6 February 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.

Assertiveness in the Workplace - 15 February 2012

You will learn how to use appropriate behaviour and communication in the workplace, which will enable you to present yourself more effectively and confidently and increase your effectiveness in your current and future roles. 

Click here for more information and to register.

Aligning People and Performance - 20 February 2012

The course aims to equip participants to develop and monitor the implementation of operational plans including the alignment of individuals and teams by the establishment of effective performance management processes and practices.

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.

Online visitor visa access for Brazil and Argentina

Effective from 15 February 2012, individuals from Brazil and Argentina who are intending to visit Australia for tourism purposes will be able to apply online for the e676 electronic tourist visa.

According to the Department of Immigration and Citizenship, the online e676 visa facility allows people to apply for a tourist visa electronically using a fast, secure and convenient application process and also to check the progress of their application electronically.

In addition, airlines are able to confirm the visa entitlements through the Advance Passenger Processing system.

Importantly, once granted the e676 does not require a visa label to be placed in a passport but approved applicants can, if they wish, print a copy of their visa approval notification email to carry with them while travelling to Australia.

For further information, contact CCI Migration Services (MARN 0318589) on 9365 7457 or email visas@cciwa.com.

Work and Holiday visa arrangement between Australia and Argentina

Commencing from 29 February 2012, Argentina joins Thailand, Iran, Chile, Turkey, United States of America, Malaysia, Indonesia and Bangladesh as a country that has a Work and Holiday visa arrangement with Australia.

In accordance with Immigration Instrument IMMI 11/053, citizens of Argentina aged between 18 and 30 years old who hold tertiary qualifications, or have successfully completed at least two years of undergraduate university study may be eligible to apply for a Work and Holiday visa.

For further information, contact CCI Migration Services (MARN 0318589) on 9365 7457 or email visas@cciwa.com.

National Workshops for Assessors

Innovation & Business Skills Australia (IBSA) are conducting professional development workshops nationally for trainers and assessors to assist them in maintaining the currency of their trainer and assessor competence.

Click here for more information.

The Australian Skills Quality Authority

The Australian Skills Quality Authority has released the latest issue of the ASQA Update.

Click here to read the update.

CCI Members' Survey of the Fair Work Act 2009

The Federal Government has announced a review of the Fair Work laws, which gives businesses an opportunity to voice their views about the current industrial relations system.

It would assist us greatly if you could complete this survey and share your views. The aggregate survey results will assist CCI in its submissions to Government, and in its general lobbying and advocacy for change.

Take the survey and go into the draw to win!

CCI members who complete their survey before Thursday 23 February will be entered in the draw to win a $250 dinner voucher for two at Mosmans Restaurant in Perth. To register for the reader prize, please include your details at the end of the survey. The winner will be notified directly.

All individual responses remain confidential. All examples provided by respondents may be used by CCI but will not be attributed to an individual employer.

Click here to take the survey.

Potential security costs for inadequate submissions to Fair Work Australia

In an unprecedented number of applications for security of costs, Fair Work Australia (FWA) has recently ordered security costs be paid in three of the four recent applications made to it.

FWA can make an order for security costs to be held for costs that may arise in the course of an investigation and hearing. FWA will not often make these orders before conciliation has concluded.

In ordering costs FWA receives and then investigates the validity of the claim and whether the case has merit. Security can be ordered to ensure the costs of the responding party are covered if the claim is successful; the application may be made (and consequently ordered) if one party truly believes the claim is without merit.

Whilst there have been only five applications for costs since the introduction of the Fair Work Act 2009 (the Act), four of these have been made in the past nine months, suggesting an increasing trend.

In Russell v Due Easy Pty Ltd FWA ordered security be paid by an employee who was arguing unfair dismissal before it. The responding party outlined its reasons for termination and the sections of the Act which it enacted the termination under. Having satisfied these rules FWA ordered the applicant pay security costs due to the volatility of their application and its propensity to fail.

In O’Reilly v SA Waste Management FWA ordered security costs be held due to the lack of cooperation and evasion of FWA’s investigation. Despite being the applicant the company which was defending the claim applied for application of costs due to the applicant’s non-compliance and continual time wasting of FWA and the responding party. In order to move forward again the applicant would need to pay security, which at this time had not been paid.

FWA went a step further in Ramieri v Biogiene Pty Ltd. The employer was clearly in breach of the Act as it dismissed it’s employee under the Small Business Termination Code, a category which it does not fit under as it employed over 1500 people. FWA not only ordered security but made an order to cover all costs incurred by the employee who was dismissed during the case.

In each of the above cases, FWA ruled there was a clear cut argument or defence and security costs were valid.

FWA dismissed two more cases that were not so clearly defined.

In Harris v Home Theatre Group there was a valid argument of unfair dismissal and therefore the Commissioner ordered no security be paid as the case was not doomed to fail. In Hampson v Circuit Finance the application was dismissed due to a lack of traction in the case and the bankruptcy of the applicant.

FWA advises that costs or the threat of costs should not act as a detriment to prevent applications proceeding and the recent cases should not act as a barrier to application or defence of cases brought to it.

This paves the way for more security cost applications. With the recent cases as reference it appears FWA will order security for costs based on the merit of a particular application. Costs were ordered in cases where the claim was without just cause or if in clear violation of the Act.

In real terms the amount of applications will undoubtedly increase due to the recent success in applications. This puts an onus on each side of an application to evaluate the validity of its argument. Each side now has a precedent to apply for security costs if it truly believes that the other side has a baseless claim or if it has satisfied the law and regulations and is still being brought to FWA. This should attempt to curb applications made in revenge like fashion and likewise dismissals that occur in violation of the Act. Employers should be aware of the power to apply for security, this is going to allow employers the power to act or defend without having to foot the bill for unjust applications. Likewise the employer should be aware that in applicable cases they may be liable for costs in frivolous cases. As rulings were made on both sides this should shape a more justifiable application process and attempt to eliminate cases that are without merit and waste the time of each side and FWA.

[Mr Anthony Lewis Russell v Due Easy Pty Ltd T/A Hard Rock Excavations [2011] FWA 7052 (22 December 2011)]
[Mr Jason O'Reilly v SA Waste Management Pty Ltd [2011] FWA 9138 (23 December 2011)]
[Michael Ranieri v BioGiene Pty Ltd [2011] FWA 9138 (23 December 2011)]
[Ms Sharon Harris v Home Theatre Group Pty Ltd T/A Home Theatre Group [2011] FWA 2910 (12 May 2011)]
[K Hampson and Circuit Finance Australia Ltd [2006] AIRC PR967475 (17 January 2006)]

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

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.

Piracy attacks in East and West Africa dominate world report

Pirate attacks against ships in East and West Africa accounted for the majority of world attacks in 2011, signalling a rising trend, the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) International Maritime Bureau’s (IMB) global piracy report has revealed. Of the 439 attacks reported to the IMB in 2011, 275 attacks took place off Somalia on the east coast and in the Gulf of Guinea on the west coast of Africa.

The report showed a slight drop in the total number of recorded incidents of piracy and armed robbery worldwide, comparing the 439 recorded incidents of piracy and armed robbery in 2011 to 445 in 2010. The falling numbers come after four consecutive years of increased piracy and armed robbery worldwide.

The 802 crew members taken hostage in 2011 also marks a decrease from the four-year high of 1,181 in 2010. Overall in 2011, there were 45 vessels hijacked, 176 vessels boarded, 113 vessels fired upon and 105 reported attempted attacks. A total of eight crew members were killed throughout the year, the same number as 2010.

Somali pirates continue to account for the majority of attacks - approximately 54 per cent. But while the overall number of Somali incidents increased from 219 in 2010 to 236 in 2011, the number of successful hijackings decreased from 49 to 28.

The IMB report shows that Somali pirate attacks were predominantly concentrated within the cross roads of the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Aden. However, 2011 marked the first hijacking by Somali pirates of an anchored vessel from within the territorial waters of a foreign State - namely, Oman - highlighting the need for ports and vessels at anchorages in the region to be vigilant.

Elsewhere, Nigeria and Benin continued to be piracy hotspots. While 10 attacks were reported in Nigeria, including two hijackings, IMB warns that this number is not representative of the real threat of Nigeria piracy. Underreporting of attacks in Nigeria continues to be a cause for concern, and IMB states that it is aware of at least another 34 unreported incidents in Nigerian waters.

Also in 2011 a probable extension of Nigerian piracy into neighbouring Benin included 20 incidents against tankers, eight of which were hijacked and had cargoes partly stolen.

In South East Asia and the Indian Subcontinent, vessels in Bangladesh reported 10 incidents of armed robbery in the approaches to Chittagong. This is a significant reduction from the 23 incidents reported in 2010 and reflects the initiatives taken by the Bangladesh Coast Guard to curb piracy in their waters. Nonetheless, anchorages in the approaches to Chittagong remain an area of concern.

Indonesia has seen a rise in armed robbery for the second straight year. The incidents continue to be local and opportunistic, according to IMB, and usually against anchored vessels. The 46 reported incidents – up from 40 in 2010 – include 41 vessels boarded, two attempted attacks, and three cases of tugs and barges being hijacked whilst underway.

Attacks in the South China Sea fell from 31 in 2010 to 13 in 2011. This included nine boarded vessels, three attempted attacks, and the hijacking of one tug and its barge.

The IMB Piracy Reporting Centre is the world’s only manned centre receiving and disseminating reports of piracy and armed robbery 24 hours a day, across the globe. As part of the ICC, it is an independent body set up to monitor attacks, free of political interference. 

New honorary consul in Jamaica

A new Australian Consulate was opened in Jamaica last week by Parliamentary Secretary for Pacific Island Affairs, Richard Marles. Mrs Marjory Kennedy has been appointed Honorary Consul.

Mrs Kennedy is a prominent businesswoman in Jamaica, and sits on the board of more than a dozen companies and not-for-profit organisations.

“This is an important step in Australia’s long-standing friendship with Jamaica, and a wonderful way to celebrate the nation’s 50th anniversary of independence this year,” said Mr Marles.

“The Caribbean is an increasingly important part of the world for Australia as we seek to build on our business and bilateral interests in the region.”

Mr Marles and Jamaican Prime Minister, Portia Simpson Miller, met to discuss climate change, regional integration and parallels in challenges facing small island states in the Caribbean and the Pacific.  Mr Marles also met Foreign and Trade Minister Senator Arnold Nicholson for discussions on the Australia-Caribbean relationship.

Jamaica was Mr Marles first stop on a visit to the Caribbean that took in Barbados, Guyana, Grenada, St Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines.

Diplomatic appointment - Ambassador to Jordan

Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd has announced that Ms Heidi Venamore will be Australia’s next Ambassador to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.

Ms Venamore is expected to take up her appointment next month and will replace Mr Glenn White, who has been Ambassador since January 2009.

Australia’s relationship with Jordan has broadened and deepened over the years to encompass trade, agriculture, investment, education, defence cooperation and cultural cooperation. Recent new areas of bilateral cooperation include law enforcement, such as regional police training, and customs cooperation. Bilateral merchandise trade stood at $189 million for 2010-11.

Ms Venamore is a career officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Since September 2008, she has served as Counsellor, Australian High Commission, London. Ms Venamore was Deputy Head of Mission, Australian Embassy Baghdad from 2003 until 2005, a member of the Iraq Task Force (2002-2003), and worked as a consultant for the World Bank’s West Bank and Gaza mission (1997-1999).

Ms Venamore has studied Arabic and has worked throughout the Middle East. 

Curtin Growth can improve business success

Curtin University will soon be running a series of obligation free, 1-hour information sessions where prospective growth participants can learn about the upcoming growth program (starting 15 March) and discuss their specific business educational needs.

The 16 full-day growth workshops, delivered in an informal, relaxed atmosphere over 12 months will cover all aspects of running a small to medium business including financial control, systems & processes, growth planning & strategy, personal development, sales & marketing, building teams and managing people.

The 30 hours one-on-one mentoring will help you implement your new business management knowledge in your business under the expert guidance of a seasoned advisor.

Plus for the next program only we have 20 scholarships of $3,000 each to award to qualified businesses, so this is a great opportunity to improve your business. 

Information Sessions for Owners of Small to Medium Businesses
To RSVP, simply click on the session below you would like to attend:

Friday 17 February 8.00-9.00am

Tuesday 21 February 4.30-5.30pm

Friday 24 February 8.00-9.00am 

Wednesday 29 February 4.30-5.30pm

Thursday 8 March 4.30-5.30pm

Sessions take place at the Curtin Centre for Entrepreneurship Enterprise
Unit 4, De Laeter Way, Technology Park, Bentley

Ample free parking is available.