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  • Local authority pension funds back UK audit market reform proposals

    first_imgThe Local Authority Pension Fund Forum (LAPFF) has welcomed proposals from the Competition and Markets Authority calling for a radical reform of the UK market for audit services.In a report published on Thursday, the competition watchdog said the so-called Big Four firms should be forced to spin off their audit work from their separate consultancy businesses.The competition watchdog also wants to open up the market to new entrants and improve competition by requiring the main audit players to work with smaller rivals to product joint audit reports.Acting LAPFF chair Paul Doughty, who also chairs the £8.6bn (€10bn) Merseyside Pension Fund, said: “We welcome the recommendations of the CMA. LAPFF has been impressed by the thoroughness and independence of the CMA’s work in the face of tremendous lobbying by the accounting industry. “Where we see resistance to the proposals from the accounting industry to the recommendations of the CMA we deduce that is because they fear they will be effective.”“More than a quarter of big company audits are considered sub-standard by the regulator. This cannot be allowed to continue.”Andrew Tyrie, chair of the CMACMA chairman Andrew Tyrie said: “People’s livelihoods, savings and pensions all depend on the auditors’ job being done to a high standard.“But too many fall short – more than a quarter of big company audits are considered sub-standard by the regulator. This cannot be allowed to continue.The CMA launched its inquiry into the UK audit market in October last year after months of public and political disquiet over the failure of companies such as outsourcing conglomerate Carillion and retailer BHS.It also followed wide-ranging criticism of the UK’s audit watchdog, the Financial Reporting Council (FRC), whose opponents said it was too close to the firms that it audits. The FRC is to be replaced a new body, the Audit, Reporting and Governance Authority (ARGA), after its effectiveness was heavily criticised in an independent review in late December. Critics of the current state of the UK audit market say it is dominated by the Big Four – Ernst & Young, Deloitte, KPMG and PricewaterhouseCoopers – and that there is a lack of competition and new entrants.Key role for audit committeesThe CMA inquiry is what is known as a market study and can lead to a number of outcomes to improve competition in a sector, such as recommendations to government, enforcement action or even a full-blown market investigation.Among its other proposals, the CMA wants the new ARGA to play a more aggressive role in holding audit committees to account.This could include ensuring that committees report their decisions as they hire and supervise auditors, as well as the regulator issuing public reprimands to companies whose committees fail to scrutinise their auditors sufficiently.The CMA has also said it could take more drastic action after five years if the reforms fail to deliver improvements.In response, an FRC spokesperson said it welcomed the proposals, in particular “the recognition of the key role of audit committees and the proposed role for regulation in ensuring they deliver on this.”Missed opportunities seen Reaction to the report among other stakeholders was mixed, however.Sharon Bowles, a former chair of the European Parliament’s economics affairs committee, told IPE: “I would have preferred a full operational separation of the firms’ audit and consultancy businesses because culture is at the heart of the kind of change that is needed.”Bowles also told IPE that she regretted the lobbying campaign against similar proposals in the past.“The great sadness is that we could have been here five years ago if the UK ‘establishment’ had not put its efforts behind diluting similar proposals from the EU,” she said.Another long-standing audit critic, finance academic Prem Sikka, said the CMA’s proposals were a missed opportunity.He said: “[A]nother opportunity to reform the serially dysfunctional auditing industry has been wasted. It is the third attempt in recent years by the CMA, and its predecessors, to reform the industry.“The previous attempts in 2006 and 2013 neither secured competition, choice, improvement in audit quality nor value for money and the latest opportunity has again been wasted as the CMA has continued to appease the big accounting firms with minimalist reforms and neglect the concerns of stakeholders.”The UK government has said it will respond to the CMA report within the next 90 days.last_img read more

  • Dutch pension sector cautiously positive about reform agreement

    first_imgAs their coverage ratio stood at 101.6% and 100.5% at April-end, respectively, they had been facing benefit cuts no later than next year, which would have affected 2m workers and pensioners.However, both schemes highlighted that such discounts would not be entirely off the table, as funding levels could still be short of 100% at the end of this year.Coverage ratios have decreased since April, following a fall in interest rates – causing pension funds’ liabilities to increase – combined with declining equity markets. Peter Borgdorff, PFZWPeter Borgdorff, director of the €217bn healthcare scheme PFZW, also warned that the danger of pension cuts hadn’t disappeared yet, citing persistently low interest rates.PFZW’s funding stood at 100.4% at April-end. However, the healthcare scheme has to meet the minimum funding level by December 2020, rather than 2019 as is the case for the metal sector schemes.Borgdorff added that trade union members still had to approve the agreement, and that several elements of the accord, including the new pension contracts, still had to be fleshed out.The €431bn civil service scheme ABP praised the “real steps” that had been made towards a better and mor sustainable pensions system that still included the valuable elements of the current system, such as the collective approach.Corien Wortmann-Kool, ABP’s chair, offered the scheme’s expertise to the groups responsible for establishing new discount rules and the transition to a new pensions system.ABP’s coverage ratio stood at 102.1% at the end of April.The Pensions Federation described the result as a “breakthrough” after almost 10 years of negotiations for system reform, highlighting the importance of keeping the concepts of collectivity and risk sharing.Shaktie Rambaran Mishre, chair of the industry organisation, urged social affairs minister Wouter Koolmees and the social partners to provide sufficient space for tailor-made solutions.The association of Dutch insurers (VvV) described the agreement as “a good basis for pensions reform”.The only negative response to the pensions agreement came from 50PLUS, the political party for the elderly.It said that it was completely unclear who was going to pay for the costly transition from average to degressive pensions acrual.The party feared that pension cuts would still be possible as long as the “artificially low” discount rate for liabilities remained unchanged, and made clear that the temporary freeze of the retirement age rise was insufficient.Elsewhere, commenting on the agreement, Koolmees said that the work on the two future pensions contract options and the plan for the transition to a new pensions system was scheduled to be completed by the end of 2020.He added that the cabinet aimed to complete the legal framework for system reform by the start of 2022. The Dutch pensions sector has responded positively to the pensions agreement reached by employers, workers and the government.The parties earlier this week agreed in principle that the planned official retirement age increases would be slowed down and that workers in physically demanding jobs would get the option of early retirement.A new steering group has been tasked with fleshing out two new variants for a pensions contract as well as the transition from average to degressive pensions accrual.The two large metal and engineering pension funds PMT and PME said that they were particularly pleased, as the agreement also included a cut in the minimum required funding level from 104.3% to 100%.last_img read more

  • Hermes GPE raises $1.6bn in private equity

    first_imgHermes GPE, a global private equity specialist, has raised $1.6bn (€1.4bn) in private equity, and has closed the latest iteration of its co-investment Club series, PEC IV, with more than $600m raised.The investment fund was launched just over a year ago with an initial target of $350m and an original hard cap of $450m. With investor support, Hermes GPE was able to substantially exceed these amounts, raising $603.5m from global pension funds, professional investors and asset managers including the BT Pension Scheme (BTPS), State Teachers Retirement System of Ohio, the Local Pensions Partnership, CPP Investment Board, Hostplus, Ardian, Korea Teachers Credit Union, SeAH Group of Korea and Decalia Asset Management. Hermes GPE also raised a further $100m for a co-investment sidecar mandate from an existing client at the same time, a statement revealed.Peter Gale, head of private equity at Hermes GPE, said: “The continued support of BTPS is a significant endorsement of our track record and investment strategy. Raising the latest iteration of our co-investment Club concept well above target, as well as expanding its geographical reach via the addition of new Korean investors, significantly strengthens our co-investment capabilities.”The Hermes GPE team have started investing a new private equity mandate from BTPS worth $900m, continuing a long-standing investment partnership. And additional $100m has been invested throguh PEC IV. This latest allocation from BTPS totalling $1bn will be invested over three years and split equally between co-investments and funds, the firm stated. Hermes GPE has a 19-year track record in private equity co-investments, investing more than $3bn in more than 200 global co-investments. PEC IV has already committed around $220m to 24 investments in growth-oriented companies and structural investment themes which the firm believe will demonstrate strong through-the-cycle performance, and continues to have a pipeline of similarly attractive deals.The firm’s investment strategy is guided by a thematic overlay, with a particular  focus on ‘people, planet, productivity’ isolating structural growth themes that are uncorrelated with the economic cycle, Gale said, adding that “this enables the creation of consistent and sustainable ‘alpha’ independent of market cycles.”last_img read more

  • Homebuyers paying more to secure property on the Gold Coast

    first_imgBuyers are paying more to secure property on the Gold Coast as demand outweighs supply.HOMEBUYERS are paying more to secure a property on the Gold Coast as demand continues to outweigh supply.New figures released by CoreLogic show the number of sales on the Glitter Strip fell 12 per cent over the year to February, 2018 with 18,434 properties trading hands.Despite the number of sales falling, property prices are up — house values increased by 6.6 per cent to $639,720, while unit values increased by 5.1 per cent to $413,238.Andrew Bell, in action earlier this year, says the Gold Coast is very much a sellers’ market. Picture Glenn HampsonRay White Surfers Paradise Group CEO Andrew Bell said a lack of stock benefited sellers.“At present, listings in the detached housing market show a supply of about seven months — which isn’t bad and could be described as a normal market — but there is just four months’ supply in existing apartments and three months in townhouses,” he said.“This means it is very much a sellers’ market in these segments, particularly townhouses.”More from news02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa16 hours ago02:37Gold Coast property: Sovereign Islands mega mansion hits market with $16m price tag2 days agoLucy Cole says her agency is experiencing multiple offers on homes.Agents are also reporting heightened interest from prospective interstate buyers.“We’re experiencing multiple offer forms having to be signed and that’s something that wasn’t happening as often in the past,” Lucy Cole, principal of Lucy Cole Prestige Properties, said.Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 7:28Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -7:28 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels576p576p480p480p256p256p228p228pAutoA, selectedAudio Tracken (Main), selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenPrestige property with Liz Tilley07:29“We’re finding families are wanting to move here and they have already done their research so they’re searching in a particular area that’s important to them.”“They might not want to move in straight away but they want to secure something now.”WANT SWEEPING COAST VIEWS?13A Ocean View, Mermaid Beach recently sold for $4.6 million through Tolemy Stevens.Tolemy Stevens, of Harcourts Coastal, said the luxury beachfront market was the best he had seen since the GFC.“I have more genuine high-net-worth buyers than I’ve ever experienced and I just don’t have the properties to sell them,” he said.“I’ve got more demand than I’ve got supply and I don’t see that demand slowing.“The evidence of this is the three recent sales I have done over the past four weeks have all been over $4 million each and have all exceeded vendor’s expectations.”BEACH HOUSE SELLS FOR $4.6 MILLIONlast_img read more

  • Inside Queensland’s biggest home sales of 2017/18

    first_imgInside the home at 36 Needham St, Fig Tree Pocket.In just the past month, a trophy home at 22-24 Ascot St, Ascot sold for $4.25 million, a home at 9 Craven St, Clayfield, fetched $4 million under the hammer and a historic, five-bedroom Queenslander at 32 Teneriffe Dr, Teneriffe, sold for $4.405 million at auction.Vaughan Keenan of Grace & Keenan, who negotiated the sale of the Ascot property, said it had been scheduled to go to auction, but was taken off the market just two days after listing.“There are lots of buyers out there who want to handle things discreetly, so they’re happy to pay a premium to get properties off the market,” Mr Keenan said. Inside the home at 187-191 Hedges Ave, Mermaid Beach.In Brisbane, one of the biggest sales of the financial year was also one of the most anticipated. The lavish Hamilton mansion built by disgraced businessman Christopher Skase sold in a secret deal to a local hotelier for $10.138 million. This home at 21-23 Webb Rd, Sunshine Beach, was the biggest sale of the financial year.Mr Russell also snapped up cricket star Shane Warne’s grand Victorian home in Melbourne’s Brighton around the same time, in a deal worth close to $20 million.Just streets away, also in Sunshine Beach, former tennis star Pat Rafter’s beachfront home sold for $15.2 million to Betty’s Burger founder David Hales. PAT RAFTER LOSES MILLIONS IN SUNSHINE BEACH DEAL This house at 52 Union St, Clayfield, recently sold for $2.145m at auction – the highest price paid for a home on a 685 sqm block in the suburb.It’s been a good year for Brisbane’s high-end apartment sector too, with demand stronger than ever despite concerns about oversupply in the inner-city markets, according to Place Estate Agents Kangaroo Point director Simon Caulfield.“I’ve settled in excess of $50 million (worth of property) and they’re all apartments,” Mr Caulfield said.“I don’t think I’ve had this big a start to a year in my 10 years of selling real estate.”A good example is the sale of an apartment with stunning river views at 5/81 Moray St, New Farm, which sold for $6.5 million in March. This house at 5 Allambi Rise, Noosa Heads, has sold for $11.2m. Picture: realestate.com.au. This property at 312 Teewah Beach Rd, Noosa North Shore, sold for $10.75m. This amazing home at 34 Mullens St, Hamilton, was one of the biggest sales in Brisbane in 2017/18.THEY’RE jawdropping, dripping in luxury features and sell for more money than most people can dream of.The top home sales of 2017/18 include an array of waterfront residences and mega mansions from the old money enclave of Hamilton and the trendy streets of New Farm and Teneriffe, to the glitz of the Gold Coast and the laid-back luxury of Noosa.Players at the prestige end of Brisbane’s property market are hailing 2017/18 as one of the best in years, reporting more sales around the $4 million mark than ever before. GET THE LATEST REAL ESTATE NEWS DIRECT TO YOUR INBOX HERE Prestige real estate agents say demand from interstate migrants has ramped up in the past 12 months as Sydney and Melbourne homeowners sell up and cash in on the river city’s affordability.In some cases, buyers have even been throwing money at homes to have them taken off the market to eliminate competition.The really big money was spent on waterfront properties on the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast, with only one sale in Brisbane eclipsing the $10 million mark last financial year.The biggest reported sale in Queensland’s southeast was an absolute beachfront estate in idyllic Sunshine Beach for $18 million. Pat Rafter and his wife Lara Feltham pocketed $15.2m for the sale of their Sunshine Beach home. Photo: Graham Denholm/Getty Images.Prestige agent Adrian Reed of Dowling & Neylan Real Estate in Noosa Heads said he had noticed an increase in demand for property in the area from southern states and expats.“We honestly believe there’s more scope to test the limits (of the market),” Mr Reed told The Courier-Mail. Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 6:36Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -6:36 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD540p540p216p216p180p180pAutoA, selectedAudio Tracken (Main), selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenLiz Tilley’s prestige property wrap 06:36 “The end game is that records will continue to be broken in Noosa because some of the best property hasn’t been released yet.”Mr Reed sold a beachfront home at 312 Teewah Beach Rd, Noosa North Shore, for $10.75 million in November. This house at 5 Allambi Rise, Noosa Heads, has sold for $11.2m. Picture: realestate.com.au.The biggest sale on the Gold Coast in 2017/18 was a waterfront property in Hope Island, which sold offmarket for $16.75 million to a Vietnamese businessman.Close at its heels was the sale of a stunning, beachfront property in exclusive Hedges Avenue in Mermaid Beach for $16.5 million. The home of former tennis player Pat Rafter at 46 Seaview Tce, Sunshine Beach. This house at 22-24 Ascot Street, Ascot, sold for $4.25m after just two days on the market.Christine Rudolph of Ray White New Farm said she had noticed an increase in buyers prepared to pay $4 million or more for a home.“We’ve definitely noticed a lot of these professional buyers would rather pay a premium for a finished product because they’re time poor and they really don’t want to go through project managing a renovation,” Ms Rudolph said.“That mid 30s to early 40s demographic is the prime demographic driving that $4 million price point at the moment, and they’re looking more at a long-term investment — somewhere they will settle for the next 20 years with their family.”Ms Rudolph recently sold a five-bedroom house on 685 sqm in Clayfield to a Sydney buyer who paid $2.145 million for it under the hammer — the highest price ever paid for a block of that size in the suburb.“That sale is proof that discerning buyers will continue to pay a premium for a quality product,” she said.“We’re continuing to see a strong trend in Brisbane with interstate migration and we’ve noticed an increase in both CEOs and CFOs with larger companies relocating to Brisbane. “One of the big benefits for them is that they can continue to operate on a global spehere out of Brisbane, but their preference is to move their families to Brisbane where the lifestyle is easy, schools are less expensive and they like to have that flexibility to be able to commute.” Inside the extravagant mansion at 36 Dickson Tce, Hamilton.Another high-profile figure was involved in the sale of the Fig Tree Pocket home of the founder of the collapsed Linc Energy, Peter Bond, earlier this year.Former federal politician and billionaire businessman Clive Palmer paid $7.5 million for the property at 36 Needham Street in one of the biggest sales of the year in Brisbane. This home at 187-191 Hedges Ave, Mermaid Beach, sold for $16.5m. The view from the apartment at 5/81 Moray St, New Farm. Clive Palmer paid $7.5 million for a house in Brisbane this year. Picture: Kym Smith. Clive Palmer bought this property at 36 Needham St, Fig Tree Pocket. This mansion at 21-23 Webb Rd, Sunshine Beach, sold for $18m.The sale of the seven-bedroom, eight-bathroom property at 21-23 Webb Road set a new record for the entire Sunshine Coast region when it was bought in March by David Russell, owner of private equity group Equis Energy. DREAM LIFESTYLE TO FALL IN LOVE WITH Inside the home at 312 Teewah Beach Rd, Noosa North Shore.And only a month ago, a 1950s style beach house sold for an eye-watering $11.2 million in an offmarket deal to a cashed-up Melbourne-based buyer.The sale price came as a shock to some given the property at 5 Allambi Rise in exclusive Little Cove last sold for $5.75 million only three years ago, showing the appetite from interstate migrants for premium real estate in Queensland. NOOSA BEACH HOUSE SELLS FOR $11.2M The former home of Christopher Skase at 36 Dickson Tce, Hamilton, sold for more than $10m.More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus17 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market17 hours ago This apartment at 5/81 Moray St, New Farm, sold for $6.5m.Knight Frank Australia head of residential research Michelle Ciesielski told The Courier-Mail Brisbane’s premium market was benefiting from the growing demand from downsizers looking for easy-to-maintain homes.“Demand for truly exceptional properties in sought-after positions have outweighed the supply coming to the Brisbane market, including new builds,” she said.“Retirees continue to downsize and look for properties that offer high security while they travel abroad and low maintenance living with an array of amenities, including technology.”But the best could be yet to come, with a number of Brisbane properties tipped to surpass the $10 million mark.A luxury residence built into the side of a hill at 10 Morgan St, Ascot, is tipped to change hands for more than $14 million — when the right buyer comes along.The four-storey home in an ultra private location boasts some of the best uninterrupted views in the suburb.Another home with the potential to fetch big dollars if it sells is ‘Cintra House’ at 23 Boyd St, Bowen Hills, which is one of Brisbane’s oldest and most prestigious homes. Cintra House at 23 Boyd St, Bowen Hills, is for sale.10 BIGGEST SALES IN BRISBANE IN 2017/18 Sale date Address Sale price 1. Mar, 2018 27 Sutherland Ave, Ascot $11m 2. Feb, 2018 36 Dickson Tce, Hamilton $10.138m3. Sep, 2017 128 Crosby Rd, Ascot $8.8m4. Jan, 2018 36 Needham St, Fig Tree Pocket $7.5m5. Mar, 2018 1a Eldernell Tce, Hamilton $7.25m6. March, 2018 5/81 Moray St, New Farm $6.5m7. Nov, 2017 34 Mullens St, Hamilton $5.975m8. Nov, 2017 68 Molonga Tce, Graceville $5.65m9. March, 2018 53 Macquarie St, Teneriffe $5.236m10. Feb, 2018 37 Macquarie St, Teneriffe $5.1m Source: Realestate.com.au (Includes only properties where sale prices were revealed or previously reported. Excludes residential land, rural properties and multiple dwelling properties).10 BIGGEST SALES IN SOUTHEAST QLD IN 2017/18 Sale date Address Sale price 1. Mar, 2018 21-23 Webb Rd, Sunshine Beach $18m2. Jul, 2017 2620-2622 Virginia Dr, Hope Island $16.75m3. Sep, 2017 187-191 Hedges Ave, Mermaid Beach $16.5m4. Mar, 2018 46 Seaview Tce, Sunshine Beach $15.2m5. Jun, 2018 103-105 Hedges Ave, Mermaid Beach $11.6m6. May, 2018 5 Allambi Rise, Noosa Heads $11.2m7. Mar, 2018 27 Sutherland Ave, Ascot $11m 8. Nov, 2017 312 Teewah Beach Rd, Noosa North Shore $10.75m9. Jan, 2018 29-31 Wyuna Dr, Noosaville $10.301m10. Feb, 2018 36 Dickson Tce, Hamilton $10.138mSource: Realestate.com.au. (Includes only properties where sale prices were revealed or previously reported. Excludes residential land, rural properties and multiple dwelling properties).last_img read more

  • Gold Coast property with wicked theme-park backyard sells in million-dollar deal

    first_img The property at 6-8 Parma Court, Mount Nathan, featured a theme-park style backyard. It sold for $1.18 million.LJ Hooker Nerang agent Julie Morgan-Kemp, who marketed the property at 6-8 Parma Court, said the buyers, a father with his three young boys and parents, were looking to take advantage of the dual living opportunity the home offered. The property also allowed the family to work from home and look after the children. MORE NEWS: Coast property prices tipped to soar A Gold Coast house with a wicked backyard has sold in a million-dollar deal.AN interstate family have scored the keys to a Gold Coast property that is home to what could be Australia’s coolest backyard. The theme park-style backyard features a skate park, basketball ring, tree fort, carousel swing, giant dinosaur and pool. The Mount Nathan home was one wicked offering and changed hands in a $1.18 million deal. RELATED: Wicked backyard wows with custom theme park An interstate family scored the keys. The dinosaur was an added bonus.“With the property the parents can help look after the children and all the family can meet together at Christmas time and the kids will have such a good time enjoying the property,” Ms Morgan-Kemp said. More from news02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa10 hours ago02:37Gold Coast property: Sovereign Islands mega mansion hits market with $16m price tag1 day ago“They are so excited. It turned out to be the perfect buyers for the perfect property.“It will be a lovely thing to see the kids there enjoying it.” The main house was one of two residences on the 1.1ha site. Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 1:20Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -1:20 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD540p540p360p360p270p270pAutoA, selectedAudio Tracken (Main), selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreen6 Australian wow homes that have just sold01:20 The 1.1ha property featured two residences — the main home and a guesthouse — as well as an office and shed with two shipping containers, one of which is storage, the other a man cave. The professionally designed and built skate park with a viewing deck, shade sails, flood lighting and basketball ring was a highlight of the property. The sellers, who created the family-friendly haven, sold the home to travel around Australia for the next three to five years with their three children. MORE NEWS: Mansion listed with eye-watering pricelast_img read more

  • GLC Gets Money to Restore Areas of Concern in Ohio and Michigan

    first_imgThe Great Lakes Commission (GLC) announced last week that it has received funding to implement restoration projects in two Great Lakes Areas of Concern (AOCs), areas of historic pollution and degradation. The GLC will support the design and restoration of valuable habitat in the Maumee River AOC in Ohio and the Clinton River AOC in Michigan in coordination with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Great Lakes states, and local partners.Since 2008, the GLC has been awarded nearly $40 million to restore key sites across the basin.“We are excited to expand our restoration work to new communities in Ohio and Michigan,” said Tim Eder, executive director of the Great Lakes Commission. “We’ve seen that restoring Great Lakes Areas of Concern generates both environmental and economic benefits by creating jobs, providing new recreational opportunities, and improving the quality of life for local residents in these communities.”The GLC will receive $375,000 to develop engineering design plans to restore wetland habitat at the  Penn 7 site in the Maumee River AOC near Toledo, Ohio, and to excavate and dispose of sediments to restore wetlands in the Black Creek Marsh in the Clinton River AOC in Harrison Township, Michigan.The GLC will also continue work to restore habitat in the Muskegon Lake and St. Marys River AOCs in Michigan and the Buffalo River AOC in New York. Funding for the GLC’s restoration work comes from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, which has implemented more than 3,000 restoration projects since 2010.last_img read more

  • PHOTO: Jan De Nul Wraps Up Race Bank Export Cable Installation

    first_imgJan De Nul Group has completed the installation and burial of the export cables for DONG Energy’s Race Bank offshore wind farm in the United Kingdom. Jan De Nul installed two export cables of 70 km and linked the two offshore substations with an interconnector of 6 km.To execute the nearshore works in the Wash, Jan De Nul developed and built the low ground pressure cable installation and burial tools Sunfish and Moonfish.Both machines were deployed from Jan De Nul’s cable installation barge DN120. Offshore cable installation vessel Isaac Newton played a key role in the cable installation and jointing works as well as in the cable burial works with onboard trencher UTV1200 across the shallow Docking Shoals.David Summers senior project director for DONG Energy said, “Race Bank has challenging seabed conditions along the offshore export route and the cable installation was identified as one of the key risks to project success. Jan De Nul rose to the challenge applying their considerable engineering capability to the problems, especially in the nearshore. They have done a done a really great job.”last_img read more

  • Gallery: Crestwing’s wave device taking shape

    first_img<br />(Photos by Crestwing)Danish wave energy developer Crestwing is making progress with the assembly of its Tordenskiold prototype wave energy device ahead of planned deployment this October.The Tordenskiold prototype device is 30 meters long, 7.5 meters wind with the height of 2.5 meters.It’s hull has been designed as that of a ship, while the device falls under the attenuator type of floating wave energy devices which operate parallel to the wave direction.These devices capture energy from the relative motion of their two arms as the wave passes them.According to Crestwing’s experimental data, the device is capable of producing around 1 million kWh of energy yearly energy extracted from the seas around Denmark. However, when the size of a wave is doubled, the energy in the wave is not merely doubled, but instead multiplied by a factor of 11, the Danish developer said.This means that Crestwing’s devices made for seas with waves twice as large as those found around Denmark, could reach an energy production of 11 million kW, Crestwing said on Indiegogo platform where it is currently running a crowdfunding campaign to support the demonstration of the Tordenskiold device.Crestwing is looking to raise €45,000 until October 20, 2017, when the campaign closes – having secured a little under €4,500 so far.The deployment of Tordenskiold prototype will serve to prove the survivability and power conversion technology of the device.last_img read more

  • BP: Angelin platform shaping up

    first_imgBritish oil major BP has completed what it has described as a major milestone with its Angelin project in Trinidad.The company has through social media said that it has, as part of its Angelin project in Trinidad and Tobago, completed the final deck lift and stack up on the Angelin topside.“The helideck and vent boom are being painted, and will be installed later this year,” BP said in a social media post on Wednesday, sharing a photo of the project under construction.BP’s subsidiary BP Trinidad and Tobago LLC in June 2017 sanctioned the development the Angelin offshore gas project, located 60 kilometers off the south-east coast of Trinidad in water-depth of approximately 65 meters. The project includes the construction of a new platform – bpTT’s 15th offshore production facility.The development will include four wells and will have a production capacity of approximately 600 million standard cubic feet of gas a day (mmscfd). Gas from Angelin will flow to the Serrette platform hub via a new 21 kilometer pipeline.Angelin was originally discovered by the El Diablo well in 1995 and appraised by the La Novia well in 2006.The contract for the construction of  the 992-ton (900 metric ton) four-legged main pile jacket and 1,323-ton (1,200 metric ton) four-deck topside for the Angelin project was awarded to McDermott, and will be constructed at the Altamira, Mexico fabrication facility. The platform and pipeline are scheduled to be installed by McDermott’s vessel DLV 2000.BP plans to start drilling in 3Q 2018 and first gas from the Angelin facility is expected in 1Q 2019. BPTT is 70 per cent owned by BP and 30 per cent owned by Repsol.Offshore Energy Today Stafflast_img read more