First homebuyer Denni-Elle White. Picture: Shae Beplate.THE first homes are under construction at large-lot estate The Orchard in Jensen.Townsville couple Denni-Elle White and Daniel Baker, along with their three children, are one of the first buyers to start building.Ms White said after much searching they had found their perfect place to call home.“We were searching for a large block where we could build our dream home and not leave the area,” she said.“The most important thing to us was to find a place that had a real community feel, where the kids could play outside and safely ride their bikes in the street.”“From the moment we entered The Orchard, we got an immediate sense of quality with beautiful entry statements and landscaping giving it a real feel of privacy.“We can’t wait to finish our new home and move in.”More from news01:21Buyer demand explodes in Townsville’s 2019 flood-affected suburbs12 Sep 202001:21‘Giant surge’ in new home sales lifts Townsville property market10 Sep 2020The popular estate is close to St Anthony’s school, shops and the new Ring Rd extension.It has large, fully-serviced lots designed for family living with room for a pool, shed or topark a boat.Ms White and her family are building with Townsville builder GJ Gardner Homes.Their home will have four bedrooms, two bathrooms, a media room and study.The open-plan design includes a large outdoor entertaining space and the family have plans to put in a pool and shed.The Orchard is a $43 million large-lot residential development by longstanding local developer Elements NQ in the heart of Townsville’s northern growth corridor.For more information visit www.theorchardnq.com.au or call Penelope Slogrove on 0439 749 700.
The UK’s biggest pension pension scheme has appointed Dominic Gibb as its new chief financial officer.Gibb joins the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) from Lehman Brothers, where he had worked with PricewaterhouseCoopers on the winding up of the UK operations of the failed US investment bank. He was financial controller for Europe, the Middle East and Africa for the bank before its collapse in 2008.Gibb replaces Jennifer Halliday, who resigned from USS on 31 March 2017.His appointment was announced as the £60bn (€68.4bn) scheme faces an uncertain future. The Universities and Colleges Union (UCU) today said its members had voted in favour of strike action in a dispute over changes to USS’ benefit payments. Universities UK (UUK), the representative organisation for higher education employers, wants to switch the scheme from defined benefit to defined contribution in an effort to control rising contribution costs.University staff vote for strike actionNearly all of the UK’s universities face disruption next month after staff voted for strike action. On a turnout of 58% of its members, the UCU said 88% had backed a walkout, which would affect 61 of the country’s 68 higher education institutions.UCU general secretary Sally Hunt said: “Universities will be hit with levels of strike action not seen before on UK campuses if a deal cannot be done over the future of USS pensions. Members have made it quite clear they are prepared to take action to defend their pensions and the universities need to work with us to avoid widespread disruption.“Even at this late stage we urge universities to work with us to reach an agreement that protects the defined benefit element of USS pensions.”In response, a UUK spokesperson described the ballot result as “disappointing”, and said that not reforming the scheme would be ”a dangerous gamble”. The spokesperson added: “A solution to the significant funding challenges facing USS needs to be found. UUK’s priority is to put USS on a secure and sustainable footing while offering attractive, market-leading pensions – the very best that can be afforded by both employers and employees.” USS reported an official deficit of around £5bn following its 2017 actuarial valuation, but other valuations have put the shortfall as high as £12bn-£17bn. It said the cost of funding future pension benefits had increased by 35% and that contribution increases of six to seven percentage points could be required.Public pension pool hires ex-Nestle investment chiefLGPS Central, the asset manager set up to run £42bn of assets for nine local government pension schemes (LGPS), has named Duncan Sanford as interim deputy CIO.Sanford left Nestlé Capital Management last year after a restructuring led to the international food and drink company shutting down much of its internal investment operations.LGPS Central has also hired two staff from the West Midlands Pension Fund (WMPF), one of the founder members of the asset pool. Mike Hardwick has joined as investment director for infrastructure and property, having most recently run alternatives at WMPF, while Michael Marshall is set to join as director for responsible investment and engagement. He is currently the responsible investment officer at WMPF.Finally, Omar Ghafur has joined as investment director for private equity. He was previously in charge of private investments for a charitable foundation, according to a press release from LGPS Central.Jason Fletcher, CIO, said the appointments were “critical to our delivery of the risk-adjusted return after costs that our partner funds require to meet their future commitments”.LGPS Central announced on Friday that it planned to roll out 10 investment vehicles for its pension fund clients.Investment director exits RailpenCiarán Barr, investment director at RPMI Railpen, is to leave the multi-employer scheme for the railways industry later this year.RPMI Railpen announced on Friday that Barr would step down from the investment team during the first half of 2018, having worked at the group for nearly nine years.During his tenure Barr oversaw the transformation of RPMI Railpen’s investment strategy alongside fellow investment directors Paul Bishop and Richard Williams and former CEO Chris Hitchen.The departure is the latest in a series of senior staff changes at the railway industry scheme. Chris Hitchen stepped down as CEO last year and is now overseeing the creation of the Border to Coast Pension Partnership as chairman. Philip Willcock will take over as CEO next month.Paul Sturgess joined last year from Equiniti as managing director for its administration arm, while deputy CEO David Maddison became managing director for the scheme, tasked with leading support for the trustee board. Julian Cripps was appointed managing director responsible for the investment arm in 2016.John Chilman, chair of Railpen’s trustee board, said: “I, and my fellow trustee directors, would like to thank Ciarán for the contributions he has made to the success and sustainability of the Railways Pension Scheme. He has always put the interests of our members and employers first and the scheme has benefited from his thinking.”
Brookville, In. — Freshman U.S. Congressman Greg Pence recently visited students at the Franklin County Community High School. Superintendent Dr. Debbie Howell and Principal Keith Isaacs provided Pence with a tour of the school and Congressman Pence addressed Mr. Ebren’s Economics class and Mr. Stacy’s U.S. History class.
Having been drawn against Barcelona in the knockout stage of the Champions League, Toure has had word from inside the Catalan club’s camp that is not a draw they are relishing. “I had a call from one of my old team-mates from Spain who was quite disappointed,” said the former Barcelona midfielder. “He wasn’t sure what would happen. In the past they would be confident they would go through and beat anyone but they are afraid about us. “The way we are playing at home – and they are seeing that – means they are quite scared because we play fantastic football, we score goals and it is total attack. “At the moment we are terrific at home. Any team who comes here we think we can score against – maybe it won’t always be the case for us to achieve that every game. “We are not the sort of team that is fearful of opponents, we are playing in an attractive way and an attacking way, and I think Liverpool will be aware of that.” City’s home record is formidable as they have won all eight league matches and scored 35 goals and they are only in third place, one point behind Liverpool, because of their inferior away form. Striker Sergio Aguero has scored eight of his 13 league goals at the Etihad Stadium but his calf injury means fans will be denied the chance to see the top-flight’s two leading scorers go head-to-head. Liverpool’s Luis Suarez is in the form of his life with 19 goals in just 12 league games and Toure admits it is difficult to separate the two. “Aguero is unbelievable, he is one of the most important strikers in this league at the moment,” said the Ivory Coast international. “He can always make something happen and his partnership with Alvaro (Negredo) was fantastic for us so at the moment missing him is a big blow for us but we have to deal with it. “Suarez is a brilliant player and this season he is at the top. Him and Aguero are the best strikers in England, no question, and are up there as the best in the world too. “It would have been fantastic to see them on the same pitch in this game; Suarez has everything in his game at the moment. “But Liverpool are a team with other good players too and a good manager. It will be a big, big game.” Press Association Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure has warned Barclays Premier League leaders Liverpool they should fear a Boxing Day trip to the Etihad Stadium as even Barcelona are afraid of them. The Merseysiders arrive on Boxing Day full of confidence as they are top of the table at Christmas for the first time in five years. They are actually the last club to be in that position and not go on to win the title but despite rising optimism at Anfield, Toure sounded a word of caution.