Page 1

ISSUE 197 JUNE 2011 $4.50 (inc Gst)

Old Dogs, New Tricks ... Is retraining older workers the answer to the skills shortage?

GEELONG BLINDS CO. Designing and Manufacturing Window Furnishings in Geelong since 1969

All products are custom designed by our Interior Designers, to best compliment your existing home or add a feature to enhance the overall design intent of your renovation or new home. There is no standard product and every aspect of detail is addressed from headings, fabric, and colour selections, tracks, accessories and every imaginable detail.

• Roman Blinds • Drapes, Organza & Voile • Vision Screen Blinds

• Cedar Venetians • Swag, Tails & Austrian Blinds • Roller Blinds • Exterior Awnings

Since 1969 Geelong Blinds Company have been manufacturing premium quality window furnishings and has established an enviable reputation for unsurapassed quality and service.

HEAD OFFICE & SHOWROOM: 86 Pakington St, Geelong West VIC 3218 SHOWROOM HOURS: Mon - Fri 9am - 5:30pm Saturday 9:30am - 12:30pm

Our range of products are designed by professionals and manufactured in our Geelong Workroom and studio. Come and visit us to find out why we are continually creating the most beautiful interiors in Geelong, the Bellarine Peninsula and the Surf coast right through to Lorne.

P: (03) 5229 9588 F: (03) 5221 5925 E:






14 Old Dogs, New Tricks ...

Do older workers hold the key on skills shortage?

17 SMSFs: The Super Plan What you need to know about Budget changes

18 Company Cars and FBT

The Great Australian Perk drowning in paperwork

CONTENTS 05 Biz News 10 Appointments 38 Small Biz 40 Gadgets 42 Arts 48 After Hours 51 What's On

View online at


THE DEALER ALTERNATIVE car servicing & tuning by specialist technicians

• Servicing all makes • 4WD servicing & trip preparation • Roadworthy & pre-purchase • Handbook servicing • Fleet maintenance management


• Warranty validation • Performance & tuning specialists





Is age really just a number? Did you know that in Australia, you are classified (by the Bureau of Statistics at least) as a ‘mature age worker’ if you are over 45 years of age?

Age discrimination that is currently rife in our workplaces is out-moded, counter-productive and, at the end of the day, simply dumb.

We all know that ‘mature age’ is just the nicer way of saying ‘old’. Since when did a 45th birthday make you an older worker, and how come we were never told?

We have an ageing population in this country, we are facing a decade that will see many workers with valuable skills the workforce and we are already facing a skills shortage across a wide range of sectors.

Now, at this point, it is only fair to point out (albeit, with a decent sigh of relief and only the very slightest hint of smugness) that I am still a decade off entering the ‘mature age worker’ category. But this isn’t about the O-word, this is about that the fact that like many people I know, I like to think that I will continue to work – at least in some capacity – until I am well into my 70s, and even into my 80s if it’s possible. How odd is it that we live in a working culture that idolises those that continue to contribute to their industry and maintain active, full lives, including work, well into their latter years, yet there is a very real tendency towards ageism in our workplaces. Don’t believe me? Ask a few ‘mature age workers’ you know about their chances of moving employer as they approach 60 years of age and see what they say. So, why do we revere old Australians that have continued to work, yet knee-jerk away from ‘older’ workers – those that fall into the 45 to 64 years old statistical bracket? The sad fact is that while we like the idea of keeping people in the workforce longer, and know that we should be seeking out and holding on to skills and experience - practically, employers will all too often see 45 years old as a cut off age for new employees. This has to change.

If we want to protect and build on the productivity of this great working nation of ours, we need to keep skills in the workforce, and we need to keep adding to those skills. And even more importantly, we need to learn from those ‘older workers’ that have seen it all, and have invaluable experience to offer. Does that sound like a bit of a rant to you? It does to me, yet I believe it’s a rant that’s worth the effort – and for what it’s worth, I think that 45 should be considered ‘older’ only in the same sense that my five-foot height should be considered ‘tall’! Moving on, we take a look at one of the interesting elements of the May Budget (an no, there is no Budget rant coming, it’s too cold to give valuable heat to politicians!) – the changes to FBT on company vehicles.

ISSUE 197 JUNE 2011 Geelong Business News, an Adcell Print Group publication, is mailed to more than 5000 businesses in the G21 region. If you would like to receive Geelong Business News at your business please contact us. Publisher Maureen Tayler manager Caroline Tayler editor Davina Montgomery

FOR ADVERTISING, Vinnie Kerr M 0409 427 473

Trina Currie M 0402 268 624

The company car has traditionally been one of the most coveted perks for employees, but is it still worth it? The burden of compliance with FBT is over the top and fast becoming unmanageable - particularly for small to medium sized businesses that have relied on the offer of a company car to lure prized employees.

T(03) 5221 4408 F(03) 5221 3322 203 Malop Street, PO Box 491, Geelong Vic 3220

We also take a look at the new rules around SMSFs.

Read online at:

Until the next financial year … Davina Montgomery

Simply Breathtaking The Pier Geelong is a stunning and versatile venue, offering a stylish alternative to the traditional meeting room or conference centre, with uninterrupted bay views stretching from Rippleside to Point Wilson and the Geelong city skyline. Talk to us today about our terrific conference packages. The Pier Geelong will ensure that your conference, seminar or meeting leaves a lasting impression. Cunningham Pier, 10 Western Beach Foreshore Road. Geelong, Victoria, Australia | 03 5222 6444 | |



Private health service urges rethink on rebates

Unfair dismissal claims on the rise

The Group CEO of St John of God Health Care, Dr Michael Stanford, said that if the Federal Government successfully introduces a means test on the rebate, both private and public patients would be adversely affected.

The Victorian Employers’ Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VECCI) has slammed changes to the new unfair dismassal laws, saying employers are now, more than ever, being tied up in matters before Fair Work Australia – costing them time and money. According to VECCI, the latest figures from Fair Work Australia show unfair dismissal claims continue to rise and applications for general protections under the Fair Work Act remain high, causing employers to tie up more of their resources in procedural matters than before. Alexandra Marriott, VECCI Manager Workplace Relations Policy, says more than 3,200 unfair dismissal claims were made in the first three months of 2011, with more than three quarters (79 per cent) of them settled after the conciliation stage. "If the trend continues, the number of claims for the first half of 2011 will exceed the 6,279 claims made in the second half of 2010," says Ms Marriott. "It's no surprise to see this trend, due to the Fair Work Act restoring access to unfair dismissal remedies for all employees, regardless of business size. It can also be

Australia's third largest private hospital operator, St John of God Health Care, has added its sizeable voice to calls for the Federal Government to scrap proposed means testing of the 30% rebate on private health insurance.

attributed to the overwhelming majority (97 per cent) of conciliation hearings being conducted via telephone, rather than formal proceedings.

In a statement, the Catholic not-for-profit health care group said that a Deloitte report, published in May by the Australian Health Insurance Association, estimated that in the first year of means testing 175,000 people would drop private health cover and a further 538,000 would downgrade their cover.

"The statistics suggest termination is a trigger for employees to claim unfair dismissal, whether or not procedural fairness has been afforded, with the high levels of conciliated outcomes bringing with them tales of a revival of the payment of 'go away' money to claimants."

"This would only be the start of a vicious cycle. As more people drop out of or downgrade their cover, health insurance premiums would rise 10% higher than otherwise expected over five years, due to declining membership and premium increases. Doing this at time of increasing health care costs and increasing demand from an ageing population makes no sense," Dr Stanford said.

The employer peak body said the Small Business Fair Dismissal Code was thought to provide a kind of safety valve for small business, yet the interpretation of compliance with the Code by Fair Work Australia has proven it cannot always be relied upon to exempt employers from unfair dismissal claims.

He said that the 2009 Productivity Commission report on public and private hospitals showed that private hospital care per patient cost at least 3% less than the same care in public hospitals. "It makes no economic sense for a government to withdraw funding from a highly efficient sector and require states and territories to commit increased funding to a less efficient sector."

Secure your financial future... Free Information Evening

Financial Planning For more information: 03 5229 0577 or



$100 million budget boost The Baillieu Government’s first State Budget has been welcomed by the Geelong Regional Alliance. Elaine Carbines, CEO of G21, “We are very pleased with the allocation of funding and in-principle support made within the 2011-12 State Budget toward several of our region’s Priority Projects, including the Geelong Cultural Precinct, Skilled Stadium, Avalon Airport, Princes Highway West, Transport Links and Armstrong Creek Urban Growth Area.” Included in the May State Budget announcements was $25 million for Stage Three of the Skilled Stadium redevelopment, $15 million for the Geelong Cultural Precinct, $8.3 million for the planned expansion of Geelong Hospital, 3 million to start planning a direct rail link to Avalon Airport and $2 million to secure land for an additional aged care facility in Geelong. “All of these projects are vital to the ongoing prosperity and future of the Geelong region. They have all been developed to help improve people’s lives within our region,” Ms Carbines said. The Baillieu Government also announced that they are committed to supporting the development of Geelong as an international aerospace, defense and aviation hub – and yes, Ted Baillieu is determined to try to bring the Red Bull Air Race to Geelong, with $500k allocated for a feasibility study into hosting the event over the bay.

Signing on to Sustainability Victoria’s Environment Protection Authority and the City of Greater Geelong have joined other key partners in a sustainability covenant to assist Geelong as it moves towards developing a low carbon economy.

EPA Chairperson, Cheryl Batagol, said the covenant would encourage business, government and the community in Geelong to look at ways to work together to become more sustainable in their planning and day-to-day operations.

The three-year Future Proofing Geelong Regional Sustainability Covenant was signed in May between EPA Victoria and the City of Greater Geelong, with co-signatories including the Geelong Manufacturing Council, Chamber of Commerce, Committee for Geelong, Barwon Water and Deakin University.

Under the covenant, the Low Carbon Growth Plan for Geelong has been developed in partnership between the EPA, the City, Sustainability Victoria, the Department of Sustainability and Environment and local industry, business, government and the community.

It is the first EPA Sustainability Covenant with a regional focus - rather than for a single business or industry sector - and is the first of its kind in Australia. The covenant aims to provide opportunities for Geelong to become a more sustainable city while still growing its economy.

Ms Batagol described the Low Carbon Growth Plan for Geelong as a practical action plan designed to deliver significant emission reductions in six industry sectors - energy, buildings, power, transport, agriculture and forestry. Website:

Signing the covenant, Committee for Geelong Executive Director, Peter Dorling; Barwon Health Managing Director, Michael Malouf; and Geelong Mayor John Mitchell

“We also welcome the establishment of the $1 billion Regional Growth Fund, highlighted in the State Budget, which will be a vital funding source for our region’s Priority Projects,” she said.

in Geelong Do you organise meetings region? and the Great Ocean Road

Business Events Geelong is your ‘award winning’ Convention Bureau to Geelong and the Great Ocean Road. Contact our team for FREE venue finding services and event support when planning a meeting in Victoria’s leading events destination.

.au C O N V E N T I O N B U R E A U | G R E AT O C E A N R O A D Business News_maxi_May 2011.indd 1

( & & - 0 / (       …       5 ) &  # & - - " 3 * / &       …       5 0 3 2 6 ":       …       - 0 3 / & 4/05/2011 4:13:02 PM

NEWS Corporate insolvencies up again

Letter to the editor [The question of how to breathe new life into central Geelong is a complex one, and one worthy of varied debate. So, when this letter from a central city trader arrived on my email, I thought it deserved to be shared. - Editor]

It seems that numbers of company insolvencies in Australia has taken a turn for the worse in 2011. A Sydney-based business specialising in company liquidations, Dissolve, interpreted the latest ASIC statistics, finding that 948 companies entered some form of insolvency administration in the month of March 2011 That figure is the third highest monthly figure since 1999. The only months that have been higher were at the height of the GFC being November 2008 (1,011) and March 2009 (1095). This follows last months data where February 2011 was the highest February on record (852). "During 2010 the number of insolvencies dropped off the peaks from the GFC but they have now jumped back up again. We also know from our research that the dollar cost to Australian Banks of their bad debts has remained stubbornly high as they are still running at around $5.6 billion a quarter which is over 5 times pre-GFC levels," commented Dissolve CEO, Cliff Sanderson. "There are a number of factors at play. Firstly, it always takes a number of years for a financial crisis to work its way through to trading businesses. We saw a few large corporate collapses post GFC and we are now seeing a large number of smaller businesses hitting the wall. "Secondly, for a period post GFC, the ATO was very accommodating for companies struggling to pay taxes. That is no longer the case. Lastly, the Banks showed quite a bit of patience post GFC, but for the last year or so have been more aggressive in appointing Receivers and taking possession of assets."

I have just read Judy Baulch’s article on the Geelong City. Interesting reading and some areas I agree with, but there are a few things that don't sit right. For one, Cr Barbara Abley must be delusional if she does not think there is a problem with the mall rats and anti-social elements in the mall, she obviously does not visit the city, especially between the 4pm and 6pm each night. My business is in the city and we are located opposite the new bus deport in Moorabool St (the worst mistake the City has ever made.) Each night I fear for my staff walking past the area to get home. On many occasions I have seen fistfights and antisocial behaviour, with security guards/police having trouble controlling the nuisance elements. If, as Barb says, there was not a problem in the area, why have security guards been hired? As for fixing the problem, your article is correct, we need to look at other alternatives and come up with a

solution - and maybe get a bit tougher. In my opinion we need: 1) Change our thinking and not view areas such as - Moorabool Street, Ryrie Street and others as retail space. These old shops now need to be reborn to become office space, accommodation, speciality areas and so forth. 2) Empower our council with the power to enforce change, and quickly. This can be done by issuing ongoing and very heavy fines for owners who will not renovate or make a concerted effort to reinvigorate the city centre (as per a Council mandate). In extreme cases, the Council should even have the power to sell the buildings.  And also to put a timeframe on action - don't let the building owners squirm away from their responsibility (such as has happened with The Ritz). Lastly, on the development side of things, Council should agree to fix up their archaic and snail-paced approval systems. If the city centre and Mall could be revived as discussed it would bring activity back to these streets, create new areas of business/employment. From a central city business owner

Understanding the Workplace Martin Reid is a Partner of Coulter Roache Lawyers and practices in the area of employment law and workplace relations generally. He regularly advises clients in the areas of unfair and unlawful dismissal, discrimination, industrial relations and occupational health and safety. He provides expert advice on the new Fair Work Act 2009, Modern Awards, employment contracts, restructuring and redundancies, consultancy and independent contract arrangements.

Call Martin Reid Today Level 1, 235 Ryrie Street, Geelong


T: 03 5273 5236


R O P F R I O T F differe T O N e n h t c e e c .. i to N TAXATION & ACCOUNTING FINANCIAL PLANNING





APS Benefits specialises in many not for profit financial services such as Financial Planning, tax and accounting, funeral cover, and unsecured loans. We offer a travel and mortgage broking service as well as our latest service to our members and clients in GENERAL INSURANCE BROKING. Next time you renew your home and contents or your motor vehicle insurance, give us a call & NOTICE THE NOT FOR PROFIT DIFFERENCE.

The Australian Public Service Benevolent Society Ltd Membership of APS Benefits automatically entitles you to a funeral benefit issued by APS Benefits. You should consider the Combined PDS/FSG (available from APS Benefits) before making a decision to become a member of APS Benefits or buy any products offered by APS Benefits. APS Financial Planning is a Corporate Authorised Representative No.305923 of Futuro Financial Services Pty Ltd AFSL No.238478. Comments are of a general nature and should not be viewed, nor intended to be specific investment advice.

Notice the difference a NOT FOR PROFIT financial service provider can make to the public sector, their families and friends. The Australian Public Service Benevolent Society (APS Benefits) is a not for profit organisation that provides a

wide range of financial services to all government departments, their families and friends. Having been in existence for over 105 years, the APS family has earned the trust of over 27,000 members offering the following financial services listed below: APS Tax & Accounting Alfred Mallia at APS Tax, Accounting and Business Services has 24 years’ experience. Whether it is setting up a business, managing your superannuation fund or just obtaining better service and lower fees, Alfred can help you.

APS Financial Planning, Timothy Foster provides access to advice and information on the important financial decisions we all face, whether it be superannuation, investments, pre and post retirement planning, life insurance, gearing, managed funds or savings plans. APS Mortgage Broking, Sam Athans treats every mortgage as if it were his own. He has access to 20 mortgage lenders and over 40 years’ experience in banking. APS Insurance (General Insurance Broking) Danielle Rowe heads up our insurance broking team and is a salaried employee of APS Benefits. With 15 years experience in the industry, you can be assured of receiving unbiased advice that meets your insurance needs. We have access to products that include Home and Contents, Motor Vehicle, Boat/Caravan, Landlord, Public Liability, Income Protection, Life, Disability & Trauma insurance. The next time you receive your insurance renewal notice from your current insurer or want insurance for the first time, call Danielle on 1300 131 809. APS Personal Loans The APS Benefits’ personal loans team can assist members to obtain an unsecured loan, or they can apply online at Either way, loans can be approved within 24 hours. APS Funeral Cover APS Benefits’ Membership Coordinator Jesse Clarke can assist members to gain immediate funeral cover up to $15,000 and protect their loved ones in times of need. Do you have cover in the greatest time of need? Call us on 1300 131 809. Independence is important to APS. Our key advisors are employees of APS, and therefore have no personal bias towards any supplier. Further to this, APS is owned by its members, so any profits are channelled back to members. APS would also like to assist you and your family and friends in making available our wide range of not for profit services. Help spread the word by introducing new members and APS will send you or your nominated charity $50 for each new member you nominate.

For further information on the APS family and its wide range of not for profit financial services, phone 1300 131 809 or visit


APPOINTMENTS Dental Services

Community services

Ashley Freeman has recently returned to Victoria to work with the team at Dental Spa. Ashley graduated from Melbourne High and University before moving interstate to continue his studies. He graduated as the dux of his year and worked in public and private practice. As a new graduate, he topped the primary exams at the Royal Australasian College of Dental Surgeons and has a special interest in crowns, implants and root canal treatment.

Karingal welcomes Christine Harding to the position of General Manager of Karingal Community Living. Christine is an experienced manager, having held a number of senior roles. Christine comes to Karingal following her role as a Senior Project Manager Disability Improvement Strategy with the Department of Human Services in the Grampians region. Karingal welcomes Christine to its Senior Management Team.



Bell Potter Securities Limited welcomes Mark Blake to our Geelong office on Yarra Street. Mark continues to build on his success as a Geelong Cats AFL  premiership player, joining the Equities team. Whilst playing for the Geelong Football Club,  Mark also  completed his Commerce degree. Mark's  talent,  enthusiasm and ethics are  a welcome addition  to our growing office.

Pathways Rehabilitation & Support Services Ltd is proud to announce the appointment of Louise Upham as CafÊ Manager at MadCap CafÊ Geelong. Louise brings with her a strong background in the Hospitality Industry specifically within the Geelong Region. Prior to joining MadCap CafÊ Geelong Louise was Owner/Manager of Geelong’s Premier Reception Centre, and has managed three large local hotels.



Hays is pleased to announce the appointment of Caroline Rudd, who has joined the team as Business Manager for Office Support Recruitment. Originally from Geelong, Caroline has relocated from the Melbourne office, where she consulted for a number of years and, more recently, worked in the HR and training space. Caroline has spent 7 years with Hays providing expert advice on recruitment services.

Helen joined the Wills, Estates & Business Succession Planning department of Coulter Roache Lawyers. Helen has many years’ experience working both in Melbourne and with Ainsworths, primarily handling Wills and Estates. Understanding that making a will can be daunting, and of the difficulties families face when a love one passes away, Helen ensures that her clients' needs are met with compassion.

Open 7 Days

Hours Mon - Sat,

8am - 4am Sun, 9am - 4am

Dining 11am till late Corporate Functions

3 West Fyans Street Newtown 3220 Phone: 03 5224 2522 Fax: 03 5221 3551







Anne Mathieson has been appointed Manager of HR & Business Solutions - a new division of People@Work Recruitment. Anne has held senior management positions for the Coles Group, and most recently was Finance Director of a regional real estate firm. Anne was a Director of Gforce Employment Solutions, prior to resigning to take on this new role.

Andrew McLeish has joined Adcell Group as Marketing & Business Development Consultant. Andrew will look to expand on Adcell Group's already strong market position within the marketing services and printing sectors. Andrew comes from a sporting background with marketing and sales roles with the Brisbane Lions and Box Hill Hawks.



John Hansen has joined People@Work Recruitment managing their new division – Employment 55. This specialised division has been created to address Geelong’s maturing workforce by assisting businesses address skills and knowledge shortages with the management and employment of a flexible mature workforce, as well as assisting those who wish to transition into retirement.

Philippa Bakes has joined WHK as a Senior Business Adviser to work with SMEs and private business owners. She is helping clients with business planning and monitoring, profit improvement and buying and selling businesses. Philippa has worked in the UK, Hong Kong and Melbourne for over 20 years, mainlyh with PricewaterhouseCoopers, and has acted for clients including ANZ and Telstra.

Community Services


Diversitat Geelong is pleased to welcome Renee Work to the role of Communications Coordinator. Renee has extensive marketing communications experience and is currently completing a Masters in Marketing at Monash University. A board member of both Do Care Geelong and Made in Geelong, Renee is keen to translate her volunteer work into her first full-time role in the not-for-profit sector.

Rob Leijer also joins Employment 55 as a Recruitment Executive assisting and supporting mature aged workers as they transition into retirement. Rob is looking forward to assisting Geelong businesses meet skills and knowledge shortages whilst assisting older workers find meaningful roles, whilst achieving a work/life balance. Rob has spent the last 6 years with Gforce’s Staffing Solutions.

Do you… …have your retirement planned, your income protected and your estate planning in place. Our highly experienced team are committed to providing you with the right financial solutions. Stop worrying, start planning, call us for a consultation to secure peace of mind and your financial future. Now at our new location: 16 Pakington Street, Geelong West

Wheeler Investment Advisors Pty Ltd (ABN 76 007 167 839) trading as Wheeler Financial Services is a Corporate Authorised Representative of The Advice Exchange (ABN 55 107 629 194) AFSL/ACL 278 937


T 03 5222 3055 F 03 5229 0483 E W



Training Services

Kerry Turnbull has recently commenced as an Accountant at PrincipleFocus. Kerry has extensive experience in accounting with other accounting firms in the Geelong area. With more than 6 years experience in the industry and having come from a farming background, Kerry is ideally suited to meeting the needs of all clients, but in particular our rural clients.

Encompass Training Services welcomes Lauren Reeves as an Admin Assistant. Lauren, who is new to the area of administration, did her work placement with the Encompass Training Office. She completed her Certificate II in Business at Encompass Community Services in 2010.  The dedication, enthusiasm and skills she bought to her placement were such that a position within the office was created for her.  

Youth Services

Training Services

Ashleigh Ward joined Encompass Youth Services as a Client Services Officer. She has five years’ experience working in the service sector. Ashleigh is an enrolled nurse and has completed a Diploma of Disability. Her passion is the health of people with disabilities and to help people with a disability with their transition to independence.

Encompass Training Services is pleased to announce the appointment Gina Dries, who joined the team as an Admin Assistant. Gina comes with a wealth of experience from her previous role as a Personal Assistant within a law firm in Sydney. Gina moved to Geelong in 1999, has been a full-time parent of three children and has now rejoined the workforce.

Youth Services

Employment Services

Jennifer Fox joined Encompass Youth Services as an Administration Officer. With a Certificate III in Office Administration and ten years’ experience working in administration and reception, she looks forward to the challenges the role at Encompass will bring. Jennifer is passionate about working in the disability sector.

Encompass Community Services welcomes Hari Krishnan to the position of Training and Support Officer within our Employment Division. Hari has 7 years experience working with non-profit organisations. His brings valuable experience in the community sector, together with a passion for assisting people with a disability reach their maximum potential within the Geelong community.


A NEW LOCATION… Wheeler Investment Advisors is pleased to announce that they will now be known as Wheeler Financial Services. This marks an exciting new era for this trusted and experienced Geelong business which has been servicing the Geelong community for almost half a century. This rebrand is much more than a name change and new logo. The process has been about evaluating who they are, identifying where they want to be and repositioning themselves accordingly. They have engaged clients and staff to find out what they wanted to ensure their core values remain relevant and help chart this exciting new direction. A key need identified through their review was to locate a new modern office space to allow

them to provide greater levels of customer service and even better client outcomes.

forward to meeting with you at their new premises.

Wheeler Financial Services are excited to announce that they started operating from their new purpose built location on Monday 9th May, 2011.

New Address:

While their location has changed, all other contact details, including phone numbers, remain unchanged. Their highly experienced team also remains unchanged and continues to be committed to providing clients with the right financial solutions. The team at Wheeler Financial Services believes that this is an exciting and significant step forward for their business and clients. They look

 6 Pakington Street, 1 Geelong West



Help Feed Geelong We're all feeling the difference of rising prices at the supermarket, but for too many families in Geelong, the increases in living costs has meant empty stomachs for them, and for their kids. In response to a growing need for community food services, the Geelong Advertiser has launched a muchneeded local charitable campaign with Victorian food rescue welfare organisation, FareShare, to help provide food for those who would otherwise go hungry in Geelong this winter. The Feed Geelong campaign has been modeled on a successful Feed Melbourne campaign. The Addy reported that amongst the 1500 or more people who will be without food of the means to buy any every day in Geelong were stories like that of single father, Nick Koutsou. Mr Koutsou, who is raising three sons, watched his (uninsured) house burn down and has been forced to rely on local welfare agencies. He described facing a daily battle to provide for his kids as 'gut wrenching'. And across our city, there are similar stories. People living rough, parents that can't afford to go the supermarket until pay or pension day, and old age pensioners with simply not enough money for food. The campaign highlights that while hundreds of people are going without meals, across the city, tonnes of surplus food items are being thrown away by supermarkets and stores. "Feed Geelong will highlight the challenges faced by welfare agencies increasingly strapped by growing demand," the story read. "It will shine light on the desperation faced by people without food, and on the selfless work of volunteers who devote countless hours to feeding the hungry. It will aim to

put normally wasted food to good use and also to seek financial support for the many food welfare groups using threadbare budgets to power big hearts. "Most of those organisations want to do more but can't without equipment like fridges, freezers, coolrooms and vehicles." The Feed Geelong campaign is seeking corporate and private donations, with every dollar raised in Geelong being forwarded to Geelong community food programs. Community services including the Geelong Food Relief Centre and the Salvation Army SalvoConnect base in Belmont rely on donations to provide desperately needed food. Operating depots in North Geelong and South Geelong, the Food Relief Centre welcomes between 700 and 800 clients each month, with many clients buying not only for themselves, but also for their family. The SalvoConnect base provides meals for people in need visiting it central city Outpost and those staying in its 14 emergency accommodation units. According to the Advertiser report, SalvoConnect uses over 300kg of donated vegetables, meat and dairy products each week to help ensure people get at least one good meal each day. Homeless males networker with the Salvos, Damien Bernasconi, said they could easily use more - perhaps 400kg to 500kg - describing those that sought out the service as 'pretty desperate', with many having hit rock bottom.

To support the Feed Geelong campaign, please donate at

better advice for a better life

Business Valuations L1, 200 Malop Street Geelong Vic 3220 T: 5224 7700 L1, 72 The Terrace Ocean Grove Vic 3226 T: 5255 5077

The value of your business is critical for making an informed and timely business decision – whether its a partnership, trust, an ownership interest (such as shares) or intangible assets. To discuss your business valuation needs call Lachie McColl on 5224 7700.

Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation other than for the acts or RPLVVLRQVRIÂżQDQFLDOVHUYLFHVOLFHQVHHV:+.3W\/WG$%1



Old Dogs, New Tricks The Generation Gap and the Skills Shortage

It seems that fixing Australia’s skills shortage will require a shift in our attitude to ageing. In 2004, in a background paper entitled Australia’s Looming Skills Shortage, the Australian Council of Trade Unions warned that Australian industry faced a “severe skills shortage” in the coming years, “largely as a result of an ageing industry workforce and a decline in the rates of apprentices in training”. It also quoted official Government figures showing there were already severe skills shortages in country and regional towns, as well as in suburban metropolitan areas, and went on to calculate that the skills shortage in traditional trades alone was set to cost the Australian economy up to $735 million a year in lost output or, in real terms, almost $9 billion over the next ten years. In 2011, we’re over halfway to that ten-year point and Australia’s skill shortage is no longer looming – it’s arrived, according to some. The Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR), defines skill shortages as existing “when employers are

unable to fill, or have considerable difficulty filling, vacancies for an occupation, or significant specialised skill needs within that occupation, at current levels of remuneration and conditions of employment, and in reasonably accessible locations.” DEEWR research conducted to December 2010 (shortages lists are updated every six months) reveals national shortages in some management areas and amongst design, engineering, science and transport professionals, teachers and health professionals, tradespeople and childcare workers. In Victoria, the picture is much the same. According to the Victorian Employers’ Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VECCI), the causes of such shortages are complex and not unique to Australia. Some of the main factors driving skill and labour shortages include an insufficient supply of skilled workers, either from low take up or completion of education and training in critical fields, or low retention in those industries once workers graduate; low workforce participation

rates for older Australians, women, and people with a disability; deficient language, literacy and numeracy skills amongst existing workers, which limit higher level skills development opportunities; the changing structure of the economy that increasingly requires workers with higher level skills and productivity capacity; greater regulatory and licensing requirements in some occupations, such as child care and aged care, which require workers to obtain formal qualifications; and sustained economic growth over a number of years leading to a corresponding strong growth in employment. “We have a combination of insufficient numbers of people in some skilled occupation groups, people with skills who are not utilising them, or very acute shortages of skilled workers in some sectors, such as the resources sector,” says VECCI spokesperson Darin Ritchie. “In other cases, we simply have a shortage of labour, a lack of workers across all skill levels. For instance, hospitality and retail employers in some areas around Australia find it difficult to attract workers.”


Official estimates show unemployment dropping to 4.75% this year and to 4.5% in 2012 -2013. Federal Treasurer Wayne Swan has said this means businesses will need to compete for skilled workers, warning that "such skills shortages could constrain our economic growth and mean missed opportunities for Australians". Other experts say the skills shortage could drive inflation up even further as wages increase, creating further pressure on the Reserve Bank to raise interest rates. So what’s the solution? Where do we find more skilled workers? The Government believes it has the answer, allocating $3 billion in last month’s Budget to train thousands of new workers. "Better training is essential for the workforce our economy needs, as is encouraging, rewarding, and insisting on the participation of more workers," Mr Swan said in his Budget speech. Building Australia's Future Workforce has been described as the “centrepiece” of the 20112012 Budget. It includes a $558 million National Workforce Development Fund, to be used to create over 130,000 training places to various industries over the next four years, and more than $200 million to support apprenticeships through mentoring and modernisation. Skilled migration will be boosted and incentives provided to employers who recruit the long-term unemployed. There’s also $30 million for the More Help for Mature Workers initiative, which will see skills assessments, recognition and gap training provided for workers who are 50 years and older with relevant skills but no formal qualifications. Mature age workers will be linked to an accredited training provider when their assessment identifies skills gaps and a need for formal training. Although the jury is still out on whether the Government’s Budget measures go far enough, most commentators seem to agree that it’s a step in the right direction, particularly the assistance offered to older workers. For, in an ageing population, many feel it’s those older workers we’re going to need to beat the skills shortage. According to the Australian Human Rights Commission, the 2010 Intergenerational Report predicted that increasing the participation of mature age workers by 5% in the next 40 years would increase Australia’s real GDP per capita by 2.4%. Research by the Australian Productivity Commission also shows that increasing the participation rates of mature age men and women could increase per capita GDP growth. However, mature age workers remain an underused part of Australia’s workforce, with their participation rate lower

than in other key OECD countries, including Canada, the United Kingdom and New Zealand. “In Australia the labour force participation rate of older people, while increasing, is still lower than for any other cohort,” says Ian Yates, Chief Executive of the Council of the Ageing Australia (COTA). “There is a growing body of evidence to suggest that this is not all, or even primarily, by individual choice. This has negative consequences for individuals, in terms of income, self-esteem and health, and society as a whole, in terms of loss of taxation revenues, higher income support expenditures and loss of skilled workers.” Mr Yates told the ABC in May that, instead of focusing on boosting skilled migration to address the skills shortage, the Government should encourage businesses to hire mature workers.

The 2010 Intergenerational Report predicted that increasing the participation of mature age workers by 5% in the next 40 years would increase Australia’s real GDP per capita by 2.4% ... However, mature age workers remain an underused part of Australia’s workforce, with their participation rate lower than in other key OECD countries, including Canada, the United Kingdom and New Zealand.

"Certainly mature-age workers themselves overwhelmingly want to move from income support to work," he said. "The issue COTA has is the imposition on long-term, mature-age unemployed people of any further obligations, when really they've been getting the short end of the stick from the Australian community for quite some time.” The wins, he said, for encouraging older workers to enter and stay in the workforce would be “enormous” for Australian productivity, the pension system and the workers themselves. COTA is not alone in its views. “Over the coming decades, retaining older workers in the labour market will be critical to meeting our skill and labour needs,” says VECCI’s Darin Ritchie. “The ageing of the population will also mean an increase in the median age of the workforce. Therefore, employers will increasingly be reliant on this cohort to meet its labour force needs.


“As highlighted in the 2010 Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry report, ‘It’s not about age’, we need to better promote opportunities for older adults to undertake traineeships and apprenticeships and overcome the out-dated idea that they are just for young people. This is important to ensure [older workers] develop updated skills and qualifications, and are able to remain engaged with the labour market. Older workers with higher level skills can also be re-assigned to mentoring and training roles to ensure we continue to supply skilled workers to the labour market.” He points out that no two workers are the same, so flexible work arrangements will be the key to ensuring older workers can remain engaged in the labour market in a way that matches their lifestyle needs. “That means workplaces will increasingly need to be able to provide suitable options for older workers who either want to remain in full-time work, or shift to part-time employment or a mentoring or training role - either within the workplace or the industry.” Government and industry had taken steps to address the issue before this year’s Budget. More Help for Mature Age Workers builds on the Experience Plus program, which began in July last year and provides eligible older people with free career advice, support and training for workers at risk of losing their job due to health conditions, injury or disability, training grants to increase the capacity of mature age workers to supervise or mentor Australian apprentices or trainees, and support and training to move out of a physically demanding role. There has also been a staged increase in the age pension age to 67, changes to superannuation rules that allow older workers to continue contributing to their super while drawing down an income stream, and a proposed higher contributions to super cap for the over 50s, despite the upper age limit on the Superannuation Guarantee remaining. This Budget will also allow eligible pensioners to earn up to $250 a fortnight without it being assessed as income under the pension income test. Employers will be assisted with wage subsidies at the rate of the NewStart allowance for six months if they hire a person who has been on welfare for two years or more and will be paid a subsidy of $6,000 over six months for employing people over 50 who have been on income support for more than two years. However, what remains as a major barrier to mature age workers staying in or re-entering the workplace, requires more than money. Instead, it requires a shift in attitude towards ageing in general. An Australian Chamber of



Commerce and Industry (ACCI) survey found that 92% of employers already have staff over 45 years old - the age the Australian Bureau of Statistics defines as “mature age”. The Australian Human Rights Commission has identified “unlawful age discrimination as a serious disincentive to mature aged workers continuing in paid work.” In its 2010 report, Age Discrimination – Exposing the Hidden Barrier for Mature Age Workers, the Commission found that, “the majority of the age discrimination complaints received by the …Commission in 2008-09 related to employment [and] most of these complaints were made by individuals over the age of 45 years. The report goes on to say: “If we are seriously to address unlawful age discrimination and the treatment of mature age workers, we need a social movement of the kind that has built awareness of other forms of discrimination within our community… “Age discrimination in our workplaces does not occur in isolation from the rest of society. If unlawful age discrimination is occurring in our workplaces it is highly likely that such attitudes also exist outside of the workplace. As one business representative stated … the way some employers treat mature age workers simply reflects, ‘the wider social context, the obsession with appearance, and the high value placed on being vital and young’.” Workplace age discrimination takes a wide range of forms, from viewing older people as “experienced, but high risk and inefficient”, to recruiters being told not to pass on resumes of people older than 40.

If we are seriously to address unlawful age discrimination and the treatment of mature age workers, we need a social movement of the kind that has built awareness of other forms of discrimination within our community

“… Discriminatory recruitment practices can contribute to one of the most difficult barriers facing mature age workers - their inability to re-enter the workforce. For example, someone might accept a voluntary redundancy assuming they will quite easily be able to find another job, only to discover they just cannot get back into the job market. If one considers that as of July 2010, 38% of long term job-seekers are over the age of 40 years, discriminatory recruitment practices like these not only represent a serious problem to mature age workers, but have implications for the productivity of our nation as a whole,” the report says. “Job search and training support services need to ensure they can meet the specific needs of older job seekers,” says Mr Ritchie, “particularly when they have been in the same job or with the same employer for a significant period of time, or are returning to the workforce and have distant experience either in looking for work or participating in formal education and training.” Then there’s the pressure on older people to take redundancy packages or accept casual,

part-time or contract work. The Australian Human Rights Commission found that when companies restructure, mature aged workers are often targeted or encouraged to take redundancy packages because they are close to retirement age and, with potential access to pensions and superannuation, considered better able to cope financially than younger people. They may also be denied opportunities to train or update their skills. In its 2010 -2011 Budget submission, COTA called for “a comprehensive strategy for mature aged workers and a broad based community awareness program to tackle the problem of ageism and age discrimination.” “The Government has made it clear that it wants to increase participation rates and reduce the number of people dependent on income support,” Ian Yates said in a COTA Policy Update after the Budget was handed down. “The implication in the Budget is that people who are unemployed don’t want to work and are not doing enough to get a job. We know this is not the case for many older unemployed people - they apply for many jobs and constantly come up against age discrimination by employers. We don’t think the situation will change for older job seekers without a significant change in attitudes in the community and employers towards them. “While we think there has been some shifting of attitudes in the larger enterprises, we believe that more effort needs to be put into encouraging small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to keep or recruit older workers, as this is the sector that employs the majority of the Australian workforce. It is SMEs that often don’t have the resources to undertake the redesign and training themselves and so need most support.” Darren Ritchie agrees that attitudes will need to change if older workers are to help reduce the skills shortage. “We need to raise awareness among employers of the benefits of recruiting older workers including lower rates of absenteeism, longer retention and higher productivity, and also reduce myths or negative perceptions, such as higher work safety risks or lower cognitive abilities,” he says. “And, we need to encourage older workers to remain in the workforce for longer by ensuring that the community overcomes stereotypes and myths about older workers, that their access to up-skilling opportunities are not limited and that workplaces support generational diversity. Judy Baulch



Finance guru talks SMSFs “When I say they tend to perform the same way, I think one of the shocks that many investors got during the global financial crisis was that all growth assets – whether they were domestic equities or overseas equities or listed property, all those things that people thought were quite well diversified, all performed very, very badly, all at the same time. That was obviously very detrimental to many people’s balances in those funds.

Peter Dorrian, head of global wealth management at fixed interest group Pimco, says Australian SMSFs tend to have too much money in cash that is not working hard enough. He says people relying on SMSFs to provide a steady income in retirement need to have a mix of hard-working growth assets and defensive assets to make the most of their hard earned. As he toured around the country speaking to financial planners and advisors, Peter took some time out to speak to us about retirement planning. - Self managed superannuation funds are the fastest growing components of the Australian superannuation system. Currently, in excess of 30 per cent of the total system assets are now in self managed super funds, and SMSFs are a very important part of the retirement planning structure for many Australians as they get older. “One observation that I’d made about self managed super funds, which is always very evident when APRA reports the data as to how people are investing at the end of the each year, is that they always seem to have quite a large holding of cash compared to most longterm investment funds, that might have 2 to 5 per cent in cash, the self managed super funds, on average, are reported as having between 25 and 30 per cent, which is a very significant proportion of assets in what is a relatively low-yielding asset. “As a bond manager, we [Pimco] always struggle to see why people keep so much cash in those funds when the return on cash is typically the lowest of all the asset classes.” - Is it a security thing? Do people have more trust in cash over other types of assets? “I think that’s partly an explanation, and I think there’s a bit of inattention from some people. They tend to make large, lumpy contributions – particularly people who have a small business will tend to make a contribution when they’ve got the cash flow to do so. Then, quite often, it just sits there in [cash holdings] where it might be earning three or four per cent, but that’s a long way from what you need to earn across the total portfolio return to get a good retirement income from that portfolio.” - In Australia, the introduction of employer contributions means that, for many us, we don’t really give our super a lot of thought until we reach our 50s. “I think that’s absolutely true and I think there’s two reasons for that. One is because when you get close to that day when you’re going to need to start drawing down from that pool of assets

“So, what we’re saying is that when you look across a total portfolio, yes you need a good stock of growth assets that boost your returns a lot of the time, but you also need truly defensive assets, like bond funds, in order to provide you with a stable component to your portfolio.”

Peter Dorrian to support yourself in retirement. But also, once you get to 50, the rules in terms of contributions have become much tighter than they were. “You might have seen in the news recently that there has been a lot of lobbying about the maximum contribution, which the Government is planning to lower to only $25,000 per annum for people over 50 if their balance exceeds $500,000. Now, the average self managed superannuation fund balance is approaching $900,000. Many people are going to be caught in the later period of their working lives in not being able to make the sort of contributions that they thought they were going to – on an after-tax basis at least – because of these quite restrictive caps the Government wants to put in. “Obviously the closer you get to retirement, the more you start to think about if you will have enough money to last you in what is going to be a longer life. Because life expectancy is increasing quite rapidly and, as we all know, the health costs and the like tend to really increase in the last years of people’s lives.” - Peter, what are the main points that you are trying to get out into the finance community about SMSFs? “We’ve been talking to a large number of financial planners and advisors, many of whom have self managed superannuation funds as their clients, about two things. Firstly, the benefits of true diversification; so not having all of the assets of those funds tied up in securities that tend to perform the same way when we have either downturns in the economy or economic crises like the recent GFC.

- Can you foresee a situation where the Government will change its attitude towards restricting pre-tax super contributions into self managed superannuation funds? “Well I hope so, because it seems completely self-defeating. On the one hand, we’ve got all sorts of exemptions and encouragements for people to start planning for their own retirement, in terms of putting aside as much money as they can towards their own retirement. So it doesn’t make any sense to me as to why we should be placing restrictions on people’s ability to make contributions. It’s going to mean less pressure on the social security system over time, because more people will be self-funded retirees and less dependent on the public purse.” - What do you think the industry would like the Government do to assist people to be able to adequately fund their own retirement? “The tax incentives for superannuation investing, I think, are quite generous. Tax concessions like 15% tax on income compared to many people’s marginal tax rates in the 30 and 40 per cents is a good concession and that enables most of the return to be held within the fund and compounds over time. One thing that most financial planners and advisors really would like the Government to do is to settle the system, leave the rules in place and stop changing them. “The biggest complaints that I hear all the time from financial planners and advisors is that the system if overly complex; they have to spend an awful lot of time just keeping up with all the changes to the rules and regulation; and, most importantly, this creates uncertainty in the minds of the very people that are supposed to be putting away as much as they can for retirement so they won’t become a drain on the public purse later in life. Davina Montgomery




The company car - it has been the carrot with which many a prized recruit has been lured. Those that don't have one want one. Those who have them never want to be without one. But is the complexity of the fringe benefits tax system threatening the great Australian perk? It was hardly the most exciting Budget we've witnessed in recent years, but the 2011 - 2012 Budget introduced one measure that caught our attention, a long overdue step towards simplifying FBT on company vehicles. When it comes to lifting the great weight of the FBT compliance burden, changing the rules around kilometres travelled and FBT tax brackets is a small step on a long uphill journey. But it is, at least, a step. Tony Greco, Senior Tax Advisor with the Institute of Public Accounts, said the move to end tax benefits for people clocking up higher, and often unnecessary, kilometres in salary packaged vehicles is a step the IPA (the new incarnation of the National Institute of Accountants as of May this year) has been calling on the government to make for a number of years.

Speaking in April this year, the NIA chief executive officer, Andrew Conway, threw the support of the accountants' peak body behind the Australian Greens' announcement to curb fringe benefits tax concessions for company sponsored vehicles, saying, "The present statutory method for valuing employer sponsored cars under salary sacrifice arrangements encourages the wasteful use of resources by rewarding drivers who travel more kilometres, irrespective of how those kilometres are accumulated." Mr Greco said that while the IPA wanted the rules changed to take away the incentive to do more kilometres, the rate that has been struck is higher than if the Government was seeking to make the change revenue neutral. "I think the Motor Industry worked out that if it was balanced out, it worked out that it should have been a figure of 16 per cent. The

Government has decided on 20 per cent, so they're actually going to collect more revenue that would have been best put towards reducing the compliance associated with Fringe Benefits Tax - especially for small business. "We don't have an issue with the change except that it's been struck at a rate that's higher than what was necessary, and it's going to collect more money, and unfortunately none of that ends up in the pockets of small business," he said. "And look, it's obviously a concern for people who use their cars for nonbusiness purposes. They're the big losers from that change." The changes will apply to all salary-packaged vehicle contracts established after May 10, 2011 and will be phased in over the next four years. The statutory tax rate for drivers travelling over 40,000 kilometres a year will increase from 10 cents in 2011 to 13 cents in 2012 and


17 cents in 2013, before being standardized across the board - regardless of distance travelled - at 20 cents from 2014. Small businesses will still need to use their log book to chart the amount of distance travelled. The Government says that the change will improve its underlying cash balance by $953.9 million. FBT can be particularly complex when it comes to cars, but for those unfamiliar with the tax formula involved, under the current system, the more kilometres driven in a salary packaged vehicle, the lower the rate of fringe benefits tax that has to be paid for that year. Doesn't make sense? You wouldn't be alone in thinking that which is what makes the introduction a flat rate of FBT on all salary packaged vehicles, regardless of the kilometres travelled in them, a sensible step. But what does it mean for those of you with a company car? "For those who do a lot of kilometres, the FBT is going to be higher; for those who used to do low kilometres, the FBT rate will be the same for them or they will actually be better off. It's going to effect people differently, depending on how they were using their car prior to the change," Mr Greco explained. Even with this proposed change to FBT, there is still a lot of complication when it comes to this tax. "FBT is one of those taxes that drives most small businesses nuts. It is quite complex," Mr Greco said. "It's been around now since 1985, and a car is just one of the more popular benefits that is salary packaged. There are still a lot of rules that have to be adhered to and there is obviously paperwork associated with that. But, at the end of the day, people choose to package cars because it's cheaper than paying for a car out of after tax dollars. Even with the fringe benefits tax it's still advantageous for a lot of people to package a car, but yes, from an employer's perspective, it brings an administrative burden." Most of us like to think we are a little more environmentally savvy today than we were in 1985, which is why a tax that may have made sense a few decades ago, no longer does. But we also use our company cars differently now. Many salary-packaged vehicles are packaged to employees for private use on the understanding that the company can use the car during business hours. That means that there are often multiple employees driving that vehicle. And when the car's main driver is away on holidays, it's common for another employee to use the car during that time. Now, while this would seem to be a sensible use of a company asset, it also brings with it the need to chase down the kilometres travelled by everyone who has been in the car, with FBT allocated according to distance travelled by

each driver in each of their end of year PAYG statements - and for many businesses, the compliance burden is a nightmare. "When the car is being used by multiple employees, the administrative burden becomes even more cumbersome, because the employer has to track who has actually been using the car, as using a vehicle outside of work hours becomes a reportable fringe benefit. So someone's group certificate at the end of the year will show what the value of that benefit is, and that effects people's entitlements to family tax payments," Mr Greco said.

We keep reminding the Government that FBT is just one tax that small business has to deal with and it would be more beneficial if we cut out a lot of the unnecessary components...

"We've always argued that when it comes to small business, they have to comply with the same rules as big business, yet they don't have the same resources. It chews up a lot of time and costs, and the costs relative to the turnover of a SME are a lot higher and they bear the brunt of complex tax rules," he said. Mr Greco said there are a lot of rules within the FBT system that could be done away with to relieve the administrative burden on business. "We keep reminding the Government that FBT is just one tax that small business has to deal with and it would be more beneficial if we cut out a lot of the unnecessary components, and that is feasible without it making a big hole in the Budget as far as the revenue [FBT] generates. The Government easily could do away with a lot of the admin without actually losing a lot of money. It's just that they're not very supportive of those ideas." While employees love the idea of a company car, many businesses and organizations are falling out of the love with this particular perk, with less and less offering a packaged car. And it isn't only small businesses opting out of salary packaged vehicles, even some of the largest fleets are moving to business-use vehicles only, leaving those seeking a tax break through a vehicle having to look at alternatives such as a novated lease. "There will be some people that will have to rethink offering packaged vehicles," Mr Greco agreed. "Tax is very personal and when it comes down to it, some benefit more than others, and the company might decide that there's too much administration associated with


offering the option of employee's packaging. But, at the end of the day, those companies also want to retain their good people and vehicle packaging is one way that enables them to hang on to people. "It's still advantageous to salary package a car, even with these changes; but again, it's a numbers game, so you have to look at a number of variables to see how much you would save, if at all. But generally, the tax break is still there, for most [people] it's favourable to package." The Henry Review into the future of the Australian tax system highlighted the overly complex and cumbersome requirements of FBT compliance, and rather than simply tweak the system around the edges, it was proposed that a radical new approach be taken on fringe benefits. It was suggested that the burden of compliance for a salary-packaged vehicle (or other company sponsored benefit) should be moved from the employer to the employee. Mr Greco said it's a good idea. "The good thing about that is that it gets taxed at the individual's tax rate rather than at the 46.5 per cent FBT rate - so that's something the Government might consider going forward," he said. Mr Greco is currently touring the country, speaking to and meeting with members of the IPA to talk to them about the latest changes to the tax system. He said that as the end of year approaches, his message to businesses would be to get your house in order before June 30. "At this time of year, it's all about tax planning. Visit your accountant, just to make sure that you've got your tax planning in place, because after June, some things just aren't available. "Some people are concerned about excess super contributions and it's always a good idea to do something about that now, because the consequences of getting it wrong are quite severe. So 'have you put too much in super during the year?' is one issue that we try to remind our members to make sure their clients are well aware of," he said. "We don't have a tax cut next year, and that hasn't been the case for, I think, the last nine years. That affects tax planning, because normally we would have encouraged people, if they've got the ability to, to withhold some income and include it in the following year when there was a tax cut. But we don't have a tax cut; in fact we have a tax increase this year - not for all - but with the flood levy. So the best thing is just to review the options that are available and make sure that you take advantage of anything that could apply." Davina Montgomery



Check your workplace agreements The Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) has issued a warning to employers to check their workplace agreements to ensure that they are not inadvertently breaching Federal workplace laws.

The warning follows an investigation by FWO of Coles supermarkets and Coles’ admission that it inadvertently breached one of the ten National Employment Standards, prescribed by the Fair Work Act, when it transferred a pregnant employee from her position as a fresh produce manager to a ‘safe job’ as a service assistant, paying $67.40 less per week. The transfer was made in accordance with Coles’ collective agreement, made before the introduction of the NES, which provided that a pregnant employee ‘may be transferred to a safe job at the rate and on the conditions attached to that job with no other change to the team member’s terms and conditions of employment’. The National Employment Standards provide that a pregnant employee with at least 12 months of service who is unable to continue working in her existing position because of illness or risks associated with her pregnancy or hazards connected with her position must be transferred to an available appropriate safe job with no change to her terms and conditions of employment (including remuneration). If no appropriate safe job is available, the employee is entitled to paid leave. As a result of its admitted breach of the Fair Work Act, Coles has entered into an enforceable undertaking with the FWO which requires it to: •R  eimburse pregnant employees found to have been underpaid as a result of the agreement; •P  ost a notice in all of its stores about the rights of pregnant employees;

•P  rovide training to supervisors on company obligations to pregnant employees; and •D  onate $20,000 to Jobwatch Australia to fund educational activities for pregnant employees. Coles’ unwitting breach serves as an example of the potential risk employers’ face where their employment agreements or policies have not been reviewed for compliance with the Fair Work Act.

Jim Rutherford, Principal and Accredited Specialist in Workplace Relations and Criminal Law

Sonia McCabe, Lawyer



The Year of the Jack Rabbit Don't hide at home this winter, head down to the Bellarine and take in the breathtaking views, food and wine at the hottest destination on the peninsula - Jack Rabbit Vineyard. The food, the wine, the views and the ambience of Jack Rabbit has everyone talking, and you can find out what they're talking about with a $200 voucher to spend as you wish at the vineyard and restaurant. To enter, just hop on to the competition page at 2011 is the Year of the Rabbit - the Jack Rabbit that is. The former Kilgour Estate has undergone refurbishment, released some sensational new wines and launched a stunning new menu. In fact, just about the only thing that hasn't changed is the unrivalled panoramic view that span across the bay to Melbourne, the You Yangs and Geelong. The new Autumn/Winter menu showcases the considerable creative culinary talent of Head Chef, David Hall, with a strong focus on seasonal local produce. General Manager of Jack Rabbit Vineyard, Lyndsay Sharp says, “A lot of time and effort has gone into creating this menu - which is loaded with fresh local seafood and seasonal vegetables - and it’s a unanimous vote from everyone here, this is David’s best menu yet!� The line-up of main courses includes Japanese Vegetable Hot Pot featuring an array of vegetables in a delicious miso broth, Free range chicken with leek & spring onion tartlet, scampi & garlic infused Jack Rabbit bubbles, and Homemade Fettucine with local seafood tossed in a Pinot Grigio and saffron sauce. The Dessert offerings include a choice of Deconstructed Lemon Meringue Pie, Cider poached pear & vanilla panna cotta, and the ever popular Mini Doughnuts with berry coulis, chocolate cream & orange sugar. Wines on offer include Sparkling Blanc de Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Rose, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Merlot as well as the Jack Rabbit Heritage Reserve Sparkling Cabernet Sauvignon. “A brilliant regional experience certainly doesn’t end with Summer – Winter is a wonderful time of year for epicurean indulgence - whether it be in front of our big crackling fire, or bathed in the Autumn sunlight on the balcony overlooking the panoramic views spanning across the bay to Melbourne, the You Yangs and Geelong,� Lyndsay says.






And just in time for winter, Jack Rabbit Vineyard has introduced 'Midweek Temptation', with lunchtime diners able to enjoy a main meal, dessert and glass of wine for just $45 per person, Monday to Friday. We foresee tranquility and calm in the days ahead for you - if you head down the Bellarine and soak up the ambience and magnificent views, mouthwatering food and sensational wines. Enjoy! Jack Rabbit Vineyard is open 7 days per week for lunch, guided tastings and Cellar Door sales, 10.30am – 5pm. It is also open Friday and Saturday nights for dinner at 85 McAdams Lane, Bellarine. The ‘Midweek Temptation’ Menu is available Monday to Friday for lunch only. P 03 5251 2223 or log on to www. for bookings.

Winter Events at Jack Rabbit: ‘They’ say there’s nothing like a home-cooked roast – we say there’s nothing like someone else doing all the work! Jack Rabbit will celebrate the (not so) humble roast in an exciting gastronomic adventure that takes your tastebuds around the world with a fabulous five-course degustation itinerary. The International Roastathlon is part of the Melbourne Food & Wine’s Winter Roast Collection. Saturday, June 18. Cost $100 per head including course-matched Jack Rabbit Vineyard cool climate wines. Chris Wilson, much-loved local muso and entertainer, will be performing his next Jack Rabbit show on Saturday June 25th.  His May show was sold out and enjoyed by one and all. Tickets are just $65 per person for a 2-course dinner and show. So book now as spaces are limited!


Response to Federal NBN funding The Geelong Chamber of Commerce applauds the Federal Government’s announcement on 1 June of a $12.4 million program to help small to medium businesses and not-for-profits take full advantage of the National Broadband Network (NBN) through the Digital Enterprises initiative.

will be critical to ensuring that SME’s can effectively compete in what is now a global market,” Chamber President, Jim Walsh said.

providing the opportunity to expand their

“The digital economy means that all businesses need to consider the cost and implications of inefficiencies that stem from inferior connectivity and slow internet speeds.

commented that many small business owners

In the Geelong region small to medium sized enterprises (SME’s) represent more than 95% of business and industry and is estimated to employ more than 50% of the total workforce.

“Small businesses, in particular, often struggle to maintain their edge in terms of competitiveness and ongoing profitability as they are often the ones most affected during economic downturns.

“The Geelong Chamber of Commerce has been a vocal supporter for the early rollout of the NBN in the Geelong region and our view is that access to high speed broadband connectivity

“Access to high speed broadband will provide them with a critical edge to ensure that they remain competitive, innovative and viable whilst

businesses and markets,” said Mr Walsh. Chamber Executive Officer, Bernadette Uzelac, work extremely long hours to remain viable, often working from home at all hours of the day and night. “High speed broadband access in both the workplace and home environment would significantly improve the quality of life and business efficiency for small business owners, which would in turn result in a significant positive spin off effect to employees and customers of SME’s,“ Ms Uzelac said.



Building a better workforce The Government made a big deal about building skills in the May Budget, and with good reason. It is no secret that Australian industries are suffering from skills shortages, But just what is the plan? The Gillard Government announced a $3 billion investment in skills and training initiatives over six years to deliver the skilled workers the economy needs and ensure more Australians can benefit from our growing prosperity. The Building Australia’s Future Workforce package includes: - A $558 million National Workforce Development Fund to enhance industry input into training; - $1.75 billion over five years (from 2012-2013) for a National Partnership with States and Territories, with incentives for states and territories to sign onto an ambitious reform of performance and quality of public training systems; - Reforming the apprenticeship system to make it modern and flexible, including accelerated apprenticeships and mentoring support; - Working to increase workforce participation by giving disadvantaged Australians the skills they need to get a job. A new partnership with industry The Gillard Government aims to drive productivity through new direct partnerships with industry to deliver an estimated 130,000 high quality training places. A new National Workforce Development Fund will be created, to respond to the most critical emerging skills needs facing the Australian economy. New training places will require co-investment from industry, recognising the shared responsibility for training between Government and industry. To support the new partnership with industry, the Government will also establish a new $25 million National Workforce and Productivity Agency. The independent Agency will deliver the $558 million National Workforce Development Fund directed to industry-based training initiatives over the next four years. It will be formed from an expanded Skills Australia. Driving national reform on skills The Government aims to set new benchmarks for improved quality, transparency and outcomes from the states and territories as a condition for its base agreement on vocational education and training, worth $7 billion over five years. In addition the Government will offer an additional $1.75 billion over five years (from 2012-13) the same period for those jurisdictions that are prepared to sign up to a more ambitious reform of the performance and quality of their respective public training systems. The Government also announced that reform of vocational education and training (VET) will be a major priority for COAG during the remainder of 2011. Apprenticeships that work More Australians then ever before are embarking on a career through an Australian apprenticeship, but only about half complete their training. To lift apprenticeship completions and the supply of skilled workers to the economy, the Government plans to invest $100 million over four years to Accelerate Australian Apprenticeships, as well as $101 million over four years for an Apprenticeship Mentoring package, helping individuals to choose the right training pathway and supporting them to complete their training.



Other Budget investments include literacy and numeracy programs, jobrelated training programs, apprenticeship support, and English language and literacy development. These initiatives are in addition to the More Help for Older Workers measure to provide up to $2000 for skills assessments and $2000 for training to employers to ensure up to 7500 mature age workers (2500 workers per year) are provided with the opportunity to improve their skills.







 $! "!    










            $! "! "&    ! !#!" !  ! ! !!  !% ! " $!  ""!% ! %  !"!' "! % +$ %)( #%& %$(( *' ( "%$ !*'%#) %&   
















They may be oldies, but they sure are Goldies! Many employers are reluctant to take on older workers, fearing that they won’t be up with the latest techniques or have the skills to do the job. But 47 year old Brendan Foley, recently employed by Deb and Tony Wynn from Jim’s Cleaning in Geelong, has shown just how wrong those ideas can be. Having been away from the paid work force for nearly 8 years, Brendan discovered that many employers were reluctant to take on an older worker with little recent experience or formal qualiďŹ cations. But Brendan persisted in his search and, with the help of Centacare Employment, was successful. “I can’t believe the difference that having a job has made,â€? Brendan said. “It was starting to get me down. My conďŹ dence was low and I felt that nobody would give me a go. I didn’t realise that I had any marketable skills. But Centacare Employment helped me realise that I had lots of skills and qualities that employers really want. I’m reliable, hardworking, persistent and down to earth. Anyone caring for kids has to have common sense and patience, and I have that tooâ€?. When Deb, from Jim’s Cleaning was approached, she was quick to see Brendan’s potential. She employed him the same day. “Brendan’s reliability and maturity are real assets to our business,â€? Deb remarked. “We are very happy with his performance and his approach to his workâ€?. In industries where workers are often transient, reliability and maturity are very attractive qualities for employers. Mature aged workers can also bring their life skills, experience and leadership attributes to a workplace, acting as mentors to younger staff, providing a calming inuence, a quiet word and stability to the workforce. And, old dogs can learn new tricks! Since beginning his search for employment, Brendan has enrolled in an Asset Maintenance Training program and has studied for and obtained his Driver’s Licence.

Tony Wynn, Brendon Dooley & Debbie Wynn

AGB Human Resources TAE40110 Certificate IV in Training & Assessment Are you interested in learning the skills needed to become a professional trainer, facilitator and assessor in the workplace? #OURSE#OMMENCING.OW #ALLFORDETAILS


TLI31209 Certificate III in Driver Operations (Coach/Bus) Do you want to learn the skills and knowledge required to drive a passenger coach/bus safely? Don’t miss this opportunity to gain formal qualifications in this dynamic, fast growing industry #OURSE#OMMENCING3OON AGB offers training delivered with Victorian and Commonwealth Government funding and fee for service.


WECARE 241 Moorabool Street, Geelong 5222 3466 23 Albert Street, Moolap 5248 0232




Hour glass labour market The world's labour market will become increasingly 'hour glass' shaped, with semiskilled workers squeezed out of an automated workplace, according to recruiting experts Hays. In their report 'Creating Jobs in a Global Economy, 2011-2030", compiled in partnership with economic forecaster Oxford Economics, Hays notes that technological change is creating an 'hour glass' economy that will force out the middle group of semi-skilled workers whose job can be outsourced.

machines can perform relatively intricate processes that were typically done by people, such as fitting a car engine.

According to Hays, it is not just job numbers that are impacted by this 'hour glass' phenomenon.

"Already these shifts have resulted in a hollowing-out of the labour market in the developed world. Workers in occupations which placed them in the middle third of the income distribution in the 1990s have seen their share of hours worked fall, while conversely the bottom and top thirds have gained."

"This trend also has implications for relative wage levels across groups," says Nigel. Those occupations that have remained at the top of the income distribution have seen their wages rise relatively quickly over the last decade. However the middle group in particular has seen stagnation - and even falls - in real terms."

Nigel Heap, Managing Director of Hays, said, "Over the last 20 years jobs that involved repeated, routine actions have been replaced by automated machines and robots. Routine service sector jobs, such as bookkeeping, data processing and call centre operation, are also under threat from automation. "On the other hand, non-routine jobs have generally become more productive and valuable with the use of new technology. The same applies to occupations where face-to-face contact cannot be replaced with a machine, such as in healthcare and education. "At the same time, demand for labour in routine low-skilled occupations that computers and machines cannot replace, like cooking, cleaning, building or driving, has increased. "So the middle group of semi-skilled workers will get squeezed out in this 'hour glass' phenomenon as employment rises at the top and bottom ends of the skills ladder. This will affect those occupations where computers or

Advice for jobseekers "We would encourage new entrants to the labour force to join industries where technology improvements will increase productivity rather than ultimately replace workers. We would also advise them to focus on sectors where developed nations have an advantage, such as pharmaceuticals and business services, or that involve face-to-face contact, such as healthcare and education since these cannot be outsourced to developing nations. "Those workers left behind by technological innovation and outsourcing will need to have access to retraining and be encouraged to move into industries with a more viable long term future."

Hays, the world's leading recruiting experts in qualified, professional and skilled people.

Skills training

Middle Schools


Gifted Students Program

MIDDLE SCHOOL HIGHTON Year 5 to Year 9 tel. 5241 1899

MIDDLE SCHOOL BELLARINE Year 5 to Year 9 tel. 5253 2998

Christian College Geelong



Internet Trade Marks National Geographic noted that in 2011, world population will reach 7 billion. The World Intellectual Property Organisation estimated websites in 2011 totalled 13.86 billion, with 1.65 billion internet users. There are lots of opportunities to communicate via the Web. Significant opportunities exist for brand owners promoting brands, but also opportunity for trademark abuse. Counterfeits, spam, phishing, cybersquatting and other abuses can be enormously profitable for little cost and are often seen to be lightly punished. Counterfeiting online has estimated sales of $130 billion in 2009 out of a total counterfeit trade estimated at $250 billion.

Counterfeits, spam, phishing, cybersquatting and other abuses can be enormously profitable for little cost and are often seen to be lightly punished. Counterfeiting online has estimated sales of $130 billion in 2009 out of a total counterfeit trade estimated at $250 billion.


Fry Consulting Pty Ltd [2010] held there can be evidence of use of a trademark (TENNIS WAREHOUSE) on a website outside Australia if Other costs are without measure, including the website is accessible and was accessed by vehicle or aviation accidents caused by fakes consumers in Australia. Secondly, International or health risks from fake pharmaceuticals. Hair Cosmetics Group Pty Ltd v International There is also damage caused to brand Hair Cosmetics Limited [2011] where use of reputation by inferior or dangerous fake the trade mark AFFINAGE on a UK website 7ECANASSISTWITHALLASPECTSOF products. infringed thebreeder's Australian rights, registered trademark ty - patents, trademarks, copyright, plant trade Trade Mark law is territorialdesigns, in nature.circuit However,layouts, since the website had a drop down box with al information, trade practices/passing systems the Net is global and differing Australia as a choice and thus targeted and elopment, project, technology assignment, licensing & make enforcementtransfer, difficult. ownership, While there are constituted use in Australia. agreements. significant similarities between trade mark laws, decisions assist agreements. Australian owners in a, joint venture and company arrangements, CooperativeBoth Research Centre they are not uniform. seeking and defending trademark rights online. andising, sponsorship & advertising agreements. The priorities are removing infringing material ology - computer hardware.These can be andsoftware seeking and compensation. stribution agreements. difficult to achieve. One key factor is acquiring legal rights in theadvice. markets where brands are ng and corporate governance located. stration and dispute resolution.


main names, online and internet Assistance has come contracts. from two decisions of the Federal Court. Firstly, Sports Warehouse Inc v


P.O. Box 94, Geelong VIC 3220 m 0411 219 768 | f +61 3 5244 0621 e w


Patent and Trade Marks Attorney

7EAREDEDICATEDTOPROVIDINGSUPERIORANDPRACTICALADVICEANDSERVICE 7ECANASSISTWITHALLASPECTSOF • Intellectual Property - patents, trademarks, copyright, designs, circuit layouts, plant breeder's rights, trade secrets/conďŹ dential information, trade practices/passing off. • Research and development, project, technology transfer, ownership, assignment, licensing & commercialisation agreements. • Research consortia, joint venture and company arrangements, Cooperative Research Centre agreements. • Marketing, merchandising, sponsorship & advertising agreements. • Information Technology - computer software and hardware. • Franchising and distribution agreements. • Business structuring and corporate governance advice. • Domain name registration and dispute resolution. • E - commerce, domain names, online and internet contracts. • Employment law


Julien Uyttenhove | Principal Lawyer | Registered Patent and Trade Marks Attorney

P.O. Box 94, Geelong VIC 3220 m 0411 219 768 | f +61 3 5244 0621 e w



Do you know the value of your business? Understanding the value of your business (or interest) prior to entering negotiations with a potential buyer can greatly improve the transparency of the process and ultimately of achieving a higher sale price. A formal business valuation can be helpful to existing or potential business owners for a number of reasons, including buy-sell negotiations. In addition, a valuation may assist with: • s uccession planning – to prepare or enable a divestment or transfer of ownership • c apital, balance sheet or shareholder value management – for strategic decision making or balance sheet management purposes

trading and profitable or expected to be profitable in future. Clearly, the value of an operating business will be greater than the value of a business that is insolvent and forced into liquidation.

A formal business valuation can be helpful to existing or potential business owners for a number of reasons, including buy-sell negotiations.

•p  urchase price accounting and impairment testing •d  etermining company income tax position (such as capital gains tax) as a result of tax consolidation or restructuring • division of property for family law purposes • c ommercial litigation including shareholder and partner disputes The process for assessing the value of a business reflects: • the context of the valuation (as described above) • the status of the business or interest in the business (such as shares)

Typically, a valuation is based on an impending transaction or shareholder event between two or more parties. The likelihood that a transaction will occur, among other things, results from the liquidity, marketability, business prospects, the perceived investment risk and the proportion of the company interest available for trade (controlling or minority interest). For instance, transactions of small private businesses usually have a limited number of buyers and sellers, therefore restricting the marketability and value of the shares in the business.

The valuation approach can be dictated by the context of the valuation, particularly in relation to family law situations, where the interests of the parties involved are most relevant.

The business value may or may not be equivalent to the actual price achieved in a transaction. This will depend on the valuation context and the relevance of any unique circumstances of the potential buyer or seller. As they say “price is what you pay, value is what you get”.

The status refers to whether the business is

A valuation reflects the future expectation for a

• the likelihood that a transaction will occur.

particular business at a point in time. Unfortunately, we do not possess the crystal ball to accurately determine whether the expectation will be met. As a result, the valuation of a business involves a little art and a little science in order to assess the likelihood of future events. The science includes analysing the historic financial performance of the business and undertaking research with respect to comparable companies by which a benchmark for future performance can be estimated. This is similar to the way a property valuer would use recent property sales in a particular area to estimate the value of a new property to market. The art involves judgement based on experience. It is rare for two valuers to derive the same opinion of value. To paraphrase a common proverb, we do not know the worth of the water until the well is dry. That is, we do not know the true value of a business until after the transaction or event. Nonetheless, valuers can estimate the expected value of a business based on market conditions at a point in time and assuming a hypothetical transaction between willing, rational and informed buyers and sellers. In light of the potential complexity of a business or share valuation, it is important that a Business Valuer is fully informed, has undertaken relevant research, and is sufficiently experienced and professionally accredited.

Lachie McColl, Senior Manager Valuations & Business Transactions WHK Western Victoria

Readers should not act only on the basis of material obtained in this article as the contents are of a general nature and do not take into account each person’s individual circumstances and may be liable for misinterpretation. Do not act upon any of the information contained in this article without first obtaining specific advice by your adviser. All opinions, conclusions or forecasts are reasonably held at the time of compilation but are subject to change without notice. WHK Pty Ltd ABN 84 006 466 351



Serious bullying to become a criminal act In response to the well publicised Café Vamp case where the relentless bullying of a Hawthorn waitress led to her suicide the Victorian Government is proposing significant changes to the Criminal Legislation that could see convicted bullies facing prison sentences of up to 10 years in the most serious cases. It has been long recognised under Occupational Health and Safety legislation in Victoria that an employer’s duty to provide a safe workplace includes the duty to provide a workplace free of hazards likely to cause psychological harm. Employees must also take responsibility for their actions and are under a separate duty not to harm others in the course of their work. The proposed changes will see serious cases of bullying also become a crime. Although no legislative definition currently exists in Victoria, bullying has been described as "repeated unreasonable behaviour that could reasonably be considered to be humiliating, intimidating, threatening or demeaning to a person or group of persons, which creates a risk to health and safety”. Examples of bullying include isolating or excluding a person or subjecting someone to constant criticism or denigration. The Café Vamp case saw three members of staff and a director of the company that owned the Cafe convicted and fined a total of $225,000 under Occupational Health and Safety laws. If the proposed bullying legislation is enacted future convicted bullies could suffer much harsher penalties.

The Crime Amendment (Bullying) Bill 2011 seeks to amend three existing Victorian Acts; the Crimes Act 1958; Stalking Intervention Orders Act 2008; and the Personal Safety Intervention Orders Act 2010. The definition of the offence of stalking is to be expanded to include bullying behaviour such as, threatening a potential victim, using abusive or offensive words to or in the presence of the victim, or acting in any other way that could reasonably be expected to cause physical or mental harm to the victim, including self harm. The Bill proposes certain changes to the Crimes Act the effect of which is that an offence that included bullying under the amended provisions may attract a maximum penalty of imprisonment of 10 years. The length of any sentence imposed will depend upon a number of factors including the seriousness of the offence. The changes to Intervention Order legislation means that victims of bullying would also be included in the persons who could make application to the courts for intervention order protection against an alleged bully. The proposed changes do not diminish the important role of WorkSafe with respect to bullying and maintaining a safe workplace generally, in fact they provide further reasons for employers to make all reasonable efforts to prevent bullying. These changes also send a serious message to bullies in the workplace, and in society generally that serious bullying is now a criminal act and may carry a serious gaol term.

For further advice on the prevention of workplace bullying or workplace relations generally, please contact Martin Reid at Coulter Roache Lawyers on 5273 5236.


your wedding celebrations...

With stunning views over Skilled Stadium & surrounding parkland, a Club Cats wedding function will leave your guests with an everlasting impression. Floor to ceiling glass in rooms hold breathtaking views over the ground Seating up to 240 guests comfortably Exceptional food and service Secure parking for more information call our functions department today on 5225 2367 or email GEELONG CATS PO Box 461 Geelong 3220




Singapore slings plenty of trade our way In trading terms, Singapore and Australia know each other very well. For decades, Singapore has been the first port of call for Australian businesses wanting to get a foothold into the thriving markets of South East Asia, and for Singaporeans, Australia has been a strong stable economy in the region in which to invest in and share partnerships in education, investment and innovation. As the region has survived tough days in terms of trade during the global financial crisis (GFC), the worst for now is over, and Singapore is again a great launching pad for exporting small and medium enterprises (SMEs) looking to expand across ASEAN and further afield in the region. This has been helped by the ASEAN, Australia, New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (AANZFTA) which links the twelve nations of ASEAN, Australia and New Zealand into a trade community of 600 million people with a combined GDP of A$3.1 trillion. AANZFTA is Australia’s most comprehensive trade agreement and according to Austrade/Sensis data around 28 per cent of exporting SMEs are now engaged in ASEAN, with sharp rises since AANZFTA has been in place. AANZFTA followed the bilateral free trade agreements with both Singapore and Thailand earlier in the decade (and of course built on our very successful Closer Economic Relations pact with New Zealand which has been around for almost three decades now). Naturally, with such strong trade and investment ties, there are already lot of Australian companies doing great business in

Singapore, 2300 of which have a presence in Singapore, and 550 of which are members of AustCham Singapore. These companies span a wide range of sectors; Laservision provided the lightshow for the opening of Marina Bay Sands; Cox Architects helped design the Helix Bridge, and Australian franchises and goods dot the retail scene. According to Kirsten Sayers, Austrade’s Senior Trade and Investment Commissioner in Singapore: “Australia is Singapore’s number 3 food supplier, and its number one in beef, lamb, pork, cheese and curd.  You can even study at Curtin or James Cook Universities without leaving Singapore! This makes it a lot easier to do business in Singapore as compared to other destinations.” Sayers also points to new investments by Singaporean firms in healthcare and dental services, education services (with the Education Fair) and Australia’s sporting and sports management expertise being on display at the Singapore Youth Olympics. “Professional services forge our reputations and that helps the investment side as well,” she explained. Given the strong professional synergies between Singapore and Australia, then it is no surprise that the island-state is also a significant investor into Australia. The total stock of Singaporean investment in Australia 2009 was worth over A$40 billion with key players from Olam Pte Ltd investing in agribusiness, to OAF Limited in food & beverage, to SingTel in ICT, to infrastructure by SingPower. In fact, ASEAN as

an economic region represents an emerging source of foreign direct investment into Australia, mostly from Singapore and Malaysia but with marked increase in interest from Thailand and Indonesia. In 2009, total productive FDI stock from ASEAN into Australia was A$21.1 billion of which Singapore contributed 75% of it. Singapore is now Australia’s 7th largest FDI source country. Of course, investment means strong people ties, and many Australians can claim strong people links with Singapore. For example, whilst I have been a great beneficiary of education, from Unley High in Adelaide to Harvard University, I am also indirectly a beneficiary of the Singaporean education system too. Why? Because when I studied at Adelaide University, the Singapore Government somehow sent their best and brightest – many of who were destined to study nuclear physics at Oxford – to my home town to enrol in economics. They became not only my classmates and tutors but I also lived in residence with them at Lincoln College in North Adelaide.  As a result, there were some great ‘externalities’ or ‘spill over’ benefits to be gained. But not only were there mutual gains from trade at the University of Adelaide but later on as I have visited Singapore on matters of state involving international trade and investment, I have found that many of these bright sparks from Adelaide University days are now in positions of influence in the island state.

Anything You Want Door to Door Discount Stationers are renowned for their prompt and efficient service and for their ability to find those hard to get items...

Discount Stationers 81 Separation Street, North Geelong

Ph: Ph:(03) (03)5272 5272 2266 2266 Fax: Fax:(03) (03)5278 52786282 6282


Copy Paper - Fax Rolls - Toner Cartridges - Inkjet Cartridges - Electronic Media - Storage - Laminating Supplies - Computer Paper

AIRPORT ECONOMIST In fact, my experience is not unusual. According to Kirsten Sayers: “The linkages between Australia and Singapore are very deep and broad. There are 9,500 students from Singapore currently studying in Australia and a further 20,000 Singaporeans are currently studying an Australian qualification here in Singapore.   We have many Singaporean permanent residents in Australia, and tourists in both directions. Many Singaporean CEOs have a connection to Australia. They have studied in Australia or their children have studied in Australia. Australian business can use these networks and linkages to their advantage,” she says.

These links to Singapore not only help Australian businesses in the city-state but also across the ASEAN region as a whole. David Twine, Austrade’s Singapore based, Regional Director for South East Asia, South Asia and the Pacific, see Singapore’s strategic advantage as crucial to migrating Australian business right across the region. “Singapore is Austrade’s regional headquarters capitalising on trade and investment synergies, supply chain linkages and regional partnerships and valuepropositions for penetration of third markets. Australian business serious about the region and developing their global business vision in South East Asia need a strong physical and human presence in the Singapore market.”


So in conclusion, I am really glad that Singapore’s best and brightest were diverted from Oxford nuclear physics to Adelaide economics because I can see the benefits to Australia, to Singapore and to international economic relations. *Tim Harcourt is the chief economist of the Australian Trade Commission (Austrade): www. He is also a Visiting Fellow at the School of Economics, Australian School of Business, UNSW. A regular visitor to Singapore and the ASEAN region. Tim Harcourt recently spoke to Austcham in Singapore and launched Australia’s financial services benchmark report and Australia Unlimited in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and The Philippines.



Professionals in t Your business is defined by the capability of the people you surround yourself with. That's why it's so vital to hire the right people to help you plan, develop and protect your business assets and future. That means choosing specialists in their field - the leaders in their industry - those that innovate and understand personal and business needs inside and out. Specialists in their field are the best at what they do, whatever field they are in.

outstanding design innovative marketing effective advertising awesome large format printing superb service

let us ruffle your 9 pakington street competitor’s feathers! geelong west 3218 ph: 5229 2022

n their field • Creative Design • Funeral & Bereavement • Conference Facilities • Finance & Leasing

ed machinery, our andderstand the bus yodinineugsseoptsun pes fun ions which withouyo goodsin ag g t ur cashflow. w.

1300 4 MORRIS


your conference is our business

;6 conference rooms ;46 hotel rooms and suites ;All inclusive A/V packages ;Wireless internet ;Free parking ;CafĂŠ and catering

Eastern Park Gardens Ph: (03) 5226 2121


s businesses and Morris Finance provide funding options which individuals with flexible ods without sinesses and allow you to purchase go ising cashflow. nding options whicochmprthom w family car, a fleet for Whe er you need a ne ised machinery, our ds without your business or special lp you understand the professional staff can he ur cashflow. d assist in managing yo r an fo ns et tio fle op a r, ca ily fam

ew family car, a fleet for alised machinery, our help you understand the w. managing your cashflo

retreat . eat . meet


1300 4 MORRIS


1300 4 MORRIS Est. 1883



"Your business is defined by the capability of people you surround yourself with."

Automate your home

We cover all your requirements in Automation, Electrical, Security, Data/Voice, Audio/Video Distribution, Home Theatre, Intercom and Central Vacuum . We can supply and install either a complete home system or individually selected components to meet your needs. For every job, no matter how large or small, we will provide a positive solution to ensure you have complete satisfaction. Have your home wiring system designed by a Smart Wired™ accredited designer and Installer. Smart Wiring is the standard home wiring system that lets you combine phone, free to air and pay TV cabling, Internet and much more at the same time whilst offering the flexibility to add and change in the future without expensive re-wiring costs.

• Home Automation • Administration • Catering Phone: 03 52345234 242 Moorabool St Geelong, VIC, 3220 Please make an appointment to visit showroom

Need medical admin cover? Sick leave, bereavement leave, holidays, overload – we’re here to help!

PACE Secretarial’s specialty is secretarial cover and typing services to the ever expanding number of medical practices in the Geelong region. With more than 26 years experience in the medical sector, the PACE team has in-depth knowledge of practice specific systems and processes, medical programs, and terminology – in fact we have experience in at least 17 specialties, all areas of pathology and hospital theatre transcription. PACE understands that each specialty, practitioner and practice is unique and our team adapts to your processes for seamless cover. We can provide staff on a ‘as needs’ basis and also maintain a ‘medical admin register’ for permanent staff placement of medical receptionists through to practice managers.

For continuity in your business – call today! s,)6%4ELEPHONE!NSWERING s"USINESS'ENERAL4YPING s-EDICAL3ECRETARIAL!SSISTANCE s2ESEARCH!UDIO4RANSCRIPTION s$ATA%NTRY-AILOUTS s3ERVICED6IRTUAL/FFICES Sharon Hill $IRECTOR Ph: 5223 8900 Fax: 5223 8922 Email: 107 McKillop Street, Geelong

Give your next corporate event a truly artistic edge. Exclusive caterers at Geelong Conference Centre and Geelong Performing Arts Centre. We cater for any event, anytime, anywhere, any size – big or small.

Call us for a quote: (03) 5226 2108 or email:



Spending to Saving Everyone knows John Maynard Keynes as the founder of monetarisim, the school of economics which has the study of the flow money at its root, but in reality he was the founding thinker of what we now know as behavioural economics. Keynes knew, long before Milton Friedman and Amos Tversky began writing about it, that the wealth of nations wasn't just a function of how much money was flowing around an economy but the confidence and behaviour of the people in it. Confidence is critical because it drives spending and, importantly for the banking industry, it drives borrowing - and right now both of these are at all time lows. One of the best indicators we have comes from the small business sector, which is, by value, almost half of the entire Australian economy and a fundamental driver of spending. Here at CoreData, we have been tracking small business confidence for the past few years and it's been declining pretty steadily from the bounce that we had in late 2009. In part, this can be explained by the fact that we have a Government that is meddling and yet

How Low? US house prices have now receded for a staggering 57 consecutive months in a row, new data has revealed. To compound the misery, the first three months of 2011 combined accounted for the largest quarterly retreat in prices since late 2008 - posing the question; how low can they go? The data from property seller, Zillow, is more pessimistic than what tends to be reflected in the Case-Shiller Index (the industry benchmark); however data from mortgage company Fannie Mae reinforces the continued downward trajectory of the market. Recently Fannie May revised its expectations of US house prices for the second quarter, down from -2.6% to -5.6% after firing up a computer model it uses to assess the market. The program takes into account nearby house prices for a property that's on the market and of comparable size, plus other attributes of a house such as property taxes and previous sales history. Supply is overwhelming demand now as the US Government's tax credits to encourage house purchases have recently expired and there are still thousands of foreclosed properties hitting the market.

decision free; in part it can be explained by the fact there have been some nasty natural disasters of late - but there is a larger, more systemic fear lurking out there. What if the confidence that has driven the Australian economy since the 1980Ă­s is simply gone? What if we have returned to a 1950Ă­s style of capitalism, which is characterised by small investments, slow growth and large amounts of savings? Some of the signs are out there. Our recent HNWI survey showed that Australians with more than $1 million outside super and their house were not intending to borrow in the future and have been paying down debt as fast as possible. The same survey showed that only 4% of small and medium business have plans to borrow in the next 12 months and that all new growth will come from cash flow. If this is true, if there has been a fundamental switch in the behaviour of consumers and businesses alike, then that's fairly interesting news for wealth management companies and banks - because none of them have adjusted their model in anticipation of this.

These articles come from the insightful minds at Burning Pants is a product of CoreData. Fannie Mae and its mortgage company counterpart, Freddie Mac, sold more than 90,000 foreclosed homes in the first quarter, however they still hold 218,000 which is more than 30% than they did a year ago. This means strong numbers of home owners are continuing to walk away from their houses and push the keys back through the letter box and raising the number of foreclosed properties in the process. According to Zillow, some of the cities hardest hit by the property price slide are Detroit, Atlanta, Minneapolis, Chicago and Miami-Fort Lauderdale - areas which either are suffering structural economic downturn or simply were at the forefront of the over-speculation in property prior to the financial crisis. On a separate note, the correction in the commodities market - most analysts are calling it a computer triggered correction, rather than a crash due to a series of negative thematic factors lining up - could spark other countries, such as Australia, to consider what it means for their property markets. Australia and a number of markets across Asia are yet to experience a contraction in property prices - and perhaps they won't. Of course, events in the US property market are quite

different due to high land taxes and a legal structure that allows people to walk away from their property debts. However, for those markets that have piggybacked on the back of the commodities boom, a message of warning has to be that back in mid-2007, few would have predicted the complete unwinding of the US property market. Never say never then? With national debts still stratospherically high in the US and some European countries, the world could yet experience a major financial meltdown and this could trigger similar devastating issues in other property markets.



End protections, compete on service played with the old rules. Decisions that were based on principles that applied when the business was operating under a different system were doomed to fail from the start. Recent news reports mentioned some of the struggling retailers complaining and asking for government bailouts and better protections, but even if these things were granted, they would only delay the problem. There is a need for change. We need to move towards stronger, worldlier, wise businesses that can build an open partnership with their customers. It is only when the customer thinks and feels that they are part of the business will they ignore the cheaper alternatives. The bosses need to get out and work with their customers on a daily basis.

Imagine Istanbul and tens of thousands of taxis. About half the taxis are registered and the others are some local entrepreneur that has grabbed their dad’s car and is touting for business. The business world of Turkey is a little more rough and ready than that of our beloved Aus. Yet, it works well. There is a great lesson available if you dig into the Turkey business scene. Many Australian businesses are surviving not because they are the best (read adequate for some businesses), but because they have some technical or regulatory protection. You can see some businesses hiding behind and being protected by contracts, limitation of territories, geographic barriers and import restrictions. Good for the business, but not so good for the customer. The customers pay dearly for this, by having non-competitive prices and less than perfect customer service. My proposition is that protection is ultimately bad for business. We can even predict the arguments that protected businesses would give if they were confronted with a threat of being flooded by unprotected businesses. We would hear the businesses bemoaning about the threat to wages and employment, the diminishment of standards, safety and quality, and more. But back in Turkey, the opposite is true. You stand at the taxi rank and people offer their best deals. “I can get you there for thirty Euro, I will do it for twenty….” The customer can see the cars and assess the quality and standard and make up their own minds about the value proposition. A recent example that occurred last month is the sad event of our local Borders bookstore closing and, in another article, we explored

some possible reasons for their demise, however, a conclusion that we can draw is that at least for Borders, the concept of geographic protection has not worked. Years ago, the suppliers of books were located over the horizon in America or England or some distant place. A local bookstore would order a suite of titles and display them for the neighbourhood readers to purchase. Then came along the disintermediation effect of the internet, and in one swift kick, many of the protections disappeared. You may have read about the machinations of the corporate officers as they tried to manoeuvre businesses to cope with the new world of retail. But the answers cannot be found in the ivory towers. (Maybe the idea of a head office is the worst protection, because it isolates the decision making from the people serving the customers). The corporates flexed and twisted, but mostly failed, because they

Back to the taxis companies in Turkey; when the company owners go to the customers and identify exactly what the customers want, how they want to be treated, when they want services, the exact style of car and the myriad of details, will they be able to build the best deal to offer the customers. At this point, the unregulated and less sophisticated businesses will fall behind, as they are more isolated and have less opportunity for quality research. So, should we move to an unprotected market in Australia and let us compete on being the best at meeting the customer’s needs in the broadest of contexts and only then will we have a business future in a world without boundaries. By opening our doors and sharing the business with the customers will the relationship be so strong that outside businesses will not be able to compete and take our markets away from our local businesses.

Clint Jennings Australian Business Development Centre



A responsible State Budget Now it’s time for long-term vision The Baillieu Government’s first State Budget was a responsible and safe effort, which delivered on the Coalition’s election promises while retaining a small budget surplus. From a business perspective, there were some small wins, but few of the big ticket reforms we were hoping to see were included, such as payroll tax cuts. However, it’s understandable at this stage why the Government has held back, as it seeks to restructure finances and stabilise state debt. One of the main positives for Geelong business is a feasibility study for a rail link connecting Avalon Airport to Melbourne and Geelong. Such a link would enhance the profile of Avalon as a domestic and, we hope eventually, international destination for business travellers and tourists, and have numerous flow-on effects for the greater Geelong region. Other positives for Geelong businesses in the budget included: •F  unding for Green Tick program for green businesses, to encourage businesses to become sustainable and be certified for their good practices •A  possible rail link between Ballarat and Geelong •M  ore support for international students, new migrants and skilled migration •N  ew funding to remove level crossings to increase traffic flow •S  upport for regional economies via assistance to flood-affected businesses, regional tourism support and the $1 billion Regional Growth Fund •M  onies to strengthen maths and sciences in schools •A  dditional facilities




The recognition of the need to rein in expenditure and debt is also a big breakthrough. Victoria added more

back office public servants than any other state between 2000 and 2008, a rise of 37 per cent. This needs to be arrested and trimmed back, whether through natural attrition, hiring freezes or even voluntary redundancies.

economy. The recent VECCI Business Trends and Prospects Survey has shown business confidence plummeting, this needs turning around and we must talk the state economy up.

Now what Victorian businesses are looking for is a medium to long term economic and infrastructure plan to build Victoria’s competitiveness, in the face of renewed interstate competition and the impact of the high Australian dollar on our many exporters.

Victoria is a relatively successful economy in the Australian context and has a good story to tell, with many natural and man-made advantages to press home. Victoria’s skills have given it a lead as an attractive place to invest in IT, advanced manufacturing and agriculture, engineering services, financial and professional services and biotechnology.

This plan must include tax and regulation reform options. While we are disappointed in the lack of tax relief in this budget, we hope the Baillieu Government soon implements a plan to make Victoria more tax and red tape competitive over the parliamentary term. For the past 20 years, Victoria has been relatively well managed economically, with business taxes around the national average.  This must be balanced against the fact that we don’t compare as well internationally with our trading partners and competitors in the Asia-Pacific region. There is scope for Government to act – Linfox said recently that Victoria is ‘a slugfest on costs’ in the context of refocussing much of its new business on Asia and Western Australia.  The Government also needs to be very careful that it is not seen to be talking down the

While the minerals boom is largely benefiting the outlying parts of Australia, the rising Asian middle class is likely to trigger another boom, in agriculture, where Victoria is strong. Victoria’s strength in tourism has been acknowledged with the Avalon rail link funding, initiatives to expand regional tourism and funding for flood-affected businesses. While Victorian business appreciates the Government has its challenges, it should be noted that the Kennett Government faced a massive deficit position when it came to power, and it was able to undertake a major infrastructure program and a wholesale economic reform agenda, including tax reform. In time, Victoria was able to overtake New South Wales and other states on a range of economic measures. New South Wales now has a new government that is seeking to make immediate payroll tax cuts and raids on our major events. Confidence is the key to business investment and the State Government must seek to build business confidence with a long-term agenda to boost infrastructure and reduce business costs.



GADGETS Office robot is for real It's a new era for office robotics. Say hi to Luna, the fully programmable robot that will be available in the second half of this year. RoboDynamics, the U.S. based company, is trying to position Luna as the 1.5 metre tall "for everyone" of modern robotics. She comes with her own one-click Luna App Store, eight expansion ports and Luna CloudNet - where third-parties can sell additional functionality like face recognition to app developers. The robot ships with a number of personality packs and features an 8-inch touch screen, two cameras, wireless connectivity, a three-mic array and a variety of sensors and she's portable. For those Geelong modern office reception areas that could do with a ‘welcomer’, just imagine your bragging rights if your visitors were met by Luna on the way in! Luna is not a prototype, but a real working robot and for around $4,000, who’s first?

Happy Birthday The last 50 years have been the most innovative half-century in human history, and 2011 marks the anniversary of the invention that started it all - the silicon-based integrated circuit. Robert Noyce received the landmark US patent in 1961, going on to found Intel Corporation with Gordon E. Moore (of Moore's Law fame) in 1968. He wasn't the first to invent the integrated circuit, that prize went to inventor of the pocket calculator, Jack Kilby, who patented a similar technology on a germanium wafer for Texas Instruments a few months baefore. Noyce's silicon version won the day and is responsible for Moore's estimated $3.7 billion net worth, not to mention the success of the entire computing industry. Holding 16 other patents and credited as a mentor of Steve Jobs, Noyce was awarded the National Medal of Technology in 1987 and continued to shape the computing industry until his death in 1990. If Moore's Law continues to hold true, as I anticipate it will, expect the next 50 years to be even more exciting than the last. Let's meet back here in 2061

Digital table You know you want one! Designed by Benjamin Rollins Caldwell of BRC Designs, the Binary Collection is a fusion of what Caldwell describes as ‘mid-century modern architectural philosophies’ and material-inspired design innovation. This geek’s ‘must have’ table is dubbed the BNR01110100, 011000010110, 001001101100, 01100101-01, or the Binary Table 01. Fashioned from computer towers that have been riveted together and surfaces that have been completely covered with a collage of motherboards, computer chips, LCD screens, and hard drive disks, its all held in place by sheet metal screws. The glass from the table was salvaged from an abandoned warehouse, and - for an extra bit of analog fun - you can spin the hard drives by hand, press the telephone keys and other buttons. Oh, (sighs), it’s heaven on earth!



New brain tumour therapy There have been robots that perform brain surgery and lasers that cook tumours, but now a team of researchers are well on their way to bringing mobility to the battle against brain cancer. The NovoTTF-100A, which just received U.S. FDA approval, is basically a set of insulated electrodes, attached to an electronic box, that pumps low intensity electrical fields to the site of a freshly diagnosed GBM (glioblastoma multiforme) tumour. The fields, known as Tumour Treatment Fields (TTF), play off the electrically charged elements of cancer cells to stunt the tumour's growth and may in some cases actually reverse it. A recent test of the system showed comparable results to chemotherapy, without the usual side effects, including nausea, anemia, fatigue, and infection. Considering that patients using the system are expected to wear the thing continuously, walking around with a cap full of electrodes is a small price to pay for giving cancer the boot.

Oldest TV At 75 years old, made of wood, mirror and glass? Not your average flat screen plasma that’s for sure. The Marconiphone 702 TV pictured here, is believed to be the oldest working television in Britain, and possibly the world. It was tracked down by a collector and is now set to go up for auction on Bonhams in London, where it has an estimated sale price of £5,000 but is expected to sell for “much more”. That will buy you a 12-inch screen that actually has its image reflected on a mirror in the lid, along with most of the original parts - only about 30 per cent have been replaced to get the set functional again. It can even receive digital channels with the aid of a Freeview box.

Alarm with a difference There has to be a better way of waking you up in the morning, and there is, but few quite like this acoustic alarm built by designer, Jamie McMahon. As you can see, it's not technically an alarm clock, but it does have an unusual alarm with four tunable strings that are plucked using a spinning guitar pick. Unfortunately, this one's strictly one of a kind for the time being, but it does actually exist in prototype form - made of birch plywood, walnut and stainless steel. And the next step is to program in your favourite tunes… Come on Jamie, you can do it.

Jon Mamonski - The Tech Guy



Strange and wonderful depths of theatre The innovative shaken+stirred@gpac program presents The Adventures of Alvin Sputnik: Deep Sea Explorer, an awardwinning one-man micro-epic puppet show that melds technology and multimedia into a touching story of enduring love and the end of the world. A visually inspired solo show performed by Tim Watts, The Adventures of Alvin Sputnik: Deep Sea Explorer debuted at Perth's Blue Room Theatre in June 2009, before presenting a highly successful season at the New York International Fringe Festival, where it was awarded "Outstanding Solo Show" and received rave reviews. Watts employs a unique blend of mime, puppetry, live and recorded music, and animation to present an exploration of the next and oldest frontier: the deep blue sea. The seas have risen, billions have died and those who are left live on farms atop skyscrapers, atop mountains. The scientists have tried everything. Floating islands sank, space probes found nothing, and the giant sponges - visible from the moon - are now rotting icons of failure. Now science and humanity are turning to the oceans themselves. A last ditch effort to save the human race requires journeying down through the mysterious depths of the deep blue sea to find a new place for us to live. Alvin Sputnik, who has just lost his wife, accepts this perilous mission to follow her soul down to the underworld so that they can be together again once more. The Adventures of Alvin Sputnik: Deep Sea Explorer was created by Watts in collaboration with Arielle Gray, and is presented by the Australian Government’s national performing arts touring program, Playing Australia, which gives Australians across the country the opportunity to see some of our best performing arts. "I highly doubt any $40 million Broadway spectacles could pack such an emotional wallop into two-and-a-half hours as Mr Watts does into 45 minutes." The Adventures of Alvin Sputnik: Deep Sea Explorer appears in the Drama Theatre at GPAC for two shows only on June 16 and 17 as part of the 2011 shaken+stirred@gpac season. Tickets are available on 5225 1200 or online at www.

ART NEWS Michael Gromm: takemetodisneyland

Robert Baines - metal

17 June - 2 July •• Metropolis Gallery

To July 03 •• Geelong Gallery


Robert Baines is one of Australia's most prominent and influential jewellers and goldsmiths, with a career spanning more than 30 years. His exceptional craft skills and extraordinary body of work are being honored through the Living Treasures - Masters of Australian Craft series.

Michael Gromm take me to disneyland Oil, acrylic and pencil on aluminium. 40 x 40 cm. •• Michael Gromm At the Center of the Magic Kingdom and Immediately North. Oil and acrylic on aluminium. 168 x 168 cm. •• Michael Gromm Wish You Could Rock Out Like Some Oil and acrylic on aluminium. 114 x 114 cm.

Baines has profoundly shaped Australian jewellery, object-making and international historical scholarship. With wry humour, his works challenge our conception of the world as much as they delight with their technical brilliance. A professor of RMIT University, Melbourne, where he continues to teach gold and silversmithing, Bainesí multi-faceted practice encompasses his work as an artist-goldsmith, scholarship in archeometallurgy, and ongoing criticism and commentary in the field of contemporary crafts. His internationally recognized study of archaeological treasures in gold grounds his own craft practice, achieving a sense of continuity with his ancient colleagues and providing a platform to toy with the mythology of our own culture. For more information, visit

Scarf Festival 2011 24 June to 21 August •• National Wool Museum

"To all who come to this happy place: Welcome. Disneyland is your land. Here age relives fond memories of the past, and here youth may savor the challenge and promise of the future. Disneyland is dedicated to the ideals, the dreams, and the hard facts that have created America, with the hope that it will be a source of joy and inspiration to all the world." Walter E. Disney 1955. In a magical new exhibition, Michael Gromm brings his third solo exhibition to Metropolis Gallery. Takemetodisneyland is filled with pieces that invoke the wonder and enchantment. Gromm was shortlisted for the 2009 Geelong Gallery Fletcher Jones Art Prize and the Metro Gallery Prize in 2010. This exhibition can be previewed online at

The Sum Of Us 02 July •• The Potato Shed Hit Productions presents The Sum of Us - the play that has received rave reviews around the world. Starring one of Australia's top actors John Jarratt (Wolf Creek, McLeods Daughters, Better Homes & Gardens), The Sum of Us is a bitter sweet comedy that revolves around the devoted and loving relationship between widower, Harry, and his homosexual son, Jeff, and their individual searches for a partner. Jeff is interested in Greg, a young public works gardener he met at a local pub, and Harry begins dating Joyce, a woman he met through a dating service. Harry's unconditional love and acceptance of his son's sexuality is a bit too daunting for Greg, whose homophobic father keeps Greg in the closet and he is wary of the comfortable relationship Harry and Jeff share. The play illuminates the eternal human need to transcend our separateness, to embark upon the difficult but necessary road to an accepting and loving connection with others. From the writer of Breaker Morant and A Town Like Alice, David Stevens, and directed by Denis Moore (Cosi), The Sum of Us continues Hit Productions' successful relationship with the Potato Shed. "A gem of a play 'The smart dialogue and the rich character development make The Sum of Us one of the warmest family love stories." For more information visit:

Feel the Rhythm! Nobody appreciates the humble scarf like the annual Scarf Festival in Geelong! Offering something for everybody - even the tiniest bit scarf-minded - Scarf Festival 2011 takes the scarf from a modest winter knit to an artistically and lovingly crafted art form – with a lot of fun thrown in along the way. Featuring an eclectic exhibition of original handcrafted scarves entered by individuals from around the country, Scarf Festival 2011 is held at Victoria’s home of wool – the National Wool Museum in Geelong. Entries have been created to reflect this year’s theme: the ‘rhythm of life’, with entrants ranging from primary school students to some of the country’s most accomplished artisans. All scarves entered will be displayed in this unique exhibition and most will be available for purchase. There’s also an interesting program of craft demonstrations on offer, providing visitors with the opportunity to see first-hand some of the amazing things being achieved in the world of Craft today. For more information visit



Topping up the volunteer pool Many community organisations survive on the goodwill of the community and the support of people who volunteer their time and skills to lend a helping hand. They often need additional support however, to carry out duties their regular volunteer pool simply cannot provide. Employee volunteers are a wonderful resource that can be utilised to pick up this deficit in manpower. As part of their commitment to local community the Alcoa Point Henry Smelter makes it possible for employees to volunteer in their community for one paid working day each year. The initiative is designed to encourage a volunteering conscience within employees so that they may move on to volunteering in their personal time to address the volunteering gap that exists in the Geelong community. BacLinks recently organised for a group of Alcoa employees to provide some much needed maintenance at Rainbow Rider’s Connewarre site where they took on the tough jobs of pruning trees, removing green waste, replenishing hay stocks and removing toxic onion weed from the paddocks. Alcoa Point Henry Smelter Operations Manager, Stewart Esdale, said “Volunteering is the 'lifeblood' of our community and our employees thrive on supporting the Geelong community through hands-on projects like this one. We believe Rainbow Riders is an exceptional program and I applaud the organisation’s great work with the youth of Geelong”. Rainbow Riders is a unique program that assists young people in the Barwon region who

live with disadvantage to find their way in life by developing life skills that will enable them to reach their potential. These young people can have disabilities, disorders, illnesses or behaviours that inhibit their ability to successfully negotiate their way through life, or they may have experienced family tragedy, trauma, abuse or neglect.

The program, working in partnership with families, schools and local care agencies uses horses as a tool for personal growth and to better understand the impact of behaviour, develop problem solving skills and nurturing behaviours. The program asks the young people to go on a journey of self-discovery – from the first meeting with the horse, through the learning of basic horsemanship, to finally riding independently. Along the way barriers are broken down, personal strengths explored, selfesteem, confidence and trust built, as well as improved family and peer relationships, social skills and behaviours. “Rainbow Riders does not receive any direct government funding and exists through the generosity of our community’ said Colin Frisch, Manager Rainbow Riders. “We had a list of jobs as long as your arm waiting for the Alcoa team! The work completed by Alcoa staff improved the safety and sustainability of our farm and charity for our children and their families” Employee volunteering is just one way your business can help out in our community. You can also donate goods and services or share your professional skills and knowledge. If your business wants to get more involved in your community but are unsure of what you can do, or how to go about it, please contact BacLinks on 5249 8989, as they have the experience and expertise to connect you into projects that are both manageable and effective.



Having a Ball - all for the kids McKenzie's work, and the work of numerous other Aussie inventors, can now be accessed online via AusPat, a database of patent records dating back to that first patent issued under Commonwealth legislation. Innovation Minister, Senator Kim Carr, said the new information would help modern day innovators by making it easier to find patented inventions, and provide a pool of priceless information for everyone interested in our nation's history.

Barwon Health CEO David Ashbridge, Aimee Butcher, Mayor Cr John Mitchell, Megan Holbrook and St John of God Hospital CEO Stephen Roberts The Mayor of Geelong is calling on the local community to help raise much needed funds for hospital care for local kids by attending the Mayoral Ball this August. Cr John Mitchell has selected the Geelong Hospital Children’s Ward and the St John of God Hospital Special Care Nursery as the beneficiaries of the new event. Being held on Saturday 20 August at the Geelong Arena, the Mayoral Ball will celebrate Geelong with a night of wonderful entertainment, great music, prizes, a threecourse dinner, fine local wines and a few surprises. The evening will include a fundraising auction with a variety of items suiting all tastes and budgets. Cr Mitchell called on businesses and the local community to support the event. “Choosing the Geelong Hospital Children’s Ward and St John of God Special Care Nursery as beneficiaries of the Mayoral Ball was a no brainer. So many people in our community rely on these vital services every day. It’s a cause that we, as a community, need to give back to. “As a parent and a grandparent, I am passionate about helping ensure Geelong’s medical facilities are equipped with the latest technologies to give our region’s kids the best start in life,” he said. The Mayor called on Geelong businesses and people to get a group together and book a table for the Mayoral Ball. “It will be a really fun night out for a group of friends or business associates, plus you’ll be supporting a great local cause at the same time. And if you book before 1 July, you can take advantage of the early bird ticket price of $110,” Cr Mitchell said. Barwon Health CEO, Dr David Ashbridge said, “I am pleased that the Mayor has chosen the Geelong Hospital’s Children’s Ward as a beneficiary of this event. I urge the Geelong community to get behind the Mayoral Ball and

help support the redevelopment of the Children’s Ward.” St John of God Hospital CEO Stephen Roberts said the Special Care Nursery was also delighted to be a beneficiary. “Every year the St John of God Special Care Nursery provides vital care to more than 200 sick newborns. The Geelong community has been very generous in supporting this vital facility and we look forward to their continued support through the Mayoral Ball.” Mayoral Ball tickets cost purchased before 1 July. now at City of Greater service centres or

$120, but $110 if Tickets are on sale Geelong customer online at www.

Patently a bright idea Andrew Brown McKenzie is not a household name, yet he has saved thousands of lives. A railway man, he witnessed serious accidents caused by trains that took an age to slow down and stop. And in 1904 he invented what became known as the Westinghouse Air Brake - the first invention to be granted an Australian patent.

"Australia has a rich history of innovation and this excellent tool delivers better access to this important information," Senator Carr said. "Records for iconic Australian inventions, such as David Unaipon's 1909 patent for the shearing handpiece featured on the Australian $50 note can now be located with the easy to use search tool deemed one of the best in the world. "When Andrew Brown McKenzie filed that first Australian patent in 1904 he could never have envisaged that his patent record, and the records of thousands of other Australian innovators, could be accessed so easily more than 100 years later. McKenzie's work on the railways led him to identify a problem with train brakes and a way to overcome it. His patent improvements in air leak preventative for Westinghouse and like brakes - helped railway workers and passengers alike. One hundred and seven years later, Australian innovators are still changing lives with modern day inventions like Gardasil and the CSIRO's Wi-Fi technology." Senator Carr said AusPat offers a significant improvement on the old process, which had people searching through a myriad of paper, microfiche and electronic systems. The tool will save modern Australian inventors time and effort as they can easily search the inventions that have come before them. AusPat has data from over 7,300 books, 620,000 microfiche films and more than 37 million documents!



Vintage 2011: challenging but strong Despite what has been described as the most challenging vintage in years, Geelong vignerons are anticipating Vintage 2011 will see wines emanating from the region that will categorically cement Geelong’s status as one of Australia’s premiere wine producing regions. “Similar to the majority of Victorian wine growing regions, Geelong faced numerous challenges in the lead up to Vintage 2011, the result of a comparatively wild and wet season with bouts of humidity dispersed throughout,” said Hugh Hull, Geelong Winegrowers Association (GWA) Viticultural Executive. “These climate influences saw both a late harvest and natural attrition in terms of yield, but Geelong vignerons are reporting that the resultant quality of fruit and varietal intensity across the board is of a consistently high standard.” Mr Hull said for those able to keep the high disease pressure at bay in the lead up to Vintage 2011, the rewards will definitely be there.

“A particularly positive aspect of Vintage 2011 is the fact that there has been some beautiful, slow ripened fruit shining through, particularly in the aromatic whites." "The cooler ripening season has resulted in higher natural acidity which should deliver more aromatic, delicate and varietal characteristics than recent vintages,” he said. Mr Hull said that although later ripening reds, such as Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon, had struggled a little for sugar ripeness and colour, varietal intensity was apparent. “The earlier picked reds, such as Pinot Noir, are already shaping up to be quite complex with some great cool vintage influences as well,” he said. “The Geelong region already boasts an enviable reputation for spectacular cool climate wines and, despite all the talk of doom and gloom surrounding the wine industry in general, and Vintage 2011 is no exception – we will definitely see wines coming through that will do the

Geelong region proud on both the Australian and international wine stage.” Mr Hull said one of the wonderful things that set the Geelong wine region apart was that it embraced three dynamic sub regions – The Bellarine, Moorabool Valley and the Surf Coast. “Each sub region boasts its own unique micro climate and ‘terroir’ which impact upon ultimate wine offerings. The result is that wine lovers can visit Geelong and be tantalised by an incredibly broad range of palate nuances – delicate fingerprints of each sub region, yet all part of one greater region.” Mr Hull said the GWA website www. provided lots of information about Geelong wine, the three sub regions as well as details of the host of local wineries where people could enjoy some of the best wines in Australia – literally in their own backyard.



A surprisingly fruity find Grape production proved difficult for most this year, with a high incidence of disease due to the volume of unseasonal rainfall. Those who worked hardest in the vineyard will be rewarded with some good fruit, but in years like this, some will question their choices and commitment to the production of wine. Perhaps I have the answer! As a lot of Australians do in winter, I travel north to thaw from the seemingly increasingly colder months of the year. On one of these thaw sessions to far north Queensland, my wife and I happened across a fruit winery. I was intrigued to begin with and walked into the cellar door with an air of apprehension. Wine made from fruit other than grapes to a “Wine” person is a bit like de-alcoholised beer, to beer drinkers. Sure, it’s called beer and it tastes a bit like beer, but it’s not “real” beer! The owner of the property was manning the tasting room on this occasion, so I was able to ask plenty of questions. Lined up in front of me was a large selection of various tropical fruit wines, varying from sparkling, dry to sweet style port-like wines. Made from a variety of unusual fruits such as mango, guava, lychee, and an unusual fruit called sapote - often known as chocolate fruit - I was surprised to find that

these were not only palatable, but purchase worthy. The mango wine was lovely, fruit sweet but finishing very fresh and dry. The passionfruit wine was reminiscent of many New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc’s I’ve tasted. The pick for me, however, was the Sapote wine. Quite similar to a Rutherglen Muscat in style, the wine was rich and textured with great flavours of toffee and chocolate and a clean nutty finish. As a prank, I put the wine in an options game with friends and much to my amusement they all picked it as a Muscat or Tokay.

I was told by the owner that they had an ex-Penfolds winemaker as a consultant and that they took the production of fruit wine very seriously. They sold out every year and had a large mailing list of fruit wine supporters. It made sense as, if you visited as a tourist or perhaps someone with no preconceived misconceptions regarding fruit wine, you would be impressed with these products.

Of course, fruit wine is not new and to think that wine can only be made from grapes is perhaps a little one eyed. Many other fruits are traditionally made into wine all over the world, for instance one of my personal favourites is plum wine, traditionally Japanese, and not surprisingly it goes perfectly with delicate, spicy, Wasabi based Japanese food.

Fruit wines are not available everywhere and are still classed as a specialty product in Australia. As with grape based wines, I think finding a good one still may prove to be a journey of discovery. Now, I’m sure the wine industry will never be rocked by the impact of fruit wines, but for your own interest, if you happen to come across a fruit wine, have a taste, you might be in for a surprise.

Adrian Marchiaro When not immersed in his work as Winemaker's Assistant and jack-of-all-trades at the award-winning Witchmount Winery, Adrian presents wine tasting evenings at Lamby's Restaurant + Bar [check on renaming of Lambys to Black Sheep Café?]


Free Entry, Free Wine Tasting, Free Gourmet Platters For Patrons, Free Live Entertainment Each Week 3rd June – Crazy about the Coonawarra Wines from the well-respected Coonawarra in S.A Entertainment: Andy Pobjoy

17th June – Shiraz, bubbly blended or by itself Wines made using the great variety Shiraz Entertainment: Warm Sands

10th June – Bongiorno Italia Great Italian wines and food, dress up to wine great prizes! Entertainment: Chic

24th June – Sweet or dry? Give both a try Wine varieties made in both the sweet and dry style Entertainment: Chic

Stay tuned for info on theme nights, prizes and other offers coming your way..



An inspiring morning ... On Thursday the 5th of May, at the early hour of 6.45am guests began to arrive for the 2011 People @ Work Administrative Professionals Administrative Breakfast. Bay FM’s Mark Hyland was MC on the day, with Seven Network’s Rebecca Maddern as a special guest of the morning. There were also some inspiring stories, as Rebecca Maddern interviewed Belinda McPherson from Barwon Corrections and Tara McKinty, co-founder of the Sanctuary Counselling Centres. Belinda told of her secrets being a busy working mum, committee member and a female working in a managerial role at Barwon Prison, while Tara told of what drives her to run a counselling centre with a focus on counselling for those going through a terminal illness, and their loved ones. Almost 400 people attended in total, with a diverse presence of Geelong businesses represented such as Target, the Bendigo Bank, St Joseph’s College, Barwon Water, Barwon Health and Diversitat. The total money raised through this event for Give Where You Live was more than $21 000, with around $5,300 being raised on the day alone through raffle tickets. With such a benchmark of an event, 2012 promises to be even better! Photos James Cox

News reader Rebecca Maddern from the Seven Network was a special guest for the breakfast

Dallas Stefanovic from the City of Greater Geelong and friend

Katrina Honner, Ian Davis, Loisa Munoz and Chris McClure from Barwon Water.

Nine staff members from Geelong's CFA attended

GWYL Board President Jordan Mavros thanks guests for attending



Communicating with the communicators On May 3rd PRs and marketers came from far and wide to network and socialise ñ peer to peer. pr2pr, Geelongís industry network for communicators held its latest function at Geelongís premier boutique bar, City Quarter. Guests were treated to cocktails and canapés for the evening as well as the latest industry gossip. pr2pr is pioneered by RedStick Strategic Communications and partnered with EMC Group Geelong. For more information or to get involved email

Alli Murphy (RedStick SC), Tess Cameron (RedStick SC), Pip Hunt (Harwood Andrews Lawyers)

Travis (City Quarter), Julia O'Keeffe (Krock and Bay FM), John Cirak (Eagle Creative)

Amy Gibson (RedStick SC), Karen Jackson (4Points By Sheraton), Bridget Connor (RedStick SC)

Jessica Taylor (Glastonbury Child And Family Services), Rachel Bell (Barwon Health Foundation), Sara Bonnici (Barwon Health Foundation)




Brain push ups for young professionals Motivator and Brain Plasticity Specialist, Dr Helena Popovic, exhorted the crowd at the Geelong Young Professionals breakfast, held at The Pier last month. Bouncing around the stage, Dr Popovic told her mesmerised listeners that just as we focus on building up and boosting our financial assets, we also need to focus on building up and boosting our greatest asset 単 our brain! The event was sponsored by Harwood Andrews Lawyers. Photos by Terry Broun Jr

Dr Helena Popovic; Jay Burke (Burke Britton Financial Partners)

Right: The energetic Dr Helena Popovic motivating us to boost our brains

April Slater & Lily Tsen (Coulter Roache); Sarla Holmes & Rory Flynn (Moo Media)

Paul Galbraith (Bendigo Bank); Cameron Murnane (Bendigo Bank) and Simon Heffernan (Direct Recuritment)

Paul Baranski (People@Work); Bridgette Kelly (Harwood Andrews) and Melissa O'Shanassy (O'Shanassy Chartered Accountants).

Enjoying a cup of tea and a chat before the presentation


WHATS ON Friday 10 to Monday 13 June

National Celtic Festival Portarlington is again gearing up to host the biggest craic in the southern hemisphere when the National Celtic Festival rolls into town for the long-weekend. Now in its ninth year at this beautiful seaside village, the National Celtic Festival has established itself as both a premier event on The Bellarine and Australiaís largest and most diverse celebration of Celtic music and culture. Whether youíre a hard-core traditional music fan or a family looking for a weekend packed with fun, this festival offers so many unique experiences for people of all ages, backgrounds and musical tastes. ìThis festival has so many traditions and cultures at its core, which opens many possibilities for a really diverse program,î said festival director Una McAlinden. ìItís an event that caters for all ages, and all ages love it.î Where: Portarlington Township. Details:

Friday 10 to Saturday 18 June

Friday 24 June

Fiddler on the Roof – Presented by the Geelong Lyric Theatre Company. Where: Costa Hall, Deakin Geelong Waterfront. Details:

Geelong Chamber of Commerce Annual Dinner. Where: Geelong Football Club, Captain’s Room. Details: www.geelongchamber.

From Saturday 11 June

Friday 24 June to Saturday 09 July

Persistent Folly: Barry Gillard - A series of charcoal drawings. Where: Geelong Gallery. Details:

Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde - New and shocking version of Robert Louis Stevenson's classic tale. Where: Woodbin Theatre. Details:

Monday 13 June Women in Need High Tea Soiree - Come join in High Tea Soiree event at Fishermans Pier Resturant to raise awareness and funds for the Women In Need Foundation. Details: www.winaustralia. org

From Monday 13 June

From Friday 24 June Scarf Festival 2011: Rhythm of Life - An exhibition of over 200 individually created, handcrafted scarves, providing a visual celebration of the diverse textures and techniques used in the creation of spectacular scarves. Where: National Wool Museum. Details:

BoxWorld: The World’s Amazing Recycled City - Over 900 buildings created from boxes, cans, bottles and an array of recycled materials form one of the worldís most environmentally friendly cities. Where: National Wool Museum. Details: www.

Thursday 16 – Friday 17 June

Thursday 16 June

Friday 24 June

Geelong Chamber of Commerce After 5 – sponsored by Geelong Harness Racing. Where: Beckley Park. Details: www.

Geelong Chamber Music Society 2011 Concert Series – Melbourne Chamber Orchestra performing music by Mozart and Bach. Where: McAuley Hall, Sacred Heart College. Details:

Friday 17 to Sunday 19 June Winter Solstice One Act Plays: Keep It Secret – Three single act plays held in celebration of the longest night of the year. Where: The Potato Shed, Drysdale. Details: au

The Adventures of Alvin Sputnik: Deep Sea Explorer – the visually inspiring one-man show. Where: Drama Theatre, GPAC. Details:

Saturday 02 July The Sum of Us – Hit Productions presentation of this hit stage show. Starring John Jarratt. Where: Potato Shed, Drysdale. Details:

Sunday 19 June to Saturday 25 June

Sunday 03 July – Thursday 07 July

Drug Action Week 2011 - Raising community awareness about drug misuse as well as highlight a number of positive programs that are happening in the Barwon region. Details: www.

2011 Southern University Games – Held at sporting venues across Geelong, the Southern University Games features up to fifteen team sports and a four-night exclusive social program. Details:

To publicise your event in GBN’s What’s On in July email:




FRIDAY 29 JULY 9:30AM EVERYONE WELCOME Meet the Directors of Campbell House, ELC and Head of the Preparatory School and Heads of Senior School

Chris Dinneen, Ros Molyneux, Julian Carroll, Roger Smith and Joan Gill

Geelong Business News - 197  

Geelong Business News - 197 - June 2011

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you