Once again the NSW State Government showed how out of touch it is with the people, when it delivered its ninth budget. With the Government yet again adopting an Ebenezer Scrooge economic policy, it is no wonder all the leaves are turning brown. In 1998-99 the Government grabbed $1.88 billion in stamp duty. At the end of 2001-02 it was $3.05 billion, in 2003-04 it expects $3.37 billion and in 2006-07 $4.019 billion is expected. With the Government releasing these budget forecasts it is now blatantly obvious that it has no intention of revising the Stamp Duty formula until the next election, which means that the formula will then be twenty-one years old. Over the past ten years NSW has consistently gone backwards economically when compared to the other states, failing to keep pace with the economic growth of Victoria and Queensland. From 1991-92 to 2001-02 NSW could only manage economic growth of 3.7%, Victoria averaged 4.2% and Queensland led the way with 5.0%, I guess the Government will start showing concerns when Tasmania passes NSW. The ‘Garden of Egan’ is forcing the people of NSW to locate elsewhere. Figures show that in 2002, 30,000 NSW residents moved elsewhere, which is more than double the number of five years ago. Looks like somebody can’t see “the forest for the trees”.

With the end of financial year all but upon us, we are coming home with a wet sail as the property market moves into winter consolidation. Over the last week we have exchanged ten properties, and at our auctions this week we posted an eighty per cent clearance rate. Our Internet sales stand at 107 totalling $172,500,000, which clearly identifies that we are the market leaders in combining the Internet with real estate agency practice techniques. Over the next few months we anticipate that the market will swing more towards Internet and private treaty sales, and we very much looking forward to these challenges. RWM now holds the top three sales ever achieved in Mosman and with the recent waterfront sale on Middle Harbour of, my twin brother Richard joined me as the only other Mosman agent to post a ‘double-digit’ residential sale. The highest sale ever recorded in Mosman is $15.5 million, followed by Richard’s waterfront sale, and the third belongs to our very own Steve Patrick who posted a $9.5 million sale in March. We are just one big happy family!! Steve currently has his eye on becoming the third agent in Mosman to join the ‘double-digit club’ and soon we could hold first, second, third and fourth.

Once again this week, the State Government was back in the news for all the wrong reasons as it battled with local residents regarding the “bridge over troubled waters” fiasco. The Spit Bridge debate continues and the residents have been given a ‘don’t argue’ by the “Minister for Pot Holes”, Carl Scully. The combined population of the peninsula and Mosman district is around 280,000 people and sadly the Government fails to acknowledge the stupidity of its proposal. Already the Spit Bridge affects the capital appreciation of many homes due to the ever-increasing traffic delays. It will never improve until decisive action is taken. The State Government is applying a band-aid to a problem that requires a tourniquet. With the Carr Government we have a consistent Government, that is, consistently wrong!!

With this week’s edition being our 116th, it also marks the end of an era, as the brains behind VRN is leaving our employ to pursue other interests. Avril Norman, the creator, architect and builder of our e-business has decided to pursue her energetic healing business and will mix this with her freelance IT consultancy work. Belinda Holmes is taking over the keyboard from Avril and Belinda in time, will be putting her signature on the IT side of the business. For the last twelve months Avril has been building our software programme that we now use exclusively here at RWM. All of us, wish Avril every happiness and success with her new businesses. We are certainly going to miss one of the most talented IT brains on the planet. Avril has been retained as a consultant to RWM.

With just a few days left before the end of the financial year we are busy putting a few more properties to bed. The last financial year has been our most successful ever. So unlike the Carr Government our business plan is exceeding expectations. Very soon we will be making the biggest announcement in our history so we can tell you that our business plan is jumping ahead by leaps and bounds.

Catch you soon, cheers and clink ^__^

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