30 January 2012


Introduction to Microsoft Excel - 8 February 2012

This hands-on course will introduce you to Excel and allow you time to master the basics at your own pace. You’ll return to your workplace being confident in your ability to create a robust spreadsheet in a reasonable amount of time.

Click here for more information and to register.

Safety Representatives' Training - 13 Februrary 2012

As the safety representative for your business you will face new challenges and responsibilities. This WorkSafe WA accredited course is designed to help build the knowledge, confidence and skills needed to be an effective Safety Representative. It will also provide you with the tools to improve the overall safety performance of your organisation.

Click here for more information and to register.

Occupational Safety & Health Legislation - 20 February 2012

Gain an understanding of the Act, Regulations and supporting materials such as Codes of Practice, Guidance Notes and Guides which govern work activities in Western Australia, following the harmonisation of safety and health laws and the introduction of a new package of regulations.

Click here for more information and to register.

Core Skills for Frontline Management 22 February 2012

This workshop is designed to give employees who work on the frontline of their organisations the ability to deal with their clients in a more professional manner by understanding clients’ behavioural patterns.

Click here for more information and to register.

Business Continuity for SMEs - Free Planning Workshop

Flood, fire, cyclone, IT breakdown, supplier failure. Over two thirds of Australian enterprises experienced one or more of these disruptive events in 2011. What effect would a significant business disruption have on your customers, your staff, your cash flow, and your business reputation? Disasters do happen - what have you done to prepare your business?

You can plan for unexpected disruption so your business can continue to provide for your customers’ needs and employees’ welfare. The tools and techniques used by major corporations to enable their survival can be adapted to the needs and resources of small and medium-sized enterprise.

Discover how by attending the free Business Continuity for SMEs workshop hosted by the Business Continuity Institute, supported by Enterprise Connect. This interactive half day workshop will be delivered by a local business continuity expert and will provide practical information and real-world examples on:

  • good practice business continuity principles and methods;
  • how to apply the principles and practices in your organisation; and
  • how business continuity can reduce disruption and deliver value.

Workshop participants will leave with practical business continuity concepts and tools that will help to build resilience in your workplace. Workshop participants will also get one year’s free affiliate membership of the Business Continuity Institute giving access to extensive ongoing benefits.

Click here to view the brochure.

You can also find the full workshop details and registration information at www.thebci.org.au or telephone
(02) 9431 8656.

The Community Services, Health and Education Training Council

The Community Services, Health and Education Training Council have issued a newsletter. Please visit http://www.csheitc.org.au/ to view it.

Dont' miss out on a school scholarship for 2013

Parents risk having their children miss the opportunity to receive a scholarship to an independent school if they wait too long.  In 2012, Acer’s Cooperative Scholarship Testing Program (CSTP) test date has been brought forward and will now occur in February, instead of May as was the case in previous years.

The final cut-off date for student registrations is at 11:59pm (AEDST) on 6 February 2012, not long after students return to school, and parents who wait too long may find that schools have already closed registrations.

Project Director for the CSTP, David Weeding said it would be unfortunate if parents were unable to have their child considered for a scholarship because they thought the testing was in May, which has previously been the case. 

“Some schools may not accept late registrations and the child will then miss out,’ Mr Weeding said.

Established in 1962, CSTP is an annual program of scholarship testing used by schools across Australia to select academically gifted students for the award of a scholarship.

Approximately 150 independent schools currently use the service for entry into the first, middle or final years of secondary school. The test is held on one day, and is a cooperative test, meaning that candidates can register with more than one CSTP school, but they sit the test once only.

In 2012 in response to requests from schools, the test will take place on Saturday 25 February. Previously, the CSTP annual test date was in May.

Further information including a list of participating schools is available from http://www.acer.edu.au/tests/cstp.

ACER Corporate Communications Media Release 19 January 2012

Electrical Utilities & Public Administration (EUPA) Training Council - Generation Industry Working Group

As a result of the review of the Generation Training Package EUPA wish to establish a Generation Industry Working Group to work collaboratively with EE-Oz the national skills council to: 

  • Advise of emerging industry trends and their training implications, including recommended training practices and responses;
  • Identify emerging skills needs and system opportunities in relation to industry gaining access to publicly funded training opportunities;
  • Assist in promoting industry take-up of training, including new training and funding initiatives;
  • Assist in building relationships and broker training solutions for industry with Registered Training Organisations;
  • Provide leadership in driving change in industry training arrangements that support industry advancement;
  • Facilitate industry input to the development and review of Training Packages and curriculum;
  • Keep the sector advised of training developments, including apprenticeship and traineeship opportunities, as well as part-time and school-based apprenticeship arrangements;
  • Identify the opportunities for work based training, in particular where higher level VET qualifications may apply;
  • Guide and assist in the creation of industry workforce development plans to guide the development of a skilled workforce. These plans will include a regional focus and provide advice for each non-metropolitan region regarding training needs within the sector;

Should you wish to be an industry representative in the group please contact admin@eupa.com.au. For those in remote regions they will endeavour to establish a telephone link.  Please may we ask you indicate your willingness to participate in such a group by 1 February 2012.  Meetings will be held quarterly to accommodate the EE-Oz representative’s visits to Perth.

Reminder: 2012 ACCI Annual Wage Review Survey

Members are reminded of the opportunity to provide feedback via a short online survey to the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) to assist in their preparation of a submission to Fair Work Australia’s 2012 Annual Wage Review.

In accordance with the Fair Work Act 2009, Fair Work Australia’s Minimum Wage Panel conducts an annual wage review, which results in the issuance of a decision and national minimum wage. The annual wage review affects National System Employers and their employees who are either covered by a modern award or transitional instrument, or who are not covered by an award or agreement.

This years Annual Wage Review will be conducted between March and June and the Minimum Wage Panel has asked interested parties to lodge submissions by 16 March 2012. 

ACCI will prepare a submission on behalf of its members and as such has invited feedback from employers via this survey.

CCIWA encourages its members to participate in the survey in order to assist ACCI in representing the interests of employers. Data collected by ACCI will also be used by CCIWA for its own submission to the Annual Wage Review.

The survey asks employers to provide information on the impact that the 2011 minimum wage decision had on their businesses, as well as seeking their input on the quantum of this year’s decision.

The survey will take approximately five minutes to complete, and participants will not be required to enter any information which would identify themselves or their business.

Please click on the following link to access the survey: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/acci_minwage2012   

Survey closes on Friday, 2 March 2012.

If you have any further queries, please contact Marcia Kuhne, on (08) 9365-7699 or email marcia.kuhne@cciwa.com.

The Importance of Conducting Effective Job Interviews

The Fair Work Act 2009 has expanded the scope of workplace rights and protections from discrimination to prospective employees. On this basis if a prospective employee believes they have been discriminated against in the interview or recruitment process they can make a General Protections claim.  This type of claim involves significant court costs and if successful, can result in the award of uncapped damages to the prospective employee.  This makes a poorly conducted interview a significant financial risk for employers.

An indirect cost of a poorly conducted interview process can arise if an unsuitable candidate is selected for the position.  This may result in the use of additional resources to train and or performance manage the employee.  If the employee resigns or is terminated as a result of substandard performance this then means further costs to conduct another recruitment process.

In order to minimise these risks it is important that employers plan their interview process carefully.  Firstly it is imperative that the interviewer has a clear understanding of the position that they are recruiting for including the qualifications, skills and competencies required to effectively do the job.  Also the interviewer should be able to explain to candidates what the role entails and to answer any questions.  This will enable candidates to self select in terms of their abilities and interest in the position.

Secondly, employers should prepare questions in advance and ensure that they are relevant to the position requirements.  Most effective in determining suitable candidates are questions related to previous work experience or skills and how these will translate into the requirements of the position on offer.  A combination of questioning techniques including behavioural questions will enable an employer to determine suitability by assessing how the candidate has operated in previous employment.

CCI is running an “Effective Recruitment Interviewing” training course on 10 May 2012. For further information contact CCI Training on (08) 9365 7500 or email training@cciwa.com .

The Employee Relations Advice Centre can be contacted on (08) 9365 7660 or advice@cciwa.com for information regarding job interviews.

CCI Function Centre

Did you know you could also hold your next event or meeting at CCI? The CCI Function Centre is an ideal venue for your next conference or function. Centrally located in CCI’s East Perth building, our modern and professional facilities provide the perfect setting for any function.

Contact CCI Events on (08) 9365 7500 or email functions@cciwa.com  to get your personalised quote today!

Click here to view the CCI Function Centre compendium.

CCI-Perth Airport Corporate Business Breakfast: The transformation of Perth Airport - 29 February 2012

Over the past six years, the number of passengers travelling through Perth Airport has doubled. With 11.5 million passengers recorded travelling in FY10/11, Perth Airport is now the fastest growing capital city airport in Australia.

To support the current and projected growth in domestic and international passenger numbers and future demand for air services, Perth Airport has commenced a $750 million major redevelopment program to transform and expand the airport’s facilities.

CCI, together with Perth Airport, invites you to attend this exclusive breakfast event to gain an understanding of the current and future plans for this exciting transformation.

Perth Airport CEO Brad Geatches will detail the airport’s plans for the next three years and provide guests with an insight into his vision for the future of one of the State’s most important public infrastructure projects.

Do not miss this exclusive opportunity to gain a better understanding of how Perth Airport’s redevelopment will meet the needs of business in our State.

Places are limited so book early to avoid disappointment.

Click here for more information and to register. 

CCI Sundowner - WA Tastes of Summer - 1 March 2012

CCI invites you to indulge your senses and experience some of the most sensational wine and culinary fare Western Australia has to offer at the inaugural WA Tastes of Summer Sundowner.

This premier member event will provide guests with the opportunity to sample a superb array of gourmet foods and premier wines from a large selection of local and regional Western Australia producers.

In addition the evening will feature a short presentation by Wine Industry Association of WA general manager Aymee Mastaglia, who will provide an insight into the future direction of the wine industry in the local and international markets. 

So if you would enjoy indulging in some of the very best wines, cheeses and gourmet foods Western Australia has to offer, then succumb to your senses and make sure you don’t miss this delicious event!

Click here for more information or to register. 

ANZ CCI Annual Economic Breakfast - 14 March 2012

As we look back on what has been a somewhat challenging 2011, we can't help but ask ourselves what does the future hold for WA, Australia and the World?

Together with its elite partner, CCI, ANZ is pleased to invite you and your clients to hear from the experts on what’s in store for the local, national and international economies.

Warren Hogan, ANZ’s Chief Economist, will discuss prospects for both the international and Australian economies in 2012, as well as his views on the economic conditions in Western Australia.

Following this, special guest and Australia’s own pole vault sensation, Steve Hooker, will provide an insight into the sport of pole vaulting in an Olympic year, discussing his challenges, triumphs and preparations for winning gold in London. 

This unique event is an ideal occasion to entertain your clients and to attend Perth’s most anticipated business breakfast for 2012.

Book early to avoid disappointment.

Click here for more information or to register. 

CCI IR Conference: Employee rights vs employer responsibilities – has the pendulum swung too far? - 27 March 2012

The Fair Work Act was implemented on the basis of establishing fairness and balancing the “interests of employers and employees” and “the granting of rights and the imposition of responsibilities”.

As it approaches its third birthday, employers, employees and their representatives have had the opportunity to put the legislation to the test, both in practice and through the courts and tribunals.

Drawing upon the experiences of employers, unions and academics the 2012 CCI IR Conference will explore if the legislation has achieved its aim of balancing employee rights with employer responsibilities or whether the pendulum has swung too far.

Click here for more information and to register.   

Trade opportunities

The International Trade Centre at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Western Australia receives buy/sell offers and trade enquiries daily from overseas.

Click here to view a list of last week’s offers and demands.

WA continues to lead export growth

Newly-released trade figures show Western Australia’s share of Australian exports continues to grow, while export volumes from South Australia also enjoyed strong growth last financial year.

Western Australia accounted for 40 per cent of Australian exports last financial year, up from 35 per cent the previous year. Exports of iron ore grew by nearly 70 per cent, accounting for over half Western Australia’s total merchandise exports, while exports of crude petroleum, natural gas, nickel ores and precious metal ores (excluding gold) also grew strongly.

Coal was the largest merchandise export in both New South Wales and Queensland. Services exports fell in all states and territories, except Western Australia and the ACT.

Overall, the value of Australia’s exports rose 17.3 per cent in 2010-11. Price was the main driver as volumes remained steady, although with quite significant variation in growth amongst states.

South Australia’s export volumes climbed 21.5 per cent, principally driven by wheat. In the Australian Capital Territory they were up 7.4 per cent and New South Wales’ volumes rose 3.3 per cent. Export volumes from Queensland dropped 6.9 per cent in 2010-11 because of the impact of severe weather events, including the devastating floods that affected large parts of the state last summer.

New South Wales continued as the nation’s top importer, with $A104 billion worth of goods and services imported into New South Wales in 2010-11 - amounting to 39 per cent of Australia’s total imports.

Western Australian exports totalled $118.4 billion in 2010-11, up 30.9 per cent. The growth in total WA exports was driven by a 34.7 per cent rise in merchandise exports in 2010-11. In particular, strong growth was recorded in iron ore (up 67.6 per cent, accounting for over half the state’s total merchandise exports), crude petroleum (up 25.5 per cent), natural gas (up 33.2 per cent), nickel ores (up 23.4 per cent) and precious metal ores (excluding gold) (up 42.1 per cent). This was offset by a slight fall in gold (down 1.9 per cent). The increase in services exports was driven by a 7.5 per cent rise in personal travel (excluding education-related) services.

‘Australia’s Trade by State and Territory 2010-11’ provides a complete statistical guide to exports and imports of goods and services for every State and Territory on a financial year basis. It is part of a series published each year by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, providing an account of Australia's international trade in goods and services.

The publication is available from www.dfat.gov.au.

Invitation to renewable energy and hybrid technologies event

A trade and investment delegation of companies from China and Malaysia will visit Perth during the week commencing 20 February to meet with Australian exporters and companies seeking investors.

The focus of the delegation will be on the renewable energy sector, including solar and hybrid technologies.

The Asia Pacific Society for Solar and Hybrid Technologies will host a lunch coinciding with the delegation’s visit. Perth companies are invited to attend to meet with members of the delegation. The lunch will be held as follows:

Theme:  “Renewable Energy and Hybrid Technologies.”
Date:  Monday, 20 February 2012
Time:  12.00pm-2.00pm
Venue:  Hyatt Regency Perth
Cost:  $77.00 incl GST
RSVP:  awiller@industrygrowth.net
Contact:  (08) 9407 9787

For more information and to register click here.

State commits to growth at Esperance Port

Export capacity at Esperance Port will potentially increase by up to 20 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) in a staged plan, with the State Government last week formally committing to expansion of the port.

Transport Minister Troy Buswell said the Government would embark on a market sounding exercise to identify private sector interest in expanding the port’s capacity for iron ore exports.

Mr Buswell said significant work had been undertaken to explore options to expand port capacity at both Esperance and Kwinana. The Minister said the decision to expand capacity from 11 mtpa to about 20 mtpa in the first instance at Esperance Port instead of Kwinana was influenced by a recently completed study into the Yilgarn province’s burgeoning iron ore industry and the fact that $120million was being spent to upgrade the port’s road and rail access.

“The study showed 11 of the 12 miners preferred Esperance over Kwinana for their individual export needs,” he said.

“The Yilgarn province is a rapidly developing iron ore region and, based on current iron ore prices, has the potential to earn the state up to $150million a year in royalties which can be invested into schools, hospitals, roads, police and other essential services for the community.

“Currently about 12 million tonnes of iron ore comes out of the Yilgarn and it is a potential source of more than 15 billion tonnes of magnetite and one billion tonnes of high-grade haematite ore.

The Minister said the Department of Transport will work closely with Esperance Ports Sea and Land on the port expansion proposal. 

ABARES report provides facts about foreign investment

The Federal Government has released a report on foreign investment in the rural sector by the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) and commissioned by Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation (RIRDC).

The report notes:

  • Australia has a high level of food security. Australia is highly self-sufficient as well as food secure, producing more than twice the amount of food it consumes.
  • Foreign investment in the agricultural sector enhances Australia’s food security by increasing efficiency and productive capacity. Such investment contributes to incomes, infrastructure and employment, often in regional areas. It can also help Australia gain access to new export markets.
  • Around 99 per cent of agricultural businesses by number in Australia are entirely Australian owned, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Around 89 per cent of agricultural land is entirely Australian-owned and around 91 per cent of water entitlements for agriculture are entirely Australian-owned.
  • Current foreign ownership of agricultural land, businesses and water entitlements in Australia is comparable with the levels of 1983-84.
  • Australian companies have significant investments in farmland and agribusiness enterprises in other countries.
  • The current strong regulatory framework surrounding foreign investment in agriculture protects the national interest and current policy settings are providing a “considerable level of scrutiny of foreign investment proposals and operations of foreign-owned agribusinesses in Australia”.
  • Any measures that put further barriers in the way of foreign investors and reduce the flow of foreign capital into Australian agriculture would adversely affect the performance of the agricultural sector.
  • The regular collection of information on foreign ownership in the agricultural sector would provide greater transparency to the public.

In releasing the report, Assistant Treasurer, Senator Mark Arbib, said it provided a clear picture of existing foreign investment in Australian agriculture and addressed community concerns in this area.

“Foreign investment improves the food security of Australians by increasing agricultural production and boosting employment and incomes in the sector, with broader benefits for the Australian economy,” Senator Arbib said.

“The ABARES report says there is real concern lower levels of foreign investment would lead to lower food production, and this could result in higher food prices.”

Acting Minister for Agriculture, Simon Crean, said the report highlighted the current foreign ownership of agricultural land, businesses and water entitlements in Australia is relatively unchanged from almost 20 years ago.

“This report confirms that foreign investment will continue to play an important role in the diversification of the Australian food processing and agricultural value-adding industries,” he said.

CCI Business Breakfast with the Hon Bruce Billson