Monthly Archives: March 2019

String of liquidations

SHATTERED: Families who planned to build in the Teralba Waters development, from left, Stephen King and Margaret Morgan-King, Grant and Kim Conroy and Melissa Weatherstone with her son, Tim, 11. Picture: Marina NeilTHE man behind the ill-fated Teralba Waters development, Colin Wallace, is facing further strife with two more of his companies placed in liquidation owing$2 million.

Property purchasers and investors, many from Mr Wallace’s Christadelphian Church, put their faith and money into his projects and are now demanding answers about what went wrong.

The former bankrupt has three companies in liquidation with debts of more than $3 million and a further $1.3 million isowed by his property development company to the mortgagee ofTeralba Waters Estate. Six creditors, including Bunnings and Boral Construction Materials,have placedcaveats on Mr Wallace’s waterfront Kincumber home in an effort to get their money back.

The Newcastle Herald reported earlier this monththat Mr Wallace’s company W & R Design (Teralba) was behind the failed Teralba Waters Estate, on Cockle Creek, which has left buyers broken hearted and prayingfor the return of $700,000 paid in deposits. Up to 14families bought house and land packages, with most signing contracts that sawtheir depositsreleased to the vendor to be spent on civil works.

The subdivision stalled earlier this year. Mr Wallace and then business partner Jamin Ryan, a real estate agent and fellow church member, had a falling out. Now, almost 18 months after the buyers signed onto the project and most handed over their deposits, the site lookslike aghost town, covered by grass, with large dirt mounds from partially completed earthworks.

Mr Wallace and Mr Ryan, also a former bankrupt, disagree on the cause of the development’s demise and how their business relationship disintegrated at the start of the year.

Mr Wallace alleges the Teralba project couldn’t get further finance.

Mr Ryansaid his control of the development ceased in February when he was “removed” as a director ofW & R Design (Teralba) against his wishes, which “left me with nothing and prevented me from ensuring the fair and equitable treatment of purchasers, investors and suppliers”.

“I have no connection or legal association or involvement whatsoever in any way with any of Colin Wallace’s companies or business dealings,” Mr Ryan said.

Mr Wallace is now the sole director of W & R Design (Teralba). Earlier this year, when the company defaulted on its $1 million loan from Adelaide-based Home Savers Group, trading as Finance Wise, itlost control of the development site. The 1.2-hectare (3-acre) blockin William Streethas now beenre-listed as a mortgagee in possessionsale.

PRESSURE: Investors and buyers are demanding answers from businessman Colin Wallace, of Kincumber, over a string of failed ventures.

Finance Wise, which Mr Wallace said was owed about$1.3 million, is run by another prominent member of the Christadelphian Church, James Barger-Bos, who is a part ofMr Wallace’sstep-daughter’s husband’s family.Mr Barger-Bos did not respond to repeated requests for comment.

Families who invested in Teralba expressed outrage at a letter received last month fromMr Barger-Bos’lawyer informing them any surplus funds from the sale of thesitewould“be accounted to the vendor after all deductions are made”.

Kim Conroy, who put down almost $50,000, called for a guarantee that any excess funds be“distributed immediately” to the buyers.“We just want our money back, it’s our life savings,” she said. “We are a group of families who wanted a home and now the whole thing has just turned into a nightmare for us.”

Mr Wallace also has a building company, Castle Eco Build, that was placed in liquidation last month owing more than $1 million. Another two of his companies,W & R Design (Aberglasslyn) and W & R Design, were voluntarily wound-up and liquidators appointed.

According to documents filed with the Australian Security and Investment Commission (ASIC),W & R Design (Aberglasslyn)hasdebts of $430,000 and W & R Design owesmore than $1.6 million.

Mr Wallace, of Kincumber, is a prominent member ofthe Christadelphian Churchon the Central Coast and has worked in the building industry for 40 years.He spent 18years working in the Middle East as a project manager in commercial construction.

SALE: The Teralba Waters Estate site has been re-listed for sale by finance company Home Savers Group, trading as Finance Wise.

A semi- retired plumber who asked not to be named, also a member of the Christadelphian Church, invested $350,000 inW & R Design in February 2016. Heagreed to loan his “life savings” fora 20 per cent annual return.

“It was a developing company,” hesaid. “They had all these properties around the place and everything was going gangbusters. I got the 20 per cent in the first year and then things just dried up. The whole thing has been a disaster. I’ve had Colin sitting in my lounge room in tears promising me things would get sorted out and it just hasn’t happened.”

Mr Wallace said he had “no idea” his multiple business ventures were going to turn out so badly. “I’ve got myself into this and I’m trying to get myself out of it,” he said.“The one thing I know is Teralba isa good project and if I had the money to finish it, everyone would walk away happy.”

The 65-year-old said he put “everything on the line” to make his businesses work but things had“gone west”.

Mr Wallace took out a $950,000 mortgage on his Kincumber home in October 2016, and a further $460,000 mortgage at 24 per cent interest in June this year. He previously owned it outright.

Newcastle council asks for extra floor on new home base

The council will occupy about half of the new office building in Stewart Avenue.Newcastle councilhas asked the developerto add an extra floor to its new West End home for a roof-top terrace and more office space.

The council announced last week thatmore than 400 staffwould move from the civic precinct to theGateway office building under construction in Stewart Avenue.

Chief executive officer Jeremy Bath told the Newcastle Herald that he had asked developer Spartohori Pty Ltd tosubmita development application for a new sixth level on the building.The DA, which was submitted this month, estimates the cost of the extra floor at$3.7 million.

Thecouncil willrent the entire southern tower of the new building plus the second floor of the northern tower for its infrastructure division.

“I’ve signed a lease for the building in its current state, but I requested the developer to lodge a DA for an additional floor,” Mr Bath said.

“The top floor of the southern tower, a sixth floor, would be an outdoor roof-top terrace, which would be for staff and community alike and would allow us to use the space both for collaboration during the day and for events at night time.

“And, if that was the case, we would sub-lease one of the floors we are taking, and we already have a number of interested parties who are willing to take that sub-lease, but, of course, that’s all subject to a DA being approved.”

Newcastle council asks for extra floor on new home base The new council office.

TweetFacebook Stage two of the Gateway office development.The building would include space for a council chamber if councillors decided, aftercommunity consultation, to stop meeting at City Hall.

“The outstanding question we had when we announced the relocation was the future use of the chamber and whether 1.5 kilometres is a distance that is realistically too far for people to travel between. Certainly, logistically, it would present some challenges,” Mr Bath said.

“Of course, there are ways of overcoming that for staff, the provision of e-bikes and the like, but, practically speaking, is it a distance that’s too far?

“I’ve got a view, but I don’t want to be seen to be influencing the community consultation that will take place, as well as the councillors.”

The council will discuss the fit-out of the new office with staff in February and engagea consultant to design it. Between 425 and 450 employees are expected to make the move in mid-2019.

Mr Bath said he had been “shocked” by the conditions staff were working in when he took up the job in May and had resolved quickly to find new accommodation.

The council first met in a former courthouse building, now the site of Newcastle Post Office, in 1859, moved to the Council Chambers in Watt Street in 1884 then to the present City Hall in 1929.

The three property tax traps the ATO is now cracking down on

Property investments are at the heart of a crackdown by the Australian Tax Office, which could see duped retirees risk half of their savings or pay hefty unpaid tax bills.

The ATO’s new Super Smart Scheme program, which zeroes in on tax-dodging self-managed super funds (SMSFs), is yet to penalise trustees but warns of illegal scheme spruikers that target people on the verge of retirement hoping to boost their savings.

“If a taxpayer becomes involved in any illegal arrangement, even by accident, they may incur severe penalties, jeopardise their retirement savings and risk losing their rights as a trustee to manage their own fund,” deputy commissioner James O’Halloran said.

The ATO has identified three types of dodgy scheme, two involving property investment, which are being promoted via wealth seminars and other means to self-funded retirees, including small business owners, and those involved in property development with significant assets.

“The arrangements may be cleverly disguised to look legitimate, involve a lot of paper shuffling and framed as being designed to give a taxpayer a minimal or zero amount of tax or even a tax refund or concession,” Mr O’Halloran said. Three illegal schemes catching SMSF trustees

First, Mr O’Halloran warns any scheme where an SMSF is granted “legal life interest” over a commercial property so that rent is diverted to the SMSF and taxed at lower rates while an individual or related entity, which granted the interest, retains ownership of the property is illegal.

A second set of schemes include artificial arrangements involving SMSFs and related-party property development ventures where the scheme spruiker charges a commission.

And a third type is where individuals, including SMSF members deliberately exceed their non-concessional contributions cap to manipulate the taxable component and non-taxable component of their fund balance upon refund of the excess. How to steer clear

Self Managed Super Fund Association policy head Jordan George hoped any SMSF member in the cross hairs of these schemes should give it “the sniff test” or seek the opinion of a trusted financial adviser.

“If it sounds too good to be true it probably is for schemes targeting super or your finances. Don’t rush into making a decision,” he said.

“The (legal) threshold is breached if you’re only doing this to minimise tax and it is not helping you build retirement savings.”

He said residential investment properties and commercial properties were popular with SMSFs and a legitimate way to minimise tax on rental income to 15 per cent in accumulation phase and tax-free in the pension phase.

Capital gains tax is just 10 per cent if the property is held for more than a year.

Mr George said the $700 billion SMSF sector was a lucrative pool for people looking to exploit and almost half of SMSF members are aged over 50, in the sweet spot for dodgy wealth promoters.

He hoped the ATO program would encourage do-it-yourself super funds to engage more with superannuation specialists for financial advice and to ensure their fund is compliant.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Pies legend to be AFL’s sole decision-maker

The Age, News, 14/12/2017 photo by Justin McManus. AFL match review panel. AFL GM Football Operations Steve Hocking and Michael Christian who will be the match review officer.The fate of AFL players will lie in the hands of one person in 2018, one of many changes that new footy boss Steve Hocking has introduced to the AFL’s judiciary system, stamping his authority on one of the most polarising issues in the game.

Collingwood premiership player Michael Christian will be the only member of the revamped MRP.

In his role as the single decision-maker, Christian will liaise directly with Hocking, who will sign off on each incident.

Christian, the judiciary’s new sheriff, admits he considered the pressure that comes with working as a lone ranger before accepting the position.

“I haven’t got my badge on today,” he smirked. “But no, it’s going to be a very challenging role.”

Under the new system, clubs will incur a cost of $10,000 for an unsuccessful challenge at tribunal level, unlike the previous system, where players would risk missing an extra week.

If the system had been in place for last year, Geelong would have almost certainly challenged the one-match ban handed to superstar Patrick Dangerfield for his tackle on Carlton’s Matthew Kreuzer, which rendered him ineligible for the Brownlow Medal.

The $10,000 cost will come under the club’s soft cap but will be returned by the AFL if the tribunal appeal is successful.

In another major win for fans and players, incidents that occur during Thursday and Friday night matches will be reviewed quickly and a decision will be handed down within 24 hours.

Hocking has confirmed the AFL hopes to implement the 24-hour rule for all games in future. iFrameResize({resizedCallback : function(messageData){}},’#pez_iframeTT’); iFrameResize({resizedCallback : function(messageData){}},’#pez_iframeTT’); As per previous years, a player’s conduct will still be categorised as intentional or careless, with both the impact and contact then to be taken into account.

While the table system of the match review panel is ultimately the same, the early-plea discount for number of weeks has been removed and fines for low-level offences have been doubled.

The base sanction for a first offence fine will be $3000; $5000 for a second offence; and $8000 for a third and subsequent offences.

A third offence will only be punished with a fine under the new system, meaning players won’t have to worry about missing a match after a third minor indiscretion.

A player’s “bad record” has also been removed, however, it may still be used at the discretion of the tribunal if Christian sends a incident directly to them.

Hocking, who admits the changes are bold, said there was never any consideration given to changing the system one step at a time.

“Nope. Rip the Band-Aid off,” he said with a smile.

“My time in the role, I think it’s really important to lead, so I think this is a statement of that. I’m OK with that.

“I know we won’t have total agreeance right throughout, but that’s my responsibility.”

Clarity and consistency for fans was one of the biggest factors in the AFL’s decision to alter the system, with the match review panel having been much maligned over the years.

The second major factor was players missing weeks for low-level offences.

“One of the big challenges for the fans is that there’s been uncertainty when instances have been referred,” Hocking said.

“And for the players, it’s giving them the ability to play all the time, particularly with the low-level offences. We actually don’t want players missing a game for really minor things.

“When one of their players is cited, can [clubs] start to read the outcomes of that? We want consistency.

“I think all of us would agree, you’re never going to get it to 100 per cent but we’re trying to shift it towards that with this model.”

It’s not the first time we’ve heard this line of thinking from AFL House.

When Mark Evans took over from Adrian Anderson as football operations boss, he dissolved the points system on the basis that too many players were missing games for minor incidents.

That system has now been revised again for the same reasons, which will be viewed as favourable for the players.

But Hocking was adamant that his department would not be soft on violent incidents, which he described as a “blight” on the game.

“We want the players to change their behaviour,” Hocking said.

“We need the players to get back to a greater understanding of sportsmanship.”

The four former match review panel members – Nathan Burke, Jimmy Bartel, Michael Jamison and Jason Johnson – will be given the opportunity to sit on the tribunal throughout season 2018.

For the first time, the league has been public about the relationship between the match review panel and the head of football.

Hocking has made it clear that Christian’s findings will be reported to him, and he, as head of football operations, will ratify the decisions.

While that may not have been public in the past, it’s well known that previous football bosses Simon Lethlean and Mark Evans would often sit it on MRP hearings and offer guidance and opinions.

“In the past, the MRP has sat outside the AFL, but now it’s been brought back in and it was certainly a critical element in me accepting the role,” Christian said.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Big plans in city of change

SUCCESS: The recent Supercars event held in Newcastle was a roaring success and has contributed to highlighting the city as a place to watch in coming years.With a range of successful projects and initiatives under our belts or in progress over the past year, Novocastrians can look back on 2017 with pride in our city and high expectations for the future. We are becoming known as a destination city and a host city for major events.

At the end of November we hosted our first Newcastle 500, the culminating race in the Supercars 2017 season, drawing 192,000 people to the city centre to watch the event over three days. Capitalising on the city’s optimism following our Supercars success and the start of the summer event season, we have launched a Dream Big Newy campaign, taking a uniquely “Newy” spin on the classic London/Paris/Rome/Madrid/New York motif seenshirts across theglobe.

It’s designed to promote the fact that Newcastle is a city with a sense of fun, but that there is also a greatsense of pride among the people who live here. All of this is a catalyst for people to think about the bigger picture for Newcastle.

We have seen dramatic change in the makeup of our city this year. Cranes, construction sites and new buildings are a testament to the record number of development applications that have been approved in 2017, on track for $1.5 billion. In 2016/17 we topped $1 billion for the first time ever in a 12 month period and Newcastle’s building boom shows no signs of slowing down.

In addition to this unprecedented growth, the light rail systemis set to catalyse urban renewal the city centre and the soon-to-be-built cruise ship terminal will usherin growing waves of international tourists eager to see all we have to offer.

We have developed a grand plan to make Wickham a residential, commercial and transport hub, delivering neighbourhood improvements and suburb-specific masterand public domain plans at Stockton, Beresfield, Wallsend and Merewether.

That’s not to mention our Smart City Strategy, which will carry us into a new era of connected technologyand digital interaction, with high-speed internet connections and smart infrastructure within our city’s future digital precinct as well as an innovation hub to promote research, entrepreneurship and economic development.

In this regard we are absolutely at the frontof Australian cities andtowns.The Newy campaign’s comparison to landmark international cities is less far-fetched than it was just a few years ago. In Newcastle, wedareto dream big andundertake projects to make our city a better place for everyone.