WWWalker's Victorian Business
NSW had failed me for the umpteenth time re cashflow so I went south in early 2006 to a more reliable source of income in Victoria! NSW is all flare and no substance. Victoria gets the job done. NSW fritters their money away then sucks everyone else dry to stay in business, the worst state in the Commonwealth to run a business in!
Having a more enterprising government seems less and less remote since ALP won in the March 2007 State election in NSW. Centralist government is here to stay in NSW for a year or 2 more crippling our efforts till we break free.
Since our visit in February-March 2006, I have been back in Orange NSW and returned in June 2009. We left NSW in January 2008 for Brisbane QLD and may move to Victoria in 2009. Details are not yet finalised. Then we can restart our work in Victoria and grow again instead of marking time.
In 2010 NSW election, voters confronted the government agencies in NSW and start reforming the system to stop being so centralist and empire building. Before then I ventured into other states to grow my business. In 2012, Queensland and Victoria are struggling so NSW is more attractive now.
A visit to Melbourne in September 2012, it was only successful for research but not business. Busking was dead as there are 1500 buskers now and the CBD shops seem dead and there are many not catching trams but walking. Online remote support for opensource software for a Melbourne company was more lucrative than visiting Melbourne in person.
Victorian public servants saved skin by denying problems in bushfire handling - very sick!
Debt in manufacturing, tourism and education
We have developed ties with Shepparton agricultural and small business operators in February 2006. This opportunity came with the lead up to the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games
and revisiting old haunts in Bendigo and Castlemaine in Central Victoria.
Shepparton is a dynamic centre in the Goulburn Valley with the famous SPC Ardmona food cannery and a large number of stone fruit orchards and vineyards in the area which are harvested January to March each year. Worktrainers is the main seasonal employment service in the area. There is a rail head there
and the city is only 2 hours from Melbourne and 2 hours from Albury - very centrally located for a business like ours based in Orange NSW.
We got there via Cootamundra, Albury and Benalla and returned via the Newell Hwy and Forbes, bypassing Sydney each time and saving time and money.
Shepparton is on the Midland Highway which goes all the way to Adelaide, South Australia. You can get to Adelaide in 1 day from Shepparton via V/Line - very useful tip. You can also get to Griffith NSW in the Riverina - another good cross roads to use when jumping into the backblocks of NSW.
Shepparton has campuses of two universities, University of Melbourne and Latrobe University (new $9M building started in 8/2008), and GO TAFE.
They also had much public art in the streets and parks: all sorts of coloured, decorated and flying cows! There is a very beautiful caravan park called Victoria Lake Caravan Park on the Melbourne Road just south of the Post Office and an Aquamoves aquatic centre next door. They just got the Melbourne Road to Seymour upgraded to 2 lanes each way. There is a causeway to Mooroopna which is a small town next to Shepparton where most of the farms are near. Mooroopna is on the junction of the road to Echuca on the Murray River and is the site of the SPC Ardmona factory.
The local newspaper is Shepparton News which is run by McPherson Media, an ISP as well! How's that for diversity!
One good local church is Shepparton Baptist on right off Melbourne Rd going south - 03 5831 2022 - Rev Rob McKenzie is pastor.
The main opportunities are in the highly mobile agriculture business sector who use hi-tech solutions such as solar panels to control irrigation pumps and gates to water their fruit trees and vineyards.
There are also opportunities in business services like employment and human resource management e.g. direct payment into bank accounts of pays. The locals still either pay by cash or cash cheque which is antiquated in this day and age. Bookkeeping seems to be in the Dark Ages in Mooroopna. The company doing our pays was sent bankrupt by our farm in April 2006. The farm then went bankrupt in July 2006.
This may be the effect of South African imports competing with our local apple and pear farmers and farmers having no alternative source of income when debt gets on top of them leading to wholesale collapse of a 50-year old farm.
In January 2014, Federal Govt knocked back $25M aid request to retool SPC Ardmona saying Coca Cola Amatil should pay for it since they are a multinational billionaire company. Americans seem to hoard their money so Australian subsidiary will probably close. Victorian companies so not invest in retooling. They just ask for government handouts.
- Commission of Inquiry into Greater Geelong City Council, 1 Dec 2015 - tabled in Victorian Parliament 12/4/2016
- Dismissal of Greater Geelong City Council by Victorian Minister for Local Government Natalie Hutchins 12/4/2016
- the Council is riven with conflict, unable to provide a long term vision for the city and lacking the leadership required to manage Geelong’s major economic challenges
- the Council’s leadership is dysfunctional, and includes a significant number of councillors contravening their Code of Conduct
- the Council operates in silos - both at councillor level and at senior management level - looking after sectional interests rather than the municipality as a whole
- there is a deep-seated culture of bullying within the Council and its administration, which has contributed to a lack of good governance and failure to provide a safe workplace for staff
- Local Government (Greater Geelong City Council) Bill 2016 Second Reading 14 Apr 2016
- add directly elected deputy mayor along with directly elected mayor
- Specifically, it identifies:
- a. The council is unable to provide the long-term vision and leadership required to face the major economic challenges for the City of Greater Geelong.
- b. The leadership of the council is dysfunctional, riven by conflict and characterised by a significant number of councillors contravening their code of conduct.
- c. There is a deep-seated culture of bullying within the council and its administration.
- d. A range of organisational failures have contributed to the breakdown of good governance at the council, including a failure by council to provide a safe workplace for its employees.
- This bill will implement three of four recommendations made to government by the commission:
- 1) to dismiss the council and appoint administrators to perform the powers, functions and duties of the council until a new council is elected;
- 2) to provide for the direct election of the position of deputy mayor to strengthen support to the directly elected mayor and enable a greater sharing of the workloads of office; and
- 3) to provide for a representation review to be held prior to the next council election with a view to replacing the individual councillor ward electoral system with multicouncillor wards to share representative responsibilities.
- A fourth recommendation to amend the Local Government Act 1989 to provide for greater liaison between mayors and CEOs will be implemented in the current review underway regarding that act.
- The key changes made by the bill's amendments to the City of Greater Geelong Act 1993 will provide for the:
- a) creation of a new position of directly elected deputy mayor to represent the City of Greater Geelong as a representative of the municipal district as a whole.
- b) requirement that an electoral representation review be conducted before a new council is elected in 2020. Requiring the Victorian Electoral Commission (VEC) to conduct a review is considered the most appropriate way to address the report's recommendation to replace single member wards with multicouncillor wards.
- mayor Darryn Lyons welcomed independent inquiry in December 2015 and 3 administrators are running council till matters are rectified re bullying culture of councillors and lack of city plan
- mayor Darryn Lyons threatened defamation action against CEO of Council 30 Nov 2015
- 19% unemployment in Corio-Norlane due to Ford factory closing so redeploy low skilled jobs into services industry
- $9.8Bn Gross Regional Product in 2014 (biggest outside Melbourne)
- Greater Bendigo had higher growth rate of 3.5% compared to Greater Geelong of 1.5% 2004-2014
- open data portal and policy - Council report: "Digital Geelong: A digital leader in Victoria" (PDF)
- 2015-2016 Budget
- more and more middle-class
- house prices are going higher and higher like Melbourne so hard to afford Geelong in 2016
- accommodation is nearly as expensive as Melbourne with less beds than Melbourne
- Linux.conf.au Feb 1-5, 2016, Deakin University
- 2nd largest city in Victoria - semi-rural, semi-urban
- an hour by train from Melbourne and used as a dormitory suburb by Melbourne workers
- I studied HSC in Belmont High School, Geelong, and did very well in science and music and got into Melbourne Medical School (University of Melbourne)
- very good government and private schools like Geelong Grammar that Prince Charles went to similar to Melbourne
- own university Deakin University
- Matchworks HQ - best job agency in Australia for Centrelink unemployed people from its experience with unemployment after Ford and other factories closed
- will suffer from shutdown of Ford Factory in 2016 - Australian Govt is giving it grants to transform itself similar to Newcastle NSW when BHP shutdown
- is trying to reinvent itself
- arts and culture
- strong evangelical churches like Aberdeen St Baptist
- a very entrepreneurial mayor with mohawk
- Council rubbish collection day app using open data
- Geelong Cats AFL football team - won grandfinal after 30 years!
linux.conf.au, University of Ballarat, 16-20/1/12
University of Ballarat Campus has a technology park which is the largest regional ICT cluster in Australia.