Hey big spender? ACT wages more than other states and territories

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Workers in the ACT earn more than any other state or territory, with women in the capital outstripping their counterparts around the country by a significant margin.

New figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show that the median weekly pay in Australia was at $1019, but in the ACT it’s at $1281 per week.

The median weekly wage in the Northern Territory comes in after the ACT, while Tasmania has the lowest weekly median wage.

While the national increase in weekly wages was just 1.9 per cent from 2016 to 2017, in the ACT it was 4.9 per cent.

Men in the capital earn more than women, but the gap between the median male full time weekly wage of $1527.10 and the median female full time weekly wage of $1440.40 was just 6 per cent.

Men in the ACT earn 16 per cent more than the national median, which sits at $1200 per week. Women in the ACT however, earn 27 per cent more than the national median.

The median hourly wage in the ACT has steadily increased over the past 10 years, with the year on year increase between 2016 and 2017 of 2.7 per cent.

The data, which was taken in August 2017, shows that in the past 10 years, the median weekly income has risen from $1000 in 2007 to $1281 last year, a rise of 28 per cent, slightly above the inflation rate over the same period.


Source :  The Canberra Times

Court blocks South Perth tower as fourth design waits in wings

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FEBRUARY 27 2018 – 6:36AM

Emma Young

Two private citizens who won the latest court battle over $60 million South Perth tower development Lumiere appear to have lost the war as the developer is ready with a new version.

South Perth ratepayers Karyl Nairn and Ric Hawley’s court appeal last week overturned planning approval for the 34-storey tower proposed for 74 Mill Point Road.

Since the Metro Central joint development assessment panel (JDAP) first approved it in 2015, the tower has been subject to three Supreme Court cases, two State Administrative Tribunal appeals and numerous further JDAP hearings.

Developer Edge Visionary Living has been forced to redesign it three times from its original 29 storeys, to 44 storeys including 147 serviced apartments, to 34 storeys, and once again to reduce the building footprint, losing $26 million of its original pre-sales along the way.

The court upheld two of the residents’ grounds for appeal. First, that the JDAP failed to determine Lumiere justified high density through a predominantly commercial land use to encourage local employment.

 Second, that the JDAP should not have relied on its own previous approval of the nearby Civic Heart building as a justification to approve Lumiere, given Civic Heart was also predominantly residential and had itself been approved in “erroneous” understanding of the law.

The City of South Perth in 2012 introduced planning regulations that created a “train station precinct” on the Peninsula allowing developers to build to unlimited heights if they met certain design criteria.

The result was a rush of applications for high-rise apartment blocks, causing backlash from residents in much smaller blocks who were facing some highly-unfortunate amenity impacts.

The council has since rewritten planning policy, trying to safeguard residents by reintroducing height limits and setbacks.

But then-planning minister Donna Faragher intervened, approving a watered-down amendment that kept unlimited heights and removed the commercial requirement.

The chances of South Perth becoming a second CBD, with office towers and a train station, now seem remote, though the city did succeed in reintroducing street and side setbacks.

We hope the Labor Government will now take this opportunity to re-examine the JDAP process and overhaul the planning scheme in South Perth.

Edge Visionary Living director Gavin Hawkins said the court decision, while frustrating, ultimately confirmed there was no legal issue with Lumiere’s fundamental height, bulk or scale and had little to no impact moving forward.

“Our preferred development, and one entirely consistent with feedback received through the recent public consultation processes, is one where there is not a requirement for a predominantly commercial component,” he said. 

He said Edge would bring a new proposal to the JDAP in March for a 34-storey mix of apartments, commercial offices and a significantly reduced number of serviced apartments (down from 67 to 16).

There would be a four-metre setback as well as a thinner bottom half of the building, improving view corridors for neighbours.

He was confident sales would recover.

“When we initially took the project to market in August 2015, we achieved $84 million of pre-sales within the first few months,” he said.

“Currently we have circa $58 million of these buyers still there, though we have a significant list of “new” buyers who have indicated that they will be buying once it comes back to the market.”

Appellant Karyl Nairn said the JDAP must start from the correct baseline in future decisions.

Vicki Redden, president of the local action group “in favour of more proportionate development”, said private citizens should not have to spend a fortune taking public action to ensure planning officers abided by the law.

“We hope the Labor Government will now take this opportunity to re-examine the JDAP process and overhaul the planning scheme in South Perth,” she said.

Neither Perth residents nor councils share the right to appeal JDAP decisions via the State Administrative Tribunal; the courts are their only recourse.


Source : WA Today


Deutsche Bahn pilots illuminated platform in effort to improve train punctuality

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Deutsche Bahn pilots illuminated platform in effort to improve train punctuality
Passengers boarding a train at an illuminated platform in Stuttgart. Photo: DPA
With the goal of helping suburban trains in Stuttgart to run on time more often, Deutsche Bahn (DB) on Monday introduced a platform with colourful flashing lights at one of its S-Bahn stations.

On platform two at Bad Cannstatt station in the Baden-Württemberg capital, a stop-off point for trains on three S-Bahn lines, lights of varying colours on the floor now flash when trains arrive.

These lit-up LED symbols show passengers where arriving trains are meant to stop and where the train doors are going to open.

This will encourage passengers to stand at the appropriate place on the platform so that boarding will be quicker and trains can depart more punctually, states DB.

From Monday onward, the state-owned railway company will be testing the six-month pilot project, which has been named a “dynamic, illuminated guidance system” and is unique across the country.

Further features of the project include the fact that passengers should also be able to find a seat on the train more easily, according to DB.

A colour scale comprising of LED signals shows passengers how many seats are available in carriages. Photo: DPA

During the pilot phase the carriages of three trains will contain cameras which will capture the availability of vacant seats. This information will then be displayed in real time to passengers waiting on the platform.

DB cites that millions of euros in fines which have to be paid by Stuttgart’s S-Bahn each year – predominantly due to chronic tardiness – as one of the major reasons behind the development of the project.

Since the end of 2013, S-Bahn employees have been deployed at the main station in Stuttgart during peak periods to help ensure that departures are not delayed by passengers jumping in at the last moment. This has proven to be useful and will be expanded, DB said.


Source :  The Local Germany

Sitting Frankfurt mayor just misses out on outright election victory

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Sitting Frankfurt mayor just misses out on outright election victory
Peter Feldmann. Photo: DPA
Peter Feldmann, the current mayor of Frankfurt, won 46 percent of the vote on Sunday’s mayoral election – not quite enough to avoid a second round.

Feldmann of the Social Democrats (SPD) considerably improved on his vote tally in the 2012 election, but would have needed 50 percent of the ballots to be immediately reaffirmed as Frankfurt mayor.

Instead he will face Bernadette Weyland of the Christian Democrats in a second round on March 11th after she won 25.4 percent of the vote.

In total 12 candidates put themselves forward for the mayoral race and around half a million people had the right to vote, including 80,000 non-German EU citizens.

Official estimates put election participation at 37.6 percent.


Source :  The Local Germany