15 Gorman Street, Wooloowin should have the crowd on its toes this Saturday.Set on 602sq m with a flat yard and inground pool, this sort of real estate should see a decent crowd descend on the event at midday.Follow Kieran Clair on Twitter at @kieranclair 9 Potts Street, East Brisbane is set to shine at auction on Saturday.In terms of numbers, Brisbane set the standard with 105 events scheduled for this week, according to Corelogic.This is the largest number of events outside of Sydney and Melbourne.But while we seem to have the numbers, Brisbane buyers continue to resist going to contract under the hammer.Our city’s clearance rate of 33.3 per cent last week was a tie with Tasmania for the lowest in the nation.Outside of the Sunshine State, auction numbers have been a point of discussion as event volumes in the nation’s big capital cities dropped right along with their daily temperatures.Sydney and Melbourne were seeing their numbers soften, according to Corelogic, with week-on-week auction volumes down 25 per cent in Melbourne and 17 per cent in Sydney, despite clearance rates remaining stable.Back to Brisbane and, armed with a warm coffee and a light cardigan, auction spotters can look forward to a few treats this weekend. 9 Potts St, East Brisbane has all the elements of a home set to achieve a great price when it goes to auction at 10.00am.The house is beautifully presented but it’s the top story open-roof deck with picture-book city views that will bring the buyers in. The rooftop terrace of 9 Potts Street, East Brisbane.More from newsMould, age, not enough to stop 17 bidders fighting for this home3 hours agoBuyers ‘crazy’ not to take govt freebies, says 28-yr-old investor3 hours agoThe 440sq m allotment is improved with a renovated five-bedroom, four-bathroom home.Marketing agents NGU Real Estate said there’s the opportunity for a family buyer to enjoy multi-generational living.“Two levels can be split into separate living quarters which is ideal for nannies, teenage children, grandparents or guests,” according to the listing details. If it’s potential you’re seeking, 68 Deighton Rd, Dutton Park will be calling for bids from 10.30am.The possibilities feel endless for this 1960s three-bedroom home on 604sq m.Steve and Socrates Mistos will be waving a fond, but slightly sad, farewell to the home where they were raised. Brothers Socrates and Steve Mistos are auctioning the family home in Deighton Street, Dutton Park. Photo: Tim MarsdenThere were reports of multiple parties registering their interest weeks ago for this property, so expect a crowd. 15 Gorman St, Wooloowin will be worth a look as it goes under the hammer at midday.Described as an entry level opportunity, the three-bedroom, highset, chamferboard cottage is neat as a pin and ready to move in.
AG Barr, the Scottish soft-drinks manufacturer, has completed a £35m (€40.1m) bulk annuity deal with Canada Life for its pension scheme, covering more than 50% of the scheme’s pensioner liabilities, and focuses on those who have recently retired.The deficit for the AG Barr (2008) Pension and Life Assurance Scheme doubled from £13.7m at the end of July 2015 to £25m a year later, with the scheme’s defined benefit section closed to future accruals from 1 May 2016.The buy-in was primarily funded with Gilts, with the trustees taking advantage of good pricing to optimise their low-risk assets.Lead adviser to the trustees was Hymans Robertson, with Shepherd and Wedderburn providing legal advice. James Mullins, partner and head of risk-transfer solutions at Hymans Robertson, said: “This deal is illustrative of the excellent value the market for pensioner buy-ins represents at the moment.“This is being driven by new entrants to the market such as Canada Life. It’s therefore highly likely we’ll see an increasing number of schemes go down this route, taking them a step closer to fully securing benefits.”In other news, the Merseyside Pension Fund (MPF), the pension scheme for public sector employees in Merseyside, northwest England, has reported an investment return of 1.2% on its £6.8bn portfolio for the year to 31 March, compared with its bespoke benchmark return of -0.4%.This takes average annualised returns to 6.5% for the three years, and 7.1% for the five years, to the same date.The previous year had seen a return of 12.6%, compared with 10.9% for the benchmark.During 2015-16, equities in all geographical regions except North America made negative returns, but other asset classes were all in positive territory, with property by far the best performer, returning around 10% (specific figures are not published).There was little change in asset allocation year on year.The strategic allocations are 30% in overseas equities, 23% in UK equities, 20% in alternatives, 19% in fixed interest and 8% in property.However, councillor Paul Doughty, chair of the fund’s pensions committee, said that, as anticipated in the previous year, volatility in financial markets was picking up, and the fund had been positioned cautiously.With the next triennial valuation to be made as at 31 March, the MPF’s estimated funding level is around 76%, the same as for the previous valuation.
Andrew Want, a marine ecologist at the ICIT, said: “We have designed a sampling system specifically for long-term survival in harsh marine environments. “When there are habitats close together, they can act as a stepping stone for non-native species to set up shop and thrive. If we create many more habitats in the North Sea through more infrastructure, how might this contribute to the spread of non-native species? If we remove some of the hardware, how will we affect the distribution of key species?” Jo Porter, project lead and marine scientist at Heriot-Watt’s ICIT, said: “We want to understand what could happen to the North Sea ecosystem if oil rigs are decommissioned, or offshore wind farms are installed. “This project will provide vital evidence which may be used to guide decision-making concerning decommissioning of oil and gas rigs or placement of additional renewable energy infrastructure in the North Sea”. Partnersinclude Hull University, National Oceanographic Centre, the Natural HistoryMuseum and Aberdeen University, the European Marine Energy Centre, Aquatera,Marine Scotland Science, Joint Nature Conservation Committee, and theInternational Maritime Organisation. The base andlegs of oil and gas platforms, subsea pipelines, and offshore wind farms havebecome home to different species over the years, like mussels, barnacles,amphipods, and anemones. “This system will be adapted for placement in several locations in the northern North Sea with deployment planned for March 2021. We will choose the locations based on environmental conditions like currents, water depth and seabed type. The teamwill use data from the INSITE project for the first part of the research, andthen deploy specialist kit to areas around rigs and infrastructure in thenorthern North Sea to start surveying the marine animals. TheConnectivity of Hard Substrate Assemblages in the North Sea project is one ofseven proposals funded in the second round of the Natural Environment ResearchCouncil’s ‘Influence of Manmade Structures in the Ecosystem’ (INSITE)programme. “We’ll start by looking at the distribution of creatures like mussels and barnacles, which thrive on hard substrates around rigs and other infrastructure and integrate that with our knowledge of their life cycles. “We’re coming to the end of the fossil fuel lifespan and about to use the North Sea for a different type of energy. Scientists from around the UK, led by the Heriot-Watt’s International Centre for Island Technology, are investigating marine life connected to the rigs, pipelines and other infrastructure in the North Sea.
Indianapolis, In. — The DNR will have a strong presence at the Indianapolis Boat, Sport and Travel Show, Feb. 15-24, at the Indiana State Fairgrounds.The show is presented by Renfro Productions and opens at 1 p.m. Friday, Feb. 15.The DNR’s main location is in Tackle Town, in the Blue Ribbon Pavilion. The booth is a convenient one-stop shopping opportunity for licenses, state park passes, lake-use permits, Outdoor Indiana magazine, and a State Parks GO! (Get Outside) promotion.Biologists and Go FishIN volunteers will be on hand throughout the show to share fishing stories and hot spots, answer questions about aquatic invasive species, and share opportunities to learn and volunteer.The Live Birds of Prey from Hardy Lake’s Dwight Chamberlain Raptor Center will be presented Feb. 16 and 25, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. A “Snakes Alive, Snake Buffett” from O’Bannon Woods State Park will be offered Feb. 17 and 24 during roughly the same hours.Members of the Indiana Conservation Officers K-9 team will be offered Feb. 24, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The public will have an opportunity to interact with the officers and their K-9 partners. All times are subject to change.