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NEWS+VIEWS | MINING | AGRIBUSINESS | INFRASTRUCTURE

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26 P.4 PROPERTY: BOOM AND BUST IN REGIONAL TOWNS P.10 MINING: TURNING TRASH TO TREASURE P.14 PROPERTY: REGIONAL HOTSPOTS P.22. AGRIBUSINESS: FOREIGN OWNERSHIP P.26 INFRASTRUCTURE: WATERFRONT DEVELOPMENTS P.32 EDUCATION


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Business News+Views

Business News+Views Bringing you the latest insights and analyses. WORDS: Sarah Hinder Stephen Hawking’s last predictions From an Artificial Intelligence (AI) apocalypse to nuclear war, Stephen Hawking, the theoretical physicist and genius who passed away in March, has left us with these alarming predictions.

Fireball

Global warming, over-reliance on fossil fuels and overpopulation all put our planet at risk. “By the year 2600, the world’s population would be standing shoulder to shoulder, and the electricity consumption would make the Earth glow red-hot,” he hypothesised.

AI

Hawking has warned of the dangers that self-aware AI will pose to

Imbalance between corporate gain and the average worker’s reward

Corporations are already reaping the overwhelming benefits of productivity and economic growth as a result of automation. The trend is predicted to make a $2.2 trillion boost to productivity between 2015 and 2030. There is a disturbing divergence, however, between this growing economic surplus and the average worker’s compensation. Research suggests the gap between productivity and wage compensation for the average worker has been larger since the 2000s than at any point in the postWorld War period, and the trend is expected to grow.

humanity. “This will be a new form of life that will outperform humans,” he predicted. In an interview with Wired magazine, Hawking forewarned, “We need to move forward on artificial intelligence development, but we also need to be mindful of its very real dangers.”

Extinction

Alarmingly, Hawking proposed that within the next 100 years, humans will either leave Earth to repopulate elsewhere in the universe, or face extinction. It was his belief that, unless we succeed in becoming a multi-planetary species, the human race is very likely to die out within the next century.

Housing market problems having significant increases in homelessness

The number of Australians experiencing homelessless has steadily increased over the past decade by 13.7 per cent since 2011, as measured by the 2016 Census. Groups experiencing the biggest increase in homelessness were overseas-born migrants aged over 65 and those living in New South Wales. A recent study from the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute has found that changes to Australia’s housing system have played the most predominant role in rising homelessness across the nation. JUNE/JULY 2018

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Mining

Boom and bust HOUSING VALUES IN MINING TOWNS HAVE BEEN ON A PRECARIOUS RISE AND FALL TRAJECTORY IN RECENT YEARS AFTER THE COMMODITIES BOOM BOTTOMED OUT. NOW, THE UPWARD CYCLE HAS BEGUN. ILLUSTRATION BY: ANNA FARRELL

Kirsten Craze Kirsten Craze is a freelance journalist who has been writing about property in Australia and overseas for more than 15 years.

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Mining

Australia’s mining towns have ridden a rollercoaster ride of real-estate prices over the past decade. During that time some investors made a pile of cash as home values soared, while others dug themselves into a financial ditch when the market bottomed out. Today, however, the dust is settling after the rise and fall of the commodities boom, and many mining towns are bouncing back. Louis Christopher, founder of property data firm SQM Research, crunched the numbers on several resource-rich towns and, while he admits prices are on the mend, he says buyers should still enter the mining market at their own risk. “If they buy at the right time, then great, but for those who bought at the wrong time, they might as well have just gone down to the casino,” says Christopher. “You get extreme volatility, so people should keep that in mind. The good times are going to be fantastic and the bad times could be a nightmare,” he says. According to Ray

White Western Australia CEO Mark Whiteman, the bad dream is over for prices in the golden state. “There are definitely signs of improvement in the mining towns of Western Australia — that is evident by increased numbers of inquiries and better auction clearance rates in the Pilbara and Kimberley regions,” he says. “It appears that supply is being soaked up by additional demand, which should see things improve from what was certainly a very big correction. The market is certainly not back at boom proportions, but it is way better than the dire situation that it was,” Whiteman says. “My view on any market is that, provided people don’t get carried away at the peak and overcommit in any part of the market, then mining towns represent excellent buying opportunities right now.” Whiteman adds that, with property data showing a “flattening out” of the North West Shelf, prices are close to, or even at the bottom, of the cycle. “And that is universally known as the best time to buy,” he says. “We’ll see an improvement over the next 12 to 36 months as a number of mining companies are going through upgrade phases and are developing their facilities in some of these towns. I think the markets 

“The market is certainly not back at boom proportions, but it is way better than the dire situation that it was.” —

Mark Whiteman, Ray White Western Australian CEO.

JUNE/JULY 2018

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Mining

in the Kimberley, Karratha, Broome and Port Hedland are going to see significantly good times ahead,” he predicts. Sophia Keily of Jays Real Estate Mount Isa says the market in North Western Queensland also looks promising. “Mining is picking up, there’s no doubt about it. We’ve got more people back in town and the rentals are steadily picking up. We’re just coming out of a down cycle and it appears as if commodity prices are coming back up. The town’s prices are lagging, but the potential is looming again. It’s a good time for investors to get back in,” says Keily. Keily adds that, with limited accommodation in Mount Isa, landlords with well-presented property will always find tenants while the local copper and zinc mines are hiring. “We had about 10 years of zero to maybe one or two per cent vacancy. We even had those extreme situations where people were renting out their backyards as makeshift camp sites and any caravan was being used. It was so bad that people were homeless, but they were working homeless,” she says of the boom times. While property cycles in mining towns might be extreme, Keily says what goes up does come down, and vice versa. “People picked up places really cheaply in the low of 2004, and they caught that wave. I remember by 2012 a lot of those landlords wanted to capitalise, so sold up and made huge capital gains,” she says. “At that time, people who came to town for work were being forced to pay a lot for property that

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wasn’t being maintained, so they ended up buying very high, which was still better than paying high rents for something that was falling apart. “Where it all came unstuck is when those same people got put off as the mines retrenched in 2014 and 2015, and then had to sell. They’re the ones who got into trouble. But there were a lot who fixed up their homes, rented them out when they could, and waited. If they can wait they will get their money back, because every time we’ve had this cycle it’s always come back. It’s all about timing.”

Karratha

Population: 15,828 (Census 2016) Current gross rental yield: 12.5 per cent (houses) and 8.95 per cent (units) At the height of the inflated market between 2011 and 2012, the main caravan park in Karratha was charging up to $2,400 a week — but today a van is as little as $85 a night. At the peak of the mining boom, Karratha had a vacancy rate of about 0.4 per cent according to SQM Research. 


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Mining Those rates then rose during the downturn to 7.5 per cent in April 2015. Between late 2015 and now, vacancies have been trending down, and by early 2018 were sitting at 2.5 per cent. The median weekly rent peaked in July 2012 at $1,700 a week for houses and $1,100 a week for units. By January 2017, rents finally bottomed out at $450 a week for houses and $300 a week for units. Today, rents are now climbing again, with the median house rent sitting at $495 a week, while units have picked up to $333 a week as at April 2018. Sales in the town saw a huge rise and fall during the same timeframe. At its peak, the median house price in Karratha reached $870,000 — with some homes selling for more than $1 million — and units hit a median of $600,000. The market began falling in 2012 through to 2017, finally bottoming out at a median house price of $300,000 and a median unit price of $127,000. By the first half of 2018, the median house price got to $390,000, with units yet to move.

Port Hedland

Population: 13,828 (Census 2016) Current gross rental yield: 8.25 per cent (dwellings) In the height of the boom, there was 0.2 per cent vacancy in Port Hedland according to SQM numbers. That then skyrocketed in the downturn to a high point of 7.5 per cent. Now on a downturn since late 2016, the local vacancy is sitting at about 2.6 per cent. Weekly rents for a house in Port Hedland soared to $2,800, with units at $1,400. But then by the bottom they were sitting at $600 a week for houses and $350 a week for units. Port Hedland rents are on an upward swing in 2018 and are sitting at $800 a week for houses and $400 a week for units. When the market was booming in WA, Port Hedland prices were skyrocketing. In 2012, the median house price reached a whopping $1.6 million, but by 2017 it bottomed out at $525,000. At the same time units hit their peak at $810,000, but then began to fall. Units in Port Hedland were at $264,000 by early 2018.

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Mount Isa

Population: 32,588 (Census 2016) Current gross rental yield: 6 per cent (dwellings) Similar to Port Hedland and Karratha, vacancy rates were tight during the mining boom, getting as low as 0.3 per cent in October 2012. They peaked at 6 per cent by December 2014 and have slowly fallen since to 2.5 per cent this year. House rents in Mount Isa reached $600 a week in the boom, while units were at $480 a week. The bottom finally came in late 2016 when rents for houses fell to $350 and units were $200 a week. SQM data shows that the median house price hit a high of $495,000 in December 2012, then gradually fell to $325,000 by mid-2017. They climbed to $330,000 in early 2018. Meanwhile units peaked in mid-2013 at $410,000, then bottomed out in October 2017 at $250,000, and have inched back up this year to $295,000.

Roxby Downs

Population: 3,884 (Census 2016) Current gross rental yield: 6 per cent (dwellings) Resource-rich towns in South Australia have also been along for the ride. Roxby Downs, a purpose-built town that services the Olympic Dam uranium and copper mine site, has been on one of those property price waves. Vacancy rates sat at around zero in March 2012, then hit a dramatic peak in June 2016 of 17 per cent. Since then vacancies have fallen, and, by September 2017, were back down to 0.8 per cent. They are now slightly up 2.5 per cent. At their height weekly rents for a house reached $520 in August 2012, then dramatically dropped to $190 a week in January 2017. Now they are on the rise again to $377 a week. The few units in Roxby Downs did peak at the same time as houses at $350 a week, then bottomed in April 2016 at $160 a week. Now, local units have climbed to $310 a week. In October 2012 the median house price in Roxby Downs was $470,000, but fell to $310,000 by June 2017. That was up by early 2018 to $339,000. Similary, units peaked at $377,000, then slumped to $192,000 and have increased to $220,000.


Darren Baguley An agriculture, tech, mining, energy and business specialist.

Trash to treasure AS HIGH-GRADE DEPOSITS BECOME HARDER TO FIND, REPROCESSING TAILINGS FROM LEGACY MINES BECOMES ECONOMICALLY VIABLE AS MINING COMPANIES GO BACK TO THE FUTURE. For thousands of years the process of prospectors working in remote areas, under harsh conditions, to find an ore deposit, develop the mine and extract the resource has fired the imagination. There can be no denying there’s a romance to this progression. However, it invariably misses out the final phase — the inevitable closure of the mine when the finite resource has been extracted, processed and turned into the products of our comfortable industrial world. While there are mines, such as Potosi in Bolivia, that were opened hundreds of years ago, most have a life span of 30 to 50 years. New technology and a new way of viewing mining waste, however, are changing perceptions as to what is the end of a mine’s productive life. All mines generate waste. There is the overburden, rock that overlies the ore seam or mineral body, and tailings, the material

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Fast Fact

80%

Mined since the 1500s, and the source of Spain’s wealth at that time, the Cerro Rico de Potosí is the world's largest silver deposit. In the early years the ore grade was as high as 40 per cent silver.

remaining after ore has been processed and the valuable fraction separated out. The amount of tailings can be large depending on the metal or mineral being mined and the purity of the ore or mineral body. During extraction, the ore is ground into fine particles. Tailings are usually stored near the mine site itself and present challenges when it comes to rehabilitating the mine site at the end of its life: acid mine drainage, alkaline drainage and fine particles loaded with toxic substances such as lead. Mine site rehabilitation is expensive and it’s often the taxpayer picking up the bill. There are about 60,000 unrehabilitated mine sites in Australia, which represents a considerable burden that could be minimised if mining companies, government and the public see these ‘waste’ materials as potential resources. According to Anita Parbhakar-Fox, the Senior Research Fellow — Minimising Geoenvironmental Risks Transforming the Mining Value Chain — an ARC Industrial Transformation Research Hub at the University of Tasmania, tailings dumps could be part of a new mining boom as there is vast potential for these massive piles of waste to be re-mined. Not only are the tailings from some older mines the equivalent of economic grade with modern processing methods, but changing demand for metals means there are also desirable elements contained within the waste. “If we’re looking at historical, legacy sites, the sites that had quite high grade in the first place would be the sites to prioritise if a mining company was chasing the same commodity,” says Parbhakar-Fox. “Take, for example, Western Tasmania mining around Zeehan and Queenstown started in the early 1900s and as mineral processing technology has changed,


Mining review

what was once waste material would now be considered as economic grade. “The other thing to consider is the accessory metals you might have in some of the assemblages that are associated with those high-grade deposits. When we look at some of the mine waste material from Western Tasmania, we may be looking for lead, silver and base metals but we actually find there is quite a nice accessory of critical metals. For example we’ve had a bit of success with finding indium and cobalt. So, looking at those mine wastes a bit more broadly and seeing if there is a metal or mineral that is in demand now can certainly improve the potential revenue companies can generate from reprocessing these materials.” According to Parbhakar-Fox, the Old Tailings Dam, a site at Savage River on the west coast of Tasmania, has pyriterich waste from mining activities between 1967 and 1982 containing 38 million tonnes of material. While rehabilitation measures such as vegetating the site or flooding the area have been deemed technically too difficult, studies by Parbhakar-Fox found that the tailings contained as much as 3 per cent cobalt, a metal priced at US$81,000/tonne at the time of writing. She adds that by using bacterial oxidation, a greener process developed to release gold from pyritic rocks, much of the cobalt could be recovered. The Baal Gammon mine near Herberton in northern

Queensland produced copper, tin and silver for more than 70 years, but acid drainage from the site’s tailings has contaminated the waste near Jamie Creek and Walsh River. Analysis by Parbhakar-Fox’s team of shows it contains high levels of tin and indium that could be recovered using modern processing technology. “Reprocessing the waste would also remove the sulphides that are causing the acid drainage and threatening local waterways,” she adds. At its most basic, the way companies reprocess their waste depends on the metal or mineral being extracted and the grade of the parent material. “Operational mines need to take their waste material and treat it the same way they treat ore characterisation, understanding where the metals are sited, and start using appropriate metallurgical techniques,” says Parbhakar-Fox. A good example of a company doing this is the Ernest Henry Mine, a copper and gold mining operation in northwest Queensland. The mine began commercial production in March 1998 and it has undertaken good work in terms of reprocessing its tailings. “They’ve gone back to their tailings dams and dredged the material there. They’re chasing magnetite so it’s quite easy for them to put the material through magnetic separation and recover it much the same way they treat their ore,” says Parbhakar-Fox. Cobalt and indium are ‘hot’ elements right now because  JUNE/JULY 2018

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Mining review

they’re used in electronic gadgets the world currently has an insatiable thirst for, and a similarly in-demand element, lithium, is being recovered from waste in Western Australia. Over the past two years Lithium Australia (ASX: LIT) has developed its patented SiLeach® lithium processing technology that promises to produce lithium at very low cost and can also process ores that were up until now regarded as waste material. According to a report by RM Research, “[Lithium Australia’s] flagship lithium processing technology, SiLeach® is a halogenbased lithium processing technology which eliminates the expensive roasting step used in conventional lithium processing. SiLeach® is able to treat all lithium silicates including micas and low-spec and contaminated spodumene concentrates that are currently being disposed as waste from mining operations. Conventional processes can only recover lithium. SiLeach® efficiently digests and recovers all metals from the minerals processed and has the capacity of recovering valuable by-products which conventional processing is unable to do.” While reprocessing of mine waste is far less destructive to the environment than building a new mine, Parbhakar-Fox says that it can still be controversial. “When you consider the cultural aspect, the different land uses involved, [reprocessing] can be quite tricky. In Zeehan, we’re working on the infamous slag dump as another project. We’ve worked out where the zinc is residing, and we can improve the metallurgy of the recovery of that zinc, but it’s an area of cultural significance. “It sounds simple to say you should remove all this because it would remove a risk. We know it’s generating dust and contributing to the low pH waters with the slag pile sitting right next to a tailings repository all of which is impacting Austral Creek, which has a pH of 1.7.” Despite the logic, a company that was reprocessing the slag in 2011 struck opposition from locals who saw it as destroying history. “It’s a hurdle that isn’t always obvious when you’re thinking about minerals and dollars and things,” sums up Parbhakar-Fox.

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Fast Facts

40,000

The oldest continuing mining operation in the world may be the Wilgie Mia ochre mine in Western Australia’s Weld Ranges. Archaeologists believe excavation began 40,000 years ago.

Gold

South Australia's integrated metallurgical plant at Olympic Dam mine is able to process copper, uranium, silver and gold.

While high grade deposits continue to be found, the reality is that mining companies worldwide are chasing lower grade deposits across all commodities. According to ParbhakarFox, the logic of reprocessing legacy waste and further processing waste as it is produced is undeniable, but more research is needed. “Any decision that needs to be made in the area of reprocessing or rehabilitation needs to be based on good solid mineralogy. A lot of decisions can be made by looking at element signatures, but unless you understand where those elements were actually sited mineralogically then you can’t make a good decision in terms of the site. Developing techniques that can predict, characterise or capture mineralogy more cost effectively in the field is quite critical, as it can potentially transform the mining value chain. If we don’t do things like that, then we’ll continue to make mistakes."


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Property

On the money THERE’S MONEY TO BE MADE FOR INVESTORS IN REGIONAL MARKETS WHEN IN THE PROPERTY GAME FOR THE LONG RUN. HERE, WE LOOK AT THE AUSTRALIAN REGIONS OFFERING THE BEST INVESTMENT POTENTIALS

Kirsten Craze Kirsten Craze is a freelance journalist who has been writing about property in Australia and overseas for more than 15 years.

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One of the great real-estate myths is that only cities are home to big returns. But savvy investors know the real story. Sure, Sydney and Melbourne have multi-million-dollar price tags and have seen impressive annual growth, but high entry costs and mammoth mortgages mean many investors just can’t play the field. However, switched-on investors who have stepped into regional markets are finding there is money to be made when playing the long game. Dr Diaswati Mardiasmo, National Research Manager for PRD Nationwide, says there are plenty of regional hotspots where prices are affordable and gains are strong. “There’s a lot of potential in regional areas. Many people just think about Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, or within an hour’s drive of those places — they don’t think about regional areas and their investment potential,” she says. Mardiasmo recently released PRD Nationwide’s annual Ready Set Go Regional Report that analyses which Local Council Areas show property investment promise.


Property

The comprehensive report takes into account affordability, property price trends, investment potential, future development and the local unemployment rate. “We also made sure the LGAs we chose had a median price below the average state loan. For example, in NSW the average state loan for the December 2017 quarter was $476,449, while in Victoria it was $410,000 and in Queensland $338,000,” she says. The LGAs highlighted also had positive 12-month price growth, a rental yield on par with, or higher than, the nearest capital city, and rental vacancy rates on par with, or lower than, the capitals. “I have talked to so many investors who are hung up on two things: median price and percentage growth. People tend to look at it from a 12-month perspective, whereas if I was going to look at it from a growth perspective, I would look at the five- or even 10-year average. “Investors get enamoured by the idea of cheap prices and rental yields, but some haven't even heard of vacancy rates before. You need to know what they are, because you need them to be as low as possible." True property hotspots, Mardiasmo says, need to have solid future development prospects. “Without a high level of development, that level of price growth will not be sustained five or seven years down the track. There are people out who will want to flip properties in 12 months or so but, to me, property is still a long-term gain.” The PRD report concentrates on the Eastern Seaboard as these populated states have been most struggling with affordability.

New South Wales

Fast Facts

$1.17m While Sydney’s median house price sits at $1.1795 million, Melbourne’s is $821,000 and Brisbane’s is $530,000.

$769,051 The weighted average house price in Australia’s capital cities is $769,051.

The Ready Set Go Regional Report tipped Tamworth, Goulburn Mulwaree, Orange and Wagga Wagga local councils as hotspots. Tamworth is home to around 60,000 people and has a local initiative in place to hit 100,000 by 2030. The median house price as at April 2018 was $340,000, with a rental yield of 4.9 per cent and a vacancy rate of 2.3 per cent. With approximately $131 million of development planned for the region, the area 400 kilometres north-west of Sydney is looking pretty good to investors. “People ask me what the major industry is in Tamworth and the answer, which is our strength, is that we don’t have one. We’ve got lots of contributors, so that protects the local economy from the boom and bust cycle that can happen in some other regional places,” says Dean Cummins, founder of PRD Nationwide Tamworth. “People see just how well priced our properties are and you can get a pretty good return. You can achieve a 6 per cent return pretty easily or even better,” he says. Cummins, whose office manages 1,800 properties, said his current vacancy rate is sitting at a very low two per cent, with homes renting out in just 2 weeks on the market. Also pegged as a hotspot, Goulburn’s median house price was $420,000, while there are returns of 3.4 per cent, with vacancies at just 1.7 per cent. The Orange median house price was $387,000, while the yield was 3.8 per cent, with vacancies also at 1.7 per cent. In Wagga Wagga, the median sat at $345,000 and the yield was 5.5 per cent, with the vacant rate at 2.8 per cent.  JUNE/JULY 2018

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Property

Queensland For Queensland the regional councils of the Whitsundays and Southern Downs, as well as Ipswich and Toowoomba, were highlighted as solid investment spots. In Toowoomba, which is 125 kilometres west of Brisbane and home to approximately 160,779 people, the median house price was $380,000, while rental yields were sitting at 4.7 per cent and the vacancy rate at 2.7 per cent. With almost $2 billion worth of development given the green light in the greater Toowoomba region, local agents have reason to sing its praises. “We have a steady growth rate and low vacancy, and obviously you get a lot more bang for your buck in Toowoomba than you do in any of the capitals. You’ve also got a much better rate of return,” says Simone Files, cofounder of Blackbird and Finch, a real-estate business based

in Toowoomba. Files says despite an oversupply of units in the area in recent years that has since corrected itself, houses are hot property and there is no shortage of tenants. “As soon as a property goes up for rent, it generally only takes about two weeks to get it leased. But we don’t have very many for rent — we’d dearly love some more,” she says. Other promising areas in the Sunshine State include the Whitsundays region, where the house price median was $375,000, the rental yield was 4.5 per cent and the vacancy rate 1.6 per cent. Further south and Ipswich’s median is $347,500, while the local rental yield was 4.8 per cent, with vacancies at 2.9 per cent. In the Southern Downs the median house price was $280,000, with a yield at 4.6 per cent and vacancy at 1.6 per cent. 

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Property

Victoria In Victoria the Ready Set Go report pinpointed the Mitchell, Bass Coast and Moorabool shire councils. Moorabool Shire Council has a population of around 32,000, a median house price of $433,750, a yield of 4.1 per cent and a very low vacancy of 0.8 per cent. There is approximately $40 million worth of investment set to be pumped into the local area in the short term, so values are looking up. Matthew Edwards, senior country and lifestyle consultant at PRD Nationwide Ballarat, sells in the Moorabool Shire to a number of Melbourne-based investors keen to cash in on the high growth in the Moorabool region. With a median house price of $410,000, the Mitchell region had a rental yield of 4.6 per cent and a vacancy rate of only 0.6 per cent.

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“We manage close to 1,600 properties and a lot of our investors are coming out of the city looking for affordability and good returns,” says Edwards. “We also have a lot of cranky tenants at the moment because they’re missing out — it’s pretty competitive. Every time we have a rental open, there’s a big line.” “With a vacancy rate that low, you’ve got less risk of waiting for a tenant and you can start getting returns quicker. And not only are you likely to get a tenant quicker, the growth seems to be better year on year,” he adds. Along the Bass Coast the median house price sat at $395,000, with a 4.5 per cent yield and 2.3 per cent vacancy, while the Mitchell Shire Council has a median house price of $410,000, with yields at 4.6 per cent and vacancies incredibly low at 0.6 per cent.


Finance Special

Affordable business bookkeeping from Australia’s oldest and most reliable tax specialists The Income Tax Professionals, Australia’s oldest financial franchise has some great news for all Queenslanders. To some, it’s old news — but surprisingly to many others, it’s largely unknown. For more than 45 years, millions of Queenslanders have been assisted by the famous yellow and black ITP brand for individual returns. However, over this same period, quietly thousands of Queensland business owners have also used the same affordable ITP expertise for their own businesses. Perhaps it’s their worst kept secret but having hundreds of bookkeeping professionals assisting thousands of Queenslanders in over 30 business centres (and 32 kiosks) is a success story that’s going viral. What is no secret is that ITP Queensland can look after any business accounting and taxation requirements in one easy step. With the most up to date technology, business packages can be designed to meet any need — together with a professional and compliant service at an affordable weekly fee. They offer

tailored packages for sole traders, partnerships, trusts and companies starting from only $35 per week (for a sole trader). In more detail, ITP Queensland’s bookkeeping service includes accounting and payroll services; accounts receivable and payable; BAS and tax return preparation; and real time reposting of transactions. In comparison, the business service includes business tax returns (partnerships, trusts and companies); bookkeeping; and accounting services such as month and year end reporting (powered by Sage Business Cloud Accounting to ensure all financial records are balanced before the start of a new month); BAS preparation (reporting on activity statements to fulfil tax obligations such as GST, PAYG withholding, PAYG instalments and FBT); and month and year end reconciliation (managing the balance sheet accounts at the end of any given period). ITP Queensland’s qualified professional consultants can carry out all of these duties and keep

businesses compliant, financially accurate and clearly focussed on what they do best, wherever they are based in Queensland. Looking to re-evaluate costs on accounting? Look no further than the most experienced, trusted, reliable and affordable bookkeeping partner Queensland has to offer. Visit itpqld.com/business and talk to a professional today. Affordable bookkeeping. Without doubt. Visit: itpqld.com JUNE/JULY 2018

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Mining Recruitment Special

Work with the best in mining OreWin is an independent mining consultancy based in Adelaide. Our key areas of consulting expertise are geology and mining engineering, but the day-to-day work our consultants undertake can vary widely depending on the nature of the active projects and our client’s requirements. OreWin’s core business is the preparation of studies — the deliverable is generally a technical report describing the analyses that we carry out and the parameters used and results obtained. In going about our work, we always aim to provide targeted advice to each client to help maximise the benefit of their specific project. We provide whole-of-project analysis, from mineral resources and ore reserves, through to economic analysis. Sometimes we may be commissioned to prepare just a part of the analysis, but to ensure we provide value to our client, we will still need to understand how the part fits the whole. Typical work that our consultants

might undertake includes: Geologists • Drillhole planning • Geological interpretation • Statistical and geostatistical analysis • Resource estimation • Resource classification and reporting under several jurisdictions Mining engineers • Mine optimisation and design • Production scheduling • Cost estimation • Reserve reporting • Economic analysis options and sensitivities. OreWin's consultants may be tasked to provide input into any aspect of a study, depending on their core discipline and their level of experience. We work on projects in Australia and around the world. In the last 12 months we have worked on projects located in South Australia, Queensland, Canada, the Democratic Republic of Congo,

Mexico, Mongolia, South Africa and Turkey. Most of the work is carried out in OreWin’s Adelaide office, with visits to sites and client offices to collect data and present results as required. To keep up with the growth of our business, OreWin is looking for full time senior and principal consultants for Adelaide-based roles. We need people that have the skills and outlook to complement our existing team of consultants; people who can think independently, who can look critically at the data and are able to understand and explain what needs to be done and what results mean. This generally requires high technical proficiency and good communication skills. We are a consultancy in which our people understand accountability and take pride in their work. If you are interested in the type of work we do and think that you have what it takes to become a member of our team, contact us on the OreWin careers link found at orewin.com JUNE/JULY 2018

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Agribusiness

Whose land is it anyway? THE OWNERSHIP OF AGRICULTURAL LAND IN AUSTRALIA HAS BEEN A HOT TOPIC FOR MORE THAN 200 YEARS AND RECENT PURCHASES BY CHINESE COMPANIES HAVE REIGNITED THE DEBATE.

Darren Baguley An agriculture, tech, mining, energy and business specialist.

22

AusBiz.

Arguments about foreign investment and ownership of Australian agricultural land are almost as old as white settlement. With a large land mass and sparse population, the costs of developing vast plains west of the Blue Mountains couldn't be borne by the fledgling colony so development of Crown land leases was financed by Britain. For the next 150 years, foreign investment in Australian agriculture was an issue that bubbled to the surface of Australian politics at intervals. Few politicians, except those on the extreme left, challenged the high level of British investment in Australian agriculture, but a burst of American investment in mining and agriculture in the 1960s provoked some disquiet. Overall, however, mainstream Australia seemed to accept that in a big country with a small population, some foreign investment was inevitable. In the early 2010s, however, the national debate surrounding foreign investment in Australian agriculture reared again. This time, however, the concern was not about British or American investment but Chinese. At first there were rumblings of discontent in rural electorates as people noticed that Chinese-owned corporations had bought up some large-scale agricultural properties. Everything changed in 2012, when the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) approved the sale of Cubbie Station to Shandong Ruyi Scientific and Technology Group Co Ltd, a textile and garment company owned by Chinese and Japanese investors. Shandong initially bought 80 per cent of the Cubbie Group in consortium with the Lempriere Group, an Australian family-owned company with a 150-year history


Agribusiness

in wool trading and agricultural property management. Cubbie’s status as the largest irrigation property in the Southern Hemisphere attracted media coverage, which ensured the issue received major attention from the public and both sides of politics. Voters in electorates dominated by the National Party may have been the most vocal, but according to a 2012 Lowy Institute poll quoted by the Australian Farm Institute (AFI), 63 per cent of those surveyed were strongly against “the Australian government allowing foreign companies to buy Australian farmland to grow crops or farm livestock”. By 2016, it was up to 69 per cent. To allay public concern — and shore up National Party support — the Coalition went to the 2013 election with a promise to establish a register of foreign-owned farmland. The Foreign Ownership of Agricultural Land Register, managed by the Australian Tax Office, produces an update after the end of each financial year. Nevertheless, concerns remain. Not only does the system require individuals to self-register, the penalty for not doing so is $9,000. Another concern unrelated to the register is that the threshold of $15 million required for referral to the FIRB is too high. A further concern is the source of the investment. Cubbie Station may have been the first landmark agricultural property to be sold to a Chinese-owned company, but it certainly wasn’t the last. When the FY2017 findings from the Foreign Ownership of Agricultural Land Register were released at the end of September 2017, certain factions of the National Party, mainstream television, radio and newspapers worked themselves into a lather when it showed that Chinese

investment had increased tenfold over the previous year. Little mention was made regarding the agricultural land owned by British, American, Netherlands and Canadian companies and individuals. Independent-minded specialist agricultural publications and websites were quick to point out that the tenfold increase was accounted for by one single pastoral company — the sale of S. Kidman & Co to a consortium mainly comprised of Gina Rinehart and a Chinese company, Shanghai CRED. That sale added 7.8 million hectares of grazing country to ledger of Chinese interests alone. In addition, a further 1,390,095 hectares of Kimberley cattle country was acquired by Hong Kong billionaire property developer, Hui Wing Mau, when he bought the Yougawalla Pastoral Company. To further put foreign ownership in perspective, while the report showed that offshore investors owned 13.6 per cent of all Australian agricultural land, the AFI asserts that 99 per cent of Australian agricultural businesses are entirely Australian owned. Nevertheless, the AFI also noted that one of Australia’s largest superannuation fund managers has no investment exposure to Australian agriculture despite managing 10 per cent of Australia’s trillion-dollar-plus investment pool. To some extent, this simple fact supports the assertion made by proponents of foreign investment in the Australian agricultural sector — there is a massive gap between the capital available and the capital required domestically. According to the ANZ Bank, it’s about $850 billion; 

JUNE/JULY 2018

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Agribusiness

a figure that National Farmers Federation CEO, Tony Mahar, annualises to $9 billion; that’s $9 billion that could be spent developing Australia’s land that’s not being spent. While there is no doubt there are extensive agricultural properties all over Australia that could benefit from investment, for the extensive cattle properties of Northern Australia the calculation is simple. More investment means more fencing, more water points and more yards; other key infrastructure means beef producers can run more cattle on the land they have, which improves profitability. Foreign investors are often innovators as well. In 2015, Singaporean businessman Bruce Cheung bought Pardoo Station in the Pilbara for $13 million because he had been told there was a hitherto untapped underground river flowing beneath the 200,000-hectare station. After investing a further $20 million on 18 centre pivot irrigators across 840 hectares of pasture, Pardoo Station’s herd of Wagyu cattle are reaping the benefits of the Pilbara’s year-round growing season. What then are the disadvantages of foreign investment? And is Australia’s resistance to Chinese investment just a rerun of the 19th and 20th century’s fear of the ‘Yellow Peril’? While some sectors of the Australian community — One Nation supporters for example — may well be motivated by racism, the AFI has listed some legitimate concerns about foreign investment, some of which apply more to Chinese investors than others. For example, China’s agriculture is living on borrowed time. Production may be sky high now but that has come

from wholesale degradation of the country’s land and water resources, including over-extraction of the North China Plain’s fossil groundwater. As a result, Chinese companies have deliberately been buying up farmland all over the world. The concern is that the production of that farmland may be diverted when Chinese agricultural production begins to fall. Other concerns include sustainable management. The argument goes that foreigners who own the farmland but don’t live on it have no incentive to look after the land. While the environmental sustainability concern is not groundless, there are plenty of Australian-owned agricultural properties that are not being operated sustainably. As foreign investors usually buy high value properties, there is no incentive to degrade the asset base by running it unsustainably. The final concern is that of foreign workers. While Chineseowned farms in Africa have become ‘Little Chinas’ t­ here is little evidence that is happening in Australia. The reality is that Australia has strong labour laws that are usually enforced, and the harshness of the Australian environment also mitigates against wholesale importation of foreign workers. Despite the legitimate concerns, it’s clear that foreign investment in agricultural land is here to stay. It may be nice to think that Australia has the financial resources to develop its own farming land, but the reality is that the world is beginning to realise that Australian agriculture has many competitive advantages, not least being on the doorstep of Asia’s burgeoning middle class. Given this trend, it would be unusual if foreign investors weren’t keen to invest. JUNE/JULY 2018

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Infrastructure

Down by the boardwalk BEING ON THE WATER’S EDGE IS HIGHLY DESIRABLE FOR AUSSIE BUSINESSES. HERE WE EXPLORE SOME OF THE MOST SUCCESSFUL AUSTRALIAN WATERFRONT DEVELOPMENTS AND THE REASONS BEHIND THEIR SUCCESS — ALONG WITH FACTORS THAT SANK A FEW PROJECTS.

In 2016 Michelle Grand-Milkovic moved her successful restaurant love.fish from Sydney's inner west to a new 160-seat waterfront location at Barangaroo. A former container port and cruise ship terminal on the western fringe of the CBD, it’s been reinvented as a worldclass dining, retail, residential and business park, with gleaming waterfront towers, a new ferry terminal and a supersize promenade. “Making the move was a risk but a calculated one, because we knew we could strike a chord with the larger CBD audience the same way we did in the suburbs,” Grand-Milkovic says. “It paid off. The dining destination and community that's been built at Barangaroo is more than we could have hoped for. We now turnover more in one day than we used to in a week.” Grand-Milkovic is one of scores of Australians migrating to our bays, rivers, beaches and harbours to capitalise on the natural beauty of the waterfront. To meet the demand, government and developers are investing billions to dredge rivers, beautify old ports and build brand-new waterfront precincts that are changing the faces of our cities and towns. In this special feature, AusBiz. looks at some of Australia’s most successful waterfront developments and a few that have fallen below the waterline. We also explore the latest in waterfront architecture, innovative new finance models and the supercomplex environmental MICHELLE GRAND-MILOVIC WITH HER HUSBAND, considerations for building E X E C U T I V E C H E F, M I C H A E L M I L K O V I C on the water’s edge.

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AusBiz.

Ian Lloyd Neubauer With nearly 20 years’ journalism experience, Ian is abreast of global news as it happens.


Infrastructure

The stepped approach

Did You Know?

18m Barangaroo is projected to receive 18 million visits per year — 10 million more than Sydney’s iconic Circular Quay.

Twin

A new twin-tower project featuring Australia’s first-ever elevated hotel lobby is now being built at Perth’s Elizabeth Quay.

With Barangaroo, it appears Sydney’s politicians and planners finally recognised the full value of the city’s magical waterfront — not just in financial terms, but as a cultural and social asset that matters to the community. On completion in 2024, more than half of the 22-hectare site will have been relegated to public spaces. There will be a new amphitheatre, a park modelled after Bryant Park fronting New York’s Public Library, a walkway connecting to a new metro station, and a new boardwalk with sandstone steps leading into the water. “Successful models for waterfronts seem to involve partnerships between the public and private sectors, to create a series of active and passive precincts that provide something for all generations of residents and visitors alike,” Nicholas Brooke, Chairman of the Hong Kong Harbourfront Commission, tells AusBiz. “But at the end of the day, it all boils down to accessibility and getting people to the water.” Brooke and his team have also learned about the importance of limiting all buildings on the water’s edge in their continuing mission to beautify Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour. “A stepped approach is preferable as it reduces visual intrusion and creates a much more permeable waterfront,” he says. “In this context, Sydney is very much one of our role models. We’re very envious of what you've achieved.” Kim Dovey, Professor of Architecture and Urban Design at the University of Melbourne, agrees a stepped approach is critical. “In principle, you want as much density as possible close to the water’s edge as long as that doesn't damage the attraction. You want lots of activity close to the water with relatively small setbacks, but heights should then be stepped back to prevent overshadowing and wind effects,” he says. “The best examples of this in Melbourne is probably Southbank on the Yarra River,” says Dovey. “While the buildings are poorly designed, this is a highly active waterfront, with very good promenade design.”  JUNE/JULY 2018

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Infrastructure

Sustainability report

Perth has its own Barangaroo in Elizabeth Quay, a $2.5-billion project transforming 10 hectares of underutilised foreshore on the Swan River into a thriving recreational and commercial hub built around a newly excavated 2.7-hectare inlet. “Elizabeth Quay has literally changed the face of Perth,” says Vanessa Toncich of the Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority (MRA), overseeing the delivery of the 15-year project which, over the next decade, will include commercial, residential and hotel accommodation. “Retailers are registering record sale days: Gusto Gelato served up a tonne of ice-cream in one week over summer. Ferry patronage increased 300 per cent in the first few weeks after the precinct opened in 2016, and Deloitte Access Economics predicts it’ll attract up to 50 million people over the next decade.” Given the scale of inlet creation, the MRA went to extraordinary lengths to ensure a sufficient level of flushing to keep the water healthy. Silt curtains were installed to manage turbidity and suspended sediments in the water. A temporary limestone wall was built on the riverfront to shield the river from construction, and only biodegradable oils were used in machinery and tools. But only three months after Elizabeth Quay opened, the swim leg of a triathlon that was to take place in the inlet had to be cancelled after faecal coliforms were found in the water. The problem was caused by birdlife droppings following a big storm. But ecologists pointed out at the time that the MRA’s monthly water monitoring program was wholly inadequate and the inlet should be tested weekly, as the Swan River is, to identify flare-ups before they become an issue. There have been no further reports of contamination. However, the incident shows the infinite complexities of constructing — and managing — waterfront properties.

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AusBiz.

Show me the money

Mega-waterfront projects like Elizabeth Quay are usually underwritten by government and too big to fail. But the private sector in Australia has a spotted record navigating the financial roadblocks that are part of waterfront projects with multiple stakeholders. Hinchinbrook Harbour, a residential marina north of Townsville in Far North Queensland under construction since the mid-1990s, is a textbook example. Plagued by problems since the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) of 2007–2008 and sucker-punched by Cyclone Yasi in 2011, the marina has sent two different management companies into administration. It’s also left dozens of small investors high and dry, including a resident who bought a two-bedroom apartment for $565,000 in 2007 only to sell it for less than $170,000 a decade later. Meanwhile, dodgy environmental planning has seen the marina filled with half a million cubic metres of mud, with crocodiles now trying to move into the seaside community. “It’s a crazy, complicated story. I’m learning more about it by the day,” says Nick Dametto, Member for Hinchinbrook. “Everyone has an opinion and/or a vested interest in the outcome.” Melbourne's $500-million Wyndham Harbour project was also hard hit by the GFC. However, Wyndham Harbour has become a case study in achieving innovative funding solutions for complex marinas. “We turned traditional marina funding strategies on their head by mapping a funding solution that saw the profit from the land development fund the marina delivery,” said Michael Kark, CEO of Monark Property Partners, a Wyndham Harbour financier since 2009. The masterplan was concurrently adjusted and scaled back. When Wyndham Harbour was launched in 2003, it comprised 500 finished homes. Version 2.0 has only 350 plots, all of which have finally been sold.


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Mining Technology Special

Position Partners welcomes Andrew Jones to the Monitoring Solutions Team Position Partners is pleased to announce that Andrew Jones has joined the company as the second Business Development Manager in the Monitoring Solutions Team. In his new role, Mr Jones will be responsible for the New South Wales and Southern regions. Mr Jones has built a 20-year career as a geologist in the mining industry and comes with an extensive array of operational experience both domestically and abroad. With a background in mines rescue and emergency services, Mr Jones is passionate about providing solutions contributing to the safe operation of projects. Whilst in Mount Isa, he gained experience in both underground and open cut mining processes whilst catering for challenging geotechnical conditions requiring various monitoring solutions. This included mining an open cut over a historic underground operation whilst needing to guarantee the structural integrity of nearby critical surface infrastructure. Mr Jones has since consulted throughout Asia, Africa and the Middle East to companies in a variety of commodities and extraction techniques. He also gained exposure to the civil engineering industry whilst consulting to quarrying and cement companies. Mr Jones holds a Bachelors Degree in Applied Science and a Masters in Mineral Economics. He has a strong appreciation in both the technical and commercial aspects of operating a project safely. Position Partners centralised Monitoring Solutions Team supports customers with tailored solutions for the civil, geospatial, mining and building industries. Position Partners offers two industry-leading monitoring solutions including Senceive, an innovative wireless platform and Topcon Delta, a comprehensive optical and GNSS-based system with advanced reporting and integrated communications technology. Mr Jones added: “I’m excited to be a part of the growing team at Position Partners and look forward to providing clients with solutions from the vast range of products we supply. I’m keen to draw on my varied operational experience to assist clients with their onsite strategies.” positionpartners.com.au JUNE/JULY 2018

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abbotsleigh.nsw.edu.au An Anglican Pre K-12 day and boarding school for girls

Board at Abbotsleigh Our specialty is country and regional NSW In Sydney? Come and visit us â&#x20AC;&#x201C; weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d love to show you around Please contact Colleen Fenn on 02 9473 7744 or registrar@abbotsleigh.nsw.edu.au We empower amazing girls to do amazing things


Education Special Feature Mining

Chooks away BY CARRIE KABLEAN

For most of us, eggs at Easter mean the chocolate variety, in all their sugary delight — but the girls at Abbotsleigh’s Ag Club have a different agenda. In the run-up to this year’s Sydney Royal Easter Show students were busy raising meat chickens, taking care of Light Sussex hens, and learning about egg and meat production. It was the first time the girls from Abbotsleigh, an Anglican girls' day and boarding school in Sydney’s north, had competed in the show. Three of the hens were entered in the Purebred Layers Competition, which involves selecting well-matched birds and putting together a project about husbandry and laying. Four students competed in the Junior Showmanship Schools division, presenting birds to a judging panel to demonstrate handling skills and breed knowledge. Others competed in the Steggles Meat Pairs Competition. These girls picked up their day-old chicks in February, 16 little 45 gram balls of fluff that would eventually bulk up to more than three kilograms each, during which time the students were required to track the growth and feed

consumption, document husbandry and calculate feed conversion efficiency. While some Abbotsleigh girls come from a rural background, that’s not true for all of them. So, how did the students do? In the Steggles Meat Pairs, their male meat birds placed second as a live bird pair, and they came fourth in the carcase competition; their Light Sussex hens placed third in the Purebred Layers. As the competitions drew entrants from 75 schools, the Ag Club girls were delighted to be placed. As for the Junior Showmanship, the four girls had no idea what to expect and were competing against Agriculture students! Nerve wracking, to say the least — and not just for the entrants. After the event, the girls’ teacher Susan Filan was sought out by one of the judges and shown how to properly handle a caged bird. “She was very helpful,” said Filan. “She thought the girls must have a bad Ag teacher! When she learned that we are a club with a Science teacher in charge, she took the time to help us out. Now that we know what happens in a competition, we look forward to improving next year.”

Want to know more? Visit www.abbotsleigh. nsw.edu.au | 02 9473 7777 JUNE/JULY 2018

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â&#x20AC;&#x153;We knew that Nudgee College could provide so many more opportunities. Not just in normal everyday education, but in a way that would expose Tom to new challenges, that could help him to grow into a young man who will leave an indelible footprint on his surrounding world.â&#x20AC;?


Education Special Feature

Guiding the next generation St Joseph’s Nudgee College has a rich history that dates back over 125 years, with a grand reputation built by successive generations of students, staff, parents and community members. Located only 16 kilometres from Brisbane, the College’s campus sits on 136 hectares of sprawling bushland and ovals. The founder of the College, Ambrose Treacy, recognised the need for a Catholic boarding school for rural Queensland in the 1880s, as boys from the region were sent to boarding schools located far away in New South Wales. To achieve his vision, Treacy raised money for the College and gathered boarding enrolments while travelling on horseback around regional Queensland. “We say that Nudgee College was originally built by funds from the bush, for boys of the bush,” says Principal Peter Fullagar. Since those early, humble beginnings,

the College has continued to grow from strength to strength throughout the years. Today Nudgee College has 1,300 day-school enrolments and 280 boarders. At Nudgee College, students are taught, cared for and challenged by teachers who want the best for each student. A focus on the holistic education, personal development and wellbeing of each student remains important for the college. Offering some of the best facilities in the country, Nudgee College has everything available to students on ‘one footprint’– modern, technologically advanced classrooms, an exceptional agricultural centre (that includes cattle yards), state-of-the-art science labs and a trade centre designed for vocational education learning areas. “In any one day, boys can move from one of our many Google classrooms, to the agricultural centre to tend to the on-site cattle, take a P.E class on our Olympic-grade athletics track, or perform on stage in our purpose-built 400-seat auditorium,” says Principal Fullagar. The most outstanding facility the College has to offer however – and one of their proudest achievements – is the newly redeveloped boarding village that

was completed in 2015. “The boarding community has been at the heart of the College since its founding, and is a valued and thriving facet of Nudgee College, with plenty of fantastic opportunities to further all aspects of a student’s development,” says Principal Fullagar. The Bathersby Boarding Village features spacious individual rooms, shared common areas for study and recreation and a large communal courtyard with eco-friendly design. It also offers a health centre staffed with skilled nurses, doctors and physiotherapists that are available 24/7 and a kitchen staffed with chefs that prepare nutritious, well-balanced meals. Boarders include students from all over Australia, the South Pacific and beyond. “Our focus in Nudgee College Boarding is to help boys to find and develop their strengths. We do this by creating a safe, supportive environment where boys have multiple resources and opportunities to cater for their interests,” says Principal Fullagar. “Ultimately at the end of their Nudgee College journey we hope that we have moulded an independent, empathetic, culturally aware young man who is able to fulfil his potential.” nudgee.com. JUNE/JULY 2018

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The Catholic residential college for university students in Adelaide, under the care of the Marists.

AQUINAS COLLEGE Now accepting 2019 applications.

(08) 8334 5000 www.aquinas.edu.au admin@aquinas.edu.au 1 Palmer Pl, North Adelaide SA 5006


Education Special Feature

Aquinas: giving uni students the edge Decades of experience in working with beginning university students from regional Australia has allowed Adelaide’s Aquinas College to develop both the expertise and support networks that foster success, both while they are studying and when they begin their professional careers. It’s all about people and culture according to College Rector, Brother Michael Green. “Aquinas is a like a great family,” says Brother Michael. “That’s what I hear from our students and alumni time and again.” “First, we go out of our way to create a genuine home for everyone, somewhere where they are known, feel safe and can belong. People matter to each other. No-one falls through the cracks.” “Second, as in any good family, everyone wants the best for one another,” he explains. “At Aquinas, that translates into such things as a comprehensive tutorial program, oneon-one mentoring, academic support, and career advice and opportunities from former Aquinians.” Student President, Eliza Boulton

from Mildura who is in her fourth year at Aquinas, points to the academic culture that pervades the College. “It’s cool to want to achieve highly at Aquinas — and we do,” she says. “Over 75 per cent of our students have a credit average or better, and over 35 per cent a distinction average or better. That’s way ahead of the bell-curve and doesn’t happen by accident.” Brennan Lockwood, a second-year resident from Mount Gambier, relishes the positive vibe that defines Aquinas. “People really do look out for each other,” says Brennan. “It’s a very people-oriented place. Right from day one I felt that I had made a smart choice.” “Just about all of us are from country areas or from interstate,” adds Brennan, “so we’re all in the same boat at the start. The seniors really helped us feel at home immediately. That’s in the Aquinas DNA.” Eliza describes Aquinas College as a super-active environment. “There’s always something on,” says Eliza. “Lots of social activity and fun, absolutely, and plenty of

sport and also opportunities for social outreach. We form great friendships and have epic times together. But everyone knows why they are here, and that’s to do well at university.” Brother Michael believes that for any young adult residential community to be a nurturing and safe environment then it needs to be unequivocal about its valuebase. “We’re confident at Aquinas that we’re in touch with what young people of the 21st century want and expect, things such as mutual respect, inclusion, intellectual honesty, choice, and critical engagement with the discourse of the times. That’s all consistent with the Marist educational tradition that underpins Aquinas. Our students have all that and they share it with good companions. “I think they are very fortunate to have both the opportunity and the support that they do.” aquinas.edu.au

JUNE/JULY 2018

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Tec-NQ’s Senior School serves a niche market in the boarding school arena. With an integrated focus on trade training, Tec-NQ is the market leader amongst boarding schools in establishing work placement and apprenticeship opportunities. Y10 Tec-PREP “Try-Every-Trade” JULY START. Y11 & Y12 JANUARY START. FULL TIME APPRENTICES – Start any time. Boarding available at the Townsville campus. Website: tecnq.com.au Virtual Tour: tecnq.com.au/school#virtual-tour Contact us today for more information on career focused pathways and apprenticeship opportunities.

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Finance

End of financial year tax time tips Tax time. Two words that bring a sense of dread to most people. If this includes you, read on. We’ve compiled our top tips to ensure smooth sailing this financial year.

Start early

If you’re after a stress-free tax return, the best thing you can do is stop procrastinating and lodge your return as early as possible. Get ahead of the ball this year by organising any statements for savings accounts or other investments in advance, as well as ensuring that you have your Pay As You Go (PAYG) Payment Summary or Group Certificate on hand. Having these prepared before you begin your tax return will save time and help you receive your tax refund sooner.

Become a boss at deductions

The thought of adding deductions when filing a tax return often seems like a hassle – but it doesn’t have to be. In fact, once you know what you can claim, the process becomes easy and it could end up saving you thousands. We’ve compiled a quick list of the top deductions that will help you dominate this financial year and put some of your hard-earned tax dollars back into your own pocket. • Mobile phones – Workers can claim the costs of their phone and internet expenses that are work-related. • Electricity – Many people take work home with them. If you don’t want to claim comprehensive home office expenses, you can still claim for electricity used when doing work at home. • Education – If you’re studying subjects related to your

Ryan Watson Tribeca Financial's CEO knows all about money management.

current paid employment, it’s tax-deductible after the first $250. You also can claim travel expenses for the cost of getting to and from your place of education. • Printer ink — There’s a pile of home office items that can be claimed including inks, stationery, printers, computers, chairs, desks, paper shredders and rubbish bins. • Bricks – The most lucrative potential tax deduction for property investors is not the carpets and curtains, but writing down the bricks and mortar. For most people it’s a 2.5 per cent annual tax deduction on the cost of the building – but not the land, which does not depreciate. For an investment property costing $300,000 to build, that’s a welcome $7,500 tax deduction every year. • Your income – If you pay income protection insurance premiums, make sure to claim them. It’s the only form of personal insurance that is tax-deductible.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help

An estimated 46 per cent of us spend three or more work hours per week thinking about our finances (PWC 2017 Employee Financial Wellness Survey), resulting in low financial wellness. Add on the stress of a tax return and it’s easy to see why so many of us become overwhelmed. Our financial wellness impacts all aspects of our lives — from our physical and mental health, right through to the relationships we have with our family and friends. So, if you need a little extra help filling out your return, don’t be afraid to ask for it. Accountants can take the hassle out of your tax return, leaving you to live your good life.

JUNE/JULY 2018

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Puzzles

CROSSWORD

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R E N N U R D A O R W T E

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D Y G S F F E K O D O U U

T O M E T L M C C D T C B

F L L E Q E T I S S E K M

E I N N I M J M O T U L P

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FELIX FLINTSTONES FOGHORN JERRY JETSONS

X P F L I N T S T O N E S

T O M E T L M C C D T C B

MICKEY MOUSE MINNIE PLUTO ROAD RUNNER ROCKY

Find all the words listed hidden in the grid of letters. They can be found in straight lines up, down, forwards, backwards or even diagonally. Theme: CARTOON CHARACTERS

F L L E Q E T I S S E K M

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ASTRO BOY BULLWINKLE DAFFY DUCK DONALD ELMER FUDD

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E I N N I M J M O T U L P

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DOWN 1. Rectified 2. Dog or horse 3. Londonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Marble ... 4. Recedes 5. Recurrence of illness 6. ... Sea Scrolls 10. Exclude 11. Fencing swords 13. Divulge 14. Awry 16. Type of cigar 18. Benefit (of) 19. South African currency 20. Scalp growth

X P F L I N T S T O N E S

ACROSS 1. Transylvania is there 4. Made slip-up 7. Baby fierce cat (4,3) 8. Steam burn 9. Consumer pressure 12. Adopted (policy) 15. Water removal system 17. Radio interference 18. Embroidery expert 21. Anchorage native 22. Alter (text) 23. Fling, shipboard ...

AusBiz Magazine - June/July 2018  

The new Australian business magazine — AusBiz. — is a highly engaging read covering news and features related to mining, agribusiness, finan...

AusBiz Magazine - June/July 2018  

The new Australian business magazine — AusBiz. — is a highly engaging read covering news and features related to mining, agribusiness, finan...

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