Ironfish - Ironfish

Ironfish Offices

Select an office to view contact details

Are you a property developer?

Contact Head Office

Post-election property market boost for investors

Hot on the heels of the Coalition’s win at the recent Federal Election, APRA has now indicated it will look to potentially lower serviceability requirements for new home loans.

The Coalition victory has removed uncertainty around negative gearing and capital gains tax changes, which is expected to bolster the wider market, and according to Goldman Sachs, deliver a “moderate positive shock to sentiment in the corporate sector, and a more meaningful one in the housing sector.”

A further boost to market sentiment was delivered by APRA this week, proposing to remove its guidance that lenders should assess whether their borrowers can afford their mortgage repayments using a minimum interest rate of 7%.

“With interest rates at record lows, and likely to remain at historically low levels for some time, the gap between the 7% floor and actual rates paid has become quite wide in some cases – possibly unnecessarily so,” APRA chair Wayne Byres said.

APRA is now proposing to change the 7% serviceability assessment, to instead apply a 2.5% buffer on top of the loan’s actual interest rate. For example, if a loan’s actual interest rate is 4%, the bank will assess the customer based off a 6.5% interest rate.

Most banks assess borrowers at 7.25% so this change, if approved, would have a significant impact on many Australians looking to secure finance for a home or investment property.

On top of this, borrowers will also potentially benefit from expected rate cuts as early as next month. The RBA is poised to explore cutting rates in next month’s meeting, with RBA Governor, Dr. Lowe commenting that “a lower cash rate would support employment growth and bring forward the time when inflation is consistent with the target.” Earlier this year, one of Australia’s biggest banks, Westpac, forecast the RBA to cut rates twice later in the year, effectively trimming the official cash rate to only 1%.

First home buyer increase

First home buyers are not only set to benefit from the potential easing of serviceability restrictions, they will also receive a helping hand from the Coalition’s proposed ‘First Home Loan Deposit Scheme.’

The Scheme will offer loan guarantees for first home buyers to allow them to buy a property with a minimum deposit of only 5% instead of 20%. It will also save them around $10,000 by not having to pay Lenders Mortgage Insurance (LMI).

First home buyers have already returned with force to the market and this number is likely to increase further once the ‘First Home Loan Deposit’ scheme is implemented.

In the 2018 financial year, 115,000 new home buyers had loans approved; the highest number since 2009-10. More than 110,000 Australians bought their first home in 2018 – the highest level in nine years.

The First Home Loan Deposit Scheme, if confirmed, will start on 1 January next year and will be targeted towards first home buyers earning up to $125,000 annually or $200,000 for couples. The value of homes that can be purchased under the Scheme will be determined on a regional basis, reflecting the different property markets across Australia.

The National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation will partner with private lenders to deliver the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme, prioritising smaller lenders to boost competition.

Tax relief

With the Coalition looking having now secured a majority government, pre-election legislation promises are more likely to be passed, including smoother implementation of what has been promised in the recent Federal Budget.

Tax relief was the headline of the recent Federal Budget, with tax cuts promised to low- and middle-income households, designed to boost savings, consumption and consumer confidence with broader positive implications for the economy.

Assuming the proposed cuts pass through Parliament, from 1 July 2020, more than 10 million workers will receive a tax offset; with around 4.5 million receiving the full $1,080 offset for 2018-19.

By the time the tax relief plan is fully implemented, 94% of taxpayers will pay no more than 30 cents in the dollar.

The top 5% of taxpayers will continue to pay around one-third of all personal income tax.

Infrastructure pipeline: a $100 billion 10-year plan

Also expected to positively impact the market is the continuing $100 billion infrastructure pipeline which includes:

  • Brisbane Metro, Gold Coast Light Rail in Queensland.
  • Western Sydney Rail in NSW.
  • Melbourne Airport Rail Link, Monash Rail upgrade in Victoria.
  • Gawler Electrification Project in SA.
  • METRONET in Perth.
  • Removing traffic pinch points through a $4 billion Urban Congestion Fund.

This massive infrastructure commitment combined with greater collaboration between federal, state and local governments via City Deals will drive further growth in jobs, economy and population; especially to major capital cities.

City Deals ensure all levels of government work together, with investment coordinated to benefit taxpayers.

City Deals are already up and running in Western Sydney and Adelaide. The Government is also actively engaging with the West Australian Government on a Perth City Deal, and with the Queensland Government on a South-East Queensland City Deal.

Economic resilience

Despite global uncertainty, the Australia’s economy has been resilient under the current government.

More than 1.3 million new jobs have been created since 2013. More than 100,000 new jobs were created for young Australians (aged 15-24) in 2017-18. 

This is the highest number of jobs in a financial year on record. Australia now has the lowest level of welfare dependency in 30 years.

Further, after more than a decade of Budget deficits, the Coalition Government delivered a welcomed $7.1 billion surplus in this year’s 2019/20 Budget.

With certainty around housing/tax policy, ongoing and strategic spending in developing capital city infrastructure, boosts to first home buyers and tax cuts for middle-income earners – all set against a wider backdrop of easing lending restrictions and low interest rates, we expect positive signs for the property markets nationally. We will continue to monitor these changes closely and provide updates for investors as they are released.

Want to stay up to date on the latest news affecting the property market? Subscribe to our monthly newsletter.

Is Melbourne becoming a landlord’s market?

Key research released this month suggests that Melbourne is continuing to show significant potential for property investors, and has actually become a ‘landlord’s market.’ These findings come hot on the heels of the Victorian government’s vacancy tax announcements and amidst concerns of apartment oversupply in inner-city Melbourne. The following five reports outline why many investors are still keeping Melbourne on their watch list.

  1. Melbourne’s property vacancy rate drops to near 10-year low

Only 1.7 per cent of the properties being offered for rent in inner-city Melbourne remained available in February, according to SQM Research. The last time this figure was so low was in June 2007.

“This is quite remarkable – despite predictions of looming apartment oversupply in inner-city Melbourne, we are seeing vacancies fall rather than rise. At this point in time, there’s not an oversupply of rentals. If anything, it’s turned into a landlord’s market,” said SQM Research Managing Director, Louis Christopher

  1. Massive 128% Rise in CBD Leasing

Recent research report from Savills have revealed office leasing in Melbourne’s CBD has had a massive increase of 128 per cent over the 12 months to March.

According to Savills Director, Office Leasing, Phillip Cullity, this surge is the result of strong population growth as well as the Victorian Government’s strong infrastructure program, including level crossing removals, the Metro Tunnel and the Western Distributor.

“It’s no surprise that developers are pushing ahead with new buildings especially with economic rents being achieved,” Cullity said.

  1. Development booms as Melbourne population grows

“More and more people want to live in Melbourne, which is reflected in the record number of homes being built. The number of dwellings completed or in the pipeline is one of the highest we have recorded since the DAM began in 2002,” said Lord Mayor Robert Doyle, reflecting on the City of Melbourne’s latest Development Activity Monitor (DAM) report. 

  1. Work ramps up on major train and road infrastructure projects

From 1 April 2017 drivers heading to or from the CBD on CityLink between Flemington Road and the West Gate Freeway will now have an additional traffic lane available each way, including the Bolte Bridge. On average, motorists will save 16 minutes in the morning peak and 17 minutes in the afternoon peak when the CityLink Tulla project is completed in 2018.

Work is also set to ramp up next month on the $10.9 billion Metro Tunnel mega-project which will enable more trains to run in and out of the city to improve access to jobs, education, health and culture. Construction will continue at Franklin and A’Beckett Streets in April, and in and around St Kilda Road at Domain.

  1. New Council development to deliver $87.9M public benefit

The City of Melbourne last week unveiled plans for what has been described as Australia’s most sustainable mixed-use development on the Council-owned Munro site, as part the Queen Victoria Market (QVM) Precinct Renewal.

Lord Mayor Robert Doyle said the proposed development by PDG Corporation would deliver a $89.7 million public benefit to the City North precinct. It will include a hotel, residential and retail, childcare facilities, health and community hubs as well as galleries and artist spaces. The development will move the existing QV market car parking underground and transform the space into 1.5ha of public amenity.

Want to find out more about property investment in Melbourne or which are the premium suburbs/areas to invest? Download our property outlook report here.

[Sydney] New facilities for growing Green Square community

Green Square residents are invited to a sneak preview of the City of Sydney’s new $18 million community and cultural precinct at a site tour this weekend.

Locals can take a look at the facilities under construction at the former South Sydney Hospital site in Zetland, including a creative centre, community shed, childcare centre and park.

The City’s project managers, community facilities staff and builders will be on hand to answer questions about the new precinct, which is expected to be complete later this year for the benefit of the area’s rapidly growing community.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the facilities were an important addition for Green Square, an area that will soon be home to more than 61,000 people.

“Green Square is one of the fastest growing precincts in Australia, and we’re doing everything we can to ensure it develops into a world-class urban neighbourhood with the services and facilities its residents and workers need,” the Lord Mayor said.

“The City has committed $540 million over the next 10 years to the Green Square town centre, including our new community and cultural precinct that will sit at the heart of the development.

“Our new childcare centre will support the growing number of families choosing to live in the inner city, while other facilities will provide important creative and recreational spaces for people of all ages to come together, develop their talents and share ideas.

“Our works are breathing new life into the former South Sydney Hospital’s heritage-listed buildings, preserving their rich history and ensuring they can be enjoyed for generations to come.

“We invite locals to come along to see how construction is progressing and learn more about the fantastic new facilities they will soon be able to enjoy.”

The facilities that will be on show for the site tour include:

  • Joynton Avenue Creative Centre– the former nurses’ quarters in the three-storey Esme Cahill Building are being refurbished as artist studios, a gallery space, creative workshops, classrooms and spaces available for community hire.
  • Banga Community Shed – a former pathology building will house a community shed with the potential for workshops and other community activities, and will look out onto the new Matron Ruby Park, featuring a community garden and children’s playground.
  • Waranara Early Education Centre – the hospital’s former outpatient building will provide a 74-place early education and childcare centre.
  • Green infrastructure – the former administration building will act as a green infrastructure centre for the town centre. A water treatment facility will supply recycled stormwater for flushing toilets, green space irrigation and cooling towers, and two water storage tanks will also be located on site. A local distribution network, or private wire, will supply power to nearby community facilities, allowing power generated from sources such as solar to be transferred to other buildings in the precinct.

Representatives from local water utility Flow Systems will also be on hand during the tours to answer questions about Green Square’s stormwater recycling system. Artist Maria Fernanda Cardoso will also speak about her artwork While I Live I Will Grow that will be featured onsite.

The new community and cultural precinct sits within the 278-hectare Green Square development area, which includes the suburbs of Beaconsfield and Zetland, and parts of Rosebery, Alexandria and Waterloo.

The City is spending $540 million over the next 10 years on extensive infrastructure and streetscaping works for Green Square, as well as new community facilities that also include an aquatic centre, library and plaza, and more than 15 parks and open spaces.

When fully developed, Green Square will accommodate close to 61,000 people living in 30,500 new homes, and provide around 21,000 permanent jobs.

Source: New Release, City of Sydney, 24th April , 2017

[Perth] Residential Land Sales Recover As Prices Rise

Residential land sales increased for the second consecutive quarter as prices reached a new high during the three months to September 2016 according to the latest HIA-CoreLogic Residential Land Report published today by Housing Industry Association.

“During the September 2016 quarter, the volume of land sales increased by 1,121 lots compared with the June 2016 quarter,” said HIA Senior Economist, Shane Garrett.

“However, the number and size of government taxes, fees, levies and charges on new residential land needed to accommodate our growing population continues to weigh down on our national housing affordability challenges.

“In addition to removing the excessive taxes on new land, long term commitment from all levels government in the areas of planning, land release and infrastructure funding is necessary.

“Price pressures in the residential land market are greatest in the capital cities, with Sydney prices now approaching $1,000 per square metre.”

According to CoreLogic research director Tim Lawless, “with median land prices rising consistently since mid-2013 it is clear that one of the primary drivers of broader housing market growth has been the underlying appreciation of land values, which is pushing the overall value of housing higher. The median dollar value per square metre of vacant land was recorded at $927 in Sydney, which is 32 per cent higher than the next most expensive capital city, which is Perth where the rate per square metre is $701. The high land costs are a significant contributor to the unaffordability of housing across Australia’s largest capital city.”

“With housing affordability one of the most topical housing market issues, the underlying drivers of high land costs need further scrutiny. Government policies around land release and headworks costs are central to the debate around housing affordability and the cost of vacant land,” Mr Lawless said.

“The trend towards a larger number of land sales over the September and June quarters of last year is very welcome, however land sales remain more than 7 per cent lower than their previous 2015 peak. With capital city transactions rising by almost 10 per cent over the September quarter compared with a 1.1 per cent rise across the combined regional markets, it is clear that demand for vacant land is most concentrated across the capital city markets where economic conditions are generally stronger.”

Today’s HIA-CoreLogic Residential Land Report shows that the land lot price nationally rose by 3.3 per cent during the September 2016 quarter to another record high of $243,585. During the quarter, 18,510 land lot transactions are estimated to have occurred across Australia, 6.4 per cent higher than the previous quarter but 7.3 per cent lower than a year earlier.

During the six months to September 2016, land transactions experienced the largest increase in Perth (+5.5 per cent) compared with the same period year earlier. Land turnover also increased in Hobart (+2.1 per cent) over the same period. Land sales saw the largest reduction in Sydney (-29.9 per cent) over the same period. Turnover also fell back in Melbourne (-13.5 per cent), Adelaide (-5.1 per cent) and Brisbane (-3.3 per cent).

Source: News Release, The Urban Developer, 15th, Feb 2017

[Melbourne] Victorian Government Commits To Next Stage Of Melbourne Park Redevelopment

Treasurer Tim Pallas and Minister for Sport John Eren announced $271.55 million to complete the third stage of the Melbourne Park redevelopment in a move to ensure Melbourne can claim the title as global home of sport and entertainment.

Announced as part of the Victorian Budget 2017/18, the funding will guarantee that the Australian Open stays in Melbourne until at least 2036.

The third stage will feature a new multi-purpose 5,000-seat sunken show court and arena, central terrace with a new elevated outdoor public space, a function and media centre, broadcast studios, central kitchen, loading dock and logistics hub.

“This project will mean more visitors, more jobs, and even more chances to showcase to the world that Victoria has the best of everything,” Treasurer Tim Pallas said.


Fans will find their way around the courts easier with new and improved pathways, new scoreboards and signage. The southern entry will be realigned and the northern entry upgraded as part of the works, improving access for everyone.

The project will create 600 jobs during construction, and is expected to support thousands of tourism and hospitality jobs once complete.

Construction work is powering ahead on the new Rod Laver Arena eastern entry pod and world class player and artist facilities, while the newly opened Tanderrum footbridge safely ushered hundreds of thousands of tennis fans from the city to the heart of the action.

Stage 2 is set to be ready for the Australian Open 2019, and for construction of Stage 3 to begin the same year.

“We’re breathing new life into our iconic venues so we can host more events, and ensure Melbourne remains the home of sport and entertainment,” Minister for Sport John Eren said.

Melbourne Park Redevelopment Stages

Stage 1

The $366 million first stage of the redevelopment included:

Early Works

  • an extension of the south-west external concourse surrounding Rod Laver Arena, Margaret Court Arena and Show Court 2
  • improved connections between Rod Laver Arena, the Oval and Hisense Arena
  • the addition of rainwater harvesting and treatment facilities.

Eastern Plaza

  • development of an elite tennis training facility, including eight indoor courts, 13 outdoor courts, and ancillary infrastructure incorporating change rooms, a gym and recovery facilities
  • construction of a 1,000 space car park
  • construction of an elevated deck to the east of Hisense Arena
  • a bridge over Olympic Boulevard, providing an above-grade connection between the Eastern Plaza and AAMI Park.

Western Precinct

  • an upgrade to Margaret Court Arena, including an addition 1,500 seats, a retractable roof and a fully enclosed foyer and concourse
  • upgrades to Rod Laver Arena’s internal concourse, including provision of additional food and beverage facilities.

The original project budget of $363 million increased to $366 million following a $3 million contribution from the Federal Government for the rainwater harvesting and treatment facilities.

Stage 2

The $338 million second stage of the redevelopment includes:

Administration & Media Building

  • new administration facilities for Melbourne & Olympic Parks and Tennis Australia
  • media and broadcast facilities for the Australian Open.

Batman Avenue Bridge

  • a new primary pedestrian entrance to the precinct from the city
  • a connection with Birrarung Marr to provide direct access from Flinders Street Station.

Rod Laver Arena Refurbishment

  • new eastern-facing primary entrance, which will also provide food and beverage facilities and toilets
  • an expanded public concourse space
  • accessible entrances to the seating bowl
  • significant back-of-house improvements to ensure that Rod Laver Arena can continue to host the best events in Australia.

Stage 3

The $271.55 million third stage will focus on the centre of the precinct completing the decade long vision of the Melbourne and Olympic Parks Master Plan. Works include:

Central Precinct

  • a Central Terrace, which provides a new elevated public space in the heart of the precinct connected by ramps to Garden Square and Upper Terrace.
  • a new Function and Media Centre including function rooms, pre-event spaces, interview rooms, a 200 seat auditorium and broadcast studios.
  • a Central Logistics Hub including Central Kitchen and Central Loading Dock to deliver improved services for patrons, players, artists and hirers
  • an Upper Terrace including a 5000 seat Show Court/Arena and match court.

North Match Courts

  • two new match courts in the north-west court ladder
  • permanent broadcast cabling to courts.

Staff Mustering

  •  new Staff Mustering areas within the Rod Laver Arena under croft.

Source: News Release, Urban Developer, 26th April, 2017

[Brisbane] Aria Unveils Incredible Waterfall Inspired Tower for South Brisbane

Brisbane-based Aria Property Group has submitted a new development application for a striking 33 storey residential tower for 77 Hope Street, South Brisbane which has been inspired by Queensland’s rainforest’s and sub-tropical climate.

A design competition between four architectural firms (Koichi Takada, Elenberg Fraser, RotheLowman & Woods Marsh) was undertaken across the country to determine the most successful design.

Artist’s impression of 77 Hope Street from Grey Street, South Bank

Artist’s impression of 77 Hope Street from Hope Street, South Brisbane

Artist’s impression of 77 Hope Street from Hope Street, South Brisbane

The winning design by Koichi Takada Architects fosters all elements of Brisbane City Council’s ‘Buildings that Breathe’ guidelines. It is a scheme that boasts endless hanging gardens and overflowing planters that creep up the sides of the building.

The tower oozes of unique sub-tropical style design elements which could only be achieved in sub-tropical cities like Brisbane and Singapore.

Development Mix

1 Bedrooms 2 Bedrooms 3 Bedrooms Total Retail
27 162 27 216 3

The Waterfall

Koichi Takada has proposed a 118 metre (33 level) high waterfall that runs the full length of the western elevation of the tower.

Diagram of proposed tower waterfall feature

Water will start off on the rooftop pool deck and slowly cascade down the tower via glass panels, visually dividing the tower into two parts. As the waterfall reaches the podium of the tower, just like a natural waterfall, the water will dissipate with a misting affect created on the podium green walls and ground level planting.

“Watching water cascade over the lip of a waterfall is hypnotic. Starting as a steady stream, and as it falls feathering into a cloud of mist and soaking everything around.” – Koichi Takada

The podium misting feature forms part of the maintenance of the plants as well as providing a visual clue to the water features in the design. The misting will carry down to the public domain creating a cooling effect to pedestrians and visitors to the retail.

Artist’s impression of Hope Street ground level

The waterfall and green walls will be illuminated at night, a constantly moving and dancing light as it bounces off the water.

“The concept of ‘Waterfall’ captured ARIA Property Group’s vision to create iconic Residential and Retail properties that we will be proud to walk our families past in 20 year’s time. This vision and attention to detail is what sets us apart and we always strive to improve with every project, to achieve our goal of being the best quality apartment developer in the country.” – Aria Property Group

Artist’s impression of ground floor level and Fish Lane


A plethora of expansive green walls cover large portions of the tower’s facade, especially on the long west-facing side which is heavily shaded using building and landscape elements such as screens and green planting. The greenery will incorporate a misting irrigation technique to cool the air as it passes through the green facade.

The majority of apartments face north-east towards the city and enjoy cross ventilation. An open and natural ventilated western corridor allows access to the majority of apartments.

This naturally ventilated corridor reduces energy consumption on an otherwise temperature controlled area. According to Koichi Takada, natural ventilation makes for a healthy building environment and contributes to sustainable building initiatives.

Artist’s impression of proposed tower form from Hope Street, South Brisbane

Taking queues from the QLD design vernacular, large screens make up a defining feature of the building’s facade, rooftop feature and ground floor awnings.

The architectural screens are said to enhance the form, and create a sculptural element to the design. It is hoped that the screens will enhance the slender and vertical nature of the design when viewed along Hope Street.

Artist’s impression of rooftop screens which cover up to 50% of the rooftop communal deck

Throughout the common corridors of the proposed tower, a dramatic work of natural art has been proposed using the power of the sun. Light from sunrise and sunset will be amplified by tinted glass and also emulating the feature full high waterfall.

During sunrise, it will cast a blue and lilac colour into the residential corridor and lift lobbies forming what will be a continually changing ambience for residents on their way in or out of the building.

Skye Bridge at One Central Park, East – Ateliers Jean Nouvel + Interiors by Koichi Takada Architects

Similarly the afternoon will bring dramatic colours and shades of red into the corridor, patterned with the effect of the real water that flows down the western facade’s waterfall.

Diagram of proposed lighting feature

Diagram of proposed podium level

Diagram of proposed typical floor plate

New Park & Fish Lane Retail

As part of the development proposal, Aria Property Group will also create a new urban common park located next to the tower – underneath the railway lines. Along with the urban common, Fish Lane will be transformed into a newly activated laneway featuring public art, landscaping, signage, lighting and retail activation.

Fish Lane has recently become a vital link from South Bank to South Brisbane and continues to grow in prominence as one of Brisbane’s newest retail and dining laneways.

“Careful curating of the retail user to ensure the mix of tenants is complementary and not cannibalistic, maximises the entire laneway’s potential for long term public acceptance.” – Aria Property Group

According to the development application, public art is the major component of the Fish Lane collaboration between BCC and Aria and plans to create what is known as ‘the soffit of the rail line’.

Diagram of proposed Fish Lane Masterplan between Grey Street and Hope Street

The soffit presents a blank canvas for art, with the possibility of including a digital project art form, that can be changed over time, for specific events, or for public events.

A high level of landscaping, deep planting and public dining areas, including rainforest planters, feature stone pavement, misters, seating pods, outdoor stage and green walls are also planned for the park.

The Fish Lane Masterplan has identified opportunities to incorporate the rail underpass’ pylons for public art and highlights lighting as an integral part of the laneway’s future.

Concept lighting proposed for ‘The railway soffit’

Fish Lane section diagram

Fish Lane inspiration

The concepts for the public art in the rail underpass site, could also extent to creative lighting events and installations such as moving light projections. The concepts of using this space for public events could allow a Vivid Sydney style event with projected artwork, the integration of integrative lighting installations, or the play of events such as a silent disco.

Diagram of tower ground floor level

Diagram of new park and Fish Lane

It is anticipated that by the time this project commences construction there would have been 30 new public art installations in the laneway.

Residential Recreation Deck

The planned rooftop recreation deck features a myriad of indoor and outdoor residential amenities, delivering views over Austin towards the Brisbane River and CBD.

The rooftop itself, with an area of 1040m2, has 40% indoor amenity including gym, yoga room, change rooms, theatre, and bookable dining rooms equipped with a full commercial kitchen.

The theatre offers a flexible environment for movies, kids games, and when the screen is retracted, a quite room to relax also with city views. The screen will be retractable, dropping down in theatre mode in front of the picture window.

The external amenities include a 50m lap pool, BBQ Area, built in seating, sunken lounges and landscaping. The outdoor space is partially sheltered by the feature awning structures, incorporating hanging gardens and creating dappled light.

Diagram of rooftop recreation deckDiagram of rooftop recreation deck

The rooftop amenity areas open space, indoor and outdoor amenity, exceed the minimum requirements for multi-dwelling housing, with more than 7 times the communal open space requirement.

Source: News Release, Brisbane Development, 10th April 2017

[Adelaide] Hamilton Hill Unveils Rare 19 Hectare Housing Opportunity

Starfish Developments revealed its new 19 hectare, masterplanned housing development in Woodforde at the base of the Adelaide foothills.

Newly named Hamilton Hill will accommodate 440 new homes and boasts sweeping panoramic views of the city and coastline.

“Hamilton Hill makes for an enviable lifestyle, enjoying the best of both worlds – urban and rural,” Starfish Managing Director Damon Nagel said.

“It will offer exceptional value to discerning buyers looking for stylish, well-made homes in the best areas of Adelaide.”Starfish hope to entice buyers to sign contracts for Hamilton Hill by offering them the chance to view the development by helicopter in May.

The development was designed to provide contemporary homes alongside green reserves and carefully landscaped areas.

Hamilton Hill was placed conveniently adjacent to Morialta Conservation Park, the shopping and entertainment precincts of Norwood, Magill and Burnside as well as the area’s major road networks and public transport options.

The development will accomodate for a range of customisable living options, including architecturally designed traditional homes, townhouses and boutique apartments.

A third of the area will be retained as landscaped reserves and walking trails, all fully accessible for residents and the local community. There are plans for an outdoor amphitheatre and onsite café to bring people together socially.

Mr Nagel said the origin of the development’s name was inspired by the heritage and history of the area, with Scottish street names complementing existing adjacent roads such as Kintyre Road and Glengarry Drive. The landscaping and colour of plantings within each road will reflect its relevant tartan.

Source: The Urban Developer, 11th April, 2017

How will the Proposed Stamp Duty Changes to Melbourne’s Off the Plan Apartment Market impact you?

There is often lots of media hype and negative speculation to accompany major property tax reforms. However, the recently announced decision by the Victorian State Government to remove the ability for investors in new Victorian property to access its attractive “discounted stamp duty policy” for off the plan purchasers (“OTP”) from 1 July is a lot more significant for the Melbourne property market than many people think. For those of you who don’t know, property purchasers in Victoria who purchase OTP are only required to pay a small portion of the stamp duty that would be payable for the property once complete and so this gives an additional incentive for purchasers to buy new rather than existing property. It also is a benefit of investing in Melbourne as opposed to any other major Australian city. Well that is about to change because the recent announcement to exclude investors moving forward after July 1 is part of the State Government’s “Housing Affordability” package but Ironfish along with many top industry experts believe the policy will result in many unintended consequences and result in making Melbourne’s residential property market less affordable and not more affordable as they would like.

Many industry experts are questioning the wisdom of the Government introducing this policy change at a time when finance is tougher for developers and purchasers, on top of the further impact of recent changes to the Apartment Design guidelines which are all combining to reduce the supply of new projects delivered to the market at a time when there is record demand. The likely consequences of this is that prices will rise and the market will become more expensive for all and definitely will get harder not easier in terms of affordability. Whilst first home buyers and owner occupiers retain the OTP discount and this may on the surface seem like it will be cheaper, the supply of new apartment projects will reduce and the market in our view is likely to kick up and more than compensate for any short term benefit in affordability.

So, is this good or bad for me? Well this is good news for investors who already own Melbourne apartments and it is also very good news for investors who invest in the Melbourne market before the 1 July deadline.

The market will adjust as it always does over time, however another positive likely impact for investors is that it will create an even more competitive second hand apartment market which should drive capital growth in comparison to houses which have outperformed apartments in terms of capital growth in the current cycle in recent years.

Grant Ryan, Ironfish Property Director

Ironfish in support of Operation Flinders fundraising event: ‘Epic Impact Yankaninna Challenge 2017´

Two of Ironfish Adelaide’s team are about to undertake an ‘epic’ bike journey to help raise funds for Operation Flinders, a South Australian not-for-profit that runs adventure transformation programs for young offenders and young people at risk.

As part of its work, the charitable organisation takes teens between 14 and 18 years of age on an eight-day exercise in the far northern Flinders Ranges, providing an opportunity for them to break away from their past and grow as valued members of the community.

With a view to raising money for the foundation, Julian Stevens and Michael Lawton, both property specialists, will be joining a five-consecutive day cycle ride through the rugged and stunning landscape. Using a rotation of road and mountain bikes, the two will definitely find it a positive and rewarding challenge, and have been training hard.

“We’ve both become involved because we want to make a difference’, says Mike. “We’re inspired by the work that Operation Flinders does, so we wanted to raise money for it as part of our participation in the Epic Impact Yankaninna Challenge 2017”.

The expedition runs from 8-14 May 2017, starting at Operation Flinders Foundation head office in Port Adelaide, then all the way to the charity’s Base Camp Yankaninna Station, located approximately 678km’s away in the beautiful Northern Flinders Ranges.

Julian says, “We’re aware that this is by far not an easy challenge as we’ll be riding our bicycles approximately 135km each day – testing our character and desire to overcome unique physical, mental and emotional barriers – in support of Operation Flinders Foundation and the young teens it helps.

Ironfish’s involvement forms part of its corporate social responsibility program, with primary sponsorship from Damon Nagel, managing director of Ironfish Adelaide, complemented by generous donations from Joseph Chou and Susanne Anderson. Delegates at the recent Ironfish Hawaii Conference also kindly contributed.

The riders are hoping team members from all Ironfish offices will dig deep, saying that even the smallest donation will make a difference – maybe even by holding raffles or bake sales.

“The more people that know about Operation Flinders, the greater its impact,” says Mike, ”so please also spread the word by sharing our story with your friends and family. Thank you in advance for your generosity, it means a lot! We promise to keep everyone updated on our progress on the ride and for donations received.”

To make a donation, pls click on this link. There is a tax deductible receipt is at the bottom of the form

Watch a short 2 minute film about last year’s ride, joined by Michael Lawton


Top Tips for Finding the Perfect Investment Property

Everyone’s heard that “location, location, location” is the most important thing to consider when buying a home.

But what about an investment property? If you love living near the water, does it make sense to purchase a second property in an expensive seaside suburb? Or are there other factors that you should consider?

Property investing is not the same as buying a home to live in. It’s a business strategy designed to provide you with an income as your capacity – or enthusiasm – for work decreases.

It can be a complex area to explore, so here are some top tips for finding your perfect investment property.

  1. Locations and types of property

We’ve touched on the issue of location, and it’s important to remember that the best investment strategy may be to buy in a suburb that you would never consider living in yourself.

For example, if the state government has just invested millions in a new hospital in an outer suburb, it might be too far away from your work for you to live there, but the interns, nurses, administration and auxiliary staff working at the new hospital will all be looking for somewhere to rent. It means a steady stream of tenants for investment properties.

The type of tenant should also influence your type of property. It helps to imagine an ideal tenant and their needs. A four-bedroom house may be far too large for a young nurse on a starting salary, but a one-bedroom or even a studio apartment could be ideal.

  1. Plan for diversity

A rule for property investment is that you need to diversify in terms of location and property types. If you have several properties over a variety of locations, you can take advantage of potentially much better investing opportunities available in other cities.

Don’t narrow your vision: if you live in Melbourne, why not purchase an investment property in Brisbane, or vice versa? There could be great opportunities in other states, but you won’t know until you get in touch with an Ironfish property strategist who has an overview of the national market.

  1. Buying ‘off the plan’?

There are advantages to buying off the plan. With Ironfish-approved quality projects, your Ironfish property strategist has already checked the reputation and credibility of the developer to make sure they have delivered as promised on previous projects, and that all the necessary licenses and insurance policies are in place.

  1. Can you handle DIY?

TV shows make it look as if everyone is buying and flipping investment property with ease. The truth is, the ‘contestants’ are backed by a professional team of builders and developers – and they’ve taken time off work!

Real-life DIY involves time, expertise and willpower you may not possess. Think carefully before you enter into a situation where you buy a cheap, rundown property with dreams of tripling its value with a few tweaks.

Perhaps the biggest tip for property investing is getting the right guidance on market dynamics and having a team of professionals to support you. With the right investment guidance, you soon become empowered to make better decisions for yourself and your family.

Things to Consider when Searching for a Property Manager

Your property manager needs to be a switched on, intelligent and courteous person who is approachable and friendly, but is also a shrewd judge of a possible tenant’s character.

They should have local knowledge, know how to source a reliable tenant base, and know how to represent you at a tribunal hearing if there’s a tenant dispute.

It’s a mix of openness, toughness and regulatory knowledge that makes a good property manager, so let’s look at three of these aspects.

Having industry and local knowledge

A property manager with local knowledge understands how to market your property and which type of tenants are going to be keen to rent it.

For example, you might think your property is family friendly, but the local property manager knows there’s a live music venue close by that’s likely to keep the kids awake. With the understanding of the area’s surroundings, the property manager looks at their tenant database, and narrows the search for younger tenants without children instead.

When you talk to a potential property manager, ask them about the area. If they know their stuff, they should be able to tell you about other customers’ properties and the sorts of tenants that find the area popular. If they respond with, “I don’t know, I just moved here from interstate,” you need to look for someone with a local advantage.

Knowledge of an area’s growing or decreasing attraction also gives a local manager the advantage of knowing when to increase rent and when to leave it as is, so that you are never without a tenant.

Regular updates on your property

Once you have given your approval and the tenant moves in, you don’t want a day-by-day commentary on what they are up to.

What you do want is to be forewarned about things like changes to the rent payment schedule, and quotes before any repairs are undertaken.

There shouldn’t be any surprises when you open your rental statements. Your property manager should have been in touch to advise on any repairs and to arrange for them to be staggered over a couple of months if necessary.

A regular quarterly or six-monthly report on the property with photos taken by the manager should also be part of your management agreement. 

Maintaining a dependable tenant base

A property manager should be able to keep your property constantly tenanted, it’s fundamental to the job. A big property management company will have more potential tenants than a smaller one, but the way they find tenants is important too.

They should be able to offer a National Tenancy Database check, and have a tenant database for those looking for a particular rental type. A newsletter to tenants guiding them towards properties they manage keeps tenants within the same management pool – which means your property will remain occupied.

Property investing is a positive step to increasing your financial security. But a property without a tenant is costing you money, and that’s where a good property manager from a firm like Ironfish is indispensable.

The benefits of buying investment property off the plan

Buying off the plan essentially means buying a property that is yet to be built. You can view the developer’s plans, designs and renders for the property but can not view a physical building.

Say, for example, you wish to buy an apartment as an investment property. You could go to the auction of an existing property and make a bid in the hope that you will be successful. The constantly evolving market may mean that you could be waiting a long time before you find a property in the right area, and place a winning bid.

In contrast, buying off the plan locks in the price of the property, even if the completion date is a year or two in the future.

Here are 5 key advantages of buying an investment property off the plan.

1. Early access to a building or estate

New property launches usually feature a ‘pre-public’ stage followed by a ‘public’ opportunity to purchase. In most cases, this occurs before construction has started. Investors who don’t get in early often miss valuable opportunities. Investors who access VIP pre-public releases enjoy certain significant advantages.

When you have preferential or early access to a development, it means you can choose your preferred floor-plan, aspect or views. Premium properties within a development tend to be snapped up early, and may not be available after an estate or apartment complex is built.

With an off the plan investment, you can get in on the ground floor – or the penthouse, if you prefer.

And after you have paid the deposit you have a clear savings goal to aim for until settlement. Many investors leverage the long settlement period associated with buying off-the-plan as part of their long-term portfolio building strategy.

2. Greater appeal for future tenants

A new property or building which demonstrates contemporary best practice in terms of architectural and environmental design often has great appeal for future tenants.

For example, the latest apartment design has shifted tremendously from buildings of the past. New apartment buildings create lighter, brighter and infinitely more liveable spaces that are so much more appealing and alluring than previous “box” type living offered by apartments of previous decades. New designs also encourage community and offer enhanced lifestyle benefits through resort-style shared facilities or ground-floor retail and dining experiences.

3. Stamp duty and depreciation 

Stamp duty can slug investors when buying an existing property. But buying off the plan can allow investors to minimise this cost as there are many Government incentives and stamp duty concessions on offer for people who purchase new. Concessions vary from state to state, so check the local conditions with your property investment strategist.

Buying off the plan means you are eligible to claim depreciation based on a new property. Once your property is completed and quantity surveyed, you can claim annual depreciation on everything from the bathroom taps to the air-conditioning unit.

The difference between the depreciation claimable for second-hand versus new properties is substantial; representing potentially thousands of dollars-worth of depreciation entitlements each year, particularly in the first five years.

Depreciation scenario – purchasing before and after 9th May 2017. Source: BMT Tax Depreciation

tax depreciation changes unit

4. Off the plan property is easy to hold

By buying off the plan, before the property settles, you have the advantage of holding a property without any of the financial or administrative issues associated with it – paying a mortgage, managing tenants, or paying bills.

During the construction period your property may even increase in value, even though you have outlaid only the deposit.

5. Look for the x-factors

An x-factor is infrastructure that adds value to a residential area. It could be a new shopping complex, a hospital or railway line that will put upward pressure on the value of properties in that area.

Delayed settlement with an off the plan purchase means the effects of an x-factor can happen gradually, increasing the value of your property over time. Find out which areas in your city are earmarked for an x-factor development over the next decade or so and consider investing in these areas.

6. Avoid the hassle of renovation

Another distinct advantage of buying investment properties off the plan, means you are buying a ‘turnkey’ property – one which requires no renovation – it’s ready to rent out and move into straight away. Some investors enjoy the idea of renovating a second-hand property, but for many others, they lack either the time, expertise or inclination to go through this process and execute it successfully. Buying off the plan allows investors to avoid any hassles associated with initial renovation and repair-work which second hand property can require.

One final word – location is often the major drawcard for any property you choose to purchase. Finding the right area, and then, the right property within that area is the key to success.

If you would like further information on tax depreciation, stamp duty or other benefits of purchasing new properties, please feel free to book a complimentary appointment with your local Strategist, who will be able to answer any questions you may have.

8 Reasons to invest in South Brisbane, sit back and enjoy high returns!

1. South Brisbane apartments achieve $125 more p.w. than the average Brisbane Apartment 

South Brisbane apartments have an average rent per week of $510 compared to the Brisbane average which is $385 per week.
(Residex August 2016)


2. $25 million Flight Centre Head Office Moves Into South Brisbane With 2,000 Staff in August 2016

Flight Centre’s new headquarters will be located within the commercial tower of Anthony John Group’s $590m Southpoint complex at Brisbane’s Southbank. Flight Centre’s new headquarters will be located within the commercial tower of Anthony John Group’s $590m Southpoint complex at Brisbane’s Southbank.

The travel company wanted to bring its diverse brands together under the one roof, and will ­vacate their current tenancies in Brisbane’s CBD to move their 2000 staff to the 23,000sq m new offices.

Southpoint is one of the ­biggest mixed-use transit-orientated developments in Queensland, located in the busy hub of South Bank. Southpoint will also feature a hotel and restaurants as well as apartments.

3. 0.6% Vacancy For Inner Brisbane Apartments

In the March quarter 2016, Urbis surveyed projects within
the Inner Brisbane Catchment. From the surveyed data Urbis recorded a  vacancy rate of 0.6% showing a tightening vacancy rate for new apartment product from December 2015 at 1.6%.


ARIA Projects (Plus Spice Apartments)

4. Top Ranked For Recreational Space 
Kelder Architects have ranked all new South Brisbane apartment developments and found that ARIA Property Group and Abacus/Kilcor’s Property (Spice Apartments) ranked the highest above all other developments for the ratio of recreational space to a number of apartments at 3 – 8 square meters of recreational space per apartment.


 5. #1 Brisbane State High School in South Brisbane Dominates Private Schools in 2016

Despite fierce competition from expensive private schools Queensland’s top public school – Brisbane State High has dominated the 2016 NAPLAN results across the high school years. The selective school is located within the South Brisbane catchment and applications are only considered from South Brisbane residents.


6. Southpoint to Deliver $6 million South Bank Train Station Upgrade

Located at the southern gateway to South Bank, one of Queensland’s largest transit-oriented developments is set to deliver major improvements with an estimated $6 million upgrade to the existing train station late this year. With over 60,000 passengers passing through on a weekly basis, South Bank is one of Brisbane’s busiest train stations.


New South Brisbane Bridge To Be Named

7. Neville Bonner Bridge

A new inner-city pedestrian bridge to be built as part of the Queen’s Wharf Brisbane project will honour the life and legacy of Australia’s first Indigenous parliamentarian, Neville Bonner. The new bridge will be part of the $3 billion Queen’s Wharf Brisbane development and link both sides of the river.


Iconic Sydney Brand Gelato Messina To Open Largest Store in South Brisbane

The glorious shop is anticipated to be the largest Gelato Messina in Australia! Over 200 square metres of retail space to open in October 2016.

 Messina’s first-ever Brisbane store will open its doors, confirmed by Messina director and co-founder Declan Lee. We predict a whole lot of hanging around South Brisbane in our future store at
109 Melbourne Street, South Brisbane –  Also home to Aria’s highly anticipated “Melbourne Residences.”


8. Foodies Converge on First Fish Lane Festival

Saturday saw the kick off of the inaugural Fish Lane Festival showcasing dishes not only from the venues in the lane but from restaurants from the wider Southbank dining precinct and beyond.

Emerging Melbourne Suburb – Find out why Docklands is a good opportunity for your investment portfolio

Melbourne’s economic heart shifts west towards Docklands

Over 540,000sqm of office space has been developed or is under construction within Docklands. A growing number of international businesses have recently relocated into the Docklands precinct including Facebook, Deloitte, KPMG, Corrs Chambers Westgarth, Jemena, Regus, and Maddocks Lawyers.


The first stage of the park includes a sports field, pavilion, playground, barbeques and a walking circuit. The park valued at $15m offers more open space for Docklands residents, workers and visitors to play sport, have a barbecue and take the children to play. This is another fantastic addition to the local amenity of Docklands and will attract more owner occupiers and tenants to the area.


3 bedroom apartment prices have increased by an average of $170,000 in the past 12 months to $1.1 million.
(APM Price Finder Aug, 2015 – 2016)
Demonstrating a demand for larger premium owner occupier product.


Docklands has a higher annual rental yield for apartments at 4.78%
than Greater Melbourne at 4.31% (Residex August 2016)




  • The rental vacancy rate in Docklands is 2.2%. This reflects a tight rental market. Market balance is considered to be 3%. (SQM, August 2016).
  • Dockland’s largest property management company Lucas Real Estate reported a 0.9% vacancy rate in Docklands in August 2016.
  • Ironfish Property Management have reported a 0% vacancy rate for September 2016 within Ironfish properties in Docklands.

MAB Corporation is developing a 221-unit Quest Hotel. According to MAB, ‘the new and upcoming hotels will bring over 600 guests to NewQuay every night, adding to the day-to-day vitality of the Docklands and providing a further boost to the local economy.’


[Sydney] $727 million infrastructure boot to central Sydney

The City of Sydney is investing another $727 million on major projects that will transform central Sydney over the next 10 years.

Projects include safer and more accessible streets and pedestrian walkways, new and refurbished childcare and community centres, bold public artworks and revitalised parks and streetscapes, involving an investment of $1 billion over the life of the projects.

These projects are part of the $1.8 billion the City has set aside for a building and construction program over the next decade. Nearly 400 projects will provide new and renovated facilities for communities and businesses across the local government area.

City of Sydney CEO, Monica Barone, said the City had delivered hundreds of important projects including parks, playgrounds, childcare, pools, libraries, theatres and community and cultural spaces over the last 10 years, and was now working on hundreds more for Sydneysiders to enjoy into the future.

“These state-of-the-art community facilities and infrastructure projects will help create more welcoming and connected neighbourhoods that meet the needs of our growing population of families and workers,” Ms Barone said.

“From transforming George Street and its surrounding laneways and continuing development of the Green Square town centre, to creating new childcare centres and dozens of parks, the City is dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for central Sydney residents.

“Our 10-year financial plan is a huge investment that will nurture the city’s liveability, boost the economy, encourage tourism, improve sustainability, create new public open spaces and enhance our cultural life.”

More than 30 projects in central Sydney are part of the City’s capital works program and dozens more are in the pipeline for delivery over the next 10 years. They include:

  • $355 million as part of our $540 million commitment for the continued development of the Green Square town centre, including a new library and plaza, aquatic centre, creative hub, public parks and more;
  • $152 million as part of our $220 million commitment towards the transformation of George Street and surrounding laneways as part of the NSW Government’s light rail project;
  • $54 million on granite paving for footpaths in the city centre;
  • $47 million as part of our $83 million commitment on stormwater drainage improvements in Green Square and the Ashmore Estate in Erskineville, and a further $64 million as part of our $70 million commitment in asset renewal of stormwater;
  • $22 million as part of our $33 million commitment to integrate the Barangaroo development with Millers Point, including wider footpaths, more green space, improved cycle path and lighting;
  • $5 million as part of our $14 million commitment to provide a total of 156 places at childcare centres in Alexandria and Green Square, which is part of our overall $56.1 million commitment to additional childcare centres;
  • $750,000 as part of our $1 million commitment to construct a community hub as part of a permanent City Farm in Sydney Park;
  • $10 million as part of our $14 million commitment on new basketball facilities, parking, a kiosk and landscaping at Perry Park in Alexandria;
  • $380,000 as part of our $466,000 commitment to install new play equipment, pathways, fencing, seating and landscaping at the Renwick Street playground in Alexandria;
  • $2 million as part of our $6 million commitment to connect the Bourke Street and Bourke Road cycleways in Alexandria and complete a seven-kilometre corridor from Mascot to Woolloomooloo;
  • $4 million as part of our $5 million commitment to upgrade the pathways and bike link under the Western Distributor between Grosvenor and Kent streets in the city centre;
  • $2 million in Redfern to improve walking and cycling passageways at Lawson Street;
  • $4 million as part of our $7 million commitment for upgrades at Argyle Street in The Rocks and Hosking Place and Penfold Laneway in the city centre, including new stairs, improved pedestrian access, a playground, lighting and traffic calming;
  • $10 million as part of our $18 million commitment on upgrade works in Hyde Park, including the restoration of Fraser Fountain, and new pathways and landscaping in Hyde Park North; and
  • $15 million as part of our $23 million commitment on public domain improvements in Chinatown.

The 10-year corporate plan includes more than 400 projects across the wider City of Sydney area. They include:

  • $328 million for public domain improvements, including footpaths, roadways and paving;
  • $274 million to upgrade the City’s parks and green spaces;
  • $97 million on cycleways, providing cycling connections between important destinations;
  • $2 million in the next financial year to support local village economies; and
  • $2 million every year on planting new street trees – over the next year, the City will plant 700 more native and exotic street trees across the local area as part of its plan to increase the city’s canopy size by 50 per cent over the next 15 years.

Source: News Release, City of Sydney, 31st August, 2016

[Perth] New online mapping tool makes planning easier

Public online mapping system provides interactive planning data

Up-to-date and accurate land use and development data

An online mapping tool is publicly available for the first time from today, allowing anyone to access planning data for any parcel of land in Western Australia.

Speaking at the Planning Institute of Australia’s state conference, Planning Minister Donna Faragher launched PlanWA an online interactive map that gives users access to the latest spatial planning information.

“PlanWA is a user-friendly website that helps simplify the planning system, allowing industry, local government stakeholders or any property owner to access relevant planning schemes and policies online,” Mrs Faragher said.

“Having information such as zoning and residential density codes can help them make more informed decisions, particularly in relation to any future development that may or may not be able to occur in an area.”

Users can search places of interest, enquire about specific pieces of land, access planning policies and information, tailor maps for their own use and connect to aerial imagery.

The Minister said about 100 local governments did not have an online mapping system for planning purposes and PlanWA would be beneficial.

“Those local government authorities which don’t have a mapping system on their websites will now be able to access this online resource to assist with planning for their local areas and provide more information to their communities,” she said.

PlanWA uses data from the Western Australian Whole of Government Open Data Policy and Shared Location Information Platform and will be regularly updated.

The new site can be accessed from the Department of Planning and Western Australian Planning Commission website at

Source: News Release, Western Australian Government, 2nd, September 2016

[Melbourne] Draft plans for $7bn commercial and residential precinct in North Melbourne released by Victorian Government

North Melbourne’s Arden precinct will be home to up to 15,000 people and up to 34,000 jobs over the next 30 years, according to draft plans released last week by the Victorian Government.

The plans to seek to create a new commercial and residential precinct across 56 hectares in North Melbourne, between Macaulay Road, Dryburgh Street and the Upfield rail line, with the proposed Metro Tunnel underground train station to form the heart of the precinct.

According to the government, the area will be developed gradually over the next 30 years and will retain North Melbourne’s industrial history. A heritage overlay is already in place to protect historic buildings and North Melbourne’s character.

The draft plans set out a vision for changing land uses, street and open space design, access for pedestrians and cyclists, and the revitalisation of Moonee Ponds Creek.

The Victorian Planning Authority created the Arden Draft Vision & Framework with the City of Melbourne, and the council is also working on a neighbouring residential precinct, Macaulay.

More information is available from the Victorian Planning Authority’s ‘Shape Victoria’ website at <>.

Source: News Release, Urbanalyst, 6th September, 2016

[Brisbane] Brisbane’s Central Station Is Getting A New Look For A New Era

Brisbane’s Central Station is due to begin a three-year and $67 million revitalisation and modernisation of its facilities and appearance.

According to  the project is expected to support 750 jobs and is only the second rejuvenation project the station has undergone since it was first built in 1889, following its first significant renovations in the early 1990s.

The work is said to include a new roof extending over the Edward Street end of the concourse and new lifts and stairs leading to platforms.

The station’s back of house facilities including offices, communications rooms and first aid areas will also be refurbished.

An additional escalator from the concourse to ANZAC Square is being added in order to reduce congestion during peak periods.

Arguably the bulk of the work is Queensland Rail’s intention to completely modernise all of Central’s platforms, which will involve ceiling, wall and floor treatments, new lighting, level entry boarding, an extended cover on platforms 2/3 and 3/4, new passenger information displays and seating.

The station is being left open during the work but the Brisbane Times reported that Transport Minister Stirling Hinchliffe has acknowledged that the station caters for approximately 140,000 commuters daily.

Despite there being some inevitable disruptions to people’s schedules, work will be undertaken mainly during weekends and at night with peak hour timetables remaining unaffected.

“The main disruption will be the potential for passengers to have to board and alight from their trains from different platforms.

“We’ll minimise that disruption as much as possible,” he said.

According to Queensland Rail, the upgrade to Central station is one of several major projects planned for Queensland’s train network, including the delivery of 75 new trains and $634 million invested in new signalling technology that will allow trains to run closer together and increase capacity through the CBD.

Work on the Central Station facelift will start this month, beginning with back of house facilities.

Work on Central’s platforms will follow, beginning in early 2017.

Source: News Release, Urban Developer,  6th September, 2016

[Adelaide] SA Government announces draft update to 30-Year Plan for Greater Adelaide

South Australian Planning Minister John Rau last week published a draft update to the 30-Year Plan for Greater Adelaide,

which he said builds on the existing Plan’s principles and recognises the significant reforms introduced in the Planning, Development and Infrastructure Act 2016.

Mr Rau said the update strengthens the Plan’s focus on creating healthy neighbourhoods where walking and public life are encouraged. The update also seeks to ensure affordable homes and a greater diversity of choice in the type of housing are readily available.

The draft plan simplifies the 89 recommendations in the 2010 Plan to six high level targets, which are:

  • Protecting valuable agricultural and environmental lands by increasing infill from 70 per cent of new developments to 85 per cent;
  • Linking to public transport with 60 per cent of new housing in proximity to quality services, up from 41 per cent;
  • Promoting active lifestyles by facilitating pedestrian and cycling corridors;
  • Increasing the proportion of residents living in “walkable” suburbs;
  • Greening the city by increasing canopy cover; and
  • Increasing the diversity of housing choice by 25 per cent.

he updated Plan will be implemented using the tools and mechanisms created by the Planning, Development and Infrastructure Act 2016.

According to the Minister, the Act is a once-in-a-generation set of planning reforms which will be invoked in stages.

Over the next five years, the government will streamline planning assessment pathways, reduce more than 20,000 pages of development plans to a statewide Planning and Design Code, facilitate greater community engagement in planning, and introduce SA’s first ePlanning system.

More information is available from the SA Government’s ‘Living Adelaide’ website at <>. The public comment period closes on 21 October 2016.

Source: News Release, Urbanalyst, 30th August, 2016

[Sydney] Contractors’ shortlist announced for major western Sydney road projects

WORK on the Australian and New South Wales governments’ suite of Western Sydney Infrastructure Plan projects is pushing ahead, with shortlisted contractors announced to build three major road projects.

The successful contractor will deliver The Northern Road upgrade between Peter Brock Drive and Mersey Road, The Northern and Bringelly roads interchange and the Bringelly Road upgrade between King Street and The Northern Road at Bringelly as one project.

Minister for Urban Infrastructure Paul Fletcher said the decision to build the three upgrades as a single project would pay dividends for residents.

“The projects will be delivered together to ensure a coordinated approach to construction and to help reduce the impact on local residents and traffic while work is carried out,” Mr Fletcher said.

“The resulting time and cost savings will help accelerate delivery of these vital projects, while also creating new job opportunities for residents.

“These projects are a key part of the Australian and New South Wales governments’ $3.6 billion plan to provide essential road improvements for one of Australia’s fastest growing regions before the planned Western Sydney Airport opens in the mid-2020s.”

Work is already progressing on The Northern Road between Narellan and Oran Park, and the first stage of the Bringelly Road upgrade. The first section of the upgraded Bringelly Road was opened to traffic in December 2015.

NSW Roads Minister Duncan Gay said both The Northern Road and Bringelly Road will be widened to four lanes, with capacity for six lanes in the future to meet the growing population of western Sydney, improve traffic flow, and boost road safety.

“This road upgrade will be hugely beneficial to local commuters heading to other parts of Sydney for work. Between improvements to the local public transport system to increased opportunities for residential and commercial development, these projects are a huge investment in the region,” Mr Gay said.

“Features include new on and off ramps between Bringelly Road and The Northern Road as well as turning lanes, traffic lights and shared paths for pedestrians and cyclists alongside Bringelly Road.

“The Bringelly and The Northern Road interchange will include a new underpass to separate vehicles travelling on The Northern Road and Bringelly Road, improving traffic flow.

“Once the tenders are received, Roads and Maritime Services will assess the proposals, with construction expected to start in mid-2017 and the upgrade expected to open to traffic in late 2019.”

The three companies shortlisted to submit a detailed tender for consideration are CPB BMD Joint Venture, Fulton Hogan Seymour Whyte Joint Venture and Lend Lease Engineering Pty Ltd.

Source: News Release, Urbanalyst, 15th August, 2016

[Perth] Changes to R-Codes released for comment

  • Proposed changes to R-Codes to improve clarity and consistency 
  • New streetscape appearance clause to consider local amenity issues
  • 60-day public comment period is open until October 10, 2016 

Planning Minister Donna Faragher today released a number of proposed changes to Western Australia’s Residential Design Codes (R-Codes) for public comment.

Speaking at the State’s second Building Summit, Mrs Faragher said the proposed changes would provide greater clarity to ensure the R-Codes were applied consistently across the State.

“The R-Codes provide the basis for residential development control throughout WA,” she said.

“The proposed changes reflect the Liberal National Government’s commitment to ensure the planning system remains responsive to local government, industry and community needs.

“The proposed changes include the introduction of a new streetscape appearance clause. This means local councils will be able to formally outline policies on aesthetics and character and these policies which must be endorsed by the Western Australian Planning Commission.”

Draft frameworks for local councils to follow are also being prepared which will set out clear criteria and parameters along with guidance notes for developers, industry and the community.

Other proposed changes include amendments to definitions and setback and wall height requirements, as well as clarification of some construction standards in line with the Building Code.

The Minister said the proposed changes were part of a broader review of policy on design matters currently being undertaken by the WA Planning Commission.

“As the primary tool for the design, assessment and approval of dwellings and lot sizes, it is important that the R-Codes, and our broader planning system in general, continue to evolve in line with community needs and expectations,” she said.

Source: News Release, Western Australian Government, 9th August 2016

[Melbourne] Victorian Government releases draft apartment design standards for public consultation

New apartment design standards to improve development quality have been released for a final consultation round by the Victorian Government.

Better Apartments is part of the State Government’s reforms that aim to encourage a higher standard of development, maintain housing affordability and encouraging investment.

The draft standards address issues raised through comprehensive consultation with the community, local government and industry.

All new apartments will need to provide adequate daylight, storage, ventilation, energy and waste efficiency and minimise noise once final controls are adopted.

The standards address building setbacks, room depth, accessibility, waste and water, energy efficiency, storage, open space and noise minimisation.

Minimum apartment sizes are not included because the standards have been drafted to promote design innovation and encourage developers to provide a mix of apartment styles in developments.

Planning applications will need to meet the standards set or propose alternative plans which show how liveability will be ensured through design solutions, encouraging innovation and best-practice planning.

The Better Apartments discussion paper, launched by Minister Wynne in May last year, prompted debate from the property industry and community, drawing 1,700 survey responses and close to 150 detailed submissions.

Design guidance for Victorian apartments to-date has been minimal compared to other states, which has allowed apartments to be built which do not meet basic needs such as natural light, fresh air and storage.

Consultation on the draft apartment design standards is open for community and stakeholder feedback until 16 September 2016.

More information on the draft standards is available from the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning website at <>.

Source: News Release, Urbanalyst, 15th August, 2016

[Brisbane] Preferred tenderer for Herston Quarter announced by Queensland Government

The Queensland Government last week announced that Australian Unity has been selected as the preferred tenderer to develop the site of the former children’s hospital at Herston in Brisbane and create a $1.1 billion health, aged care, residential and retail  destination.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the Australian Unity proposal would deliver on the government’s aim to elevate Brisbane’s health credentials and cement the broader Herston Health Precinct as home to globally recognised health care, research, education, clinical trials and treatments.

“This project will be a milestone in Brisbane’s history and will further enhance the world-class reputation of the broader Herston Health Precinct,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

“The tradition of public health services on the site will also continue, with my government’s commitment to deliver a new 132 bed Specialist Rehabilitation and Ambulatory Care Centre.

“This redevelopment will cement Brisbane’s position as a truly international city, with a health and research precinct that will help Queensland to attract and retain the best clinicians, health workers, researchers, academics and students,” she said.

Treasurer Curtis Pitt said Australian Unity has been selected as the preferred tenderer after a comprehensive competitive process conducted by Queensland Treasury.

“That process considered how the site could most effectively be used to achieve the government’s vision for a health-focussed precinct within its requirement that it be delivered at no net cost to the State,” Mr Pitt said.

“This development, over a five-hectare site adjacent to the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, will provide significant economic development opportunities for Queensland, supporting 700 jobs annually during the 10-year development period and hundreds of jobs annually through operation, as estimated by Australian Unity.

“Queensland Treasury’s project team will continue working with Australian Unity on the redevelopment of the site that will put Herston Health Precinct on the map globally, rejuvenate iconic heritage buildings and deliver wonderful public spaces for people to enjoy.

“This redevelopment will be delivered at no net cost to the State, which is a tremendous outcome and a terrific example of how the government and the private sector can work together to achieve mutually beneficial outcomes.

“With an investment of more than $1 billion, the Herston Health Precinct is exactly the type of development we need to drive jobs and growth with real community benefits through increased health service delivery,” Mr Pitt said

Works are expected to start in 2017 and the redevelopment will occur in stages over the next 10 years with the public health facility being a priority. A small project team will be embedded in Metro North Hospital and Health service to manage delivery of the project.

Source: News Release, Urbanalyst,  15th August, 2016

[Adelaide] Select Tender Call for Adelaide Festival Plaza Northern Promenade Works

The Northern Promenade works will include the creation of a new entrance and improved paths on the northern side of the Adelaide Festival Centre.

The east-to-west promenade on the river side of Adelaide Festival Centre will be widened to include a ‘Walk of Fame’, creating a seamless connection between the plaza and King William Road.

This improved access on the river side of the centre also supports the creation of a new Festival Centre entry point to enable easier access to performances at the Adelaide Festival Theatre.

The works also include a new landscaped external amphitheatre with integrated seating and disability access to Elder Park and an interactive arts playground.

The redevelopment will transform one of the city’s most important public spaces into Adelaide’s premier meeting hub.

Two key agreements were signed in May allowing the development to proceed, including a $430 million development by Walker Corporation – with an office building, retail area, car park upgrade and investment into the Festival Plaza – as well as the $300 million

SKYCITY Adelaide expansion.

Housing and Urban Development Minister Stephen Mullighan said ‘The revitalisation of the Festival Plaza precinct will be the centrepiece of the Riverbank Precinct, linking our premier Adelaide Riverbank attractions such as the Adelaide Festival Centre, Adelaide Oval

and Adelaide Casino.’

Together the projects are worth more than $900 million and will provide a significant boost to the state’s economy through construction jobs, tourism and ongoing employment opportunities.

More information on the Festival Plaza is available at the Adelaide Riverbank website.

Source: News Release, Renewal SA, 10th August, 2016

[Sydney] Circular Quay Planning Proposal Approved By City Of Sydney

Lendlease’s revised planning proposal and accompanying Voluntary Planning Agreement (VPA) for its Circular Quay sites on George and Pitt streets were approved last week by the Central Sydney Planning Committee and again at Monday night’s City of Sydney Council Meeting.

Mark Menhinnitt, Managing Director, Urban Regeneration and Infrastructure Development, said the planning proposal offered an opportunity to rejuvenate an important area of the Circular Quay precinct that would promote economic growth and improve public spaces.

“With its high quality commercial tower, the proposal provides the opportunity to increase office space in the Sydney CBD, design a world class workplace and commit to sustainable development, as favoured by global organisations.

“The VPA with council would secure measurable public and community benefits in connection with the proposal, such as a community building, business innovation space in the lower levels of the commercial tower, a large public plaza, other public open spaces and laneways, and a public cycle facility,” said Mr Menhinnitt. 

The planning proposal comprises a commercial office tower (up to a maximum of 248m), a low rise public building and the remodeling of Jacksons on George licensed premises.

Significant public spaces include a large public plaza fronting George Street, a secondary plaza on Rugby Place and a network of laneways to connect and invigorate the precinct.

Under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979, the approved planning proposal will now progress as an amendment to the Local Environmental Plan and a VPA will be executed between the City of Sydney and Lendlease.

Lendlease intends to submit a development application to redevelop the Circular Quay site.

Lendlease will continue to work collaboratively with the City of Sydney and other key stakeholders throughout the planning process, and Sydneysiders will have the opportunity to provide feedback through the public exhibition period.

Source: News Release, The Urban Developer, 27th July, 2016