Ever thought of renting out your garden as a campsite?

May 26th, 2011 Comments off

Another innovative use of your unused space at home has been highlighted by new UK online service – CampInMyGarden.com

Launched in April, the website invites homeowners to list their gardens as potential campsites for travelers passing through the local vicinity. Gardens are listed with a short description and details of facilities available such as showers, power points, wifi connectivity, barbecues and parking.

Garden owners are also able to :

  • list what shops and public transport links there are nearby
  • list the dates their gardens are available to camp in
  • specify how much it will cost one person to stay on site per night.

Visitors searching for a campsite are able to browse for gardens by location, or select a specific event they are planning to attend and browse for gardens nearby.

If you are in Australia and have a garden that you think would be suitable for renting out for camping then you can create a space for rent listing right now.  Currently the “Other” Space type category is probably the most suitable one to choose for this type of a listing.

There seems to be no end in sight for the trend of sharing and renting out unused space, and we regularly get new (and sometimes unusual) listings added to SpaceOut.  As we get more of certain types of listings, we will consider adding new categories (as we have already done for Parking, Office and Rural Space).

Categories: SpaceOut News Tags:

Sydney parking fines cheaper than parking fees

May 23rd, 2011 Comments off

A NSW Government parking tax is being blamed for making city parking prices soar.  Parking fees have increased to such an extent that motorists are finding it cheaper to pay a parking fine than to pay the standard parking station fees.

After London, Oslo and Tokyo, Sydney was already the world’s fourth dearest city to park, but now the cost of meter parking in the city is set to rise even higher – to $7 an hour.

The NSW Government levy (which was doubled by the state labour government in 2009) forces hotels, councils and commercial carparks to pay up to $2040 a space every year.  The tax was supposed to discourage daily commuter traffic congestion in the Sydney CBD, however, because it is only imposed on offsite parking, it tends to encourage commuters to drive around until they find a kerbside park, which actually adds to the congestion.

Parking meter costs

At $7 per hour Sydney on street parking fees are the highest of all other major cities in Australia.  The next most expensive cities are Melbourne and Brisbane (at a maximum rate of $4 per hour), with Perth a little lower at $3.30 per hour, and Adelaide the cheapest at just 2.40 per hour for CBD parking.

So for on-street parking in Australian major city CBD’s (assuming you are actually allowed to park for more than an hour) you are looking at paying anywhere between $20 and $60 for the day.

Parking Station Fees

For off-street parking, or parking in commercial parking stations you can expect to pay significantly more (even in many cases at “early bird” rates), with Sydney CBD parking station rates costing up to $35 and hour or $142 per day. If you want the luxury of being able to come and go from, your parking spot as you please, you would normally expect to pay many hundreds of dollars a month.

The huge increase in costs associated with parking in Australian CBDs is fueling the demand for Private parking services like that being offered BY SpaceOut.  Spaecout provides a service that allows individuals and businesses with a spare parking space in areas of high demand, to rent it out to those desperately needing parking, but unable to justify the ever increasing costs of commercial parking services.  The parking space owner, turns their unused parking space into a regular income, and the commuter gets convenient and cheaper parking – often with 24×7 access.

See what’s currently available right now by clicking one of the links below :

Categories: Parking Space, Space Rental News Tags:

Future of the office is up in the air as pace of change speeds up

May 7th, 2011 Comments off

by Carolyn Cummins – smh.com.au

WHAT an office will look like and how it will be used in the next few decades has again been raised as companies review their rental agreements and prepare for an increase in expenses.

The two biggest costs for any organisation are payroll and rent. Gone are the days of companies owning their head offices. The money tied up in bricks and mortar years ago was deemed idle cash that could be better used growing the business.

As a result finance directors, who for many years had to double as property managers, decided to raise cash through the sale of the head office.

And for those that could drive a hard bargain, they negotiated long-term rents at reasonable levels to lower the costs.

But as available office space shrinks and those rent deals come up for renewal, the landlords are in a position to seek higher payments.

But is a large office needed?

Dr David Rees, the Australasian head of research and consulting at Jones Lang LaSalle, says that as technology improves, demand for office space is changing. Yes, we still need offices, but just how much?

In the Hot Property column in Commercial Real Estate today, Dr Rees asks: ”Do you think that your grandchildren will work in an office?”

”If the answer if ‘yes’, then you believe that the wave of demography and technology that propelled so many of us from farms, mines, factories and corner stores into offices in just three generations has suddenly skidded to a halt,” he says. ”The facts suggest otherwise. The pace of change seems to be speeding up, not slowing down.”

Categories: Office Space Tags:

Online App to offer peer to peer shared parking

March 10th, 2011 Comments off

A new online service is currently being developed to help create public parking spaces from otherwise “off-limits” private driveways.

Park Circa coordinates a community of members who are either looking for a parking space or have parking facilities available. Members are able to list their driveway parking space as available when it’s not in use — earning cash when someone uses their spot. The payment method is on a ‘pay-as-you-go’ system, where drivers top-up credit on their Park Circa account. This is then transferred to the owner of the parking space the driver selects, with the hourly rates decided by the spaces’ owners. Members are able to view available parking spaces and complete payment via the Park Circa mobile app.

The service is currently running as a beta program in San Francisco, but has plans to expand globally.

Categories: Parking Space, Space Rental News Tags:

A Great Way to Help Out Aussie Disaster victims…

February 19th, 2011 Comments off

As Cyclone Yasi, hurtles towards the North Queensland coast, local residents from Townsville to Cairns are evacuating and scrambling for cover.
So far 2011 has brought Australia an unprecedented volume of natural disasters – with thousands of  families and businesses already affected by floods, fire, cyclones and storms Australia wide. There are many ways to help these disaster victims, many Aussies have already contributed to the various disaster relief appeals, and of course thousands of volunteers have chipped in with the massive cleanup efforts. But there has been, a quiet achiever during the recent crises called HelpOut, that has been literally “helping out” those people who have been most impacted.

We wanted to find a way that average Aussies could assist flood, cyclone or fire victims in a non-financial but practical way’ says Nathon Irvin, cofounder of HelpOut.

HelpOut offers a unique online service aimed at making it easier for disaster affected communities to help themselves – in many simple but practical ways.

Through HelpOut, people wanting to help, have been making all sorts of practical offers of assistance during recent disasters.  Offers such as : pet minding, loan of a trailer, driving the kids to school, a home cooked meal for a family in need,  and even offers of temporary accommodation during the cleanup have been listed  recently. ‘We’ve been really touched by the response to the service, watching Australians opening up their hearts and their homes to people in need.’ Says Irvin.  Here are a few real life offers of assistance taken off  HelpOut:

  • I am 70 years of age so not able to do too much heavy physical work but happy to help in any other capacity needed – Vehicle for transportation, Washing, Making sandwiches, Buying groceries, Any computer work that needs doing, Take people out for morning tea/cuppa chat etc, Food hampers, weekend holiday service…
  • A place for small animals to stay while their owners get back on their feet but owners too. There is one spare room available right now for any flood business. (From a mother and daughter in Ipswich not affected by the floods.)
  • We are offering families who have been directly affected by the floods free child care for children aged two weeks to twelve years. We have a bus pick up service if you do not have your own transport. (from a registered Day Care Service)

On the other side of the equation, people needing help to rebuild after disaster damage can use HelpOut  to search on a map of their own local area for offers of assistance that most suit their needs. Here  are a couple of real life pleas for help :

  • I would like help to strip the inside plasterboard from my house. The house was inundated up to the ceiling, during the recent floods. The plasterboard needs to be taken off for the house to dry out before any work to fix can proceed
  • Land behind house has debris from flood inundation, too much for my father in law [nearly 80]to handle, and I am widowed and live in NSW. Council is providing a skip. Any help would be very much appreciated. Needs to be attended to asap as the grass is growing rapidly. Thankyou

At the end of the day, HelpOut brings disaster affected communities closer together by helping them to help themselves, and if we can assist in that process, I reckon we’ve done a good job’ says Irvin. ‘

In recognition of the value it provides, The Ipswich City Council recently linked to HelpOut through the flood assistance section of  their website. This raised the awareness of local residents and business owners about the HelpOut service, and as a result, many members of the Ipswich community have received the extra help that they needed

The HelpOut service is currently available Australia wide, but is of particular benefit to those living or working in or near disaster areas. Locals who aren’t directly affected, but who have the capacity, however small, to offer assistance are in the best position to help. HelpOut is completely free to use.

If you live near any areas that have been devastated by natural disasters, help is still needed and we invite people who can, to check the site for more ideas on how to HelpOut members of their local community who are still in need. HelpOut can be found via the SpaceOut website at: http://helpout.spaceout.com.au

Categories: HelpOut, SpaceOut News Tags:

How to Help Cyclone Yasi Victims

February 2nd, 2011 Comments off

As Cyclone Yasi, hurtles towards the North Queensland coast, local residents from Townsville to Cairns are evacuating and scrambling for cover.

Cyclone Yasi – upgraded to cat 5, and likely to be more life-threatening than any storm seen in Australia in living memory – is steadily approaching the Queensland coast, and seems certain to dramatically impact on the lives of tens of thousands residents and businesses from communities such as Cairns, Innisfail, Ayr, Mission Beach, Port Douglas and may other areas in far north Queensland

Possibly even more damaging than flooding rains and destructive winds is the tsunami like storm surge that is expected to be at least 2.5 metres and could be a great deal more.

Thousands of local residents have already been evacuated, and latest estimates are predicting that over 30,000 households are likely to be directly affected.

How to get Help

Mandatory evacuation is in place in certain areas, and evacuation centres have been setup in many at risk communities. Listen to your local radio station for the latest news on evacuation centres. There is also an evacuation and information hotline 1300 993 191.

  • If you are evacuating, you should also register as evacuee with the Australian Red Cross National Registration and Enquiry System – a service that is launched during emergency situations to help people reconnect with family and friends.
  • For a life-threatening emergency, phone 000 straight away.
  • For assistance regarding damage to your home, phone SES on 132 500 and they will come to your home once it is safe to do so.

If you have a specific need for temporary accommodation, pet minding, transportation or some other form of assistance you can create a “Help Wanted” listing (for Free) on HelpOut, and someone living in or near your ,local community may be able to help you.

How to Offer Help

Due to the size and unprecedented scale of Cyclone Yasi, it’s very difficult to predict which areas are going to be affected and how hard they will be hit.  However, coastal and low lying areas of North QLD, which are known to be flood prone are almost certainly going to be flood and/or storm surge affected.  Residents within the Local community who live on higher ground, or in more sheltered areas are already offering assistance to friends and family, but are also being urged to help anyone they can.

If you are able to offer temporary accommodation, look after someone’s pet, or offer any other type of support to cyclone victims, you can create a HelpOut listing (for free) detailing what assistance you are able to provide, and where it is available.

Once the cyclone has passed and the scale of devastation becomes better known, there is likely to be a Cyclone Yasi Support Appeal established so that people Australia wide can offer donations and financial support, but in the interim,  members of local communities impacted by Cyclone Yasi can provide direct support – buy offering help, or asking for help via HelpOut.

Categories: HelpOut Tags:

How to offer Flood Support in your own local Community

January 23rd, 2011 Comments off

With much of Queensland and parts of New South Wales starting to recover from the recent disastrous floods, and regional Victoria in the middle of a flood crisis, tens of thousands of Australians have been directly affected, and many more have suffered.   These flood victims will need ongoing support and assistance for weeks and probably months to come, but what are the best ways to offer (and ask for) help ?

Financial Donations

Flood relief appeals such as the Qld Flood Appeal and the Victorian Flood Appeal (managed by the Red Cross) have done a superb job at raising funds to help support flood victims, and these appeals are clearly the best way for you to make financial donations.

Business Support

The recently announced Qld Flood National Business Donations Register offers a great method for businesses to offer support to flood victims (Australia wide), with many businesses already offering pledges for a wide variety of products and services.

How Can Ordinary Aussies Help?

There are still plenty of ordinary Australians desperate to help, but not sure how to  .  However, it is still very difficult for individuals, many of whom live in or near flood affected areas, to find out the best way they can help and support their local community.

if you have muscle or manpower to volunteer you can register with Volunteering QLD who are coordinating volunteer efforts in Queensland, but there are plenty of other ways that you can provide practical, hands on support for flood victims.  It is often the simple, seemingly little things, that can make the biggest difference in supporting those affected by floods.

An innovative new service called HelpOut, has been established specifically to connect those people who need help with those who are able to provide help.  This service allows individuals living in or near flood affected communities, to list the types of help they can offer.  Perhaps more importantly though, HelpOut also allows those people directly affected by flood, many of whom are in desperate need of assistance, to specify exactly the type of assistance that they need.

HelpOut allows people to search by location (town, suburb or postcode), and presents offers and calls for help on a map – so it is very easy to see what help is available (or need) in specific areas.

If you Need Help

If you have been affected by the floods and are in need of something specific, you can create a Help Wanted listing for free on HelpOut (or if you don’t have internet access, get a friend to do it on your behalf).  Enter your street name and town/suburb, a description of what you need, and (if you want) a contact number.  Your listing will be presented to anyone searching your area to see how they can help, they can then contact you (via our internal message system) to offer their services and exchange contact details.

If you want to Help

First of all, search your local area in HelpOut for Help Wanted listings to see if there is anyone seeking assistance already.  If there is already a listing for someone you can help, you can contact them and discuss how you can offer assistance directly.  If not, you can create a Help Offered Listing (for free) outlining what you have to offer and what area you are able to provide it.

HelpOut has been developed specifically to make it easier for local communities to help themselves. By putting people wanting to help, directly in touch with those needing help, we ensure that the support that is needed can be given to those who most need it.

For a list of suggestions as to how you may be able to help see : How You Could Help

QLD Flood Victims Need your Help

January 16th, 2011 2 comments

In response to the QLD Floods, SpaceOut has launched a new section of the site – called HelpOut (http://helpout.spaceout.com.au) – aimed at getting help to those people affected by flood.

SpaceOut is very good at hooking up people who have something, with those that need something. HelpOut extends on this functionality, and helps local communities help themselves, by assisting the people who really need it.

We have already had a fabulous response – with hundreds of listings offering help. However, we currently have very few listing from people seeking help, as many of the flood victims are still without power/internet, and are busy dealing with other issues.

Help Wanted Listings are being taken up very quickly – evidence that people are keen to help, but need guidance as to how, where and when they can provide assistance.

Now and in the coming weeks and months, home and business owners affected by flood waters will continue to need assistance, in many different ways to put them on the road back to a normal life. The types of assistance required is going to become clearer as the massive coordinated volunteer programs wind down, and new, more localised and specific needs for help become apparent.

HelpOut is perfect for putting people offering help, in touch with those needing it – within their own local communities.

What Can You Do?

Obviously you should donate to the Flood Appeal if you can afford to. You should also get involved in volunteer programs (through Volunteering QLD for example). But one of the best ways you can make HelpOut as effective as possible, is to simply spread the word – particularly to those people who have been directly affected.

To help spread the word you can do any (or all) of the following :

  • Email a link to this post to friends, family, colleagues and contacts, or pick up the phone and tell them about it.
  • If you have friends or family directly affected by floods, consider posting a listing on HelpOut on their behalf (it’s free)
  • Talk about HelpOut on social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter (we’ve added Facebook Share and Tweet buttons to the HelpOut site to make this easier for you)
  • Download, Print off, and post up this Flyer in your workplace or around your local community, and in particular around flood affected communities
  • Phone up talk back radio and contact you mates in the media to let them know about this free service
  • Let us know of anything we could do to improve or promote HelpOut

We are confident, that with the support of SpaceOut members, and the community in general, that HelpOut can make a significant impact in flood affected communities on the road back to normality.

Categories: HelpOut, SpaceOut News Tags:

How to Help SA, VIC and TAS Flood Victims

January 14th, 2011 Comments off

With the current focus on massive flooding throughout QLD, the recent Flash Floods in South Australia and Victoria, have come as a bit of a surprise.  The nation  has been gearing up to offer support to QLD Flood victims, and whilst the scale of SA and VIC Floods is nowhere near that in QLD (and we hope it stays that way), there are still plenty of people affected in the southern states.

In rain-lashed western Victoria hundreds of people are heading for higher ground with major flood warnings current for four rivers after a night of heavy rain.  Flood warnings have been issued for the Avoca, Wimmera, Loddon and Campaspe Rivers after more than 100 millimetres of rain in some areas since yesterday. People have been evacuated from Halls Gap and  Beaufort, and there are widespread power outages across the regions.

Regional areas of South Australia have also been warned to brace for serious storms, flash flooding and damaging winds. The State Emergency Service has issued the severe weather warning for people in the Flinders, Mid North, Riverland, Murraylands, Upper South East and Northeast Pastoral districts.

Floods in Tasmania are set to worsen today after record rain drenched north-east Tasmania yesterday.

How Can You Help?

Whilst Floods affect entire communities in many ways, the people who have their homes and business inundated by floodwaters or are directly affected can certainly do with the help and support of many members of the local community who are still able  and very willing to help.  It is often difficult to know the best way for people to help – here are some suggestions:

  • Donations of Clothes / Furniture / Food / Services
    • If you live away from flood affected areas, the donation of goods or items may be of limited value, as the cost and effort associated with gathering/transporting/distributing these donations is very high.  There may be local pickup points though in your area where donated items can be dropped off.
    • If you live in or near to a flood affected area you can Create a Listing on HelpOut to let people know what you have to offer
  • Spread the Word – the more people that get to know about HelpOut the more effective it is going to be at helping Flood Victims.  Tell your friends, families, colleagues and friends about HelpOut (http://helpout.spaceout.com.au) –  Facebook it, Tweet it, and print and distribute HelpOut flyers in your workplace.  In particular, if you know people directly affected, let them know about HelpOut too so that they can start to list the types of assistance that they really need.
  • Brisbane Floods Recede – Now is the time you can Really Help

    January 13th, 2011 1 comment

    With the worst of the 2011 Brisbane floods hopefully now over, and with floodwaters slowly dropping, it is over the next days and weeks that flood victims will really need the help and support of their communities.

    It is only now, as the flood waters start to drop, that the real scale of the problem facing the thousands of home and businesses inundated by floodwaters.  Even once the water has gone, there are many health and safety issues which need to be considered before the cleanup can even begin.

    Power, is a very serious issue, with property owners needing to get certification from an authorised electrical contractor before power can be reconnected.  There are also all sorts health issues associated with things that the floodwaters have washed up – sewerage, chemicals, oil, petrol, sharp objects, snakes , etc are all issues that need to be resolved as a part of the cleanup process.  It is becoming very clear that it is going to take a long time before things will be back to normal, and a great deal of ongoing community help and assistance will be needed in the coming weeks and months.

    How Can You Help?

    • Financial Donations – if you live away from affected areas. the BEST way you can  help is to make a financial donation via the Qld Flood Appeal
    • Muscle and Manpower – if you live in or near affected communities and can offer some muscle or manual labour, the best approach is to register with Volunteering Qld.  They specialise in are coordinating the deployment of volunteers and can help
    • Donations of Clothes / Furniture / Food / Services
      • If you live away from flood affected areas, the donation of goods or items is unfortunately of limited value, as the cost and effort associated with gathering/transporting/distributing these donations is very high.
      • If you live in or near to a flood affected area you can Create a Listing on HelpOut to let people know what you have to offer
    • Spread the Word – the more people that get to know about HelpOut the more effective it is going to be at helping Flood Victims.  Tell your friends, families, colleagues and friends about HelpOut (http://helpout.spaceout.com.au) –  Facebook it, Tweet it, and print and distribute HelpOut flyers in your workplace.  In particular, if you know people directly affected, let them know about HelpOut too so that they can start to list the types of assistance that they really need.
    Categories: HelpOut Tags: ,

    Feedback Form