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Social pics: Out and about in Newcastle

Social pics: Out and about in Newcastle Miss Surfest Final Heat, Belmont Sporties, February 12: Emilie Mayo of Maitland and Jarred Reardon of Warners Picture: Dean Osland
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Miss Surfest Final Heat, Belmont Sporties, February 12: Nicole Cassel of West Wallsend and Jacinta Lawrence of Maitland. Picture: Dean Osland

Miss Surfest Final Heat, Belmont Sporties, February 12: Shantell Chapman of Belmont, Kirstie Michalak of Hamilton and Jacci Allanson of The Hill. Picture: Dean Osland

Miss Surfest Final Heat, Belmont Sporties, February 12: Chloe Johnson of Tingira Hts, Erin Pinkerton of Edgeworth and Bryce Tamsett of Merewether Heights. Picture: Dean Osland

Miss Surfest Final Heat, Belmont Sporties, February 12: Storm Crowe of Newcastle and Jennifer Hunt Miss Heritage Australia. Picture: Dean Osland

Miss Surfest Final Heat, Belmont Sporties, February 12: Jasmine Coombs of Wyoming, Jessica McIlveen of Port Macquarie and Kayla Steele of Caves Beach. Picture: Dean Osland

Miss Surfest Final Heat, Belmont Sporties, February 12: Monique Sisley of Warners Bay and Hazel August of Charlestown. Picture: Dean Osland

Absinthe by Spiegelworld, Wheeler Place, Newcastle: Anne and Ron Walkom both of Wickham. Picture: Simone De Peak

Absinthe by Spiegelworld, Wheeler Place, Newcastle: Lauren MacDonald of Killingworth and Anne Nichols of North Lambton. Picture: Simone De Peak

Absinthe by Spiegelworld, Wheeler Place, Newcastle: Arron Masters of Mount Hutton and Murray Kranz of Kahibah. Picture: Simone De Peak

Absinthe by Spiegelworld, Wheeler Place, Newcastle: Shandele Pascoe and Diane Pascoe both of Medowie. Picture: Simone De Peak

Absinthe by Spiegelworld, Wheeler Place, Newcastle: Brock Harvison and Eliza Jupp both of Maryland. Picture: Simone De Peak

Absinthe by Spiegelworld, Wheeler Place, Newcastle: Harry Gelzinnis of Waratah and Emma Stephenson of Adamstown. Picture: Simone De Peak

Absinthe by Spiegelworld, Wheeler Place, Newcastle: Milla and Peter Sneesby both of Elermore Vale. Picture: Simone De Peak

Absinthe by Spiegelworld, Wheeler Place, Newcastle: Brenda Hall and Lacey Hall both of Medowie. Picture: Simone De Peak

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Electricity companies rorting the system, inquiry told

The network portion of the power bill for Victoria’s household is about a quarter of the bill compared to half in other states, Gerard Brody, the chief executive of the Consumer Action Law Centre told a Senate Inquiry Wednesday.Victoria’s electricity network operators such as Ausnet and Jemena may be more efficient than their interstate counterparts and the network portion of household bills have not increased as much, but this has not stopped the companies from attempting to rort the system, a government inquiry has heard.
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The network portion of the power bill for Victoria’s household is about a quarter of the bill compared to half in other states, Gerard Brody, the chief executive of the Consumer Action Law Centre told a Senate Inquiry Wednesday.

“However, this has not stopped the networks using the regulatory system to obtain returns” that are higher than would be the case otherwise, he said, pointing to the regulator’s decision to force customers to pay “excess expenditure” relating to the roll-out of smart meters to the tune of $111 million.

“This means that the cost of the rollout was this much higher than initially budgeted for, but consumers still pay the difference,” he said.

“As for-profit privately-run businesses, it is natural for these businesses to seek to maximise returns. The point is whether the regulatory regime is sufficient.

“It has been estimated that appeals of [Australian Energy Regulator] determinations of revenue allowances has resulted in $3 billion additional being paid for by consumers,” he said.

The success of these appeals indicated it was poor rules that enabled businesses to recover so much money

The Consumer Advocacy Centre has also thrown its weight behind allowing network companies to write down the value of assets which are no longer needed as demand for electricity supplied through the network deciness and consumers switch to new energy sources, such as solar panels, which may not need to utilise the power network.

“This will mean that those [who continue to use the networks] are not unduly burdened by continuing to bear the costs of sustaining the full network,” Mr Brody said.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Posts keep shifting on retirement savings goals

A COMMON question asked by new financial planning clients is, “How much money do I need to retire on?” The best answer to that is, “How accurate do you want me to be?”
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One of our human foibles is that we see certainty where there is none. We see financial forecasts such as federal budgets or GDP predictions as robust, when they’re more like educated guesses.

Retirement saving is often like the federal budget. We target a reasonable number and hope it works out. ASIC’s MoneySmart website says that for a “comfortable” retirement, a couple will require a $744,000 super balance and that will produce $57,000 of annual income. It’s a reasonable forecast, but it’s a long way from certain that it will be enough for you.

Firstly, “comfortable” is a matter of perspective. Personal factors like health, the ability to continue or resume working and likely inheritances will also have a big impact on how much income you’ll need.

Next there’s longevity. Retirement planning is often done on the basis of life expectancy but that has been increasing and many people will live much longer than this.

Even if you budget for living until your late 90s (most don’t), there’s a chance your planning won’t work out. You’re more likely to live past the century mark than to die in a car accident, and it’s roughly 200,000 times more likely than being killed by a shark.

Finally, you need to work out how much risk you’re willing to take with your retirement planning. Actuarial firm Accurium says if you want to retire at 65 and live off $70,000 a year, with a 95 per cent chance of it working out, you’ll need $1.6 million – more than double what ASIC says you’ll need.

Many retirement plans prepared by financial advisers would come with a similar likelihood of success.

These retirement plans aren’t wrong. Just don’t assume the forecasts are cast in stone. Poor investment returns, living longer than expected, needing to spend more than anticipated or further cuts to the age pension could compromise these plans.

If you’re uncomfortable with this risk, what should you do about it? Unfortunately, there’s no good solution. Lifetime annuities are limited in their availability and pay meagre interest rates. But investing heavily in shares or other growth assets in retirement increases your exposure to volatility instead. The only good solution is to save more in the first place. But brace yourself for the difference this makes.

ASIC’s MoneySmart provides a handy retirement planning calculator that allows you to change the default forecasts. Changing a couple’s life expectancy from 90 to 100, for instance, increases the required savings for a “comfortable lifestyle” to $1.25 million. To also get your forecast income to $70,000, to provide a margin for error on the spending side, you’ll need more than $2 million.

Reducing spending, increasing super contributions, shifting away from high-cost investment strategies and extending your retirement date can make a huge difference to your retirement savings. Retiring a few years later than planned, for instance, could add about 20-40 per cent to your retirement savings and substantially reduce the risk of them running out.

I don’t mean to be a party pooper. But your retirement plans should be based on a solid understanding of whether you’ve got “more than enough” or “barely enough”. Don’t make the mistake of assuming certainty where there is none.

Richard Livingston is a founder of Eviser.

NOEL WHITTAKER: Time to face tough choices

IT’S been a hectic time in politics over the past fortnight, with one message emerging loud and clear: most voters are not prepared to accept the tough medicine that is needed to get the country’s finances back on track.
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It’s hyperbolic discounting at work. The longer the period between the remedy and the outcome, the less likely it is that people will accept tough choices today that will have beneficial effects in the future. But the longer we put off making the changes, the harder it’s going to be when drastic action is forced upon us.

Today, let’s look in detail at three major influences at work; it will give you an idea of the massive problems facing any party in power.

The first is increasing life expectancies. Today, there are 3.45 million Australians aged 65 and over. This is 14.7 per cent of our current population of 23.5 million. By 2034 – just 19 years away – the number is expected to be 6.1 million, which is almost 20 per cent of the projected population of 31.6 million.

The thought of one in five Australians being aged 65 or over is scary enough, but it gets even worse when you consider these projections did not take into account the medical breakthroughs that are certain to happen in the next 20 years.

In a situation where debt has become the norm, and deficits are forecast for years ahead, how is a government going to find the funds to provide the health services and age pension to deal with all those ageing people?

Our current income tax system is unsustainable. The 65s and over are our fastest growing group, yet 87 per cent of them pay no income tax at all. This is due to a combination of concessions. The Seniors and Pensioners Tax Offset (SAPTO) enables a couple to earn $28,974 each per annum without paying tax, while anybody over 60 can hold their superannuation in a tax-free fund while drawing a tax free income from it.

Raising the taxes on super without cutting back SAPTO won’t work because retirees with less than a million dollars in super would simply exit the system and continue to enjoy a tax-free existence. The only realistic option available is to widen the GST so there are no exemptions.

Most senior citizens expect at least a part age pension. Currently, increases are linked to average weekly earnings, but the Coalition is trying to stem the rate the pension goes up. They have proposed the rate of increase be linked to cost of living from September 2017.

Let’s assume increases in average weekly earnings are 4 per cent, inflation is 2.5 per cent, and the couple’s full pension now is $30,000 a year. If it remains linked to earnings, the pension would rise to $45,000 a year in 10 years and $67,000 a year in 20 years. By linking it to the CPI, it becomes $38,000 a year in 10 years and $49,000 in 20.

Surely it is a no-brainer to reduce the increase in the age pension so that it keeps pace with the cost of living?

Unfortunately, due to the adversarial nature of politics, the opposition is running a scare campaign claiming that age pensions are being reduced – yet all the Coalition is trying to do is slow down the rate of growth.

Put all this together and you have an ageing population, all who vote, who will be a growing drain on government finances at the same time as the government is shackled by a tax system which cannot cope. Eventually, something’s got to give.

Noel Whittaker is the author of Making Money Made Simple andnumerous other books on personal finance. His advice is general in nature and readers shouldseek their own prefessional advice before making any decisions. Email [email protected]南京夜网.

Great-grandmother Jean Harrison killed in suspected hit-and-run

Great-grandmother Jean Harrison had a special knack for seeing kindness in the hearts of all those she encountered, her family says.
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That special trait has made it even more difficult for them to fathom just how a motorist could have struck her as she walked along a street in Miller in Sydney’s west on Tuesday before driving away, leaving her lying on the road with a fractured skull, neck and pelvis.

Mrs Harrison, 83, who had more than 20 grandchildren and just as many great-grandchildren, was taken to Liverpool Hospital where she was admitted to the intensive care unit.

She was surrounded by family when she died from her injuries early on Wednesday.

“Everyone says their grandmother is such a sweet lady but, honestly, Nan never had anything bad to say about anyone,” her grandson Daniel Webster said.

“Even in the worst person, she’d always see some kindness in their hearts. She was such a gentle, compassionate lady. It makes it so much harder that something this tragic could happen to her.”

At the weekend, Mrs Harrison’s family had gathered to cut a cake for her 83rd birthday. She had taken great joy in cradling her youngest great-granddaughter, Xanthe, who is nine weeks old.

Mrs Harrison had lived in the same house in Miller for more than 50 years, after migrating to Australia from England. Her husband died about 15 years ago, but she did not want to move away from the only home she had known in Australia and where her family had grown up, Mr Webster said.

One of Mrs Harrison’s rituals was to wander down to the local shops, where she would sometimes have a coffee and pick up some food.

“Every day, she would go down to the shop. It was her thing to do, and people would stop and chat to her, and she would talk about her grandkids, about how much she loved her family. It was really everything to her,” Mr Webster said.

Mrs Harrison was believed to have been making her regular trip to the shops when she was found lying in the middle of Shropshire Street, near the intersection of Dorset Place, in Miller, about 11.45am on Tuesday.

Police and paramedics came to her aid, but she was unable to tell them how she had been injured. Detectives say initial investigations suggest that she had been struck by a vehicle.

Mr Webster said that, if a hit-and-run driver was responsible for his grandmother’s death, he hoped the driver understood the consequences of his or her actions.

“I hope they have some sort of conscience to be able to come forward. It’s not going to change the fact that we’ve lost her now, but if they have any sort of heart, it’s better for them and better for everyone to come forward,” he said.

“The police should catch them sooner or later, and it would give some sort of solace to our family to know that someone that could do this could come forward.”

At the time she was found, Mrs Harrison was wearing a cream short-sleeved top and a brown floral skirt and was carrying a dark shoulder bag.

Police are appealing for anyone who may have seen Mrs Harrison before she was found on the road, or who has any information about the incident, to call Green Valley police or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

David Murray says it’s time to tackle superannuation concessions for rich

Financial system inquiry chair David Murray’s report to the government said tax breaks on super and housing needed to be looked at closely in the tax white paper. Photo: SuppliedThe man who the Abbott government tasked with fixing the financial system says political leaders have failed to end Australians’ sense of entitlement when it comes to superannuation concessions and the aged pension.
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While there was an economic case to cap large balances from getting preferential tax treatment, and possibly include the family home in the assets that are taken into account when determining a person’s eligibility for the aged pension, the community wasn’t ready for such massive changes to the superannuation system, says David Murray, the head of the financial systems inquiry.

“There is not a belief set in the community that we have an issue to address,” Mr Murray told Fairfax Media after an SMSF Association conference in Melbourne about the retirement income system.

Mr Murray, a former chairman of the Future Fund, said after 25 years of continuous growth, and generous handouts by various federal governments, the community had gained a sense of entitlement.

And despite comments by Treasurer Joe Hockey and others about ending the “age of entitlement”, politicians had not managed to convince the public why it was necessary to change.

“Until that [voter] belief set changes, it becomes harder for the political system and the politicians to deal with that adjustment that we need,” he said.

Mr Murray’s report to government said tax breaks on super and housing needed to be looked at closely in the tax white paper, as they were distorting behaviour and posing a risk to the financial system and entire economy.

As Mr Murray’s report and a host of other economists and think tanks have noted, overly generous tax concessions applied to superannuation investment earnings have been primarily benefiting the rich.

Mr Murray’s report also took issue with the fact that super earnings are taxed at 15 per cent in the accumulation phase, but are untaxed in retirement. His report suggested “aligning the earnings tax rate between accumulation and retirement would reduce costs for funds” and “facilitate a seamless transition to retirement and reduce opportunities for tax arbitrage”.

A recent report by the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia suggested removing the concessional tax treatment for balances of more than $2.5 million. It also said superannuation should not be used as a wealth accumulation or estate planning tool.

Tax Office statistics show almost 300,000 self-managed superannuation funds eliminated or reduced their tax bills through exemptions on super and $2.5 billion in franking credits in 2011-12.

Mr Murray did not advocate a cap level for concessional tax treatment – saying that was best left to experts to model when the cap should apply to super balances – but said one was needed.

He said lower-income taxpayers were missing out on the benefits of superannuation concessions, thereby “subsidising” a tax break for higher-income earners.

“There’s very generous tax concessions in the system, there are very generous voluntary contribution arrangements, and there is no cap on the system,” Mr Murray said.

“So that drives those inequities and the tax arrangements drive distortions across the financial system that affects the economy. Depending on your political persuasion, one or other of our alternative governments in Australia is going to keep picking that up … It’s not a sustainable system. The tax has to be sorted out and the objectives have to be clear.”

Also speaking at the SMSF Association event was Don Russell, once senior adviser to former Prime Minister Paul Keating and one of the architects of compulsory superannuation.

He said there were issues with the concessions being “excessively generous” and there was a need to look at those. But compulsory superannuation was never set up as a mechanism to channel income to lower income earners.

“It’s based around compulsion and you can only do that with a good deal,” Mr Russell said. “You’ve got to have a tax preference to help savings. That’s always going to benefit higher income people because higher income people can save; lower income people can’t save.”

Former Reserve Bank board member and chair of public policy at ANU, Warwick McKibbin, told Fairfax Media after the event that while “there’s a very clear argument” for getting some of the distortions out of the super system which are leading to excesses”, bringing the family home into the assets test, and raising the GST and broadening the base, neither the government nor the opposition had the courage to tackle these issues.

“Every time we see an election result like we did in Queensland or Victoria, we draw the wrong conclusions,” Professor McKibbin said.

“We say, ‘the public voted against this particular policy; that they voted against asset sales in Queensland’. My view is, no, they didn’t vote against that. They voted against the [Queensland] government. I think until that [conversation] changes, politicians will continue to go down this road of not being able to do anything.”

Professor McKibbin said most policies designed to improve economic efficiency and raise money, were by their nature inequitable. “My view is that you need to implement the most efficient ways of generating revenue at the lowest cost, so there are more resources for people to share, and then you do the equity adjustments,” he said.

“It may be that you never get to do some equity adjustments, and that at an individual level the system is not fair. But the system as a whole has to be fair.”

The other issue now being debated is whether the family home should be included in the assets test for the aged pension.

On Monday, the parliamentary secretary to the Treasurer, Kelly O’Dwyer, said the issue should be debated following the upcoming release of Treasury’s intergenerational report, which forecasts major government spending over 40 years. But Social Services Minister Scott Morrison has ruled out including the family home in the assets test.

Shadow treasurer Chris Bowen said there was a need to ensure high-income earners “pay a fair share of their tax on superannuation”.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Hungry snakes take to Forster’s beaches

A brown snake seen on the beach at Forster. Photo: Edweena Singh The brown snake seen in the water at Forster. Photo: Edweena Singh
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The brown snake in the water at Forster. Photo: Edweena Singh

Snake swims between the flags

Brown snakes just seem to love the beach at Forster on the NSW Mid North Coast.

Last month, Great Lakes Advocate reader Olivia Moffatt took a picture of a brown snake that emerged from the water at One Mile Beach, right between the flags..

Now, Edweena Singh’s photo of a brown snake enjoying the sand and water of Wallis Lake just across from the popular Memorial Drive foreshore has caused a stir on the newspaper’s Facebook page.

“It was on the middle island under the bridge where people swim to and park their boats,” Ms Singh said.

“I don’t know what type of snake it was, just that it was greyish brown.”

However, snake expert John Smith said he was pretty certain it was a brown snake.

“It’s more than likely a brown snake – it’s the only thing it could be at that size and colour,” he said.

“There is a sea snake that’s similar in colouring but it’s a bit thicker in the body.”

Mr Smith, 67, has been handling snakes since he was a teenager and working with them in the Forster area for the past 15 years.

“I can identify most snakes,” he said.

He said the breed normally does not like the water.

“They’re more of a dry country snake. That one at One Mile last month was more than likely spooked into the water.”

It had been a “good” season for snakes, particularly blacks, he said.

“We are getting a hell of a lot of those and they’re all big – lots of six-footers. It could be because of the humid weather – the hotter it is, the hungrier they are, but it’s unusual to get so many big ones like this.”

 

Ms Singh’s pictures got people talking and sharing their own photos of close encounters with snakes.

One that caused a huge reaction on the Great Lakes Advocate Facebook page was from Jody Bosley Cruse, who found a large diamond python on the doorstep at her Tuncurry home recently.

People were keen to know what she did.

Reader Nichole Parkes posted: “Omg how did you react when you saw this? I know I would have been having kittens because damn that’s a big one.”

Ms Cruse replied: “He wasn’t killed – my neighbour who is familiar with removing snakes came in and removed him and my hubby drove him further away to release him back in the bush.”

Sue Beere was, horrified saying simply: “I’d have to move out if I saw that anywhere near my home.”

Great Lakes Advocate

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‘Living her dream’: Family visit scene of Josie Edden tragedy

Family visit scene of Josie Edden tragedy Tributes at the scene where Josie Edden was killed. Picture: Penny Stephens
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Tributes at the scene where Josie Edden was killed. Picture: Penny Stephens

Tributes at the scene where Josie Edden was killed. Picture: Penny Stephens

Tributes at the scene where Josie Edden was killed. Picture: Penny Stephens

Friends at the scene where Jodie was killed on Tuesday. Picture: Penny Stephens

Newcastle’s Josie Edden. Picture: Supplied

TweetFacebookThe parents of Josie Edden have made an emotional visit to the Melbourne site where their only child was killed on Tuesday morning.

Bouquets continue to pile up on the corner of Collins and Spencer streets where the 23-year-old cafe managercrossed against a flashing “don’t walk” signal, tripped and fell in the path of a garbage truckat about 6am.

She had been on her way to work at Code Black Coffee, making the same trip she would have made countless times before.

Her boyfriend Drew Ridley encountered the horrific scene after receiving a call from concerned co-workers telling him that Ms Edden had failed to turn up to work.

Drew’s father Glen visited the site with Ms Edden’s parents, Liz and Paul, on Wednesday and spoke on behalf of the grieving families.

“They’ve just come down to sort out Josie’s things, to have a look at the site obviously, and to spend some time with the people that Josie worked with because they knew nothing of her life in Melbourne,” he said.

“They’re from Newcastle so she led a life that they were completely unaware of.

“Everybody loved her… She’ll be very sorely missed.”

He said it had been overwhelming for her family to see that so many friends, customers and colleagues had been visiting the site of Ms Edden’s death.

“Everybody loved her … She’ll be very sorely missed”. Picture: Penny Stephens

“Customers and employees were just constantly coming through,” he said.

“She was so well liked and well known and they just couldn’t believe how popular their daughter was.”

Josie had met Drew, her “soulmate”, in Melbourne a couple of years ago after making the move from Newcastle to pursue a career in hospitality, Glen Ridley said.

“She heard that Melbourne was the coffee capital of Australia and she was passionate about coffee and food so this is where she came to. [She] was living her dream.

“They were soulmates, they’d have the same ideas. [Drew] is pretty devastated, it’s going to take a while to get him out of this.”

Ms Edden’s parents have released a statement paying tribute to their “loving and fun” daughter.

“She had strong opinions and was a very independent thinker,” they said.

‘Hard to beat’: Toll can’t believe its luck as Japan Post lobs a very sweet offer

Not so Little: Meet the $340m winner in Japan Post’s takeover of Toll
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Serendipity best describes what Toll Holdings shareholders experienced  on Wednesday morning.

Having braced themselves for a poor profit performance and a likely fall in the company’s share price, shareholders in the logistics business must be delighted that Japan Post has pitched a takeover offer that is generous to say the least.

Thus it’s hardly surprising that Toll directors unanimously and heartily endorsed the $9.04 offer, which represented a massive 53 per cent (yes 53 per cent) premium to the pre-offer three-month average trading price.

Making the offer even sweeter, shareholders get their hands on the company’s 13¢ dividend.

Toll chairman Ray Horsburgh described the offer price, which values the company’s equity at $6.5 billion, as “compelling value”.

And while the board remains open to any competing offers, Horsburgh argued it was “such a compelling offer it would be hard for anyone to beat”.

It appears the $85 billion government-owned postal business is heading into the final stages of an initial public offering (IPO) and wants another big business to add to its suite of assets, presumably to offer some earnings upside.

Toll is the lucky product of that Japanese search.

The lure of Toll appears to be its global reach and in particular its Asian network. This network, according to the half year profit announcement on Wednesday, contained its most (almost only) profitable divisions.

Toll Global Forwarding operations improved profit from $13.9 million to $20 million in the six months to December, while Toll Global Logistics notched up an earnings improvement of 11 per cent to around $61 million.

Toll’s push into Asia was unpopular with investors at the time, but was part of the entrepreneurial vision of its previous chief executive (and modern-day founder) Paul Little.

Horsburgh spoke to Little on Wednesday morning with formal notification of the offer (although presumably Little – a 5 per cent shareholder in Toll, which is now worth $340 million – was well aware of negotiations that began last month.  According to Horsburgh, Little had mixed views, but said it was fantastic for shareholders. “Overall he is pretty happy,” says the Toll chairman.

President and CEO of Japan Post Toru Takahashi said: “We believe the combination of Japan Post and Toll will be a transformational transaction for both our companies and we are very pleased we have been able to reach agreement.

“In partnership with Toll we are starting a new chapter of looking outward and becoming a leading global player.”

Where Japan Post has remained focused on its traditional letters business and has not strayed far geographically, it is now using Toll as a launchpad to expand its operations further in Asia, Europe and North America – taking advantage of its skill set, its merger and acquisitions expertise and its contracts and infrastructure.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Toll Holdings Newcastle roots

Toll Holdings recommends Japan Post takeover bid at $9.04 per share
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Glimpse of Newcastle’s history revealed

TOLL Holdings Ltd, the Australian transport company being chased by Japan Post for $6.5 billion, grew from a company started in Newcastle in 1888.

Back then, Toll was a coal haulage buisiness using horses and carts and founded by Newcastle businessman Albert Frederick Toll.

The company, originally known as A.F. Toll, grew steadily under Albert’s stewardship until his death in 1958 (although some sources say 1960), aged 95.

An early advertising sign for the company – covered by another building from 1937 onwards – was uncovered during demolition work in Watt Street, Newcastle, in November 2009, and featured in the Newcastle Herald.

Albert’s 6th child was the writer Dora Birtles (1903-1992) who wrote four novels, including The Overlanders, and who was also published in the Newcastle Sun.

When Albert died, he left the company to his children, who were already already in their 60s and 70s.

They sold A.F. Toll soon after inheriting to a company called National Minerals for £55,000.

In 1962, Toll was bought by a prominent mining company of the day, Peko Wallsned.

Under Peko Wallsend it grew to become a national carrier under the name Toll-Chadwick, with more than 500 employees and 300 vehicles Australia-wide.

In 1986, it was sold in a management buyout led by businessmen Paul Little and PeterRowsthorn

The buyout team expanded the company dramatically, listing it on the Australian stock exchange in 1993.

The deal made both men rich and Little, especially, has maintained a high profile in Australian business and sporting circles.

Little also has aviation and real estate interests, and has been chairman of Essendon AFL club since July 2013.

Toll’s current chairman is Ray Horsburgh and its managing director is Brian Kruger.