A defiant Malcolm Turnbull has insisted he will win the next election, while setting out a laundry list of his government’s achievements during the nearly two years he has occupied the nation’s top political job.
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In a lengthy – and at times heated – interview with the ABC’s Leigh Sales on 7.30 on Monday night, Mr Turnbull also said his government had no plans to build a coal-fired power station – despite pressure from within his government to do so – and said he was confident that three Coalition MPs, including deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce, would be found by the High Court to have been validly elected.

The Prime Minister also foreshadowed that his government would make a decision by the end of this year on whether to adopt a clean energy target, as recommended by chief scientist Alan Finkel and backed by power companies again on Monday.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. Photo: AAP

Mr Turnbull will meet power company bosses again on Wednesday to demand action to deliver cheaper prices for consumers. Meanwhile, he is also under pressure from the ramp-up of the same-sex marriage postal survey campaign, and the 18 consecutive Newspolls that show the Coalition trailing Labor.

Mr Turnbull and Sales are frequent sparring partners and Monday’s interview did not disappoint, with the pair frequently talking over the top of each other and the Prime Minister adopting a combative approach to the frequent jabs from his inquisitor.

It began with the Prime Minister dismissing suggestions his government had no “signature achievements” in the nearly two years he had been in power.

“We’ve had huge achievements. The reform of school funding, Commonwealth school funding for the first time,” he said, adding that what had originally been Labor policy was “my achievement because it is our policy. We brought that in.

“What about restoring the Building and Construction Commission, restoring the rule of law?” he said.

“What about reducing company tax so that small and medium businesses can invest and get ahead? What about reforming child care so that families on lower incomes and in particular get more access to child care than they could before? We have made one big reform after another.”

When it was pointed out that needs-based school funding had originally been Labor policy, Mr Turnbull responded: “You can be as negative as you like.”

Later, he added he was “very confident we will win the next election” because “we will continue to deliver the economic leadership that is showing strong growth in jobs”.

Mr Turnbull added the inland rail project from Melbourne to Brisbane, the Snowy Hydro 2.0 expansion – a pet project of the Prime Minister, who visited it again on Monday and pointed out “drilling is under way” – and accused Ms Sales of “not being interested in it” before pivoting to energy policy.

The Prime Minister also pointed to intervention in the gas market, on which Opposition Leader Bill Shorten urged him to go further on Monday. Mr Turnbull said the decision to put in place the framework to allow intervention had not been taken lightly, but had to be done because ns were demanding action on electricity prices.

“The east coast of has been short of gas. Why is that? It is because the Labor Party allowed gas to be exported from the east coast without any regard to protecting domestic industries or families or households. I have had to take very strong, heavy-handed measures to protect n jobs,” he said.

“We have no plans to build a coal-fired power station. We are already taking strong steps on Snowy Hydro, which, as you know, is a government-owned energy company,” he said.

And on the dual citizenship fiasco, Mr Turnbull said he was very confident that if Mr Joyce was ruled to have been invalidly elected, he would win a byelection after the High Court hearings in October.

“The fact is we are very confident, based on the advice we have, that the court will conclude that where a person like Barnaby is an n citizen by reason of being born here,” he said.


The Commonwealth Bank is tipped to face further upheaval in its senior management ranks after the banking regulator’s move to put its organisational structure under the microscope.
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The n Prudential Regulation Authority’s probe into CBA could also be a further dampener on the lending giant’s share price, which has already lost 8.7 per cent since an alleged money laundering compliance scandal came to light, analysts said.

APRA on Monday announced a prudential inquiry into CBA and its governance, culture and accountability frameworks, after a run of scandals at the country’s biggest bank, including recent allegations of deep failings in anti-money laundering compliance.

Banking experts said they could not recall such action from APRA, which normally operates behind the scenes.

They predicted it could lead to more changes among senior executive staff, alongside the departure of chief executive Ian Narev, who the bank this month said would leave by the end of this financial year.

Velocity Trade banking analyst Brett Le Mesurier said the inquiry could lead to senior management changes in CBA, noting that one of the key areas in APRA’s sights was the bank’s organisational structure.

“Heads may roll as a consequence of this,” Mr Le Mesurier said, adding that the inquiry may also weigh on CBA’s share price.

The fact APRA was launching such an inquiry was a sign the regulator recognised CBA had been embroiled to a greater extent than other banks in cultural problems weighing on the banking industry in recent years.

“It hasn’t been limited to the CBA, but they seem to be overweight on drama,” Mr Le Mesurier said.

Bell Potter banking analyst TS Lim also said APRA’s probe would likely result in changes to the bank’s management systems, and potentially some managers. He predicted the stock would move “sideways” because of the “noise” created by the AUSTRAC allegations.

“This inquiry is just going to dig deeper and deeper, and I think there’s going to be a bit of a shake-up,” he said. “It’s early days, but it doesn’t look good.”

In contrast, White Funds Management managing director Angus Gluskie said the review was unlikely to have a major impact on CBA shares as an investment, despite the high level of public interest in the issue.

“It’s not making me question my investment opinion on the much more significant matters of how they are running the bank,” Mr Gluskie said.

Mr Narev conceded CBA’s reputation had been hit by mistakes. He said APRA’s probe would likely look at issues including the overlapping lines of responsibility within the bank’s internal structure, and how CBA could improve “the specificity of accountability”.

APRA’s public inquiry is the latest example of fallout for CBA since financial intelligence agency AUSTRAC this month claimed CBA breached anti-money laundering laws on a massive scale.

These allegations have also triggered an investigation from the corporate watchdog, and the bank’s handling of the issue may lead to a potential class action from shareholders.

CBA on Monday lost 1.3 per cent, a smaller fall than Westpac. But CBA’s share price has lagged peers since August 3, when AUSTRAC alleged CBA failed to comply with anti-money laundering laws.

Over this period, CBA has lost 8.7 per cent, compared with a 2.6 per cent decline in the ASX 200 banks index. However, the fall in CBA’s share price has been accentuated because the cut-off date for receiving the next CBA dividend has also passed during this time.

Standard & Poor’s said CBA’s credit profile was likely to weaken if APRA’s review resulted in “material adverse findings” such as fines, significant brand damage, or signs of weakness in its risk management framework.


BUMBLING phone box bandits have again struck on the Border, but have smashed their target leaving the scene.
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The Telstra pay phone was unbolted on Bottlebrush Street, Thurgoona, about 11.30pm on Friday.

Offenders in a gold coloured Ford AU Falcon attended the scene with a trailer.

They removed the phone box from its concrete base and drove away.

SMASHED UP: The thieves lost the phone box on Ironbark Street in Thurgoona, causing extensive damage to it. Police later took it away for forensic examination, and said the coin box had remained intact despite the impact.

It was found on the corner of Ironbark Road and Boree Court, about 100 metres away, half-an-hour later.

Detective Inspector Winston Woodward said police later attended and retrieved the stolen phone box.

It appeared to have fallen from the trailer, but the coin box was still intact.

“The item has been seized for forensic examination,” he said.

“(A) similar incident occurred last week in Bellbridge, Victoria, in which Victoria police are investigating.

BASE: The concrete base on Bottlebush Street in Thurgoona where the phone box had stood.

“Albury police (are) calling for information from the community who may have witnessed or heard information to contact Crime Stoppers or Albury police.”

Wodonga Detective Senior Constable Justin Foots said a phone box was taken from outside the Hume Boat Club on Bethanga Road between 5pm on August 20 and 7am on August 21.

There are some working theories about why it would be targeted.

“There are two trains of thought, that it was possibly taken for the coins, or possiblyfor personal interest where someone may have wanted it for a trophy,” he said.

Detective Senior Constable Foots said it was the first time he had heard of people stealing phone boxes.

“It would have likely taken two people to lift it onto a ute or trailer,” he said.

“We’re still appealing for information.”

People living near the Thurgoona phone box heardscraping sounds as it was loaded onto the trailer.

Some called Triple-0, and others heard a loud bang as it smashed onto the sidewalk.

Other than scrap metal and coins, the unit would be of no value to anyone.

Telstra has 22 payphones in the Albury areaand 17 in Wodonga.

Despite the growth in mobile phone use, those figures have only declined by one unit in the past four years.

Telstra area general manager Steve Tinker was keen for people to pass on information to police.

“It is concerning that someone would seek to damage property in this manner,” he said.

“We ask that anyone who has any information to please contact police.”

Those with information can call 1800 333 000 or the police stations.

Border Mail


EMBARGOED FOR AFR MONDAY 17TH jULY 2017. ASIC Chairman Greg Medcraft on his legacy. Thursday 13th July 2017 AFR photo Louie Douvis .As every possible regulator gangs up on Commonwealth Bank – offering the public almost all the fun you would expect from a Royal Commission – are we really going to see a former employee of the bank head up one of these very same regulators?
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Austrac is suing Commonwealth Bank for what could be billions over money laundering allegations. The n Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) is investigating whether bank executives and board members breached their duties by not disclosing the Austrac breaches in 2015, and now the n Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) will run an unprecedented public inquiry into the bank.

It is fair to say that the appointment of Commbank’s great saviour, Catherine Livingstone, has come a little too late. Throwing chief executive Ian Narev under the bus during earnings season clearly has not appeased the gods.

But as we contemplate the imminent departure of ASIC boss Greg Medcraft, it makes you wonder about the reports a few months back saying Malcolm Turnbull’s mate, John O’Sullivan, has been anointed to replace Medcraft.

O’Sullivan’s CV includes important jobs such as a Liberal party donor, former hubby of right-wing columnist Janet Albrechtsen, and current chairman of Credit Suisse Oz.

What’s not to like about the man from the government’s point of view?

And before that, from 2003 to 2008 he was even general counsel at a bank, which bank you ask? Need you ask? Aussie gold

Guess who is the richest employee at the Commonwealth Bank? Yes, we have finally found out how much “Aussie” John Symond will get for the remaining 20 per cent of Aussie Home Loans that he has just sold to the bank on Friday.

Commbank announced on Monday that it has issued 2.087 million shares to Aussie John.

Even after the bank’s rough trot this month the stock is still worth about $160 million – down $10 million since July. Symond also missed a $4.6 million dividend that would have been payable if he held the stock two weeks ago. Not that he needs to be counting every penny.

The Aussie Home Loans business must be doing well, given Symond received just 2.75 million Commbank shares for the 47 per cent stake he handed to the bank in 2012.

The latest transaction means the man who made his name “saving” us from the big banks, is now the employee of the biggest bank. Albeit, a non-executive chairman.

Say, which bank is looking for an outsider as the new CEO? Surely “Aussie” John could save them. Perfect Ten

Many people will be looking forward to Network Ten’s future under the ownership of US TV giant CBS, if the current deal goes through.

But CBD can’t help but lament what could have been if the Lachlan Murdoch/Bruce Gordon alliance had been allowed to take control of the network.

Given Lachlan’s history at Ten, no one in their right minds should let him anywhere near the place. But they were.

And to make up for the lack of X-factor that could only be provided by James Packer, who else could you pick besides a cantankerous soul like Gordon – the man who has torched more money on media in the last five years than anyone can count.

What a team they would have made.

???Follow CBD on Twitter. Got a tip? [email protected]苏州夜网.au

Apology to John O’Sullivan

An earlier version of the CBD item “Would they really pick a former Commonwealth Bank exec like John O’Sullivan to head ASIC?” (August 29) referred to an exchange of emails between John O’Sullivan and Godwin Grech relating to the OzCar scheme. The item implied that Mr O’Sullivan had acted dishonestly in his dealings with Mr Grech and Treasury officials concerning the fee payable to credit Suisse for the OzCar scheme, and that as a result Mr O’Sullivan was not fit to be appointed chair of ASIC.

Fairfax Media acknowledges that any such inferences are incorrect and apologises to Mr O’Sullivan for any hurt and embarrassment.


53 Macquarie Street, TeneriffeTeneriffe is on the cusp of becoming Brisbane’s first $3 million suburb.
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Already firmly cemented as Brisbane’s most expensive suburb after becoming the first to break the $2 million median, data from PriceFinder shows Teneriffe’s median price has skyrocketed by 41 per cent up to $2,685,000, based on 10 sales so far this year. House prices have grown a staggering 71.8 per cent over the past two years.

Local agent Matt Lancashire, principal of Ray White New Farm, says it’s fast on its way to breaking the $3 million median.

“Given the way sales are happening in Teneriffe right now along the riverfront, after this (September) quarter there is a very strong chance that it will nudge over $3 million…there’s been some very strong results that are due to settle soon,” Mr Lancashire says.

“It’s only a matter of time. And I predict that Teneriffe will finish 2017 with an overall median breaking that $3 million mark too.”

Houses, rather than apartments, are few and far between in Teneriffe, which means that when they do come on the market, they’re fiercely fought over.

“There’s such a finite amount of houses in Teneriffe; there’s the Catalina houses, then the houses on top of Teneriffe Hill. That’s it. That’s why the median keeps moving up so fast, because we’re dealing with a small amount of property…supply there is incredibly limited,” Mr Lancashire says.

Ray White New Farm has sold more than $30 million in real estate just on Macquarie Street in the past three years. Regarded as “the” blue chip riverfront investment when it was developed 12 years ago, the Catalina homes are still tightly held ??? and consequently hotly contested ??? whenever they go up for sale. Related: Teneriffe: Brisbane’s elite suburbRelated: Brisbane’s future as a liveable cityRelated: Brisbane suburbs at the end of their life cycle

Recent sales include 37 Macquarie Street, which sold for $5.1 million in February this year through Hamish Bowman and Matt Lancashire, and 53 Macquarie Street, which sold for $5,236,000 in March through Christine Rudolph.

On Teneriffe Hill, 48 Teneriffe Drive sold for more than $4 million; ???an architectural home at 78a Chester Street sold for $3.25 million through Belle Property New Farm, while recently, artist Wendy Moore and her architect husband Jonathan Williams snagged $2.85 million for their renovated home at 95 Little Chester Street.

???”This is the closest comparable to the eastern suburbs in Sydney or Melbourne and realistically if anyone is shifting from down south, they want the inner city cosmopolitan vibe that is only two kilometres to the GPO and full of great restaurants, bars and cafes,” Mr Lancashire says.

“If you want to buy a riverfront home with a north-east aspect (in Teneriffe) there’s only 27 homes there. It is a simple economics supply and demand shortage.”

The Catalina homes were built by property developer Rusty McCart along with his partners David Roberts and Paul Barrett, who formed Meridien, once one of the country’s largest private developers, focusing on retirement and student accommodation as well as marinas.

There is only one Catalina home currently on the market, 77 Macquarie Street, Teneriffe, which will go to auction on site this Saturday, September 2, at 11am. Set on the riverfront with spectacular views, it features four bedrooms, three bathrooms and 488 square metres of opulent living space spread over three levels.


BEARING GIFTS: Transport Infrastructure Minister Andrew Constance on Friday announced $150 million for Newcastle’s city centre.
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Too scared to face the voters? (“City’s $150m boost”, Herald,26/8). Some find the fact that all announcements on Newcastle’s future only occur at property council or similar pro-Hunter development soireesa little galling, not to mentionpredictable.

We have so “generously”been given an extra $150 millionto fix “unforeseen problems”.If MrConstanceinsisted on following Transport for NSWadvice, via document 77he could save we taxpayers $100 million. We would have public transportwhere we want it, saving untold heartache to small business owners and commuters alike. Put public transport where it should be: in the transport corridor!

I wonder if MrConstance reads opinion in theHerald?

Tony Lawler, NewcastleA GOOD JOBIS NEVER FINISHEDMUCH is written each day in the Newcastle Herald about the damage to buildings in the East End due to road works and preparation for the Newcastle Supercar Race in November this year (“Concerns for historic East End homes”,Herald26/8). This will no doubt continue forever. Work on the roads, cars racing by, and people walking around as well as potential deafness and so on.

Meanwhile, the post office building continues to fall into massive decay and daily destruction without receiving anywhere near as much publicity as the anti-Supercar group are receiving on a daily basis.

The post office is part of Newcastle’s East End. So arethe railway stationand many private buildings, all of which are not receiving any publicity. Newcastle East End is a small placeand, like in the Civic and West End, work is underway to improve our city. We all have to face some inconvenience at times.Hopefully, it means improvement. And that is important to me,our children and our grandchildren.

John Freund,Adamstown HeightsNO WHINE, JUST ANGERTHIS is an angry letter. This is not a whinge or a whine it is an angry expression of frustration. As a resident of Newcastle East for 30 I think I have every right to be angry. My land rates have skyrocketed and my quality of life has plummeted. My suburb is a construction zone. My phone line has been cut. I am unable to walk around without being subjected to noise and dirt. I am unable to enjoy the parkland where I usually take my grandchildren. Traffic is a nightmare especially on weekends.

To add insult to injury I am bombarded with propaganda: flyers with glossy pictures thatbear no resemblance to reality; signage which contains Orwellian Doublespeak.

I believe Newcastle CityCouncil and Destination NSW have betrayed the citizens of Newcastle East and sold their souls to Mammon.

Jennifer O’Donoghue, Newcastle NOT EVERYONE TAKES A SIDECONGRATULATIONSto Dr Katherine Harper (“Everyone is expecting me to vote yesbut I won’t be”,Herald25/8) This was a well argued and sensible comment on same-sex marriage.

I well accept people’s concern for the huge expense of running the postal vote on this question. But why should we allow politicians to decideby a consciencevotefor anyimportant question? Who cares about their biases, opinions and secret prejudices? After all, they were elected to the house of representatives to representthe views and values of their electorate, not themselves.

Many people believethat we have had enough debate already, but we actually have had very little debate.It’s mostly been talk by either religious conservatives, who say the world will come to an end if you vote yes, or it’s talk by gay activists who wrongly claim that if you vote noyou’re homophobic.The vast majority of people and views in between have been left out and ignored. Until 10 years ago, it seems almost no-one in the gay community cared one way or another about gay marriage.Now they can’t live without it. Yes, love is love,but marriage is a different question. Give the people a direct vote.

Peter Devey,MerewetherUSELESSLAYER TOMYSTERYIT has taken three long years but at last it has been revealed that missing boyWilliam Tyrrell was in foster care when he was taken from his home in Kendall (“William was in foster care”,Herald26/8). Authorities have steadfastly refused to let the truth be known to the n public, creating a situation in which “the public has admittedly been given to think that [his] carers are his parents”and preventing the identity of William’s biological parents to be made known.

It has taken the dedication of Facebook group W4W Walking Warriors and the fair judgment of the Supreme Court of NSW and JusticeBrereton to finally let the truth be published by the media, which has previously been threatened with criminal conviction if they did so. Endangered and missing children are everybody’s responsibility and I believe there should be no secrecy surrounding them that could possibly hinder their safe return or well-being.

It’s not just the NSW government who should take the blame for the wrongful decisions regarding this matter.Our leader, Malcolm Turnbull, would have known the truth but did nothing to put the matter right. Makes you wonder what other secrets the n government is hiding from us.

Margaret Priest, WallsendTRAFFIC KEEPS ON TRUCKINGIN follow to my letter about dangerous Sandgate Road (Letters 10/8), Sonia Hornery took my concerns to Newcastle City Council. I have just received a reply from acting director infrastructure Ken Liddell. It states, in a nutshell, that the council conducted a traffic survey on Sandgate Road, north of Mawson Street, in May 2016. The survey result indicated that the average daily traffic volume on Sandgate Roadis 8990 vehicles, 4.7 per centheavy vehicles.

Mr Liddell goes on to state asimilar traffic survey in 2004 indicated that the average daily traffic volume at that time was 12,000 vehicles consisting of 9 per centheavy vehicles. The reply concludes that acomparison of the two survey results indicatesthat the average daily traffic volume on Sandgate Roadhas reduced by 25 per cent, with the average daily heavy vehicle volume reducing by around 50 per cent, over the last decade.

All I can say islive on it.Try and cross it, try to get out of your driveway. We do not need an alarm to wake you, we have compression brakes.

Ray Davidson,Birmingham Gardens


WA’s two AFL teams, West Coast and Fremantle, might still be fighting over who deserves to host the first AFL game at the brand new Perth Stadium however neither side will take part in the first major sporting event at the venue.
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That honour belongs to a sport not even played at the highest level in the state.

The government announced on Monday that the first sporting event at Perth Stadium would be an NRL double-header on Saturday March 10.

Rugby league clubs South Sydney Rabbitohs and Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs will open the 2018 NRL season against yet-to-be-announced opponents.

WA Tourism Minister Paul Papalia said he anticipated thousands of people would travel to Perth to watch the two opening-week matches of the premiership season.

“Events like the NRL double-header are important because they bring in visitors and attract national media attention,” he said.

“This is just one more way we can drive visitation to fill planes, get visitors to Perth and fill our hotel rooms.

“Tourism contributed $10 billion to WA’s economy in 2016 and the industry supports 109,000 jobs.

“It is a key pillar of the state government’s plan to diversify the economy, create jobs and develop business opportunities.”

The rugby league blockbuster is expected to attract between 40,000 and 45,000 people, putting up to $2.25 million in the state’s coffers.

Sports Minister Mick Murray said the NRL would continue to grow in popularity in Perth.

“The NRL premiership fixture between the South Sydney Rabbitohs and the New Zealand Warriors played at nib Stadium in June 2015 was a sell-out match,” he said.

“The crowd of 20,272 still holds the record for sporting event attendance at the venue since its redevelopment.”

The news will come as a disappointment for the Fremantle Dockers, with the club saying in early August they wanted to open the new 60,000-seat stadium with a Saturday twilight game against a heavyweight Victorian club.

The Dockers had already pitched the idea to the AFL but the Eagles hit back with claims of their own.

West Coast and Fremantle usually alternate when it comes to determining which club plays round one of the season at home.

Under that agreement, it will be the Eagles next year, given the Dockers opened the 2017 season in Perth against Geelong.

Both Fremantle and West Coast said they weren’t keen to open the venue with a Western Derby, meaning only one club is likely to come up trumps in that battle.

The NRL double-header is the last of a trio of blockbuster rugby events coming to WA as part of a sponsorship deal.

nib Stadium will host a Rugby League World Cup double-header on November 12 while Perth Stadium will showcase game two of NRL’s State of Origin series in 2019.

Tickets for the NRL double-header on March 10 are available to Bulldogs and Rabbitohs’ club members from August 29, with tickets on sale to the general public on August 30.

While rugby league will be the first sport played at the stadium, it won’t be the first-ever spectacle the venue hosts.

That honour currently belongs to British musician Ed Sheeran, who plays two shows at the stadium a week earlier on March 2 and 3, the venue’s earliest confirmed event.

– with AAP


Changes to ‘s GST treatment for developers are needed if the country is to follow America and Britain in pushing greater use of build-to-rent models, building giant Lendlease said.
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The company is looking to focus on the build-to-rent sector in its US and London developments in the coming years but the GST in made it uncompetitive for developers compared to building for resale.

Lendlease chief executive Steve McCann flagged ‘s tax issues as a hurdle as he released the company’s results on Monday.

“The units-to-rent sector is one we are entering as it is well established in the US and London. It provides a potential new asset class in our investment segment,” Mr McCann said.

“In it is a possible product for us, but there are tax issues which makes it a challenge. The sector needs government support to make it viable.”

Mr McCann said the residential sector was a “highlight” in the past 12 months. The only strain was the decline in construction margins, which were due to timing issues on projects.

Mr McCann said while the group was not a “barometer” for the residential sector given it operated at the higher-end inner-city markets, there were pockets of oversupply in suburban sectors.

“Residential development was a highlight with a 20 per cent increase in completions to 5769, driven by the delivery of a record 2533 apartments. We have settled about 90 per cent of these apartments to date, with a default rate of less than 1 per cent,” he said.

This included 1087 apartment completions at Darling Square, Sydney, Victoria Harbour and Toorak Park, Melbourne and the Brisbane showgrounds.

“At Barangaroo we still have about four years of building on the apartments – about 775 in total – including remediation of the site and are also looking for capital partners, so there is no urgency.

He said that while Lendlease did not have many overseas buyers there could be some slowdown because of regulatory changes.

Over its global business, Lendlease’s total apartment presales of 4167 units are worth $3.9 billion and 850 units for rent being delivered are worth $500 million.

The group reported a net profit of $758.6 million, up 9 per cent, for the 2017 year, which was revealed by mistake earlier in the month.

???The full-year dividend was 66??, with the second half of 33?? to be paid on September 20. Lendlease never issues earnings forecasts.

Mr McCann said in light of the tragic fire in Grenfell, London, Lendlease had reviewed all its buildings for cladding and fire safety.

“We have not identified or are aware of any of our properties that are unsafe to occupy,” he said. “We look at a building in a holistic way and do regular inspections.”

For construction, the earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation margin was up ???30 basis points to 2.7 per cent, but EBITDA in its n construction business fell to $201 million from $232 million.

The n margin was affected by performance across a small number of projects and increased bidding activity, while the US reported strong revenues and margins were boosted by successful project close-outs.

Europe is starting to recover from challenging market conditions and the focus in Asia remains on internal pipeline.

Macquarie Equities’ Rob Freeman said while no guidance was provided on 2018, Macquarie was forecasting a full-year 2018 net profit of $789.5 million, up about 3 per cent on 2017.

“This accelerates to 11 per cent growth in 2019 factoring in material profits from Darling Harbour residential,” Mr Freeman said.

“The near-term earnings outlook and ultimately cash-flow outlook for the business remain solid factoring in a high proportion of pre-sold product and an n construction business improving from a low base,” he said.


NEWCASTLE MP Sharon Claydon’s electorate office window is covered in hearts to promote a vote she wishes ns weren’t having.
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It’s the $122 million postal vote foisted on an unhappy public because the Federal Coalition Government is divided into camps –those who strongly opposesame sex marriage and those who aren’t strong enough to oppose them.

A postal vote is the inevitable consequence of n politics in 2017, where serious issues aren’t debated based on what is in the public interest, but on how the politics of the issues play out. Polls show a majority of ns either support same sex marriage or don’t regard it as an issue.

Governments in the past have declared mandates and made big decisions on much more controversial issues, based on the slimmest of slim electoral victories. But on same sex marriage both major parties have struggled. Labor is strong now, in part because it works politically to be seen strong because the Coalition is so divided, but in the past has also been divided. Julia Gillard famously stated her opposition to same sex marriage while Prime Minister.

A poll of Hunter politicians at local, state and federal level on Monday produced strongly-worded, heartfelt responses. Hunter Labor politicians seem genuinely pleased to be able to state their support for same sex marriage and the reasons, a number quite personal.

Support for same sex marriage is one thing, but garnering enough support for people to take part in the postal plebiscite –whether for or against same sex marriage –is another thing altogether.

“I can totally understand people’s temptation to throw away Mr Turnbull’s survey in disgust, to not dignify it with participation, but I would urge them to think twice before doing so,” Ms Claydon said.

It is gay Lake Macquarie Liberal councillor Nick Jones who summed up the difficulties this postal poll presents for so many people. His council announced a vote on same sex marriage which, surprisingly, he objected to. Organisations representing whole communities, like a council, should not speak on behalf of their communities, he said.

Upper Hunter mayor Wayne Bedggood probably summed up this period in ’s history best. In 100 years time people will look back and wonder what all the fuss was about.

Issue: 38,583.


FRONT-RUNNER: Tim Lang in action at the world cross triathlon championships. Lang said the winding mountain course on the bike was treacherous. Picture: Delly CarrBelmont North triathlete Tim Lang couldn’t have asked for a better trip after leading the n team as flag-bearer and defending his world title in Canada.
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Lang returned home on Sunday fresh from winning the 45-49 years men’s world cross triathlon championship at Penticton.

The 48-year-old claimed his maiden world title in the same format and age division last November at LakeCrackenbackin the Snowy Mountains after producing an epic finish in the run leg.

John Domandl and Paul McGlynn. Picture: Delly Carr

This time around, Lang built a two-minute lead in the opening swim leg and was never threatened, finishing the 30-kilometre mountain course in two hours, 27 minutes and 33 seconds.Canadian multiple Xterra world triathlon champion Calvin Zaryski was second 2:29:49.

Lang said being chosen as flag-bearer for at the multi-sport world championships, which also took in long distance triathlon, aquathlon and duathlon, made the win extra special.

“It’s been the best 10 days of my life to get picked to lead in 200 athletes, then defend my world title,” he said.

“Going to another country, racing all the Europeans, Canadians and Americans, a lot of them weren’t at Crackenback, so it’s a true world title.

“It’s even more satisfying knowing you’ve got most of the top guys there.”

His next focus was on qualifying for the world sprint and standard triathlon titles to be held on the Gold Coast in September next year as well as defending his cross crown in Denmark.

He was part of a Hunter group at Penticton which includedShane Gibbs, who was second in 35-39 years men’s aquathlon.Sarah Gardner was sixth in junior women’s duathlon and aquathlon, while ParalympianJohn Domandland guide Paul McGlynn won the long distance triathlon, aquathlon and duathlonPTV1division.

John Domandl and Paul McGlynn. Picture: Delly Carr