BEN WILMONT also writes in The Australian ‘Meriton Nabs Melbourne Site’
… Harry Triguboff has joined the ranks of other developers forging into Melbourne having purchased a tiny 792 M2 site to construct a 57 storey tower.
Triguboff has 4500 serviced apartments and another 3700 units that are being rented out … that combined number should reach 10000 this year.
Meriton has been advertising nationally seeking development approved sites, and the Melbourne property was bought for $29M
IF only he would focus his attention on Melbourne and give Sydney a miss!
Triguboff Makes Meriton’s First Move into Melbourne Market
Meriton has purchased a development site in Melbourne’s CBD, marking itsfirst venture into the Melbourne market since Harry Triguboff, Australia’s wealthiest real-estate developer, founded the company almost six decades ago.
The new 792sq m site, at 140-146 King Street, comes with a planning permit in place for a 57-level building including 263 residences designed by Rothelowman architects.
At 86, Triguboff has developed and sold more apartments than anyone in Australia since starting Meriton in 1963.
“It is very exciting for us to bring Meriton to Melbourne, giving the hotel a complete presence from Melbourne, throughout Sydney and up to Brisbane and the Gold Coast,” Triguboff said.
“Guests have been asking for a long time, ‘when are you coming to Melbourne’, but it hasn’t been the opportune time, until now.”
A design for 140-146 King Street.Rothelowman Architects.
The existing property, located between Bourke Street and Little Collins Street, is currently home to a three-storey vacant office and retail building.
“It is a great location for us and our early discussions with local government made us feel very welcome – they want us to get started quickly!” Triguboff said.
The 792sq m site will be operated as part of the ‘Meriton Suites’ brand and is the CBD’s first major permit-approved development site sale for 2019.
The sale, which attracted offers from a range of purchasers including residential developers, hotel developers, and student accommodation groups, was managed by Colliers International’s Trent Hobart, Oliver Hay, David Sia and Jozef Dickinson.
“The competitive sale process saw a total of 11 offers, which is a reflection of the ongoing strong interest in permitted apartment development sites in the Melbourne CBD and fringe areas,” Hay said.
Meriton director of construction David Cremona says the company is committed to working with Melbourne builders and trades.
“Requests for tender will be issued shortly, with construction due to commence later in the year”.
The move represents Meriton’s first venture outside of New South Wales and Queensland where Meriton sells apartments and also operates serviced apartment accommodation in Sydney, Brisbane, and the Gold Coast.
Born in China to Russian parents, Triguboff arrived in Australia as a teenager. He owned a taxi fleet and a milk run before building his first block of apartments, subsequently establishing Meriton when he was 30.
WHAT more could one expect from CJ of Awfulizer body UT? He writes
“cities around the world are now promoting mixed-use precincts where work, living, eating and shopping are all integrated”
… no doubt he could GOOGLE for market Spin from developers with the same end goal as the local mob here.
ASK what is in it for them?
HOW thoughtful of the developer collective … it would have nothing to do with collecting even more $$ from their projects by leasing all inclusive Childcare, the market, eateries and business premises too?
UT pulling apart any concept of planning, liveability …
WHAT of the downside to mixed-use development is the waste from the butcher, the fish monger, the fruit market, the child care … upon the liveability and comfort of the residents?
Community objections to OVERDEVELOPMENT are labelled as “hype” …
Chris Johnson: the case for mixed use with employment land
Chris Johnson, Urban Taskforce | 1 April 2019
OPINION: The debate aboutindustrial and urban services land continues with the head of property development industry organisation Urban Taskforce Chris Johnson challenging the Greater Sydney Commission “troika” and arguing for a “new Sydney” that embraces mixed-used precincts.
The spirited corporate response from the Greater Sydney Commission troika of Turnbull, Roberts and Hill is a single issue support for industrial jobs at a time when the nature of work is changing dramatically around the world.
The GSC support for their document “A Metropolis that Works” that freezes industrial land across metropolitan Sydney cites global examples that they say support their position.
But I Googled the same cities they quoted to find examples that demonstrated the opposite position. My research found that the nature of work is changing fast and that cities around the world are now promoting mixed-use precincts where work, living, eating and shopping are all integrated. A new urban lifestyle is taking off in global cities where younger people seamlessly integrate their multiple activities. The GSC seems to be locked into old fashioned zoning that divides uses into their own precincts. There is a work only precinct, and a live only precinct, a retail precinct and maybe a restaurant precinct.
We are not talking about concrete batching plants here. Clearly some very noisy uses need special zoning but the NSW government’s own definition of Light Industrial is only about a use “that does not interfere with the amenity of the neighbourhood by reason of noise, vibration, smell…” Only a few years ago cafes and restaurants were seen as incompatible with residential but now planners require these active uses to be included. The rest of the world is moving to mixed-use precincts.
Portland, New York, Baltimore, Atlanta, and Vancouver are championing a new type of urban environment where uses are mixed and in Australia, Melbourne with its new Commercial 3 zone and its mixed-use zoning at Fishermans Bend, is joining the new directions. Even the normally staid city of Adelaide has put out a guide to “mixed use development” where jobs and residential uses are mixed. So why would the Greater Sydney Commission go back to the era before Jane Jacobs attacked single use zoning as the “death” of great American cities.
My reading of what the GSC is doing is supporting the pre election “over development” hype that has evolved in the lead up to the recent state election.
It appears that the GSC thinks residential development in Greater Sydney is out of control and must be slowed down. Just look at the GSC comments in their Assurance Review of planning in Ryde where they were shocked by the amount of housing development at 1500 new homes a year being built, but this is exactly what the same GSC has targeted for Ryde. I think the GSC has become anti-housing in the belief that the housing industry will look after itself and therefore the GSC has defaulted to protecting jobs.
CAAN: SMH Photo: The scene at Chinese-based Greenland Lachlan’s Line Macquarie Park (Ryde) following the collapse of scaffolding that killed an 18 year old apprentice and critically injured another worker.
CAAN: SMH Photo: indicative of the massive size and impact of this Precinct! The likes of which belong in China to house 1.4 Billion people. Why are they being constructed here if not to fill developer coffers through Visa Manipulation?
CAAN has numerous photos of the overdevelopment across Ryde in its photo album.
An alternative for Lachlan’s Line would have been a bus interchange, parking, green space and a cultural centre! Instead of a precinct for overseas buyers …
Macquarie Park has lost many commercial premises and jobs to high-rise residential; it was developed as a Business and IT Park!
CJ: Planning of cities is a complex series of trade offs to balance where people want to live (generally inner ring suburbs) and where jobs are and how to get infrastructure on board. More recently the NSW government and the GSC have become focused on trees, parks and local character but my reading of all the promotional documents is that this is an endorsement of the suburbs. The discussion paper on local character does at least confront the issue of building height but it proposes nothing over three storeys.
CAAN: Due to Sydney-wide objections from communities since 2012 (and earlier) has the GSC finally acknowledged that the community value trees, parks and local character? Evidence has been produced that these assets are necessary for our wellbeing!
CJ: It seems that the GSC troika supports a low rise suburban Sydney with separated zones for different uses. This is old Sydney and they are missing the energy of the night time economy, about Millennials living in dynamic mixed use precincts and the bustling character of a London or a New York. The GSC should also support the new Sydney where already a third of homes are apartments and high rise living is a positive and more people walk to work, shared amenities and public transport. The GSC should be about the future.
CAAN: Does this mean that everyone has to move out to make way for Millennials?
How credible is that when there are 2.2 MILLION VISA HOLDERS IN AUSTRALIA of which 1.6 MILLION are Visa workers and no doubt the majority of them are residing in Sydney and Melbourne? And many gain ‘Permanent Residency’ after investing in our real estate!
CJ: An example of the future is the Strathcona Village project in Vancouver. Here is a dynamic complex that has 5574 square metres of light industrial uses with 280 market apartments above this and 70 social housing units. The East Village project at Victoria Park in Zetland has 32,000 square metres of industrial and commercial space with a sky park surrounded by 206 new apartments above the work areas. Unfortunately, there is little chance of projects like this happening under the GSC’s ideology.
CAAN: Why is CJ comparing Sydney with Vancouver? Vancouver has a population of 2,555,884 … half that of Sydney!
Chris Johnson is the chief executive officer of Urban Taskforce.
Note where they have invested … and avoid handing over your $$ to them!
Australia’s Richest Property Players: 2019
When it comes to the Australia’s wealthiest, property is king.
The List: Australia’s Richest 250, published by The Weekend Australian, has chronicled the nation’s wealthiest citizens, including 96 billionaires, 15 aged 40 and under and an average wealth of $1.27 billion across the $320 billion worth of combined wealth.
Topping this year’s list is Visy executive chairman and owner of Pratt Industries, Anthony Pratt, who boasts a fortune of $13.14 billion, made largely from producing boxes and packaging material.
The only woman to make the top 10, Gina Rinehart, took second position with a net worth of $13.12 billion, followed by Meriton’s 86-year-old owner and managing director Harry Triguboff, who has amassed a $12.31 billion property empire which now dots the Sydney, Brisbane and Gold Coast skylines.
Property dominates The List, with 68 rich-listers deriving their wealth from industries such as transport and mining, before diversifying into residential and commercial property investments.
Take a look at the ten highest ranking property moguls from this year’s list.
The List: Australia’s Richest 250 – Property Sector
Meriton chief Harry Triguboff has become known for his bullish approach towards Sydney and south-east Queensland, building over 75,000 residential townhouses and apartments since Meriton was formed in 1963. The company has gone on to become one of the biggest hotel and serviced apartment operators in the country.
Hui Wing Mau
Shimao Property Holdings
Chairman of Hong Kong Stock Exchange-listed Shimao Property Hui Wing Mau is known for residential, commercial and hotel projects throughout China. His Australian assets include office towers in Sydney’s CBD, a majority stake in the NSW meat processor Bindaree Beef Group, and 45,000 head of cattle bought from fellow rich-lister Harold Mitchell for $70 million in 2017.
John Gandel built his wealth through the sale of a share in clothing group Sussan in the 1980s. He joined his parents company as a teenager and bought Chadstone shopping centre from Myer Emporium in 1983. The centre’s valuation hit the $6 billion mark earlier this year.
Lang Walker started his career with an earthmoving business. He now commands more than $2 billion worth of investment properties. Walker Corp is currently constructing residential and commercial projects in Sydney and Brisbane. Walk Corp currently has $2.9 billion worth of investment property on its balance sheet, about $1.9 billion of which is completed projects as well as a pipeline of $25 billion worth of property projects expected over the next 15 years.
Maurice Alter’s business, Pacific Group, owns a large portion of malls mostly in Melbourne and Adelaide and co-owns the Coles Group headquarters in Melbourne. Alter’s wealth has been given a considerable boost in recent years with the sales of 50 per cent of the Werribee Plaza Shopping Centre in Melbourne for $651 million to QIC Global Real Estate in 2018 and 50 per cent of the Pacific Epping Shopping Centre for $373 million.
Bensen and brother-in-law and fellow rich-lister John Gandel built women’s fashion empire Sussan. The Besen family fortune was boosted last in 2017 when they offloaded a quarter stake in one of Australia’s largest malls, the Highpoint Shopping Centre in Melbourne’s west, for $680 million.
Goodman Group, one of the biggest industrial property companies in the world, holds a strong portfolio of industrial and commercial assets. The Goodman family also has agriculture, residential property and technology investments.
Farrell is head of the family business Federal Group, which controls tourism, hospitality, retail and gambling assets in Tasmania. The group’s assets include Wrest Point Casino in Hobart, the luxury Saffire Freycinet and Henry Jones Art Hotel, and a monopoly over poker machines in the island state.
Ell established his property development business Leda Holdings in 1976 and has gone on to oversee projects worth billions of dollars in Queensland and NSW. Leda owns commercial and industrial properties in Sydney, and shopping centres in Queensland and the ACT, and has big land holdings.
YFG Shopping Centres
Fu still presides over one of the biggest privately held retail portfolios in the country. YFG’s assets include the $271 million Australia Fair on the Gold Coast and the $250 million Brookside Shopping Centre in Brisbane’s north.
Nicho TENG after moving from China to study in Adelaide chose to stay and build a business, Haneco Lighting in 2011.
Nicho has since taken on the role of Managing Director for property developer GREATON and is involved in a number of business and networking groups, including the AUSTRALIA CHINA BUSINESS COUNCIL and the Hong Kong Australia Business Association SA.
Among Greaton’s Partners is Builder CEEROSE … a company that has had issues raised concerning complaints of flooding and defective materials and workmanship!
GREATON has acquired 14 homes in St Leonards South …
–Lane Cove Council and the NSW Berejiklian Government have earmarked St Leonards South for major development due it being near St Leonards train station
-developers have bought most of the homes to take advantage of zoning changes
‘Homes are set to be a thing of the past’ … and so too the leafy suburb and its urban bushlands … which is how Australians liked their neighbourhoods, and who is this to benefit … apart from the developer?
St Leonards and Crows Nest have already undergone extensive redevelopment …
View Source Link for Video where a community member of Overdevelopment We Are Over It reveals more changes for Crows Nest: 1 x 8 Storey, 2 x 27 Towers
Greaton’s St Leonards south plans include 232 apartments
THE issues raised by both Dr Cooper and Ms Corrigan are currently borne out let alone with another 11,000 additional residents in the St Leonards/Crows Nest area!
Overcrowding threat at major hospital
Doug Conway, North Shore Times
Royal North Shore Hospital could be forced to turn patients away if state government plans for a population surge in Crows Nest and St Leonards go ahead, a senior medical specialist has warned.
Chair of the hospital’s Medical Staff Council, Dr Bruce Cooper, said the number of cases facing the hospital’s emergency department was already growing at six per cent a year, and was outstripping the current growth in population.
“We just can’t absorb a further significant population increase,” he said.
“If we have to turn people away, we won’t have anywhere to send them.
“The Northern Beaches Hospital can’t handle any excess capacity because they can’t even get enough sufficiently skilled staff to open all of their own beds.”
Dr Cooper is also concerned about traffic congestion the increased density will bring.
“This raises serious questions about how emergency vehicles will access the hospital if the traffic is gridlocked, let alone how staff, patients and visitors will access the hospital,” he said.
Registered nurse Carolyn Corrigan, who ran unsuccessfully as an independent in the seat of North Sydney at last Saturday’s state election, described Royal North Shore as “at over capacity”.
Ms Corrigan, who until recently worked in the St Vincent’s Hospital heart/lung transplant unit, said: “Infrastructure is already not keeping up.”
She told a public rally last month in Crows Nest, organised by the resident group OVERdevelopment – we’re OVER it!, the NSW government’s plan for the precinct included 7,500 new dwellings, in addition to the 2,000 already under construction, and minimal green space or supporting infrastructure.
St Leonards and Crows Nest were declared a priority precinct by the Greater Sydney Commission in 2016.
She said the NSW government‘s St Leonards and Crows Nest draft plan proposed to add almost 11,000 more people to the area by 2036.
CALLING THE ‘RACE CARD’ … SHUTS DOWN ALL CONVERSATION!
AND can even sway Electorates … despite what’s been goin’ on across Sydney …
IT has been a very effective tool!
WHERE did it come from, do you suppose?
AT CAAN we suggest this has been a highly successful ploy of the developer lobby and the political party that serves them here in New South Wales and at the Federal Level …
THAT has enabled ‘Social Engineering’ in this case when Sydneysiders and Melburnians began to notice a massive demographic change occurring … that when they attended house auctions week in week out … they were outbidby people from overseas … many of High Net Worth!
WITH more and more competition for housing the prices escalated
IT was said the annual permanent immigration was some 190,000 …
MEANWHILE Temporary Migration was exploding … it was the ‘New Growth Industry’ … with many forms of Visas! Enticed by the prospect of ‘Permanent Residency’ …
-457 Visa for Workers … a series of 400 numbered Visas
-Significant Investment and many more!
In Sydney, houses (2015/6) were commonly purchased for $1.5M … which happened to coincide with the Investor Stream Visa and likely others … this purchase enabled the buyer to gain a ‘Permanent Resident’ Visa.
ANY reference to this, to the ever-growing number of Visas, trains, buses full-up, demountable classrooms, the High-Rise Precincts, the loss of bushlands and farmlands for tenements and townhouses across the fields being purchased by people from overseas … the conversation is shut down … ‘that’s racist, xenophobic’! ‘You’re a Racist!’
BUT it’s about NUMBERS … midway through 2018 it was revealed that there were 2.2 MILLION Visa Holders in Australia! Of which there were 1.6 MILLION Visa Workers!
THIS has led to our Major Cities bursting at the seams:
“the net result of this ‘Big Australia’ policy is that living standards are being eroded as the capacity of the economy and infrastructure to absorb all of the extra people is overwhelmed, and the country’s natural resources base is diluted among more people.
*John Howard never explicitly mentioned that he was in favour of high immigration because he knew the electorate would be against it.
Instead, he SCAPEGOATED REFUGEESto give the impression that he was stemming the migrant inflow while proceeding in secret with his ‘Big Australia’ Plan.” Extract:
The Unconventional Economist: ‘Return of the immigration ‘bait-and-switch’
In the late 1990s during the Howard Government Middle Class Chinese were lured by ‘Flexible Citizenship’ when they invested in Australian education and Real Estate!
Photo 1: Aerial view of Chatswood; favoured by GSC Chief Commissioner Lucy Turnbull
WITH the arrival of the GFC in 2008 the FIRB Ruling allowing developers to sell 50% of “new homes” off the plan to foreign buyers then jumped to a 100% sell-off overseas! Particularly in China!
“Fast forward 15-plus years and we are witnessing the immigration ‘bait-and-switch’ all over again, with our federal politicians at war over Australia’s humanitarian intake and offshore detention, while totally ignoring the flood of migrants arriving every year by plane.” Extract: The Unconventional Economist: Return of the immigration ‘bait-and-switch’
SO what do you suppose it is all about if not to boost the coffers of the Big End of Town Party Donors?
THE second Tranche of the Anti-Money Laundering Legislation for the Real Estate Gatekeepers has been shelved now for more than 12 years …
DESPITE the warnings of International Organisations of the FATF, Transparency International and the OECD the Scomo Government exempted the Real Estate Gatekeepers as recently as October 2018!
IT is the absence of this LEGISLATION which has allowed BLACK MONEY to be awash in Australian Real Estate
-our families locked out of home ownership
-where we live is being annihilated
.our neighbourhoods, Heritage, Bushlands, Flora and Fauna, Farmlands also destroyed!
IF elected in May the Federal ALP will implement this legislation.
View: Labor to target Lawyers, Accountants, Real Estate Agents
‘Labor will target lawyers, accountants and real estate agents under tough new anti-money laundering laws, amid growing concerns over illegal “hot money” from China artificially inflating the property market’
That will restore housing affordability, market value and sustainability to the Australian Property Market and with that the onshore Proxy, Syndicates and Property Alliances will disappear
PROOF OF THE DEVELOPER DRIVEN ‘RACE CARD’ WAS REVEALED IN SUNDAY EVENING’S 60 MINUTES PROGRAMME …
When Developer and Planning Consultant Shane Geha was interviewed this was borne out!
And a Commentator on Macro Business summed this up!
“NOTICE the developer’s rhetorical sleight of hand?
He reframes calls to reduce the rate of migration to cutting immigration to zero, which nobody has called for.
He reframes concerns with increased congestion, strains on public services, infrastructure etc. as people being scared of migrants.
A complete B.S. artist.
His condescending lecturing of everybody else to get with the modern world and live in shitty, poor quality, fibre clad apartments while he lives a nice big house in the eastern suburbs is just the cherry on the garbage heap.”
COME ON! WHY are we being so thin-skinned … it is obvious, isn’t it, we are being robbed blind of our quality of life?
WITH overdevelopment, Growth, land clearing, more Growth, and climate change destroying Our Earth … isn’t this more offensive?
FROM the comments it was suggested that the owner come developer renovate the existing Californian Bungalow and either rent it or live in it instead of demolishing it for a triplex!
The community objects to their neighbourhoods being devalued!
AND another suggestion was for whole streets to have Heritage Orders placed on them to stop rapacious so-called developers destroying them.
Another Commentator said:
TOO many Federation bungalows have been demolished to be replaced by “new homes” in Epping, Eastwood, and Denistone areas for foreign buyers with no connection to these areas!
THE COMMUNITY IS ‘OVER’ THE GROWTH TO BENEFIT DEVELOPERS AND THEIR FOREIGN CLIENTELE
Sydney councils accused of using heritage orders to halt development
*Victor Yang claims he has been locked in limbo since the City of Ryde council put an interim heritage order on his 100-year-old house in the north-west Sydney suburb of Denistone. He says the order has halted his plans to redevelop the block and pushed him to the verge of bankruptcy.
“We’ll lose our home through no fault of our own,” Mr Yang said. “This is about fairness, not development politics.”
*But the City of Ryde said the freeze order was necessary to protect the home, as councils aim to strike a balance between Sydney’s development rush and protecting the city’s heritage precincts.
Mr Yang said his house had not been covered by heritage protections when he and his wife bought it in March last year.
*He was shocked when the council put the interim heritage order on his house for a maximum of 12 months last September, soon after he had lodged a development application to subdivide.He plans to demolish the house eventually and to build a duplex or triplex.
Interim heritage orders are aimed at preventing significant changes or damage to properties while authorities decide whether the sites should be heritage listed.
The council cited community opposition and independent heritage advice that found the house was a good example of an inter-war Californian bungalow and had “cultural heritage significance”.
Mr Yang said: “How can it be right for a homebuyer to find, after they’ve bought their home, that new conditions apply? Right now, anyone in NSW buying an older home could find themselves in this position.”
Independent Ryde councillor Roy Maggio opposed the interim heritage order on the house and said it was an “unfair process”. “There should have been more discussion with the applicant,” he said.
The mayor of the City of Ryde, Jerome Laxale, pushed for the house’s protection. He has seized on community concerns over perceived overdevelopment as Labor’s candidate for the state seat of Ryde.
Cr Laxale declined to comment. A City of Ryde spokeswoman said the council “takes the protection of buildings and places of heritage importance seriously” and Mr Yang’s house was “no exception”.
She said the council had put the order on the property“and also obtained a court injunction to protect it from irreparable damage while council seeks to officially place it on its heritage list”.
“Council does not resile from its position to protect the property as it is an important historical asset for the community.”
Lawyer Helen Macfarlane, who is a partner in planning and environment law at Sydney firm Addisons, said there had been a rise in the past several years of councils imposing interim heritage orders when a development application for a site was lodged, or when a tightly held property was put up for sale.
“It’s become a form of de facto development control,” she said.
She said that councils were not obliged to tell the landowner they had applied for an interim heritage order and they could be applied swiftly.
The council spokeswoman said the council was considering further legal action to protect the home “as the property continues to suffer damage”.
*Mr Yang said he hadn’t “done anything except maintain the tarpaulins on the roof”.
The dilemma over preserving heritage homes slated for redevelopment has been echoed in other parts of Sydney.
The independent mayor of North Sydney, Cr Jilly Gibson, said the council had recently pushed for the state government to put an interim heritage order on a Neutral Bay home.
Cr Gibson said the order was “a last resort” in response to a proposed development that residents feared would “drastically change” the character of the harbourside street.
“I support high-rise development in appropriate locations. The flipside of that is we have the responsibility to work tirelessly to protect the character of our conservation areas.”
-any reflection about how good they have had it since 2011
-any signs of embarrassment or humility about high margins, over-charging and advantages enjoyed within the sector, especially those write-off concessions given to Tradies on replacement equipment etc.
SHOULD we all feel guilty that this sector is now going through some tough times like the rest of the community?
SHOULD we feel guilty the Building Industry has had to come down to Earth?
COULD it be we may return to a more sustainable Building Industry that is not driven by:
.meeting local demand, and not foreign buyers?
THEN sufficient time could be found to ensure the emerging over-supply of apartments to allow a breathing space to emerge for infrastructure to catch up
.to perceive the damage to our Society from the high growth and foreign demand
.that tradies fees for home maintenance relate to the incomes of their home owner clients
Developers still seem to fail to understand it’s not all about them!
Home builders start laying off workers as they face sharp downturn
Since building its first house in 1957, Zuccala Homes has seen its fair share of highs and lows in Melbourne’s residential construction market.
With housing well and truly in a downturn, director Greg Zuccala said this was one of the worst he had seen.
“Builders are just battening down the hatches and looking after their costs,” Mr Zuccala told ABC’s The Business.
Melbourne house prices have fallen 9.6 per cent since their 2017 peak, and that is having big implications for home builders.
“We’ve probably seen a reduction of about 30 per cent of sales,” Mr Zuccala said.
“We do a bit of business with some investors, but mostly our bread and butter is owner occupiers.”
That huge fall in demand for new home builds meant Mr Zuccala had to find savings.
To do that, he was forced to lay off four workers.
“We’ve had to adjust things there to meet the market,” he said.
“I think a lot of building companies at the moment find themselves in the same situation.”
Residential construction is a $105 billion business in Australia and, as Australia’s fourth biggest sector, it accounts for 8 per cent of GDP.
Housing’s downward trajectory is not just hurting builders.
Electrician Ray Sherriff employs nine electricians and four apprentices working on a mix of residential and commercial projects in Sydney.
“Two years ago we literally didn’t have time to price all the [residential] jobs that were coming in,” he explained.
“Now it’s rare and there are lots of jobs getting postponed and put back.”
Residential work used to fill a big part of his work orders.
“Maybe three to four years ago we were looking at probably 50 to 60 per cent of our business,” he said.
“Now we’re probably looking at 20 to 30 per cent.”
Mr Sherriff said the diversification of his business was keeping the work orders coming in.
It starts with approvals
Bureau of Statistics figures showed national dwelling approvals were down almost 29 per cent in the year to January, to their lowest level since May 2013.
Doing the maths, it is easy to see residential construction will continue to slow.
Only Western Australia and Tasmania are bucking the trend, with dwelling approvals on the way up.
Right now, the rate of contraction in house construction is the fastest it has been in six-and-a-half years, according to figures from the Australian Industry Group’s Performance of Construction Index.
Activity in apartment construction has fallen for 11 months in a row to its lowest point in six years — a time when the industry was still recovering from the GFC.
With national house prices down 6.8 per cent since the 2017 peak, and down 13.2 per cent in Australia’s biggest housing market — Sydney — economists say it is no wonder those in construction are feeling the heat too.
“When you have house prices falling as they are at the moment, the risks of entering into that are greater,” said Master Builders Association chief economist Shane Garrett.
“That’s one of the reasons why activity is starting to move down.
“It’s a riskier predicament for all concerned.”
Work is drying up
Demand for the more than 1 million workers employed in the residential construction sector is waning.
Seek job ads show a 14 per cent fall in demand for construction workers in the year to February.
Mr Garrett said he was increasingly being approached by workers.
“The hire agencies are ringing us regularly now and its not just with one or two guys. They’re ringing with 15, 20 guys looking for work,” Mr Garrett said.
The lack of opportunities in the housing sector is forcing workers to look outside the box.
“It’s just a matter of people finding if there are industries or new construction, different sorts of construction, projects to work in, for example mining and infrastructure,” Seek’s Stephen Tuffley said.
Highest low on record
But it is not all doom and gloom.
While there is no denying Australia is in the midst of a downturn, and that is hurting the construction sector, the numbers are still good in a historical context.
Nationally, new home building peaked in 2016 with about 230,000 new dwellings.
“We see it bottoming out to about 175,000 over the next few years,” Mr Garrett forecast.
“It’s worth emphasising, that 175,000 as a low point would still be the highest ever low point for new home building on record.”
DOM says – if he were to be elected on Saturday … in order to solve residents concerns about OVERDEVELOPMENT … this would be his approach to the MESS … to:
“fast-track the delivery of projects in the town centre” such as the widening of Epping Bridge, removing all demountables from Epping West Public and the delivery of a new primary school.
AS IF this would make up for … the living nightmare of overdevelopment, clogged roads, tree massacre, loss of community with thousands of ‘new residents’
The ‘PLANNING MESS’ in Epping where medium-density flats are overtaking traditional quiet bungalow neighbourhoods …
Epping used to have 10,000 people working in the suburb now only 1,000 after Westpac and other big companies moved out to make way for thousands of extra units
Put the Libs last before ‘others have it all’ … with Sydney Shanghai’d!
Epping at ‘crisis point’ as rapid development cripples suburb
Matt Taylor, Urban affairs reporter, Northern District Times
Epping has hit a “crisis point” as overdevelopment, traffic congestion and thousands of job losses take a massive toll on the community.
Residents say they are stuck in a “living nightmare” amid the surge of new unit blocks in their once-sleepy neighbourhoods.
Long-time Liberal Party supporter Llew Kennedy says the development drive, clogged roads and tree massacre in Epping are enough for her to change her vote at the state election on Saturday.
“This overdevelopment in Epping is just wrong; I can’t support the Liberals anymore,” the Rosebank Avenue resident said.
“It’s a living nightmare … and the sense of community has gone. And unfortunately, I believe the horse has bolted too far to get it back.”
The 58-year-old widow’s street sums up the planning mess in Epping, where medium-density housing is overtaking traditionally quiet neighbourhoods.
“We’ve gone from a safe, secure environment to the complete opposite,” she said.
In a special report by the Northern District Times, the suburb’s peak community group claims that the broader infrastructure planning for Epping was never properly considered by the Berejiklian Government.
“It has opened up Epping to more development and a population increase — and that’s all that’s happened,” said Janet McGarry, president of Epping Civic Trust.
“Epping used to have 10,000 people work in the suburb. It’s around 1000 nowafter Westpac and other big companies moved out, making way for thousands of extra units.
“We’re created a situation now where everyone’s going to be travelling to Macquarie Park for work, but there are massive (transport) pressure points being created by this.
“Epping is now at a crisis point after years of poor planning.”
Treasurer Dominic Perrottet, the Liberal candidate for Epping, conceded the suburb’s growth had been “more rapid than council or the State Government had anticipated”.
“And that’s brought frustration and disruption. I am a local — I get it,” said Mr Perrottet, who is running in his third seat in as many state elections.
It’s estimated that the future Epping town centre will deliver an increase in housing capacity of 3750 new dwellings. The suburb is expected to have an additional 10,000 residents over the next decade, with the population to hit 34,600.
Developer Bruce Lyon said this was the most important time in the life of Epping.
“Up until the last four or five years, it’s been very static,” said Mr Lyon, who has lived in the area for the past six decades. “But while it’s good to see the progress, we have to get the overall planning right now, because there’ll be no second chances.”
Award-winning social researcher Mark McCrindle said residents faced a “steep adjustment curve” in the changing face of Epping.
“The northwest of Sydney is used to the gardens and green spaces — and now we’re getting massive density, particularly around train stations. This will take people some time to get accustomed to,” he said.
“The trick is just managing the growth and general renewal of suburbs like Epping.”
The hammers and horns sound in unison at a string of nearby building sites.
It’s midmorning at Llew Kennedy’s once-sleepy street in Epping.
If you look to the right from her Rosebank Avenue house, built in the early 1930s, you can see leafy surrounds near two heritage-listed homes.
It appears to be quite tranquil, even though the street is clogged with cars.
But a glance to the left, towards Cliff Road, and it’s a hive of construction activity and chaos as her fence line, in what’s always been a low-density area, borders a surge in medium-density developments.
Welcome to the world of residents’ lives in this area of northwest Sydney, where a plethora of medium and high-density apartment blocks are being built in traditionally quiet neighbourhoods.
*Residents claim that from dawn till after dusk (past permitted building times), the streets are filled with noise and dust.
For Mrs Kennedy, it’s a “living nightmare” — and enough for the long-time Liberal Party supporter to change her vote at the state election on March 23.
“This overdevelopment in Epping is just wrong,” said the 58-year-old mother of two, who moved to Rosebank Avenue with her late husband in 1986.
“I don’t feel safe … and you can’t do all the things you used to do with all this construction going on.
“I’m not angry at the workers; they are just doing their job. But it’s the planning system — the State Government — that has allowed it to happen through all the rezoning since the Liberals took over.
“We’ve gone from a safe, secure environment to the complete opposite in Epping.”
She claimed the State Government’s planning framework was crushing “a sense of community” in the development push, which went into overdrive at Epping when it was mostly under the control of Hornsby Council, before the amalgamation overhauls in 2016.
*Between January 1, 2014 and May 12, 2016, there were 27 approvals for developments of five storeys and above in Epping.
And while Hornsby Council blames the State Government’s former Joint Regional Planning Panel — now Sydney North Planning Panel — for approving most of these DAs, it had earlier given a nod to many of them.
“The problem’s been that, whether it was at a council or ministerial level, no one was coming out here to see what they were signing off on,” Mrs Kennedy.
“They weren’t listening to the residents — and seeing for themselves the impacts of all these new units in our quiet area.
“I’d love all the politicians and planners who are making the decisions to come out here and experience all this noise and dust for a week. Let’s see how they like it.
“The sense of community has gone in Epping. And unfortunately, I believe the horse has bolted to get it back.”
Bruce Lyon is one of the most influential people in Epping.
The pioneer property developer, who has lived in the area for six decades, owns a whopping 7000sq m of land at key sites in the town centre.
He says this is the most important time in the life of Epping.
“I feel strongly that if we don’t get the planning right for Epping the first time, it’s too late,” the Lyon Group founder said.
“Parramatta Council, to their credit, is trying to get it right. But there are concerns with what some State Government departments are doing, especially with not allowing access off Beecroft Road.”
He believes taller mixed-use buildings — “with plenty of open space around them” — should be the template for town-centre developments.
It’s estimated that the future Epping town centre will deliver an increase in housing capacity of 3750 new dwellings.
*“It’s been my strategy that we should be looking at 40 floors in this area — but having reasonable distances between the buildings,” Mr Lyon said.
“But along Carlingford and Cliff roads, instead of five storeys, they would have been better to go up to 10 floors and put more distance between the buildings, so you can create a ‘play environment’ within the extra development, instead of a heap of buildings in a row.
“If you look at what’s happening overseas, this is what they do: build higher up and use their land better for open spaces, so children have somewhere to play after school and on weekends.”
Mr Lyon plans to build two towers in the centre of Epping with a plaza that would allow people to walk between the railway station and Boronia Park.
The two towers, of 38 and 43 storeys, would be built at Beecroft Rd, opposite the station, and include about 700 residential units and shops on the lower floors.
The Epping Hotel, part of the site, would be demolished and replaced by a two-storey establishment.
One of the major developments under construction in the town centre is Cbus Property’s The Langston, near the library.
It will include three towers of 19, 25 and 29 storeys, containing 463 apartments and a mixed-use precinct with retail space.
“Mixed-use developments, where we get residential and retail together, are the way to go,” Mr Lyon said.
“We need to be encouraging more restaurants and vibrant outdoor entertainment venues to get a better social life for Epping residents.
*“Up until the last four or five years, the suburb’s been very static. But while it’s good to see the progress, we have to get the overall planning right now, because there’ll be no second chances.”
Dominic Perrottet concedes Epping has grown at a faster rate than his government had anticipated.
The Treasurer, the Liberal candidate for Epping, said he “understood” the overdevelopment concerns by residents.
“Growth has been more rapid than council or the State Government had anticipated, and that’s brought frustration and disruption. I am a local — I get it,” Mr Perrottet said.
*When asked why the government had allowed the development explosion in Epping, he pinned the blame largely on Hornsby and Parramatta councils. Epping was in Hornsby Council’s LGA until May 2016, when the Baird Government announced its merger process and boundary changes.
(CAAN: At the behest of the developer lobby planning law changes were made by the NSW LNP beginning with the Green Paper in July 2012; planning powers were taken away from local Councils, and Councils were notified of development targets by NSW INC aka NSW LNP Government.
AND the NSW LNP Government created a backdoor for developers … if councils say no to a plan for spot rezoning the applicant can go to the Department of Planning and seek their approval!)
The State Government last year introduced Independent Hearing and Assessment Panels (IHAPs) to make determinations on any development application worth between $5 million and $30 million.
“The large majority of planning rests with local councils,” he said. “Councils are still the decision-maker for all DAs under $5 million.
“We introduced IHAPs in response to allegations of serious corruption in some local councils.”
The father of five will be running in his third seat in as many state elections, after previously being elected as the MP in the seats of Castle Hill (2011) and Hawkesbury (2015).
The Times quizzed Mr Perrottet on why should Epping voters be confident he understands the important local issues.
“The Epping electorate is where I have lived for most of my life and where my wife Helen and I have chosen to raise our family,” he said.
“We face the same everyday challenges as the people of Epping and I am the only candidate that can deliver upgraded and new schools, transport and community infrastructure the Epping community needs.”
He said his main priorities for Epping, if elected on Saturday, would be to “fast-track the delivery of projects in the town centre” such as the widening of Epping Bridge, removing all demountables from Epping West Public and the delivery of a new primary school.
“I’ll make sure development in Epping meets our community’s expectations, supported by the right infrastructure, so there’s less pressure on our community,” Mr Perrottet said.
*Labor’s candidate for Epping, Alan Mascarenhas, said that under the Coalition Government, Epping town centre had become “dilapidated” and “dysfunctional”.
“Residents are completely fed up. Many are moving out,” he claimed. “It can be 30 minutes to drive from one side of the station to the other. You’re taking your life in your hands just trying to get to Coles.
“The Station Link buses and three more massive towers going up at Langston Place are the final straw.
“As the MP, I’ll be listening, sleeves rolled up, and working with the community to fix the problems and restore pride.
“I say very strongly: the Liberals and the developers did this to Epping. And this time we need to vote for change.”
Veteran Parramatta councillor Lorraine Wearne says the State Government has “never done enough to properly manage Epping”.
“All they did was drop these new planning instruments in that allowed developers to do what they like in the area,” the independent Epping ward councillor said.
“The community was never consulted and there was no individual work on suburbs across Sydney, including Epping, before these priority precincts were created.
“The government has just seen Epping as a development opportunity — and a dormitory around a train station.
“Theynever recognised people might want to do other things in Epping, other than just sleep and head off to work.”
Cr Wearne said Parramatta Council had “very little opportunity to get it right” after the government’s planning policies had “got it so wrong”.
She said council was working hard to “save” Epping from rampant overdevelopment and daily traffic congestion.
“I’m hopeful that our council is doing enough to stop all the destruction of neighbourhoods that went on along Carlingford and Cliff roads, and to get better outcomes on the other side of the train line,” she said.
“The RMS (Roads and Maritime Service) has a lot to answer for in terms of how poorly they’ve managed traffic access points in Epping.
“And there is a sad lack of community space, and places for the community to do things. And that’s why the council has bought the Masonic centre.
“The government has never had a comprehensive plan for Epping. If you don’t get the planning right for things like recreational areas, then the rest of it won’t work.”
Approvals data shows both Hornsby and Parramatta councils, along with the State Government, have had a hand in driving up the number of dwellings in Epping.
A total of 45 development applications have been approved in Epping town centre by the State Government-appointed Parramatta Local Planning Panel and the Sydney Central Planning Panel since planning controls were changed in 2014.
Parramatta Council has approved 15 DAs for buildings of at least five storeys in Epping since amalgamation in May 2016. Hornsby Council signed off on 27 DAs for the equivalent building size in Epping between January 1, 2014 and May 12, 2016.
Parramatta Labor councillor Donna Davis said Epping had “reached its maximum for development”.
“The roads just cannot take any more traffic,” the Epping ward councillor said.
“We can’t do anything with the DAs that have already been approved, but in the land harmonisation process we are looking at what we can actually do to try tostem the tide of development.
*“The council has lost its teeth on planning.We can say no to a plan for spot rezoning, but then the applicant can go to the Department of Planning and seek their approval instead. This is the back door that the State Government has created for developers.
“What’s clear to me is that the community is angry and they are not going to take all this overdevelopment any longer.”
Epping is now at a “crisis point” after “years of poor planning”, the suburb’s peak community group claims.
Janet McGarry, president of Epping Civic Trust (which has 500 members), said the suburb was a “case study of what not to do around planning”.
“The State Government has opened up Epping to more development and a population increase — and that’s all that’s happened. The broader planning hasn’t been considered around it,” she said.
“Parramatta Council, alone, cannot stop this overdevelopment. The State Government needs to call a (development) moratorium and do a proper masterplan for Epping.”
Ms McGarry said residents were calling for four key community projects to help revitalise Epping.
“We need a community facility on what is currently the council carpark site in Rawson Street,” she said. “Also, the library needs to be rebuilt and doubled in size; Dence Park needs a creative centre and open space for exercise and outdoor activities; and Forest Park, on the former bowling club site, needs to incorporate more open space with playgrounds.”
She cited figures which showed the dramatic decline of workers in Epping.
“Epping used to have 10,000 people work in the suburb. It gave the suburb a different feel and supported local businesses much better,” Ms McGarry said.
“It’s around 1000 now after Westpac (800 jobs) and other big companies moved out, making way for thousands of extra units. The zoning now will never encourage these companies to come back.
“Sadly, I think we will end up as a suburb with only small local businesses. We’re created a situation now where everyone’s going to be travelling to Macquarie Park for work, but there are massive pressure points being created by this.”
She said traffic congestion was another big problem in Epping.
“Studies show 87 per cent of traffic is through-traffic in Epping — and we need to be looking at long-term projects, including the better use of the M2, to clear up congestion from Epping Bridge,” she said.
*“The council’s own reports show it could take 90 minutes from Carlingford Road to other side of Epping by 2025.”
In a final blunt message for the next Epping State MP, as well as councillors, she said:
“There needs to be a vision for Epping which incorporates both sides of the train line.
“Epping is at a crisis point after years of poor planning. It’s a very difficult time for residents, and this needs to be recognised at all levels of government.”
A leading social researcher says growth in Sydney’s northwest has “overshot” the planning mark.
However, he sees enormous benefits in the population increase as long-time residents face a “steep adjustment curve” in their day-to-day lives.
Mark McCrindle, who works with large organisations to help them understand the external environment in which they operate, says “change cannot be stopped”.
“It’s the future, particularly in a city like Sydney which is growing at a rate of more than 100,000 people a year,” he told the Times on Friday.
“We have 2.6 people on average per household, so we’re talking about the need for about 40,000 new homes that are required each year just to keep up with demand.
“Currently, 43 per cent of Sydneysiders live in apartments or townhouses — and this will increase to 50 per cent in the early 2030s.
“But getting the mix right is very important. In Asia, you’ve had many generations used to living in vertical communities. We haven’t had that same clustering in our cities, so we’re on a steep adjustment curve.
“And part of the challenge for us is that growth has overshot the planning.”
Population projections show that Sydney’s population will hit 5.7 million later this year. It’s estimated that figure will rise to 6.4 million people by 2036.
Epping is expected to have an additional 10,000 residents over the next decade, with the population to hit 34,600.
Mr McCrindle said Sydney’s northwest had the capacity to “soak up a lot of growth for now”.
“But there will be impacts on lifestyle if the infrastructure upgrades are a bit slow,” he added.
“Even though many residents are rusted on to their cars, we’re going to have to get used to catching the train.
“The northwest of Sydney is used to the gardens and green spaces — and now we’re getting massive density, particularly around train stations. This will take people some time to get accustomed to.”
He said population growth was a positive, because “it creates major economic benefits, through new infrastructure and other investments”.
“Sydney is a dynamic city; it’s changing and improving all the time,” Mr McCrindle said.
“The trick is just managing the growth and general renewal of suburbs like Epping.”
(CAAN: QUESTION Why Sydney is growing at a rate of more than 100,000 people a year? It is not permanent migration alone but so-called temporary migration of Visa Holders who can, following investment in real estate gain a “permanent resident” visa! There are 2.2 MILLION Visa Holders in Australia … all needing accommodation …
QUESTION Who is benefitting from Visa Manipulation apart from the Visa Holders? The Big End of Town as we live with the consequences detailed in this article!