April, 2019

Mining magnate Gina Rinehart sells Mosman home

Mining magnate Gina Rinehart has cashed in on Sydney’s property boom to sell the former Mosman home of her daughter Hope Welker for more than $5 million.
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Australia’s richest woman was scheduled to sell the battle-axe property at auction next Thursday but made the sale late on Friday night.

Agents Megan Thomas and Dino Gatti, of Ray White Lower North Shore, declined to comment on the sale price due to strict non-disclosure terms. However, with a guide of more than $5 million it is expected to have sold for more than that, given the pre-auction exchange.

The Bradleys Head Road property is in the name of Ms Rinehart’s family investment company, 150 Investments, of which co-directors are her youngest daughter Ginia Rinehart and Hancock director Tadeusz Watroba.

It last traded in 2007 for $5.4 million. Settlement records will reveal if Ms Rinehart has managed to recoup that amount.

It was home to Ms Welker and her estranged husband Ryan until 2011, when they moved to New York and the family dispute erupted over control of the family dynasty’s mining interests.

Ms Welker was removed from the property’s ownership board in early 2012.

The Corben Architects-designed property  has a north-facing aspect and city views from the upper level. It has four bedrooms, four bathrooms, separate living areas set behind a double lock-up garage and a wet-edged swimming pool.

It was built by the previous owners, the Hamer family, who had bought it with the DA-plans approved for the site in 2003 for $1.95 million from Paulette Mirzikinian.

Records show Ms Rinehart isn’t the first miner to own the property. In 1998 founder of rare earth miner Lynas Corporation, Nick Curtis, and his wife Angela bought the property for $1 million, and sold it and the adjoining 765 square metre-block eight months later for $2.8 million.

Before the property was listed earlier this month, it went to auction in late 2013 with hopes of more than $5 million but failed to illicit a bid of more than $4.3 million.

Until recently Ms Rinehart’s iron ore company Hancock Prospecting was the largest shareholder in Fairfax Media, but she sold her 14.99 per cent stake last month.

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Cities locked in dog-eat-dog battle

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In today’s borderless world, people, business, ideas and capital can move anywhere. This has great implications for the way we build and grow our cities, acclaimed urbanist Larry Beasley says.

Beasley flew into Melbourne this week for the annual Green Cities sustainable building conference, arguing that we’re entering an era of “dog-eat-dog competition” among modern cities, and that the “feel” of a city is a determining factor in its success or failure in the 21st century.

Our cities are in fierce competition for tourist dollars, talented workers, businesses and investors. Our cities also face many challenges – population growth, congestion, sustainability and liveability to name just a few. These challenges can be addressed only if people are passionate about their cities. “If people love their city, they will be loyal and do what they can to make that city thrive,” Beasley says.

On the other hand, if their city doesn’t inspire and delight them, if it doesn’t provide them with great lifestyles, it’s easier than ever before to find a city that does.

Beasley argues that all cities must embrace smart growth – because that’s the best way to build cities that have high levels of amenity, and are exciting, dynamic and comfortable places to live in. Smart growth means increasing density in places that support it – such as along transport corridors, in our town centres and suburban shops – while also protecting our precious natural environment and the lifestyle that we so love.

Changing the shape of our cities doesn’t mean losing our suburbs. In fact, Beasley points out that “most people live in suburbs not because they have to, but because they want to”. People want the benefits of privacy, independence, spaciousness and safety that suburbs provide. Smart growth can provide the best of both worlds. We have the opportunity in Canberra to create new places and spaces as well as retaining some of the features many like best about our city.

In Canberra, we’ve got the basics right – and we have the most liveable city in the OECD as a result.  But we need to build on those basics to enhance our city’s character and charm and to help more people fall in love with – and invest in – our city.

Catherine Carter is ACT executive director of the Property Council of Australia

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NSW state election 2015: Mike Baird announces $300 million for Campbelltown Hospital expansion

Premier Mike Baird on the campaign trail. Photo: Darren Pateman Premier Mike Baird visits Campbelltown Hospital and gets a photo with patient Alex Taylor from Bradbury. Photo: James Brickwood
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Baird with supporters in Campbelltown. Photo: James Brickwood

The NSW Coalition has pledged $300 million for the second stage of its expansion of Campbelltown Hospital as the election campaign enters its final week.

Premier Mike Baird and Health Minister Jillian Skinner toured the completed first phase upgrade of the hospital in the western Sydney battleground on Saturday and promised further expansion to cope with the growing population.

Funding for the redevelopment is contingent on the partial privatisation of the state’s electricity network, a contentious plan the Baird government hopes will raise $13 billion for priority infrastructure projects.

Mr Baird would not commit to a specific time frame for works to start, saying “the planning will determine the final phasing”, but the government was committed to it starting in the next term “and then [to be] completed over the following few years”.

Emergency department waiting times at the hospital are among the worst in the state but during the election campaign both major parties have committed additional resources.

Opposition Leader Luke Foley has promised a $100 million paediatric surgical centre at the hospital if Labor is elected on March 28.

Labor says it can fund the commitment without selling the state’s electricity network.

“It is only our government that has the capacity to fund this expansion,” Mr Baird said. “It is only our government that will do it.”

Mr Baird, who will unveil his full suite of policies at the Liberal Party’s campaign launch on Sunday, said it would be a “close election, it’s going to be a tough election”.

“We have to fight every day. You can see for yourselves the negative campaigns that are running against us,” he said, in a reference to Labor’s anti-power privatisation advertisements. “Every single seat is a battle and we’ll be taking it up.”

The Liberal member for Campbelltown, Brian Doyle, joined Mr Baird and Mrs Skinner at the announcement.

The former chief inspector at Campbelltown Police and first-term MP holds the seat by a 6.8 per cent margin following a boundary change in 2013 which increased his advantage from 3.4 per cent.

Boundary changes have increased the lead of his colleague Jai Rowell, the Liberal member for the seat of Wollondilly, including parts of Campbelltown, from a 14.7 per cent margin to 21.6 per cent.

Mr Rowell, who was notably absent from the announcement, was “out door-knocking, as he should be”, Mr Baird said.

“We are in the midst of an election campaign, there are many votes that we obviously want to win but more importantly we want to tell our local communities everything possible about what we are doing.”

Mrs Skinner said stage two of the hospital expansion would involve new “operating theatres, a new emergency department, expanded clinics, and generally taking this hospital to the point where it will cope with growing demand”.

Mr Baird conceded the policy depended on the sale of the electricity network.

“We are seeking a mandate for that and if we have the opportunity and privilege to continue in government beyond next week we will do everything we possibly can to not only do what we’ve announced but possibly more,” Mr Baird said.

Shadow health minister Walt Secord said the plan was an attempt to “blackmail” local residents into voting for the sale of the electricity network. Find out about your state seat using our election interactive:

<a href="/interactive/2015/nsw-election/electorates/electorates.html?el=Wollondilly" _rte_href="/interactive/2015/nsw-election/electorates/electorates.html?el=Wollondilly">Key facts on NSW electorates</a>

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Foley announces $300 million housing plan

Labor has promised to match the Baird government’s commitment to release 20,000 new housing lots to alleviate Sydney’s housing affordability crisis if it wins the state election next week.
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Opposition leader Luke Foley also committed to putting $100 million towards the development of an Aboriginal cultural centre at Barangaroo. The overall cost of the centre is not yet known and its development would rely on partnerships with private investors, philanthropy, sponsors and the federal government.

Mr Foley said a future Labor government would invest $300 million on measures to address Sydney’s housing affordability crisis.

Of that, $100 million would be spent on accelerating the development of new infrastructure projects to support new housing developments. Another $100 million would fund interest free loans for new community housing.

“I don’t want to see future generations locked out of owning their own home,” Mr Foley said.

“A Labor government will take a new approach to housing affordability by increasing land available for new homes, helping first home buyers, identifying urban renewal opportunities and supporting community housing initiatives and specialist homelessness services.”

Earlier this month, Premier Mike Baird promised to “supercharge” housing supply in NSW if his government is re-elected.

Mr Baird said he would double the target for new home sites released on government-owned land to 20,000 in the next four years for the construction of apartments, terraces and stand alone homes in suburbs across the greater Sydney metropolitan area, the Lower Hunter and the Southern Highlands.

The government nominated Rouse Hill, Campbelltown, Schofields, Thornton, Kellyville and Bella Vista along the north-west rail line as well as Newcastle, Homebush and North Eveleigh, as the areas of focus.

But it would not say how many lots would be released in which suburbs nor what the mix would be between development in established suburbs and those at the metropolitan fringe.

When making a similar announcement in Zetland on Saturday, Mr Foley provided little detail on where the 20,000 new housing lots would be located.

“We’ll work with the Greater Sydney Commission that under a Labor government will be right at the heart of government above all the silo departments to plan Sydney properly,” Mr Foley said.

“Obviously many of them will be in the north-west and south-west growth centres. But we’ll also have the Greater Sydney Commission and the premier’s council on affordable housing looking at the entire future of where we plan new housing in this city.”

Asked why Labor hadn’t provided enough housing when it was previously in government, Mr Foley said construction had been proceeding at a rapid pace until the global financial crisis hit.

Mr Foley said revelations in Fairfax Media that Mr Baird had considered quitting politics a couple of months before he became Premier suggested he would try to “sell everything that is not nailed down”. While Mr Baird would not directly say what doubts he was having, he was considering his future at a time when former Premier Barry O’Farrell would not commit publicly to privatising the electricity network. His father Bruce said his son “wanted to do poles and wires [privatisation]. That was his dream.”

In response to those comments, Mr Foley said: “Batten down the hatches. If Mike Baird is re-elected there will be a fire sale of government assets”.

Mr Foley also welcomed the involvement of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission to review an attempt by the Premier’s office to influence an investment bank’s report on the government’s electricity privatisation proposal.

On Wednesday, Mr Baird admitted his office called UBS – one of two banks hired by the government to handle the proposed privatisation – after one of its analysts issued advice that the transaction would be “bad for the budget”.

The analyst then reissued its advice, removing the phrase “bad for the budget” and adding a more favourable view on the benefits of a privatisation.

“It is  not good enough seven days from the election for Mr Baird to put on his choir boy act and say, trust me. There’s a scandal here…. People need to know what happened,” Mr Foley said.

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The enduring power of netball’s Big V

Home: Madi Robinson (left, versus Abbey McCulloch) is back with the Vixens Photo: Grant Treeby Home: Madi Robinson (left, versus Abbey McCulloch) is back with the Vixens Photo: Grant Treeby
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Home: Madi Robinson (left, versus Abbey McCulloch) is back with the Vixens Photo: Grant Treeby

Home: Madi Robinson (left, versus Abbey McCulloch) is back with the Vixens Photo: Grant Treeby

From the backline, as Jack Dyer might have said: Sharni Layton, Julie Corletto, Amy Steel, Renae Hallinan, Caitlyn Nevins, Caitlin Thwaites, Erin Hoare. All but two have played for Australia and all are ex-Vixens, Victorian natives who have sought non-Melbourne netball pastures, and are thus playing at ANZ Championship level elsewhere.

Add in multi-club Bendigo-raised former Kestrel Bec Bulley, and the Fever’s Shae Brown, both of whom missed out on the inaugural Vixens squad back in 2008, plus current Swifts bench player Micaela Wilson, and there are almost more products of the successful local development system playing away than remain at home.

Times have changed, certainly, since the humbler decade of the Australian domestic league, where Vixens coach Simone McKinnis ended her celebrated playing career in 1998.

“It was a big deal then if somebody was going to another state to play, but it is common now, and it’s about players going to where they’re going to find the best opportunity,” says McKinnis, noting the fierce competition for places in just five Australian teams, compared with the eight former Commonwealth Bank Trophy franchises. “That means you may have to go interstate, and obviously there’s the support now for players to move; whether it be [help with] work or that sort of thing, there is the financial support to do that.”

The issue, of course, is that so many talented hopefuls into 12 Vixens spots is an impossible equation, meaning that not only are the reigning premiers unbeaten three rounds into their title defence, they – like the NSW Swifts – are also a particularly rich provider of personnel for rival clubs. In contrast to the Swifts, however, they are also committed to allocating 10 of their 12 spots to Victorian pathway graduates, leaving one for an import (at present England’s Geva Mentor), and no more than one interstater (last year Cath Cox, this time Carla Dziwoki).

A Vixen who left and returned is superstar wing attack Madi Robinson, lured to Perth for a place in the Fever’s starting seven by her former Melbourne Kestrels coach Jane Searle in 2009, coaxed back to her original club two years later, and now one of the best players in the world.

“It was the second year of the ANZ Championship; we hadn’t really seen a lot of player movement before then, so it was a bit of ‘oh, my goodness, what am I doing, is this the right option?’ ” Geelong-raised Robinson recalls of her shift west. “But hopefully it’s a decision like that from myself that has allowed other players to look further if they believe they can play at that level and they want to really pursue their goals and dreams. There’s opportunities out there, you’ve just got to try to find them.”

On her travels, Robinson also discovered just how superior the facilities and resources are in Melbourne than in so many other places, recalling how the Fever players did not even have access to a weights room, and had to share a gym with the Western Force. At the Vixens’ base, the VIS, there is every support imaginable, human and otherwise. Most netballers may be only part-timers, but this is a professional operation in every sense.

Robinson believes the fact that 10 of the Vixens’ 12 “are all born and bred Victorians” who have come up through the system – through junior representative teams to State League and the ANL – not only contributes to the strong club culture, but also helps inspire those who will follow. “The young girls and supporters that come along can say ‘wow, they played at the same association that I do’.”

For Commonwealth Games gold medallist Caitlin Thwaites, that was Bendigo. The goal shooter was a Victorian 21-and-under teammate of Robinson, Julie Corletto, Renae Hallinan et al in 2007 and a Vixens premiership player in 2009, who spent three seasons in Wellington with the Pulse before returning to Australia – and the Swifts – in 2014 to press for Glasgow selection. Successfully.

Thwaites considers herself loyal, and always imagined she would be a one-club player, but believes that species of netballer is becoming more endangered by progress. “That’s just more about netball becoming more professional, and the fact that we don’t have an AFL draft or anything like that where you’re ranked and get called into whatever club wants you – we’re actually lucky in that we’ve still got a choice in where we want to go,” says Thwaites, one of five former Vixens among the Swifts’ 12.

“I think the netball landscape has changed in the last little while, and people are trying to find somewhere where a coach really believes in you and you’re going to be getting the best out of your netball. Sometimes sitting behind someone at a certain club and waiting for them to retire might not be the smartest thing to do, so you have to go somewhere else.”

And so they have, so many of them, with former Vixens bench duo Steel and Nevins (nee Strachan) the latest to leave in search of playing minutes, and rewarded with substantial court-time at the Thunderbirds and Firebirds respectively in the first three rounds. “Unfortunately there’s only 12 spots, and they’re really competitive, and it shows how much depth we’ve had when you see the calibre of the players playing interstate,” Robinson says.

“But it doesn’t matter where they’re playing, as long as they’re playing. It’s great to see them out there, and I think it’s fantastic for the Victorian juniors coming through that there’s a lot of opportunity to play elite netball, even though we might not be able to fit them all in at the Vixens.”

Not coincidentally, semi-professionalism means there is also far more money than in the old CBT years. Robinson recalled that the $1500 per season she was paid in her time at the Kestrels did not even cover the cost of commuting from Geelong six days a week. To which McKinnis, an all-time great who also spent years on that same stretch of Princes Highway, responds drily: “She got $1500 more than me, then.”

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