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Ipswich Hospital staff exceptional

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FROM time to time I have heard stories about how the patient care at Ipswich Hospital is questionable.

Judging by my recent experience, this cannot be further from the truth.

I would like to acknowledge and thank the staff, especially in ICU, for the caring and kindness shown to myself, family and friends and in particular the high level of care and professionalism they showed my son.

They were all exceptional in every aspect of his treatment. Although my son did not survive, he and my family were so beautifully and respectfully looked after.

Thank you Ipswich Hospital from the bottom of my heart.

HELEN COLE Calvert

 

OPINION: Letters to the Editor

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Agribusiness attracts Qld tourist property group

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Agribusiness attracts Qld tourist property group

Agribusiness attracts Qld tourist property group

RETAIL, industrial and tourism property owner Sentinel has moved into the agribusiness sector with a $22.8 million purchase of a major chicken farm near Ipswich in southern Queensland.

Brisbane-based Sentinel Property Group says it is actively seeking more investment opportunities to further spread its wings in the agribusiness sector.

Sentinel, which has a portfolio of about $1 billion in commercial office, retail, industrial, tourism and land assets under management, has bought the Purga Breeder Farms property with broiler chicken infrastructure purpose-built for Steggles.

Steggles, part of Australia’s largest poultry production company, Baiada, occupies the property on a 20-year lease which began in 2007.

The farm is the first asset for the new open-ended Sentinel Income Trust, which has a forecast year one distribution of 12 per cent.

Sentinel managing director, Warren Ebert, said the company’s entry into the agribusiness sector continued its “first mover” strategy of identifying and capitalising on new emerging asset classes.

Poultry was the strongest performing component of Australia’s agribusiness sector with domestic production increasing by more than 75 per cent in the past 10 years.

“Sentinel has built its success on being out ahead of the market to consistently deliver industry-leading returns to investors,” he said.

“We are not one to have all our eggs in one basket and our strategic acquisition of a major poultry business, and entry into the wider agribusiness sector follows on from our recent focus on securing prominent assets on the Gold Coast and in North Queensland which are well positioned to benefit from the rebounding tourism sector.

“Similar to our expansion into tourism markets, we see a lot of upside in exposure to Australia’s agribusiness sector.

“We are actively looking at further opportunities to grow our presence in this sector.”

The Purga Breeder Farms just south of Ipswich covers 64 hectares, including three poultry breeder shed sites and a licenced capacity for 187,000 birds, four staff residences and associated infrastructure.

Mr Ebert said although only two per cent of the world’s chicken meat was currently produced in Australia the poultry industry was strategically positioned for continued growth on the back of strong domestic and international demand and a strong reputation for successfully managing the sector to avoid diseases such as bird flu.

“The capital raising for the Purga acquisition was immediately oversubscribed by investors, continuing the ongoing strong demand for new Sentinel investment opportunities across all asset classes.”

Sentinel, an unlisted commercial property fund manager, was established in 2010 and has funding from more than 500 investors.

Original Publish: http://www.stockandland.com.au/

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Claims that Australia is heading for a 50 per cent drop in house prices are ‘outrageous’, economists say

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Claims that Australia is heading for a 50 per cent drop in house prices are ‘outrageous’, economists say

For those excited by the prospect of snagging a home for half price following predictions of a home loan crisis and a plunge in property values, don’t get your hopes up.

Claims that Australia is heading for a 50 per cent drop in house prices are ‘outrageous’, economists say

A US-

based researcher’s predictions that we will witness up to 50 per cent price drops across Australia are “outrageous” and “not going to happen”, according to leading economists.

In a 60 Minutes episode on Sunday, Jonathan Tepper, founder of macroeconomic research group Variant Perception, predicted a property market crash of 30 per cent to 50 per cent.

Mr Tepper expects property prices to plummet at similar rates seen in the US, Ireland and Spain as a result of huge mortgages on “overvalued” property in Australia.

AMP Capital chief economist Shane Oliver said it’s nothing new to find people making claims of upcoming property prices crashes, but “unless we have a very severe recession or interest rates go sky high causing people to default, it’s not going to happen,” he said.

“They often make the claim that [Australia has] the highest household debt to income ratio, but if the figure is adjusted for the amount kept in offset accounts and for businesses … it’s at the same level as it was in 2007/2008,” he said.

“As we can see at the moment, the banks are telling us households aren’t having problems servicing their debt.”

While he said “everything is possible” and there is the chance fraudulent pay slips have been used by some brokers, the banking regulator APRA is serious on banking standards.

“If we had unemployment at much higher levels than 6 per cent, if we had mortgage rates at more than 10 per cent I would be much more worried,” Dr Oliver said.

“But I’ve seen all these claims before and there is an underlying resilience in the Australian housing market that sees it hold up,” he said.

Domain Group senior economist Andrew Wilson called the claims of a 50 per cent price drops in Australia’s capital cities “outrageous”.

“The clear characteristics of Australia’s capital city housing markets are orderly growth and correction phases, if anything we’re going to have a less volatile market in the future,” Dr Wilson said.

“Even in the deepest of recessions we haven’t seen [house prices drop 50 per cent], even in the 1990s with unemployment pushing over 10 per cent in some areas and high mortgage defaults, we saw a very modest change in house prices.”

Among all Australians, it’s typically under 5 per cent who are “highly leveraged” for their homes, with 96 per cent either owning their own home outright or paying less than 30 per cent of their incomes on repayments, he said.

“The logic doesn’t support any prospect of the type of house price drops being forecast by the doomsayers.”

HSBC chief economist Paul Bloxham does not believe Australia has a housing bubble, saying high prices are “explained by the fundamentals of supply and demand”.

“Most of the loans are held by upper income earners and the housing debt is fairly well allocated,” Mr Bloxham said.

While the ramp up in investor activity seen in 2015 was “concerning for the Sydney and Melbourne markets” he said measures taken to restrain those risks appear to have been successful.

“In Ireland, the US and Spain house prices went up and credit was misallocated to households who couldn’t afford to service it, but there was also an oversupply of dwellings, which meant when the falls happened [it was exacerbated],” Bloxham said.

In most areas of Australia there is no oversupply of homes and, in the case of Sydney, it is “very undersupplied,” he said.

However, LF Economics’ Lindsay David agrees “100 per cent” with Mr Tepper’s view the national housing market is “a bubble just waiting to burst” with a mortgage crisis on the cards.

“By global standards our banks are lending what could only be described as toxic sums of debt to homebuyers that will never be repaid,” Mr David said.

“One only needs to walk into a bank or mortgage broker and have a five minute chat to realise they will lend to you a sum of debt you could never ascertain in other countries with no core evidence that you could ever repay the debt, particularly interest only loans, in a market downturn,” he said.

Original Publish: http://www.domain.com.au/

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Auction tips: Why and when you should auction

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WHEN it comes time to sell your property, the age-old argument of auction versus private treaty naturally comes to the fore.

There is no one best practice but the general consensus among property professionals is both type of housing and market confidence play pivotal roles.

Core Logic RP Data auctions spokesman Kevin Brogan crunched combined capital city data over the 12 months to November 2015 and found higher valued and more unusual properties were taken to auction.

“If you have a house in a street and there are 10 others like it, you have a pretty good idea of what it’s worth,” Mr Brogan said.

“But if it’s unique or unusual you might not be able to pick what it’s worth so you take it to auction on the proviso there’s enough interest.

“Looking at the combined capital city data over the past 12 months to November, you see the general median price of houses that sold at auction is about $950,000.

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