155,000 would need to get back “at least half of the extra GST revenue”.

It would end up costing “at least half of the extra GST revenue”.

The real danger is that “at least half” would be only the beginning. If the treasurers so much as mention compensation in public, they run the risk of being heard to make commitments.

“Making commitments now risks overcompensation for households and adding significantly to the cost of household assistance,” the paper warns.

Lifting the GST to 15 per cent would raise $32.5 billion, the Treasury says. But $16 billion to $17 billion of it would be given back in compensation, which would be messy.

Some ns would get increased cash benefits: pensions, family payments and the like. Others would get tax offsets. The retirees who neither pay tax nor get get benefits would get a seniors concession allowance. Others who missed out would get a “transitional payment”.

And this time it would be harder to convince people the compensation would last. When the Howard government introduced the GST in 2000 it pushed up family allowances to compensate. Fifteen years on, the Turnbull government is planning to wind back those increases because it faces budgetary problems.

The only option for boosting GST revenue that wouldn’t need compensation is extending it to financial services. It wouldn’t raise much either, but the people it would hit most would be too well off to need compensation.

Victoria’s option of lifting the Medicare levy from 2 to 4 per cent of income is simple by comparison. It would raise $15 to $16 billion, about the same as would the GST rise after compensation, but because the low-income earners are already excluded from the levy, it could be done without paying anyone anything.

It’s looking like a long meeting.

Peter Martin is economics editor of The Age.

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Everything is on the table: leaked COAG agenda reveals GST changes being considered

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Treasurer Scott Morrison. Photo: Andrew MearesRaising GST to 15 per cent harder than it seems’Once in a lifetime opportunity’ for tax reform

Massive increases to the GST that would raise up to $45 billion annually will be on the table when Malcolm Turnbull and state premiers meet on Friday, according to a leaked document obtained by Fairfax Media.

The Council of n Governments document, marked “for official use only” and titled “Reform of the Federation”, reveals modelling prepared by the federal treasury at the request of the states in July, and will help frame the crunch tax meeting, which will be led by NSW Premier Mike Baird, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Mr Turnbull.

Eight options for tax reform – including six GST options and two Medicare Levy proposals – are canvassed in the paper, which sets out four previously unpublished tax options that have been costed by the federal Treasury, and four more that will be costed as the federal and state governments pursue tax reform.

Soon after becoming Prime Minister, Mr Turnbull said everything – including a consumption tax rise – was on the table as his government pursued tax reform.

The document confirms that a rise in the goods and services tax remains a live option and raises the prospect of a federal election in 2016 fought over the issue if the federal government adopts a plan to hike the GST and can strike a deal with the states, whose support will be needed for any increase.

The leak also comes as former Liberal treasurer Peter Costello warned “hot heads” in his party not to raise the GST to 15 per cent, and as Opposition Leader Bill Shorten promised to oppose a GST rise.

The first four options include lifting the GST to 15 per cent, raising $32.5 billion; lifting the GST to 12.5 per cent and expanding the base to include all food and non-alcoholic drinks, raising $25 billion; and raising the Medicare Levy from 2 per cent to 4 per cent in one hit, which would raise $15 billion. The fourth, and most radical option would be to raise the GST to 15 per cent, expanding it to include food and non-alcoholic drinks, water and sewerage. This would raise $45 billion annually.

The second set of four other options being considered are expanding the GST base to include health services; including education services; introducing a GST-equivalent financial sector tax; and raising the Medicare Levy to 4 per cent over eight years.

In 2014, it was estimated that extending the GST to health, education services and introducing a financial sector tax would each raise about $4 billion annually if implemented.

The Turnbull government has already indicated, however, that health and education are likely to be exempt from any GST changes, whereas fresh food and financial services are considered fair game.

The paper also hints at the difficult public debate that will accompany any rise to the consumption tax, warning “public commitments about which households will be fully compensated should be avoided” because “making commitments now risks over-compensation for households”.

Offsetting GST price rises for households earning less than $100,000, and half of the price rises for households earning less than $155,000, would use “at least” half the extra GST revenue, it states.

The $15 billion that would be raised by increasing the Medicare Levy, without assistance for households, is about the same amount left over if the GST is increased to 15 per cent and households are compensated.

That means, in effect, some people would be worse off under a Medicare Levy rise than a straight increase in the GST.

The increases in pensions, family payments, concessions for seniors and a rise in the low income tax offset were used to compensate households after the introduction of the carbon tax in 2010-11 and served as a “useful example of the form that compensation could take for a change in the GST”.

Treasurer Scott Morrison and his state counterparts will meet on Thursday in Sydney, the day before the leaders meeting, with reforms to state taxes to dominate discussions.

Last week, Mr Morrison played down the significance of the Treasury modelling, which has not been released, arguing it had been “done based on the request from the states”.

Mr Morrison said on Monday the “idea that we should be raising taxes to pay for higher levels of expenditure” by the states did not appeal to him, or the Prime Minister.

Mr Shorten said on Tuesday: “I don’t believe that the case has been made that , in order to make sure that we are a successful, fair country needs to have a GST where you put everything up to 15 per cent”.

Mr Costello wrote for News Corp that “if the Coalition goes ahead with that proposal [a rise to 15 per cent], you can put down the glasses and stop worrying about other policies … it will swamp everything”.

Mr Shorten said he didn’t always agree with Mr Costello “but he is stating the obvious, isn’t he? Putting up a GST to 15 per cent, it’s lazy”.

NSW and South have led the case, among the states, in pushing for a GST rise.

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Herald Breakfast – December 9 2015

Morning Shot: Instagram’s @cheyne333 shared this photo. Weather: Showers and developing storms in Newcastle (27 degrees), Maitland (33degrees) and Scone (32 degrees).
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Traffic: Heavy traffic is slowing progress in the eastbound lanes of Newcastle Link Road after a car and truck collided. Police said two women were taken to hospital but their injuries were not life-threatening. One of three lanes is closed at Woodford Street.

Beachwatch: It’ll be warm and cloudy and although there’s a good chance of a shower it’s still going to be a pretty good day beachside.We should see a bit of north-west in the wind for some of the day but it will be mainly north-east.The swell is from the east around half to one metre but there is the chance of a few bigger sets at some of themore open stretches.

Trains: Good service on the Newcastle and Hunter lines.

Morning Shot: Instagram’s @cheyne333 shared this photo.

Wednesday’s headlinesSplash leads to drug stash:PHOTOS:A MAN allegedly found with 1700 MDMA tablets in a runabout on Lake Macquarie came to the attention of police after he fellinto the water.

Premier ‘missing the bus’ in Newcastle:STATE government plans to privatise the city’spublic transport services have come under heavy fire from Newcastle council which has voted to oppose any such move.

Christmas lights destroyed:THEY were designed to bring a bit of festivespirit to his new home but Michael Rankin’s Christmas lights instead attracted a grinch.

Council forges ahead withshow holiday push:NEWCASTLE council will push ahead with its plans for a Newcastle Show public holiday next year despite show organisers withdrawing support for the bid.

Eland’s double duty to continue:DAVID Eland will continue to run theNewcastle Jets and Northern NSW Football at least until the end of the A-League season.

Kitto aims to follow in Leo’s footsteps:RYAN Kitto is not Leonardo.But 21-year-old Jets attacker is doing everything he can toadd bits of the Brazilian’s game to his own.

Goulburn prison officers fear leaked lists circulating jail

Photos: Darryl Fernance, Goulburn Post.A UNION is calling on Corrective Services to fully investigate how a list of prison officers’ names found its way into Goulburn Jail’s Super Max unit.
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Chair of the PSA’s Prison Officers Vocational Branch Steve McMahon said his union has placed full pressure on management to investigate and act.

“It is of major concern to us and the Department has responded by investigating. We are trying to find out how that came to be in the High Risk Management Unit.”

Mr McMahon did not have the full details on what the list contained, besides names, but he feared inmates could easily capitalise.

“Some prisoners have quite a lot of resources available to them to seek and get any further information they’re looking for,” he said.

“We deal with them every day. They are among the most dangerous criminals in NSW and it is not beyond their capacity to get the private details of prison officers … They have money behind them.”

Mr McMahon said the Public Service Association was doing everything it could to ensure officers were protected and that it didn’t happen again.

On Saturday, Assistant Commissioner for Custodial Corrections, Kevin Corcoran said he understood the list was prepared to go to the Ombudsman’s office.

“Presumably an inmate intends to lodge some sort of complaint about staff,” he said.

Mr Corcoran denied claims a staff roster had also been found in the High Risk Management Unit, or that the list included officers’ home addresses.

But on Monday a Corrective Services spokeswoman said an inmate allegedly had access to a roster sheet containing staff names only.

“It was inadvertently given to him with other documentation. The staff affected have been notified and assured of their safety,” she said.

Meantime, Mr McMahon said the Department had freed up more resources to ensure officers could fully respond to inmates’ “bad behaviour.”

On Monday the jail was back to normal operations, in contrast to the weekend lockdowns.

He confirmed Sunday’s lockdown, which lasted until 9am Monday, was sparked by “a demonstration of the very worst behaviour”.

“Gas was used to safely remove two inmates from their cell when they lit a fire inside,” the Corrective Services spokeswoman said.

“This was after one of the inmates was found in possession of a SIM card and drugs during a strip search.

“In a separate incident two inmates became violent and assaulted staff during the removal of a television from their cell. Force was used to subdue the men with no injuries to staff or inmates.”

Mr McMahon said the same inmates who had refused to muster on Friday, prompting Saturday’s lockdown, were involved.

They also flooded several cells by leaving taps on and blocking drains, he claimed.

“(They did it because) we dared to tell them that enough was enough and that they had to follow the rules,” he said.

“It’s exactly the type of recalcitrant, bad behaviour we see from these people, the very same ones that assault police on the outside. When they come into custody they refuse to follow the rules.”

Four inmates were placed in segregation as a result and another two under review. No visitors were allowed into the jail.

Hume Local Area Commander Chad Gillies said police were investigating, but no charges had yet been laid.

They had received allegations of malicious damage by fire, assault of a prison officer and possession of a prohibited drug in a cell.

On Monday talks between the union and local management resumed about added interim and long-term security measures at the jail.

Mr McMahon said while the Department had provided many additional resources, within existing capacity, officers didn’t need the added headache of alleged Super Max security breaches over the Christmas period.

Originally published as Goulburn prison officers fear private lists circulate cellsby Goulburn Post.

Canberra family’s moving random act of kindness

The card Canberra’s Latoya Marks gave to a “well-behaved little girl” that has captured the attention of Canberrans online. Photo: Supplied.A Canberra family is on a mission to spread a little extra Christmas cheer throughout the capital this month.
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As tragic news from around the world leaves many feeling a little deflated, EllieMarks and her partnerLatoya’s”Operation Christmas Spirit” is gradually lifting the spirits of a growing number of Canberrans through random acts of kindness.

One gesture in particularhascaptured the capital’s attention: a Christmas card congratulating a young girl on her good behaviour at anorthside cafe.

The Marksfamily noticedthe young girlpatiently waiting for her foodinside Westfield Belconnen’s Max Brenner and decided topass on the Christmas card with an enclosed $5 note and a special message:

“Santa is always watching. He sends people to let you know that you are on the ‘nice’ list. Here’s a reward for being so good!”

Little did they knowthe young girl who received the card had been recentlyseparated from her birth family.

Thechild’sfoster carer took to Facebookto thank “Santa’s Little Helper”.

The post hasbeen shared more than 1700 times, received more than 14,000 ‘likes’ and more than 300 heartfelt comments, as of Tuesday afternoon.

Many commentators said they were brought to tears after reading the post, including the young girl’sfoster family.

“I could not hold back the tears when I opened the card you left and read your thoughtful words,” the foster carer’s postread.

“You acknowledged the beautiful behaviour of my child, who sat quietly eating chocolate strawberries and chatting to me and my friend.

“What you couldn’t have possibly known, is that the child you took the time to acknowledge has recently been [separated]from their birth family.

“Life for a foster child is not easy, but through your kindness you have shown this amazing child the spirit of community.

“As a foster carer, I can’t tell you how much your gift of kind words (and $5) means to us.

“Your random act of kindness towards us complete strangers has touched me deeply. I will treasure this memory for my lifetime.”

Ellie said her family, including her four children,had been “completely overwhelmed” by the community’s response to the gesture.

“As parents you’re often judged on how your children behave,” she said.

“We thought it would be nice to recognise just how well she had been behaving.

“We didn’t ever do this with the intention of being recognised for these deeds; we just wanted to teach our kids about Christmas and how to give.”

Ellie said Operation Christmas Spirit had replaced the family’s advent calendar as a way to encourage her children to pay it forward.

“We’ve been watchingall the horrible things happening around the world and have realised our kids are so lucky to have the life they have,” she said.

“We thought it was a better way of trying to teach our kids the spirit of Christmas.”

Other random acts of kindness undertaken by the Marksfamily have included paying for an elderly woman’s groceries, writing Christmas cards for people who “looked like they needed a little Christmas spirit” and donating change to charity.

“Just little things that don’t cost very much but make a big difference to those receiving them,” Ellie said.

“That’s our message: it’s really simple to pay it forward.”

Foreign prawns linked with human trafficking and environmental havoc, says Greenpeace

Hawkesbury River fisherman Gary Howard catching school prawns using low impact methods. Among the best rated by Greenpeace are these prawns from the Hawkesbury. Photo: Greenpeace/James Alcock Gary Howard trawls for school prawns using inshore trawl and static nets. Photo: Greenpeace/James Alcock
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They might be cheap and perfect for a Christmas feast, but shoppers are being urged to do their research and avoid buying imported prawns linked with human trafficking, environmental damage and spread of disease.

A new report and prawn shopping guide from activist group Greenpeace shows one of the worst choices is the vannamei prawn that is pond-farmed in Vietnam, China and Thailand.

At present, cooked and frozen vannamei prawns are the cheapest option at $19 a kilo at Coles’ online shop.

But the production of these non-native, fast-growing prawns in ‘s top three prawn supplier countries is linked with human trafficking and slavery, destruction of mangroves, spread of disease and chemical and antibiotic use, according to multiple United Nations’ International Labour Organization and Food and Agriculture Organization reports.

Greenpeace’s oceans campaigner Nathaniel Pelle said weak seafood labelling laws made it difficult for consumers to always make ethical purchases, with restaurants and takeaways, except in NT, not required to declare the country of origin or species.

“We’re eating in the dark. There are great prawns, readily available that are responsibly farmed and caught, but there are also many dodgy prawns and you won’t know just by looking at them,” he said.

“We need rigorous national laws requiring proper seafood labelling, explaining what species we’re getting and where and how it was produced.” Trawl for the right prawn

He said the prawn guide allowed consumers to make informed decisions, dividing popular prawns into four categories – from the most responsible to the most damaging.

Among the best rated are Hawkesbury River school prawns, as well as Naturland and Blueyou-certified black tiger prawns from Vietnam.

About two-thirds of the 49,800 tonnes of prawns consumed in in 2014-15 were from overseas, according to the Department of Agriculture. The amount of imported prawns has doubled in the past 15 years.

Norman Grant, executive chairman of the Seafood Importers Association of Australasia said many of the environmental destruction, chemical use and human rights abuse problems in overseas farms were being addressed.

He said export farms and factories are regularly audited by third party certifiers to international standards – as demanded by big buyers such as Coles and Woolworths.

He said the destruction of mangrove and coastal forests had been addressed by countries such as Thailand and Vietnam, and the bigger issue was now about water quality and disease control.

He conceded there were ongoing issues with trafficked crew on fishing boats, especially in Thailand, but said big progress had been made by local authorities and NGOs.

“The situation is getting better and it is the revenue from the sale of prawns that is enabling the industry to make these massive investments in social restructuring. Boycotting these prawns, on the other hand, is simply turning away from the issue and will bring this progress to a standstill,” he said.

Gary Howard, a Hawkesbury River prawn fisherman from Lower Portland in NSW, whose school prawns are rated among the “most responsible choices” in the guide, urged shoppers to look beyond the prices and consider the livelihoods of n producers.

“We have imported prawns coming into this country for probably $5 a kilo being sold for $10 a kilo, and we want to try and get $25. The quality can be vastly superior, but at the end of the day, people are going to say, ‘Am I going to pay $10 or $25?'” he said.

“It’s because our wages are higher, our running costs are higher, our standard of living is higher, so whilst we import so much seafood into our country at cheap prices, it’s very difficult for us to compete.”

The latest seafood labelling bill, which would have required restaurants and takeaways to declare the origin and species of seafood, was shot down in the Senate in August.

The setback has not deterred sustainable seafood advocates, including Matthew Evans, chef and the face of the Label My Fish campaign, in their demands for stronger labelling laws that at least match the requirements in the European Union.

“I want to know the prawns I choose aren’t responsible for destroying mangrove habitat, indiscriminately racking the sea floor, and that they were not caught using slave or child labour,” Mr Evans said.

“We need to be able to choose sustainably farmed or caught seafood, whether we buy them from supermarkets and restaurants, or fishmongers and cafes. Labelling laws are needed now.” Seafood company pinged for dodgy packaging

The n Competition and Consumer Commission said on Tuesday it had fined major seafood company Kailis Bros $10,800 for attempting to pass off Thai prawns as n.

The company embellished the packaging with an image of the n flag, a map of , and the statement “n caught raw prawns”.

The fine print on the back said the prawns were packed and processed in Thailand. The “raw, deveined, tail off” prawns were being sold on the Woolworths website at nearly $40 a kilo.

“Consumers are often prepared to pay a premium for n made products, so any ‘n made’ representations must be accurate. Businesses cannot rely on fine print disclaimers to correct or qualify a prominent country of origin representation that is false or misleading,” said ACCC chairman Rod Sims.

Harry Potter author JK Rowling says Donald Trump is worse than Voldemort

Harry Potter’s nemesis Lord Voldemort, played by Ralph Fiennes in the film franchise. Photo: Supplied JK Rowling declared the presidential candidate was much worse than her own fictional villain. Photo: Supplied
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JK Rowling declared the presidential candidate was much worse than her own fictional villain. Photo: Supplied

Trump calls for Muslims to be barred from entering US

New York: The mogul turned reality star turned presidential hopeful Donald Trump is a figure almost beyond parody and caricature – his comments so outlandish, his self-belief so inflated.

But after ramping up his anti-Muslim rhetoric this week and calling for all Muslims to be banned from entering the United States, one comparison in particular has begun to dog him. People are likening him to the evil, racist arch-villain of the Harry Potter novels, Lord Voldemort.

However, it’s a comparison that the outspoken author of the beloved books says is unwarranted – because Mr Trump, she believes, is worse.

JK Rowling injected herself into the US presidential race on Tuesday when she responded to the meme comparing Mr Trump to Voldemort.

“How horrible. Voldemort was nowhere near as bad,” Ms Rowling wrote in response to a story about Mr Trump’s latest comments.How horrible. Voldemort was nowhere near as bad. https://t上海龙凤论坛/hFO0XmOpPH— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) December 8, 2015

Headline-grabbing sound-bites about race and immigration have been a staple of Mr Trump’s campaign, drawing the ire of many, while evidently helping him stand out and become a front-runner in a crowded Republican field. He kicked off his tilt at the presidency by declaring that Mexicans coming into the United States were bringing “drugs and crime” and were “rapists”. Later, he called for a database for Muslims in the US.

But this week his rhetoric took a more extreme turn. In the wake of the San Bernardino massacre, which was carried out by a couple believed to hold radical Islamist beliefs, Mr Trump called for a “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States”.

It’s the focus of his campaign on race which has led to the mostly tongue-in-cheek Harry Potter meme.

Voldemort is not only the power-hungry, militaristic and cartoonishly evil bad guy of JK Rowling’s universe, he’s also fixated with “race” or a literary analogy for it.The only way to stop Donald Trump is to destroy his Horcruxes. The wig is definitely one. If you need me I’ll be finding the other six.— TechnicallyRon (@TechnicallyRon) December 7, 2015

In the novels, Voldemort and his followers are obsessed with the superiority of “pure-blood” wizards, denigrating and targeting “half-bloods” and Muggles. Rowling herself has previously described Voldemort as a racist, and acknowledged the parallels with the rhetoric and beliefs of Nazi Germany.

Rowling is a well-known as a supporter of left, liberal politics, donating to the Labour party in the United Kingdom, criticising many of the policies of Conservative UK Prime Minister David Cameron and saying in 2008 she wanted to see a Democrat in the White House.

Mr Trump’s comments this week have been defended by his most ardent supporters on the right, such as pundit Ann Coulter, but many on his own side of politics, including former Vice President Dick Cheney and fellow candidates Jeb Bush and Lindsey Graham, have declared he has gone too far.is that donald trump or lord voldemort pic.twitter上海龙凤论坛m/r63ZtgARgB— luke pls (@daydreamIukey) October 27, 2015But imagine a fanfic where Voldemort swallows a tiny bit of his hatred for muggles to team up with Donald Trump and ruin everything.— Imperator Lex (@Alexes_C) December 5, 2015

Cedar Woods plans strata office for western suburbs

Artist impressions of Newton Apartments by Cedar Woods at Williams Landing.Perth-based developer Cedar Woods will launch a 5000 square metre strata office development next year and is planning a 50-room hotel at its Williams Landing estate in Melbourne’s west to cater for growing employment demand.
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Cedar Wood’s Victorian manager Nathan Blackburne said the strata building, to be completed in 2017 subject to planning approvals, followed the successful take-up of a smaller office project at 100 Overton Road.

The new building will be located next to the estate’s shopping centre, which will undergo a $6.5million expansion to include a Future Kids childcare centre and 1200 square metres of retail space.

Research commissioned by Cedar Woods suggests Williams Landing will host 13,000 employees within the next 15 years, a growth in white collar workforce spurred by its location in Wyndham, one of ‘s fastest expanding municipalities.

Few developers are willing to risk building large, speculative suburban office projects.

About three years ago MAB Corporation constructed a 4350-square-metre strata office at its University Hill project in Bundoora, following the earlier success of two similarly-sized buildings.

In Melbourne’s more-active south-eastern office market, a recent pre-commitment from BMW’s financial services arm will allow Frasers Property, formerly known as Australand, to construct a 10,000 square metre, $51 million office in its Mulgrave Office Park.

BMW joins Mazda and healthcare products group BSN Medical as tenants in the three-hectare park.

Also in the south-east, the wealthy Spooner family signed leases in July with American consumer and commercial goods giant Newell Rubbermaid and German high-end appliance maker Miele in its Caribbean Park development in Scoresby.

“The research that we’ve undertaken and the initial development that we’ve completed has shown that there is that demand and that it can be done at a meaningful scale. It’s very much like what MAB did in the north. They pioneered major office development in the outer suburban areas,” Mr Blackburne said.

Williams Landing may be in the running to host a 3500 square metre office for VicRoads employees after Cedar Woods submitted a bid to construct the new building with 10+5+5 year lease terms, despite a stated government preference for the office to be in Sunshine.

The lack of office space in Melbourne’s west was coupled with a lack of accommodation, Mr Blackburne said.

“We’re talking to a number of accommodation providers with the hope of developing a hotel within the next few years,” he said.

When complete, the estate’s commercial hub will have between 40-50 buildings up to five storeys tall, a third will be offices and the remainder a mix of apartments, retail space, bulky goods stores and a childcare centre.

The ASX-listed mid-tier developer has active projects in St Albans, Footscray, Clayton South and in Queensland’s Upper Kedron, where it expects to launch the 228 hectare 1000-lot infill Ellendale estate early next year.

ISPT joins Villawood in Queensland residential venture

Villawood’s Rory Costelloe and Tony Johnson have signed a joint venture with ISPT, Photo: Pat ScalaSuper fund investor ISPT will increase its exposure to an upswing in Queensland’s residential land market after signing a joint venture with Villawood Properties to develop part of its Helensvale project.
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The 600-lot deal for a portion of the south-east Queensland project will have an estimated end value of $400 million and is the second tie-up between privately-owned Villawood and ISPT which is investing funds on behalf of Hostplus Super.

The deal comes as ISPT is said to be the front runner to buy into one of ‘s best performing malls, World Square in the heart of Sydney’s CBD, at a price exceeding $280 million.

ISPT, with $11 billion in funds under management, formed a similar joint venture in 2007 on Villawood’s Alamanda Project in Melbourne’s Point Cook.

Villawood, run by founder Rory Costelloe and joint director Tony Johnson, purchased the 86-hectare Gold Coast Country Club in Helensvale in August last year.

The site has capacity for nearly 2000 dwellings and an overall end value in excess of $1 billion.

ISPT’s development manager David McFadyen said the 50-50 joint venture covered land in southern sector of the Helensvale site which is expected to be released next year.

“We have an ability to step into the central portion as well at a later date,” Mr McFadyen said.

“Strong demand fundamentals in the south east Queensland market and the property’s unique positioning with immediate access to a range of amenities and transport infrastructure made this investment highly desirable,” he said.

Colin Keane, director of the National Land Survey Program, said greenfield developments in south-east Queensland were selling on an average of 913 lots per month at a median price of $258,000.

“That is a near record high,” Mr Keane said.

Between 2008 and 2013, after the global financial crisis, the area’s land sales averaged 500 lots per month.

Growth was being driven by larger projects like Lend Lease’s Springfield Lakes estate near Ipswich and Yarrabilba in Logan and Stockland’s Bells Reach project on the Sunshine Coast that were able to deliver more land at lower price points, he said.

Melbourne’s median land lot price stands at a more affordable $211,000, while Sydney’s is the most expensive at $485,000.

The joint venture’s Helensvale land is an established suburb about 15 kilometres north of Surfers Paradise and 63 kilometres south of the Brisbane. Nearby is a Westfield shopping centre.

Villawood expects to launch up to 10 new projects next year and recently announced it will include childcare facilities upfront in all its new communities.

ISPT has been an active residential investor, pouring funds into six land and apartment projects under mandates from n Super and Hostplus over the last 12 months.

Mr McFadyen said ISPT had “pulled back” from Melbourne CBD apartment developments and would focus on building a residential land bank next year.

Kids exposed to domestic violence more likely to suffer sexual, physical abuse

Children who are exposed to domestic violence suffer similar effects to trauma and can struggle in adulthood. Photo: SuppliedChildren who are exposed to domestic violence are at higher risk of suffering sexual, emotional and physical abuse, according to a new study.
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The n Institute of Family Studies report, which will be released on Wednesday, also shows that children exposed to domestic violence from an early age are more likely to experience difficulties at school and have lifelong problems with social and cognitive development.

The report, Children’s exposure to domestic and family violence, draws on local and international research to examine the effects on children raised in abusive households.

It found young people who grew up around domestic violence were at higher risk of other forms of abuse, and that exposure to family violence was the leading cause of homelessness in young people.

“It affects their development in such a global fashion,” AIFS director Anne Hollonds said. “The problems are extensive and they go right across physical and mental wellbeing, cognitive development, which obviously affects academic achievement and employment.”

The study found child abuse often co-existed with domestic violence and that victims of persistent maltreatment in childhood suffered similar effects to trauma, which can lead to aggression, self-hatred and a lack of awareness of danger.

Ms Hollonds said the experience of children exposed to violence at home was not well understood and that a fragmented response meant the most vulnerable children were falling through the cracks.

“What we have is a fragmented patchwork of some services in some areas often operating in quite a siloed way,” she said.

“For example, domestic violence support for women might not always be focusing on the needs of the children. Similarly, adult services for mental health or drug and alcohol issues might not have a focus on the needs of dependant children.

“Unfortunately in some families the problems are multiple, it’s not just violence towards the other parent but there is also various kinds of abuse that the children directly experience. This multi-victimisation of children requires our urgent attention.”

The n Human Rights Commission released a report on Monday that found up to five children in every classroom had experienced or witnessed family violence.

The National Children’s Commissioner, Megan Mitchell, said children were the “invisible victims” of the domestic violence scourge and that growing up in an abusive household could have a devastating lifelong impact on a person’s mental and physical health.

She said children exposed to family violence might also feel they needed to defend the parent, or be the one to call police or an ambulance.

Crime statistics show Victoria Police were called to 65,400 family incidents in 2013-14 and that children were present in more than one-third of cases.

According to the n Bureau of Statistics, more than half of victims abused by their partner had dependent children in their care at the time, with that figure rising to 61 per cent in cases of abuse at the hands of former partners.

Ms Hollonds said a multidisciplinary approach to domestic violence across health, child protection and family services sectors was needed to help the most disadvantaged families, who are often dealing with complex problems but face the most barriers accessing help.

“We have a late reaction policy culture and find it difficult to co-ordinate across portfolios,” she said. “The key is acting earlier because often we don’t find out about the problems people are having until they’ve escalated to a very serious stage, and by then children will have been affected.”

New Chinan lottery could raise funds for heritage projects

The Opera House Lottery ran from late 1957 until 1986. About 86.7 million tickets were sold over the course of 867 draws, raising more than $105 million. Photo: Michele MossopOpera House Lottery kidnappingGamblers help fund Opera House birthday
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The federal government will consider introducing a national lottery – similar to the Opera House lotteries of the past – to fund the preservation of ‘s most precious places.

It will explore the feasibility of adapting Britain’s Heritage Lottery fund. Since it was launched in 1994, this lottery has raised more than $71 billion and funded more than 39,000 projects, that it says “make a lasting difference for heritage, people and communities.”

An n national heritage lottery is one of a range of funding initiatives that are outlined in the new n Heritage Strategy, a five-year plan that will be released at the Opera House on Wednesday by the Minister for the Environment Greg Hunt. It also includes plans to generate more publicity for nationally listed heritages sites by a more creative use of online storytelling.

Mr Hunt said the strategy would explore the potential for a national lottery that would benefit ‘s “magnificent heritage”.

Heritage management should be a “shared responsibility between national, state and local governments, private owners, businesses and the local community” , he said.

And protection of ‘s 100 world and national heritage-listed places was a pillar of the strategy, he said.

As well as national parks, these sites include: the Opera House; Hyde Park Barracks; and Bondi Beach in NSW; Port Arthur in Tasmania; Uluru in the Northern Territory; the Great Barrier Reef in Queensland; Flemington Racecourse in Victoria; and Canberra’s Old Parliament House.

A study of 15 sites estimated that they generated $15.4 billion in annual turnover, and employed around 79,000 people directly and indirectly.

The strategy paper acknowledges that “budget pressures” on the heritage sector have forced it to move towards more innovative funding measures, including crowd funding, partnerships with the private sector and targeted lotteries.

The Opera House, for example, has seen government funding drop and is investigating ways to raise more funds from the public.

A range of public lotteries in has encouraged gambling for “good causes”. The Opera House Lottery ran from late 1957, starting with tickets of £5 each, until it ended in September,1986. It sold 86.7 million tickets over the course of 867 draws, raising more than $105 million. In 2013, its 40th birthday celebrations were funded by special scratchies.

The Opera House Lottery became an institution in NSW, generating headlines about its power to transform lives – and not always for the better.

When Sydney actor Robert Levis won the Opera House jackpot of $200,000 in 1965, he said it set him up for life. He was “the richest man he knew,” he told the Herald.

In 1960 an eight-year-old Bondi boy Graeme Thorne was the first n to be kidnapped for ransom, and later murdered, when his parents won £100,000 in the 10th Opera House Lottery.

The odds of winning the Opera House Lottery were very long, and copped criticism from the church and others for encouraging gambling. The odds of winning the British jackpot recently got even longer.

Dr Mark Griffiths, the director of the International Gaming Research Unit and Professor of Gambling Studies, Nottingham Trent University, estimates the chances of winning the British lottery fund are one in 45 million after recent changes reduced a punter’s chance of winning.

“Does that make playing it a tribute to public innumeracy and totally irrational? Not necessarily. Lotto still offers a low-cost chance of winning a very large, life-changing amount of money … given the small cost involved; it’s a small price to pay for a big hope,” he wrote in The Conversation.

Frank Howarth, the national president of Museums , welcomed the idea of a lottery. He said the lack of funding at federal, state and local level for cultural and heritage institutions was very concerning.

In particular, organisations that relied on local government funding were really “feeling the pinch”.

The British lottery had been “immensely successful” in building a large number of cultural facilities that would otherwise not have been built, said Mr Howarth who was previously director of the National Museum of .

He warned that it was important that there was a strategy so that organisations that received lottery money for capital works also had funding to cover ongoing operational costs. Several projects funded by lottery money in Britain had closed because they didn’t have funding for operational costs.

When the Opera House Lottery ended, the then manager of the NSW Lotteries Bryne Smith told the Herald that the primary motivation to buy lottery tickets was to win money. “But a secondary reason is often the knowledge that the money spent on the ticket is going to a good cause,” he said.

Yet opposition to government lotteries like Britain’s heritage fund is usually more muted than the usual criticism of gambling.

“There seems to be a moral objection to the notion that people should be able to make bets at extremely long odds unless the proceeds are for a good cause,” said the Fundraising Institute in a submission to government many years ago.

What we can learn from the Packer siblings’ assets split

Kerry Packer is greeted at Sydney Airport by his children James and Gretel in 1977. Photo: Trevor DallenIf the Hancock-Rinehart feud over the family fortune shows how intergenerational wealth transfer can all go horribly wrong, the Packer family provides an example of how to do it well.
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When James Packer and his sister Gretel recently severed financial ties, a decade after the death of their father Kerry, the process was remarkably smooth and amicable.

Gretel Packer is now a billionaire in her own right after reaching a settlement with her brother over the division of assets and cash, essentially finalising their father’s will.

Steven Glanz, the lawyer and partner with Baker & McKenzie who acted for Gretel Packer in the settlement with her brother, says there are lessons in this for the rest of us.

Glanz has represented members of some of wealthiest and most prominent n families besides Gretel Packer, but he says good estate planning is critical for people from all walks of life.

He points out that is poised for the greatest intergenerational transfer of wealth over the next decades as the baby boomers age – the oldest of that cohort are about to turn 70.

At the same time there has never been more at stake. Over the last decade, older households have captured most of the growth in ‘s wealth that will be eventually handed onto their heirs.

A report by the Grattan Institute, released late last year, showed households aged between 65 and 74 are $200,000 wealthier than households of that age eight years ago, mostly due to increases in house prices.

Glanz says more “blended” families and more people with their own businesses mean that working out who gets what after we die is becoming more complex.

Those who do not do their estate planning properly risk splitting the family – setting sibling against sibling.

Glanz says there are three guiding principles that can help ensure a smooth handover of wealth that apply,regardless of the size of the assets.

First, it is very important to have a conversation with family members and make them aware of intentions and the reasons for dividing up the estate in a particular way.

“Many people feel uncomfortable with confronting their own mortality or don’t like having to tell one beneficiary they will not be getting as much as another,” Glanz says.

The consequences of parents not communicating their intentions with heirs is that the beneficiary who receives less is much more likely to direct their anger and disappointment at the sibling who receives more.

In Glanz’s experience, the second principle, is to try and make the heirs financially independent rather than financially interdependent on each other.

“What often happens is that someone builds a business, for example, of which they are very proud and they leave it to their kids,” he says.

“But their kids’ interpersonal relations are often challenging enough without adding the complexity of running a business between them.”

The third principle, which is even more important with the growth in blended families, is to treat all heirs equally.

“Children feel they are equally deserving and it is hard to try and displace that presumption,” Glanz says.

Wills are always contestable in the courts by anyone who feels they have missed out on what they regard as their fair share.

For parents, there is an incentive to get it right, Glanz says.

“You do not want your legacy to be a divided family and one where people dislike each other.”

Twitter: @jcollett_money