More Concerns About $30 Billion “Rudd Bank” bail-out

KEVIN RUDD’s controversial $30 billion “Rudd Bank” – formally known as the Australian Business Investment Partnership (ABIP) – has been questioned again, this time by a commercial agency-based research department.

ABIP – a joint venture between the major banks and the federal government which would finance the gap between what a developer is able to borrow for a new project, and the actual cost of the project – was first proposed earlier this year.

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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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VicRoads Applies to Convert Freeway Wedge Into Housing Estate

IN AN environment where government bureaucrats and planners behave like Melbourne has less land for redevelopment than London, it’s no surprise VicRoads is trying to flog off a poorly located site beside the junction of three busy highways.

VicRoads has requested to rezone two parcels of land known as 25 and 55 Burwood Highway, in Wantirna, which it compulsorily acquired to build the Eastlink tollway, but no longer needs.

The affected land is well serviced by transport – abutting the busy intersection of Burwood and Mountain highways, and Eastlink, about 25 kilometres east of the CBD.

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RACV Calls For New Thoroughfare to Connect Melbourne’s East and West

AS PLANNERS continue to approve major new housing estates in Melbourne’s (until-recently-forgotten) western suburbs, a powerful state motoring body has called on the new state government to build a new major road thoroughfare, for what will be an imminent surge in car traffic.

The RACV forecasts 20,000 extra car trips will be travelled based on residential development at one new western suburb proposal alone, recently announced by Lend Lease (refer link below).

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ALP Considers Selling Prominent VicRoads Headquarters, Kew

John BrumbyTHE Victorian State Labor government is continuing to offload its most spectacularly located real estate assets, with a major site in ritzy Kew expected to wind up in the hands of residential developers – possibly as early as next year.

The Department of Treasury and Finance is understood to have employed a private consultant to conduct a feasibility study into the future use of the 60 Denmak Street office site, currently occupied by government agency VicRoads.

A confidential Request for Quotation seen by The Age suggests moving VicRoads staff within three to four years.

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Cancer Facility to be Developed in Sydney’s Darlinghurst

NEW South Wales largest cancer research facility will be developed in the eastern Sydney suburb of Darlinghust. Premier Kristina Keneally approved construction of the $110 million Garvan St Vincent’s Cancer Centre, which will also provide care. Due for completion in 2012, the new nine-level facility is an initiative between St Vincent’s Hospital, the Garvan Institute

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Major Harbour Planned For Melbourne’s Werribee South

Port Phillip BayONE of Port Phillip Bay’s largest and last undeveloped sites will be transformed into a major entertainment, commercial and residential village built around a major new harbour, two beaches and a 1000 berth marina – one of the biggest in Victoria.
 
The state government, Wyndham City Council and the owner of Werribee South land around the proposed marina – interests associated with Melbourne’s wealthy Liberman family – are expected to unveil plans and images of Wyndham Harbour next week, according to sources.
 
The proposal – worth about $440 million – is said to include a hotel, retail and restaurant precinct, yacht club, apartments and detached housing. 

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$778 Million Housing Estate Fast Tracked by Planning Minister, Bacchus Marsh

PLANNING Minister Justin Madden has “fast tracked” a massive 141 hectare housing estate in Melbourne’s north-west outskirts.

The $778 million Riverside Estate, in Bacchus Marsh, has been proposed by former Victorian Football League player Stewart Gull and will include 1500 homes.

Being outside of metropolitan Melbourne, homes in the project are eligible for a taxpayer funded regional first-home buyers grant of $4,500 for supporting regional development.

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Government Appoints Baulderstone to Undertake $128.5 Million Hamer Hall Renovation, Melbourne

Hamer HallMAJOR Projects Minister Tim Pallas has appointed construction company Baulderstone to refurbish Melbourne’s Hamer Hall.
 
A total of $128.5 million will be spent on acoustics, new auditorium seating and staging systems, new connections to central Melbourne, St Kilda Road and the Yarra River, new foyer spaces and stairs, better disability access, escalators and lifts.
 
The redevelopment is a joint venture between Arts Victoria, the Arts Centre, Major Projects Victoria and architects Ashton Raggatt McDougall.

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ALP Backflips on Controversial Growth Areas Tax

Justin MaddenTHE LABOR Party has buckled to mounting voter and media pressure, related to a perceived unfair tax imposed on homeowners in Melbourne’s growth areas.

Footballer turned Labor Party Planning Minister Justin Madden had previously expected land owners in some Melbourne areas to pay a $95,000 per hectare tax, which would pay for things such as infrastructure and roads, and attract more development (or developers).

It’s been argued the government, or major developers which will benefit from from the investment, should flip the expected $11 billion bill – rather than profit from it.

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Melbourne City Council to Consider Shifting East Melbourne Suburb Border, to Appease Angry New Residents

THE Melbourne City Council will meet on October 6 to discuss shifting the suburb boundary of East Melbourne, to include a 19-level unique glass apartment building, built over train tracks, near Federation Square.

Residents have started moving into the prestigious project, which was marketed by developer Becton as “ONE EAST MELBOURNE” – but is in fact in an area defined as ‘Melbourne’, and arguably worth a lot less.

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Melbourne Metro Train Tunnel, and New Parkville Station, Announced by Government

John BrumbyPLANS to unveil a $100 million underground rail line that would better link the Melbourne CBD to the northern and western suburbs, were unveiled today by the State government.

The new line will link Flinders Street and Melbourne Central stations to a new underground station at Parkville, which will serve hospitals and the University of Melbourne. A train link will also go to Footscray, which has been earmarked as the possible stop for an Airport-to-city link, using an industrial-only train line that extends from near Tullamarine, to St Albans.

Below is the State Government statement about the proposal:

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Commission Flats Earmarked for Melbourne CBD Gateway Site

A LANDMARK CBD building – formerly the Department of Defence Drill Hall – will be developed into Melbourne’s next social housing project.
 
The State Government has sold the prominent 74-year old Art Deco building – with its distinguished double storey pillars – to social housing developer Melbourne Affordable Housing which plans to build an 8-level, 59-unit tower on the triangle site.
 
At an estimated cost of about $30 million, the “gateway” development is mooted for the junction where Victoria Street meets Therry Street, opposite the Ibis Hotel, and the Carlton suburb border.
 

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New Victorian Urban Growth Boundary Proposed: Government Statements and Fast Facts

The public and community have been invited to make submissions on the proposed changes to Melbourne’s Urban Growth Boundary (UGB) flagged last December in the Brumby Labor Government’s Melbourne @ 5 Million strategy.
 

Planning Minister Justin Madden today released the draft UGB as part of the Brumby Labor Government’s Delivering Melbourne’s Newest Sustainable Communities package.

The draft UGB also incorporates the proposed alignment of the Outer Metropolitan Ring Road, proposed alignment of the Regional Rail Link and the creation of two new grassland protected areas in Melbourne’s west.

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New $300 Million Public Housing Focussed Estate, For Carlton

Two of Australia’s major property groups have entered into a joint venture to deliver the largest and most environmentally sustainable public housing redevelopment in Victoria.

The Australand and St Hilliers consortium is the Victorian Government’s preferred choice to deliver the multi-million dollar redevelopment of public housing in Carlton.

St Hilliers is both an equity participant in the development as well as the preferred contractor. Citta Property Group will jointly manage the redevelopment of the project with Australand. The consortium is expected to finalise all development documentation by the end of July.

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