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Community retail space promoting Fraser Coast entrepreneurs to becoming movers & shakers in commerce

July 2nd, 2018

A COMMUNITY run shop focussed in promoting local businesses, organisations and talent – that’s what the Wandering Teapot is going to be they say.

The unique dedicated retail space is scheduled to open inside Stockland Hervey Bay in September.

It will feature a display of cubes – each has its own shelf – with each to be rented out to be used for promotion by groups, businesses and individuals.

Once occupied by social enterprises and local entrepreneurs, the cubes will resemble a life-sized noticeboard.

Fundraising towards the Community Cubed by Hervey Bay Neighbourhood Centre is in progress, hoping to hit a target goal of $43,000.

Hervey Bay Neighbourhood Centre CEO Tanya Stevenson said the there will be 80 cubes, ranging in size to handle different forms of displays.

There will be an interview process to secure a spot in the display, with successful applicants to also receive mentorship and business support.

“The intention is to to help people become self-sustainable and help them grow their businesses,” Ms Stevenson said.

“Rather than setting-up a pop up shop, you could instead rent a cube which would be far cheaper.

“There will be some bigger cubes available to cater to products, for example if someone is selling clothes.”

People will be hired to run & operate the Wandering Teapot as well.

The intention is for the Wandering Teapot to also be the host location of seminars, events and networking.

A crowd funding page has also been set-up, which can be found here.


Henry Sapiecha


Full list: Top 100 manufacturers 2017 AUSTRALIA

December 4th, 2017

Despite the restructuring in the automotive space, manufacturing continues its competitive streak with a few bright spots indicating a gradual uptick, according to IBISWorld’s Top 100 Manufacturers List for 2017. Syed Shah reports.

Recently, the Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre (AMGC) stated in its report: Advanced Manufacturing – A Definition for a New Era, that the Australian manufacturing industry is larger and more dynamic than currently estimated. According to the Ai Group, for the last quarter of 2017, the performance of manufacturing index (PMI) of Australia looks to be on the uptick.

So, while manufacturing looks to be shrinking in its GDP contributions year on year, there is certainly brighter times ahead. Historically, the manufacturing industry has always been an extremely competitive industry, and despite a difficult 2016 and challenges to the local economic climate for the industry in 2017, the outlook is a positive one – at least in the longer term.

Australia’s traditional manufacturing industry will continue to thrive with more companies embracing newer advanced manufacturing technologies and the power of the IIoT. This is despite the continued lack of outstanding winners in the list.

Read: Winners and losers – Top 100 manufacturers 2017

Bao Vuong, senior industry analyst with IBISWorld, one of Australia’s richest sources of business information, says most manufacturing sectors are in the process of restructuring their business processes with more automation and adoption of advanced techniques to boost general productivity.

Vuong sees the decline as marginal, and says like last year, there is a lot of volatility in the market with several factors as reasons these include the value of the Australian dollar and government policies, both at federal and state level.

“Compared to the previous year, there is a mix in the number of companies in the Top 100 list who have dropped and increased their revenue. This is due to economic volatility locally and globally, but the trend is moving downwards,” Vuong told Manufacturers’ Monthly.

Food manufacturing seems to have bucked the trend from last year with the meat industry benefitting from the increased demand in high quality or premium meat that is popular in the East Asian market. This is because consumers in the East Asian region are swayed by the notion of what they perceive to be high-quality Australian products. As a result, some companies are expanding into the Asian export market even further.

“Australian beef is just seen as more high quality as compared to the beef that they (East Asian market) can obtain in other countries,” said Vuong.

For the rest of the F&B products, a lot of the companies are focusing on the general Asian market, which also points to consumers’ perception of the high quality associated with Australian products like milk powder. According to Vuong, people from China tend to prefer Australian milk powder because they don’t trust the quality of their locally manufactured milk products.

IBISWorld sees local manufacturers competing with low-cost imports and this includes the automotive manufacturing sector. And because of these low-cost imports, they see it as more strategic to move their production overseas into certain Asian countries where the overhead costs are a lot lower compared to manufacturing in Australia.

Read: Notable new additions – Top 100 manufacturers 2017

Even though companies are looking at Asian export markets, the weak Australian dollar has contributed to higher demand for locally manufactured goods in export markets as the weak dollar boosts the attractiveness of the exported goods.

“In tandem with the increased use of robotics and 3D printing that will help the manufacturing sector turn around gradually, new technologies will also limit that decline,” said Vuong.

With the increased use of automation these days, companies are trying to reduce their reliance on labour and improve their profitability especially when they are in competition with low-cost imports. IBISWorld expects manufacturing to turn around within the next five years but for the moment, the expectation for the sector is to only climb moderately.

The Australian government has provided support measures such as the advanced manufacturing fund for local manufacturers here especially for the small-scale manufacturers that would struggle in this competitive environment.

“This will hopefully help limit the decline in this sector and ensure that small scale manufacturers have a bright future in a highly competitive environment,” said Vuong.

Sourced from IBISWorld:

In other areas, the transition of the mining sector from investment to production has led the mining and construction sectors to have some losers in terms of negative revenue swings in their latest financial reports.

“Siemens, who provide technology equipment and solutions for the sector has seen their revenue decline because of the transition of the mining sector from investment to production over the past two financial years. This trend has followed across most other technology providers for the mining sector and this transition has affected their revenue,” said Vuong.

“For the construction industry, they seemed to have scaled back in terms of infrastructure and residential building projects. An example would be Raytheon, where their decrease in revenue was also due to the decrease in construction contract,” said Vuong.

Defence companies are doing particularly well in 2017 because of the rise in defence contracts.
Because of this, Australia’s procurement for international shipbuilding has also seen the sector grow to $400 million recently. “Anyone that manufactures advanced components for defence contracts have increased their revenue,” Vuong said.

Bucking the trend

In the face of increasing competition from low-cost imports, IBISWorld expects companies to face downward pressure in terms of profitability with imports intensifying in the manufacturing sector.

Prices are expected to be a major point of competition for those that can offer the lower prices, especially those from Asia where it will force local manufacturers to slash prices and profitability to keep up with these low-cost Asian manufacturers.

“Conversely, if some of these manufacturers that produce niche goods, like meat processing manufacturers that produce high-quality Australian beef, they can have higher profitability levels. They can then charge a premium price for these goods due to the quality because these products are considered differentiated from the market itself. In general, the intensified market competition will force prices down and put a lot of pressure on these manufacturing operators,” said Vuong.


Henry Sapiecha

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Henry Sapiecha


July 29th, 2015

COUNCILLOR James Hansen has called on the council to admit their timed parking changes in Maryborough were wrong.


New four-hour signs were erected earlier this year in the CBD including Kent, Richmond and Wharf Sts, in areas which used to be all-day parking, drawing the ire of some drivers.

Wednesday’s debate between councillors came after rural Cr Hansen called for a review into the parking changes, with a report to be provided on October 21.

“It’s time to admit it was a wrong decision and move on,” he said.

Mayor Gerard O’Connell said the council was always going to do a review.

“It’s not about a right and wrong, it’s about getting an outcome that’s best,” he said.

Cr Hansen’s call for a report was rejected by seven votes to four.

Maryborough councillor Daniel Sanderson followed with a motion of his own, calling for a review to begin in October.

Cr Sanderson’s motion was passed 6-4 and the council will do a review into the Maryborough parking strategy in October.

maryborough parking signs image (1)maryborough parking signs image (2)maryborough parking signs image (3)BLUE TICK IN WHITE BOX

You cannot have people parking in the main city street all day including business owners & workers.

Shoppers go into the city, do their business over an hour or two & leave. Parking must be available to the shoppers not to shop workers in town.

All day parkers can park on the shop property or just outside of the CBD if they want to park all day.

The complainers about max times for central city parking need to get out from under their rocks & realize the new parking initiative will help revitalize the city centre.

A vacant lot in the city where a multi-level carpark can be built by council or a developer for all day parkers, but they pay for it just like in any other city centre…

Fraser Coast Commerce & Industry


Henry Sapiecha


Mix of new and old faces on board as FCO looks to the future in business opportunities in the Fraser Coast

July 15th, 2015


THE new board members of the previously embattled tourism entity, Fraser Coast Opportunities have been announced, featuring a mix of new and old faces.


Fraser Coast USQ executive manager Brett Langabeer, Stockland Hervey Bay centre manager Paul Kelsey and former CEO of the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, Libby Anstis are the three new members of the FCO board.

Southern Cross Media Fraser Coast and Bundaberg general manager Greig Bolderrow and Fraser Coast man, Dr Paul Cotton successfully re-applied for their positions, with Dr Cotton replacing Mayor Gerard O’Connell as chair.

Cr O’Connell said he was pleased with the mix of new and old faces selected.

“They have varied skills, including running large organisations, and are passionate about the Fraser Coast,” he said

The five members have been appointed for two years.

Henry Sapiecha

*Comment-So how is the new team going to change anything when previous members are in control of the panel?

We shall wait & see I suppose..Hi Paul. Doug Kelsey’s son.

FRASER COAST Start of mullet season has an issue

July 1st, 2015

MIXED BAG-Tom Durbidge hauls in a catch of mullet. image

COAST mullet fisherman Kevin Cannon’s small but experienced team has had a weather-delayed start to this year’s season.

Fraser Coast Chronicle has got to be one of the best provicial newspapers in Australia  without a doubt.

Fishermen to his north and south have had success but so far, this winter has only provided the Mudjimba-based veteran “a little hatful”.

The ocean temperature has yet to drop to the suitable 20-degree mark and south- westerly winds which he desires are yet to blow in.

Traditionally, early June is when mullet start running in beach gutters.

“It doesn’t really look like we are going to get a south- westerly for a couple of weeks,” Mr Cannon said.

“It’s just been a case of wait and see.”

He had heard of good hauls at Caloundra as well as Noosa but as yet, no luck in between.

Mr Cannon, 67, said his crew members were aged 66 and 65 with the youngest member about 45.

He has been walking the beaches with nets since the late ’50s but struggles to see how younger generations could take up the craft.

He said the possibility of laws changing or restrictions being added meant it was unlikely banks would loan the money needed to get started.

“There’s no certainty in it for the young fellows,” he said.

Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol district manager Greg Bowness said the traditional winter migration of the sea mullet provided commercial operators with an important opportunity and netting activity had already escalated.

“Seafood wholesalers should have a plentiful supply of fresh local mullet,” Mr Bowness said. “It is a commercially important species and although inspections show high levels of compliance with fisheries regulations, including fish size, licensing, net length and mesh size, QBFP will be in the region to monitor activity.”

Mr Bowness asked recreational fishers to allow commercial netters to conduct their activities safely during the mullet run by giving them room to operate.


Henry Sapiecha

*PS…These are hard working people. Give them a break.

Dumping warning for processor spells doom to fishery unless a solution is found

July 1st, 2015

LNP candidate for Hinkler Keith Pitt and senate candidate Matthew Kanavan talk with Paul Hodson from Urangan Fisheries in front of a tray of ocean king prawns from the Coral Sea.image

LNP candidate for Hinkler Keith Pitt and senate candidate Matthew Kanavan talk with Paul Hodson from Urangan Fisheries in front of a tray of ocean king prawns from the Coral Sea.

A WARNING issued to a Urangan seafood processor for scallop disposal into the ocean is writing on the wall, says State Member for Hervey Bay Ted Sorensen.

Mr Sorensen said the company, which wanted to remain anonymous, had been warned by the Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage for breaching a little-known law which made it an offence to dump animal matter into the ocean.

He was concerned the warning pre-empted regulation changes that would make it illegal to dispose of natural seafood by-products into the Great Sandy Strait.

“If seafood processing companies are going to be fined for the likes of disposing scallop shells into the ocean, it means that such companies may have to move their processing activities to Asia,” he said.

“A loss of such industry could spell over a hundred job losses for Hervey Bay.”

The warned company had put scallop shells in Urangan Harbour for the past 40 years in accordance with state laws, Mr Sorensen said.

“Red tape like this is killing business,” he said.

“If one trawler operator spends about $200,000 on fuel a month, imagine what this means for the local economy if they can no longer operate out of Hervey Bay.”

Mr Sorensen wanted Fraser Coast seafood businesses that have been warned to contact him on 4124 1386.


Henry Sapiecha

No manager for FCO Fraser Coast Opportunities position

May 19th, 2015


EXTERNAL consultants will be employed by Fraser Coast Opportunities on a needs basis to replace the position of a full-time investment attraction manager.

Following a meeting on April 15, the Fraser Coast Regional Council voted to conduct a review into the structure of FCO.

Included in that structure review would be the appointment of an investment attraction manager, currently vacant along with the general manager role.

Despite a recruitment process being finalised and candidates short listed in April, Mayor Gerard O’Connell said the appointment was on hold.

But yesterday he confirmed the position would not be made into a full-time role in “the foreseeable future”.

Cr O’Connell said the benefit of not having an investment attraction manager was the ability to hire specific consultants.

“To be able to get ready-made firepower, if I can call it that,” Cr O’Connell said. “Consultants who have got very focused and expert abilities, we thought that would be a better use in getting the investment attraction.

“For instance if we were going to really ramp up investment attraction in aviation, let’s go and get an aviation expert.”

The investment attraction office has been left vacant since the highly respected Scott Rowe resigned in August 2014.

Cr O’Connell said momentum was building for the restructuring of FCO.

He and the council’s CEO, Lisa Desmond, along with councillors Stuart Taylor, Darren Everard and Chris Loft have removed themselves from the FCO board.

Expressions of interest have gone out for new independent directors

EDITORS NOTE:- Grand idea & workable if done in the right manner.

However it would still require a member of council to decide what area is needed to be promoted for the consultants to work on.

This little black duck [me] was the advisor for investment to the Pine Rivers Council in the shire at Brisbane north side before the amalgamations of the councils there.

I did the deals on a shopping centre at Kallangur & the huge AMCOR paper mill at Brendale by attracting them into the developments & even sold properties to the council & its head solicitor.

The council heads are aware of my & my credentials yet I received no expression of interest forms to fill out. So who did they send the forms to & decide not to appoint anyone anyway.

Does that speak of the quality of the applicants or just a change of direction by council?

What we have had to deal with in this council & previous councils is that none of them have had any real experience in developments & really have limited knowledge of what major investors want. Any investments made in this shire have already been decided by the investors & the council members are just shirt tailing the developments for political mileage.

We have good people on council but there need to be some experienced persons in the system.

Talk fests & committees are great if they are focused on what will attract developers & investors & action it accordingly.


Henry Sapiecha

Tiaro Coal enters administration

April 1st, 2015

Tiaro Coal enters administration

Tiaro Coal has entered voluntary administration.

The miner has four major projects, all of which are located in Queensland, as well as another located in East Kalimantan, Indonesia.

It has appointed Martin Madden, David Winterbottom, and Rahul Goyal of KordaMentha as its administrators.

It comes after the company commenced legal proceedings against Hudson Resources in an attempt to seek the return of its books and records, after administrative services Hudson were providing ceased last year.

According to Hudson it was retaining the books as Tiaro owed money for services rendered.


Henry Sapiecha


March 22nd, 2015

Canadian woman dies after whale jumps onto boat

A grey whale looks at tourists on a boat in Mexico in 2006.

A grey whale looks at tourists on a boat in Mexico in 2006. Photo: Reuters

A 35-year-old Canadian woman has died and two other tourists were injured when a surfacing grey whale crashed onto their boat.

The Attorney General’s Office for Environmental Protection in Mexico said on Thursday two other tourists suffered “considerable” injuries when the whale breached and hit the side of the boat.

The office said the boat had been carrying nine tourists on a snorkel tour.

The Baja California Sur state prosecutor’s office said the collision near the beach resort of Cabo San Lucas tossed the victim into the water.

A crew member and a passenger lifted her back onto the vessel and Mexican navy personnel moved the woman to shore. She was taken to a clinic, where she died during treatment.



Henry Sapiecha