The PRWIRE Press Releases https:// 2019-03-21T04:28:52Z MEET ELLIOT HAYES - BYRON BAY’S ELON MUSK! 2019-03-21T04:28:52Z meet-elliott-hayes-byron-bay-s-elon-musk MEET BYRON BAY’S ELON MUSK!   # SMART ENERGY ENTREPRENEUR HAS BUILT  AUSTRALIA’S FASTEST GROWING ENERGY COMPANY IN 2 YEARS # SUCCESS DUE TO BEATING THE RISING COST OF ENERGY  # NEW CUSTOMERS LOVE THE ENVIRONMENTALY  FRIENDLY COST SAVINGS  # IT’S THE UBER OF ENERGY COMPANIES # CELEBRITIES USE SMART ENERGY    Elliot Hayes surfs every morning in Byron Bay  before motivating his  team of 130 staff to help the nation cut their electricity bills by providing affordable, clean energy solutions to households and businesses across Australia. Smart Energy is the Uber of energy companies with seven offices servicing NSW, Victoria, Queensland, WA and South Australia and plans to expand into the Northern Territory and NZ this year. Utilising the latest advances in technology Elliot’s team monitor customers’ electricity usage , supply batteries and carry out residential and business solar panel installation. Smart Energy’s  founder and Managing Director Elliot Hayes says “Everyone at home and in business is absolutely sick and tired of power bills going up and up. The rising cost of electricity and gas is simply unfair and unacceptable.  Our success is because we are doing something about it and giving homes and businesses cheap, clean energy solutions, plus we have a really professional team of staff right across Australia. We’re like the Uber of energy companies. Actually we’re better than Uber because we service every city and town and area in Australia. You don’t get Uber in country towns but you can get Smart Energy!”  Elliot is also proud of the support he is receiving from celebrities like surfing star Joel Parkinson and celebrity chef Steven Snow who has won a  Good Food Guide hat every year for over 20 years! World champion Pro Surfer Joel Parkinson says “Knowing that right now there’s no one charging me for energy and I’m doing the right thing for the environment here, I’m running off my own grid, you get a bit of a kick out of it.” Award winning celebrity chef Steven Snow is passionate about the environment and his famous FINS restaurant, Australia’s most awarded regional restaurant. Also one of the most sustainable. Steven’s  home is powered by  Smart Energy. Steven talks about the importance of making an individual change to impact environmental issues, as well as the significant savings in converting to solar. He says “The reason why I converted  is because it just goes with what we do in this house. You know, no air con, we have rain water hooked up for all our gardens, for our washing machines, for our bathrooms.” Watch Joel and Steven’s testimonial videos at www.smartenergygroup.com.au   PLUG ME IN PROJECT EVENT COMES TO CANBERRA 2019-03-19T11:42:14Z plug-me-in-project-event-comes-to-canberra Canberra, Australia — Wiebe Wakker’s Plug Me In project ends on April 7th in Sydney, but just before the end the Dutchman who has travelled from Holland to Australia in an electric car will pass through Canberra, and will put on a presentation of his epic trip so far.  The event is free and will be on March 28th at 6pm at the Renewables Innovation Hub in Turner.Plug Me In is a purpose-driven adventure with the aim to inspire, educate and accelerate the transition to a zero carbon future.On the 15th of March 2016 Wiebe left the Netherlands in an electric car, the Blue Bandit, with Sydney as his destination on the other side of the world.He has travelled without money and relied on the kindness of people. Plug Me In has been based upon the collaboration of people to offer a meal, a place to sleep or electricity for his car.  He believes that everyone can contribute to a more sustainable world, and tries to do his part by showing the possibilities of sustainable mobility.Throughout his journey, he has engaged with sustainable initiatives, companies and organisations to highlight the environmental challenges in each respective country and promote key solutions.So far, Wiebe has travelled over 90,000km through 33 countries during the last three years on his trip from the Netherlands to Australia, and has done this entirely without the need to visit a petrol station.He’s had some interesting times along the way, and will elaborate during his presentation, held in collaboration with the Tesla Owners Club of Australia.The event is free and open to all.28 March 2019 6pm - 8pmat the Renewables Innovation Hub19 - 23 Moore StreetTurnerACT 2612— ends —For further media information contact:Craig Hind (Event Co-ordinator) - craighind@me.com - 0408-161-400Wiebe Wakker - https://plugmeinproject.com/contact/Twitter: https://twitter.com/wiebewkkrInstagram: https://www.instagram.com/plugmeintravel/Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PlugMeIn/YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/plugmeinproject1 Australian Skincare Product Brings Home Editor’s Choice in 2019 Beauty Shortlist Awards… Again! 
 2019-03-06T03:08:40Z australian-skincare-product-brings-home-editors-choice-in-2019-beauty-shortlist-awards-again FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 6th March 2019 The Annual Beauty Shortlist Awards has announced the winners after six months of thoroughly testing ethical, natural and eco-friendly beauty products from over 30 countries. Since starting in 2012 in the UK, the awards have become the most trusted in the industry by consumers. Claiming to be 100% sponsorship, advertisement and partnership free, the aim is to actively seek out ethical brands on the market and undergo intense testing and judging by an international judging panel of industry leaders from the UK, USA and Australia. Paudha Healing was created by Valley Heights local Renee Tilley while studying a Bachelor of Health Science (Naturopathy). Renee discovered the incredible healing properties of herbs and plants growing wild and in abundance around her home in the Blue Mountains - often being considered weeds! Renee went on to study cosmetic chemistry to combine her in depth knowledge of herbs with advanced chemical formulations to create skincare products that were safe and effective for all skin types. Hand made in the Blue Mountains using locally sourced Australian Certified Organic ingredients wherever possible and accredited as a cruelty free skincare company by Choose Cruelty Free Australia. Paudha Healing’s Nourish & Repair Face Oil also won the Editor’s Choice Award in 2017. This blend has been carefully selected to provide deep healing and moisturizing, fight signs of premature ageing, reduce redness and is suitable for ALL skin types. “Our Nourish & Repair Face Oil continues to be one of our top selling products each month and winning this award back in 2017 and for the second time in 2019, really confirms what our customers are saying about this amazing oil.” Says Renee Tilley, Owner and Director of Paudha Healing. Nourish & Repair Face Oil Contains: Certified Organic Jojoba Oil Certified Organic Rosehip CO2 Extract Certified Organic Calendula Flower Extract Certified Organic Sunflower Seed Oil Certified Organic Rosemary Extract Certified Organic Frankincense Essential Oil Rose Geranium Essential Oil RRP: $33 for 30mls. For more information on this multi award-winning product click here. Paudha Healing is looking to expand its network of retail stockists with the goal of being readily available in all states across Australia and New Zealand by the end of 2019. “I have been using this oil now for over 12 months and am totally thrilled with the results! I used to use a good quality anti aging cream but this oil is giving me better results by far! I love this product so much” Karmell via website. “5 stars plus for this amazing oil. After turning 40 I found my skin changed dramatically, becoming dry and showing sun spots. After using this oil for a month, my spots are disappearing and my skin feels nourished and glowing. I no longer wear foundation on a day to day basis. I am in love with this product!” Nicole via website. For samples or media enquiries contact: Renee Tilley Owner/Director Paudha Healing 0416 212 889 info@paudhahealing.com.au Cleantech and Renewables Marketing Communications Consultancy Launches in Australia 2019-02-28T06:44:57Z cleantech-and-renewables-marketing-communications-consultancy-launches-in-australia Melbourne, AUSTRALIA - 26 February 2019 - Positive Good, an integrated marketing communications consultancy that is dedicated to cleantech and renewable energy brands in Australia was launched today.   Co-founders and directors, Gabriel Wong and Olivia Smith, who had worked with Enphase Energy since 2014, started Positive Good to represent brands that are driving Australia’s clean energy revolution as the uptake of renewable energy grows in the country across households, businesses and industries.   Positive Good develops and manages integrated marketing and communications campaigns for foundation clients including sonnen, deX, Solar Analytics, Sungrow and GreenSync.   Gabriel Wong and Olivia Smith, Directors at Positive Good said, “The Australian cleantech and renewable energy market is sorely lacking the industry expertise of marketing and communications consultants who understand the clean energy landscape. Positive Good is looking to change this.”   “We’ve spent a significant amount of time during our career working with consultants who don’t know what is the difference between a kW or kWh or how to influence a newscycle to address clean energy policies and stakeholders. This can mean the development of content remains the responsibility of the client, which is inefficient both from a time and cost perspective. Instead of having clients having to take us through these fundamentals to build a campaign, our clients know that we can hit the ground running to deliver results from day one,” said Gabriel and Olivia.   Gabriel has spent over two decades managing integrated marketing campaigns for cleantech and technology brands. Besides Enphase Energy, he has worked with brands such as Yingli Solar, SolarMax, Landis+Gyr, Ecoult and Star Scientific.   Olivia is an agile, creative marketer with 15 years of experience in PR, advertising, events and marketing management. She has executed marketing and communications programs for the likes of LG Chem, Sungrow, Enphase Energy, GreenSync, deX and Solar Analytics.     ENDS Andrews Government needs to explain its role in timber industry crisis 2019-02-27T22:17:36Z andrews-government-needs-to-explain-its-role-in-timber-industry-crisis The Institute of Foresters of Australia (IFA) has called on the Victorian Government to fully explain why it is refusing to release pre-designated wood production forest to the timber industry. Mark Poynter, a Fellow of the IFA in Victoria said, ‘Victorian Premier Andrews’ explanation that the delay in releasing this timber is due to the importance of “following the process to get the planning right” is hard to fathom, given that the Timber Release Plan has been ready for signing since before last November’s state election. ‘Furthermore, the Government already has another long-term process underway – the RFA Modernisation Project – which is meant to be assessing the future management of Victoria’s native forest timber production. ‘Under these circumstances, we would expect timber production to continue while this review was conducted. Stopping an industry dead in its tracks while formulating a strategy for its future is unprecedented and guaranteed to create an employment crisis for regions and rural communities. ‘In the absence of any explanation, it can only be assumed that the Andrews Government is happy to effectively cripple the livelihoods of several thousand rural Victorians to appease trendy, ideological opposition to forestry that has been shaped by decades of misinformation. The Andrews’ Government’s actions are at odds with the Premier’s claim that "The Government's position is not to be playing politics with these industries, these jobs and these communities’”, said Mark. If this continues, the forced closure of Victoria’s native forest timber industry will have far-reaching consequences beyond the devastating loss of rural jobs. The industry’s experienced bush workforce and their equipment have, for generations, been integral to managing the threat to Victorian forests posed by severe bushfires. Only weeks ago, forestry and timber industry workforces combined with government agencies to extinguish a major fire in the Thomson catchment which had potential to seriously damage Melbourne’s water supply. Native forest timber production is clearly a vexed issue for the Andrews Government which appears to be beholden to eco-activist claims that are at best dubious or wrong. In fact, for every dry tonne of timber produced, 1.8 tonnes of carbon dioxide is taken from the atmosphere. This carbon remains ‘locked up’ for the life of the wood, even when it is used for building products or furniture, helping to offset global greenhouse gas emissions. Furthermore, timber production is highly regulated and limited to a minor 6% portion of the state’s public forests. If this was more widely recognised, the IFA believes that most Victorians would support our native forest timber industry, especially given the continuing strong demand for hardwood products.   Solid 2018 for Gold Coast New Apartment Market, With a Hint At 2019’s Prospects 2019-02-27T18:00:00Z solid-2018-for-gold-coast-new-apartment-market-with-a-hint-at-2019s-prospects 2018 has been a great year for the Gold Coast new apartment market, as revealed in the latest release of the Apartment Essentials by leading property consultants, Urbis. The Gold Coast recorded 1,010 sales in 2018 – 24 per cent higher than 2017’s performance. On average, there were 252 sales each quarter, however the first three quarters showed stronger sales rates. In other years, Urbis has seen growth in the final quarter, however 2018 saw a slight fall, with 156 sales. ‘Urbis is monitoring 75 new apartment projects across the Gold Coast, a post GFC record. While the number of apartment projects has risen, the projects are generally containing less apartments than was seen in previous cycles’ said Lynda Campbell, Senior Consultant at Urbis. ‘We have seen a shift away from the mega-towers and sites with numerous buildings toward smaller boutique style apartment buildings.’ 2018 saw 33 new apartment projects launch across the Gold Coast. Two projects sold out in the quarter, bringing the annual tally to nine projects sold out and 30 per cent of this quarter’s surveyed projects are over 75 per cent sold out. The Gold Coast recorded weighted average sale prices in the low $700,000s over the course of 2018, whereas 2017 recorded low to mid $600,000s. The gradual increase in apartment prices is consistent with the higher concentration of luxury apartment projects on the Gold Coast, highlighting the move towards larger, owner occupier buildings. Southern Beaches recorded the highest weighted average sale price during the quarter ($797,500), based on 40 sales, coinciding with the precinct’s larger proportion of 3-bedroom products (23 per cent of future supply). 12 months ago, this precinct had 14 projects being actively marketed – it now has 24. ‘Apartments in this precinct tend to have larger floor plates and are suitable for owner occupiers, hence the higher price points’, Ms Campbell commented. The Gold Coast Central precinct recorded the highest sales rate with 87 sales, dominated by high rise projects and selling mainly two-bedroom, two-bathroom products. Interstate investors and owner occupiers made up the majority of sales in the quarter, with 41 per cent and 38 per cent respectively. Owner occupiers made up the majority of sales in 2018 with 38 per cent, followed closely by interstate investors 36 per cent of total buyers in 2018. 2019 is shaping up to be an exciting year for Gold Coast’s new apartment market, with approximately 2,000 new apartments expected to launch their sales campaigns in the first half of 2019. Strong population growth and an increase in interstate migration should see demand continue into 2019. Urbis Gold Coast Apartment Essentials Q4 2018 snapshot: Weighted average sale price recorded: $715,865 7 project launches in the quarter: 412 new apartments 709 apartments approved in the quarter For media enquiries contact: Stephanie Keith, Senior Brand & Clients Consultant Ph: 02 8233 7633 E: skeith@urbis.com.au Rebecca Jagger and Alexis Carroll at DEC PR Ph: 02 8014 5033 E: urbis@decpr.com.au About Urbis Apartment Essentials The Urbis Apartment Market Essentials is the most comprehensive national survey in Australia, and the only survey for which the sales data for apartment projects with 25 or more units is collected at the time of contract rather than at settlement. Projects with 25 apartments or more are tracked from initial application through to the building being sold out for projects across Perth and key areas of density across Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Brisbane. As well as tracking the status of 2,513 developments Urbis receives surveys from 295 apartment developments. Urbis recognises the traditional owners of the land on which we work. Learn more about our Reconciliation Action Plan. National new apartment market set to show signs of recovery in 2019 2019-02-27T18:00:00Z national-new-apartment-market-set-to-show-signs-of-recovery-in-2019 Australia saw a lot of new things in 2018: a new prime minister, tightening lending controls, debates around housing affordability and thousands of new apartments launched across Australia. But how did each market compare and what does 2019 have in store? Urbis’ Apartment Essentials brings together the sales and supply data from five markets across the country, revealing the quarterly wins and losses in the many new apartment markets. Today’s release provides a yearly review as the fourth and final quarter brings perspective to the recently departed 2018. Sales With new stock coming in and sales experiencing speed bumps, national apartment sales as a percentage of available stock surveyed has dropped to a new low of 7.7 per cent in quarter four. Clinton Ostwald, Director at Urbis, commented, ‘we’ve seen fluctuating results around the country. In many markets, buyers are soaking up the existing completed stock as the brakes have been put on new launches. In other markets, new projects are still being launched to market, replenishing the supply and leading to steady sales. Sales rates have been dropping for the last two years, so it’s no surprise that 2018’s results were lacklustre in comparison to 2017. In Sydney, surveyed sold stock averaged 21 per cent of available supply throughout each quarter in 2017 whereas this dropped to 5.5 per cent in 2018. Melbourne and the Gold Coast followed in this same pattern with sales as a percentage of available stock dropping by around 4 per cent over the same period. Brisbane and Perth, the markets that have seen the least new stock enter, have reversed this trend and have seen slight increases in 2018. Stock It’s not the stock crisis we imagined one year ago. Lower levels of new stock entering the market has continued to replenish the slow sales throughout 2018, with 24,000 new apartments launching throughout the year. The two biggest markets saw the most impressive figures; Melbourne took the cake with over 11,244 new apartments entering the market in 2018, while Sydney placed second in the country with 4,810 new apartment launches. There was a surprising standstill in Brisbane with no new launches in the quarter, however the first half of 2019 will likely bring over 1,000 new apartment launches for the sunny city. Apartment approvals are at their lowest in the history of Urbis’ Apartment Essentials, sitting at 4,576 in quarter four 2018. With new design specifications and planning requirements in some jurisdictions, we’re likely to see this number continue to fall in 2019. In relation to the falling levels of new launches and apartment approvals, Mr Ostwald observed, ‘we need to keep an eye on supply levels as ongoing population growth, particularly on the East Coast, will quickly take up available supply. This may result in a housing supply shortage in the next 12 to 18 months as we are also seeing fewer completions in the greenfield house and land market.’ Buyer Profile It truly was a year for owner occupiers, with 46 per cent of total sales for 2018 attributed to this buyer type. Interstate investors leapt up by 10 per cent in 2018, accounting for 19 per cent of sales. Local state investors, who previously accounted for 30 per cent of the market in 2017, dropped down to 17 per cent in 2018, in line with foreign investors. Q4 2018 Apartment Essentials Snapshot 7.7 per cent of the surveyed available stock was sold in the December quarter across the five markets: Sydney (6 per cent of available surveyed stock sold, 977 new apartments launched) Melbourne (9 per cent of available surveyed stock sold, 2781 new apartments launched) Brisbane (9 per cent of available surveyed stock sold, no new apartments launched) Perth (9 per cent of available surveyed stock sold, 464 new apartments launched) Gold Coast (6 per cent of available surveyed stock sold, 377 new apartments launched) National weighted average sale price recorded at $705,226 for Q4 Sydney – $899,793 Melbourne – $656,739 Brisbane – $831,884 Perth – $602,524 Gold Coast – $715,032 The most popular product type was two-bedroom, two-bathroom product at 47% of total sales. Across the cities the highest selling product types were: Sydney – One-bedroom, one-bathroom apartments – 48% Melbourne – Two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartments – 44% Brisbane – Two-bedroom, two-bathroom 53% Perth – Two-bedroom, two-bathroom – 41% Gold Coast – Two-bedroom, two-bathroom – 66% 25% of actively selling apartments are in presales, 49% are under construction and 26% are recently built. For media enquiries contact: Stephanie Keith, Senior Brand & Clients Consultant Ph: 02 8233 7633 E: skeith@urbis.com.au Rebecca Jagger and Alexis Carroll at DEC PR Ph: 02 8014 5033 E: urbis@decpr.com.au About Urbis Apartment Essentials The Urbis Apartment Market Essentials is the most comprehensive national survey in Australia, and the only survey for which the sales data for apartment projects with 25 or more units is collected at the time of contract rather than at settlement. Projects with 25 apartments or more are tracked from initial application through to the building being sold out for projects across Perth and key areas of density across Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Brisbane. As well as tracking the status of 2,513 developments Urbis receives surveys from 295 apartment developments. Urbis recognises the traditional owners of the land on which we work. Learn more about our Reconciliation Action Plan. Brisbane Soaking Up the Stock As New Apartment Launches Dry Up 2019-02-27T18:00:00Z brisbane-soaking-up-the-stock-as-new-apartment-launches-dry-up-1 Today, leading property experts, Urbis released their latest update of the Apartment Essentials, Australia’s most comprehensive new apartment survey. This latest release features a 2018 summary as well as a look into what 2019 has in store. The Inner Brisbane region recorded 138 sales in the fourth quarter of 2018, dropping back down after a stand-out quarter three result. There was a total of 840 new apartment sales in 2018, almost 30 per cent lower than 2017. Paul Riga, Director at Urbis, summarised, ‘the fourth quarter result was to be expected, with no new projects launching, buyers are essentially soaking up the current projects on the market’. Across Inner Brisbane, new apartment launches dropped off in 2018, down by around 35 per cent on 2017 launches. Available stock has fluctuated throughout the past two years, however after a peak in 2017 Q2 with a record 3,243 apartments available at the start of the quarter, available stock has hovered around the low to mid 2000s throughout 2018. Sales as a percentage of available stock have also dwindled, dropping to a record low of 9.4 per cent in the final quarter of 2018. The downward movement in available stock highlights the continued absorption of this product, and importantly that demand for new apartments is still present in the market. Whilst the depth of the investor market is still subdued, owner occupiers are the key target market, with many projects now boutique in nature and catering to the needs of a longer-term resident. This can be noted in the results, as despite the drop in the volume of sales, the weighted average sale price was significantly higher than 2017’s quarterly reports, indicating that the style and quality of stock currently selling has changed. Whilst the latter half of 2018 saw conservative developer activity, many developers are being buoyed by the levels of sales absorption, low vacancy rates and stable growth drivers for Brisbane. Approximately 2,000 apartments are anticipated to launch in the three quarters of 2019, and with a replenishing pipeline, it is likely to register a pick-up in sales. ‘Ultimately it will be access to finance (for buyers and developers) that will temper the inner Brisbane market in the short-term,’ said Mr Riga, ‘but the drivers of demand are there, and smart developers are already looking at opportunities for their next move’. Urbis Brisbane Apartment Essentials Q4 2018 snapshot: Weighted average sale price recorded: $831,884 48% of buyers were owner occupiers 674 apartments approved in the quarter For media enquiries contact: Stephanie Keith, Senior Brand & Clients Consultant Ph: 02 8233 7633 E: skeith@urbis.com.au Rebecca Jagger and Alexis Carroll at DEC PR Ph: 02 8014 5033 E: urbis@decpr.com.au About Urbis Apartment Essentials The Urbis Apartment Market Essentials is the most comprehensive national survey in Australia, and the only survey for which the sales data for apartment projects with 25 or more units is collected at the time of contract rather than at settlement. Projects with 25 apartments or more are tracked from initial application through to the building being sold out for projects across Perth and key areas of density across Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Brisbane. As well as tracking the status of 2,513 developments Urbis receives surveys from 295 apartment developments. Urbis recognises the traditional owners of the land on which we work. Learn more about our Reconciliation Action Plan. Melbourne Apartments: Posing Questions & Answers on Housing Affordabilit 2019-02-27T18:00:00Z melbourne-apartments-posing-questions-answers-on-housing-affordabilit Today, leading property consultants, Urbis released the 2018 summary for Melbourne’s new apartment market, featuring the latest results for the December quarter. The Urbis Apartment Essentials has been a trusted source of information for new apartment sales and supply for four years, using survey data and detailed research to provide an accurate look at today’s new apartment market. Urbis analysed 230 sales from a sample of 48 projects, comprising almost 10,000 apartments in Melbourne in quarter four 2018. Coupled with detailed analysis of 1,140 sales across the year, Urbis Apartment Essentials has sampled between 15 to 20 per cent of new apartment projects in the city in each quarter. Melbourne’s weighted average sale price hovered around the mid $600,000s throughout the year and recorded a weighted average sale price of $657,000 in quarter four. Despite prices appearing to hold steady at a market level, affordability is still very much in focus, with housing emerging as a core battleground in the upcoming federal election. The proportion of sales in more affordable apartments has increased, with apartments priced beneath $400,000 accounting for 12 per cent of all sales in quarter four, a stark difference to the 5 per cent recorded in 2017 quarter four. This coincided with one-bedroom apartment sales accounting for one third of sales in quarter four, having fluctuated between one quarter and a third of sales throughout 2018. Consistent with national trends, sales of two-bedroom apartments continued to make up the majority of sales in Melbourne at 60 per cent in Q4 2018 compared to 57 per cent for the full year. Two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartments remained a buyer favourite, accounting for 44 per cent of all sales, up from 34 per cent in the third quarter. Sales of three-bedroom apartments accounted for 10 per cent of off the plan transactions. The market pivot to owner occupiers is increasingly apparent with 54 per cent of new apartments purchased throughout the year to this segment, while overseas investors dropped down from 40 per cent in 2017 to 23 per cent in 2018. Despite a series of initiatives aimed at dampening overseas investor demand and fears emerging in recent years over settlement, it is encouraging to see that major central city towers are settling as planned, with developers getting on the front foot with buyers well in advance of settlement. However, with funding challenges in both the development and purchaser markets, measures aimed at testing serviceability in the short-term risk having adverse affordability effects in the longer run. This is becoming increasingly clear as future housing supply is being held up by reduced lending and uncertainty in the lead up to the federal election. In line with the wider residential market, the pace of sales dropped in the last quarter, dipping below 10 per cent of available stock sold for the first time. That said, Melbourne has maintained a more rapid rate of sale than other Australian markets in the quarter, but also for the year, averaging 12.4 per cent of available sold per quarter throughout 2018. Amid the tougher conditions, there are projects that are managing to stand out from the crowd. Typically these are delivering either one or a combination of the following: A relatable scale, close to existing amenity and jobs, with views Precinct renewal, bringing new amenity in areas where there is limited housing supply or diversity of product Delivering client service and customisation at an attractive price point Approvals continued to decline, with just over 1,800 apartments approved in the last quarter of 2018 representing one third of the volume approved in the equivalent quarter a year earlier and well below the average quarterly volume over the last two years (5,400). In summary, while apartments present a much-needed affordable option into the housing mix, the slowdown in credit and repercussions in the wider residential market, continue to impact upon the delivery of housing in the inner city and middle ring. As population growth continues amid sound economic conditions, the stall in supply stemming from the standoff between lenders, regulators, policymakers, developers and most importantly buyers, risks accentuating the demand to supply imbalance in the medium term. This brings risks of flow on consequences to housing affordability as the market regains traction. Urbis Melbourne Apartment Essentials Q4 2018 snapshot: Weighted average sale price recorded: $657,000 14 project launches in the quarter: 2,781 new apartments 1,827 apartments approved in the quarter For media enquiries contact: Stephanie Keith, Senior Brand & Clients Consultant Ph: 02 8233 7633 E: skeith@urbis.com.au Rebecca Jagger and Alexis Carroll at DEC PR Ph: 02 8014 5033 E: urbis@decpr.com.au About Urbis Apartment Essentials The Urbis Apartment Market Essentials is the most comprehensive national survey in Australia, and the only survey for which the sales data for apartment projects with 25 or more units is collected at the time of contract rather than at settlement. Projects with 25 apartments or more are tracked from initial application through to the building being sold out for projects across Perth and key areas of density across Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Brisbane. As well as tracking the status of 2,513 developments Urbis receives surveys from 295 apartment developments. Urbis recognises the traditional owners of the land on which we work. Learn more about our Reconciliation Action Plan. Chook Chat Blog – Take a (’Virtual’) Tour of an Australian Chicken Farm 2019-02-26T21:45:43Z chook-chat-blog-take-a-virtual-tour-of-an-australian-chicken-farm-1 Chook Chat Blog – Take a (’Virtual’) Tour of an Australian Chicken Farm To keep you informed please see a link to this month's 'Chook Chat', the blog for the Australian Chicken Meat Industry, and a post by Executive Director, Dr Vivien Kite. Ever wondered what a meat chicken farm looks like, particularly from the inside? Or wondered about what a chicken farmer does on a daily basis? While it’s not possible or practical to offer everyone the opportunity to physically visit a meat chicken farm - for a start, not everyone is located near to where chicken farms might be, and the strict biosecurity requirements and protocols involved in visitors getting on to farms make it unrealistic for most – it’s now possible to take a ‘virtual’ tour of an Australian chicken farm. The direct link to the post is https://bit.ly/2BRiTig or visit the Chook Chat blog on www.chicken.org.au. Blog updates are also communicated via the ACMF twitter channel (@ACMFchicken). About the ACMF The Australian Chicken Meat Federation (ACMF) is the peak body of Australia’s chicken meat industry, representing both growers and processors. Its members are the five State Chicken Meat Councils (NSW, VIC, QLD, SA and WA), the Australian Chicken Growers’ Council and the Australian Poultry Industries Association. Its blog 'Chook Chat' is aimed at providing an insight into the way the chicken industry does things and why – it is not intended to promote products, but to provide the facts. For more information about Australian Chicken Meat Federation, visit http://www.chicken.org.au/ Media inquiries contact: Quay Communications, Emma Norgrove, M: 0499 688 001, T: 02 9386 9161, emma@quaycommunications.com.au - ENDS - Corinna Wilderness Experience -TASMANIA - Accommodation Stay Deal 2019-02-20T04:50:52Z corinna-wilderness-experience-tasmania-accommodation-stay-deal Corinna Wilderness Experience Stay Deal Available for 3 night bookings between: 1st May 2019 - 1st September 2019 Inclusions: Stay in a Queen Eco Retreat cabin Hearty breakfast packs daily (to be enjoyed in your room at leisure)  Dinner Pack - first night only (hearty chef pre prepared delicious meal) Bottle of Corinna Wine (Sauvignon Blanc, or Pinot Noir) to celebrate an awesome day in the wilds of Tasmania.   Cost Single: $650.00 / Saving: $157.00 Cost Double: $700.00 / Saving: $198.00   Promo Code: WINTERWARMER2019   Corinna is an eco-conscious retreat and gateway to an exceptional wilderness located at the Southern end of the Tarkine, the largest temperate rainforest in Australia. The dramatic Tarkine landscape is home to unique flora and fauna including rare species such as quolls, healthy Tasmanian Devils, Wedge-tailed eagles and giant freshwater lobsters. A stay here is a truly uplifting and authentic experience, rich in history, nature and personal anecdote. Book online at www.corrina.com.au or preferably speak with our friendly staff on (03) 6446 1170. FOR PR enquiries/images please contact Tracey@impressionsmc.com.au or 0415 290023   Ocean Lovers Come Clean. 2019-02-15T01:39:36Z ocean-lovers-come-clean OCEAN LOVERS COME CLEAN. REDUCING OUR PLASTIC FOOTPRINT. FOSTERING THE BYO REUSABLES CULTURE. Plastic Free Bondi and Sydney Water are helping tackle the issue of plastic waste of on Sydney’s waterways and beaches with the Beat the Bottle beach clean-up from 9.30am to 12.30pm on Saturday, 16 February at Bondi Beach. Let the rhythmic sounds of percussion group Jackyard Beats entertain you as you collect litter along the beach with like-minded ocean lovers. There will be face painting for the kids and plenty of opportunities to help raise awareness of the impact of plastics on our beaches, oceans and waterways. Lauren Hockey, founding volunteer, Plastic Free Bondi, said: “Our growing community is raising awareness about the issue of plastic pollution and empowering businesses and individuals to reduce single-use plastics”. Dr Alicia Lloyd, Project Manager, Plastic Free Bondi, said the most common types of plastic waste seen at beaches were cigarette butts and plastic food packaging. “We hope that involving the community during the clean-up will inspire people to ‘be the change’ that they wish to see for our oceans,” Dr Lloyd said. Sermin Erden, local business engagement volunteer, Plastic Free Bondi? said the easiest way to reduce plastic bottle pollution in our waterways and beaches is to refuse single use plastics and always choose to reuse and refill. The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) and Waverley Council support Plastic Free Bondi and the Beat the Bottle initiative. To learn more and to register for the free event, visit https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/beat-the-bottle-with-plastic-free-bondi-tickets-54685538919. Dr Alicia Lloyd, Lauren Hockey and Sermin Erden are available for interviews. For all media inquiries, please contact Dr Lloyd on 0438 259 295 or plasticfreebondi@gmail.com. For images and media assets, visit: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/tuzof5v89shee8t/AABnqfjJ-jPnF4fs67EP_xKca?dl=0 QUICK STATISTICS About 480 billion plastic bottles were sold globally in 2016 – that’s the equivalent of a million bottles per minute. Less than half of these bottles were collected for recycling (source: The Guardian). NSW and Queensland are among the nation’s biggest litterers (source:Keep Australia Beautiful Litter Index25 January 2018). Sydney Water removes more than 1 million plastic bottles from Sydney’s waterways each year – before they get to our beaches. Globally, there are around 8 million metric tonnes of plastic going into the oceans each year (source: The Conversation 2015). The UN estimates that by 2050, there will be more plastic in our oceans than fish. Sydney has some of the strictest drinking water monitoring standards in the world. It undergoes 70 different tests before it reaches our taps. It takes up to seven litres of water and one litre of oil to produce one litre of bottled water. Most water bottles end in landfill accounting for 38% of the total rubbish volume. Drinking water has 1% the environmental impact of bottled water. Bottled water production makes 600 times more carbon dioxide than drinking water. Drinking an average of 8 cups of water a day saves 1,825 litres of water that would have been used to produce bottled water. Spill Station Launches Compliant Spill Kits 2019-02-14T00:20:55Z spill-station-launches-compliant-spill-kits  The Australian Industry Standard for spill response kits (ASCIS2695) was ratified at today’s Spill Control Industry Association (AusSpill) annual general meeting. Newly elected AusSpill Deputy Chair Nathan Cartwright said that the creation of the standard has been an involved process but necessary to achieve improved health, safety and environment outcomes for all Australians. “The aim of ASCIS2695 is to ensure that spill response kits are easy to identify and that users can rely on the performance claims made by suppliers.” “Before the development of this standard, there was no accepted convention for the appearance of a spill response kit. This issue lead to the first problem faced by spill kit users. In many cases the spill responders first had to establish if it was a bin or a spill kit”, Nathan Cartwright said. The Industry Standard designates the use of a unique lime green spill kit body to clearly identify it as a spill kit. White, grey and yellow lids are used to differentiate respectively between oil/fuel, general purpose and hazchem spill kits. To further assist in the rapid identification of spill kits, the Industry Standard establishes mandatory labelling protocols covering elements including positioning and font size. The second critical problem faced by spill kit consumers was the wide variation in claims made by manufacturers regarding the absorbent capacity of spill kits. Australian Standards, regulations and codes of practice make reference to the requirement that workplace spill response equipment must be able to accommodate a spill from the largest container stored on the site. The lack of standardised methods for testing absorbent capacity leaves the consumer vulnerable to being under prepared and exposed to possible prosecution. As the peak spill control industry body, AusSpill have adopted the British Standard test method to determine sorbent capacity of all spill kit components. To be recognised as compliant all sorbent spill kit components must be submitted to independent third party laboratory testing and the results must be made available if verification is required. “All organisations can feel confident in knowing that any spill response kit that carries the AusSpill ASCIS2695 Mark of Compliance has been manufactured and tested to a verifiable standard and will perform as claimed. If you invest in a spill kit without the AusSpill Mark of Compliance you may find out that you have ended up with a prefilled garbage bin”, Nathan Cartwright said. To get a copy of the new Australian Industry Standard, visit the AusSpill website, www.auspill.com.au Renowned Urban Designer Chris Melsom joins Urbis 2019-02-13T22:25:07Z renowned-urban-designer-chris-melsom-joins-urbis Urbis is thrilled to announce the Director appointment of Chris Melsom, an esteemed architect, planner and urban designer with 30+ years of experience delivering strategic urban change. Chris brings significant local and international experience to the Urbis National Design team. As an urban design specialist, Chris has worked in senior roles at HASSEL, Tract (WA) and East Perth and Subiaco Redevelopment Authorities, unlocking the potential of cities, places, and sites across Australia and South East Asia. He was recently the Director of the Australian Urban Design Research Centre, where he also taught in the Master of Urban Planning program at The University of Western Australia before joining Urbis. With 30+ years of experience in strategic urban design, Chris brings to Urbis broad expertise in the leadership and management of multi-disciplinary design teams for large scale, complex projects. His arrival complements the National Design team’s already diverse range of skills and will cement Urbis as an industry leader in the arena of city shaping and place building. Ray Haeren, Regional Director Perth said, “We are pleased to welcome renowned Urban Designer Chris Melsom to Urbis. His skills and experience will be a fantastic complement to the diverse and talented team locally, nationally and internationally. “Chris is more than a designer, he brings a strategic perspective and insight… with a grounded personality to boot,” said Ray. James Tuma, Group Director National Design added, “We are delighted to confirm the appointment of Chris Melsom to the growing international team of designers at Urbis. Chris brings a wealth of local market knowledge and a design pedigree that cements our position as the strongest urban design and strategy advisors in the West Australian market.” Carl Thompson, Director National Design said: “It’s an exciting time for Urbis in Perth. Chris has a strong urban design presence in Western Australia and South East Asia and brings both an international perspective and a deep appreciation for the local context to the table.” “Chris is a city-shaping expert of the highest calibre and we look forward to his design leadership as we continue to deliver great outcomes for our clients,” said Carl. On his appointment, Chris Melsom said, “It’s no accident that Urbis is becoming one of the leading thinkers in the urban design space, locally and abroad, combining economics, planning and a passion for creating places that really work.” “I’m looking forward to joining the bright minds of Urbis and contributing to the important goal of shaping cities and communities for a better future.” Reflecting on his career, Chris added: “The best solutions aren’t always the ones we thought we’d find. Sometimes, it’s having a good process of exploration, rigorous testing and engaging with real people that opens up all sorts of possibilities for creating more liveable and resilient outcomes.” “I think it’s fantastic that Urbis sets its sights on city-scale thinking, so that projects not only work independently to exceed our clients’ needs and aspirations, but work together to create something that enriches its context socially, culturally, economically and environmentally as well,” said Chris. “The Urbis Design team is well placed to bring together strategic planning, urban economics and design thinking for new communities, whether developing a complex urban renewal strategy, preparing a site development master plan or building an integrated landscape and built form solution.” “Having worked on large scale urban renewal and development projects internationally for over 30 years, I look forward to making the most of that background with the Urbis team in Perth,” said Chris. Australia poised to weather even more extremes 2019-02-12T22:22:44Z australia-poised-to-weather-even-more-extremes A recent climate report by the CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology suggested Australia is poised to experience even more extreme weather events in the near-future. The report said there had been a long-term increase in extreme fire weather and in the length of the fire season across large parts of Australia since the 1950s. According to the CSIRO, southern and eastern Australia has seen the brunt of this increase. Australian Outdoor Living CEO Chris Taylor said the ongoing bushfire threat has caused homeowners to look for ways to improve their existing properties. “We’re seeing more people installing roller shutters and steel pergolas and verandahs,” Mr Taylor said. “Well-designed home improvements such as these can add that extra level of protection during a bushfire.” Dozens of homes and businesses were lost in South Australia and New South Wales during the 2018-19 bushfire season, and NSW experienced 525 fires in one horror July week. According to Mr Taylor, taking measures to improve your property could be seen as investing in the future. “Extreme weather events are becoming more common, so taking steps now to protect your home in the years to come is so important,” he said.