In the heart of the Shenandoah Valley, bounded by two magnificent mountain ranges and the impressive Shenandoah River, Rockingham County, Va. is a must see destination that boasts diverse biking opportunities, a thriving cultural scene, vibrant and inviting small towns, numerous historical attractions, and farm-to-table dining opportunities. Situated just two hours from D.C. and minutes from the George Washington National Forest and Shenandoah National Park, its central location makes it an easy destination for a day, weekend, or week-long trip. The area is designated a “Bronze Level Bicycle Friendly Community” by the League of American Bicyclists for its mix of family-friendly road riding and challenging mountain biking. The George Washington National Forest is the crown jewel of the region with several hundred miles of backcountry trails and trail projects that have been built and optimized for mountain biking. Make sure to check out Narrowback Mountain, Lookout Mountain, and Wolf Ridge trails while you are out there. Fill the rest of your visit with kayaking and tubing the river, exploring the natural wonders at Grand Caverns and Endless Caverns, and sampling a taste of the local scene, including farm fresh eateries and craft drinks. At the end of the day, rest up at one of the historic bed and breakfasts, quaint inns, or Massanutten Resort before another day outside. With over 177,000 acres of National Park and National Forest land, you are sure to find something new every day of the year when you discover your next adventure in Rockingham County. Stop by Mole Hill Bikes in Dayton for all of your bike needs while in town, including accessories and repairs, or the Elkton Appalachian Trail Outfitters for any gear you need to stay happy and healthy out on the trail. A biking trip to Rockingham County wouldn’t be complete without a stop at Massanutten Resort. As one of only two lift-accessible mountain bike parks in the state, the lower and upper lifts take riders up the mountain so they can enjoy the rocky terrain on the way down. Additionally, the Western Slope Trails offer more than 30 miles of a dense trail network. Bikers of all abilities should take advantage of the progressive trails from beginner to advanced. Experienced riders should check out the Massanutten Ridge Trail for excellent views of the mountains and resort. VisitRockingham.com
July 15, 2003 Regular News AG Crist: Lawyers have the skills to make justice happen AG Crist: Lawyers have the skills to make justice happen Charlie Crist, Florida’s first Republican attorney general, serves as one of three members of the newly organized Cabinet of the State of Florida. He and Bar President Miles McGrane have something in common: They both received their law degrees at Cumberland in Birmingham, Alabama. Crist gave this keynote speech at the General Assembly at the Bar Annual Meeting in Orlando:“I’ve prepared a power point presentation on the riveting topic of in rem jurisdiction. It will take about an hour. Of course, I am kidding.“Actually, what I’d like to talk to you about today is a guy named Gregory Peck. As you know, Gregory Peck passed away just a few days ago. He was applauded in life. In death, he received remarkable reviews for his extraordinary achievements as an actor. Although he starred in dozens of films, the film that was consistently mentioned in his talking about his defining role, it was the film I liked very much, To Kill a Mockingbird.“As most of you probably know, in that film he played a lawyer, a character named Atticus Finch. He was small town lawyer in Alabama who defended an African-American man accused of attacking a white woman. What is immediately obvious from watching this film is the passion and courage that Peck displays and conveys as a lawyer.“Given the time and place and circumstances, he takes on this fight in the face of those difficult odds, yet he fought brilliantly.“What is truly memorable, however, about the scenes that Gregory Peck performs in, is not so much the skill and cleverness he exercises as an attorney, but rather the authentic decency that he exercises. That is why, I suppose, one newspaper included a picture of Gregory Peck in the role in To Kill a Mockingbird, and under the obituary, the caption of that photograph ran the following: ‘The last decent man.’“Now, I want you to think about that for a moment, in these days and times, a picture of a lawyer, or at least somebody playing one, and the word ‘decent’ on the same page. Yet there it was.“I’m here today to tell you that it is somehow perfectly correct that the word and the picture should appear together. There are many men and women in this room who could and will use their skills to propel social justice, to secure for the least among us the same privileges and rights that the most powerful have. That I think is our highest calling as lawyers. That is why someone, someone in this room, will be the next decent man or woman.“I was reminded of the need for this person recently in my own job as attorney general. While society at large consoles itself with the fiction that racial prejudice exists only in old movies, and that separatism is a relic that has left us over half a century ago, the reality is that these diseases have never been entirely eliminated.“Does it surprise any of you that not long ago in Perry, Florida, at a bar, that it segregated its black customers from its white patrons? It surprised me. But what surprised me even more was there was no recourse or good remedy that Florida’s attorney general could bring to bear. That is something that we wanted to change. That is why I proposed and pushed legislation that would right this wrong. Today I am proud to say that the Dr. Marvin Davies Civil Rights Act of 2003 was signed into law by Gov. Bush just a few days ago. This is legislation that gives the Office of the Attorney General the authority to bring a civil action with strong penalties against patterns or practices of discrimination.“This is one small contribution of the towering legacy of social justice and civil rights that lawyers have helped create. We can trace the pedigree of this movement to places that scar and illuminate the American soul. Examples are the Freedom Riders of 1961, the march in Selma, Alabama, the Mississippi summer project of 1964. Truly, today we stand on the shoulders of giants. You should take pride in the fact that many of you and your colleagues were instrumental in elevating the circumstances of entire segments of our society.“In the push and pull of daily assignments that we engage in as lawyers, it is easy to lose sight of our heritage and our higher purpose. I hope that some of you in this room can sense the destiny outside these doors. Today, your legal skills are needed more than ever in a society that is still grappling with old problems, even as new complex problems emerge.“Who would have guessed just a few years ago that we would be confronted with the quandary of pervasive technology, or that there would be such a compelling reason to use it to combat terrorism? At the same time, we confront old issues, providing fair and humane treatment to all of our citizens. The concept of social justice, I think, casts a very broad net.“We don’t all have to be at the forefront of the modern civil rights movement to advance social justice, although that would be admirable. It can mean working to right corporate misdeeds, becoming involved in our political process, or simply doing things in a way that reflects decency that should lie at the core of our profession.“One of the things I’m most proud of is my recent work with the Prescription Drug Safety Act. It is legislation that was recently passed to create more effective oversight for wholesalers of prescription drugs and more severe penalties against drug counterfeiters. The practical effect of this legislation is to protect prescription drug recipients, mostly seniors, against those who would operate in an untoward fashion to them. The most notable example of this occurring in our country involved a drug called Taxol that is used to treat breast cancer. A pharmacist actually was willing to dilute the amount of the drug to gain monetarily. Before we passed this law in Florida, the greatest penalty someone would suffer was five years in jail. Now they will serve a life term.“This is but one example of my modest attempt to better the lives of Floridians. I dare say, given the skills and knowledge in this room— the gentleman we just heard from as president of the Young Lawyers Division is a great example—that we can do better. And I know that we will.“I would like to end today as I began, to share with you a story about a film. It is one of my favorites. The name of the movie is Philadelphia. You probably have seen it. Tom Hanks stars in it, along with Denzel Washington. And there is a beautiful scene in that movie that I particularly enjoyed.“The story line, as I’m sure you know, is that Tom Hanks’ character has AIDS, and he has been dismissed from his law firm, and he is now suing them for discrimination. Denzel Washington plays his attorney. And the one scene where Tom Hanks takes the stand in the role of Andrew, Denzel Washington asks him why does he love practicing the law. And the answer is compelling. Tom Hanks responds: ‘Why do I love the law? I love the law because every once in a while, not often, but sometimes, you get to be part of making justice happen. And that is truly a thrill.’“That is what all of us have the opportunity to do. And that is thrilling.”
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York By Annie Waldman, ProPublicaA new report released Thursday provides a detailed look at the graduation rates of low-income college students. At many colleges, low-income students graduate at much lower rates than their high-income peers.At the University of Missouri-Kansas City, only 35 percent of Pell Grant recipients graduate college, a rate that is more than 20 percentage points lower than that of their wealthier peers. And at St. Andrews, a liberal arts college in Laurinburg, North Carolina, only 13 percent of Pell Grant recipients graduate, more than 50 percentage points less than students who don’t receive the grants.The study found 51 percent of Pell students graduate nationwide, compared to 65 percent of non-Pell students. The average gap between wealthy and poor students at the same schools is much smaller: an average of 5.7 percentage points. That’s because many Pell students attend schools with low graduation rates. (You can now look up whether poor students are graduating at the same rate as their classmates in our newly updated interactive database, Debt by Degrees.)Ben Miller, the senior director for postsecondary education at the Center for American Progress, said that schools with large graduation gaps deserve greater scrutiny.“Colleges have responsibility to ensure that the students they enroll are well served,” said Miller. “If you’re going to enroll someone, you should do the absolute best you can to graduate them, or else don’t take their money.”The new report comes on the heels of recently released federal education data that has brought new focus on how low-income students fare at college, including how much federal debt they take on and how much they earn after graduation. The graduation rates of low-income students were not included in that data.The group behind the new report, the Education Trust, collected the graduation rates of Pell Grant recipients 2014 typically students whose families make less than $30,000 a year 2014 for a selection of more than 1,000 colleges across the country.A spokesman for University of Missouri-Kansas City said many of their students are low-income and that the school is working to do better. “We are not satisfied with that gap,” said John Martellaro. “We are investing more resources in our student success programs in an effort to narrow that gap.” (Read their full statement.)St. Andrews did not immediately respond to requests for comment.At more than a third of the colleges studied, schools were able to serve their Pell students almost as well as non-Pell students, with a gap of less than 3 percentage points.Other schools have managed to graduate Pell students at an even higher rate than their non-Pell peers. According to the new data, nearly 90 percent of Pell recipients are able to graduate Smith College, compared with an 85 percent graduation rate of non-Pell students. And at Western Oregon University, Pell recipients have a graduation rate of 50 percent 2014 nearly 10 percentage points better than their peers.Both schools worked hard to ensure high graduation rates, including improving admissions policies and bolstering financial aid, as well as increasing advising and support services for students at school, says the new report.The Pell Grant program is the nation’s largest need-based student grant program, giving out billions of dollars annually. Yet for years, the data on Pell recipient graduation rates was mostly hidden from the public eye.Although colleges are required to give the government graduation-rate data that’s broken down by gender and race, the data is not required to be reported by income or Pell Grant status. Since 2008, schools are required to disclose Pell graduation rate data if it’s requested by prospective students.“It’s kind of astounding when you think about how much money is spent on the Pell Grant program,” said Andrew Kelly, the director of the Center on Higher Education Reform at the American Enterprise Institute. “We don’t have any idea about how much of that money goes to producing degrees. We don’t know what happens to Pell recipients after they enroll.”In order to collect Pell graduation rates, the Education Trust filed requests for data through state higher education systems as well as with the schools themselves. Some of the data was purchased from U.S. News and World Report. However, only around 1,150 schools were included in the report, out of the more than 7,000 institutions in the country. The survey also did not include data from for-profit colleges, where many Pell-recipients attend school.Sisi Wei contributed to this report.ProPublica is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative newsroom. Sign up for their newsletter.
24SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Lou Grilli Lou Grilli is a Senior Innovation Strategist. Lou is tasked with building and shaping a superior payment and member experience capability for PSCU and its Owner credit unions. Lou’s … Web: https://www.pscu.com Details An app was just released that allows drivers to pay for tolls from their phone. The app, called FastToll, keeps track of toll plaza locations, and figures out which state to send the payment to. What does this have to do with credit unions? Everything! It’s one more example of payments disappearing. Using an app to pay for parking meters using EasyPark, Parkmobile, or PayByPhone; the recent releases of Walmart Pay and CVS Pay, using Uber or Lyft, and reserving a table and paying for dinner all from within TabbedOut or OpenTable, are all examples of cardholders not pulling out plastic to pay. The one common denominator is that at some point the consumer entered a 16 digit payment card number, with a CVV and an expiration date. The questions is: whose card did they use?There’s been a lot of discussion and hype around the cool new mobile wallets, Apple/Android/Samsung Pay, and the need to be not just top-of-wallet, but now, top-of-phone. But long before Apple Pay was even announced, people were enrolling a credit card into their Sunpass, E-ZPass or Fastrak transponder account. In many cases it’s been years since the credit card was updated. It just gets topped up automatically. These “old school” transponders are making mobile payments. It’s not the same technology as Apple Pay and Walmart Pay, but it still requires a payment card.Mobile payments represent less than 1% of all payment transactions. But that still represents nearly half a billion dollars in payments, according to Javelin Research, and is expected to grow to $8 billion over the next two years. Credit unions are missing a few opportunities to get their CU-branded debit or credit card as the default card in these apps and websites to be on board for this tremendous growth. Every time a member comes in to a branch, the member should be reminded to make the credit union’s card the default card in each app. Reminders and tips should be seen on the credit union’s online banking site, and for those few who still receive statements via postal service, inserts should be included educating members that the best card to use when paying in an app is the credit union’s card.
Photo: Lonely Planet In the category of top 10 countries, the first place was taken by Bhutan, followed by England and, our regional neighbor, Northern Macedonia. Of the European countries, only the Netherlands was in seventh place. The Central Asian Silk Road took first place in the category of regions on the “Best in Travel 2020” list, followed by the Italian region of Marche, Tohoku in Japan and the American Maine. Kvarner Bay was in ninth place. Among the cities that must be visited, Austrian Salzburg is ranked at the very top of the list, followed by the capital of the United States, Washington, DC, and the historic Egyptian city of Cairo. One of the most famous and influential tourist portals and publishers of tourist guides Lonely Planet has included Kvarner Bay to a list of ten regions to visit in 2020. Complete rankings and more information can be found HERE. The Lonely Planet top list also includes the category that includes the cities, countries and regions with the best price-quality ratio. The first place was taken by the Eastern Small Sunda Islands in Indonesia, the second place is held by Budapest, and the third by the Indian Madhya Pradesh. Serbia, which is ranked sixth, is also in this category.
As Airbnb points out, these improvements aim to promote a fair balance and additional transparency for their community, formed by hosts (homeowners and caterers) and guests (travelers looking for unique accommodation and local experience). Due to the impact of the coronavirus on the tourism sector, ie travel restrictions, Airbnb has adjusted its rules and facilitated the cancellation of reservations, both for the guest and the host. Rewards for flexible hostsFor hosts who are willing and able to offer refunds for cancellations that would otherwise be charged, Airbnb will provide promotions that increase the visibility of new bookings. Also, Airbnb waives the standard 3% fee on new booking bookings until June 1, 2020.Easy filter search for passengersGuests will have filters that make it easy to find and book accommodation options, which have the most appropriate cancellation policies (flexible, moderate or strict), according to their needs and current coronavirus status.100% refund of guest fees for Airbnb serviceIn case of need to cancel a reservation made by June 1, Airbnb will not charge the guest a fee or will refund it as a travel coupon that can be used on a future trip. More flexible reservations are a suite of tools and programs developed by Airbnb to help hosts and guests cancel or delay travel plans. As travel restrictions and other impacts become more widespread, more flexible reservations should bring passengers more peace of mind when booking and help hosts to secure more reservations in the long run.
Stop-gap solutionIn the worst-case infections, patients have to be hooked up to respirators in intensive-care units. But respirators are in desperately short supply worldwide because of the sheer number of patients. The snorkeling mask solution could be a stop-gap measure for patients on the brink of intensive-care treatment but for whom no beds nor respirators are available. Hospital masks for the less-intensive BiPAP (bi-level positive airway pressure) machines are also lacking.Bonnier said that from Monday he will testing 50 of the masks on patients. They are the same brand as those used by Italian doctors, donated by the French sportswear retailer Decathlon that has stores worldwide. The masks themselves are made in Italy.He explained they were far more comfortable than the hospital ones that fit over the nose and mouth, biting into the skin. But he cautioned they were not tested to medical standards, meaning they were one-use only, unable to be sterilised between patients. The Italian design for the 3D-printed valve also needed reworking. “It seemed fairly complicated to make, pretty heavy, not very comfortable. So we had the idea to go a little further by thinking on it and developing our own connection part,” he said.The new plastic valve connectors have now been 3D-printed and are ready to be tested.Bonnier added that health workers in COVID-19 wards could also use the masks for protection against the virus. But he fears the public will start panic-buying them, thereby depriving hospitals of a potentially life-saving product. He also said that, even if the tests prove conclusive, there were still questions about how many such masks could be made available by sporting companies, under what conditions. “They are to be used for patients with severe respiratory problems. The aim is to avoid having to intubate the trachea of the patient and put them on a respirator,” said Frederic Bonnier, a respiratory physiotherapist at the hospital who also teaches at the university.He spearheaded the design of a custom-made valve that fits to the top of full-face masks, where the snorkel is meant to go, allowing them to connect to standard BiPAP machines that feed pressurized air into masks. This helps prevent the collapse of alveoli, lung air sacs needed for the intake of oxygen into our bodies and the exhalation of carbon dioxide. Pneumonia brought on by COVID-19 inflames the lung membrane and fills those sacs with liquid. Topics : As hospitals face an overload of COVID-19 patients struggling to breathe, innovative medical staff are turning to snorkeling masks from sports stores to stop their lungs collapsing.The idea started in Italy, the European country worst-hit by the coronavirus pandemic, with hospitals in other nations taking note and adding their own specific medical parts to make it work.One such is the Erasme Hospital on the outskirts of Belgium’s capital Brussels. It is attached to the city’s ULB university — and through it to a private spin-off, Endo Tools Therapeutics, whose knowhow in 3D printing for medical use has proved invaluable. Retailer cautious Learning of the emergency use being made of its snorkeling masks, Decathlon expressed “interest” — but also prudence.”At the moment we don’t have confirmation that these solutions really work,” it said on its Twitter account.”If we see successful try-outs, and these hospitals confirm to us that some tests work, then we’ll keep you informed. But in the meantime, beware of unsourced and unverified information spread on social media in recent days.”
The inner city penthouse of former Queensland Treasurer Keith De Lacy was snapped up after a ten minute inspection
The MacArthur Chambers building in the Brisbane CBD.PROPERTY developers Chris and Virginia Anderson are a decisive couple.It only took them a ten minute inspection of former Queensland Treasurer Keith De Lacy’s inner city penthouse before making an offer to buy it.The MacArthur Chambers penthouse had been passed in at auction on Friday.The Redland-based Andersons had not been aware of the auction but inspected the property on Saturday morning after it was mentioned to them by a staff member.Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:40Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:40 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD540p540p360p360p270p270pAutoA, selectedAudio Trackdefault, selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenStyles to Steal: Brisbane Cafes00:40Not long after the deal was done.While the sale price has not yet been disclosed it was advertised soon after auction for the low to mid $1 millions and it is understood the couple paid close to $1.5 million for the property.Former Queensland Treasurer Keith DeLacy and his wife Yvonne are consolidating their property assets.Mr Anderson said they were in the apartment for ten minutes before deciding to buy.“We loved it,’’ he said.More from newsMould, age, not enough to stop 17 bidders fighting for this home5 hours agoBuyers ‘crazy’ not to take govt freebies, says 28-yr-old investor5 hours agoThe couple already own an apartment in the building, so the move won’t be too significant.The Queen St penthouse was offered for sale by De Lacy and his wife Yvonne, who are also selling their Cairns home.It occupies the top two floors of the building which became famous when it served as the Queensland headquarters for the Allied forces in South-West Pacific and was home and office to USA Military Chief, General Douglas MacArthur.Redland property developers Chris and Virginia Anderson.Mr Anderson said it suited their lifestyle perfectly, as they spent a lot of time in the city attending meetings and functions.“We have invested previously in inner city apartments with a focus on quality and location,’’ he said.Mrs Anderson said the building’s history was an added bonus for them.“It’s such a lovely old heritage building in a prime location, the perfect blend of old and new,’’ she said.Inside the Queen St, Penthouse.The couple will also continue to live at Raby Bay in Redlands, where they have more than $150 million in projects under development at Cleveland.The penthouse was listed through Ian Cuneo of Ray White Ascot.
1 Cloverbrook Place, Carina.Mrs Dyer said she had added a modern touch to the relaxed property.“There’s new bathrooms, a new laundry, and a new kitchen,” she said. “The home has had a full repaint, the roof repointed and repainted, tiles replaced, a car port added and a shed.” 1 Cloverbrook Place, Carina.Mrs Dyer, who has an eight-year-old child, said a mixture of young families and retirees lived in the area.More from newsCrowd expected as mega estate goes under the hammer7 Aug 2020Hard work, resourcefulness and $17k bring old Ipswich home back to life20 Apr 2020With room to add a swimming pool, the home has been fully renovated over the past 18 months. 1 Cloverbrook Place, Carina.Mrs Dyer said the home was originally purple and pink, however she had revamped it to a white and black colour scheme. 1 Cloverbrook Place, Carina.THE view from Sue Dyer’s home is something special.The four-bedroom, two-bathroom home at 1 Cloverbrook Place, Carina, has acres of parkland at the backdoor of the lowset brick home.Mrs Dyer, an IT sales manager, has lived at the property for five years and has owned it for seven. “We initially bought it as an investment property,” Mrs Dyer said.“It’s a very quiet area and the aspect with the field and the cows next door is lovely.” The 3D Diakrit floorplan of 1 Cloverbrook, Carina.WJ Tobin Real Estate – Carina selling agent Pathrina Watson said: “This type of property is rarely available for sale in this area – especially in the tightly held and highly regarded Carrington Green Estate”.“The lovely 606sq m north facing block is securely fenced on all sides and there are electric gates at the front,” Ms Watson said.“You have direct access to the adjoining parkland and walking tracks via a gate at the rear. “The yard is the ultimate in low maintenance, though it also presents an opportunity for a keen green thumb to work their magic here and further enhance the street appeal.”
Townsville City Council Deputy Mayor Les Walker.THE Townsville industrial market has been in a holding pattern for the past few years, but there’s hope the new stadium in the city’s CBD will spark the local market.The Townsville region has been through an especially tough five-year period which has seen the local unemployment rate rise to record levels of 10.9 per cent. There has been a slowdown in mining due to poor commodity prices and low consumer confidence. Townsville City Council Deputy Mayor Les Walker said the council was encouraging development, helping to create jobs and maintain Townsville’s relaxed lifestyle to help rejuvenate the CBD.“We’re sending a clear message that Townsville is open for business,” he said.“We’re proceeding with the bus hub and Adani has set up their head office so there is some really good signals that there is some confidence building in the CBD.”Ray White Commercial Townsville sales and leasing agent Troy Townsend said commercial and residential vacancy rates had also been at their highest. 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 2020“But there has been a noticeable improvement in the market this calendar year and below are some of the good news stories plus a resurgence in mining and agriculture supported by a dramatic improvement in commodity and beef prices,” he said.“The Townsville industrial market has been in a holding pattern for the last few years, but we are hopeful the new Super Stadium in the Townsville CBD will reignite the fire in the local market.“The local economy has witnessed job losses and business closures, which has resulted in unprecedented levels of unemployment. Despite this, confidence is slowly returning to the market, which may signal a turning point for Townsville.” Commercial and development values in Townsville have dropped considerably from the heights reached in 2007-2008. Mr Townsend said industrial land that achieved $250 per square metre in 2008 was now readily available at $60-100 per square metre, depending on lot size. “The commercial leasing market has also been through an extremely tough and competitive period of high vacancies the last five years, with many leases being transacted at well below market rental and with strong incentives of generally 10-20 per cent,” he said.Currently the range in achievable rents has averaged around $90/sq m for secondary grade assets, while the prime market averages just shy of $110/sq m net but can extend as high as $140/sq m for small, modern, well located premises. The bulk of leasing activity has come in the 200sq m to 400sq m size range, suitable for smaller local businesses across a variety of industry types including storage, distribution and general trades. “Inquiry has been relatively strong for warehouse/office type accommodation within the 200sq m size range where rents have been in the region of $90 to $100/sq m net,” Mr Townsend said.Record low interest rates and the expectation of improved business conditions, possible infrastructure projects and an uptick in demand for space is likely to result in a positive 2017-18.