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AU All change: China’s reform agenda shuns growth at any cost

Property Here - Saturday, January 04, 2014

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Last month Chinese leader Xi Jinping set out his top reform agendas for China’s next decade, setting out important policies, ranging from political reforms, social policy and market reform, to a commitment to encourage innovation.

One important change is China’s intention to move away from a GDP-oriented, at-the-cost-of-everything development model, in favour of a move towards pollution control, energy efficiency and debt reduction.

In the midst of rapid industrialisation and urbanisation, China needs a strong political will and commitment to move away from its current growth model to a green/low carbon development model.

Given the scale of the environmental challenge and the complexity of China’s decentralised governance system, China needs to find a new path for growth, navigating between the Western lifestyle of over-consumption, and China’s “business as usual” model (high-resource utilisation, high emission and low energy efficiency).

As with every developing country, there will be resistance to a transition that will potentially slow the Chinese GDP growth rate, and as such, if China can implement a more green-focused model, it could make a significant contribution to the world community.

The achievement of a green/low-carbon China (or the Chinese term of “Ecological Civilisation”) is a part of Xi’s “Chinese dream” and will benefit both China and the rest of the world by contributing significantly towards global emissions reduction. The immediate benefit to China will be an overall increase in the quality of life for Chinese citizens: being able to see blue skies more often, breathe and drink cleaner air and water, as well as create greater demand for research and technologies from developed countries. If implemented, its focus on local officials’ performance will also change the mentality of Chinese leaders.

Furthermore, “Made-in-China” products would be produced with lower emissions and under more standardised working conditions and fairer income levels.

For Australia economically, this is a double-edged sword: China’s demands for Australia’s natural resources (such as coal and minerals) will inevitably diminish, but at the same time, Australia has the chance to invest in China’s green development, and maintain strong trade relations despite the decrease in demand for our natural resources.

As China is linked closely to us, rapid urbanisation in China means an increase in demand which could also benefit Australia’s economy. We should take advantage of the potential gains flowing from the reforms to Australia’s resource, retail, education and business sectors.

How is change to be implemented? By two interrelated processes: the first involving centralisation of political power, to provide leadership in strategic issues and continuation of market reform; and the second by reducing rich-poor gaps and creating a fair society.

The first process embodies the “top-down reform design” approach, where strategic agendas will be initiated, carried out and managed by the central government.

Xi does not believe the market can effectively implement change and accordingly, China’s next stage reform requires a top-down push. As part of this process, China will establish two new powerful government bodies: the Central Leading Team for Comprehensively Deepening Reforms, and the State Security Committee.

Interestingly, this top-down approach is not intended to inhibit the decentralisation or development of China’s private economy. Xi will abolish the government’s control over the price of utilities, and will also allow private capital to invest in state-owned firms and government projects, giving the market a more decisive role to play.

Reducing the rich-poor gap

The second process is designed to address polarisation and unfairness issues and to promote good governance. China’s rich-poor gap has reached an alarming level and social unrest threatens the Party’s power. Unfortunately, China has not provided specific policies to reduce the rich-poor gap, but the reform agenda includes a few issues which are of general concern:

  • Giving the rural population more rights to move to small-medium cities and access the same entitlements as urban citizens.

  • Giving farmers better land rights. Currently land acquisition in China’s suburban areas has generated conflict due to local governments and developers combining in their efforts to reduce farmers’ land compensation benefits.

  • Education reform: primary and secondary school students will not be segregated as accelerated or normal, no preferential treatment will be given to certain public schools and headmasters and teachers will be rotated among public schools.

  • Abolishing the controversial re-education labour camps.

  • Various measures to enhance good government including strengthening anti-corruption measures and reducing the local government’s power over the court system.

These agendas are ambitious, however the key lies in their implementation. The worst scenario is that power is centralised, but Xi fails to implement the reforms outlined above. If this occurs, he risks leaving China polarised and increasing the domination of the central government, at the cost of the environment and health of its citizens.

AU Tasmania's public housing waiting list falls to lowest figure in a decade

Property Here - Saturday, January 04, 2014

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Tasmania’s public housing waiting list has fallen to its lowest level in a decade as a result of strong investment and reform, according to the Minister for Human Services Cassy O’Connor. 

The waiting list fell by 5.4% in the three months to September 30 2013, with almost 300 Tasmanians moving into public housing. These figures come from the latest Health and Human Services progress chart.

Since 2009, the Tasmanian Government has invested about $220 million to build around 1,500 new affordable housing properties, in partnership with the former Federal Government.

Another $17 million is being invested this financial year, with another 1,360 homes that will be completed in 2016.

“A comfortable and affordable place to live is a fundamental human right,” Ms O’Connor said.

“As a progressive Government, we’re determined to help low-income Tasmanians put a roof over their head - with the security, opportunity and dignity that brings.

“The Government has an active role to play in sharing wealth and levelling the economic playing field. That’s why we’re increasing the supply of affordable housing, and reforming the sector to prioritise Tasmanians most in need,” she said.

There are some 2,000 Tasmanians still on the waiting list for public housing.

Ms O’Connor also noted that low-income families in private rental properties are also benefitting, with 1,125 Tasmanians receiving rental assistance in the September quarter, up slightly on the previous year.

At the same time, one of Tasmania’s largest affordable housing projects – named Queens Walk Apartments – officially opened last month. The first tenant, Phillip Turnbull has signed a lease, and was welcomed by Ms O’Connor.

The Queens Walk redevelopment is part of the State Government’s broader affordable and social housing strategy to support for Tasmanians on low incomes.

Stage One of the $8.5 million redevelopment is complete, which includes 16 one-bedroom units, 26 two-bedroom units, and a community room.

Formerly known as Stainforth Court, the site will ultimately provide 84 high-quality units and aims to create a welcome community for a diverse range of Tasmanians.

“It’s fantastic to be welcoming people to their impressive new homes – just in time for Christmas,” Ms O’Connor said.

“Queens Walk apartments is a powerful symbol of what we can achieve if we’re brave enough to look beyond the past reputation and stigma of a place, and work towards a bright, dynamic and sustainable future.

“This formerly troubled site has been completely reinvented into a fantastic home and strong community for Tasmanians who need affordable housing.

“As a progressive Government devoted to supporting Tasmanians in need, projects like this are what government all about.

“It should also be a great source of pride for our whole community,” she said.

Stage one, which involved two housing towers, was completed on time and on budget. Stage two, involving another two towers, is on track to be completed in April.

All units are energy-efficient and four one-bedroom units in Stage One are Platinum-standard disability units.

The project has supported 125 construction jobs for Tasmanians so far, including apprentices.

AU Make the most of low interest rates while they stay low

Property Here - Saturday, January 04, 2014

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There are some predictions that rates are set to increase over 2014, so it's crucial to make the most of the record lows that we're in at the moment, according to RateCity.

With the official cash rate at a record low 2.5%, and borrowers 1.42% better off than January 2012, or typically $262 savings each month, it might be the time to get started on that New Year's resolution of hacking through the mortgage.

The Reserve Bank of Australia, in passing the August rate cut, gave borrowers an extra $540 a year (on a typical $300,000 mortgage).

With five cuts since January 2012, it's the time of year to put extra money back into your mortgage, notes Alex Parsons, CEO of RateCity.

“If you are paying an average rate of 6 percent interest on your mortgage over time and you’re an average tax payer, you would have to find a financial investment with a greater than 10 percent rate of return elsewhere to better off – that’s a tough gig in the current market,” said Parsons.

“If you leave the extra money on the mortgage, it comes straight off the principal and it pays off your mortgage faster," he said.

Top tips to get more from low rates:

- Pay more than your minimum repayments: This will cut the amount you owe, shortern your loan's life and save you interest. (On a $300,000 25-year loan term, paying the current average standard variable - 5.41% - with monthly repayments, it could cost $547,850 principal and interest, with steady rates. Putting the savings back in will take six years off the mortgage and save $63,545).

- Refinancing the same loan to a lower rate variable home loan, such as at 4.49%, could free up $160 per month ($1,920 per year). If put back into the loan, that's $33,000 over 25 years saved without any lifestyle impact.

- Paying down non-tax-deductible debt first, such as credit cards, is a good first approach, with average interest rates on credit cards at 17%.

Source: RateCity

AU 西澳大利亚州的 “黑天鹅之城”珀斯

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        1697年,荷兰探险家威廉(Willian Viaming)乘船来到这里时,在这条流通印度洋的河面上发现了大量的黑天鹅,这是在欧洲其他地方很少见到的物种,于是他将这条河命名为“天鹅河”(Swan River)。




        距离珀斯Downtown以北十几公里的郊外,著名的“夕阳海岸”(Sunset Coast)和“珊瑚海岸”(Coral CCoast),以绝无污染的碧蓝海水、细绵的白色沙滩、清澈的环礁湖、广阔的海边自然生态林、倒沙入海的巨大沙丘和野生的袋鼠、鸟类天堂,而极受人们爱戴。这条从珀斯向北,沿着澳大利亚的西部海岸一直延伸上去,长度达50公里的海岸线,竟散落分布着20多个大大小小的沙滩。它们非常适合野餐、高尔夫和冲浪、垂钓、风帆、潜水等各种水上活动。

        “夕阳海岸”顾名思义,是以欣赏日落而著名的。已是太阳西下,我们所在的位置是特里格岛海滩(Trigg Island Beach),它是“夕阳海岸”的中心地带,分布着无数的咖啡馆、酒吧和海鲜餐厅,已经有不少游客迫不及待地在那里坐等了。西澳洲盛产霞多丽和梅洛葡萄酒,我们挑选了一个向西的位置坐下来,品酌杯中的“玛格丽特河”红酒,渐渐卸下了一天的疲惫。



        珀斯的魅力不仅仅在于海水的“蓝”,更多的还显现在自然景观的“黄”色上。从“夕阳海岸”继续北上约2小时左右,南堡国家公园(Nambung N。P)中的兰石林(Lancelin),巨硕的黄色大轮越野车给我们留下了深刻的印象。它虽然体格硕大,可在20多米高的巨大黄色沙丘前却一点也不温钝,可以毫不费力地爬坡、俯冲;110米长、15米高的黄褐色天然花岗岩构成的“波形岩”(Wave Rock),形成于27亿年前,它宛如一层席卷而来的海上巨浪,铺天盖地,在即将扑打过来的一刹那,却中了魔法似地瞬间凝固在空中了。

        平纳克尔斯(The Pinnacles)是珀斯最有魅力的景观了。貌似月球表面上的怪石嶙峋,形状奇特的岩柱伫立在淡黄色的沙丘中。它们是数万年前的远古树木,树木逐渐在根部填满了砂土和岩石,经过千万年的石英化和风化、侵蚀,露出地表,形成的石灰岩柱体。它像是一座座直立的石笋般“石化原始森林”,又像是古代战场上排列整齐的军士,被称之为“尖峰石阵”。如此卓绝、不可不知的自然奇景,成为我们珀斯之旅中最难忘的“亮点”。









AU 气象部门称澳洲今夏更炎热 林火风险增加

Property Here - Saturday, January 04, 2014

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AU 房价上涨不是错 首置业难主要怪政策

Property Here - Saturday, January 04, 2014

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BIS Shrapnel指出,是州政府改变住房优惠政策,而非房价上涨,导致了新州、昆州和北领地的首置业者在住房市场上失去立足之地。




        在新州,BIS Shrapnel计算出,按照85%的贷款与估值比率,一名首置业者现在得多存2万零490元,才能够买下一套40万元的现房。BIS Shrapnel的齐格马尼斯(Angie Zigomanis)说:"在补助减少以后,这些购买力上的损失即刻削减了首置业者进入市场的能力。"


AU 昆士兰州首次置业者最爱45万以下地区

Property Here - Saturday, January 04, 2014

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        North Lakes是昆士兰最受欢迎的实惠地区,截止到2013年9月的12个月里,有377个销售。


        “我们看到横跨西部通道的房屋贷款申请上升了20% ,所以毫不奇怪,Forest Lake 一直是最受首次购房者青睐的选择之一, ”罗斯吉勒姆说。

        “该地区在集中就业,零售服务,基础设施和交通设施方面都拥有巨大的增长潜力。 ”

        REIQ首席执行官Anon Kardash表示,数据显示了在昆士兰州所有买家都有许多机会。

        “几乎所有这些地区都经历过房价上升,这样就非常值得考虑, ”他说


        郊区 - 平均价格 - 到2013年9月的12个月的销售量

        North Lakes, 43.175万, 377

        Forest Lake, 38万, 365

        Kirwan ,34.5万,321


        Upper Coomera,38万,252

        Springfield Lakes,37.6万,235



        Pacific Pines,45万,232

        Victoria Point,44.7万,224

AU 2013年布里斯班出售的最便宜的物业top10

Property Here - Saturday, January 04, 2014

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        据RP Data数据显示,在Macleay Island,Heath Street,11号的这套住所是2013年布里斯班出售的最便宜的房屋。



        他们在Macleay Island, Russell Island 和 Lamb Island,对那些想在安静的岛屿上生活或度过周末的人而言,那就是完美地点。


        众所周知,在Russell Island有一套因其饼干色外观而被当地人称为“姜饼屋”的独特房屋,成交价为9.5万。


        在Russell Island,Vista Street,23号的一套简单檐板房屋五月份售出,价格为10.5万。


        1.Macleay Island,Heath Street,11号:6.7万

        2.Russell Island,Shore Street,37号:9.5万

        3.Russell Island,Vista Street,23 号:10.5万

        4.Macleay Island,Jordan Street,12号:10.5万

        5.Rosewood,Walloon Road,2号: 10.65万

        6.Lamb Island,Pier Haven,27号: 10.7万

        7.Russell Island,Kings Road,82号:11万

        8.Lamb Island,Paula Parade,19号:11.5万

        9.Macleay Island,Coffea Street,13号:11.5万

        10.Lamb Island,Leonie Crescent,26号:11.5万

AU 阿德莱德赌场为“抢”赌客耗资3.5亿扩建

Property Here - Saturday, January 04, 2014

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        总经理克里斯蒂安David Christian说,南澳州是“VIP客户的净出口区”。

        Mr Christian 说,因为我们的产品没有吸引力,不仅是本地的豪客不多,来自墨尔本,悉尼和昆士兰的也一样很少。

        “墨尔本Crown 的最大赌客有一些来自南澳,但南澳人不在这里赌博。也不能在这赌博,这里不适合他们,这是我们会改变的地方。”

        阿德莱德唯一的赌场运营商至少要到2035年,Skycity Entertainment Group,这家上市公司的总部设在新西兰,在12月份开始扩建,投入4500万整修了在North Tce的两个赌厅。




        Skycity Entertainment在其最新的贸易概况里称,阿德莱德赌场正面临一个充满挑战的环境。


AU 墨尔本房价上涨“太剽悍” 置业者惊呼承受不了

Property Here - Friday, January 03, 2014

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        一家独立的费尔法克斯媒体分析发现, 50年前,墨尔本房价大约是年收入的三倍。这意味着房子比他们在1964年要贵2.5倍,相对于收入。


        据RP Data- Rismark 12月份房屋价格指数显示,墨尔本十二月的平均房价为62.5万,与2010年10月高峰期相比,仍低0.9%。单元房或公寓的中位值是48.1万。

        商业地产分析机构BIS Shrapnel的高级经理Angie Zigomanis表示,墨尔本大部分的增长在内城区和北部郊区,而远郊发展一直很平缓。

        财政部长Michael O'Brien表示,房价稳步上涨标志着消费者对国有经济的信心,并鼓励建设新的住房,以适应人口的增长。为了推动住房负担能力,州政府也实行了相关政策,包括首次购房者的印花税优惠,和首次购房者的新房补助,他说。