Big box update
Bunnings ABN misused by tradies
Tradies are allegedly operating in the black economy by fraudulently quoting Bunnings' ABN on invoices
Tradies are allegedly operating in the black economy by fraudulently quoting Bunnings' ABN on invoices
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The Illawarra region gets more Bunnings stores and change of plan for Glynde
HNN Sources
The black economy gets a boost from tradies quoting Bunnings' ABN; go-ahead for Bunnings Warwick store; two new Bunnings stores set for the Illawarra (NSW); plans to build a distribution centre instead of a store in Glynde (SA); approval for Kingaroy (QLD) store may not be granted until mid-2018; Bunnings waiting on decision for Landsdale (WA) site; Panorama (SA) store "too big"; and smaller-format Bunnings Colac sold to Melbourne-based investors.
Tradies tax scam targets Bunnings

Tradies have been fraudulently quoting Bunnings' ABN (Australian Business Number) as their own on invoices, according to report in The Australian. This allows them to allegedly operate in the black economy, as part of a scam that is undermining the tax system.

Bunnings now has one of the most quoted ABNs in the country.

Treasury's black economy taskforce chairman, Michael Andrew, admitted that the

ABN system - introduced at the same time as the GST 17 years ago to ensure people did not escape the tax system - was "not working".

Much of the ABN fraud has had two unwitting victims: Bunnings and the taxpayer. Abuse of the Bunnings ABN has been rife, particularly in some parts of the country, potentially costing the government hundreds of millions of dollars. Mr Andrew told The Australian:
We found out that more than 40% of ABNs quoted in the Northern Territory were Bunnings. Of course, every tradesman goes to Bunnings. They get an invoice - the ABN's up top.

Mr Andrew said the Bunnings ABN scam occurred when businesses or individuals employing the services of tradesmen and other service providers asked for an invoice. The document is provided containing the bogus ABN. He explains:
People ask for an invoice or valid receipt and they get the name of the company, but they then get an ABN of someone else such as Bunnings: the result of which (is) you can't trace then where the money really went.

Federal Revenue and Financial Services Minister Kelly O'Dwyer said the government commissioned the black economy taskforce to clamp down on situations such as the Bunnings ABN fraud. She told The Australian:
We know there is a big problem here, and we know it is costing the economy a huge amount.

Ms O'Dwyer has also released a set of 54 "policy ideas" from the black economy taskforce, ahead of its final report to government in October. Several of these ideas focus heavily on ABN reform. She said she wanted to fully consider the final report before taking formal action on possible reforms, such as real-time ABN recognition: "It will require a properly calibrated response."

There is no suggestion that Bunnings has done anything wrong.
Flood concerns continue over Warwick Bunnings

A legal objection to the $16 million Bunnings development in Warwick (QLD) has been dropped but neighbouring businesses say their concerns have not receded.

Construction of the 8000sqm development at the corner of Canning and Condamine Streets is expected to begin in the next few months. It should be completed by mid-2018.

The project, approved by Southern Downs Regional Council in January, was appealed by a group of concerned local business people and residents on the basis the warehouse was to be built in a known flood zone, an area understood to be "off limits" to new developments.

Bunnings general manager - property Andrew Marks said the company was satisfied with the outcome of court proceedings and was excited to start building a store in Warwick.

On the question of lessening a flooding impact on local businesses, Mr Marks said Bunnings had worked with local authorities and technical experts throughout the development application process. He told the Warwick Daily News:
The development application took into account the findings and recommendations of the Jacobs Consulting report, which was commissioned by the council, which concluded that the development would have no significant effect on flooding.

Olsen's Home Timber and Hardware owner Alan Olsen said it was not Bunnings people were objecting to.
It's never been about competition for me. It wouldn't matter who was being allowed to build there. Anyone who has had to deal with our major floods will know that anything that might worsen the impact is a bad idea.

The original flood impact statement reported there would be minor changes in water depth at around 25-50mm and some changes in the energy of the water at the north-west, north-east and south-east corners of the site.

Big box update: Warwick local fights Bunnings' plans - HNN
Bunnings boosts presence in the Illawarra

Bunnings will open a new store at 9 Watts Lane, Russell Vale (NSW) and staff at its Shellharbour location is set to move into the former Masters Albion Park site.

Andrew Marks, general manager property at Bunnings confirmed it received development approval to make the necessary conversions of the former Masters site. He told the Illawarra Mercury:
Following the reformatting works, our intention is to relocate our existing Shellharbour warehouse including all current team members. The conversion of the site is pending the Home Consortium agreement with Woolworths Limited which is subject to the consent of Lowe's Companies, Inc.

The 13,000sqm Albion Park Masters closed its doors last December, having been open for a little over a year.

The big box retailer lodged a development application with Shellharbour City Council last November, seeking to modify the Masters consent. Instead of being a classed as a "home improvement centre", Bunnings sought to create a "hardware and buildings supplies" store.

Meanwhile, Mr Marks said construction works are currently under way and progressing as planned at the Bunnings Warehouse Bellambi/Russell Vale site.

The Bunnings Bellambi store is expected to open late 2017.
Distribution centre plans for Glynde

Bunnings wants to build a distribution centre in Glynde (SA) after its plans for a $26 million store at the same site were knocked back. The big box retailer has lodged an application with Norwood Payneham & St Peters Council for a site on the corner of Penna Avenue and Glynburn Road.

Bulk materials would be brought to the distribution centre, repackaged and then transported to other shops for sale. It would not include a retail outlet. Bunnings general manager - property Andrew Marks did not say how much the development would cost.

In May, the Development Application Panel rejected Bunnings' application for a retail store, saying it would generate heavy traffic in surrounding streets. Approximately 1000 small-business owners and residents signed a petition last year opposing the original plan because of traffic concerns.

The council could not say when the new application would be assessed.

Big box update: Bunnings planning SA store - HNN
Plans for Kingaroy revealed

Bunnings' plans to build a new store in Kingaroy may not get final approval until mid-2018.

According to the development application tendered to South Burnett Regional Council, the total retail space of the Kingaroy store will be about 7597sqm. Of this about 3893sqm with be the main retail warehouse. The outdoor nursery, soil and stone sale area will be about 1523sqm. A timber trade sale area will be about 1399sqm while the landscaping yard will be 730sqm.

Bunnings has also planned 203 parking spaces, four disabled spots and four trailer bays.

While the council has received a draft of the building application, more information is needed.

It is unlikely the final plans for the project will proceed to community consultation before early 2018. This pushes the estimated date of the council approving the project to mid-2018.

The timeline could shorten if the state government approves the council's new planning scheme soon. In this case, the land currently under development would be rezoned to allow for this scale of construction.

Big box update: Bunnings lodges DA for Kingaroy - HNN
Uncertainty over Landsdale site

Bunnings is waiting on negotiations between stakeholders of the former Landsdale Masters site in Western Australia before it can announce an opening date for its takeover of the warehouse.

The outlet will give Bunnings a presence at all compass points in Perth's far north, adding to Whitfords (south), Mindarie (north) and Joondalup (west) stores.

The big box retailer secured development approval for the Hartman Drive-Gnangara Road premises more than five months ago. But Bunnings property general manager Andrew Marks explained they could not proceed in Landsdale until matters were finalised with Woolworths and Lowe's, former joint venture partners in Masters.

Bunnings will be dealing with property group Home Consortium when given the go-ahead to develop the Landsdale site.

Home Consortium agreed to take control of all Masters buildings in Australia when Woolworths shut down its home improvement chain last year.

David Di Pilla from Home Consortium told The Australian in December there would be a staggered opening of the former Masters sites. The former Joondalup Masters building has been approved for conversion to a multi-tenancy large retail format.
Proposed Panorama store considered "too big"

The fate of a $42 million Bunnings store in Panorama (SA) will remain unknown until at least October following almost three years of objectors trying to stop it from opening. A Mitcham Council report shows that a conciliation conference between Bunnings, Panorama resident Neil Baron and Mitcham Council has been adjourned.

It comes after the big box retailer lodged plans for a $45 million store in Edwardstown, 2km from the Panorama site, in May.

Bunnings general manager - property, Andrew Marks declined to comment about whether the case had been adjourned until the Development Assessment Commission looked at the Edwardstown application. The state government did not say when that would occur.

Mitcham Council's Development Assessment Panel rejected Bunnings's first application for the TAFE site on Goodwood Road in Panorama a year ago. It argued the store was too big for the area and would create traffic issues.

Bunnings submitted an amended plan in December - which was also rejected.

Panorama resident Neil Baron has appealed the decision in the Environment, Resources and Development Court because he thinks the store is well designed and will create jobs.

BIg box update: Bunnings Panorama back on the agenda - HNN
Melbourne-based investors buy Bunnings Colac

A smaller format Bunnings warehouse in Colac in regional Victoria has been sold to a Melbourne family for $7.8 million, on a yield of 6.1%.

The 6500sqm retail property on Bromfield Street in the centre of Colac was sold with an eight-year lease in place to the big box retailer,

The sale of the Bunnings in Colac was negotiated by Mark Wizel, Joseph Du Rieu, Justin Dowers and Kevin Tong of CBRE. DBR Property's David Ryan represented the buyer. Mr Wizel said:
Whilst the price point created a far higher level of accessibility for a wide range of investors, the smaller format store did present a hurdle for many investors as we have seen Bunnings continue to move toward large format sites in recent times.

Other recent sales include Bunnings in Warragul selling for $6.43 million last September with a six-year lease, on a 6.6% yield

Bunnings Warehouse in Yarrawonga sold for $11.6 million last August on a 10-year lease, and on a 4.9% yield.

A Bunnings in Osborne Park (WA) with a new 12-year lease sold for $7.05 million on a 4.65% yield in June last year to a Perth investor.
HNN Sources

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