First National best for customer satisfaction

by admin on June 20th, 2019

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Front of house: Residential property manager Leanne Kavanagh, admin support Peta Fairclough, and receptionist Linda McCabe. Photo: Matt LauCanstar Bluehas announced First National Real Estate the winner of its 2016 Most Satisfied Customersaward.
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Thecustomer satisfaction research and ratings agency carried outcustomer research about the experience of homeowners, tenants and landlords with Australia’s largest real estate brands.

In assessing quality of service delivery nationwide, Canstar Blue focused on a series of measures incorporating agent advice and communication; problem resolution, value for money, marketing, moving services, contract handling, andoverall satisfaction.

First National Real Estate was the only real estate company to achieve five-star ratings.

Frank Haygarth,First National Donnybrook First National Real Estate principal,is delighted to be recognised as a customer satisfaction leader.

“There can be no greater measure of the success of the client-agent relationship than overall satisfaction,” Haygarth said.

“This award represents the fulfillment of our membership’s nationwide commitment to ensure we deliver Australia’s best real estate sales and property management services.”

Last year, First National Real Estate also received the Canstar Blue award for overall customer satisfaction in New Zealand, which highlightsthe excellence First National agencies provide on both sides of the Tasman.

“Each and every one of our offices is committed to customer satisfaction so it’s no coincidence our network has now won this award in both countries.

“We see this as proof positive that our culture, training, communication, service and commitment to results sets us apart from our competitors.”

Haygarth said acritical difference at First National was that itsmembership requirements related specifically to service delivery, and not generation of fees for itshead office.

“As a cooperative, our agents work together, not against each other, and the Canstar Blue award confirms consumers see the benefits,” he said.

Megan Doyle, head of Canstar Blue, congratulated First National Real Estate on the success.

“This is a great result across all customer touch points, suggesting First National is satisfying its customers regardless of their differing professional real estate requirements,” Doyle said.

“Good communications and problem resolution are crucial elements of any good real estate service and it is notable that First National was the only one to rate five stars in these areas.”

Donnybrook First National Real Estate can be reachedon 9731 1566.

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Letters to the editor

by admin on June 20th, 2019

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Nonchalant on ChaletThe saga regarding the Mount Buffalo Chalet over the past three decades looks like dragging on for years to come after the Andrews’ Government indicated it is prepared to only provide a miserly $2.8 million to its redevelopment.
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Nearly nine years after having over $7 million available from a fire insurance payout, the government has announced they have not been able to deliver what is needed to secure a long-term future for the Chalet.

The recently government appointed ‘public’ advisory group has indicated they will seek public and philanthropic assistance in an effort to restore the Chalet.

SHADOW OF ITS FORMER SELF: A reader says the present derelict condition of the Mount Buffalo Chalet stands as testament to the lack of maintenance.

The most revealing aspect of the current dilemma facing the Chalet is the general building maintenancewhich has not been of the highest priority for the heritage-listed building since it was removed from Victorian Railways management in 1986.

The present derelict condition of the weatherboard Chalet stands as testament to that lack of maintenance. Compliance with heritage requirements appears to have been ignored by successive governments since the original commercial lease in 1992.

A leaked eight-page executive summary from the 2013 Ernst & Young Report entitled ‘Redevelopment of the Chalet’ reveals little promise for the future of both the National Park and the Chalet. Surely it’s time the state government finally sought the views of the public, instead of continuing to appoint its own advisors and later claiming ‘public consultation’ has taken place.

What has occurred since Victorian Railways were forced to relinquish the Chalet back in 1985/86 is akin to a script from TV’s Yes Minister.

Bob Adams, BrightMuch respect for wordsI was reading The Border Mail on Saturday (October 1) and saw the letter ‘Understanding Marriage’ by Derek Robinson.

I would like to say thank you for a generous, intelligent and thoughtful letter. I have much respect for your words.

Vikki Bye, YarrawongaTime to call forces backIn light of the recentUS-led Coalition airstrike involving Australian jets,that reportedly bombed and killed 62 Syrian soldiers and wounded 100 more, it is time for Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to call our forces back home from the murderous pantomime being played out in the Middle East.

I cannot see how this was an accidental bombing by the US, effectively killing Assad’s military personnel, when President BarrackObama has been, up til Russia became involved in Syria, using rebel forces and ISIS against the Assad regime.

Now, the US has drawn Australia further into another unwinnable war and reason for hate, by us being involved in an illegal action causing suffering and deat.

In my opinion, there are too many games being played in the Middle East, by Russia, the US, Turkey, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Iran, involving territory, Islam, oil and power.

Because our forces in the Middle East are controlled by questionable agendas, we should leave the Middle East tothe others that are more directly involved and plan our own defence of our own country, where we have more to worry about with what the Chinese are building in the South China Sea.

Ray Williams,AlburyRacists run on fearCade Newell had a great opinion about Australia and the fact that we are a multicultural and it is time we embraced it and built on it in our region.

The benefits are endless and the friendships will open minds and hearts and make us all better people.

The fear inspired rednecked racists have no place in today’s world and they need to be part of solutions, not the problem.There are too many good people from many lands that are marginalised by hate.

Stuart Davie,CorowaThis story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Child assault wasn’t ‘one-off’ act: court

by admin on June 20th, 2019

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A SINGLETON teacher who indecently assaulted a student in the 1980s has been sentenced to an 18-month suspended jail term inNewcastle District Court.
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Michael Patrick Beh appeared in courton Friday for sentence after pleading guilty to one count ofindecentlyassaulting aperson under authority, which carries a maximum penalty of six years in jail.

Beh, now 62, was teaching a boy –then aged nine or 10 –when he placed his hand up the boy’s pants leg and fondled his genitalia, the court heard.Beh continued to teach at the school for more than 20 yearsbefore retiring.

“While the factual material contains some allegations that he touched the lad on more than one occasion there is but one count on the indictment and I am not entitled to take into account the other matters other than the point of view of saying that it can’t be said that this was a one-off offence,” Judge Roy Ellis said.

Judge Ellis said he was also required to sentence Beh in“accordance with the sentencing principles that existed”at the time of the offence, when thesentencingregimewas significantly more lenient.

“There is little room for personaldeterrence, bearing in mind that hedesistedvoluntarily in his offending against this lad and has not re-offended in the last 27 years,” Mr Ellis said.“Mr Beh in fact when first spoken to by the victim readily admitted his offence and apologised to his victim.

“When spoken to by the police he entered into an electronically recorded interview and made full admissions.That he readily acknowledged what he had done andapologisedfor it is not the normal course that these matters take.Generally speaking there is a denial.”

Judge Ellis sentenced Beh to an 18-month suspended sentence and ordered him toaccept ongoingpsychologicalassistance.

“This is not an easy sentencing matter,” Judge Ellis said.“Because, on the one hand,sending this man into custody would certainly be a punishment to him.

“But on the other it seemsto me to be in the long-term interests of the community to proceed in a way other than sending him into custody for a few months, that would only protect the community for the few months that he is in custody. If I place him on a suspended sentence for 18 months the community is likely to be protected for at least thatperiod and, if in fact the rehabilitation is effective, the community would be protected for the balance of his life.”

Austar Swamp Rats the team to beat

by admin on June 20th, 2019

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RIX’S Creek Rattlesnakes’ Scott Matthews believes defending champions Austar Swamp Rats are the team to beat when the 2016 A-Plus Contracting Hunter Valley Mining Charity Rugby League Knockout kicks off this weekend.
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FRIENDLY FOES: Layton Amidy (Wambo Wolves) and Scott Matthews (Rix’s Creek Rattlesnakes) are primed for Saturday’s A-Plus Contracting Hunter Valley Mining Charity Rugby League Knockout.

The competition, which boasts 16 teams representing numerous mines in the region, will feature many locals in the day-long 10’s tournament at Singleton’s Pirtek Park on Saturday.

And, one of them is Matthews, known to most people as the president of the Singleton Greyhounds.

“Last year was the first time the Rattlesnakes contested the knockout,” he said.

“We made it through to the semi-final before the Mount Thorley Warkworth Razorbacks ended our run.

“But, it’s such a good event and everyone enjoyed themselves, we were keen to be involved again.

“It’s hard to say how things will pan out in 2016.

“I think the new draw, where teams play two games instead of one, will even it up.

“The [Austar] Swamp Rats should be favourites; they’ve got some quality players.

“However, the Mt Arthur A side is also a classy team.”

In 2015, the charity day – hosted by the Singleton Volunteer Support Group – raised $50,000 for the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service (WRHS).

Organisers are hoping to hit the $60,000 mark this year.

The WRHS undertakes more than 1000 missions, including transporting people from accident scenes, transferring critically-ill patients between hospitals and undertaking search and rescue operations.

The Singleton Volunteer Support Group has worked hard for the past 19 years to help raise awareness and funds to make sure the vital community service stays in the air.

“It’s definitely a worthwhile charity, the WRHS – and the reason why everyone’s got on board,” Matthews said.

“Hopefully, we never need to use it.

“And, while the sides are competitive on the field, the players realise it is only a charity match.”

More than 70 businesses have backed individual teams to help with their fundraising targets with Coal Services Mines Rescue (First Aid), Group 21 Rugby League Referees Association and Singleton’s Rotary and Lions clubs providing in-kind support and assistance on the day.

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Port Lincoln sees the light

by admin on June 20th, 2019

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Lower EP residents are relieved the power is now (largely) back on across the region. Picture: Kaitlyn Fasso-Opie
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PORT Lincoln and Lower Eyre Peninsula’spower supplies began to come back on about 8.30pm tonight…to sighs of relief all around.

Tea, toast, an electric blanketand a night in front of theTV were priorities for many people, glad the ‘Dark Ages’ seemed to have come to an end, after having had no power since Wednesday evening.

Port Lincoln residents took to the Port Lincoln TimesFacebook page to let us know, with reports power is now back onalong New West Road, at Kirton Point, Lincoln South, the marina, Ravendale, and at Cummins, Tulka, Rustlers Gully, Tumby Bay, Boston,to name a few.

It is understood there is still no power at Ungarra, Little Swamp, Yeelanna, or at Port Neill.

An Ungarra resident reported having spent almost 46 hours in the dark, while it was “going on 56 consecutive hours at Port Neill” with one resident lamenting that postcode “5604 doesn’t exist”.

Another replied that “OMG,you’re still not on, that’s bullsh*t ours went off again briefly then came back on…Lincoln…is still’s like living in the 1800’s”.

Others were not afraid to share a dry or quirky sense of humour, with a Port Lincoln resident waiting for the power to come back on stating that “candles are lit,just like my mixed tape”.

Let’s hope the power comes back on for everyone, and we can return to living in the 21stCentury.

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Letters to the editor

by admin on May 20th, 2019

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Not the right hillThe West Wodonga hills area is a gazetted Victorian State Park planned and gifted by theAlbury-Wodonga Development Corporation for passive recreational use.
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It is pristine,unspoiled natural bushland including hills, valleys, streams, ferny glades and even awaterfall. It was never intended that this land be developed for quasi-commercial uses suchas competition mountain bike racing. It was to endure for the enjoyment of futuregenerations. There are no car parks, access roads or toilets here.

Change in cycle: Letter writer Ian Guthrie believes Huon Hill would be a better place than Hunchback Hill for mountain bike racing in Wodonga.

On the other hand, the HuonHill area stretching to Killara on the banks of the Kiewa Riverhas been cleared and used as grazing land for more than 120 years, most recently as thedeKerrileau East hereford stud.

This land offers gentle and steep slopes, formed vehicleaccess roads, car parking, toilets and lookout vantage points.

It is publicly owned and wellsuited to use by mountain bike racers with no detriment to our environment.

Common sense says we should put mountain bike racing tracks on HuonHill, notHunchback.

Ian Guthrie, WodongaThe mystery of the ChikoI’ve always been of the opinion that the Chiko roll (Plenty of claims on Chiko Roll, The Border Mail, September 24)was invented by a Victorian, Frank McEncroe, back in the early 1950s.

Michael Riley, WodongaA race well runI just wanted to say a big congratulations to all the candidates who ran for Albury Council election. As a candidate myself, Iwas shown nothing but support from our current councillors and the candidates running.

A massive shout out to all the people who were working at Albury North Public School handing out how-to-vote cards. It was a long day but with lots of laughs and friendly people to stand beside.

As a number two on Bert Eastoe’s ticket, I was disappointed with the outcome for our team (as Bert would make a great councillor for our city) but let’s hope Albury’s choice was correct and we have a great council to lead us for the next four years.

Hayley Franks, AlburyBorder leads the wayAlbury-Wodonga’s inaugural Regional LGBTIQ Health Forum took place at the UNSW Rural Clinical School last week, hosted by Border Medical Association and Hume Phoenix.

It is not often that the medical community and LGBTIQ community come together to discuss health, and having such an event in a regional area sets Albury-Wodonga apart from the rest.

The Q&A session proved the highlight of the night, with discussion ranging from the lived experiences of patients and providing LGBTI inclusive healthcare, to the public health implications of the marriage equality plebiscite.

Shirley Jayasekara, East AlburyAnimal welfare countsIn response to Viv McGee, I totally support farmers who produce “fresh, wholesome, safe Australian produce”.(Hungry with no farmers, The Border Mail, September 29).

But I cannot support farmers who exploit animals for nothing but profit. Needlessly inflicting pain on animals is indefensible.

How you would feel if you were treated the way you treated your dairy cows? Would you like to have your newborn babies torn from your side,year after year? Would you like to be sent off to a terrifying and brutal death in the slaughterhouse when your milk supply waned? Cows produce milk for their babies and not for us.

We humans have absolutely no requirement for a cow’s breast milk and we have no right to steal it from them.

Jenny Moxham, MonbulkThis story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Dr John F. Knight: books that changed me

by admin on May 20th, 2019

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Dr John F. Knight is a well-known TV doctor and medical advice columnist under his pseudonym Dr James Wright. He was awarded the Order of Australia (AM) in 1998 and the Knight Ward was dedicated to him at the new Sydney Sanitarium Hospital. His new memoir is Dr James Wright: Adventures of a Merry Medic (New Holland). The Power of Positive ThinkingNorman Vincent Peale
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When Reverend Peale visited Sydney for a few days, I managed to learn of this quiet visit and rang his hotel. He kindly invited me to meet him and his lovely wife. The following Monday I had him on my segment on the Mike Walsh Show. His book is one that reinforced the direction of my life and it is still a bestseller. Think and Grow RichNapoleon Hall

I found when at high school that everything is summed up in 10 vital points in the first few chapters of this book. It, too, revolutionised my thinking and I still read it from time to time (as do my two sons, Peter and David, who think exactly the way I do). TNT: The Power Within YouClaude M. Bristol

Another that I have read so often – at least 30 times – it has fallen to pieces and is held together with a rubber band. I can almost recite it by heart. Again, simple points that we are all aware of. But written in readable, practical fashion. The Science of Getting RichWallace D. Wattles

This must have been published about the start of 1900 as the world’s future then lay in steam trains and steam power, Wattles believed. Again, a series of principles. I have continued to re-read this a few times every year. Although far outdated in some physical terms, the principles are still there. One simple principle is “When making money, always give to the other party not 100, but 110 per cent of what you promised. It will ultimately come back to you tenfold.” As proven many, many times during my life and times.

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Queensland clan labs disappearing as imported drugs ‘flooded’ in

by admin on May 20th, 2019

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Drug labs are becoming less popular in Queensland. Photo: QPS Illegal drug manufacturing equipment. Photo: QPS
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Police don safety gear while dealing with another illegal lab. Photo: QPS

Queensland’s criminal drug manufacturers are being run out of business as cheaper, higher quality narcotics flood through the state’s borders, police say.

On Friday, they hailed a decline in meth lab busts in the state that was once infamous for having the highest rate of the dangerous scourge in the country but pointed to a concerning explanation.

Local manufacturers simply couldn’t compete with the cheap, pure drugs from overseas.

“We’ve seen a major downturn of that in Queensland. We used to be the leader in Australia in the detection and charging of people in that kind of activity and there’s reasons for that,” Police Commissioner Ian Stewart said.

“We’ve seen a major downturn. We believe on the evidence available to us that it’s because there’s so much in drugs being flooded into this country that it is not profitable enough to make your own.

“You simply buy it through the criminal networks and that’s where our work on organised crime is so important.”

Actual charges for producing and trafficking drugs stagnated from 2014/15 to 2015/16 but charges for possession and and selling jumped nine and six per cent respectively.

The warning from Queensland police came on the heels of similar information from the Crime and Corruption Commission earlier this year.

“The demand for illicit drugs and the huge profits to be made from supplying them in Queensland, particularly in regional areas, has made Queensland an attractive market for interstate and internationally based crime groups to expand their criminal activities,” the CCC found in its illicit drug markets report from earlier this year.

It found organised crime groups, particularly from interstate, were increasingly targeting regional areas such as Toowoomba, Mackay, Rockhampton, Gladstone, Townsville and Cairns.

Queensland was the clandestine drug lab capital of the country in 2013-14, hosting almost half of the nation’s criminal drug laboratories, with about a third of them the year after, Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission.

The CCC identified a sharp swing away from domestic production toward “importations of high-purity final product” from overseas in its latest report.

“Methylamphetamine continues to be rated as the illicit drug market that poses the highest level of risk (Very High) — due to the high level of organised crime involvement and the significant harms the drug causes to individual users and the community,” it said.

“The main change in this market since 2012 has been a shift in the form of methylamphetamine, with increased supply and demand for high purity crystal (“ice”) rather than powder, and an increase in imported final product compared with locally produced methylamphetamine.”

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Devastating crash does nothing to dampen Queenslander’s love of Cambodia

by admin on May 20th, 2019

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I had been out for dinner with a friend, we were heading home, it was a Thursday night.
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We were on my motorbike, going through the little back streets of Phnom Penh towards my apartment and we got sideswiped by a black car.

The other car had no lights on, it was speeding. It sandwiched my legs between my motorbike and the bumper bar of the car and my head smashed against the bonnet of the car.

My friend was thrown off the bike, he suffered some fairly severe injuries as well.

At that point the driver hit the brakes which dislodged me from my bike and sent me flying down the road. He actually tried to run me over but I managed to crawl to the side of the road and behind a tree.

I looked down and saw that my leg had basically been amputated, it was just held on by some threads of flesh.

He took off down the road with my motorbike still under his car.

Peter Maitland moved to Cambodia in 2014 to teach at the International Primary School in Phnom Penh.

He had an enduring love of Asia after travelling to Beijing to see his brother compete in the Olympics and studying at a University in Malaysia.

While on holidays in Cambodia before moving there he met his now-fiancee Elena, and after travelling back to Australia together he was able to convince her to move there with him.

“Cambodia is a beautiful country,” he says.

“After working in south-east Asia I always wanted to live there, so when the opportunity came up to work in Cambodia I really wanted to take it.

“I just bought a big block of land that I was going to build a resort on down south on the coast. My fiancee had moved down there already to start preparing things. I was going to join her in a week.”

But all Mr Maitland’s plans changed on September 16 when the car emerged from the dark and changed his life forever.

“I was screaming and shouting and cursing and making a good old racket,” he says.

But even through the pain, he saw exactly why he loved the region so much.

“Being in my local area, I knew all the tuk tuk drivers and they took off after [the driver] for me,” he said.

“The tuk tuk drivers led the police to the car driver and they arrested him on the spot which is remarkable, that doesn’t happen very often. Cambodia doesn’t have the most effectual police department.”

It was the first of many examples of the kindness of the community he lived among in Cambodia.

Mr Maitland suffered serious injuries in the crash, including severing an artery in his leg. He lost almost half his blood on the side of the road.

When he arrived at the hospital, stocks of his blood type, A negative, were low. So he put out a call for help on Facebook.

“Within about 20 minutes of putting a Facebook message on, I had about 15 volunteers lined up at my hospital door wanting to donate their A negative blood,” he says.

“It’s times like that you realise people really care.

“These countries, they get a bad rap among a lot of people, but it’s tough times like that that bring good people together.

“In these countries there’s more good people than bad people, bad people make the headlines more often.”

Mr Maitland found people from his local community were prepared to go to great lengths to help him in any way they could.

“These are people with nothing who were prepared to give everything,” he says.

Eventually doctors in Phnom Penh acknowledged they didn’t have the expertise to treat Mr Maitland’s extensive injuries and he was flown to Bangkok for further treatment.

From there he has undergone multiple operations in an attempt to save his severely damaged leg.

“They have taken great care of me, they have been able to answer questions, do all the surgery, minimise my pain, the nurses are great,” he says.

“As it stands, my right foot, the severely injured one, I have been guaranteed I will lose my five toes and I have been pretty much assured I will lose at least half my foot.”

Remarkably, Mr Maitland is relatively upbeat about his plight.

“I used to be a lifesaver, I have played a lot of sport, I have seen some pretty gruesome things,” he says.

“I have quite a strong stomach so I don’t get too fazed by things, and I am treating it as I am alive and anything beyond that is a bonus.”

On Saturday, Mr Maitland was due to be transferred back to Australia for more treatment and the inevitable rehabilitation he will need to undergo to begin walking again.

His flight was due to leave Bangkok at midnight on Friday, getting him back to Australia just in time for a very important event in his life.

“My flight should be getting into Australia around midday and I will go straight from the plane, into an ambulance and to the hospital,” he says.

“There I hope to find a television which is playing the AFL grand final, and if I can’t I will be taking a doctor and a nurse across the road to the pub to watch it.”

Despite his ordeal, Mr Maitland hopes one day to return to Cambodia and he hopes his story doesn’t frighten people off visiting.

“People shouldn’t be scared off by stories like this,” he says.

“My story is horrible, I’m not trying to dodge that.

“But I don’t think I would have got the support from the community in Australia as I received in Cambodia.”

Friends have set up a fundraising page for Mr Maitland to assist with his ongoing medical expenses and rehabilitation costs.

Contributions can be made through 梧桐夜网mycause南京夜网419论坛.

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Queensland Investment Corporation pays out $70 million in bonuses

by admin on May 20th, 2019

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Employees at Queensland Investment Corporation received $70 million in bonuses last year. Photo: Jessica ShapiroMore than $70 million in bonuses has been paid out to workers at the government-owned Queensland Investment Corporation (QIC) in the past year.
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There was $70.89 million paid for “performance and retention of employees”, the QIC Consolidated annual financial statements and directors’ report for the year ended 30 June 2016, tabled on Friday reveals.

There were 543 employees who received payments for performance and retention purposes in the past year, the report said.

This was up from almost $66 million paid in the 2014-15 financial year.

In 2013-14, there was $56.5 million paid in bonuses under the former Newman LNP government.

A corporation spokeswoman said QIC generated significant returns for its clients and a record normalised corporate profit in 2015-16.

“For the financial year 2015-16 QIC’s total revenue increased by $12.3 million to $336.3 million,” the spokeswoman said.

“Incentives paid by QIC are based on performance outcomes.

“All employees of QIC contributed to achieving these outcomes.

“It is in line with market practice to recognise all employee contributions to achieving such a positive result.”

The spokeswoman said QIC managed more than $75.8 billion in funds and generated $4.1 billion in investment return for clients.

“Many of whom are ultimately Queensland public sector employees,” she said.

“Generating investment returns of this size requires people with specialist skills and expertise, for whom QIC must compete with the private sector to appoint and retain.”

QIC’s budget for corporate entertainment was $419,734 for the past year – an increase on previous years, according to the QIC 2015-2016 Statement of Corporate Intent – also tabled on Friday.

The spokeswoman defended the entertainment budget.

“Overall, QIC’s spend in relation to client entertainment and hospitality is well below that of the market and funds management industry,” she said.

“QIC operates in an extremely competitive market and delivers excellent outcomes for our clients and the Queensland Government.

“Delivering this commercial success involves some entertainment activities to help build and maintain relationships with existing and prospective clients.”

She said QIC had policies to ensure corporate hospitality and entertainment spending was “appropriate, reasonable” with commercial benefits.

Brisbane Times approached Treasurer Curtis Pitt’s office for comment, but was advised QIC was better placed to answer the questions posed.

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