Australia’s Biggest Council Blames Carbon Tax For Chunk of Upcoming Rate Rises

THE federal Labor government’s carbon tax has been blamed for a spike in rates, to be passed on by Australia’s largest council next financial year.

Brisbane Lord Mayor Graham Quirk said the average ratepayer will face an increase of $54.62 per annum – reflecting a 4.5 per cent jump.

Mr Quirk said this rate could have limited to $31.48 a year (representing 2.6 per cent) if the carbon tax was removed.

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Victorian Councils Added to the List of Carbon Tax Payers

DAYS before the federal labor government’s carbon tax is set to take effect, several Victorian councils have discovered they have been added to the list of some 500 companies set to pay.

The councils of Hume, Geelong, Wyndham and Bendigo have been included on the mystery list of polluters set to pay the tax. Several other councils in Victoria and around Australia are expected to be added in coming days.

Voters and the business community have criticised the hush-hush method the Labor government has decided to announce the polluters which will pay the tax.

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Rawlinsons Costs at Odds With That BER is Paying

RAWLINSONS – the construction industry’s cost handbook – is going a long way into highlighting waste in the ALP government’s $16.2 billion Building the Education Revolution program.

According to the latest edition of the Rawlinsons Constrution Handbook, single level primary school buildings should cost about $1350 per square metre to construct.

By comparison, the NSW government is spending $13,306 per square metre building 21 canteen buildings in public schools.

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ALP Backs Down From Green Schemes

Peter GarrettTHE Federal Government has scrapped its blotched $2.45 billion insulation scheme, designed to save jobs – but instead, now looking to cost them.

Environment Minister Peter Garrett announced the scheme’s termination on Friday February 19, describing the risks as “unacceptably high” – and releasing research from as far back as early 2008, warning the hugely expensive program could result in fraud, and house fires.

The Greens Loans program, and solar hot water scheme were also scrapped on Friday.
It’s reported up to 160,000 homes have been fitted with sub-standard ceiling batts “with minimal benefit to the environment”, while around 80,000 households face safety risks.

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Spottiswoode Hotel Sells For $2.335 Million

A YEAR after its owner made headlines warning he could not pay a new $30,000 annual licence fee imposed by the former Brumby Government – the popular watering hole known by locals as “The Spotty” has sold and will be replaced with a high-end restaurant.

Until recently the 1888 Spottiswoode Hotel at 62 Hudsons Road, on the north-east corner of Hall Street, in Spotswood, traded four days a week.

Because of a 14-minute cabaret strip show, however, the ALP government in 2009 deemed the hotel a high risk club and increased its annual licence from $3500.

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Victorian Government Promises to Get Tough on Underquoting, Again

AN ELECTION is coming up, and Victoria’s state government is pretending to get tough again.

Despite repeated requests from the media and industry bodies, it’s taken until now  – or actually  – until after any Brumby Government election win – to crack down on the way real estate agents price property.

If elected, the ALP government has promised to cut “price plus” advertising, as part of a plan to stamp out underquoting.

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Victorian Government Awards Clement Lee Control of North Wharf Development Site, Melbourne

PRIVATE developer Clement Lee has paid an as-yet-undisclosed sum for a prominent riverside piece of Melbourne’s central business district.

Months after paying the state government $40 million for the former convention centre, Mr Lee has acquired control of a 12,386 square metre block known as North Wharf.

The block is opposite the South Wharf project, near the Seafarers Mission building and several other office investments Mr Lee owns.

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Defunct Melbourne Convention Centre to be Sold as Development Site

Selling Melbourne to the WorldTHE Victorian Government will offload a prominent asset on the banks of the Yarra River, at the junction the CBD meets Southbank and Docklands.

The Department of Treasury and Finance is managing the campaign to sell the former Melbourne Convention Centre building at the south-west corner of Flinders and Spencer streets and abutting the prominent semi-circle Crowne Promenade Hotel.

The low rise building, once used as Melbourne’s makeshift Crown Casino is expected to be demolished.

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Victorian State Government Offloads More Inner-City Property

Victorian Premier John BrumbyTHE State Government is continuing to offload prime located development sites around freeway edges and wedges.

The latest listing, by the Victorian Department of Treasury and Finance, is at 12 – 62 Cook Street, Port Melbourne, abutting the West Gate Freeway, on the city-side between Todd Road and Salmon Street.

The 3.1 hectare site is perhaps most recognized as being the VicRoads Westgate Training and Conference Centre.

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