JUNE 2010 Issue 49 $4.95 inc. gst www.b2bincanberra.com.au
121 Marcus Clarke state-of-the-art commercial office space
Drink driving laws hype
criminal lawyer Peter woodhouse comments
Thinking of buying a franchise?
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“Growing my business takes effort and passion. So I take RSM Bird Cameron’s advice.” Steve Stavreas, owner Dimitries Jewellers
“Growing my business takes effort and passion. So I take RSM Bird Cameron’s advice.” Steve Stavreas, owner Dimitries Jewellers
In business it pays to plan, take your time and do things well. This is exactly how Steve Stavreas and family run their business, making Dimitries one of the region’s iconic jewellery stores. Their finely-tuned ability to recognise quality and deliver value to customers has built their business from strength-to-strength.
Dimitries has always sold quality jewellery and when it comes to business advisers they look to the best. When Steve expanded his business, RSM Bird Cameron was there to help. RSM Bird Cameron provides more than just great tax advice, we help you achieve exceptional business results.
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PUBLISHER I editor Tim Benson Liz Lang email@example.com 02 6161 2751
B2B in canberra business and government magazine june 2010 issue 49
ADVERTISING ENQUIRIES firstname.lastname@example.org 02 6161 2751 I 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 email@example.com www.b2bincanberra.com.au PRINTED BY Blue Star Print Group distributed BY Fairfax ISSN 1833 - 8232 LEGAL NOTICE Man Bites Dog Public Relations (‘MBD’) owns the copyright in this publication. Except for any fair dealing as permitted by the Copyright Act 1968 (Cwth), no part of this publication may be reproduced without the prior written permission of MBD. MBD has been careful in preparing this publication, however: it is not able to, and does not warrant that the publication is free from errors and omissions; and it is not able to verify, and has not verified the accuracy of the information and opinions contained or expressed in, or which may be conveyed to readers by any advertisement or other publication content. MBD advises that it accepts all contributed material and advertisements contained in this publication in good faith, and relies on various warranties and permissions provided to it by the persons who contribute material and/or place advertisements. Those warranties and permissions include that neither the material and/or advertisements are misleading, deceptive or defamatory, and that their use, adaptation or publication does not infringe the rights of any third party, or any relevant laws. Further, MBD notifies readers that it does not, nor should it be understood to endorse, adopt, approve or otherwise associate MBD with any representations made in contributions and/or advertisements contained in the publication. MBD makes no representation or warranty as to the qualifications of any contributor or advertiser or persons associated with them, and advises readers that they must rely solely on their own enquiries in relation to such qualifications, and be satisfied from those enquiries that persons with whom they deal as a result of reading any material or advertisement have the necessary licences and professional qualifications relating to the goods and services offered. To the maximum extent permitted by law, MBD excludes all liabilities in contract, tort (including negligence) and/or statute for loss, damage, costs and expenses of any kind to any person arising directly or indirectly from any material or advertisement contained in this publication, whether arising from an error, omission, misrepresentation or any other cause.
photography Andrew Sikorski www.art-atelier.com.au
06 UPFRONT Read about local business success New regulator on the block to address workplace injury Are you thinking of buying a franchise? Canberra: one of the world’s most livable cities Win two local gourmet hampers from Hamper Art 10
OPINION Hear from people in the know Director’s liability for insolvent trading: courts decide a new case, Jonathon Colbran, RSM Bird Cameron Emerging trends in relocation cases – when can a parent move interstate with a child? Ann Northcote, Director, Farrar Gesini & Dunn
14 PROFILE Peter Woodhouse, Lawyer Ben Aulich & Associates 26 CULTURE Page break Short story by Anne-Maree Britton
features 16 Workers' compensation Act Changes to benefit private sector employers 18 worksafe act Overhauling occupational health and safety 20 act budget Highlights, lowlights, greenlights 22 CBC Federal budget breakfast 2010 Who is the cat and who is the mouse? 24 COVER STORY 121 Marcus Clarke state-of-the-art commercial office space
2Business 42 G2B: Government to Business ACT Government 43
A2B: Associations to Business Canberra Business Council CollabIT ACT & Region Chamber of Commerce & Industry Chamber of Women in Business ACT Exporters' Network
49 U2B: Universities to Business The University of Canberra
Arts, sports and charities James Hunter: entrepreneur and filmmaker
30 ADVICE Advice from business experts Accounting Banking Business coaching Business training Corporate governance Estate planning Human resources Information technology Interior plantscaping Websites 40 HOT TOPIC Our political leaders views on the issue of the day Topic: What should be done with ACTION? 50 NETWORKING See who’s out and about in Canberra
Cover photo: 121 Marcus Clarke, the innovative and environmentally responsible A-grade commercial centre in the ANU Exchange Photography: Andrew Sikorski
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New regulator on the block to address workplace injury upfront
Commissioner Mark McCabe, head of WorkSafe ACT
very year workers’ compensation claims resulting from workplace accidents cost local employers more than $70m, and this doesn’t take into account the personal toll on workers, their families and our broader community. In a move to stem the incidence of workplace injuries in Canberra, the ACT Government recently announced that it will overhaul occupational health and safety regulation through the establishment of a new body called WorkSafe ACT. An additional $2.4m in government funding will be provided to employ five extra staff to enhance safety in the Territory which will include workplace inspectors and support staff. Announcing the changes, Attorney-General, Simon Corbell said, “The new WorkSafe ACT will perform a crucial function within the Office of Regulatory Services, and will combine the educational and compliance roles under the Commissioner for Work Safety.” “WorkSafe ACT is about providing better enforcement, education and compliance in occupational health and safety in the ACT.” Mr Corbell said the Government is implementing reforms to clarify the role of the work safety regulator in the community. The role of the educator and regulator will be delivered by
the new branch to be led by the ACT Work Safety Commissioner, Mark McCabe. “The Work Safety Commissioner has been integral in providing information to the Canberra community about how to remain safe in the workplace. Now the Commissioner will be given the important power to ensure people are complying with the work safety and workers compensation laws in the ACT,” Mr Corbell said. Mr Corbell said the Government will develop a detailed draft implementation plan in consultation with a range of key industry stakeholders. “The Government will also undertake reviews of the new arrangements at both six and twelve months of implementation,” Mr Corbell added. “The Work Safety Commissioner has been successful in raising the profile of work safety education in the ACT. Those functions will now be expanded to assume the responsibility for regulation of work safety and workers compensation in the ACT,” he said. For more information, contact WorkSafe ACT, T: 6205 0333 or www.worksafety.act.gov.au B2B spoke to Commissioner McCabe in the early days of his appointment as the head of WorkSafe ACT. To find out more in terms of what business can expect from the new regulatory body, read the interview with Commissioner McCabe on page 40.
Are you thinking of buying a franchise?
free online education program funded by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission will help prospective franchisees make an informed decision when looking to buy a franchise. The program, administered by Griffith University's Asia-Pacific Centre for Franchising Excellence, consists of five modules and will commence in July this year. ACCC deputy chair Michael Schaper said the pre-entry education program will be available nationally and cater to all levels of understanding. "The program will be a one-stop shop, providing potential franchisees with a better understanding of their rights and obligations under the Franchising Code, and some of the practical issues they could face as a franchisee," Dr Schaper said. "As has been recognised in the Expert Report on Franchising Code of Conduct recently commissioned by the Minister for Competition and Consumer Affairs, early education of potential franchisees is a critical factor in their business success and compliance with the code. In addition, the need for earlier and better information was underscored by recent research from Griffith University, which revealed that 49 per cent of the franchisees surveyed relied heavily
June 2010 | B2B in Canberra
on their 'gut feeling' when deciding to go into franchising," Dr Schaper said. Prospective franchisees will learn about franchise-specific issues, including franchise fees, royalties, operations manuals, marketing funds and site selection, as well as general business concepts such as cashflow and working capital. Leasing arrangements and dispute resolution will also be covered. Participants will leave the program with a list of questions to ask franchisors, existing and former franchisees. The program will also direct prospective franchisees to further self-education resources.
The ACCC will assist in the development of the program and monitor its effectiveness, with this program supplementing current education efforts in the franchising sector. "Anyone thinking about buying a franchise should enrol in the program," Dr Schaper said. For more information about the program, visit http://www.franchise.edu.au/pre-entryfranchise-education.html For information about the Franchising Code of Conduct, visit the ACCC's franchising webpage www.accc.gov.au/franchisingcode
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Canberra: one of the worldâ€™s most livable cities
he results of a new survey just released has proven what most Canberrans already know; we live in one of the world's most liveable cities. The Mercer Worldwide Quality of Living Survey ranked Canberra 26th globally, the fourth highest ranked Australian city behind Sydney (10th) and Melbourne (18th) and Perth (21st). Mercer conducts the ranking to help governments and multi-national companies compensate employees fairly when placing them on international assignments. The rankings are based on a point-scoring index, which sees Vienna score 108.6 and Baghdad 14.7. Cities are ranked against New York as the base city, with an index score of 100. "This is a great result for Canberra. This survey puts us well ahead of other Australian cities such as Brisbane, Hobart and Adelaide," ACT chief minister Jon Stanhope said. "It also shows we are streets ahead of many of the great cities of the world such as New York, San Francisco, Barcelona, London, Singapore and Tokyo. "This is the first time Canberra has been included in this survey which ranks cities on a variety of criteria including economic stability, infrastructure and transport facilities, crime rates
and its relative strength in areas of education, the environment, housing, sporting facilities and even the range and quality of restaurants, theatres and cinemas. "We are particularly pleased that Canberra was ranked 21st in the world's top 100 eco-cities. "This is a strong endorsement of the government's ongoing commitment to maintaining Canberra's strengths as a beautiful city in a bush setting with our clean air, our parks, our first-class schools and healthcare. These are the same messages we use in promoting Canberra globally through the 'Live in Canberra program' and the survey results will be a great addition
to our already strong case to attract new skilled workers to the city. "While these results are welcome, the Government also recognises that some Canberrans are doing it tough and we remain committed to helping those who need a little extra support. It remains our goal that everyone in Canberra can enjoy living in such a special city and community," Mr Stanhope said. The Mercer Worldwide survey ranked Vienna in Austria as the world's most liveable city and Calgary in Canada as the number one eco-city. The annual survey evaluates 420 cities worldwide based on 10 categories.
Win two local gourmet hampers from Hamper Art
ith the winter blustery winds blowing, there is no better time to sit back and enjoy the fine wares of local producers. Courtesy of Fiona Allardyce of Hamper Art, B2B has two gourmet hampers to be won. The Canberra Gourmet Art Hamper includes products such as RealChai Chai, Kardinia Dry Riesling, Homeleigh Grove Dukkah, and
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June 2010 | B2B in Canberra
Kaldi Coffee Signature Bend Ground Coffee. The Canberra Gourmet Treats Hamper includes products such as Kardinia Durif, Serious Salsa and Sauces â€“ Serious Chilli Jam, Gourmet Taste Bud Mandarin and Apricot Jam, and Homeleigh Grove Olives Answer this question: What do you love about Canberra? (in 30 words or less)
Email your entry to: firstname.lastname@example.org with 'Hamper Art' in the subject field. Include your name and contact details. Entries close 10 am 15 July. One entry per person. Winners will be notified by email. hamperart.com.au
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Christmas parties are a fantastic opportunity to lift staff morale and celebrate the achievements of your organisation and its people. And we can coordinate something to suit every organisation, from booking a table at one of our popular Christmas dinner shows for small numbers, to getting staff to try their hand at pitch & putt or barefoot lawn bowls for a more informal celebration.
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Inviting your clients and suppliers to a Christmas party is an excellent way to raise your profile, increase loyalty and say thank you. Whether you want to impress with a glittering gala ball at our stunning Events Centre, or treat guests to a sunset cruise on the lake as they enjoy canapés, cocktails and live jazz, or even combine the two, we have a huge range of competitively priced options to help you make an impact.
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OPINION: RSM bird cameron Opinion
Director’s liability for insolvent trading: courts decide a new case There are important lessons to be learnt for company directors and professional advisers when it comes to the recent court decision, The Stake Man Pty Ltd versus Carroll. By Jonathon Colbran, Manager, RSM Bird Cameron
he problem for directors of a company is that action can be taken to recover from the director any debts incurred while the company is insolvent. This can lead to personal liability for directors and as a result the company structure may not provide adequate asset protection. In the recent decision of, McLellan, in the matter of The Stake Man Pty Ltd v Carroll (2009) FCA 1415, the Court has exercised its discretion under section 1317S of the Corporations Act (‘the Act’) to afford a director, who was guilty of insolvent trading, with complete relief from the amount of the claim against him. Case background Mr Carroll was the sole director of The Stake Man Pty Limited (‘the Company’) which operated a profitable timber processing and wholesaling business until 2004. To expand its operations, the Company purchased kilns and plant and equipment which enabled the Company to machine and dry its own timber. However, the installation of the machines suffered significant problems. In March 2005, Mr Carroll engaged an accountant, Mr Bright to provide business advice regarding the Company’s cashflows, costs and profit and loss. In July 2005, Mr Bright advised Mr Carroll in relation to the Company’s current financial status, specifically he advised that the Company was very close to being insolvent. Mr Bright’s recommendation was that Mr Carroll should urgently source additional working capital for the Company until the kilns were made fully operational or the Company decided not to proceed further with the kilns and revert back to the Company’s previous business. Mr Carroll was able to locate an investor who advanced the Company funding. In February 2006, with the invested funds
June 2010 | B2B in Canberra
exhausted and the Company again suffering cashflow difficulties, Mr Carroll approached a suitably qualified insolvency practitioner for advice. The insolvency practitioner advised that if Mr Carroll believed the Company to be viable, the Company needed a further injection of working capital. Mr Carroll engaged a consultant to assist him to find new investors whilst he explored other avenues to obtain the capital. Despite the fact that the Company was suffer-
The reliance that Mr Carroll placed on the advice received from his advisers was very important to providing him this relief from the liability to pay the company’s debts. ing cashflow problems, Mr Bright made it clear to Mr Carroll that he believed the Company was not insolvent. On 3 May 2006, the Australian Taxation Office contacted Mr Carroll and advised that the Company owed the ATO $110,000 for unpaid taxes. Mr Bright advised Mr Carroll that the Company did not have sufficient funds to pay the debt. As Mr Carroll was now aware that the Company was unable to pay its debts as and when they fell due, Mr Carroll sought the advice of an insolvency practitioner, following which he acted on the advice provided and placed the Company into Voluntary Administration on 10 May 2006. At a meeting of creditors held in June 2006, creditors resolved to wind up the
Company and the Administrator became the Liquidator of the Company. The Liquidator alleged that Mr Carroll in his capacity as director of the Company had traded the Company whilst insolvent during the period, 31 December 2005 to 10 May 2006, pursuant to Section 588G of the Act. Court held – guilty of insolvent trading but excused The Court found that Mr Carroll had traded the Company whilst insolvent as the Company had been permitted to incur debts during the relevant period. However the Court was satisfied that Mr Carroll had acted honestly and giving regard to the circumstances, ordered that Mr Carroll should be excused from the contravention. The reliance that Mr Carroll placed on the advice received from his advisers was very important to providing him this relief from the liability to pay the company’s debts. Lessons for professional advisors and directors For directors of Company’s facing financial distress, this decision highlights the importance of: 1. Seeking advice from your accountant or business advisor 2. Seeking advice from a qualified insolvency expert 3. Acting on the advice provided 4. Acting honestly and in the best interests of all stakeholders at all times. Directors can be entitled to rely on the advice of professional advisers and by doing so can ensure that they not only do the right thing but are seen to be trying to do it. How RSM Bird Cameron can assist RSM Bird Cameron undertakes to provide an initial no obligation free consultation on all matters. Please email me at Jonathon.email@example.com. au if you are concerned about your liability to your company. Getting advice early may be your best form of asset protection if your company is at risk.
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. canberra act 2601 t 02 6290 9898 f 02 6257 4382 firstname.lastname@example.org www.cflaw.com.au
OPINION: Farrar gesini & Dunn Opinion
Emerging trends in relocation cases – when can a parent move interstate with a child? Sometimes when parents separate, one parent wishes to move interstate (or even overseas) with the child or children of their relationship. By Ann Northcote, Director, Farrar Gesini & Dunn
Moving away with the child without the consent of the other parent or court order usually results in the other party making an urgent (and usually successful) application for the return of the child to Canberra.
June 2010 | B2B in Canberra
f the other parent disagrees the Family Court or Federal Magistrates Court must take into account a broad set of considerations in determining what the best outcome is for the child. Those cases have been categorised as ‘relocation cases’. Australia is becoming an increasingly mobile society. There are more and more instances of one of a child’s parents wishing to relocate with the child, either within Australia or to a foreign country. The reasons behind such a move can be personal or professional or a mixture of both. Many parents move to or away from Canberra to further their own or their partner’s career. A large Defence Services population here leads to inevitable interstate or overseas postings. If a relationship breaks down and one parent finds themselves alone, distanced from family support and a familiar base, that parent often seeks to move back to where they came from. Similarly, where one parent (or maybe their new partner) has job prospects in a different location, or even a compulsory posting to another place, that parent often seeks that the child be permitted to accompany them to the new location. The ever expanding use of the internet further muddies the waters. Separated parents can now meet new partners online, without geographical restriction. Seeking new employment opportunities interstate and abroad is far easier. In a relocation application, the court must take into account the ability of children to maintain a meaningful relationship with the non-relocating parent, and in many cases the parent wanting to relocate submits that using technologies such as Skype video-calls and online chat make it easier for geographically distanced parents and children to remain close. The outcome in relocation cases has always been difficult to predict. Relocation cases are four times more likely not to settle and to go
all the way to a final hearing than other types of family law disputes. Generally speaking, the court cannot prevent a parent from relocating. However, it can prevent a parent from taking the child/ren with them if they do elect to relocate. If the parents cannot agree as to whether the child stays or goes, the court must do so, using the ‘best interests of the children test’ set out in the Family Law Act. The Chief Justice of the Family Court once said about relocation cases that they are “not problems because problems have solutions; they are dilemmas. A dilemma either has no solution or two answers, neither of which in the circumstances is likely to be very satisfactory.” The Family Law Act does not have any special provisions for relocation cases and so must apply the same principles as for any other type of parenting case. However the court is often faced with alternative proposals: • The child goes with the relocating parent and if so what contact should occur with the non-relocating parent and, importantly, how should the cost be borne? • The child stays and, if so, will the relocating parent still go. • If the relocating parent must go should the child live primarily with the other parent. Some have viewed the recent High Court decision of Rosa as making it slightly easier for a relocating parent to go with their child. However, it is likely that many similar matters will need to be decided by a hearing in the future. Every case has its own unique factual make-up. Any parent thinking of relocating with a child should consult a family law expert. Moving away with the child without the consent of the other parent or court order usually results in the other party making an urgent (and usually successful) application for the return of the child to Canberra.
Do you recruit school-leavers? Do you have opportunities for bright, highly-motivated young staff? If so, you should exhibit at the
The Canberra Careers Market 2010 will be held on Wednesday 4th and Thursday 5th of August this year at the Australian Institute of Sport. The Canberra Careers Market, a partnership of the Rotary Club of Canberra City and the ACT Department of Education and Training, showcases career opportunities to secondary students throughout the ACT and surrounding NSW schools network. This Canberra Careers Market is the largest event of its type in the Canberra Region and is the best opportunity available, both to help young people to consider their post-school options, and for you to showcase the opportunities that your company can offer. We have over 80 local and national exhibitors, including universities, colleges, and career placement organisations, who provide a wide range of information sources. A particular feature is the Tryâ€™a Trade display, designed for school leavers at the Careers Market to see and try first hand a wide range of trades available under the apprenticeship scheme. The hands-on exhibition allows attendees to meet and talk with experts who are recognised as leaders in their craft as well as apprentices and teachers. Attendees will also have the opportunity to get their hands dirty in the different trade displays featuring cabinet making, hospitality, refrigeration, metal fabrication, landscaping and many more. The Small Business and Entrepreneurs Lounge offers parents and possible career changers the opportunity to meet with Canberra entrepreneurs and business personalities to assist in guiding their choices. The Lounge will feature high quality presentations and micro group discussions conducted by successful small business owners and entrepreneurs. The Small Business and Entrepreneurs Lounge aims to inspire attendees to explore the many exciting possibilities of the small business sector. The Rotary Club of Canberra City and the ACT Department of Education and Training are looking forward to your business joining with us another exciting Canberra Careers Market in 2010. The Market will once again showcase a wide range of career pathways that appeal to a diverse population in order to provide a valuable experience for all relevant stakeholders. Want to know more? Just go to our website canberracareersmarket.com.au for all the information you will need.
us there! We really look forward to you joining
Lawyer, Ben Aulich & Associates More than a year ago, Peter Woodhouse was head-hunted to criminal law specialists Ben Aulich & Associates, because of his outstanding and successful reputation for protecting people's rights in court. Peter's reputation was formed across a broad range of significant matters. 14
June 2010 | B2B in Canberra
n recent months, challenges to the ACT drink driving laws have created much hype in the community. Off the back of this controversy the ACT Government has released the roadside drug testing bill for public comment ahead of its expected introduction into the Legislative Assembly in July 2010. Ben Aulich & Associates was the firm behind the recent successful challenge to the drink-driving legislation in Canberra. The firm argued that the breath testing device was not properly authorised because the government failed to include an umlaut in the description of the approved device and successfully challenged the police officer's authorisation to carry out the test. As a result, their client was found not guilty. Peter Woodhouse comments on this proposed legislation to B2B. "I think this new legislation has potential to open up a whole new can of worms," Peter said. "At first glance this legislation may look sensible, but when you scratch the surface it's quite concerning." "On the face of it I’m concerned that innocent people will be found guilty of things that they didn't do. There seems to be big holes in the proposed legislation," he said. Peter questions how police officers will properly exclude people who are driving after taking prescribed medication, or differentiating between people driving when they have consumed drugs, days and sometimes weeks, before driving. "We know drugs stay in your system for some time, even when people are no longer feeling the effects. I am concerned that these people may also be caught by roadside drug testing." "Just like the drink driving legislation, I consider it my role and the role of Ben Aulich & Associates to ensure that peoples' rights are properly protected and to make sure that the police get it right when they choose to charge someone.” “The proposal mandates strict penalties for driving under the influence of drugs and it’s even more important, given those penalties, that both the government and the police get it right. The potential for innocent people to be found guilty is significant and of great concern to Ben Aulich & Associates." "A large part of being a criminal defence lawyer is about evening the playing field. An unrepresented defendant is significantly disadvantaged when they walk into a court room. As a criminal defence lawyer we advocate for our clients, to advance their interests and get them the best result possible. That's what makes our job so rewarding." Ben Aulich & Associates is the only law firm in Canberra exclusively dedicated to criminal law. They handle all kinds of police prosecutions and non-police prosecutions such as Workcover matters, customs matters, ASIC and taxation matters. They are located in Canberra's CBD. Peter graduated from the Australian National University and since his admission has practised exclusively in criminal law. Ben Aulich & Associates, Level 2/1 Farrell Place, Canberra City T: 6279 4222 email@example.com www.benaulich.com.au Photography: Andrew Sikorski
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Workers' Compensation Act changes to benefit private sector employers Katy Gallagher MLA, Minister for Industrial Relations
o provide a fair and equal distribution individual labourers and tradespeople with an practices will require insurers to disclose the DI of workers’ compensation expenses Australian Business Number become a vehicle for Fund levy amount on every premium notice. across all ACT private sector employ- contractors further up the chain to avoid paying This will allow every employer who does the ers, I recently announced a series of workers’ compensation insurance. These sham right thing to see the true cost of non-complichanges to the ACT Workers’ Compensation contracting arrangements threaten the viability of ance in the community. Act 1951 and the Default Insurance Fund. businesses who do the right thing. Through community awareness and action, The changes to the ACT Workers’ These changes to the Act clarify the broad those employers who avoid their workers’ comCompensation Act come into effect from July 1, definition of a ‘worker’, thereby limiting the pensation responsibilities will be brought to acand include: opportunity for premium avoiding and sham count. By reporting fraud and non-compliance contracting. If an individual on a worksite, in to WorkSafe ACT you will be helping to provide • new insurer disclosure practices regarding a café, at a retail shop, or commercial cleaning fairer workers’ compensation costs for all ACT the Default Insurance Fund levy; company supplies labour only, then without a private sector employers. • clarification of the broad definition of a I am pleased to see the ACT and Region ‘worker’ for workers’ compensation purposes; doubt they are a worker, regardless of whether Chamber of Commerce and Industry • a requirement that the ACT supporting the changes to ACT legislaWages and Earnings Guide be By reporting fraud and nontion. Chief Executive, Chris Peters, says the used for working out total wages compliance to WorkSafe ACT you legislation supports employers who are for the purposes of premium doing the right thing and is aimed at pecalculations under the Act. will be helping to provide fairer nalising employers who flout the law. The These changes follow significant workers’ compensation costs for all Chamber believes the legislation simplifies improvement to the compliance the administration required and reduces framework underpinning the Act in ACT private sector employers. the costs of compliance borne by business. late 2009. Improvements were made The ACT Government is now in line to provide for an escalating scale of offences and penalties relating to non-insurance they have an ABN, and these workers must be with other jurisdictions and has adopted the protected by their employers. National Framework for the Approval of Workplace and under insurance by Territory Employers. Too often the ACT Default Insurance Fund Rehabilitation Providers. I would encourage all busiThe new offence hierarchy culminates in the prevention of an employer conducting its busi- (the DI Fund) is left to cover the compensation nesses to report fraud and non-compliance to ness without appropriate workers’ compensation costs of these uninsured workers. The DI Fund WorkSafe ACT by phoning 6207 3000. Further adcover and allows the Regulator to recover up to provides a safety net to injured workers who are vice can also be found at www.ors.act.gov.au The ACT Government is committed to imdouble the premium the employer avoided in left without compensation through the actions of their employer. But the cost of providing this proving the performance and operation of the not obtaining the necessary insurance. The amendments provide strong business protection is met by every ACT employer who ACT workers’ compensation and financial disincentives to non-compliance does the right thing and obtains a compulsory scheme by creating an while simultaneously reducing the red-tape workers’ compensation insurance policy. In the affordable system for and administrative costs for employers who do past, the cost to policy holders – the DI Fund levy all employers, fair treat– has been incorporated within the overall work- ment of injured workers the right thing. and improved performThe protection of workers is not optional. ers’ compensation premium paid by employers. From 1 July, the new insurer disclosure ance of scheme providers. However we are seeing an increasing number of
June 2010 | B2B in Canberra
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Overhauling OH&S The ACT Government has announced that it’s overhauling occupational health and safety regulation with the creation of a new entity called WorkSafe ACT. Mark McCabe, the quietly spoken yet determined ACT Work Safety Commissioner is in charge of implementing this major reform package. B2B spoke with Mark to find out what the changes will entail. 18
Photography by Andrew Sikorski June 2010 | B2B in Canberra
What will WorkSafe ACT do and how will it differ from previous bodies such as WorkCover? The most significant difference between the former Workcover and the new WorkSafe ACT will be a bringing together of the education and enforcement functions as part of a more balanced approach to achieving compliance with the Territory’s health and safety and workers’ compensation laws. One thing that my years of experience in this field has taught me is that neither of these two strategies – education or enforcement – can achieve compliance by themselves. It is the judicious balancing of these two activities that will help us to make ACT workplaces safer places to be. What can the ACT business community expect from WorkSafe ACT? Local businesses can expect to see a regulator that wants to work with them to help them achieve compliance, helping businesses to know what it is they have to do and how they might go about achieving it. The regulator is nonetheless focused on ensuring that businesses do meet their legislative obligations. They should expect a more active and visible inspectorate, but one that is as much focused on assisting and informing businesses about their responsibilities as it is seeking to identify areas of non-compliance. In short, if businesses want to know what they have to do to comply with their health and safety obligations, we are there to help. At the same time, compliance with the law is not negotiable and we will not hesitate to use the powers available to us to ensure that it is achieved. Are there key industries or areas that you will focus on in the next 12 months? I expect that the construction industry will continue to be an area of focus, and that is appropriate given the significant risks that can be encountered there. The retail sector, however, also figures prominently in any analysis of our highest risk sectors. WorkSafe ACT will be looking to work with the retail sector to help reduce the human and financial cost of accidents in those workplaces. Are you still the ACT Work Safety Commissioner? Although I will now have the additional responsibility of managing compliance teams working across a range of territory laws, I will also retain all of my previous functions and responsibilities as the Work Safety Commissioner. The bringing together of these two responsibilities simply recognises and responds to the significant overlap that previously existed in this area. What motivates you as the Commissioner responsible for administering the laws protecting Canberra’s workers? Much of my early career was spent working in the field of workers’ compensation. That taught me just how costly workplace accidents can be – both in human terms and financially. As I moved into the field of health and safety I came to understand that businesses which ignored their health and safety obligations, often through a misplaced belief that it would be ‘too costly’, were running a huge and unnecessary risk. They were not only putting their workers at risk, but their very own business survival. Do you think that there are areas of workers compensation which need to be reviewed? Yes. Now that harmonisation of health and safety laws is just around the corner, we can expect there to be an increased focus on harmonisation of workers’ compensation laws across the country. In fact, this debate has already begun to gather pace. As ACT Work Safety Commissioner, your approach has been one of engagement. How difficult will it be for WorkSafe ACT to be both the work safety educator and the regulator? Local safety duty holders will actually determine that. My hope is that we can become a helpful regulator that is welcomed into the vast majority of workplaces – both respected and valued for the contribution we can make. Those duty holders who persist in dodging their responsibilities however will soon find us equally determined to ensure that compliance is achieved. My message is ‘get educated not regulated’.
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Highlights Lowlights Greenlights
Transport was the issue of the day at the Canberra Business Council 2010 ACT Budget Breakfast, with perennial cheap shots about Gungahlin Drive, the need for more lanes on Northbourne Avenue and the mess that is ACTION. By David Byrnes
ACT Budget 2010–11 The Budget forecast a return to surplus by 2013–14.
Budget key features
Photos: Andrew Sikorski
rand Hoff, chairman of the Canberra Business Council, started the proceedings with an amusing observation of the current state of play in ACT politics. “Today Labor will give us the highlights, the Liberals will no doubt give us the lowlights, and the Greens will be giving the budget the green light,” Mr Hoff said. Archie Tsirimokos, managing partner of law firm Meyer Vandenberg Lawyers spoke about how well Canberra had weathered the effects of the past year. Speaking of the global financial crisis Archie said, “Canberra hasn’t suffered the devastating effects experienced in other places – our banks have not become bankrupt, although some lending policies have changed; we have not had an economy which is shrinking, although growth has slowed; and our housing sector and the construction industry are enjoying, for the most part, unprecedented good times.” “How has the debt crisis in Greece affected us? Very little. However I concede that there may be an effect if the EU and the IMF do not get Greece to agree to the proposed strict conditions of any loan made to them,” Archie said. “The much anticipated overhaul of our tax system simply did not happen. There are some positives such as the anticipated reduction of the company tax rate and the increase in compulsory superannuation contributions, although some employers may see this as a negative, and there are some negatives which will be fully drawn out over the next few months,” he said. Highlights First up of the pollies was deputy leader and treasurer Katy Gallagher to promote the benefits of the budget and the reasoning behind it. This budget, we were told, was ‘even more difficult to put together than the previous year’. It was put together under the dual conditions of the ‘global financial crisis while trying to bring in savings that had been put off the year before’. The phrase of the day was ‘core services’. The government was looking for savings, but not without investing in core services. “We are taking bold and forward-thinking
20 June 2010 | B2B in Canberra
action on developing our city for the future through our focus on infrastructure development, transport innovation, a significant increase in land supply, and investments in our health and education systems,” Ms Gallagher said. Lowlights Meanwhile some election commitments have been put on hold until the financial situation improves. However the situation is improving according to Zed Seselja, leader of the opposition but Labor just isn’t taking advantage of it. “In fact, revenue is forecast to grow to $4.234 billion in 2013-14 – the most ever collected by the Territory, double what it was when Labor Government came to office – and they are still forecasting deficits. It’s clear that no amount of revenue is ever enough,” Mr Seselja said. Greenlights Not to be outdone Meredith Hunter of the ACT Greens stood up to deliver a speech of conflicted sentiment. “Whilst the ACT Greens are pleased that there is good educational investment, no mention is made of new green skills in the additional $12.5m funding for skilling the ACT,” Ms Hunter said. “An investment of this magnitude to improve the skilled workforce within a “budget for our growing city” requires a commitment to Green skills – productivity growth is essential but we need to recognise where the economy is going and give people tomorrow’s skills rather than yesterday’s”. Debate among the members quickly turned to the topic of a dedicated bus lane on Northbourne Avenue. “I’ve found it’s easier to close a school than it is to tear down a tree in this city,” Mr Stanhope said. “It is often those who live in inner areas who have access to free car parking who are saying to the people of Tuggeranong and Gungahlin and Belconnen that they should be getting on the bus,” Mr Seselja said. As the assembled politicians and guests dispersed and headed off to their workplaces I would think that not many of them went down Northbourne Avenue, even fewer probably went down Gungahlin Drive and I’ll eat my hat if anyone caught the bus.
Key budget announcements impacting businesses in the ACT include: • Capital expenditure consisting of: – $297.1 million in new capital works – $45.2 million for capital upgrades expenditure – $24.3 million for ICT infrastructure. • $40.5 million for climate change and environmental initiatives. • An additional $41.5 million to meet growing service needs on top of $1.028 billion for health costs. • Changes to health funding system that will see the federal government supply funding for 60% of health budget in future. • $9.1 million over three years to address skills shortages. • $1.1 million over five years for a Youth Attainment and Transitions education program. • $2.4 million for Enhancement of Work Safety Regulation. • $1.8 million invested over three years for Screen ACT. • 110,000 square metres of commercial land released per annum on average. • 110,000 square metres of industrial land released per annum on average. • Overall $9.9 million in business and industry development.
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CBC Federal Budget Breakfast 2010 Who is the cat and who is the mouse? The headline given by Thomson Reuters Weekly Tax Bulletin 2010 Federal Budget Report was ‘Federal Budget $40.8bn deficit, but room for tax measures’. By David Byrne According to Thomson Reuters, the main points in the budget were: • Forecast deficit of $40.8bn, 2.9% of GDP • A predicted return to surplus in 2012-13 • The proposed introduction of a 40% tax on mining company profits • $2.2bn new spending in health in addition to the $5bn health reform agreement between the commonwealth and the states. The budget was billed as a ‘no-frills’ budget. Even so there were certainly some important messages contained within. 600 people gathered in the Great Hall of Parliament House to hear directly from those in the know what those messages were.
Mr Gottliebsen pointed to one other factor that could make Tony Abbott the prime minister. He singled out assistant Treasurer Nick Sherry and how he plans to “savage independent contractors”. If he isn’t stopped then a lot of plumbers, electricians and accountants among others will be very angry. Lindsay Tanner, minister for finance and deregulation The minister told the assembled guests some of the savings the government had found to reduce the deficit. Part of the difficulty with the budget was “squeezing more resources out of less”. He also explained the benefits of the proposed resource super profits tax which will lead to a cut in the company tax rate, an improved ability to write off capital assets and changes to superannuation. “We have to maximise the value of those non-renewable resources for our society,” minister Tanner said. 22
June 2010 | B2B in Canberra
Andrew Robb, shadow minister for finance and debt reduction Mr Robb spoke after minister Tanner and centred his criticism of the budget on the resources super profits tax. “The surplus and debt reduction plan is built on quicksand,” he said. According to the coalition the surplus is built around the mining tax and if the mining boom goes bust the budget will be in trouble. Mr Robb also highlighted the fact that the budget was still in deficit and spending at high levels.
Robert Gottliebsen, journalist and economic commentator Mr Gottliebsen explained to those watching that the interaction between the government and opposition could be related to a game of cat and mouse, in which both sides think they are the cat. Mr Gottliebsen told how Kevin Rudd and Wayne Swan think the miners are calling their bluff. “There is over $300bn in expenditure and we are currently in the greatest investment boom in our history. So for the government it makes a lot of sense to tax profits. They believe that whether the tax is introduced or not the mining companies will stay in Australia,” Mr Gottliebsen said. “But while the principle is excellent, the application is dangerous,” said Mr Gottliebsen, “There will be a lot of uncertainty until the election, lots of engineers will be fired. BHP says ‘you can’t do that’, and ‘Aha!’ thinks Tony Abbott. ‘I’ve got you’”. Both China and India will be the cause of the continued boom in the minerals market according to Mr Gottliebsen. “The government is counting on the world economy to drive mineral demand and BHP will be forced to mine here,” he said, “What these companies do will decide the election.” Mr Gottliebsen pointed to one other factor that could make Tony Abbott the prime minister. He singled out assistant Treasurer Nick Sherry and how he plans to “savage independent contractors”. If he isn’t stopped then a lot of plumbers, electricians and accountants among others will be very angry. As the breakfast drew to a close it was quite obvious to all that Mr Gottliebsen had proved to be the ‘cat’ on the day who had a pair of ‘mice’ clearly in his sights. Photos of Robert Gottliebsen by Andrew Sikorski
Marcus Clarke: the innovative and environmentally responsible A-grade commercial centre in the ANU Exchange
The ANU Exchange is rapidly becoming the place to be located in the city of Canberra. As the commercial centre of the ANU Exchange, the 12 storey, 26,000 square metre 121 Marcus Clarke, is the newest and most innovative A-grade commercial space on offer in Canberra. Words: Tim Benson, Photos: Andrew Sikorski
B2B Cover Story
Pictured above: David Lamont, director ANU Exchange, Mark Terracini, Raine & Horne Commercial and Nicola Cooper, director of leasing at Knight Frank
April 2010 | B2B in Canberra
This photo: Rachel Houlahan
f you want your business to be associated with Canberra’s innovation precinct at the ANU Exchange, then you need to move into 121 Marcus Clarke,” said director of the ANU Exchange David Lamont. 121 Marcus Clarke takes its rightful place as being the commercial centre of the ANU Exchange and Canberra’s new cultural hub and provides services and facilities one would expect. “The new building capitalises on its location, with uninterrupted views of the Brindabellas and Black Mountain, and includes comprehensive transport features. In addition to good public transport access, the building provides more than 600 basement car parks and more than 200 bike racks with associated change facilities,” Mr Lamont said. 121 Marcus Clarke is an investment of the Motor Trades Association of Australia Superannuation Fund (MTAA Super). MTAA Super is Canberra-based and has been a long term investor in landmark properties such as 121 Marcus Clarke. 121 Marcus Clarke is located in the heart of the ANU Exchange, Canberra’s new innovation precinct, which physically integrates the city with The Australian National University (ANU). The ANU Exchange is a joint initiative between ANU and the ACT Government to promote a closer interaction between research and the wider community. The building’s quality and excellence extends to its environmental performance. It is one of Canberra’s most innovative and environmentally responsible buildings and has been awarded a Five Star Green Star – Office Design v2 certified rating, which represents ‘Australian Excellence’. It is also targeted to achieve a 4.5 NABERS Energy rating. “We have built 121 Marcus Clarke in the ANU Exchange to provide space and an environment where businesses can innovate and grow,” Mr Lamont said. “I am extremely pleased to see the completion of the first commercial building in the ANU Exchange. Mixing commerce with the arts and ANU is a critical element in what we are working to achieve in this space,” chief minister Jon Stanhope said. Chief minister Stanhope said the completion of 121 Marcus Clarke was yet another sign the private sector had confidence in Canberra’s future. “It is thanks to the confidence investors such as MTAA Super continue to have in Canberra that innovative and environmentally responsible buildings such as 121 Marcus Clarke can be built to support the needs of our community,” Mr Stanhope said. The project has been developed by Alba Capital Partners (Alba) in conjunction with ANU as part of the ANU Exchange and designed by Nettleton Tribe and constructed by Baulderstone. The ANU Exchange is located in the centre of Canberra, between ANU, the city centre commercial precinct and Lake Burley Griffin. It provides a destination for ANU, business and government to collocate and benefit in this state-of-the-art working environment and unique cultural hub. There is certainly plenty of potential for interaction and innovative exchange between business, government, the arts and ANU in the ANU Exchange. “The location of 121 Marcus Clarke in the ANU Exchange places it firmly in Canberra’s innovation and arts precinct. The ANU Exchange integrates the School of Music, School of Art, Drill Hall Gallery – and the rest of The Australian National University as well as the ACT Government’s Street Theatre,” Mr Lamont said.
121 Marcus Clarke Adding to this already vibrant arts precinct, 121 Marcus Clarke will establish Arts Lane with a stunning aerial installation from international artist Betsabee Romero. The new building provides a state-of-the-art commercial facility in the heart of Canberra’s CBD that will stimulate commercial growth within the ANU Exchange and help fulfill the vision of the precinct to be a nexus between research and the commercial centre. “Being centrally located, the ANU Exchange provides businesses with many enhanced education, professional development opportunities, transport, and other options that are not always available or viable in other locations throughout Canberra,” Mr Lamont said. The ANU Exchange has the objective of bringing the CBD ‘town’ and ANU ‘gown’ districts together. “This building has been designed to be industry best practice in energy and green performance while balancing the community’s transport needs. High energy ratings have been achieved through 91 per cent efficient floor plates, solar protection, low energy design strategies and the abundance of natural light,” said Mark Cooper, senior project manager for the ANU Exchange joint development partners. “It offers state-of-the-art facilities with natural lighting throughout the building and features glass backed lifts and a vibrant north facing retail and café promenade area. Such is the appeal of 121 Marcus Clarke that several leading restaurateurs and café owners have signed leases,” Mark Terracini from Raine & Horne Commercial said. “There is nothing more a potential tenant could want. 121 Marcus Clarke is a landmark building, environmentally responsible, centrally located between ANU, the City and the lake and part of Canberra’s innovation precinct – the ANU Exchange,” director of leasing at Knight Frank, Nicola Cooper, said. Location and design set 121 Marcus Clarke apart from the rest. But if this is not enough check out the views to Lake Burley Griffin, Black Mountain and back across the city centre – they are fantastic. For more information contact the leasing agents: Nicola Cooper, Knight Frank (02) 6230 7855 or Mark Terracini, Raine & Horne Commercial (02) 6239 6888.
The new building capitalises on its location, with uninterrupted views of the Brindabellas and Black Mountain, and includes comprehensive transport features. Photos: Andrew Sikorski
page culture break
Need a break from the world of business? Take a few minutes to read this story from Canberra writer, Anne-Maree Britton
How to spell love by Anne-Maree Britton
ark is reading his book on the plane while Diana is holding his hand and looking out the window, so he doesn’t notice when she softly traces the words: I adore U, into his palm.
On the bed Diana sees the shirt Mark wore that day. She buries her face in it, inhaling the smell of his body, visualising the air travelling down into her lungs, making its way through the fine capillaries and into her bloodstream.
When they land he complains that his ears are still blocked. ‘Oh, you poor thing’, she says, then turns away and adds, ‘Then you will not hear it if I tell you how absolutely sexy you look in that black shirt’.
When she showers the bathroom mirror fogs up. She writes into the condensation: You are 15 out of 10 on my list of what I want in a man. Then she turns on the fan and shuts the door.
They check in to the apartment then walk to the shops to stock up on food for their seven days in paradise. He leans into the taxi to unload the shopping bags and doesn’t hear her say, ‘You have such a cute bum.’
The music at Laidback Lounge is loud and Mark has had nine drinks. He stands behind Diana on the dance floor holding her around the waist, moving her in unison with his own body. Her small voice is lost in the noise as she sings to no-one in particular, ‘No one will do, no man but you.’
On the night they had first met, Mark had said, ‘I don’t want a relationship right now’, as he kissed his way down her stomach. ‘No, not right now,’ she smiled enigmatically. Yet for some reason he has kept inviting her back to his bed for the last three months, and now here she is with him on his holiday as well. Mark eats the pasta that Diana has cooked and asks, ‘Yum, what’s your secret ingredient?’ ‘I can’t possibly tell you,’ she grins. With his head under the stove’s exhaust fan, he pulls a cone. She stands next to him at the sink washing their dinner dishes and says, ‘I would cook for you for the rest of our lives’. He closes his eyes, smiles and holds his breath. She pretends to herself that it is because he has heard what she said. She lights a special incense stick to fill the apartment with the sweet scent of Amour. Soon they will go out to explore the nightclubs. Mark is in the shower and cannot hear her. She dances through the apartment singing loudly and badly: I-I love you, even when I’m slee-eeping… when I close my eye-eye-eyes, you’re everywhere…
June 2010 | B2B in Canberra
Back at home Mark mindlessly watches late night TV while Diana massages his back with the specially blended massage oil she brought from www.lovespells.com. He isn’t aware that she traces the words ‘you will be mine’ onto his skin. Nor does he notice the way she touches his toes to make the words ‘I want you’, in sign language, while pretending to massage his feet. Diana’s uncle was in the Navy. While making love, Diana clenches her muscles around Mark. In Morse code she spells out the words ‘marry me’. When she slides out of bed the next morning, she is not surprised to find that the drops of sweat they have left on the sheets are all in the shape of hearts. At the beach Mark swims in the warm clear water without a care in the world, while just below the tide line, Diana draws stick figure pictures of their future family in the sand. Anne-Maree Britton is a writer of short stories and long emails.
Join business, government, and community leaders and sleep rough this business, winter to help Australiaâ€™s Join government, and community leaders .and sleep homeless rough this winter to help Australiaâ€™s CANBERRA, 17 JUNE 2010 homeless CANBERRA, 17 JUNE 2010
Entrepreneur and filmmaker by Tim Benson, B2B Publisher
ames Hunter 19, 2010 ACT Young Entrepreneur of the Year, is a man on a mission who has already accomplished more of his dreams than many of us will in a lifetime. He has developed and written a film script, engaged some of Australia’s best actors, shot his ‘pitch’ scenes and is hoping, very soon, to secure a pre-sale or commission to make his debut feature film One of Us. James has been playing with filmmaking since he was seven and started making short films when he was 12. At 19 he has a background in short films that have been screened locally, nationally and internationally. “I have been making films for about six years. When I was seven my parents gave me their old professional Sony Super 8 video camera and I used to play with that. My parents have always been very supportive of my passion for filmmaking,” James said. James won his first award for best film at age 15 at the Reelife short film Awards (for film makers under the age of 25) in 2006. “I was the youngest entrant to the festival at that time. The film was called School Daze – it was a look at high school bullying from the perspective of the victim – the camera being the victim,” James said. At age 16 James left Year 11 at Narrabundah College and enrolled in a six-month certificate IV course in screen at Metro Screen in Sydney. “This was a great experience and my first opportunity to be taken seriously as a filmmaker rather than a kid making films as a hobby,” James said. From 2008 James worked at Prime Television in Canberra as a producer until his department was made redundant in 2009. In the same year, he wrote his first feature film script, One of Us. “One of Us is a character piece and a love story about a young soldier and a nurse, set during WWI. She becomes a nurse in Egypt and he becomes a soldier in France. The film focuses around the characters, with the war as more of a backdrop,” James said. The main character Rose is played by Sophie Lowe, Star of Beautiful Kate and nominee for best actress at the 2009 AFI Awards, whom James met at Metro Screen. 28
June 2010 | B2B in Canberra
Other actors include Rory Kelly playing Will the soldier and well-known Australian actor Rhys Muldoon. “I originally wrote the part of Rose for Canberra actor Mia Wasikowska, but after Alice in Wonderland she has become very busy working in the US,” James said. James explained that his film is about the experience of women in WWI. “The idea for One of Us came after I read ANZACs by Peter Rees which talked about women in WWI. Women were put through a lot of anxiety and depression because of the war,” James said. After having his script edited by Simon Weaving, James set about creating two ‘pitch’ scenes (something he could use to pitch to producers). The ‘pitch’ scenes were shot in Canberra and Sydney on a budget of $15,000 dollars in December 2009. “I then took these to various production companies in Sydney and got a very encouraging response from Screentime, the producers of Underbelly,” James said, “They couldn’t commit to the project but acknowledged the moving and engaging storyline and the excellent cast.” A big boost to James’ project is Rhys Muldoon agreeing to executive produce the film. James is the first to acknowledge the challenges he faces as a filmmaker. “It’s been a huge challenge and learning curve for me. It is hard to get noticed, but if you do your homework and are prepared, opportunities come a lot easier,” James said. James said it was an honour to be named ACT Young Entrepreneur of the year and also thanked ScreenACT for contributing $5000 to offset the cost of shooting his pitch scenes. “My parents philosophy is to not be afraid and to dream big – if you want it and you are good enough, then chase it,” James said. As if all this wasn’t enough James is also about to acquire the option rights to a best selling Australian novel to adapt it to screen. James Hunter is one Canberran we are certainly going to hear a lot more from.
Photography by Andrew Sikorski
Tax time is fast approaching... ADVICE
By Andrew Sykes With 30 June fast approaching, it’s time to look at some strategies to help minimise tax this year. Deferring income • Income received in advance of services to be provided will generally not be assessable until the services are provided. • Taxpayers who provide professional services may consider, in consultation with their clients, rendering accounts after 30 June to defer income. • Consider whether the requirements to be classified as a small business entity are satisfied to access various tax concessions such as the simpler depreciation rules and simpler trading stock rules. Maximising deductions: business taxpayers • Debtors should be reviewed prior to 30 June to identify and write-off any bad debts. • Write-off any depreciating assets which are no longer being held for use because a deduction may be available. • Employees’ superannuation contributions should be paid before 30 June to obtain a deduction and avoid the Super Guarantee Charge. • A one-off bonus deduction for new investment in tangible depreciating assets purchased between 13 December 2008 and 31 December 2009 may be available. Non-business taxpayers • Investors should consider prepaying interest on margin loans to obtain a deduction.
• Outgoings incurred for managed investment schemes may be deductible following a Full Federal Court decision. • A deduction for personal superannuation contribution is available where the 10% rule is satisfied. Capital gains tax • Consider deferring the disposal of shortly-held assets to access the CGT discount, where available. • Individual taxpayers can consider contributing some or all of capital gain to their superannuation fund because a deduction may be available for personal superannuation contributions. • Consider the availability of small business CGT concessions which can disregard, reduce or defer a capital gain arising from the disposal of an asset which has been used by an entity in the course of carrying on its business.
Andrew Sykes is a partner at RSM Bird Cameron. For information on business improvements, contact our experienced team, 103-105 Northbourne Ave Canberra, T.6247 5988. www.rsmi.com.au
Banking branch managers: ready, willing & able By Toby Mahoney
s branch managers of Wanniassa and Calwell Community Banks® Deb McLellan and I know that speaking to a branch manager is a rarity these days. However, under the Community Bank® model we strive to bridge this distance with an individual approach that benefits you and your community. Chances are your existing home loan could do with an overhaul and with choices of variable and fixed-interest home loans at highly competitive rates, as well as other great products and services, Deb and I may be able to deliver a better deal for you. We will help you examine your current interest rate, monthly fees and any other hidden costs you may be paying. In these uncertain financial times you need to look at all your options, whether it be a fixed term interest rate or to package your home loan with transaction accounts, credit card and insurance, which by doing so with the Bendigo can save you up to 0.70% off the standard variable interest rate. There are benefits of both fixed and variable interest rates. By fixing your interest rate you have the benefit of knowing what your repayments will be over that period which makes it easier to budget. Under a variable interest rate your repayments will fluctuate depending on rate changes within the financial environment, however you are able to receive great discounts off the interest rate and have a lot more flexibility with your loan. Whichever you choose make sure you are able to make extra payments on your loan as every extra dollar you repay off your loan means less interest.
June 2010 | B2B in Canberra
Taking out a home loan with the Wanniassa or Calwell Community Bank® branches means that not only do you receive the exceptional customer service you deserve, the profits made from doing your banking with us go straight back into your local community through sponsorship, grants and donations. Best of all, a home loan from the Bendigo can help make your community a better place. We pride ourselves on supporting you to reach your financial goals – and doing what ever we can to build a strong successful community. As branch managers we are committed to you and that’s why we make our mobile and landline phone numbers available. Contact: Deb McLellan – branch manager Calwell Community Bank® T: 6291 3385, M: 0422 605 448 or Toby Mahoney, branch manager Wanniassa Community Bank® T: 6231 9024
Toby Mahoney is Wanniassa Community Bank's branch manager . T: 02 6231 9024, F: 02 6231 9643, M: 0422 605 505, email@example.com
Cashflow in a crisis – top 4 survival tips By Darleen Barton ADVICE
adly, even profitable businesses can go broke if they do not effectively manage their cashflow – and it’s happening across the country right now. It’s not all doom and gloom however, the good news is that while cashflow may be the first to take a hit, it is actually THE KEY to surviving tough times. Implementing strategic cashflow management policies and systems can literally transform your business bankbalance within a month. The 10X network of accounting firms across Australia and New Zealand has been helping hundreds of clients implement effective cashflow management strategies. We’ve handpicked a few strategies that you can put into action in your business and see tangible results from straight-away. The 10X top 4 cashflow management strategies 1. Set goal-oriented budgets and proactively manage them. Profit and loss budgets are still important but right now your focus should be on developing your cashflow budget, which will allow you to plan for your cash requirements and shortfalls in advance. 2. Focus on increasing sales and income – a feat that, even during a tough times, is possible. Be proactive, provide real value to your customers and identify creative ways to increase your retention rate, generate leads, and increase conversion. 3. Avoid easy tactics like discounting, which can be dangerous to business profitability. Even a 10% discount can result in your business having to increase sales by 100% to achieve the same gross profit pre-discount.
4. Reduce your cashflow cycle by collecting debtors faster, selling stock more quickly, and negotiating longer credit terms with creditors. Putting in place systems like a debtor collection system, credit policy, stock control system and purchasing system will encourage inflows and put less pressure on the immediacy of outflows, freeing up more cash for the business. Cashflow is the lifeline of your businesses, and with the right resources and support, you can turn around almost any cashflow situation or dramatically increase the current cash ‘buffer’ in your business. Here at 10X we provide an Edge workshop at no charge. Please call and book your seat in the next event which is facilitated by me. When you call, also enquire about a complimentary consultation with Bolin Accountants principal, Wayne Bolin.
Darleen Barton is the 10X Canberra South business coach. For more information please visit Unit 3/71 Leirchhardt St Kingston, or phone 1300 855 109, www.10x.com.au
Learn how to create a sustainable business By Jerome de Rose
any businesses are looking to sustainable practices to make them more efficient, comply with new government rules and regulations and be more community and environmentally minded. But what does sustainability really mean and how can you put it into practice within your business? The Canberra Institute of Technology (CIT) has a Diploma of Sustainability that will take you through four areas where you can directly apply your learning to your business. The course builds a comprehensive awareness of sustainability principles and practices which are then converted into practical outcomes. The first module, ‘Apply the concepts of sustainability to a major challenge’ focuses on providing an informed base of knowledge and conviction which becomes a springboard for action later in the program. Participants are encouraged to focus on one particular environmental challenge relevant to their business or lifestyle. ‘Develop and implement a program to support behavioural change and sustainable practices’ builds on the recognition that in order to achieve more sustainable practices, change needs to occur in both processes and behaviours. The second module explores in depth, the nature of change, how change is supported and resisted, and gives participants a suite of skills to effectively lead and manage change. An outcome of this module is the design, implementation and review of a change process related to participants’ workplaces. ‘Develop a business plan for responsive or sustainable business’
June 2010 | B2B in Canberra
recognises that for an individual to lead change towards greater sustainability, they often require the support of others. Through the learning process, the participant is provided with tools which will facilitate an analysis of business culture and an identification of key stakeholders. Using templates, the participant builds a business case and prepares a business plan that will encourage the behavioural, financial and logistic support required to implement the desired outcomes. Issues such as sustainable consumption, eco-design, life-cycle assessment, and the long term benefits of sustainable production are explored. CIT’s Diploma of Sustainability is completed online with support available. It does require a focused application of time and energy but delivers rewards through insights, tools and directions for building a sustainable business. Above all, it empowers participants to build a business for the future.
Jerome de Rose is the director of the CIT Centre for Business. Call 6207 3542 to find out how CIT can work with your organisation to up-skill your staff. http://www.cit.act.edu.au
If you put two economists in a room… By Phil Butler ADVICE
inston Churchill once said "If you put two economists in What impact do we expect these economic factors will have on busia room, you get two opinions, unless one of them is Lord ness in the ACT? There is likely to be some uncertainty in a federal elecKeynes, in which case you get three opinions." While Lord tion year, particularly where we have seen a tighter fiscal outlook. John Maynard Keynes, an influential British economist of Spending by the federal government outside of the ACT may have been the early 2oth century, is no longer with us, this joke was again proven very strong between 2008 to 2010, however there have been reductions in the true at this year’s Company Directors Conference. spending within many government departments on non-essential services. The InstituteThe of recently Company Directors Two economists of international renown, David HaleAustralian of Hale Advisors released ‘Blueprint for Reform of Australian Government (AICD) is Australia’s membership institute and Niall Ferguson, author of the best-seller, The Ascent of Money, pre- Administration’, (Ahead of thefor Game), focused on the need to “improve sented remarkably different perspectives on thedirectors global economic out- knowledge the systems, structures and processes that influence outcomes for citizens”. delivering and continuing look for the next two years. This reform will have implications for businesses in the ACT, as we learning in the field of directorship. One focused on the negative impact expected as a result of the huge know that Australia is facing a 'tightening labour market and there is government debts of Europe and the US. The other focused on the positive increasing competition for talent'. However, more information, growth numbers already coming out of the US andFor the continued strength there arecontact also some Laura real opportunities for oncontrib1300 764 633 orfederal visitgovernment the of the Asian economies, especially China and IndiaTierney – which should business as the looks at ute to further growth for developed economies. Itwebsite was also suggested that ways of implementing technological change at companydirectors.com.au a re-valued Chinese Yuan would assist the US economy further. to deal with citizen expectations. What the two economists did have in common was an extremely positive view on the Australian economy. The fact that we appear to have largely dodged the worst of the Global Financial Crisis and will emerge with a much stronger national ‘balance sheet’ than almost all developed economies was acknowledged as evidence of this. There is no doubt that our resources boom has contributed to this. Phil Butler is state manager of the Australian Institute of There is however the possibility of a two-speed global economy furCompany Directors’ ACT Division. For more information about AICD 's course programs and events, call 6248 5954. ther developing, with resource-rich jurisdictions leading the way. AICD#789
Inspiring small business to take the next step
Succession plans: a will for your business By Paul Salinas
t is a fact of life that at some point all relationships come to an end. Many people plan for such events by having in place wills, life insurance or in some cases binding financial agreements. Just as you make these plans to cover these events in your personal life you should also make plans to cover events in your business life. While a business may not be considered to be a natural person it will at some point in its life cycle die or your relationship with it (and any other people in it) will come to an end. A business succession plan is essentially a will for your business to ensure the fall-out of any change is appropriately dealt with when times are good rather than when times are bad. This applies regardless of whether you are a sole trader, a partnership or a company although the type of plan you need will be different. A business succession plan is a document or collection of documents such as a Shareholder Agreement or Buy/Sell agreement drafted with the assistance of your legal and financial advisors that address the myriad of events which can happen effecting a business such as: the death of a key person; what happens when a business partner wants out; what happens when someone wants to retire; what happens if a business partner is suffering a marriage breakdown; or how the next generation can be brought into the business. It is critical to have an appropriate plan in place to ensure that you, your business partners and/or your family are not left with mess which will cost far more to sort out than the extra dollars and time spent in planning. If
June 2010 | B2B in Canberra
you were to be struck down by the proverbial truck tomorrow how would your family cope? Would your spouse be willing to become involved in the business? How would your business partners feel if your spouse was suddenly to try and take control of your business? Would your business partners want to buy your spouse out? Would they be in a position to do so? Is there appropriate insurance in place to cover your loss? What if you were struck with a critical illness – have you planned to allow for the business to continue to run while you are recuperating? How would your business partners cope with your absence? Taking the time to make a business succession plan should be part of any business – no matter what your circumstances. Certus Law can help you and your business ensure that you, your family and your business are protected. Remember, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.
Paul Salinas is a solicitor 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
Foundations of Directorship
Starting the journey
How to add value and guide your organisation towards success
Our Governance for New Directors program offers a practical introduction to the duties and responsibilities of a director and board. The program analyses the critically important role played by the board in achieving the objectives of an organisation. Course details Governance Programs for New Directors Thursday 5 August 2010 Federal Golf Club, Red Hill
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For more information or to enrol on this course contact Renee Heins t: 1300 764 633 or visit companydirectors.com.au
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Leading in 2010: does it keep you awake at night? By Elsa Ramiro ADVICE
009 was a year of challenge in Canberra and around the globe. In reveals first and foremost, 40% of employees want a leader who can cre2010, the tide has turned. With forecasted upswing, business-savvy ate a strong vision that is owned and shared by everyone – and if you can leaders are quickly seeing the need for well-planned attacks within tick this box, you have definitely leapt the first hurdle. While it may seem their market – so they can rebuild and cement their position within simple enough, 60% of employees say they currently have a leader who their industry. can’t communicate their vision effectively – so where do you fit in? Do A unique market, with a dominating public sector and an array of you need to change the way you lead? small-to-medium organisations dotting the business landscape, Canberra Despite the odds and the overwhelming challenges of 2009, it is not did not escape the downturn. So what are the questions that will keep the way you led through the downturn, but the way you lead your busiyou awake at night – staff attraction, engagement, satisfaction, retention, ness out, that truly defines you as a leader. 2010 is the year to bring vision leadership, remuneration? and lead with conviction. Do you have what it takes to drive downturn Many leaders are looking to rising confidence and employment opportu- to upswing in your ACT business? nities as an impending retention challenge. The 2010 World of Work Report, The World of Work Report analyses the produced by recruitment and HR services specialist, Randstad, shows despite responses of 3000 employees and employsuccess relies onroles. getting team around him. the trials ofLike last year,you, peoplehis are still happy in their current While em-the ersright across the Asia-Pacific, to provide answers Randstad, we have our the owngreen high performance support team. is meticulously trained to find ployees areAt generally feeling satisfied, grass on the other side of Ours to the ten questions keeping you,the as right a leader, people for the companies andskill viceshortages versa. For more information on why you should choose Randstad for the fence still beckons, andright employers feel that will hit hard in awake at night. all your recruitment & HR requirements, visit www.randstad.com.au 2010, and employees will be tempted by career opportunities and stronger remuneration offers. While employers concentrate on offering training and development in an effort to retain, their first instinct may be correct – this year employees are prepared to make an unplanned job change for better money and benefits. As a leader of a private sector business in Canberra, how For further information, please contact Elsa Ramiro, can you compete with the benefits the public sector has to offer? executive manager of Randstad’s Business Support division Strong leadership is one way of improving employer brand, satisfac24/3/10 10:50:09 in Canberra T: 02 6245 2992 or email ElsaAM at tion, retention and attraction of employees. The World of Work Report firstname.lastname@example.org, www.randstad.com.au
Desktop virtualisation – essential for business By Allan King
recent study of the Total Cost of Ownership of desktops shows that support (install, configure, deploy, patching and helpdesk services) is the single largest cost of PC ownership. On an annual basis, for every $1 spent on desktops, $3 is spent on supporting it. It’s time to rethink your desktop solution – to create a more reliable, scalable and manageable environment that lowers costs. Desktop Virtualisation is that solution; offering new and powerful opportunities for business to deliver and manage their desktops and to respond to various user needs in a flexible way. The use of thin client solutions, such as Citrix, has helped contain PC support costs. However, the resultant end-user experience is often inferior, frustrating employees and undermining the success of any desktop replacement program. By virtualising desktop services – storing, provisioning and delivering desktops as a service – business support costs could be reduced to as low as $1.20 while retaining the same rich desktop experience that your employees demand. Centralising desktops provides the additional benefit of data security since all desktop data resides within the computer room where operational procedures such as backup and security are well understood and already implemented. The risk of losing sensitive data often left on local hard disk drives is eliminated.
June 2010 | B2B in Canberra
Centralised control and provisioning of desktops means fewer problems, a quicker and easier way to roll out new business applications and faster resolution of desktop issues. It also extends the useful life of the desktop hardware. Simply put, costs will go down and service levels will go up. Infront’s desktop virtualisation solution can enhance your organisation with new forms of flexibility and allowing your business to scale for years to come. Infront’s superior range of BusinessOne products allows you to create the ultimate work environment. Keeping your business running means more than jus Organisations can now focuschaos. their We valuable time andyour energy on cabling can streamline IT environment an achieving business goalssolution and objectives rather your business requirements while that meets than on the technology thatdosustains it. The what we best. Call us today on 6239 8400 and let us make way IT should be.
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Allan King is managing director of Infront Systems. For further information contact Infront, 1/10-12 Franklin St, Manuka T: 02 6239 8400, email@example.com, www.infront.net.au
the 10 burning questions keeping you awake at night It’s not about the way you led your business through the downturn, but the way you lead it out that will truly define you as a leader. How will you shape your business in 2010? The 2010 World of Work Report, published annually by recruitment & HR services specialist Randstad, provides answers to ten of the burning questions that keep you, as a business leader, awake at night. Register for your copy of the report at www.randstad.com.au
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Indoor greenery helps reduce negative moods ADVICE
By Jon Elphick
eductions in both negative mood states and feelings of stress up to 60% have been found among people with plants in their offices according to a ground-breaking study. Researchers from the University of Technology Sydney (UTS), used standard psychological survey instruments with internationally demonstrated reliability and validity to assess the effects of indoor plants on occupants’ mood states and feelings of well-being. Across a series of tests conducted before and after plants were present in offices, people showed: 37% reduction in tension/anxiety; 58% reduction in depression/dejection; 44% reduction in anger/hostility; 38% reduction in fatigue; 30% reduction in confusion; and a 4.5% increase in vigour. Head of the study, UTS adjunct professor Margaret Burchett said that a significant difference in scores were found for participants in offices with plants as opposed to those without, which confirmed that the benefits of indoor plants extend well beyond their contribution to air quality. These findings were the final part of a three year study, Greening the Great Indoors for Human Health and Wellbeing conducted by UTS and supported by the Nursery and Garden Industry Australia and the National Interior Plantscape Association. Last year another study also confirmed that a couple of plants in 200mm pot can be effective in reducing volatile organic compounds in a room. These results add to the body of evidence that the potted plant microcosm can significantly improve many aspects of indoor air quality, providing cleaner air and lower stress levels among occupants.
The Green Building Council Australia and its Green Star rating scheme also acknowledges the role plants have to play. I believe that there is no better way to improve the well being and productivity of people inside an office or any other building, than by adding some office plants and greening the inside. Greening the inside of buildings is not just a cool thing to do – it clearly makes us feel better and is good economic sense. The research studies results offer compelling reasons for Indoor plants to become a standard installation element in an urban building or facility environment. For more information on indoor air quality and plants, contact Ambius or go to the Ambius website: www.ambiusindoorplants.com.au. For a copy of the complete report please download from: http://www. nipa.asn.au/uts_project.htm
Ambius's Canberra office is headed by Jon Elphick. The business has been in operation for 20 years and was formerly Rentokil Tropical Plants. Unit 5/67-71 Vicars St Mitchell T: 02 6241 1451 www.ambiusindoorplants.com.au
Don't miss out on $18.6 billion in eCommerce By Sam Gupta
es, online spending in Australia was approximately $18.6 billion last year! If you weren’t at the receiving end of eCommerce, it’s time to get your business geared up to reap the benefits. Your online shop-front Regardless of whether you are selling products or services, the first step is to understand consumer behaviour. When a customer lands on your website, you have eight seconds to capture their attention and get them involved. For example, you may wish to bundle your services together so as to make them more attractive to consumers. Shopping cart and checkout Once customers have found what they are looking for, the next step is to make the checkout process as easy as possible. It costs a lot of time and money to get a new customer to the website with only small proportion of these customers adding products to their carts and proceeding to checkout. You don’t want to lose customers at this point of the sale so try and avoid road blocks such as mandatory customer registration. Checkout using payment gateways Ensure that you provide your customers with peace of mind by displaying privacy and security information and logos. Credit card payment is the most common method of payment online. Payments can be made using a hosted gateway or an integrated gateway. The hosted payment gateway is where a customer has to jump from your website to another website such as PayPal or your bank’s hosted webpage to process a credit card payment. If a business is new or relatively
June 2010 | B2B in Canberra
unknown, then a hosted gateway is a good way to establish trust with customers. It’s also a cost-effective and simple option. A more sophisticated option is integrated or 3rd party payment gateway. This payment gateway allows a customer to process payment without leaving your website. SSL certificates SSL certificate is short for secure socket layer certificates. They are shown as padlocks on secure websites. Page information is encrypted before it is transferred so that it is difficult to hack. A reasonably good SSL certificate will cost more than $100 dollars rising up to more than $2500 per year, depending upon the brand you choose. Verisign, Thawte, Comodo, GeoTrust and RapidSSL are some of the best known names for SSL certificates. Site security is an important aspect of any successful eCommerce business. So, don’t go for a cheap or free SSL certificate.
Sam Gupta is the managing director of Synapse Worldwide. if you would like to discuss how your business can capitalise on eCommerce, please contact Sam on 1300 785 230 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Your future futurejust justgot gotmore morecertain. certain. Your
Introducing lawlaw firm in in thethe areas of of IntroducingCertus, Certus,Canberra’s Canberra’snew newspecialist specialist firm areas superannuation, trusts. superannuation,estate estateplanning, planning,wills willsand and trusts. We preparing forfor your future. OurOur comprehensive, collaborative Wehave haveaacertain certainapproach approachtowards towards preparing your future. comprehensive, collaborative solutions protect your valuable assets from any and all eventualities, no matter how complex youryour solutions protect your valuable assets from any and all eventualities, no matter how complex situation. you can always bebe certain that thethe fruits of your life’s labour situation.With Withour ourexpert expertguidance, guidance, you can always certain that fruits of your life’s labour are handled in exactly the way you want. are handled in exactly the way you want.
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be done with ACTION?
topic: What should
hot topic 40
June 2010 | B2B in Canberra
s our city grows, so will our transport needs. Our transport system must adapt and improve to meet increased demand that will be driven by population growth and greater urban density. The ACT Government will shortly begin a community conversation on urban form and update our Spatial Plan and we expect ACTPLA’s Sustainable Future program to come to a head in the near future. We’re also developing our second Weathering the Change Action Plan to tackle climate change. A comprehensive and sustainable transport plan will connect with these strategic directions to create a unified direction forward for our city. The Government’s plan, Transport for Canberra, will deliver a transport system for our city to suit the 21st century. Our 2010-11 Budget contained the first $97 million package of investment which will form the foundation of the ACT Labor Government’s Transport for Canberra plan. The package will build the first stages of a number of transit ways and key bus priority measures with $7.3 million for first stage of the Belconnen-to-City Transit way; $4.25 million for the feasibility
few years ago, ACTION rolled out an advertising campaign with the punch-line of 'discover the pluses of buses'. What they didn't tell us was just how many of those pluses were the costs of running the service – much higher than the national average, and how much of the system is running inefficiently. We know that the layout of Canberra makes a profitable public transport system difficult. However, what we can and should be doing is making sure the taxpayers' money we invest into the system is used efficiently and to everyone's benefit. My colleague and shadow minister for transport services, Alistair Coe, has been doing a lot of hard work in examining this system. The 2010-2011 Territory budget shows that 79.9% of ACTION's budget comes from a subsidy from the ACT Government and the actual cost per passenger boarding is $6.30. While we support a sustainable public transport network, there is nothing sustainable about a bus network costing that much money. Perhaps if Canberrans were assured they were receiving an efficient and effective service, they would feel some comfort in the fact that, despite the challenges of our city layout, the system
n July 2008, a few months prior to the GFC, oil prices reached a record nominal price of $145 a barrel, which in real terms approached the peak real price of the 1970s oil shortage. Whilst the oil price crashed along with everything else, it is only a matter of time before supply constrictions drive petrol prices up again. This will drive up the price of private transport and take more and more money out of the family budget. It is therefore the responsibility of Government to provide a costeffective and time-effective alternative for families before petrol prices again become untenable. It’s clear that, in terms of the hip pocket, a bus fare is currently substantially cheaper than petrol, parking and maintenance of car usage, so the challenge is to improve the timeliness of service to compete with the car. Timeliness is a function of three factors in public transport systems. The first, and the most often ignored, is frequency of service, which dictates waiting times at stops. Studies into the relative economic valuation of time spent during public transport journeys have demonstrated that public transport users consider wait times at stops the highest cost of the public transport process. Reducing that
and forward design of bus lanes or bus priority along Northbourne Avenue, construction of an improved solution for pedestrian and cycling; $8.2 million for bus priority options on Canberra Avenue; and $750,000 for bus priority on Flemington Road. These new transit priority measures will facilitate the movement of our buses, particularly through the $6.143 million expansion and enhancement of ACTION’s new network due in October 2010. The network will also include the continuation and integration into the core network of the successful REDEX trial. To enhance passenger information, the Government will roll out a $12.5 million real-time passenger information system to provide accurate bus arrival information using GPS technology at bus stations and major stops, including the new $1.675 million bus station to be constructed at Gungahlin Town Centre and the new $3.15 million bus station to be constructed at Erindale. Improvements to City bus services and facilities at a value of $2 million will also be delivered providing new bus stations and layover facilities connecting with the City Interchange. A new $1.75 million Major Stops Program will be rolled out to deliver new or improved public transport infrastructure at
identified major stops on high frequency bus corridors. The Government has invested $1 million for an additional 50 shelters across the bus network, building on the $240,000 in the 2009-10 Budget for additional bus stop seats and signage. To encourage greater uptake of public transport for part of a journey, the Government is also investing $4.8 million for new Park and Ride and Bike and Ride facilities. The first of these new facilities will be rolled out at Erindale, Exhibition Park in Canberra, Belconnen and Fyshwick. The ACT Labor Government is serious about building a smarter, sustainable and safer transport network, and the $97 million investment in this Budget paves the way forward to a new era of transport for Canberra.
was being managed in the most efficient manner possible. However, in March Alistair Coe revealed that an ACTION bus travels more than 12,500km every week day travelling to and from the depot with not one single passenger (it's called dead running). This costs taxpayers a massive $7.5m per year. Even the chief minister said this was unacceptable. The government’s own research showed more than 30 per cent of the annual budget may be being used inefficiently. The report said that ACTION was paying $21 million more for staff than industry standard and $10 million in overheads above the benchmark standards. It said that $6 million could be saved at Canberra's bus workshops and $5.5 million on administrator’s higher than average entitlements. Obviously, things must improve. First, the enterprise agreement which restricts ACTION to a 60:40 ratio of full time to part time staff is limiting ACTION management's ability to effectively roster. Similarly, the inability to roster full time drivers on anything other than a Monday to Friday system limits opportunity for effective reform, it means services and schedules are being arranged to suit the
workplace agreement, rather than the agreement being modified to suit the needs of the city and the passengers. I note that the Union is claiming that they have, as yet, received no concrete proposal from the government along these lines. It is reported that they would be open to consider such changes, but without a proposal to assess, they have nothing to consider as a workgroup. With massive waste reported by independent reviewers, yet no concrete proposal for the government and ACTION to move forward, it follows then that this not a failure of material, or of the drivers and administrators, but a failure of leadership from Jon Stanhope and the ACT Labor government.
cost will increase relative value of public transport and increase the attractiveness of the service. The second factor is average speed, which is a function of number of stops and bus priority. The REDEX service, established under the Labor-Greens Agreement, combined low stops with high frequency to produce one of the most successful new routes ACTION has established. The problem however was the lack of priority given to the service, in that it had to share congested road space. The Government has said they will be constructing bus priority lanes on Northbourne and Canberra Avenues, which will go some way to addressing the issue of bus priority. This is something the Greens campaigned on in the 2008 ACT election. The final factor is distance. The major perceived advantage that the car has over public transport is the ability to choose the ‘fastest’ route. In some areas of Canberra, notably West Belconnen, South Tuggeranong and Weston Creek, it can take up to half an hour before reaching a connection to a rapid service, due to the circuitous routes taken as part of the ACTION Coverage services. This clearly needs to improve.
So what does a network that addresses these principles look like? It means a network where the bus from the stop down the street gets you quickly to a major stop, where you know that a bus that connects you to work will be there within a few minutes. It means bus priority lanes across the entire ‘core’ network of frequent express routes, to ensure that buses aren’t late or early due to changing traffic conditions. It means investment in road infrastructure to establish priority lanes and developing the major stops along the express network to change the central service from a bus service to a genuine rapid transit service.
Jon Stanhope ACT Chief Minister
Zed Seselja ACT Opposition Leader
Meredith Hunter Parliamentary Convenor, ACT Greens B2B in Canberra | June 2010 41
Government to business Act government
ACT on show to the world at the Shanghai World Expo The ACT’s business, trade and cultural credentials are on display on the international stage at the Shanghai World Expo from May until the end of October in China this year. More than 40,000 visitors a day – around seven million people over the six months of the event – will tour the Australian Pavilion and experience the ACT’s interpretation on the Expo’s theme, ‘Better City, Better Life’.
he ACT Government is a silver sponsor of the Australian Pavilion at the Expo as part of the Australian Government’s program reflecting the breadth and depth of the Australia–China relationship and boosting twoway trade and investment. “The ACT’s messages are a natural fit with Australia’s key messages at the Expo,” accordPhoto: Yi Wei ing to Ian Cox, general manager of the business and industry Microscopia, Warren Langley’s work in glass and light in the Australian Pavilion. development branch of the Foreground: Australia’s Commissioner General of the Pavilion, Lyndall Sachs. Chief Minister’s Department. “No Australian city better represents the Expo’s the end of the Expo, the work will be on permasub-themes of sustainability and liveability," he said. nent display at the new Women’s and Children’s “Australia’s promotion is all about the na- Hospital located at The Canberra Hospital. tion’s cultural harmony and diversity, its dyTwo trade missions are the focal point of the namic, technologically sophisticated, forward- business program under the ACT’s silver sponlooking economy, its innovative and world-class sorship of the Expo. Three VIP events hosted in education and scientific capabilities, and its live- the Australian Pavilion will each bring together ability. What could better describe the ACT?” Chinese dignitaries and businesspeople, ACT The ACT Government is taking Canberra to trade mission participants (see panel) and their the world – and especially to the strategically im- Chinese business guests, ACT Government repportant Chinese market – through networking resentatives, and representatives from Austrade events, performances, installations and leadership and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. of a trade mission. These activities will showcase ACT Chief Minister Jon Stanhope will host a the region’s business achievements and invest- ‘Welcome to Canberra’ dinner and an ‘Innovation ment attractions, its cultural diversity and artistic Canberra’ seminar on 8 and 9 July respectively, creativity, its media and communications innova- the latter featuring presentations from hightiveness, and the excellence of its food and wine. profile ACT organisations about their successMuch of the ACT’s presence at the Expo is ful innovations. The Minister for Education and highly – and spectacTraining, Andrew Barr, ularly – visual. will host an ACT educaInternationally re- “No Australian city better tion sector dinner on 14 nowned glass artist represents the Expo’s sub-themes September. Warren Langley was In addition, ACT commissioned by the of sustainability and liveability.” performers will contribACT Government to ute to the Australian create Microscopia, a cultural program in VIP major work in glass and light that highlights the areas of the Australian Pavilion, and local winimportance of art in contemporary cities. eries Clonakilla and Shaw Vineyard Estate are The 6 x 3 metre piece, created with local being showcased at ACT and Commonwealth skilled craftspeople at the Canberra Glassworks, business events. Trade missions have been a feature is an impressive backdrop for over 200 business events to be held in the Australian Pavilion. At of ACT Government support for export
business development for some years. Previous Government-led missions to China, India, the UK, the US and the United Arab Emirates have helped ACT exporters capitalise on both short and longterm opportunities in the markets visited. Chief Minister Jon Stanhope will lead a delegation of eight ACT businesses, first to Beijing and then on to Shanghai in early July (see panel). A second delegation, led by Minister for Education and Training, Andrew Barr, is planned for September and will showcase the ACT’s education sector. As part of the trade missions, Austrade works with the companies to develop a business matching and meeting program. As with previous missions, the ACT Government will support this through funding and coordination of activities. Another visual hook for the ACT is a new, purpose-built website, launched by Chief Minister Jon Stanhope in Canberra on 18 May. Developed by local companies Simmersion Holdings, Bearcage and Zoo Group, the interactive ACTuality website (www.actuality.net.au) is an excellent platform for Canberra institutions and attractions to promote themselves during the Expo and beyond. With spectacular 360-degree aerial photography, ACTuality allows users to explore Canberra via audio-visual vignettes. It features interactive navigation capabilities in both English and Mandarin. ACT companies on trade mission to China The ACT Government is leading a delegation of companies to China in July, culminating in VIP events as part of its sponsorship of the Shanghai World Expo. The companies are: • ACT Education and Training Gateway • Archer Emery & Associates • Hindmarsh Group • Sentinel • Smartfix • Simmersion • RapCo International
associations to business Canberra business council
The risky road to prosperity A2b
Chris Faulks Chief Executive Officer, Canberra Business Council
In the wake of last month's ACT and federal budgets, it is timely to take stock of exactly where the ACT economy stands. The good news is that according to the most recent 'State of States' report from CommSec, the ACT is ranked as the best performing economy in Australia.
he Territory occupies the number one posi- manner, which the Council believes can only be done tion on economic growth, housing finance, in partnership with the private sector. dwelling starts and equipment investment, Importantly, the ACT retains its reliance on the is in second place on population growth, 44% of revenue derived from federal government and ranks third in relation to construction work. A grants. This reliance on the Commonwealth, both quick look at the latest headline economic indicators in terms of direct grant-derived revenue, and the confirms that the ACT's 2.5% growth in State Final general federal government expenditure in the ACT, Demand over the December quarter 2009; a 3.3% expose the Territory to a significant risk scenario: unemployment rate in April 2010; and a 2.6% annual if the federal government fails to achieve its stated inflation rate as of March quarter 2010 are among the revenue and savings measures as announced in the best results in Australia. 2010-11 Federal Budget, whether due to the inabilHow will the recent budget announcements affect ity to pass key legislation such as the Resource Super Profits Tax, or if the Australian economy does not our recovery and economic growth potential? On the strength of better-than-expected eco- perform as well as Treasury forecasts predict, it will nomic performance across Australia, both the ACT have to implement additional savings measures to and federal budgets paint a substantially less grim bring the budget back into surplus by the intended picture of the future than was forecast this time date of 2012-13. On top of this, the ACT Government has indicated that approxilast year. Both budgets retain mately $50m of unidentifunding for essential services fied savings also need to be such as health and education, The imperative now is to ensure found between 2011 and and put aside sufficient funds 2013 for the ACT Budget to for investment in infrastruc- that appropriate conditions are return to surplus in 2013-14 ture over the next four years. as planned. Of significance to business, put in place so that business can The upshot of all this the federal budget has fore- continue to take the ACT down the is that although things are shadowed a major Resource progressing well, if anything Super Profits Tax, cuts to the path to prosperity. goes awry in either the fedcompany tax rate eventually eral or ACT fiscal strategies bringing it down to 28% by 2014-15 (2012-13 for small businesses), and changes during this critical recovery period, the negative impact on the ACT could be disproportionately greater designed to simplify asset write-offs. It should be noted however that the federal budget than in other jurisdictions and could severely hamper has not earmarked a great deal of new expenditure the momentum which the ACT economy is building specifically for the ACT. For example, the precise al- up.These risks must be factored into business plans, location of the federal government's $5.6 billion State and for our part Canberra Business Council is doing all Infrastructure Fund, worth an initial $700m in 2013- it can to make sure that both the ACT and federal gov14, is unclear and will be negotiated with the states. ernments remain mindful of the potential local impact Furthermore, the $1 billion allocated by the federal of these risks. After all, it has been clearly demonstratgovernment for rail network improvements has com- ed that given the right environment, local businesses pletely bypassed the Capital Region. This places the have been able to return the ACT to its leading posiACT economy's continued growth largely in the hands tion in the Australian economy. The imperative now is of the ACT Government and its planned $2 billion in to ensure that appropriate conditions are put in place budgeted capital works over the next four years. It is so that business can continue to take the ACT down critical that this be delivered in an efficient and timely the path to prosperity.
Upcoming Events Wednesday 9 June 2010 Connect @ Robbo’s Time: 5.30pm – 7.30pm Venue: Robbo’s Harley Davidson 281 Canberra Ave, Fyshwick Cost: $45 members $55 non-members
Thursday 24 June 2010 Canberra Times Business Series Speaker: Terry Campbell AO Senior Chairman, Goldman Sachs JBWere Time: 12.30pm – 2.00pm Venue: Hyatt Hotel Cost: $77 Members $99 Non-Members $700 Table of 10
Thursday 22 July 2010 Connect @ ANU Time: 5.30pm – 7.30pm Venue: ANU, University House, Building 1, Balmain Cresent, Acton Cost: $35 members $45 non-members To register all events www.canberrabusinesscouncil. com.au
Principal Members Actew Corporation, ActewAGL, Bank West, Bega Cheese, Bluestar Printing Group, Clayton Utz, Cre8ive, Ernst & Young, Elite, eWay, Medibank Health Solutions, Hindmarsh, Holistech, KPMG, MBA, National Australia Bank, National Museum of Australia, NEC Australia, Staging Connections, The Village Building Co, Thyssen Krupp Marine Systems Australia
B2B in Canberra | June 2010 43
associations to business CollabIT
IP policy changes a win for CollabIT members Alison Abernethy Manager, CollabIT ACT
In a major breakthrough for the ICT industry, Australian Information Industry Association CEO Ian Birks has welcomed the federal government’s decision to establish a default position in favour of ICT suppliers owning the IP for software developed under contract with any FMA Act agency. On behalf of CollabIT members, AIIA argued extensively for the reform of software IP principles over many years at a state and federal level.
CollabIT Grnd Floor, 39 Torrens St Braddon ACT 2612 (02) 6281 9400 www.aiia.com.au
June 2010 | B2B in Canberra
his is a very strong outcome for the ICT industry, particularly SMEs, and one that AIIA has worked hard to secure for many years,” Mr Birks said. “When a software company retains ownership of IP, it encourages the commercialisation of IP across the ICT sector and fosters a competitive culture of innovation. This outcome will provide immediate and long-term returns to both government and the ICT industry,” he said. On behalf of CollabIT members, AIIA argued extensively for the reform of software IP principles over many years at a state and federal level. “The government is to be congratulated for their understanding of these issues and the decision they have reached. We believe that this outcome will serve the interests of both government and the industry very strongly into the future,” Mr Birks said. In 2009, AIIA was involved in detailed negotiations with the Attorney-General’s Department in which the experience of members was analysed and shared. The Association facilitated consultation with the Victorian Government on the implementation of similar principles in that state, and the positive outcomes that resulted. Additionally, AIIA compiled a comprehensive report on global best practice for IP ownership that formed the basis of arguments made during the Gershon Review into Government use of ICT and subsequent negotiations on IP across other departments. This amendment to IP principles became a key recommendation arising from the Gershon Review. The changes will take effect for all contracts negotiated from 1 October 2010. The Australian Government Statement of IP Principles will be shortly be amended to include the new principle, along with the Australian Government Intellectual Property Manual. Both documents will be publically available through the www.ag.gov.au once amended.
INNOVATIONPROFILE Better Network Services Group (BNS), one of CollabIT’s newest members, has developed an Enterprise SMS gateway called ‘msXsms for Microsoft Exchange Server’ that was used for the first time during the severe storms and floods in Queensland, NSW, Victoria and WA in early 2010. As soon as a customer contacted the call centre an SMS confirming their claim details with a claim manager was sent using the new system. The system is now to be evaluated by AAMI after successful implementation by Suncorp and GIO. According to one of the BNS designers, Laurence Buchanan, msXsms works best with Microsoft Exchange, which is most commonly used by many large companies and government departments. Buchanan, who lost his family home in the 2003 Canberra fire storm, knew that providing the right technology to BNS’s clients like Suncorp would ultimately benefit people in need. Suncorp and GIO continue to keep their customers informed about their claims via SMS with a total of 24,000 SMS messages per month. “As a customer hangs up from making a call they are sent a message on their phone confirming that contact on behalf of their insurance company. It is really a great way for any of the Suncorp businesses to send an acknowledgment for each step along the way,” Mr Buchanan said. In the designing of msXsms, BNS has implemented specific security features which meet the standards of Australian government departments and the security standards for corporate companies. The next step for msXsms Enterprise is the release of a version to allow classification of SMS messages for government customers. BNS is a privately owned Australian company based in Sydney and Canberra. Microsoft Certified Partners for more than 15 years, BNS has focused on the design and manufacture of commercial software products for secure fax and SMS messaging.
“Growing my business takes effort and passion. So I take RSM Bird Cameron’s advice.” John Norris Managing Director Norris Cleaning Company Pty Limited
Business was a lot simpler when John Norris started out with his mop and bucket more than 40 years ago. Since then he has built Norris Cleaning Company into a complex business, employing almost 150 staff and cleaning some of the most prestigious buildings in Canberra. The evolution of a business requires not only passion and commitment to the service provided but also the development of accounting and information systems. When it was time to upgrade the company’s management information system, RSM Bird Cameron was there to help, managing and implementing the project.
RSM Bird Cameron was able to help Norris Cleaning better manage its information so that the company could focus on what it does best - providing top quality service to its clients.
RSM Bird Cameron Ph: (02) 6247 5988
Exceptional Service, Exceptional Results
associations to business Act and region chamber of commerce & industry
Fair Work Act: shows promise but should be performing better Greg Schmidt. Director, Workplace Relations ACT & Region Chamber of Commerce & Industry
All of the major initiatives of the federal government’s Fair Work Act 2009 are now in place. While most provisions of the Act commenced from 1 July 2009, some of the last big pieces of the puzzle fell into place from 1 January this year when the National Employment Standards and Modern Awards commenced operation. An issue that will become more critical for employers from June is the Transitional Provisions in most of the Modern Awards.
The Workplace Relations team of the Chamber has a long history of supporting members to navigate through the complexities of the Workplace Relations environment. To become a member of the Chamber please call 6283 5200 or visit www.actchamber.com.au. 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 46
June 2010 | B2B in Canberra
he National Employment Standards (or NES), a set of legislated minimum conditions of employment, are relatively straightforward. Because the NES are set out in the Fair Work Act itself, they apply to all employees covered by the national system – which means all employees in the Australian Capital Territory and most employees in New South Wales and the other States. Five of the ten elements of the NES deal with leave entitlements (both paid and unpaid) while the other five provide for other basic employment conditions (maximum hours of work, notice of termination, etc). Not everyone will enjoy being bound by the minimum conditions of employment, but for their clarity in stating what the minimum conditions actually are, the NES score at least 9 out of 10. Unfortunately, it’s a different story with the Modern Awards, which also came into operation on 1 January 2010. Modern Awards are intended to cover the majority of National System Employees who are not covered by a Workplace Agreement. Awards also don’t cover “high-income” employees (currently, these are employees with guaranteed earnings exceeding $108,300). Some employees with more typical wage levels remain award-free because their role (or their industry) is not covered by a Modern Award. Conversely, a significant number of employees are now covered by an award for the first time. The Australian Industrial Relations Commission produced 122 Modern Awards by 31 December 2009, the deadline imposed by Julia Gillard, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations. Regrettably, not all of the 122 Modern Awards were completed at that date. Piecemeal variations are still being made to many of the Awards with the result that award compliance is something of a moving target for employers. Another Modern Award issue causing some consternation for employers is ambiguity in the coverage provisions of some awards. Some Modern Awards are occupation-based, but most are industry awards – that is, most Modern Awards cover a particular industry. Unfortunately, the boundaries between some industries are blurred and employers are not helped by the long and convoluted coverage provisions inserted in some awards. An issue that will become more critical for employers
from June is the Transitional Provisions in most of the Modern Awards. No doubt the Transitional Provisions were inserted by the AIRC with the best of intentions, to soften the shock of increases (or in a few cases, decreases) in wages, loadings and penalty rates. The Transitional Provisions typically will see these rate changes phased in over a period of 5 years. Employers able to pay “above award” rates will not be troubled, but employers who must pay at the award rate can expect to have a lot of trouble just working out what the “award rate” is during the phasing-in period. It will be important for employers to ensure that they are aware of their proper award obligations during this period. Of course, there are some areas where the Modern Awards do provide some opportunity for employers. For example, every Modern Award contains an "Award Flexibility" term that allows an employer and an employee covered by the Award to make a written agreement that changes the way that some specific award provisions apply to that employee. An agreement may typically cover such issues as the employee's hours of work, allowances, overtime and penalty rates, but it’s worthwhile checking the relevant Modern Award to confirm the actual terms that may be varied. There are a number of requirements that an Individual Flexibility Agreement must meet, including a requirement that the employee must be better off overall with the Agreement than without it. However, this requirement does not need to be based purely on monetary considerations if the employee agrees that they have been advantaged in other ways (for example, by being able to work their preferred hours instead of standard hours). As the name suggests, an Individual Flexibility Agreement applies only to the one employee who signs it, and no one need approve the agreement besides the employer and the employee concerned (except in the case of employees younger than 18 years old). The ability to make an Individual Flexibility Agreement may provide benefits for both the employer and worker, although there potentially may be some cost to the employer in administering a number of different arrangements. Interim Assessment for the Fair Work Act 2009: Shows promise, but had been expected to be performing better by this time.
associations to business Chamber of Women in Busiiness
Reasons to join a networking organisation A2b
Dianne Nockels, Promotions Officer Chamber of Women in Business
From Roman bathhouses to Facebook, CWB looks at the changing face of networking. When did networking originate? Networking is probably as old as humankind. It is documented as taking place as far back as 1700 BC – when Roman bathhouses were as much for socialising as getting clean. More recently, in the 18th Century in London, nothing of importance happened without first being discussed in the coffeehouses. Deals were made, alliances formed, and fortunes made and lost. Of course, informal networking still takes place, for example in cafes (if not the baths!). However, formal networking organisations have become more and more popular. Perhaps as advancing technology erodes our need to communicate face-to-face, then we are forced to create the opportunity to do so. Social networking websites have their benefits, if used properly, but there is nothing as powerful as personal contact. Why should I join a networking organisation? People join networking organisations for many different reasons. For example it might be to: • promote their business • gain knowledge and insights from other business people • make friends with people of a similar mindset Being part of a business networking community is also a good place to build your confidence. Learn to talk to people you don’t know in a friendly environment. Perhaps even practise public speaking for the first time!
Which organisation should I join? Networking organisations come in many shapes and sizes and finding the organisation to suit your needs is essential. Before joining, do your homework. Who are the members? What are the benefits? What are you hoping to gain? What does it cost? Is it men/women only or mixed – does it matter? It is generally accepted that men and women network differently. Men tend to be quite comfortable promoting themselves and their business. Women are less so. This is despite being natural networkers (just see us gathered around at school drop-off and pick-up times!). Ask us to support a friend, cause or charity and we baulk at nothing. Ask us to promote ourselves and we break out in a sweat. At CWB we aim to offer members a relaxed and informal opportunity to meet like-minded women and to promote their business. Some might see CWB as a stepping stone to more formal networking, whilst others stay for many years. Our next event will see the introduction of ‘Speed Networking’, to encourage members to promote themselves with confidence. Advice on how to make the most of this event will be posted on the CWB Facebook page in due course. All Canberra businesswomen are invited to join us. See you there.
CHAMBER OF WOMEN IN BUSINESS
Upcoming Events Speed networking/ wine appreciation Hosted by Z4 Wines Tuesday 15 June 5:30 – 7:30pm Daltons Books (54 Marcus Clarke Street, Canberra City)
Debate: Is it time for businesswomen to burn their bras again? Tuesday 20 July 5:30 – 7:30pm Venue: Tba Cost: Members $25 Non-members $35
Register: www.cwb.org.au Find us on Facebook
Purple Tick Profile – Louise Carter – Performance Partnership Interviewed by Jean McIntyre
CWB: What attracted you to Purple Tick – why did you sign up? Louise: My business primarily works with women in the corporate world and so I want them to know that I have a business environment where they can feel comfortable and relaxed. CWB: Has being a Purple Tick business made you think differently about service to women? Louise: Over the last few years I have come to realise that women feel under a great deal of pressure to be all things to all people. This has put greater strain on all aspects of their lives, particularly their relationships with their partners. I provide a service where women can come and talk about what is really important to them and I help them achieve their goals and aspirations. They are not going to come to me and feel my services are right for them if I have not tailored them specifically to their needs.
CWB: Have you made any changes to your service deliver as a result of Purple Tick? Louise: I have changed my coaching offerings to be more appealing to women’s needs. I have children (4 year old twins) myself and so have a very family friend office environment. I know how challenging it can be to ‘juggle’ all of life’s balls in the air at the same time. I help women put down some of their juggling balls! CWB: What advice would you give to other business owners thinking of becoming a Purple Tick Business? Louise: If you have a business that women buy from then consider thinking about how you can make it a better purchasing experience than your competitors who don’t focus on women’s need. Sign up to be a Purple Tick business at www.purpletick.org.au
For more information: T 6282 6255 F 6282 7191 E email@example.com www.cwb.org.au B2B in Canberra | June 2010 47
associations to business Act exporters' network
Budget delivers unpalatable news for ACT exporters Brent Juratowitch President, ACT Exporters' Network
When the federal budget was handed down, ACT exporters got an almighty shock as export program funding was slashed. With uncertainty in the wind, we invited the parliamentary secretary for trade, Anthony Byrne to address concerns at our May business briefing function. In addition to the budget cut, is the very real risk that the EMDG scheme will fall short this year by an estimated $30million leaving many ACT exporters short-changed only receiving a proportion of their total grant payment.
The ACT Exporters’ Network is proudly sponsored by the ACT Government, Canberra Business Council, the Centre for Customs & Excise Studies and AusIndustry. 48
June 2010 | B2B in Canberra
n the 2010-2011 Budget, the Rudd Government announced that funding for the Austrade administered Export Market Development Grant (EMDG) scheme would be cut by $50M. The EMDG scheme provides financial assistance to small and medium-sized Australian businesses to develop export markets by reimbursing up to 50% of eligible export promotion expenses above a threshold of $10,000. In addition to the budget cut, is the very real risk that the EMDG scheme will fall short this year by an estimated $30million leaving many ACT exporters short-changed only receiving a proportion of their total grant payment. The Government also announced in the budget that the TradeStart Program, a co-funded partnership with state and territory governments, industry associations and regional development boards to deliver export assistance to small to medium enterprises would continue for another four years, albeit with its program budget halved. Many ACT firms have benefited from this program over the eight years that it has been operating in the ACT. Many have gone on to become sustainable exporters generating jobs for local people. It would be a pity if budgetary constraints saw the delivery of this program in the ACT in any way curtailed. The ACT business community was keen to hear from the parliamentary secretary as to the rationale behind these cuts. Austrade, and the programs it delivers, is highly valued by industry and government alike in the Territory and any diminution is viewed with some concern. Mr Byrne began by acknowledging the Territory’s strong service sector which accounts for 98.9 per cent (or $1.014 billion) of the ACT’s total exports in 2008/09 and almost 2% of Australia’s total service exports.1 “The key growth areas are in professional services, worth $3.7 billion, up 12% on the previous year and education services worth $16.6 billion to the Australian economy, up more than 22% on the year before, “ he said. Canberra Business Council and the ACT Exporters’ Network are well aware of the role education exports play in the local economy. Last year, the Council established an ACT Education Services Export Steering Committee entrusted with developing an over-arching strategy for the sector which focuses on developing Canberra’s identity as Australia’s education capital,
enhancing the student experience and strengthening local infrastructure such as accommodation and transport for international students. If one international student spends, on average, $486 per week on the purchase of goods and services in the ACT economy, this translates to an overall economic contribution of $25,272 per annum. When multiplied by the total number of international students living in Canberra, the economic benefit to local businesses is substantial. 2 Mr Byrne took the opportunity to promote the Australia’s new national brand, Australia Unlimited. “We need to market ourselves better. Australia is a global participant on the world stage. We have made many important advancements in technology which have benefitted others – WiFi technology, the bionic ear and a vaccine for cervical cancer. We should be better regarded as a dynamic and creative nation, a good global citizen and a strong business partner,” Mr Byrne said. Australia Unlimited, which was launched recently by the trade minister Simon Crean at the Shanghai World Expo, has been in development for several years. The new brand, which was tested across 14 countries, is an important development for Australian business operating offshore, especially for our ACT service exporters such as our education and training providers, ICT software developers and business and financial service exporters. Following a lively question and answer session, the parliamentary secretary was able to address some of the network’s concerns and undertook to convey the ACT export community’s views to the minister for trade, Simon Crean. The network was very appreciative that the parliamentary secretary was able to attend its monthly networking breakfast to respond to questions surrounding the Government's current export promotion policy. For a transcript of the parliamentary secretary’s speech please visit www.trademinister.gov.au/parlsec/ or contact Brooke Anderson on 0400 090 452. 1 Australia’s Trade by State and Territory 2008-09, Dept. of Foreign Affairs and Trade January 2010 2 Final Report of the Survey of International Student's Spending in Australia: Prepared for Australian Education International and Department of Education, Science and Training. Brisbane, University of Queensland Social Science Research Centre (2005).
universities to business THE UNIVERSITY OF CANBERRA
Universities are businesses too U2b
Professor John H Howard Pro Vice-Chancellor, Development, University of Canberra
The University of Canberra is a major player in the Canberra business community. As a business, it contributed $6.4 million in payroll tax and must constantly review its bottom line.
was talking recently with a successful local entrepreneur who remarked… “universities aren’t really businesses, are they? You get all your money from the government”. An interesting perception. Apart from the fact that across the higher education sector, universities only receive 40 per cent of their income from Government – and predominantly the Commonwealth Government – it made me reflect on what actually is a business. Many years ago Peter Drucker observed that the purpose, and the only purpose, of a business is to serve a customer. Of course, businesses also exist to make a profit, but at the end of the day, profit is the measure of commercial viability and success. Without customers businesses cannot survive. So a major aspect of business strategy is to attract and retain satisfied customers. Of course, there are many businesses that start and seek to survive on the basis of continuing government grants without regard to efficiency and performance. Universities are not in this category. Universities are independent autonomous entities and they must ensure that their revenues cover expenses, and that reserves and provisions are created for contingencies and future expansion. In other words, they must work to a bottom line. Universities in Canberra do not receive annual appropriations from either the Commonwealth or ACT budget to guarantee their operations and underwrite the difference between income and expenditure. Does a university have customers? Yes, in the sense that students enrol in University courses to receive an education which they pay for directly in the form of fees and or income contingent loans (HECS). Government, industry and business also pay for universities to undertake research to add to the stock of useful knowledge, and to advise on the application and use of research outcomes. University staff also undertake feefor-service consultancies, through university commercial offices, in the same model as professional services firms. From 2012, university funding will ‘follow the student’. Universities will literally have to compete for students who will have many choices among institutions to attend. Competition will be largely on the basis of the ‘value’ that universities deliver in the form of teaching quality, employment opportunities, and what is referred to as the student experience. This applies to both Australian and international students. Evidence is that ‘price’ is not a major determinant of student choice.
From a purely business perspective, the University of Canberra generated an income of $167m in 2009. The Commonwealth ‘grant’ component, determined by a complex formula, amounted to $48m or only 30% of the total. The remaining income was ‘earned’ by the university, through student fees and research income. As indicated, from 2012 ‘funding will follow the student’ and the University will not be guaranteed any significant financial allocation from the Commonwealth Government. Apart from its roles in teaching and research the University brings a substantial amount of income into the ACT through Commonwealth payments and fees from
Universities are independent autonomous entities and they must ensure that their revenues cover expenses, and that reserves and provisions are created for contingencies and future expansion. In other words, they must work to a bottom line. international and interstate students. The university is keen to expand its education portfolio so as to offer greater education opportunities to Canberra resident students. The University has recently signed an agreement which has established University of Canberra High School and University of Canberra Senior Secondary College. In 2009 ACT Government payments to the University of Canberra amounted to a total of $0.3m. This was actually less than payments by the NSW Government which amounted to $0.5m. By contrast, the University contributed $6.4m in payroll tax to the ACT Treasury. As a business, the University is a major employer and contributor to the ACT economy. Total employee related expenses, including $6.4m in payroll tax, amounted to $106m in 2009. As nearly all UC employees are based in Canberra, this provides a direct economic stimulus to the ACT economy. The University’s role in educating 2,000 international students in Canberra contributes around $60m in ‘export income’ to the ACT economy in the form of student purchases of goods and services. The University works closely with the key business organisations in Canberra, including the Canberra Business Council, the ACT Chamber of Commerce, the Canberra Convention Bureau, and other key industry and professional associations.
For further details about how your business can interact with the University, please contact Professor John H Howard, University of Canberra on (02) 6201 5050. B2B in Canberra | June 2010
horizonone 2nd birthday 1. Emma Reilly, Phillip Jones, David Harrington, Michael Marsh and Adam Holman 2. Sean Ferrari, Paul Dyer, Margaret Beerworth and Patrik Nilsson 3. Kelly Fenner, Josephine Stevens, Chris Perry and Patricia Patterson 4. Des Clear, Rob Gordon and Ian Hallett 5. Nicholas Meatheringten, Phillip van Zomeren and Kieren Robinson 6. Aneela De Soysa, Emma Street, Simon Mitchell, Koni Anastasiou, and Kathryn Clarke 7. Simon Cox
ACT BUDGET breakfast 1. Sean O'Donnell, Jo O'Sullivan, Mary Butler, Colin Larter, Ian Hagan and Nick Chapman 2. John Minns, Archie Tsirimokos and David Maxwell 3. Paul Ryan, Roslyn Dundas, Ken Roberts, Ian Dryton and Peter Kavald 4. Sean Ryan, Lauren Decheit, Paul Ogden and Daniel Stewart 5. Chris Faulks, Jon Stanhope MLA, Michelle Melbourne, Katy Gallagher MLA, Meredith Hunter MLA and Brand Hoff
June 2010 | B2B in Canberra 5
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APPLY NOW FOR SEMESTER 2 2010 - IT’S YOUR LIFE, YOUR FUTURE, YOUR CHOICE
UC771 CRICOS #00212K
TAKE A STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION
ACT chamber budget briefing 2010 1. Steve Doszpot MLA, Jo Powell and Sean O'Neil 2. Brian Hutchinson, Maureen Sheehan and Shane Rattenbury MLA 3. Michael Mitchell, John McKeough and Kim Hancock 4. Chris Peters and Meredith Hunter MLA 5. Craig Dadd, Katy Gallagher MLA, Andrew Fernance and Nunz Losanno 6. Robyn Hendry, Ivan Slavich and Zed Seselja MLA
federal budget breakfast 1. Ruchir Pandey, John Lette, Jayne Rennie and Luigi Gaspari 2. Kate Davies, Rachael Marton and Renee Heins 3. Jon Kunkel, Carly Evans and Robyn Harpley 4. Anker Brodersen, Bob Backer, Stuart Beard, Roger O'Sullivan and Terina Brierley 5. Craig Sloan, Robert Gottliebsen, Alex Malley and Chris Faulks
June 2010 | B2B in Canberra 4
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Professional Education Courses
UNSW@ADFA is a campus of the University of New South Wales and is located at the Australian Defence Force Academy in Canberra. UNSW@ADFA offers a range of postgraduate programs and Professional Education courses for the general community and Defence personnel. These courses provide stimulating learning and networking opportunities within a supportive environment. Enterprise Architecture Introduction to Enterprise Architecture .............................19 - 20 Jul Systems Planning .............................................................................21 - 23 Jul
Management Effective Writing for Managers & Professionals, ............19 - 20 Jul Strategic Human Resource Management & the High Performing Organisation ................................................. 6 Aug
Project Management Managing Integration Projects ..............................................28 - 29 Jun Complex IT Project Management ........................................... 28 -30 Jul Introduction to Project Management ................................... 2 - 4 Aug Software Project Management ............................................28 - 30 Sept
Systems Engineering Introduction to Systems Engineering..................................9 - 11 Aug Systems Engineering Practice ...............................................12 - 13 Aug Requirements Engineering ......................................................... 6 - 8 Sept
Communications Basic Communications Principles .......................................16 - 18 Aug Modern Communications Systems....................................19 - 20 Aug
Most of these courses can be tailored for in-house delivery. A number of our courses can also be used as credit for eligible postgraduate programs. E: firstname.lastname@example.org T: (02) 6268 8421 For information about more than 70 courses visit:
www.unsw.adfa.edu.au/ads/b2b Cricos Provider Code: 00100G
Snowy Hydro Gala Ball 1. Glenn Dickins, Janeanne Moss, Ricky and Jason Newham 2. Penny and Tim Hyde and Laurie McDonald 3. Karen and Rod Harvey, Stefanie Cordina and John Irvine 4. Cathy and Garry Lee, Dianna McCarthy and John MacCulloch 5. Frank and Selina Stanford, Bronwyn Johnston, Megan and Michael O'Hehir and Lindsay Walker 6. Ian Dunlop, Dannielle Nguyen and Graham Gulson 7. Lisa Ridgley, Eiren Black and Erin Molan
Chefs on show competition canberra yacht club 1. John Penca, Kim Marshall and Wayne England 2. Ryan Spiteri, Damiem Harrop, Con Efrossynis and Victor Digonova 3. Vicki and Gordon McDonald and Carol Sawyer 4. Livio Braiuka, Susan Parsons and Carlo Tosolini 5. Jeff House, Tony Muckle, Liz Lang and Ged Stenhouse
MYOB Bookkeeping Graphic Design Office Admin Office re-org
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Office procedure manuals written Lessons on your own computer You tell us what you need!
We work with you and your people in: • Training and development • Facilitation • Mentoring & coaching • Consulting • Cultural audit & change We provide tailored solutions focussing on: • Enhancing communication skills • Mindfulness, well-being and self-worth • Maximising team performance • Managing life and organisational change • Leadership and followership • Pre-empting emerging challenges • Developing a service mentality Contact Barbara Baikie on (02) 6230 2210 email@example.com www.wickconsulting.com.au Specialists in
Advertise in b2bincanberra.com.au T 02 6161 2751 firstname.lastname@example.org
That’s you in the middle. What makes a community strong? What makes a community successful? At the Bendigo, we think it’s U. A community is the sum of its individuals. We feel that by helping individuals become successful, the community in which they live can’t help but benefit. It’s a simple philosophy we’ve stuck with since day one.
It’s why we establish our branch in the first place. And it’s why our branches donates a percentage of its profits to the community that supports it. It’s why we offer a range of stellar banking services all designed to make your banking life more efficient and practical… And it’s why we need U.
Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Limited ABN 11 068 049 178 AFSL 237879 (S28565-4) (04/10)
If U want to find out more, call into your nearest branch: Canberra branch 161 London Circuit, Canberra Phone 6290 9700
Jamison branch Shop D05 Bowman Street, Jamison Plaza Phone 6253 0088
Calwell Community Bank® Branch Shop 19 – 21 Calwell Shopping Centre, Webber Crescent, Calwell Phone 6291 3385
Wanniassa Community Bank® Branch Unit 13 – 14 Wanniassa Shopping Centre, Sangster Place, Wanniassa Phone 6231 9024
At the Bendigo it starts with U.