Customers centre stage at seminar

NETWORK: Christopher Morgan (Abercrombie House), Professor Steven D’Alessandro (CSU) and Nigel Flowers (SHIFT Lab) at yesterday’s business seminar. 081915cwshop1The secret to getting more customers was the hot topic of conversation at Bathurst Regional Council’s free seminar for local businesses held at BMEC yesterday.
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The presentation by Professor Steven D’Alessandro from CSU attracted 70 participants eager to learn how they could grow their business by knowing their customers well, how they could find out about their customers, and how they could build better links between their businesses and CSU.

Prof. D’Alessandro said he would love to see Bathurst become an entrepreneurial hub.

He said businesses chose the topics they wanted him to talk about and it was a matter of translating the research to answer those questions.

“Bathurst is an undiscovered gem, in my opinion,” Prof. D’Alessandro said.

“There are some great businesses here and a lot of potential.”

One of the issues Prof. D’Alessandro spoke about was the use of social media.

He said where the use of social media for marketing was concerned, Bathurst businesses could be doing a little more.

Prof. D’Alessandro said council’s idea of offering free seminars to local business people was a fantastic one.

“It’s a really important way of building business networks and perhaps getting business owners thinking about how to upskill their workforce,” he said.

One local business owner who has attended most of the free workshops is Karla McDiarmid of Macquarie Skin and Day Spa.

She said there was always something new to learn and, while she already does a lot of the things suggested, it was always good to get a refresher.

“I have come away today with four ideas I want to implement when I go back,” she said.

“Every seminar I learn new things. I also love networking with other businesses, sharing ideas and getting their feedback.”

Nigel Flowers of SHIFT Lab, a sales coaching program based in Bathurst, said he finds the interaction at the seminars fantastic.

“You always pick something up to take away with you,” he said.

“Everyone bounces ideas off each other. It’s so important to build networks.”

Roz Townsend said yesterday’s seminar was great for shaking people out of their complacency.

She said most business owners were so busy keeping their heads above water it could be difficult keeping up with new trends. Ms Townsend said the seminars were great way of doing that.

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STREET POLL: Have you had the flu jab this winter and why?

STREET POLL: Have you had the flu jab this winter and why? James McAree,Tura Beach,No, we didn’t get the shot, and we all got pretty sick this year. My partner is going to get it next year, because she was bedridden for five days with the flu this winter. And that’s pretty hard with a little one to look after. I’d also get the shot for my little girl.
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Lyall Ford,Eden,I had mine before the start of winter. I still got the flu a couple of weeks ago, so the flu shot doesn’t stop you getting the virus, it just might stop the severity. I got the vaccination for free because I’m a pensioner, and have done it for years. I’ll do the same again next winter.

Bazza Wollmer,Melbourne,Have you heard about the rise in whooping cough? That’s because there’s not enough people having needles. I have it every year, with no adverse effects. They give you three flu antivirals in the one shot, targeting what they think are the three most prevalent strains of flu. I suppose if you get a fourth kind, then you’ll get sick, so it’s a bit like playing TattsLotto.

Donna Tupper Lucas,Towamba,No, I didn’t get a flu shot. I don’t think people working in the health industry need to. Working in this environment (the pharmacy) my immune system is strong enough.

Tamer Ahmed,Eden,I don’t have yearly immunisations, and didn’t get the flu shot. I don’t think I need to, due to my age. It’s normally for people over 60 and those with asthma. But doctors and pharmacists working in hospitals have to get the shot, dependent on the wards they work in.

Julie LangeWyndham,Yes, I got it, because I work in a high school so it’s provided by the school for free, and it’s also an industry where there’s a high chance of contracting those things. Plus I’m getting older.

Tasmin Webber,Eden,No. I think I’m young and healthy enough to fight off the flu naturally, and vaccinations don’t mean you won’t get the flu anyway, so I’ll rely on my body’s resilience. No one likes getting needles, anyway.

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Vietnam and Korean War veterans honoured at service in Bega

Attending Tuesday’s service for Vietnam and Korean War veterans in Bega are (from left) Allen Collins, Margaret Britten, Pastor Ross Taylor, Ken Britten, Tom Blake and Dave and Chris Richard-Preston. ON A very cold morning in Bega, a small group gathered to hold a memorial service to honour those who served in the Vietnam and Korean Wars.
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The Bega RSL sub-branch conducted the service at the Bega War Memorial Gates on Tuesday, August 18, and those attending paid their respects to all who had served in the wars.

Two Korean War veterans, Ken Britten and Bega RSL president Tom Blake, said Australians should never have participated in the Vietnam War.

“There would never have been a Vietnam [War] if they had listened to us when we came back from Korea,” Mr Blake said.

He said those attending the service were there to remember the people who paid the ultimate sacrifice.

“[The people] who went forward without question, accepted gladly and discharged fully their responsibilities during the war, and today we think of these men who died so that the lights of freedom and humanity might continue to shine,” Mr Blake said.

Larger services for the wars were held in Canberra and Sydney.

The memorial day was held on the same date as the Battle of Long Tan in the Vietnam War, an episode in the conflict that resulted in a decisive victory for the Australian forces.

“As we go through the years and Long Tan gets further away, I think this day will become the next Anzac Day,” Bega RSL vice-president Allen Collins said.

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OPINION: Appeals on the environment under threat

REPORTS of significant political involvement in the environmental planning process for resource development are very concerning.
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In NSW we have a system that has been in place for 35 years that we use to assess the environmental impact of new developments.

Though the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act has undergone several revisions during that time, the landmark legislation does allow third party appeal rights.

Appealing development decisions in the Land and Environment Court is no easy matter for those materially affected by large developments, as many residents in the Hunter know.

In many cases the legal costs can be significant for individuals and communities, particularly if expert witnesses are engaged to counter the team of consultants usually engaged to promote the development in the public arena and through the consent process.

The Herald has recently reported on the involvement of Big Coal in the review of the Mining State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP) in NSW. This SEPP has controversially made the economic benefits of mine projects the “principal consideration” in the approval process, above social and environmental concerns.

Even with third party appeals still possible, this makes it far more difficult for those appeals to be successful simply because the argument associated with positive economic impact and jobs is always seen as a political winner.

At the federal level, there has been political interference, with the government pushing to end the “legal sabotage” of resources projects. There are plans to amend the 16-year-old Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act, following the recent Federal Court decision on the Adani coal mine in Queensland.

The government plans to repeal Section 487 to remove the power of so-called third parties (such as environment groups) to appeal the minister’s decision. This would restrict groups from challenging major developments, which the government says is illegitimate green “lawfare”.

This political interference in the environmental planning process is there for all to see.

The government feels constrained by the legislative process and the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (EPBC Act) that is in place, so the response is to change the law. If this change is made, individuals and those materially affected by any proposed development will in future increasingly find appeals difficult.

They will not have the support of groups such as third parties whose role is in protecting the environment and advocating on behalf of others less fortunate.

The government in this case is not above the law and should be held accountable. Based on its response to the Federal Court’s decision, and in other public policy positions concerning the environment, the evidence suggests that the government is not interested in preserving the environment or the interests of those in the community who have different views.

Associate Professor Phillip Geary teaches in the school of environmental and life sciences at the University of Newcastle.

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Search for Shoalhaven’s superheroes

Batman during last year’s superhero festival, wants Shoalhaven residents to nominate a local superhero. Photo: ADAM WRIGHT.Who are the Shoalhaven’s superheroes?
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The organisers of the inaugural Shoalhaven Superheroes Festival; are trying to find out – and no, they are not just hoping to find mild mannered reporters who work for great metropolitan newspapers while conducting never-ending battles for truth and justice.

They are looking for real life superheroes, and are calling for nominations.

Eight Shoalhaven Superhero Awards categories are available for locals to put forward names of volunteers.

The awards are the non-fiction element to the Shoalhaven Superhero Festival which will come to life in September and October.

Shoalhaven Superhero Festival organiser David Arakie said the idea of the awards was something he had in mind since the early 2000s.

“People identify with superhero characters no matter what official roles they have in life,” he said.

“We’ve all had our own fictional superhero, but in reality I’ve been very privileged to work in a community of volunteerism.

“Growing up, my family and parents were very associated with real superheros – our community volunteers and I believe, especially for a region like the Shoalhaven, if you took volunteers out of our economy vital services and caring for others would disappear.

“Superheroes are fun and to bring the two together is just another way to bring the community together and support those who give up their time for our community.

“When you talk to those people they enjoy what they do and feel privileged to it and I find that remarkable it should be recognised.”

Mr Arakie said the Shoalhaven was blessed to have countless people who deserved to be nominated.

“To have the support of Kiama MP Gareth Ward as a patron shows the amount of care and passion people have for this area and I hope these awards will grow and continue to flourish as a result of this support.”

Mr Ward said he was excited to be part of something so unique to the area.

“It’s a great opportunity to bring people together, not just within this region but Australia-wide,” he said.

Mr Ward said his real-life superhero was NSW Premier Mike Baird, but his fictional favourites were the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Details of how to nominate are here.

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