Tuesday, 7 March 2017


As a Real Estate Agent with over 40 years in the Industry I feel compelled to respond to the misinformation being pedalled by politicians, and parties close to the industry with vested interests. I have to declare up front I have taken advantage of Negative Gearing & Capital Gains tax and growing my retirement nest egg and have to say Real Estate has been very good to me. But do I think it's time for changes yes I do.

There has been some great articles from Rob Burgess The NewDaily http://bit.ly/2mE3RWV  who referred to Liberal backbencher John Alexander who is the only one from the Coalition side showing any real concern for the plight of first homebuyers. Also Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen has a good understanding of the problem.
Ross Gittins is the Sydney Morning Herald economics editor  http://bit.ly/2m0OQeh who stated in his article dated 8th of March suggesting "Politicians have worked hard to make houses so dear"

Now we have some REIV members critical of Andrews Govt "Vacant Residential Property Tax of 1% which in my opinion is one of the best proposals to come from any Govt in Australia to assist with housing and rental Affordability. For far to long politicians have talked about housing supply, well this proposal can only help. Also Andrews Govt is abolishing stamp duty up to $600,000- which assists first home buyers to the value of $15,535- and doubling the 1st home buyer grants to $20,000- in Regional Victoria. These are great initiatives coming from a Govt that understands the problems of housing in Victoria.

Australia needs leadership from the Federal Govt in the way of changes to Negative Gearing and possibly Capital Gains tax and I am to be convinced of those changes from 50% to 25%? Malcolm Turnbull and Scott Morrison know it's the right thing to do as did Joh Hockey. They increase revenue as we have all heard about debt & deficit. It's time for the good of the country need put their opposition and ideology to one side and stop coming up with artificial use of occupations like we've heard of teachers & nurses etc, the truth is Surgeons & Anaesthetists are the top 2 occupations.  According to ATO data there are 1.26mil (approx10%) taxpayers who Negative Gear, and claimed approx $11 billion in tax deductions.
The Grattan Institute indicated in 2016 NG wind backs could deliver approx $5.3 bil a year. Peter Martin from the Age suggests that taxpayers who NG cost other taxpayers an average of $310-
It has been suggested that the average amount of tax saved by each of the 1.2 million NG was $2900- 

Time for those with vested interests to accept that change is necessary to make housing more affordable so if you have a positive suggestion then now is the time. The status quo is no longer acceptable and I love the idea of NG being available on new property which is a win win for first home buyers not having to compete against investors on existing housing and also great for the housing industry in creating jobs.
This is far to an important topic to be a political football, it's time to think of those locked out of the housing market.

Keith Sutherland

Licensed Real Estate Agent.

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Australian and Bendigo Leaders

There has been much written and said on leadership qualities and it's all in the eye of the beholder and in what perspective we see people and their actions. From Australia's early origins there have been many amazing people and events which has shaped this nation.

             Naming people is fraught with danger as how can you assess actions and achievements when they lived in a different time line and you can only go from the written word and that is someone else's perspective but here I go-

* Commander Sir John Monash, as a civil engineer & military commander in 1st world war.
Paul Keating PM 1991-96, changed the country on many levels with
Edith Cowan, trailblazer, social campaigner, first woman to elected to an Australian Parliament.
* Sir Donald Bradman, acknowledged as the greatest batsman of all time.
* Ian (Molly) Meldrum, is probably the most influential popular musical entrepreneur.

There are many other extremely notable Australians but in my opinion the above 5 were real leaders and were able to take people with them and had a vision of what they were trying to achieve. Many of you will disagree with the 5 I have chosen and that's fine but they had a major impact on people an outcomes not only in this country but right across the world and all have made an indelible mark.

                Australia has always been a country of innovators even going back before 1788 with the Aboriginal didgeridoo, in 1843 a grain stripper was invented, 1858 Australian rules football began, 1889 an electric drill, 1902 a notepad was started, 1906 the worlds first feature-length film The story of the Kelly Gang, 1912 had the war tank & self propelled Rotary Hoe, 1934 Coupe utility, 1939 Howard Florey rediscovery of penicillin, 1945 Hills Hoist rotary cloths line, 1958 Black box flight recorder, 1979 Bionic ear, 1988 Polymer banknote, 1992 Multi-focal contact lens & Spray on skin, 1992 Wi-Fi developed by CSIRO, 2006 Cervical Cancer Vaccine, 2011 Anti-Hacking Software Kernel.
All the above have been developed and invented by using leadership as such achievements cannot be done without the support of others.

                  We live in changing times with instant news via social media and 24/7 news services and unfortunately that sometimes does not always accurately describe the reality of the situation. We tend to make assessments on what's presented and on any given day we can make mistakes but we are judged on that performance.

                   During 2016 we saw the evidence of people wanting change with the shock results of Brexit, then Donald Trump being elected as President of United States of America.

                   The qualities of a good leader is a person that commands respect and can engender a vision that others will follow and they can articulate the reasons why we take a course of action. Sometimes people mistake Managers for Leaders but generally they have different roles such as Managers deal with tasks whilst Leaders empower others to engineer change.
The Australian public are some of the harshest critics when it comes to politics and sport and they expect honesty, courage and a sense of fairness which seems to be missing in this cut throat world of professionalism.

                 Love this quote - "Great minds discuss ideas,
                                                 Average minds discuss events,
                                                        Small minds discuss people".         #Roosevelt.

                        Finally I would like to finish with who I consider true leaders past and present who have made a valuable contribution to public life from the Bendigo area -

Sir John Quick, Lawyer, politician & author & a leading delegate to constitutional conventions of the 1890's & was a true founding father of Federation. He went on to be Postmaster-General 1909-1910.
* John Gunn 1924-26 & John Bannon 1982-92 went on to be Premiers of SA, for ALP
* John Brumby was Premier of Victoria 2007-2010 was not born in Bendigo but was a  teacher and     Federal MP for Bendigo.
* William Charles Vahland Architect left an important mark with over 80 notable buildings.

Over the past few decades many people have gone on to excel in their chosen sports being gold medalists, Australian Captains in Cricket & Netball, Brownlow Medalists and the Arts have put Bendigo on the map more recently with Gallery Director Karen Quinlan bringing Grace Kelly, Marilyn Monroe & many other exhibitions to the Bendigo Art Gallery. The Chinese Community has played a major role since the Gold Mining days with Russell & Anita Jack being the driving force behind the Golden Dragon Museum.
Music is strong with Singer Actress Colleen Hewitt being Queen of Pop 1972-73 & Kate DeAraugo being 2005 Australian Idol winner and Col Thompson has been the driving force of the hugely successful Bendigo Blues & Roots festival.
Straun Sutherland was born in Sydney but grew up in Bendigo and was a medical researcher who developed anti venoms for funnel-web spider & snakebites.

Local Businessman Don Erskine is one of the best thinkers and his opinion is often sought on major issues & was largely responsible for saving Bendigo during a disastrous drought.
He also handed over half his company to 120 staff and is a very generous philanthropist.
He has extensive business interests and has been & still is a Director on many Boards.

Ken Marchingo CEO Haven Home Safe is arguably one of the most influential & outspoken figures in Australia's social housing sector, as a 30 year veteran has dedicated his career to helping & housing the most vulnerable. He was chair of International Housing Partnerships in 2012-13.

Jacinta Allan, Member for Bendigo East, and Minister for Public Transport - Economic Development, Jobs, Transport & Resources she has a huge workload and in her role under the Andrews Govt is rapidly changing the face of Victoria with some of the largest infrastructure projects in Australia. She is really making her mark on politics & potential future Premier.

                    In my opinion 3 major things have happened in Bendigo the first being the discovery of Gold in the 1850's, second the major influence of Bendigo Bank and Thirdly the development of Bendigo's new $630mil Hospital which will service a huge part of Regional Victoria.

                            " Leaders are made not born "

Keith Sutherland
The Pointy End Program presenter, Philanthropist, Speaker & Co Director.

Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Ordinary to say the least..

Could this be the start of the gloss coming off the Turnbull Govt? With a reshuffle having to take place due to Jamie Briggs bad behaviour and Mal Brough stepping down which shows poor judgement by PM Turnbull as he should never been appointed in the first place. One of his answers to Peter Slippers diary has to be a lie either Parliament or 60 Minutes Liz Hayes. How can a person like that uphold the ethics of parliament?

Malcolm has several problems in choosing replacement Ministers one being the Nationals want an extra position and probably Warren Truss will be leaving parliament at next election. What a sad situation having Barnaby Joyce as Deputy PM he is so embarrassing at times. I suggest Victorian Nationals Senator Bridget McKenzie should be promoted as a Minister she did a Stirling job questioning ABC's Mark Scott and the Turnbull Govt need more women and Bridget understands Regional areas well.

The other major problem will be Tony Abbott's extreme right wing mates who are stirring up trouble and want their mate Abbott back in Cabinet. That would only be a major distraction to PM Turnbull as Tony Abbott could not help himself and will want to protect his lack of legacy as PM and will be speaking out on topics other than a Cabinet Ministry.
Also Malcolm is beholden to some of Abbott's mates to keep his position safe not that there would be any challenge prior to the next election.

Which leads me to suggesting the 2016 election will be held either late March or April as the Govt does not want to prepare a May budget as they have really stuffed up the budget deficit and realise all their pre election promises were wrong and in many cases they were elected on lies. This early election is quite obvious with clearing the decks of any problem areas ie Briggs/Brough which should have been dealt with in last week of parliament but did not want scrutiny then but wanted it on a slow media day like yesterday.

There is no doubt also that the early election does not give ALP time to elect a new leader as Bill Shorten is their best asset to being re-elected. Because of Kevin Rudd's complicated voting there would be insufficient time to elect either Jason Clare or Mark Butler as leader in that time.

It is such a pity that the past 2 1/4 years have been lost with only stopping the boats their only disgusting achievement. We still have a second rate NBN and Climate Change policy and Gonski only funded for 4 yrs and Health and Universities are still being hit.
How can this happen in a rich Nation that we lack infrastructure  and have a terrible approach to the worldwide refugee problems?
It's time we had real leaders like Paul Keating who understood what was required and went out and changed our standing in the world and even to this day we are benefiting from his vision.

Sunday, 14 July 2013

We Can Make A Difference

For far to long in this country we have been focused on political change and have lost sight of what's really important. Where is the debate on the Environment,Climate Change,Economy,Health and Social Equity. There is an every widening gap between those that have and those that have not.There are to many people falling through the cracks.

1 In our pursuit of wealth we have forgotten about our World and the Environment.There is no point in having wealthy mining company's that evade paying their fair share of tax and the profits go offshore. The minerals belong to all Australians and we should get more than just jobs to a well paid few but we need to leave a world in better shape than we found it. Climate Change is real and we should be reducing our carbon emissions.

2 Without a solid economy we cannot hope to provide infrastructure, services and much needed welfare. That is why we all need to pay our fair share of tax and the whole tax system needs to be overhauled. The Henry Tax Review needs to be considered by an independent panel of experts and make recommendations because Political Parties try and pick what suits them and we don't get the best outcomes for all.

3 If anyone has had the need for Health Services they are aware of the problems. We have some excellent and dedicated people and Doctors that work in the system but are overwhelmed by the lack of facilities and sheer volume of requirements. Mental Health has been talked about and supposedly funded but there doesn't seem to be much action to implement change.

4 There seems to be a widening gulf between the haves and have nots but the real answer is Education and making sure that every child has equal opportunity to make something of themselves.We must provide the right services and welfare for the Aged and Young but should be less generous for those who don't want to work.These are my ideas of social equity.

We can make a difference by all being less selfish and considering others and being concerned about those less fortunate in our community. In Australia we are the lucky country and we should not abuse those freedoms, but we all have responsibilities to ensure that we think of the generations to come and leave them a country that is better for us having taking care of our environment.

Keith Sutherland

Presenter on Bendigo IPTV

Sunday, 30 June 2013

Julia Gillard - A Trail Blazer

I feel compelled to write this blog in support of deposed Prime Minister Julia Gillard who I feel was let down by her party, the media and the Australian public. I say that not because she was the first female PM but she was never given a fair go and was undermined by Kevin Rudd supporters and was subjected to the most unjustifiable treatment and disgusting comments which no PM whether male or female should have to endure.
Yes she made some mistakes but who amongst us doesn't and if you don't then you are not having a go. I also believe the party let her down by not being capable of selling some amazing ground breaking policies. Her leadership was always under fire by members within her own party and the media who continued to cover that story instead of the many achievements.
She was without doubt the best parliamentary performer and was comparable with Peter Costello & Paul Keating at their best but she did that at every sitting which takes stamina wit and intellect .
Regardless of the hung parliament and having to deal with the Greens & Independents she holds the record for the number of bills passed in a minority Govt. There is no other member capable of achieving that performance which speaks volumes about her negotiating skills.
I also acknowledge that the party had to do something drastic to minimise the potential loss of seats at the forthcoming election if the polls are to be believed. It must have been an agonising situation for people like Penny Wong and to a lesser degree Bill shorten who is mostly interested in Bill Shorten being the so-called deal maker.
Probably Australia's most popular politician is Kevin Rudd because they feel he was hard done by at being deposed by the faceless men and Julia Gillard. I am not sure that Julia Gillard was ever part of the hatchet job but only those close to the event will know what really happened.Because of the way it was done the Australian public never quite legitimised her leadership which is quite sad, but I am not so sure that Kevin Rudd should be rewarded with leadership when he & his supporters undermined her leadership for 3 years.
I think Julia Gillard's biggest mistake was suggesting "There will never be a Carbon Tax under a Govt I lead" which I believed she genuinely believed to be true, but on entering into a loose coalition with the Greens that was part of the inducement to introduce one. Her support from Independents Tony Windsor and Rob Oakshott was on the basis that both men believed she was more genuine than Tony Abbott. Her Govt achieved much with the introduction of Carbon Trading Scheme, NDIS, Murray Darling basin scheme,NBN roll out,Pension increase and much more.
It is my belief Julia Gillard's time as PM will be judged as revolutionary with ground breaking reforms and many achievements under enormous obstacles she has achieved so much.
No party can claim any high moral ground with the disgusting mess of Refugee policy.
It was such a pity that Julia Gillard was never able to have clear air to prove her capabilities and full potential even in spite of that she achieved so much in her 3 years of high office.
Her final speech as PM was one of grace & dignity and showed the character of this important figure in our political history and she has made life easier for those females who will sorely follow.

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Politics and the Truth

After suggesting in my first blog that the Government would not be able to achieve a Budget Surplus in this financial year, I am so pleased that the reality and the truth has prevailed.

The expected comments by the Opposition were predictable, that they have broken their promise yet again. Their rubbish statement that they could achieve  a surplus, then to back track was also predictable. Is this a corr and no corr statement?

The public are heartily sick of claim and counter claims, what they want are genuine policy debate without the spin, but with some resemblance of truth. For far too long, all we see from main stream media is the "so called" sensational coverage of degeneration of individuals like Craig Thompson & Peter Slipper.

Individuals should not be the main news topics, but all the big policy items get lost in the search for headlines. The passing of the historic agreement on the Murray darling Basin, NDIS and further debate on the Gonski Report, and how we can improve health. These are the topics that should make headlines, not the crap.

In Bendigo we are seeing the usual blame game between the Commonwealth and State government over hospital funding at a local level. Truth becomes the first casualty of any debate and in the meantime, elective surgery blows out and staff are to be re-trenched. We are a wealthy Country, this should not be happening; front line services and peoples wellbeing are a prerequisite of paying taxes.

Where have we gone wrong? The public voted for a hung Parliament, surely we are mature enough to deal with the situation and Julia Gillard had the better negotiating powers than Tony Abbott, that should have been the end of the situation for 3 years. We have seen an opposition obsessed with losing power when it was so close and probably achievable.

The current news cycle, I believe was created by Kevin Rudd who was a news junkie and he and his staff knew how to get the headline grabs, but the only problem with that was policy was made on the run, and it was no wonder that he fell out with the cabinet and parliament colleagues, along with staff who could not keep up the manic pace.

I believe it is high time that when you are in opposition, that you accept a policy by the Government that is good for the Country and don't just oppose it for the sake of being in opposition. The point in question is the NBN regardless of the predicted cost of $37 Billion It is my belief that the Opposition's Communications spokesman, Malcolm Turnbull, would dearly love it to be their policy.

It's my opinion that the NBN will ultimately be the best piece of infrastructure this Country has ever seen. When we see the untold benefits for health and education along with giving us a competitive advantage over other countries when doing business.

We have slipped behind over the past 15 years because lack of Government funding in the big infrastructure projects, particurlarly transport, ports and areas of science. We are no longer the smart Country with spending, and our smartest brains have pursued their careers overseas. We can have it return if we properly fund Universities in the right areas. Resaerch & Developement, Science & Technologies.

Just on another note, I am so sick of hearing about Government waste during the GFC with overpriced School Halls & Pink Bats. I believe that they both could have been better supervised, and yes their was waste which is always going to happen when you are trying to roll out policy quickly to save jobs. Yes millions was wasted, but look at the alternative to being in recession and people losing their jobs and no longer paying taxes but recieving unemployment benefits. I know which one I would prefer.

I think Kevin Rudds legacy will be for 2 very important things and they were the Apology to the Stolen Generation and the state of the schools with the building projects, which puts us on a good footing for the next 30 years which should not be lost on over spend and lack of contract supervision, but it kept the economy strong.

There has always been exageration from all political parties and as voters its always been dificult to evaluate the truth from fiction. Trying to get the truth from MSM has at times been impossible due to their partisan stance on such issues as global warming and Carbaon Tax. So you just have to decide what you believe is the right thing for you politically.

With the Federal Election due in 2013, let's hope that we get a decisive result with not too much power to one party that we get bad policy and these without political influence get left behind by a party inflicting pain for all the wrong reasons.

Keith Sutherland

Individuals should not be the main news topics

Monday, 17 December 2012

Bendigo - The Place To Be

It appears that the Bendigo Real Estate market is showing some very positive signs, with house prices up approximately 4.3% for the past financial year. It was suggested that the median price for a house in the city was $325,000

According to figures for the June quarter from Victoria's valuer-general, show the Bendigo market continued it's upward surge. The statewide trend is heading in the opposite direction, down 4.5% for the 3 months to June.

When you consider that Bendigo's new hospital is to be built over the next few years involving approximately 735 construction jobs plus the multiplier job effect; Bendigo, really is the place to be. Of course during the construction phase, many new employees will have to be housed and if you consider that the current Bendigo Rental vacancy rate is 0.5%, that puts even more strain on the rental market.

At a recent launch of La Trobe University "Future Ready Strategic Plan" and an interview with Associate Professor, Trevor Budge on Bendigo IPTv's Pointy End program, it was suggested that the Bendigo Campus could get an extra 1,500 students over the next 5 years, taking their total to approximately 6,500.
This of course also puts pressure on the already tight rental market and also brings increased demand for existing housing for new staff and allied people working at the La Trobe Uni. With such low vacancy rates, it would suggest that rents should rise because of increased demand. The Bendigo Real Estate market has been buoyant for a few years which is contrary to the National Market, which has seen a downturn.

You would think that Self Managed Super Funds would now be seriously looking at Real Estate as an investment, as they see their Term Deposit Investments reducing due to the cash rate now down to 3%. We are still seeing signs of volatility on the Australian Share Market due to the uncertainty of the proposed US "Fiscal Cliff" and the European Debt Crisis, not to mention the uncertainty surrounding the Chinese Economic growth, even though the latest data suggests that business conditions are improving.

When you take all these factors into account, why would you not consider Real Estate as a sound investment tool. The smart investor should always have a mix of investment assets and not be too heavily weighed in a certain sector.

For all the above reasons, it would suggest that Bendigo is a great place to invest. My thoughts and comments are in no way to be taken as investment advice as you should always seek your own independent advice. This is my opinion as a former Real Estate Agents of over 33 years experience in the Bendigo Market.

Keith Sutherland