February 2021 Issue 118
WESTERN SYDNEY BUSINESS
Power of Influence n Why n
is Influence Attractive?
Quality of Influence
n Who n
Has It and How Is It Gained?
10 Tips To Gaining Influence
SEE PAGE 6
Five Guys comes to town
Popular burger franchise opens at Penrith Panthers: 2
Benefits of brand protection As online selling increases so do trademark disputes: 8
Few dollars make a difference Popular charities are ramping up their marketing: 3
Sale of key city asset
Preparing for the new Brain and Spinal Institute at Blacktown: 5
Hamburger chain opens first at Penrith EAGRASS Boutique Hospitality Group, the Australian & New Zealand Master Franchisee of Five Guys, has signed a deal with the Panthers Group to open the first Five Guys venue in Penrith, Sydney in 2021. Whilst initial plans for Five Guys were to open the first store in the CBD, due to COVID, Seagrass and Five Guys have embraced a new strategy. The strategy required major suburban hubs be included during the site selection process, in addition to the CBD. Mr Matthew Leavey, Head of Property for Panthers Group, said: “Panthers is over the moon to partner with Seagrass to bring the first Five Guys to Australia. After a competitive process, we decided that aligning with a strong hospitality leader like Seagrass BHG to be able to introduce an iconic international brand like Five Guys to Penrith was in the best interest of our members and community”. After six months of consideration and research into the vibrant region, Five Guys and Seagrass BHG concluded that Penrith is a dynamic Western hub with growth in the health, education and logistics sectors that demonstrates the future potential of the area and footfall. Tim Andrews, Retail Director Stonebridge Property Group has represented Seagrass in identifying and progressing sites, said: “Both the Panthers Group and Seagrass have tremendous confidence that
The Five Guys brand is coming to Penrith.
Penrith and Panthers will be an outstanding Five Guys location”. The restaurant will be adjacent to the first Krispy Kreme store in Australia, next door to the Panthers League Club and in between KFC and McDonalds, stretching along Mulgoa road, one of the busiest roads in Western Sydney, pulling in over 40,000 vehicles a day. Robby Andronikos, Five Guys Brand Operations Manager said: “This exciting new restaurant will bring with it fantastic job opportunities in coming weeks for experienced restaurant managers and leaders. As
well as high energy hospitality individuals looking to start a career with an expanding business that puts their people first”. The location is an impressive high visibility free-standing site facing Mulgoa Rd. Several additional sites are also under consideration. Seagrass will continue to pursue premium locations in the CBD with high visibility, foot traffic, and the core corridor from Circular Quay, to Darling Harbour and Broadway. The build of the store will start soon. Five Guys will make a splash in mid-year of 2021 when the restaurant is scheduled to open. WSBA enables readers to appreciate and engage with the physical, community, cultural and business environments of one of Australia's fastest growing regions, Greater Western Sydney.
CONTENTS News Police Cover story Brands Travel Family Business Auto Films
3 4 6 8 14 19 22 24
COVER: Inﬂuence takes many forms and is prevalent in our society, the media (traditional and social), in the marketplace and workplace. See our special report pages 6 and 7.
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Charities extend a hand to first-timers ELIZABETH FRIAS FEW dollars spent on St Vincent de Paul and Salvation Army stores near you would make a huge difference to those for the first time had to rely on charities. Leading charities called on the public to splurge on COVID-Safe thrift shops so they can extend a hand to those from Western Sydney who need it. At Salvos, a $25 purchase assists homeless persons while St Vinnies’ $1M appeal that begun last Christmas is meant for struggling families and individuals. The June 2020 Social Services Payment Data Report showed the Parramatta Council area has 11,239 new JobSeeker allowance recipients, another 15,811 within the Cumberland Council area and the Hills Shire has the least with 4,925 individuals. The report said 4,342 locals rely on Disability Support Pension (DSP) and 958 receive single parents allowance; Cumberland has 7,012 on DSP and 1,775 single parents; while the Hills shire accounts for 1,765 individuals on DSP and 484 single parents. St Vinnies CEO Yolanda Saiz said the Australia Institute suggested that winding back JobSeeker support payment to $40 per day from January this year will push an additional 51,000 people in NSW into poverty. “Between bushfires, coronavirus and the financial uncertainty many people are facing the need for our help and it is greater than ever,” said Ms Saiz. During Christmas, Vinnies distributed food hampers, food vouchers and financial assistance to families and gifts for kids. The Salvos’ 355 stores, including a new
outlet in Lidcombe, and Vinnies’ 255 shops are now fully stocked with new items that had been sanitized for at least 48 hours prior to displaying them for bargain hunters. Customers must adhere to limited number of people allowed inside the premises, use a face mask while shopping and apply hand sanitizer provided at the entry as they sign in for contact tracing registration.
Overwhelmed with donations “We’ve been overwhelmed with donations of quality goods since the pandemic because everybody has been so generous of their support for the Salvos,” said Salvation Army customer experience manager, Aife O’Loughlin. “When they come and visit the shops, they will see so many items because there has been an outpouring of support from kind-hearted Australians who have been conscious of our financial situation throughout this pandemic.” A Salvo truck has been busy picking up donated items as well as drop-off furniture and white goods to families that need them but has no means of transport, Ms O’Loughlin said. Donate at www.vinnies.org.au, or call 13 18 12 and St Vinnies shops. For Salvation Army, click on www.salvationarmy.org.au/donate/. From Parramatta to the Hills Shire, St Vinnies received donations boost from generous people during the pandemic, said Peter Hancock, St Vinnies North Parramatta chapter president. “There are kind parishioners who have
The stores run by St Vincent de Paul and Salvation Army in Parramatta has reopened as COVID-Safe stores.
been extremely generous in helping out and we are grateful for their responses because we’ve been able to assist families who lost jobs,” Mr Hancock said. Those rendered jobless due to the pandemic have had to knock on the door of charities but Mr Hancock is optimistic it
is a” temporary scenario” because once the economy picks up, those on JobSeeker allowance as a result of the pandemic would get back on their feet. The Parramatta chapter had been assisting about 100 new families and individuals residing in the council area.
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Charges after armed robbery investigation MAN has been charged following an investigation into the armed robbery of a store in north-west Sydney. About 9.10am on Friday, January 15 an unknown male entered a pawn shop on George Street, South Windsor, and threatened staff with a knife. The male tied up two staff members before leaving the store with cash and jewellery. Police were alerted to the incident and an investigation was commenced by officers attached to Hawkesbury Police Area Command. As part of inquiries, about 6:40pm on Monday, January 18 2021, a search warrant was executed at an address on Berger Road, South Windsor. About 2.15pm on January 20 police
Woman critical; man charged after domestic assault
WOMAN in a critical condition and a man has been charged after a domestic assault in Sydney’s west yesterday. Emergency services were called to Kurrajong Avenue, Mt Druitt, after reports a woman suffered critical head injuries after being assaulted by a man known to her around 2pm January 20, 2021). Police were told the man, aged 26, attended the woman’s workplace where they got into a verbal argument before the man allegedly punched and kicked the woman to the head multiple times and threw her to the ground,
were alerted to a fail to stop at the intersection of George and Bridge streets, Windsor. Police were told a white Toyota Hilux was waiting at the traffic lights when a silver VS Holden Commodore allegedly hit the rear of his vehicle. Both drivers exited their vehicles and spoke for a short time before the driver of the Commodore entered his vehicle and allegedly drove from the scene. Shortly after, the Commodore was located parked on Berger Road, South Windsor, and police arrested the driver, a 31-year-old man in a home nearby. He was taken to Windsor Police Station and charged with robbery armed with offensive weapon, take and drive conveyance without consent of owner, drive recklessly/ furiously or speed/manner dangerous, negligent driving (no death or grievous bodily harm), and drive motor vehicle during disqualification period.
Police will allege the man took the Commodore from another man known to him without his permission.
Man charged after not wearing a face mask and allegedly assaulting police MAN has been charged after he allegedly assaulted police after being found not wearing a face mask on public transport in Sydney’s north west last night. Officers from The Hills Police Area Command were conducting routine patrols at Castle Hill Metro Station, about 9.30pm January 19 when they stopped and spoke to a man who was not wearing a mask. He allegedly became aggressive and argumentative towards the two female officers, claiming it was a violation of human rights not to wear a mask.
The man, who did not have an exemption, allegedly continued to act aggressively when asked for identification and punched one of the officers several times. The 72-year-old man was arrested and taken to Castle Hill Police Station where he was charged with; • Not wear fitted face covering public transport waiting area, • Assault officer in execution of duty, and • Intimidate police officer in execution of duty without actual bodily harm. The officers were not physically injured. Anyone with information about crimes is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000 or https://nsw. crimestoppers.com.au. Information is treated in strict confidence. The public is reminded not to report information via NSW Police social media pages.
causing her to hit her head on the concrete. Staff members were also allegedly assaulted when they attempted to intervene. The man left the scene on foot before emergency services arrived. NSW Ambulance paramedics treated the woman, aged 60, for head injuries before she was taken to Westmead Hospital, where she remains in a critical condition. Officers attached to Mt Druitt Police Area Command arrested the man nearby. He was taken to Mt Druitt Police Station where he was charged with cause grievous bodily harm to person with intent (domestic violence) and destroy or damage property (domestic violence).
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Public can influence council land sale LACKTOWN City Council is inviting residents and business owners to have their say on a proposed sale of Council-owned land in Blacktownâ€™s city centre. The market-price sale of the large parcel of land will pave the way for the development of the previously announced Blacktown Brain and Spinal Institute. The Blacktown Brain and Spinal Institute (BBSI) is headed by renowned neurosurgeon Professor Charlie Teo AM. The sale will provide funding for the temporary relocation of some Council administrative staff to ensure the continued delivery of services to residents and local businesses. It will also enable the eventual planned move to new purpose-built administration offices in the CBD, and facilities for a new Leo Kelly Blacktown Arts Centre.
DR Charlie Teo.
World leader in research Blacktown Cityâ€™s population is predicted to top 550,000 by 2036 and Council has recognised that new facilities are needed to ensure staff can properly service a fast-growing, modern city in the decades ahead. Blacktown City Mayor Tony Bleasdale OAM said: â€œThis will be a major leap forward in the redevelopment of the Blacktown city centre. â€œThe Blacktown Brain and Spinal Institute will bring hundreds of millions of dollars investment into our City and at the same time, Council will be able to develop a landmark Administration and Cultural centre.â€? The BBSI will be a world leader in medical research, practice, treatment and recovery, catering for surgeons, patients and their families from Australia and overseas.
Artist impression of the new Institute.
The development is planned to include the medical research institute (with a university partner), a private hospital, a medi-hotel, retail space, and residential apartments. â€œThis is an exciting project. BBSI would be one of the most significant investment serving Blacktown City, with an estimated total construction value of $800M,â€? Mayor Bleasdale said. â€œWe believe the project will attract hundreds of millions of dollars of capital investment, hundreds of long-term, highly skilled and support jobs, and millions of dollars of medical research, as well as contribute greatly to the rejuvenation of the Blacktown city centre.
â€œIt will also provide facilities to support international medi-tourism which in turn has the potential to generate income from overseas, assisting the NSW economy.â€? The BBSI would be located at the site of Councilâ€™s Administration Centre on Flushcombe Road including the former WSROC building and surrounding car park, as well as the building currently housing the Leo Kelly Blacktown Arts Centre and part of the adjacent Blacktown Kmart carpark. There is a commitment to retain these public parking spaces in the proposed development. Proceeds from the land sale will ensure development of the Leo Kelly Blacktown Arts Centre.
â€œCouncil is committed to retaining the Leo Kelly Arts Centre name in the form of a new arts and cultural space of equivalent, or greater, utility to the current facility,â€? Mayor Bleasdale said. Blacktown City Council has resolved to adopt the BBSI project as a Transformational Project and to conduct a period of community consultation regarding the sale of the Council-owned land to facilitate the project. The sale price will be on the basis of a â€˜fair marketâ€™ process, all in line with NSW Government approval and governance rules. Giving feedback Residents and businesses are invited to have your say on the proposed sale. Community consultation on the sale will run for four weeks form January 27tro February 24, 2021. Visit: www. blacktown.nsw.gov.au/BBSI
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Cover Story - Influence
10 tips to gaining influence Influence is used to access our hearts, minds and ultimately our wallet
Robots are never influenced. Emotional decisions can be instantaneous, and humans are far less rational and logical than we think.” MARIA FOK NFUENCE is prevalent in our society, the media (traditional and social), in the marketplace and workplace. It seems that someone is constantly vying for a piece of our brain. So much so that ‘Influencer’ has apparently become a valid new age occupation. Influence, to me, simply refers to a capacity to have an effect on someone and this leads to the attainment of an outcome. Not only do some seasoned executives and leaders exercise their influence, but it is also a covert form of power that those without structural authority may be skilled at utilising. Curiously, my software is suggesting that I replace the phrase ‘have an effect on’ with the word ‘influence’.
Why is Influence Attractive? In the case of marketers, retailers, vendors or advertisers, influence is used to access our hearts, minds and ultimately our wallet. In the workplace, influence may lead to progress and outcomes. It is also a means of achieving power, positioning, advancement and potentially some form of gain, even though it may not immediately translate into financial earnings. The powers of influence are rigorously utilised in social and political agendas and to drive the zeitgeist of this era. This includes elections or decisions affecting public health and safety.
EMOTION connection is key in influenbce. Humans can never be robots.
How often have we been ‘recommended’ to wear a mask or to wash our hands, rather than mandated or directed? For some leaders, saving one’s skin seems to be the top priority. Even when life and death are in question, bold, courageous leadership and decision making are uncommon. The use of influence has strategic benefits for some.
Quality of Influence Boards look at not just results but quality of outcome’. In my view the real test of ‘quality of influence’ depends on how long this influence is sustainable for, the depth and extent of this effect and whether the intended outcome is honourable, for the greater good or is mutually rewarding.
Who Has It and How Is It Gained? Ironically, the barriers to entry in gaining influence are ‘low-ish’. Anyone can try. A conferred job title and structural seniority are not pre-requisites. Influence is not exclusive to those with
constructive, respectable intentions either. In truth, many disreputable entities or people are also incredibly good at this game. People with influence demonstrate or utilise the following; 1. Trust – They earn one’s trust, which is the basis of most relationships and is powerful. Influential people understand their own strengths and attributes, real or perceived, and utilise these towards earning credibility, respect, admiration and results. 2. Presence – Unless one has divine power, being heard, visible, communicative and understood are essential in motivating others and creating momentum. 3. Emotional Connection – They may draw on the heart strings. Afterall, the target is human. Robots are never influenced. Emotional decisions can be instantaneous, and humans are far less rational and logical than we think. Pathos
8. 9. 10.
can trump ethos and logos. Translation: an appeal to emotions can be stronger than using credibility or logic. Attention – They know how to capture one’s attention. There is likely to be some form of narrative or storyline that is verbal or visual. A story, told well, is captivating and people love this. Insight – Skilled at reading their target and can see a physical, emotional, commercial or circumstantial need or void and thus take action. Attraction – Ultimately there must be some form of positive chemistry or charisma. Even the wicked witch reportedly used a house of candy to entice Hansel and Gretel, not brussels sprouts or celery. Compelling Reasons – Not only may these involve data, analysis, research, logic and appeals to knowledge and science. Emotive reasons may play on human nature and weakness. We are all bound by the human condition. Create Perceived Value – This may or may not be real, but perception is reality. Confidence – They believe in their purpose, and it shows. Care – People feel there is benefit in engaging.
Conclusion Influence is part of our lives which we may learn and understand. As our world is far from Utopian, influence can also be chronically misused or intentionally misconstrued. In Part 2 of this series and set in the context of a modern-day workplace, I will share an example that will heighten your awareness.
TRUST is a key element in influencing people and situations.
Maria Fok has experience in ASX-listed, government and global organisations. She writes and speaks about innovation, leadership and how to accelerate success. WESTERN SYDNEY BUSINESS ACCESS FEBRUARY 2021
Cover Story - Influence
Have your leaders lost the plot?
When influence is misused There are no guidelines, boundaries or parameters of right or wrong MARIA FOK N any healthy workplace a strong culture means there is leadership, timely and informed decision making, good questions being asked, practices focussed on making progress and where there are clear goals and direction. Since a humanistic culture of achievement cannot be assumed, influence may be misused. This occurs when people without structural authority are ordered to ‘use one’s influence’ as the elixir for every problem while those in charge take no responsibility. As I like to envision organisations as a family of individuals united by common goals and interests, this scenario is tantamount to a household where all the children are told to self-regulate. There are no guidelines, boundaries or parameters of right or wrong. If you want or need anything, just use your influence.
Why Is this Prevalent? In contemporary workplaces, fashionable language and culture include empowerment, inclusion, autonomy, diversity and freedom of choice. These purported attributes however when left unchecked could become undisciplined, confused aimlessness in disguise. Influence has become a pretext for so called leaders to openly cast blame. That is, if anything does not work, the underlings must have failed to use their influence.
Beware of Such Symptoms The misuse of influence is a tell-tale sign that either the leaders have lost the plot or are struggling. Influence is not a substitute for direction and leadership. Yet such misuse is designed to give the unaware and impressionable a false sense of empowerment, opportunity and flexibility when managers or leaders are actually clueless or simply don’t want to be
The misuse of influence is a tell-tale sign that either the leaders have lost the plot or are struggling. Influence is not a substitute for direction and leadership.” In the longer-term, smoke and mirrors can only be sustainable for a finite period. In the words of Abraham Lincoln: “You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.”
GREAT infuencer: Abraham Lincoln.
seen making unpopular decisions. They are amoebic and take no position and have no accountability. This strategic twist on the meaning of influence benefits the leaders. If the unsupported efforts of staff happen to work, management can take credit for creating and fostering a culture of influence and empowerment. However, if they fail, clearly this demonstrates their inability to influence and they can be weeded out of the organisation. Either result is a perceived win that protects the so-called leader.
Influence is Not A Dirty Word – We Need it More than Ever Our world is undergoing rapid, momentous change, and this provides us with a compelling reason for developing greater skills in influencing others while simultaneously accepting different and varied forms of
WESTERN SYDNEY BUSINESS ACCESS FEBRUARY 2021
influence. I shall discuss this in my upcoming article on innovation. Although we have physically spent time apart, we may continue to seek opportunity to learn from new relationships, absorb fresh information, draw on influences from varied sources and consider a different perspective. This is an era of great opportunity for a new approach to work and living.
Epilogue In case you are wondering, the environment where I described a misuse of influence did indeed have a problem with its leadership. Those at the top eventually departed. This demise was a consequence of their own incompetence and zero care factor towards staff and customers alike.Or perhaps they were unskilled at being influential leaders.
In these challenging times, it is favourable to maintain a healthy belief that what is right, truthful and fair do eventually prevail. We must not lose faith that the world is a good place. However, belief can only take us so far. Influence is something we can all work towards achieving or increasing The fact that we may use influence for a positive outcome that many will benefit from is both rewarding and satisfying. Although what is right and honourable can be subjective, companies and organisations that have stood the test of time are ones which improve the quality of life for its customers and nurture the career paths of employees, no matter how modest or great. If I have made you think and heightened your awareness of the power of influence, then I am happy. Writing about the truth is my passion. Most of all, I have constructively used my influence. Maria Fok has experience in ASX-listed, government and global organisations. She writes and speaks about innovation, leadership and how to accelerate success.
Brand theft can be easily avoided ELIZABETH FRIAS T is crucial for business owners, big or small, to know the intricacies of trademark registration to legally safeguard their product or service brand from copying, theft, and infringement, including in overseas markets where they sell. Trademark disputes are becoming more common as domestic and global online selling is booming in Australia, according to Baxter IP trademark attorney, Binh Rey. In fact, leading e-commerce sites such as Amazon is now strictly requiring online sellers to prove they have approved trademark registration rights for their brand before they can join, Ms Rey said. “With electronic commerce allowing access to global customers, it is important to search the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) database to see if your brand could be infringing other brands,” Ms Rey said. “It will turn into a big problem for business owners in Australia if they don’t understand how trademark works and caught infringing overseas,” she said. As one of trademark experts at Baxter IP, a team of attorneys that handle disputes on intellectual property rights in Australia, Ms Rey provides businesses with advice on branding to ensure their new venture starts on solid footing. She also assists business owners save on costs of re-branding by giving them guidance if the brand they wish to use to promote their business, product or service is available or potentially infringing on an existing registered trademark. Having a registered trademark with IP Australia means a business entity has exclusive use of the brand for their retail chain,
product, and marketing slogan and ensure their competitors do not use them in their promotions, Ms Rey explained. IP Australia is an agency of the Federal Government operating under the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science in-charge of determining intellectual property rights on trademark, patent, design, and plant breeder rights in Australia. “It is a misconception that having only a company name, a trading name, or domain name allows the business owner to safely promote the brand in the marketplace,” Ms Rey said. “They need to understand only a registered trademark protects the brand.” According to IP Australia, a trademark can be a letter, number, word, phrase, logo, picture, aspect of packaging, sound, smell, or shape to promote a business and differentiates a product or service from others.
Understand the misconceptions Ms Rey’s key advice for start-ups and small businesses is to spend ample time to “find the perfect name and ensure it is unique and distinctive and will pass trademark regulations.” Having a trademark approved and registered in Australia also provides a business owner to licence a trademark for royalty payments or sell a trademark to make profits. The cost of registering a trademark is also affordable particularly for small business, Ms Rey said. To find the perfect name for trademark, Ms Rey suggested that business owners avoid the following loopholes: use of descriptive words relating to your industry, including geographical locations, and names of well-known brands. Researching the industry to see if similar brand names appear and checking the databases of IP Australia and WIPO assures
Baxter IP trademark attorney, Binh Rey.
a business owner that the trademark they chose is cleared for use. Ms Rey has also warned business entities they can lose a registered trademark if they are not using it consistently for at least three years.
Ms Rey is a frequent media commentator on trademark issues in Australia on Kochie’s Business Builders, SBS World News, Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and industry publications. She can be contacted on 0402 731 288 or email binh.rey@ baxterip.com.au.
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Coast calls in local property guns DALLAS SHERRINGHAM WO Western Sydney property experts could prove saviours for the ailing Central Coast Council. The two gurus from Parramatta Council advisory committee will advise Coast on selling council assets. Michael Filo and Steve Rowe will make up the Coast’s Independent Advisory Group which is going to “provide advice to achieve the best result” in selling off
council’s underperforming assets. The sale of the assets was one of the controversial range of options Administrator Dick Persson adopted to improve council’s financial position. He was installed after the councillors were suspended last year after it was revealed in October that Council mistakenly had been unlawfully spending restricted funds, putting council in more debt, way beyond what it had already planned for. Some councillors in a dominant ALPGreen independent block had gone on an
unbudgetted spending free and had failed to heed warnings by more experienced councillors. At one stage Council did not have enough money to pay its $3.6M wage bill. It’s overall debit is in the region of $560M. The Parramatta pair have extensive experience in the public sector providing support and oversight for property, asset and development transactions. Their most recent relevant engagement has been as members on the Major Proj-
ects Advisory Committee for Parramatta City Council. Council’s terms of reference for the Coast’s committee does not say how much the pair will be paid to hold their meetings but it is only the two of them and their decisions must be unanimous. The first group of sites up for sale includes the Gosford Council offices in Mann St, Gosford, the old Broadwater Hotel site beside it; land adjacent to the airport at Warnervale and land at Hue Hue Rd, Jilliby.
Council brings inclusive play to local parks
EW communication boards that support inclusive play have been installed at parks in the Carnes Hill Community Precinct and Casula Parklands to help people with disability, language barriers and vision impairment. Liverpool Mayor Wendy Waller said the communication boards enhance the social experience and interaction between people of all backgrounds and abilities. Compared with the rest of Greater Sydney Liverpool has a higher number of people who speak a language other than English at home and report difficulty speaking English. Local resident Maree Stewart said the communication board would help her four-year-old son Marcus play with more confidence. Marcus has Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Communication board in use.
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Time to share your brilliant idea DALLAS SHERRINGHAM T’S been said that everyone has one brilliant idea inside them and Western Sydney Aerotropolis is living proof of that claim. Ideas and submissions are flowing into the portal set up specially for the vital Public Exhibition of the biggest project of the 21st century. And you still have a chance to have your say. The public exhibition featuring the massive Aerotropolis project at Badgery’s Creek has extended the exhibition until February 26. And if you have a brilliant idea to share or questions to ask, this your chance. The draft Aerotropolis Precinct Plan includes the Aerotropolis Core, Badgerys Creek, Wianamatta-South Creek, agri-
business and Northern Gateway Precincts It is available online at State Planning where you can also make a digital submission or printed copies are available at Liverpool and Penrith council chambers. The site includes videos of the online webinars which have been presented during the submission period. The FAQ section is interesting with facts about land requisition and noise controls, to name a couple.
Have your say on Western Sydney Aerotropolis
Our editorial team would love to get your ideas for Aerotropolis. Simply email email@example.com and we’ll choose the best to publish. I have a couple of ‘goodies’: build an indoor Australian theme park and surrounding hotels and, have a main street or square as the central, iconic “place”, like Times Square in New York.
Elderly slow to embrace e-scripts ELIZABETH FRIAS LDERLY patients in Western Sydney have been reluctant to take up e-scripts for their medications – an option that was launched in May 2020. Electronic prescription or e-script are issued by doctors to patients’ smartphones, to cut down on the need to visit GP’s surgeries. About 400,000 e-scripts has been issued by doctors for their patients since
May last year, according to the Australian Digital Health Agency. But Parramatta pharmacist Lyly Tran said some elderly patients were struggling with the technology. “It is a challenge for seniors if they do not have a smartphone, are not confident to use it, or they don’t know how it works,” said Ms Tran, proprietor of Entrada Pharmacy. Ms Tran said awareness on the benefits of using e-scripts must be initiated by local doctors because she believes the elderly
“are concerned about privacy and don’t want to use it because they do not know how to use technology.” The traditional paper script is still widely used but if a patient agrees to go paperless and use e-script from their doctor, the script is created and sent to any of the 3000 pharmacies using the system. The patient immediately receives a unique QR barcode and sent by SMS on their smartphone or by email that they show their pharmacists along with proof of valid personal identification.
The QR code is unlocked and scanned through the pharmacist’s secure electronic prescription delivery service. A patient’s family member or agent can collect the medicine for as long as they can show a verified copy of the QR barcode. However, patients must be aware QR codes cannot be re-sent if they lose their phone or accidentally deleted the coded SMS. To get it back, you will need to ask your doctor to cancel the lost electronic prescription and issue a new one.
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FIVE KEY TRENDS FOR PROPERTY
Why 2021 is tipped to be a great year VERY year is tipped to be a “great year” for property in Sydney, and that’s definitely been true in recent years, but 2021 is looking especially rosy for this vital sector of the city’s economy. Experts predict we are at the beginning of a new property cycle, with all the pieces of the ‘boom’ puzzle falling into place. This means a number of particularly ‘great years’ ahead for our property market. So let’s have a look at 5 property trends tipped to occur in 2021.
1. Property demand from home buyers is going to continue to be strong: One of the leading indicators is finance housing approvals and these are at record levels, suggesting that we will have strong demand from owner occupiers and investors in the first half of this year. Despite the “recession we made ourselves have”, rising unemployment and many small businesses facing challenges, interest in buying residential property has skyrocketed. This has come particularly from owner occupiers who have amassed household savings at levels not seen since the mid1970s, and this is in part because they have not been able to spend their money on vacations or even local entertainment as they normally would. Now, with borrowing costs lower than they ever have been, the reassurance that interest rates won’t rise for at least three years and increasing confidence that we’ve got this virus thing under control, it is likely that buyer demand will remain strong throughout the year. As property values increase and the media reports more positively about our property markets, FOMO (fear of missing out) will once again kick in and more buyers will be keen to get in the market before it prices them out.
2. Investors will squeeze out first home buyers: While currently there are many firsttime buyers (FHB’s) in the market, buoyed by the many incentives being offered to them, demand from first homebuyers will fade as property values rise from increasing competition as investors re-enter the market. You see…typically investors compete for similar properties to FHB’s. Of course during the last few years, investor lending has been low, but with historically low interest rates and the prospect
of easing lending restrictions, it is likely that investors will re-enter the market with a vengeance. At the same time the federal government’s HomeBuilder scheme will disappear in March.
3. Property Prices will continue to rise: While many factors affect property values, the main drivers of property price growth are consumer confidence, low interest rates, economic growth and a favorable supply and demand ratio. As always, there are multiple real estate markets around Australia, but in general property values should increase strongly throughout 2021. However certain segments of the market will continue to suffer, in particular in the city apartment towers and accommodation around universities. It is unlikely the segments of the market will pick up for some time and the value of these apartments is likely to continue to fall as
there just won’t be buyers for secondary properties. At the same time, some rental market will remain challenged. In particular the inner-city apartment markets which are reliant on students, tourists-AirBNB and overseas arrivals.
4. People will pay a premium to be in the right neighborhood: If COVID-19 taught us anything, it was the importance of living in the right type of property in the right neighborhood. In our new “Covid Normal” world, people will pay a premium for the ability to work, live and play within a 20-minute drive, bike ride or walk from home. They will look for things such as shopping, business services, education, community facilities, recreational and sporting resources, and some jobs all within 20 minutes’ reach. Residents of these neighborhoods have now come to appreciate the ability to be out and about on the street socialising, supporting local businesses, being involved with local schools, enjoying local parks.
5. We will not fall off the fiscal cliff in March: Some commentators are concerned that we will fall off the fiscal cliff when JobKeeper and the mortgage deferral system end in March. However, the Government is unlikely to allow this to happen after having put so much time effort and money into “building a bridge to get us across the other side” as Prime Minister Scott Morrison promised. At worst, the fiscal cliff will be a little step down to the new normal.
Certain segments of the market will continue to suffer, in particular in the city apartment towers and accommodation around universities. It is unlikely the segments of the market will pick up for some time and the value of these apartments is likely to continue to fall as there just won’t be buyers for secondary properties.” In fact, APRA (the Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority) released data showing loan deferrals plummeted from 493,440 in June to 169,677 in November – a 66% reduction. Australia’s economy is recovering faster than most expected, unemployment is falling, jobs are being created, consumer and business confidence is rising and there are more buyers out there than there are good properties for sale. Source: Yahoo Finance
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Whale watching at Hervey Bay What an exhilarating day it proved to be DALLAS SHERRINGHAM
HALE watching at Hervey Bay and a swim on Fraser Island is a “must see” day out when you visit this bustling region just north of the Sunshine Coast. I recently a day tour on the purpose-built whale watching boat Tasman Venture skippered by owner, former motocross champion Lloyd Burgess… Now, I have been on half a dozen whale watching cruises on the NSW coast, but they were nowhere near as good as the Hervey Bay experience. As Lloyd explained, this because the whales are playing, relaxing, mating, and calving in the Bay, whereas they are mostly travelling when you see them further south. The day started at the impressively named ‘Great Sandy Strait Marina’ in Buccaneer Dr after we were picked up from our accommodation. A cup of coffee and a quick ‘hello’, and I was soon chatting with a group of Queenslanders on the sunny top deck who were experiencing whale watching for the first time. The COVID-19 outbreak had forced thousands of Banana Benders who normally went overseas or cruised, to go see their own state.
The Whale Whisperer Our tour host on board, Vicki, starred in a National Geographic documentary called ‘the Whale Whisperer’ a few years ago and has been with Tasman Venture for 20 years. And I can see why they chose her. She is an amazing host, full of enthusiasm and knowledge and she calls the whole whale experience like a live TV telecast. Vicki buzzed around the decks, chatting with the tour members, helping with photographs and genuinely making a superb day out into a brilliant life afforming experience. “This is one of the best we have had for a while,” she told me as she served lunch. We watched a female humpback in a “heat run” with two male whales and she was playing particularly hard to get, ducking under out boat, playing-hide-andgo-seek and popping up occasionally for a look at our passengers. Vicki said the whales loved to communicate with humans and were obviously intrigued by us. Sitting on the front of Tasman Venture, I watched the huge ‘arms’ of the mammals smashing the water as they tried to dislodge barnacles….or were they just showing off ? Then one of them disappeared briefly before bursting into a magnificent double leap out of the warm waters of the Bay. After lunch, we went for a swim at pristine Fraser Island and took to canoes to explore one of the beautiful, isolated freshwater lakes. To say was extremely impressed by a great day out, is an understatement. If you go to Hervey Bay be sure to look for the Tasman Venture tour.
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Walking among the rock art at Port Macquarie DALLAS SHERRINGHAM p Port Macquarie way they have two unusual traditions that the whole world should copy. You see, it all started when a new gigantic breakwall connecting the harbor and the Hastings River to the sea, came complete with a concrete walkway on top. The breakwall, started in 1897, fixed the problem of navigation across the treacherous bar at the entry to the river which is beside the town beach. It was completed in 1904. Amazingly, it was built using horse and cart style transport. Rocks were bought to the breakwall by a horse drawn trolley. As it reached the end, the horse was released and jumped in the river while the trolley continued on and tipped the rock over the end. It was a simple, primitive way of building the vital breakwall, but it was effective. Six horse drawn trolleys carried the rocks to the river and gravity did the rest. Well, no sooner was it finished, than locals and visitors started walked out to the point and back. Eventually, a visiting wag painted some colorful artwork and wording on a rock near the caravan park. And the rest, as they say, is history. The breakwall is now home to one of the greatest outdoor displays of street art anywhere in Australia.
The Nrma Breakwall Caravan Park located right alongside the river is home to thousands of campers in the school holidays. And because of COVID-19, ‘Port’ was bursting at the seams during the recent school holidays when I camped there. The walk is beautiful in sunny weather, but at sunrise and sunset it is simply sublime. Starting at the Town Green from the original convict settlement, the 3km walk is like no other in Australia.
Along the entire route On every rock along the entire route, visitors and locals have painted the most beautiful stretch of what is officially called graffiti but I prefer to call ‘rock art’. There are poignant messages recording the memory of ‘Dads’, ‘Mums’, ‘Brothers and Sisters, ‘Grandparents’ and ‘Friends’. Then there are the happy messages, welcoming visitors to Port and celebrating weddings, honeymoons, love affairs and….well, you name it and it’s on a rock somewhere. Dolphins regularly cruise near the breakwall, but during my visit it was the mesmerizing antics of jet ski riders catching waves near the rocks that caught my attention. Along the route, there are seats where you can sit and watch the passing parade, study the success rate of fishermen or watch daring skateboarders testing their skills – and bones – at the new skateboard bowl.
WESTERN SYDNEY BUSINESS ACCESS FEBRUARY 2021
Every afternoon as the sun sets over the Norfolk pines, the parade of people begins. Hundreds pour past – some jogging, some power walking, some wandering, some arm in arm, dogs galore, babies in prams and some stopping to sit on a rock and dream. At the start of the walk is the ever popular Little Shack outdoor café where you can enjoy a hearty breakfast under a beach umbrella made from palm leaves. And there’s still more to tell you. The walk is the start of a longer stunning 9km out to Tacking Point Lighthouse at Lighthouse Beach. At the adjacent town beach, a sprinkle of beach umbrellas appeared each morning, taking advantage of great waves and pristine conditions. I will return to ‘Port’ one day soon. There is a lot to be seen and enjoy in this beautiful country town by the sea.
Travel 2021 – Vaccine is the Key Residents are left with a limited choice of places to go, but what a choice DALLAS SHERRINGHAM HICHEVER you looked at it, 2021 was going to be another difficult year for holidaymakers and the ailing travel industry. The current Covid-19 outbreaks have destroyed the aspirations of so many people who planned holidays interstate and overseas this year. And the cruise industry still has no idea when they will be able to resume cruises out of Australian ports. The introduction of a COVID-19 vaccine midway through this year will hopefully be the big game changer. It will give peace of mind to any sensible traveller who has it and, while it may not stop occasional outbreaks
in society because it is not mandatory, it will work on aircraft and cruise ships because it will be mandatory for passengers before they can board. So, Western Sydney residents are now left with a limited choice of places to go – but what a choice! To the South are the beautiful beaches and little towns and inlets of the South Coast; to the North is the subtropical coast with sparkling blue waters and lush green hills and to the West are the endless rolling hills plains of one of our oldest regions, dotted with little historical towns and villages. Each destination has its attributes, but if you head West, find places to stay with pools because it is a long way to the beach and it gets hot. Continued on page 17
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Continued from page 16
Go to the visitor’s centre A great circuit drive is out to Jenolan Caves, on to Bathurst and Orange, Wellington Caves, Western Plains Zoo at Dubbo, Dunedoo, Gulgong, Mudgee and home. Stay a couple of nights here and there and you have the perfect holiday with a little bit of everything. Go to the Visitors Centre in each town because you don’t really see how much there is to do simply by driving through town. Orange has some great little villages surrounding it, as does Wellington, the most beautiful town in NSW. Old Dubbo Jail is fascinating and at Gulgong visit the fabulous museum and the Opera House. You can even find Henry Lawson’s boyhood home. Mudgee is another really beautiful place with more wine producing vines than the Hunter Valley. Caravans have become the “go to” holiday mode this summer with many regular cruise passengers buying or hiring RV’s in place of their normal Stateroom on board a ship. I happen to be one of those and I have spent the Christmas break in a caravan at the beautiful Budgewoi Caravan Park beside Lake Munmorah.
After trying a campervan and then a motorhome in Queensland last year, I like it so much I came back and bought a second hand offroad Supreme Caravan. The reason I went for the caravan was the fact that you can leave the van parked and use the car whenever you want. Now, a few tips. Rather than making a goose of yourself while the caravan park watches like I did, take your caravan somewhere private when you first take it out of the dealership. Get someone from the dealership or someone who knows caravans to go with you to show you the ropes. Find out how to park the van correctly, how the gas works, how the TV works, how the toilet works, how the hot water works, how you put the annex up and how the solar works. Find out all about the electrics and battery and test everything. These are all things we had to find out from knowledgeable fellow caravanners who took pity on us on the first day at Budgewoi. After a hard day’s setting up, I said: “No wonder people go cruising”. While I will keep the caravan and take it away in winter, hopefully to North Queensland, I look forward to the day the cruise ships come back to Circular Quay.
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2021 will be a city shaping year for Sydney’s Central City, Parramatta.
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ZOE WILLIS JON STONE I is reshaping the competitive landscape across all sectors of the economy, helping organisations make better predictions and more informed decisions, while lowering operating costs, facilitating productivity gains and driving new business models. AI is helping us address some of humanity’s most complex problems yet, our recent research with UQ shows that trust in AI is currently low in Australia – almost half of us are unwilling to share our information with an AI system and 4o percent don’t trust its decisions or recommendations. Trust underpins the acceptance and use of AI. To build public confidence, AI should be developed and employed in an ethical and trustworthy manner while considering its impacts on people across its whole life cycle. Without public trust its full potential will not be realised. Trust, however, is a two-way process and there are inherent risks in the development and use of AI. AI can undermine human rights, such as privacy and autonomy by facilitating mass surveillance programs, including facial recognition. AI could also precipitate technological unemployment. But it can also have positive outcomes. In the fight against COVID-19, AI is assisting by simulating and predicting spread patterns to inform government responses, enhancing diagnosis and helping detect mutations in the virus. So how does an organisation go about achieving trustworthy AI? How can we navigate the risks and impacts to people from AI systems? We believe trustworthy AI is underpinned by three key components.
Ability AI systems are fit-for-purpose and perform reliably to produce accurate output as intended.
Humanity AI systems are designed to achieve positive outcomes for end-users and other stakeholders, and at a minimum, do not cause harm or detract from human well-being.
Integrity AI systems adhere to commonly accepted ethical principles and values (e.g.
fairness, transparency of data collected and how it is used), uphold human rights (e.g. privacy), and comply with applicable laws and regulations. These work together in a virtuous circle of lived experiences to gain and reinforce a person’s trust in the system. When people believe an AI system adheres to these components, they are more likely to trust the system. The priority is to ensure that any AI system being designed, procured or implemented is aligned with the organisation’s strategy, core purpose and values. These concepts, humanity and integrity are not what we normally associate with something so ‘technical’ as AI, but AI systems are only a reflection of the way they are developed and ‘controlled’. And it is humans that build AI not robots. Data underpins all AI systems. If an AI system is built on incomplete, biased or
WESTERN SYDNEY BUSINESS ACCESS FEBRUARY 2021
otherwise flawed data, the mistakes will likely be replicated at scale in its outputs. Such trust failures can be prevented by following best practice in assessing the quality and traceability of the data used to build AI. Data is vital to developing AI systems, but it can’t work in isolation if we are to build trustworthy systems. Digital empowerment and literacy will be critical to future-proof our society and fully embrace the potential of AI. AI needs to be understood by all the stakeholders making decisions, so they’re comfortable that end consumers will receive the right outcomes. We need to collaborate with technical experts to develop guidelines and policies on how to open the ‘black box’ and make these systems and their logic understandable to all stakeholders. Transparency and understanding will
assist to grow trust in what is often seen as unfathomable. Having the right intent is not enough. We need to have the right governance and the right conduct to ensure AI systems don’t let us down. In the end it is the organisations that adopt an integrated, cross-disciplinary approach to achieving trustworthy AI who will be positioned to manage reputational risk, lead the responsible stewardship of this technology and realise its benefits faster. Our latest report gives practical help for developing trustworthy AI; to read the full report, visit KPMG.com.au First published by Zoe Willis, Partner and National Leader, Data & RegTech, KPMG Australia and Jon Stone Partner, Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive, KPMG Australia on KPMG.com.au
Dr Brendan Rynne, KPMG Chief Economist, comments on today’s RBA announcement S expected, the RBA kept its settings unchanged, and we do not anticipate any movement in the near future. The RBA has set out to do all it can to boost economic activity and with business investment still weak, it will keep on its current course. The RBA surprised some last year by seemingly using up all its monetary policy ammunition by November. In our view, it had no other option and although the effectiveness of Quantitative Easing is still playing out it was essential for business confidence that the RBA was seen to be using all the tools at its disposal to support the economy. It must be remembered that the RBA has been playing a dual game of implementing monetary policy to ensure domestic demand recovers from this pandemic-induced recession, while at the same time looking to ensure Australia’s currency remains competitive, thereby ensuring our exports continue to be attractively priced. It has used QE for both these defensive and competitive monetary policy plays.
Dr Brendan Rynne.
Australia has a flexible exchange rate so controlling the exchange rate is not something that policy makers can do easily for any period of time. The RBA has already indicated it is likely to implement another round of QE in 2021 and, if necessary, could target purchases further along the curve to put downward
pressure on 5- and 10-yr government bond rates, which may help with the competitiveness of the Australian dollar. The fact that the RBA has flagged further QE activities suggests it considers QE ammunition has been, and will continue to be, effective in supporting the economy. In fact, the RBA has pulled in ‘reserve ammunition’, which many in the market didn’t think it had based on its traditional playbook, including the further easing of the cash rate to 0.1%. The Bank has shown a preparedness to use unconventional monetary policy and adopt measures we haven’t previously seen it use. In using unconventional measures it is important that the RBA is alert to unconventional outcomes. While conventional inflation metrics remain largely contained, inflation was higher than expected in December and the RBA will need to watchful that this was due to temporary factors rather than the long-hibernating inflation genie stirring from its slumber. It would also be particularly prudent for the RBA to remain alert to the consequences of asset price inflation, which we are now seeing in the housing market. The issue is
that rising assets prices will further exacerbate the difference between the ‘haves’ and ‘have-not’s in society. Those with assets going into the pandemic will see their wealth rise with the tide; those that didn’t will see the gap widen. Policymakers are in a difficult position. If QE is distorting asset prices, including housing, then introducing another distortion to address this may simply kick the can further down the road. What can be done? Ensuring lending standards are maintained to protect borrowers from over-extending themselves – including maintaining serviceability stringency and enforcing loan to-value ratio limits – can help minimise the chances of an asset price bubble. Also, fiscal policy settings around tax, such as capital gains and negative gearing – are also mechanisms that could be strengthened to dampen the attractiveness of housing investment (relative to other investments). First published by Dr Brendan Rynne, Chief Economist, KPMG Australia on KPMG Newsroom on 2 February 2021.
Payment Times Reporting – Are you ready? What are the potential penalties and fines?
USTRALIA’S Payment Times Reporting Scheme commenced 1 January 2021. This will impact many large Australian businesses and some government entities. The Payment Times Reporting Act 2020 requires reporting entities to report on their payment terms and times with small suppliers in publicly available reports. There is a new Government website for the Payment Times Reporting Scheme (PTRS) which holds the rules and latest guidance material for reporting entities to view. See our summary of the PTR rules (PDF 93KB).
The newly appointed Payment Times Regulator has significant powers to monitor, investigate, appoint external auditors and impose infringement penalties up to 0.6 percent of annual income. Penalties will not come into effect for the first 12 months and the Regulator will spend this time working with reporting entities to educate them about reporting.
Public reporting and the media
The key elements to understand Who must report? By now, more than 4,000 large business groups will have received an early invitation to self-register for PTR or will have subsequently gone to the PTR website to investigate registration processes. However, if you have missed this or think you might have recently met the requirements to report, we have covered the basic tests to satisfy the PTR regime and report. A ‘constitutionally covered entity’ becomes a reporting entity at the start of its income tax year if it: • carries on an enterprise in Australia • satisfies a ‘total income’ threshold for the most recent income tax year, and • is not a registered charity with the Australian Charities and Not-forprofits Commission. Alternatively, if an entity gives appropriate notice to the Regulator, it may elect into the regime.
Who is a small business supplier? An entity will be identified as a small business in the Payment Times Small Business Identification Tool (coming in December 2020) if it carries on an enterprise in Australia and its annual turnover was less than $10m for the most recent income year. The way we understand the SBI Tool will work is: • A reporting entity will need to upload their supplier data into the SBI Tool. • Based on your suppliers’ ABN numbers, the SBI tool will flag which of your suppliers’ ABNs were not matched in the SBI Tool (because the Tool will seek to identify medium and large businesses) and are therefore small business.
When will you need to report?
What are the content and information requirements?
Reporting entities will need to report on a bi-annual basis dependent upon their year-end for tax purposes, they will then have 3 months to upload their report to the Payment Times Reporting Regulator via an online portal. For most Australian businesses with a 30 June tax year end, they will need to look to its income for the year ended 30 June 2020 to see if it has a PTR obligation and the first reporting window will be from 1 January 2021 to 30 June 2021, with a first reporting deadline of 30 September 2021.
The new Scheme will require reporting entities to prepare and disclose a wide range of information in relation to their payment practices to those suppliers identified as small business suppliers. In addition to factual information about the RE, the recent release of the Rules and Guidance Material provides further information required for the Payment Times Report and includes: • % by total value, of all procurement by the Reporting Entity (RE) in the reporting period (RP) that
was from Small Business Suppliers (SBSs) • Standard Payment Periods (SPPs) on offer, or if none, most commonly used with SBSs (inc. longest & shortest SPPs at the start of the RP) plus any changes during RP. Rules now define SPPs • % by total number & value, of certain SB Invoices (SBIs) paid by RE in RP within various date ranges after issue • details of how SBIs are to be received/paid by the RE and details of any fees payable by a SB to participate in a RE’s procurement process • whether the RE has any SB Supply Chain Finance Arrangements in RP (if so, further details including: various % disclosures of SB invoices paid under SBSCFAs; any commissions/benefits received from 3rd party SBSCFA providers and whether SBs were required to agree to use SBSCFAs to participate in a RE’s procurement process or for SB invoices to be paid) • additional info to provide context to disclosures in PT report. Once submitted, this information will then be lodged on a public Payment Times Reporting Register which will make this information readily available for the public to access free of charge.
The relationship between large retailers and their small suppliers has featured in numerous Australian newspaper headlines in recent years and we saw this increase from May 2020 when Payment Times Reporting was first tabled in the House of Representatives. Previous reporting was presumably based upon information obtained from suppliers, however, once reporting goes live from 1 July, we anticipate this to increase significantly as the media will have access to payment metrics on reporting entities.
Common issues to address prior to your first reporting window • Data quality and accuracy for supplier ABNs. • Inability to tag small suppliers in ERP systems. • Failure to capture invoice receipt date. • Inability to produce reports.
How our clients are setting themselves up for success Payments Times Reporting is here, and businesses need to think about what they need to do now. However, with these changes comes the inevitability of impacts further down the line including, how businesses structure entities in their ERP, manage their data and working capital moving forward. Through our work with clients, we have found knowing how to navigate these changes and setting yourself up for success can be complex. We have been supporting clients through the complexities of Payment Times Reporting to help them understand what’s expected, prepare for the changes and ensure they comply into the future. For more information visit KPMG.com.au First published by Vince Dimasi, National Lead, Working Capital Advisory & Payment Times Reporting, KPMG Australia on KPMG.com.au
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WESTERN SYDNEY BUSINESS ACCESS FEBRUARY 2021
The Little Things – 3 Stars A murder-mystery that is less focussed on finding the killer than investigating the mental state of its supposed heroes. EM County Deputy Sheriff Joe Deacon (Denzel Washington) is sent to Los Angeles for what should have been a quick evidence-gathering assignment. Instead, he becomes embroiled in the search for a serial killer who is terrorizing the city. Teaming up with young hot-shot detective Jim Baxter (Rami Malek), Joe goes down the rabbit hole with this creepy killer, all the while deeply affected by the case that ran him out of the city decades ago. The Little Things is the exact sort of adult, thinking film that could welcome you back to the cinema with open arms. It’s a hard-boiled detective drama, rooted in creepy cops and even creepier killers. The plot unfurls relatively similarly to a number of other detective thrillers, with overtones of Prisoners and Zodiac. Our hero teams up with a younger version of himself. Joe is jaded, and has given up on big city life after a case that went wrong. But it keeps sucking him back in, particularly with this case. He used to be a high-flyer, but then the moral complexities of his choices caught up with him, and he broke down – his health, his marriage and his career all in one hit. He sees himself in Jim, and Jim sees a man whose prowess could help him crack a case that is garnering media scrutiny and could affect his career. Washington plays Joe as a deeply troubled but brilliant detective, with an overbite and an unassuming manner. Malek brings a distinctly weird tone to his well-dressed detective, brilliance early on that transforms into a great psycho-analysis of an obsessed man who compromises his morality. But the true superstar of this piece is Jared Leto. Leto, recently nominated for a Golden Globe award for this performance, brings a level of creepy that echoes some of his other performances but also revolutionises them into a unique piece. Physically, vocally and even through the eyes, the performance really sucks you in to both hating this character and seeing him as an equal villain to oppose Joe’s detective hero. In the end, the film takes an intriguing complexity to morality. It’s less obsessed with finding evidence to convict the killer, and more obsessed with the police subverting their own moral compass in search of justice. Justice is at the heart of the piece, and in some respects that subverts the genre slightly, which makes this an interesting
film. On the other hand, however, it makes the ending somewhat unsatisfying – both from a plot perspective, and with respect to being able to determine heroes and villains. It’s tough to truly root for these characters, because the film never really gives credence to the villains’ guilt other than
through Leto’s creepy performance. It means that when the climax arrives, it leaves us asking whether Leto’s character was truly guilty, and whether the cops were really right. The film also leaves a number of plot threads unanswered. It all adds up to a movie that plays at genre, but in its quest to
subvert expectations, winds up dissatisfying the viewer. Reviews by Jacob Richardson Creative Director | Film Focus www.filmfocusau.com
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High Ground – 4 Stars A slow-burn revelatory experience, highlighting the reality of colonial Australia. T’S the 1930s in Arnhem Land, in the recently federalised Australia. Fresh from World War 1, Travis (Simon Baker) and Eddy (Callan Mulvey) are members of the police and get caught up in a mission where things go awry, and they massacre an indigenous community. Flashforward a few years, and Travis is tasked by Moran ( Jack Thompson) to team up with Gutjuk ( Jacob Junior Nayinggul) to track down the young Aboriginal boys dangerous uncle. Directed by Stephen Johnson, High Ground is full of impressive sweeping vistas, tense and bloody violence, and a decidedly western feel. The film uses the setting like a character, frequently lingering on the Australian expansive landscape.
It also aids in the action itself – whether its incredible vantage points for sniper positions, or hidden enemies popping up from out of long grass. The action in the film is delivered at an intriguing pace. Every action feels slow, deliberate, and insightful. It brings a sense of realism to the cruelty and brutality on display that crafts intrigue more than shock and awe. You feel like this is a real representation of what the shocking nature of that violent time would have been, rather than being shocked for the sake of clickbait news articles. High Ground also has an odd pacing structure, with moments that feel like endings bubbling to the surface over and over. Perhaps this is a representation of the neverending cyclical conflict between
WESTERN SYDNEY BUSINESS ACCESS FEBRUARY 2021
white Australia and black Australia. Either way, it has an odd dual effect, creating both a frustrating dissociation wondering where the film is arc-ing towards, and an undeniable draw into the picture. For a cast as diverse as the one assembled, it is also consistently well acted. On display, we have Hollywood actors (Simon Baker), Australian screen legends ( Jack Thompson) and a debut performance from Jacob Junior Nayinggul. Irrespective of their diverse backgrounds, they all deliver cohesive and engaging performances with the material. Nayinggul in particular is magnetic in his first on-screen performance, and that is a testament to both his work, and the directors in drawing out a performance of such quality.
The only real issue with High Ground is the sheen. It feels like a movie that needs a grittier take, a little less bright and a little less saturated. As it stands, the film loses a little of the seriousness and tension that could have been associated with its hyperviolence, and in doing so misses a trick. The western elements are undercut by the bright tones, creating an almost budget-like feel. High Ground is a tense Australian western, that does a great job of engrossing you in a violent colonial story that needs telling. It’s a film that needs to be experienced in the cinema. Reviews by Jacob Richardson Creative Director | Film Focus www.filmfocusau.com
Honda gives its Odyssey people carrier an extensive refresh for 2021 CALLUM HUNTER ONDA Australia has welcomed in the New Year by revealing and detailing its updated new Odyssey wagon-come-people mover which not only sees the usual array of cosmetic, equipment and safety upgrades but a revamped line-up too. Once again made up of just two variants, the updated Odyssey range opens from $44,250 plus on-road costs for the Vi L7, marking an entry-price increase of more than $5000 compared to the previous model. It is a similar story with the higher-specced Vi LX7 which costs $2410 more than the VTi-L it replaces ($51,150 vs $48,740). For the extra outlay customers are treated to a heap more standard equipment, especially on the base model which now comes with Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, an 8.0-inch infotainment screen, heated front seats, leather upholstery, keyless entry and push-button start, redesigned steering wheel, 7.0-inch driver’s display, captain’s chairs in the second row, power sliding rear doors and LED headand foglights. That captain’s chair second row may boost comfort and up the luxury feel however it does obvious reduce the Odyssey’s carrying capacity from eight to seven which could ultimately bring the big wagon into competition with some of Australia’s most popular SUVs while simultaneously losing ground – or passengers – on the Kia Carnival. The second-row seats themselves do however feature adjustable armrests, recline and long-slide functionality. Safety on the Vi L7 has also been drastically stepped up thanks to the addition of the Honda Sensing safety and driver-assist suite, which in this case consists of forward collision warning, collision mitigation braking system, lane departure warning, lane keep assist system, road departure mitigation system and adaptive cruise control.
2021 Honda Odyssey pricing* Vi L7 (a) $44,250 Vi LX7 (a) $51,150 *Excludes on-road costs
Blind spot information Rear cross-traffic alert and a blind spot information system have also been added to the mix, joining established features like brake assist, electronic brake-force distribution, emergency stop signal, hill start assist, traction control, vehicle stability assist and tyre deflation warning. Building on the Vi L7’s already generous spec, the Vi LX7 adds a hands-free power tailgate with kick sensor, gesture control power sliding doors, driver memory seats and second-row ambient footwell lighting. When it comes to model differentiation, it should not prove difficult to spot the new model out on the road or alongside its predecessor thanks to a completely redesigned front end headlined by the
new LED head- and foglight arrangement lifted straight off the Accord sedan, not the mention to the new hexagonal grille and protruding underbite style front bumper. It is a similar story at the back where we find a redesigned rear apron featuring sharper contours and some chrome reflectors while new 17-inch alloy wheels change things up along the side. One thing that has not changed on the new model is the powertrain which has been carried over as is from the
previous model with power still coming courtesy of the familiar 2.4-litre four-cylinder petrol engine which sends all of its 129kW/225Nm to the front wheels via a continuously variable transmission (CVT). According to Honda Australia product, customer and communications general manager Robert Thorp, the MY21 Odyssey offers “more comfort, convenience and innovative technology features than ever before”. “Odyssey has been the undisputed
leader in the people mover private market for nine consecutive years,” he said. “When it came time to purchase a new vehicle to transport their family, since 2012 more private buyers have chosen the Honda Odyssey than any other people mover.” According to last month’s round of VFacts data, Honda shifted 1091 Odysseys in 2020, accounting for a solid 16.1 per cent of the sub-$60,000 people mover segment behind the aforementioned Kia Carnival (3650/53.9%).
WESTERN SYDNEY BUSINESS ACCESS FEBRUARY 2021
Kia takes aim as Mazda CX-3 and Hyundai Venue with new Stonic crossover CALLUM HUNTER EVERAL years after launching in Europe, Kia Motors Australia (KMAu) has finally launched its Stonic light SUV with the Rio-based high-rider checking in from $22,990 driveaway. Measuring 4140mm long, 1760mm wide and 1520mm tall (including roof rails), the Stonic rides on a 2580mm wheelbase and boasts between 165-183mm of ground clearance. Pegged by KMAu as a direct rival for the Mazda CX-3 and Hyundai Venue, the Stonic will be available in three different trim levels with three different powertrains offered depending on the variant, all featuring 352 litres of boot space (1155L with rear seats stowed). At the bottom of the range is the S, available with the choice of either a six-speed manual transmission or a six-speed automatic, the latter of which carries a $1000 price premium over the stick shifter ($23,990 d/a). Both options are paired to a naturally aspirated 1.4-litre four-cylinder petrol engine developing 74kW of power and 133Nm of torque. In manual guise, KMAu claims this engine will consume between 6.0 and 6.7 litres of fuel per 100km on the combined cycle while emitting 155g of CO2 per km (automatic). The standard equipment list of the S forms the foundation for the rest of the range to build on, consisting of 15-inch steel wheels, an 8.0-inch infotainment touchscreen with Apple CarPlay/Android Auto (both wireless) and multi-device Bluetooth connectivity, six-speaker stereo system, a 4.2-inch TFT driver’s display, cruise control, automatic headlights, reversing camera, rear parking sensors, cloth upholstery and halogen daytime running lights. Safety gear on the base model meanwhile consists of autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection, forward collision warning, driver attention alert, lane following assist and six airbags. On the subject of safety, KMAu is marketing the Stonic as having the same 2017-issued five-star safety rating as its Rio cousin rather than submitting the car for testing under the latest 2020 testing protocols. When quizzed on the matter by media, KMAu product planning general manager Roland Rivero said it was down to the complexities and expenses of crash testing. “Where there’s an opportunity to obviously piggyback or carry over a rating we will go that path first and foremost,” he said.
It’s similar strategy “Crash testing is not something that’s relatively simple to execute, it’s a big job, it’s resource intensive as well as it’s not cheap either, it’s quite expensive and we are at the
mid-way point in the life of stock and therefore as much as possible, we’d like to launch it without having to spend another huge portion of dollars to get it through.” According to Mr Rivero, a similar strategy was employed in Europe by the local arm of Kia Motors. Moving up the range, the mid-level Sport is available with the same choice of either a manual ($24,990) or automatic ($25,990) transmission as the S and it relies on the same 1.4-litre engine for propulsion. Standard equipment is naturally improved over the base model with extra niceties including 17-inch alloy wheels, power folding mirrors, premium steering wheel and shifter, push button start, illuminated sun visor and satellite navigation, however the wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are downgraded to wired connections only. At the top of the range meanwhile resides the GT-Line which not only serves as the flagship of the range but is also touted by KMAU managing director Damien Meredith to be the volume seller.
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Priced from $29,990 driveaway, the GT-Line adds a wealth of extra goodies compared to the S and the Sport including unique 17-inch alloys, GT-Line body package, stop/start system, LED head-, fogand daytime running lights, two-tone paint or a sunroof, faux leather trimmed seats, auto-dimming rearview mirror, rain sensing wipers, climate control and privacy glass. The extra outlay will also net buyers a gutsier engine with power in the flagship coming from a turbocharged 1.0-litre three-cylinder mill developing 74kW/172Nm. Drive is sent to the front wheels just like in the other variants however this time it is via a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. Not only is there an extra 39Nm on tap, KMAu says the force-fed three-banger boasts superior fuel economy and emissions figures of 5.7L/100km and 125g/km respectively. As usual for KMAU, the Stonic’s suspension and chassis tune has been optimised for Australian road conditions with the bulk of
the work reportedly being complete before the COVID-19 pandemic struck. According to Mr Meredith, the Stonic is launching Down Under at a “very important time of growth” for the brand as it is entering a segment which grew 14.5 per cent last year while the market as a whole fell by 13.5 per cent. “When Stonic was first mooted we had a close look at it and made the decision that Seltos made a more attractive proposition for the Australian market, a decision backed by the fact that at the time, there was limited Stonic supply available for Australia,” he said. “With Seltos firmly established and very importantly, a significant increase in Stonic supply to accommodate our sales expectations, there is a much more compelling case for this sporty urban crossover with all the safety, value, style and practicality at the core of Kia’s DNA.” Mr Meredith also said he was expecting some sales cannibalisation between the Stonic and the Rio given the latter had evolved more into a “fleet-type car” while the bulk of Stonic sales would be private purchases with its driveaway pricing being permanent.
2021 Kia Stonic pricing S S (a) Sport Sport (a) GT-Line (a)
RRP* Driveaway $21,490 $22,990 $22,990 $23,990 $24,490 $24,990 $25,990 $25,990 $29,990 $29,990 *Excludes on-road costs
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Managing risk in engaging staff SUCCESS THROUGH PEOPLE SERIES In this series of articles, Greg Mitchell (Principal of HR Success) highlights their exclusive 8 Elements to Success through People© Model, designed to create and sustain engaging, productive workplaces that drive business success. OST readers will I am sure recognise managing risk as being an important part of running a successful, sustainable business. Risk can of course take many forms: there’s the risk to property and assets, product/service liability risks and financial/commercial risks, to name just a few. For the purposes of this article, we’ll focus on Managing Risk in the context of employing staff and engaging others in the business. In this regard, two broad areas of risk come to mind: Firstly, there’s compliance-related risk. For most of us, this means ensuring compliance with the myriad pieces of legislation that impact the employment relationship, including the Fair Work Act, the Work Health & Safety Act, and legislation relevant to superannuation and taxation, by way of example. With corporate penalties for non-compliance of the Fair Work Act being in excess of $60,000 per breach (and substantially higher for serious contraventions), and similarly significant fines plus even potential jail terms for some employers breaching WHS legislation, there are some pretty compelling reasons for ensuring your business stays on top of its compliance-related responsibilities. In addition to the financial damage to the business, there’s also the potential reputational damage and adverse impacts on recruiting and retaining quality staff to consider.
Risk is like fire: If controlled it will help you; if uncontrolled it will rise up and destroy you.” – Theodore Roosevelt. The other category of risk relevant to engaging others is what I call general business risks: risks including succession planning, information and knowledge management, staff use of social media, protection of intellectual property and other assets of the business, for example. If you are not fully aware of and effectively also managing these risks within your business, you could be putting the future of the business in jeopardy. OK, so we know that engaging staff and others in the business brings with it a whole range of risks. Just what can we do to make sure that we identify and adequately address
each of these risks? Well, here are a few tips to get you started: First of all, it’s your obligation as an employer to ensure you understand and abide by all the pieces of legislation that relate to you as an employer. A good starting point to understand your primary obligations is our HR Ready Reckoner, available free to download via the Resources section of our website, or contact us directly and we’ll forward you a copy. Secondly, every couple of years or so review, or have someone review, the employment arrangements, policies and contracts within your business to make sure you have adequately covered areas such as
intellectual property, confidentiality and use bby employees of social media. Thirdly, recognise those areas relating to managing staff that come with particularly high levels of risk, and be sure you have the correct skills and experience internally or seek some support externally to help you manage those risks. This could apply to situations such as recruitment and selection, employee performance management and terminations (including restructuring/redundancies), workplace investigations, bullying-related matters and handling grievances and disputes. Finally, it is important to recognise that as your business evolves, so the risks begin to change. Be sure that risk management, particularly related to managing people, becomes a regular part of your periodic business planning process. So there you have it, Managing Risk…. another important element in achieving Success through People. Curious as to how your business or team is performing in terms of the 8 Elements to Success through People© model? Check out our free, confidential diagnostic today – www.hrsuccess.com. au/diagnostic, or call us to discuss how we can help.
LOOKING FOR GREAT STAFF? PROFESSIONAL, COST-EFFECTIVE RECRUITMENT SUPPORT If you haven’t the time or expertise to recruit the right people for your business, you may be looking for an external partner to support your eﬀorts. HR Success oﬀers a complete recruitment solution to help you attract and select the best person for your business – someone with the skills, knowledge, experience and attitude to help your business succeed. We’ll work on your behalf to: • Develop a professional position description • Draft and selectively place an appealing advertisement that attracts great candidates • Handle enquiries, screen and shortliﬆ candidates for interview • Organise and directly support interviews (yes, we’ll be there alongside you, if that’s what you need!) • Ensure that your preferred candidate “checks out” – reference checks, proﬁling, licenses, skills assessments etc • Advise candidates of the result of their application. Our service is a fraction of the cost of most recruitment agencies (priced from $2,900+GST), and we’ll be with you every step of the way. All packages until end November 2020 come with complimentary advertising on Jobs Western Sydney. Mention WSBA to claim. WESTERN SYDNEY BUSINESS ACCESS FEBRUARY 2021
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