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Gold Coast Business News

In This Gold Coast Business News Issue

STRONG SIGNS FOR RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPERS: TREASURE
VILLA World Group (ASX:VLW) has almost doubled its first half pre-tax profit expectations in the space of a month. Managing director Craig Treasure says the upgrade, from $5 million to $9.4 million is primarily driven by the timing of sales into unconditional status, but there is no doubt the company is benefiting from a boom in the sector. Last month the company reported predicted Net Profit b...
JETSTAR TO FLY DIRECT TO MACKAY
Gold Coast Airport management have today welcomed Jetstar’s announcement that direct services between the Gold Coast and Mackay will commence mid-year. Gold Coast Airport Chief Operating Officer Paul Donovan said Gold Coast and Mackay airports have been working collaboratively for some time to bring the service to fruition. “We’ve known for some time that the numbers stack up ...
COURAN COVE FILLS QUINN VACUUM
RAMADA Couran Cove Island Resort has appointed John Muntz as CEO following the controversial departure of John Quinn. Muntz, who started work at the resort as director of operations in November, assumes responsibility for steering all aspects of the island resort. Quinn left Couran Cove after agitation to the new owner, Craig Dowling, by bodies corporate over Quinn’s management of the re...
RFG DELIVERS RECORD RESULT
 RETAIL food franchiser Retail Food Group (RFG) has announced a record first half profit attributed to strong outlet growth and performance. The company, which owns Crust Gourmet Pizza, Pizza Capers and Donut King among others, has reported a net profit after tax (NPAT) of $17.3 million, an 18 percent increase on the prior corresponding period. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation a...
MANTRA SECURES SECOND INDONESIAN PROPERTY
 MANTRA Group has continued its foray into the Asian market, signing Sentosa Seminyak in Indonesia under the Peppers name. The villa is the second Indonesian property for the hotel operator, following the opening of Mantra Nusa Dua in late 2012. Chief Bob East says it will be rebranded in March, adding to the boutique collection of 29 resorts across Australia and New Zealand. “We are...
ANOTHER LOSS ROLLS IN FOR BILLABONG
 THE red ink continues to flow at Billabong with the embattled surfwear group posting a $126.3 million loss for the December half year. And, in a major admission by the Gold Coast-based company, the departure of former US boss Paul Naude appears to have caused operational difficulties for Billabong which has weighed heavily on its latest earnings result. The loss, which compares with a $53...
TATE BACKS ONLINE TRAINING
LOCAL businesses can learn how to stay ahead of technology trends as part of the federal government’s Digital Enterprise Program (DEP). DEP provides short courses and mentoring sessions in conjunction with management companies, Gravelroad and Enterprise and Training Company. Mayor Tom Tate (pictured) says it will boost employment and help the Gold Coast compete with other cities. “T...
Triguboff tips Gold Coast boom
BILLIONAIRE developer Harry Triguboff rates the Gold Coast as Australia’s property hotspot over the next two years, ahead of his home turf Sydney which is benefiting from an influx of Chinese money. Triguboff, speaking today at a Young Professionals luncheon, says Sydney prices have surged ahead too quickly as a result of foreign investment, but he says the Gold Coast continues to remain...
RAY WHITE LAUNCHES NEW LOOK COMMERCIAL MAGAZINE
RAY White Commercial Gold Coast has launched a new look commercial magazine. Commercial Yield will feature case studies on recent sales, regular features, property management profiles and commentary on issues relevant to the real estate industry, as an addition to the existing property advertisements. Ray White Commercial Gold Coast director Gregory Bell says the magazine will be a go-to guide ...
TRIGUBOFF BACKS GOLD COAST PROPERTY MARKET
BILLIONAIRE developer Harry Triguboff rates the Gold Coast as Australia’s property hotspot over the next two years, ahead of his home turf Sydney which is benefiting from an influx of Chinese money. Triguboff, speaking today at a Young Professionals luncheon, says Sydney prices have surged ahead too quickly as a result of foreign investment, but he says the Gold Coast continues to remain ...
THREE INTO ONE FOR CHAMBERS
THREE Gold Coast Chambers of Commerce will be amalgamated to form a super chamber in 2012 following a unanimous vote by members of Surfers Paradise-Broadbeach, Central and Nerang. Central Gold Coast Chamber of Commerce president Jason Deacon, says the deal will bolster business lobbying power. "The proposed merger would see 46 per cent of the city’s businesses being represented by the one ...
ROYAL COMMISSION TO INVESTIGATE UNION CORRUPTION
A ROYAL Commission will be held into union corruption, Prime Minister Tony Abbott (pictured) has announced today. Headed by former High Court judge John Dyson, the commission will have a wide-ranging brief to "go where the evidence leads it". Abbott sees this inquiry as fulfilling an election promise to look into the Australian Workers’ Union slush fund scandal, while recent revelations abo...
BILLABONG SLUMPS ON PROFIT FEARS AND BID FLOP
BILLABONG shares plunged again today, crashing almost 60 per cent as they resumed trading after a month’s suspension on news that no firm takeover offer is on the table for the struggling Gold Coast surfwear group. The shares hit a low of 19c, down from their previous close of 45.5c, as Billabong also spooked investors with another profit downgrade. The latest downgrade – the fourth...
CASH RATE STAYS ON HOLD
THE Gold Coast development industry has called on the banks to play their part after the Reserve Bank of Australia kept its official cash rate on hold today. Gold Coast Logan Urban Development Institute of Australia branch president Steve Harrison (pictured) says the RBA’s interest rate cut last month gave added confidence to the construction and development industry. But he says banks no...
MINIMUM WAGE INCREASE ADDS TO RISING COSTS
AN increase to the minimum wage will add about $4000 annually to the cost of employing a Queenslander, says CCIQ’s Nick Behrens (pictured). The minimum wage will increase 2.6 per cent from July 1 to $622.20 per week ($16.37 per hour), a $15.80 pay rise, the Fair Work Commission (FWC) decided today. Behrens, general manager advocacy the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland, expects ...
QTIC RELIEVED BY STATE BUDGET ANNOUNCEMENT
TOURISM will feel little impact from the Queensland budget announcement on Tuesday, bringing relief for industry heavyweights. Queensland Tourism Industry Council (QTIC) chairperson Shane O’Reilly (pictured) says he’s pleased to see the government remains committed to ensuring industry growth. On top of continued support for existing programs, the budget includes $15 million for Tou...
COAST REGISTERS SOLID TOURISM GROWTH
AN impressive jump in tourist numbers to the Gold Coast came last year despite frugal consumers and the high Australian dollar. The latest Tourism and Events Queensland snapshot shows big increases in domestic and international visitors in the year to December. Domestic visitation is close to returning to 2007 levels, with a 7 per cent increase to 3.5 million people travelling to the Gold Coast...
BILLABONG HITS NEW ALL TIME LOW
THE market value of former “billion-dollar baby” Billabong crashed to a paltry $80 million today after another big slide on the share market. Shares in the Gold Coast surfwear group slumped to a fresh all-time low of 16c - down 2c or more than 11 per cent - amid continued uncertainty over the company’s future and due to end-of-year selling by investors. The shares have been un...
MASTER BUILDERS PUSH FOR INDUSTRY REFORM
MASTER Builders Queensland has put pressure on the state government to rebuild consumer and business confidence in Queensland’s building and construction industry with recommended policy reforms announced today. Director of housing policy Paul Bidwell (pictured) says the six point plan, outlined in the Master Builders Policy and Advocacy Agenda 2013-14, would ensure the industry is well-p...
ONLINE SHOPPING BOOMS
THE value of online orders to Australian-based businesses surged 25 per cent to $237 billion last year according to figures released by the Bureau of Statistics (ABS). The estimate comes from orders which are received from Australian households, businesses and government, as well as orders received from overseas customers. ABS assistant director of the Innovation and Technology Statistics ...
SMALL BUSINESS FALLING FOR TAX MYTHS
SMALL businesses risk substantial losses and penalties by the Australian Tax Office due to long-held tax myths and a lack of understanding around reporting requirements. American Express recently conducted a survey of more than 1000 small businesses and found that the understanding of tax reporting requirements varies enormously depending on the length of time in business and the type of busine...
BILLABONG: 90 PER CENT GONE IN 13 MONTHS
THIRTEEN months after taking the helm at Billabong, CEO Launa Inman has overseen a massive 90 per cent wipeout in the market value of one of the world’s biggest surf brands. The shares slumped a massive 30 per cent this week alone after sliding to a new all-time low of 12.2c a share today. Investors have been bailing out of the company for more than two weeks after they emerged from a mon...
ARDENT LEISURE APPOINTS NEW THEME PARKS CEO
ARDENT Leisure Group (ASX: AAD) has announced a new CEO of the Theme Parks division following the resignation of Todd Coates. Craig Davidson (pictured) will commence the role in late August. Most recently, Davidson was executive general manager destination development at Tourism Australia and brings experience to the role having been responsible for the operations of the Voyages Hotels and Reso...
BUSINESS LEADERS CALL FOR IMMEDIATE ELECTION
KEVIN Rudd (pictured) may stem federal Labor’s bleeding after toppling Julia Gillard as Prime Minister overnight, but Gold Coast business leaders fear it will do little to garner political or economic stability. An early election is the only answer, according to a Gold Coast Business News snapshot of business leaders. Tourism, real estate and development industry figures have all called f...
GAMES VILLAGE DEVELOPER SHORTLISTED
THREE developers have been shortlisted to build the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Village. The shortlisted parties include Grocon, a partnership between Mirvac Queensland and Laing O’Rourke Australia Constructions and Village Park Consortium, comprising Australand Holdings and Citta Property Group. Although none of the shortlisted developers have headquarters on the Gold Coast, most ...
TELSTRA EXPANDS WITH NEW BUNDALL CENTRE
TELSTRA Business Centre Gold Coast is expanding with a new centre in Bundall. The centre’s general manager, Steven Feld (far left), says growth in business on the coast is the main driver of the expansion, combined with a $100 million push by Telstra to provide a better range of communications technology and services for small business across the country. “We started with around 30 ...
JOB VACANCIES SET TO PLUMMET
AUSTRALIAN businesses don’t plan to employ new staff in the months ahead according to research by Dun & Bradstreet. The latest Business Expectations Survey shows a consistent decline in hiring expectations over the last 18 months with businesses expecting weak economic growth to continue into the new financial year. According to the survey, the employment index is at its lowest level ...
HOWE QUITS PARKLANDS POST
JOHN Howe has retired as a trustee of Parklands Gold Coast, leaving behind the disappointment that he could not save the community venue from redevelopment. Parklands, home to the Gold Coast Show, the Gold Coast Harness Racing Club and a host of community events including Big Day Out, will officially close on September 30 to make way for construction of the Commonwealth Games athletes’ vi...
DOLLAR DIPS AS RBA HOLDS GROUND
THE Reserve Bank of Australia has held its ground on interest rates for another month, but a dovish tone from Governor Glenn Stevens regarding the state of the local economy has put immediate pressure on the dollar. The RBA, as expected, held the official cash rate at 2.75 per cent with Stevens citing higher unemployment and subdued household borrowings as a point of concern. The Aussie dollar ...
DEBT BUYOUT RUMOUR BOOSTS BILLABONG
BILLABONG’S shares jumped more than 32.8 per cent today on speculation that a private equity consortium has agreed to acquire the company’s $400 million debt. The speculation, driven by a report in the Australian Financial Review, has lifted Billabong’s shares as much as 13.7c to a high of 33.2c – or almost three times the value at which they were trading last week. Oakt...
QANTAS INJECTS MILLIONS INTO QUEENSLAND
QANTAS (ASX: QAS) has signed a $12 million marketing agreement with the Queensland government, in a bid to increase visitor numbers to the state. The agreement doubles the value of current joint marketing initiatives between QAS and Tourism and Events Queensland. Minister for Tourism, Major Events, Small Business and the Commonwealth Games Jann Stuckey says the agreement will see Queensland pro...
BILLABONG’S DESPERATE DEBT DEAL
LAUNA Inman has been dumped from Billabong’s top job as the surfwear group has locked itself into a desperate refinancing deal with US-based private equity group Altamont Capital Partners. Billabong and Altamont, one of two potential suitors that emerged for Billabong earlier this year, have entered into a binding $US294 million ($A325 million) debt-for-equity deal that appears hugely dil...
GROWING FINANCE COMMITMENTS GOOD NEWS FOR CONSTRUCTION
INCREASING finance commitments for owner occupiers corresponds with Master Builders’ forecast 32,000 dwelling commencements next financial year. Latest Australia Bureau of Statistics Building Activity figures show 9.1 per cent growth in finance commitments for owner occupiers from January through to May 2013 and a 3.9 per cent increase on April. Deputy Executive Director, Paul Bidwell say...
BILLABONG DEAL SLAMMED AS ‘COERCIVE’
BILLABONG’S financial lifeline from Altamont Capital Partners has hit a rogue wave with two hedge-fund managers complaining to the authorities that the deal is “anti-competitive” and coercive” in nature. Oaktree Capital Management and Centerbridge Partners, the hedge funds that have offered an alternative refinancing package for Billabong, have lodged an application with...
LM DIRECTORS IN FIRING LINE
THE directors of LM Investment Management Ltd could be in the firing line to face charges over unspecified offences, according to administrators of the Gold Coast funds manager who have recommended the company be wound up. Administrators John Park and Ginette Muller, of FTI Consulting, say that “various offences” occurred in the lead-up to the collapse of LMIM, the company founded b...
$100 MILLION SCOOT TOURISM BOOST
 VISITOR expenditure in Queensland has been boosted to the tune of $100 million since Scoot Airlines’ launch of direct flights between Singapore and the Gold Coast more than 12 months ago, according to the tourism minister’s office. Scoot CEO Campbell Wilson says his airline is naturally delighted with the figure. “It’s clear that our great value fares and unique bl...
UNIT APPROVALS RISING
GOLD Coast high-density housing approvals have been boosted by heartening Australian Bureau of Statistics figures. Its latest building approvals figures show an 11.1 per cent increase in total dwelling unit approvals since 2012. Gold Coast regional manager John Duncalfe says the Coast’s total unit approvals were up from 2,322 in 2011 to’12 to 2,579 in 2012to ’13. “It is ...
SUNLAND SNARES MADDISON DEBT
GOLD Coast developer Sunland Group (ASX: SDG) has snared control of LM Investments’ Maddison Estate through a $24.75 million debt buyout from first mortgagee Suncorp. Under the deal, Sunland has acquired two loans – one against the Maddison Estate at Pimpama and the other against the Waterline Estate at Redland Bay on Brisbane’s bayside. Neither asset is connected other than t...
SOUL SURFERS PARADISE WINS MASTER BUILDERS AWARDS
SOUL Residential Apartments took two gongs at the Master Builders Gold Coast 2013 Housing and Construction Awards announced during August. The Surfers Paradise structure was awarded in the prestigious Project of the Year and also Residential Building (high-rise over $20 million) categories. Soul was the first Queensland project for development, construction and investment management company Gro...
CASH RATE CUT TO 2.5 PER CENT
THE decision to cut the official interest rate today shows the economy is in transition, says Colliers International research director Mark Courtney. Responding to the Reserve Bank of Australia’s resolution to lower the cash rate by 25 basis points to 2.5 per cent, Courtney says it is now lower than even during the height of the global economic turmoil of 2008 and 2009. “The economy...
BRAVEHEARTS BOSS SCORES ENTREPRENEUR AWARD
BRAVEHEARTS founder and executive director Hetty Johnston has been crowned the 2014 Ernst & Young Social Entrepreneur of the Year for Northern Region. Johnston founded the charity in 1997, with a vision to educate, empower and protect Australian kids from sexual assault. Employing more than 50 staff across nine offices, Bravehearts works to stop child sexual assault by increasing awareness,...
NEWS CORP TO STOP PRESS AT BULLETIN
NEWS Corp continues to scale back its operations on the Gold Coast with an announcement today that it plans to close its print centre at Molendinar. Gold Coast Bulletin staff were told today of the closure of the state-of-the-art printing facility which was developed more than a decade ago at a cost of $40 million. It is understood the move, which will take place in April next year, will affect...
EXPERT SAYS GOLD COAST PROPERTY BOOM HAS BEGUN
THE average Gold Coast house price rose by 8 per cent in the six months to June 30, 2013, according to property guru Bill Morris. Over 2297 sales, the average price rose from $515,949 to $557,229. The number of sales also increased by 41 per cent compared to the six months prior. The official statistics were supplied by the Titles office and analysed by Morris, author of the Midwood Report. He ...
APARTMENT SUPPLY LOWEST IN A DECADE
SUPPLY in the Gold Coast new apartment market has reached its lowest level in a decade according to research by Colliers International. Sales volumes in the June quarter fell slightly but remained strong compared to last year, while no new stock was added to the market. This leaves less than 1000 new apartments available, with seven apartment projects selling out across the Gold Coast and Tweed...
BARTERCARD HELPS AUSSIE FARMING FAMILIES
BARTERCARD Charity Foundation (BCF) has granted the trade dollars equivalent of $100,000 to Aussie Helpers in support of the Buy A Bale Campaign (BABC). Aussie Helpers founder Brian Egan says that in support of Australian farming communities hit hard by flood and drought during recent years, the campaign is a joint venture between Aussie Helpers and the Give Back Campaign. “Many of these ...
G8 PROFIT MACHINE CONTINUES TO FIRE UP
THE G8 Education profit machine continues to churn out big figures with the childcare-centre operator today posting an $11.018 million bottom-line result for the half year to June 30. The result, up 62 per cent from a year earlier, has been buoyed by a stream of acquisitions as another 33 childcare centres were added to its portfolio in 2012. The acquisitions have continued in 2013 with a furth...
BANKS BACK IN THE GAME, SAYS SUNLAND
BANKS are finally starting to show an interest in financing high rise projects, according to Gold Coast developer Sunland Group which today announced a net profit of $13.6 million for 2013. “Sentiment has shifted particularly in the last 12 months,” says Sunland’s managing director Sahba Abedian (pictured). He says this has led to a growing appetite for larger-scale projects, ...
THEME PARKS RIDING HIGH
GOLD Coast theme parks turned a tidy profit over the past year with both Village Roadshow and Dreamworld owner Ardent Leisure benefiting from a near perfect summer. Despite wet weather hitting the second half, Village Roadshow says 709,000 more visitors poured through the group’s Gold Coast theme parks, including Movie World and Sea World, compared with 2012. As a result, in the 12 months...
ECHO’S QUEENSLAND ‘STARS’ SHOW NO SPARKLE
SPARKLING new Sydney casino The Star has given Echo Entertainment Group a winning boost to its bottom line as the group’s ageing Queensland casinos continue to under perform. Echo has reported an $83.5 million net profit for the 2012 full year, up 97.9 per cent on the previous year. Pre-tax earnings rose 25.8 per cent to $334.6 million, aided by 17 per cent growth in revenue at The Star v...
BILLABONG’S WORST EVER LOSS AT $859M
 BILLABONG has posted the worst earnings report in its 40-year history with the bottom-line result plunging $859.5 million into the red over 2013. The result shook investors this morning as they dumped shares in the action-wear group, pushing them down as much as 16 per cent to 47.5c before they recovered to climb above 50c in lunch-time trading. The shares are trading well above Billabong...
BILLABONG DUMPS ALTAMONT AFTER JUST ONE MONTH
THE Billabong saga took another twist today as the Gold Coast-based surfwear group dumped a controversial debt deal with former suitor Altamont Capital Partners in favour of a more attractive offer from US hedge funds Centerbridge Partners and Oaktree Capital Management. The move also makes way for the company’s third chief executive in less than two months as the new financiers have opte...
$80 MILLION CASH INJECTION FOR G8
CHILDCARE centre operator G8 Education has been inundated with cash after an institutional offering closed oversubscribed. The Gold Coast-based company, headed by Chris Scott, says it has raised $80.1 million through a placement of 26 million shares at $3.15 each. This is $10 million more than the company indicated yesterday that it had secured and it primes the group for further acquisitions. ...
BUSINESS DELEGATION TO INDONESIA WITH ABBOTT 'GREAT START'
TONY Abbott’s inclusion of business representatives in his first visit as Prime Minister to Indonesia endorses an economic action plan released by the Business Council of Australia (BCA) before the election, says its president. Jennifer Westacott says the plan calls for a focus on relations with our northern neighbours, including the establishment of high-level CEO dialogue. “And th...
RBA LEAVES RATE UNCHANGED
The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) decided today to leave the cash rate unchanged at 2.5 per cent, noting inflation is within the target range and both Australian and global growth is only slightly below average. RBA Governor Glenn Stevens (pictured) says the Australian economy’s “a bit” below average growth is expected to continue in the near term as the economy adjusts to l...
FAST TRACK COOLANGATTA INFRASTRUCTURE: GILCHRIST
INFRASTRUCTURE development in Coolangatta and surrounding suburbs is not keeping up with population growth, despite the $4.6 billion pipeline being close to the record $5.155 billion set in 2008. Stewart Gilchrist, Colliers International Gold Coast director in charge, says major southern Gold Coast infrastructure projects to be brought forward for completion before the 2018 Commonwealth Ga...
GOLD COAST ENGINEER WINS HUGE BRISBANE CONTRACT
GOLD Coast engineering firm EMF Griffiths is part of the winning consortium for the $645 million, 1 William Street tower project in Brisbane. The firm is part of the The Cbus Property team, which has procured Brookfield Multiplex to build the 45-storey tower on the Brisbane riverfront for the Queensland Government. It will be involved in projects from the base building works through to the fito...
FREE INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS GROWTH INFORMATION SESSION
BUSINESS owners can learn about overseas opportunities at a City of Gold Coast International Market Information Session next week. Key speakers Queensland Trade and Investment Commissioner to the Middle East Donna Massie; South Asia/India Commissioner Parag Shirname; and Commissioner to Japan Tak Adachi will speak of export finance advice, business etiquette, cultural tips and in country support...
ECONOMIC REPORT HAS QUEENSLAND IN FRONT
QUEENSLAND leads Australia in business investment, according to the latest CommSec State of the States Report. Treasurer Tim Nicholls says the report released today also notes improvements in unemployment, housing finance and building starts. “Queensland now leads the nation in business investment, with spending in the June quarter 37 per cent above the decade average,” says Nichol...
BUSINESSES LEFT BEHIND IN DIGITAL ECONOMY
ABOUT a third of small to medium businesses don’t utilise online technology and lose out to competitors, according to research from the MYOB Business Monitor Report. It found only four out of 10 businesses have websites, which is the same figure from six months ago. Only 12 per cent of businesses with websites use social media and 16 per cent use cloud computing and little growth in adap...
ASIA A GROWTH MARKET FOR VACATIONS - DAE
GLOBAL vacation exchange provider DAE recognised Asia as the largest potential market for vacation ownership at a mid-October Hong Kong conference. DAE CEO Francis Taylor said at the Alternative Ownership Conference Hotels and Resorts – Asia Pacific (AOCAP) event the Gold Coast-based company was prepared to meet the challenges and opportunities posed by the market. “Asia is now esta...
CUDECO AIMS TO RAISE ANOTHER $85 MILLION
GOLD Coast resources company CuDeco has tapped investors on the shoulder for up to $85 million just weeks after the company secured $100 million from an Asian financier to help fund its new mine in north-western Queensland. CuDeco, headed by colourful mining veteran Wayne McCrae, today announced a rights issue to be underwritten to the tune of $50 million by Hong Kong stockbrokers AM Capital an...
MOLENDINAR PROPERTY SELLS ABOVE RESERVE
A MOLENDINAR industrial property has been sold at auction well above its reserve price by Colliers International. Colliers’ Pat Cavanagh says the deal was negotiated amid fierce competition on auction day for the 7378sqm, 10 Industrial Ave property, pictured, which changed hands for $150,000 above the reserve. “We had 10 registered bidders at the auction and around four parties that...
BILLABONG GETS ITS HANDS ON $316M
BILLABONG has all but purged itself of former suitor Altamont Capital Partners after paying off the $US294 million ($A309 million) bridging loan it secured from the consortium and purging two of its members from its board. Billabong says it has banked $US300 million ($A316 million) from the first tranche of funding secured from new financiers Centerbridge Partners and Oaktree Capital Management...
DESIGN REVEALED FOR CULTURAL PRECINCT
 GOLD Coast City Council has revealed the winning design for the city’s new $300 million cultural precinct. Melbourne-based ARM Architecture has been announced as the winner of the international competition for their design featuring a 14-storey arts museum tower, which will feature cafés restaurants, an external staircase and bungee-jump platform, as well as 30,000 square metre...
ICON FUNDS EXPLORATION WITH HONG KONG INVESTMENT
 ICON Energy Limited (ICN) has raised $18.8 million in a placement of shares to Hong Kong’s HK Prosperous Technology Limited to fund exploration and development in the Cooper Basin, South Australia. The 80.3 million new ordinary shares were sold at 23.5 cents per share, a premium of 62.1 percent over the last closing price of 14.5 cents per share. HK Prosperous Technology is focused ...
INFLATION WITHIN RBA TARGET
 INFLATION remains within the RBA’s target band, giving the Housing Industry Association (HIA) to predict interest rates will stay at historic lows. Consumer Price Index (CPI) figures for the December quarter released by Australian Bureau of Statistics this morning showed the price level rose by 0.8 per cent and underlying inflation by 0.9 per cent. CPI rose 2.7 per cent in the year ...
AUSSIE RETAILERS FINALLY WAKE UP TO ONLINE
AFTER being left behind in the initial move online, Australian retailers are finally catching up to their international competitors, albeit slowly. That is the view of CBRE national director retail services, Alistair Palmer, on the release of the company’s Retail and Digital Technology survey. Palmer says offshore retailers have been more sophisticated and much more advanced with their on...
RESIDENTIAL RECOVERY BOOSTS VILLA WORLD
IT has been a busy month at Gold Coast listed residential developer Villa World Limited (ASX:VLW). An upgraded profit guidance, purchase of a new development project and the resignation of a long serving director Troy Harry headlined the month. With the upgraded profit guidance, the company indicated sales are so strong it will be beefing up production, but even then it may not be able to keep ...
BUSINESS CONFIDENCE GROWS
HIGH New Year business expectations could put pressure on Australia's low interest rates as confident traders consider raising prices in the new year, says Dun & Bradstreet economic advisor Stephen Koukoulas. The latest Dun & Bradstreet Business Expectations Survey shows two out of three Australian business owners (68 per cent) are more optimistic about growth this year compared to 2013 ...
NEW HOME SALES SURGE
QUEENSLAND new home sales surged in November, up 16 per cent on the previous month, says the Housing Institute of Australia (HIA). New home sales across the nation grew by 7.5 per cent in the same period, the fastest monthly growth rate since 2010 – a two-and-a-half year high. In the three months to November, private detached house sales grew by 8.7 per cent in Queensland. HIA chief econo...
MANTRA SIGNS ON TWO NEW PROPERTIES
MANTRA Group has added two now properties to its management portfolio in Queensland. BreakFree will make its Brisbane debut when the refurbished Skyline Court is rebranded BreakFree Fortitude Valley Brisbane in March. The property is located two kilometres from the Brisbane CBD and offers studio, one, two and three bedroom apartments in the bustling bohemia of the Valley. Facilities include a s...
SOLID GROWTH PREDICTED FOR QUEENSLAND ECONOMY
QUEENSLAND is expected to be the fastest growing state economy next financial year, says the latest Deloitte Access Economics Business Outlook report. The outlook report for December, which isn't available to the media, estimates the economy will grow 3.6 per cent this financial year and next. This compares favourably with the national economy, which Deloitte says will grow at 2.5 per cent. Quee...
CHARTER FLIGHT BRINGS CHINESE TO GOLD COAST
THE first China Southern commercial charter flight has landed at Gold Coast Airport this morning carrying 271 passengers. The flight, originating from Guangzhou, is the first of two coming to the Coast and will be followed by a flight from Shenzhen on February 8. Cathay Pacific will also operate a charter service from Hong Kong, arriving February 2, for the second consecutive year. The passenge...
CONSUMERS UNDER CREDIT STRESS
CONSUMERS have put themselves under significant credit stress to go on a Christmas spending spree, says Dunn & Bradstreet. The credit information bureau predicts consumer financial stress will reach its highest level in more than a year during 2014 in its latest Consumer Financial Stress Index. Queensland, alongside the Australian Capital Territory, will overtake New South Wales and Victori...
SOUTHPORT HOTSPOT IN 'YEAR OF THE CRANE'
 THE Gold Coast development “machine” is cranking up again with Mayor Tom Tate naming 2014 “the year of the crane” on the back of a surge in construction approvals. And in sign that Southport is emerging as a hotspot for developers, it has been revealed that the former Star of the Sea school on Marine Parade has been snared by a mystery buyer just two weeks after hi...
STRONG SALES BOOST BUSINESS CONFIDENCE
 SALES activity is expected to reach a ten year high, with 47 per cent of businesses positive about trade according to research from Dun & Bradstreet. The Business Expectations Survey shows the sales expectations index has risen for a third consecutive quarter to 37.5 points, the highest level since 2003. D&B chief Gareth Jones says the lower Australian dollar, record low interest ...
RBA HOLDS INTEREST RATE
THE Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has kept the cash rate unchanged at 2.5 per cent. The widely anticipated decision has been applauded by most industries, bar retailers hoping for a further cut in rates (see below). While inflation was higher than expected for the three months to December, consumer demand improved, and the residential construction industry showed positive signs, RBA governor ...
JOB ADS DECLINE AT SLOWER RATE
 EMPLOYMENT advertising continued to decline last month, albeit at a slower pace of deterioration. ANZ’s research shows job advertisements fell 0.3 per cent in January, the lowest rate since early 2012, and down about three per cent during the last six months. The bank’s chief economist Ivan Colhoun says the stabilisation is promising, but he remains cautious as the holiday tra...
REDMOND TO DEPART ECHO
JOHN Redmond (pictured) will retire as CEO of Echo Entertainment (ASX:EGP), to be replaced by chief financial officer Matt Bekier. It comes as the company announced a 30.5 per cent drop in first half statutory profit to $46.1 million, blamed on increased wins by high-rolling gamblers and new regulatory costs. Normalised net profit after tax for the first half was up 1.3 per cent to $71.5m. Redm...
QAL BUYS GOLD COAST COMMERCIAL PROPERTY
THE owner of Gold Coast Airport has moved into the property market with the purchase of the Airport Central Precinct. Queensland Airports Limited (QAL) paid $8.5 million for the 1.718 hectare property, housing six building with 7,100 square metres of floor area. The property hosts QAL’s head office and the Gold Coast Airport Management Centre, alongside the Australian Federal Police, Sout...
INVESTORS WANT TO SUE BILLABONG
TWO weeks after reporting another significant loss, embattled surfwear group Billabong (ASX: BBG) has been dealt a new blow with news that lawyers are working on a class action against the company. Listed law firm Slater & Gordon says it is preparing the class action on behalf of “hundreds” of Australian and international investors. The action is targeting Billabong’s pro...
CROWN BEATS ECHO IN SYDNEY CASINO BATTLE
CROWN Limited (ASX:CWN) has won conditional approval to undertake a high-rise casino development on Sydney Harbour, trumping fierce rival Echo Entertainment Group (ASX:EGP). The companies at the centre of Sydney’s casino war have both entered trading halts this afternoon to prepare announcements in response to NSW premier Barry O’Farrell’s announcement. James Packer’s Cr...
AIR ASIA X TO BOOST GOLD COAST FLIGHTS
AIR Asia X will increase its Kuala Lumpur-Gold Coast service from five to seven flights a week from November, opening up an extra 40,000 seats to the city. CEO Azran Osman-Rani says the group has invested heavily in the city and has been rewarded with increasing passenger numbers. The low coast airline has flown into the Gold Coast since 2007, its first Australian destination. “Passenger ...
It pays to be green
In our climate-changing world, the environment and profits are now sharing priority WATER shortages and climate change are the new political hot potatoes, but at ground level, sustainable industries and development in south-east Queensland are slowly but surely setting national and international environmental standards. A broad range of local companies - including the Foster's Brewery, at Ya...
COAST TURF CLUB CALLS FOR BETTER DEAL
GOLD Coast Turf Club chairman Andrew Eggleston today welcomed the decision by the Federal Court to support Racing NSW's right to charge corporate bookmakers a product fee based on turnover. Media reports suggest NSW country race meeting prize money will rise to $15,000 while provincial meetings go to $25,000. "In light of the NSW decision, it is clear owners in this state need a better deal," says...
TAX INSTITUTE PUTS PRESSURE ON GOVERNMENT
 AN independent association for tax professionals, The Tax Institute, has called on the federal government to cut the company tax rate by 2 per cent. Included in the Institute’s 2014-2015 federal budget submission, was a request for a cut in the company tax rate as well as a reform of state taxes to create a more efficient tax system. President Michael Flynn says the overall message ...
ANZ INVESTS $2 BILLION INTO SMALL BUSINESS
 ANZ will lend $2 billion to small businesses in the next year, to stimulate national enterprise and economic growth. The loans will be supported with business transaction accounts, merchant products, financial planning advice, foreign exchange and trade finance. General manager of small business Kate Gibson says it’s important to back people starting a new venture or considering exp...
BMW LAUNCH NEXT GENERATION SEDAN
THE BMW 2 Series Coupé has launched at Bruce Lynton Prestige Automotive, with three newly badged models to choose from. Building on technology used in the BMW 1 Series Coupé, the new range features TwinPower turbo engines for speed as well as fuel efficiency. The entry point 220i model starts from $50,500 and can reach from zero to 100 kilometres an hour in seven seconds, with 135 kil...
Allied Brands reshuffle
JULY 2010 LISTED ‘brandchisor’ Allied Brands (ABQ) is hoping a leadership shuffle will bring about some investor confidence in the group. Following the resignation of CEO Shane Radbone and managing director Peter Graham in the past two months, the company behind confectionary outlet Baskin & Robbins and Kenny’s Cardiology, is in a rebuilding phase after a tough 12 months. ...
$3 billion Cobaki project approved
A $3 billion master-planned community at Cobaki on the New South Wales-Queensland border was rubber stamped today by the NSW Minister for Planning Tony Kelly. When complete, Leda Development’s satellite township will be home to around 12,000 residents. Nestled between the Tweed Hinterland and the Gold Coast’s Kirra and Greenmount beaches, the 594-hectare site will link the Gold Coas...
Racing Queensland to splash $49m on turf club
THE Gold Coast Turf Club will receive a $49 million commitment from Racing Queensland Limited (RQL) as part of its Industry Infrastructure Plan. The spending is to upgrade the racing and training facilities at the Gold Coast to a metropolitan standard. RQL chairman Bob Bentley says the entire multi-million dollar plan is about using existing industry venues more strategically, creatin...
GOOD COMMUNICATION TOPS THE LIST FOR IDEAL BOSS
 EMPLOYEES rate good communication skills as the most desired attribute in a boss, according to recruiter Clarius Group. The survey shows that almost 70 per cent of people think their employer has good communication skills, while half believe they’re not receiving sufficient guidance to do their job well. Chief executive officer Kym Quick says there’s an imbalance in the staff-...
LAND ROVER DISCOVERY MARKS 25 YEARS
 LAND Rover has launched a special edition Discovery, to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the family SUV. The Discovery XXV features new badging, Windsor leather interior and newly designed 20 inch forged alloy wheels. Jaguar Land Rover group marketing director Phil Popham says the model has pioneered the success of the brand. “Discovery has led the way in terms of innovation, featu...
RECORD GROWTH FOR CLASSIC HOLIDAYS
CLASSIC Holidays has beaten last year’s sales figures for January, following record growth in 2013. The privately-owned resort management company experienced ten per cent year on year growth in holiday bookings, as well as record new Classic Escapes members and transactions. Chief commercial officer Mark Stephenson says it is their strongest start to the year. “In 2013 Classic Holid...
STEADY CONFIDENCE IN BUILDING INDUSTRY
 CONFIDENCE in the Gold Coast’s business industry has remained steady for the December 2013 quarter, according to findings by Master Builders. The Survey of Industry Conditions shows a strong upturn in the city’s residential sector, despite trading conditions remaining far from positive. Deputy executive director Paul Bidwell says it follows steady growth in residential buildin...
REGION LAGS IN RESIDENT APPEAL
POPULATION growth on the Gold Coast has slowed dramatically in the last year which has widespread potential economic impact for the region, a peak development body has warned. The Gold Coast attracted 9640 new residents in the year to June 2011 which was a 35 per cent slide on the 14,940 average annual migration accumulated since 2001. Gold Coast Logan Urban Development Institute of Australia p...
CREDIT USAGE RISES - OPTIMISM TOO
ACCORDING to D&B’s Consumer Credit Expectations Survey, consumers are showing a less cautious approach to spending and letting savings fall by the wayside. 41 per cent said they will use their credit card for purchases they can't otherwise afford in the coming months. This weighs in at the highest level in three years, and D&B presumes it is influenced by the absence of any pervasi...
CONVENTION CENTRE GRABS BEST VENUE GONG
THE Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre (GCCEC) has been awarded Best Meeting Venue in Australia at the Meetings and Events Australia National awards. FY12 was the centre’s most successful year since opening in 2004, contributing to a strong $284 million injection in to the Queensland economy. Boosting the Gold Coast’s leisure tourism sector, the venue hosts a variety of bus...
CHERY AND SSANGYONG LAND AT BRUCE LYNTON
BRUCE Lynton Prestige Automotive has tapped into a new market, introducing two new brands to the Southport showroom. Chery and Ssanyong have been added to the group’s wide prestige offering, heralding a new era for the group. Dealer principal Beric Lynton says taking on the new brands was a strategic decision. “Customers are seeking a reliable vehicle with a wide range of options at...
NEW MODELS HERALD EXCITING YEAR FOR SOUTHPORT DEALERSHIP
THE Bruce Lynton Group has had an exciting start to 2013 with anticipation surrounding the launch of new models across a number of brands. Australia’s longest serving BMW dealer also sells the MINI, Land Rover, Alfa Romeo and Fiat Marques and Bruce Lynton Quality Cars, which specialise in quality used vehicles. There has been a high volume of enquiries about the all new BMW 4 Series and a...
DONATIONS RISE AS END OF FINANCIAL YEAR APPROACHES
AS the end of the financial year looms, charities are predicting a spike in tax-deductible donations. Australians donated almost $250,000 on June 30 last year and more than $1.8 million in the five days leading to the end of the financial year. More than $6 million has been donated to international aid agency Oxfam Australia on the last day of the financial year over the past decade. In respons...
NEW RANGE ROVER SPORT TO LAND AT BRUCE LYNTON
BRUCE Lynton Prestige Automotive will launch the new Range Rover Sport towards the end of this year. The new model was developed alongside the new Range Rover, which has been popular locally with most of the 2013 allocation already sold. The new Range Rover Sport presents customers with a more muscular exterior, a more luxurious interior, and the flexibility of a 5+2 seating arrangement. Land R...
CHARITY BALL RAISES $90,000
BRUCE Lynton Prestige Automotive raised more than $90,000 for Queensland charities at its Bruce Lynton Charity Ball in April this year. The ball attracted 540 guests to the RACV Royal Pines Resort, receiving support from both local and interstate businesses. The funds raised from auctions at this year's charity ball will go to Cancer Council Queensland, Guide Dogs Queensland, Surf Life Saving an...
SOCIAL MEDIA KEY TO REVENUE RISE
SMALL and medium business operators (SMEs) embracing social media were more likely to see revenue rise rather than fall in the 12 months to February 2013, according to research by MYOB. The latest MYOB Business Monitor revealed SMEs were 56 per cent more likely to see a revenue rise by using social media, with 28 per cent reporting a rise in revenue and 18 per cent reporting a fall. This compar...
PLEDGE TO LOWER COMPANY TAX A BOOST FOR CONFIDENCE, JOBS
THE Coalition's pledge to cut the company tax rate to 28.5 per cent is an important signal that will boost business confidence, investment and jobs at a challenging time for Australia's economy. The BCA’s Economic Action Plan released last week highlights the importance of a competitive tax system, including a lower company tax rate, to investment and economic growth, and today’s anno...
NATIONAL AWARD FOR SHARKS FITNESS
 FITNESS Australia (FA) has awarded a Gold Quality Award to Sharks Fitness Centre, Gold Coast. The award is granted to businesses that achieve quality across customer service, programs, people, safety and business management. FA CEO Lauretta Stace says Sharks and Fitness Enhancement are the only Coast fitness centres out of 70 nation-wide to be recognised by the award system this year. ...
COTTON ON SIGNS MEGA DEAL
 FASHION brand Cotton On will open in Cavill Avenue, Surfers Paradise next year. Cotton On has reportedly signed a 10 year lease on the three-level, 1692 square metre property to house a Cotton On Mega outlet. According to Savills Australia, who negotiated the lease, the brand was attracted to the site by the rapid transit which will connect Surfers Paradise to Southport and Broadbeach, as...
RFG ANNOUNCES SHARE PURCHASE PLAN
Retail Food Group (RFG) is now providing shareholders with the opportunity to purchase up to $15,000 worth of fully paid ordinary shares through its Share Purchase Plan (SPP). The SPP was initiated to existing Australian and New Zealand shareholders of Australia’s largest multi-brand food franchisor, which owns brands including Donut King, Brumby’s Bakery and Pizza Capers Gourmet Ki...
BUSINESS OUTLOOK IMPROVES DESPITE REGULATION
AUSTRALIAN directors are confident about the economy since the election but are concerned about red tape and regulation, according to the latest Director Sentiment Index (DSI). The Australian Institute of Company Directors’ DSI end of year survey shows director sentiment jumping 14 points to its highest point since 2011, but remains pessimistic. Chief executive John Colvin says the improv...
VRL SEEKS NEW WET ‘N’ WILD VENTURES
Village Roadshow Limited (VRL) is changing up its product portfolio, divesting from two of its United States Wet ‘n’ Wild Water Parks and exploring prospects in other markets. In a statement issued by the company, it was claimed the focus would turn to countries “where the market is not yet mature, and higher returns are possible”. Asia has been pinpointed as VRL’s...
BUSINESS PROMOTERS WITH THE MOST
I LOVE Gold Coast is a fitting project for the creative magicians at Arundel-based 40/40 Creative to be currently working on. Managing director Luke MacDonald (pictured left with Nicholas Nichols right) says the community-based push to bring back fond feelings for the city intends to “show people there are so many great people doing great things on the Coast”. “We sometimes get...
CUTTING COSTS AT CHRISTMAS
EMPLOYERS should enjoy Christmas at home, instead of trading unprofitably with holiday penalty rates according to Brisbane employment lawyer Ian Heathwood. Heathwood, of McKays Solicitors, says business owners in competitive industries like hospitality are on a “knife edge of survival” in a tight economy. “The combination of employee penalty rates, higher costs of electricity ...
2014 JOB OUTLOOK POSITIVE DESPITE IMF FORECAST
EMPLOYERS are optimistic about job prospects, with twice as many businesses planning to hire new staff in 2014 compared to the end of this year, according to credit information agency Dun & Bradstreet (D&B). The Business Expectations Survey has shown economic confidence, despite the International Monetary Fund’s prediction that Australia’s unemployment rate will increase to ...
CEOS MUST PRIORITISE PERSONAL GOALS
 BUSINESS leaders should remember to focus on personal goals, as well as organisational, for a balanced lifestyle, says The Executive Connection chair Harvey Martin. “Personal goals provide some balance of life and purpose for enduring the rigours of the role of CEO,” he says. “Most executives are too busy establishing themselves in the tangible world and therefore alloca...
YOUNG ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR ANNOUNCED
 MOBILE phone retailer turned property manager Ron Bakir (pictured) has taken out the title of Gold Coast Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award for 2013. The former owner of the Gold Coast-based Crazy Ron’s mobile phones retail chain has been quietly chipping away at the property market since 2004. In that time he has forged a new path in property through his company HomeCorp Group w...
GOVERNMENT GRANTS FOR WORKER WELLBEING
GOVERNMENT funding is up for grabs for businesses that promote a healthy lifestyle for their employees. Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie (pictured) says the Working for Wellness Program will provide $1.4 million in grants, for innovative health and wellbeing ideas. “Healthy employees are three times more productive at work than their colleagues, helping to boost the economy, while smoking,...
$12 MILLION GOLF CLUB FOR SANCTUARY COVE
SANCTUARY Cove has taken the wraps of its $12 million golf clubhouse as part of a planned $50 million renewal. The club sits atop a waterfront parcel on The Pines championship golf course. Sanctuary Cove is now in the unique position of having a world class golf club to complement the existing country clubhouse which has served members since the inception of the resort 21 years ago. Executive g...
SOLID INCREASE IN BUSINESS SPENDING AND INVESTMENT CONTINUES
BUSINESSES are twice as likely to increase capital investment spending than cut costs in the next few months, according to a Dun and Bradstreet study. The latest Business Expectations Survey shows 19 per cent of businesses will increase spending in the second quarter, following a steady rise in spending over the last year. Almost 19 per cent of businesses intend to access finance or credit to c...
Selemat datang Bali
A smiling concierge greets me with a garland of fresh frangipani, ‘welcome to Ayana’. REMNANTS of the in-flight bug killer that airlines like to spray about the cabin prior to landing in foreign countries these days is flushed as the cool beverage drains into the back of my throat. And so sets the scene for an imminent journey to ultimate indulgence and one where the path back will ...
A NEW PERSPECTIVE NEEDED ON MINING
AUSTRALIANS need to put the relevance of the mining industry into perspective and diversify for the future, says Federal Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research Kim Carr. Highlighting that the mining industry contributes 8 per cent of GDP and only 1.4 per cent of employment, Carr says a view of the industry as an ‘insatiable beast’ is uni-dimensional. “Accordin...
THE WINNERS: PAUL AND IAN EVEREST
THERE is a hint of ambivalence in Unit Clothing’s latest T-shirt slogan, ‘we’re slaves to money and then we die’. This financial year, the action sports apparel company that started in a Benowa garage with $600 in capital, will turn over more than $20 million. But for owners and brothers Paul and Ian Everest, Unit is more than a clothing brand, it’s a voice fo...
HIGHLY COMMENDED: STEVEN ADAMS
RESTAURATEUR Steven Adams will need to try on thousands of pairs of shoes – around 240,000 in fact. “I try to put myself in my customers’ shoes to see what the experience is like without rose coloured glasses,” says the former aeronautical engineer of his booming restaurant chain. This year around 240,000 patrons will dine across Adams’ four restaurants, inclu...
THE TRAILBLAZER: CLAES LOBERG
CLAES Loberg is on the brink of something very special with Guvera – the music download channel with global prospects. Not many Gold Coast entrepreneurs get compared to Apple boss Steve Jobs. But that’s exactly what happened when Guvera and Cocojambo CEO Claes Loberg appeared on the Fox Business channel in the US last month after Guvera was named in Billboard’s Top 10 sta...
GOLD COAST YOUNG ENTREPRENEURS
THE 2010 Gold Coast Young Entrepreneur of the Year Awards are sparked by a new breed of brash business owners united by a common goal to explore and exploit opportunities across diverse industries. Consistently creating and challenging the notion of entrepreneurship, this enterprising group combine risk and initiative to not just create wealth, but also legacies that inspire and culti...
HOOKED ON THE ENTREPRENEURIAL DRUG
I’M often asked about the secret to success and what advice I would give to young people with visions, such as the entrepreneurs you will read about in these pages. What is it that’s different about me? Why is it that, rather than living my days as Terry White the local pharmacist, there are now 150 chemist shops with my name hanging over the door? When asked to analyse my journey f...
INSANE TECHNOLOGIES DRIVING GROWTH
The Gold Coast’s thriving IT sector pumps a consistent stream of budding young entrepreneurs. Given the perpetual connectivity that allows successful business to sprout up almost anywhere, it makes sense that the Coast can match it with the best in the game. In his own words, Insane Technologies founder David Rudduck ‘fell into’ business and has since grown his company from a ...
A VIEW TO THRILL
BELIEVE the hype. The DBS Aston Martin is the best looking car in its category and packs a knockout punch with a feisty 380kw. While power in the 6.0 litre race-bred V12 is awesome, the design aspects command equal attention. Hand built aerodynamics display the polished prowess of Aston’s director of design Marek Reichman and he has not let the British thoroughbred down. Elegant and refin...
A TREAT FOR THE SENSES
AN emphasis on quality service matched by wonderful cuisine makes dining at Glass a treat for the senses and at this time of year it’s proving a hit. Patrons are so immersed in the menu at Glass Dining and Lounge Bar that they easily forget how proficient the service is. The waitresses tending to customers on this occasion memorise complex three-course orders, always smiling. Glass c...
RACING QUEENSLAND’S $1.5M FLOOD RESCUE PACKAGE
AS the State Government continues massive flood relief operations in Central Queensland, Racing Queensland Limited (RQL) has pledged a $1.55 million rescue package to keep the regional racing industry afloat. RQL chairman Bob Bentley today announced two tiers of flood relief funding; a $1 million facility remediation fund for racing and training infrastructure; and a $550,000 licensee relief an...
FIVE STAR NEWCOMERS BOLSTER COAST TOURISM
MEET the five star hotel honcho's taking Gold Coast tourism to new heights. These two blokes, both relative newcomers, have turned the city’s ailing tourism industry into a high occupancy bonanza. Mantra Group CEO Bob East (left) and Hilton general manager David Kelly (right) are backed by iconic brands that identified, and are now reaping the rewards of launching on th...
RETAIL GST FUSS MISSES THE REAL CONCERNS
AS retail king Gerry Harvey concedes defeat by the power of e-commerce, a newly formed coalition of retailer and wholesaler associations - the Fair Imports Alliance (FIA) – says the fuss over the GST threshold misses the more significant issue of systematic abuse of current regulations for imported goods. FIA joint spokesperson and Australian Retailers Association (ARA) executive director...
$105K IN LOST WAGES FOUND ON GOLD COAST
THE Federal Government’s crackdown on industrial relations breaches has resulted in the recovery of $105,500 for Gold Coast employees. The single biggest case involved an undisclosed Gold Coast travel agency that was ordered to pay two of its workers a total of $40,800 in unpaid wages. The workers lodged a complaint with the watchdog after being paid between $6.95 and $15 an hour over a f...
NIFSAN ACCELERATES PUSH FOR SUBURB RENAME
THE developer behind the $1 billion Emerald Lakes at Carrara is pushing to change part of the suburb to Carrara Waters. The Japanese-owned Nifsan is requesting that it’s River Park, Maryland and part of Emerald Lakes developments become part of its proposed Carrara Waters. The suburb re-name from Carrara includes riverside areas adjoining the Broadbeach to Nerang Rd including Carrara Stad...
NEW DATE FOR RODEO BUT MAGIC MILLIONS IN DOUBT
THE National Finals Rodeo to be contested this week on the Gold Coast has been postponed until April 7-10 due to floods, while Magic Millions organisers still take a punt on the weather. With all major arterial roads blocked and rural Queensland in the grip of devastating deluge, rodeo organisers today agreed to pull the pin on the event. Rodeo spokesperson John Osborne says it was the rig...
QUEENSLAND CANE INDUSTRY DEVASTATED AS ETHANOL RUNS OUT
QUEENSLAND’S flood disaster could result in a widespread national shortage of ethanol blended fuel as the state’s $2 billion cane farming industry is all but washed away. The one-time ‘Sunshine State’ produces 95 per cent of Australia’s sugarcane with the industry facing a $506 million loss in revenue as a result of the deluge. Queensland has two of Australia...
JOB VACANCIES UP - ABS
TOTAL job vacancies for the 2010 November quarter were up by 5.3 per cent in Australia according to data released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). Vacancies were 190,200, an increase of 5.3% from August 2010. The private sector jumped 5.5 per cent, while the public sector delivered a 4 per cent increase. In the previous period, the private sector showed a 5.7 per cent increas...
SURFERS PARADISE ALLIANCE CEO RESIGNS
Surfers Paradise Alliance CEO Rowena Howe (pictured) will leave the organisation this week after three years at the helm. Howe spearheaded a number of initiatives to rejuvenate the precinct, including the Surfers Paradise Festival, the launch of precinct magazine and actively promoted local businesses to market the city hub. "I was able to sit back, relax and reflect on new opportunities during ...
NEW TOURISM TASKFORCE LAUNCHED
CRISIS talks between tourism and industry leaders facilitated by the Employment and Economic Development, Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation (DEEDI) have resulted in the formation of the Tourism Industry Recovery Group to save Queensland's $9.2 billion tourism industry. The group, part of the Flood Recovery Task Force, is committed to getting the tourism industry ...
BUSINESS COMMUNITY BUILDS SOLIDARITY
CORPORATIONS across Queensland are banding together to aid the massive flood clean-up operations which may end up costing the economy $13 billion through lost productivity and damaged infrastructure. Queensland’s largest company Suncorp, who warned that the floods could cost up to $150 million, has contributed $100,000 to the flood appeal, while the Brisbane Broncos have chipped in $25,00...
$72M WRAP FOR MAGIC MILLIONS
DESPITE a high Australian dollar and a weak top-end market, Magic Millions sales still totalled around $72 million. A strong second week resulted in a satisfactory overall result for the Magic Millions 2011 Yearling Auctions, down 4 per cent on last year ($75 million). Managing director Stephen Silk says a drop-off in international buyers and flood disruptions created the slight defic...
COAST BUSINESSES CHIP IN
MT BREWERY has pledged to donate beer sales revenue from its Australia Day celebrations to Queensland’s flood relief effort. The Mount Tamborine company’s event will feature live entertainment and fundraising activities with all sales of its popular Rainforest Lager going straight to the Premier’s Flood Appeal. Co-owner Andre Morris also hopes additional pledges and donations ...
JOBS FOCUS ON FLOOD RECOVERY
STATE Treasurer Andrew Fraser (pictured) is putting the focus on jobs creation to lead Queensland's flood recovery. It follows the latest ABS statistics showing 17 straight months of jobs growth in Queensland. "The economic impacts of this disaster cannot yet be quantified, but what we do know is many businesses have been impacted. What we don't want is for that to impact Queensland workers," he sa...
$16 BILLION LNG PROJECT APPROVED
A NEWLY-approved $16 billion investment in Queensland's LNG industry will ensure the State’s future prosperity and aid in the recovery from the flood crisis, says Premier Anna Bligh. Gladstone LNG (GLNG) today sanctioned the joint-venture project which will see construction on a 420 km gas pipeline from Roma to Gladstone commence this year. A new production plant on Curtis Island will faci...
FLOODS COSTING $460M A DAY IN LOST REVENUE
QUEENSLAND’s flooding disaster has directly impacted 10,000 businesses and is costing the state economy about $460 million a day. As Lord Mayor Campbell Newman urges businesspeople to head back to work, organisations across Queensland are crippled by devastated property and stalled infrastructure, to the tune of $5 billion. The Chamber of Commerce & Industry Queensland (CCIQ) has laun...
TREASURER REFINES TAX RULES TO PAY FOR FLOODS
QUEENSLAND Treasurer Andrew Fraser today announced tougher tax regulations that could collect the state an extra $30 million for flood recovery in the wake of $2.5 billion in writedowns. Fraser says streamlining the collections system from quarterly to monthly will ‘simplify rules and reduce the scope for tax avoidance’. "Queensland will abolish the existing land-rich duty regime whi...
OFFICE VACANCY DROPS BUT STILL ENOUGH FOR SEVEN YEARS
DEMAND for Australian office space is recovering with vacancy rates expected to continue their downward trend over 2011 but it will take seven years for available stock to be absorbed on the Gold Coast. The latest office vacancy data from the Property Council of Australia (PCA) indicates the national office vacancy rate has dropped from 10 per cent in July 2010 to 9.5 per cent in January 2011. ...
VACANT LAND SALES LOWEST SINCE 1994
THE latest Prodap Report indicates the lowest vacant land sales for a quarter since 1994 in December 2010, while new house and land package sales held steady. The report confirms that aggregate sales of new developer stock (land lots and dwellings) on the Gold Coast were 1764 for the year ending December 31, 2010. Vacant land sales fell to 175 in the December 2010 quarter - compared to 316 sale...
NEW INDUSTRY PLAN TO BOOST ECONOMY
THE Gold Coast’s peak development industry body has outlined a bold five-point plan to stimulate the construction sector and get the city’s economy back on track. Urban Development Institute of Queensland (UDIA) in conjunction with other leading industry groups aims to bring the Gold Coast economy back to its $12 billion peak of 2006-07. Gold Coast UDIA president Steve Harrison...
SHIFT YOUR BUSINESS UP A GEAR
ORGANIC growth will drive the Gold Coast’s SME sector in 2011 and there’s plenty of scope to capitalise on opportunities. The trick will be how to convert confidence into profits. Investing in key people, building relationships with financiers, diversifying services and products and protecting assets will help spur growth in the new business landscape. This new landscape will p...
$1.9 BILLION REASONS WHY IT'S GAME ON
IT'S less than five months until the Gold Coast makes its final bid submission to the Commonwealth Games Federation and less than 10 months until the 2018 host is announced. Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games CEO Mark Peters, explains why hosting the Games is more than just an opportunity to become the international sporting hub of Australia – it’s about the triple bottom line. ...
LNG INVESTMENT TO BOOST ICON PROSPECTS
FORMER Santos senior executive and Icon Energy new recruit Wesley Granville, says Gladstone LNG’s (GLNG) $16 billion joint venture investment will put Queensland’s gas industry on the global map.| With the backing of several national and global gas companies including Santos, Petronas, Total and KOGAS, work will start on the 420 km gas pipeline from Roma to Gladstone this year. It w...
PROFITS DOWN FOR FRANCHISOR
BRANDCHISOR Retail Food Group (RFG) will likely settle on its acquisition of Esquires Coffee Houses (Esquires) in Australia and New Zealand later this month. The company has downgraded its profit guidance as 56 of its Brumby’s outlets and 31 Donut King stores were shut temporarily due to floods, with 108 outlets across all of its brands affected. RFG announced during its 2010 AGM that it ...
SIMPLY THE BEST
IN the globalised world of business tourism, conferences and events, the Gold Coast remains the destination to beat, with $48m secured in corporate events last year. A HIGH Australian dollar and tougher international competition may present challenges to the city’s tourism industry, but the Gold Coast still secured more than $48 million in corporate events last year. Around 228,000 g...
BULLISH GROWTH FOR DEVELOPER
AFTER post-high school stints driving trucks, operating cranes and working in hospitality and retail, Garrick Bull found his true calling in building homes. Less than six years into operation, his companies are well on track to turn over $75 million in FY11. As the construction industry continues to battle record low housing approvals and poor consumer confidence, Garrick Bull’s stor...
NEW 'MOOVES' FOR 1800 ON HOLD FOUNDER
THE founder of 1800 on Hold has struck a chord in the hospitality industry with a new venture that provides background music to restaurants and cafes. Troy Cooper (pictured) has launched Moo Moo Music with $30,000 in start up capital to provide a music storage device containing tunes by Australian artists to hotels, restaurants, cafes and clubs. While a chunk of capital was used in IP and ...
TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS IN NZ
AS the first country to start each day, New Zealand business gets a jump start on the rest of the world. A business day covers the afternoon on the US west coast, much of Asia’s business day, the morning in Europe and is a few hours ahead of Australia. This offers considerable benefits in managing global workflows and transactions. Auckland – a major centre in the Asia-Pacific regio...
ALLCONNEX TAKE FIVE FLOORS AT THE ROCKET
WATER reseller Allconnex has signed an eight-year lease across five levels in The Rocket at Robina totalling 3533 sq m. The organisation has amalgamated its Nerang, Beenleigh and Redland administration offices into new premises and fit-out at the CBDRobina address. Spaces at The Rocket are leasing from $375 per square metre. More than 260 staff will occupy the premises in a move that CEO K...
STEAKS ARE HIGH ON QUALITY AT CAV'S
AT the entrance to one of the Gold Coast’s most famous steak restaurants is what should be the centrepiece of every great steakhouse – a large display showcasing what’s available on the menu. From tender eye fillets and delicious T-bone steaks to loins of lamb and barbecue pork ribs, the appetising diversity of meat products at Cav’s Steakhouse catches the eye long ...
RETAILERS MUST ADJUST TO ONLINE SHOPPING
DESPITE the Australian Retailers Association figures showing that sales were down 45 per cent compared to 2009, some Gold Coast retailers reported an increase over the period. Harvey Norman Bundall franchisee Steve Cavalier would not weigh into the debate regarding Gerry Harvey’s comments about a GST for online shopping goods under $1000, but indicated that sales over the Christmas period...
CASH IS STILL KING
CASH flow is essential to prosperity and SMEs will need to structure their finances correctly to properly manage spending this year. This will mean separating personal and business spending. Spectrum Financial Planning partner Adem Becirevic (pictured), says too many small business owners confuse company and personal finances, leading to poorly managed cash-flow. “We’re asking ...
FREE TECHNOLOGY THE KEY
RESULTS from Corporate Traveller’s online survey has found that free Wi-Fi and breakfast at hotels are the most important elements in securing business. According to the research, which received 172 respondents, business-related hotel guests consider Wi-Fi, breakfast and early check in and late check out the top three free services. However they aren’t concerned about a complimentar...
BEVERAGE BARON LAUNCHES FRANCHISE
A $1 million business advisory and mentoring start-up launched on the Gold Coast is achieving growth via a franchising model that has so far signed 28 franchisees in Australia and New Zealand. P-BOTs (Professional Brains on Tap) is targeting businesses in need of professional advice and has signed 200 clients in the IT, manufacturing and food production industries. The company was started by fo...
LOCATION IS STILL EVERYTHING
OPPORTUNITIES can be seen everywhere in a suppressed market and there are plenty in this cycle. The commercial division of Ray White Surfers Paradise Group is experiencing a shift in confidence brought about by new product and a rationalisation of rates, where in some instances square metre prices have fallen from $550 to $350 per sq m. Ray White joint managing director Greg Bell, says the...
MORE CHOICE FOR TELSTRA SHOPS
THE Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has given a preliminary green light to allow TLS Association (TLSA) to ‘collectively bargain’ with a range of suppliers on behalf of Telstra licensed shops. TLSA represents around 90 per cent of Telstra licensed shops around Australia. It seeks authorisation to collectively bargain with suppliers of telco products and provide...
OAM FOR INNOVATOR
THOUGHTWare Australia founder and CEO Sonja Bernhardt has been awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for continued innovation and contribution to the IT industry. Bernhardt is the first Queensland woman to receive the accolade for services to IT and only the fifth in the country. In 1997, she founded and was appointed inaugural president of the Women in Technology Association (WiT), ...
MARCH QUARTER OUTLOOK POSITIVE
AUSTRALIA's economy is becoming increasingly resilient to consumer apathy as firms engaged in B2B trade and those exposed to the emerging economies of Asia keep the domestic economy powering ahead – even while retailers struggle to convince consumers to spend. Dun & Bradstreet CEO Christine Christian (pictured) comments on the two months ahead.The latest March 2011 Dun & ...
SUNLAND POSTS HALF YEAR PROFIT $7.8 MILLION
GOLD Coast ASX-listed developer Sunland Group has posted a half year NPAT of $7.8 million as it careers toward a FY11 full year profit guidance of $20 million. While some settlements have been delayed due to ‘increment and unexpected weather’ in the Group’s key development regions of South East Queensland and Victoria, managing director Sahba Abedian (pictured) says the o...
NEW RESEARCH SHOWS CEO’S WIN BACK TRUST
A REPORT by the world’s largest independent public relations firm has shown a spike in trust for business leaders with chief executives leading the credibility charge. The Edelman Trust Barometer has found that trust in both government and business has reached heights similar to pre-GFC. The credibility of CEOs jumped considerably and they now rank among the most credible spokespeople in ...
HOUSING FINANCE UP
THE latest housing finance figures released by the ABS shows owner-occupier mortgages in Australia is continuing a slight positive trend. The statistics for December 2010 indicate a 1.1 per cent increase in total dwelling finance on the previous month, to just under $21.3 billion. The increase in owner-occupier mortgages (1.4%) is dominating investment housing finance (0.5%), raising ...
SPIT SITE BACK ON DEVELOPMENT AGENDA
THE State Government has today called for Expressions of Interest (EOIs) on a 5ha land parcel on the Gold Coast Spit, after it withdrew the initial bidding process in June 2010. Minister for Infrastructure and Planning Stirling Hinchliffe, says the announcement marks the start of a competitive bidding process for the State Government-owned site, located between Sea World and the Versace Hotel. ...
SWEET PIECE OF THE PROFIT PIE
BRANDCHISOR Retail Food Group Limited today reported a 9 per cent increase in its first half net profit after tax (NPAT) to $13.6 million. The ASX-listed brand manager also increased its interim dividend by 33 per cent and fought back against increment January weather which forced several of its stores to close, resulting in lost revenues. Another 20 new outlets have been commissioned following...
PROFIT WHITEWASH FOR BILLABONG
BILLABONG International has reported half year profit (NPAT) of $57.2 million - down 18 per cent on last year’s $69.7 million. The strength of the Aussie dollar against the Euro and the $USD had a significant adverse impact on the company – eroding almost $50 million off revenues and $6 million off profit. Earnings per share of 22.8 cents were down 18.3 per cent. The Gold Coast...
BUSINESS CONFIDENCE REBOUNDS
TOUGH trading conditions and natural disaster impacts aren’t slowing Queensland’s entrepreneurial spirit, with the latest NAB Business survey results showing record high business confidence. The figures illustrate a massive rebound in the state’s business confidence during the month of February, up 14 points to +24 index points. Treasurer and minister for state development And...
MEDIGARD CEO RESIGNS AFTER FALLOUT
THE chief executive of the ASX-listed medical technology company Medigard (ASX:MGZ) has resigned from the board after seven years with the company. Peter Emery (pictured) told Gold Coast Business News he has given three months notice following ‘differences with certain board members’. “The decision to resign is mine and it has not been an easy one. There have been some differe...
TREASURER ATTACKS COUNCIL’S WATER PROFITS
STATE Treasurer Andrew Fraser this morning criticised the Gold Coast City Council and its handling of the Allconnex water debacle. Fraser (pictured), speaking at a Central Gold Coast Chamber of Commerce business breakfast, spoke out against council’s record water profits, expected this year to be around $94 million. Yesterday, Premier Anna Bligh faced protests on the subject while v...
LM WINS CASE AGAINST ASX PEST
LM Investment Management today comprehensively won its legal stoush with David Tweed’s Direct Share Purchasing Corporation (DSPC) – setting a Federal Court precedent in the process. Judge Michelle Gordon ruled that LM did not breach the Corporations Act when it refused to hand over the member register for its frozen LM First Mortgage Income Fund to Tweed last October. It...
RBA’S STEADY HAND APPLAUDED
THE Reserve Bank of Australia’s (RBA) decision to hold rates showed a steady hand as consumers cut spending and deal with an increased cost of living, according to the retail industry body. Following the decision to hold rates this quarter, the Australian Retailers Association is urging the RBA to keep interest rates fixed until at least the third quarter. Executive director Russell Zimme...
AUSTRALIAN ECONOMY GROWS 0.7 PER CENT
THE latest ABS statistics show Australia’s GDP experienced modest growth in the December quarter, but predicts big impacts from January’s natural disasters to reflect in the next report. GDP, in seasonally adjusted volume terms, grew 0.7 per cent in the December quarter 2010, after growing just 0.1 per cent in the September period. The professional, scientific and technical services...
GOLD COAST TOP COMPANIES 2011
IN the third annual Gold Coast Top Companies edition we delve into the corporate psyche of the city’s big companies, from those listed on the ASX to the large private players. There has been plenty of sparks, losses, profits, winners and losers in the last FY – as you would expect in a dynamic coastal city of more than 520,000 people. 2010 proved punishing for publicl...
HOME LOAN FINANCE DROPS
THE latest figures released by the ABS show approvals for new home loans dropped 4.5 per cent to 48,871  in January. The seasonally adjusted figures also outline a dip in existing dwelling purchases, down 3.5 per cent to 42,326. However the biggest drop for the month was the purchase of new homes - just less than 2000, showing a 13.5 per cent deficit compared ...
NATIONAL UNEMPLOYMENT AT 5 PER CENT
AUSTRALIA’S unemployment rate has remained steady at five per cent for the month of February according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). The ABS attributed a fall in total employment to 11.4 million people during the month to a decrease in part time employment to 3.3 million that was partially offset by an increase in full time employment, which was up 47 600 to eight million....
STOCK PICKS 2011
Has confidence returned? INDUSTRY opinion is split on exactly when investor confidence will return to the stock market, but the consensus is that plenty of cash will be thrown around when it does. The head of Queensland’s largest independent stock market advice and education firm believes the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) will be a flurry of activity this year as savvy investors lo...
TOP-END STRATEGY FOR MANTRA
FOLLOWING the successful launch of the five-star Peppers Broadbeach asset last year, hotel management giant Mantra Group will continue selling off ‘old, underperforming properties’. According to CEO Bob East (pictured), Mantra’s offerings will be refined to only include top-end hotels that are considered ‘brand consistent’. The strategy comes a year after the Mantr...
GOTALK BOOSTS CUSTOMERS
AROUND 100,000 new customers have jumped onto the Gold Coast’s biggest telco as it continues to reinvest back into the company to launch updated products and improve services. The sale of its consumer division in September 2010 has cut total revenues back, but managing director Steve Picton says the company is setting itself up for ‘long-term prosperity’. Now focusing entirely...
QUINN EYES CHINESE MASS MARKET
AS its household cleaning products continue to dominate market share in the domestic market, China remains the biggest target for Ormeau-based manufacturer OzKleen. CEO Tom Quinn says pricing remains the biggest challenge, with China’s mass consumer market not prepared to pay the premium price for the industry leading, environmentally-friendly products. “We are in around 50 high-end...
BARTERCARD BOSS CELEBRATES 20 YEARS
THE world’s largest trade exchange company this year celebrates 20 years of operations and has $8 billion reasons to celebrate. Over the last two decades, Bartercard has grown from a trade exchange association with 63 members to now encompass 40 national franchises trading around $430 million in Barter credit each year. The Southport-based company has also recently surpassed $8 billion in...
TABCORP SPLASHES $350M ON JUPITERS
TABCORP has pledged a further $350 million to ‘reignite’ its star Broadbeach property in addition to a $70 million renovation and major rebranding campaign in the last 12 months. The new funding was generated by Tabcorp’s demerger of its casino business from its wagering gaming business in 2010. The streamlined capital structures of both separate, publicly listed entities has ...
SUN STILL SHINING FOR COAST MOTORING
SUNSHINE Automotive Group CEO Steve Kelly (pictured) admits the last few years has been a difficult time for the motoring industry, but a boost in sales and a range of ‘exciting’ new models has him more confident. As the group’s main breadwinner, availability of the new Fiesta models has brought renewed activity to the Sunshine Ford dealership. “Ford has lost market...
SUNS BASK IN COMMUNITY SUPPORT
IN the lead up to its debut season in the Australian Football League (AFL), the Gold Coast Suns have marked strong corporate and community support. With the backing of around 10,500 paid members and the cashed-up AFL, the code’s latest national franchise has hit the ground running. “We are a true community-owned footy club, owned wholly by our members. The Gold Coast community has e...
CHEAP IMPORTS THREATEN LOCAL MARINE INDUSTRY
A MULTITUDE of cheap imported vessels are potentially sinking Australia’s motor yacht industry, with local dealers unable to trade and sell overseas-made boats in what has become a flooded market. The Gold Coast’s biggest yacht builder is feeling the effects of the downturn in the domestic market as its $70 million FY10 sales revenue falls to almost half of the $130 million recorded...
WMS ENTERS NSW
HIRING 61 staff, WMS Solutions is the largest financial services employer on the Gold Coast. The company experienced mixed results in FY10, having dropped slightly in both turnover and bottom end profits. Partner Aaron Lavell (pictured) says the reduction in profit was a ‘deliberate strategy’ that allowed the firm to retain its staff. The result is the ability to cater for the ...
VIP NAMED ONE OF WORLD'S BEST
NAMED as one of Petfood Industry magazine’s ‘Top 10 global petfood leaders’, VIP Petfoods has been a manufacturing powerhouse on the Gold Coast for almost two decades. The company’s Yatala factory totals 7000sqm and handles most of VIP’s dry food manufacturing, packaging and export operations. Three additional factories located throughout Australia have been assign...
COFFEE ENTREPRENEUR NEARS 50 STORES
Fast franchisor Zarraffa’s will open its 50th store not long after you read this. Potential new franchisees are knocking on the door waiting for their opportunity to brew the perfect cup with new sites being indentified, according to founder and CEO Kenton Campbell (pictured). “We will definitely get there this year. There are 15 to 20 sites under development at the moment with arou...
PWR LAPS THE COMPETITION
CUSTOM building radiators and oil coolers from its Ormeau workshop, PWR Performance Products has created a brand synonymous with the most successful motorsport teams in the world. The majority of Australian V8 Supercars, several European Formula One teams and a significant percentage of US NASCAR race cars represent just some of the world’s ‘PWR-cooled’ vehicles. Away from mot...
BELLISIMO FELLINI
THERE’S an inherent ingredient in the kitchen at Ristorante Fellini and its dazzling discerning diners. It’s not the magnificent, made-on-the-premises pasta or ravishing ravioli – although both strike the palette superbly. It’s a combination. The one between father and son and it may even have something to do with the Marina Mirage restaurant winning two Australian Good ...
WAIT FOR THE CARBON TAX FACTS URGES SMALL BUSINESS MINISTER
STATE Small Business Minister Jan Jarrat has urged business owners to wait until the facts are detailed before taking a stance on the Gillard Government’s proposed carbon tax. There are concerns the tax could sink struggling retailers and add an estimated $300 per year to electricity prices, 6.5 cents per litre to fuel and increase the price of groceries. Queensland's business community ha...
TECHNOLOGY SUMMIT DRAWS BIG PLAYERS
AS the scope of business technology transforms at an unprecedented rate and creates enormous pressure for chief information officers (CIOs), turning challenges into opportunities is the key focus of the NG CIO Summit Australia 2011. Top information technology (IT) executives from the Australasia’s biggest companies will converge on the Gold Coast in early April for the summit, including A...
BOOM TIMES IMMINENT SAYS ECONOMIST
STRONG growth over the next five years has chief economist Dr Frank Gelber predicting boom times ahead, but there's more pain for retailers as household spending contracts. Speaking today at the Brisbane leg of BIS Shrapnel’s Business Forecasting Conference, Gelber says Australia’s fiscal policy needs tightening. “The carbon tax issue is a problem that needs addressing and I t...
INFRASTRUCTURE CHARGES TASKFORCE RELEASES KEY PAPER
A KEY report has been delivered to the State Government, outlining reforms to simplify and streamline infrastructure charges for new developments, address housing affordability and improve business confidence in Queensland. Deputy Premier and Minister for Local Government and Planning Paul Lucas says the independent Infrastructure Charges Taskforce had delivered 10 significant recommendations t...
STATE URGED FOR QUICK DECISION ON INFRASTRUCTURE REFORM
QUEENSLAND’S peak housing and construction industry body has thrown its support behind the State Government’s Infrastructure Charges Taskforce report, but is urging for a quick decision. Master Builders director of housing policy Paul Bidwell, says many of the recommendations will improve housing affordability but further measures should be implemented. “Our major concern is t...
STATS SHOW HOUSE CONSTRUCTION PLUMMETS
THE latest ABS statistics have highlighted a dramatic shift in the construction industry from housing to apartment/townhouse building projects during the 2010 calendar year. Just more than 23,300 new homes commenced construction in the December 2010 quarter, down 8 per cent from the September 2010 quarter and 19 per cent from December '0...
BILLABONG SHAKEN BY JAPAN EARTHQUAKE
BILLABONG has 44 company-owned stores in Japan – 18 of which remain closed following the earthquake. The stores generate around 60 per cent in revenues for the Burleigh Heads surf apparel giant, with that figure expected to be seriously dented and overall profit guidance to take a 6 per cent hit. Further impacts could be expected from its 500 wholesale account customers in Japan, although...
TOURISM QUEENSLAND LAUNCHES $6.9M REWARDS INITIATIVE
QUEENSLAND Premier Anna Bligh this morning launched Tourism Queensland’s (TQ) latest campaign on the Gold Coast, offering businesses the chance to win a $1 million holiday. TQ’s $6.9 million Million Dollar Memo campaign specifically targets the lucrative global incentive market, which in the 12 months to September 2010 generated $1 billion in visitor spend for Australia. Speaking at...
JAPANESE EARTHQUAKE – EXPORT REPERCUSSIONS
In the latest Export Finance and Insurance Corporation’s (EFIC) World Risk Developments newsletter, EFIC’s chief economist Roger Donnelly examines likely repercussions from the Japanese earthquake. Before the gravity of the damage at the Fukushima nuclear power plant became apparent, many analysts were taking the Kobe quake of 1995 as their benchmark for what could happen. That quak...
ICON LOCKED IN MINING DISPUTE WITH BEACH
ICON Energy (ASX: ICN) has vowed to vigorously defend its position in a dispute with South Australia’s Beach Energy (ASX: BPT), which claims it’s entitled to a 40 per cent stake in Icon’s prized ATP855P tenement. Beach Energy investor relations manager Chris Jamieson told Gold Coast Business News that an agreement had been met that would see Beach operate farmin activity at th...
ACCOR MAN APPOINTED CEO OF SURFERS PARADISE ALLIANCE
MARKETING body Surfers Paradise Alliance has appointed interim chief executive Mike Winlaw (pictured) as its new CEO. Winlaw comes to the organisation with vast experience, following 18 months heading up a subsidiary of global hotel group Accor in Indonesia. “I am looking forward to liaising with all key stakeholders of Surfers Paradise Alliance as we seek to fulfil our mission of ensurin...
TRADING HALT FOR ICON AS CHINA DEAL NEARS
ICON Energy (ASX: ICN) has requested a trading halt by the ASX pending an expected announcement of its LNG sales agreement with China’s Shantou SinoEnergy Co. The Company has requested the trading halt continue for a maximum of two trading days unless a request is made for the halt to be lifted earlier. Last week Icon was issued a ‘please explain’ by the ASX as its share ...
ICON SIGNS GAS DEAL WITH CHINESE PARTNER
GOLD Coast gas explorer Icon Energy Limited (ASX: ICN) has signed a binding sales agreement with a Chinese energy company to supply 40 million tonnes of LNG, worth potentially $32 billion, over 20 years. The mammoth deal with Shantou Sinogas Energy Co. has been on the cards since April 2010, when the Chinese corporation was known as Shenzhen Sino Industrial Development Co. The signing of t...
BEACH RAMPS UP PROCEEDINGS AGAINST ICON
THE day after it inked a prospective $30 billion deal to supply coal seam gas to the China-owned Shantou Sinogas Energy Co, gas explorer Icon Energy’s legal wrangle with Beach Energy has intensified. The South Australian-based Beach Energy yesterday received an undertaking from Icon not to deal with a 40 per cent interest in its ATP 855 site on the South Australia and Queensland borders. ...
JOB VACANCIES UP – BUT MORE TO COME
ABS statistics released today show the total recruitment market is 20 per cent healthier compared to February 2010, but one of Queensland’s top recruiters expects the number to rise dramatically. The figures show 176,700 job vacancies in the private sector last month, an increase of 3.6 per cent over November 2010 and 21.7 per cent since early last year. Job vacancies in the public sector...
RATE HIKES ON THE WAY SAYS WESTPAC ECONOMIST
AS the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) remains focused on the mining boom, Westpac Bank’s chief economist Bill Evans says only drastic job losses would stop interest rate ‘pain’ this year. Speaking at a Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ) event today, Evans highlighted a cautious consumer market, ‘pessimistic’ public outlook on the economy and restrained spe...
RAY WHITE BUYS INTO SANCTUARY COVE
RAY White Surfers Paradise has joined forces with Mulpha Sanctuary Cove and will operate its Sanctuary Cove Realty as part of the undisclosed deal. Sanctuary Cove executive general manager Alison Quinn (pictured with Greg and Andrew Bell), says it will allow residents to have the ‘very best service in the property market’ to assist in the re-selling of their homes and investmen...
CONSTRUCTION COSTS TO SOAR DURING REBUILDING PHASE
QUEENSLAND rebuilding phase could see residential construction costs jump five percent in far north Queensland and some areas of south-east Queensland, according to property and construction cost consultants Davis Langdon. In its The Impact of the Queensland Floods and Cyclone Yasi on Construction Costs report, Davis Langdon predicts over-demand for trades could see residential prices in south-...
G8 EDUCATION CONFIDENT OF MAJOR SINGAPOREAN ACQUISITION
THE board of publicly-listed Gold Coast childcare company G8 Education (ASX: GEM) today assured shareholders that the acquisition of Singapore’s Cherie Hearts will be a success, despite a dispute with the vendor going before the courts later this month. G8 Education has been operating 52 Cherie Hearts’ franchises since December without dispute, however a legal stoush has developed i...
HIGH RISE HARRY’S LAST HURRRAH
HARRY Triguboff is an anomaly in property development circles. For starters, he believes the Gold Coast City Council is doing a good job. He also wields brutal purchasing power and is not dependent on banks for capital. In a restricted market where over-supply has nerves jangling, the 80-year-old former taxi driver and migrant is inspired by the beauty and opportunities that arise in Sydney and...
BDA SPHERE WINS AT AIA AWARDS
BDA Architecture has taken out this year’s coveted Building of the Year top gong at the Australian Institute of Architects Awards. The firm was awarded the highest honour at the Gold Coast/Northern Rivers Regional Awards for the urban design vision of the Sphere Southport Living project in Southport within the Griffith Knowledge precinct. Sphere Southport Living is a master-planned residen...
PRICE CUTS NOT THE ANSWER TO TOURISM SLUMP
AS the average spend per tourist slumps to a record low of just $400 per person, Gold Coast Tourism (GCT) CEO Martin Winter says cutting prices is not the cure for the city’s ailing tourism sector. The latest figures released by Tourism Research Australia show that 2010 was the best year for Gold Coast visitation in a decade, but while 11 million tourists flocked to the city last year, th...
IS THIS THE END FOR ALLCONNEX?
WATER retailer Allconnex could be washed off the map following a decision by Queensland Premier Anna Bligh to ‘end the blame game’ over pricing. The Premier imposed measures to force local governments to accept responsibility for water pricing. "Enough is enough. The blame game on water ends today,” she says. The changes to the South-East Queensland Water (Distribution and Reta...
TECHNOLOGY BOSSES CALL FOR BUSINESS UNITY
SOME of the world’s leading IT minds have called for business unity following the wrap up of the annual Next Generation CIO Summit at Sheraton Mirage. The event saw the chief information officers (CIOs) from Australasia’s largest companies converge on the Coast and included panel discussions from the CIOs at Telstra, Foxtel and Shell Australia sharing insights into the rapidly evolv...
NEW BOSS APPOINTED AT MAGIC MILLIONS
THE Magic Millions has turned to a proven bloodstock executive to herald in its new era, announcing Vin Cox (pictured) as its new managing director. Cox has spent 23 years in the country’s premier thoroughbred racing and sales organisations, including 14 years at William Inglis & Son and nine years in charge of his own company, Vin Cox Bloodstock. As the Australasian representative fo...
JUNE QUARTER OUTLOOK REVEALS DECLINE IN EXPECTATIONS
BUSINESS expectations have declined as consumer deleveraging weighs down retailers, wholesalers and manufacturers, according to the latest Dun & Bradstreet Business Expectations Survey. Dun & Bradstreet CEO Christine Christian believes the latest results show that consumer deleveraging is becoming an entrenched trend that is primarily impacting retailers but also flowing through to...
HOT PROSPECTS FOR CHINA MAGNESIUM
CHINA Magnesium Corporation (CMC) has received approval for a 50-year lease for 6ha of industrial land in Pingyao County in the Shanxi Province. It will be used to accommodate the expansion of the Pingyao Magnesium Plant. Phase one of the Shanxi province plant is spread across 180,000sqm with the capacity to produce 20,000 tonnes of magnesium by next February. CMC raised $12 million after compl...
SURFERS CAPTURED BY ONLINE BUSINESS
PICTURE this. You’re out surfing any of the spiralling point breaks or beaches for which this part of the world has become famous and your every move is captured by a photographer on the beach. The pictures are then uploaded to a site where they can be viewed and bought. It made a whole of sense to the entrepreneurial duo of Martin Rawlinson and Ryan Deagan, who are now reaping the benef...
BRIGHTER TIMES AHEAD FOR TOURISM
THE overused cliché that ‘a good marketer can sell anything’ is being put to the test by the state’s key tourism authority Tourism Queensland. Continued economic factors already had Tourism Queensland (TQ) facing a momentous task in revitalising visitation to the Sunshine State before January’s events which, as CEO Anthony Hayes puts it, ‘splashed images ...
PROTECTION IS KEY TO HABITAT
MATT Keys (pictured) is the founder and managing director of environmental services company Habitat and has been at the forefront of eco-sustainability for 20 years. Having witnessed the evolution of environmental management from a dismissed ideology into a multibillion dollar global industry, Keys shares some insight into the day-to-day processes of the growing sector.You describe Habitat...
ABBOTT’S DIRE MESSAGE TO GOLD COAST MANUFACTURERS
FEDERAL Opposition Leader Tony Abbott (pictured) today visited a drilling and earthmoving equipment manufacturer in Yatala as part of his national anti-carbon tax tour. Abbott used the visit to Digga Australia to reiterate the Coalition’s opposition to the Gillard Government’s proposed carbon tax. “The carbon tax is going to make it very difficult for a business like this to c...
BRIGHTER SKIES FOR SME
MOST small to medium enterprise (SME) owners are in a better financial position than 12 months ago and retaining good workers is not a problem, a new national survey has found. Despite some economists forecasting challenging economic times ahead, a Bank of Queensland (BOQ) Straight Talk Survey shows more than 76 per cent of SMEs are better off than one year ago and 88 per cent are confident the...
SITTING ON TOP OF THE WORLD
SKYPOINT’S latest tourism offering is hoped to take the city’s struggling tourism industry to new heights. Opening this summer, SkyPoint Climb is touted to become the nation’s highest external building walk. Climbers wearing a full body suit and harness will go on a guided tour 270 metres above sea level via the SkyPoint Observation Deck on level 77 of the Q1 residential tower...
KOREANS CONFIDENT
KOREAN developer City Plan Partners (CPP) remains confident that a proposed $700 million twin tower in Surfers Paradise will be viable. The towers will be undertaken in a joint-venture with Hyundai Amco on a prime development parcel in Surfers Paradise north of QT Gold Coast. Headed by directors James John (right), Anthony Kim (left) and Carl Lee, CPP secured Gold Coast City...
WMS ACCOUNTED FOR AT THE ROCKET
FINANCIAL services firm WMS Solutions has taken a seven-year lease with options at Robina’s The Rocket. The Gold Coast’s largest accountancy firm will move into a 1200sqm office space, comprising the entire 15th floor and most of the 14th floor from July 1. WMS is the latest company to move into the building, following Allconnex, THG and Bauer Field Consulting Australia all taking s...
DEMAND FOR BUSH MANSIONS INCREASING
DEMAND for bush luxury on the Gold Coast is on the rise as people opt to move away from the city to enjoy more space and a prestigious country lifestyle. BrentnallL Homes’ $3 million showpiece Inspirations is in the final stages of construction in the picturesque Mingarra Estate at Mount Tamborine. The Balinese-inspired mansion features several connected bungalows. Brentnall Homes design...
JET RECYCLING THE WAY OF THE FUTURE
A $10 million clean tech start-up will flip traditional recycling on its head with 100 per cent of plastic waste converted to durable goods. JET World Recyclers will use international breakthrough technology where all seven codes of co-mingled plastic will be turned into products, including building materials. Jet Global Holdings is chaired internationally in Geneva by founder Philippe Julien a...
5 STEPS TO MANAGING IT COSTS
UNDERSTANDING an appropriate annual budget for technology is an ongoing challenge for many SMEs. Often there is no budget set, or the budget is based only on the previous year’s expenditure. IT Leaders Group founder and general manager Scott Jones, says SMEs tend to over or under spend on technology, leading to profitability and productivity issues. “Ultimately you want IT to b...
XF SOAKS UP ACCOLADES
WITH inclement weather drenching the sunshine state, what better opportunity to test the safety and handling of Jaguar’s prowling XF than in a downpour. Confidence is a big factor when driving in poor conditions, not just in driver ability but also having full faith in the operational aspects of the vehicle. Some people become wet blankets when driving in the rain, drastically reducing sp...
WHAT A CATCH
AFTER 20 years as the Gold Coast’s premier seafood restaurant, Omeros Bros director John Omeros shares the not-so-secret recipe to its success. Taking over from father Nick and his late uncle Angelo, John Omeros is charged with the job of continuing the family tradition of delivering the best in seafood cuisine – Gold Coast style. The Marina Mirage restaurant has been the Gold Coast...
SALES DOWN FOR AHC
AHC managing director Rod MacLeod is bewildered but trying to extract positives from the barrage of bureaucracy that has delayed his company’s residential and commercial projects on the Gold Coast. The company has endured a three-year delay on its mixed-use Saltwater development at Helensvale, where 11 lots are still to sell in the latest stage after seven potential buyers forfeited depos...
GET MEDIA SAVVY WITH YOUR MESSAGE
BUSINESS marketing options have never been so affordable, far-reaching, varied and for many business owners, overwhelming. While the flood of social media options such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube provide exciting new marketing and advertising opportunities, traditional marketing options aren’t giving up without a fight. Gold Coast market agency MeMedia is hosting a breakfast seminar ...
ALLCONNEX CEO CANCELS SPEAKING COMMITMENT
ALLCONNEX chief executive Kim Wood (pictured) has withdrawn as a speaker at the Australian Institute of Company Director’s (AICD) members event today at the Gold Coast Convention Centre. In a statement, the AICD said that: ‘due to issues outside of our control, Allconnex Water, CEO, Mr Kim Wood has unfortunately withdrawn as our presenter’. Wood is maintaining a low profi...
MAYORAL NO SHOW AT WATER TALKS
SOUTH East Queensland's Mayors have refused to meet with the State Government to discuss sweeping changes to water pricing which will save their ratepayers hundreds of dollars. Minister for Energy and Water Utilities Stephen Robertson said the Council of Mayors had put politics ahead of the interests of their ratepayers by refusing the high-level government briefing. "They instead continue to per...
INFRASTRUCTURE CHARGES TO BE CAPPED
UPDATED: HIGH build costs could be kerbed under reforms announced today by the Queensland Government to the state’s development infrastructure charges. Taking a break from today’s Building Revival Forum, Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA) Queensland president Warren Harris told Gold Coast Business News the proposed changes would bring ‘certainty and confidenc...
MAJOR DRILL FOR ICON
GOLD Coast ASX-listed gas explorer Icon Energy (ICN) will commence work on its largest drilling program to date via a wholly-owned subsidiary Jakabar Pty Ltd in the Surat Basin, west of Brisbane. Jakaba will mobilise the Atlas Drilling Rig # 2 on Thursday to commence drilling three exploratory wells in the ATP626P Lydia Block (Drilling Programme), in which Stanwell Corporation (Stanwell) has fa...
MANTRA SECURES SURFERS' PENINSULA
MANTRA Group has retained the Peninsula building in its stable of more than 140 hotels across Australasia after the accommodation giant today signed a 10 year exclusive letting rights agreement for the Surfers Paradise property. Mantra has managed and marketed the Peninsula building’s 230 mixed-use apartments under its Breakfree brand for the last decade. An extraordinary general meeting ...
GOLD COAST ECONOMIC HANGOVER THE WORST SAYS TREASURER
QUEENSLAND Treasurer Andrew Fraser today conceded further economic strife on the horizon just eight weeks out from delivering the State Budget. In a typically staid delivery, the Treasurer addressed Gold Coast property stalwarts and Property Council members at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre, where further pressures on the industry were outlined. Fraser urged attendees to capit...
BILLABONG ROCKS WITH UNIVERSAL DEAL
A GROUND breaking partnership between Billabong and Universal Music Group (UMG) will bring together music and action sports in a deal set to enhance global branding for the two industry spearheads. The two will collaborate on the development of a broad range of services and products that will unite some of the most popular recording artists on the planet with the world’s most celebra...
BUSINESS PROSPECTS IN INDIA OVERWHELMING
THE man who presented the Gold Coast Sheraton Mirage to its Indian buyers told a trade conference today on the Gold Coast that opportunities for exporters in India are ‘overwhelming’. Austrade senior trade and investment commissioner for South Asia Peter Linford, put the Sheraton Mirage on the radar of Pearls Group. One month later they paid $60 million cash for the asset. Speaking ...
REINVESTING NO.1 PRIORITY FOR QLD BUSINESS OWNERS
REINVESTING for future business growth is the number one priority for Queensland private business owners, according to financial services giant PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC). PwC private clients partner Jason Daniels, says Queensland is ‘echoing’ national business sentiment focused on investment, positive growth and quality staff recruitment. Queensland business owners didn’t p...
FEMALE SHOPPERS TO AFFECT RETAIL RECOVERY
ECONOMIC recovery will be hindered by a savings conscious consumer – mostly women - according to Commonwealth Bank of Australia chief economist Michael Blythe. Blythe fronted an Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) business breakfast in Brisbane today to discuss the economic backdrop framing the economy. With the Federal Budget slated for next Tuesday (May 10) Blythe described...
BUSINESS INVESTMENT POSITIVE FOR QUEENSLAND
THE State’s flood recovery and burgeoning LNG industry have driven a new historic high in construction investment, according to acting Treasurer and Minister for State Development and Trade Rachel Nolan. Nolan says the latest Deloitte Access Economics Investment Monitor has indicated a positive outlook for Queensland. "The State Government's building program kept the construction industry g...
CMC ACQUIRES QUARRY IN NORTHERN CHINA
CHINA Magnesium Corporation (ASX: CMC) will acquire a dolomite quarry in northern China for $730,000 to progress the vertical integration of its supply chain from dolomite supply through to magnesium and magnesium alloy production. The Quarry is located at the foot of Tianzhong Mountain and approximately 30km from CMC’s magnesium ingot production plant located at Pingyao, Shanxi Province....
VIRGIN BLUE NO MORE
VIRGIN Australia was launched today by the airline’s boss Sir Richard Branson (pictured), signalling the end of the Virgin Blue brand. The company introduced Virgin Australia for both its domestic and international operations, allowing it to build one brand that will be recognised globally. Virgin Australia Airlines will also implement one look and feel across all of its airlines. Branson...
WORONGARY DEVELOPER BACKS FRASER
THE developer behind the controversial 3500-home proposed community at Worongary has thrown his support behind State Treasurer Andrew Fraser’s call for better communication between Gold Coast City Council (GCCC) and industry. Fraser has publicly declared GCCC as ‘difficult to work with’ on several occasions over the last few months, as the two governing bodies continued to shi...
FAIRFAX MEDIA CHAIRMAN SAYS COMPANY MUST DIVERSIFY TO SURVIVE
FAIRFAX Media chairman Roger Corbett (pictured) today conceded it was survival stuff ahead for the mass media behemoth. It follows news that sub editors would be contracted out and further staff cuts likely as potential strikes loom at the company’s key mastheads at the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age newspapers. The outsourcing decision will result in sub editing contracted to Pagemast...
DAVID POWER OFFICIAL MAYORAL LAUNCH
CIVIC leader and businessman David Power (pictured) will make an official run for the Gold Coast mayoralty. The former deputy mayor will declare his candidacy for the 2012 mayoral election and unveil his vision for the city at a luncheon in the QT International ballroom on Tuesday, May 10, at 12 noon. More than 200 members of the community have confirmed their attendance for the event. Power hi...
GOLDLINQ WINS RAPID TRANSIT
A CONSORTIUM comprising some of Australia’s largest engineering and development companies has been appointed to construct and operate of the $1 billion Gold Coast Rapid Transit project. GoldLinQ includes companies Keolis, Downer EDI Group, McConnell Dowell, Bombardier and Plenary Group and will begin construction on the project later this year. Australian-owned Plenary Group is a private ...
FRESH DIRECTION FOR 23RD BOAT SHOW
THE 23rd annual Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show (SCIBS) is about to drop anchor on the Gold Coast and despite a soaring Aussie Dollar and a slowdown in the marine industry, early indications are positive. Sue Thomson has only been in the job five months as preparations hit full throttle for the boat show from May 19-22. As she sets sail on a maiden boat show voyage, where more ...
RFG SWEET ON OAKS TAKEOVER
RETAIL Food Group Limited (ASX: RFG) has made a takeover offer for hotel manager Oaks in a cash and scrip deal worth up to $95 million. RFG is the intellectual property owner and manager of Donut King, Michel’s Patisserie, Brumby’s Bakeries, bb’s cafe and Esquires franchise systems. The company says the offer is of attractive value to Oaks shareholders and an opportunity to co...
LITIGATION WON'T SHAKE G8 EDUCATION'S CONFIDENCE
THE board of publicly-listed Gold Coast childcare company G8 Education has assured shareholders that the acquisition of Singapore’s Cherie Hearts will be a success, despite a dispute with the vendor going before the courts. G8 Education has operated 52 Cherie Hearts’ franchises since December without dispute, however a legal stoush has developed in how the Gold Coast company obtaine...
LOCAL SUPERFOOD DIGESTED IN THE MIDDLE EAST
A HEALTH foods manufacturer has capitalised on winning an international award in Dubai earlier this year to secure two new distributors in the Middle East. Morlife employs 32 staff at its 3000 sq m Arundel factory and is making international waves with a range of superfoods that provide antioxidants, essential nutrients and balance acid and alkaline levels in the body. The UAE is the latest exp...
MERGER FOR MONEY MEN
FINANCIAL services firm Quill Group has merged with Brisbane accountancy practice Sims Crawford Elliot and Co. Quill Group managing director Kevin Nicol (pictured left with David Elliot) says merging with SCE means a second Brisbane office for the group, expanding Quill Group’s presence in South East Queensland. “We’re very pleased to welcome the SCE partners and staff on-boar...
COTTONING ON TO AUSTRALIA'S INNOVATIVE FABRIC
AUSTRALIA'S $4.5 billion textile, clothing and footwear (TCF) industries are preparing for a low-carbon world, according to Innovation Minister Senator Kim Carr. TCF industries are diverse, vibrant and looking to the future. Almost one-in-two TCF firms already invest in innovation – well above the 40 per cent of businesses in all sectors. Carr says climate change is remaking the environmen...
SUN STILL SHINES FOR DEVELOPER DUO
IN less than two years, the entrepreneurial pairing of Adam Lacey and Chris Bolger (pictured L-R) has netted more than $12 million in developments. ONYX Property Group directors Lacey and Bolger have experienced first-hand the unpredictable and often ruthless nature of property development, but in a sector stagnated by bureaucracy and lack of investment – they have come out swinging. At t...
SALVAGING AN ICON
IT was two years ago this month when one of Australia’s iconic luxury yacht brands started to sink. Debt-laden and forced to jettison its workforce from 1200 to 400, Riviera was in dire straits. Now after a rise from administration, the boat builder is just ‘months away’ from exiting receivership. CEO John Anderson tells Gold Coast Business News that the dramas of 2009 are now...
NATIONAL SKILLS SHORTAGE NOT RESONATING ON THE GC
DESPITE the slump in new developments causing an inflated unemployment figure on the Gold Coast, a report from Australia’s peak residential building industry body shows a continued national shortage of skilled labour. The Housing Industry Association’s (HIA) Austral Bricks Trades Report reported its Trade Availability Index improved modestly in the March 2011 quarter, from -0.10 to ...
KEEPING AN EYE ON HR
THE medical sector is often credited with developing cutting-edge technology and innovative business practices, but a Gold Coast ophthalmology practice is proving that HR is another strength. Ten staff at the Vision Eye Institute are benefitting from a landmark workplace business training program that has resulted in seven employees graduate with a diploma of management while an additional thre...
SKUDO COVERED AFTER US TRADE SHOW
LESS than a year after signing a 10-year multimillion dollar deal with a US distributor, Skudo Group has generated widespread interest for its innovative floor coating products at trade exhibitions across the Americas. The next target is a large industry trade show in San Francisco next month, where the Robina-based company will look to emulate its success at the 2011 World of Concrete event he...
BUSINESS TOURISM POWERS AHEAD
It’s an industry worth an estimated $700 million a year to Queensland. We’re talking about the business events sector – a vital component of the local economy. With the 23rd Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show about to drop anchor on our shores, Minister for Tourism, Manufacturing and Small Business Jan Jarratt talks up the importance of the sector and why the State Governm...
DODGE INTERNET TRADEMARK RISK
QUEENSLAND companies using the internet to boost business should choose their words carefully to avoid being hit with trademark infringement claims. McCullough Robertson partner Malcolm McBratney, says a recent Danish decision highlights the risk of using a competitor’s trademark as an AdWord on Google. “Even if the trademark is a descriptive one and not a title or company name, usi...
SCHOOL'S OUT FOR SUMMER
A SCHOOL of bream break the water’s surface and swish about just a couple of metres below where we are sitting on the deck at Marina Mirage. I suggest throwing in a line but am promptly hooked by the No Fishing sign. It’s the kind of ambience one can expect at Saks Restaurant, where the choice de jour is surely the sensational seafood buffet for two – apt with our fishy friend...
WPIAS CONGRESS BOOKING FAST
LOCAL delegates are urged to secure their spot for this years’ premier financial services event as bookings for the WPIAS Congress 2011 flow in from around Australia. The two-day program has been developed by Williams Partners Independent Audit Specialists (WPIAS) division My Training Partner (MTP), which specialises in professional development and CPA training. Following the successful i...
PUSH FOR POWER
TOWN planner David Power (pictured) has revealed an audacious mayoral campaign for the 2012 Gold Coast election under the banner ‘Power for the people’ on the day when Federal Treasurer Wayne Swan is to deliver the national budget. But Power wasn’t going to let that ruin his own push for power, and in front of a full-house at the QT Hotel ballroom in Surfers Paradise, the form...
BUDGET SPECULATION ALL ‘DOOM AND GLOOM’
WHEN Treasurer Wayne Swan (pictured) releases his budget tonight, Queensland small businesses will be looking for tax breaks, the mining industry will be hoping for concessions and one expert says neither should expect too much. Members of the struggling film and television industry are looking for some good news as they continue to battle against a high Australian dollar and lack of Federal Go...
FORMER PM WEIGHS IN ON ‘SEINFELD BUDGET’
FORMER Prime Minister John Howard (pictured) identified the carbon tax and asylum seekers as big problems within the Federal Budget today and accused the Gillard Government of lacking dialogue with voters. Howard fronted a Price Water House Coopers breakfast in Brisbane this morning where he defined the two problems. “The carbon tax is a difficult and politically terrifying proposal for t...
V8 SUPERCARS FLYING HIGH WITH ETIHAD
V8 SUPERCARS is one step closer in its quest to become a truly international sport after today announcing a new partnership with Etihad Airways. The national airline of the United Arab Emirates has come aboard as the Supercars official international airline. Launching the partnership alongside drivers James Courtney (far left) and Mark Winterbottom at Sydney international airport, chairman Tony...
TURF CLUB CHAIRMAN BANNED
GOLD Coast Turf Club chairman Andrew Eggleston has gone to ground after he was disqualified from entering racetracks for two months. Eggleston was found guilty of 'unseemly behaviour' following a verbal altercation with a security guard at the track in December last year. Both Eggleston and Turf Club CEO Grant Sheather did not return Gold Coast Business News calls but a spokesperson says there wi...
ABS DATA SHOWS UNEMPLOYMENT AT 5.4%
AN economic recovery post natural disasters is taking place according to Treasurer Andrew Fraser after the ABS released labour force data showing a decrease in the trend unemployment rate and a surge in full time employment. ABS data released today shows the unemployment rate fell from 5.5 per cent to 5.4 per cent in March and that an overall decrease of 400 jobs was due to a shedding of part-t...
SYDNEY COMPANY BUYS V8 SUPERCARS
THE V8 Supercars has officially sold to a Sydney-based investment firm for more than $300 million. Archer Capital now owns 60 per cent of the V8 Supercars through its Australian Motor Racing Partners (AMRP) subsidiary, marking a significant ownership reshuffle for the Gold Coast-based motorsports brand. Sports Entertainment Ltd (SEL) has sold its entire 25 per cent stake in the company while th...
PEARLS TO SPLASH $30M ON SHERATON
THE new Indian owners of the Sheraton Mirage (pictured) have promised to restore the Main Beach resort to its former glory after unveiling a $30 million renovation package. New Delhi-based Pearls Global settled the Sheraton deal in early 2010 for a reported $60 million and has wasted little time in developing its Sheraton Renewal Plan under new entity Pearls Australasia. The comprehensive,...
$60M OF FUNDING FOR TOURISM’S FIVE-YEAR PLAN
THE region’s ailing tourism sector has received a significant boost with Gold Coast City Council (GCCC) approving an aggressive funding program for Gold Coast Tourism (GCT). GCT will receive $11.4 million per annum over the next five years with an additional $2.5 million for new growth initiatives - totalling almost $60 million. With the record low average tourist spend largely caused by ...
NUMBERS DOWNS SALES UP
AN 8.4 per cent drop in visitation numbers hasn’t stopped the 23rd Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show from recording its highest local sales in three years. The 36,504 visitors that attended the four-day show represented a decline on last year, but the 384 exhibitors were certainly busier. Gold Coast favourite Riviera sold 10 boats for $15 million, with its sea trial facility complete...
BROOKFIELD MULTIPLEX HAS SPIT IN ITS EYE
THE developer behind Hilton Hotel Surfers Paradise has become the front runner to develop the land opposite Sea World at Main Beach’s The Spit. Treasurer and minister for state development Andrew Fraser, has announced that Brookfield Multiplex (ASX:MXG) has been selected as the State Government’s preferred developer for the five hectare block known as the North Development Area. The...
SUNS FANS FLYING HIGH WITH VIRGIN
VIRGIN Australia is offering Gold Coast Suns’ fans the ultimate AFL experience with its newly-launched corporate lounge at Metricon Stadium. The luxurious lounge opened with the first-ever AFL game at Carrara’s new Metricon Stadium (pictured), in which the Suns went down to the Geelong Cats by 66 points. Virgin Australia group executive of commercial Liz Savage, says as the founding...
OWNERSHIP LAWS COMPLEX
CHANGES to the Personal Property Security Act will overturn long-held concepts of ownership and title when implemented in the new financial year and will have wide ranging implications, according to a Varsity Lakes law firm. The Federal Government legislation comes into effect from October and will include providing methods for determining which party holds priority over an asset. Another key p...
FIRST ABS ‘DISASTER STATISTICS’ RELEASED
THE first ABS industry statistics released since January’s natural disasters show the floods in Queensland and other areas of the country have had a catastrophic impact on the national insurance sector. The ABS’ Business Indicators for the March quarter indicate a 48.1 per cent drop (seasonally adjusted estimate) in gross operating profits in the financial and insurance services cat...
BEWARE COMPANY REGISTRATION SCAMS
ASIC today warned consumers about a company registration scam being conducted via a website www.asicregistrar.com. ASIC is aware of at least 20 persons who were directed to www.asicregistrar.com which promoted itself as being a registered agent of ASIC with the ability to register Australian companies within minutes. For a fee of $450 the website claimed to provide a range of fictitious documen...
COURAN COVE SHUT
AN iconic eco resort once helmed by Gold Coast Mayor Ron Clarke has shut its doors after running at a financial loss for the past decade. Couran Cove Island Resort has been placed in the hands of receivers and a buyer is being sought. Ferrier Hodgson has been appointed as the liquidator for the South Stradbroke Island property. The resort was developed in 1998 by the InterPacific Group, an inve...
EXPORTS TAKE A HIT
A massive decline in exports is expected to have a significant impact on Queensland's State Final Demand figures for the March quarter, to be released tomorrow. Treasurer Andrew Fraser says the flooding crisis and Cyclone Yasi had killed off the momentum gained by the Queensland economy in the back half of 2010. "No-one should be under any illusion as to what we can expect tomorrow," he says. "The ...
RED TAPE TO BE SLASHED UNDER ‘CAN DO’ NEWMAN
BUREAUCRACY will be banished under a new LNP State Government, according to opposition leader Campbell Newman (pictured). Addressing the city’s business leaders at a Surfers Paradise-Broadbeach Chamber of Commerce luncheon at Jupiter’s Casino, the Brisbane Lord Mayor-turned LNP leader says he will ‘drastically reduce’ red tape if elected. Newman told the 100-strong crowd...
RETAIL UP
RETAIL trade in Queensland is recovering faster than the national average according to the latest ABS statistics - but don’t get too excited, it’s only increased by 1.8 per cent. The figure is still the second highest growth rate in the country however, with only Victoria (2.8%) leading the sunshine state in the increase in retail spend. The statistics for the month of April show $2...
THE CITY'S PIONEERING LIGHT RAIL SYSTEM
RAPID Transit Project director Tim Poole (pictured) explains the selection process with GoldLinQ and how it will deliver the city’s $1 billion pioneering light rail system. The Rapid Transit Project will transform the face of the Gold Coast, which will boast the most modern public transport system in the country. As such, the importance of the selection process for the proponent of this p...
THE DIRECTOR
BRONWYN Morris (pictured) is a director of Spotless Group, QIC Limited, RACQ and Care Australia and also a member of the Australian Advisory Committee of Parsons Brinckerhoff and a councillor of the AICD Queensland division. She is also one of the key people in the 2018 Commonwealth Games Gold Coast bid team and has also served on the boards of Colorado Group, Stanwell Corporation and Brisbane ...
THE THATCHER IN THE SKY
IN three years Matt Buchel drove a business he bought for sub-$500k to generate annual $6 million in revenue. Now he’s helping other businesses turn their luck around. After 15 years of owning and operating his own companies, serial entrepreneur and builder-by-trade Matt Buchel’s latest venture is arguably his greatest success. He bought and rebranded Bali hut and gazebo company Tro...
STRENGTHENING GULF TIES
A RECENT trade mission saw more than 30 representatives from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) strengthen its ties with Queensland to enhance the almost $9 billion trade partnership it has with Australia. Trading reps from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait and Oman participated in the two-day Gulf region business mission, which showcased investment opportunities in state in...
TIDAL TURBINES TURN FOR INNOVATOR
AFTER more than 10 years working on its innovative water turbine technology, clean energy company Tidal Energy is developing a project in Bangladesh worth up to $5 million. Tidal Energy duo Aaron Davidson and Craig Hill (pictured L-R) have researched how their new generation of water turbines could harvest moving water into hydro kinetic energy since founding the Palm Beach company in 1999. Af...
WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING
TWO local pyjama designers have launched their ranges in time for winter and are targeting separate markets with an array of bold colours and chic designs. The Frankie & Nicole range of fashionable nightwear has been launched by designer Nicole Dixon for adults while Nicole Standbridge (pictured with songs Ethan and Kobi) has developed her Neka Style children’s range. Frankie & Ni...
HILTON ON A HIGH
FRENCH Connection, Versace and Queenspark are the latest retailers to open in Surfers Paradise’s new shopping and dining destination in High Street. The specialty stores join a list of operators based in the precinct, located at the base of the landmark $700 million Hilton Surfers Paradise. International fashion label French Connection is occupying a 135sqm premise; Versace Collection has...
MEDITERRANEAN MAGIC
MEDITERRANEAN cuisine is on the menu at Broadbeach’s 1two3 Dining and Lounge Bar, but there’s also a few surprises too. Andrew McElhone is the first to admit the term ‘Mediterranean cuisine’ opens the door to new cultures and possibilities. The former Sydneysider opened Sage Cafe Restaurant in 2004 and then founded Yellowfin Seafood Restaurant in 2006. 1two3 Mediterranea...
MARATHON PREPARATIONS RACING AHEAD
THE Gold Coast’s most famous mass participation event is expecting a record crowd in 2011 and again the city’s business community is rallying behind the effort. Ahead of the Gold Coast Marathon next month, physiotherapist practice Back In Motion Mermaid Waters is hosting a series of running workshops to lessen the risk of injury to participants. Queensland area director Brad Beer (p...
SHARE OWNERSHIP UP
THE latest share ownership study released by the ASX shows around 7.3 million people, or 43 per cent of the adult Australian population, own shares directly or indirectly. The study found that individual investors holding shares directly has increased to 30 per cent of the adult population, up 25 per cent compared with the last study in 2008. In other results, eight out of 10 investors who own ...
FORMER WOOLWORTHS BOSS STUMPED OVER RETAIL
RETAIL declines in the last quarter are the result of a spooked consumer and a ‘bi-polar’ economy, according to former Woolworths CEO and current Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) director Roger Corbett (pictured). The Fairfax Group chairman is facing challenges first hand in the larger retail space with declining revenues at Fairfax newspapers including mastheads The Age and the Sydn...
SUNNY SIDE UP
BUILDING materials developer B-Pods Holdings is preparing to launch a roof tile that generates solar power. The KISSTile was a finalist in the 2006 Australian Design Awards and is now undergoing final testing at Bond University’s Institute of Sustainable Development and Architecture and Townsville City Council’s Rowes Bay depot. The product replaces standard concrete roof tiles with...
TAX BOMB: ARE YOU PREPARED?
WHEN economic commentator Peter Switzer described the 2011 Federal Budget as ‘all about nothing’, he must have had Australia’s small business capital – the Gold Coast – in mind. Now it’s tax time and while the extent of the red herring initiatives will not be realised until 2013, it’s timely that Gold Coast Business News clarifies some key points. The G...
TOTAL VISITATION DOWN BUT CHINA UP
FIGURES released today by Tourism Research Australia show a six per cent decline in international visitation in the March quarter, but China numbers are up by 14 per cent. More worrying for the Gold Coast’s battling tourism sector is that the average tourist spend continues to decline at a faster rate. The latest quarterly figures show international visitation dropped to 783,000 in the y...
PALMER SECURES $1.2B AFTER CANCELLING IPO
CLIVE Palmer has secured an extra $1.2 billion in funding from a major Chinese Bank just one day after cancelling his mining company’s long-awaited Initial Public Offering (IPO). Citing poor market conditions, Palmer yesterday pulled Resourcehouse Limited’s float on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Less than 24 hours later the Gold Coast-based mining magnate proved the company can fun...
VIRGIN AND SINGAPORE AIRLINES DEAL IN THE WINGS
VIRGIN Australia (ASX:VBA) and Singapore Airlines have signed a landmark agreement which will enable code sharing on international and domestic flights, reciprocal frequent flyer program benefits and lounge access. The deal will also see the airlines co-ordinate schedules and engage in joint sales, marketing and distribution activities. Through the Singapore Airlines network, Virgin Australia c...
RATES ON HOLD
THE Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has opted to delay a rates rise today, citing volatile European markets, softened commodity prices and modest credit growth. The cash rate remains unchanged at 4.75 per cent, welcome news for Australian homeowners who on the ground level haven’t felt a positive shift in market conditions. RBA governor Glenn Stevens says ‘the board judged that the ...
KEEPING IT SIMPLE
THE countdown to the end of the financial year is on and Gold Coast SMEs must prepare to tackle their tax. Suncorp Bank has provided Gold Coast Business News with a few simple strategies to maximise returns, with regional general manager Michael Hall highlighting they could make a dramatic difference to your annual tax statement. “No-one wants to pay more tax than necessary so it’s ...
HOUSING FINANCE RECOVERS SLIGHTLY
THE number of owner-occupied home loans approved across the country recovered well in April after hitting a 10-year low in March, according to the latest ABS statistics. The 47,347 loan commitments approved in April show a 4.8 per cent (seasonally adjusted) increase over March, where housing finance hit its lowest level since February 2001. New houses under finance recorded the strongest growth...
SUPPORT FOR TOURISM OPERATORS
GOLD Coast tourism SMEs will have access to the Federal Government’s Enterprise Connect program and a share of $725,000 in funding, following an announcement in Cairns. It’s part of a $12 million Federal and State Government Tourism Industry Support Package to extend free access to enterprise services to around 150 Queensland tourism firms for 12 months. Minister assisting on touris...
FULL TIME JOBS DOWN
JOBS data released by the ABS shows full time employment is down for the second consecutive month. The latest national employment statistics indicate full-time jobs have been cut back in favour of part-time positions. A spike in part-time jobs across the country has inflated the ABS labour force figures to show little movement, despite 22,000 full-time jobs being lost in May. While the une...
FAIRWAYS SALES TOP $4M
A SUPPORTED living project at Tweed Heads has sold 12 properties amassing $4 million in just one month. Fairways Supported Living is bucking the downward sales trend, according to project manager Gregg Hewitt (pictured). “Forget about a stalled, flat property market across the board – this sales success is simply unheard of in a sector where seniors are finding it increasingly diffi...
ASTON MARTIN RAPIDE ON THE MOVE
ASTON Martin will move production of its four-door Rapide to the company's Gaydon headquarters in Warwickshire UK in the second half of 2012. Due to constraints at Gaydon Aston Martin appointed Magna Steyr as a partner to produce the car at its facilities in Austria in 2008. A dedicated facility - AMRP - at Magna Steyr's facilities was then established with pre-production of the Rapide starting ...
MORE DAYTRIPPERS BUT THEY’RE NOT SPENDING
GOLD Coast Tourism’s (GCT) strategy to target the domestic drive market appears to have paid off, with Tourism Research Australia statistics showing a 33 per cent jump in daytrip visitors for the year ending March 2011. Around 7.4 million visitors spent the day on the Gold Coast during the period, spending $751 million before returning home – 7 cent less than the corresponding perio...
APARTMENT STARTS AND SALES TUMBLE
THE latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows a worrying trend for apartment developers with commencement of new product down almost 13 per cent in the last 12 months. In the March quarter, the trend estimate also fell 3.1 per cent. The total number of new unit dwellings in Australia was 39,578 for the March quarter, with new private sector houses totalling 22,784 – down ...
RETAILERS WELCOME MINIMUM SHIFT REVERSAL
THE Australian Retail Association (ARA) has welcomed Fair Work Australia’s (FWA) decision to reduce the minimum shift requirements to 1.5 hours for secondary school students. After the modern awards system forced employers to stop giving students short after-school shifts from January, ARA executive director Russell Zimmerman says the reversal will save jobs. “Fair Work Australia ha...
SRI LANKA CAN’T ‘BUY’ THE GAMES, SAYS BID BOSS
THE chief executive at the helm of the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) arrived on the Gold Coast and sent a clear message – that the 2018 Games cannot be bought. Mike Hooper (pictured left) emphasised the focus is on technical evaluation, including strict controls over any incentives a candidate city can consider. It follows the uproar when cash payments to CGA’s (Commonwea...
POWERING FOR LOWER DEVELOPMENT COSTS
MAYORAL candidate David Power (pictured) has outlined his plan to abolish material change of use (MCU) applications in designated precincts to reduce the Gold Coast’s development costs. Speaking at the recent UDIA Gold Coast Logan Revival Forum, Power says areas where current business uses were already envisaged by the planning scheme shouldn’t be subjected to the addition...
GOOD TIMES AHEAD, SAYS TOURISM QUEENSLAND
‘THERE will be good times again’ – that’s the message Tourism Queensland (TQ) CEO Anthony Hayes has delivered to a forum for tourism operators on the Gold Coast. Hayes conceded the last six months have been ‘dreadful’ for the state’s tourism sector, but says the focus must turn away from short-term stimulus to long-term growth. “There will al...
TOURISM LEADERS URGED TO STOP TURNING ON ONE ANOTHER
GOLD Coast Tourism chairman Paul Donovan (pictured) today called upon industry heavyweights to stop ‘turning on each other’ during a luncheon with Minister for Tourism, Manufacturing and Small Business Jan Jarratt at the Sofitel Broadbeach. In front of a packed room consisting of tourism and business leaders and local government representatives, Donovan squared his aim at what he pe...
LM’S $800M ARROWTOWN GETS DA
GOLD Coast fund manager LM Investment Management (LM) will develop its $800 million master-planned community at Coomera following a DA today from Gold Coast City Council. The 1450 lot ‘Arrowtown’ project received unanimous council approval for construction of Stage One. The 112ha project will be developed by LM on behalf of investors in one of its income funds, which participates in...
STAYING ON TOP OF THE BOOKS
AS shifting economic conditions drive the need for new business and operating strategies, Gold Coast SMEs are being warned to regularly update their financial records or risk making ‘poorly informed’ decisions. Small Business Evolution managing director Michelle Carr, says too often bookkeeping is ‘at the bottom of the priority list’ and businesses should aim to start th...
GCCC BUDGET 2011
GOLD Coast Mayor Ron Clarke (pictured) has described this year's $920 million budget as a 'responsible budget that is a reflection of the times'. There will be a 3.5 per cent increase on the minimum general rate, while the average rate will go up by 4.3 per cent. “This budget has managed to keep the Minimum General Rate rise in line with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) at 3.5 per cent, but wi...
BIG BUSINESS TO EVACUATE CBDS
LARGE businesses will come under increasing pressure in the next five years to consider alternate office locations outside of the major CBD’s, according to new market analysis by CB Richard Ellis (CBRE). CBRE’s review forecasts that office rents in Australian CBD’s will rise anywhere between 12 per cent and 24 per cent over the next three to five years as vacancy rates continu...
ALLCONNEX WATER CHARGES UP BY 3.6 PER CENT
ALLCONNEX Water charges will increase by 3.6 per cent in 2011-12 with an average 7 per cent increase likely per household with State Government bulk water charges added. The controversial water retailer has extended the State Government CPI cap to all customer bills. Allconnex Water general manager Andrew Foley, says overall increases would result in a price increase in household bills of betw...
GOLD COAST DWELLING APPROVALS AT LOWEST SINCE 1993
DWELLING approvals across Queensland have fallen to pre-GFC levels with the Gold Coast recording the lowest number since 1993. According to data released today in Bill Morris’ Midwood Report, the one-time gauge for growth - interstate migration - is now forecast across the state at just 2 per cent a year - the lowest since 1983. The annual growth rate is likely to continue to decline over...
V8 SUPERCARS GIVE THE US A REV
THE United States will get an annual dose of Australian motorsport after the V8 Supercars today signed a milestone five-year deal to compete in Texas. From 2013, the V8’s will contest two, 200-kilometre races held on a regular Friday to Sunday race weekend at The Circuit of Americas in Austin. The 5.5km circuit is under construction and will be the first purpose-built Grand Prix Circuit i...
BIS SHRAPNEL FORECASTS RESIDENTIAL RECOVERY
DESPITE the capitals recording a decline in median house prices in the year to March 2011, economic forecaster BIS Shrapnel is not expecting a property price crash. In fact it is forecasting steady prices through 2011, with some capital cities even showing moderate price growth over the following two years to 2013. In its Residential Property Prospects, 2011 to 2014 report, it notes that the 20...
THE FAME EQUATION
A BUDDING young entrepreneur has launched a marketing system aiming to achieve impressive results for everyday businesspeople with a story to tell and a product to sell. The Fame Equation is the brainchild of former property expert and interactive media specialist Rossco Paddison, the director of Real Social Media Results. Paddison is convinced the program will instil confidence in business own...
ARE YOU THE NEXT GOLD COAST YOUNG ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR?
NOMINATIONS for the 2011 Gold Coast Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award are now open. Gold Coast’s Young Entrepreneurs are driven by inspirational cultures. They are under 40 and run successful businesses in our city, known as the land of the budding young business person. The 2011 Gold Coast Young Entrepreneur of the Year will be revealed at a special gala luncheon in November, coincidi...
LABOUR MARKET BIGGEST CHALLENGE - COM BANK BOSS
COMMONWEALTH Bank CEO Ralph Norris has told business leaders in Brisbane that the economy is not out of the woods on the same day the Reserve Bank stalled an interest rate hike. Norris headlined a lunch hosted by the Australia Israel Chamber of Commerce to talk up the next step for Australian banks as the global economy, particularly the US appears rickety. Norris says that although Austra...
1.1 MILLION QUEENSLANDERS ‘FLEXIBLE’
 MORE than 1 million Queensland employees have flexible working arrangements in place, according to figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). Those who work in the government sector made greater use of flexible working arrangements than their colleagues in the private sector, with 67 per cent using some form flexibility in the last year - compared with 56 per ce...
FULL-TIME JOBS GROWTH CONTINUES
AUSTRALIA’s labour force continued its upwards trend of full-time employment in the month of June. The latest ABS statistics show the unemployment rate remained steady at 4.9 per cent during June, but around 59,000 full-time jobs were created across the country. This was partially offset by a decrease in part-time employment of 35,600. Just less than 11.5 million people are now employed a...
REDUCE CRIME AND ATTRACT BIG BUSINESS, SAYS RUDY GIULIANI
FORMER New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani (pictured), says cities like Brisbane and the Gold Coast need to build on their strengths and reduce crime if they are to attract big business. Speaking at the Asia Pacific Cities Summit today in Brisbane, the former Big Apple boss says that if cities and their mayors want to be successful and to revive economies, a combination of vision and the abili...
BRANSON ORBITS CARBON TAX DEBATE
VIRGIN Group (ASX: VBA) founder Sir Richard Branson (pictured) launched a bio-fuel concept today in Brisbane, offered views on a carbon tax and also re-launched his plans for space travel. During Branson’s speech at the Asia Pacific Cities Summit, marketing videos were played where he advised that Australians should say no to a carbon tax. “Clean energy is becoming increasingly impo...
PALMER ‘NEVER INTERESTED’ IN COURAN COVE
QUEENSLAND’S richest man Clive Palmer (pictured) has confirmed that he was never on ‘the list’ to buy the financially stricken Couran Cove Island Resort. “I never wanted to buy it, I’ve never had any interest,” confirmed Palmer from Singapore. Couran Cove is now in the hands of liquidator Ferrier Hodgson with an expression of interest deadline set for July 2....
BLIGH REAFFIRMS COMMITMENT TO GOLD COAST RECOVERY
PREMIER Anna Bligh (pictured) has discussed the carbon tax, recovery of tourism and property and announced a new week-long rugby festival while on the Gold Coast. Speaking at a recent Gold Coast Media and Corporate Club luncheon on top of Q1, Bligh spruiked the State Budget’s property stimulus initiatives and her commitment to revamping the Coast’s tourism sector. She also says Quee...
THE MARKETING KEY
BUSINESS owners need to focus clearly on their target markets and leverage off relationships to achieve stronger results, according to a popular strategic marketing mentor. Marketing Key International director Rachael Watt (pictured) regular presents business seminars teaching companies how to exercise simple, structured, effective and affordable marketing. A common error she witnesses is busin...
CARBON TAX OVERVIEW
COMMENTARY on the impacts and benefits of the Gillard Government’s Carbon Tax have arguably been lost among political squabbling, fear mongering from mega-corporations and everyone from industry representatives to eco-crusaders pushing their own agendas. So what does it really mean for Queensland businesses? In light of the information overload regarding the Carbon Tax, Gold Coast Busines...
GRINDING AWAY
ZARRAFFA’S Coffee stores are as ubiquitous as the man behind the brand and while 50 outlets is a target before the close of 2011, CEO Kenton Campbell (pictured) is introspective when considering the big picture. “I always dreamed that I had something big in me, but it has become bigger than I have ever imagined,” he says.Kenton Campbell was crowned the inaugural Gold Coast You...
ALLCONNEX WATER CHAIRMAN RESIGNS
THE chairman of Allconnex Water John Dempsey has resigned today effective as of September 30. Dempsey was not available to comment, but his resignation follows an ongoing saga between the water retailer, Gold Coast ratepayers and state and local governments. Allconnex has been in hot water over water prices since it was charged to manage the Gold Coast City Council water this year. It is also t...
ICON SETTLES BEACH DISPUTE
ICON Energy (ASX:ICN) has today settled out of court its four-month long dispute with Beach Energy over the ownership interests in a West Queensland gas tenement. South Australia’s Beach (ASX:BPT) has maintained it was entitled to 40 per cent equity in Icon’s prized ATP855P tenement, however the Gold Coast company claimed no agreement had been met. In settling the matter o...
THE SINGAPORE STOCK EXCHANGE
THERE'S little doubt that the Asian dollar will play a larger part in Australian business moving forward. Corporate lawyer Olivia Christensen (pictured) highlights some key information about another of the Asian markets – the Singapore Stock Exchange (SGX). SGX Main Board – Listing Criteria Financial admission tests (3 options) – (1) Cumulative consolidated pre-tax profit...
PRIVATE COMPANY SLOG
MORE than half of the Queensland private companies surveyed in a KPMG annual Private Companies Survey indicated they had not met revenue targets in the past 12 months. In fact most of Australia’s private company participants were found to be more pessimistic about their short-term prospects than they were 12 months ago and more than 30 per cent have reported negative profit growth. T...
PROPERTY RECOVERY: IS IT ALL TALK?
AS Queensland’s ongoing property slump reaches crisis point, property lawyer Andrew Johnson (pictured) questions whether the state can deliver its Budget promise and recover, rebuild and re-stimulate the industry. The Mills Oakley partner launched his career on the Gold Coast and says confidence and strong government leadership is required. "The owner-occupier market is dormant at the...
BIO BOOST SET TO CLEAN UP MINING
A $7 million bio prospect that speeds up plant growth could be the solution to remove contaminants in waste process water in the mining industry. PolyGenomX is a public unlisted company that has pioneered a method to deliver faster growth and higher yields from plants to be used for biofuels, such as jatropha and other species including sandalwood for oil. Managing director Peter Rowe says a pa...
AUSSIE MOZZIE TRAP GETS GLOBAL MARKETS ABUZZ
MOSQUITO trap manufacturer Bantix Worldwide Limited is undertaking a $5 million capital raising venture to consolidate a deal in the US worth up to $108 million in its first year. While negotiating the large distribution contract in the US for a smaller version of its innovative mosquito trap, the Burleigh Heads product developer is also heeding hot demand from China and India for its full-siz...
RST DOUBLES REVENUE
GOLD COAST mining services company Reynolds Soil Technologies (RST) will build manufacturing plants in key export markets as it doubles the size of its international operations. RST director Peter Parkinson says facilities will likely be set up in Brazil, Chile, Argentina and South Africa within six to nine months at a cost of about $200,000 per site. Indonesia and Malaysia are also targets. Th...
FULL TILT TECHNOLOGY
THE IT manager at Zarraffa's Coffee has developed a new cutting-edge point-of-sale (POS) system, launched in all outlets to increase efficiency. Developed over three years by software developer and service provider Addictive Technology Solutions, Zarraffa’s new POS system fully integrates a store’s total IT and telco needs into one state-of-the art network. I...
FAST FEAST
AS the company rapidly expands and competes strongly with fastfood multi-conglomerates KFC and McDonalds, Coolabah Tree Cafe has been awarded the Gold Coast Business Excellence Retail Award. CEO Andrew (pictreud) says Coolabah Tree has become the only consistent choice for interstate travellers who wish to skip the fast food offerings at super service stations and enjoy...
GET NOTICED
THE exponential growth in the number of ways to reach the consumer market has created a technology whitewash for many businesses. Some struggle against the changing face of advertising while others dismiss the latest media platform as a fleeting iGeneration trend. But accept it or not, the digital media age is upon us and savvy marketers are riding the wave and propelling their brand power full...
A WEEKEND AT THE WINDSOR
MELBOURNE is Australia’s second largest and fastest growing capital city and is the economic and cultural envy of all the states. Growth in the property sector exceeded 27 per cent over the last year and employment growth in recent years has been more than its closest rivals, Brisbane and Perth, combined. Similarly, five of the country’s six largest corporations are headquartered in...
HISTORIC WATERING HOLE FOR MORRIS
MORRIS international chairman Terry Morris has paid $670,000 for a historic pub at Dugandan in the Gold Coast Hinterland. The Sirromet Wines owner is in partnership in the hotel venture with Morris International CEO Dean Merrell. Morris International’s interests include Sirromet, Carrara Markets and The Holden Driving Centre at Norwell. Morris bought the 1860’s pub from hoteliers M...
RETAILERS WARNED TO IMPROVE SERVICE
TWO iconic luxury brands have warned retailers they need to develop superior customer service skills to have any hope of retaining market share and competing with the online boom. Sofitel Luxury Hotels and Ella Bache are warning others to improve their customer service levels as the online shopping cart picks up pace. Sofitel Asia Pacific vice president of sales, marketing and distribution, Ste...
COASTAL PLAN WORSE THAN CARBON TAX
THE ‘incompetent’ Queensland Coastal Management Plan poses a more immediate threat to the state’s housing and construction sector than the Carbon Tax, according to the Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA). UDIA Qld CEO and general counsel Brian Stewart says the price on carbon will have adverse long-term impacts, but the Queensland Coastal Plan sends ‘shivers&...
$110M FOR RACING INFRASTRUCTURE
MORE than $110 million has been committed by the State Government for various racing infrastructure projects across Queensland. It includes $35.4 million to the Gold Coast Turf Club for a complete revamp of the course, flood mitigation and the installation of a synthetic training and racing track with tunnel access to the inside of the tracks. It is understood the upgrade will deal with OHS con...
UNIT AND GUVERA WIN STATE ENTREPRENEUR GONGS
TWO Gold Coast businesses have taken top honours in the annual Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of The Year northern region awards in Brisbane. Unit Clothing founders Paul and Ian Everest (pictured) took out the award for emerging entrepreneurs, while Claes Loberg, CEO of music download channel Guvera, won the technology category. The accolades follow the Everest brothers being named Go...
CALLS FOR COMMENT ON FOXTEL'S AUSTAR ACQUISITION
THE Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has released a statement of issues on the proposed acquisition by FOXTEL Management of rival AUSTAR United Communications. The Statement of Issues seeks further information on certain competition issues which have arisen from the ACCC's review to date. The ACCC invites further submissions from the market in response to the Statement ...
LIVE WITH THE ALLCONNEX SPLIT, SAYS BLIGH
QUEENSLAND Premier Anna Bligh sent a clear message to Gold Coast City Council (GCCC) today - live with the decision to split from water retailer Allconnex. Bligh had the power to overrule the decision, but in accepting councillors’ 8-7 vote to divorce Allconnex, the future of the company beyond July 1 next year is in serious doubt. Logan and Redlands councils still utilise the services of...
COUNCIL’S BUILDING BOOST ‘POSITIVE’
SUSTAINABLE City Future Committee president Cr Peter Young expects Gold Coast City Council’s (GCCC) $8000 grant for people who buy or build a new home in the city to stimulate demand. Young’s plans to further incentivise the buyer market have been passed through Council and he is confident the boost will complement the State Government’s property initiatives detailed at last m...
FRASER HOSES DOWN ECONOMIC PESSIMISM
DESPITE a comprehensive survey of Queensland businesses today revealing a deepening pessimism over the economy, Treasurer Andrew Fraser says investment in the state has in fact reached a historical peak. The latest Queensland Pulse Survey results indicate 38 per cent of businesses experienced weaker sales during the past three months, while business profitability also dropped by a further 0.5 p...
$3M UPGRADE FOR LENNOX HOTEL
THE sleepy surfing hamlet of Lennox Head is angling for a slice of Byron Bay’s lucrative conference and events market following a $3 million upgrade of its historic pub. Work is nearing completion on the latest $2 million stage two renovation of the Lennox Head Hotel to tap the conference and wedding market in one of the north coast’s most spectacular beachside destinations. The hi...
GOLD COAST 600 ON TRACK FOR $50M
V8 SUPERCARS events general manager Shane Howard and State Sports Minister Phil Reeves promised big economic injection, less disruption and a boost to tourism in officially launching the Gold Coast 600. Flanked by the category’s top drivers (pictured) at Palazzo Versace, Reeves says the three-day event will inject about $50 million directly into the Gold Coast and provide an invaluable bo...
MAYORAL CANDIDATE DOUGLAS TO ADDRESS UDIA
SURFERS Paradise councillor and mayoral contender Susie Douglas will address a Gold Coast Logan UDIA gathering at BMD Northcliffe Surf Life Saving Club on August 3. Cr Douglas, who is tasked with the arduous job of heading the city’s Economic Development and Tourism Committee, will be joined by a constituent who is a leader of another domain, Shannon Eckstein. Eckstein is a six-time Kello...
TURF CLUB BOSS QUITS, NEW DIRECTORS APPOINTED
A DISPUTE over new board appointments has led to Gold Coast Turf Club (GCTC) chairman Andrew Eggleston resigning three months before his tenure was due to end. Eggleston had earlier indicated he would not seek re-election at the October AGM, instead wishing to focus on his other business interests. But today he stood down immediately after the GCTC board voted to appoint thr...
RBA HOLDS CASH RATE
THE RBA’s decision to keep the cash rate on hold after a ‘disastrous few months for the retail sector’ due to low consumer sentiment has been welcomed by retail industry body the Australian Retailers Association. The Australian Retailers Association (ARA) executive director Russell Zimmerman says retailers will breathe a sigh of relief at the news. He says it may mean the diff...
NEW BUSINESS CLASS SERVICE FOR GOLD COAST
VIRGIN Australia chief executive John Borghetti (pictured with Minister Jan Jarratt) has announced the introduction of business class services and a new luxury lounge for the Gold Coast Airport. Virgin Australia is the only airline to offer domestic business class services to the Gold Coast and the first for more than seven years. Borghetti made the announcement alongside Queensland Minist...
FRASER DEFIANT OF UNEMPLOYMENT RISE
STATISTICS released today show Queensland’s unemployment rate has risen 0.2 percentage points in July to 5.6 per cent, but Treasurer Andrew Fraser is still spruiking the state’s jobs growth as the best in the country. ABS Labour Force data for July indicates an additional 10,000 Queenslander’s are looking for work; with the unemployment rate now well above the national average...
BUILDING LIFESTYLES
CREATING outdoor living spaces that transform private residences into luxurious resorts is what David Berryman does best. So when contracted for a swimming pool job on ‘Waterfall Drive’ –the result was always going to be stunning. The Sunset Construction Group director says the little details of ‘resort-style’ designs may have changed but the principles behind...
CLIVE PALMER EXCLUSIVE: WHERE TO NOW?
WHEN mining magnate Clive Palmer made a dashing foray into Sunshine Coast’s tourism industry after buying the Hyatt Coolum, it raised a few eyebrows as to his broader intentions. Queensland’s wealthiest man will splash up to $2 billion on infrastructure and real estate investment on the Sunshine Coast over the next five years. While the investment is considered the most significant...
DIGITAL ECONOMY PUMPED $50B IN 2010
DELOITTE Access Economics data indicates that the Internet contributed 3.6 per cent or $50 billion to Australia’s economy in 2010. ADDING up the value of the Internet reveals that it has already become as big as iron-ore exports, according to the report. The Connected Continent: How the Internet is Transforming Australia’s Economy, estimates that the Internet contributed $50 billion...
RFG SHARES JUMP 13 PER CENT
BRANDCHISOR Retail Food Group (ASX: RFG) today announced a 5.7 per cent net profit increase to $27.9 million for FY11 despite 193 outlets affected by the January floods. Following the news, the company’s share price jumped 13 per cent to $2.43 today with around 40,000 units traded. Chairman John Cowley told Gold Coast Business News the result was solid, but admits the company’s fai...
RUST PROOFER LANDS UAE DEAL
AUTOMOTIVE aftermarket manufacturer CouplerTec Electronic Rust Proofing has signed a distribution agreement with Bahrain-based motor dealer EK Kanoo. The deal follows a meeting at the Automechanika Middle East Automotive Trade Manufacturer’s Super Show in Dubai. CEO Garry Bell (pictured) says the company has now secured contracts with two major Toyota dealers in the Gulf. EK Kanoo i...
TWO-THIRDS OF BUSINESSES FAIL TO PAY BILLS
THE number of Australian firms paying their bills more than three months late has jumped 20 per cent while two-thirds are taking longer than the standard 30-day period to pay company accounts. A report by Dun & Bradstreet reveals startling evidence that an increasing number of businesses are feeling the pinch with national payment terms reaching 53.4 days during the June quarter 2011. While...
BRAD THE BUILDER
ONLY a few years ago builder Brad Fullin swore he'd never undertake project-style contract work. Now his company, Palladio Homes, has completed 20 projects in FY11 worth $7.1 million - and he's just warming up. When Sydneysider Brad Fullin moved to the Gold Coast with his wife Linda in 2003, he carried on making a successful living building and selling ‘spec homes’. The advantages of ...
SPLASH OUT WITH DENNIS MACKENDER
TODAY’S clothing industry may be dominated by mass Asian production, but in the niche market of sports swimwear one Gold Coast company has remained strong for 25 years. Nova Swimwear managing director Dennis Mackender (pictured) attributes the company’s longevity to quality products, quick turnaround of orders and personalised design and service. These qualities have ensured No...
INTEREST IN SOLAR TILE HEATS UP
THE Gold Coast company behind a solar power-generating roof tile has earned a $236,000 grant from Commercialisation Australia as it prepares for market launch later this year. B-Pods won the grant as it moves to introduce its Tractile product range into the Australian and international markets. The product line is undergoing final testing at Bond University’s Institute of Sustainable Deve...
PROTECT YOUR BUSINESS FROM INTERNET FRAUD
PROFESSOR Iain Morrison (pictured), who is head of Bond University’s IT School, says more than one million Australians will fall victim to information and computer fraud this year. Australian governments estimate engagement with the internet has generated more than 50 per cent of the gains in the economy over the past 10-15 years and Treasury models show the impact of ICT and th...
GOLD COAST ATTRACTIONS OUT OF THIS WORLD
THE respective owners of the Gold Coast’s famous ‘worldly’ tourist attractions have reported exhilarating profits for FY11. Village Roadshow, owner of Warner Roadshow Studios, Warner Bros Movie World, Sea World and Wet n Wild among others, posted a net profit of $185.5 million – up a whopping 96 per cent increase on the corresponding period. The result was due to the 52 ...
BILLABONG TAKES THE DROP
BILLABONG chief executive Derek O’Neil must be getting sick of currency playing against profits. On a day when the capital markets copped another caning with the S&P/ASX down 3 per cent and sovereign debt fears escalated in Europe, Billabong shares plummeted 23 per cent to under $4 a pop. Net profit for the Gold Coast’s largest company dropped by 18.4 per cent to $119 million for...
ALLCONNEX FOCUS TO PROTECT JOBS
WATER retailer Allconnex says its prime concern is protecting its 800-strong workforce following the decision yesterday by Logan City Council to join the Gold Coast and Redlands and regain control of its water. The decision follows the Gold Coast City Council’s and Redland City Council’s divorce from Allconnex last month, following public backlash. Logan Council says it was a cost d...
CHRISTMAS FUNCTIONS & EVENTS GUIDE 2011
GOLD Coast Tourism CEO Martin Winter says the Gold Coast is one of Australia’s most popular event destinations, attracting a gamut of conferences and meetings from Christmas parties to international corporate congresses. “Last year the city attracted 1100 domestic and international business events and more than 140,000 delegates attended those meetings,” he says. “But t...
STAY ONE STEP AHEAD
WITH every new information technology developed to drive efficiencies and add value to corporations comes newfound security threats to consider. The effectiveness of simplistic loss prevention procedures fell when businesses ceased to exist as only brick and mortar structures. Heading up Hynes Lawyers’ burgeoning ICT law division, partner Bill Singleton says the onset of integrated mobile...
STAGE ONE COMPLETE AT ISLE OF CAPRI
STAGE one of the Harvey family’s $50 million development upgrade of the Capri on Via Roma retail and commercial precinct is now finished. The first stage of completed works includes a major upgrade to the existing three-level building facing Via Roma and the connecting car park, including a new foyer to office levels and new landscaped surrounding. Capri on Via Roma will have 31 retail bu...
ABSORPTION RATE FOR OFFICE SPACE PICKS UP
THE Property Council’s July 2011 Office Market Report shows a further strengthening in the Australian office sector over the first half of 2011, with the Gold Coast slowly absorbing supply. Despite a stifled commercial development sector and one of the largest office gluts in the country, senior director of CBRE’s office services Tania Moore says the market is improving. Moore says ...
THREE CHEERS FOR MOO MOO
MOO Moo The Wine Bar + Grill At The Port Office has triumphed at the 2011 Australian Wine List of The Year Awards hosted by Fine Wine Partners in conjunction with Gourmet Traveller Wine. The restaurant was awarded the highest possible ‘three glass’ rating at the 2011 Australian Wine List of the Year Awards. It marks the second major accolade achieved by the Brisbane restaurant, whic...
BRANDED EMAILS - WHAT NEXT?
AUSTRALIAN companies are yet to realise the full marketing potential of branded emails, with the concept heavily used overseas. While email marketing has been an invaluable tool for many years, the evolution of cloud platforms means email branding knows no limits, according to The Hubb director Brett Hall. “A lot of companies put their logos in emails or use email marketing programs, but ...
M1 PERFORMER
BMW’S new pocket rocket unites exhilarating performance with luxury, handling and of course, those curves. Four decades after its birth, the BMW ‘M’ badge still symbolises spine-tingling performance delivered via a proven luxury platform. The M3 and M5 have always maintained a unique aura, but the hype around the new BMW 1 Series M Coupe (the M1) has raised the bar on the cult...
TRAVEL COMPETITION TO GIVE $1M INJECTION TO ECONOMY
STRUGGLING businesses on the Coast are set to receive a boost from an international tourism campaign to be launched today at Sea World. Tourism Queensland’s (TQ) Million Dollar Memo is giving one lucky company a chance to win $1 million in travel incentives including transport, accommodation and entertainment. TQ CEO Anthony Hayes says part of the aim is to present the Gold Coast as a pla...
G8 MAN GETS MANAGEMENT GONG
BUNDALL childcare services provider G8 Education is no stranger to making acquisitions, but it was operations general manager Jae Fraser (pictured right with Gold Coast City Council's Sharon Anderson) who claimed the 2011 Young Manager of the Year award. Sponsored by Gold Coast Business News, the Australian Institute of Management (AIM) Excellence Awards Gold Coast regional finals, unearthed a p...
SHERATON $20M FACELIFT BOOSTS PREMIER’S HARD SELL
QUEENSLAND Premier Anna Bligh today launched a $20 million refurbishment to the new-look Sheraton Mirage Resort on the Gold Coast. Considered a major shot in the arm to the ailing tourism industry, the Premier says she will use her investor road show next week to tell southern states that Queensland is ‘back in business’. “The Gold Coast will certainly be one of the places I w...
BULLETIN EDITOR STEPS DOWN
GOLD Coast Bulletin editor Dean Gould (pictured) has resigned after being appointed as communications director at Griffith University. On August 29, News Limited was expected to announce Townsville Bulletin editor and former Gold Coast Bulletin chief of staff Peter Gleeson as Gould's replacement. Griffith external relations director Meredith Jackson confirmed Gould’s appointment, saying he...
BUILDING APPROVALS DOWN - ABS
GOVERNMENT stimulus packages have led builders to postpone work in Queensland until they take effect, according to Master Builders Queensland. Seasonally adjusted July figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) show dwelling approvals for private sector houses fell 14.5 per cent in Queensland, while Victoria and New South Wales experienced rises of 8.7 and 4.6 per cent respectively....
GLEESON CONFIDENT OF TURNING BULLY AROUND
INCOMING Gold Coast Bulletin editor Peter Gleeson (pictured) is confident he can resurrect the paper to its once regional dominance in the News Ltd group. “I’m looking forward to the new role back at the Gold Coast Bulletin. The city has an incredible future and I’m keen to be a part of that,” he says. Gleeson is the editor at the Townville Bulletin, where he has success...
ICON ENERGY RECORDS PROFIT LOSS
ICON Energy (ASX: ICN) today reported FY11 losses of $6 million - a 67 per cent increase on its fiscal 2010 loss of $3.6 million. The coal seam gas explorer is preparing works on a gas field in the Cooper Basin, but must wait until April. Joint permit holder Beach Energy has acquired two rigs from Ensign Australia for a new shale gas appraisal program. Slugged with a $97.5 million net loss for ...
HOT PROFITS FOR SOLAR COMPANY
A SOLAR technology company in Yatala has helped its ASX-listed owner record net FY11 profit of $5.1 million. While CBD Energy’s (ASX:CBD) overall net profit was down 35.4 per cent per cent from $7.9 million on the corresponding period (due to tax credit of $3m), revenue escalated from $44.8 million to $164.7 million. The result is attributed to its solar energy business eco-Kinetics...
MCCANN GETS SMART
CREATIVE agency Smart has been acquired by McCann Worldgroup, one of the world’s largest advertising players. As a result McCann Australia’s CEO and chairman Chris Mort has been replaced by Smart CEO Ben Lilley (pictured). “Smart has proudly been an independent agency with an outstanding track record of growth and creative excellence over the last 10 years. Uniting with McCann...
ANNUAL RAY WHITE CHARITY BALL
THE 2011 Ray White Surfers Paradise Muscular Dystrophy Charity Ball is set for another big occasion at the Sheraton Mirage on Saturday September 10. Raising money and awareness for muscular dystrophy, the event is a must attend on the Gold Coast corporate social calendar. Guests will dance the night away to the sultry tunes of Jessica Mauboy, who has big shoes to fill after Marcia Hines rocked ...
INTEREST RATE STALL TO HELP HOUSING RECOVERY
QUEENSLAND’S business community has welcomed today’s Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) board decision to leave interest rates unchanged at 4.75 per cent. Master Builders Queensland housing policy director Paul Bidwell says the RBA’s decision will help improve consumer and business confidence. “There are some very good reasons for the RBA to keep interest rates on hold for ...
GOLD COAST AIRPORT TO ATTRACT BIG ASIAN MARKET
GOLD Coast Airport is planning to capture a greater share of the Asian tourist market by bolstering its offering to international carriers without actually extending its runways. The airport’s 2011 preliminary draft master plan released today details a proposed increase of available landing space on runway 32 purely by relocating a landing threshold about 310 metres south. Gold Coast Airp...
HACKERS PUT WEB SECURITY IN SPOTLIGHT
THE security credentials of web hosting firm’s across Australia have been thrust into the spotlight following the recent high-profile hack of Sydney’s Distribute.IT, which led to 4800 clients losing data. The founder and director of web development company Bloomtools says the security breach has had widespread implications for the industry. James Greig says that with many re-sellers...
GAIL KELLY – DON’T MANDATE GENDER EQUALITY ON BOARDS
WESTPAC CEO Gail Kelly (pictured) is against mandating minimum numbers of women for company boards and believes that diversity and gender equality should be a ‘specific and targeted area of focus’ for organisations Kelly made the comments at a QUT business leaders’ forum, saying that while she was a passionate advocate of driving diversity at work, it doesn’t necessaril...
RECESSION LIKELY AFTER MINING BUST
AUSTRALIA will have a ‘bloody disaster’ on its hands once the resources boom runs its course, according to leading economist Frank Gelber. While he could not put a use by date on the country’s resource-rich reserves, the BIS Shrapnel chief economist today predicted dire consequences when the day arrives. “I don’t know when, but it will end and it will be a bloody d...
HILTON SURFERS PARADISE OPENS ITS DOORS
THE new $700 million Hilton Surfers Paradise development has opened for business. Mixing the energy of Surfers Paradise with famous Hilton style, the hotel boasts 169 guest rooms and 250 long-term residences with up to three bedrooms. Also in the mix at the hotel’s modern lounge bar FIX, Grant Collins has served up cocktails to celebrities including Madonna, Kate Moss, Elton John, Russell...
ALLCONNEX IS FINISHED
GOLD Coast City Council has voted to disconnect from Allconnex Water. In a fiercely debated vote, a majority of councillors agreed to disband the water retailer by June 30, 2012. The move will come at a speculated cost of around $100 million. Allconnex CEO Kim Wood says he accepts council’s decision to return water services to the ratepayers. “Today’s decision to continue to o...
CARBON TAX TO AFFECT 75 PER CENT OF BUSINESS
RESEARCH data by the Chamber of Commerce & Industry Queensland shows that 75 per cent of businesses it surveyed indicated the proposed Gillard Government carbon tax would have a negative effect on their business. Findings from the survey were unveiled today as the Government tabled its Carbon Tax Bill in Federal Parliament. The Chamber of Commerce & Industry Queensland (CCIQ) surveyed 7...
‘FAMILY’ FOCUS FOR COMMONWEALTH GAMES BOARD
COMMONWEALTH Games Federation (CFG) executive board members are the latest in a long list of delegates to visit the ‘glitter strip’. The Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Bid Team has welcomed CGF vice-president and Malaysian HRH Prince Tunku Imran, two regional vice-presidents and medical and legal advisors. Premier Anna Bligh says the group will experience the best of what the ci...
NEW VENTURE FOR VIP PETFOODS FOUNDER
VIP Petfoods founder Tony Quinn (pictured) will soon venture into the world of confectionary and take a back seat in his $300 million a year manufacturing business on the Gold Coast. The 54-year-old has indicated that a new challenge will see him slowly phase out of VIP Petfoods, which has become the second largest petfood business in Australia with 600 staff employed across eight factories. ...
QUEENSLAND BUILDING APPROVALS UP
NEW data has revealed home construction activity in Queensland has experienced the greatest increase in Australia. Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show detached home building approvals rose by 16.4 per cent in August. Total Queensland approvals were up 19.6 per cent in the same month when apartment approvals were included. The Urban Development Institute of Australia Queensland says the...
QUINN APPOINTED IN STATE GOVERMENT ROLE
THE executive manager of Mulpha Sanctuary Cove Alison Quinn (pictured) has accepted a senior State Government role for Growth Management Queensland after resigning from her current position. Minister for Local Government Paul Lucas says Quinn will join Director-General Jack Noye in the Department of Local Government and Planning. "In recent years Alison has been a driving force behind the highly...
TRIBUTE TO ‘INNOVATOR’ STEVE JOBS
THE innovative skills of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs (pictured) have been recognised by Innovation Minister Senator Kim Carr. “Steve Jobs was a powerful driver of successful innovation that transformed lives through the impact of devices developed by Apple, as well as those which were produced by its competitors sometimes in response to Apple,” he says. “His visions through th...
EXPORTERS CONFIDENT OF RETAINING STAFF
AUSTRALIAN exporters are feeling the impact of the strong dollar, but are maintaining employment levels and plan to increase wages in the coming year, according to the 2011 DHL Australian Export Barometer. The annual survey of Australian exporters found that exchange rates are challenging 81 per cent of exporters, affecting their ability to compete with overseas rivals, the prices they charge, ...
CARBON TAX TO BECOME NEXT ‘WORK CHOICES’
THERE is still no certainty regarding the Gillard Government’s carbon tax despite the legislation passing through Federal Parliament today. The Prime Minister’s Clean Energy Bill will slug major emitters with a $23 per tonne levy from July 1, 2012. Grattan Institute program director and economist Saul Eslake suggests the carbon tax will suffer the same fate as the unpopular Work Cho...
STATE’S JOBS GROWTH POWERS AHEAD
QUEENSLAND’S latest employment figures show local businesses are creating more new jobs than most Australian states. Treasurer Andrew Fraser says Australian Bureau of Statistics data reflects marginal growth, with Queensland and New South Wales the only states to record a rise in employment. "Queensland saw creation of 1300 full-time jobs, which was largely offset by the loss of 1200 part-...
REQUEST TO DELAY CARBON PRICING IN SENATE
QUEENSLAND businesses are asking the Federal Senate to delay implementing carbon pricing mechanisms under the Clean Energy Bills 2011. Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland (CCIQ) president David Goodwin (pictured) says the Senate should wait for more countries to take action because the forecast power and transport price hikes will severely impact on enterprises. “A carbon pricing ...
$20M MARRIOTT OVERHAUL UNVEILED
THE glitter strip has improved its tourism offering following a $20 million upgrade of the Surfers Paradise Marriott Resort and Spa. State Minister for Tourism Jan Jarratt, Marriott International’s Asia Pacific president and managing director Simon Cooper and director of owners EHP Group (Gold Coast) Erhard Hotter, attended the relaunch. Surfers Paradise Marriott Resort and Spa launched a...
BIG DAY FOR BILLY CROSS
A PROMOTIONAL company owned by nightclub baron Billy Cross (pictured) has won a two-year contract to provide bar management services for all Gold Coast Parklands events in Southport, including the 2012 Big Day Out. Broadbeach-based events management company Cross Promotions already services 90 per cent of Queensland festivals, including Summafieldaze, Future Music, Parklife and 600 Sounds. ...
FLY IN-FLY OUT CLOSER
THE Gold Coast is one step closer to becoming Queensland’s biggest fly-in, fly-out (FIFO) hub, with Rio Tinto, BMA and other resources companies turning up in force today for the Mining and Gas Jobs Expo at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre. Australian Mines and Metals Association (AMMA) director Minna Knight claims there is strong worker interest in living on the glitter st...
FATHER OF SEA WORLD DIES
VILLAGE Roadshow Theme Parks (VRTP) have today sent their deepest condolences to the friends and family of deceased tourism magnate Keith Williams. The creator of the Sea World theme park had suffered from poor health for five weeks before finally passing away aged 82 at Pindarra Hospital early this morning. “We are very saddened by Mr Williams’ passing. He was a remarkable man who ...
ASIAN TRAVEL EAGLES SWOOP
THE Gold Coast’s ailing tourism industry will pitch with the city’s best assets to operators from the Asia-Pacific and Middle East regions. Tourism Queensland’s (TQ) Stage Eastern Hemisphere workshop gives the state’s operators a chance to showcase their offerings to overseas travel trade executives and increase business with key international markets. About 90 travel ex...
TRADIES ROCK UP IN DROVES TO EXPO
MANY jobseekers attending the Gold Coast Mining and Gas Jobs Expo were tradespeople, according to a resource industry body. The Australian Mines and Metals Association (AMMA) claims the majority of expo attendees were either underemployed or unemployed professionals from the construction, trade and civil engineering industries. AMMA director Minna Knight says these sectors are still struggling....
HEAL HAMMERS FAST FOOD FRANCHISE
ONE of Australia’s most successful basketball exports is achieving off-court success in franchising. Former Olympic and NBA basketball champion Shane Heal (pictured) is planning a roll-out of 20 Urban Burger stores over the next two years. The 41-year-old will sell-down the majority of his existing 18 franchise stores to help fund the venture. Heal is a franchisee of brands including Zarr...
DIGITAL STORYTELLING CAPTIVATES MARKETS
RAPID technological changes mean no global multimedia industry can truly have an absolute edge over rivals, but one Arundel-based urban design and 3D company is angling for one. V2i managing director Luke Brannelly (pictured with wife Sonya) says internet and fibre-optic technology has made the world a much smaller and more competitive market. “There is enormous growth out of China and ot...
TRANSITIONING THE VALUES OF A FAMILY BUSINESS
FAMILY business owners are keen to keep the business in family hands, but are concerned about their offspring’s ability to take over, according to the annual Family Business Survey undertaken by KPMG and peak body Family Business Australia. CEO of Family Business Australia Philippa Taylor (pictured), says that ‘control’ in a family business is not only about equity, but more a...
RAPID TRANSIT VOWS TO WORK WITH LOCAL BUSINESS
LIGHT rail operator GoldLinQ will co-operate with the business community to minimise disruption during the Gold Coast Rapid Transit’s (GCRT) construction. Letterbox drops, individual visits and information online will all help businesses find out how works might affect them, says GoldLinQ CEO Phil Mumford (pictured). “We’re facing tough times. What’s important is we comm...
CONFIDENCE DENT OR REALITY CHECK?
INVESTORS must face reality and start selling their stocks and unnecessary real estate if they are to survive the next recession tipped for 2012, 2013, or 2014 at the latest, according to economic forecaster Harry Dent. Dent predicted the 2008 global financial crisis a decade before it occurred and says the boom bubble has well and truly burst, precipitating a deflationary period. “We...
RETAIL OK SAYS GELBER
AS minimum shifts for secondary school students are reduced to just 1.5 hours, economist Frank Gelber (pictured) says it’s not so bad in the the retail sector. Speaking at a BIS Shrapnel business forecasting event, Gelber says although retailers are ‘screaming bloody murder’ and that ‘it’s the end of the world as they know it’, this isn’t the case. ...
NO DISCOUNTS ON HILTON STOCK
THE $700 million Hilton Surfers Paradise is attracting strong international buyer interest – and there are no discounts, according to the developer Brookfield Multiplex. Brookfield Multiplex sales and marketing director Tim Willing (pictured) says 130 apartments have sold in the last 18 months – equating to 52 per cent of available product. “In a market that everybody would ag...
RACING AHEAD OF THE PACK
THE Quinn family have turned their VIP Petfoods manufacturing business into a $300 million a year success story. Now the second largest pet food producer in Australia, the company employs 600 staff across eight factories. And as Gold Coast Business News discovered, the family that manufactures together, stays together. Tony Quinn (pictured) is an unlikely success story in petfood manufacturing ...
THE GREAT ECOMMERCE REVOLUTION
ONLINE shopping comprises just $12 billion of the $295 billion retail industry, yet is applying plenty of pressure on the local economy as smaller retailers struggle to adapt to a new global marketplace. While Australian retail giants are investing heavily in eCommerce to maximise their online presence, small retailers are lacking the knowledge and resources to vend online. According to PwC and...
ADD A SPLASH OF HOLLYWOOD TO YOUR EVENT
EVENT Cinemas Robina has launched a new menu to complement its corporate events packages. Corporate sales manager Sophie Forsyth says the new menu will tantalise while the big screen action will entertain – a perfect combination. “There are affordable packages available with Asian-inspired items including the Roadside Wagyu sliders on brioche with French fries,” she says. Gues...
LAMBORGHINI ON SHOW AT ORACLE
LAMBORGHINI Brisbane has moved one of its Lamborghini Gallardo LP-570-4 Superleggeras (pictured) into a 70sqm showroom at The Oracle in Broadbeach. Around 50 per cent of Lamborghini’s customers are based on the Gold Coast – the catalyst for Lamborghini Brisbane’s new owners LMM Holdings leasing the boutique space. The vehicle is one of only 12 in Australia and is on displ...
PLAY GOLF WITH GOLD COAST BUSINESS NEWS
JOIN Gold Coast Business News and experience the unmistakable hallmarks of the classic Links Hope Island Golf Club in a social golf day for the Gold Coast business community. The event will be held on Thursday, March 8 at Hope Island on the Gold Coast. It will include a pre-golf clinic with a head teaching professional, 18 holes of championship golf including cart with GPS, post golf cocktail r...
ADDING VALUE TO TRADE A MUST
AUSTRADE senior trade commissioner in Hong Kong (HK) Phil Ingram (pictured), argues that Australian companies wanting to trade in the city state must offer more than just value for money. HK has become very competitive for Australian entrepreneurs to operate in because it is a very open market. There are no barriers to entry, tariffs or strict regulatory pressures. About 5000 Australian compani...
WAKE UP CALL SOUNDS FOR SMES
A Gold Coast accounting firm has found 50 per cent of small and medium-sized enterprises are disappointed with the profitability of their business. The survey by Azure Group highlights that while most SMEs are focused on increasing revenue, many are not considering how to translate it into profits. Managing partner Steve Smith says a reason for reduced profits is that SMEs are not budgeting eff...
WAY THROUGH RED TAPE INTO CHINA
MORE large international companies are opening overseas offices in Hong Kong than Singapore or Japan, according to property group CB Richard Ellis (CBRE). The CBRE Business Footprints study of 280 companies shows 68.2 per cent of them are represented in HK, 67.5 per cent in Singapore, 63.9 per cent in Tokyo with 61.4 per cent based in Shanghai. Invest Hong Kong head of Australia and New Zealand...
ECONOMIC TITANS SPEAK UP
AUSTRALIA is on the verge of its biggest and longest mining boom since the Gold Rush began in 1851. The Gillard Government is banking the Mineral Resource Rent Tax (MRRT) will use growth in the resources industry to return the Federal Budget to surplus by 2012-13. Funds from the tax will reduce broader taxes by 2016-17, but the government may fail to prevent the return of double-digit inflation...
SOUTHERN CROSS CLOSER TO WAVES
MEDIA company Southern Cross Austereo (SCA) has moved its Southport radio and television studios to the Oracle residential development (pictured) in Broadbeach. DTZ managing director Cameron Wilson negotiated the 10-year lease for the broadcaster of Southern Cross Ten, Eleven, One, 92.5 GoldFM and 90.9 SeaFM. SCA General manager Paul Bartlett says the space covers 2000 sqm across one level, whi...
URBAN DESIGN WINNER
AN architecture and urban design firm has won the 2011 Gold Coast Urban Design Awards. Varsity Lakes-based degenhartSHEDD was recognised for its contribution to ‘community enhancement’ for its Australian Industry Trade College (AITC) project in Robina. The AITC (pictured) is the city’s first trade orientated high school to offer students a chance to pursue apprenticeships whil...
MANAGING LEADERS IN YOUR ORGANISATION
LEADERS chart the terrain of an organisation, while managers find the right footwear, the safest avenues and the goods to sustain staff and get them where they need to go, according to one of Queensland’s most successful executives. Macarthur Coal chief executive Nicole Hollows (pictured) points out that leaders are agenda setters and while managers do not set the direction, they ‘s...
DIGITAL MARKETING REELS IN CABLE CUSTOMERS
WHILE many businesses are downsizing and cutting marketing budgets, an Ormeau cable accessory company is bucking the trend using online video and social media. KT Cable Accessories is seeking an international patent for a highly confidential lighting product range with ‘worldwide potential’. General manager Adam Middleton (pictured) says the range will have a significant impact on t...
VINTAGE AMBIENCE AT FELLINI
RISTORANTE Fellini is celebrating 15 years with the opening of its new signature wine bar. The new Fellini bar is the perfect spot for a pre-dinner drink or night cap and is an extension of the award-winning Marina Mirage restaurant. Fellini acquired the 40sqm vacant retail space at the front of the restaurant early this year and transformed it to become an exclusive wine bar and cocktail loung...
WHAT A GRAND VIEW
HARBOUR Grand Hong Kong offers a touch of class and luxury with spectacular sea views – the perfect place to mix business and pleasure. Nestled beside the sparkling Victoria Harbour, the hotel’s state-of-the-art facilities, friendly staff and convention facilities offer a memorable venue for all occasions. There are 554 rooms ranging from 36 to 104sqm in area with 48 serviced suites...
HAVING A DIG
A woman charged with leading a male-dominated earthmoving manufacturing plant, Digga Australia CEO Suzie Wright has a big job on her hands. When in 2008 Wright and her business partners of Gold Coast-based Digga returned from a trip to the US having seen ‘the writing on the wall’, she decided to buy her biggest competitor – Kanga. “We came back and told the staff th...
DIGGA AUSTRALIA EXPANDS OFFSHORE
ONE of the Gold Coast’s homegrown manufacturing success stories will set up distributor networks in the US and a manufacturing base in the UK by 2012. Digga Australia has forecast FY11/12 revenues of $50 million as it taps global markets and soaring demand for its drilling and digging machinery. Chief executive Suzie Wright (pictured), who will celebrate 15 years with the company on Melbou...
LEADERS GIVE GAMES SPORTING CHANCE
RAY White Surfers Paradise Group CEO Andrew Bell has welcomed business community support for the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games bid. Bell, who also chairs the bid’s Business and Community Consultative Committee, says the response has been inspiring. “There is a real sense of excitement and the prospect of hosting the Commonwealth Games in 2018 has served to unite the Gold Coast ...
SHOPPERS DROPPING
THE latest Dun & Bradstreet Business Expectations Survey shows more than 50 per cent of retailers expect demand to fall in the next 12 months. After suffering major declines in sales and profits during the second quarter many retail stores have been forced to retrench staff. D&B CEO Christine Christian says many retailers have given up hope that customers will spend generously this Chri...
PICK POWER’S BRAIN
MAYORAL candidates will fight tooth and nail to justify why they should claim the city’s top job in a live debate at the Arts Centre Gold Coast. Division 7 Councillor Susie Douglas, Islander Resort Hotel CEO Tom Tate, former deputy mayor David Power (pictured), Elvis marriage celebrant Dean Vegas and marine campaigner Keith Douglas will duke it out at the Young Professionals Gold Coast (...
HELP SAVE THE WORLD WITH SUSTAINABLE ENTERPRISE
THE 1990s TV series Captain Planet portrayed heroes with super powers helping the environment. Now businesses also seem to believe in the slogan, ‘the power is yours’. Planet Earth has reached the crossroads, at which businesses have to change their ways, says Griffith University Asia Pacific Centre for Sustainable Enterprise director Malcolm McIntosh. Facing severe economic, social...
BILLABONG SHARES UP 11 PER CENT
SURFWEAR retailer Billabong (ASX:BBG) was one of the ASX 200 top gainers today after an 11 per cent rise saw shares hit $4.34. The share price has been on the hop since the company’s Tuesday AGM on the Gold Coast after it announced that sales were up 25 per cent in the first quarter. Executives rejoiced this week after sales finally showed on the balance sheet following the group’s ...
MANDATORY DRUG TESTING ON CONSTRUCTION SITES
FAIR Work Australia’s (FWA) decision to introduce mandatory drug and alcohol testing for building workers is overdue, according to a Robina-based employment lawyer. Brett Wilson of Aitken Wilson Lawyers says the Gold Coast’s drug and alcohol problems have spread to construction sites. “The combination of drugs or alcohol and heavy industrial equipment is a fatality waiting to ...
BUSINESS TO FOOT WORKPLACE INJURY BILL
COMPANIES should prepare for new safety laws making all executive officers legally liable for the safety of staff, the business community has warned. The Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland (CCIQ) describes the legislation, which comes into effect on January 1, as the ‘most significant shake-up of workplace health and safety laws in decades’. CCIQ Safety senior workplace hea...
AUSTEREO BOSS QUITS
THE group general manager of Southern Cross Austereo (SCA) Queensland has stepped down, citing both personal and professional reasons. David Langsford (pictured) says he is looking at some new opportunities and will return to Townsville where he will wed his fiancée Kathy next year. “While it was a hard decision to leave such a great job and industry, I wanted to live back in Townsvi...
MAYORAL HOPEFULS GIVE SHIP TERMINAL THUMBS UP
CANDIDATES running for the position of Gold Coast mayor have given their in-principle support for building a new cruise ship terminal. Mayoral contenders at a Young Professionals Gold Coast debate refrained from fighting against each other and instead exercised unity. Former deputy mayor David Power says the city ‘absolutely’ needs a terminal. “A lot of ships wanting to c...
GOLD COAST CHAMBERS OF COMMERCE TO AMALGAMATE
HALF of the Gold Coast’s business community could be represented by a single body if three chambers of commerce succeed in a proposed merger. Since the Central Gold Coast, Surfers Paradise-Broadbeach and Nerang chambers of commerce first held talks two months ago, the plan has made rapid progress with chamber members expected to vote in the New Year. Central Gold Coast Chamber of Commerce...
EDITOR PICKS UP WRITING AWARD
GOLD Coast Business News editor Jason Oxenbridge (pictured) has won an award in the best business and finance writing category at the 2011 Gold Coast Media Club awards – the MACCAS. Oxenbridge, who was up against Gold Coast Bulletin business editor Nick Nichols and Rebecca Masters from the Daily News, was recognised for his story on billionaire apartment developer Harry Triguboff. Titled ...
WHO IS THE 2011 GOLD COAST YOUNG ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR?
WINNERS of the 2011 Gold Coast Young Entrepreneur of the Year, Highly Commended and Trailblazer awards will be announced today at RACV Royal Pines Resort. Boasting collective annual revenues of more than $136 million and employing 654 staff, the 2011 Gold Coast Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award finalists are ambitious, resilient and creative candidates who do not rest on their laur...
CUP DAY CASH RATE WIN
THE Reserve Bank of Australia’s (RBA) decision to today lower the base interest rate by 0.25 per cent to 4.5 per cent is expected to bring long overdue reprieve for businesses. The Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ) welcomed the move, saying September quarter data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows inflation contained at 2.3 per cent. REIQ chairman Pamela Bennett sugge...
COPPERMOLY RAISE VIA ISSUE
BUNDALL-headquartered junior explorer Coppermoly has raised $523,000 from a private placement of 10.46 million shares at $0.05 cents per unit to ‘sophisticated investors’. Proceeds will be used to fund a minimum expenditure commitment for the Esk Trough Farm-In. Managing director Peter Swiridiuk (pictured) is optimistic about the survey results. “The Esk Trough Project has adv...
GOLD COAST OFFICE VACANCY FINALLY FALLS
THE Gold Coast strata office vacancy has eased to 19 per cent – the lowest level in two years and well below its peak of 25 per cent. While the news is positive, it will take some years before the market returns to equilibrium according to a report released today by CB Richard Ellis (CBRE). CBRE researcher Craig Godber says it will be a slow recovery with tenant enquiries dominated by sma...
NEW ALLCONNEX WATER CEO APPOINTED
ALLCONNEX Water has appointed Andrew Foley (pictured) as its CEO following the resignation of Kim Wood from his $447,277 a year post. The former general manager of strategy and development at the controversial water reseller, Foley will commence chief executive duties on November 11. According to a company issued press release, he will be ‘working closely with our three participating coun...
TOP TOURISM GONGS FOR GOLD COAST
THE ‘glitter strip’ has proven itself as a tourism powerhouse, taking out four top awards, 14 finalist places and one hall of fame entry in the 2011 Queensland Tourism Awards at Brisbane Convention Centre. Queensland Premier Anna Bligh says the annual awards recognise the resilience of local tourism operators. "In true Queensland style, they have dug deep and continued to deliver our...
MORE PRODUCTION FOR DEVELOPERS IN 2012
THE Bligh Government’s $10,000 Building Boost had little to no effect, but developers expect three times more demand for production than current levels. Figures from the latest Prodap Report show most respondents, from more than 150 active land and housing developers operating within the Coast’s local government area, expect to complete more than 100 lots in the next 12 months. Mast...
BUSINESS OUTLOOK BRIGHT IN SUNSHINE STATE
ACTING Premier Andrew Fraser has praised figures from the latest National Australia Bank (NAB) Business survey, showing Queensland enterprises bucked a national trend by recording improved business conditions. Although all other states deteriorated last month, Fraser says Queensland’s private sector recorded the second highest level of business confidence. "The NAB also noted a sharp picku...
SMES BATTLE ON
SUNCORP Bank’s latest research shows more than two thirds of Gold Coast small to medium enterprises (SMEs) found 2011 harder to operate in than at the height of the global financial crisis. The Doing Business in Queensland survey of more than 500 SMEs on the Gold and Sunshine coasts also shows business decision-makers believe the new year promises better trading conditions. Suncorp Queens...
FRASER: STOP ‘UNDERSELLING’ STATE AS MINING ECONOMY
ACTING Premier Andrew Fraser (pictured) has warned the business community against describing Queensland as a ‘mining economy’. Speaking at an Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce Young Business Forum last night, Fraser claims that sticking with the concept risks ‘greatly underselling the state’. “We shouldn’t say we are a mining economy, because it’s a ...
CSI SURFERS PARADISE – A TOURISM COUP
IN a major tourism coup for the Gold Coast, Surfers Paradise will host the multi-million dollar CSI: The Experience exhibition. Sprawled across 1110 square metres at the Piazza Surfers Paradise, the showcase will become the largest of its kind in Australia and attract up to 150,000 visitors between December 2 and February 28. Up to 100 tradespeople will be hired during construction and a furthe...
CHAMBER ‘NEVER DOUBTED’ ACCUSED BANK-ROBBER
THE Mudgeeraba Chamber of Commerce (MCC) has welcomed a Southport District Court decision to acquit its newly elected president of stealing cash from the Bank of Queensland. MCC vice-president Terry Hobson (pictured) says the chamber never doubted John Forrester, who was unanimously voted in as president during August and acquitted of charges this week. “He has served as my vice-president...
2011 GOLD COAST YOUNG ENTREPRENEUR REVEALED
A Tourism marketer who set up his RewardsCorp business with $50,000 in savings has today been named 2011 Gold Coast Young Entrepreneur of the Year. Randall Deer (pictured), has been a quiet achiever since starting up his international marketing company in 2005 – but his business is making plenty of noise with annual revenues of more than $40 million. Employing 90 staff at his Broadbeach-b...
DREAMWORLD AND DREAMWORKS FORM ALLIANCE
ARDENT Leisure-owned theme park Dreamworld has entered into a strategic alliance with NASDAQ-listed entertainment company DreamWorks Animation. The agreement involves creating new year-round attractions featuring characters from animated DreamWorks films including Shrek, Puss in Boots, Kung Fu Panda, Madagascar and more. Dreamworld CEO Todd Coates describes the deal as a major coup for the amus...
GAMES BID VICTORY BOOSTS PROJECTS
THE Gold Coast’s winning bid at the weekend to host the 2018 Commonwealth Games will deliver a much needed boost to major infrastructure projects. Queensland Premier Anna Bligh says more than $500 million will be invested in sport and transport infrastructure. "We will see new sporting facilities, improved transport and a new Health and Knowledge Precinct adjacent to the $1.76 billion Gold...
GOLD COAST MANAGERS RECOGNISED WITH TOP GONGS
THREE Gold Coast business leaders have received recognition at the 2011 Management Excellence Awards. At an Australian Institute of Management gala dinner, Technigro CEO Nick Bloor (pictured) was named Owner Manager of the Year, G8 Education general manager operations Jae Fraser claimed Young Manager of the Year and A. B. Paterson College principal Dawn Lang was awarded Not-for-profit Manager o...
GOLD COAST AND CAIRNS LEAD PROPERTY RECOVERY
QUEENSLAND’S real estate industry body has found the Gold Coast and Cairns are leading the property market recovery. The latest figures from the Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ) show the Gold Coast and Cairns posted positive median house-price growth in the September quarter. The REIQ September quarter report reveals ‘glitter strip’ median house-prices rose 2.2 per c...
COMMERCIAL LEASING TO IMPROVE IN 2012
2012 will see a slight recovery in the Gold Coast’s sluggish commercial property sector, according to Ray White Commercial. Gold Coast team leader Glenn Cream, expects further take up in office vacancies and is buoyed by the fact that 2011 has seen leasing deals rise around 10 per cent compared to 2010. Cream attributes the turnaround to improved sentiment following two successive interes...
STATE RECONSTRUCTION HITS $3BN MARK
QUEENSLAND Premier Anna Bligh (pictured) has praised the climbing value of Southern Queensland’s reconstruction program. Bligh claims the value of reconstruction projects in the region have surpassed $914 million, with $164.8 million in works completed, $556.5 underway or out to tender and $192.9 million in the pipeline. "These dollars mean jobs for southern Queensland – the reconstr...
JEWEL CONSTRUCTION TO CREATE 2260 JOBS
CONSTRUCTION of RDG’s new six-star Surfers Paradise luxury hotel will begin in 2013 if the Chinese-backed developer secures approval from Gold Coast City Council (GCCC) next week. GCCC’s city planning committee has given its vote of confidence, with Mayor Ron Clarke and 12 other councillors unanimously supporting the proposed $950 million Jewel hotel and resort. It will be deve...
CROMWELL ACQUIRES LEIGHTON PROJECTS FOR $279M
PROPERTY fund manager Cromwell Group has splashed $279 million on two properties owned by Leighton. The Group acquired the HQ North Tower (pictured) in Fortitude Valley and office towers in Ipswich from Leighton Properties in the record-breaking deals. Cromwell CEO Paul Weightman was in board meetings and could not be contacted for comment this afternoon. However CB Richard Ellis Queensland sen...
FORMER QANTAS BOSS ON JOYCE, TOURISM AND GOLD COAST
HE may have flown Virgin business class to get here, but Tourism Australia chairman and former Qantas boss Geoff Dixon (pictured) was always going to be peppered regarding the debacle that threatened the iconic brand of his former employer. “The last time I was here, I was absolutely lambasted for taking Qantas business class out of the Gold Coast and I would just like to say I flew up he...
MINING GREEN-LIGHT FOR CUDECO
ASX-LISTED Gold Coast copper mining company CuDeco (ASX:CDU) has secured regulatory approval for exploration in northwest Queensland. The Bligh Government has approved mining leases for CuDeco’s Rocklands project near Cloncurry, with work expected to begin in 2013. “The Minister for Mines, the Honourable Stirling Hinchliffe MP, has approved the grant of mining leases 90177 and 90188...
HARNESSING ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT
ARE entrepreneurs born or made? According to Bond University’s assistant professor of Entrepreneurship, Baden U’Ren (pictured), a little education goes a long way towards tipping the scales in favour of success, particularly in the post-GFC economy. Every one of the 2011 Gold Coast Young Entrepreneur of the Year finalists must be congratulated for their outstanding achievements. The...
2011 GOLD COAST YOUNG ENTREPRENEURS REVEALED

CHINA TOURISM PUSH LANDS 300 DELEGATES
THE maiden arrival of a China Southern Airlines charter flight today (pictured) at Gold Coast Airport signals a renewed vigour in the push for the lucrative Asian market. The Airport partnered with Gold Coast Tourism to welcome 300 travel and industry delegates, who were greeted with a celebration including Currumbin Sanctuary koalas, Aboriginal dancers and local surf lifesavers. Delegates wil...
YOUNG ENTREPRENEUR WINNER
Broadbeach-headquartered international marketing company RewardsCorp has opened shop in South Africa with plans to expand to the US. Randall Deer (pictured) is a quiet achiever making plenty of noise. He used $50,000 in savings to initially build a corporate empire which has offices in Broadbeach, Sydney, New Zealand and, more recently, South Africa. “We have launched a joint venture on S...
HIGHLY COMMENDED YOUNG ENTREPRENEUR
HAVING a proactive approach to construction work has been a profitable trait for commercial painters UHK, with 35 per cent growth in FY11. The past 12 months have flown by for UHK director Theodore Vairaktaris (pictured), who describes it as one of consolidation and growth in his company’s share of tier-one projects. “Our ethic of project transparency has been the key to our success...
YOUNG ENTREPRENEUR TRAILBLAZER
A Nerang-based organic skin products producer is exporting to 65 countries and launching a new range. Organic and Natural Enterprise Group (ONEgroup) creative director Narelle Chenery (pictured) is thrilled to know products she once made in her kitchen are being used around the world. “About 90 per cent of products we export go to New Zealand, Singapore, Japan and Canada,” says Chen...
SMARTPRINT TO DUPLICATE GROWTH IN 2012
DELIVERING greater cost savings and fostering better customer loyalty has paid off for Smartprint, which recorded one of its biggest turnovers in FY2011. Managed print services group founder Jason Ganis (pictured) is passionate about two things - saving money and the environment. Solid ink is becoming increasingly popular as not only a more carbon neutral printing technology but also a healthie...
BUILDING PARTNERSHIPS WITH COMPETITORS
RAPIDLY growing Helensvale real estate company Finesse Property is building partnerships with competitors to provide a positive approach to customer service. Founder Shane Evans (pictured) has held talks with other real estate agencies on expanding Finesse Property through partnerships. He is looking for at least three agents who can work from Ormeau, Pacific Pines, Brisbane or even remotely fr...
DRIVING A HARDER BARGAIN TO SEAL THE DEAL
PALLADIO Homes has secured 27 per cent revenue growth by driving a harder bargain with suppliers and offering free extras to entice home buyers. Managing director Brad Fullin (pictured) helped his company ride out the worst of the property downturn by resorting to a Demtel-style pitch – ‘but wait there’s more’. “We have done free give-away promotions, includin...
TAKING GARDEN HUTS TO GREENER PASTURES
THE Tropical Lifestyle superstore has emerged from last summer’s storms with an aggressive marketing campaign to take the garden structure maker to greener pastures. Manager Matt Buchel (pictured) has adopted a ‘Burke’s Backyard’ approach to luring customers who want long-lasting gazebos and Balinese style huts. The company has set up Tropical Lifestyle TV, an internet t...
KEEPING SALES LOCAL INSTEAD OF OVERSEAS
A Burleigh Heads-based online beauty and kitchenware retail business is encouraging shoppers to buy local instead of choosing cheaper overseas products. Ry.com.au founders Bradley Carr and James Patten (pictured) believe shopping on the internet should not be an inferior customer experience to a bricks and mortar store. So the company has set up a 1300 customer service line and live chat servic...
EXPANDING TO SINGAPORE AND NEW ZEALAND
AN Ashmore-headquartered international shopfitting company plans to expand operations to Singapore and New Zealand. Retail One Shopfitting has confirmed it is in talks with the Singapore Government on opening an office in the Lion City. Managing director Mark Teis (pictured) says the move comes from client demand for a local presence and as part of a broader strategy to enter the Asian market. ...
TAPPING INTO NATIONAL BROADBAND NETWORK
A Burleigh Heads national electrical contractor is looking to secure work on the National Broadband Network (NBN). After recording a 53 per cent jump in fiscal 2011 revenue to $4.5 million, Matt Electric is aiming to capitalise on the NBN roll-out. Owner and CEO Matt Hanley (pictured) compares the project scale to that of the post-World War II National Rail Network. “The NBN has a similar...
RESILIENT BATTLE TO STAY OPEN ON HOLIDAYS
A Main Beach restaurant and bar is refusing to close on public holidays, despite penalty rates putting pressure on the bottom line. Glass Dining and Lounge Bar owners Shanan Harmelin (pictured) and Patrick Gennari are fighting to keep their doors open on public holidays. “I work harder, get my son and husband in and use all our free labour,” says Harmelin. “Public holidays are...
WEALTHFARM ACQUIRES HOPE ISLAND ACCOUNTANCY
WEALTHFARM Group has acquired a Hope Island accounting practice to capture a bigger slice of the Coast’s northern corridor market. Founder Nicholas Sinclair (pictured) acquired Brooks David S Chartered Accountant for $350,000 earlier this year and has added further scope to his business. “This small boutique business, which a broker introduced us to, had a similar approach to client...
BLOOMTOOLS EXPANDS TO NSW'S CENTRAL COAST
IN the last 2011 financial year, Bloomtools increased turnover from $1.7 million to $2.6 million and staff numbers from 22 to 33. The web marketing company has also expanded with the opening of a seventh franchise on the Central Coast (New South Wales) suburb of Terrigal. The company earlier launched a franchise in Mornington Peninsula, Victoria, and there’s more to come as confidence imp...
TEAMING UP WITH CHARITY TO CHALLENGE
AN international corporate events company first established in Sanctuary Cove is aiming to recruit more staff and co-operate with charities on a future line-up of challenging events. Corporate Challenge director Travis Ireland (pictured) claims he is busier than ever because more employers realise that improving staff morale through corporate events can also boost performance. “We gr...
FLOURISHING IRRIGATION WORK IN THE PIPELINE
AN irrigation systems company based in Nerang is launching a new website and training booklet to promote its offering and improve chances of securing project work in the construction industry. Forecasting 10 per cent growth in 2012, SS Irrigation director Scott Smythe (pictured) has confirmed plans to launch its new-look website before Christmas to increase contract prospects. The company is bi...
PEDAL TO THE METAL FOR PWR
A YATALA headquartered auto part manufacturer has accelerated above other nominees to take out the 2012 Gold Coast Business of the Year at the Business Excellence Awards. Custom building radiators and oil coolers from its Gold Coast workshop, PWR Performance Products has created a brand synonymous with the most successful motorsport teams in the world. The majority of Australian V8 Supercars, s...
CLIPPER'S $9M WINDFALL FOR COAST
THE Gold Coast’s ailing marine sector will get an estimated $9 million boost as the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race fleet docks for repairs. Marine tradesmen will refit and repair the fleet following damage and wear caused during 28,968km of sailing, including the harrowing Southern Ocean leg. Race organisers scheduled the Gold Coast stopover as a midway point in the 11-month...
EMPLOYERS WARNED: RUN CHECKS OR RISK CRIMINALS
QUEENSLAND companies are leaving themselves open to fraud risk by not performing criminal history checks on their prospective employees, according to a leading recruiter. In light of the weekend’s revelations of a Queensland Health employee allegedly defrauding the State Government of $16 million, it has been revealed that only a fraction of employers conduct police background checks as p...
CLIPPER TACKS TOWARD $9M WINDFALL FOR COAST
THE Gold Coast’s ailing marine sector will receive an estimated $9 million boost as the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race fleet docks here for repairs. Marine tradesmen will refit and repair the fleet following damage and wear caused during 28,968km of sailing, including the harrowing Southern Ocean leg. Race organisers scheduled the Gold Coast stopover as a midway point in the 11-m...
FORMER ANSETT MAN JOINS ALLCONNEX
THE soon to be disbanded Allconnex Water has appointed former Ansett executive Mark Williamson (pictured) as its new chairman. Williamson brings more than 25 years experience in non-executive director positions on a range of boards, including public sector utilities. He has held senior roles in sales, marketing and general management across sectors including energy, IT, airlines and telcos. Pre...
ZARRAFFA'S REACHES 50 STORE MILESTONE
FRANCHISE powerhouse Zarraffa’s Coffee has opened its 51st store with its latest opening at Maroochydore on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast. The Gold Coast company, which has annual revenues of around $50 million, celebrates an historical week after also gaining kudos for 10 years in franchising. Founder and CEO Kenton Campbell says the milestones were always part of the grand plan. ...
PROPERTY GROWTH TO STALL DESPITE RATE CUTS
RP Data research analyst Cameron Kusher is not confident that two 25 basis point cuts to interest rates will provide enough stimulus to result in any significant turnaround in property value growth. “We suspect that consumers will remain cautious and continue to pay down their debt,” he says. “Given this, if the cut is passed on it would likely provide welcome relief to home o...
ALLEGED FRAUDSTER FOUND
QUEENSLAND Police have detained a 36-year-old man wanted for questioning over $16 million missing from the State Government's health department. Folllowing an exhaustive weekend manhunt, police this morning apprehended Hohepa Morehu-Barlow (36), known locally as Joel, who was employed as manager of the Finance Division of the Community Services Branch at Queensland Health. An Independent forensi...
SMALL BUSINESS MINISTER STEPS DOWN
FEDERAL Minister for small business Nick Sherry (pictured) today announced his retirement from the Ministry effective as of tomorrow (Dec 13). After 21 years in the senate, the 56-year-old will not contest pre-selection in 2013 but will continue in his position as Senator for Tasmania. Sherry, who is also Minister assisting on Deregulation and Public Sector Superannuation and Minister assisting...
HEALTH CONFERENCE TO INJECT COAST ECONOMY
THE Gold Coast has been selected to host 1500 international medical delegates at the 13th Congress of the World Federation of Interventional and Therapeutic Neuroradiology (WFITN). While the conference is expected to drive more than $2.5 million into the local economy, the spending and its effects won’t be delivered until the event’s scheduled date in 2015. The Gold Coast beat other...
OI COSMETIC STUDIO EXPANDS TO PARADISE POINT
BEAUTY services company Oi Cosmetic Studio has expanded its Helensvale operations to include Paradise Point. It now plans to open shop in Coolangatta and other locations. Founder Trudi McConnell (pictured left) gave her full support when one of her employees decided to start up her own Oi Cosmetic Studio in Paradise Point. “She was a business coach and found an existing business for sale....
DEPARTMENT AND FASHION STORES THE BIGGEST LOSERS IN XMAS TRADE
DEPARTMENT stores and fashion retailers have been named the biggest losers for the Christmas trading period, according to retail trade figures released today. Australian Bureau of Statistics retail trade data for November 2011 shows shoppers responded to the Reserve Bank of Australia’s December decision to lower the base interest rate to 4.25 per cent by buying recreational goods, hardwar...
‘WHERE ELSE BUT QUEENSLAND’ TOPS DESTINATIONS RANKING
THE Sunshine State has outshined other states on the annual Wotif.com top destinations list. Based on more than 250,000 monthly bookings received by the online travel and accommodation booking company, the study shows Queensland was the most represented state during 2011 with eight cities in the top 20. The travel hotspots in question include the Gold Coast, Brisbane, Cairns, Townsville, Port D...
GOLD COAST HAS TWO YEAR APARTMENT OVERSUPPLY
A PROMINENT property commentator believes the Gold Coast has enough apartment supply to last at least two years and says it will be unsustainable for new product to come on line in the next 12 months. Midwood Report author Bill Morris calculated that new high rise apartment sales hit a two-year high in the quarter to November last year with 73 sold - due mainly to mortgagee sales in Nirvana at ...
TURF CLUB OUT OF THE BLOCKS WITH $35.4M
GOLD Coast Turf Club (GCTC) and Racing Queensland Limited (RQL) have buried the hatchet and finally committed to a $35.4 million to redevelop the Bundall Racecourse on the eve of the BMW Magic Millions carnival. GCTC chairman Brett Cook commending State Government on its commitment. “The Queensland Government’s funding grant will mean Bundall’s racing, members and training fac...
BUDGET SURPLUS TO ARRIVE ONE YEAR EARLY
THE State Budget is expected to return to surplus ahead of schedule, according to the Queensland Mid Year Fiscal and Economic Review released today. Queensland Treasury has forecast a $60 million surplus for 2014-15, one year sooner than originally anticipated. State Deputy Premier Andrew Fraser praised the result in light of recent natural disasters and continued fall-out from the European cri...
EXTENDED BUILDING BOOST A PLUS SAYS INDUSTRY
THE decision today by the Queensland Government to extend its Building Boost by three months will give it a chance to meet its objective of kick-starting the state’s ailing building industry, says the Housing Institute of Australia (HIA). While only 3206 applications were made across the state, with 225 of those on the Gold Coast, steadily increasing housing approval figures and the proba...
SARROFF LAUNCHES CRIME FIGHTING CAMPAIGN
GOLD Coast City Councillor Eddy Sarroff (pictured) will run for mayor and will do it on a platform of crime fighting and cost cutting after today launching his campaign in front of the Coomera Police Station. The Gold Coast City Councillor, who will run a self-funded campaign, says cleaning up the city’s image will restore confidence in its key industries of tourism and construction. Firs...
JIM’S MOWING SEEKS PUBLIC LISTING
AUSTRALIA’S most recognised franchise company is seeking to raise up to $10 million via an IPO and a public listing on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) before the end of the year. In a Gold Coast Business News exclusive, owner Jim Penman confirmed that 2012 would be the year to float Australia’s second largest franchising system Jim’s Group – owner of Jim’s...
IP LAWYER GOING NUCKING FUTS
A GOLD Coast lawyer has successfully argued Australians don’t find the ‘f-word’ offensive as he fought to allow the Nuckin Futs brand to be trademarked. The brand was initially rejected by the Trade Marks Examiner in February last year on the grounds it was an offensive and scandalous wordplay, or spoonerism. However Pod Legal director Jamie White (pictured) disagreed and wrot...
SHADOW TREASURER PROMISES TO CUT COST OF LIVING
REDUCING the cost of living holds the key to returning confidence to the Gold Coast economy, says deputy leader of LNP Tim Nicholls (pictured). Speaking to Gold Coast Business News today at Southport’s Courthouse Hotel, Nicholls outlined his party’s plan to cut down on fees and charges for both families and business to restore confidence to the state’s economy. An audience of ...
QUEENSLAND’S ECONOMIC BUOYANCE BEATS NATIONAL OUTLOOK
THE Bligh Government today praised findings of a new study showing economic confidence in Queensland beat the national outlook. The Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland's (CCIQ) survey of business conditions indicates the state’s fiscal certainty jumped five percentage points in the December quarter to 50.9 per cent, ahead of the national rate of 48.6 per cent. General business cond...
SMES MOST VULNERABLE TO REFORMS
A QUEENSLAND commercial litigation specialist today warned small to medium enterprises (SME) are most likely to lose control of personal property if another party registers it first under the Federal Government’s new personal property securities regime. The Personal Property Securities Register (PPSR) replaces the former Australian Securities and Investments Commission’s Register of...
DAVID POWER OPTS FOR SIMPLE LIFE
DAVID Power (pictured) says he will return to living the ‘simple life’ after having his Gold Coast mayoral campaign derailed by details of alleged sex romps with different women. Power has been labeled a ‘love rat’ after water activist Kirsty Strowger accused him of deceitfully maintaining intimate relationships with three women simultaneously. The businessman and former...
CLIVE PALMER TO SUE QR NATIONAL FOR $8BN
MINING mogul Clive Palmer’s (pictured) coal mining company today flagged plans to sue ASX-listed QR National (ASX:QRN) for $8 billion in alleged damages. China First in-house counsel Baljeet Singh has formally notified QR company secretary Dominic Smith that her employer will file a damages claim at the Queensland Supreme Court. The exploration business accuses QR of breaching confidentia...
GOLD COAST AIRPORT EXTENDS MARATHON SPONSORSHIP
THE city’s annual marathon received an energy boost after Gold Coast Airport today extended naming rights sponsorship by another three years. The deal means the airport, which first began sponsoring in 2003, will continue with the Gold Coast Airport Marathon from 2012 to 2014 inclusive. Gold Coast Airport managing director Dennis Chant (pictured left with Kerry Watson) describes the pact ...
SURFERS COMMERCIAL EXODUS AS BROADBEACH SOUGHT
BUSINESSES moved out of Surfers Paradise in droves last year in favour of the ‘more boutique’ Broadbeach, according to the latest PCA Office Market Report. To put it in perspective, 4000 sqm was taken up in Broadbeach, exactly the same amount by which vacancy increased in Surfers. CB Richard Ellis office services senior director Tania Moore says the movement between the suburbs has ...
TELSTRA BUSINESS SURVEY BRIEF
TAX write offs available to small and medium businesses (SMBs) are not being utilised, with many operators unaware they exist. The third annual Telstra-COSBOA Back to Business Study found just 24 per cent of SMB owners knew of the instant write-off for the first $5000 outlay on any capital asset from July, announced by the Federal Government last year. The tax break was among measures for SMBs ...
WITNESS THE CROWNING OF SURF WORLD CHAMPIONS
THE world’s best surfers will trade in their board shorts and bikinis for suits and dresses at the 2012 ASP World Surfing Awards. On February 23 surfing stars will cheer on their newly crowned world champions, runners-up and rookies of the year at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre. This black-tie spectacular is offering new award categories, beefed up production and tickets ...
SINGAPORE SLING
UP to 166,000 international visitors a year are forecast to fly to the Gold Coast with news that Singapore Airlines offshoot Scoot will begin its five-day-a-week service between the Gold Coast and Singapore on June 12. The new airline has potential to usher in $65 million annually to the region’s economy and open up yet another international gateway to the city. Launching the services tod...
RBA UNDER FIRE FOR NOT LOWERING INTEREST RATES
BUSINESS groups have criticised the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) for not lowering interest rates at today’s monthly board meeting. The Australian Retailers Association claims retailers are reeling after the RBA Board’s decision to leave the cash rate unchanged at 4.25 per cent. Executive director Russell Zimmerman warns it is a ‘shocking blow’ for businesses that are ...
RESILIENT GOLD COAST TO WEATHER GFC2 STORM
THE international banking authority has warned of a second, possibly deeper, global financial crisis (GFC2) looming on the horizon. However, BT Financial Group chief economist Chris Caton (pictured) believes the outlook is not all bad for the Gold Coast. The World Bank has downgraded its 2012 global growth forecast from 3.6 to 2.5 per cent with wealthier countries only expected to grow 1.4 per ...
PROFIT SLIDE FOR VILLA WORLD GROUP
VILLA World Group (ASX:VLW) has recorded a half-yearly net profit after tax of $6.4 million, a drop of $3.9 million on the corresponding period last year. The drop in net profit comes despite the Gold Coast company’s increase in operating profit, plus a huge boost in development and constructing revenue. Operating profit was $6.2 million compared to $4.5 million the prior corresponding pe...
RICH RIDE FOR INDUSTRY ON SURF CITY STATUS
SURFING is synonymous with the Gold Coast but the $3.3 billion industry has only recently begun to mature and develop a voice. Just two months after the Gold Coast Surf Industry Task Force (GCSITF) was formed, the fledgling organisation has played a key role in securing the World Surf Cities Conference for the region in 2013. It will be the second World Surf Cities conference after San Sebastia...
LINC SECURES CHINESE BACKING FOR GAS VENTURE
QUEENSLAND-based Linc Energy (LNC) has partnered with a Hong Kong-based suitor and secured a new pact to commercialise underground coal gasification (UCG) to gas to liquids (GTL) in mainland China. ASX-listed Linc Energy’s joint venture with the Golden Concord-owned GCL Projects will oversee site selection and construction of four UCG gasifiers in China with potential to expand to six. Wo...
SHAPE UP ASIAN COMPETITIVENESS OR SLIP OUT
BUSINESSES face losing Asian market opportunities unless they make the most of their geographic and corporate advantages, according to the nation’s peak commercial body. The Business Council of Australia’s (BCA) submission on the Federal Government’s Asian Century white paper blames weak productivity growth for eroding competitiveness and leading Asian economies to find alter...
GAMES BOSS CONFIDENT THAT CITY WILL PROSPER
MUCH has been written about the economic impact the 2018 Commonwealth Games will have on the Gold Coast, but there has also been conjecture over budgets, infrastructure costs and jobs creation. Commonwealth Games chair Mark Stockwell (pictured) sets the record straight. A report (Midwood) recently estimated the Games will cost in the vicinity of $3 billion. Do you agree with that figure? There ...
BILLABONG TAKEOVER BID RUMOURS SWELL
A TRADING halt has been called on Billabong (ASX:BBG) shares amid swirling rumours of a $766 million takeover bid by US private equity giant TPG, but the company is staying hush on the offer. The halt came pending the release of half-yearly results by the Gold Coast-based company and announcement of its strategic capital review. Billabong CEO Derek O’Neill would not comment on the offer p...
BUTTERFLIES FOR ARDENT IN DREAMWORLD PROFIT DROP
ARDENT Leisure’s (ASX:AAD) theme park division went backwards in the first half of the 2011-12 FY, recording an 8.5 per cent decline in revenue on the previous period. Dreamworld is the flagship of the division, which also includes the recently-launched SkyPoint Climb atop the Q1 residential tower in Surfers Paradise. Of the group’s four divisions, theme parks recorded the only redu...
BILLABONG TO SLASH JOBS AND CLOSE STORES
BILLABONG International will close up to 150 stores and shed hundreds of jobs in a capital restructure plan following a 70 per cent free-fall in half year profit. The Gold Coast-based company reported a net profit after tax of $16.1 million ending December 2011 – down from $57.2 million on the corresponding period. It follows a tumultuous decline in value for the surf hardware giant where...
MEDICAL TOURISM A SHOT IN THE ARM FOR INDUSTRY
EXPORTING the Gold Coast’s medical expertise could prove a valuable niche for the city’s ailing tourism industry. MEDICAL tourism is estimated to be worth more than $40 billion globally, but it is a market that is relatively untapped by the Australian medical and tourism industries. The Gold Coast Medical Tourism Association (GCMTA) was formed just six months ago and it has already ...
AUSTRALIAN ECONOMY ROBUST BUT NOT IMMUNE
WHAT affect will Europe’s debt crisis have on business in Australia in the next year? There is no doubt that the difficulties in Europe will continue to impact on Australian businesses. Not only will we face continuation of the slowdown and poor growth prospects in Europe impacting directly on our trade sector, but the volatility in European financial markets will spill-over into the Aust...
CEOS GLOOMY ON GLOBAL ECONOMY, BACK THEMSELVES
OF the 1258 CEOs polled worldwide in PwC’s 15th Annual Global CEO Survey, 48 per cent believe the global economy will decline further in the next 12 months, while just 15 per cent believe it will improve during 2012. However, almost three times as many CEOs are confident in their own companies’ growth prospects for the next 12 months than in the outlook for the global economy, sugge...
HOPE ISLAND MARINA BERTH SALES SET SAIL
MARINA berth sales at Consolidated Properties Hope Island Marina have netted $2.5 million in the last four months. Following a campaign to market the freehold berths 16 weeks ago, 69 have been made available with 17 sold – equating to around one sale per week. Project partner Lachlan Grantley says the smallest and largest sites have now sold out. “It has been a really pleasing resul...
GOING 'NUCKIN FUTS' OVER TRADE NAME
JAMIE White (pictured) says he doesn’t use the f-word often, if at all, but nevertheless spent almost a year on a successful fight to allow a nut company to trademark a spoonerism featuring the word. The Gold Coast solicitor and director of Pod Legal successfully argued that his client should be able to register the brand Nuckin Futs. White applied on behalf of the Gold Coast company whic...
DR PHIL'S MONEY EXPERT SAYS STOP BLAME GAME
US chat show host Dr Phil’s money expert and ‘millionaire maker’ Loral Langemeier thinks entrepreneurs should stop whining about tough economic conditions and start exploring better prospects. What are common mistakes made by new entrepreneurs? I saw people making $500,000 drop to $250,000 and less and less. They thought they needed to work harder, but were doing the wrong thi...
QUEENSLAND A TARGET FOR OFFSHORE HACKING
IT experts warn Queensland businesses risk becoming ‘soft targets’ for malicious hackers if they fail to meet international data security standards. Security-Assessment.com security consultant Roger Greyling says overseas hackers struggling to break through stringent security measures in the UK and US may consider Australasian companies as ‘soft targets’. “We saw w...
RECHARGE AND RELAX AT COFFS HARBOUR
FAMILY road trips don’t have to end up like Chevy Chase’s National Lampoon’s Vacation, where the parents and kids are caught up in a mobile, metal encased circus juggling a comedy of errors. About four hours drive south of the Gold Coast is the popular tourist hamlet of Coffs Harbour. Just few minutes before Coffs and directly opposite the iconic Big Banana tourist attraction,...
CORPORATE EVENTS POWER INTO 2012
THE city’s business events sector is booming. In 2010-11 it hosted 103 more meetings than the previous financial year – a 9 per cent increase. Tourism brings $4 billion to the Gold Coast’s economy each year, with $3.1 billion coming from the leisure sector, while $350 million was contributed by business expenditure in 2011. Gold Coast Tourism chief executive officer Martin Win...
BILLABONG TAKEOVER BID OFFICIAL
BILLABONG International shares are inching toward the $3 mark – the price formally offered by US private equity firm TPG Capital. While speculation regarding the takeover bid recently caused frenzy, negotiations were halted by the company’s decision to sell-off a portion of its top-performing US watch brand Nixon to pay down debt. However, the Billabong board confirmed the deal was ...
PROFIT UP FOR VILLAGE ROADSHOW DESPITE LOWER VISITOR NUMBERS
ENTERTAINMENT company Village Roadshow Limited (ASX:VRL) has reported net profit after tax (NPAT) of $28.3 million for the six months to December 31, 2011. The result represents a 52 per cent increase on the previous corresponding period with earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) from operations up 9 per cent to $79.4 million. Combined EBITDA from Sea World, Movi...
SUNLAND HIT BY SLOW SALES
SUNLAND Group Limited (ASX:SDG) has been bogged down by a sluggish property sector with half year net profit dropping 97.6 per cent to $185,000. It compares to  $7.8 million on the corresponding period, while revenue from settlements over the six months to December 2011 was just $59.4 million, after 263 settlements. The result follows slow sales in 2010 and new developer stock yet to ...
OH BROTHER
DREAMWORLD will look to the return of reality television show Big Brother to help its flagging profits in FY12. The theme park was home to the show’s set during its initial run on Australian television for eight seasons between 2001 and 2008. Dreamworld chief executive Todd Coates (pictured), says there is excitement surrounding Big Brother’s return. Dreamworld’s owner Ardent ...
GAMBLE PAYS OFF FOR ECHO ENTERTAINMENT
SOFT consumer activity has not discouraged Echo Entertainment Group (ASX:EGP) from its ambitious plan to invest $625 million in developing its Queensland casinos, posting a net profit of $70.2 million. It includes a $20 million revamp of the existing theatre at Jupiter's Hotel and Casino (pictured) on the Gold Coast. Chairman John Story confirmed that the investment would be supported by ga...
PROFITS NOW CHILD’S PLAY FOR G8
G8 Education Limited (ASX:GEM) has more than doubled its net profit for the full year ending December 31 as it pushes ahead to become Australia’s largest childcare services provider. The company’s underlying net profit after tax was up 207 per cent to $13.91 million from $4.52 million the previous year, while revenue grew 115 per cent to $142.90 million from $66.55 million. Earnings...
BILLABONG REJECTS TPG TAKEOVER
BILLABONG International today rejected a $3 per share take-over offer from US private equity giant TPG. Gold Coast Business News understands the final decision rested with Billabong founder and majority shareholder Gordon Merchant. It follows confirmation of a revised non-binding proposal today by TPG to acquire all shares in the company. The revised proposal was at the same price of $3 cash pe...
PIZZA CAPERS ACQUIRED FOR $30M
GOLD Coast based brandchisor Retail Food Group (ASX:RFG) has acquired the gourmet Pizza Capers franchise for $30 million. RFG announced that it had entered into a conditional agreement to acquire 110 outlets in the Pizza Capers chain. RFG chief executive Tony Alford, says it’s the perfect fit for RFG and that it could now position itself as a Quick Service Restaurants (QSR) player. ...
GOLD COAST UNITED GONE
WITH Just four games to go this season and heading for the wooden spoon, Gold Coast United hopes of fighting back on the field were dashed today after the side was booted out of the A-League. Owner Clive Palmer (pictured) says Football Federation Australia had revoked Gold Coast United's licence. “Our licence is being revoked by Frank Lowy and FFA cohorts .. I will issue detailed response ...
FORMER MARKETING EXECUTIVE CHARGED
THE former chief executive of marketing body Surfers Paradise Alliance (SPA) will face court on March 14 after she was charged by Gold Coast Police with 10 counts of stealing yesterday afternoon. Rowena Howe (pictured) left the organisation 12 months ago citing personal reasons, but during her three-year tenure it is alleged she siphoned up to $200,000 to a company with which she was conne...
PALMER CALLS ON GOVERNMENT INTERVENTION
CLIVE Palmer (pictured) has called on the Federal Government to investigate the administration of Football Federation Australia (FFA) following the decision to terminate Gold Coast United’s A-League licence. Palmer says the announcement by FFA chief Frank Lowy was ‘outrageous’ and he foreshadowed a legal challenge to the decision because Gold Coast United had not been accorded...
INDIAN MEDIA CONTINGENT HOSTED AT SOFITEL
SOFITEL Broadbeach is the first to achieve accreditation from its owner Accor Hotel Group for a new service initiative. Having attained Accor’s Chinese accreditation in November last year, the hotel now aims to better meet the expectations of Indian travellers too. Leading Queensland’s push for Indian tourists, staff will receive customer service training on how to better understand...
KIWI TRAVELLERS TARGETED IN $1M INITIATIVE
GOLD Coast Tourism (GCT) has launched a $1 million advertising campaign to keep the Kiwis coming back for more. It is the largest promotional campaign push from Gold Coast Tourism in New Zealand for over three years. GCT boss Martin Winter says New Zealand holiday makers are enthusiastic and a vitally important market that deserves to be ‘kept abreast of the many new and exciting things h...
SURFERS TRADERS ‘GUIDED’ THROUGH TRANSIT WORKS
GOLD Coast City Council and Surfers Paradise Alliance (SPA) today launched a new initiative to support businesses during construction of the $1 billion Gold Coast Rapid Transit project. The Wayfinders program will invite up to 100 volunteers to be crowned as ambassadors and assist businesses along with their customers. SPA chair Laura Younger says ambassadors will help reduce the economic...
MOXEY BACK AT RIVIERA AS JOBS SET SAIL
IT’S a sight all too familiar for re-appointed Riviera CEO Wes Moxey (pictured with Rodney Longhurst) as jobs were yesterday scuttled in a capital restructure under new owner Longhurst Marine Holdings. His return to the embattled luxury boat builder was bitter-sweet as the company was acquired in a leasehold deal by Rodney Longhurst, the son of Dreamworld developer John Longhurst. Formerl...
JOBSEEKERS MORE UPBEAT ABOUT FINDING WORK
QUEENSLANDERS are increasingly confident about their chances of landing a new job, but still want to preserve their regular work. The latest labour mobility index from recruitment group Randstad shows the national job market reversed its downward trend, rising two basis points to 102 in the March quarter compared to the previous period. It follows a sharp benchmark decline of 11 points in the p...
QUEENSLAND ECONOMY FORECAST TO BOOM BY 2014
THE next economic boom could be here as soon as 2014 according to one chief economist, recently addressing a business leaders’ luncheon in Brisbane. Some of Queensland’s top ASX company CEOs were in attendance as BIS Shrapnel economist Frank Gelber (pictured) predicted growth in ailing sectors including property and retail. “Two years from September we will be absolutely, bloo...
MASTER BUILDERS BLAME HOUSING SLUMP ON NATURAL DISASTERS
A DROP in the commencement of new dwellings in Queensland is due to natural disasters and not because the state’s economic recovery is faltering, says Queensland Master Builders Association’s Paul Bidwell (pictured). The latest Dwelling Unit Commencement figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS)  show in the six months to December, 13,276 dwellings were commenced -...
SARROFF TO STEP DOWN TO FOCUS ON MAYORAL JOB
MAYORAL hopeful Eddy Sarroff (pictured) will resign as Division 10 Councillor to focus on his run for the Gold Coast City Council’s top elected job. Main rival Tom Tate has ratcheted up his own campaign in recent weeks and Sarroff says he needs to focus full time on his own pitch in the lead up to the April 28 election. “Over recent weeks it has become apparent that the scurrilous p...
TOURISM BOSS CALLS FOR PREMIER TO RUN TOURISM PORTFOLIO
THE chief executive of Australia’s fastest growing online accommodation and flights booker believes the tourism portfolio in Queensland should be the personal responsibility of the Premier. Come Election Day on March 24, Wotif CEO Robbie Cooke (pictured) says the elected Premier should step up and take the portfolio more seriously if the Sunshine State’s one-time key economic driver...
NEW EDITOR APPOINTED AT BUSINESS NEWS
BUSINESS News Publications has appointed group editor Geoff Stead (pictured) to replace Jason Oxenbridge, who will leave the company on March 23. Stead will edit the company’s market-defining publications and websites, Brisbane Business News, Gold Coast Business News and Brisbane Legal, starting with the April editions. He also will oversee a stable of successful custom magazines tit...
JAPANESE TOURISTS EYE QUEENSLAND AGAIN
THE long-awaited turnaround in the slumping Japanese tourism market could finally be underway. New research reveals 4100 more passengers from Japan passed through Brisbane Airport last month than the same time last year. The figure is a 30.8 per cent increase in the number of arrivals from Japan in February 2011. It is the first time in a decade the year-on-year comparison has shown growth in t...
'CONFIDENT' TATE MAKES MAYORAL BID OFFICIAL
MAYORAL candidate Tom Tate (pictured) has promised ‘confidence and certainty’ for the Gold Coast if he is successful in the council elections in April. After months of unofficial campaigning, Tate lodged his nomination with the State Electoral Commission at Bundall yesterday. Tate, who will run as an independent, joins former long-time Gold Coast City Councillor Eddy Sarroff as a fr...
NEGATIVE EQUITY BUILDS IN GOLD COAST HOUSING MARKET
THE Gold Coast has recorded the second highest rate of negative equity in the country for house prices over the last quarter. According to a report released today by RP Data, Far North Queensland and the Gold and Sunshine Coasts have the highest instances of negative equity at 22.6 per cent, 19.4 per cent and 15.3 per cent respectively. It is par for course across other lifestyle markets, inclu...
CHINA MAGNESIUM MAKES BARGAIN FERROSILICON BUY
BOUNDING in to the Gold Coast’s Top 10 ASX list for the first time, China Magnesium is one of the few Australian mining companies producing in China. The company has signalled its intentions in Asia with a $6 million acquisition this month of a ferrosilicon plant in the north eastern Chinese province of Ningxai, about 650kms from its magnesium ingot production operation in the Shanxi pro...
MORE FAMILIES LIVING ON CREDIT, SURVEY FINDS
A GROWING number of Australian families are turning to credit cards to cover increasing costs of living. With rising unemployment and soaring petrol and utility prices, 41 per cent of households with children now rely on credit cards to cover daily living expenses – up 2 per cent since late last year according to the survey by finance consultancy firm Dun & Bradstreet. The survey foun...
PROPERTY MARKET'S 'DIZZYING' HIGHS WON'T RETURN
ROD MacLeod (pictured) has experienced a spectrum of property cycles over the last 30 years, but he is doubtful the Gold Coast will ever experience the dizzying highs of 2007. With a half year profit write down of almost 150 per cent to a $188,239 loss (year ending Dec ‘11) from $384,382 on the corresponding period, the developer has abandoned plans for a residential project on the Gold C...
GAMES VILLAGE NOT NEEDED FOR 2018 SAYS SOORLEY
FORMER Brisbane Lord Mayor Jim Soorley (pictured) has slammed the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in 2018 as a ‘waste of money’. He predicts the eventual cost of the Games will blow out by more than $500 million over the projected budget of $1.1 billion. He describes building a 1338-unit village for Games athletes at the Parklands showground at Southport as unnecessary and a ‘st...
BUYOUT BRINGS BARTERCARD HQ BACK HOME
BARTERCARD Australia (BA) has bought out the majority stakeholder of its London-based parent company. Co-founder Wayne Sharpe sold his 60 per cent share of Bartercard Limited (UK) to fellow co-founder Brian Hall (pictured) and BA directors Trevor Deitz and Tony Wiese. The deal will bring the company’s head office back to the Gold Coast. Financial details of the buyout were not released. &...
G8 EDUCATION NURTURES GROWTH SPURT
G8 Education is on its way to becoming Australia’s largest childcare services provider. The company’s net profit more than doubled for the year ending December 31, while underlying net profit after tax was up 207 per cent to $13.91 million from $4.52 million the previous year. Managing director Chris Scott (pictured left with Jae Fraser and Chris Sacre) had his remuneration cut...
TWIN BLOWS FOR TITANS AS FOUNDING CHAIRMAN BROUGHTON RESIGNS
GOLD Coast Titans’ founding chairman has resigned as the debt-ridden rugby league club staggers towards death row. Paul Broughton quit last night saying he was ‘shattered’ after learning the true extent of the club’s debt woes. The Titans organisation is said to be up to $35 million in debt, largely due to losses incurred by its property arm which built the Titans’...
GREENSPAN: CHINESE PRESSURES TO HIT RESOURCES BOOM
ONE of world’s most vocal economists today warned Chinese currency revaluation and political pressures will impact on Australia’s resources boom. Former US Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan (pictured) predicts a higher valued Chinese RMB will intensify economic contraction and political unrest. “China is being pressured to allow the RMB to rise, but the Communist le...
HYATT WALKS AWAY FROM PALMER’S COOLUM RESORT
MINING mogul Clive Palmer and Hyatt Australia have settled their legal dispute over the management of Coolum golf resort and spa (pictured). The hotel operator had requested a legal injunction from the Queensland Supreme Court after Palmer terminated its long-term contract to manage the Sunshine Coast property, which Palmer bought last year. Two companies that Palmer used to buy the resort, Coo...
GOLD COAST NEXT ON THE LIST FOR NBN ROLLOUT
SEVENTEEN Gold Coast suburbs have been earmarked for connection to the National Broadband Network paving the way for the city to be a major IT and data hub. Nerang, Gilston, Highland Park, Benowa, Bundall, Molendinar, Ashmore, Broadbeach Waters, Broadbeach, Miami, Mermaid Waters, Mermaid Beach, Clear Island Waters, Surfers Paradise, Labrador, Southport and Main Beach were named today by the Fed...
BOAT SHOW ENTHUSIASM BACK AGAIN
ECONOMIC concerns have again failed to dampen vendor enthusiasm at the Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show (SCIBS) with at least 15 new water craft making their Australian debuts at the May 24-27 event. The annual show, which was launched today, is expected to attracted around 40,000 visitors – although it remains to be seen how many turn out to be buyers. The Jetlev-Flyer watercraft i...
OUTGOING ALLCONNEX BOSS BLAMES GREEDY COUNCIL FOR WATER BILL WOES
PROFITS taken by the Gold Coast City Council from its water business made the city’s water bills the most expensive in the country, says Allconnex CEO Andrew Foley (pictured). Speaking at an Urban Development Institute of Australia breakfast at the Gold Coast Turf Club this morning, Foley delivered an analysis of what he called the ‘myths’ told about his organisation. Foley sa...
HARDWARE STORE EXPANSION TO CREATE 2000 JOBS
BUNNINGS Warehouse (pictured) has indicated that its $1.5 billion plan to open 85 stores nationally would create about 2000 jobs across Queensland. The discount hardware group has commenced $39 million in works at a 5.3ha site near the Centro shopping centre in Oxenford. The structure will cover about 22,000 sqm once complete. The store’s product range will include landscaping, home impro...
RBA RATE HOLD BRINGS MIXED RESPONSE FROM BUSINESSES
THE Reserve Bank of Australia’s (RBA) decision to leave the cash rate unchanged at 4.25 per cent has brought a mixed response from business groups. Governor Glenn Stevens reveals the world economy is tipped grow at a below-trend pace this year, but there is nothing to suggest a deep downturn is imminent. “Several countries in Europe will record very weak outcomes, but the United Sta...
RESCUE PACKAGE FOR DEBT-LADEN TITANS
THE financial future of the Titans rugby league organisation appears to have been secured with the surprise sale of the club’s Centre of Excellence high-rise property at Robina. The huge debt associated with the building threatened the future of the entire business with court proceedings for a wind-up of the business scheduled for later this month. Long-time supporters of the Titans, Phil...
SURF CHAMPIONSHIP MOVE BRINGS MOURNFUL APPROVAL
THE business community has supported Surf Life Saving Australia’s (SLSA) decision to move its annual surf contest away from Kurrawa Beach. The Surfers Paradise Broadbeach Chamber of Commerce (SPBCC) describes the 2013 Australian Surf Life Saving Championships’ relocation as a ‘very sad’ outcome. “Kurrawa Beach has such good facilities, car parking and benefit to th...
6 SIGNS DRIVING RECOVERY CONFIDENCE
DO we dare dream that the worst just might be over? That’s the question being asked in offices from Coomera to Coolangatta as unrelated flickers of hope suddenly combine to form a possible glimpse of the light at the end of the tunnel. Many of those who toil on the coalface of business might find it hard to see right now, but every recovery has to start from somewhere and recent statistic...
VITALITY LIVES IN OUR FAST AND DYNAMIC CITY
One thing is guaranteed in a fast and dynamic city like the Gold Coast – vitality. In the special Gold Coast Business News Top Companies annual edition, our biggest companies are showcased. You will find out where they’re headed after a difficult year with many affronted by unprecedented challenges. Take our No.1 company Billabong for example. In one year it lost more than $1.23 bil...
COAST COMPANIES RIDE OUT TOUGH BREAK
THE Coast's top companies have avoided being wiped out and have shown grace in the face of pressure in the first part of fiscal 2012, says Deloitte Queensland corporate finance leader Robin Polson (pictured). Gold Coast businesses rode out turbulent times and showed living (and working) in paradise was still a dream lifestyle worth aspiring to during the 12 months to January 31, 2012. The Deloit...
BILLABONG CLEARS TPG'S ACQUISITION WAVE
IT has been an exhilarating ride for the Gold Coast’s largest company after a spectacular takeover bid, freefalling share value, capital restructures and the closing of stores. But Billabong’s decision to reject a renewed $3.30 per share take-over offer from US private equity giant TPG Capital has stood the company proud in the face of prevailing adversity. When founder and major sh...
SUNLAND COUNTING ON FULL YEAR PROFIT BOOST
SUNLAND Group is counting on sales yet to be finalised to boost full-year net profit to a predicted $15 million after a dull half year result of $185,000. The company has been bogged down by a sluggish property sector with net profit dropping 97.6 per cent from $7.8 million on the corresponding period. “It really has become a one-third, two-third split result, skewed to the second half,...
CHINA MAGNESIUM'S 'BARGAIN BUY' IN CHINA
BOUNDING in to the Gold Coast’s Top 10 ASX list for the first time, China Magnesium Corporation is one of the few Australian mining companies producing in China. The company has signalled its intentions in Asia with a $6 million acquisition this month of a ferrosilicon plant in the north eastern Chinese province of Ningxai, about 650kms from its magnesium ingot production operation in the...
AIR TURBULENCE CAN'T STOP REWARDSCORP
REWARDSCORP faced a slight challenge when Air Australia went bust and passengers were stranded, but CEO Randall Deer (pictured) took it in his stride. “We had customers affected, but it was a small number overall. We went to every length we could to ensure they were looked after and we got them all home,” says Deer. “It wasn’t great for us, but we are in the travel indus...
AVESCO RACES AHEAD WITH EXPANSION
V8 Supercars is hot property and it seems everyone wants a slice of the action. Australia’s premier motor racing category is the subject of a television bidding war over telecast rights estimated to be worth $300 million. Existing partners the Seven Network, Telstra and Foxtel are all part of discussions as the media race hots up. V8 chairman Tony Cochrane (pictured) won’t comment o...
GROWTH THE BOTTOM LINE FOR PIVOTEL
PIVOTEL has added $6 million to the bottom line in just one year and is looking to almost double in size by 2015. The surging communications company counts most of that growth as organic, but is ready to pounce on any good investment opportunities this year. The company splashed around $8 million over the past 18 months acquiring five companies including Just Mobile and Reward Mobile and a numb...
GOOD THINGS TO COME ON THE GOLD COAST
KPMG is the only ‘big four’ firm operating on the Gold Coast. The accountancy and audit business has diversified its client base to cater to mining services firms operating in the Bowen and Surat Basins. “It has been a difficult couple of years, particularly in construction, and retail which no-one really saw coming and is one of the largest employers. However there are positi...
TIMELY SERVICE AT THE MARRIOTT'S CITRIQUE
SURFERS Paradise Marriott Resort and Spa’s Citrique restaurant has taken a fresh approach to mid-week dining with a new a la carte lunch menu. For business people looking to streamline their lunch times, Citrique’s director of food and beverage Andrew Nadin, says Marriott has always been a popular spot for business lunches. “Corporate guests are often time-poor so can’t ...
DENTIST SEMINAR HAS ECONOMIC BITE
MORE than 120 dentists will converge on the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre for the acclaimed Economics of Life in Dentistry seminar in May. The Dental Solution Australia presentation is sponsored by Dental Partners and will feature Dr Omer Reed (pictured). Currently serving in the faculty at the Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Procedures, Dr Reed is a pioneer in the industr...
CRAIG GORE CRASHES BACK DOWN TO EARTH
HIGH-flying Craig Gore (pictured) has crash landed again. The Gold Coast-based developer has filed for his second bankruptcy in 20 years. He reportedly owes more than $280 million to debtors. Gore returned from an overseas holiday this week and is believed to have surrendered his passport to the Federal Government’s Insolvency and Trustee Service Australia. Gore, 45, has been battling to ...
MANTRA RIDES THE MINING BOOM
THE mining boom and major events have helped boost Mantra Group’s revenue by five percent in the first quarter this year. The Gold Coast-based hotel chain enjoyed a seven per cent growth in revenue per available room (RevPAR) compared to the same period last year. Mantra Group CEO Bob East (pictured) attributes increased patronage of the company’s capital city hotels to activities r...
CUDECO GETS GREEN LIGHT FOR COPPER PROJECT
CONSTRUCTION will start immediately at CuDeco’s copper mine in north-west Queensland after the State Government approved an operational plan for the Rocklands site. The Gold Coast mining company announced the approval of the Rocklands Group Copper Project plan by the Department of Environment and Resource Management to the Australian Securities Exchange today. Chairman Wayne McCrae says t...
WE’RE DEVELOPERS NOT HOTELIERS SAYS SUNLAND
PALAZZO Versace, Gold Coast’s hotel of choice for visiting celebrities, has been put on the market for $80 million. Sunland Group (ASX:SDG), based on the Gold Coast, confirmed in a statement today it was looking to offload the luxury property through an expressions of interest campaign. In explaining its reason for selling the property, Sunland says it is a development company rather than...
G8 EDUCATION PROFIT SOARS
G8 Education has increased its net profit after tax (NPAT) by 396 per cent on the previous year. At a recent annual general meeting, the Bundall-based childcare centre owner’s chairperson Jenny Hutson (pictured) revealed the mammoth jump in NPAT was from $3.48 million in 2010 to $17.25 million last year. The company purchased five separate childcare groups in less than two years to own 13...
RBA SLASHES INTEREST RATE BY 0.5 PER CENT
IN a bid to pressure banks to pass on base interest rate cuts to customers, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has lowered the cash rate by 50 basis points to 3.75 per cent. If passed on in full by the banks, a 50 basis-point cut will save about $96 a month in repayments on a typical 25-year, $300,000 home loan. The rate cut had an immediate effect on the Australian dollar. It lost half a US c...
HARVEY NORMAN LATEST PROFITS SLUMP 25 PER CENT
THE grim state of the retail sector was laid bare today when market leader Harvey Norman revealed a 25 per cent slump in pre-tax profit. The announcement sent the retailer’s shares tumbling with nearly 4.8 per cent wiped off the value of the company in the morning, with shares trading at $1.97. The shares staged a recovery and by mid-afternoon were down 2.42 per cent at $2.02. At the same...
$20M TAG FOR SURFERS PENTHOUSE THAT WAS NEVER LIVED IN
AN opulent Surfers Paradise penthouse is tipped to sell for an Australian record $20 million after being placed on the market by the owner just three months before its completion date. Brisbane businessman Charlie Caltabiano says the luxury property no longer suits his lifestyle. Caltabiano bought the sprawling, four-storey penthouse five years ago for $16.8 million. The price tag at the time ...
ICON BEGINS DRILLING FIRST OF FIVE PLANNED WELLS
ICON Energy (ASX: ICN) today confirmed a busy drilling schedule for 2012 with the announcement it has entered the ground at its Surat Basin tenement. In a statement to the ASX, the company announced it had spudded Windom 1 in ATP626P. “Windom 1 will be drilled over 14 days to a depth of 1200 metres”, says managing director Ray James. James says the Ensign 960 drilling rig will move ...
NATURAL DISASTERS CONTINUE TO POUND SUNCORP INSURANCE
SUNCORP has revealed a $253 million blowout on its general insurance operations. The Brisbane-based and ASX-listed insurer reported $714 million in natural hazard claims for the 10 months to April, well in excess of the allocated $461 million for payouts. The bulk of the blowout was due to $250 million paid on claims from an inner-city hailstorm in Melbourne last December, the insurer reports. ...
WORKSHOPS TO ENHANCE CHINESE TOURIST EXPERIENCE
TOURISM operators were today invited to join workshops promised to provide the necessary tools to take advantage of China’s growing outbound travel market. Tourism Queensland’s (TQ) ‘Towards 2016 China Roadshow’ will visit the Gold Coast, Brisbane, Sunshine Coast, Whitsundays and North Queensland to discuss how to provide the state’s second-largest visitor market w...
NEW BILLABONG BOSS AS O’NEILL GOES
BILLABONG’S long-serving CEO Derek O’Neill (pictured) today left the company and has been replaced by former Target boss Launa Inman. Inman was brought in two months ago as a consultant. Inman will begin work at the surf retailer on May 14 on a salary of $1.3 million per annum - $100,000 more than O’Neill received last financial year – plus other incentives. She will rel...
BUDGET’S AIR TRAVEL HIKE A BLOW FOR GOLD COAST TOURISM
GOLD Coast Tourism boss Martin Winter (pictured) has slammed increased charges to international passengers and airports under the Federal Budget as “unconscionable”. The Passenger Movement Charge will increase from $47 to $55 from July 1 and it will rise in line with the Consumer Price Index. The increase will collect an extra $600 million (rising to an estimated $925m in 2014-15) a...
SWEDISH CONSUL IS NEW 2018 GAMES BOARD CHAIR
A NEW-LOOK 2018 Commonwealth Games board was announced today by Queensland Premier Campbell Newman. The new chairman is Nigel Chamier, who replaces former Olympic swimmer and businessman Mark Stockwell, who was stood down at the weekend by Commonwealth Games Minister Jann Stuckey. Other new faces on the board are Catherine Tanna, Stephen Conry and Dennis Chant. The four new appointments are fo...
BUSINESS FORECAST IS A WILD RIDE AHEAD
THE next wave of prosperity may reach our golden shores as soon as 2014, but BIS Shrapnel chief economist Frank Gelber (pictured) warns tourism investment must improve. As economic conditions improve, Gold Coast business leaders need to be more positive-minded and cast away the frugal corporate culture they acquired during the downturn and a summer of disasters. The zero growth in employment du...
WHY THE GOLD COAST TITANS HAD TO BE SAVED
IN football terms, it was like running the length of the field to score a match-saving try as the hooter sounded. The sale of the Titans’ Centre of Excellence to diehard club backers and local businessmen Phil Ward and Bob Clark of Handling Solutions, certainly provided a clearer financial future for the rugby league operations of the beleaguered club. No financial details of the sale wer...
FRUGAL CULTURE HELPS COMMONWEALTH BANK PROFITS JUMP
LEAN spending and conservative funding have paid off for Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA), with the ASX-listed company today posting $1.75 billion in cash earnings for the first three months of 2012. The unaudited result was 2.9 per cent up on the $1.7 billion net profit recorded for the previous corresponding period. “Consistent with the uncertain outlook that we indicated at the gro...
COAST’S HOUSING CONSTRUCTION PAINS HIT CLOSE TO HOME
STAFF retrenchments and a migrating workforce continue to dog the Gold Coast’s ailing housing construction sector. Master Builders Queensland’s (MBQ) latest regional survey of industry conditions shows the ‘glitter strip’ is the worst performer in the state, with low confidence despite a slight rise in building approvals during the first three months of 2012. Housing pol...
MEXICAN DEAL IS HOT LINK TO THE FUTURE
AFTER just 16 months in business, Gold Coast company Opmantek has secured a breakthrough software licensing agreement with Mexico’s leading telecommunications company, Telmex, in what could be a pioneering step towards establishing the region as an IT hub. Opmantek CEO Danny Maher (pictured) tells Gold Coast Business News Telmex has signed a deal to license all of its groundbreaking netwo...
DEFENCE VITAL TO PROTECT YOUR INNOVATIVE IDEAS
INNOVATORS need to look beyond patents for product and idea protection in today’s fast-moving markets. “Businesses have to have a defensible business model,” says Gold Coast Innovation Centre (GCIC) business development executive Michael Murtagh (pictured). “If your discovery creates a new market and you have good success in the first couple of years you will attract com...
FORTUNE 'SHINES' ON ONE-STOP PRINT SERVICE
SMARTPRINT Fleet Management continues to make the big deals needed to maintain its impressive growth. In just six years the Gaven-based business has grown to employ 14 staff and turnover $11.5 million at a growth rate of 91.4 per cent last year. Founder Jason Ganis (pictured) says Smartprint has sewn up two deals with a multi-billion dollar manufacturer and distributor. It will allow his manag...
SUPER-SIZED SCREEN UPGRADE FOR GCCEC
PICTURE yourself on this . . . A screen that’s 27m wide and 5.5m high will get pride of place at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre (GCCEC) as part of a $500,000 upgrade of the audiovisual capacity at the popular venue. The super-screen is part of the centre’s energised plans to maintain competitiveness in a challenging environment and improve on an impressive year, in ...
TOURISM HAS STARTED ITS LONG CLIMB BACK
THE much-anticipated turnaround in the dwindling Japanese tourism market has arrived on our shores. The numbers speak for themselves – 4100 more passengers from Japan passed through Brisbane Airport in February than the same time last year. The figure represents a 30.8 per cent increase on the previous corresponding period. It is the first time in a decade the yearon-year comparison showe...
CASHED UP TURF CLUB BUILDS A MAGIC FUTURE
AFTER a turbulent period, the Gold Coast Turf Club is back on track with a rich government grant and big plans for the future. Club chairman Brett Cook (pictured) outlines his vision for the Coast’s thoroughbred racing headquarters and the home of the famous Magic Millions.The Gold Coast Turf Club (GCTC) has received a $35 million State Government grant for upgrades. How this will be spen...
IT IS TIME TO LEARN FROM PAST: GREENSPAN
ONE of world’s most vocal economists blames the critical state of the global economy on a failure to learn from past mistakes. Former US Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan criticises bail-out methods used to address the European debt crisis. “You do not solve excess deficits by funding them. The long-standing culture of intra-Eurozone lending from the north to south has not cha...
GOOD NOISE ON A NEW MICROPHONE
A GOLD Coast inventor has caught the attention of the United States electronics market with an innovative new microphone tailored for group conversations. Iain McCowan, managing director of Dev-Audio, has spent four years developing Microcone (pictured), a multi-directional microphone and recording device. It uses patented technology to distinguish and modulate voices based on the distance of t...
WYNDHAM GROWTH HEADS INTO TROPICAL TERRITORY
WYNDHAM Vacation Resorts Asia Pacific is on an acquisition drive, this time in North Queensland, where it has purchased 194 rooms at the Tree Tops Resort in Port Douglas. The timeshare giant recorded a $55 million profit in 2011 and also recently settled on a resort property at Torquay. Both buys were for undisclosed amounts. The Gold Coast-based arm of Wyndham Worldwide group also entered New ...
CARBON TAX BEGINS TO IMPACT RETAIL LEASING
THE founder of one of Queensland’s fastest growing franchises is warning other business owners about the small print in the Federal Government’s Carbon Tax, saying it will impact leasing rates when it comes into effect from July 1. Zarraffa’s Coffee CEO kenton Campbell (pictured) says recent lease negotiations with one of Australia’s prominent retail property groups had ...
PALMER CONFIRMS $40 BILLION COAL DEAL IS CANNED
CLIVE Palmer (pictured) has confirmed his China First and Waratah Coal companies have cancelled a $40 billion contract with Swiss energy provider Vitol to supply coal from the Galilee Basin in Central Queensland. The Queensland mining magnate would not elaborate on the reasons behind the termination of the deal, but Palmer insists the future of the proposed mine is not in danger. He says China ...
DOLLAR VALUE SLIPS BELOW THE US GREENBACK
THE Australian dollar has dropped below the US greenback for the first time this year. One dollar was worth 99.99 US cents compared to US$1.0014 at start of trade on Sunday, representing its first decline below parity since December 19, 2011. The currency’s high value of up to US$1.08 had prompted the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) to ask businesses to slash expenses and move workers fro...
REPORT SHOWS MINERS LOSE MORE THAN HALF THEIR FIFO STAFF
A NEW report on employment in the Queensland resources sector reveals staff turnover rates exceed 60 per cent. The turnover rates have tripled in less than a decade and cost the sector millions of dollars each year in recruitment, education and training costs. According to the Kinetic Group’s latest Heartbeat report on the resources workforce, non-resident employees have a 61.5 per cent t...
EUROPEAN WOES SEND SHARES TUMBLING AGAIN
NERVOUS investors continued a broad-based sell off today as the Australian share market plunged in morning trading. Although the afternoon saw a slight recovery, today’s early falls wiped $25 billion off the market’s value amid local concerns about financial uncertainty in Europe, particularly in Greece and Spain. Banks and miners were among the hardest hit as the market fell 2.6 pe...
SHUTTERED COURAN COVE BACK ON MARKET, DEVINE WALKS AWAY
THE future of the failed Couran Cove Resort (pictured) appears as clouded today as it was when it closed a year ago. The liquidated property is back on the market after cashed up Brisbane-based Metro Property Development, headed by veteran developers David Devine and Ken Woodley, walked away from a conditional contract on the abandoned South Stradbroke Island property. Devine revealed his compa...
PALMER TO TAKE SPEEDING TICKET STOUSH TO COURT
BILLIONAIRE Clive Palmer (pictured) will fight a $333 speeding ticket he refuses to pay, even if it risks landing him behind bars. The Queensland mining magnate’s Mercedez-Benz was caught doing 87 km/h in a 60 km/h zone, along Oxley Drive in the Coast’s northern suburbs during January. He was fined and lost four demerit points. The State Penalties Enforcement Registry, which alleges ...
CREDITORS GET PALTRY PAYOUT ON TITANS’ PROPERTY DEBT
CREDITORS to the Gold Coast Titans Property Arm will receive 17 cents in the dollar under a Deed of Company Arrangement (DOCA) signed today. Of the 128 creditors, just two voted against managing director Michael Searle’s (pictured) proposal at the Corporate Centre, Bundall. The Titans property arm reportedly has debts up to $24 million, but $394,000 is the most that is likely to be salvag...
EXPANDED CHAMBER OF COMMERCE PLEDGES WAR ON RED TAPE
CUTTING red tape is essential to getting business moving again says president of the newly-amalgamated Gold Coast Central Chamber of Commerce (GCCCC) Jason Deacon (pictured). Deacon believes an over-abundance of government-imposed rules and regulations have stifled the ability of many city businesses to successfully battle tough economic conditions. The new chamber is a partnership between Surf...
BIG FOUR BANKS GRAB $19 BILLION IN FEES
AUSTRALIA’S big four banks collected a staggering $19.6 billion in fees and commissions last year, new figures show. National Australia Bank (NAB), Westpac Banking Corporation, Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) and the Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) led the way in fee-revenue growth for the year to December 2011. The Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority’s lat...
EXCLUSIVE: TIME TO WIN BACK CASINO ‘REJECTERS’ SAYS ECHO CEO
QUEENSLAND casinos risk becoming venues frequented only by desperate punters unless major upgrades of the properties are undertaken, the country’s major casino operator has warned. In an exclusive interview in this month’s edition of Gold Coast Business News, Larry Mullin (pictured), CEO of ASX-listed Echo Entertainment, says Queensland casinos need to be revived and renovated to at...
BEACHED WHALES – ECHO LOSES $30 MILLION IN HIGH-ROLLER HOSTINGS
ECHO Entertainment, the operator of three Queensland casinos, has confirmed a $30 million write-down from losses incurred through hosting some of the world’s richest gambling high-rollers. The book value reduction came as the Brisbane-based ASX-listed company, which operates Brisbane Treasury and Jupiters Gold Coast and Townsville casinos, agreed to hold an extraordinary general meeting ...
PALMER’S MANAGEMENT GRAB ENDS IN RESORT REDUNDANCIES
CLIVE Palmer’s Coolum Resort (pictured) today confirmed it had retrenched some of its 650 workers. The layoffs came three months after the mining magnate settled a bitter management dispute with former operator Hyatt outside of court. Shortly after the settlement, Palmer praised hotel staff and offered each employee a $500 bonus. The tone today was markedly different. “This is a reg...
JOBS AT RISK AFTER $17 MINIMUM WAGE RISE, RETAILERS WARN
RETAILERS says jobs are in danger after Fair Work Australia’s (FWA) decision today to increase the minimum wage by 2.9 per cent. The retail industry was seeking an exemption to any award wage adjustments, but FWA ignored the request in its annual review of the minimum wage. Workers on the minimum award wage will be entitled to a $17.10 per week rise from July 1, lifting the weekly pay to ...
BOQ LEADS THE WAY AFTER ANOTHER RESERVE BANK RATE CUT
THE Reserve Bank has announced a second consecutive monthly cut to the benchmark interest rate, with Bank of Queensland (BOQ) being the first to announce a partial on-pass of the 25 basis-point reduction. BOQ says it will provide a 20 basis-point cut to its borrowing customers. The RBA’s 25 basis-point cut reduces the official cash rate to 3.5 per cent. The decision comes after the RBA an...
WE DARED YOU TO DREAM ... AND WE WERE RIGHT ON THE MONEY
SOMETIMES dreams come true, and that’s the case right now for readers of Gold Coast Business News. The cover story of our April edition (pictured) highlighted six signs that indicated the economy may have battled through its darkest days and was beginning to show the first shoots of new growth. Under the heading “Dare to Dream’’, we examined and analysed key data across ...
COOLANGATTA REAL ESTATE FRANCHISE TERMINATED AMID INVESTIGATION
LJ Hooker has terminated its franchise agreement with the real estate group’s Coolangatta office ahead of an investigation into the handling of a trust account at the agency. A spokesperson cited a ‘fundamental breach’ as the reason for the May decision, urging any concerned customers of the Coolangatta agency to contact the Queensland Office of Fair Trading (OFT). “We ...
SMALL BUSINESS RECEIVES FULL INTEREST RATE CUT
EMBATTLED small business today received some joy with the Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) approving a 25 basis-point cut to its lending rates. The interest rate reduction, which passes on the full amount of this week’s Reserve Bank (RBA) cut, will save around $6.25 a week on the average $130,000 small business loan. The ANZ’s variable home loan interest rate will also ...
STORY STANDS ASIDE AS ECHO CHAIRMAN
ECHO Entertainment Group (ASX:EGP) chairman John Story (pictured) has surprisingly resigned in the face of a national campaign by billionaire James Packer to unseat him at an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) next month. Australian Rugby Union CEO John O’Neill, a current Echo Board member, has been appointed as acting chairman. Packer, who owns rival gaming operation Crown and is a 10 p...
HIGH EXPECTATIONS AFTER SCOOT’S LATE ARRIVAL
BUDGET airline Scoot touched down on the Gold Coast this morning for the first time making it the fifth international carrier for the city’s expanding airport operations. The 400 passengers on Flight TZ6, who boarded in Singapore, were the first of an estimated 100,000 inbound arrivals the airline is expected to deliver each year. The boost to the local economy is forecast to be around $6...
REBOUND PLAN FOR BLAZE’S $12 MILLION DEBT
THE financially-stricken Gold Coast Blaze basketball organisation has been thrown a lifeline after creditors today agreed to a deed of company arrangement (DOCA). The business, which went into voluntary administration last month, owes more than $12 million, administrator Roland Robson, from Aggs Robson, revealed today. Under the DOCA, which provides an avenue to trade out of financial trouble, ...
WHAT BOOM? $92 BILLION BLOWOUT OF STATE’S DEBT
QUEENSLAND’S management of the mining boom is under fire after an audit by former Federal Treasurer Peter Costello revealed the state’s debt would total $92 billion by 2016. The Review of Queensland’s Finances Report shows ongoing interest repayments on the debt will amount to nearly 10 per cent ($5.3 billion) of annual state revenue in FY16, raising speculation the state...
TOM TATE TO SLASH GOLD COAST DEBT
AS Gold Coast Mayor, I will be a full-time promoter of this city and will proactively pursue development. My mission is to create more local jobs. We need the banks to turn on the investment tap for this city. I want to take responsibility for getting some big projects going. The council will do its part. The efficiency of entire organisation and its ongoing investments will be thoroughly exami...
CHEERS ALL ROUND AS MORRIS BUYS SIX PUBS
WINEMAKER and markets king Terry Morris is now a pub baron. The Carrara-based Morris has snapped up six pubs in the past 10 months in a surprise and speedy move into the Queensland hotel industry by his company Morris International. Two properties were bought within a week of each other in mid-April. The Tarampa Hotel, near Lowood north of Ipswich was settled on April 18, just six days after M...
HOW OLYMPIC DREAMS FACE ECONOMIC REALITY
THEY are all similar size, weight and colour – but not every Olympic gold medal is worth the same once it’s taken from the sporting arena to the business world. That has been the commercial reality of every post-games period in the modern era as athletes of all disciplines have attempted to seek a return on their huge personal investment in a chosen sport. Since the Olympics shed it...
SWITCHING SALES METHODS PROVES A BRIGHT IDEA
GOLD Coast company Aqualuma is helping Americans see the light. The manufacturer has overhauled its marine lighting operations in the United States and has doubled productivity. Director Carl Amor says actively chasing business in the US has reaped rewards with month-on-month improvement ever since November. “We have changed the way people do business in the marine industry in America," sa...
TUNING IN TO MUSIC CREATIVITY
NATURAL talent can’t be faked in the music industry or in business. A support organisation called Music Hub aims to help those interested in both music and business hone their skills and succeed through the formation of ‘creative clusters’. Two new ‘micro firms’ have emerged as a direct result of the Music Hub, which is backed by Southern Cross University (SCU) and...
PROVIDING SAFER WAYS TO FIGHT CRIME
ARMED robbery can be an emotionally and financially shattering experience for business owners, many of whom see no alternative but to cut material losses or risk injury by trying to be a hero. However, Dynamic Currency Solutions (DCS) warns getting physical with criminals can be futile. “Martial arts look great in Hollywood but in real-life situations there are workplace health and safety...
CLUB PROVIDES EXCLUSIVE HEALTH EXPERIENCE
MEMBERSHIP of an exclusive health retreat at Bundall will now be available only through invitation after the club recently reached a crucial milestone. It has taken just nine months for Kudos Health Club to enlist 1000 members and trigger the invite-only condition of membership. Managing director Chris Ruck says is it important to maintain the exclusivity of the luxury executive retreat. ...
TIME TO GIVE BUSINESS FAIR CHANCE SAYS MINISTER
Government has ridden business too hard in recent times and a change in culture has been promised by Minister Jann Stuckey (pictured). She explains her vision to Gold Coast Business News. How difficult has it been to get across all the issues in your diverse portfolio? All sections of my portfolio responsibilities are intrinsically linked – tourism, major events, small business and the Co...
JIM SEEKS $10M PRE-IPO INJECTION
BOOMING franchisor Jim’s Group hopes to raise $10 million in a pre-initial public offering (IPO) and plans to use proceeds to establish business start-up loans for new franchisees. “From general advice, it would seem that an IPO would be premature at this stage. I’d be interested in a suitable investor or investors, especially if they had appropriate skills or contacts that co...
SIGN OF THE TIMES AS M1 LAND IS RELEASED
AFTER standing alone on the eastern side of the highway for nearly five years, the AHC headquarters building at Helensvale is about to get some neighbours. The listed property development company, which owns a 30,000 sqm package of land on Siganto Drive, has put its signature building and 11 adjoining lots on the market. AHC Managing Director, Rod MacLeod (pictured), expects keen interest in th...
EASING BACK PAIN IS BRAD'S SUCCESS STORY
THE opening of a second Back In Motion physiotherapy centre on the Gold Coast continues Brad Beer’s bullish plans for the chain in Queensland. The Sorrento practice had a ‘soft opening’ last month and the 30-year-old Beer (pictured), the company’s Queensland area director, will bank on it becoming as successful as his first practice in Mermaid Waters. The 2011 Gold Coast...
NO JOY FOR BUSINESS IN TATE’S FIRST BUDGET
GOLD Coast Mayor Tom Tate (pictured) has taken a sword to the city Budget, slashing $168 million from expenditure in an effort to reduce almost $900 million debt by 30 per cent over the next eight years. In a blow for local businesses, Tate says the savings will come through a $134 million slashing of management and consultancy costs and a further $34 million by deferring or cancelling one-off ...
BILLABONG SHARES DIVE 48 PER CENT
BILLABONG shares crashed in value by almost half this morning as investors reacted to the company’s $225 million capital raising venture and profit downgrade. Shares, which were worth more than $18 five years ago, slumped to $0.97 this afternoon, down from $1.83 when a trading halt was called on Thursday. In a statement to the ASX, Billabong announced the institutional component of the sh...
UDIA PLAN TO BOOST COAST CONSTRUCTION
INFRASTRUCTURE charges should be put on hold for up to a year to jump start the Gold Coast’s struggling construction industry, says Urban Development Institute of Australia (Gold Coast-Logan) president Stephen Harrison (pictured). The UDIA quarterly report shows the city’s construction industry has started to turn around but predicts it will be a slow road to recovery. Harrison says...
DIGGA’S IOWA FACTORY OF DREAMS
CONSTRUCTION started this week on Digga Australia’s $2.5 million plant in Iowa in the American Midwest. CEO Suzie Wright (pictured) has left the earthmoving manufacturer’s Yatala base for the United States to oversee construction of the 3200sqm factory at Dyersville, which will employ 30 people. Digga North America is expected to add 8 per cent to the company’s $50 million rev...
PASSING ON CARBON TAX IS SPIRIT OF THE LAW
PASS it on. That’s the simple advice to small to medium enterprises (SMEs) in a special Carbon Tax edition of Gold Coast Business News. The latest edition of the magazine includes a 12-page guide to help businesses avoid being burned by the new tax, which starts on Sunday. There’s also a four-page sector-by-sector analysis of the likely impacts of the tax and tips on how to lessen a...
BUSINESS SLAMS RBA FOR HOLDING INTEREST RATES
THE Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has left the base borrowing-rate unchanged at 3.5 per cent. The decision sparked criticism from businesses planning to pass additional costs of the new Carbon Tax onto customers. The Australian National Retail Association (ANRA) says an interest rate cut was needed to help restore consumer confidence, which it says has been unsettled by the new tax that began...
FOOD GROUP RISKS $1B FINE FOR ‘FOOLISH’ REMARKS
THE ASX-listed owner of Brumby’s Bakeries could cop a $1.1 billion fine after the subsidiary urged franchisees to lift prices due to the new Carbon Tax. The company could be forced to shell out the nine-figure sum for each contravention, if an Australian Competition and Consumer Commission investigation currently underway finds the bakery network had mistakenly linked price rises to the C...
FRANCHISE BOSS QUITS AFTER ‘FOOLISH’ REMARKS
A BRUMBY’S Bakeries executive at the centre of a Carbon Tax gaffe has resigned. Deane Priest has stepped down as the company’s executive director after he allegedly used an internal newsletter to encourage franchisees to lift prices and blame it on the new Carbon Tax. “After all, your costs will be going up due to it,” he wrote. The comments sparked an Australian Competi...
MINISTER RALLIES SUPPORT FOR REGIONAL QUEENSLAND TOURISM
FEDERAL Tourism Minister Martin Ferguson (pictured) has vowed to lure more tourists to regional holiday destinations. He plans to shift Tourism Australia’s (TA) advertising focus away from metropolitan cities to regional Queensland centres. “We want get the tourists out of the cities and into regional holiday hubs like the Gold Coast,” he told business leaders at a Queensland ...
MINISTERIAL TREATMENT FOR SURFERS’ JEWEL
THE $1 billion Jewel resort development at Surfers Paradise is set to go ahead following a move by the State Government to over-ride the planning and approval process. The triple tower development, proposed by Chinese-financed company RDG, was previously approved by the Gold Coast City Council but faced a lengthy legal battle with at least two objectors. Deputy Premier and Minister for State De...
FEW TAKERS FOR EXPENSIVE GOLD COAST LAND
THE Gold Coast property gloom continues with land sales across the city plunging by more than 10 per cent between the December and March quarters. The local slump came as land sales nationally rose by 6.8 per cent during the survey period. The sale of 190 blocks on the Gold Coast in the first three months this year was down on the 211 sold in the December quarter, according to the HIA-RP Data R...
CHAMBERS OF COMMERCE DEMAND CARBON TAX REPEAL
BUSINESS representatives from each sector of the Australian economy today urged the Federal Government to reverse its new carbon tax. In a resolution passed by the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s (ACCI) general council in Brisbane, more than 300,000 employers renounced the $23 a tonne price on carbon as “futile” and poorly timed. “It is a particularly bad t...
SHAREHOLDERS IN COPPERMOLY REVOLT
A GROUP of shareholders today launched an attack on the board of Gold Coast-listed junior explorer Coppermoly (ASX:COY), calling for the removal of two directors from the company. Six shareholders, who collectively hold 20 per cent of Coppermoly and five per cent of the company’s voting rights, have called for an extraordinary general meeting under 249D of the Corporations Act (2001). In ...
MARKET REACTS TO POSITIVE ICON ANNOUNCEMENT
GOLD Coast-based Icon Energy has pushed forward the drilling schedule for its most promising shale gas play by two months after its partner, Beach Energy, was encouraged by strong results in a neighbouring tenement. The Halifax-1 site at ATP 855P, located on the border of Queensland and South Australia in the Cooper Basin, will be drilled by the end of this month, after originally being schedul...
BLAZE DREAMS END IN ASHES
HOPES the financially-stricken Gold Coast Blaze basketball team could be saved have been extinguished. The team’s owners, Gold Coast-based Owen (pictured) and Katie Tomlinson, have admitted they cannot meet a $1 million guarantee demanded by Basketball Australia (BA) to include the Blaze in the 2012-13 national competition. The five-year-old Blaze organisation went into voluntary administ...
QUEENSLAND ECONOMY ‘ROARS BACK TO LIFE’
THE Sunshine State’s top public companies fared better than other states in the 2012 financial year, according to the latest Deloitte figures. The audit and financial advisory company’s 2012 Queensland Index (QI) dropped 5.1 per cent in the period, but significantly outperformed the benchmark S&P/ASX All Ordinaries’ 11.3 per cent decline. Brisbane managing partner Tim Biggs...
TPG REKINDLES TAKEOVER BID FOR BILLABONG
PRIVATE equity group TPG International has again moved to take over Billabong (BBG) with a proposal worth $694 million – $149 million less than previously offered in February. Burleigh Heads-based Billabong announced the offer to the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) this morning, after TPG formally approached the company last night. TPG has offered $1.45 per share, a 32 per cent premi...
MAYOR SETS SCENE FOR CRUISE TERMINAL SHOWDOWN
GOLD Coast mayor Tom Tate (pictured) says he will take on environmentalists over his plans for a cruise ship terminal and today ridiculed the Save Our Spit (SOS) group at a business breakfast. Tate has promised a cruise ship terminal during his first term as mayor. After a trip this month to the United States, where he visited the largest cruise ship terminal in the world at Miami in Florida, T...
DEVELOPER FLOATS AMBITIOUS BROADWATER CASINO PLAN
A SINGAPORE developer has proposed to build a $4.9 billion cruise ship terminal and casino on Wavebreak Island in the Broadwater. The ambitious project, by Singapore-based Sembawang Group, was outlined prior to any discussion with the Gold Coast City Council or the State Government which manages the uninhabited Wavebreak Island as Crown land. But Sembawang Group CEO Richard Grosvenor claims the...
COPPERMOLY AVOIDS SHAREHOLDER SHOWDOWN
COPPERMOLY has avoided a possible ugly showdown over board positions after bowing to an appointment demand from a group of unhappy shareholders. The Gold Coast-listed junior explorer (ASX: COY) received notice from a consortium of six major shareholders on July 12 seeking an extraordinary general meeting. The shareholders threatened to pursue the removal of Maurice Gannon and Ben Michael Faulkn...
HEADS ROLL AS CHOCOLATE MAKER SELLS
NEARLY 30 Queenslanders have lost their jobs as embattled chocolate maker Darrell Lea closed three stores on the Gold Coast and two in Brisbane. The closures represent more than a third of the company’s Queensland outlets. A further 27 Darrell Lea stores will close across Australia. The affected Queensland stores operate from Toombul Westfield, Upper Mt Gravatt, Robina Town Centre, Austra...
CASINO, HOVERCRAFTS AND AIRPORT UPGRADE IN PALMER’S RESORT PLANS
CLIVE Palmer (pictured) has unveiled plans to expand Sunshine Coast Airport and host more flights from Asia. The extended airstrip would accommodate A380s and 747 jumbo jets flying direct to the Coast from Tokyo, Beijing and Singapore, he claims. “This will significantly boost the region’s capacity to accommodate both domestic and international visitors and create enormous interest ...
DOLLAR HITS FOUR-MONTH HIGH ON RATE DECISION
THE Australian dollar has soared to a four-month high of $1.06. The currency jumped after the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) yesterday left the base interest-rate unchanged at 3.5 per cent. Currency traders OzForex confirm the dollar today opened nearly unchanged at $1.055 and expect the currency will move between $1.0510 and $1.0580. “There appears a general reluctance to take it furthe...
BUSINESS PUTS CARBON TAX IN ‘TOO HARD’ BASKET
SIX weeks after the Federal Government introduced the carbon tax, only 10 per cent of businesses have changed their corporate strategy, new research has found. The 2012 DHL Export Barometer shows 90 per cent of 785 businesses surveyed consider the $23 price on carbon “too hard”, blaming the government’s lack of detail. About 70 per cent believed the carbon price had been set t...
NOW IS THE TIME TO CHANGE
LOW Carbon Australia (LCA) is the government-funded body charged with providing energy efficiency solutions to business and communities. CEO Meg McDonald (pictured) sees the introduction of the Carbon Tax as an exciting opportunity for change. THE Federal Government’s new Carbon Tax marks the beginning of a larger, long-term trend towards a low-carbon economy with broad strategic implicat...
STAR POWER RETURNS TO FILM INDUSTRY
ACTOR Colin Firth (pictured) attracted a throng of photographers and fans when he hit the Gold Coast last month to be filmed in scenes of Jonathan Teplitzky’s prisoner-of war movie The Railway Man. And he’s not the first Hollywood talent to send a wave of excitement across the city. The Gold Coast is back in the frame as a premier filming destination. And smart local businesses are ...
BURLEIGH'S BEST BEER IN THE WORLD
JUST like the combination of barley, hops, water and yeast, the partnership between Brennan and Peta Fielding has brewed up something special. The owners of the Burleigh Brewing Company are celebrating a win at the Brewer’s Association Beer World Cup as their factory doubles its production capacity. The success is built on the formidable partnership of the husband-and-wife team. Over fiv...
IN TUNE WITH DESIGN AND LIFE
RACHEL Smith (pictured left) has a motto: Make your product look as good as it is. Smith has started design company Harmonica with long-time friend Kate Maloney (pictured right) and says exceptional products can fall by the wayside because they don’t look good enough to grab a person’s attention. “A lot of people take the attitude with design that it is a luxury,” says S...
ROOF TILES ARE ENERGY WINNERS
ROOF tiles have protected buildings from the elements for centuries. A Gold Coast entrepreneur has now developed tiles that also harness the sun’s energy. Tractile has formulated tiles with built-in solar panels that the company says produces enough electricity to eliminate the need for a traditional roof-mounted solar hot water system. The company’s integrated photovoltaic thermal ...
DEACON AIMS TO PUT BITE INTO NEW-LOOK CHAMBER
JASON Deacon (pictured), president of the newly-amalgamated Gold Coast Combined Chamber of Commerce, says the new entity must be more than a “toothless dog”. Why did the Surfers Paradise-Broadbeach, Central Gold Coast and Nerang chambers need to amalgamate? We all wanted to be taken more seriously, run professionally, and have the budget to do what chambers are meant to do. We don...
SONIA'S CLEVER BRAIN WAVE
USING brain power to improve business opportunities is just simple commonsense. That’s the view of Gold Coast’s Sonia McDonald (pictured), who has founded a new leadership and talent consulting company, LeadershipHQ, that uses neuroscience to build brand and boardroom confidence. “By truly understanding and appreciating our brain, it's incredible how effective and insightful we...
COMMONWEALTH GAMES EMBLEM IS UNVEILED
THE official emblem of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games has been unveiled at Broadwater Parklands this morning. The colourful emblem features a gymnast, hurdler and swimmer set against a windmill-like silhouette. GOLDOC chairman Nigel Chamier OAM says the emblem was the result of months of research and development. “Market research was undertaken to unpack the deeper emotional facto...
UN LEADER WARNS PEACE IS KEY TO PROSPERITY
FORMER New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark has urged Queensland’s business elite to consider the peace and prosperity of poorer nations as integral to their future prosperity. Since leaving New Zealand politics in 2008, Ms Clark has led the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), which delivers $5 billion worth of development programs in 177 countries and territories. Speaking at ...
COMPUTERS BOOST ATO'S REACH
THERE are now 500 million reasons not to chance your arm against the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) as the 2011-12 financial year comes to a close. High-speed computers and advanced programming enables the ATO to process and analyse astronomical volumes of corporate information. According to its last annual report, the ATO performed data matching on 539 million transactions. These included cr...
THE TIME IS RIGHT FOR A NEW SUNLAND ICON
MARINER’S Cove on the Broadwater has been earmarked by the Sunland Group as its first iconic property development in more than a decade. The ASX-listed company has withdrawn from Dubai and has placed Palazzo Versace on the market as it re-aligns its focus. It purchased land at Mariner’s Cove for $13.5 million in October and Sunland Group Managing Director Sahba Abedian says the time...
GROUP BUYING IS A BIG DEAL
IN the fast-moving and highly competitive world of electronic “daily deals’’, Joe Brown (pictured) has almost reinvented the wheel. His Voupons venture has enlisted dozens of businesses on the Gold Coast and offered hundreds of deals to potential customers in a new take on e-marketing and group buying. The 34-year-old says Voupons is different from a string of other popular da...
TURNING WHEELS IN THE ECONOMY
WITH Australia’s equities markets in the financial doldrums and property values in stagnation, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to find investment havens that offer a degree of safety with a reasonable chance of capital gain. However, one investment sector has received considerable interest over recent months as canny investors enjoying substantial long-term gains. Classic cars ...
FLYING KANGAROO JUMPS BACK INTO GOLD COAST MARKET
QANTAS will resume domestic services to the Gold Coast four years after abandoning the route. The airline will schedule three daily Boeing 737-800 return flights between the Gold Coast and Sydney from October 28, chief executive officer Alan Joyce announced today. A club lounge will be opened at Gold Coast Airport after upgrade work later this year on a passenger lounge currently used by Qantas...
DOUGH RISES FOR DOMINO'S PIZZA
DOMINO’S Pizza Enterprises Limited (DMP) has delivered full year profit of $26.9 million, up 25.7 per cent on the FY2011. The strong growth is significant in a challenging climate where other fast food chains have struggled. The increased profit came as the Brisbane-based DMP added 62 stores to its franchise network including 24 in Australia and New Zealand and 38 across Europe. Domino...
HIGH ROLLERS AND HEADLINES HELP SINK CASINO PROFIT BY 80 PER CENT
ECHO Entertainment Group (EGP) has reported a staggering 80 per cent drop in net profit after tax (NPAT) for the 2012 financial year. The casino operator blamed reduced outlays by mainstream punters, combined with increased winning by high rollers. It cited difficult operating conditions after negative media coverage over alleged drug use and sexual harassment at The Star Casino and Hotel in Sy...
TOURISM JOY AS AIRPORT ARRIVALS SOAR 21 PER CENT
GOLD COAST Airport has recorded a 21 per cent increase in international passengers for the month of July in comparison with last year. The boost comes at the end of the first full month of operation for Singapore’s new low-cost entrant Scoot and is a heartening sign that the tourism industry may finally be emerging from its slump. The airport also recorded an increase of eight per cent in...
RFG GETS A BOOST FROM COFFEE PROFITS
A BOOMING coffee business has delivered Gold Coast-listed Retail Food Group (RFG) a record $30.3 million net profit after tax (NPAT) announced today on the ASX. CEO Tony Alford (pictured) says a 31 per cent increase in revenue from its wholesale coffee business was a key to the company’s strong performance in difficult times. The NPAT is a 8.9 per cent increase on the previous fiscal peri...
BILLABONG TO RIDE RECOVERY WAVE AFTER NPAT WIPEOUT
BILLABONG will attempt to grow its earnings by 250 per cent over the next three years as it today posted its first loss since listing in 2001. The company’s weak performance was laid bare this morning, with a net loss of $276.6 million reported for the full-year. A huge one-off cost of $336.1 million was blamed for the result, but Billabong would only describe the expense as “signif...
PROFIT SHRINKS AS SUNLAND BATTLES ON
SUNLAND Group (SDG) has pledged financial discipline but will continue its share buy-back scheme and plans to push ahead with a new development at Mariner’s Cove on the Broadwater. The company, which built Q1 and Palazzo Versace, today reported a 32 per cent decrease in net profit after tax of $14.5 million. It had 398 unconditional presales worth $189.8 million in FY12. Managing director...
STORES CLOSE AS PET FOOD GIANT BUYS DARRELL LEA
THE Gold Coast family behind the VIP Petfoods brand has bought failed chocolate manufacturer Darrell Lea and will close the company’s remaining 27 stores by this Sunday. The restructure means 246 permanent and 172 casual employees will be made redundant. Ongoing employment will be offered to 83 manufacturing and administrative staff. Darrell Lea has been in voluntary administration with i...
STRUGGLING RETAILERS QUESTION RBA DECISION TO HOLD INTEREST RATE
A RETAIL industry group warns the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) must lower the base interest rate to allow a speedy recovery for the sector. The National Retail Association (NRA) questioned the RBA's latest decision to hold the cash rate at 3.5 per cent due to “firm” consumption growth in the first half of 2012. Executive director Gary Black (pictured) says the latest Australian Bu...
AMERICAN GAMING KINGPIN TAKES TOP JOB AT JUPITERS
ECHO Entertainment Group (ASX:EGP) today revealed Aaron Gomes would become the next managing director of Jupiter’s Hotel and Casino. Gomes brings a wealth of experience from gaming capitals of the United States, including Las Vegas, Nevada and Atlantic City. The Ivy League graduate, from the University of Pennsylvania, made his career in MGM Resorts in Las Vegas, before managing the India...
BUDGET SETS SCENE FOR GST SHOWDOWN
EMBATTLED tourism and the ailing construction industries were the big winners in the LNP Government’s first State Budget. But Queensland looks set to be on a political collision course with Canberra after announcing a hike in coal royalties in a bid to raise $1.6 billion and get the state back in the black within three years. The decision could result in the Gillard Government cutting the...
COURT RULING THREATENS SUNLAND PROFIT
SUNLAND Group’s profit for the last financial year is in danger of being all-but wiped out by a court decision against the company today. The Victorian Supreme Court awarded special costs against Sunland in its case against developers Matthew Joyce and Angus Reed over a property deal that went wrong. Sunland had claimed the pair deceptively persuaded it to pay a $14 million “introdu...
CRUISE TERMINAL DEVELOPER WANTS SURF CHAMPION TO HELP ‘PRESERVE’ THE WAVES
TWICE world champion surfer Mick Fanning has been invited to work with the developer behind the Wavebreak Island cruise ship terminal proposal to ensure local surf breaks and the environment are protected. Fanning, who is currently competing in California, used his website yesterday to urge his supporters to join the Save our Spit organisation, which is campaigning against the development of a ...
SALES UP AS SHOPPERS FLASH DEBIT CARDS, SURVEY FINDS
TIGHT consumer spending has not stopped many Queensland businesses from growing their revenue, according to a new study. And a growing number of shoppers are also purchasing on debit cards rather than through credit, the study found. The Commonwealth Bank of Australia’s (CBA) business sales indicator (BSI) shows sales in the Sunshine State increased 0.1 per cent in August and 10.1 per cen...
BILLABONG’S BAIN PAIN DASHES SHAREHOLDER HOPES
EMBATTLED surf apparel company Billabong (ASX: BBG) has been dumped by one of its potential takeover suitors. Shareholder hopes of a bidding war that could boost the value of the company were doused today with Billabong announcing the withdrawal of an unnamed party which two weeks ago expressed conditional and non-binding interest in a potential takeover. That party has been widely reported as...
CHINESE INVESTORS SNAP UP ICONIC LUXURY HOTEL FOR $68M
SUNLAND Group (ASX:SDG) will sell its iconic Palazzo Versace hotel (pictured) to an unnamed investor for $68.5 million. The Benowa-based prestige property developer put the hotel on the market in April with a price tag of $80 million, but says it was “pleased” with the deal in a brief statement to the Australian Securities Exchange. The buyer is reportedly a Hong Kong-based investor...
REVEALED: GOLD COAST’S TOP FAMILY BUSINESSES IN 2012
THEY are the backbone of our economy and now the top family-run businesses on the Gold Coast have finally received some overdue recognition. The latest edition of Gold Coast Business News showcases 50 local family business success stories. We reveal how the various family members involved have been able to overcome the common pitfalls and setbacks to help their businesses grow and thrive. But w...
AMERICAN ACE TO LEAVE ECHO
CASINO operator Echo Entertainment Group (ASX: EGP) surprised the industry today by announcing its managing director and chief executive Larry Mullin (pictured) will leave the company in January. The American has been with EGP for less than two years and joins a growing list of high-profile exits from the casino group. Mullin came to Australia with an impressive record of management at several ...
PROPERTY VETERAN STEPS DOWN AFTER 12 YEARS ON THE JOB
LONG-TIME Villa World (VLW) managing director John Potter (pictured) today announced his resignation from the ASX-listed property developer. The industry veteran has spent more than 12 years on the board of VLW, which was formerly known as GEO Property Group. He will be succeeded by executive chairman Craig Treasure, the former director of Sunland Group with 25 years’ experience in proper...
SURPRISE RATE CUT PUTS PRESSURE ON BANKS
RETAILERS have called on banks to pass on in full today’s surprise cut to the official cash rate. In a boost to hopes of a pre-Christmas shopping revival, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) reduced the interest rate by 25 basis points to 3.25 per cent. The official interest rate, which affects what banks charge mortgage customers, is now at its lowest point in three years. If passed on i...
G8 CONTINUES CHILDCARE EXPANSION
G8 Education (ASX: GEM) will seek to raise $11.5 million from existing shareholders to fund its aggressive expansion in the childcare industry. The Bundall-based company’s capital raising venture announced today will complement the successful placement of 30.79 million shares worth $35.4 million to a private investor last week. The share purchase plan will allow existing shareholders to i...
GOVERNMENT BUYBACK MAKES QR NATIONAL SHARES SOAR
THE Queensland Government’s plan to sell $1.5 billion of QR National (QRN) shares today has sparked an instant reaction to the ASX-listed freight company’s share price. QRN shares rose nearly 5 per cent to $3.64 per unit, valuing the Newman Government’s remaining stake at about $1.35 billion. “The $1.5 billion sale represents a gain of around $400 million to Queensland...
BILLABONG PLUNGES AFTER TAKEOVER WIPEOUT
SHARES in Billabong (ASX: BBG) plunged by about 16 per cent in opening trading after confirmation this morning equity firm TPG International had withdrawn its offer to buy the embattled board sports company. BBG was priced at $0.84 late this morning, well below the $1.45 per share the Boston-based TPG had proposed prior to be granted access to the Billabong books nearly six weeks ago. Rumours h...
PRAISE FOR OUR CARBON TAX EDITION
THE Federal Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency and Minister for Industry and Innovation, Greg Combet, has written to Gold Coast Business News following our hugely successful Carbon Tax edition. He describes our special 12-page liftout as “very helpful’’ for businesses and praises our tips to help increase efficiency and reduce operating costs. The Minister also ...
SHAREHOLDERS STICK WITH BILLABONG FOUNDER
GORDON Merchant (pictured) was today re-elected to ASX-listed Billabong International’s (BBG) Board. The re-appointment of the company founder came despite some shareholder discontent over his refusal to accept earlier takeover offers from private equity bidders for the embattled surfwear manufacturer. Bill Seymour, from the Australian Shareholders Association, urged BBG shareholders to v...
CREDITORS MOVE ON LUXURY BEACHFRONT TOWER
JUNIPER Development Group’s (JDG) $850 million Soul Tower (pictured) has entered receivership. Creditors today appointed PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) partners Michael Fung, Derrick Vickers and Greg Hall as receivers and managers for the 77-storey luxury residential development in Surfers Paradise. JDG allegedly owes an undisclosed sum to Morgan Stanley, National Australia Bank and ING. Th...
VIRGIN BUYS INTO TIGER AND SKYWEST
VIRGIN Australia Holdings (VAH) has upped the pressure on rival airline Qantas by taking majority ownership of Tiger Australia and agreeing to purchase Skywest (SXR). Virgin overtook Qantas in August as Australia’s top airline thanks to a $22.8 million net profit after tax for the 2012 financial year, compared to the $244 million net loss posted by the Flying Kangaroo. The latest move by ...
2012 YOUNG ENTREPRENEUR AWARD WINNERS REVEALED
LAST year’s Gold Coast Young Entrepreneur Award winner has snared the prestigious prize for a second time. Randall Deer (pictured), the Gold Coast’s 2012 Young Entrepreneur of the Year, impressed judges with remarkable growth of his rebranded Ignite Travel Group. Revenue was up 63 per cent to $62 million in the last financial year. The 37-year-old established the tourism marketing c...
BUDGET BOOST FOR VILLAGE PEOPLE
THE Commonwealth Games Organising Committee was allocated $20.9 million to spend this year when Treasurer Tim Nicholls delivered the LNP Government’s first State Budget on September 11. Commonwealth Games Minister Jann Stuckey (pictured) says the bulk of the funding will go towards preparations for the Games Village at Parklands. The planning is earmarked to be finished by the second quar...
FINDING A POINT OF DIFFERENCE
MICHELLE Doherty’s (pictured) life changed when she found a new skincare range in New Zealand called Alpha-H. Having suffered with cystic acne for 11 years, she had tried countless products and medications with little luck. Alpha-H was the first product to clear her skin, she says. Four years later she bought the business and took it with her when she moved to the Gold Coast with her husb...
THE ULTIMATE PROFESSIONALS
GROWING up, Luke Henderson (pictured centre) found it hard not to be inspired by his father John’s (left) strong work ethic. It was work ethic that built The Professionals John Henderson Real Estate into the dominant force in the Mermaid Beach market – one of the most expensive patches of real estate in Queensland. “Dad always worked hard and we grew up seeing that. I think th...
CHANGE A CHALLENGE FOR FAMILY BUSINESS
SUCCESSFUL family businesses need to openly discuss the issues of wealth transfer and succession planning, says Dr Keith Duncan (pictured), Director EMBA Program, Bond University, Faculty of Business. Family businesses are at the heart of the Gold Coast and Australian economy. Representing around 70 per cent of all business in Australia, they provide employment for family and non-family members...
AN ENDURING DESTINATION
O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat hasn’t rested on its laurels as one of the most respected institutions in Queensland tourism. The third-generation family business has invested heavily back into its own product and is taking an innovative approach to surviving tough times for the tourism industry. “We have gone into corporate business – we host lots of conferences no...
TRAPPED IN THE WEB
Small business owners are devoting less time to online marketing and social media despite an increasing number running their own websites. Sales and growth opportunities are being missed as a result of the lack of attention, experts say. The unexpected decline in online business activity was revealed in a recent MYOB Business Monitor survey of 1004 SME operators. The survey found that while t...
RETAIL SPENDING ON THE RISE
 CONSUMER confidence has improved slightly in the last week but remains low for the month, in the ANZ-Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence survey. Similar to business confidence trends, there has been a 0.7 per cent jump back to levels seen during the September election. ANZ chief economist Warren Hogan says the outlook for Australia’s economy is becoming more positive. “Despite retr...
SHAPING AN INDUSTRY
BROTHERS Dan and Jake Holloway (pictured with their mother Julie) leveraged the solid reputation their father built over 30 years in the surf industry to penetrate the tightly-held removable surfboard fins market. The industry is notoriously cynical to outsiders, but the family business, Shapers Surfboard Manufacturing Supplies, founded by Len Holloway, 59, is as core as you can get. Jake, 27, ...
RETAILERS RECEIVE NO REPRIEVE AS CASH-RATE HOLDS
STRUGGLING retailers have missed out on a much-needed shot in the arm as the official cash-rate remained unchanged. The Reserve Bank of Australia’s (RBA) Board of directors left the cash rate at 3.25 per cent citing significantly lower commodity prices and a moderate drop in trade activity. The Australian Retailers Association (ARA) is disappointed with the decision as it had wagered that...
TIME FOR A “NEW-CITY” CHINATOWN
A LEADING Queensland-based Chinese businesswoman has slammed the tokenism of local ‘Chinatowns’ and says many need to be completely overhauled to foster better business relationships with Asian trading partners. Gold Coast-based entrepreneur Jie Cheng says too many Chinatowns – including the one in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley ¬– have become nothing more t...
DATA SHOWS MAGAZINE READERS ARE CONFIDENT CONSUMERS
SAVVY advertisers are targeting confident consumers who dine out, travel and buy luxury goods through magazines, according to Roy Morgan Research. According to the latest Roy Morgan Single Source data for the 12 months to June 2012, 66 per cent of “very confident consumers” read magazines. Readers of business, financial and airline magazines were among the most likely to be confiden...
SOUTHERN GOLD COAST DEVELOPMENT SPENDING NEARS PEAK
DEVELOPMENT spending on the southern Gold Coast is almost back to its previous 2008 peak levels, according to research by Colliers International. There is currently $4.7 billion of development in the pipeline for the area, which includes Coolangatta, Bilinga, Kirra, Tugun, Currumbin Beach, Currumbin Valley and Currumbin Waters. Development spending peaked in 2008 at $5.155 billion including maj...
CHRISTMAS SHOPPERS HIT SMARTPHONES
GOOGLE Australia has released data that shows 2012 will be the country’s biggest online Christmas yet. There has been an overall 20 per cent increase in shopping-related Google searches year over year. But shoppers aren’t necessarily heading to their home computers and laptops to access the web. Nearly 40 per cent of shopping searches now come from smartphones and tablets. Retailers...
LOCAL BUSINESSES TAP INTO ASIAN TOURISM
LOCAL businesses can benefit from a changing demographic among Asian tourists now heading to Queensland on popular low-cost international flights. Scoot Airlines began flying into the Gold Coast from Singapore in June and the company’s general manager (Australia) Darren Wright says inbound-flights are now dominated by families from China’s emerging cashed-up middle class. “Inb...
ICON RAISES CASH
ICON Energy (ASX: ICN) has undertaken a capital raising venture to fund its continued operations in the Cooper Basin gas field, which will include fraccing and an additional exploration well in the promising ATP855 tenement. The Broadbeach Waters-based junior explorer has secured $10 million from institutional and professional investors by selling about 45.5 million new shares at $0.22 each, i...
CONSUMER BEHAVIOUR CHANGES FACE OF MARKETING
ALIGNING sales and marketing is the key to competitive advantage, according to new research in buyer behaviour. Sales performance company Huthwaite has revealed traditional lead generation marketing no longer holds true after conducting a two-year study of business executives and buyers. The “Focus on the Buyer” study found that 75 per cent of companies whose sales and marketing wer...
FOREIGN INVESTORS CHASE HILTON APARTMENTS
LOWER price tags have foreign investors scrambling to secure an apartment at the $700 million Hilton Surfers Paradise as the supply of new units dwindles. More than $15 million worth of apartments have sold in the past three months, of up to 34 per cent on previously-listed prices. Since January, 65 apartments have sold at prices between $435,000 and $2.3 million, with the final sub-penthouse o...
BODY BUILDER FLEXES MUSCLES IN BUSINESS
FORMER Mr World Grant Mayo (pictured) is building a nutritional supplements empire from the Gold Coast. Nutrition Warehouse, established by Mayo in 2008, has grown revenue 152 per cent over the past three years to $10.4 million, tripling its workforce in the process. Mayo has tapped into the fast-growing healthy lifestyle industry, expected to be worth $2.055 billion in five years’ time. ...
BUSINESSES THRIVE WITH HELP FROM ‘SUCCESS COACH’
BUSINESS coaching is the most effective way to achieve sustainable growth and development in business, according to a self-made multimillionaire. Success coach Michael Yacoub (pictured) believes every business leader possesses immense power to achieve ambitious goals. However, every now and then, even the best business-decision maker needs a few pointers from someone who has been down a similar...
ONLINE SHOPPING BOOM BRINGS MIXED REACTION FROM RETAIL
MORE than a third of retailers see the internet as a threat to their business and have not implemented counter strategies, according to new research. An MSI Global Alliance survey released in October collected data from 822 Australian and New Zealand retailers, wholesalers and business-to-business service providers. While 75 per cent of the businesses polled agreed the internet had pushed them ...
COOMERA TOWN CENTRE INCHES FORWARD
PLANS for the proposed Coomera Town Centre have been given state government approval. The Coomera Town Centre covers around 680 hectares and when completed, will be home to about 50,000 people and provide regional shopping and business facilities. The approval means the master plan has addressed all issues identified in the structure plan and complies with the Sustainable Planning Act 2009. Ass...
ENTREPRENEUR REAPS REWARDS IN GREEN TOURISM
A DECADE spent working in green tourism has inspired Christopher Audley’s new business venture, Second Nature Asia Pacific. Audley (pictured) has spent 12 years in the tourism and conservation industries, travelling to more than 60 countries in the process. His wife, Maggie Audley, came on as a director of the business last month and also brings a wealth of experience in the international...
TOURISM EVENTS TO RECEIVE BOOST FROM STATE GOVERNMENT FUNDING
QUEENSLAND’S struggling tourism operators today received some reprieve after the State Government approved $1.4 million in funding for events. The amount was allocated under the Events Queensland Regional Development Program (EQRDP). Jann Stuckey (pictured), Minister for Tourism, Major Events, Small Business and the Commonwealth Games, confirms the money will support 58 events including t...
BILLABONG’S NEW SUITOR COMES FROM WITHIN
BILLABONG (ASX:BBG) has received another takeover offer, this time from one of its directors – Paul Naude. The 56-year-old will stand down from his roles of director and president of the Americas for at least six weeks to investigate a potential proposal for a leveraged buyout of the company. Naude is a long-term employee of Billabong and surf industry veteran, having been involved since ...
THE WINNERS AND LOSERS FROM SCHOOLIES WEEK
ANNUAL schoolies celebrations attract mixed feelings among the Surfers Paradise business community, according to the precinct's marketing body. Surfers Paradise Alliance chair Laura Younger (pictured) reveals while many businesses capitalise on the influx of about 30,000 school leavers who bring millions of dollars in spending money, others are experiencing one of the worst trading periods of 20...
PROMOTIONS AT BUCHAN GROUP
ARCHITECTURE giant The Buchan Group has announced three promotions at its Gold Coast practice. Steve Jarvis (pictured) and Paul Kennedy have been promoted to senior associates and Emma Ridings promoted to associate. Working across a wide variety of projects including Marina Mirage at Main Beach, Peppers Blue on Blue Resort at Magnetic Island, The Mark refurbishment at Surfers Paradise and Broad...
AIR PASSENGER NUMBERS SOAR ON IMPROVED MARKETING AND CAPACITY
INCREASED carrier capacity and marketing efforts have helped Queensland Airports Limited (QAL) take its passenger numbers to new heights. In comparison to October 2011, Gold Coast domestic passenger numbers for October this year grew 14.7 per cent while international passenger numbers jumped 19 per cent. Townsville’s air commuters rose 6.1 per cent and Mount Isa’s increased 17.7 per...
UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL IT CONTRACT GOES TO UXC
UXC Limited (ASX:UXC) this week secured a $40 million contract to supply and install information communication technology (ICT) infrastructure at the Gold Coast University Hospital in Southport. The contract is the largest single delivery-contract the ICT company has secured for the past 12 months. “We are delighted to have been entrusted to work with Lend Lease and Queensland Health on t...
TIME IS RIPE FOR EMPLOYERS TO FILL NEW YEAR VACANCIES
BUSINESSES planning to recruit for early 2013 should start searching for candidates now or risk missing out on the top contenders, an online employment company has warned. Data released today by SEEK shows that from August to October the fastest-growing occupations were health management (up 167 per cent), closely followed by teaching (up 149 per cent), personal injury law (up 117 per cent) and...
TWEED COAST BOUNCES BACK FROM PROPERTY CRASH
THE Tweed Coast property market has recorded its best sales performance since the Global Financial Crisis in 2012, says Ray Real Estate sales agent Bruce Williams. Ray Real Estate single-handedly helped close a record 182 sales worth $48 million throughout the past year with re-sales adding a further $20 million. The figures are a five-year high for the region. Sales involved a mix of beachside...
SWELLING SUPPORT FOR KELLY SLATER WAVE POOL
CONSTRUCTION of the world’s first continuous wave pool is a step closer, with AECOM and Cox Rayner appointed to spearhead the Maddison Estate Surf Precinct at Pimpama, which is predicted to bring to be a major drawcard for the Gold Coast. LM Investment Management (LM) engaged AECOM to undertake a domestic and international tourism and feasibility study while Cox Rayner is lead architect f...
PRESTIGIOUS BUSINESS AWARDS TO BE DECIDED
BARRY Robinson (pictured left with Matt Taplin) has congratulated the Wyndham Vacation Resorts Asia Pacific (WVRAP) team on winning the monthly Gold Coast Business Excellence Award as the finalists prepare for the annual awards this weekend. WVRAP won the tourism, hospitality and events category in October, which puts it in the running to win the overall 2012 award on Saturday night at Jupiter&...
BUSINESSES PAYING BILLS FASTER
QUEENSLAND businesses reduced business-to-business payment times by one day in the September quarter compared to the same time last year, according to Dun & Bradstreet (D&B). The credit reporting specialist’s latest trade payments analysis shows payment-times across Australia fell by five days since the beginning of the global financial crisis. Queensland followed the trend, recor...
COUPLE ALL REVVED UP ABOUT NEW MOTORSPORT VENTURE
A GOLD Coast couple has established a new venture in the thrilling motorsport of drifting. The activity, where the cars slide around the track with a continual loss of traction at the rear wheels, has gained extensive popularity in recent years after emerging from Japan. Partners Cecilia Kauhanen (pictured) and Eugene Arendsen established the business in 2009 after one year’s research and...
FEMALE SURF CHAMPION’S GETAWAY REVEALED
A SURF champion reveals she enjoys taking a break from the limelight at secluded Phillip Island. Layne Beachley loves her fans but, every now and then, the seven-time world surf champion from Sydney needs to take a break from the public eye. She says the Ramada Resort Phillip Island is one of her favourite retreats for its seclusion, comfortable facilities and natural beauty. “Years ago, ...
SOUTH AUSTRALIAN BUILDER ENTERS GOLD COAST
A SOUTH Australian company will build 37 three-storey villas at the Gold Coast’s Emerald Lakes as part of a new project worth more than $15 million. Urban Construct has entered a joint venture partnership with Emerald Lakes developer Nifsan and the villas will be the first project. The villas feature two and three bedroom configurations, a number of which will be waterfront properties, wi...
BOAT SHOW BOOSTED BY SUPERYACHT CONFERENCE
A MAJOR marine export conference will be held at Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show for the third consecutive year. The Australian Superyacht and Marine Export Conference (ASMEX) will be held at the InterContinental Hotel Sanctuary Cove (previously Hyatt Regency) from May 20-22, the days leading up to the four-day boat show. Event co-ordinator, Victoria Smith, says the event will be the big...
ZUPP BUYS NEW GOLD COAST HEADQUARTERS
JOHN Zupp has purchased the prominent AHC-branded building at Helensvale for $2.05 million, where he will house his Gold Coast-based company Zupp Property Group (ZPG). The two-storey, 830sqm property is situated on 2000sqm of land at Siganto Drive and is part of a 30,000sqm offering of prime commercial land, featuring M1 frontage, put up for sale by the Gold Coast listed property company AHC. Z...
LUXURY ISLAND NEARS SELLOUT
THE last new precinct at Ephraim Island will be put to market in January after The Broadwater sold out this month. There has been a rush on apartments at the luxury, man-made, island since February, with 28 sold at a value of $23 million. The development has so far netted about $450 million in sales for joint-venture developers Lewis Land and Mirvac. Ephraim Island marketing agent, CBRE’s...
BUSINESS CONFIDENCE FRAGILE BUT GROWING
CONFIDENCE is growing in a wide range of sectors and more than half of businesses will invest in further growth in the next year, says a new study. A range of industries reported improved optimism in the month to October in Roy Morgan’s Business Confidence in Australia report, but industry communications director Norman Morris says conditions remain volatile. Confidence improved 4.7 point...
TECHNIGRO IN FULL BLOOM AT AWARDS
 TECHNIGRO won the coveted Business of the Year title at the annual Gold Coast Business Excellence awards on a memorable night where Dreamworld founder John Longhurst was also honoured. Nick Bloor (pictured), founder of the vegetation management company, was ecstatic in the moments after the announcement at Jupiters Hotel and Casino on Saturday night. “It is a testament to 25 years ...
PREPARE NOW FOR HOLIDAY SEASON: REED
SMALL and medium businesses should engage in a targeted marketing campaign ahead of Christmas to capitalise on the holiday season, says MYOB CEO Tim Reed. Marketing is one of six tips MYOB has offered SME operators ahead of one of the busiest periods of the year for many businesses. “I encourage business operators to start raising their profile now via targeted marketing, advertising and ...
QUEENSLAND'S CREDIT RATING IN DANGER
QUEENSLAND’S AA1 credit rating is in danger, with ratings agency Moody’s changing the state’s outlook from stable to negative. Despite the downgrade Queensland Treasurer Tim Nicholls (pictured) says Moody’s analysis backs the government’s tough budget. “Moody's recognises the value of the Newman Government’s most important Budget in a generation that sta...
CUDECO SWAPS SHARES FOR SERVICES
CUDECO (ASX: CDU) has entered an agreement to exchange $34.2 million in shares for services from Sinosteel Equipment and Engineering. The placement of 7.6 million ordinary shares at $4.50 per unit is in lieu of cash payments for equipment from Sinosteel, says CDU director Wayne McCrae (pictured). “The equipment includes the entire 22Megawatt Power Station manufactured by U.S. company...
PALAZZO VERSACE DEAL NEARS CLOSE
 THE Palazzo Versace sale has gone unconditional, Sunland Group (ASX: SDG) announced today. Approvals have been granted for the $68.5 million sale and the Benowa-based company says the deal will settle on Friday, November 30. The company's shares were marginally lower this afternoon, at $1 per unit. SDG announced the conditional sale, reportedly to a mystery Chinese consortium, on Septembe...
STAGE ONE COMPLETE AT COVA MARINA
 THE first stage of the $266 million Australand development, Cova, at Hope Island is complete. The planned 79-berth marina, constructed by Brisbane-based Bellingham Marine, has direct deep water access to the Broadwater via the Hope Island Canal. The initial 12-berth release in the strata-titled offering includes sizes from 10m to 16m, priced between $54,000 and $84,000. Australand general...
NEW BOSS FOR SURFERS PARADISE HILTON
CHRIS Partridge will take over as general manager of Surfers Paradise Hilton, following the departure David Kelly (pictured). Kelly, who was founding general manager of the hotel, has taken the role of regional general manager, North China at Beijing. Partridge comes with a wealth of experience, having spent 23 years with Hilton Worldwide, including time in London, Sydney, Melbourne and most re...
PWR RACES AWAY WITH AWARDS
PWR Performance Products is powering from one award win to another, last night taking out the prestigious Prime Minister’s Exporter of the Year Award. The Yatala-based engine component manufacturer was one of twelve companies vying for the national award at its 50th anniversary gala event at the Parliament House Great Hall. PWR provides engine cooling components for some of the world...
DEMAND HIGH FOR TWEED COAST LAND
SEASIDE recorded $27.5 million sales for 108 lots in 2012, more than 60 per cent of the total stock. There are 20 beachside lots remaining at the $750 million Tweed Coast development, after all 47 creek side home sites, plus 31 lots in its beachside area sold. The developer expects the remaining beachside lots, ranging in size from 491sqm to 620sqm, to sell over Christmas. Seaside is being mark...
VILLA WORLD PLANS NEW DEVELOPMENT
VILLA World Limited (ASX: VWL) today announced plans to undertake a $46 million bayside residential development south of Brisbane. The company has entered an unconditional contract through its subsidiary, Villa World Developments, for the purchase of the site, at Thornlands near Cleveland. The acquisition, which is scheduled to settled on December 20, bolsters the Gold Coast-based company...
GOLD COAST TOURISM INDUSTRY RECORDS STRONG YEAR
GOLD Coast has experienced its strongest tourism performance since the Global Financial Crisis this year and accommodation providers say summer trade is up 20 per cent on last year. The city is expecting about 3 million visitors over summer and Gold Coast Tourism CEO Martin Winter (pictured) says the numbers build on the positive momentum generated through 2012. “Feedback from some o...
TOURISM BODIES A STEP CLOSER TO MERGER
QUEENSLAND’S peak tourism body will oversee destination marketing and major events with the creation of Tourism and Events Queensland. The passage of the Tourism and Events Queensland Bill 2012 through parliament yesterday is a significant step in the merger of Tourism Queensland and Events Queensland into TEQ (Tourism and Events Queensland). The process of bringing the two organisations ...
GOOD SIGNS FOR GOLD COAST PROPERTY MARKET
 HOT competition amongst bidders at this week’s Ray White Surfers Paradise Auction is a good sign for the property market, says Ray White Surfers Paradise principal Andrew Bell (pictured). A dozen residential sales, worth $9.7 million, were completed – a clearance rate of 75 per cent. A total of sixteen residential properties, five commercial properties and a motor yacht went u...
DOUBLE TAKE FOR DEER
RANDALL Deer (pictured), the Gold Coast’s 2012 Young Entrepreneur of the Year, says his job is fun. He explains the exciting developments of the last 12 months with genuine passion and he gives the impression he can’t wait to get back to work at Ignite Travel Group. “It is not a matter of pinching myself for how far the business has come already, because we are always focusing...
CAUTIOUS CONSUMERS PUT PRESSURE ON PRICES
DISCOUNTING has become the “new normal” as business owners work to entice cautious consumers, says Dun & Bradstreet CEO Gareth Jones in reaction to the latest Nation Business Expectations Survey. The selling price expectation index in today’s D&B report dropped nine points to three, 26 points below the 10-year average and its lowest level since the company started the ...
BIG DAY OUT TO STAY ON THE GOLD COAST
THE Big Day Out (BDO) will stay on the Gold Coast for at least the next five years after the music festival secured Queensland Government support to find a new venue within the city. The festival’s home of almost 20 years at the Gold Coast Parklands is being redeveloped for the 2018 Commonwealth Games and there was competition from rival cities to host the iconic event. BDO chief executiv...
TOURISM GIANT SLASHES COAST JOBS
TIMESHARE exchange business RCI Asia Pacific will cut 60 people from its Bundall office, with its call centre and other backroom operations relocating to Singapore. Managing director Charisse Cox (pictured) will stay on the Gold Coast with the scaled back staff to service key clients and affiliated resorts, while the call centre and other back office work will relocate. Staff members were told ...
RBA KEEPS CASH RATE ON HOLD
THE cash rate will remain at its historic low of 3 per cent, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) announced this afternoon. The widely expected decision gives the RBA room to move in case of any deterioration in demand, with the soft labour market constraining inflation to 2.25 per cent, consistent with the medium term target. “Looking ahead, with the labour market softening somewhat and u...
SIGNS OF RECOVERY DESPITE GRIM PRODAP REPORT
THE Gold Coast’s development industry continues to struggle as sales of vacant housing lots and new house-and-land packages track well below -20 year averages, says the Prodap Report. The report’s author, Bill Morris, says combined sales of new housing and vacant land have been running at under 1000 a year, which compares with the long-term average of 4200 a year since 1995. The dou...
OPINION DIVIDED OVER NEW LOGO
A MARKETING expert has questioned the choice of Gold Coast City Council's controversial logo revealed today, part of the new We’re the Gold Coast. Full stop brand. The ‘red full stop’ will replace the previous gold and blue GCCC logo which will be incorporated city-wide, however opinion is divided amongst businesses and the community. The Council invested $180,000 in its creati...
NEW VOTE SET AS PFORR DUMPED FROM CHAMBER
THE Gold Coast North Chamber of Commerce (GCNCC) is poised to elect a new president next week after dumping former city councilor Grant Pforr (pictured) from the role on Wednesday night. A special meeting of the chamber passed a no confidence motion in Pforr, who assumed the president’s role after losing his seat on the council in last year’s elections. The chamber also passed moti...
COAST BUILDER WINS $15M TURF CLUB CONTRACT
Alder Constructions has been awarded the first stage of the proposed $35 million redevelopment of the Gold Coast Turf Club with construction set to start in a matter of weeks. The Biggera Waters-based company beat four shortlisted contractors, including a couple of local companies, to secure the $15 million first stage which will include renovations to the club’s members bar and lounge, a...
GOLD COAST LEADS ECONOMIC CHARGE
THE Gold Coast is described as ‘leading the charge’ in to positive economic territory in the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland (CCIQ) Pulse Survey of Business Conditions. The Queensland business confidence index rose 5.1 percentage points in the survey’s 12 month outlook, with general business conditions and sales revenue all improved. “The Gold Coast was among...
ROBINSON COOKS FOR CHARITY
BARRY Robinson (pictured) is among the top CEO Cookoff fundraisers as the event gets underway this afternoon. The managing director and CEO of Wyndham Vacation Resorts Asia Pacific is the only Gold Coast-based CEO involved in the event and $21,770 puts him at the top of the Queensland contingent and ninth overall on the fundraising leader board. The Sydney event will bring together 136 CEOs and...
SUNS A SHINING LIGHT FOR THE GOLD COAST: KENNETT
THE Gold Coast has lost its buzz, says former Victorian Premier Jeff Kennett (pictured). But he has a solution. In a frank assessment of the city’s fortunes issued to business leaders, the keen AFL supporter says the Coast has to capitalise on its most recognisable brand to stir excitement – and he isn’t talking about a red dot. Kennett says the most recognisable face the Coas...
PALAZZO VERSACE SALE BONUS FOR SUNLAND SHAREHOLDERS
PROFITS from the sale of the Palazzo Versace hotel are being channelled into the pockets of Sunland shareholders as the property group today announces its first dividend in more than three years. The Gold Coast-based property developer has delivered a half-year profit of $8.4 million, a result largely buoyed by a $7.29 million one-off tax benefit from the Palazzo Versace sale which settled late...
ICON SHARES JUMP ON GAS FLOW DATA
ICON Energy (ICN) shares jumped 20 per cent today after the Gold Coast oil and gas explorer announced gas flows from its Halifax-1 well in Queensland’s Cooper Basin. Icon says gas is flowing at a constrained rate of 2.23MMscfd, but it anticipates the unrestricted gas flow rate will increase as the choke is opened further and stimulation fluid is reduced. Halifax-1 is a joint venture betwe...
ECHO ENTERTAINMENT'S PROFIT SLIPS
ECHO Entertainment Group’s (EGP) Queensland properties endured a soft start to the financial year, with revenues and profit hit by a tough consumer environment. Revenue and earnings were down at the company’s three properties in the state, Jupiters Gold Coast, Treasury Brisbane and Jupiters Townsville, EGP reported today. Actual EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax depreciation and...
G8 BOOSTS DIVIDEND
CHILDCARE centre operator G8 Education has boosted its annual dividend by 25 per cent with the company’s total payout for the year rising to 10c. The Gold Coast-based company, Australia’s largest listed childcare centre group, had been paying a quarterly dividend of 2c-a-share previously and from April will start paying 2.5c a quarter. The dividend announcement comes ahead of G8 Edu...
RAIN AND RISING COSTS TAKE ARDENT FOR A RIDE
DRIVING rains at the end of January hit revenues at Dreamworld, but the theme park still managed to deliver a solid performance over the six months to the end of December. Theme park owner Ardent Leisure Group (AAD) reports a 5.5 per cent lift in revenue to $55.9 million during the half year. Revenue growth was driven by higher visitor numbers, although Ardent says spending per visitor was down...
BIG BOOST IN VISITORS FOR COAST THEME PARKS
MORE than half a million more visitors poured into Village Roadshow’s Gold Coast theme parks in the December half than they did a year earlier. The visitor figures, up 26.8 per cent or 548,000 people from a year earlier, has helped Village Roadshow’s (VRL) theme park division post a 9.4 per cent lift in EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) to $40.6 m...
RFG DEVOURS EXPECTATIONS
RETAIL Food Group (RFG) has beaten forecasts by delivering a net profit of $16.5 million for core operations during the December half-year. The latest result, a record for the Southport-based group, is up 10.5 per cent on a year earlier, and up from RFG’s own forecast of a 7.5 per cent profit increase. But the statutory result has come in at $14.6 million, up 0.7 per cent, due to costs li...
BILLABONG TAKES HUGE LOSS
TAKEOVER target Billabong (BBG) has slumped to a record net loss of $536.6 million for the December half year, largely due to slashed valuations of the Billabong brand and North American goodwill. The profit result, a blow to Billabong’s chances of fending off two takeover challenges, also has been hit by a slump in European sales and the disposal of half of the Nixon brand last year. Bil...
ICON BENEFITS FROM $349 MILLION DEAL
US energy giant Chevron has jumped into two shale gas plays held by Beach Energy for up to $US349 million, in a move that could also inject $US18 million into Gold Coast-based gas hopeful Icon Energy. Chevron Australia has agreed to acquire 60 per cent interest in Beach Energy’s PEL218 tenement in South Australia and up to 36 per cent of Beach’s interest in the ATP855 tenement in Qu...
G8 PROFIT JUMPS
THE fortunes of childcare centre operator G8 Education Ltd (GEM) continue to rise with the company posting an 11 per cent lift in annual profit to $19.2 million. The result has beaten consensus forecasts of a $19 million profit by analysts earlier this year as the Gold Coast-based G8 which continues to grow through key acquisitions nationally. The profit has been built on a 26 per cent surge in...
KANGA MOVING TO NEW YATALA DIGS
THREE years after being ‘rescued’ from closure Kanga Loaders will move into a new home at Yatala, where it will manufacture an innovative remote controlled loader which is set to be the company’s star performer. The 1,500sqm fully integrated manufacturing, fabrication and servicing plant is just down the road from the home of its saviour, Digga. Kanga has signed a three year l...
RBA DECISION NO SURPRISE TO PROPERTY MARKET
The Reserve Bank of Australia’s decision to hold the cash rate steady for another month has come as no surprise to the property market. The cash rate remains at 3 per cent as RBA governor Glenn Stevens notes that the “downside risks appear to have lessened over recent months." Stevens says the RBA remains ready to cut rates if needs, providing inflation remains in check. The announce...
SUNLAND GROUP LAUNCHES 2013 PORTFOLIO
SUNLAND Group Limited (ASX: SDG) has announced it will undertake five new developments in south-east Queensland in the next 12 months as part of a $700 million residential portfolio released today. The developments will add 389 luxury homes, apartments and townhouses to the Queensland market at a value of $378 million. The Gold Coast-based property developer has also committed to 479 luxur...
ALDER MOVES IN ON AHC HELENSVALE
ANOTHER block of land has been snapped up in AHC’s Helensvale offering, as Alder Constructions moves into the area. With plans to relocate from Biggera Waters and build a new headquarters, Alder Constructions managing director Greg Alder has purchased Lot 47 from the listed property development company at 116 Siganto Drive. James Crawford and Stewart Gilchrist of Colliers International ne...
HUTSON DOUBLES STAKE IN G8
JENNY Hutson (pictured) has shelled out $1.56 million to boost her stake in Gold Coast childcare group G8 Education as the company's share price continues to flirt with all-time highs. The G8 Education chair has bought 800,000 shares in the company, doubling her holding to 1.6 million shares. The shares were bought for $1.95 each on March 15, according to a statement issued by G8 to the Australi...
CUDECO PULLS ANOTHER $39M FROM CHINESE
Gold Coast-based copper explorer CuDeco has boosted its bank balance by $39.25 million following a capital raising involving two key Chinese investors. CuDeco, which is progressing plans to become a fully-fledged miner this year, has raised the funds in two separate deals struck at $3.45 a share. Cornerstone investor China Oceanwide International Investments Co Ltd has picked up 5 million share...
AUSSIES CHOOSE GOLD COAST HOLIDAY
THE strong Australian dollar hasn't detered Australians from choosing the Gold Coast over international destinations for their holidays. Data released by Tourism Research Australia for the 2012 calendar year shows 11.7 million people visited the Gold Coast last year and spent a combined $4.6 billion. Of those, 3.5 million were domestic overnight travellers, a 7 per cent increase on the previous ...
BILLABONG TAKEOVER SAGA DRAGS ON
BILLABONG drawn out takeover speculation is set to drag out further after the company’s shares were voluntarily suspended from trading this morning. Shareholders were expecting some news today from the Gold Coast-based sportswear group regarding two potential takeover bids that have been hanging over the company since January. The company called for a two-day trading halt of its shares on...
BILLABONG BID MAY SAVE JOBS
Billabong shares may have tanked in the past two sessions, but many of the company’s staff have been buoyed by news that founder Gordon Merchant (pictured) has backed a takeover proposal from Paul Naude. Naude, who was originally employed by Merchant in the 1990s and who later was to become the company’s US boss, has been given a 10-day exclusivity period by the Billabong board to ...
HOME LOANS BRING HOPE FOR BUILDERS
POSITIVE signs are emerging suggesting the Queensland building industry is enjoying an improved start to the year. The number of finance commitments for owner-occupied dwellings in Queensland rose by 4 per cent during January to reach a seasonally-adjusted figure of 8,651 in February, says the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Housing Finance report. This is up by 1.3% on February 20...
TEN MORE DAYS, SAYS BILLABONG
A LONG-anticipated bid for Billabong has just become a little longer. The embattled surfwear group has agreed to extend its exclusive negotiations with US boss Paul Naude for another two weeks, dashing hopes that a deal would be presented to the market today. Naude, who has teamed up with private equity backer Sycamore Partners to assume control of the Gold Coast-based group, earlier this month...
FOX URGES ENGAGEMENT WITH ASIA
LINDSAY Fox has urged Gold Coast business to engage with Asia at an Institute of Company Directors luncheon today. “There are 3.4 billion people in our back doorstep in South East Asia and India,” says the founder of logistics company Linfox. “Three per cent of those 3.4 billion people have disposable income for the first time in their lives – that is 100 million people....
DREAMWORLD FLOATS THROUGH THE WET
A BUMPER January and early Easter holiday period has helped Dreamworld float through the weather washout that swamped the Gold Coast tourism industry in the March quarter. Theme park owner Ardent Leisure (ASX: AAD) has revealed revenue for the nine months to the end of March was up 4.2 per cent to $79.85 million compared to a year earlier. This is despite the rain deluge that started in late Ja...
DEVELOPMENT INDUSTRY WELCOMES RBA DECISION
THE banking sector, fresh from posting another round of record interim profits, is under pressure to pass on today’s interest rate cut by the Reserve Bank of Australia. The RBA surprised at least half the market today by cutting the official cash rate by 25 basis points to 2.75 per cent. The call was an even-way split among economists, half of whom saw the strength of retail sales in the ...
SEACHANGERS BOOST ONLINE ECONOMY
GOLD Coast Hinterland online businesses are selling more through PayPal than any other regional area in Australia. The hinterland sits atop of PayPal Australia’s list of 10 regional hotspots for the period to March, with the highest total payment volume and a growth rate of 28 per cent. Entrepreneurs taking a seachange are pushing the growth of the online economy in regional areas, with t...
GORE PLEADS GUILTY TO DRIVING CHARGE
BANKRUPTED Gold Coast businessman Craig Gore has been disqualified from driving for two months and fined $700 after pleading guilty to unlicensed driving at Southport Magistrate Court this morning. This was the third unlicensed driving charge faced by the former V8 Supercar team owner and failed developer over the past five years. Gore entered the guilty plea before magistrate Michael O’D...
BILLABONG DISAPPOINTS AGAIN BUT INMAN HITS BACK
BILLABONG’S shares have been suspended again dealing another disappointing blow to shareholders waiting for news of a potential takeover bid this morning. The company has also hit out at criticism that chief executive Launa Inman (pictured) has been absent from the company’s headquarters at a critical juncture for the takeover negotiations. Billabong’s shares, which were place...
TOURISM INDUSTRY WELCOMES NEW CAMPAIGN
TOURISM leaders met on the Gold Coast today following the launch of a new Gold Coast tourism campaign this week. ‘And Action’ has been rolled out in a bid to continue on the momentum of 2012 that saw a 14 per cent increase in the number of domestic tourists as compared with 2011. The new campaign features a series of movie trailer-style advertisements screening in Sydney and Melbour...
PACKER WALKS AWAY FROM ECHO
ANY ambitions James Packer may have had of taking over Echo Entertainment Group Ltd (ASX: EGP) have been emphatically dumped after the casino mogul’s Crown group sold its stake in the Gold Coast casino operator overnight. Crown Ltd (ASX: CWN) announced to the market this morning that it had sold its entire stake in Echo for $264 million. Crown says it offloaded its 10 per cent stake of 82...
RAPID GROWTH FOR WEB PIONEER
Bloomtools will be a company to watch next year as a new joint venture agreement will boost its franchises from 10 to 150. The web design and internet marketing company, founded by James Greig, 29, sustained 30 per cent revenue growth this year to $3.3 million. Up to 60 per cent growth is expected next year. Greig says details of the joint venture agreement, which will fuel the expansion, will ...
A WILD IDEA IS A WINNER
JIMMY Black (pictured) has succeeded where many others have failed: integrating a bricks-andmortarretail store with an online presence. And he has done it all from Burleigh Heads. Black, 34, founded Wild Earth, a camping and hiking equipment retailer in 2006. The company this year turned over $5 million. “What we do different is that our model has highlighted the move to online, but ...
LOVE OF FOOD SHINES THROUGH
Consistency of product has ensured Glass Dining and Lounge Bar’s strong performance in the past year, says co-owner Shanan Harmelin. “We have had the same head chef for years which has enabled us to maintain a high level of consistency in our food,” says Hamelin. “We have a fantastic location, a beautiful restaurant, a loyal group of customers, and chefs who never compro...
KEEPING FIT IS PART OF THE PROPERTY BATTLE
Finesse Property founder Shane Evans (pictured) says constant learning, while keeping mentally and physically fit, has helped him guide the business through the struggling Gold Coast property market. “To survive economic uncertainty over the last 12 months we acknowledged the necessity to have an unwavering commitment to remaining mentally sharp by attending industry training and abs...
A PRINTING MODEL THAT'S ALL PROFIT
It seems Jason Ganis (pictured) has set up a business model that, rhetorically, is probably as close as it gets to printing money. “We could not turn a sale for the next five years and still make a profit,” boasts the 37-year-old founder of Smartprint Fleet Management (SFM). The company grew by an impressive 50 per cent last year, taking revenue to $17 million. It builds on the...
REBRAND IS KEY TO CASH GROWTH
Nimble co-founder Greg Ellis (pictured) says the company will beef up its marketing campaign this year to continue growth. The short-term lender’s rebranded company, formerly called Cash Doctors, has almost tripled its revenue in the past three years to $12.6 million and employs 68 employees. An updated software system, which can quickly evaluate potential borrowers and weed out pote...
ENTERPRISING STUDENT FINDS THE RIGHT BLEND
What started as a hobby for Nicholas Pearce has become a serious business venture for the budding entrepreneur. All the 21-year-old wanted was a decent coffee. After travelling to Brisbane twice a week for his fix, he decided to start his own café. Blackboard Coffee was born. Pearce, who moved to the Gold Coast from Melbourne to study a Bond University Bachelor of Business (Entrepreneurshi...
CONCIERGE IS NOW AN EVENTS BOSS
New technology will transform the way large corporate events are hosted and Blue Shadow Group owner Daniel de Vries (pictured) aims to be at the forefront of the change. “There is an opportunity for us to host conferences where anyone from anywhere can be involved,” says the 37-year-old. “We are targeting big corporations, who might have 200-300 people in each state, but ...
ENCOURAGING SIGNS FOR HOUSING INDUSTRY
EXPERTS in the housing industry are optimistic about trends in the Queensland housing market which show construction and purchase of new homes is up by 7 per cent, despite tighter bank lending requirements. This increase is for the third month in a row according to ABS figures for April 2013, with the total number of owner-occupied dwelling commitments rising by 1.3 per cent in April (seasonall...
GOLD COAST HOUSING RECOVERY IN SIGHTS
THE Gold Coast housing market is picking up but it’s not time to crack open the champagne just yet, say experts. Queensland building approvals have increased last financial year, with Gold Coast approvals up 21 per cent, from 213 to 258. But fragile consumer confidence is still a problem, says Master Builder’s deputy executive director, Paul Bidwell. “While the figures are pos...
ANTI-COMPETITIVE SUPERMARKET PRACTICES SHOULD END - RETAILERS ASSOCIATION
FOUR business and grocery groups have joined forces to call for the end of the anti-competitive behaviour by the ever-expanding grocery chains. Not content with dominating numerous industries, the two national supermarket chains have tried to lock shoppers in with cross-subsidised fuel and grocery deals. This activity hurts other fuel operators and makes consumers captives to the chains’ ...
BROADWATER CASINO HOPES BOOSTED
DEVELOPERS who gambled the Queensland Government would be open to allowing more casinos have a strong hand in the jostle to build a cruise ship terminal on the Gold Coast Broadwater. The indication from Premier Campbell Newman (pictured) that he will consider giving out three new casino licenses is a boost for the cruise ship terminal plans, which are due by Thursday. The interested parties bel...
HOPE ISLAND TO LURE BIG HITTERS FROM CHINA
 A MAJOR golf tournament, a new five-star hotel and a share of the lucrative Chinese tourism market are all in the mix for the Links Hope Island Golf Club, according to the course’s new majority owner. Golden Horse Nine Dragon Lake Holdings, a company with golfing interests in China, today settled the purchase of the Gold Coast golf course for an undisclosed sum in a deal with Don O&...
SAVVY SPENDING OVER HOLIDAY SEASON
DEBT was paid off quicker than usual over the holiday season, despite Australians increasing expenditure and purchasing beyond their means. According to financial planning service Pocketbook’s Christmas Spending study, debt spending increased by 10 per cent in December with credit reigning as the standard payment option. While 60 per cent of Australians spent more than they earned and dis...
PREFERRED CRUISE DEVELOPER CHOSEN
ASF China Property Consortium is the preferred developer of the Broadwater Marine Project, but will have to overcome significant hurdles to proceed to construction. Pictures unveiled this morning show a redeveloped Wavebreak Island boasting a 50-storey high rise, with cruise ship terminal on the north-western side of the spit, not far from the seaway, plus a super yacht marina on the western si...
REOL PROPERTY EXPANDS
WITH his company on the verge of opening its second new office in six months, Michael Mahon is wasting no time expanding. REOL’s Palm Beach location has operated for five months and already its eight staff have sold $8.9 million in real estate with total group sales reaching $129 million in the last 12 months. “REOL has had a focus on Palm Beach for a little while and word of m...
GOLD COAST TO HOBART OPEN FOR XMAS
GOLD Coast Airport now has a direct service to every Australian capital following news that Jetstar will commence direct daily services to Hobart from December 22. It is considered a significant milestone for Gold Coast Airport and will give domestic tourism a much needed boost. Gold Coast Airport chief operating officer Paul Donovan (pictured), says the service is the result of a strong workin...
COPPERMOLY GOES FOR GOLD IN PNG
ASX-LISTED gold and copper miner Coppermoly Limited (COY) has assured shareholders that prospects are solid in its PNG tenements after securing future exploration funding with Canadian multinational Barrick Gold. Barrick Gold is one of the largest and most successful exploration and mining companies in the world and will fully fund at least three projects in 2011. It has already funded $5 milli...
LANGBROEK ATTACKS BLIGH’S INFRASTRUCTURE TASK FORCE
STATE opposition leader John-Paul Langbroek says the Gold Coast could lose much of its building labour force to surrounding regions if the state doesn’t address the city’s struggling construction sector. Citing State Government and Gold Coast City Council (GCCC)-imposed development costs as the largest ongoing factor in the building industry’s sluggish recovery, Langbroek says...
TREMOR IN 3 MONTHS FOLLOWING INTEREST RATES HIKE
THE ‘tremor’ from the Reserve Bank of Australia’s last interest rate hike will be felt throughout homes in around three months, according to one Gold Coast financial planner. Wealthfarm Financial Planners director Nicholas Sinclair (pictured), says home owners should prepare for the effect interest rates will inflict on their financial circumstances. “Don’t go in b...
MYER BOSS PREDICTS GROWTH DESPITE INTEREST RATES
DESPITE the Reserve Bank of Australia ‘pulling the rug’ from under the consumer with its last interest rate hike, Myer chief executive Bernie Brookes is confident the department store giant’s investment into the Gold Coast is a safe bet. Myer recently opened the doors to its Robina store as part of a $90 million expansion of Robina Town Centre, while another is to be built at ...
ENTREPRENEURSHIP IS IN THE BLOOD
CLOSE to two-thirds of young businesses have a founder who followed in their parents' footsteps, according to the largest study of Australian entrepreneurship. Undertaken by the Queensland University of Technology (QUT), the $1 million-dollar four-year study, tracked the development of 1400 new and young firms in Australia. Now in its third year, The Comprehensive Australian Study of Entrepreneu...
BIG GROWTH FOR PHYSIO ENTREPRENEUR
BRAD Beer has literally bent over backwards in the last 12 months. Now operating as Back in Motion Mermaid Waters, the physiotherapist has been sanctioned with the role of state area manager to spearhead the franchise’s push into Queensland. Having always had the goal to ‘make a difference’ in Australia’s physiotherapy industry, Beer is relishing the opportunity to bring...
PAINTING A CULTURE OF SUCCESS
THERE comes a moment in every entrepreneur’s career when the company becomes too large to micromanage. With operations managers now set up across various sub-sector specialties, founder and managing director of UHK Theodore Vairaktaris, says his role at painting contractors Usher and Sons has ‘become easier’ with expansion. “I remember when we had 20 staff it was a ...
JASON GANIS: SMARTPRINT
SINCE founding Smartprint Fleet Management and ifish Finance in 2005, Jason Ganis has expanded his business profile to include four companies servicing different sub-sectors of the managed print services (MPS) industry. SERIAL entrepreneur Jason Ganis champions the vertical integration concept. The big news in the Ganis printing empire is his latest venture Print Security, after signing a ...
NARELLE CHENERY: ONEGROUP
KNOWN among colleagues and friends as the ‘green goddess’, Narelle Chenery developed the world’s first range of organic skincare products a decade ago and now exports to 65 countries. Chenery's journey started in the kitchen of her Gold Coast home where, armed with an applied science degree, experimented with organic skincare, cosmetics and household products. The que...
MATT KEYS: HABITAT
HABITAT founder and managing director Matt Keys may spend most of his time restoring and preserving complex ecosystems, but he is the first to admit he won’t live to realise his life’s work. “THE greatest challenge facing humanity is to slow the growing consumption of the planet’s finite resources and finding the right balance between economy and ecology,” he ...
RICHARD AND NEISHA BROWN: BROWNS ELS
INTERNATIONAL accolades continue to roll in for Niesha and Richard Brown’s English language schools, the most recent of which is Language Travel Magazine’s (LTM) Star Award for the best English language school in the Southern Hemisphere. Accepting the award at the Hilton London in front a 700-strong audience, Richard Brown says the event ‘was like the mini-Oscars for the ...
BRADLEY CARR AND JAMES PATTEN: RY.COM.AU
PAIRING a hair salon owner with an IT entrepreneur may seem an unlikely formula, but James Patten (right) and Bradley Carr (left) are a cutting edge act. While 35-year-old Patten bought hair and beauty salon Recreate Yourself in early 2006, it wasn’t until he linked up with technology young gun Carr a year later that his vision for an online beauty retail store came to fruition....
ROY HALL: HFI GROUP
ROY Hall is staying ahead of the pack in the fast changing world of finance and insurance. The 35-year-old diversified his Hall Finance & Insurance (HFI) Group at the end of last year but 2010 has seen the company propel ahead. It’s now in the process of expanding to provide fully integrated services across all finance, insurance and estate planning sectors. In its second year of oper...
MRS FIELDS CHOMPS ON COOKIE MAN
NATIONAL franchisor Cookie Corporation Pty Ltd today acquired the Gold Coast’s Cookie Man brand for an undisclosed figure, saving the Allied Brands subsidiary from liquidation. Cookie Corporation is the Australian master franchisee of the Mrs. Fields and will now operate Cookie Man under a separate, newly formed subsidiary. The combined companies will operate 70 locations across Australia...
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ALLCONNEX TO INCREASE CHARGES
GOLD Coast rate payers will have to fork out up to 15 per cent more for water following a closed meeting between re-seller Allconnex and Gold Coast City Council. Allconexx increased charges by 2.6 per cent and the wastewater service charge by 2.5 per cent. Consumption charges will also rise with Gold Coast residential customers paying between 12.9 and 15 per cent more overall for their water an...
TIMESHARE INDUSTRY RACES AGAINST FINANCE REFORMS
TIME is running out for Gold Coast’s multi-million dollar timeshare industry to convince the government it should be exempted from the Future of Financial Advice reform, which it fears could prove devastating. The new legislation will outlaw the payment of commission for salespeople in financial services, which currently includes timeshare operators. The reforms are the Federal Government...
US ENERGY PRODUCER SNAPS UP PALMER’S OIL COMPANY
US-BASED Hess has bought Queensland mining magnate Clive Palmer’s (pictured) Kingsway Oil as part of its Australian expansion plans. The deal for an undisclosed sum expands the foreign oil company’s presence to include the Canning Basin in Western Australia. Hess, which owns WA gas discoveries under its WA-390-P permit and a Northern Territory shale gas exploration venture in the Be...
OPENING THE DOOR TO INTERSTATE EXPANSION
AT just 25, Gold Coast Young Citizen of the Year and coaching business entrepreneur Monique Jeremiah (pictured) is about to expand her business across the eastern seaboard. The director and owner of Exceptional Group, who established Exceptional Tuition and Resumes in 2010 and Exceptional Training in 2011, now plans to roll out Exceptional Graduate Recruitment business before the end of the yea...
TITANS FACE COURT IN BRISBANE
THE financially-stricken Gold Coast Titans’ off-field dramas continue today in Brisbane’s Federal Court. Contractor Reed Constructions will attempt to wind up orders for the Titans’ property arm which were started, but withdrawn by the Australian Tax Office last week. A report by external accountants appointed by the National Rugby League Independent Commission has found the f...
TITANS PROPERTY FACES BANKRUPTCY HEARING
THE Gold Coast Titans’ debt-ridden property arm faces a bankruptcy hearing next month after a Federal Court ruling today allowed a major creditor to begin wind-up proceedings. The court gave Reed Constructions permission to seek $1.046m from the Titans' property arm placing further strain on the Gold Coast NRL club, which reportedly has debts totalling $35 million. The court set the matte...
ACCC TAKES APPLE TO COURT
THE Australian Competition and Consumer Commission heads to the Federal Court on Wednesday to argue that international technology giant Apple has been misleading in advertising of its new iPad. The ACCC announced on Tuesday it would make an application to the Federal Court in Melbourne for orders against Apple Pty Limited and Apple Inc (Apple) for alleged contraventions of the Australian Consum...
ICON HITS BACK WITH PLANS FOR TWO NEW WELLS
ICON Energy Limited (ASX: ICN) has entered the busiest period in its history after signing a contract with Ensign International Energy Services for Ensign Rig 960 to drill two wells in its Queensland ATP626P tenement. The first of the two wells, named Eolus1 and Windom1 will be drilled in early May, bringing the total number to be spudded across Icon tenements in coming months to five. Today...
FALLING PROPERTY PRICES HURT BANK’S BOTTOM LINE
ASX-LISTED Bank of Queensland (BOQ) today blamed falling commercial property prices and volatile financial markets for its $90.6 million loss after tax for the six months ending February 29, 2012. The result represents a 289 per cent drop on BOQ’s $48 million profit after tax in the previous corresponding period. Profit before impairment charges and tax dwindled 1 per cent to $199.6 milli...
TITANS BUY TIME WITH MOVE TO VOLUNTARY ADMINISTRATION
THE Gold Coast Titans Property Trust's move into voluntary administration has delayed wind up proceedings from Reed Constructions in the Federal Court. Reed, which built the Centre of Excellence and is owed $1.046 million, agreed to delay proceedings until after a creditors meeting in May. The case will return to court on June 1. The case was scheduled to go before the court today, but the parti...
SMES TO BENEFIT MOST FROM THE 2012 FEDERAL BUDGET
FINANCE experts agree small to medium enterprises (SME) will benefit most from the Federal Budget, but developers, farmers and miners are tipped to be the biggest losers. Tax experts are confident Federal Treasurer Wayne Swan’s 2012 Budget will deliver a welcome shot in the arm to SMEs. Deloitte confirms the Federal Budget’s inclusion of the loss carry-back will allow businesses to ...
EXCLUSIVE: RESCUING RIVIERA – THE INSIDE STORY
IT was a little over two months ago when Rodney Longhurst and Wes Moxey (pictured) walked into the Riviera construction yard at Coomera to announce their takeover of the floundering luxury boat-building company. The surprise deal remains the hottest talking point within the marine industry as outsiders wait to see whether the two boating mates have righted the sinking ship. As boating enthusia...
RESCUED RIVIERA REVEALS SURPRISE OFFSHORE PLAN
RIVIERA today announced plans to take partial production of a vessel offshore for the first time in the Coomera-based company’s 32-year history. In unveiling plans for a new 49-foot enclosed flybridge model, Riviera CEO Wes Moxey (pictured) revealed the luxury yacht will be “tooled” overseas then “built” at Coomera. Moxey and new Riviera owner Rodney Longhurst are ...
TOURISM BOOST AS AIRPORT NUMBERS TAKE OFF
INTERNATIONAL passenger numbers at Gold Coast airport continue to grow with flights to and from New Zealand leading the way. The Queensland Airports Limited facility recorded 450,876 passengers for April, an increase of 5.4 per cent on the same month last year. There were 61,008 international passengers through the airport in April this year, up 7.7 per cent on the corresponding period in 20...
STOCK MARKET TUMBLES ON GRIM OVERSEAS INDICATORS
THE horror dive that saw Australian stocks lose more than $100 billion in value last month continued today with the S&P/ASX200 index today plunging below the 4000-mark for the first time since November. Factors including America’s worsening unemployment rate and uncertainty over the Eurozone delivered a 1.75 per cent blow to the Australian financial market as the S&P/ASX200 index dw...
BILLABONG CHAIR GOES AS NEW CEO BACKFLIPS ON CAPITAL RAISING
BILLABONG chairman Ted Kunkel resigned this afternoon to end a tumultuous day for the Gold Coast-based surf apparel retailer in which new CEO Launa Inman (pictured) announced a $225 million capital-raising venture. Inman’s announcement was an about-face just weeks after Kunkel publicly ruled out going to the market for funds. Just hours later, Kunkel announced he would leave the company s...
QUEENSLAND WORKERS FACE AXE AT STRUGGLING CHOCOLATE MAKER
ABOUT 65 Queenslanders working for the embattled Darrell Lea confectionary stores face potential redundancy. Directors of the iconic Australian chocolate maker this week cast doubt over its ability to meet ongoing corporate-financial obligations. PPB Advisory, which has been appointed as voluntary administrators, confirms that Darrell Lea operates 13 stores across Queensland and nearly 1800 ret...
SHAREHOLDERS DIVIDED ON BILLABONG CAPITAL RAISING
ONLY half of Billabong’s retail shareholders have signed on to the company’s capital raising venture, but chief executive Launa Inman says she is pleased with that level of interest. Under the offer, eligible shareholders could subscribe for six new Billabong ordinary shares for every seven existing shares, at a price of $1.02 per new share. Billabong (ASX:BBG) today reported 51 per...
COAST BUILDERS KILLED IN ALASKAN PLANE CRASH
THE owners of a Paradise Point construction company have been killed in a light aircraft crash in Alaska. Alaskan State Troopers confirmed Choice Homes owners Steve Knight, 64, and his wife Gillian, 60, died when their Piper airplane crashed near Fairbanks. A representative from Choice Homes this afternoon confirmed to Gold Coast Business News the Knights had been killed, but offered no further...
BILLABONG TRADING HALT AS BIDS CONSIDERED
GOLD Coast sportswear group Billabong has until Thursday to reveal details of two takeover offers that may have been placed on the table by two US suitors. The company this morning requested a two-day trading halt on its shares pending an announcement on the bid process which has been hanging over the company since early this year. “The trading halt is requested following receipt of propo...
SURFER REVEALS RESCUE PLAN FOR BILLABONG
A SURFER who is behind Australia’s latest online retail success story says battling Billabong must modernise to regain market share. Speaking exclusively to Gold Coast Business News, SurfStitch co-founder Lex Pederson (pictured) says Billabong can overcome its retail blues if it embraces some of the cutting edge online sales techniques that have made SurfStitch one of the country...
ANOTHER SHARK CIRCLES SURFWEAR GIANT BILLABONG
A SECOND private equity group has made an offer for Billabong (ASX: BBG), raising the prospect of a bidding war. In a rare piece of recent good news for shareholders, the Gold Coast-listed company says the new offer is “around’’ the $1.45 per share proposed last month by equity group TPG. The price is 9 cents above today’s trading price for Billabong shares, but analysts...
O’NEILL DIDN’T DESERVE BILLABONG DUMPING SAYS RIVAL SURFWEAR BOSS
FORMER Billabong executive Dougall Walker has broken the silence surrounding the departure of the long-serving company’s CEO Derek O’Neill (pictured) earlier this year. Walker today slammed the Billabong board for replacing O’Neill and says his abrupt axing failed to take into consideration the effort O’Neill had put into the surfwear company. “Whether it was the...
BILLABONG SHARES SLUMP AMID DAMNING SPECULATION
BILLABONG (ASX: BBG) shares plummeted in value today amid reports potential suitor TPG Capital is considering withdrawing its offer to buy the embattled Gold Coast surf wear company. The share price slumped 18.63 per cent to $1.075 today, nearly 40 cents per share below the proposed takeover price. The latest slide, which continues two years of woe for BBG shareholders, came after the Australia...
SCHOLAR TO HEAD SURF WEAR GIANT
FORMER Rhodes scholar, Dr Ian Pollard, will replace retiring Billabong (ASX: BBG) chairman Ted Kunkel pending the outcome of a possible takeover bid now in due diligence, the company announced today. Pollard is an actuary and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. He was chairman at Just Group and Corporate Express, a director of OPSM Group and founder of DCA Group. He is cu...
CARDNO CONTINUES ACQUISITION STRATEGY
CARDNO (CDD) has increased its presence in Western Australia with the acquisition of construction materials testing (CMT) firm Geotech. The move expands Cardno’s CMT expertise nationwide, with existing division Cardno Bowler already active in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria. “Acquiring Geotech strengthens the Cardno Bowler Division and allows us to expand on the services w...
G8 BUYS 12 CHILDCARE CENTRES
LISTED childcare centre operator G8 Education continues to expand its portfolio with the acquisition of 12 childcare centres in Victoria and New South Wales. The Bundall-based company has paid a total of $18.7 million for the centres which were acquired from a number of different vendors. The announcement comes ahead of G8 Education releasing its full calendar year profit results, which managin...
NEW MINE BOOST PANAUST SALES
PANAUST (PNA) brought its second mine into operation last year, bumping up sales revenue for the second half by 24 per cent, the company reported today. Consolidated profit after income tax for the year ended December 31 was $154.72 million, up from $142.93 million the previous year. Commencement of goldâ€silver doré sales from the Ban Houayxai Goldâ€Silver Operation ...
COOLUM LOSS IS GOLD COAST GAIN
RACV Royal Pines Resort is named the new home of the Australian PGA Championship for the next five years after Coolum Resort lost the contract last year. The luxury resort, renowned for its golfing facilities, has beaten a heavy-hitting northern rival to secure the event which is one of the major highlights of the Australian golfing calendar. Mercure Capricorn Resort Yeppoon, which says it was ...
LM FALLOUT: IT'S NOT OUR FAULT SAYS TRILOGY
A war of words has erupted between LM Investment Management (LMIM) and predator Trilogy Capital Group in the wake of voluntary administrators being appointed to LM today. Peter Drake (pictured), founder and head of the Gold Coast-based LMIM, says a near year-long campaign by the Sydney-based Trilogy had taken its toll on the fund manager. In the fallout, there are understood to have been a numb...
BILLABONG SHARES CRASH TO RECORD LOW
Billabong shares have slumped to a new all-time low as speculation mounted today that one of two rival bidders may be pulling out of the race for the surfwear giant. Billabong has called for a trading halt on its shares to investigate the reasons behind the share-price freefall of more than 22 per cent in late morning trading. More than 9.2 million Billabong shares changed hands as they hit a n...
BOTH BIDS STILL ON, SAYS BILLABONG
BILLABONG'S (ASX: BBG) shares regained some ground this morning after the surfwear group quashed rumours that potential takeover offers for the company were at risk of being withdrawn. The embattled Gold Coast group last night confirmed that two indicative bids from US-based private equity firms are still in “process”. The indicative bids, which are still understood to be in the due-...
KELLY LANE LOOKING TO ASIA
MANY young business owners fold when the chips are down, but adversity is often where the real guns find their niche. In true entrepreneurial spirit, Kelly Nyssen has faced the worst market conditions in her company’s 15-year history head on – and came out on top. The founder and director of designer art and giftware company Kelly Lane, admits the last few years have been tough...
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AUSTRALIA DUPLICATES EURO PRINT TECHNOLOGY
DOCUMENT management technology is rapidly advancing with intelligent systems likely to dominate the market within years. Australia’s largest independent print solutions provider BBC Digital is seeing demand for efficient, sophisticated document management systems with Australia quickly catching on to tech-savvy regions in west Europe. CEO Archie Fraser says around 80 per cent of all print...
DAVID POWER MAYORAL SPEECH - 10/05/11
Ladies and gentlemen thank you for joining me here today. I recognise in looking around the room what a contribution so many of you have made to the Gold Coast. I also know that in joining me here today you are showing your deep concern for the future of the Gold Coast. Every time I visit one of the world's great cities I am fascinated by how they overcome the many challenges that face them in b...
OUTRIGGER JOINS MERIDIEN IN AIRLIE
SURFERS Paradise-based Outrigger Hotels & Resorts has teamed up with Meridien to manage two new waterfront resorts at the $750M Port of Airlie at Airlie Beach in North Queensland. Outrigger will initially manage Meridien’s Boathouse Apartments expected to welcome its first guests in early 2011. Branded The Boathouse by Outrigger, it will comprise 56 two and three bedroom apartments sp...
HFI ACQUIRES HOPE ISLAND ACCOUNTANCY
QUEENSLAND financial services group Hall Finance and Insurance (HFI) Group has added taxation to its capabilities by acquiring an accountancy practice in Bundall. HFI founder Roy Hall (pictured) has taken a bullish approach to growth by taking over Eastern Taxation Service (ETS). Chan Lawyers solicitor Charles Chan advised HFI on the $370,000 deal, which involved relocating ETS’ three sta...
HOWE FACES 10 CHARGES
A FORMER Surfers Paradise business executive has been charged with 10 counts relating to allegedly stealing as a servant. The court was told Rowena Howe (pictured), 35, allegedly stole $241,000 while employed as chief executive of Surfers Paradise Alliance. She left the organisation last year. Howe did not appear in Southport Magistrates Court. Her lawyer was not required to enter a plea on her...
CORRECTION: ANDREW KEELEY
AN article which appeared on the Gold Coast Business News website on February 14, 2012 contained incorrect information relating to Andrew Keeley. According to documentation now reviewed by Gold Coast Business News, Keeley is not responsible for, nor connected to, any possible or undisclosed debt to creditors after the closure of Gold Coast Life magazine (pictured).
RATE CUTS BOOST PROPERTY GROWTH
CONSECUTIVE monthly interest rate cuts by the Reserve Bank have helped boost property prices in Brisbane-Gold Coast, says RP Data research director Tim Lawless. Capital growth for the month to June 30 was 1.0 per cent in the Brisbane-Gold Coast region, according to the latest RP Data-Rismark Capital Cities Home Value Index. Units in the Brisbane and Gold Coast showed the strongest growth with a...
STEAKING A CLAIM
Steven Adams was an aeronautical engineer with British Aerospace when he decided there was more to the skies than designing and building A380s. Adams and wife Autumn flew their worldly belongings, and the pet dog, to Australia with no clue of what they were going to do. The words ‘Moo Moo’ at that stage were simply double onomatopoeia. That was 2001. This year their successful Moo M...
SILK HITS HIS STRAPS
VET turned racing executive Stephen Silk (pictured) has hit his straps as managing director of the Magic Millions racing carnival. After his first successful carnival that resulted in $72 million in sales, the former Victorian Racing Club (VRC) executive now has a vision for expansion as a new racing landscape emerges. It’s your first full year as Magic Millions boss, what ...
Editor's Message
WINTER is on its way, but it won't cool the hot topic of climate change. In this edition, we explore sustainable business and what companies across a broad spectrum are doing to contribute to cleaner, greener workplace practices. South-east Queensland is slowly paving the way and setting national and international environmental standards for the future. Local company Foster's Brewery is now t...
The green machine
Smart businesses are partnering with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to save money and gain market advantage THE EPAs Dr John Cole, Executive Director of the Sustainable Industries Division, says the EPA supports a shift towards integrating environmental management into mainstream economic activities. Dr Cole is a leading strategic thinker and adviser in sustainable development. An ...
Wheels in motion for Indy sponsor
A NAMING rights sponsor for the Lexmark Indy 300 is imminent following negotiations between Queensland Premier Peter Beattie, ING officials, Indy chairman Terry Mackenroth and a host of corporate players in Brisbane and Sydney. Mr Beattie, who attended a business luncheon with more than 20 of Sydney's major players, says the naming rights of Australia's third-biggest sporting event will be ava...
The sky's the limit
Gold Coast Airport runway extension to attract international business SOUTH-EAST Asia remains a largely untapped business delegate market for the Gold Coast's burgeoning conference industry, says Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Transport and Regional Services, Mark Vaile. Mr Vaile says the 458m runway extension at the Gold Coast Airport will potentially open fresh business opportunit...
Trouble on the water front
Beattie under fire over plan to seize control of water assets THE Queensland Government is under fire from ratepayers and businesses over its plan to seize the Gold Coast's $4.5 billion water infrastructure assets. The Beattie Government is calling it a 'streamlined, 21st century water management system' for south-east Queensland, but the proposed compensation cap of $2 billion is barely adequ...
Bottom dollar
Survey finds many employers earn less than their staff MOST small business owners in Australia pay staff members more than they earn themselves, a recent survey has found. Released by the Gold Coast-based Results in Business Institute, the national poll of small businesses found 63.6 per cent of business owners surveyed employ a staff member who takes home more pay in the hand each week tha...
International trade incentive
SMALL businesses from Cairns to Coolangatta may be eligible for State Government assistance to display their product overseas. Funding is now available to help small biotechnology and information and communications technology (ICT) companies attend international trade shows. The International Trade Show Assistance Program (ITSAP) began in 2000 and provides grants up to $5000 to successful a...
MFS seeks NZ listing
MFS Living and Leisure Group has applied for an overseas listing on the New Zealand Stock Exchange. MFS chief executive Marshall Vann says the listing application confirms the group's commitment to New Zealand and to further grow and develop Australasia's leisure industry. "We have indicated our commitment to New Zealand through our current takeover offer for New Zealand's Tourism Holdings an...
Win for Business News
Gold Coast Business News among May award winners THREE-TIME America's Cup campaigner Iain Murray has joined Gold Coast Business News editor Camilla Westerlund and a host of other local business winners for May in the Gold Coast Business Excellence Awards. Established in August 2000, Mr Murray's Coomera-based Azzura Marine won the manufacturing and construction award. Mr Murray, a six-time wor...
Festival keeps economy jiving
Tweed ready to rock for Wintersun fun - to the tune of $20 million THE annual Wintersun festival is expected to inject a record $20 million into the local economy as old-school rock 'n' roll and a convoy of hot rods rumble into the southern Gold Coast this month. Event organisers predict growth of 15 to 20 per cent and a crowd of more than 100,000 to celebrate the festival's 20th anniversary f...
Budget not climate friendly
Commonwealth drags the chain on climate change, says Queensland acadermic THE May Federal Budget's $741 million for climate change initiatives in the next five years is inadequate, says a University of Queensland business academic. UQ Business School academic Associate Professor Andrew Griffiths says the Federal Budget has little to offer from a 'climate-friendly' point of view. "The centrepi...
Boating bonanza
Sanctuary Cove event's a showstopper THE incredible growth of the Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show in recent years is testament to the significance of the marine industry to Queensland, says State Development Minister John Mickel. Speaking at the annual Smart State Marine Industry Breakfast at the Hyatt Regency, as part of the Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show, Mr Mickel said Que...
Korean delegation to visit
KOREAN Government and business officials are expected to visit the Gold Coast this month to further negotiate a proposed $73 million TAFE accommodation facility. The consortium will establish a Korean accommodation company to develop and operate a facility with up to 600 rooms, on a site adjoining the Gold Coast Institute of TAFE Ridgeway campus. The project is expected to provide 300 jobs ...
Funds to help small business to go green
SMALL business will be helped to 'go green' with a new initiative unveiled by Federal Small Business and Tourism Minister Fran Bailey. Funding of more than $8 million is available for training providers to assist small business to go green. Training to help small business with recycling and energy efficiency initiatives is an example of the kind of project that could secure funding. "Going g...
Surfers stick to the State
Young Gold Coast duo crack the lucrative US export market to make the big-time ROSS McInnes and Clinton Hollier have just signed the biggest contract of their careers - and cracked the highly competitive US export market. The breakthrough comes almost eight years after the dynamic duo designed Lockable Tie Downs, but only two years after they began manufacturing the product under the compa...
Foreign health workers on rise
GLOBAL demand for skilled staff is putting pressure on the health sector in Australia - but many employers are ready to take up the challenge to attract the workers they need from offshore markets, according to a Vedior Asia Pacific Employment Trends Survey. "International competition for skilled staff means Australian facilities are not just competing with the hospital or clinic down the ro...
Work experience via the web
A unique 'match making' service that connects businesses with potential employees and students has burst out of the blocks with almost 1000 students and more than 500 businesses participating. GetExperience.com.au is an online service, providing employers with a solution to recruiting by facilitating access to a stable of skilled graduates, post-graduates and students seeking experience in a v...
Trainees in the swing
A fresh approach to skills training RECORD low unemployment and a mining boom have prompted a Gold Coast golf course to think outside the square when it hires new trainees - with surprising results. You'd think it would be easy to find staff for a beautiful, local golf course, working outdoors in the Queensland sunshine. But the reality is there's a shortage of applicants for lower-paying app...
How bazaar, how bazaar
TOURISM has been identified as the city's most important industry, with more than 4.5 million international and domestic overnight visitors spending time and money in the city each year. That equates to an economic impact of more than $4 billion per annum - and the city of Gold Coast has undertaken a strategy to grow the tourism industry by another $2 billion per annum by 2010. The Gold Coas...
National honour for conference promoters
ONE of Australia's leading promotional products companies has been awarded the highest possible honour at the Meetings and Events Australia (MEA) National Awards. Execugifts, based on the Gold Coast, has been inducted into the MEA Hall of Fame, having achieved the top award in the category of Conference Support Products for 2004, 2005 and now 2006. Meetings and Events Australia, which repre...
Water-wise corporates praised
Business on track to save twice the amount of water forecast SOUTH-East Queensland businesses are adopting water-wise practices to reduce the drain on our dam supplies, according to the latest monthly water reports. Deputy Premier and Minister for Infrastructure Anna Bligh says the December progress reports show businesses are forecasting double the amount of water savings required under t...
Designing the future
Award-winning architect shares what it takes to build a business WHAT makes someone an entrepreneur? Ask Glen Jones, 32, and he'll tell you stupidity - at least, in part. Mr Jones started his own business, Space Cubed, when he was just 24, not long after graduating from Queensland University of Technology with a degree in architecture. "I was offered positions with several firms, but no one...
Eco is not a dirty word
Award-winning architect shares what it takes to build a business THE $20 billion a year national ecotourism industry is driving an increase in visitor numbers to the Gold Coast. Ecotourism Australia says nature-based tourism and ecotourism - tourism with a primary focus on experiencing natural areas - is now worth approximately $20 billion a year to the Australian tourism industry. Recent...
Building on relationships
Development and recruitment crucial to increasing 'bench strength' ONE of the largest shed building companies in Australia, Wide Span Sheds also exports to more than 20 countries. With 50 employees working for its holding company, Steelx, company director Mike Folwell shares the benefit of his wealth of international experience. As one of Australia's largest shed building companies, what ar...
Green light for mill
A JOINT venture between NSW Sugar Milling Co-operative and Delta Electricity will transform the Condong Sugar Mill into one of the largest renewable electricity power stations in Australia - wholly fuelled by sugar cane waste. Located south of the Queensland border near Murwillumbah, the mill has been transformed into a $90 million green energy producer with the potential to supply up to ha...
A sustainable future
AN environmental rating tool has placed Queensland at the front of the sustainability race by allowing new home buyers to identify greener homes. And the Gold Coast and Tweed region - home to three of six premier EnviroDevelopment projects - is leading the way. The EnviroDevelopment certification and branding system provides independent verification a development has achieved leading-edge en...
Environmental science lab for Coolangatta
A $2 MILLION research and development facility will be built in Coolangatta to measure carbon emissions and design new technology to reduce the carbon footprint left by industry. A specialist group of international scientists based in Brisbane have been quietly servicing Australia's leading organisations and government bodies regarding their emissions analysis and planning. The group has also...
Cleaner, greener solutions
A GOLD Coast-based company's new water technology is saving lives in developing countries. Water Engineers Australia and its associate company, Anode Technology, have been making electrochlorination equipment and coated titanium anodes for more than 18 years. Their products are now being recognised on the world stage with help through the Australian Government's R & D Tax Concession. W...
Groundwater Treatment Solutions
GOLD Coast-based company Groundwater Treatment Solutions (GTS) has evolved as a market leader in the filtration of groundwater from construction and building sites for the benefit of our environmental waterways. Its technology provides the optimal service level for ground water filtration. Local, state and federal authorities are making sure ground water removed from the water table and pump...
Overhaul to give venue extra bite
$5 million makeover to get Dracula's blood pumping WHEN the Newman family introduced its horrific ensemble of freaks and let them loose in a themed restaurant at Broadbeach back in 1985, curious punters cued to catch the new Dracula's Theatre Restaurant spook show. This year, the iconic restaurant celebrates 26 years nationally after setting up its first venue in Melbourne in 1981 - a spin of...
Hole in one for Cove club
National record for Sanctuary Cove SANCTAURY Cove Golf and Country Club has set a new Australian record with its latest prospectus for the sale of transferable equity-based memberships in its golf, sports and leisure facilities. The second prospectus for 170 memberships sold out in 14 weeks - more than nine months earlier than anticipated. The first prospectus - which closed last October wi...
Seadov offers cleaner desalination solution
Government urged to rethink offshore 'green marine' desalination TECHNOLOGY developer Seadov wants the State Government to reconsider a proposal for a privately backed, $110 million offshore desalination plant. Seadov (Sustainable Energy and Desalination on Vessel) is a world-first Australian invention with the potential to cost effectively solve coastal region water shortages around the worl...
Save data - and shake stress
Scott Jones of IT Leaders, drives home the importance of data back-up BACKING up business data is an important daily protection - and even more critical towards the end of the financial year. "It is worth thinking about all the important documents and emails and financial data you have collected over the year," says Scott Jones, of IT Leaders. "Back-ups are the second most important thi...
Climbing the ranks
James Greig, from the Website Standards Association, demystifies Google IT'S common knowledge that with up to 70 per cent of all searches conducted through it's site, Google has grounded itself as the world's leading search engine. The Google phenomenon has many business owners pondering how they can get their business to the top of its rankings - and capitalise on the meteoric rise of the ...
Lighten your tax burden
How to avoid a frustrating end of financial year THE end of financial year is a taxing time for any small business. Superannuation, capital gains, bad debts - there's so much to consider. Griffith University taxation law lecturer Brett Freudenberg says the Australian Tax Office is cracking down on rogue businesses with more regular audits. "The normal rule of thumb is four years for the aud...
Welcome relief for investors
Red tape reductions will lessen the FSR paper trail, according to Hynes Lawyers partner Glenn Vassallo and lawyer Olivia Smith PROVIDERS of financial products and services will no doubt welcome the changes proposed in the package of Corporations Amendment Regulations, recently released by the Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer, Mr Chris Pearce, for public consultation. The package, whic...
Plan for a taxing time
Andrew McLauchlan, from McLauchlan & Partners, says it's time to start planning your tax THE end of the financial year is rapidly approaching - and now is the time to start planning you tax. Waiting until the last week of the financial year is leaving it too late. In previous years, the Government has given all workers a break by reducing marginal tax rates (MTRs). This year, the tax b...
New business hub for Robina
Success of Easy T Centre sparks new development with more space A NEW $200 million business hub at Robina is set to complement the existing town centre retail and business district. The business centre will be developed in the next decade and will include dining, retail, commercial, showroom and light industry space. It will be developed on 10 hectares around the junction of Christine Ave...
Luxury Platinum in prime position
A $125 million residential community at Hope Island has been launched by Consolidated Project Homes. The Craig Gore-backed Consolidated Project Homes is part of the Atkinson Gore Group, a diversified group of companies that has more than $1 billion dollars worth of ongoing projects. Atkinson Gore Group acquired the Platinum Waters site in July 2000 and civil works started in mid-2005. The...
Integration boosts Stella's brands
STELLA Hospitality Group has expanded its property portfolio with the integration of S8 apartment resorts following the MFS Limited merger with S8 in September 2006. The integration includes 21 former S8 properties, most of which will be re-branded as BreakFree Hotels Resorts & Apartments as they're converted to brands within Stella Hospitality Group's collection of hotels, apartments and ...
Murwillumbah expands
METRICON has launched stage one of its $30 million Riva Vue development at Murwillumbah. Located off Barnby Street, Murwillumbah, in the heart of the Tweed Valley, Riva Vue is a multi-stage residential subdivision covering 24.5ha. The first stage will consist of 26 blocks. Lots range from 677sqm to 1147sqm. Project manager Frank Galvin says the development will bring a new level of living t...
How many bricks can you count?
Napier & Blakeley director Alastair Walker says many people don't know what quantity surveyors actually do... JUST as accountants are sometimes referred to as 'bean counters', quantity surveyors are affectionately known as 'brick counters'. However, not many people realise the humble quantity surveyor (QS) has been around for a long time, with the earliest measurement of construction quantiti...
Commercial demand soars
PRIME commercial space in Gordon Property Development's Nexus Towers, at Southport, is being snapped up quickly, but there is still 1000sqm still available for sale or lease. Several parties have expressed keen interest in a 300sqm retail space, another is under contract and negotiations are taking place with a cafe owner to move into a corner lot following the launch of the $12 million retai...
Population drives CBD investment
PROJECTED population growth and new high-rise commercial and residential developments have made Southport the Gold Coast's new investment mecca, says Southport Chamber of Commerce president Luke Preston. He says the population of Gold Coast City is almost 500,000 - and rising by 15,000 people each year - and Southport is undergoing unprecedented growth and expansion. "But with no new land ava...
Celebrity scrum packs down at Sharks
Basketball star joins good sports for Sharks showdown FUNNYMAN 'Slammin' Sam Kekovich will return as master of ceremonies for the third annual Southport Sharks Celebrity Sportsman Luncheon. Raising the bar each year, the event has previously attracted key personalities including Hawthorn Football Club president and former Victorian Premier Jeff Kennett and former Carlton Football Club presid...
A runaway success
Corporates line up for marathon BUSINESSES of all sizes are being challenged to get teams fighting fit for the Gold Coast Marathon Corporate Teams Challenge on Sunday, July 1. Corporate sporting supremacy is at stake and the coveted perpetual trophy up for grabs as companies vie for honours including the largest team, most kilometres run and best team spirit. "The Corporate Teams Challenge ...
Swinging safari
THE most-decorated competitor in the history of women's surfing, Layne Beachley, will be among the celebrities competing in the annual Australian Timeshare Industry ATHOC & Christel House Open on the Gold Coast on June 8. Lakelands Golf Course and ATHOC will host one of 30 golf tournaments being held in 30 cities across six continents - all on the same day - to raise money for Christel Ho...
Forum attracts local following
THE next monthly Varsity Central Business Forum will be held at the lake cafe bar, in Varsity Lakes, on Wednesday, June 20, from 5.30pm. Varsity Lake senior project director Carl Bruhn says the forums feature guests speakers including sporting identities, business leaders and television personalities. "The Varsity Central Business Forum is a business education and networking event that prov...
Building ambition
ARE you a time-poor business owner or manager? Too much to do and not enough time to get through it? If you want to use your most precious resource wisely, you might benefit from a business workshop by ProfiTune Business Systems' Peter Rowe. A former brickie's labourer turned managing director, Mr Rowe is an expert in business change and growth management. He brings his passion for small and...
Local companies go green
"Yatala now uses drinking water to make our products and wherever water touches the actual product. Virtually all other processes use recycled water, which is captured and treated on site. Our recycled water is treated to a standard that is in fact purer than the normal reticulated water supply," says Mr Foxall. "We will continue to look for new ways to save water and are working on projects that...
Training ground
IT company expands its operations A COMPUTER training company will roll out extra services across Australia after securing a contract worth $484,000. Competing with some of the biggest players in the IT training industry, Computer Training Options (CTO) won a contract that will see the company expand its computer training services at sites across Australia in the next three months. The compan...
PRIVATE PLAYERS 2010
APRIL 2010 COLLIERS INTERNATIONAL DIRECTOR IN CHARGE (GOLD COAST): STEWART GILCHRIST GROWTH 2010: 20 PER CENT STAFF: 60 ESTABLISHED: 2006 (ACQUIRED PRDNATIONWIDE) OPERATING 267 offices in 57 countries, Colliers International is looking ahead with bold optimism. Director in charge of Gold Coast Colliers Stewart Gilchrist, says the Gold Coast’s retail sector is where the bulk of the growth ...
PRIVATE PLAYERS 2010: CONTINUED
APRIL 2010 MAGIC MILLIONS MANAGING DIRECTOR: DAVID CHESTER YEARLING SALES ’09: $74.8M YEARLING SALES ’10: $75M STAFF: 50+ ESTABLISHED: 1985 JANUARY’s Magic Million racing carnival remains one of the region’s key economic drivers. An independent report finalised last September concluded Magic Millions had an immediate economic and social contribution of $52 million t...
MEDIA SHIFT: RECONNECTING THE CONSUMER
JUNE 2010 THE way in which companies market messages and pitch brands is shifting with the advent of digital media platforms and those that continue to deploy old school rhetoric will be left in the paper trail. Ditto to the marketing and public relations companies that are contracted to etch the message into the psyche of a captive audience. Gone are the days when a business could rely so...
MEDIGARD INJECT INTO THE US
AUGUST 2010 THERE's a satirical illustration on a pin board near chief executive Peter Emery’s desk with the slogan ‘If your horse dies, get off’. It’s an apt aphorism for Emery, who at times might have felt as though he was flogging a dead horse at the publicly listed Medigard (MGZ). While Medigard shares have largely traded sideways on the ASX since 2005, the...
PROFIT PARKS: THRILL CONTINUES FOR VILLAGE ROADSHOW
SEP 2010 VILLAGE Roadshow Limited’s (VRL) strongly performing Gold Coast theme parks have contributed more than $44.3 million (46 per cent) to the film production, media and leisure behemoth’s overall net profit of $94.9 million. The $1.28 billion company’s properties include Warner Bros. Movie World, Seaworld, Wet’n’Wild, Australian Outback Spectacular and Pa...
LEADING THE CHARGE
Former Gold Coast city councillor and deputy mayor David Power is the man that many in the business community regard as the one to take on the top civic job. Dismayed at what he perceives to be a lack of leadership by the current guard, Power takes aim at those making the big decisions. GOLD Coast City Council took 12 months after the start of the GFC to take action to support our second larges...
IS QUEENSLAND THE NEW INVESTOR'S PARADISE?
OCT 2010 A NEW research project that positions Queensland as the growth capital of Australia suggests investors should pay more attention to the Sunshine State. The white paper Queensland Investment Case: Why Queensland? Why Now? argues the Queensland economy is on the verge of strong and sustained recovery, led by major engineering, construction and infrastructure projects. The project su...
SUPERCHARGING THE ECONOMY
OCT 2010 AFFABLE Englishman and Australian V8 Supercars (AVESCO) CEO Martin Whitaker has been on the pace since he was appointed to lead the country’s premier motor racing category in April. While changes are afoot, he’s not here to stamp his mark on the brand. “Oddly enough I’m not into all that,” says Whitaker, on the cusp of launching the Armor All Gol...
UNIT BROTHERS NAMED YOUNG ENTREPRENEURS OF THE YEAR
TWO brothers who started a sports action clothing brand in a Benowa garage with $600 have taken out the coveted 2010 Gold Coast Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award. Unit Clothing founders Ian and Paul Everest (pictured, L-R) were awarded the title during a gala luncheon at RACV Royal Pines Resort. The Unit brand is now found in more than 3000 retail outlets worldwide and this year th...
PALMER V BENTLEY IN QUEENSLAND RACING FRACAS
GOLD Coast mining billionaire Clive Palmer has called on the State Government to order an immediate inquiry into what he deems to be the ‘waste and incompetence’ of Racing Queensland. Palmer is angered that Racing Queensland Chairman Bob Bentley had approved spending of around $12 million on a stable complex at Caloundra on the Sunshine Coast. “Assuming 260 stables were built ...
SUPERIOR JETTIES NAMED BUSINESS OF THE YEAR
MARINE infrastructure company Superior Jetties has been named the Gold Coast’s business of the year at the annual business excellence awards. The Arundel-based marina and jetty builder took the coveted top gong at the 15th Gold Coast Business Excellence Awards annual gala dinner at Jupiters Hotel and Casino on Saturday night. Superior Jetties has been one of the standout companies of the ...
EDITORS MESSAGE: APRIL 2010
APRIL 2010 IS the triumphant return of the prestige property space just behind the double French doors as some analysts predict? Or is there a more measured recovery to tempt a new slate of investors given the bracket shift in affordability? The one certainty is that the Gold Coast is home to product aplenty in the upper end of the market with prices starting to reflect a return to sensibi...
NEW PLAN FOR MAGIC MILLIONS
THE new managing director of the Gold Coast Magic Millions has announced a bold growth plan for the event that includes moving the entire 2011 racing carnival to on-track facilities for the first time. Speaking at the official launch of the 2011 BMW Magic Millions, Stephen Silk outlined a vision to grow the racing carnival and yearling sales to a ‘world-class, uniquely Quee...
SHAREHOLDERS GRILL ICON BOARD
AS investors demanded improved results, the directors of Icon Energy were forced to defend the company’s capacity to deliver on its potentially multi-billion dollar Chinese export deal. With the December 31 deadline looming for China’s Shenzhen SinoGas to sign off on the China LNG Gas Sales Agreement, some shareholders expressed concerns about Icon’s poor performance at i...
EDITORS MESSAGE MAY
MAY 2010 WHILE economists and politicians are prone to talk up population surge as the key to economic growth, the fact is that for every 30,000 that move to the Coast each year, around half of them go back. Given the dated and almost clichéd ‘population driving prosperity’ rhetoric, perhaps a more measured litmus test for recovery is consumer spending and nowhere will tha...
Sanctuary Cove a keeper for now says Mulpha boss
MAY 2010 AFTER splashing around $1 billion on Sanctuary Cove, owner Mulpha is not considering selling off the asset any time soon. Executive chairman of Mulpha Australia Limited Seng-Huang Lee told Gold Coast Business News that, while the company was always considering offers for its property assets – Sanctuary Cove was off limits for now. “With Mulpha we are not in a hurr...
Jupiters takes out national events award
MAY 2010 Jupiters Hotel and Casino has taken home the top gong at the National MEA (Meetings and Events Australia) Awards presented in Melbourne. The hotel-casino property was named ‘Best Venue with Accommodation’ in Australia at the national awards, which are designed to recognise outstanding performance in the Australian meetings and events industry. Jupiters managing directo...
Brisbane manufacturer wins PM Cup Day Hollindale Stakes
MAY 2010 BRISBANE crushing and screening equipment manufacturer Lincom Group has won the naming rights to the Gold Coast Turf Club’s $300,000 Group 2 Hollindale Stakes on Prime Ministers Cup race-day this month. The announcement came during an exclusive 150 Club race-day afternoon function – named appropriately after the limited 150 ticketholders who each bought into the festiv...
Mining magnate predicts further unemployment
JUNE 2010 MINING executive Clive Palmer claims Queensland’s unemployment rate will hike if the Federal Government’s Resources Super Profits Tax (RSPT) is legislated. Palmer says he was forced to shelve two major mining projects that would each have created more than 3000 jobs and billions of dollars in revenue. “The effects of this tax will not be limited to just the...
Singapore deal rocks Stepping Stone
JUNE 2010 CORPORATE adviser Stepping Stone Equity has increased its market power following a management agreement with the Singapore-based FMS Group. The joint venture will target public unlisted companies with a view to a backdoor listing on the ASX or reverse take over prospects. Capital raisings for two Queensland companies are now underway. Due diligence has also been completed for NSW -bas...
Airport numbers up despite tourism gloom
JUNE 2010 PREDICTI ONS that international tourism numbers will continue to decline have been proven wrong with the Gold Coast Airport’s latest figures showing 27 per cent growth in international travel from the corresponding time last year. The statistics show that more than 448,000 passengers travelled through Gold Coast Airport in April 2010, with domestic travel also showing strong gro...
$20M HARBOURSIDE MARKET LAUNCHED
THE northern Gold Coast received a much-needed economic boost today with the construction launch of Essence Property Group’s $20 million Harbourside Market at Biggera Waters. Gold Coast City Councillor Grant Pforr joined developer Essence Property Group co-director Chris Giufre (pictured) at the 7400sqm Oxley Road site that the company purchased for $9 million in October 2009. S...
Online consumer market targeted by US retailers
JUNE 2010 WEB retailers are operating under the guise of Australian ownership and reaping sales from domestic online consumers. Key figures in Australia’s developing online retail sector are calling for industry action. In response to the survey by US-based organisation Internet Retailer, almost 40 per cent of web retailers ranked Australia in their top three markets for generating w...
‘Paymaster’ concept a nightmare for retailers
RETAILERS could have a ‘consuming administrative nightmare’ on their hands if legislation proposing companies act as ‘paymasters’ for Federal Government-funded parental leave payments is passed. The Australian Retailers Association (ARA) submitted a paper rejecting the motion at a Senate hearing last month, which intended to implement the new structure from January next ...
A design on development
JUNE 2010 A FORMER property developer has swapped real estate for fashion and is finding surprising parallels. Following a 20-year career with several multinational construction companies, Island Way founder Cameron Mana was inspired to move into the beach-fashion industry on a business trip to the Maldives. “My family has been involved in both fashion and property construction ...
Coast loses Carbon Expo to Melbourne
JUNE 2010 A gaping $1 million black hole has emerged in the Gold Coast conference and events market following the relocation of the Carbon Market Expo to Melbourne. Lack of financial support from the Queensland Government is believed to have led to one of the state’s premier international exhibitions shifting to the southern capital. The Carbon Market Expo was successful in both dele...
Don’t live in the past , learn from it
GRIFFITH University research indicates tourism heritage could be the next big ticket item for the region, but Gold Coast Tourism CEO Martin Winter says the key is not to dwell on the past, but to draw from it. “The iconic imagery of the Gold Coast that is depicted in posters around the city, predominantly featuring the 1970s’ beach culture, are all legitimate but it is in the past,&...
AirAsia on a high
JUNE 2010 AIR ASIA has been named the 2010 World’s Best Low Cost Airline in the annual World Airline Survey by Skytrax for the second year in a row. The annual Skytrax awards are among the most highly regarded in the industry, with the results based on surveys of more than 17 million air passengers of more than 100 different nationalities conducted over nine months. AirAsia Group CEO...
TAX REFORM ANALYSIS: Is your business impacted?
JUNE 2010The Rudd Government’s response to the pre-Budget recommendations put forward by Dr Ken Henry and his panel of finance big guns generated controversy on three key issues - company tax, superannuation and a resources super profit tax. The talk has been on big corporations, foreign investment and the miners, but a question looms over the outcomes for ground level SME, the engin...
Focus on ‘bigger picture’
JUNE 2010 THE end of financial year rigmarole often sees business owners exploring every tax advantage available, but one of the Gold Coast’s oldest financial services firms warns not to lose sight of the bigger picture. Oculus directors Peter Fenton and David de Closely, say the end of financial year often invokes a ‘tax saving’ mentality among small business owners. “T...
Small business concessions ignored
JUNE 2010A TAX partner from Deloitte says SMEs will be disappointed the federal Budget had not provided assistance despite a number of measures being foreshadowed in the Henry Review. The Henry review recommended further small business concessions. These included: • The small business entity turnover threshold should be increased from $2 million to $5 million and consideration should b...
Minimising tax
JUNE 2010 TAX minimisation is when a tax payer legitimately arranges their affairs to reduce the amount of tax they pay. It complies with both the letter and the spirit of the law. Tax planning is an essential part of wealth creation. Structuring salary, superannuation, investments and debt can create significant tax savings. With effective planning you can take control over the amount of ...
Back to basics as consumers more cautious
JUNE 2010 LOOKING back the GFC has taught many hard-learnt lessons, but according to Moore Stephens director Alan Mitrovich, positives can be taken from the increased awareness people now have of their financial security. Alan Mitrovich says the general public no longer has a pre-GFC ‘she’ll be right’ attitude to their financial security, and are now taking matters ...
Reprieve for boat exporters
JUNE 2010 Internationally recognised yacht and boating brands are set to reap the benefits from changes to marine export GST legislation. The amendment means overseas buyers will now have one year to ship their boats out of Australian waters to avoid paying GST, increased from the current 60 days. Chairman of Marine Queensland manufacturers division Charles Dickson, says it’s a ...
Many eyes in team
JUNE 2010 An online survey conducted by Australia’s largest employment website has confirmed the football coach cliché – there is no ‘I’ in ‘team’. While salary packages, bonus incentives and working hours would expectantly top the most wanted list for those trawling recruitment websites, the recent Seek motivation and satisfaction survey found 60 per ce...
Degrees of motivation
JUNE 2010 DURING  the GFC executive education was all about up-skilling and waiting for the recruitment sector to recover before reaping the benefits. With corporations now looking to retain talent through personal development, motivation and rewarding outcomes, offering tertiary qualifications to the best employees is now drawing parallels with extra salary incentives. SCU’s Graduat...
Price is right for SCU
JUNE 2010 Queensland rugby league legend Steve Price has joined a long list of mature-aged business degree graduates with an MBA qualification. The veteran of 16 games for Australia and 28 State of Origins for Queensland was never going to leave his post-playing career to chance. Price announced his retirement at the end of the 2010 season earlier this year, and says achieving the MBA qual...
Beer ferments franchise
JUNE 2010 SMALL business owners are often so immersed in creating a legacy that they’re reluctant to put another brand anywhere near their own – even if it’s a smart business move. Mermaid Waters physiotherapy practice My Back’s Physio is now operating under the Victorian-based franchise Back In Motion. My Back’s Physio founder Brad Beer leapt at the opportuni...
Don’t sail your product out to sea
JUNE 2010 JESSICA  Watson has sailed around the world to become a role model for many young women, but it doesn’t mean she can sell your product, warns a Queensland University of Technology (QUT) celebrity endorsement expert. Professor Brett Martin says advertisers need to be very careful when relying on star power to promote their products, because a badly aligned endorsement c...
Subscribers still hooked on print
JUNE 2010 A NEW poll confirms that magazine subscribers are still holding on to their printed magazines. News of the demise of print has been disproved again, according to the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council in the US. The consumer poll is part of the association’s ‘precision promotion’ campaign which continues to investigate the impact of data-driven customer ...
PROTECT YOUR LOGO
JUNE 2010 THE flying kangaroo, the hounds tooth pattern and the golden arches are instantly recognisable logos. They have also been protected by their respective owners Qantas, David Jones and McDonalds. These graphical devices operate as valuable trade marks in their own right because they convey a connection to the organisation without using a name or other words. For this reason many compani...
A legal perspective on social media twits
JUNE 2010 Given the speed in which information can be broadcast via social media platforms (and potentially to millions of people), users must consider potential legal consequences for posting information online via social media platforms. Jamie White from law firm Edge Legal says the first court case in Australia dealing with social media posts involved an Adelaide man who was convicted of cri...
‘Dwelling’ key to online success
JUNE 2010 WORLDWIDE digital advertising agency Eyeblaster has found that Australian’s have the lowest average dwell rate for online advertisements globally – proving that a lasting first impression is essential to a successful online marketing campaign. In its latest benchmark report, the corporation analysed the results of more than 13 billion media impressions globally and found a...
Investment for art's sake
JUNE 2010SHARES are volatile and property bubbles have burst. When it comes to art, investment is in the eye of the beholder. How do we value art, which Pablo Picasso called ‘a lie that makes us realise truth?’ Gold Coast Business News speaks with a local gallery owner, a CEO Institute executive and the managing director of a publicly listed property group, all of whom share a ...
PNG powered by Coast invention
JUNE 2010 A device that converts coconut husks and native jatropha plant into biofuel is gaining traction in Papua New Guinea as Biofuel Partnerships’ first export deal.The invention significantly impacts the field of distributed biodiesel processing and changes the way machinery in third world territories is powered. Chairman John Edwards is hesitant to release growth figures but indicat...
Online info for finance
JUNE 2010 THE Federal Government has launched a website that brings prospective exporters information on finance. The Export Finance Navigator is an independent source of information that aims to assist current and potential exporters by sourcing a wide range of information on the financing alternatives available. Developed by Export Finance and Insurance Corporation (EFIC), the Australian Gove...
Remember the US?
JUNE 2010 AUSTRADE’S Washington-based senior trade commissioner has urged Gold Coast businesses to rethink the US as a viable export option, underpinned by new markets in the public sector. Alison McGuigan-Lewis highlights an undercurrent of change at play that has opened up to foreign companies, with the emerging pseudo-slogan of a ‘new USA’. “Change has been underway o...
Dust busting in Brazil
JUNE 2010A MINING services company based in Burleigh Heads has tapped into the lucrative mining rich Brazil to suppress dust in areas where some of the word’s largest mining companies are operating. Reynolds Soil Technologies (RST) is on target to achieve double digit growth in the next 18 months and is looking at $12 million annual turnover for FY 2010-11. The company will also buil...
These boots aren't made for walking
JUNE 2010 Entrepreneur Caroline Horner will have more than 1000 units of her ski boot luggage design for sale in retailers in Australia and the US later this month. On a shoestring budget of $100,000 after ‘mortgaging the house to the hilt’ the avid skier sought to design and manufacture a smarter alternative to the traditional and often cumbersome ski boot bag. The result is the Sk...
Prestige apartment market awakens
JUNE 2010Prestige property is showing signs of vitality in the languished apartment sector, according to property agent Chris Litfin. The comments follow the sale of two beachside apartments totalling more than $8 million in separate projects developed by Amalgamated Property Group (APG). The sales were realised at two beachfront apartment projects, the $90 million Eclipse at Broadbeach and the...
$530m marine precinct planned
JUNE 2010 MARINE industry heavyweight Bill Barry Cotter has thrown his financial muscle behind a $530 million expansion of the marine precinct at Coomera pending council approval. The 63.5ha site on the northern side of the existing Coomera Marine Precinct has been earmarked for one of the largest integrated marine industry developments in the state. It is a joint venture between Barry Cotter ...
Biggera Waters to get a taste of culture
JUNE 2010 A PLAN to revitalise Biggera Waters with a $20 million gourmet food and dining marketplace is to be undertaken by Brisbane-based Essence Property Group. The DA-approved Harbourside Market will open early next year opposite the popular Harbourtown Shopping Centre. Designed to meet demand at the northern end of the Gold Coast, Harbourside Market is primed to emerge as a destination in i...
Jaguar pounces with the XF
JUNE 2010A PRISTINE gun metal grey Mark I0 Jaguar once stalked the roadside near the Bonville workshop where its owner Bill Paulger repaired and built diesel pumps and engineered all things made of metal. As kids we would clamber inside and marvel at the shine of the wood grain dash, legs burning on the leather seats that had baked in the midday weekend sun. That strong scented cow hide epitomi...
EDITORS MESSAGE JULY
JULY 2010 THE school of life is often spoken about as the real passage to achieving brilliant feats in business. The school of hard knocks, where lessons are learned at the coalface speaks volumes. By no means am I trouncing the importance of a university education. I wouldn’t be sitting here bashing away at this keyboard were it not for the odd tenacious lecturer who faithfully hone...
$8 million IPO for Coast’s latest ASX company
JULY 2010 The Gold Coast will have its 19th ASX-listed company following the lodgment of a prospectus with ASIC for an $8 million initial public offer (IPO) by China Magnesium Corporation Limited (CMC). CMC is in a race to raise the funds prior to a July 13 listing. The vertically integrated magnesium company will base its processing facility in the Shanxi province of northern China where ...
Billabong spend $110m in Canada
JULY 2010 TOP 100 ASX-listed retailer Billabong has busted down the door in Canada after acquiring retail giant West 49 for $110.4 million. The move will see the Burleigh Heads surf apparel ubiquitous in more than 500 stores, adding to its existing presence. West 49 sells fashion apparel, footwear and accessories, and operates under the West 49, Billabong, Off The Wall, Amnesia/Arsenic and D-Tox...
Soaring paper prices cut deep
JULY 2010 AUSTRALIAN businesses could be hit with an increase in bulk paper costs of up to 20 per cent as three global events over the last half continue to impact worldwide pulp production. General manager of wholesalers Ed Office Products Tony Bertrand, says challenges within the global pulp production industry will continue putting pressure on local prices. “Although the AUD/USD exchang...
School’s out for good
JULY 2010ROBINA’S Mackintosh College has gone into liquidation with owner Shane Mackintosh saying it’s all over for the company that he took over in 2007. The government’s much publicised ‘crackdown’ on skilled migration was announced in February, with the number of eligible occupations slashed from more than 400 to 181 - and Mackintosh lays the blame squarely at t...
Slow down and re-plan, says Salt
JULY 2010THE demographer who coined the ‘seachange’ and ‘treechange’ shifts believes the Gold Coast is in danger of losing its social and economic fabric if it cannot address the ongoing affordability housing issue. Bernard Salt has laid down the gauntlet for state and local planners to accommodate families paying sub $300,000 for a three-bedroom brick veneer home on 500...
Black Giraffe loose in Burleigh
JULY 2010BURLEIGH Brewing Company has embarked on a bold collaboration with Zarraffa’s Coffee to trial an innovative brewing process to potentially bolster traditionally slow winter sales. The Black Giraffe beverage has been trialled in small batches but both parties are adamant the fusion of never before seen levels of coffee and beer will be a hit with consumers. With thousands of dolla...
Aqualuma continues bright run
JULY 2010 UNDERWATER lighting specialist Aqualuma has continued its winning streak with Gold Coast luxury yacht brands, after securing a deal that will see Riviera exclusively fitted with its products. The Helensvale-based manufacturer had earlier secured the exclusive rights to provide OEM lighting products to manufacturer Maritimo, with part-Riviera owned R Electronics the latest distributor....
Donovan not sold on tourism doldrums
JULY 2010 Talk of further turmoil for the Gold Coast’s tourism sector has struck a sour note with Gold Coast Tourism chairman Paul Donovan, who points to strong investment and increased travel numbers as indicators of the industry’s strength. The Gold Coast Airport boss and passionate tourism advocate cites Surfers Paradise developments Soul, the Hilton and The Oracle at Broadb...
Plugged into Super Cheap: GCBEA July
JULY 2010 An innovative user-friendly design has secured KT Cable Accessories a wholesale contract with Super Cheap Auto Group for its trailer plugs and adapters. The Ormeau-based company has been wholesaling its auto electrical products since 1994 but really started making waves in the industry after developing trailer accessories with built-in LED circuit testers in 2006. As part of a full pr...
Mining and heavy industry decline
July 2010 Industry analyst and economic forecaster BIS Shrapnel has forecast a decline in mining and heavy industry construction activity in 2010/11. According to BIS Shrapnel’s Mining and Heavy Industry Construction in Australia report, overall mining and heavy industry construction is expected to fall 3 per cent in 2010-11 – for the first time since 2004. The mining and heavy indus...
Transit key to corridor growth
JULY 2010 Additional heavy and light rail systems may be pivotal in upgrading northern commuter nodes, but according to the city’s peak development body, European-styled transport developments must be built to support transport infrastructure. The creation of additional public transport systems are intended to offset the city’s trend of ‘two-car families’, but the Urban ...
New growth pockets
JULY 2010 POPULAR residential and employment pockets in Logan City are fast establishing themselves as serious business hubs as affordability and accessibility drive growth between the two cities of Brisbane and the Gold Coast. While retail and business precincts such as Springwood, Loganholme and Mt Gravatt have shown high growth over the last few years, it is the western Logan suburbs of Brow...
Bells toll for Hope Island
JULY 2010 FORECAST demand for housing along the Gold Coast’s northern corridor has spurred a merger between Ray White Surfers Paradise Group (RWSP) directors Andrew and Greg Bell and Hope Island real estate Guardian Realty. Guardian Realty was headed by Barbara Broderick who will continue a senior sales position with the RWSP managed agency. The two Guardian Realty offices at Hope Island&...
Demand for aged care solid
JULY 2010Condev Construction will splash $5.8 million to build three aged care facilities in northern NSW. The new developments are in Byron Bay, Ballina and Lismore. The projects are part of the disability and seniors living strategic plan of the Federal Government’s Nation Building Economic Stimulus Plan. Condev Construction director Steve Marais, says government projects such as large...
Southport Central closes in 100th sale
JULY 2010 The $700 million Southport Central mixed-use development is on the cusp of realising 100 sales. Karen Seeto of Ray White Commercial M1 North, says a campaign on behalf of receivers and managers Korda Mentha, has resulted in contracts on 93 strata lots in the final Southport Central Tower 3 release. “A lot of the interest has come from professionals such as engineers, accountants...
ESCAPE WITH THE XC90
JULY 2010 Volvo has busted out from its box-like image that folk in long socks and thongs made popular to become ever so slightly cool. Volvo’s slick XC90 SUV has shaken off the tainted, safety-before-design stigma and emerged as a seriously fun AWD. Don’t get me wrong, safety remains at the forefront of Volvo’s design and marketing. “Choosing a Volvo will always be some...
Winter Warmers at Glass
JULY 2010 A business lunch is less business and more indulgence at Glass Dining and Lounge Bar Marina Mirage. Sure the results are the same, but the view adds a sense of escape, the St Hubert’s Yarra Valley pinot noir a splash of zest and the 350g rib eye enough flavour to tantalise even the most mundane of time honoured business luncheons. For something a little more indulgent, request t...
TITANS KICK OFF WITH NEW SPONSOR
THE Gold Coast Titans today announced a ‘multi-million dollar’ three-year sponsorship deal with Robina-based builder Coral Homes. Titans managing director Michael Searle (pictured) wouldn’t elaborate on the value of the sleeve sponsorship agreement but says it’s reflective of the organisation’s increasing market value. “It’s a three-year, seven figure d...
EDITORS MESSAGE AUGUST
AUGUST 2010 A scene from Monty Python’s Life of Brian comes to mind, where despite crucifixion imminent, the condemned break into the song ‘always look on the bright side of life’. It’s the glass half full/half empty ethos. The business community has a responsibility to seize opportunities and in a crisis there are plenty. Let’s not create more self fulfilling ...
Icon gets green light
AUGUST 2010 ICON Energy has received the green light to drill on its EPG 49 and EPG 51 tenements on the eastern side of the Queensland and South Australian border. Queensland Minister for Mines and Energy Stephen Robertson, granted geothermal exploration permits effective from August 1. Icon CEO Ray James says the tenements are beneath ATP 855P and is also pending drilling approval permits...
Billabong buys up big
AUGUST 2010 Listed surf retailer Billabong International (BBG) is in aggressive acquisition mode and can now add Californian brand RVCA, West 49 and a raft of surf stores in Byron Bay to its expanding brand quiver. Billabong emerged victorious in an acquisition battle for Canadian company West 49 after retailer Zumiez pitched a rival bid for the surf brand. Billabong announced on June 30 t...
Retailers stuck in low gear
AUGUST 2010 DISMAL retail conditions in the past quarter shows small retailer confidence plunging 29 points to negative five per cent - the lowest result for any industry sector. The Australian Retailers Index has shown a sharp decline in March, April and May exacerbated by the flow on impacts of two-speed economic conditions. Australian Retailers Association executive director Russell Zim...
Queensland productivity buried by other states
AUGUST 2010 LABOUR productivity in the Australian construction industry increased in 2009 and into 2010 in every state except Queensland, according to research by international property and construction consultants Davis Langdon. Davis Langdon’s senior economist and national research and development manager Andrew Wilson, says the research took an in-depth look at the number of jobs ...
MFS investors
AUGUST 2010 INVESTORS in Wellington Capital’s Premium Income Fund will unlikely see the $202 million owed to them by failed Gold Coast financier MFS (now Octaviar), says Wellington managing director Jenny Hutson. Hutson, whose investment firm bought MFS after it went under in 2008, says she is ‘very disappointed’ by reports that MFS overstated its FY07 pre-tax profit by $...
Skills that sizzle
AUGUST 2010 A CURRUMBIN restaurant manager has taken out a national marketing award after leading a team of 40 restaurant managers and more than 480 staff across Queensland. Geoff Bunt is cooking with confidence after clinching the national Sizzler restaurant Market Manager of the Year award. The award is judged on an extensive criteria based on a number of factors including store KPIs, operati...
Touch down
AUGUST 2010 QUEENSLAND Airports Limited (QAL) owned assets Gold Coast, Townsville and Mount Isa have recorded a 9.7 per cent increase in passenger movements in the2009/10 FY. With almost 7 million passengers over the three airports, the figures indicate year on year growth. Gold Coast led the charge with a 12 per cent increase while Mount Isa and Townsville recorded growth of 1.2 per cent a...
Retailers urged to market online
AUGUST 2010A GOLD Coast e-commerce consultant has urged the retail industry to boost its online presence, with 45 per cent of web purchases going offshore due to a lack of local options. MeMedia studio administration coordinator Jessica Gray, says Australia is behind the game when it comes to online retailing, but can learn from the US. “Businesses are not keeping up with online dema...
Keeping it in the family: GCBEA August 2010
August 2010ALREADY boasting a massive and diverse portfolio across hospitality, childcare, agriculture, medical facilities and retail, Fraser-Scott Group has further expanded into wholesale liquor distribution. Queensland’s 20th largest privately-owned company has taken out the July Gold Coast Business Excellence Award in the family business category after also winning the wholesale, reta...
Board Bog boost a big deal
AUGUST 2010 Innovative start-up Board Bog has sealed a deal with OC Imports that will see its products sold in 32 BCF stores Australia-wide and a further 50 surf outlets with a target of 500 before Christmas. Chief financial officer Andrew McMaster, sales and marketing director Joe Shepherd and inventor Ryan Miller will also push the product into international markets including New Zealand...
Port of call for RST
AUGUST 2010MINING services company Reynolds Soil Technologies (RST) is applying its revolutionary dust suppression products to some of the country’s busiest ports. After completing trials in eastern and Western Australia, RST is now working with Australia’s various port authorities to secure permanent contracts with its dust management solutions. RST technical and development ...
Kids in the kitchen
AUGUST 2010 The Jupiters College Apprentice Program combines qualified chefs from around the world to teach culinary experts in the making. It is believed to be the only integrated hotel program in Australia and has helped more than 140 students complete their Certificate III in Commercial Cookery. Home to seven restaurants and one of Australia’s largest banquet kitchens, Jupiters p...
Employees fighting for rights
AUGUST 2010GENERAL protection provisions are widely accessed by employees, with recent court decisions demonstrating the coercive powers available to protect them. The general protections provisions of the Fair Work Act state that an employer must not take any ‘adverse action’ against an employee because the employee has exercised or proposes to exercise a ‘workplace righ...
Balancing Stress
AUGUST 2010 GOLD Coast homes de affaires are more stressed in 2010 than they were in 2009, according to a Lifeline annual stress poll. The latest Newspoll shows that 90 per cent of the population is experiencing stress in their lives. That’s nine out of 10 people, or 20 million Australians. The poll also identified that 43 per cent of Australians, or just under 9.5 million of us, ar...
New frontiers for Sirromet
AUGUST 2010Sirromet exports 120,000 bottles into China annually with that figure likely to double over the next 12 months. The wines average $27 per bottle. Sirromet national sales manager Rod Hill says the deal will overtake domestic sales as the winery creates a niche in Asia for its premium brands in the Jiangxi Provence with the Dong Run Investment Holding Company. “The deal wil...
Social marketing: get connected
AUGUST 2010 Netbox Blue chairman John Fison calls it the ‘virtual toilet wall of modern society’, while Bluewire Media marketing manager Adam Franklin says social media carries similar fears for business as email in its early days. The experts tell Gold Coast Business News how social marketing is not just a sales vehicle, but an interactive forum where companies need to hold their o...
How to benefit in the new lending spectre
AUGUST 2010 Good times then came and went and came back again and after 10 years of growth, growth and more growth – finance became easier to get hold of and ultimately many financiers made the same mistakes again. Will they make the same mistakes again in the future? Whether they do or not there will be more internal and external regulatory pressure on all financiers to make sure that t...
Clipper cuts new tenancy deal
AUGUST 2010 CLIPPER Motor Yachts has relocated from Runway Bay Marina to a 120sqm waterfront location at Gold Coast City Marina Coomera. The company has signed a one-year lease with two three-year options. The brand will look to take advantage of increased visibility and water access to coincide with the launch of its Cordova 60 and Clipper 40 models to be showcased on a new 30m sales...
Telco buys former No Limit HQ
AUGUST 2010 A LANDMARK building that was once the prized headquarters of fallen property developer No Limit Group has sold for $3.2 million to a syndicate of buyers directly affiliated with the 1800 MUMDAD telco. The 1103sqm site on the Gold Coast highway at Burleigh Heads comprises a standalone two-level commercial office premises of around 866sqm. 1800 MUMDAD will relocate from its Varsity La...
Villa World builds youth refuge
BUILDER Villa World Homes has revived plans for a refuge for homeless children on the Gold Coast. The home building division of ASX-listed developer GEO Property Group has stepped into the breach left by the original builder for the project after it went into administration last year. Not-for-profit organisation the Gold Coast Project for Homeless Youth (GCPHY), initiated the concept to build a...
$1.2 billion aged care project for West Tweed
AUGUST 2010 THE Terranora Country Club at Bilambil Heights will be converted into a new residential and retirement living community costing $1.2 billion. The project will comprise 1604 new dwellings and a 200-bed aged care facility as well as community facilities, commercial and retail outlets and an arts college and precinct. Land owner Terranora Group Management (TGM) will develop the hi...
Miami shopping village sells for $5.3m
August 2010 A convenience shopping centre in the emerging Miami business hub has sold for $5.3 million. The Miami Village Shopping Centre on Mountain View Avenue, netted a nine per cent return following a sale to a private investor. The centre has around 1579sqm of leasable space on a 7160sqm block and offers extensive on-site customer car parking, wide street frontage and features an on-site p...
RLC walk the walk on home straight
AUGUST 2010 ROBINA Land Corporation (RLC) has sold close to 95 per cent of its $200 million Riverwalk precinct as it nears the home straight on the project. Riverwalk has been one of RLC’s most successful residential precincts in the 30 years it has operated and built Robina into a thriving mini metropolis. The project was launched in 2003 and comprises 398 residential apartments and...
Chill out at O'Reilly's
AUGUST 2010 A brown falcon glides into view before perching on a rock cluster in the foreground at the foot of the Border Mountain Ranges. Further up where the jungle intensifies, the site of the famous Stinson air crash comes into view. Peering through a telescope atop the ridge at Lamington National Park is a bewitching sight. So enriched in history and pioneering spirit is this primeval pa...
Practicality & Prowess
AUGUST 2010 LAST issue we bought you Volvo’s cracking new AWD the XC 90. This month the kind folk at Sunshine Volvo have insisted we get behind the wheel of its baby brother, the XC 70. More compact and agile, yet still suited to weekends of the beaten track, the AWD XC 70 is a touring machine with oodles of appeal. It was Volvo’s original cross country offering back in the lat...
Prime cuts
AUGUST 2010 LIKE  his great-grandfather Jim Cavill, who was an early pioneer in the founding of Surfers Paradise in the 1920s, Cav’s Steakhouse founder Richard Cavill is a true blue Aussie. Established in 1984, the Labrador restaurant quickly became a Gold Coast tourism icon for its open beergarden/steakhouse layout, and the quality and value of the food. Cavill says the objective was...
SEPTEMBER EDITORS MESSAGE
SEP 2010 THE Gold Coast and its world famous theme parks provide thrilling profits for their large scale publicly listed owners, in particular Village Roadshow – the company that will invest a further $20 million in its prized assets before Christmas. The overall economic impact by Village Roadshow Theme Parks on the Gold Coast is greater than $1 billion. With properties including Warner ...
Growth down the line for Billabong
SEP 2010 Billabong is forecasting up to 8 per cent growth in FY11 banked on stable conditions in the Americas, continued strength in Europe and a dashing foray into China. The surfing retailer has established a new joint venture in China with entry via a series of shop-in-shop concepts, the first of which have opened in the southern China provinces of Shenzen and Guangzhou. The company rec...
Sunland to continue buy back scheme
SEP 2010 Listed property developer Sunland Group has posted a net profit of $18.3 million achieving an above g