THE LAUNCH of the Baw Baw Shire’s 2014 Business Excellence Awards was attended by a who’s who of local business owners. But the awards were not the most popular conversation topic of the night.
Pictured: Mr Bisignano delivering his speech. More photos below. All photos by William PJ Kulich.
Around 100 Baw Baw business people attended a council networking function on Thursday at which the awards were launched, however it was an address by international investment manager of the state government’s Invest Victoria body, Daniel Bisignano, that was the most discussed and popular part of the night.
In his speech Mr Bisignano explained how international financial movements affected local businesses and the state of the local economy, the future of which is, apparently, quite good.
Mr Bisignano said population growth was one of Baw Baw’s biggest assets, with housing growth also helping to make the region’s growth rate “pretty healthy.”
“The local economy is actually pretty good,” he said.
According to Mr Bisignano, Baw Baw has a lower unemployment rate than both the state of Victoria and Australia as a whole.
The demographic of the region also has promise, with a “bulge” in the 35-45 years of age range and “loads” of kids coming through.
“So long as they stay (in the region) that’s good,” he said.
Mr Bisignano said the only sector of Baw Baw’s economy to be shrinking was agriculture, but foreign investment could help. He said Victoria needed “a lot” of foreign investment to grow food production as needed, which would be a “win win for agriculture.”
Other key points of Mr Bisignano’s speech included:
- high personal saving rates after the GFC were bad for business,
- growth needs to be at three per cent to keep up with job demand, but non-mining states like Victoria are just missing the mark,
- exchange rate sensitive industries are recovering,
- Australians have the highest personal debt levels per capita in the world, but that is “not a big deal” because it is mostly held by highest income earners who can afford to service their debts,
- the AUD is expected to average around 85-90c to the USD,
The SP AusNet Baw Baw Shire Business Excellence Awards, no in their seventh year, are designed to showcase innovation and success in local businesses. Applications open at the end of January 2014.
Pictured: (L to R) Tim Willis (AusIndustry), Judy Surman (Wild Dog Winery), Gary Surman (Wild Dog Winery), Shelley Wyatt (Warragul Travel Club Tours) and Nicola Keyzer (Dragon’s Ink).
Pictured: (L to R) Graham Davey (Trafalgar Mens and Boys Wear), Brendan Kingwill (BK’s Franchising) and Matthey Cripps (Baw Baw Shire).
Pictured: (L to R) Ian Jackson (Allian Electronics), Dianne Jackson (Allian Electronics), Sarah Sedley (Warragul Cinema), Andrew Schreyer (Warragul & Drouin Gazette) and Michael Fozard (Walhalla Museum Pty Ltd).
Pictured: (L to R) John Crosby (SBMS), Danny Smith (GBS Recruitment) and Brett Palmer (Lucid Services Pty Ltd).
Pictured: (L to R) back row: Marja Olsen (Soilkee Pty Ltd), Niles Olsa (Soilkee Pty Ltd) and Chris Jordan (Ten-Rose International Simmental). Front row: Tracey McGrogan (Flavorite), Andrea Evans-McCall (SkillsPlus- NDCO) and Sharon Jordan (Ten-Rose International Simmental).
Pictured: (L to R) Philippe Borgonovo (Computer Troubleshooters – Warragul), Teresa Mitchell (Business Support Centre), Naomi Matchett (Best Match Recruitment) and Sally Rowe-Walser (Best Match Recruitment).
Pictured: (L to R) Erika McInerney (Warragul Farmers’ Market), Mark Cockerell (Lardner Park Events) and Sallie Jones (Warragul Farmers’ Market).
Pictured: (L to R) Murray Cook (mayor, Baw Baw Shire), Helen Anstis (CEO, Baw Baw Shire) and Alexander Arbuthnot (Agribusiness).
Pictured: businesspeople mingle before the formal part of the evening.
Pictured: (L to R) Nimal Cooray (Brandy Creek Wines & View Cafe) and Winston Foenander (Brandy Creek Wines & View Cafe).
Pictured: (L to R) Dennis Marshall (DJM Fabrications) and Chris Marshall (DJM Fabrications).
Pictured: (L to R) Terry Hennessy (Baw Baw Test & Tag), Shane Cagney (Baw Baw Shire), Phil Cantillon (Baw Baw Shire) and Brett Kersten.
Pictured: Peter Kulich (Baw Baw Shire), MC of the evening, introduces Mr Bisignano.
Pictured: the audience listens to Mr Bisignano.
Pictured: (L to R) Shannyn Kiss (Baw Baw Shire), Gerry Marvin (Commonwealth Bank), Gary Surman (Wild Dog Winery) and Karen Meyers (Baw Baw Shire).
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