David Jones snaps up Myer space at Wollongong

David Jones is to open a new department store in Wollongong Central to replace Myer Photo: suppliedDavid Jones is to lease the space being vacated by Myer at Wollongong Central, in the Illawarra, as part of the group’s roll out of its new concept stores.
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Myer has decided not to renew the lease at Wollongong and another at Orange as part of its recently-announced strategy to consolidate its store network.

It will extend David Jones’ footprint in the area, with its existing Crown street store.

The Illawarra region is undergoing significant redevelopment with the university expansion and the growth in the population. David Jones said it identified Wollongong as “important” for its business.

David Jones chief executive John Dixon said the new store would “see us elevate our offering to deliver a premium retail experience at a prime location in the heart of the city’s fashion and entertainment precinct”.

“The Illawarra is an important market for David Jones and one we are proud to invest in. The major refurbishment of Wollongong Central, combined with a loyal and discerning customer base,  underscores this opportunity.” Mr Dixon said.

GPT Group’s wholesale shopping centre fund owns Wollongong Central and has spent $200 million upgrading the site, while the Wollongong City Council has improved Crown Street Mall, Keira Street and Globe Lane.

Wollongong Central’s regional general manager Antony Keenan said the new David Jones store was another “major milestone” in the transformation of Wollongong’s CBD.

“Bringing David Jones into Wollongong Central with a new format, along with the soon-to-be-announced entry of an international fashion brand to the centre, shows the confidence that exists in the centre and in Wollongong’s CBD,” Mr Keenan said.

The David Jones store will be 8,600 square metres of traditional department retailing and will operate across three floors, offering a mix of fashion, beauty, accessories, home and expanded food courts. It will look the same as the award-winning David Jones new concept at Eastland in Melbourne.

David Jones is also opening new stores at Pacific Fair on the Gold Coast and a smaller site at Barangaroo in Sydney.

GPT declined to comment on the international retailer, but leasing agents said it will probably be Zara or H&M, which is also set to call its centre home.

Myer will leave the centre in October and construction will start immediately on the new David Jones store, with an aim to be completed in late 2017.

Brokers at Macquarie Equities said Myer’s departure would have limited impact on the GPT centre, given David Jones is taking up the lease.

The Macquarie analysts said the Myer tenancy at Wollongong Central is about 12,000 square metres or about 21 per cent of the centre’s space.

“Assuming $200 per sqm per annum for the Myer tenancy and using the 6 per cent reported capitalisation rate, this represents about 10 per cent of the centre’s net property income,” Macquarie analysts said.

“We estimate that the impact is about 0.1 per cent for GPT, before re-leasing and refitting the vacancy, given its 20.2 per cent stake in the GPT wholesale shopping centre fund. The Orange Centre is held by a private landlord.”

According to the analysts, while the decline in department store segment is not new to Australian retail it is consistent with the department store model globally as seen with recent negative sales growth numbers reported by the US department store operators Nordstrom and Macy’s in the last few weeks.

“We generally remain cautious on the retail sector in Australia factoring our expectation for sales growth to continue to moderate for specialty retailers in line with slowing population growth and low wage inflation; currency headwinds to cost of good sales for apparel retailers with USD-denominated cost bases; continued negative re-leasing spreads, particularly for the regional landlords; and the presence of international retailers impacting sales ability to pass on higher costs,” the Macquarie analysts said.

They said that, following the closure of the Myer stores at Wollongong Central and Orange City, the next expiries are slightly longer-dated and are Westfield Carindale, owned by Scentre Group in July 2019 and Colonnades owned by Vicinity in 2020.

“We note that an early exit remains an option but will typically result in an upfront capital outlay,” the analysts said.

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Centuria & Blackrock spend $279m on Zenith Centre

The Zenith office complex in Chatswood in Sydney’s north has been bought by Centuria​ and Blackrock for $279 million.
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It will be a seed asset for a new fund in the Centuria suite of unlisted funds.

The two 21-storey buildings at 821 Pacific Highway were sold by DEXUS​ Property Group and GPT Group’s wholesale office fund for $139.5 million each through agents at CBRE and Savills. The major tenant is Transport for NSW.

GPT’s wholesale fund manager Martin Ritchie said The Zenith was the third asset to be recently sold by the fund after the divesting of 545 Queen Street, Brisbane, and a 50 per cent stake in the Brisbane Transit Centre.

“The fund is focused on improving the overall quality of its portfolio through careful asset selection and intensive asset management. This also means that it is necessary to sell assets from time to time,” Mr Ritchie said.

“We plan to pay down debt in the short term and then look for opportunities to redeploy the capital in line with our investment criteria.”

DEXUS Property chief executive Darren Steinberg said the transaction “represents an opportunity for us to divest one of our non-strategic office properties at a premium to book value”.

“The sale is consistent with our strategy of focusing on our core markets, and results in more than $350 million of property divestments being completed or exchanged across the group so far in the 2016 financial year,” Mr Steinberg said.

Another sale due for completion is the office tower at 1 Shelley Street at Kings Street Wharf in Sydney, leased to Macquarie Bank. It is being sold by Brookfield as part of its strategic divestment to raise money for its $1 billion Wynyard Place development in George Street.

Charter Hall is tipped as the buyer of 1 Shelley Street, with a price estimate of about $500 million, also through CBRE and Savills.

Brookfield is also selling a half-stake in the nearby KPMG building, which may raise as much as $800 million for the two Darling Harbour sites. Recently, Investa Office Management bought 420 George Street for $442.5 million from Fortius Funds Management.

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IN BRIEF

ProfitTHE Panama papers prove one simple thing – those who make a lot of money like to keep as much of it as they can. The net effect is less revenue to redistribute and less opportunity for those less fortunate.
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The stark reality of aspirational politics and trickle down economics is, in practice, more like being urinated on from a great height.For far too long we have let corporations and their political cheerleaders conflate maximising profit with a healthy and sustainable profit.Underneath all the spin lies an iceberg of greed.

Tony Newport, HillwoodSpeedingI’VE READ Wednesday’sEditorial (The Examiner, May 18) on speeding motorists and wish police would stop butting their heads against the brick wall erected ty the Australian government.

The government allows the public to purchase cars, motorcycles and even trucks that can far exceed speed limits.Many models are capable of more than twice the maximum speed limit.

A.R. Trounson, Deloraine.Ballet PLAUDITSCONGRATULATIONS to the Victorian State Ballet for a wonderful performance of Don Quixote.The Princess Theatre seating is poor, although the seats are staggered.If you are short and there is a tall patron two rows in front, it is very difficult to see.

The seats are too close to the row in front. If you are in the middle of the row full of patrons and want to get out, it is such a struggle. I wonder why the floor wasn’t tiered?

Pat Webb, George Town.ELECTION LETTERSLetters commenting on election issues must bear the name and full address of the writer(s), and a day telephone number for verification purposes only. Responsibility for election comment in this issue is accepted by Fairfax Tasmania group managing editor Mark Baker, 113 Cimitiere Street, Launceston. Writers should disclose any alliance with political or community organisations. Election candidates should declare themselves as such when submitting letters.

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US EPA delivers verdict on PFOS

The United States Environmental Protection Authority has significantly lowered its recommended safe level for the chemicals perfluorooctane sulfonate and perfluorooctanoic acid in drinking water, throwing investigations around the Williamtown RAAF base into disarray.
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Until now, authorities in NSW have been basing testing of bore and tank water in the red zone around short term exposure limits set by the US EPA in 2009.

A safe level of PFOS was considered to be anything below .2 micrograms per litre and for PFOA, below .4 micrograms per litre.

However on Thursday long-awaited “lifetime” advisory levels were released by the US EPA, finding people should not drink water that has a combined concentration of pfos or pfoa above .07 micrograms per litre.

The decision means some people in the Williamtown contamination area whose water was previously considered safe for consumption may now be over the American threshold.

A report accompanying the new US levels found the “weight of evidence” for human studies supported the conclusion that exposure to the chemicals was a human health hazard.

It also found while the dominant source of human exposure to the chemicals was diet, indoor dust was an “important source”, especially for children.

“For highly exposed children … PFOS exposure from dust was estimated to be approximately two times that from food,” it said.

Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon said the report “leaves no doubt about the need for immediate response from state and federal governments to the health crisis facing local residents and affected airport workers”.

“This must serve as a massive wake up call for state and federal health authorities and the airport and defence agencies responsible for these contaminated sites to address the health of local residents and airport workers,” she said.

“Regular blood testing must be immediately provided along with safe drinking water. Ways to remove the contaminated water and soil needs to be a government priority.

“State and federal authorities should make this US EPA report available to the public and provide a responsible plan to deal with the serious implications.”

Prime Minister praises lightweight tanks in Camden

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull visited manufacturing business Omni Tanker in Smeaton Grange for a site tour with Macarthur MP Russell Matheson and Hume MP Angus Taylor. Picture: Ashleigh TullisPrime Minister Malcolm Turnbull praised the innovation of a tank manufacturer in Camden on Thursday.
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Mr Turnbull visited Omni Tanker for a factory tour at Smeaton Grange.

The company’s first light weight chemical tankers are being exported to Germany soon.

The company manufactures carbon fibre composite tanks to transport bulk liquids, including corrosive chemicals.

“This business is growing because it based on Australian innovation and enterprise,”Mr Turnbull said.

Omni Tanker managing director Daniel Rodgers said light weight tanks meant a more efficient transport operation.

“Australian manufacturing is often able to solve problems without being constrained by accepted thinking and methods,” Mr Rodgers said.

“By coming at it from a different angle, you can discover a novel solution and sometimes significant technology advances, like we now have with our now patented materials technology.”

Hume MP Angus Taylor saidinnovation was at the heart of the company’s success.

“Small businesses with incentives to grow and create, will just do it,” he said.

“They need freedom and encouragement to get on and solve real world problems and this is exactly what Mr Rodgersand his team have done.”

Macarthur MP Russell Matheson said the company had grown from four staff in a small shed eight years ago, to now employing 30 workers including tertiary qualified engineers.

“Omni Tanker will keep growing as it builds its export business. All of these staff here today are people from the local area who now have great jobs and careers ahead of them.”

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Brian Canavan’s first task as head of football to oversee pathways review

Brian Canavan’s first task as the NRL head of football will be to oversee an extensive consultation period with the game’s key stakeholders over Shane Richardson’s blueprint for the future.
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Canavan, who will fill the role vacated by Todd Greenberg’s promotion to chief executive, will be entrusted with the responsibility of working with the clubs to set up a pathways program, including the restructure of the National Youth Competition (under-20s).

There has been plenty of conjecture in club land over the recommendations put forward by Richardson in December before rejoining South Sydney, with Canavan to continue those discussions when he gets his feet under the desk at League Central in July.

“One of the first major projects will be the continuation of the pathways review,” Canavan told Fairfax Media.

“That is a massive piece of work with a lot of parts to the jigsaw puzzle. We have to consider any knock-on effects so that we don’t have any disadvantageous outcomes of our decisions. We’ll continue with the recommendations, but they are still a work in progress right now.

“At this stage I would only be expressing a personal opinion, because I don’t have the benefit of a wider research that has been conducted by Shane Richardson and the NRL. Once I get access to that and absorb it, there will be ongoing discussions and some meetings with some CEO representatives, NRL representatives and state bodies are already going on.”

The scheduling has once again come into question after Wayne Bennett’s attack on Thursday, with five-day turnarounds and player fatigue following short turnarounds after Origin coming under fire.

While Canavan admits the restrictions around television rights limits the game from implementing its own safety measure, he insists it will be a much different outlook when the NRL gains control of the schedule in 2018.

“We’ve got a situation where the schedule is progressively evolving because of the broadcast deal,” Canavan said.

“The new deal commences in 2018 and we’ve got the elimination of Monday night games next year. That in itself will ease some pressure off next year then it’s a whole new ball game in 2018.

“I’m sure the game will work out a better scenario and favour our players. Our sports medicine and sports science has improved significantly and we do care for our players more than we did in the past. Now we just have to adjust the workload.”

Greenberg’s most influential decision during his time as the game’s head of football was the implementation of the much-maligned bunker this season.

The multi-million dollar investment was lauded at the start of the season but a number of controversial decisions has left a sour taste in the mouths of coaches and fans alike.

Canavan will oversee the productivity of the bunker and despite coming from club land, the former Roosters chief operating officer believes the bunker has a significant role to play in the sport.

“Personally, I love the bunker,” he said.

“I think just about everybody I have come across, they are now far better educated in the game and they are great grandstand or lounge chair referees. It obviously needs some tweaking, and that’s with any piece of technology. When they are implemented you work out where little glitches may lie.

“But we’re not going to stop technology and technology is great for our game. Our spectators are far better educated in our game than they have before and that’s because of the technology.”

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Peter Dutton’s provocation cuts through an otherwise sluggish election campaign

Federal election: full coverage 
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Electors may be stubbornly oblivious to politicians parading the plazas and factories of Voterland, but warnings of unschooled refugees stealing our jobs threatened to ignite citizen passions in the second week of the federal election campaign.

Analysis by media monitor Isentia this week showed Immigration Minister Peter Dutton’s curious logic that illiterate refugees were seeking both to join the dole queue and usurp Australian workers was a red rag to social media’s bulls.

Asylum seekers rose to become the most-discussed issue on Twitter and open Facebook accounts in the week to Friday, and social media’s traditionally younger, progressive users did not hold back in expressing displeasure with Mr Dutton’s boss, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

Data drawn from a sample of social media comments gave Mr Turnbull a “favourability” score of just 33 out of 100 on the asylum seeker issue, compared with Labor leader Bill Shorten’s better – but still unfavourable – score of 44.

Comments are rated on a scale of one to 100, with 50 being neutral.

Talkback radio callers, who generally hail from an older, more conservative base, rated both men’s leadership unfavourably at 43 and 40 respectively – suggesting many have not yet warmed to the Prime Minister following the leadership spill.

The talkback audience was substantially more negative towards Mr Shorten than Mr Turnbull on the asylum seeker issue. Mr Turnbull’s standing improved on negative gearing while Mr Shorten gained ground on health and superannuation.

But one-quarter of the way through the election campaign, voters still remain largely switched off. This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Career boost for Young Gun

INAUGURAL LambEx 2014 Young Gunwinner Caris Jones, Armidale, NSW, saysthe best opportunity which came from her win was meeting her future employer.
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WINNER: LambEx 2014 Young Gun winner Caris Jones landed her current job as Sheep Genetics MERINOSELECT development officer following her win.

Now working as a Sheep Genetics MERINOSELECT development officer, Caris entered thecompetition in the Honours, MSc, PhD section, to promote the results of her University of WesternAustralia, Bachelor of Agricultural Science Honours project on the topic:Improving feed efficiency hasa negative impact on the fertility of Merino ewes mated at seven to 10 months of age.

“It was a chance to promote my results, but it has led to so much more,” she said.

“It has helped so much from a networking perspective, being able to meet people alreadyestablished within the sheep and lamb industry to meeting the other finalists.

“I met my now boss, plus many other people from key industry groups including Australian WoolInnovation and Meat andLivestock Australia.”

Caris said attending LambEx had also been a boost, providing awide-range of interesting issues and topics.

“From a producer perspective the industry stands were also great -I attended with my parents andwe ended up buying quite a few different products,” she said.

Caris will return to LambEx 2016 on August 10-12 in Albury, NSW, as a presenter – to share herinsights into making a professional career in the sheep industry.

Caris will explorethe application shesees for MERINOSELECT in Merino breeding enterprises, including her own family’s stud breedingenterprise in Western Australia.

“I’m really excited to be able to come and present at LambEx this year,” she said.

“It’s a great opportunity to be able to come back and be a part of the event, I really look forward toattending and meeting this year’s Young Gun finalists.”

Growing up on Ejanding Poll Merino Stud at Dowerin, WA, Caris saidher ultimate aim had alwaysbeen to work in the sheep and lamb industry.

“I always wanted to go straight back on the farm but my father insisted I get a trade or study first,”she said.

“After finishing uni I went back on the farm but only lasted six-months before I called up my Honourssupervisor, who coincidentally had received funding for a new project that same day. I startedworking there the following Monday.

“Then through LambEx I had the opportunity to gain employment as a MERINOSELECTDevelopment Officer, it’s been a really interesting role that I enjoy immensely.

“Breeding and genetics is where I get my sheep geek on, the potential for genetic gain is there and it’s really exciting to be able to work with people on this.”

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High cost of the city’s vandalism

Every year Bathurst’s ratepayers have to put their hands in their pockets to pay for the actions of a selfish few who vandalise the city.
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The majority of our residents take great pride in making sure our beautiful heritage city is clean and well cared for, but then there are those who go out of their way to destroy other people’s property.

Over the years we have heard about mailboxes blown up or knocked down, the windows of businesses being smashed, cars being stolen and burned out, graffiti just about everywhere, and cars spray painted or dented.

However, council is not immune either.

Bathurst Regional Council has had to put aside just over $90,000 in its 2016/2017 budget to pay for repair works that become necessary when vandals strike.

Picnic shelters, toilet blocks, playground equipment and sporting facilities all get battered and broken by vandals each year, and repairing them is costly.

Trees in the city’s park also fall victim to vandals, so do plants that are often pulled out and left to die.

Perhaps the worst thing is that it is all so pointless – damaging property, just for the sake of it.

There have been calls for closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras as a way of, if not curtailing these activities, at least identifying the perpetrators after the act.

However, wouldn’t it be great if there were education programs available to change destructive behaviours before the tendency to smash and destroy gets even further out of hand. Perhaps there are? Surely we must try everything we can to generate pride in members of our community.

After all, so much money is spent each year on cleaning up after vandals.

As deputy mayor Ian North points out, think of what that money could buy if it was insteadfunnelled into community projects.

If council didn’t have to worry about such an enormous damage bill the funds could definitely be used to do some good.

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Long time coming: Jess out to light up track on driving debut

READY TO GO: Teenager Jess Gilchrist will have her first drive at Wagga on Saturday night on Lighting Colony. Picture: Laura HardwickSix months after gaining her licence, Wagga teenager Jess Gilchrist will have her firstdrive.
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Gilchrist will line up on her home track aboard Lighting Colony for boss Bernie Kelly on Saturday night.

While thereare some nerves ahead of her debut, the 19-year-old is glad the waitisover and is ready to seize the moment.

“I’m pretty nervous but I think I am a bit more excited than nervous,” Gilchrist said.

“I can’t wait.”

Gilchrist has been raring to show what she has on the trackand finally gets the opportunity for her race drive.

After working for the Wagga trainerfor the past six years, has had to bide her time before hitting the track.

However,she has been given the all clear and will be behind Lighting Colony in the Industry Conference Two & Three Year Old Pace(2165m).

“I’ve had my licence for a while but the boss (Kelly) wanted me to get a bit more experience in the trials,” she said.

After two wins last season, Lighting Colony is still looking to breakthrough as a three-year-old butGilchrist is confident of a good showing.

“He has a good draw and it is not a bad field but hopefully I want be far away,” she said.

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