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December 2014

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8 Dec

House hunting enters 4D with ground breaking AR project

by launch-admin Dec 8, 2014 0 News, Uncategorized

 

MEDIA RELEASE                                                         

9 September 2014

                                   

House hunting enters 4D with ground breaking AR project

 

Blue Star Group announces cutting-edge mobile marketing technology set to

integrate the Australian property sector with the Internet of Things

 

Communication services leader, Blue Star Group, has pioneered an Australian-first for the property market, with the nation’s most advanced bespoke augmented reality (AR) marketing campaign bringing home buying into the 21st century.

 

The initiative, tagged to Caxton Property Group’s upcoming Chapman Green development based in the affluent Beecroft area in Sydney’s north, is the first roll out in the property sector for leading AR provider Blue Star Interactive, which launched in February 2014.

 

The project’s three separate AR experiences have been developed to give potential purchasers the opportunity to immerse themselves into the property in a virtual context prior to the structure’s completion.

 

Channelled through a Chapman 4D app, available for public download on iTunes and Google Play, the AR experience is accessed simply by pointing a smartphone or tablet at any Chapman Green 4D-activated image – which in this case includes onsite signage and a billboard at nearby Epping train station, along with brochures, press advertisements and other marketing collateral surrounding the project.

 

The user is then submerged in a 4D augmented and virtual world where select apartments can be interactively viewed with additional life-like sound effects engaging the viewer’s senses. The viewer can select from a range of typical apartments and be transported to their unit of choice to access authentic real-world balcony views from various property aspects. At the construction site, the property rises-up from the ground to appear at its real world size, in-situ.

 

Blue Star Interactive head, David Francis, commented that: “Our communications future is all about 4D, with AR being the first generation of immersive technology. As the only Australian company that offers an end-to-end augmented reality production solution, Blue Star Group is excited to be pioneering this technology in the property space.

 

“3D has long been claimed as a cinematic tool where viewing is enhanced through eyewear that slightly offsets your depth perception. 4D is another level, unbounded by screens. Using mobile devices – and wearables in the near future – 4D literally turns the world into a stage. We believe this technology will become a key component of the marketing plans for Australia’s leading developers and property marketers. AR is a particularly powerful tool for better informing remote or overseas buyers especially, as they can see a full 4D model of the project from their location.”

 

Aside from the transformational nature of how users interact with the marketing materials, AR will also provide valuable insights into users’ behavioural data. This includes information such as which apartments are being looked at, how long they looked at it for and the user’s geolocation. These metrics build essential records to aid in marketing efforts as new consumer areas of activity are defined.

 

Blue Star Group believe that stepping into AR technology offers a competitive edge into the promotion of future developments as it amplifies investor reach across global territories with a mobile virtual sales centre accessible from any location.

 

Blue Star Interactive has also built a proprietary iTunes and Google Play application called STELLAR that affordably allows any brand, of any size, to start to their 4D journey. Blue Star Interactive recommends the use of iPad Air for the best possible viewing experience.

 

– ENDS –

 

For more information:

Sarah Bond – sarahbond@launchgroup.com.au or +61 (0) 2 9492 1000 / +61 (0) 449 543 181

 

About Blue Star Group:

Blue Star Group is Australia’s largest and most diverse print communications business. Specialising in print solutions, print management, direct mail and logistics, the group helps thousands of businesses connect with their customers.

 

Blue Star Group has over 1000 employees who work across its four core divisions: Blue Star IQ, Blue Star PRINT, Blue Star DM and Webstar. In January 2014 the group launched Blue Star Interactive to develop innovation services and technologies in the augmented reality and contextual marketing spheres.

 

Blue Star Group services all major industry sectors in Australia including financial services, publishing, retail, communications, property, clubs and associations, not-for-profit, utilities, manufacturing, education and government.

8 Dec

Australian capital housing markets reveal a polarised growth trend

by launch-admin Dec 8, 2014 1 News, Uncategorized

 

 


Media Release

 

 

Australian capital housing markets reveal a polarised growth trend

 

Australia, 29 September 2014: New research released by Onthehouse.com.au revealed a polarised growth trend across Australia’s capital cities, with August data showing steady growth in Melbourne and Sydney’s housing markets, offset against falls in Brisbane and Perth.

 

The findings show that the overall national growth rate has slowed significantly, with growth in the house market falling from 0.86% in July to 0.02% in August. Growth in the unit market has also dropped during the same time period, from 1.62% to -0.37%.

 

The Melbourne house market defied the downward trend recording 2.31% growth in August, which is the highest monthly growth rate seen in this market since March 2013. Growth in the unit market was also positive in August, at 1.00%.

 

Sydney houses sustained a steady growth rate of 1.52% in August while unit rates slowed to 0.10% from 2.35% in July.

 

The Brisbane and Perth house markets recorded the worst rates of growth in August, with values dropping -1.70% and -1.84% respectively.

 

Consulting Analyst for Onthehouse.com.au, John Edwards, said: “The Brisbane housing market continues to defy the growth trend seen across other capital city markets, in particular Sydney and Melbourne. Brisbane now offers an attractive affordable-lifestyle balance – and as the Queensland government repairs its balance sheet, job opportunities and housing values will begin to increase.”

 

The following tables demonstrate the August market performance for both houses and units across Australia:

 

Houses

Ranking

Area

Median Value

Growth

10 Years % pa avg.

Year Ending Aug 2014

Last Quarter

Last Month

1

Melbourne

$640,500

6.38%

10.71%

2.10%

2.31%

2

Sydney

$852,500

4.38%

16.93%

3.50%

1.52%

3

Darwin

$584,500

8.94%

2.11%

1.50%

1.13%

4

Hobart

$367,000

3.39%

4.30%

1.63%

0.60%

5

TAS Country

$264,000

3.35%

5.52%

-0.89%

0.59%

 

Australia

$473,000

4.78%

7.56%

1.81%

0.02%

6

Adelaide

$413,000

4.54%

5.33%

0.34%

-0.10%

7

NSW Country

$379,500

2.50%

7.20%

1.12%

-0.15%

8

VIC Country

$341,500

4.75%

5.57%

1.25%

-0.41%

9

QLD Country

$379,000

4.51%

4.60%

0.05%

-0.51%

10

WA Country

$347,000

6.27%

2.65%

-1.43%

-0.52%

11

Northern Territory

$539,500

8.59%

2.89%

0.15%

-0.55%

12

ACT

$521,000

4.02%

-1.91%

-1.93%

-1.43%

13

SA Country

$251,500

4.08%

1.81%

-0.35%

-1.49%

14

Brisbane

$465,500

3.91%

4.93%

-0.35%

-1.70%

15

Perth

$533,500

6.33%

5.46%

1.37%

-1.84%

Source: Onthehouse.com.au

 

Units

Ranking

Area

Median Value

Growth

10 Years % pa avg.

Year Ending Aug 2014

Last Quarter

Last Month

1

WA Country

$310,000

4.99%

3.92%

-3.84%

2.14%

2

TAS Country

$201,500

3.29%

7.47%

6.24%

1.06%

3

Melbourne

$461,500

5.30%

5.80%

0.71%

1.00%

4

ACT

$403,500

3.36%

-2.00%

-1.57%

0.41%

5

Darwin

$433,500

9.70%

0.55%

0.49%

0.32%

6

Sydney

$582,500

4.41%

14.31%

3.64%

0.10%

7

Brisbane

$369,000

4.30%

5.94%

1.17%

-0.01%

8

NSW Country

$323,000

1.96%

7.85%

2.53%

-0.07%

9

VIC Country

$261,000

3.81%

2.19%

1.52%

-0.30%

 

Australia

$441,500

4.18%

8.61%

2.93%

-0.37%

10

SA Country

$228,000

3.34%

-2.08%

-4.59%

-0.40%

11

QLD Country

$315,000

2.25%

4.48%

0.23%

-0.54%

12

Adelaide

$305,500

4.78%

1.81%

-3.02%

-0.55%

13

Hobart

$259,500

3.36%

6.49%

-0.69%

-1.13%

14

Northern Territory

$403,500

9.23%

-1.60%

-3.01%

-1.31%

15

Perth

$455,000

7.04%

1.85%

-0.88%

-1.91%

Source: Onthehouse.com.au

 

Mr Edwards added: “Melbourne has seen an unexpected increase in its August growth figures. This is due to a predominately auction driven selling process that results in a more volatile market. The quarterly trend report suggests that this number is probably unsustainable, and I expect a more moderate growth rate to resume in September.

 

“The Sydney market does seem to be slowing, although not as quickly as we expected. Taking into account the median household income, the affordability measure is now at historic heights, with loan repayments taking about 54 per cent of the after tax income.

 

“The current median house price is now only $147,500 away from breaching the million dollar mark. At this rate, we expect to hit this median within a five year period.”

 

Text Box: Graph 1 – Growth Trends

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For more information head to www.Onthehouse.com.au

 

-ENDS-

 

 

Media contacts

Ashford Pritchard: E ashford@launchgroup.com.au  / T 02 9492 1040 / M 0411 020 680

Laura Douglas: E laura@launchgroup.com.au / T 02 9492 1000 / M 0452 505 859

Sarah Bond: E: sarah@launchgroup.com.au / T 02 9492 1041 / M 0449 543 181

 

About onthousehouse.com.au

www.Onthehouse.com.au is Australia’s most transparent and comprehensive real estate portal, empowering consumers to make informed property decisions by providing them with free access to information. Over 1 million unique browsers visit Onthehouse.com.au every month to search listings and view in-depth property data, making it Australia’s third most popular real estate platform.

 

Onthehouse.com.au is the flagship consumer offering of Onthehouse Holdings (ASX:OTH), the 360-degree property market services group that provides comprehensive real estate agency solutions, information and analytics services. Onthehouse Holdings businesses together help over half of Australia’s real estate agencies, as well as being used by financial institutions and other property-related professionals. 

8 Dec

Macleay lecturer scores ACRA win after nomination hat-trick

by launch-admin Dec 8, 2014 0 News, Uncategorized

 

MEDIA RELEASE

 

Macleay lecturer scores ACRA win after nomination hat-trick

 

·      Copywriting and Radio Advertising lecturer Cameron Horn takes the Best Single Commercial title

·      Also nominated for two other commercial awards

 

Australia, 20 October 2014: Southern Cross Media’s Cameron Horn celebrated a win at this weekend’s Australian Commercial Radio Awards (ACRAs) as he took the crown for the Best Station Produced Commercial – Single in the provincial category for his work with East Coast Juice.

 

Horn celebrated his win off the back of a nomination ‘hat trick’ – being the only writer in Australian radio to receive three nominations in the 2014 event. This included two nominations in the Best Station Produced Commercial – Single provincial category and one in the Best Station Produced Commercial – Campaign non-metropolitan category.

 

Currently Macleay College’s Copywriting and Radio Advertising lecturer, Horn’s success is revered by the education institute, with Advertising program leader, Ian Thomson, saying this is a perfect example of why industry professionals are best placed to mentor tomorrow’s leaders.

 

“We’re all really proud of Cameron’s achievements at this weekend’s ACRA awards. It’s great to see him succeed from both a personal and professional level, and it’s great to know that our students are in good hands,” Thomson said.

 

Along with sound engineer, David Horspool, his work with East Coast Juice earned him two of the three nominations, with a single commercial for Best Wash making up the third. East Coast Food and Beverages’ Business Developer Manager, Samuel James Lentini, sent a letter of recommendation to this year’s ACRA judging panel citing Horn’s work as the driving force behind the brand’s success.

 

East Coast Food and Beverages’ Business Developer Manager, Samuel James Lentini, sent a letter of recommendation to this year’s ACRA judging panel citing Horn’s work as the driving force behind the brand’s success.

 

“Our company’s gone from having to beg Coles and Woolworths to take our products locally, to now being in a position of distributing our products to Woolworths locally and Coles, state-wide. Our research shows that we have become the second most popular juice in Coles on the Central Coast, behind only one other brand which is an international brand with an enormous promotion budget,” said Lentini.

 

No stranger to the ACRA landscape – taking home the Best Campaign Commercial accolade the previous two years – Horn hopes his success in the field will inspire his students to follow in his footsteps.

 

“There are currently 217 regional commercial radio stations in Australia, each producing around 2,000 ads a year,” Horn said. “The ACRAs pick only four of these single commercials to feature in their finalist nomination list, so I was thrilled to receive not only one, but two of these coveted spots.

 

“I look forward to continuing with my work in radio creative and hope my success encourages others to reach big and believe in themselves. My dream would be to see one of my Macleay College students win their own ACRA in the near future alongside many other industry awards. I actually have one student already in line for next year’s ACRA nominations,” said Horn.

 

-ends-

 

About Macleay College:

Macleay College is Australia’s premier independent college, with a focus on making careers happen. The college arms students for job opportunities in the real world by providing the latest industry skills and education, connections and practical work experience. Macleay offer accelerated journalism and business degrees as well as industry-led diplomas. Business courses are developed around specialist interests such as real estate, event management, sports management and travel and tourism with entrepreneurial courses also part of their unique offering. They also offer a comprehensive advertising diploma. Macleay’s tertiary courses have an emphasis on multi-media qualifications, and offer students a hands-on approach, which ultimately helps fast track their career within just 12 months. The boutique college has a primary campus in Sydney and a Melbourne campus, which specialises in journalism education.

 

Media Contact:

Sarah Bond sarahbond@launchgroup.com.au 02 9492 1041 / 0449 543 181

8 Dec

REFFIND brings the trust economy to SMB recruitment market

by launch-admin Dec 8, 2014 0 News, Uncategorized

Description: reffind.tiff

 

 

Media Release           

                                   

REFFIND brings the trust economy to SMB recruitment market 

 

·       First startup for digital foundry Digital4ge led by ex REA and Velteo CEO Jamie Pride

·       Experienced executive Brent Pearson appointed to lead business

·       Innovative mobile platform helps SMBs find new hires through their personal networks

 

Australia, 21 October 2014: Australian start-up foundry Digital4ge today launched its first venture, REFFIND: a mobile application that helps businesses transform the way they recruit through employee referrals.

 

Founded by Digital4ge partners Jamie Pride and Ben McGrath, REFFIND aims to disrupt the global $27bn hiring solutions market – by bringing the trust economy espoused by Uber and AirBnB to the recruitment process. REFFIND is an easy-to-use mobile app that allows users to create a job and then incentivise contacts in their trusted networks to refer potential candidates.

 

Digital4ge partner Jamie Pride said that the idea for REFFIND was shaped from the founders’ personal experience of growing businesses.

 

“As any business owner knows, the process of hiring new staff is a time-consuming and often highly frustrating experience. It’s a question of “post and pray” for the right person to apply using an online job board, or investing in expensive and often-unpredictable recruitment consultants.

 

“We realised that the best people we ever hired came through personal recommendations. There is a real gap in the market for a simple tool that enables businesses and startups to reach new people through their trusted sources.”

 

Referrals are the number one source of external hiring, the number one source of new hire quality and the fastest way to find good staff. REFFIND is a simple to use mobile app which allows business owners to reward successful referrers with a cash amount between $250 and $2,000. Typical recruitment costs vary from $300 to $600 for an ad on a platform such as seek.com, and from $10,000 to $15,000 for a successful placement from a recruiter.

 

Leading the development of REFFIND will be newly appointed CEO Brent Pearson, a highly experienced recruitment technologist who co-founded HRX and headed up strategy and planning for monster.com. With an in-depth experience in recruitment solutions, Mr Pearson is tasked with launching the product in Australia and internationally.  

 

Brent Pearson, CEO, REFFIND, commented: “REFFIND has a huge potential to help business owners, particularly those in industries such as technology and media where networks exist, but it’s just not very easy to tap into them for referrals.

 

“Referrals are the best way to hire staff. By offering a beautifully simple mobile product, we hope to bring back some enjoyment into the experience of growing your business.” 

 

REFFIND product points:

·       Easy to use mobile app

·       Free to post jobs, rewards only paid when candidates are hired

·       Users can create and post a job in 30 seconds

·       Connects employer to referrer’s trusted network

·       Referral rewards between $250 – $2,000

·       Referrer/charity reward split option

REFFIND is available to download on iOS and Android.

 

REFFIND is the first startup for Digital4ge – which aims to found up to six new ventures over the next 12 months by providing seed funding and placing professional management teams to lead new startups. Digital4ge was founded by former realestate.com.au CEO, Deliotte Partner, and Velteo founder Jamie Pride, and former FreshWeb Founder, Ben McGrath.

 

-Ends-

 

About REFFIND:

REFFIND transforms how companies recruit through employee referrals. A user-friendly mobile application streamlines the process, allowing employers to tap into their personal and industry networks to identify top talent. REFFIND is built around the trust economy as it bridges the gap between employer and candidate, with referrer incentives of cash or charitable donations. For more info: www.REFFIND.com.

 

About Digital4ge:

Digital4ge is a startup foundry, with a focus on digital technologies. They provide a flexible approach to getting startups from concept to fully-fledged businesses – whilst reducing the risk for founders and investors. They bring together the best people to build and grow the business. For more info: www.digital4ge.com.

 

Media Contacts:

Ashford Pritchard ashford@launchgroup.com.au 02 9492 1040 or 0411 020 680

Sarah Bond sarahbond@launchgroup.com.au 02 9492 1000 or 0449 543 181

 

8 Dec

DJ Decibel game makes STEM learning fun

by launch-admin Dec 8, 2014 1 News, Uncategorized

 





MEDIA RELEASE

DJ Decibel game makes STEM learning fun

 

Splash launches three mathematics-learning games

 

Australia 21 October 2014: Digital education site Splash has put a spin on maths and STEM education with today’s launch of DJ Decibel. Produced in association with Hackett Films, the latest interactive game to join the Splash portfolio is matched to the Year 8 mathematics curriculum, and is available via the Splash website or as a mobile app for Android or iOS.

 

As DJ Decibel keeps the music thumping, high school students solve problems to keep the fans jumping. Students can rig the show with very loud speakers, wrangle three-metre high robot dancers and fire lasers to explode fireworks from a flying DJ pod, learning about volume, spatial reasoning, problem solving, pi and the Cartesian plane in the process. As Problem-Solver-in-Chief at DJ Decibel Stadium F(x), all issues must be fixed in order to max-out fan numbers.

 

Today’s launch follows on from another STEM game launched by Splash this month; Choose your own Statistics, which was produced in partnership with the Australian Human Rights Commission. A third game, Mixed-Up Maths is scheduled for release in early November.

 

Choose your own Statistics enables Year 5 to 8 students to gain a better understanding of human rights issues via statistics. Students can customise and publish their own graphs, and all of the data is available for download to Excel to enable further exploration. Teachers will also find a wealth of information to support them in engaging their students as they introduce topics from the Geography, History, Civics and Citizenship, Economics and Business curriculums.

 

Mixed-Up Maths is a series of highly entertaining, wacky and fast-paced short videos created specifically for primary school children from the YouTube generation, using memorable visual storytelling to explore mathematical concepts from the Australian curriculum. This 13-episode series uses an exciting mix of hand-drawn animation, motion graphics and live action footage to transport students to a range of wild and exotic locations. The journeys students will be taken on include Daredevil Geometry, The Giraffe ate my Homework, Treasure Hunt, and Strawberry Warrior Milkshake Princess. The series is matched to the F-6 mathematics curriculum.

 

Director of ABC Innovation, the developers of Splash, Angela Clark, said: “STEM resources, and maths in particular, have been a core focus for Splash, so we’re pleased to see that the launch of these games coincides with the Government’s commitment to provide more funding and focus on STEM subjects in Australian schools.

 

“We know that teachers are keen to find engaging ways to teach these subjects, and what better way to do that than by giving them free interactive learning games that students love. Furthermore, we know that Australia’s long-term success in the digital economy will depend in large part on the education students receive in STEM subjects.”

 

The DJ Decibel and Choose your own Statistics games are available for free on the Splash digital education website, with Mixed-Up Maths available early next month: http://splash.abc.net.au  

 

 

­-ENDS-

 

 

About ABC Splash!

Launched in March 2013, Splash is a ground-breaking free education website which helps students, teachers and parents embrace online and digital learning. It was developed by ABC Innovation in conjunction with Education Services Australia, supported by the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Department of Education. It is one of the largest digital projects ever undertaken by the ABC and delivers world-class interactive educational resources for primary and secondary school students, their teachers and parents. 

 

About ABC Innovation:

ABC Splash is a department of ABC Innovation which manages the ABC website abc.net.au and core mobile offerings including the ABC iPhone, iPad and Android apps. ABC Innovation also creates digital media content and services for online, mobile and emerging platforms.

 

For images, further information or interviews: 

Sarah Bond: T 02 9492 1041 / M 0449 543 181

Ashford Pritchard: T 02 9492 1040 / M 0411 020 680

 

8 Dec

Top digital leaders support next generation of Aussie startups

by launch-admin Dec 8, 2014 2 News, Uncategorized


MEDIA RELEASE

 

Top digital leaders support next generation of Aussie startups

 

Startup community backs Macleay College’s aspiring entrepreneurs

 

Australia, 12 November 2014: Leading entrepreneurs are backing Australia’s youth startup generation in association with premier independent education provider, Macleay College.  

 

Today’s Macleay Enterprise Exhibition Day will see 17 groups of entrepreneurial students pitch their business ideas to a panel of industry experts before proceeding to display their product in round two of the startup initiative. Here the panel will evaluate their business idea, their exhibition stand and the group – and along with course leaders – they will identify the top five business ideas.

 

The event is designed to introduce students into the Australian startup space through their ventures shaped under the guidance of established international business leaders, specially drafted in to lead the course. The practical program has proven a success to date, with lecturer, entrepreneur and VC, Andrew Robinson, having already invested in a Macleay student’s business initiative.

 

Today’s entrepreneur-led judging panel includes:

  • Anthony Farah, CEO of digital innovation company Vivant, the company behind the Commonwealth Bank’s award-winning mobile wallet application Kaching, and TEDxSydney app
  • Brian Housten, Founder and Director of VideoSift, voted best video aggregator by PC World Magazine
  • Trevor Lindars, Founder and Director of innovation consulting firm Sigma Rose
  • Ilse Vanhulle, Manager at Deloitee Cloud Services
  • Andrew Robinson, founder of one of the world’s first knowledge trading social networks and News Entrepreneurship lecturer at Macleay
  • Ronan Healy, Executive Coach, Startup Mentor and current Entrepreneurship lecturer at Macleay
 

Anthony Farah, CEO at Vivant, which has its own digital Ventures arm, is dedicated to finding and supporting local entrepreneurs and startups and is keen to help pioneer the next wave of business leaders, stating: “Some of Australia’s, and indeed the world’s, best business talent comes from our younger generations. It is vital that we, within the industry, nurture them and continue to develop and sustain our nation’s startup eco-system.” 

 

Macleay head of business Dr. Jane Hession added: “It’s refreshing to see so many of our established entrepreneurs actively investing in the growth of Australia’s startup community, and naturally this would extend to backing the next generation.

 

“As StartupAUS’ Crossroads report noted, if Australia is going to compete on an international scale with established entrepreneurial economies including the USA, UK and Ireland, we need to encourage kids, parents and students of all ages to celebrate the entrepreneurial mindset.

 

“At Macleay, we advocate a practical learning environment to get our students ready to step straight into the industry – and even better with a ready-made product. Having an idea is one thing, having the knowledge and acumen to execute it is another. That’s what our teachings are all about.”

 

Macleay will host the event as part of the college’s investment in entrepreneurship. The event is an extension of the college’s unique Entrepreneur unit, in which students develop a business idea and then fund and grow that venture.

 

For more information visit: https://macleay.edu.au

 

– Ends –

 

For more information:

Sarah Bond

02 9492 1041 / 0449 543 181

sarahbond@launchgroup.com.au

 

About Macleay College:

Macleay College is Australia’s premier independent college, with a focus on making careers happen. The college prepares students for job opportunities in the real world by providing the latest industry skills and education, connections and practical work experience. Macleay offers a comprehensive advertising diploma, as well as accelerated journalism and business degrees and diplomas. Business courses are developed around specialist interests such as real estate, event management, sports management and travel and tourism with entrepreneurial courses also part of their unique offering. Macleay’s tertiary courses have an emphasis on multi-media qualifications, and offer students a hands-on approach, which ultimately helps fast track their career within just 12 months. The boutique college has a primary campus in Sydney and a Melbourne campus, which specialises in journalism education.

8 Dec

It¹s time to address Negative Gearing issues

by launch-admin Dec 8, 2014 0 News, Uncategorized


Media Release

 

It’s time to address Negative Gearing issues

 

Onthehouse.com.au Consulting Analyst says mechanisms already in place for Government to rectify negative gearing’s adverse affect on housing market

 

Australia, 24 November 2014: With recent estimates from ratings agency Moody estimating that negative gearing, the tax break given to investors who rent property at a loss, has pushed up property prices by 9 per cent, Onthehouse.com.au Consulting Analyst John Edwards today argued that it is time for the government to take action. However, with probably more than 1.25 million Australian’s benefiting from negative gearing, he cautioned that scrapping the tax break is not the best way forward for Australia. He said “The volume of deductions being claimed is probably in the order of $20 billion per annum plus.”

 

In a paper coming soon to the Onthehouse.com.au website, Mr Edwards, said that removing the Negative Gearing benefit from property investment but not other investments would create a market distortion and could have a jolting affect on Australia’s property market.

 

Instead, Mr Edwards believes that the government should take four steps to correct the market imbalance caused by negative gearing:

  1. Instruct the Australian Tax Office (ATO) that transactions which are geared past an untenable level and produce tax losses annually for an unreasonable period of time (say five years) should be challenged under PART IVA – the section of the tax code that deals with tax avoidance.
  2. Ask the Tax Commissioner to issue a general tax ruling indicating that any party investing in residential property who borrows in excess of 80 per cent will be subject to scrutiny.
  3. State that, upon the sale of an investment property, if at no time during a reasonable pre-sale period did the rental income exceed the interest and other deductions, the tax office would consider the transaction was in effect purchased for the purpose of trading in residential property and hence the Capital Gains Tax benefit of only having to pay tax on 50 per cent of the gain would not be available.
  4. Follow these rulings up by taking action in the courts against a few very clearly very over leveraged transactions to confirm its position. 

Mr Edwards said: “Negative gearing is a necessary mechanism, in effect acting as a subsidy for people who are renting and encouraging the provision of rental stock for people who cannot afford to buy. It is also a risk minimiser for the investor when interest rates increase. However, there are increasingly cases where it is being allowed by Federal Government authorities when it should not be, and this is distorting the market, causing higher house prices and making it harder for first time buyers.

 

“Simply removing negative gearing would result in property being treated differently from other asset classes, which in itself could have long term negative effects.

 

“In fact, tax legislation is quite clear in that investors are not permitted to enter into a transaction with the main purpose of reducing their tax liability – and similarly that if an investor is buying a property with the sole aim of making profits from capital gains and not rentals, then this constitutes property trading, that is, the investor was in the business of buying and selling residential property for a profit and is therefore not entitled to benefits in terms of the capital gains tax legislation. Clearly, the current reality on the ground is that many property transactions should be challenged.

 

“It is not the fault of the Tax Office that there hasn’t been stricter management of residential property investment, the Tax Office is the instrument of the Federal Treasury, acting on their direction and requires the staff to implement rules and regulation.”

 

Equally he said: ”There will be many ordinary Australians who have no idea about the limitation in terms of negative gearing. There is simply so much hype about it that many will just simply think there is no limitation and will not be getting any tax advice and doing their own tax returns.

                                            

“We are calling on the Federal Treasury to work with the Tax Office to clarify the current situation when it comes to negative gearing, and to take steps to correct how negative gearing is being enforced.”

 

He continued: “Financial planners and mortgage brokers who are encouraging negative gearing to excessive levels need to recognise their obligations and potential liability in providing their clients with inappropriate advice and make sure that their client is such that the tax deductions they are relying on are not disallowed when the transaction is reviewed by the commissioner.”

 

For more information and further data please visit www.Onthehouse.com.au.

 

-ENDS-

 

Media contacts

Ashford Pritchard: E ashford@launchgroup.com.au  / T 02 9492 1040 / M 0411 020 680

Sarah Bond: E sarahbond@launchgroup.com.au  / T 02 9492 1041 / M 0449 543 181

 

About onthousehouse.com.au

www.Onthehouse.com.au is Australia’s most transparent and comprehensive real estate portal, empowering consumers to make informed property decisions by providing them with free access to information. Over 1 million unique browsers visit onthehouse.com.au every month to search listings and view in-depth property data, making it Australia’s third most popular real estate platform.

 

Onthehouse.com.au is the flagship consumer offering of Onthehouse Holdings (ASX:OTH), the 360-degree property market services group that provides comprehensive real estate agency solutions, information and analytics services. Onthehouse Holdings businesses together help over half of Australia’s real estate agencies, as well as being used by financial institutions and other property-related professionals.

8 Dec

Valtech ANZ appoint Morten Sorensen as Business Director

by launch-admin Dec 8, 2014 0 News, Uncategorized

 

Media Release

 

Valtech ANZ appoint Morten Sorensen as Business Director

 

Sydney, 03 December 2014 – Leading global digital marketing and technology firm Valtech has appointed Morten Sorensen as Business Director and Head of its Digital Marketing and Commerce Practice in Australia.

 

Mr. Sorensen joins the Sydney office from Denmark, where he was an Account Director and Senior Advisor at Valtech’s Aarhus office. A commercial, digital marketing, commerce and customer experience expert, he has spent over 12 years rolling out digital projects and helping International clients such as Lantmannen Unibake, Bestseller, Danske Commodities and Leaseplan.

 

Prior to working at Valtech, he held senior management roles at online marketing agency No Zebra and software provider DynamicWeb. He has also co-founded two digital marketing companies, and lived and worked in Denmark, Germany and South-eastern Europe.

 

Valtech ANZ GM Chris Flintoft said that the appointment of Mr. Sorensen leveraged the organisation’s global expertise and scale to bring new skills to the Australian market:

 

“Beer and classic furniture design aren’t the only great exports to come out of Denmark. Morten is a key hire for us, bringing with him vast technical and product expertise as well as in-depth knowledge of best practice globally. He will lead the establishment and growth of a new Digital Marketing and Commerce practice in Australia – building on our existing stellar work with clients such as CBA, QANTAS, Hoyts, FOXTEL and Telstra.

 

“The ability for our Sydney office to call on specialist expertise from practitioners like Morten is part of a new suite of opportunities for us as part of Valtech’s growing worldwide business. We’re excited to be able to bring new ideas and approaches to the Australian market, and help both our existing and new clients chart new courses on the digital frontier,” he said.

 

Mr. Sorensen is the first senior management hire for Valtech in Australia following the acquisition of Sydney-headquartered video-on-demand and connected objects startup Neon Stingray in August this year. He will spearhead the adoption of Valtech’s Agile Marketing approach and have a particular focus on working with major marketing cloud providers such as Adobe and Hybris.

 

He commented: “It is great to be joining Valtech in Australia at a pivotal time in its evolution, and to help connect startup innovation culture with our global intelligence and capabilities. My passion is to help brand owners and market leaders navigate the digital landscape, and take their digital strategy to the next level.

 

“I have first hand experience of how this has helped major brands evolve in Europe, and look forward to helping Australian businesses do the same.”

Mr. Sorensen will officially take up his role on 5 January 2015. 

 

– Ends –

 

Media Contacts

 

Ashford Pritchard ashford@launchgroup.com.au 02 9492 1040 or 0411 020 680

Sarah Bond sarahbond@launchgroup.com.au 02 9492 1041 or 0449 543 181

 

About Valtech

 

Valtech is a digital marketing agency pioneer in technologies with a presence in nine countries (France, UK, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, USA, India, Australia, Singapore) and 1,500 employees. As a full-service digital agency, Valtech brings value to its customers at all aspects of their digital activities: Strategy consulting, service design, technology services, and optimisation of business-critical digital platforms for multichannel e-commerce and marketing.

 

In August 2014, Valtech acquired Sydney and Stockholm-based digital technology consultancy Neon Stingray to bolster its development in the ASIA-PAC region by creating a key hub to further expand its technology expertise and client portfolio. Valtech’s Australian clients include QANTAS, FOXTEL, Telstra, Hoyts, CBA and Google, as well as some of the leading companies from the media, entertainment and retail sectors.

5 Dec

Andrew Johnson announced as new ACS CEO

by launch-admin Dec 5, 2014 2 News, Uncategorized

5 December 2014: Australian Computer Society (ACS) President Brenda Aynsley OAM today announced the appointment of current ACS Chief Operations Officer Andrew Johnson to the role of Chief Executive Officer.

 

“It is a testament to the strength of the Society that for the first time in our almost 50 year history, we are able to elevate one of our own to the role of CEO. Andrew joined the ACS in October 2011 as General Manager for Strategic Initiatives and was appointed COO in March 2013. In that time he has overseen continued growth of the Society and spearheaded the development of a suite of products which have enhanced the Society’s position in the ICT professionalism space.”

“I am confident he will ably lead the Society as we build towards our 50th anniversary in 2016.”

 

Ms. Aynsley also paid tribute to CFO Kim Finch, who has held the role of CEO whilst an executive search was undertaken.

 

“Kim has done a great job of leading the Society through this transition. I want to extend my thanks to her, as well as the thanks of the staff and volunteers. Managing an organisation in transition is always a challenge, and Kim has met that challenge head on.” 

 

Andrew Johnson has extensive senior management experience servicing both the higher education and VET sectors, including in membership based professional associations. His career has seen him work in a diverse range of markets across the Asia Pacific region. 

 

In his time at the ACS he has delivered significant growth results in the SFIA and education space, all while improving member engagement, particularly among professional partners. He was instrumental in the development of the organisation’s current three-year plan and product offering. 

 

Mr Johnson holds a Masters degree in Technology Policy and Management, He is an ACS Certified Professional and an accredited MySFIA Consultant. 

 

“It’s a great honour to be able to lead an organisation like the ACS” Mr. Johnson said.

 

“With the incredible growth of the digital economy, the ACS will continue to be a trusted source of knowledge for the Australian ICT sector.  That we can do this is a testament to our staff, volunteers and members. I look forward to working with them all in the coming years to keep up the great work done so far”.

 

Kim Finch will remain in the role of ACS CEO until December 31. Mr Johnson will commence in his role from 1 January 2015.

 
 

-ENDS-

 

Media Contact

Thomas Shanahan / thomas.shanahan@acs.org.au / 0449 902 130

 

About the Australian Computer Society 

The Australian Computer Society (ACS) is the professional association for Australia’s Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector. Over 20,000 ACS members work in business, education, government and the community. The Society exists to create the environment and provide the opportunities for members and partners to succeed. The ACS strives for ICT professionals to be recognised as drivers of innovation in our society, relevant across all sectors, and to promote the formulation of effective policies on ICT and related matters. Visit www.acs.org.au for more information.


3 Dec

Ninjas to the rescue on Talk Like a Pirate Day

by launch-admin Dec 3, 2014 0 Uncategorized

 New mobile game walks the plank today on Apple iOS

 

Australia, 18 September 2014: Ninja Raft, a unique new strategy game hits the App Store today, launched to coincide with the internationally acclaimed Talk Like a Pirate Day by Brisbane-based games publisher and accelerator, Right Pedal Studios, and developer GeekBrain Games. The game has also been chosen by Apple for their Best New Games feature, giving the game massive exposure to the millions of people upgrading to iOS 8 and activating their new iPhone 6s.

 

Ninja Raft is a unique tower defense game in which players build a raft fortress for their own Ninja army, to prevent a host of scurvy pirates stealing their gold. The game has been designed to take advantage of the increased screen size and video resolution for the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and iOS 8 making it compatible for all iPhone models.

 

Players build a battle raft, with thousands of variations, and pit it against 40 levels of action packed, swashbuckling fun. In order to prevent the Pirate hordes, players can place traps, upgrade weapons, fight in hand-to-hand combat, hunt for gold and ultimately protect the treasure.

 

Download the game from the App Store: http://itunes.com/apps/ninjaraft

Download the press kit: http://bit.ly/1p9dz9w

 

Trailer:                         

Genre:             Two-phase tower defense game

Release date:  Thursday 19th September 2014

Developer:      GeekBrain Games

Publisher:        Right Pedal Studios

Price:               AUD  $1.29

 

GeekBrain Games founder and Rockstar games alum, Don Kirkland, said: Ahoy Mateys. We are excited to launch Ninja Raft on the App Store to coincide with Talk Like a Pirate Day this game is uniquely strategic, but at the same time allows players from ages 10 and above to enjoy the fun. With the ability to build your own levels, it can be as easy or as difficult as you like.

 

Right Pedal Studios Team Developer, John Passfield, said: GeekBrain Games have knocked the ball out of the park with their first game fantastic visuals and intricate gameplay but in a really accessible and quirky package. Ninja Raft is poised to be a big hit with salty sea dogs the world over.

 

The super polished visuals make the game all the more exciting the rich graphics and the clever use of layers create a sense of depth. The scenic effects, lighting and sound design also contribute to an immersive player experience.

 

Developed by Geekbrain games, Ninja Raft is published by Right Pedal Studios Australias foremost games accelerator and independent publisher. Ninja Raft comes off the back of the successful Right Pedal mobile game, Battle Group 2 by Bane Games, which launched on the Apple App store earlier this year, and was featured as best new game.

 

-ENDS-

 

Media contact

Ashford Pritchard ashford@launchgroup.com.au 0411 020 680 / 02 9492 1040

Louise Proctor           louise@launchgroup.com.au 0452 505 859 / 02 9492 1003

 

About GeekBrain Games

GeekBrain Games is an indie games development studio founded by former RockStar Games developer Don Kirkland in late 2012, and rounded out by the addition of computer games veteran Rupert Lewis Jones shortly after.

 

The objective is simple: take something really geeky, dial down the geek just enough that our non-geek friends can get it and put it on a phone, tablet or on your mind-implant smart-device that everyone will probably have in ten years.

For more information click here.

 

 

About Right Pedal Studios Pty Ltd

Right Pedal Studios is a game accelerator based in Brisbane, Australia. The accelerator provides game developers with working capital, office space, mentorship and has funded five independent games to date. For more information click here.


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