august 2009 Issue 39 $5.95 PP 255003/09169
Business and government Magazine
act training excellence
awards full story pages 17â€“18
a security buzzword you need to know
on the review of supermarket competition policy
FREE DVD inside How to be a great workplace supervisor
B2B supporting Business in Focus Month Sept '09
The compleTe prinTing soluTion for canberra Blue Star has invested in the Canberra market with the acquisitions of McMillan Print Group, National Capital Printing, Complete Mail Works, Canberra Publishing and Printing and Pirion Printing. Now under the banner of Blue Star’s Specialist brands, with the backing of a multi-national print supply chain network, these local businesses continue to provide the great customer service they are renowned for.
Mailing Services Commercial and General Print Print Management Data Management and Sorting Annual Reports Design Personalisation – Laser and Inkjet Publications Supply Chain Management Envelope Insertion Books Audit and Consulting Plastic Wrapping Brochures Inventory Management Colourand Digital Variable Printing Corporate Communications Warehousing and Logistics Colour Digital Colour Digital Colour Digital Colour Digital Mailing Mailing Services Services Mailing Services Mailing Services Mailing Mailing Services Services M Commercial Commercial and and General General Print Print Commercial and Commercial General Print and General Print Commercial Commercial and and General GeneralPrint Print Commercial General Print Print Management Print Management Print PrintManagement Management Print Management Printing Marketing Print Collateral e-business Integration ShortManagement Run General Print Short Run General Short Print Run General Print Short Run General Print Data Data Management Management and and Sorting Sorting Data Data and Management Sorting and Sorting Data Data Management Management and and Sorting Sorting D Annual Annual Reports Reports Design Annual ReportsAnnual Reports Annual Annual Reports Reports Annual Reports Design Design Design Design 14 Pirie Street Forms Brochures Brochures Brochures Brochures Personalisation Personalisation ––Management Laser Laser and and Inkjet Inkjet Personalisation Personalisation – Laser and Inkjet – Laser and Personalisation Personalisation Inkjet – – Laser Laser and and Inkjet Inkjet Pe Publications Publications Publications Publications Publications Publications Publications Supply Chain Management Supply Chain Management Supply SupplyChain Chain Management Supply Chain Management Business Cards Fyshwick ACT 2609 16-18 Mort Street Point ofPrint Sale Forms Forms Forms Forms Envelope Envelope Insertion Insertion Envelope Insertion Envelope Insertion BooksEnvelope EnvelopeInsertion Insertion En Books Books Books Books Books Audit and Consulting Audit and Consulting Books Audit Auditand and Consulting Consulting Audit and Consulting Onsite Solutions Telephone: 6280 9811 Canberra City ACT 2601 Plastic Plastic Wrapping Wrapping Plastic Wrapping Plastic Wrapping Plastic P PlasticWrapping Wrapping Brochures Brochures Brochures Brochures Brochures Brochures Inventory Management Inventory ManagementBrochures Inventory Inventory Management Management Inventory Management Telephone: 6230 6200 22 Street Street 140Pirie Gladstone Street 140 Gladstone 140 Street Gladstone Street 140 Gladstone Colour Colour Digital Digital Variable Variable Printing Printing Colour Digital Variable Colour Digital Printing VariableCorporate Printing Colour Colour Digital DigitalVariable VariablePrinting Printing C Corporate Corporate Communications Communications Corporate Communications Corporate Communications Corporate Corporate Communications Communications Communications Warehousing and Warehousing Logistics and Logistics Warehousing Warehousing and andLogistics Logistics Warehousing and Logistics Fyshwick Fyshwick ACT ACT 2609 2609 Fyshwic ACT Fyshwic 2609 ACT 2609 Fyshwic Marketing Marketing Print PrintIntegration Collateral Collateral PrintMarketing Collateral Print Collateral e-business Marketing MarketingPrint PrintCollateral Collateral Marketing Print Collateral e-business e-business Integration Marketing e-business e-business Integration Integration Integration Telephone: 6280 7477 Telephone: 6280 7199 Telephone: 6280 Telephone: 7199 6280 7199 7199 14 14 Pirie Pirie Street Street 14 Pirie Street 14 Pirie Street 14 14Pirie PirieStreet Street 14 Forms Forms Forms Forms Forms Forms Forms Canberra.Sales@bspg.com.au Sean.O’Neill@bspg.com.au Fyshwick Fyshwick ACT ACTStreet 2609 2609 Fyshwick ACT Fyshwick 2609 ACT 2609 Fyshwick FyshwickACT ACT2609 2609 Fy 16-18 Mort Street 16-18 Mort Street 16-18 16-18Mort Mort Street 16-18 Mort Street Point Point of of Sale Sale Point of Sale Point of Sale Point Pointof ofSale Sale Point of Sale Telephone: Telephone: 6280 9811 98112601 Telephone: Telephone: 9811 Telephone:6280 62809811 9811 Te Canberra CityCanberra ACT 2601 City ACT 2601 Canberra Canberra6280 City CityACT ACT 2601 Canberra City6280 ACT 2601 6280 9811 Telephone: Peter.Terho@bspg.com.au Peter.Terho@bspg.com.au Telephone: Telephone: 6200 6230 6200 Telephone: Telephone: 6230 6230 6200 6200 6230 6200 call us today how can help you22 with all your print and 22 22 Pirie Pirie Street Street 6230 22 Pirie Street 22 Pirie Streetto see Telephone: 22 22 Pirie Piriewe Street Street Pirie Street Ian.OConnor@bspg.com.au Fyshwick Fyshwick ACT ACT 2609 2609 Fyshwick ACT Fyshwick 2609 ACT 2609 Fyshwick FyshwickACT ACT2609 2609 Fyshwick ACT 2609 Telephone: Telephone: 6280 6280 7477 7477
Telephone: 6280 Telephone: 7477 6280 7477
Telephone: Telephone:6280 62807477 7477
Telephone: 6280 7477
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B2B in canberra business and government magazine
august 2009 issue 39
COVER ACT Training Excellence Awards
Full story pages
PUBLISHER Tim Benson 02 6161 2751
upfront 04 Read about local business success
ADVICE Advice from the business experts
Canberra Careers Market – 20 years plus of careers advice and going strong...
cover story ACT Training Excellence Awards
Allied Pickfords – moving people for 400 years
Bendigo Bank to open in Jerrabombera
Tandem – working in partnership with clients, carers and families
editor Liz Lang firstname.lastname@example.org 02 6161 2751 DESIGN Nina Vesala photography Andrew Sikorski, Art Atelier 02 6288 3626 ADVERTISING ENQUIRIES email@example.com 02 6161 2751 0402 900 402 published by Man Bites Dog Public Relations ABN 30 932 483 322 PO Box 4106 Ainslie ACT 2602 t 02 6161 2751 f 02 6262 7721 firstname.lastname@example.org www.b2bincanberra.com DISTRIBUTED BY Australia Post PRINTED BY Blue Star Print Group
opinion Shared care parenting What does it mean?
G2b Chief Minister Opposition Leader ACT Government OH&S Commissioner Commissioner of Taxation
24 24 25
a2b Canberra Business Council ACT Exporters' Network ACT & Region Chamber of Commerce and Industry U2b Australian National University
Networking See who's out and about in Canberra
Juliette Ford Consensus Family Lawyers
opinion How are small businesses faring in tough times? Andrew Sykes RSM Bird Cameron
Profile James Watt
Beames and Associates
Find out what success brought to Rachael Keiley as ACT Apprentice of the Year
20 20 21 22 23
venues throughout Canberra function rooms and unique experience options fantastic event
southern cross events centre
Whether it’s a gala ball, cocktail party cruise on the lake or lawn bowls and a BBQ find out how we can make your next event, unforgettable. Bookings now being taken for Christmas events. Call 6283 7200 or visit www.cscc.com.au
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B2B in Canberra | August 2009
“In this new wave of technology, you can't do it all yourself, you have to form alliances.” Carlos Slim Helu
Allied Pickfords – moving people for 400 years
llied Pickfords is synonymous with professional moving services. With roots dating back to the seventeenth century London, this gives the company almost 400 years experience in the moving industry. Through consistently meeting client's expectations, the Allied Pickfords network has grown through the acquisition and establishment of new operations around Australia and the world. The company merged with the Downard Moving business, and traded as Downard Pickfords until 1992, when the name was formally changed to Allied Pickfords. Allied Pickfords Business Relocations is part of the network and specialises in the business and government sector. Scott Montgomery, ACT business relocations sales manager says, “What we do is make relocation stress free for our clients. We do everything from office relocation, workstation reconfiguration, packing and unpacking of library and filing systems, compactus and safe relocation, waste paper and disposal services and disposal or auction of surplus office furniture and equipment.” Allied Pickfords has relocation management operations in every state of Australia, employing
Shane MacDonald of Allied Pickfords Business Relocations
more than 500 people and maintaining a fleet in excess of 330 vehicles. The company has household and personal effects storage capacity in excess of 1,000,000 square feet in 41 locations
throughout Australia and carries out more than 80,000 removals within Australia every year. Allied Pickfords Business Relocations service the Canberra market from their base in Queanbeyan. “We offer companies and federal government departments, whatever many other removal companies can’t, and that is a national and global removalist service within the one network.” “We are the world's largest global quality accredited network and most extensive Australian network, so your service delivery is owned by one company from door to door, with people on the ground at both the origin and destination. Our Business Relocations motto is ‘A single service provider that adds value to our clients needs,’” says Scott. Scott says “As a global moving business, the Allied Pickfords network executes more than 800,000 transitions and greater than 75,000 international moves annually. This provides us with a strong platform to further develop an innovative approach and share best practice globally in an industry that is demanding and competitive.” Allied Pickfords Business Relocations T 6284 4949 www.alliedpickfords.com.au
Canberra Careers Market – 20 years plus of career advice and going strong...
ome of Canberra’s small business owners and entrepreneurs along with representatives of various industry trades will be part of the line up of talent sharing their knowledge and experiences at the Canberra Careers Market 2009 to be held at the AIS on 5 and 6 August. The purpose of the Canberra Careers Market is to display a wide range of tertiary training opportunities and pathways for school leavers in the ACT and southern New South Wales and also for those people looking to make a career change or re-enter the workforce. More than 70 tertiary training bodies, universities, TAFEs, and private organisations from Australia and New Zealand will be represented. The Canberra Careers Market is a partnership between the ACT Department of Education and Training and the Rotary Club of Canberra City. In recent years the Canberra Careers Market has broadened the range of opportunities available by including special features such as: Try’aTrade: an interactive exhibition where people will be able to try out various trades including
plumbing, beauty, landscaping, cabinet making, auto mechanics, electrotechnology, and hospitality. They can also speak with experts who are recognised as leaders in their trades as well as apprentices, trade trainers, and local business owners. Be Your Own Boss – Small Business and Entrepreneurs Lounge: College students and those people interested in a career change to small business will have the opportunity to network with established ACT small business owners and learn about what it takes to run a small business, the opportunities and pitfalls, and how to seek
assistance to explore an entrepreneurial pathway. Career advice: Free careers counselling will be provided by volunteer career counsellors from ACT high schools and colleges. This counselling booth, sponsored by the ACT Department of Education and Training, has proved popular with students and parents seeking advice on available careers and training options. The 2009 Canberra Careers Market will be held from 9.30 am to 2.30pm and 4.30 pm to 8.00 pm on Wednesday 5 August and 9.30 am to 2.30 pm on Thursday 6 August. Entry is free.
FACT: T he ACT was the only state or territory to record an increase in the number of housing finance commitments for owner occupation in annual terms (ACT Government 9 July).
August 2009 | B2B in Canberra
SETTLE FAMILY DISPUTES OUT OF COURT It’s hard enough when a relationship ends. So the last thing you need is soaring legal costs, protracted, public court proceedings, and your personal affairs being determined by a judge.
Consensus provides a better alternative to the Courts. We use collaboration, arbitration and negotiation between the couple to find open-minded solutions that work. It’s discrete. It’s fair. And everybody leaves in agreement. For a new style of dispute resolution which puts you back in control, turn to Consensus. 17 – 21 University Avenue Canberra ACT 2601 T 02 6290 9898 F 02 6257 4382 email@example.com www.consensusfamilylawyers.com.au
“The success combination in business is: Do what you do better... and: do more of what you do...” David Joseph Schwartz
Bendigo Bank to open in Jerrabomberra
endigo Community Bank is planning to fill a big gap in Jerrabomberra by opening a branch there mid next year. Local businessman and owner of Soul Pattinson Chemist Bill Dhall said this would be a big boost to the community and local businesses. “Having a Bendigo Community Bank will be of huge benefit to local businesses and the community. Having no bank in Jerrabomberra has meant local businesspeople have had to drive into Canberra or Queanbeyan three or four times a week to access banking services. It will also mean that consumers won’t have to travel far to do their banking,” Bill said. Convener of the Jerrabomberra Community Bank Steering Committee, Brian Brown, says his committee has been working towards a bank for almost five years. “The big four banks wouldn’t come here, we lobbied them to try and get a bank out here. It wasn’t until a couple of years ago that I approached Bendigo Bank and found out more about the community bank program. When I learnt what the program was, and what it involved and the benefits it gave to the community, it seemed like a perfect fit. Bendigo Community Banks are not just a bank but a
Bill Dahll, Mark Croxford, Brian Brown and Peter Strong proudly supportive of a Bendigo Community Bank in Jerrabomberra
part of the community,” Brian said. Small business owner, resident, and member of the Jerrabomberra Bendigo Community Bank Steering Group Mark Croxford, said he wants to encourage not only the businesses but also the residents in Jerrabomberra and surrounding communities to get behind the Bendigo Bank. “They will realise real returns on the communities investment and their kids will be able to benefit from those inputs.”
Chairman of the Calwell and Wanniassa Bendigo Community Banks, and soon to be Jerrabomberra Community Bank, Peter Strong says that a local community bank is also a business. “Bendigo Community Banks are businesses that benefit the community. We are expanding our community banks as part of a program of growth that is community driven and community owned,” Peter said.
Tandem – working in partnership with clients, carers and families
Tyler Ellis and Cheryl Daw of Tandem Respite Inc
relatively new community organisation, Tandem is a primary provider of respite, personal care and social support services to children, young people and adults with moderate to profound disabilities, people living with mental illness, the frail elderly, and their families and carers living within the ACT.
Tandem Respite Inc was created last year when Respite Care ACT and FaBRiC amalgamated, forming an organisation that provides a whole of life service, with a seamless transition
from children’s to adult support programs.
Tandem CEO, Cheryl Daw says, “What we provide is something that is meaningful and beneficial to the person who is being cared for. It could be helping an adult prepare for their day such as assisting them to get up, dressed and showered. With a child with a disability, it could involve taking them to a local park or helping them to participate in activities that kids would typically do.” Support is provided through carefully selected support workers and volunteers, who are
matched to meet the needs of the individuals and their families, for when and where they need it most. Tyler Ellis, a Tandem client and board member says,“If there weren’t services like Tandem, despite the fact I’m in my late twenties, I would probably be forced into a situation where I would need 24 hour care and would not be able to have a life at all.” Tandem employs 300 support workers and provides 100,000 hours of respite support each year for more than 600 individuals and their families within the home and wider community. Tandem will soon move to the Blaxland Centre in Griffith, through the generosity of the ACT Government, Decca Building Group and other local businesses. At present Tandem is searching for sponsorships or pro bono partnerships, to help provide additional services outside of government funding. The Client Holiday Scheme (sponsored by Bendigo Bank Calwell and Wanniassa Branches) which enables adult clients to enjoy a short holiday that they wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford is an example of these additional services. For information on Tandem visit www.tandem.org.au or phone 6288 0955 to discuss sponsorship opportunities.
FACT: N early half of all Australian businesses (45%) undertook some form of innovative activity, including the development or introduction
of new or significantly improved goods, services, processes or methods last financial year(Australian Bureau of Statistics June 2009).
August 2009 | B2B in Canberra
“Growing my business takes effort and passion. So we take RSM Bird Cameron’s advice.” Rick Alford Owner and operator Federal Cranes
Growing a business in the construction industry is demanding. Big hardware means big decisions such as buying or leasing of a new plant and equipment. It’s critical to have specialist business advice. Federal Cranes has relied on RSM Bird Cameron to deliver this specialist expertise and innovative solutions to their business.
When Rick bought a new crane, RSM Bird Cameron was there to advise. RSM Bird Cameron Ph: (02) 6247 5988 103-105 Northbourne Avenue Canberra, ACT
Shared care parenting What does it mean?
This concept has attracted a lot of publicity both regarding what it means and the effect of the new law on children.
By Juliette Ford, Consensus Family Lawyers
One of the most significant misconceptions arising from the introduction of the presumption is the belief that ‘equal shared parental responsibility’ translates into an ‘equal shared care’ arrangement for the children of separating parents.
August 2009 | B2B in Canberra
hen the Family Law Amendment (Shared Parental Responsibility) Act 2006 commenced in May 2006, the phrase ‘presumption of equal shared parental responsibility’ was introduced as a concept in the Act. The presumption in fact requires major decisions for the long-term care and welfare of the children to be made jointly. These ‘major decisions’ revolve around issues such as education, religion and medical treatment. One of the most significant misconceptions arising from the introduction of the presumption is the belief that ‘equal shared parental responsibility’ translates into an ‘equal shared care’ arrangement for the children of separating parents. This is not necessarily the case. While the Act requires the Court to consider an arrangement whereby the children spend equal time with both parents, it is not the fixed outcome. In its deliberation about such an arrangement, the Court must consider firstly, whether it is in the best interests of the child and secondly, whether it is reasonably practicable. If the Court decides that an equal shared care arrangement is inappropriate, they must then consider whether one parent spending ‘substantial and significant time’ with the children is more appropriate. Every family and their situation is different. When there is an application before the Court regarding the living arrangements for children, each situation is considered against a discretionary checklist provided for in the Act which includes factors such as: • The benefit to the child of having a meaningful relationship with both parents. • The need to protect the child from physical or psychological harm or from being subjected to, or exposed to, abuse, neglect or family violence. • Any views expressed by the child. • The child’s relationship with each parent and other persons of significance, for example, grandparents. • The willingness and ability of each of the child's parents to facilitate and encourage a close and continuing relationship between the child and the other parent. • The likely effect of any changes in the child's circumstances, including the likely effect on the child of any separation from either parent, siblings or other
relatives of significance with whom the child has been living. • The practical difficulty and expense of a child spending time with and communicating with a parent. Recently it was announced that the Institute of Family Studies will conduct a review of the Family Law Act and the shared parenting laws. Professor John Wade, the current chairman of the Family Law Council has said that the 2006 Act which was designed to give children access to both their parents after divorce was incoherent, ‘filled with gobbledegook’ and fails to give judges ‘the clear signals they need to make good decisions’. He observed the current law created false expectations for fathers who believe the amendments to the Act would guarantee them equal time with their children. Although the shared parenting laws do not provide for such a presumption there has been criticism that they do not give decision makers sufficient guidance on when it is appropriate to order a shared parenting arrangement and when it is not. Professor Patrick Parkinson, formerly the chairman of the Family Law Council, has recently said “There have been some cases where children under the age of two are doing week-about and often travelling long distances…young children do well with frequent time with both parents, but it is important to avoid long separations from the primary care giver. If you have a Mum and Dad living around the corner frequent short visits are possible”. What is clear from a review of the decisions made by the Court in cases where the care arrangements for children after separation are disputed is that it is difficult to predict what sort of care arrangement will be ordered given the largely discretionary regime under which judges are operating. At Consensus we aim to assist our clients through their separation with dignity and discretion without resorting to court proceedings. We offer a number of child-focused processes through which couples can negotiate arrangements regarding their children. Learning to create a parental alliance after separation is challenging and more so if the parents are caught up in an adversarial court process. For an Out of Court solution contact Consensus Family Lawyers to discuss your situation.
How are small businesses faring in tough times? Research conducted by RSM Bird Cameron paints a mixed picture on how small to medium enterprises are coping across Australia.
By Andrew Sykes, Partner, RSM Bird Cameron
t RSM Bird Cameron, we’ve been working day-to-day with SME owners since the company’s inception in 1922. More recently, we’ve been formally monitoring the attitudes and actions of the SME sector through our research series, thinkBig which commenced in 2005 and was also conducted in 2007. In the third tranche of our research, the 2009 research results painted a mixed picture of how SMEs are faring. While SME owners maintained a high level of satisfaction with their decision to run their own business, more than half of SME owners said that they do not plan their business on a formal basis and the majority had no plans to invest a proportion of their retirement funds into superannuation after leaving the business. Nearly a fifth of SME owners reported that they had delayed their exit date from the business because of the impact of the economic downturn. SME owners said that they also expected to work longer. Of the 26% of owners with an exit plan, seven out of ten thought they will continue working after they exit the business compared with six out of ten in 2007. The majority of SME Percentage of retirement funds that will be invested into superannuation after sale
8% 10% 7%
51% – 75%
1% – 10%
76% – 100%
11% – 25%
owners plan to continue as a consultant in the business or part-time elsewhere. Most SME owners expect to exit their business by passing it on to a family member, selling it to an outside investor or disposing of it via a trade sale. SME owners reacted decisively to the economic downturn with around half saying they have already reduced their overheads and personal drawings from the business. More than a third said they have increased efficiency through technology or increased their prices to protect margins. The economic downturn has also taken its toll on SME owners’ retirement planning, with a sharp increase in the proportion of owners who are dependent on the disposal of their business as their main source of retirement funds. In 2009, 53% of SME owners with an exit plan said the proceeds of their business upon exit would be the primary source of their retirement funds, compared with only 26% in 2007. Nearly a third of SME owners with a plan to exit the business are not sure what proportion of their retirement funds will go into their superannuation (29%). This figure rises to 39% for owners without a plan, as shown in the pie chart (below left). Our study indicates there is still considerable potential for SME owners who have planned their exit from the business to gain more precise information about the value of their business and available tax concessions for retirement planning purposes: • Only one in two SME owners with an exit plan have completed a valuation for their business (45%). • Only one in two SME owners with an exit plan are aware of tax concessions available for small businesses upon sale (46%). While SME owners are operating in uncertain times and under greater stress, more than half of owners said they started their business because they wanted to be their own boss and 42% said it was because they wanted a better work/life balance, compared with under a third who said it was to create wealth. RSM Bird Cameron has a raft of strategies with which to assist small business. Please contact us to arrange an appointment so we can help your small business weather the economic downturn.
Nearly a third of SME owners with an exit plan have no plans to invest any of their retirement funds into superannuation.
26% – 50% B2B in Canberra | August 2009
Photo: Naomi Leonard
James Watt Director Beames & Associates
“We have a young, dynamic and hard working culture at Beames & Associates and those who put in the effort are well rewarded. Age has never been a factor in what you can achieve.”
August 2009 | B2B in Canberra
eet James Watt, who has recently been made a director of the Deakin-based accounting and financial planning firm, Beames & Associates, joining founder Peter Beames and fellow directors David Rae and Ross Beames. Born and bred in Canberra, educated at St Edmunds College and with a commerce degree from the ANU, James began with Beames & Associates as a graduate accountant in 2004, after taking a year off to travel overseas. James’ rise within the firm has been rapid, and one of the reasons for this becomes obvious when you talk with him, as what shines through is his determination to succeed. “When I first started here I vowed to do my job to the best of my ability and not settle for anything less. I knew that if I was going to be a career chartered accountant I would have to be the best – otherwise why would a client choose me over a competitor down the street?” This attitude saw James arrive in the top 5% of the country in three of his four technical chartered accounting exams, including one instance of topping the ACT. So why has James chosen to stay with Beames & Associates rather than move on to another firm? James explains, “We have a young, dynamic and hard working culture at Beames & Associates and those who put in the effort are well rewarded. Age has never been a factor in what you can achieve. We make a point of promoting from within, based on merit – not on age or length of service. If you’re good enough, there is nothing to hold you back.” I also enjoy the diversity of the clients I look after. While the majority are local businesses, we also
have clients in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast. We have a range of clients, from retailers and legal firms to professional footballers and medical and dental specialists. This means the work is always varied and there is always something interesting around the corner.” When asked what sets Beames & Associates from other firms, he uses the analogy of a car on a highway. “There are three kinds of accountants – one that sits in the passenger seat, looking in the rear-view mirror to tell you what has happened. These are your stereotypical accountants whose annual highlight is lodging your income tax return. The second kind is the driver, one who looks out the windscreen to see what is ahead. This is the accountant that will prepare your tax return and offer some advice on what you should be doing in the short term. We are the third kind – the GPS system that not only tells you where you have been and where you are going but also how to get there. We advise our clients on their financial affairs through their entire life cycle. We look at the big picture – annual compliance, tax advice and structuring, investments and financial planning, superannuation, insurances, lending and estate planning. We look at where a client is now, where they want to be, and what they need to do to get there. We want our clients to remember us as a firm that helped to achieve both their financial and personal goals – not just a firm that saved them a bit of tax.” Armed with determination, youth and a thirst for knowledge, the future shines bright for James Watt and the rest of the team at Beames & Associates.
Find time to build your business With more than 50 events designed to help strengthen your business Business In Focus Month will be held for the first time in September 2009. Through a month-long program of events, local businesses will have the opportunity to access information and service providers while creating linkages that will assist them on the journey to building better businesses. The online event calendar will be updated regularly. Find events that will support your business this September by visiting www.business.act.gov.au and follow the Business In Focus Month September 2009 link or call 1800 244 650.
Man Bites Dog PuBlic Relations 0809
Be sure to book early to avoid disappointment.
Want to win a 42 inch plasma TV?
Health as an economic strategy
By Sam Gupta
By Chris Males
ave I caught your attention? Great, because businesses are always looking at ways to boost traffic to their website and drive profits up. One way to do this is through time-bound promotional campaigns. Running a promotional campaign to win a product such as a plasma TV can help boost website traffic. You may have seen something like this on websites: Register now & go in a draw to win a 42 inch plasma TV. It all depends on the aspirations and needs of your target market. Work out what consumer product would appeal to them most and then run a promotional campaign which is keyed into their aspirations. These sort of promotional campaigns work best on websites with ecommerce facilities. Before you decide to run this type of campaign you’ll need to prepare your website. Step one is dedicate a web-page solely for the campaign. You’ll also need an easy to remember URL to re-direct people to that web-page, for example ‘www.yourbusiness.com.au/plasmatv’. Get together some marketing collateral and ask a graphic designer or website designer to design some eye-catching graphics and forms to complement the campaign. Give yourself enough time to prepare for this type of promotional campaign. Your primary objective is to get more potential customers into your website database, so it’s important to get the logistics right. You don’t want to give-out a high-ticket item for free in return for small number of potential customers. The promotional campaign will need to be a well coordinated effort to bring in a high volume of potential customers. Coordinate your online marketing efforts including search engine marketing, social media marketing, and banner advertisements. Set a short time period for the promotional campaign to gain consumer interest but make sure the timeframe is realistic. If possible, have a countdown timer on the promotional campaign web-page. Ensure that you clearly define the terms and conditions of the offer. Seek consumer consent if you want to use their email address for future marketing campaigns. Once the time is up, change the content of the page to show that campaign is over, but don’t remove the page yet. You can use the same page to announce the winner/s of the campaign after gaining their consent. By now, you should have collected a new list of potential customers which you can keep informed about your product/services/ promotions using an email newsletter. Promotional campaigns can be a great way to generate consumer interest in your website. But like most things, they need to be well thought-out and run without any technical hitches.
Please contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1300 785 230, if you would like to setup a promotional campaign on your existing website.
August 2009 | B2B in Canberra
he cost of health is less than the cost of disease – although some organisations continue on spending more money to pull people out of the river, rather than spending proactively up stream to stop people falling in the river in the first place. Preventing absenteeism, illness, injury and disease, as well as supporting the healthy individuals you already have, is a serious economic strategy that will increase your bottom line. Our goal is to change the corporate focus upon health and wellbeing in three ways: 1. From health as the absence of disease to health as vitality, energy and fulfillment. 2. From the cost of healthcare (sick care) to the value of wellbeing programs. 3. From individual behaviour change to a supportive culture of health. The root issue will always be based upon individual behaviour change. However, any healthy individual changes may not be permanent if they simply return to the environment where the health risks were initially created. Therefore, companies must endeavor to create healthy environments that encourage and support their staff to maintain a high health status over the long term. Some corporate health providers will convince companies to spend huge amounts on interactive healthy intranets. This could be that last thing we need, as we are not losing this battle due to a lack of information rather than a lack of execution! We must continue to push action orientated interventions that will get people moving and executing all the great healthy ideas they already have. Examples are as follows: • Annual or bi-annual health checks • On-site fitness classes or gym • Health and lifestyle workshops • Intervention programs (90 day challenge, 10,000 steps etc) • Incentive based programs • Flexible working hours. No company will be successful in the global marketplace without healthy and productive people. Unless we integrate a culture of health into the way we work, we lose our competitive advantage and our highly valued way of life. We have to change, we have to do it together, and we have to do it fast.
Chris Males is one of the countries freshest corporate speakers on the topics of Health, Stress Management and Productivity. He is also the Managing Director of Pro-Fit Corporate Health, a national Corporate Health and Wellbeing provider. To contact Chris please email email@example.com or phone 6291 5902.
Reduce the noise with plants…
The Australian Taxation Office – assisting the recovery of small business
By Jon Elphick
By Michael O’Hehir
Noisy open plan office?
ost of us these days work in open spaces divided with partitions or ranks of filing cabinets. Few would deny that these are usually very noisy places. There are practical, fresh and especially green ways to help reduce the noise in busy Canberra offices. To start with, workplaces should consider the use of plant screens and plants grouped together as barrier arrangements to help reduce the noise. The tops of filing cabinets can also be used to place plants. Small bushy plants in narrow troughs take up little space, but they can still be beneficial to help reduce noise. For noise sensitive workers my top tips for making open plan a more restful, productive space are: 1. Use large plant containers. These have a greater area of top dressing, which will have a significant effect on noise reduction, so it follows that it may also make a larger impact on the room acoustics. 2. Experiments have shown that arrangements of different plants in groups appear to work better than individual plants. Several small arrangements are better than one big one. 3. Positioning several arrangements around a space works better than concentrating the plants in one location. In this way the surface area of the plants exposed to noise may be maximised and individual work areas in an office space will benefit from a localised effect. 4. Edges and corners are better than the centre. Plants placed near the edges and corners of a space are better than plants in the middle. This is because sound is reflected from the walls straight into the foliage. 5. Troughs and barrier planters should be placed a few centimetres away from the wall, so that they can absorb reflected sound from the wall as well as sound reaching them directly. 6. Angling troughs and planters slightly away from being parallel with the wall will also help to disperse reflected sound. 7. Leave it to the experts – rather than getting office workers to bring in their own plants that are heavy, hard to move and too easy to forget… leave it to the experts. Indoor plant hire and maintenance companies like Ambius will recommend the right type of plant for your conditions, will install them and maintain them so they stay healthy and help improve the total workplace environment.
The Canberra office of Ambius is headed by Jon Elphick who has a team of seven staff. The business has been in operation for 20 years and was formerly Rentokil Tropical Plants. www.ambiusindoorplants.com.au Unit 5/67-71 Vicars St Mitchell T: 02 6241 1451
n the past when a small business owner heard the words tax office a cold chill would be felt down their spine. We have seen in the past couple of years an aggressive approach by the tax office to their debt recovery. There have been more phone calls by their officers and even the use of debt collection agencies. The global recession has created a different approach by the Government. The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has recently announced new approaches and measures to help those small businesses who are having difficulties meeting their tax liabilities. Interest free payment arrangements of up to a 12 month period: The ATO is allowing up to 12 months interest free payment arrangements for small businesses (annual turnover of less than $2 million) who are struggling to meet their tax obligations. When the arrangement is in place the taxpayer must keep to the payment program. This means businesses can focus on meeting their other expenses such as payments to suppliers, who are an integral part of the success of their business. Extension of time to pay activity statement debts: The ATO is also providing a deferral of up to 2 months for quarterly and annual payers and up to 1 month for monthly payers on their activity statement liabilities. No interest charge will be charged during this period as long as the activity statement is lodged by its due date. Variation of Pay As You Go (PAYG) instalments and GST instalments: In past years if a taxpayer varied their instalment and the variation resulted in a deficit of tax, a penalty could have been imposed for an incorrect variation. The tax office is encouraging businesses to vary their instalments to reflect their expected tax position at the end of the financial year. Generally, as long as reasonable assumptions have been taken to calculate the amount varied, no penalties will be imposed if there is a shortfall when lodgement of the year end tax return and annual GST return occurs. Documentation of this calculation should be kept in the event of a review. The Government understands that the only way to keep the taxation system running effectively with a view of returning into surplus in the future is to keep small businesses operating. The ATO does not want to send businesses into liquidation as it has a flow on affect to other businesses who may be owed money. This should also ensure employee entitlements are paid. In a period of down turn employee entitlements such as superannuation may not be paid on time or on a regular basis as required by law. These measures announced by the Commissioner of Taxation in June are to ensure a fair go for small business during these harsh economic times and are a step in the right direction for economic recovery.
Michael O’Hehir is a senior manager, Business Solutions at RSM Bird Cameron. For more information on any of the ATO measures for small business, contact RSM Bird Cameron, 103–105 Northbourne Avenue Canberra T. 6247 5988. www.rsmi.com.au
B2B in Canberra | August 2009
Integrating the legal with the financial – the collaborative approach
An appetite for risk
By Stephen Bourke
By Phil Butler
s the founders of small businesses are aware, risk is an acne of the difficulties in professional life is dealing with cepted part of working life. concerns about the different professionals that clients It was encouraging to see in Swiss Re’s recent Survey of need to see. Risk Appetite: Asia Pacific 2009, that the young leaders of For example, Mr Jones may have an accountant who Australian SMEs are willing to take on business risks, such as opportuis responsible for his tax affairs and business advice. Mr Jones may nities to expand and develop new products and services. also have an adviser or his accountant looking after his self managed When directors seek to learn more about managing risk, many superannuation fund (SMSF). The financial adviser would be assisting come at the topic from a perspective of mitigating downside risks. him with investment decisions regarding his personal funds as well as Realising opportunities through taking upside risks, however, is equalhis SMSF. In addition, his insurance needs will be looked after by an ly important to the objective of business growth. Failing to take calinsurance broker. Mr Jones also sees a solicitor to discuss his will and culated risks can result in lost competitive advantage. his estate plan. It is not surprising that some small businesses are ‘risk averse’ as However, no matter how impressive the professionals engaged by the prospect of loss can influence a decision not to invest for reward. Mr Jones, he will receive little benefit if the professionals are not talking In this respect, it is a similar equation that is considered when people to each other. Indeed, they may be working in different directions. make decisions about their personal investments. Mr Jones was divorced several years ago and has adult children For small business people with aspirations to grow their comfrom that marriage. He has now re-married and his second wife also panies and wealth, it is inevitable that ongoing risks will need to be has adult children from a previous relationship. As Mrs Jones has astaken. To effectively manage risk, directors are advised to undertake sets in her own name and is able to maintain herself, Mr Jones would a process of identifying what risk is, what level of risk an owner will like to provide Mrs Jones with an income after his death but leave the be comfortable to take on to achieve goals (generally known as ‘risk majority of his assets to his adult non-dependant children. appetite) and considering how risks can be assessed consistently on Mr Jones may have a binding death benefit nomination in his an ongoing basis. SMSF. At the same time, his insurance broker would have arranged for In practical terms, some suggest the risks business leaders need to him to take out a life insurance policy which may or may not be inside consider can be broken down into a few categories. At the highest his SMSF. Mr Jones then sees his solicitor to discuss his will. Mr Jones level, business and operational risks include strategic risk, operational is not clear in his instructions and is not really sure what arrangements risk and market (industry) risk. Operational risks are further classified have been put in place regarding his SMSF and life insurance. into financial risks and project risks. More broadly, businesses can be The next meeting involves the accountant or financial adviser as impacted by the realisation of risks from the external environment, well as solicitor so they can discuss Mr Jones’ asset position and the such as regulatory and economic risk. Commentators are already sugarrangements for his SMSF. Having a collaborative meeting of profesgesting the global financial crisis has demonstrated some companies sionals enables a clear picture to emerge about who are the benefiwere complacent in their appreciation of the potential for distant ciaries of the policies and the amount that would be payable on Mr events to have a dramatic influence. Jones’ death. The Australian Institute of ofCompany The dangers ineffective riskDirectors management can include lost cusThis approach enables the legal and financial advisers to determine tomers, cash flow issues, projects not delivered a comprehensive strategy for the Jones family estate (AICD) plan. It would be is Australia’s membership institute for (on-time, to budget and specification) and in the most extreme cases, damage to a coma plan that considers the SMSF in the estate plan and provides an directors delivering and continuing pany’s knowledge reputation. Leaders should continue to question what their integrated legal and financial strategy for the intergenerational wealth business on and whether any contingency plans need to be learning inathe field ofdepends directorship. transfer. It would be a plan which is tax effective through the use of developed. testamentary trust structure as well as providing asset protection in Relying on instinct and judgement alone may not be sufficient. the event of a family law event involving one of the adult children. For more information, contact Laura Managing risks should not be a question of avoiding them entirely The strategy ensures that Mr Jones’ plan is put into effect so that Tierney on 1300 633of avoiding or visit theEvaluating both downside (except764 in the case surprises). he looks after all parts of his blended family. Mr Jones is then able to and upside risks, and taking decisive action proceed with confidence that his ‘team’ of professionals are working website at companydirectors.com.au by prioritising which risks to take or mitigate, should be an essential function of any business. collaboratively and not tripping over each other.
Inspiring small business to take the next step
Stephen Bourke is a director in the boutique firm, Certus Law, specialising in superannuation, trusts and estate planning. He also consults to other practitioners through the consulting practice, SuperSplitting. Level 5, 28 University Avenue T: 6268 9090 www.certuslaw.com.au
August 2009 | B2B in Canberra
Phil Butler is state manager of the Australian Institute of Company Directors’ ACT Division. For more information about AICDs' course programs and events, call 6248 5954.
AICD DIRECTOR AND BOARD DEVELOPMENT
DLP: a security buzzword you need to know
Foundations of Directorship
Guide your company to prosperity
By Arun Raghu
s organisations grapple with how to most effectively deal with the combination of an increasingly mobile workforce and their need to be working on increasing amounts of sensitive data, business owners and managers should take heart there are solutions to combat this issue. The term Data Loss Prevention (DLP) has emerged as the latest security buzzword for the tools and techniques that target the prevention of unauthorised information leaks. DLP refers to a variety of hardware and software based technologies and associated processes that attempt to detect and prevent unauthorised leaks of information from within an organisation often by examining data for specific keywords that indicate it is likely to be sensitive. DLP solutions are generally grouped into one of three approach categories: Data in transit: data being sent from within the organisation to external networks (eg. via email) Data at rest: examines data held in any repositories within the organisation (eg. file servers) Endpoint-based: endpoint solutions are typically software installed on company desktops, laptops, mobile devices and portable media. Whether caused through deliberate or inadvertent behaviour by employees or external parties, the potential implications of unauthorised data disclosure for organisations are numerous. The most obvious include damaged reputation and financial losses sustained through either legal action or loss of market advantage caused by leaks of information to industry competitors. For example, in January 2007, TJX Companies Inc. (a large US based apparel and fashion retail chain) experienced a data compromise in which over 45 million payment card numbers belonging to its customers were leaked, resulting in a class action against the organisation which resulted in it having to pay a settlement of US $200 million. While DLP has the potential to reduce the risk of these scenarios being realised, it is still in a relatively early stage of development. However, these solutions are likely to gain increased prominence given that the Australian Law Reform Commission has recently advocated modifications to privacy laws that would require organisations to disclose information leaks of personal data to affected individuals. If enacted by law, this would mean that data leaks of customer information that are likely to result in actual harm to a person would need to be reported. The use of DLP in this context may provide organisations with a way of minimising the likelihood of this occurring. Australian businesses would be well advised to monitor developments in DLP technology and consider whether its potential benefits are sufficient to justify any up-front implementation costs.
AICDâ€™s Governance for New Directors offers a practical introduction to your role and responsibilities as a director. As a director you need to know your role and perform it well from day one. This course is the start you need. Course Details Wednesday 5 August 2009 For more information or to enrol on this course, contact Renee Heins on 1300 764 633 or visit the website at www.companydirectors.com.au
Arun Raghu is a consultant and researcher at stratsec. For your small business information security needs, contact stratsec T: 6260 8878 E: firstname.lastname@example.org www.stratsec.net
How to add value and guide your organisation towards success
Things don’T have . .. n e e r g T u o n r u T To d out what this means! Play this free dvd and fin
experience e can be a positive and rewarding Taking on an apprentice or traine es find that ervisors of apprentices or traine sup or s yer plo Em . ess sin bu a for y haven’t ed up to concentrate on tasks the fre are y the p, hel nal itio add with this had time for. workplace tice or trainee, is the role of the ren app the of s ces suc the to l Critica supervisor. ide Your Apprentice or Trainee: A Gu ing vis per Su m, Ca ott Sc by ted Presen e s on how to be a great workplac tip al ctic pra has ors vis per Su e for Workplac inee. supervisor of an apprentice or tra r apprentice • The importance of giving you to the workplace • How to be an effective coach ions • Registered training organisat and more...
or trainee a good introduction
ter reap the benefits of being a bet Take time to watch this DVD and rentice or trainee. or workplace supervisor of an app
For more copies of the DVD and/or further information, contact the ACT Department of Education and Training on 6205 8555 or email email@example.com The DVD was produced for the ACT Department of Education and Training with the support of the NSW Department of Education and Training and the Australian Government Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations.
Man Bites Dog PuBlic Relations 0809
inside the dvd find out about:
act training excellence
awards The winners of the ACT Training Excellence Awards will be announced next month in the lead-up to the Australian Training Awards ceremony to be hosted in Canberra in November. With ACT entrants competing across 16 categories, the competition will be vigorous. By Liz Lang
ast year, Rachael Keiley won ACT Apprentice of the Year and then went on and took out the national award, Australian Apprentice of the Year, becoming the first Canberran to achieve this feat. Since winning this award, Rachael’s life has changed both on a professional and personal level. “I didn’t expect to win either of the awards – it was surreal – I was up there in-front of people accepting the awards without having any speeches prepared,” Rachael said with a laugh. “Since that time, my horizons have been broadened, I have met so many fantastic and successful people who have welcomed me into their lives and shared their stories with me.” Rachael, 23, has a down-to-earth and unaffected manner and is keen to tell her story of success to inspire young people and particularly women to consider taking up a trade as a career option. Rachael won the ACT Apprentice of the Year and Australian Apprentice of the Year Awards when she was working as a plumbing apprentice at Custom Plumbing Services in Fyshwick. After winning the awards and spending a total of five years as a plumber, she is now an estimator for SMI Fitout Pty Limited and within this company is looking to branch into project management and ultimately pursue a career in property development. She has become an ambassador for vocational education and training, regularly giving presentations to secondary school students about their career choices. Rachael is passionate about presenting vocational education and training as a career option for young people to consider and also undertakes promotional work for the CIT where she did her apprenticeship training. “I had the opportunity to go to Uni and chose not to. A lot of young people know about Uni and that pathway but I don’t think they have a great understanding or awareness of trades, especially females. I just want the trades to be viewed as an equal option to Uni, to the public service, a desk job or retail,” Rachael said.
B2B in Canberra | August 2009
act training excellence
awards “Having a trade such as plumbing is great because it is a nationally recognised qualification. You can travel with a trade and then if you want to you can move on. I’m now working as an estimator, but I have always got my trade to fall back on if I was out of a job tomorrow.” As part of winning the awards, Rachael has been involved with the Australian Apprenticeships Roundtable which is a forum for Australian apprentices to meet and identify the key issues affecting their training and careers and according to Rachael, this has been a career highlight.
“I just want the trades to be viewed as an equal option to Uni, to the public service, a desk job or retail.” When asked what it was like to be the first Canberran to win the Australian Apprentice of the Year Award, Rachael answered rather modestly saying “that it is hard to have a level of self reflection when you are still involved in the area.” Rachael is on the judging panel for the ACT Apprentice of the Year Award as part of this year’s ACT Training Excellence Awards. The ACT awards are funded by the ACT Department of Education and Training with significant sponsorship from business, The Australian Training Awards are the culmination of the state and territory awards with winners from each state and territory competing in the national finals.
government, and the not-for-profit sector. Nominations for the 2009 awards are now closed. If you would like more information about how to apply for the 2010 ACT Training Excellence Awards, contact 6205 8555, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or go to www.det.act.gov.au/vhe/awards To buy a ticket to attend the 2009 ACT Training Excellence Awards ceremony and dinner, on Thursday 10 September at The Vikings Club, contact 6205 8555 or email email@example.com
2008 ACT Training Excellence Award Winners Celebrating individuals and organisations that excel in vocational education and training in the ACT
Australian School-based Apprentice of the Year Certificate II Award: Paul St Ledger
This year the Australian Training Awards, which includes the Prime Minister's Small Business of the Year and the Inaugural Skills for Sustainability Award, will be held in Canberra on Thursday 19 November 2009.
Employer of the Year Award: The Vikings Group
Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Student, Australian Apprentice or Trainee of the Year Award: Denise Dixon
VET in Schools Excellence Award: St Edmunds College
ACT Australian Apprentice (Apprentice) of the Year Award: Rachael Keiley
For more information: Georgina Griffiths on T: 6240 5408 E: australiantraining firstname.lastname@example.org www.australiantraining awards.gov.au
Training Initiative Award: MBA Group Training & PBS Building Pty Ltd
Vocational Student of the Year Award: Elizabeth Jordan
Large Registered Training Organisation of the Year: Canberra Institute of Technology
Australian School Based Apprentice of the Year Certificate III: Natasha Lilley
Small Registered Training Organisation of the Year: Australian Business Academy
John Scott Memorial Award: Barrie Cooke
Pictured above: Rachael Keiley last year's winner of ACT Apprentice of the Year and Australian Apprentice of the Year.
August 2009 | B2B in Canberra
Small Business of the Year: ACT Catering Services Business of the Year – Vocational School Placement Award: The Production Hub
Vocational School Student of the Year Award: Matthew Cools
ACT Australian Apprentice (Trainee) of the Year Award: Clinton Scott-Knight
Norm Fisher Award: Anne Houghton
Image: Adam Taylor
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To find out more about conferencing in NSW, call 1300 134 920 or go to accessnsw.com.au
ACT Chief Minister
ACT Opposition Leader
s many readers of B2B would already be aware, I have recently appointed former deputy commissioner of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, Mr John Martin, as an expert adviser to the ACT Government’s review of supermarket competition policy. Mr Martin was deputy chair of the ACCC's influential 2008 Retail Grocery Inquiry. To secure someone of Mr Martin’s calibre and expertise in the field is a tremendous coup that will allow the ACT to lead the nation in relation to supermarket competition policy, and will ensure that the ACT’s own policies are rigorous and evidence-based. The ACT Government has led the way in supermarket competition policy for some years now. Tangible outcomes include the entry into the market of new player Aldi, supported by direct land sales by the ACT Government. The Canberra community is well served by a diverse fresh food and grocery sector that provides choice, convenience and value for money, but we need to be sure that as a Government we do what we can to facilitate greater competition – and thereby, greater choice and value for Canberra families. That’s what the current review is designed to deliver – a policy that will serve our community now, and into the future, and that will, I hope, give all players confidence in their capacity to gain a viable share of the market. Mr Martin will look at the extent of competition in the ACT supermarket grocery sector in the light of the findings of the 2008 ACCC Inquiry into the competitiveness of retail prices for standard groceries. He’ll examine future trends in the structure of the ACT and Australian supermarket grocery sector and recommend how the ACT Government can support effective and sustainable competition in the grocery sector. The result will be a policy that can be applied on a site by site basis to ensure site allocation supports the ACT Government’s longer term policy objectives to promote competition and diversification. One element of Mr Martin’s work has been a series of community consultations throughout July, right across Canberra, to allow Canberra consumers to air their views. Written submissions can also be made and further information on the Supermarket Competition Policy Review is available at http:// www.business.act.gov.au/ . On another matter I’m pleased to see that this month’s B2B comes with a copy of a great new resource for workplace supervisors – the Supervising your Apprentice or Trainee DVD. The DVD was originally created by the NSW Department of Education and Training, with Commonwealth funding, and has been localised to meet the needs of ACT employers. We all know that providing a high-quality training experience for staff is the key to retaining workers and attracting Australians into the trades. This DVD helps supervisors ensure that the investment they are making in their staff truly pays off. The DVD complements the ACT Australian Apprenticeships Charter for Employers.
August 2009 | B2B in Canberra
ine months after doing the deal to return Jon Stanhope to power, the Greens and Labor are claiming that their agreement is in ‘good shape,’ but neither party makes any comment of the cost to the economy and the taxpayer that the rest of this agreement will encumber the territory. Treasury figures have revealed Jon Stanhope was willing to sign up to an agreement with the Greens that would potentially cost a third of the $3.7 billion annual budget just to remain chief minister. We have already seen that just one promise, to increase government housing to 10%, will have a bill of more than $900 million, plus additional funding to maintain the housing stock. We also know the promise to increase bus services will come with a cost of $35 million every single year. The documents further revealed: • the mental health agreement was costed at over $41 million • A six star rating for new homes is estimated to cost $15,000 to $20,000 per house • plumbers to visit 25,000 houses in four years was costed at $16 million • accommodation for all playschools associated with preschools would require an initial $78 million over two – three years plus $18 million recurrently. These are all costs over and above Labor’s election promises. We must keep focus on the important matters – that the Territory is headed into an era of massive debt and huge deficits. We already know this will last at least seven years. If Labor genuinely honours their agreement, simple mathematics dictates these debts and deficits will continue way beyond the horizon indicated. Even the items the Greens are claiming credit for are either half-fulfilled or tri-partisan. The Southside Library was an election promise of the Canberra Liberals. Now, after delivering a shoddy shopfront, the Greens are claiming some sort of victory. The admission that Treasury was instructed to cost the GreensLabor agreement means either the chief minister signed an agreement he knew would spiral the ACT economy into billions of dollars of debt, or he never had any intention of meeting his commitment to the Greens. What is concerning is that many of the items in the agreement couldn’t be costed by Treasury. This total impact of this agreement is still un-costed. The chief minister signed this agreement knowing the cost would exceed well over a billion dollars. Mr Stanhope now must enlighten ACT taxpayers why he has signed over potentially a third of the annual budget to remain chief minister.
John Martin on the review of ACT supermarket competition policy The ACT Government is expected to announce the outcomes of a Review of Supermarket Competition Policy in the Territory by October this year. The review is being conducted with the pivotal support (as expert advisor) of John Martin, a former deputy commissioner of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. B2B asks John a few key questions.
What are the parameters of the review? First and foremost, the review has looked at the adequacy of the ACT Government’s supermarket competition policy in the light of the findings of the ACCC Inquiry into the competitiveness of retail prices for standard groceries. Specific issues that have been covered are: • the current competitive dynamics of players in the ACT market. • likely future trends in supermarket supply and demand. • an overarching policy framework to guide the ACT Government to support effective and sustainable grocery competition in the region at both retail and wholesale levels. • policies that might be applied on a site by site basis to ensure site allocation supports policy objectives to promote choice and diversification. • any other measures that might be considered by the ACT Government to support a diverse and competitive retail grocery sector over the medium to longer term.
As former deputy commissioner of the ACCC you were a member of the Commission’s 2008 Retail Grocery Inquiry. What lessons from that inquiry do you bring to the ACT review? There have been important lessons from the national grocery inquiry and the ACT Government has been quick to respond. The ACCC Inquiry found that overall the retail grocery market is workably competitive but there are deficiencies that need to be addressed. Of most relevance to the ACT Review was the finding that the planning, zoning and site allocation systems in states and territories can act as artificial barriers to supermarket competition and diversity. The chief minister has indicated that the ACT
Government has led the way in supermarket competition policy for some time, and points to tangible outcomes such as the presence of Aldi and Supabarn. For example, Aldi’s growing presence in the ACT was kick started by two direct land sales supported by the Government. The Government clearly considers that the Canberra community is well served by a diverse fresh food and grocery sector that does strive to provide choice, convenience and value for money to most Canberrans. However, the Government wants a fast paced industry and an adaptive policy – hence the need for the review.
What are the main issues you have been confronting in the ACT grocery market? Many issues have already been raised. There is a general concern that government planning and zoning applications could take better account of competition among supermarkets, and the problem some see of the big chains being entrenched in shopping centres and dominating new developments. Aldi, for example has already indicated that if some of those barriers were removed it would increase the number of stores in Canberra. Concerns have also been expressed about Woolworths’ and Coles’ market penetration in liquor and petrol outlets and the mechanism of tying consumers into support via shopper dockets. Some have also expressed concerns regarding the nature of Metcash’s dominance in supplying IGA and virtually all other independent retail operators in the ACT (identified as an issue in the ACCC national inquiry).
Is this just about the big and medium sized chains? Not at all – the Canberra region is served at the local centre level by smaller independent operators who deliver a unique offering of service
and convenience. I have taken steps during the course of the review to ensure big businesses do not dominate my assessments at the expense of smaller operators. In fact I also ensured that I heard from a broad base of interests – from consumers through community councils, planners, property managers, suppliers and wholesalers, as well as small and large supermarket operators.
You are finalising the review, what now? Submissions closed last month. I am completing my discussions with all parties and expect to provide a final report to the ACT Government this month. The Government will then make and announce its decisions.
B2B in Canberra | August 2009
Act occupational health & Safety commissioner
Learn what the new work safety act means for you
Mark McCabe ACT Occupational Health & Safety Commissioner In the ACT, from 1 October 2009 the Work Safety Act 2008 will be the legislation which covers health and safety in workplaces. This is known as the principal Act.
Employers must consult with their workers to allow them to contribute to the management of risk and creation of a safe working environment.
he aim of the Act is to stop anyone from being killed, injured or becoming ill as a result of a workplace or the work carried out at such places. A workplace can be any place where work is done – so it can include a vehicle or a client’s home. Below the principal Act sit the Work Safety Regulations. The regulations outline what you must do with regard to certain matters. For example, while obligations in respect of workplace consultation are outlined in broad terms in the principal Act, the regulations provide a great deal more detail as to the mechanics of how consultation must occur. The regulations outline specific obligations in respect of a range of specific matters – such as consultation, manual tasks, provision of amenities for workers, electricity, surfaces and floors. Finally, there are specific Codes of Practice which set a minimum standard for the management of health and safety. While if an employer follows the code they will have met the requirements of the legislation, they may also take a different course of action as long as it is at least as effective as that outlined in the code.
Summary of requirements under the Act
ACT Occupational Health & Safety Commissioner P.O. Box 158 Canberra City ACT 2601 T: 6205 0333 F: 6205 0168 E: email@example.com
August 2009 | B2B in Canberra
The following is a broad summary of the requirements of the Work Safety Act 2008: The Act identifies a range of people who have ‘safety duties’ or responsibilities in respect of health and safety. The primary duty holders are – employers (or those who engage workers in the conduct of a business or undertaking), workers and upstream duty holders (e.g. designers of plant and equipment). The primary duty holder is the employer. An employer must, as far as is reasonably practicable, provide
a safe workplace and a safe system of work. In other words, they are legally obliged to do everything that could reasonably be expected to protect the health and safety of themselves, their workers and anyone else who is affected by their business (e.g. clients and visitors). The way for an employer to provide a safe work environment is by eliminating or reducing risk. The Act outlines a ‘hierarchy of control’ or systematic way to identify appropriate ways of controlling risks. Basically this means that an employer must identify all the hazards in their workplace and then take all reasonable steps to either eliminate them or minimise their likely effect. Employers must consult with their workers to allow them to contribute to the management of risk and creation of a safe working environment. All employers must consult with their workers, regardless of the size of their business. The legislation allows businesses, however, to identify, in agreement with their workers, a form of consultation that is as simple or as complex as the nature and size of their enterprise requires. Businesses must report certain serious events and dangerous occurrences to WorkCover You are legally obliged to do what the law says. If you don’t, you are breaking the law and may be charged with an offence. This can lead to fines and/or prosecution through the courts. ACT WorkCover inspectors have the right to visit and inspect workplaces to ensure that businesses and others with safety duties are meeting their obligations. To find out more about the ACT’s health and safety legislation, visit the ACT Work Safety Commissioner’s website (www.worksafety.act.gov.au) and click on the new legislation link.
Australian tax office
Tax help for small business
Michael D’Ascenzo Commissioner of Taxation The Tax Office recently announced new initiatives to help small businesses with an annual turnover of less than $2 million that are struggling to manage their tax debts during the economic downturn.
f you’re a small business with a tax debt you can access twelve month general interest charge (GIC) free payment arrangements and defer the payment date for activity statements. “While most small businesses are meeting their tax obligations, global conditions are having an impact, with over a quarter of small businesses carrying a tax debt,” Mr D’Ascenzo said. “We’ve introduced the GIC free payment arrangements and deferred activity statement payment due dates to help small businesses that are struggling to meet their tax and superannuation obligations." “We don’t want the GIC or temporary cash flow problems to be the deciding factors between a business surviving and being able to meet its tax and superannuation obligations or becoming insolvent.' If you think you need help, contact the Tax Office as early as possible on 13 11 42 to discuss your circumstances and negotiate an interest free payment arrangement.
Activity statements still have to be lodged on time, however, no interest applies for the period of the deferral.
Twelve month GIC free payment arrangements
Businesses with an annual turnover of less than $2 million with an activity statement debt can apply for a GIC free payment arrangement from now until 30 June 2010. They will have the GIC remitted for a maximum period of 12 months, provided the payment arrangement is maintained.
Businesses with a tax debt or experiencing payment difficulties should visit the Tax Office website www.ato. gov.au/businessdebt or phone 13 11 42 from 8.00am – 6.00pm Monday to Friday. As well as other useful information there is a web page 'Economic downturn – frequently asked questions' which is a single point of reference for taxpayers. There is also an ‘online calculator’ (payment arrangement calculator) that will help people calculate different payment scenarios based on their individual circumstances. Taxpayers can use this as a guide to propose an affordable and sustainable payment arrangement that enables them to address their tax obligations.
Deferred activity statement payment due dates Small businesses can also request a deferral of payment on their next activity statement. Businesses with short term cash flow problems that pay quarterly and annually may be granted a deferral of up to two months, with those that pay monthly eligible for up to one month.
need If you think you e Tax help, contact th as possible Off ice as early discuss on 13 11 42 to ces and your circumstan terest free negotiate an in gement. payment arran
“We’ve introduced the GIC free payment arrangements and deferred activity statement payment due dates to help small businesses that are struggling to meet their tax and superannuation obligations.”
For more information call the business tax break info line on 1300 337 921 or visit www.ato.gov.au/ businesses.
B2B in Canberra | August 2009
Canberra business council
Confused by daily statistics? don't worry... By Chris Faulks Chief Executive Officer One of the great frustrations business people often face is keeping up with and interpreting the numerous economic indicators and various independent surveys and polls which come out on what seems to be a daily basis. Upcoming Events August 21 Canberra Times Business Series Guest Speaker: Ian Hickie Time: 12.30pm – 2.00pm Venue: National Press Club Cost: $77 Member $99 Non-Members $700 Table of 10
July 22 September 3 Canberra Times Business Series Guest Speaker: The Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP Time: 12.30pm – 2.00pm Venue: National Press Club Cost: $77 Member $99 Non-Members $700 Table of 10
Principal Members ActewAGL, Actew Corporation, Bank West, Clayton UTZ, Bega, HolisTech, CRE8IVE, Ernst & Young, eWAY Hindmarsh, HSA Group, KPMG, Master Builders, MinterEllison, NAB, National Museum of Australia, NEC, Oracle, Staging Connections, The Village Building Co, Thyssen Krupp Marine Systems.
hen all of this data heads in the same general direction it isn't such a problem, but during periods where the indicators often appear contradictory – such as we've had over the past few months – the story becomes more difficult to follow. Take the unemployment data released in July for example. Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Labour Force figures showed a 0.1% rise in the national unemployment rate to 5.8%, while the ACT's unemployment rate also went up from 3.4% to 3.6%. Furthermore the participation rate had declined, which essentially means that the unemployment rate may have been even higher had more people chosen to remain in the labour force rather than stop looking for work. Rather negative news no matter how you look at it. On the other hand, during the same period the Westpac-Melbourne Institute Consumer Sentiment Index recorded the largest two-month increase ever recorded in the index's history, with more of the survey's respondents optimistic about the economy than pessimistic. A clear sign of a potential increase in demand in coming months perhaps? Then there's the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relation's Skilled Vacancy Index, which showed a 3.7% decline across Australia, but a 0.3% increase in the ACT. Similarly the ANZ Job Advertisements Series fell by 6.7% nationally, but rose by 0.3% in the ACT. At the national level these figures square up with the rise in unemployment, but the positive ACT data from these series appears to contradict the negative ACT unemployment data from the ABS. Finally, to add more confusion into the equation, recent ABS Retail Trade figures showed an increase of 1.0% in turnover for Australia, and a 1.8% increase in the ACT; ABS Building Approvals data indicated that total dwelling approvals fell by 12.5% nationally, but increased by 10.9% in the ACT; and ABS Housing Finance data demonstrated a rise across the board at the national level in both the value and number of dwelling commitments, although the ACT showed a rise in the trend value (2.9%) and a decline in the seasonally adjusted (-1.1%) value of owner occupied housing finance
commitments. Plenty of food for thought but also a source of possible indigestion! I am quite certain that you would be able to find at least a dozen more conflicting and confusing data series from reputable sources to muddy the waters even further at this point. In fact by the time you read this yet another month's worth of data may well be available which paints a slightly different picture of the Australian and ACT economies. Are we approaching a turning point in the economic downturn, have we passed it, or is it something else altogether? The answer doesn't necessarily lie in the statistics. Canberra Business Council keeps on top of all of the economic indicators, and provides weekly updates to members on key indicators in the form of our Business Bullets eNewsletter. However I believe that common sense and prudence must take precedence over any conflicting economic data right now. In the ACT, we live in what is still a relatively prosperous and well insulated economic climate, and although circumstances are far
The best way to put the conflicting conomic statistics into perspective is to maintain a close relationship with other ACT businessmen and women and get a feel for what is really happening. from ideal, there are numerous opportunities available for growth in the region. The best way to put the conflicting economic statistics into perspective is to maintain a close relationship with other ACT businessmen and women and get a feel for what is really happening. In this environment of uncertainty, it is more important than ever for all of us to engage in strategic networking and not lose sight of the fact that keeping track of economic indicators is only one aspect of sound business management.
August 2009 | B2B in Canberra
Act exporters' network
On the road to the 2010 Shanghai World Expo By Brent Juratowitch President, ACT Exporters' Network Since their inception in 1851, world expos have been about promoting the exchange of ideas and development of the world economy, culture, science and technology, allowing exhibitors to publicise and display their achievements and improve international relationships.
ext year’s 2010 Shanghai world expo is fast building up to be the biggest expo in the history of world expos. With 229 nations and international organisations participating and between 70–80 million visitors, mainly mainland Chinese, expected to attend, the expo is set to surpass the Beijing Olympics in terms of its ability to showcase and expose, over a sustained period, the host country and participating nations to a diverse array of cultures within dynamic and fluid environments. The Australian Government’s investment in the Shanghai expo is significant, representing the largest investment Australia has ever made in a world expo. The federal government has certainly grasped the enormity of the event and its potential to change perceptions and showcase technically innovative, culturally diverse and intensely creative Australian communities. The ACT Government entered into a silver category partnership agreement with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade early this year to sponsor the Australian Pavilion. The ACT joins six other Australian states and territories all vying for the attention of the 38,000 people expected to traverse through the pavilion on each of the 184 days of the expo. The ACT and surrounding region’s involvement in the expo is firmly grounded in the strong people-to-people ties which have been developed over time between Canberreans and Chinese, particularly through the 15 years of Canberra Beijing sister city relations. The ACT Government is keen to project a contemporary, innovative and technologically advanced image of Canberra through cultural and thematic exhibits, capability demonstrations, trade missions and the use of education scholarships and exchanges. The Shanghai expo’s theme ‘Better City, Better Life’ is tailor-made for spectacular contributions showcasing Canberra and the surrounding region. The preliminary business program
prepared by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade includes fifteen key industry sectors. At least eight of these sectors are areas of significant competitive strength for Canberra and the surrounding region: • Tourism • Education • Design, construction and urban planning • Arts, culture and creative industries • The business of sport • Smart technology • Clean energy and environmental technology • ICT. The ACT needs to look at making the most of its involvement at the expo by shaping its contribution around each of these eight industry sectors. Several ideas could be to use the expo to showcase the ACT’s strong connection with the environment through award winning ur-
edge research from the Australian National University would be a way to position the ACT as an education destination. The Australian Institute of Sport could design an interactive areas to trial advanced fitness diagnostics, bio mechanics and sports physiology equipment. To gain maximum leverage from the ACT’s participation at next year’s expo, the ACT Exporters’ Network has convened a focus group to canvass the business community’s views on how the ACT international business community engages in and around the various sector based trade and investment activities and events taking place at the expo. For more information on the 2010 Shanghai World Expo please visit the website www.australianpavilion.com.au Finally I would just like to say that it is with great pleasure that I have accepted the position of President of the ACT Exporters Network. I
The ACT and surrounding region’s involvement in the expo is firmly grounded in the strong people-to-people ties which have been developed over time between Canberreans and Chinese, particularly through the 15 years of Canberra Beijing sister city relations. ban planning and sustainable living designs. Alternatively, the ACT could explore through, photographic and literary documentation, how the ACT Government, indigenous organisations, agri-business, environmental researchers and community groups express their awareness of ‘custodianship’ for the environment – a convergence of traditional and modern views. Another idea would be to focus on how Canberra’s science, research and learning institutions have helped to meet global challenges. Identifying world firsts from CSIRO and cutting
think it can be said that I have devoted all of my working life to international business, whether it was my first job as a Japanese tour guide, over 20 years with Austrade, and now with local software developer and proud exporter Recruitment Systems, I have always felt that Australia had much to gain from engaging with the rest of the world. Following on the great work undertaken by my predecessors in this role I look forward to working with the local business community to continue to develop the ACT’s global export presence.
B2B in Canberra | August 2009
THE VOICE OF BUINSES MAKE IT YOUR BUSINESS
Act and region chamber of commerce and industry
How are we doing? The Chamber recently released its June quarter business expectation survey which showed that the ACT
By Christopher Peters AM Chief economy Executive has slowed and business
is low.crisis is now being referred The enormous challenge ofconfidence the global financial to as a global recession. Despite these challenges, the Australian economy By Christopher Peters AM Chiefcontinues Executive to be one of the strongest in the word and continues to be the envy of developed nations. Yes, China and India are doing better than us, but from theythe aresurvey bothwas developing and ongoing growth will thetheir lead up to a federal election thecontinue The data collected nations In economy generally goes flat. After the fromto responses of Chamber members and contribute to Australia’s recovery. Canberra continues to have historically low unemployment rates and again we are the envy of the nation.
Corporate Sponsors ACTEWAGL, 104.7 / Mix 106.3, Prime TV, The Canberra Times, The Good Guys Tuggeranong, Duesburys Nexia, Synapse Worldwide, B2B in Canberra. Associates and Affiliates Retail Traders Association, Australian Industry Defence Network Foundation Member Australian Chamber of Commerce & Industry
To become a member of the Chamber please call 6283 5200 or visit www.actchamber.com.au
August 2009 | B2B in Canberra
election the economy usually bounces covered the period April, May and June back but on this occasion it didn’t and 2008. During this time, the Federal budget Australian banking system remains verystill faced byHowever, employers businesses include reduced hasn’t. in themotivation and was yet to beheannounced. This impacted strong. Indeed there are now only eight AA- productivity as well as adding to the difficulties of reACT are positive about the future and enormously on uncertainty within the rated banks in the world and four of them are taining skilled staff. It also results in significant financial expect to recover with improvements in business community with many businesses Australian banks. liabilities for this accrued leave. Have you got your acnext quarter. waiting Australia’s for the government to hand down insurance companies are also very strong.all areas crued over leave the under control? its first budget. Other countries are now examining Australia’s regulaMany businesses are using the economic opportunitory systems to learn our secrets to help their ownTheties totwo ‘re-tune’ their are staffcrunch and their staffing next months time for mix. Over economies in the future.were well below the last few years, with the acute skills Profits and sales revenue the ACT economy. The final quarter forshortage, busiCanberra is also bettercontinually insulated than most states or2008 ness or no choice in who they hired. expectations with figures willhad belittle distorted by Christmas sales, territories challenges. The current economic challenges are allowing some dropping fromfrom thethe lastfinancial quarter. Wage Our 10 years ofso August and September figures will be strong economictogrowth been in the ‘real’ economy businesses to reconsider some of those decisions and growth continued grow has significantly. critical to see our economy and not in artificial financial instruments. That has set us to fine-tunewhere their staffing to ensureisthey have the apEmployment levels flattened out with heading. up well. Also, some 43% of working Canberrans work for propriate level of skills needed. The message for all of us overtime showing a considerable the Commonwealth Government.reduction. Once the doubt over is to ensure we re-skill and re-train ourselves to ensure
possible public sector job losses in the CommonwealthThewe remain relevant to the Chamber will keep theemployment business climate of today Retailbudget spending, traditionally turnedwhich out not to be and weleads saw a small growthcommunity and tomorrow. Life-long learning is nowissues a reality as skills up to date with business economic change has in employment, thisbeen greatlybelow assisted confidence. requirements continue to rapidly evolve and continue to be the voice of businessand in progress. Canberra to have historically low unem- This is very much the case in a highly skilled market like expectations forcontinues the last three months. the ACT and region. rates and again we are the Withployment petrol prices, interest rates andenvy of the nation. Canberra. Despite some in unemployment, All businesses affected by a down-turn in earnings grocery prices all recent going small up it increases is hurting this advantage for Canberra is expected to continue. are obliged to reduce expenses to stay in business. consumers which in turn hurts business. The skills shortage continues to be a challenge and Managing staff costs is a significant aspect. Another is with our ageing population is going to get much worse ensuring your business gets the best out of its advertisover the next five years as our baby-boomers retire. ing dollar. Some businesses think that slashing advertisUsually, the first response to an economic downturn is ing is an effective way of cutting expenses. But, if your to retrench staff. Not this time. On this occasion, busi- customers are not aware of your offerings and are not Upcoming Chamber nesses are trying new ways Events of holding on to valued reminded of your products and services they are less staff. These include asking staff to work less than full- likely to keep buying from you. Yes, you need to ensure timeElection and we areLunches: seeing nine day fortnights and four day your advertising works, and you may need to re-jig the ACT weeks in some cases. We are seeing businesses asking advertising mix to ensure that you receive maximum 18staff September 2008 - Jon to take accrued annual leaveStanhope and, in some cases, to benefit from your expenditure. If you have any doubts, unpaid leave.2008 - Zed Seselja 23take September remember the latest ABS statistics showed that our The Australian Chamber of Commerce & Industry good retail results were led by department stores and (ACCI) and the state/territory chambers are support- national chains. Who has been advertising more heavily 16ingOctober 2008 – Dinner Julie Bishop inMP Tourism Australia’s ‘No leave,with no life’ campaign. recent months? They have. Australians have built up a staggering 123 million days Remember, it is confidence that drives our economy. of annual which is worthvisit $33.3www.actchamber.com.au billion. One in four Of the total impact For moreleave information or on our economy, about one-third Australian full-time employees have over 25 days leave is driven by economic and fiscal issues – and about call the Chamber on 6283 5200. owing to them. This leave-stockpile affects the health of two-thirds of it is driven by confidence, or lack of conemployees who chose to stay at work rather than take fidence. Our economic future is very much in our own a well earned break and it affects the performance and hands. What is your business doing to capitalise on morale of the companies they work for. The challenges confidence?
australian national university
PhD students showcase engineering and computing research through posters
To find out more about The Australian National University go to www.anu.edu.au
ANU College of Business and Economics
Eighty students specialising in frontier technologies such as sustainable energy systems, computer vision and robotics showcased their ideas and research in a recent exhibition at University House.
hD researchers from across the eleven research groups in the ANU College of Engineering and Computer Science presented poster formats of their designs in an initiative of the college dean, professor Chris Baker. The budding developers – including researchers in human-centred computing, software engineering and artificial intelligence – were on hand to explain their work to industry representatives. Professor Rod Kennedy, director of research in the college said that the exhibition was a great way for students to meet and talk about new ideas and research. “A lot of the students from the different research areas wouldn’t normally have a chance to meet with each other, given that they are housed in five different buildings on campus,” he said. “So we have used a very random set up for this exhibition – separating researchers from their own groups and mixing them up with researchers from other areas.” A key goal of the exhibition was to get the students accustomed to explaining their projects to a range of different audiences with varying levels of technical expertise. “Their poster designs needed to make their concepts clear to a general audience, as well as industry, so they had to keep them simple,” Professor Kennedy said. “The researchers were also asked to give a brief presentation about their project as people wandered past – so they had to put a lot of thought into how to they were going to communicate their ideas.” The students behind the winning posters collected awards from Brand Hoff, chair of the Canberra Business Council at a networking function hosted by the CBC and sponsored by ANU Exchange and B2B magazine. Professor Baker said that he was thrilled with the outcome. “This exhibition has been a wonderful way to create awareness and showcase the variety and depth of work that occurs in the College – from quantum to systems level,” he said. “It’s about encouraging interaction both within the College and outside the College and generating as much interest in the work of our researchers as possible.” For more information about the exhibition or to view the posters online: http://cecs.anu.edu.au/cecslink/ graduates/posters
1st Prize: Torben Sko, Information and HumanCentred Computing Group Using markerless face tracking technology to enhance computer game interaction so that players have a more realistic, interactive and immersive experience is within reach using off-the-shelf computer hardware and modified software. 2nd Prize: Peter Carr, Computer Vision and Robotics Group Security, surveillance and transport are three areas that rely on camera images that are not always of the best quality and are often filmed in less than desirable conditions like fog, for example. Improving these images by enhancing them during real time can have a dramatic effect on how they are interpreted. 3rd Prize: Pradeepa Samarasinghe, Applied Signal Processing Group Being able to restore blurred, and sometimes unknown, images captured for applications like remote sensing technologies, medical imaging, microscopy, and motion tracking can be crucial to interpreting images that may never be captured again.
For more information about the exhibition or to view the posters online: http://cecs. anu.edu.au/cecslink/ graduates/posters
Pictured above: first prize winner Torben Sko with his poster
B2B in Canberra | August 2009
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