Federal government unveils $400m quarantine facility at Melbourne’s Mickleham

THE federal government this week unveiled plans for a $400 million quarantine facility in Melbourne’s north.

The project for a site in Donnybrook Road was foreshadowed by The Age in May after the Gillard government paid the joint venture owners, developers AMP Capital and Folkestone, about $40 million for the 144 hectare parcel – marked as Stage 1 in the image, right.

The land had previously been earmarked for an industrial and business park.

To be developed by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, the Mickleham facility will hold imported animals – from cats and dogs to alpacas – as well as plants.

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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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BER Waste Being Uncovered

THE levels of waste being uncovered as part of the Rudd government’s Building the Education Revolution are continuing to come to light with a report in The Australian showing school canteens built by the Catholic school system under the controversial $16.2 billion program, are up to five times cheaper than those delivered by the government.

Geraldton’s St Lawrence Primary School at Bluff Point has developed a 10m x 7.5 m canteen for $4043 per square metre.

By comparison, the governments “unusable” small NSW canteens, measuring 8.47m x 3.1 m, costs $23,000 per square metre.

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Bills to Increase up to 25 Per Cent After Proposed Mining Tax

MORTGAGE holders face a 25 per cent increase in power bills as a result of the Rudd Government’s proposed 40 per cent tax on the mining industry.

La Trobe University tax lecturer Tony Anamourlis said the tax will “chew away substantial profits…thus affecting the prices of electricity and gas, which will skyrocket prior to its implementation (in July next year)”.

He estimates residential power bills will increase between 10 and 25 per cent.

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Federal Government to Offload CSIRO Highett Site Soon

ENDING years of speculation, the federal government is readying to sell one of the south-eastern suburb’s most anticipated development sites.

Under the guidelines of the Commonwealth Property Disposals Policy, the 9.5 hectare CSIRO Land and Research Highett Laboratory is expected to be offered for sale this financial year.

Bayside City Council held a meeting with the federal government late last month to pitch its thoughts for the site which runs between Highett and Bay roads, near the Highett train stations, about 16 kilometres from the CBD and near the more exclusive suburbs of Hampton and Sandringham.

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Federal Government’s Beleagured NRAS Suffers Another Setback

THE federal government’s ailing National Rental Affordability Scheme has suffered a convenient setback.

The $623 million initiative – introduced by Kevin Rudd in 2008, and then part-cut by Julia Gillard and Wayne Swan in recent budgets – has lost another private sector backer which was to have provided 255 affordable housing units in Coburg.

Developer Hamton, with joint venture partner Macquarie Real Estate Investment Equity Fund, has quietly rescheduled the start date of its contentious Coburg High School redevelopment – Circa (artist impression, above).

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NBN Co to Have Neighbours in Luxury Melbourne Skyscraper

Melbourne CentralSTAFF of the Federal Government’s divisive $43 billion National Broadband Network program – which earlier this year leased luxury offices in one of Melbourne’s few “Premium” grade office buildings – will soon have new neighbours.

ME Bank and Allianz Insurance have leased a combined 16,439 square metres at the landmark Melbourne Central tower, reportedly paying a rental of between $400 and $420 per square metre, per annum.

NBN Co is understood to be paying more than $500 per square, per annum for its space, in a deal reported by BusinessDay, earlier this year.

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