The pickup in Australian business conditions is helping companies realize better earnings and to hire more workers, indicating that Australian economy is maintaining good momentum into the second half of the year. It has historically proved to be a very good indicator of future labour market conditions and thus, is extensively relied upon for forecasting employment growth.
MELBOURNE, the village John Batman founded 175 years ago in August 1835, has morphed into an economic monster that has swallowed the surrounding plains and woodlands that served as the base for the millenniums-old economy of the Wurundjeri people before European settlement.
The city’s economy is bigger than New Zealand’s, with 4 million people and a gross product of about $212 billion. And its manufacturing and service businesses give it a far more diverse and deep economic base than its trans-Tasman neighbour. It is home to some of Australia’s best-known business names and the staid business image it developed in the mid-20th century has been transformed as a host of new enterprises in areas like IT, biotech and financial services make their presence felt.
Not everything has been straightforward in Melbourne’s exponential growth path since 1835 and perhaps the experience of Batman himself was a harbinger. On arrival, he cut a deal with (he claimed) eight Wurundjeri leaders, receiving 2400 square kilometres of land in return for a cache of household goods and clothing and promises of the same every year as rent.
Two months later, Governor Bourke in Sydney annulled the deal, another settler – John Pascoe Fawkner – took up land in Batman’s village and the Wurundjeri lost their land and promised income. In 1839 the Melbourne Club made its home in Fawkner’s hotel.
Melbourne grew into a wattle and daub village servicing surrounding farms, until gold was discovered in July 1851, the same month Victoria became a separate colony. The result was a population explosion. At the start of the gold rush Melbourne had 20,000 people; two years later it had 123,000. By 1880 the population had more than doubled and by 1890 quadrupled.
The gold years made Victoria rich and in the 1850s Melbourne was one of the world’s wealthiest cities on a per capita basis. The banks were so full of gold they stopped paying deposit interest and the first significant land boom ensued.
All these people had to be serviced, accommodated, fed and transported, and after the gold rushes Melbourne started to grow into a more sophisticated economy, with manufacturing and services taking an important place in the city. Brewing, food processing, transport equipment (in those days predominantly horse-drawn), household goods and heavy equipment for the mining and agricultural industries continued to grow through the late 19th century. Newspapers proliferated and the outspoken David Syme took control of The Age in 1859, running fierce political campaigns for 40 years.
The railways were snaking out to the mining and pastoral centres like Ballarat, Bendigo and Echuca, and construction of the web of suburban lines that allowed Melbourne to sprawl was well under way by the 1880s. As the ’80s progressed, the riches earned from mining and wool generated a huge land boom. ”Marvellous Melbourne” ballooned with the construction of edifices like Parliament and the Exhibition building, and everywhere what once was farmland was turned into suburbs, often with the arrival of a railway.
The boom became unsustainable, with land rising from 15 shillings a foot in Surrey Hills in 1884 to £15 three years on, and in Swanston Street from £400 to £1100 a foot at the end of the decade. In 1890 things began to unwind with frightening ferocity.
In 18 months from 1891, 20 financial institutions collapsed and 120 public companies went under. By the decade’s end there was hardly a bank that had not closed its doors at some point. One survivor was the forerunner of the State Bank of Victoria, which met its demise 100 years on. Unemployment reached catastrophic but then unrecorded levels and 50,000 people left the city in the early 1890s.
Despite all the gloom of the era, the late 19th century saw the development of significant enterprises that served as a base for later development. The 18-year-old H. V. McKay created his revolutionary Sunshine combine harvester, which transformed farm life in 1884, and went into production. His 30-hectare works in Sunshine (named after the machine) employed 3000 people at its peak in the 1920s.
Consolidation gradually transformed the myriad small factories that dotted the city after the gold rush into the industrial icons of the 20th century. Cardboard manufacturer APM (later Amcor) was put together from an agglomeration of small operators, Carlton & United Breweries swallowed smaller breweries like Foster’s and several independent tramway companies were combined in government ownership.
Hardware manufacturer McPhersons was formed in 1860 by William McPherson, who was later premier. It is still listed on the sharemarket, with a large homewares and printing business.
The rural economy contributed mightily to Melbourne’s wealth from its earliest days. When we rode the sheep’s back, the squattocracy from the Western District and elsewhere spent big on consumer goods, shares and property and often sent their children to the city for an education. The region was home to some of the big produce brokers and rural financiers like Goldsborough Mort, Dalgety and Australian Estates. The inner-western suburbs were until recently dominated by huge abattoirs, and the sprawling Newmarket saleyards survived in inner-urban Kensington until 1987.
Australia devoted massive resources and the lives of 60,000 of its young men to World War I. But when the fighting ended, people looked for respite and the consumer era dawned with the coming of the motor car and undreamt of electrical goods. That era was driven by an eclectic breed of business identities who made a mark in public life as well as commerce.
In the early 1920s the remarkable John Monash, already a pioneer in reinforced concrete, a promoter of community service, and Australia’s World War I military commander, oversaw the formation of the State Electricity Commission with the building of a power station in the Latrobe Valley coalfields. In 1922 a former swimming champion named Frank Beaurepaire invested £550 he had received for saving a shark attack victim, forming the Beaurepaire and Olympic tyre groups to manufacture tyres for the growing car industry. He was Melbourne’s lord mayor from 1940 to 1942.
The city’s retailing was revolutionised between the wars by two other great innovators: Russian-born Sidney Myer and George (G. J.) Coles, from Murtoa. Both men were inspired by US retailing developments and both listed on the stock exchange in the 1920s. Myer spoke directly to women with his advertising and Coles ran on the slogan ”Nothing over 2/6”. Myer won admiration funding public works and hosting free Christmas lunches during the 1930s Depression. Coles financed the construction of the Howard Florey medical research institute.
The 1929 crash hit Melbourne hard, with unemployment reaching 30 per cent. Businesses closed, land developers collapsed and young unemployed men took to the roads seeking casual work in the countryside. Recovery was slow through the ’30s but entrepreneurs still looked to new horizons. In 1936 a Western District bus operator named Reg Ansett took to the air with a six-seater Fokker Universal, laying the foundation for the airline that would bear his name until its 2001 collapse.
World War II sparked industrial development, with government factories producing munitions and aircraft at Fishermans Bend, Maribyrnong and Footscray. Post-war manufacturing built on this, with Holden producing its first vehicle in 1948. Ford, which had assembled cars at Geelong from the 1920s, moved to genuine production, and Toyota and Nissan followed later. Only Holden, Toyota and Ford remain.
The post-war years utterly transformed Melbourne, with a wave of European immigration bringing new cultural strands and a plethora of new entrepreneurs. Jewish refugees flocked to the rag trade where people like Sussan entrepreneur Marc Besen prospered, while the southern Europeans tended to favour retail and construction. Italian Australians Bruno and Rino Grollo added edifices like the Rialto to Melbourne’s skyline while Carlo Valmorbida and his family built a fortune in food importing.
Migration from Asia and elsewhere and the wholesale move of women into the workforce since the 1970s have created yet another new pool of business talent, like Jeanswest driving force Wilkin Fon, female business pioneer Eve Mahlab and company directors Margaret Jackson and Catherine Walter.
Then there’s the money game. Melbourne has a long history as a source and manipulator of capital, which in turn brought some of the country’s biggest companies to domicile here. Prominent among those names in the past was the Collins House group of companies, in which the Baillieu family were significant investors and which developed major mining operations, particularly in base metals.
Jonathan Binns Were started out in the 1840s trading land and produce but moved into shares when a rudimentary market evolved. He was inaugural chairman of the Melbourne Stock Exchange in 1865 and, despite a couple of bankruptcies, played an important part in the city’s financial and community life until his death in 1885.
Were started an independent broking tradition that lasted into the 1980s and beyond and included names like bond market pioneer Ian Potter and broker to the ’80s entrepreneurs John McIntosh. Following financial deregulation, the independent players were swallowed by international investment banks or local banking majors.
Even the venerable JB Were for a time joined US investment bank Goldman Sachs. Recently, Melbourne-based National Australia Bank bought 80 per cent of its private client arm and the company is again trading as JBWere. Another Melbourne broking stalwart, EL & C Baillieu, which dates to the 1880s, is now in partnership with international giant Credit Suisse, and the few independents remaining, like BGF and Austock, are niche players.
Melbourne funds management icon National Mutual was bought by French group AXA in the 1990s and is now being hunted by NAB and AMP. Two of the big four banks, NAB and ANZ, are still based in Melbourne. Finance is an international game today and big companies like BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto (the former CRA) and Amcor still find Melbourne an attractive place to domicile and raise capital. And the city has become a centre of the industry super funds business, giving it a healthy slice of that sector’s $220 billion in funds under management.
Melbourne’s future will in part be built on the creativity and ability of new players finding niche markets among the international giants of the global age. Carolyn Creswell started Carmans Fine Foods 18 years ago and now sells what she calls packaged premium foods to Australian supermarkets, airlines and 26 international markets.
Jason Lohrey’s Arcitecta group is building a business in digital data-management technology. His customers include the CSIRO and the Howard Florey Institute, and and he has significant international arrangements.
Source: The Age
Hogan’s artistic collaborator John Cornell and the pair’s financial adviser Tony Stewart were also accused in the Federal Court of lodging tax returns that contain “false and misleading statements”. The ACC alleges the statements were made to avoid their tax obligations and to “evade paying income tax in Australia”.
The actor haven’t left Australia due to the accusations and required to pay millions of dollars in back taxes.
Andrew Robinson, Hogan’s lawyer said in a statement that he was served with a departure prohibition order by the Australian Taxation Office when he traveled to Sydney for his mother’s funeral.
“The process of detaining Paul in Australia away from his wife and child in Los Angeles has devastated Paul,” Mr. Robinson wrote in a statement.
Mr. Hogan, who is based in the United States, denies the charges that was investigated by Australian officials who say he put film royalties in offshore tax havens.
Sashi Maharaj, QC, counsel for the commission of the Federal Court said that the criminal inquiry was ”virtually complete” and that the documents sought by the commission were ”fairly critical” to plans to charge the men.
The documents retrieved by The Weekend Australian, the tax office has told Hogan it is considering him an Australian resident for tax purposes for the years 1987 to 2005. During eight of those years, from 1995 to 2002, Hogan paid tax in the US, where he now permanently resides. From 2002 to 2005, Hogan lived in Australia.
No tax-related charges have been laid against Hogan, Cornell or Stewart, and all have denied any wrongdoing in relation to their tax affairs.
Global technology and business services giant Vertex will establish its Asia Pacific Headquarters in Melbourne and expand its operations in the information and communications technology sector, creating 400 Victorian jobs.
Vertex Australia has decided on Ballarat as the city to invest up to $11.5 million to establish the Ballarat Technical and Customer Support Centre.
Victorian Premier John Brumby said that the new Vertex facility brings the number of Victorian IT jobs created in 2010 up to 2400.
“Victoria is the job-creating capital of Australia, generating more than 118,000 jobs since the start of the Global Financial Crisis two years ago,” Mr Brumby said.
“Vertex’s jobs boost comes on top of the 600 jobs announced at the company’s new Ballarat office in June, one of the largest-ever single job creating ventures in Ballarat’s history. Vertex has shown faith in the Victorian economy by announcing the creation of 1000 new full-time jobs this year alone and is another example of Victoria defying the ongoing aftershocks from the Global Financial Crisis.”
The Asia Pacific headquarters will provide IT and business services to multinational companies in addition to a variety of services from IT technical support, sales and marketing campaigns, project management and customer service.
Vertex supports 45 million consumers globally and operates across a wide range of market sectors and geographies delivering customer management and client based services.
Phil Allan, Vertex’s Asia-Pacific chief executive officer, said that the new facility will allow the company to take advantage of local talent and extend its global reach.
“Vertex is in an excellent position to capitalize on the opportunities offered in the Asia Pacific market and this investment in our new facility will enable us to recruit the talented people we need take advantage of this opportunity and further extend the company’s global reach,” Mr. Allan said.
Minister for Information and Communications Technology John Lenders said Vertex announcement demonstrates Victoria’s potential growth in ICT sector and threw his support behind the National Broadband Network.
“We are clearly Australia’s ICT leader and this announcement demonstrates that Victoria has the best skills, infrastructure and economy for business investment and we are proud to help create thousands of Victorian jobs,” Mr. Lenders said.
Ronan Keating is moving to Australia. The Irish singer will be one of the panels of judges in the upcoming Australian X Factor. The Boyzone star is very excited about the new reality TV show and will join Natalie Imbruglia, former Australian Idol sensation Guy Sebastian and Sydney radio shock-jock Kyle Sandilands on the panel.
“I can’t wait”, Keating said, “it’s an exciting new role for me. Louis Walsh has offered to give me tips. I’ll be firm, but fair – maybe not as nasty as Simon Cowell.”
The decision to relocate to Australia for ‘The X Factor’ was easy for Keating.
“I’ve spent a lot of time in Australia over the years and I have been lucky enough to meet a lot of Australian artists and have been impressed with their talent, so I believe we can not only find the best star in Australia but an international star. Kylie, Natalie, Delta & INXS are some of my favorite Australian musicians. I grew up listening to INXS; Michael Hutchence was part of my make up as an artist and I always admired Michael’s style and talent. Kylie is dedicated, hardworking and a very free spirit – all the qualities you need to be a star.
I know I can teach the acts in my category how life really is in the music industry, how to take their talent and communicate it and take it to an international level. I’ll be very competitive on their behalf; if I champion someone and believe in something I want to take it all the way and I absolutely intend to”, he added.
Pamela Anderson has had her latest TV ad banned in Australia. The commercial was banned by Australia’s Advertising Standards Bureau.
Pam, yes we’re on first name terms, appeared in the commercial for Internet Company Crazy Domains. The ad shows Pam as a smart businesswoman who strips off to reveal a gold bikini and has milk poured over her and a female colleague. The ad sparked hundreds of complaints from viewers, which prompted the Advertising Standards Bureau to take action.
Fiona Jolly who is the president of the bureau said, “The ad is meant to be a cheeky, over-the-top depiction, but in the bureaus view it did cross the line.” Gavin Collins the managing director of Crazy Domains has accused “feminist bloggers” for the ban and he will be fighting the commercial being banned.
I’m not sure what all the fuss is about as the gold bikini’s in the video are an obvious reference to an Australian tradition the Gold Coast Metermaids. The Surfers Paradise Meter Maids were introduced in 1965 by Bernie Elsey to help beat the bad image created by the installation of parking meters on the tourist strip in December 1964. This was a controversial promotion, using young women dressed in gold lame bikinis and tiaras, who strolled the streets of Surfers Paradise feeding coins into expired parking meters.
They are still in operation and have become somewhat of an Australian icon.
In Australia, employers are looking to sponsor Irish workers with certain skills and this is a priority for them.
If you are an Irish tradesman in any of the following occupations, contact me now, there could be a Australia job opportunity for you.
- Metal fabricator
- Diesel Fitter. (Heavy earthmoving equipment mechanic)
- Mechanical fitters
- Auto Electrician (mining experience)
- Geotechnical Engineer
- Tailings Engineer
- Engineering GeologistCivil Engineer (Design Engineer)
- Environmental Engineer – Waste Management
- Rail Design Engineer
- Civil Design Drafters (Microstation / 12D)
- Architectural Design Drafters (Microstation)
- Structural Drafter (AutoCAD / Revit)
- Building Services Engineers
- HVAC Engineer
- Hydraulic Engineer
- HVAC Mechanical Drafter
- Heavy Duty Fitters
- Heavy Duty Mechanical Fitters
- Automotive Electricians
Generally jobs in Australia are difficult to come by if you don’t have a visa to take you to Australia in the first place, but for the trade occupations listed above, the Australian employers will sponsor you for an Australia visa as part of your job terms.
With links to to a major Australian recruitment agency who can source quality jobs with a realistic goal of obtaining sponsorship as well as a job offer, we can assist you in the Australia job search process. Contact me now to get a set up a consultation for yourself to discuss your Australia job opportunities today.