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Australia’s Largest Ever Rural Residential Government Sell-Down Completed




mary valley

For most of the last decade property owners in Queensland’s Mary Valley have been at the mercy of the $2 billion Traveston Dam that never was.

Now a new generation of landowners including farmers, families and retirees are looking forward to a stable and productive future. This week, the final property resumed as part of the State Government’s aborted plans to build a major new dam was returned to private ownership marking a major milestone in the region’s recovery.

Nearly 400 properties, covering more than 13,000 hectares that were resumed to make way for the dam have now been returned to private ownership, the largest rural and residential government sell down ever to be undertaken in Australia.

In May this year, those remaining 11 Mary Valley properties were released to market, with as many as 270 interested parties inspecting the properties throughout the four and half week marketing campaign. All selling for a total of over $16.6 million which was 9.1% over and above their reserve pricing.

Oliver Hume Queensland managing director Brinton Keath

Oliver Hume Queensland Joint Managing Director Brinton Keath

National property services group Oliver Hume was handed the contract to manage the $200 million sell down in 2013 and has overseen the sale of more 350 individual properties over the last three years. The sales ranged from a small landlocked parcel for $17,000 up to one of the area’s top farms, the 863 ha Bollier Park, which sold for $8.5 million last month.

The types of properties ranged from small hobby farms and small acreage lots, up to major commercial dairy farms. Oliver Hume’s Queensland Joint Managing Director Brinton Keath has seen first hand the important role that returning of land to private ownership has played in the rejuvenation of the community.

“The last three years have been an amazing period of rejuvenation for the whole district,” Mr Keath said. “When we first became involved the community was still struggling to find it’s feet and the economic development plan put in place by the State Government hadn’t really started to gain any traction.”

“But slowly things changed, more property was returned to private owners who invested to make improvements which encouraged others to do the same, it became a snowball and over the last 12 months the demand has been unbelievable.” Mr Keath said the region was now awash with home renovations while the core agricultural and farming industries had sprung back to life with investment in new machinery and infrastructure and fresh crops sown.

Re-building the community has had its ups and downs. After having their properties resumed many residents and farmers simply moved on to other pastures and established new lives away from the Valley. Simply luring everybody back was going to be impossible and the re-population of the Mary Valley was going to need to require a large net and an expert team.

bollier farm

Bollier Park homestead (above) was one of the last and most expensive properties returned to private ownership.

To help the recovery the former Newman Government implemented the Mary Valley Economic Development Strategy in July 2012. The strategy aimed to maximise economic development opportunities across the whole of the Mary Valley to revitalise the Valley, providing a sound investment platform and restore community stability. The strategic plan was continued by the Palaszczuk Government when it was elected in January 2015 with the same goal of encouraging ownership and investment in productive agricultural land.

Minister for State Development Dr Anthony Lynham said the sale of surplus Mary Valley properties provided opportunities for economic growth and jobs through private investment. “Late last year, before taking the final 11 Mary Valley properties available for sale to the open market, we commissioned a detailed economic uplift assessment.

“The report recommended that the land be returned to private ownership as soon as possible to enable the private sector to invest in the land as they deem most appropriate, and that is exactly what we have done,” Dr Lynham said.

Mr Keath said the marketing campaign for the properties had attracted a wide variety of buyers, including purchasers from as far away as Western Australian, Northern Territory and Tasmania. “They buyers have been a mix of previous residents, tenants who were leasing from the government, agricultural investors and some green-changers looking for a great country lifestyle.”

With such a large volume of land to be divested, one of the greatest challenges faced by Brinton and his team was releasing land at the right time to avoid over-supply while also bringing enough people to drive economic growth. “It has been a unique challenge but by staying close to the market and undertaking good research we were able to get a good idea of the demand for each release and ensure it was coming on the market at exactly the right pace,” he said.

In addition to property sales, a variety of water allocations are being returned to private ownership. Mr Keath said the opportunity of permanent access to water appealed to a variety of buyers.

“This offering has been a strong draw card in allowing businesses access to the Mary Valley Water Supply Scheme to support and secure economic enterprise, and to enhance buyers’ business’ bottom line,” he said.

“The water allocation offering is a valuable title able to be traded as a commodity to farmers on a per-year basis, or as a permanent right, providing a strong value-add opportunity for investors,” he said.

Original article published at  by Staff Writer 08/9/16

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Market Place

Home in blue-chip street sells for $4.1 million



Home in blue-chip street sells for $4.1 million

Home in blue-chip street sells for $4.1 million
Home in blue-chip street sells for $4.1 million
Home in blue-chip street sells for $4.1 million
Home in blue-chip street sells for $4.1 million

Home in blue-chip street sells for $4.1 million


The canal-front home at 59 Witta Circle, Noosa Heads, sold on April 30 for $4.1 million through Tom Offerman Real Estate.


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Market Place

Queensland’s population hits 5 million people today



Queensland's population hits 5 million people today
PHOTO: Is this Queensland’s 5 millionth person? Cordy Kerr-Kennedy was born yesterday in Townsville. (ABC News: Mark Jeffery)

Queensland’s population has tipped the 5 million mark today, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has told State Parliament.

Ms Palaszczuk said several expectant families were on standby to welcome the state’s five-millionth resident.

“Somewhere today a brand new mum and dad will be eager to meet their new arrival,” she told the house.

“The whole family will want to know: is it a boy or is it a girl? And the doctor will say, ‘congratulations, it’s a Queenslander’.”

Ms Palaszczuk said the two main drivers of the increase were migration growth, particularly from New South Wales, and from 60,000 babies being born in the past year.

Queensland's population hits 5 million people today
 The state’s five-millionth resident was born today.(ABC North Queensland: Nathalie Fernbach)

“Overseas and interstate migration is up by 50,000 people in the past year, 19,000 came from interstate … more than 12,000, or 230 a week, move from New South Wales to Queensland,” she said.

ABS data also revealed the fastest and largest-growing area in Queensland in 2016-17 was Pimpama on the Gold Coast, which grew by 3,000 people.

Large growth also occurred in Jimboomba on Brisbane’s south side and in North Lakes — a suburb north of the city — which both increased by 2,100 people.

Coomera on the Gold Coast and Springfield Lakes in Ipswich also experienced large growth up 1,400 people.

The State Government’s population counter gives a “synthetic estimate” of the number of current Queenslanders, assuming a total population increase of one person every 6 minutes and 22 seconds.

Earlier this year the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) said Queensland’s population was growing at 1.7 per cent and was projected to tick over to 5 million in May.

ABS data released in March also revealed Brisbane was one of the country’s fastest-growing cities and had increased by 48,000 in 2017, hitting 2.4 million people.

 Queensland's population hits 5 million people today
PHOTO: The ABS estimated Queensland’s population was growing 1.7 per cent a year. (AAP: Dan Peled)

ABS demography director Anthony Grubb said the state’s population had “come a long way” in the last century.

“In 1901 the population was half a million; a tenth of what it is today… it took 37 years to hit the 1 million milestone in 1938 and another 36 years to reach 2 million in 1974,” he said.

But Mr Grubb said population growth “picked up the pace” after that, taking just 18 years to reach 3 million then only another 14 years to hit 4 million in 2006.

Queensland could be leading growth state in future

Population demographer Dr Elin Charles-Edwards said although Queensland is not currently the fastest growing state, it is possible it could top the leader board later down the track.

‘Not in the short-term, but Queensland is coming up off a relatively subdued growth so perhaps we might be entering an era of more rapid growth,” she said.

Dr Charles-Edwards said the challenges that generally come with increased population could be managed in Queensland.

“As long as we keep up and don’t take our eye off the ball we can continue to absorb quite high levels of growth… but really it’s keeping up with the infrastructure that’s the key challenge,” she said.

Dr Charles-Edwards said it was important to note some parts of the state, particularly in western Queensland, were experiencing population decline.

“While the south-east corner is growing and also many Indigenous communities are growing, other parts of the state are shrinking,” she said.

“Perhaps we could do more to encourage people to move outside the south-east corner.

“If we were able to work out some way to decentralise our population, growth a little bit further up into the northern regional centres, I think that would benefit the growth of south-east Queensland.”


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Market Place

APRA to end cap on property investor loan growth



APRA to end cap on property investor loan growth

APRA is removing the 10 per cent ‘speed limit’ on investor loan growth.
Photo: Louise Kennerley

The banking regulator is axing a 10 per cent speed limit on bank lending to property investors, saying the cap has served its purpose and improved credit standards.

With Sydney house prices falling and credit growth slowing, the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority on Thursday said it would remove the cap for bank boards that could prove they had been following its guidelines on prudent lending.

In late 2014, amid a surge in borrowing by property investors and rapid house price growth, APRA took the rare step of setting a 10 per cent limit on the annual growth in banks’ housing investor loan portfolios.

The measure has rocked the mortgage market in recent years, prompting banks to jack up interest rates for housing investors, and demand borrowers stump up bigger deposits.

But on Thursday, APRA chairman Wayne Byres said it was prepared to remove the measure because there had been an improvement in lending standards and a slowdown in credit growth.

“The temporary benchmark on investor loan growth has served its purpose. Lending growth has moderated, standards have been lifted and oversight has improved,” Mr Byres

Even so, the regulator will retain a separate 2017 policy that requires banks to limit their new interest-only lending to less than 30 per cent of all new home loan approvals.

APRA also said there was “more to do” in improving other aspects of banks’ lending, including how they assessed borrowers’ expenses, their existing debts, and the approval of loans that fell outside of banks’ formal lending policies.

APRA said it expected banks to introduce limits on the proportion of new lending that could be done at “very high” debt-to-income levels.

“In the current environment, APRA supervisors will continue to closely monitor any changes in lending standards,” Mr Byres said.

“The benchmark on interest-only lending will also continue to apply. APRA will consider the need for further changes to its approach as conditions evolve, in consultation with the other members of the Council of Financial Regulators.”


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