Super expensive golf course a development that might never tee off

Super expensive golf course a development that might never tee off

EXCLUSIVE Caitlin Caldwell and Christine Brennan. A $10 billion union-backed industry superannuation fund has come under fire from Labor MPs and locals for paying more than two times the going price for a golf course bordering coveted green wedge land before seeking planning permission or rezoning for redevelopment. Industry Super Property Trust, the nation’s largest unlisted property fund manager whose 35 super fund members include representatives from the controversial building union CFMEU, paid $125 million for the Kingswood Golf Course that was valued at $52 million. ‘The price paid for the Kingswood Golf Club land seems very high, considering the land has not been rezoned and the claim by Kingston Council that no rezoning application has been received or considered,’ says Labor shadow state attorney general Martin Pakula, who previously described the deal as ‘extraordinary’. Shadow Planning Minister Brian Tee is warning that even if the City of Kingston votes to rezone the land he won’t ‘simply rubber stamp such a recommendation’ if elected this week. Local members of parliament have also questioned how the industry fund can be confident about approval for rezoning before applying and whether it has any idea about how many dwelling might be allowed on site, which will determine the profitability of the deal. ISPT declined to comment about purchasing the land, which is about 22 kilometres south-east of Melbourne, bordering hotly contested green wedge land and Dingley Village. But the fund has a history of buying golf courses and other sporting venues for residential redevelopment. The lower valuation for the purchase is based on it remaining a golf course with the higher believed...
Oakleigh councillors slug it out over carpark market

Oakleigh councillors slug it out over carpark market

By Mitchell Martin. A large carpark in downtown Oakleigh has become a flashpoint in the state election. At issue is a plan to build a seven storey building. The local Monash Council approved it by just one vote in late September. But the site is the home of the popular Sunday Rotary market that raises $70,000 annually for local charities and community services. And to complicate things, the two lead candidates in the seat of Oakleigh are both members of the Monash City Council and represent the ward where the development is planned. The issue is heating up in the lead up to the poll and is likely to affect the way some people vote in the marginal electorate. The fight is about more than the loss of a community market. The proposed development would remove 98 car parking spaces in a suburb known for its lack of car parking. The city’s car parks regularly exceed 95 per cent capacity, with many residents and traders unable to conduct business freely due to lack of suitable parking. Labor’s Cr Steve Dimopoulos and the Liberal’s Cr Theo Zographos both acknowledge that car parking within the suburb needs to be addressed. But only Dimopoulos opposed the development when the council voted on the matter. Dimopoulos is confident that the issue will resonate with voters and has started a campaign on Facebook called Save Rotary Sunday Market. During the council meeting he said the future of the Rotary market was important to the community and that the proposed replacement sites were not suitable. Local shop keepers have claimed that they are unable to...
Tony Clark | Labor |  Ringwood

Tony Clark | Labor | Ringwood

By Adam Pereira and Larissa Veitch. Tony Clark has been legally blind since he was 20. Decades on, this hasn’t stopped the ALP candidate from actively campaigning at train stations, local shops and on social media. He plays down the impact of the impairment. ‘I’m not after getting elected because I have a disability,’ says the former Vision Australia national business development manager. ‘I’m seeking to become a member of parliament because I can do the job, and do it well. It just so happens that I’m blind.’ But Clark, who suffered from a degenerative condition called retinitis pigmentosa, says his candidacy is ‘a positive step forward in the recognition of people with differences’ which could help raise the profile or understanding of people with disabilities and he hopes it will help reduce barriers to employment and ease discrimination. He stood for Higgins at the 2013 Federal election but says he believes he has a better chance contesting the reconstituted seat of Ringwood, created to replace the abolished electorate of Mitcham in last year’s boundary changes, even though it there is a notional Liberal margin of 6.3 per cent. ‘Higgins was interesting, because I never was going to win,’ he says. ‘It was a different demographic…It just wasn’t mine and I think that counts for a lot. This is my community and I am a local here.’ Clark, who works for the Federal Department of Human Services, has lived in the Ringwood area for more than 20 years. He is the president of Labor’s Mitcham branch and is on the school council of Mullauna College in that suburb. He...
The Dingley bypass and Mordialloc voters

The Dingley bypass and Mordialloc voters

Commuters are finally utilizing parts of the long-awaited Dingley Bypass while other sections of the road are still under construction. The Liberal Government has invested $156 million in the 6.4km stretch of road, connecting Warrigal Road at Moorabbin and Westall Road at Dingley. Reporter Josie Catalfamo of Swinburne went out to the Bypass and surrounding areas to interview locals....
Police funding

Police funding

The Victorian police association argues an additional 1880 police officers are needed to keep up with Victoria’s growing population. Swinburne’s Adam Spencer reports on the perennial election issue of police...