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Rise of the Mumpreneur LAW FIRM PARTNERS ARTS CENTRE TO PROVIDE LIVE PERFORMANCES FOR ALL ABILITIES

TOURISM AWARDS TEN PENINSULA COMPANIES JUDGED AMONG THE BEST ATTRACTIONS IN VICTORIA

MANAGEMENT MEASURING PERFORMANCE MEANS MORE THAN JUST LOOKING AT THE BOTTOM LINE

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. corporate acquisitions & sales . ISSUE 20 / DECEMBER-JANUARY 2011-12 FRANKSTON / MORNINGTON PENINSULA / DANDENONG . corporate counsel services .

Rise of the MuMpreneur TOURISM AWARDS

LAW FIRM PARTNERS ARTS CENTRE TO PROVIDE LIVE PERFORMANCES FOR ALL ABILITIES

TEN PENINSULA COMPANIES JUDGED AMONG THE BEST ATTRACTIONS IN VICTORIA

MANAGEMENT MEASURING PERFORMANCE MEANS MORE THAN JUST LOOKING AT THE BOTTOM LINE

Postgraduate business degrees at Monash

Go from being  a candidate to  the candidate

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Make your future match your ambition. By learning new skills, or strengthening   the ones you already have, you’re more likely to be the candidate they can’t   ignore. Monash University offers a full range of postgraduate qualifications,   from MBAs to industry-specific masters degrees and doctoral qualifications.

COVER: Nicky Johnston has written two children’s books, one of which has been adapted for the stage by Frankston Arts Centre. Now she has a business plan and a notebook being filled with ideas for her business Happy Heroes: SEE P.10

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Ten peninsula tourism operations reach national finals.

RISE OF A MUMPRENEUR:

Home-based Nicky Johnston says she’s an accidental businesswoman.

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Ventura buys Grenda

THE Ventura company will soon be operating buses out of Dandenong, Frankston and on the Mornington Peninsula. The company has taken over Grenda Transit, which also runs Peninsula Bus Lines and Portsea Passenger Services. The merging of the two similar-sized, familyowned bus lines will create one of the largest public transport companies in Melbourne. Grenda has about 1100 staff and more than 600 buses, while Ventura has 1200 employees and 650 buses. The Grenda-owned bus construction company Volgren remains on the market at the time of going to press. Volgren, in Hammond Rd, Dandenong, builds buses for the domestic and overseas markets. Although neither company is saying how much Ventura paid for Grenda, financial commentators have estimated the deal at $400 million. A news release announcing the deal, issued by financial services company UBS, said it had been “a difficult decision for the Grenda family”. Grenda Transit’s general manager Peter Ayres will join the senior executive team of Ventura and

retain his management responsibilities in relation to Grenda’s depots. “The Grenda family is committed to assisting the business and its people though the transition, something that has been whole-heartedly embraced by Ventura,” the UBS statement said. “While this has been a difficult decision for the Grenda family, we are confident that with 153 years of combined service to Melbourne public transport. “The merger can only result in an improved and more sustainable service to the region’s travelling public,” company founder and director Ken Grenda said. Andrew Cornwall, Ventura managing director, said his company acquired the Grenda business “due to its position as a market leader”. The transaction is expected to be completed over the next few months, subject to ACCC and Victorian Department of Transport approval. In the lead up to the sale the Grenda family had legal advice from UBS, Arnold Bloch Leibler and MGI Melbourne. Ventura Group engaged the services of Heritage Corporate, PWC, Deloitte and Freehills.

Airio go-ahead

PLANS for what will be Frankston’s tallest building have been given the go ahead. Work on the $65 million, 14-storey Airio Apartments building in Davey St will start in mid-2012, according to developer Ross Voci. Approval for the project at 10-12 Davey St follows the announcement of new office space being constructed in the city centre for the first time in 23 years. Council in September approved three levels being added to the five-storey Commonwealth Bank building in Wells St. Mr Voci said the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) rejection of an objection to the project had an added bonus of allowing him to increase the number of apartments from 89 to 97.

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PEOPLE

NEWS digest

n Bizzquiz

Few ayes for Aldi

Anyone starting a business should ... seek honest feedback from peers – an objective opinion can be what you need to hear.. I’ll know I’m successful when ... most of my business comes from referrals. I wish I had ... more hours in the day! I wish I had not ... stopped playing tennis.

GREATER Dandenong Council has refused an application for a 1367 sq. m. Aldi supermarket in Heatherton Rd, Springvale South. The store was proposed on an existing car park and developers were seeking a reduction in the number of spaces required. As well as losing 50 of the 251 spaces currently provided, the developer wanted council to waive the 109 spaces required under the planning scheme for a supemarket of the size proposed. A planned illuminated sky sign also troubled the council which ruled that the development failed “to allow for the orderly proper planning for the site”. Council said siting and design of the proposed development did not achieve good urban design outcomes, particularly as presented to the Heatherton Road streetscape, and it failed to provide an energy efficient design having regard to the orientation of the land and other environmentally sustainable practices.

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Laurel Harris has worked in a number of industries from law (as a law clerk) to construction (commercial sales), and now in IT. Laurel set up a Bloomtools Web Design franchise in Mornington and now works as an internet consultant helping small to medium businesses with their online solutions. I dreamed of being ... a school teacher or fashion designer. My first paid job was ... as a 17-year-old legal secretary in a large city law firm. In 10 years I will be ... still working for myself on the Mornington Peninsula.. Our business planning includes ... Preparing a budget and sticking to it! And keeping a close eye on cashflow. Tips for success ... Relationship building is key – repeat and referral business costs less in time and money and provides job satisfaction by knowing that you have happy clients. I am inspired by ... hearing success stories from small business owners..

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Also, the proposal did not provide for loading/unloading bay facilities for existing tenancies and its waste management plan was not up to scratch, council said.

Hospital’s $25M Expansion

THE 155-bed Peninsula Private Hospital plans a $25 million, three-stage expansion. The finished hospital at the corner of Cranbourne Rd and McClelland Drive, Langwarrin, will have four storeys and a multi-level car park. Building of stage one is due to start next year and be completed in 2017 with the final stage being built by 2025. Peninsula Private was bought by Australian Unity Investments through Perpetual Nominees Pty Ltd in 2006 and occupies a site of just under five hectares. The expansion will provide 43 overnight beds; 50 day surgical unit beds; 10 oncology seats; six operating theatres; 1500 square metres of theatre support and staff facilities; 1100 square metres of office space; 4000 square metres of consulting suites; 4500 square metres for an allied health care centre

(separate to the existing hospital building); parking for  800 cars.

A Noble boost

A PLANNED four-storey apartment building in the heart of Noble Park is getting the nod from Greater Dandenong Council. The development, featuring 75 dwellings, a semi-basement car park, four shops and a café, is in Buckley St, 250m. from Noble Park railway station. Council on 14 November agreed to issue a Notice of Decision for a planning permit even though there would be a shortfall in required car parking of between 64 and 124 spaces. Council officers reported that “there is strong state and local policy, as well as provisions of the Noble Park Activity Centre Structure Plan, encouraging the type of development proposed”. “With the availability of significant infrastructure, particularly public transport facilities, it is considered that

the proposed reduction of car parking is acceptable,” the council report stated. Surrounding the proposal is Copas Park to the south and the Country Fire Authority fire station to the north. Retirement village Noble Manor is opposite.

MORNINGTON’S OUTER LINE

Mornington Peninsula Council is seeking a planning scheme amendment to guide development in Mornington North. A revised policy will limit Mornington’s growth northward toward the Green Belt. The amendment will affect land around Mornington Racecourse, Racecorse Rd and Bungower Rd. The aim is for primarily low-density residential development and a clear boundary between the urban residential area and the low-density areas. Changes would protect the racecourse from encroachment by noise-sensitive uses and support racehorse training opportunities. Retirement accommodation is encouraged in several precincts.

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December January 2011-12 | Frankston / Mornington Peninsula / Dandenong BusinessTimes | 5

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BUSY bites

October jobless The seasonally adjusted Australian unemployment rate was 5.2 per cent in October, as announced by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) on 10 November. The ABS reported the number of people employed increased by 10,100 to 11,462,300 in October. The increase in employment was driven by an increase in full-time employment, up 20,000 people to 8,067,500, and was offset by a decrease in part-time employment, down 9900 people to 3,394,800. The number of people unemployed decreased by 5700 people to 630,800 in October, reported the ABS. The ABS monthly aggregate hours worked series showed an increase in October, up 10.4 million hours to 1,626 million hours. The ABS reported a labour force participation rate in October of 65.6 per cent.

No go National THE National Golf Club at Cape Schanck has been refused a planning scheme amendment for a 12-lot subdivision. The club also wanted to remove the condition that the units be solely for members and guests.

Website to help bank customers The Australian Bankers’ Association (ABA) is piloting a new website helping bank customers and consumers to easily find information and advice if they’re experiencing financial difficulties. The website – www.doingittough.info – helps with information and tips to customers with links to the right place to suit their circumstances. Phone numbers are provided which link bank customers with specialist staff who can who take the time to understand their situation and find the best possible way to help customers control and

manage their financial obligations. The Doing It Tough website features: • Tools which can help you assess your financial situation; • Suggestions on how you can get back in control of your finances; • Examples of support measures from banks that may be available; and • Contact phone numbers if you need urgent assistance. www.doingittough.info

More targeted work needed on skills development

The COAG Reform Council report Education 2010: Comparing performance across Australia released in November illustrates the enormity of the task required to systematically lift skills levels in Australia, according to EE-Oz, the industry skills council for the energy industry. EE-Oz CEO Bob Taylor said that while the report showed that reading and numeracy levels had marginally improved overall, it also highlighted pockets of weakness, particularly in some geographical

regions and at higher levels.        “This report was the first time socio-economic status (SES) was considered. It showed regional variation in the effect of low SES on reading and numeracy levels. This information should be used to target support going forward.” “The slight improvement is not enough to meet COAG’s ambitious targets in relation to overall workforce educational attainment. In order to halve the proportion of Australians aged 20 to 64 years without a qualification at Certificate III or higher by 2020, there must be an emphasis on ensuring all students have the capacity to go on to further study.” Taylor said that this could not be achieved passively and requires a concerted and coordinated effort by all governments, all levels of the education system and industry. “I would like to take this opportunity to renew the call on behalf of all ISCs, for COAG to develop a coordinated overarching blueprint for action on language, literacy and numeracy, to identify and address long-term goals that will profoundly shift the capacity of learners and the workforce.”

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6 | BusinessTimes Frankston / Mornington Peninsula / Dandenong | December January 2011-12

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Plain packaging blow to trademarks AN anti-counterfeiting and anti-piracy group, part of a global business lobby, believes the use of trademarks has been harmed by the Australian Senate’s approval of the Plain Packaging Bill. Business Action to Stop Counterfeiting and Piracy (BASCAP), an initiative of Paris-based International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), expressed concerns over the legislation and its impacts on the rights of trademark owners and intellectual property rights in general. Responding to the new law requiring tobacco products to be sold in “plain packaging”, ICC Secretary General Jean-Guy Carrier said the Senate’s action “creates a precedent that is incongruent with international trademark rights and can have farreaching impacts on the use of trademarks and other intellectual property in Australia and globally”. “Our members strongly support the protection of public health, and we are not questioning the adverse consequences of long-term tobacco use or the government’s role in reducing tobacco use,” said Jeffrey Hardy, Director of BASCAP. “However, plain packaging does not necessarily further the government’s health policy goals and introduces an unwelcome abrogation of established trademark rights, with negative consequences that go far beyond the health policy aims of the new rules.” The ICC claims that restricting trademarks and branding of products “removes a valuable accountability and responsibility mechanism that consumers depend on to make the best choices in the marketplace”. “Once brands are removed and all packaging is made to look the same, it is easy to imagine how much simpler it will be to counterfeit a pack of cigarettes – and it will reduce brand owners’ ability to take action against counterfeiting and will increase the burden on already overstretched public agencies as they try to keep illicit products away

AAMI offshore THE attractive blonde on TV tells us we’re lucky to be with AAMI. Those Victorian AAMI workers having their jobs shifted to India will no longer think so. It is part of parent company Suncorp’s offshoring program. A worker from AAMI’s St Kilda Rd site said some workers there had been forced to train the overseas’ workers who are to become their replacements.

Noble knockback

CIGARETTES, once a feature wall behind shop counters, are now behind screens. The next step is plain packaging, a move questioned by the the International Chamber of Commerce.

from consumers,” Hardy said. “Moreover, plain packaging will open the door to smuggling of foreign brands from abroad.” The ICC claims that with a worldwide trade in counterfeit and smuggled tobacco already worth several billions of dollars a year, there appears to be a vast business opportunity for criminal networks. “It will be impossible to prosecute manufacturers of counterfeit tobacco products for counterfeit practices because technically there will be no illegal act of counterfeiting in the absence of trademark,” the ICC said. “The ability of brand owners to market their product in unique and easily identifiable ways is a core element of a developed society’s protection of intellectual property rights. Removing one industry’s ability to use its intellectual property rights opens the door to extend this violation of IP rights to other industries and other brand owners in Australia and around the world.”

GREATER Dandenong Council has refused a planning permit for 85 units for student accommodation and six shops in Ian St, Noble Park. Council said the three-storey proposal failed to match the city’s guidelines for higher density residential development. Developers wanted to reduce parking requirements by 182 spaces and scrap loading zones. The application will go to VCAT.

$128m in permits NEARLY $128 million worth of building works have received permits in Greater Dandenong in the July-September quarter. Residential permits totalled 313 ($54.2 million) while 132 permits were issued for commercial and industrial building valued at $73.7 million.

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IT ISSUES

The inevitable first day back... It’s usually both the busiest and quietest week on our calendar. In 2012 it will be the week starting Tuesday 3 January 2012. From 8am we have a flood of calls coming through for computers, servers and networks that are misbehaving. How is it that they seem to have all waited for the first day back before going on strike? The fact is they haven’t: the only difference is that no one has been around to notice things slightly going awry, and when it all went up in a puff of smoke, there was no one around until the first business day to alert us. For us it’s usually two days of craziness followed by two days of zero phone calls – an enigma that we’ve become accustomed to. Knowing this will happen each year spurs us on to look for a better approach. Every week one of our clients sees the benefit of the proactive monitoring and maintenance programs we are now offering. If one of these programs was in place during the break, one of our on-call technicians would be alerted and more than likely have the problem solved before you return to work. The best situation is that we can catch the problems before they impact your business and give ourselves a better chance at hitting the ground running when everyone returns to work – all at the same time! By Ben O’Brien, Senior Network Engineer, Solution One, (03) 5987 1565

Was everything switched off? So the Christmas and New Year break is fast approaching us and, as always, we’ll be in a rush to make sure everything is finished up at work, Christmas presents bought and holiday organised. But what about our computer systems, asks Ben O’Brien? We all wonder and ask ourselves on our way to the airport, or a few kilometres down the road from home, did I switch the iron off, close the bathroom window and lock the back door? Nobody wants to return home from their relaxing holiday and find they’ve been broken into or burnt out. We’re always double guessing ourselves in our rush to enjoy a break away from work. I’m writing this now because I know how busy it’s about to get, and wanted to start the thought process. Does anybody have a checklist to tick off for your computers, servers and network equipment if your office is closed for the break? Do you really need to leave your wireless shining a beacon for Santa? Should you really leave your printers and photocopiers on for Rudolph to photocopy himself a few times for Blitzen? Even servers: if you’re not running your email or web hosting locally, you may be able to retire these for the holidays, too. It’s probably not surprising that some of the best hackers in the world are secondary school students and they also have time off, and will most likely get a little bored at some stage and find a new use for the Christmas laptop that just arrived. It’s not all about power saving and keeping ‘green’, it’s very much about data protection. Thieves don’t just prey on empty houses over the holidays. While computer and servers are easily replaced, your data is priceless. When leaving the office unattended for a period of time an offsite backup is the ultimate protection.

The simplest form of offsite backup is the USB hard disk (NOT A MEMORY STICK!), these are relatively inexpensive (less than $100) and will hold everything you need them too. Have a chat to your staff and think about some policies and procedures for your computers. If you are closing for the Christmas period, it might even pay to have a bit of a clean-up and throw out of old data you no longer need or use. Even having your computers cleaned up so they’re ready to start on the return of work might be an idea. It might be nice to come back to a clean desk, ready to start the New Year with a working computer, printer that doesn’t jam and a server that’s not grinding away from the minute you access your emails, just a thought!

Not your average IT Company Local Computer, Network & Internet Specialists Solution One - (03) 5987 1565 Email: team@solution-one.com.au – www.solution-one.com.au

8 | BusinessTimes Frankston / Mornington Peninsula / Dandenong | December January 2011-12

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tourism awards

10 peninsula businesses top in state tourism EDUCATION, preparation and planning are being credited for the string of award wins by Mornington Peninsula tourism business operators. The region’s peak body Mornington Peninsula Tourism (MPT) encouraged businesses to enter the 2011 RACV Victorian Tourism Awards, holding workshops to help award entries. MPT itself won the Specialised Tourism Services Award for the third year in a row and automatic induction into the Victorian Tourism Awards Hall of Fame. Executive tourism officer Elva Hemming said MPT aimed to “help local tourism businesses embrace best practice management in order to improve customer service”. Next March the MPT will represent Victoria at the 2011 Australian Tourism Awards in Cairns. The peninsula’s 10 other finalists and winners were:

Mornington Peninsula Tourism team: Amelia Maher. Kirsten Norman, Lisa Caddy, Kellie Barrett, Alva Hemming, Shane Murphy, Katherine Cooper, Dale Blampied and Sandra McMahon.

Peninsula Hot Springs ( Health and Wellness Tourism Award and finalist in the Tourist Attractions Award); n The Enchanted Maze Gardens (New Tourism Product Development Award and finalist in the Tourist Attractions Awards and Adventure Tourism Award); n Moonraker Dolphin Swims (Ecotourism Award); n Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park (finalist in Ecotourism Award); n Montalto Vineyard and Olive Grove n

(Tourism Wineries, Distilleries and Boutique Breweries Award); n Max’s at Red Hill Estate (Tourism Restaurants and Catering Services Award); n Big Blue Backyard (Hosted Accommodation Award); n Blue Moon Cottages (Standard Accommodation Award); n Quest Apartments Frankston (finalist in the Deluxe Accommodation Award); n Frankston Visitor Centre (finalist Visitor Information and Services Award).

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Check out our showroom @ 45 Lathams Road Carrum Downs! www.yesbusiness.net.au January February 2011-12 | Frankston / Mornington Peninsula / Dandenong BusinessTimes | 9


NICKY Johnston became a businesswoman – a publisher – almost by accident. The self-described mumpreneur was catapulted into the business world on the back of a book she wrote and illustrated to help her oldest son overcome anxiety.

Accidental rise of a

mumpreneur

Go Away, Mr Worrythoughts! was handwritten and pasted together, but she was encouraged to have it published after reading it to her son Bayley’s class and loaning it to teachers. The book and its Happythoughts are Everywhere sequel have been reprinted several times and Johnston now heads a home-based business that has extended into public speaking and showbiz. Book sales have topped 10,000 and the latest reprints totalled 12,000. The stage version of Go Away, Mr Worrythoughts! is the first show produced by Frankston Arts Centre. The show, like the book, deals with anxiety and guiding children away from worrisome thoughts. Johnston says FAC manager Robin Batt approached her about turning Go Away, Mr Worrythoughts! into a stage production. “She had seen me speak and then spent 18 months arranging funding and production. It’s now been staged in 40 schools and seen by more than 8000 children.” Although the second book “shows how to keep going” and maintain defences against anxiety, “it’s a follow up but you don’t need to have read the first one”. While used to a growing groundswell of acceptance after the publication of Go Away, Mr Worrythoughts!, Johnston was unprepared for what followed an on-air interview on radio station 3AW with morning show host Neil Mitchell.

Words & pictures by Keith Platt

“I’d bought 10 stamps on my way to the interview thinking I might get a few orders. But my phone started ringing from the time I left the studio and by the time I got home there were 250 orders on my website.” The radio station’s phone lines were jammed and its website crashed. The sales meant that she was able to pay the print bill without borrowing. A year later, when Mitchell interviewed Johnston about the follow-up book, the station put in a second receptionist in anticipation of feedback. The “light bulb” moment when Johnston realised she was a businesswoman – or mumpreneur – came in August this year while attending a conference in Sydney organised by the Connect2Mums organisation in conjunction with the AusMumpreneur Awards, where Johnston was one of five finalists out of 100 entrants. “As I sat there, I realised that I am running a business and came away determined to draw up a business plan, with goals and timeframes.” The other big revelation was that many of the conference attendees wanted to start a business to earn money while Johnston’s motivation had been to help parents confronted by a worrying situation. Now she has a business plan (written with

10 | BusinessTimes Frankston / Mornington Peninsula / Dandenong | December January 2011-12


COVER STORY

FAR LEFT: Nicky Johnston with two of her four sons, Asher, 5 , and Bowen , 1. Her other boys Cooper ,9, and Bayley, 13, were at school. LEFT TOP: Johnston’s two published books; LEFT BOTTOM: Johnston at her desk at home in Langwarrin; and ABOVE: Motivational cards which the author sells at markets.

help from husband Andrew on butcher’s paper hanging from the back of a door) and more definite ideas of how her business “Happy Hero ~ Helping
little worriers find happiness” will develop. Trained as a primary school teacher, Johnston remains a regular in the classroom as an incursion teacher hired by the RACV to teach road safety. “That’s my real job and it keeps me in the loop with education.” She also continues to hand draw and frame motivational cards that are sold at markets or made on request. Slogans also adorn the walls of Johnston’s house, with those on white boards and a blackboard being regularly changed. “The children read them and I change them without saying anything, so they’ll get the message without me telling them to read it.” A mother of four, Johnston says her involvement with treating anxiety in children helps her “pick kids in the class who are anxious and tailor my approach to involve them”. At public speaking engagements she often shares the stage with psychologists who “welcome” her personal experience and see it as a balance with their professional training. “I give them credibility,” Johnston says. “It is difficult to understand anxiety; it’s like trying to describe a colour to someone who has never seen it.” Johnston has now taken complete control over the marketing and distribution of her books, cutting out up to 80 per cent of the retail price that went to distributors and bookshops. Most sales come directly from orders on her website and bookshops generally buy copies on request from customers rather than hold stock. Part of Johnston’s business plan is to enter as

many business awards as possible, seeing them as a valuable marketing tool as well as an opportunity for networking and self analysis of her own business. This year she won the mayoral special recognition award at the business excellence awards run by Frankston and Mornington Peninsula councils. “I find discussing the progression of my accidental business quite uplifting as sometimes it is this process that forces reflection on how far I have come, how much has been achieved and what potential possibilities lay ahead for a mum who stumbled into business,” Johnston said. “Business was not my goal but the process to reach my goal. Support agencies all tackle problems for people aged 12 and over, there was no one to help parents or teachers with younger children.” Being author and illustrator of her books is “my niche, my main point of difference”. She has several other books in mind, but is also exploring a series of e-handbooks for children, parents and teachers that would not be printed. Johnston’s decision to be a teacher and stand in front of a class followed her own early years as an “anxious child”. “I also had post natal depression after having Bayley, so I know where he got it from – me. Now, I’m not worried about public speaking because I know what I am doing.” The hardest thing Johnston has done “was going before the judges to get my black belt in karate”. “I had treatment after the post natal depression and it made me realise I had been living my life with anxiety. “I believe Bayley had a level of depression as well. He didn’t laugh or feel any real sense of joy until he was about 10, and that’s a big time in a little person’s life. “I wrote the book an d read it to him. It was all for him.” When she was urged to publish Go Away, Mr Worrythoughts! Johnston Googled “how to publish a book”. That book has led to Johnston growing into the role of running a business and seen her inspiration, Bayley, now 13, start secondary school with a confidence and outlook that once never seemed possible. And, if you have a worrythought?: “Ask yourself if you can control it. If yes, make the change, if no, let it go.”

December January 2011-12 | Frankston / Mornington Peninsula / Dandenong BusinessTimes | 11


NETWORKING Business chamber FRANKSTON Business Chamber’s monthly networking meeting at Settlers Run Country Club, Cranbourne, on 15 October. 1. From left: Peter Horen, of IT company Citracom, Peter Patterson, ceo of Replas plastic recyclers, and Annemaree Kelly, marketing manager of Frankston RSL. 2. Tony Turner, left, of Jeff Wignall Group, with Chris Pym, marketing manager, of Settlers Run.

1

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Partners at golf: ONE of the teams fielded by Flinders Partners Group, major sponsor of a golf day at Long Island Country Club. From left, Euan Walters, a touring professional; Allan Williams, managing director of Flinders Partners Group; David McKenzie, of Southside Finance Pty Ltd; and celebrity player John Blackman.

Peninsula networking: PENINSULA Business Networking chose The Tanti Hotel, Mornington, for its monthly get together. Katherine Ebbott, PBS president, thanks guest speaker Rory Sackville, of St Kilda Football Club.

New bar:

REFURBISHED and reborn as a tapas bar, Venue 42 at Mt Martha Village opened mid November. Two of the owners, Martyn and Lisa Baker (left, right) with staffers Jason Udovicic and Steph Edmonds.

2 Helping homeless: PENINSULA

NEW season:

Community Ownership Foundation (PenCof) held its first business luncheon at Mornington Racing Club on 25 November. PenCof is a board of local business people raising funds to provide outreach workers on our streets: 1. Guest speaker Wayne Carey signed a Kangaroos’s Guernsey that sold for $2000. The buyer was man- about-town John (Trucky) Truscott (left) 2. The IT crowd: Ben O’Brien, senior technical engineer, Solution One; Matt Gordon, owner, Solution One; and phone supremo Wes Bourke, of Optus Business andCentre, wrinkles Carrum Downs.

Michelle Anne Mitchell, left, with Megan Gale who showed off her 2011-12 range of swimwear at Michelle Anne’s Mornington on Friday 25 November. Gale also brought her swimwear parade to Mornington last year.

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Arts centre season launch

Best drive award

FRANKSTON Arts Centre launched its 2012 theatre season with a partners’ luncheon at the arts centre on 16 November. 1. Major Arts Access partners White Cleland law firm were well represented at the launch. Pictured with arts centre manager Robin Batt are White Cleland partners, from left, Christopher Galagher, Malcolm Taylor and Rod Evenden. White Cleland is principal Access and Inclusion Partner, supporting arts access for all abilities. 2. Nicky Johnston, of Goodbye Mr Worrythoughts fame, with Douglas SpencerRoy, of ConnectEast. ConnectEast, owner and operator of EastLink freeway, is major sponsor of the 2012 theatre program. n Focus on theatre for all abilities: SEE P.16

BAYSIDE Nissan Frankston was the winning team at Eagle Ridge’s corporate golf day on 28 October. Scott McGurgan, Patrick McGuire, Bayside Nissan manager Michael Taskouski, and David McPhee.

Selling success BELOW left: ON the back of its 14th marketing effectiveness award, Nichols Crowder Real Estate has been awarded the coveted REIV Commercial & Industrial Agency of the Year 2011. Pictured are Mal Nicols and Michael Crowder at Crown Palladium. Nichols Crowder says it is now the most awarded commercial industrial agency in Melbourne’s south eastern suburbs. This is Nichols Crowder’s second agency- of-theyear win for in four years. Director Michael Crowder said: “We’ve been consistently recognised for our efforts of which we are extremely proud. It is a credit to our entire team.”

1

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news & views

ONLINE RESEARCH

Nearly 80 per cent of internet users conduct product or service research online. Like most of us, you probably search Google for information. It follows then, that potential customers are looking for your type of product or service and not finding you. So who are these searchers finding?  Here are three tips from Laurel at Bloomtools Mornington Peninsula Web Design: • Search engine optimisation is your friend. Compared to traditional media it’s cheap, and can be very effective at getting your website on the first page of a Google search. • Google Maps is your key to local area marketing. It’s free and one of the easiest ways to get yourself on page one of Google. If you’re not on Google Maps, take five minutes of your time right now and sign up.   • Get your business listed in online directories (such as local and industry), with a short succinct description of your business (with top keywords your target market will use when searching) along with your web address.

cent above market median, although workers in state capitals are not faring so well: Melbourne workers are 2.0 per cent below the national median; those in Sydney are 0.1 per cent above; Perth 2.3 per cent above; and Brisbane 0.7 per cent below. The group’s 2011 Australian Salary Movement Index (ASMI) report predicts most workers can expect a pay rise or “even a healthy bonus in the coming year”. The report found bonuses were being used across all work levels (75 per cent of employees in 2011 compared with 66 per cent in 2010) to reward performance and retain top talent. The use of bonuses continued the trend of them being used as a method of reward during the global financial crisis. Other sectors experiencing growth in pay above the markets median include banking (5.7 per cent), construction (13.5 per cent), insurance (7.9 per cent) and utilities (3.7 per cent). The report stated Australia’s salary forecast of a 4.25 per cent increase is ahead of the US (3 per cent rise) and UK (2.5 per cent rise).

Bloomtools can get your online presence working. Call Laurel on 1300 881 737 or visit www.bloomtools.com

MANAGER COMMENDED

GREATER Dandenong Council’s corporate services director Mick Jaensch has received a ‘highly commended’ award in the Public Sector Financial Manager of the Year category of the prestigious CFO (Financial Review) DealBook Awards. The CFO awards recognise the achievements of the best in Australian finance over the past 12 months. Mayor Cr Roz Blades said Jaensch was nominated internally by his management team and CEO John Bennie. A key component of the submission was Jaensch’s leadership role in the development of council’s long term financial strategy. “The strategy means our entire organisation is now clearly focused on a sound financial future,” Cr Blades said.

MINERALS, ENERGY PAY MORE

MANAGEMENT consultants the Hay Group says salaries in Australia will increase 4.25 per cent over the next year, with the biggest gains in regional Western Australia and Queensland. The two-speed economy has seen mining, oil and gas sector pay rates more than 20 per

PROTECTED ‘RATS’

THEY may be considered rats of the air and a nuisance, but seagulls are protected. Concerned at the cruelty being inflicted on birds caught in rooftop nets, Frankston councillor Brad Hill has called for a report to see if the gulls need protecting. Gillian Kay, general manager communities, last month told the council that seagulls nesting on rooftops posed a health risk. “Unfortunately, this facilitates a number of potential health issues, particularly in roof cavities and air-conditioning, through the lice and rats which target the seagulls and their chicks,” Kay said. She said Frankston would ask other councils to contact the state government with a view to establishing bird netting standards. “As there is no prescribed standard the community uses an array of measures to deter the seagulls. It is proposed that

14 | BusinessTimes Frankston / Mornington Peninsula / Dandenong | December January 2011-12

council seek to agenda the issue with the Association of Bayside Municipalities with a view to advocating to the state government to establish a standard for bird netting in conjunction with the RSPCA to improve the protection of property while minimising the harm to the seagulls.”

Surfing safely

INTERNET service provider iiNet has issued guidelines to “safe surfing in public”. Compliance manager Rebecca Moonen said the tips showed web users how to “maximise their safety and security in a situation where they are more vulnerable to fraud, theft and hardware infections”. “Internet cafes and Wi-Fi hotspots have become commonplace in Australian cities, but extra precaution is required when accessing these public connections,” Moonen said. How to surf safely: • Think before you submit and cover your tracks – limit personal banking and online shopping when using public computers or Wi-Fi and delete browsing history, cookies and cache before logging off. • Watch your back – just like when using an ATM, make sure no one is watching what you’re doing and what you’re typing and if you leave the computer for any reason, log out so that the computer cannot be accessed by a passer-by. • Avoid hotspots run by unfamiliar people or organisations as rogue networks can be used to access private information. Consider encrypting personal files so they’re protected from outsiders that may be using the same wireless network. • When not in use, disable your devices wireless and Bluetooth and avoid using a USB memory stick in public computers as malicious software can transfer from an infected computer to a domestic PC.

CALL FOR PLANNING OVERHAUL

THE Master Builders Association of Victoria has called for local councils to be held accountable for delaying and obstructing housing development. Recommendations in a submission to the state government include setting municipal targets aligned with planning policy priorities. Among 13 recommendations made to the ministerial advisory committee by the Master Builders include: • Allowing private certification of planning permits;


• Narrowing the scope of persons able to lodge an objection to a permit application; and, • Reinstating the VCAT Major Cases List which expedited hearings for developments over $5million. Master Builders Executive Director Brian Welch said councils that failed to meet these targets must be made financially accountable for the “adverse affects they are creating state-wide in terms of liveability and housing affordability”. In previous surveys, members have indicated that the average cost of delays was $35,000 with an average waiting time of 23 weeks for planning permits.

not prepared for ups, downs

MORE than half of Australian mid-market companies are not properly prepared for continuing fluctuations in business conditions, according to the inaugural Commonwealth Bank Future Business Index. With one third of businesses believing that conditions will decline over the next six months, a significant proportion of the market was also found to not have a risk, business continuity or succession plan in place. The Index is a bi-annual analysis of the views of financial decision makers in companies with a turnover of $10m-$100m, measuring their outlook for business conditions, challenges and opportunities, projected revenue and how prepared they are to navigate future volatile conditions. Overall, the outlook for the next six months remains pessimistic, but according to Symon Brewis-Weston, the bank’s executive general manager of corporate financial services, the new index reveals a mixed picture for the Australian economy. Brewis-Weston said there were significant divergences not only across sectors but also states and individual business size. “The general lack of confidence we are seeing may result in a low appetite for risk and capital investment over the next six months. “Despite this, activity among Australian businesses looks set to continue to grow, albeit at a slower pace and in certain pockets of the economy.” He said companies taking a proactive approach to management and planning, “opportunity is still very much alive.” Projections for revenue and profit remained relatively upbeat, with close to half of businesses (46 per cent) expecting an

increase in revenue and 40 per cent seeing this flow through to an increase in profit. A greater proportion (49 per cent) of larger companies with a turnover of $50m-$99m expected an increase in profit, with over half of those companies operating in the business services sector anticipating an increase in both revenue (54 per cent) and profit (53 per cent). More than half (54 per cent) of businesses expected an increase in salaries and wages and 53 per cent were anticipating an increase in operating costs. Businesses were also clearly influenced by not only domestic factors but also issues occurring overseas. “Perhaps surprisingly, more businesses are concerned with the economic picture in the US rather than what is taking place on our doorstep in Asia,” Brewis-Weston said.

we’d choose, contained the first substantial survey of the housing preferences of Sydney and Melbourne residents. The survey showed that contrary to stereotype, Australians want a mixture of housing choices – not just detached houses. Grattan’s latest report proposes reforms to change what is built to better match what Australians say they want, while enabling residents to take an active role in shaping their neighbourhoods in partnership with the housing industry and government. The report proposes the creation of opt-in neighbourhood development corporations that bring together residents, developers and governments to oversee significant development in an area. They would be independent bodies with real powers over planning and delivery. They would enable residents, developers and governments to plan together, then act. They would assume powers over planning, land acquisition and design for the life of the project. A commonwealth-state liveability fund would finance new parks and community facilities in return for support for a significant change in the amount and type of housing in the neighbourhood.

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THE perceived benefits of superannuation are highlighted in new advertisements launched by industry superfunds. The ads are targeting waverers questioning the benefit of super in the current economic climate. The messages are: • Since the introduction of mandatory superannuation there has been a significant increase in superannuation savings for Australians. Before super was an entitlement, most working Australians had no super. But typical Australians starting work now could retire with around $350,267 (based on assumptions by SuperRatings www.industrysuper.com/assumptions). • Almost all Australians now have superannuation. Before it was an entitlement for most Australian workers only 32 per cent had superannuation, but now more than 94 per cent do. • Given Australians are living longer, superannuation helps Australians in their extra years of retirement. In 1975, the average Australian could expect to live to 73. Today, it’s 82. Sixteen Industry SuperFunds are behind the advertising campaign.

December January 2011-12 | Frankston / Mornington Peninsula / Dandenong BusinessTimes | 15


theatre

Theatre focus on all abilities FRANKSTON Arts Centre’s commitment to stage live theatre for all abilities took another significant step when the 2012 season was announced in November. Two key commercial partnerships have helped to expand next season and make shows more accessible to people with special needs. In its 10th year of partnership with the FAC , Frankston law firm White Cleland, will focus its sponsorship on making performances available to more people of all abilities. The result is that next year there will be six captioned and two Auslan signed performances. ConnectEast, owner and operator of EastLink freeway, is FAC’s principal partner for the theatre season of 20 performances, starting on 6 March with Miriam Margolyes starring in Dickens’ Women. White Cleland director Malcom Taylor admires the fact that “FAC is an inclusive venue with an enduring commitment to

marketing relationships with venues that are easily accessed via EastLink. “The customer benefits by cutting down their travel time and arriving at the venue more relaxed, the venue benefits from an increased catchment area for patrons and ConnectEast benefits from the extra trips on EastLink.”

enhancing access to the arts”. “We are very proud of this great facility and what it offers to the community. Because it is such an outstanding asset we decided to become the Principal Partner of the annual theatre season back in 2002 – a support we have continued,” Mr Taylor said. “We are also very excited about the new role that White Cleland has been able to forge with the Frankston Arts Centre – as its initial Principal Access and Inclusion Partner. The endeavour of the Frankston Arts Centre in pursuing its Arts Access initiatives is to be commended.” White Cleland’s support means that more live performances can be captioned, enabling those who are hard of hearing, deaf or who speak a language other than English, to enjoy theatre. ConnectEast marketing and strategy manager Mr Douglas Spencer-Roy, said: “It makes good business sense for us to develop

2012 program

FRANKSTON Arts Centre’s expanded 2012 program includes the full spectrum of theatre – from plays like Dickens’ Women to Circus Oz, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Bell Theatre Company and the Vienna Boys’ Choir. The FAC is also launching new initiatives, including the ability to select your seat online, a new web address – thefac.com. au – smart phone technology to provide performance information directly to your phone, and an FAC YouTube channel. Showing in August is Bugalugs Bum Thief, the new show based on the novel by celebrated Australian novelist Tim Winton. It is likely to be a hit with families.

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NEWs

Bluescope bonuses BLUESCOPE Steel will pay $3.1 million in bonuses to 11 senior executives including CEO Paul O’Malley, who will receive about $720,000 on top of his base pay of $1.25 million. The so-called “short term incentive” bonuses were agreed to at the company’s annual meeting last month only after almost 40 per cent of shareholders voted against the remuneration report. The BlueScope board could face new elections if 25 per cent or more votes go against next year’s remuneration report. In August, BlueScope reported a $1.054 billion net loss for financial year 2010-11 after making a $126 million profit the previous year. The company said it would be forced to cut 1000 jobs and shut down one of two remaining blast furnaces at Port Kembla as well as its hot strip mill at Western Port after it had decided to stop exporting steel and concentrate on the Australian market alone. A metal coating line at Hastings was mothballed. The company closed the hot strip mill at Hastings on 19 October and one of two metal coating plants on 22 October. About 200 BlueScope workers at Hastings have been retrenched and as many as 70 workers at other companies have lost their jobs. BlueScope Lysaghts in Dandenong South laid off all casual workers at its roofing facility. Patricks Stevedores laid off wharfies after BlueScope’s ship Iron Monarch delivered its last cargo of slab steel to Hastings. – Mike Hast

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MARKETS

Better news at News Corp As the following concerns News Corp, ethical investors perhaps should stop right here. The suggestion that News could be a worthy investment may cause gripe, inflammation or worse. It has clearly had its lapses: hacking the phones of almost 6000 UK sports and entertainment figures is one thing, but interfering with an abduction and murder investigation is another. News may have closed a profitable newspaper because its advertisers were repelled by the association, but let’s suspend moral judgement for a moment. Investment markets are battered, half Europe’s banks could collapse yet News Corporation, one of the world’s largest media groups, is financially robust with more than $11b in cash and expanding in the midst of the worst recessions in 60 years. Consider the assets. In entertainment and sport, News is a colossus. Its cable and satellite broadcasting network easily outpaced its US rivals Time Warner and Comcast this year as advertisers tried to jump start consumer spending and returns from the UK, Brazil and Asia were also solid. Filmed entertainment was even stronger lifting 20th Century Fox income by 24 per cent. Films can be chancy, but films like the X Men series about super heroes attract big global audiences. It’s not all low IQ material either. That enduring and subversive satire on US life The Simpsons alone has generated more than a billion dollars in 23 consecutive seasons. On top of this comes the book publishing through Harper Collins and some of the best newspaper titles in the world, including The Times and The Wall Street Journal, plus its

Richard Campbell* Stock Analyst

string of regional, suburban and city tabloids like the New York Post, The Daily Telegraph and the Herald Sun. True, these 148 publications are in various states of profitability, but they still collectively pull in $420 million of pre-tax profits plus provide the company with both elite and mass audiences which makes life very difficult for politicians of all stripes who don’t bend to the Murdoch will. One admittedly big flaw in the case for News is that it has been a very poor investment for non-family members for a long time. Even allowing for the skinny News Corp dividend ordinary shareholders are negative 6 per cent a year over the past decade. However, daughter Elisabeth Murdoch did better. She sold her 53 per cent owned TV production company Shine to her dad’s company for $208 million – a 43 per cent a year return on the $6 million she invested 10 years before. It is difficult to believe that News Corporation was incapable of producing formula shows like Shine’s Master Chef and Biggest Loser. But arguably this is the past, or will be. Murdoch is now 80 and has decided to chair the small Australian division of the empire which may distract him from further grand projects like the purchase of the social

networking site Myspace. News sold it this year for $35 million after outlaying $580 million for it in 2007. This was not a fatal blow, but US fund managers can see that the master is no longer infallible now that print is being replaced by smart phones, tablets and tweets. He may control 38.4 per cent of the votes with only 12.7 per cent of the shares, but the board is on notice about its lack of independence and the CEO’s love for troublesome newspapers with their low returns. TV and film entertainment, where Murdoch is not the master, is in a different position. Both are supported by the internet rather than competing directly with it. The wider point is that headstrong corporate bosses like Murdoch are now on the nose. It is one thing for a big corporate to lag behind the likes of IBM, Apple or Caterpillar, but when it is mixed up with less than acceptable standard of corporate governance plus journalism that consorts with convicted hit men, investors aren’t left with much moral high ground. That said, at least the share performance will start to change. Chief operating officer of News Chase Carey is a keen advocate of buy backs and could extend the current $5 billion buy back by another $3-4 billion and drive the price 10-15 per cent higher next year. Ultimately, Murdoch’s instincts were right: in deals that often seemed crazily over-priced he fought his way to an empire of assets that delivers cash in spades – even if one suspects that he would regard what it delivers as largely trash. *Richard Campbell is Executive Director of Peninsula Capital Management, Tel. 9642 0545.

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18 | BusinessTimes Frankston / Mornington Peninsula / Dandenong | December January 2011-12


MANAGING

Measuring performance Nearly a century ago, the great scientist Lord Kelvin stated: “If you cannot measure it, you cannot improve it.” While the business world has changed dramatically since then, this concept is just as valid today as it was back then. To measure your business performance, you must first revisit your business strategy, as everything in your business should connect back to your strategies. Traditionally, business strategy has been measured primarily by major financial measures, like revenue, costs and profitability. Of course, these types of financial measures are critical, but they leave two major gaps. Firstly, these are financial measures of results and are therefore lagging indicators of business performance. To manage your business, you have to consider the leading indicators that will allow you to know, as early as possible, if your business is heading in the right direction at the right speed. Some leading indicators may be financial, but others may be non-financial indicators (NFIs), which are usually much harder to dimension. For example, your business turnover (or revenue) can be easily measured in dollars, and leading financial indicators may be dollars for each product, or for each salesperson. A leading NFI could be customer satisfaction as, when satisfaction drops, you may lose customers with the consequence that your turnover will reduce. This may be difficult to measure, but it is well worth the effort to try to determine a tracking methodology. Doing an analysis to find the connections between your strategies, your major financial outcomes and the many leading indicators can be a complex, yet rewarding process. It is not unusual to find that there are multitudes of leading indicators that connect to the major financial outcomes, so another challenge is to determine which of them are key to your business strategy and are able to be controlled by your people. The final step in this process is to identify which of your team can best influence or control each of these key indicators and to then ensure that this responsibility is built into their job. Sometimes, this may even stimulate a reorganisation of your people to ensure clarity of responsibility for key leading indicators. Secondly, in today’s world, businesses need

Hamish Petrie*

Business Consultant

As the Lord said: “To measure is to know... If you cannot measure it, you cannot improve it” to do more that just focus on the financial bottom line. There are two other business dimensions that demand just as strong a focus and these are the environmental and social bottom lines. This triple bottom line focus represents the concept of sustainability, as success is needed in these three areas for your business to prosper and grow in tomorrow’s world. Major listed companies have responded to this sustainability focus in recent years as there are a growing number of investors who are seeking ethical and sustainable investments. As this focus on environmental and social responsibility grows, it is expected that customers will apply the same standards to the small businesses that they support. As a small business operator, you should consider how you can integrate environmental and social concerns into your business. A great start point would be to analyse the major environmental aspects and consequences of your business. Consider issues like your wastes, emissions, resource utilisation, and compliance issues. This should identify the improvement opportunities and clarify the responsibility connections to your people. Social responsibility is a more complex topic and more difficult to measure, but it is often the area where the greatest threats or opportunities exist. There are some great examples of companies that have led the thinking on this topic while building great reputations as good global citizens as evidenced publicly in reviews like those in Fortune magazine. For small businesses, this social focus should start internally with employees. How well are they informed about their jobs and how

satisfied are they that they are being treated fairly and well? The next step is to consider the interactions with suppliers and customers before heading out further to consider your business impacts on the wider community. Again, it is important to distil the few key parameters from the plethora of potential issues that contribute to your social outcomes. When you have completed these analyses and identified the key measures for your triple bottom line, then you should determine how to drive them through your people. Consider the parallel of driving a car. The dashboard of the car contains most of the key measurable variables that you need to drive safely and efficiently. You can apply this concept to your business by designing your business dashboard with the top 5 to 10 variables on which you want your people to focus. There will be a further group of variables that you don’t need to see continuously, but you do need to see them if they fall outside a pre-determined control range. This group is like the warning lights on your dashboard which you can ignore as long as they don’t illuminate, but you need to respond quickly when they do. This measurement process can be complex and time consuming, but organisations that are rich in measures usually have a very clear focus on how to implement their business strategy through their people. Lord Kelvin was also right when he said “to measure is to know”. Actions Planning Questions: 1. Have you completed an analysis to find the leading indicators that connect to your major financial outcomes? 2. Have you identified the few key leading indicators that will drive your major financial outcomes and connect directly to your business strategy? 3. Have you identified the key environmental and social issues that measure how your business performs in these areas? 4. Do you have a “dashboard” of your triple bottom line measures that is deployed through your people, preferably on a weekly basis? © Hamish Petrie November 2011

*Hamish Petrie had a 37-year corporate career including 29 years with Alcoa Inc. His last position was as VP–People and Communication for the global Alcoa corporation based in New York, NY. He can be contacted at hamish@nitroworld.net or on 0404 345 103.

December-January 2011-12 | Frankston / Mornington Peninsula / Dandenong BusinessTimes | 19


NEWS wheels

Sensible soft-roader Dualis is the smallest of five models in Nissan Australia’s 4WD/SUV range. A compact SUV, it’s sold in most overseas markets under the more interesting name of Qashqai (pronounced Kash-Ky) after a nomadic tribe from southern Iran. First sold here in late 2007, Dualis was given a midlife upgrade in April 2010 with significant changes to the appearance by renewing every visible component forward of the windscreen. The styling changes make the Dualis look more like a hatchback and less in the shape of an SUV, principally because Europeans don’t like to be seen as driving an SUV as they have become politically incorrect over there. This trend is gradually coming to Australia and the new look shouldn’t prove detrimental to local sales. Inside, the dashboard has been significantly revamped. The biggest difference is the fitting of a larger, clearer panel for the trip computer. We like this as the fuel consumption, distance travelled, range and so on can be read with the quickest of glances, thus improving safety as well as convenience. Stowage areas have been increased in size and made easier to access, an important feature in a vehicle that’s aimed very much at the family market where the little travellers like to have plenty of gear around them. There are also changes to the trim colours of the latest Nissan Dualis, as well as to their design. The result of this upgrade is that the Dualis is a trendy looking vehicle that will appeal to the young at heart as well

Ewen Kennedy Motoring Journalist

as the young themselves. Noise, vibration and harshness levels have been improved by adding extra soundproofing material to the firewall between the engine bay and cabin. As well, an interesting new design of windscreen, that actually absorbs sound, further improves matters. With its high driving position, compact dimensions and 10.6-metre turning circle the Dualis is equally at home in the congestion of the big cities and on fast moving motorways. During our test drive we spent a lot of time on narrow rural roads where Dualis’ handling was almost car-like and we were able to push it hard through winding sections with confidence. We were also impressed by the reduced sound levels in what was already a quiet vehicle. Indeed, interior sound and vibration levels that would normally be felt in a much more expensive sedan. About 80 per cent of Australian buyers have chosen to go for the 2WD version of Dualis, not the 4WD model. The 2WD Dualis has been on the local market since August 2009 and was the subject of our road test this week. Not only does the use of 2WD trim the price of the Dualis, it also pulls out a significant amount of complexity and weight, resulting in improved performance and reduced fuel consumption. The lighter weight also gives the Dualis

20 | BusinessTimes Frankston / Mornington Peninsula / Dandenong | December January 2011-12

Styling of the Nissan Dualis gives it a sleek look that is bang up to date. greater nimbleness on the road. You wouldn’t call it sporting in its handling by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s safe and predictable and will look after drivers who mistakenly enter a corner too fast. Power for the Dualis in 2WD and 4WD format continues to come from a 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine that produces 102 kW of power, and 198 Nm of torque at 4400 rpm. The engine drives through either a six-speed manual gearbox or a sophisticated continuously variable transmission (CVT). Our test car was a six-speed manual and we knew from experience it’s a more pleasant ‘box to sit behind. This powerplant probably has sufficient power and torque for most owners, but we feel it’s marginal in its performance if you load the Dualis with lots of people and their gear. As always, try for yourself to see what you think. Fuel consumption is in the eight to nine litres per 100km bracket if you’re using a Dualis on country roads or motorways and aren’t carrying a huge load. This will typically increase to about nine to 11 litres if you are doing heavy duty commuting. Prices: ST 2.0-litre 2WD five-door wagon: $24,990 (manual), $27,490 (CVT). Ti 2.0-litre 2WD five-door wagon: $29,690 (manual), $32,190 (CVT); Ti 2.0-litre AWD five-door wagon: $31,890 (manual), $34,390 (CVT); +2 ST 2.0-litre 2WD five-door wagon: $29,990 (CVT); +2 Ti 2.0-litre 2WD five-door wagon: $34,690 (CVT); +2 Ti 2.0-litre AWD five-door wagon: $36,890 (CVT).


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HEALTH

The Loss World A simple psychology is responsible for sporting motivation, but also our desire to stay healthy. You know, I really hate this time of year. There’s no footy on! Nothing to watch on Friday nights, no family outings to the MCG, a starvation diet of meaningful footy news in the daily papers … We’re struggling for a footy fix when the Herald Sun runs a front-page pointer to its Page 3 scoop on Collingwood player Dane Swan having acquired a nose stud. Yes, Page 1 and 3! OK, fair enough – it was a diamond stud. And yeah, I read it. I do enjoy the footy (best not tell you which team though, as that would probably cost the Times readers and the editor is very keen to keep them – even the Carlton ones … for some reason). I realise this is a column about health, so I will remark in passing that football in Melbourne is an important part of the social fabric and therefore contributes to our mental health, but that’s not why I brought it up. I was pondering recently why it is that some people get really motivated about their health – exercising religiously, eating fastidiously, consulting all manner of health practitioners, or perhaps one really good one, and generally keeping themselves informed on health trends – while others take a carefree attitude. Or else they fire up for a while only to slip back into old ways. Typically the most motivated patients in Chinese medicine clinics are those seeking help with infertility or debilitating or life-threatening conditions that fail to respond adequately to Western interventions. Naturally it helps your motivation levels, no matter what therapy you are using, if you can

Michael Ellis*

Chinese Herbalist

see progress. After all, drinking Chinese herbal tea on a regular basis does require a certain level of commitment! But what is it that really prompts a person to get off their backside and “do something about my health”? I think it often comes down to a psychology known as “loss aversion”. This simple principle states that humans are more motivated to avoid a loss than they are to achieve a gain. It works like this: suppose a friend gives you $100 then some time later says he has changed his mind and wants it back. Your reaction is to feel a keen sense of loss. You have already accounted for that $100 as yours and feel aggrieved at losing it. You argue the toss. But what if that friend simply promised you $100, and some time later changed his mind and said sorry, you won’t be getting it? Yes, you’re disappointed, but not nearly as aggrieved because you had not yet accounted for that money as yours, so there’s no loss. This psychology is employed a lot in sales and marketing but also drives competitive sport. This is where I get a chance to talk about the footy again, because I think the AFL runs on loss aversion. You see it at many levels, but particularly in the motivation that footballers seem to derive from the “pain” of defeat.

Teams that have experienced devastating losses – such as in finals – are tremendously motivated to avoid such losses again, and smart coaches tap into this phenomenon. The results of the past three AFL seasons can be explained simply by contemplating the effect of loss aversion (for those who are interested, see the website www.understandfooty.com. It makes a compelling case, by the way, for a Collingwood vs Hawthorn Grand Final next year.) But to return to my clinic, I reckon the patients most motivated to do something about their health are those who feel themselves to be at real risk of losing it permanently. Or at losing something they cherish – for instance the ability to enjoy an activity that gives pleasure (I’m thinking of surfing here but insert just about anything). The notion that you should take medicine in order to feel better is ultimately not as motivating as the thought that “unless I take this, I may lose the ability to do this or that, or enjoy this or that experience”. I think doctors, who cop criticism at times for blunt advice, understand this principle when they fail to sugar-coat such messages as: “Stop smoking today – or it will kill you.” That is a far more motivational than: “Quit smoking and you will feel so much healthier.” It is the psychology behind the latest, moving TV ads from the Quit Smoking campaign featuring emphysema sufferer Mick Roberts talking about what he may be about to lose – the chance to see his kids grow up – and what his kids will lose, too – their father’s presence. My bet is that this will be the most effective Quit campaign yet put together. Motivation is all about loss aversion. * Michael Ellis is a registered Chinese herbalist in Mt Eliza: www.mtelizaherbal.com

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STAY WHERE THE BUSINESS IS! You couldn’t be more central. 22 | BusinessTimes Frankston / Mornington Peninsula / Dandenong | December January 2011-12

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N season’s greetings to all our supporters December January 2011-12 | Frankston / Mornington Peninsula / Dandenong BusinessTimes | 23


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Business Times | December 2011/Janurary 2012  

Read the latest issue or check out the BusinessTimes Mornignton Peninsula.

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