Pubs making a comeback as investment-grade assets

Written by admin on 05/07/2018 Categories: 南京夜网

The push to expand the western suburbs of Sydney has seen areas such as Liverpool come out of the shadows of its neighbours of Penrith and Parramatta, with a raft of new projects approved and under construction in the city centre.
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While it has always a busy hub, the projected population growth, has attracted an array of new businesses to the area. Any construction of a second airport in the western suburbs, would also flow towards Liverpool.

The increased activity has prompted the sale of the Macquarie Hotel by JLL Hotels & Hospitality Group. It comes as pubs are emerging as key investment assets, not only for the revenue, but also for the development opportunities.

The new lock-out laws across the Sydney city and extending to Kings Cross, has triggered a flood of sales, such as the Bourbon Hotel in Potts Point for redevelopment, and other sites well away from the city.

Bar czar, Justin Hemmes is leading the charge with the recent purchase of the Newport Arms on the Northern beaches and the Palace at Coogee, while the Laundy family and Fraser Short has invested in the Watson’s Bay hotel.

Martin Short, who owns the Royal Hotel at Leichhardt, is soon to add a new balcony area to the pub, which he said, was well supported by the local area, but also seeing a rise in patrons as they avoid the city zones.

Selling agent for the Macquarie Hotel, John Musca, the JLL director for hotels and  hospitality, said with the Liverpool population forecast to double to 320,000 in the next 20 years, and city planning codes allowing 100-metre height limits for commercial and residential tower developments, it augurs well for city centre hotels like the Macquarie.

Mr Musca said the Sydney Metropolitan Strategy released in 2013 identified Liverpool as the states ‘third city’ after Sydney and Parramatta with subsequent papers suggesting the area will require an additional 500,000 square metres-plus of commercial and retail space to service the local government area growth.

The privately owned Macquarie Hotel has been in the same hands for nearly 30 years and includes 30 gaming machines, a 24-hour liquor licence and dual street frontage 1062 square metre site with future development potential (STCA).

“This hotel is on its way to being a Top 50 ranked gaming hotel in the state and is perfectly positioned adjacent to a 440 car-bay council car park and metres from rapidly developing Macquarie Mall with new Aldi supermarket, close to the train station and sprawling Westfield Liverpool”, Mr Musca said.

The state’s best gaming hotels have seen a flurry of transaction activity over the past six months with the sale of a number of top-ranked hotels including the Crown Hotel at Revesby for $33m, Grand Hotel Rockdale for $24.5 million and the Vegas Hotel Seven Hills for $25.15 million, all transacted by JLL.

In a further insight into hotel sales activity CBRE agent Dan Dragicevich recently sold the Grand Hotel, Bondi Junction for a rumoured $25 million and only last week Merivale continued their expansion strategy with the acquisition of the Newport Arms Hotel for $46 million.

Mr Musca said there has been a genuine uplift in divestment liquidity at the top end of the Sydney market with this confidence ultimately permeating all investment levels, as evidenced by JLL transacting 30 hotels in 2014 and this year starting the same way.

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Book review: The Encyclopedia of Trouble and Spaciousness, by Rebecca Solnit.

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Rebecca Solnit. Photo: suppliedTHE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF TROUBLE AND SPACIOUSNESSBy Rebecca Solnit. Trinity University Press. $43.
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San Francisco activist and writer Rebecca Solnit is noted for her irreverent piece Men Explain Things to Me. When first published in 2008, it quickly led to the term “mansplain” and the converse “womansplain”. Her latest essay collection, following up The Faraway Nearby, gathers 29 items first published over 2006-2014.

Instinctively, Solnit favours equality and community over hierarchy and individuality. “I come from the left,” she declares, “and my task is clearly telling the other, overlooked histories of hope, popular power, subversion and possibility.” This sentinel task welcomes the non-violent fall of the Berlin Wall, but fears the American military complex. It canvasses politics, society, geography, environment, cities, and disasters. It meanders through America, Mexico, Iceland, the Arctic, Haiti and Japan.

A common Solnit caution is, mistrust the right, when they say they’re on your side. The American “right wooed rural white people (and then screwed them), the left neglected them at best”. Don’t believe the left, Solnit also warns, when they insist “everything is awful”.

Her essays are allusive and digressive, sometimes arch or experimental in style. Journey to the Center is one that lost me, but Rattlesnake in Mailbox brings its point home. This being California, the title comes from real life, from the 1970s and an attempted cult murder. Another group, the SLA, notably used a “communal toothbrush” and kidnapped the heiress Patty Hearst. But did not those 1970s excesses also galvanise San Francisco communities? That spurred along the civic reformers George Moscone and Harvey Milk – who really were murdered. If Solnit’s “earnest” 1970s punk generation failed to spot the right resurging and inequality widening, they weren’t alone. Yet her summary is that the 1970s were “as generative as they were terrible”, bestowing durable advances in health awareness and minority rights.

Also bequeathed to California are “monuments to public [war] expenditure”. These are obsolete defence barracks and bunkers dotting the San Francisco Bay area. In The Visibility Wars, Solnit recalls being taken to Nevada’s remote nuclear test sites. Though her country retains the biggest military, with hundreds of bases spread over dozens of countries, somehow the war footing remains “invisible to most Americans”. Occasionally, that war may become visible, through the surveillance and policing of dissent.

Regarding America’s “futile” war on drugs, Solnit sends Mexico an apology. Americans she types as “miserable optimists” conditioned to take personal blame for their imperfections and failures. So their resulting pain is “exported” to Mexico and returns in the form of drugs. A better Mexico emerges, in a heartfelt account of the Zapatistas of Chiapas state. This 2008 essay sees their rebel movement as feminist from the start, a government that “obeys” rather than tramples the people.

With hindsight, the Zapatistas are not having an easy road. Ditto the Arab Spring, subject of an approving 2011 piece. But this resilient optimist is not to be bowed. She celebrates the huge not-for-cash Iceberg Economy that gives and receives in our families and communities. Similarly, numberless small and non-violent exchanges can lead to societal change. Hence “American society has changed profoundly over the past half-century, for those among us who are not male, or straight, or white, or Christian”. It’s a good point, also applicable to Australia.

At the time of the 2008-09 global financial crisis, Solnit took Iceland as an instructive example of government failing the community, or vice versa. The crash wrought by Iceland’s over-geared banks, she then concluded, had been a while coming. She quoted Icelandic author Andri Magnason on the prior 30-year “clearance sale” of Iceland’s natural assets. Maybe the people politely accepted civic waywardness for too long. “Which is to say that representative democracy fails, wherever its citizens let it fail, even on a charming island with a thousand-year democratic tradition.”

The essay Climate Change is Violence is a blunt instrument. Other environmental pieces are more nuanced. Detroit Arcadia and Revolutionary Plots consider the restorative prospects for urban agriculture. Oil and Water taps neighbourhood impacts of the notorious 2010 BP oil “spill” in the Gulf of Mexico. Winged Mercury dredges the environmental detritus of California’s 19th century gold rush, particularly the toxic mercury legacy. Dry Lands is Solnit’s alternate 2009 history of the perennially precipitous politics of California water extraction. With that state since fallen into a drought for the ages, her history retains relevance.

Ironically, her edgy San Francisco has now become a dormitory for Silicon Valley salarymen. In a 2013 essay, she jibes at their exclusive “Google Buses” for commuting. A later piece mentions how the Valley titans, apparently overcoming their usual disdain for Big Government, were revealed to be data dealing with the National Security Agency.

Stephen Saunders is a Canberra reviewer.

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Woolwich Marina hits the market as demand for Sydney moorings increases

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Put in: Marinas are tightly-held across Sydney, mostly by private owners. Photo: Rick StevensThe Woolwich marina has been placed on the market at a time when demand for berths is on the rise as more people look to invest in pleasure craft.
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Marinas are tightly-held across Sydney, mostly by private owners, with the exception being the d’Albora at the Spit, which is owned by the listed Ardent Leisure group.

In its half-year report to December 31, 2014, Ardent Leisure, said the Marina division recorded total revenues of $11.2 million for the period, in line with the prior year.

The earnings before interest, depreciation and amortisation was $5.1 million, reflecting a 2 per cent increase on prior period EBITDA.

An operating margin of 56.5 per cent was achieved against prior period margins of 55.7 per cent and was assisted by an overall improvement in portfolio occupancies to 85 per cent.

While a marina berth starts at about $1 million in the key Sydney Harbour berths, dry docks and regional centres are providing returns of more than 8 per cent per annum.

Agents have said there has been a rise in demand to own such a property as a landlord and rent the berth to boat owners, in a similar way to a commercial or residential asset.

Jeff Moxham and Rod Smart of Ray White are advising on the Woolwich sale, and said there are 270 berths, generating an income of about $417,000 per annum. Mr Moxham said there was a potential fully-leased income of about $671,000 per annum.

The vendors, Greg and Liz Newton, have owned the marina for the past eight years.

“Increasing demand and limited supply of Sydney Harbour marinas has strengthened demand for pontoon berths and waterfront marina use land,” Mr Moxham said.

“This property will almost certainly sell to a marine enthusiast.”

The Woolwich marina currently operates under a new 40-year lease, from April last year, with the NSW Roads and Maritime Services, and has vessel maintenance facilities on site. The deal also includes the adjoining apartment.

Mr Smart said there was also potential for other residential development.

Brock Rodwell of Ray White Marine said overseas and local investors are expected to view the site, particularly those in the yachting business.

The director of metropolitan investments at CBRE, Tim Grosmann, said recently that marina assets are typically pursued by sophisticated investors – rather than small-time investors – especially given the complexities involved in this style of property.

“Marinas are generally located on leasehold rather than freehold land and the leasehold periods are typically around 30 years, so it’s vital to have a good knowledge of the fundamentals,” Mr Grosmann said.

“We typically find that these types of properties are acquired by sophisticated investors who have some form of involvement in the maritime industry.”

The near embargo on the large-scale marina development in Sydney has also led to a scarcity of berths, which agents say has fuelled the price rises in recent years.

Additionally, marinas are facing increasing barriers to expansion and in some instance even repairs and upgrading of facilities.

According to industry figures there are more than 800,000 boats registered in Australia, with a further 100,000-plus not registered, being under repair or renovation.

Mr Rodwell said a recent survey of the marina industry showed that it provided permanent and casual employment for 15,900 employees (excluding contractors) and generated gross revenues, including rents, of $1.65 billion.

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Capital Gain: Box Hill site with permit for Melbourne’s tallest suburban skyscraper for sale

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Developing: Richard Wynne has received fewer planning applications than his predecessor. Photo: Pat Scala Snap: The new $80 million industrial business park at Coburg Hill is sited near a former Kodak building. Photo: Jason South
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New owner: Artist’s impression of the proposed Sovereign Square development in Box Hill.

Developing: Richard Wynne has received fewer planning applications than his predecessor. Photo: Pat Scala

New owner: Artist’s impression of the proposed Sovereign Square development in Box Hill.

Developing: Richard Wynne has received fewer planning applications than his predecessor. Photo: Pat Scala

Snap: The new $80 million industrial business park at Coburg Hill is sited near a former Kodak building. Photo: Jason South

New owner: Artist’s impression of the proposed Sovereign Square development in Box Hill.

Developing: Richard Wynne has received fewer planning applications than his predecessor. Photo: Pat Scala

Snap: The new $80 million industrial business park at Coburg Hill is sited near a former Kodak building. Photo: Jason South

New owner: Artist’s impression of the proposed Sovereign Square development in Box Hill.

An artist’s impression of Sovereign Square, the proposed development in Box Hill that’s now up for sale.

A Box Hill site with a permit to build what was, until this year, Melbourne’s tallest suburban skyscraper, will soon have a new owner.

The 545 Station Street property was quietly listed for sale earlier this year as a development opportunity. Just weeks earlier the vendor was targeting consumers to flog the 419 units in the proposed 34-level tower.

Sovereign Square, as it was branded, would abut the Box Hill Central shopping centre and train station and also include ground floor retail and a basement car park.

When approved last year, it was metropolitan Melbourne’s tallest proposed apartment tower. That accolade is now held by the Capitol Grand proposal in South Yarra, permitted earlier this year to rise some 50 levels.

Last month, the Deague family’s Asian Pacific Building Corporation received the green light to replace 850 Whitehorse Road, Box Hill, with two apartment buildings rising 36 and 26 levels.  An imposing 20-level office building is under construction at 913 Whitehorse Road, Box Hill.

The 2417-square-metre Station Street site was being marketed with price expectations of about $40 million by Knight Frank’s Marcus Quinn and Paul Henley with CBRE’s Mark Wizel and Ed Wright.

Near the junction

A China-based development consortium is paying a speculated $7.5 million for a modest office building near the St Kilda Junction.

On a sizeable 1053-square-metre parcel at 194-198 St Kilda Road, the asset was offered with a permit for a six-level, 73-unit apartment complex with two ground-floor shops. It is not expected the new owner will amend the permit before marketing the flats soon after settlement.

The office is next door to the low-rise office for years occupied by radio stations MMM and Fox FM, which used a “rooftop” balcony area for intimate live shows with local and international entertainers.

Savills agents Jesse Radisich, Julian Heatherich and Nick Peden marketed 194-198 St Kilda Road for investors who bought the block for $3.4 million at the start of the last economic downturn in mid-2008.

Much closer to the junction, at 3-5 St Kilda Road, local developer Caydon is building a 27-level apartment tower.

Also in St Kilda, a rundown office building at 25-29 Alma Road sold late this week for about $9 million. The corner site, offered with a permit for a 75-unit complex, was marketed by Beller Commercial’s Sam Fogarty and Brendan Goss.

Malvern addition 

LANDIS Property has paid $6 million for a residential development site in ritzy Malvern.

Currently zoned Industrial, the Como Street block, just off Glenferrie Road and near the Malvern train station, covers 934 square metres. Gross Waddell’s Andrew Greenway and Jonathon McCormack managed the off-market sales campaign. The land is currently configured with a low-rise office and car park.

In Melbourne, the Landis property portfolio includes Grace Apartments in Essendon, Cedar Apartments in Caulfield North and Queens Apartments in Carlton.

Commercial opportunity

A developer has swooped on 16 hectares of commercial-zoned land between Geelong and Torquay, in a speculated $6 million deal.

The Airport Road property in Mount Duneed sold prior to an auction scheduled for late last month.

Marketed as a lifestyle opportunity or a land bank, the property is within the Urban Growth Boundary, which would make development straightforward. Near the Princes and Surf Coast highways, the land is near Villawood’s Armstrong Creek housing estate and Deakin University’s Waurn Ponds campus.

Darcy Jarman’s Tim Jarman and Simon Jarman declined to comment on any part of the Mt Duneed campaign when contacted.

In the area, last month, a property co-owned by a consortium including Essendon Football Club legend Mark Thompson and businessman, Mark Casey, was listed with price expectations of about $30 million. The 16 hectare Armstrong Creek parcel at 458-498 Torquay Road is expected to become a major activity precinct and collection of housing estates.

In north-west Geelong earlier this year, two almost neighbouring sites measuring more than 60 hectares sold in separate deals for about $20 million. These Lovely Banks rural blocks are also expected to make way for thousands of new residents.

Coburg Hill

Plans for an $80 million industrial business park will add a substantial tranche of modern commercial stock around the area recently rebranded Coburg Hill.

The park is now earmarked for a nine-hectare site at 105 Newlands Road, which just sold for a speculated $8 million. The land is opposite an office building once owner-occupied by Kodak, which disposed of it, several years ago.

A second portion of the former Kodak site on the east side of Edgars Creek has recently been replaced as Coburg Hill, a medium density housing estate with some retail components.

Colliers International’s Marco Sandrin and Brent Glassford marketed 105 Newlands Road which is about 10 kilometres north of the CBD. The site includes about 28,000 square metres of warehouse space and substantial hardstand zones. It’s expected to be replaced with a new business park accommodating up to 100 small multi-storey office warehouses.

Blocks less than half the size on either side of 105 Newlands Road have been developed as industrial parks with more than 30 separate office warehouses. Mr Sandrin said the future development or subdivision potential of the site, coupled with the existing income, saw it contested by several parties. The agents declined to comment about the sale price.

Borrowed light

What a difference a change of government has made to the number of major proposals.

Last month, no applications were lodged with the planning minister Richard Wynne to replace metropolitan Melbourne blocks with projects of greater than 25,000 square metres. This compares to nine applications lodged in March 2014 when the now opposition leader, Matthew Guy, controversially presided over the Planning portfolio.

For the first quarter of 2015, three major metropolitan proposals were lodged to Mr Wynne for review. In the corresponding period, last year, 17 were lodged to Mr Guy, who had already earned the nickname “Mr Skyscraper” in planning circles.

One of the most controversial permits granted in March 2014 was a 62-level, 511-unit complex with zero car parks at 97-105 Franklin Street in the CBD.

The jury is out as to whether the noticeable deceleration in planning applications this year is a good thing, given Melbourne’s burgeoning population. Many developers who obtained ministerial approvals have onsold their assets for a profit.

Mr Wynne this week discouraged developers proposing towers with apartments that would rely on borrowed light (i.e., radiance from another room that has a window).

Email: [email protected]南京夜网

Twitter: @marcpallisco

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Book review: The Ghost Estate, by John Connell

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The Ghost Estate By John Connell Picador, $29.99
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The Irish used to remember the Great Famine of the 1840s as an example of what happens when economics and profit are given priority over people. That disaster was not confined to the poor, those without property or means, but also affected the ruling classes, the old Ascendancy. As the 21st century distanced them from the shame of hunger and starvation, they forgot that lesson.

Instead, the first decade of the new century infected the whole country with a madness born of greed. Nowhere was that more obvious than in the sudden idea that you were no one unless you had a second house. Or a third one. If you could not convince yourself, there were plenty of gurus spruiking a holiday home in Tramore or Lahinch, Bundoran or Kenmare; after all, you had the mandatory two children and each should have their separate inheritance. Besides, it was a gold-plated investment, it would be your comfort in old age, much better than superannuation. (Heaven forbid that today’s Australia learns the spuriousness of that logic, however exalted its proponents or speciously attractive their arguments.)

Those two events in Irish history, the famine of the middle years of the 19th century and the artificial building boom 160 years later, are cleverly combined in this novel. The central character is Ger McQuaid, a young electrical contractor taking on his first big job in a new estate that would include a golf course and a luxury hotel to replace a rundown mansion, once the centre of a large estate with hundreds of tenants. Like the plumbers and bricklayers and roofers, he is paid by the developer who in turn is depending on moneyed backers; all are financed by banks who are falling over themselves to pass out money that they have access to through a  corrupted international financial system.

McQuaid is a long way down that chain, though a step above his workers who roll out the wire, drill the holes and position the switches and sockets. He is also the ultimate loser. At one stage, his girlfriend, a student in Dublin, calls him a “bogger”, a searing insult for someone who sees financial security and social respectability almost in his grasp.

When people realised that banks were not their friends, it was too late; today half-finished, vandalised estates are a feature of the Irish landscape. The author compares this situation with the way the countryside was devastated by the famine of the 1840s, although the reader may find the comparison forced and not entirely convincing.

McQuaid’s private life is a mirror of the economic disaster about to hit his country. Incapable of distinguishing between love and farmyard lust, his fall is predictable. The author manages to make him a thoroughly unlikeable figure, lacking the sophistication of his city counterparts or the intelligence and survival instincts of those who live on the geographical edges of the country.

Perhaps I should explain. There is, in certain parts of Ireland, an unstated opinion about those who live in the centre of the island, of whom a recent Taoiseach (prime minister) might be a good example. The view is that they lack the cuteness of the city dweller and the cleverness of those who live in places like Kerry, Cork or Donegal. There is little in this book that might change that opinion and indeed it could be read as a long-winded and overwritten satire on that very situation.

The cover of the book features endorsements by Kevin Barry and Tony Ryan, two modern Irish writers whose work is much more deserving of release in this country.

Frank O’Shea is a Canberra reviewer.

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Attitude problem lets down the Storm

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LAUDERDALE 12.15 (87) -d- WESTERN STORM11.10 (76)IT IS an opening-round State League loss that has left Western Storm coach Mitch Hills seething.
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The Storm yesterday lost to Lauderdale by 11 points at Aurora Stadium, 12.15 (87) to 11.10 (76), with Hills saying his charges’ poor attitude going into the game was a significant factor in the loss.

“Our boys just turned up and thought it was done deal,” Hills said.

“They did just think they could roll in thinking they would get the job done no matter what and took it easy on a team you can’t take it easy on, and it was really an unprofessional performance.

“I put it on them after the game we’ll do during the week, but our best players didn’t stand up when it mattered and the team’s performance was very ordinary.

“If you think you are just going to turn up and roll through teams in TSL footy, well that just doesn’t happen.

“It wasn’t structurally why we lost, it was truly an effort-based thing.”

Not even the fact that last year’s grand finalists were able to fight back from 22 points down in the second term to briefly take the lead was enough to make Hills smile.

Lauderdale looked in control from the opening moments, but a goal on the quarter-time siren from Alex Russell saved face for the home team, with the scoreboard reading 3.6 to 2.1.

Storm small forward Zane Brown started to get involved when his side fell down by those 22 points, playing a role in the next four goals as they got back into a match that was all level at half-time.

Brown would kick two of these goals himself, the second a beauty after running inside 50, receiving the ball via hand from the teammate he just gave it to, and slotting it on the run.

He was also the one to pump it inside 50 in the lead-up to Corry Goodluck’s goal from a free kick, and it was the crumbs of his attempted mark that Thane Bardenhagen would pounce on in the goal square.

The third quarter started with a wonder goal around the body from Lauderdale’s Ashley Woodhead, but after that the Storm started to look comfortable again.

When Bardenhagen kicked his second, the Storm looked like they could take the game away from the Bombers, holding an eight-point lead in the low-scoring game.

But Benjamin Halton stood up in attack for Lauderdale to kick two quick ones and give the visitors a five-point lead at the final change.

Halton again stood up in the final term to kick another two majors, to be in the difference in a quarter that saw momentum swing both ways.

Other Southern Bombers to impress included running players such as Thor Boscutt, Kaine Waller, Dylan Fyfe and Sean MacKay.

Bardenhagen, Brown, Jobi Harper, Will Hanson, debutant Goodluck and Tom Reinmuth all tried hard for the Storm, who play Launceston at Aurora on Friday night.

Lauderdale will play Clarence at Bellerive Oval next Saturday.

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All the Buildings in Sydney: James Gulliver Hancock’s obsession with drawing his city

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Sydney Tower by James Gulliver Hancock.
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The first house he lived in at Balmain by James Gulliver Hancock.

Sydney Tower by James Gulliver Hancock.

Sydney Tower by James Gulliver Hancock.

All the Buildings quiz: can you recognise these Sydney landmarks?

James Gulliver Hancock says his obsession with drawing buildings is a bit like trainspotting. He can walk or ride or drive past a building, perhaps one he has passed many times before, then suddenly notice something about it that makes him stop and look again. If he likes what he sees, he will make note of it with a sketch or a photo. Back at his studio, he reconstructs the building with an illustration that is not exactly like the original, but captures its essence and personality.

He started doing it when he moved to New York City in 2010. It began as a diary of his days, a way to map the sprawling grid of streets, a project to work on as he found his feet in the city’s intense creative landscape. He started a blog, and as it filled up with more and more buildings, it began to attract attention, first online, then in newspapers, and finally as a book, All the Buildings* in New York (*That I’ve Drawn So Far).

Three years later, after many artistic adventures and career-boosting commissions, he returned to Sydney. Driving to Clovelly where he and his wife, singer Lenka Kripac, were moving with their baby son, he was in tears. Not of joy.

“I was hating it, I didn’t want to be here at all,” he says. “I’d left all these amazing influences in New York and opportunities.”

Sydney felt like a country town in comparison; returning home seemed a backwards step. Fortunately, Hancock says, “I got over it.” One of the things that helped was starting a new obsessive project that has produced another book, All the Buildings* in Sydney (*That I’ve Drawn So Far).

He began with his childhood home in Balmain, a characterful sandstone cottage built by eminent architect Edmund Blacket, who also designed Sydney University’s grand old buildings. Hancock drew all the other places he had lived, the places his friends lived and other places they suggested. He walked around different neighbourhoods, spotted candidates from his car, and tackled the blockbusters: the Harbour Bridge, the Opera House, Sydney Tower, Luna Park. It helped him reconnect to the city, looking at it with fresh eyes and reconciling his past with the new identity he had formed overseas.

“It’s hard sometimes returning to a place and walking around old ghosts, so drawing was definitely therapeutic in that way, by paying more attention than normal to those ultra-familiar spaces,” he says.

Some of his choices for the book might seem surprising – the ominous UTS tower block on Broadway, for instance, where he studied visual communications. Blues Point Tower is in there too. Hancock enjoys tackling unpopular buildings and contributing a new perspective.

“I hated all that brutalism stuff before I started drawing buildings; now I love it,” he says. “I don’t love interacting with it daily, but as a sculpture, they’re amazing.”

His drawings, though instantly recognisable, have a cartoon buoyancy to them, with scribbles and squiggles and ink splats, like a sketch book.

He also uses collage, and often finds mistakes look better than reality, which happened when he was drawing the crane at Garden Island. Trying to recreate the struts, he drew the wrong kind of triangle, but decided it looked better that way and did them all like that.

“There’s a little whirlwind world that happens around the drawing you’re trying to do, it gives it a lot of extra personality.”

He has reconciled with his hometown that, it turns out, has its own opportunities: his local commissions include painting a mural last year for the City of Sydney’s bicycle parking station. Overseas jobs still come in, such as designing the artwork for a New York music festival or packaging for a US gourmet burrito chain, and he goes back to New York each year.

Hancock’s obsessive urge to draw began when he was a child; he was happier at home making models and painting than going to parties. As an adult, he gets cranky if he doesn’t draw every day.

It comes from the desire to know everything, he says, “to overcome the infinity of everything through drawing and logging … Every drawing feels like I’ve gathered a bit more into my understanding of how things are.”

All the Buildings* in Sydney (*That I’ve Drawn So Far) is published by Hardie Grant on May 1. allthebuildingsinsydney南京夜网.

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Duncan sees big picture in his faith

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Landscape photographer Ken Duncan’s Good Friday address focused on his photography Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ.
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A MAN hired to photograph stills from The Passion of the Christ is in Launceston as part of the city’s Easter Community Festival.

Ken Duncan spoke at the Tramsheds at Inveresk yesterday about his experiences with the film and its impact on his faith.

Duncan, a friend of director Mel Gibson since the pair were at school, said his involvement with The Passion of the Christ confirmed his religious beliefs.

He likened working alongside Jim Caviezel, who played Jesus in the film, to being in a “3D confessional”.

“It was such a graphic reminder of what Jesus went through,” Duncan said.

“I was a Christian before the film but when I saw that I thought ‘there’s no way that didn’t happen’. When you look at the evidence, you can’t just write it off.”

Organising committee member Andrew Corbett said that the festival would tap into the Easter tradition of inspiring great art, music and thought. Duncan is one of three key figures at the festival, with law professor Tim McCormack representing “thought” and astronomer Professor Fred Watson, who put himself through university by playing the guitar, representing music.

The Launceston Easter Community Festival runs until Monday at the Albert Hall, QVMAG Inveresk, the Tramsheds and St John’s Church. For details visit 梧桐夜网launceston.org419论坛 or the Launceston Easter Community Festival Facebook page.

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A mother’s pride in her family of loyal Knights

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Happy family: Mrs Mata’utia with her sons Pat, Sione and Chanel at Nobbys Beach. Photo: Marina Neil Happy family: Mrs Mata’utia with her sons Pat, Sione and Chanel at Nobbys Beach. Photo: Marina Neil
Nanjing Night Net

Happy family: Mrs Mata’utia with her sons Pat, Sione and Chanel at Nobbys Beach. Photo: Marina Neil

Happy family: Mrs Mata’utia with her sons Pat, Sione and Chanel at Nobbys Beach. Photo: Marina Neil

Matalena Mata’utia’s eyes well with tears, and not because of the howling nor’easter blowing sand and grit from nearby Nobbys Beach.

Mrs Mata’utia is talking about her beloved boys, and how proud she is of them, and where they have come from, and what they have achieved. Those boys, Sione, Pat and Chanel Mata’utia, turned down offers from Canterbury to sign new three-year contracts with the Newcastle Knights two weeks ago. Being close to their mother, and continuing to represent their adopted home town and the club where they began their flourishing footy careers, is why they stayed.

“When they said they’d been asked by other clubs to go there, I said ‘Do what you have to do, but I’m not moving’,” Mrs Mata’utia said. “I’m settled here and I’ve gotten used to the life here. I think they felt like they wouldn’t do well without me but I wanted them to go and experience that for themselves if they wanted to. But they decided to stay because I said I wasn’t moving. I’m happy that they’re staying, but I’m just happy because they’re settled and they’re happy.” Mrs Mata’utia raised the boys, Sione’s twin sister Sylvia, and older siblings Josephine, Jana and Peter, mostly on her own. Working several jobs to keep the children fed, clothed and housed, she did it tough, initially in Sydney’s inner western suburbs around Bankstown and Liverpool, then relocating to Raymond Terrace and eventually resettling in Mayfield.

Though 18-year-old Sione is the baby of the family, he does most of the talking for 21-year-old Pat and 22-year-old Chanel. He has assumed the role of patriarch since 24-year-old Peter left the Knights to join St George Illawarra last year. “I’ve noticed that everything has to go through this boy, even though he’s the youngest, but it’s good for him to take control of things and learn how to handle things,” she said of Sione. “He makes decisions for himself and what’s suitable for him, but I’m proud of him that he’s 18 and he’s more of the leader of the group than the older boys. I’m happy and I’m proud of all them that they’re doing well for themselves but it wasn’t an expectation for me when I first put them into rugby [league]. All I did was throw them in there to get them off the street, but I didn’t expect them to go this far and be successful.”

Mrs Mata’utia said her allegiances were tested when the boys play each other, as they did several times last year, so she sits on the fence. Sione will be the family’s sole representative when the Knights play the Dragons on Saturday.

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No worries on legal mistake

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THE Law Society of Tasmania says it’s unlikely that a 30-year-flaw in the way that magistrates have been appointed will affect past legal decisions.
Nanjing Night Net

Yesterday the state government revealed that magistrates, coroners and justices of the peace hadn’t been appointed in accordance with the law for three decades.

The realisation saw the government scramble to swear in all current magistrates properly yesterday morning to ensure that their authority was valid.

Magistrates, coroners and justices of the peace are meant to take the “judicial oath” in front of Tasmania’s governor or a Supreme Court justice.

But since the mid-80s it appears they’ve only been taking the oath in front of other magistrates.

Attorney-General Vanessa Goodwin said “legal doctrine” would uphold the validity of past decisions, sentences and actions made by magistrates.

Law society president Matthew Verney said the alternative would be “somewhat chaotic” and he didn’t envisage any challenges to past decisions in the magistrates court.

“The bottom line is to maintain public confidence in the courts, and I don’t think that’s been challenged by this,” he said.

Mr Verney said it was positive to see government publicly identifying the problem and addressing it.

The government did not say how the oversight was caught.

However, Ms Goodwin has previously said that she hoped to modernise some of the state’s legal practices.

She said the requirement to have the judicial oath taken by the Governor was “impractical and outdated”.

“An amendment will be introduced in the next sitting of Parliament … to allow the oath to be taken before a magistrate,” she said.

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