Business News Releases

VECCI welcomes strong regional employment figures

VICTORIA’s peak employer body has welcomed results that showed regional employment in Victoria increased by 19,200, or 2.6 percent, making it the strongest performing state nationally in 2013.

“Thriving business centres throughout Victoria are vital to the economic strength of our state, so it’s wonderful to see so many more people employed,” says VECCI Chief Executive Mark Stone.

Mr Stone’s comments come as Australian Bureau of Statistics results show Victoria’s regional employment increased by 19,200 jobs in 2013 and regional unemployment averaged 5.3 percent over the three months to December 2013, the lowest for regional areas in Australia.

Areas of particularly strong employment growth in 2013 included:

• Central-Highlands-Wimmera: 7,600 persons (7 percent increase)

• Loddon-Mallee: 19,300 persons (14.6 percent increase)

• Goulburn-Ovens-Murray: 7,600 persons (5 percent increase)

“We’ve been working closely with government and industry throughout Victoria to continually improve the business environment and are delighted to see these results,” says Mr Stone.

“The State Government must capitalise on this growth by pushing on with regional infrastructure projects, lowering costs for business and continuing red tape reform to ensure Victoria remains competitive.” 



Crown Group achieves $150 million in sales at V by Crown

THE property market is red hot and so too is the performance of property developer Crown Group as V by Crown in Parramatta reaches a momentous $150 million in sales this week.

The successful development located in the heart of Parramatta has steam-rolled a pathway to success selling 277 apartments in the 18 months since launching in mid-2012.

This milestone comes shortly after V by Crown celebrated reaching 250 apartments sold in November last year as rising demand sees strong sale rates continue for the off-the-plan development.

V by Crown is a $309 million 29-storey residential apartment building which when complete will feature 519 luxury apartments and resort-style facilities including a pool, gym, conference facilities, music room, theatrette and a library.

The exceptional sales success sees Crown Group successfully trail blaze five-star, resort-style living at an affordable price point in Sydney’s rapidly evolving property market.

V by Crown Sales Manager Anthony Falas says the strong results are a reflection of demand for a premium quality product in the Parramatta CBD.

“You are looking at a luxury development offering the highest level of finishes as well as a location that is literally walking distance to all amenities,” he said.

“Our purchasers have shown us that a well-located, high quality development with premium facilities will always be in demand.”

The development has attracted strong interest from owner occupiers and investors alike looking to capitalise on the growth in the Western Sydney region as well as the growing taste for convenient, urban living.

“Parramatta is a real estate hot spot and all signs are showing that activity is only likely to accelerate with the proposition of significant infrastructure, growth of commercial premises and an increasing population.”

“Only last year Parramatta was named the country’s fastest growing night-time economy.

“It’s a recipe for momentum,” Mr Falas said.

With more than 90,000 workers flocking to Parramatta each day the city commands a growing presence one of Sydney’s largest commercial epicenters.

 “There is an intensifying demand to provide quality, residential living close to employment hubs,” said Mr.Falas.

V by Crown is located in the heart of Parramatta’s city centre, close to Church Street’s eateries and Westfield shopping centre, rail and ferry connections, as well as Parramatta Heritage Parklands.

V by Crown is expected to complete in mid-2016. Prices start from $418,000.


About Crown Group

Crown International Holdings Group (Crown Group) is a leading Australian property group, active in property development and property investment in Sydney. 

The company was co-founded by architect Mr Iwan Sunito and engineer Mr Paul Sathio in 1996.

Iwan Sunito graduated with Bachelor of Architecture (Hons) and Master of Construction of Management from University of NSW. In 1993 Iwan became a Registered Architect in NSW and was awarded the UNSW Eric Daniels award for excellence in residential design.

Paul Sathio graduated with a Bachelor degree in Civil Engineering from University of Technology Sydney (UTS) and a Masters of Engineering Science from University of NSW. Paul has more than two decades’ experience in the construction and development industry.

Crown Group was recently awarded the Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA) NSW President’s award – considered one of the highest property development accolades in Australia – for its resort-style development Top Ryde City Living.

Top Ryde City Living was also named best High-Density Development in NSW and ACT at the UDIA NSW awards for excellence 2013 and a Master Builders Association Excellence in Housing award 2013.

Crown Group’s other award-winning developments include a joint venture with Prosha Pty Ltd, The Eastlakes Town Centre, awarded UDIA NSW best Concept Design 2013, the innovative, waterfront development Sanctum by Crown, awarded a Master Builders Association Excellence in Housing award 2012 and the hugely-successful ICON at Homebush, awarded HIA (Housing Industry Association) CSR Housing Awards 2007 Apartment Project of the Year.

 Since the company was founded 17 years ago, Crown Group has successfully completed major developments in Sydney’s best locations including Bondi, Bondi Junction, Parramatta, Ashfield, Epping, Homebush, Newington, Pennant Hills and Rhodes.

Today, Crown Group boasts a $3 billion portfolio of projects under development and in the pipeline and is currently developing four major projects, Top Ryde City Living, a seven-tower development in Top Ryde, Viking by Crown, a 10-storey residential complex in Waterloo, V by Crown, a 27-storey residential tower in Parramatta and Skye by Crown a 20-storey development in North Sydney launched in June 2013.

Crown group launched Viva by Crown, the final stage of Top Ryde City Living in August and will launch a development in Sydney’s CBD in 2014.



Vodafone: $5 a day to roam in China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Singapore, Japan, Thailand

VODAFONE has announced the expansion of its popular $5 per day international roaming plans to include six countries across Asia: China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Singapore, Japan and Thailand.

Vodafone’s international roaming offer now covers 46 countries, including the United States, New Zealand, United Kingdom and most Europe nations.

Australians made 2.4 million trips to Asia in 2013, with short getaways Thailand and Bali proving popular. China is Australia’s number-one trading partner, with Japan second.

Vodafone Chief Marketing Officer Kim Clarke said “Asia is a hugely popular destination for Australians taking a holiday, with Bali and Thailand among the top spots for Australians taking short overseas trips.

”We want to give our customers the experience of using their smartphones in Asia just as they would when they’re at home in Australia.

“Many of our customers who travel regularly to Asia for business, especially those visiting China and Japan. In a constantly switched-on world you simply can’t afford to miss those important business calls or emails and it shouldn’t cost the earth.”

Ms Clarke said international travellers often tried to avoid roaming charges by purchasing SIM cards or using expensive hotel Wi-Fi services, choices that were inconvenient and impractical.

“Customers need to be able to access everything they would normally use on their smartphones like contacts, their email and apps. With Vodafone Red, our customers can use their phone just as they would from home for only $5 extra per day. We are proud to continue to lead the change in transforming the roaming experience for Australian consumers and businesses.”



Retailers welcome much needed ‘repeal day’ and urge all State and local Governments to follow suit

PEAK retail industry body the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) has welcomed the Abbott Government’s commitment to dedicate an entire sitting day to the repeal of redundant regulation on 26 March and calls for this initiative to be made a regular occurrence.

ARA Executive Director Russell Zimmerman said the ARA encourages all State and local Governments to follow suit of the US, where congress has regular repeal days, and review the burden of red tape as frequently as possible to enable retailers to get on with the job of doing business.

“Red tape is impeding Australian retailers. We hope the Abbott government uses this day to repeal redundant laws that impede retailers from doing business, not just removing clearly outdated laws, for example the law that exists in Victoria stating that only licensed electricians may change a light bulb*.

"We hope this repeal day will have a direct impact on retail businesses and see a significant reduction in unnecessary red tape.

“A law that is still enforced and impacts businesses requires them to tag and test all electrical products every 12 months, including mobile phone charges which produces low level 12 volts**.

“Unreasonable and outdated regulation imposes unnecessary costs on business that are inevitably passed on to consumers in the form of higher prices. Australian retailers have been conveying a consistent message to the Government that there needs to be an urgent and significant reduction in regulation to improve Australia’s productivity and competitiveness.

“Dedicating Parliamentary sitting days to repealing regulation is certainly a step in the right direction and highlights the Coalitions’ commitment of cutting $1 billion in red tape each year to benefit retailers,” Mr Zimmerman said.

Since 1903, the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) has been the peak industry body representing Australia’s $265 billion retail sector, which employs over 1.2 million people. The ARA ensures retail success by informing, protecting, advocating, educating and saving money for its 5,000 independent and national retail members throughout Australia.

Visit or call 1300 368 041


*As cited in the Telegraph News, August 17, 2007, The worlds strangest laws.
**AS/NZS 3760:2010. 


New Year’s resolutions for every SME’s to-do list: MYOB

EARLY January is a time of great promise and excitement for many business operators as they picture what could be a year of big achievements.

Astute operators harness this momentum to define and refine their New Year’s resolutions and business goals.

With this in mind, Australia’s largest accounting software provider, MYOB shares its top tips to help SMEs devise New Year’s resolutions that will direct them towards business success.

MYOB CEO Tim Reed says, “January is the ideal time to reflect and to give new strategies and goals the green light, instead of taking a ‘business as usual’ approach. Operators who commit to clarifying their priorities early in the piece will likely reap the rewards. It can mean the difference between flourishing and floundering.

“When setting New Year’s resolutions, big or small, the first step is to plan. Set some specific and inspiring goals around key areas of your business that you wish to develop. Begin by asking yourself what you will stop doing as well as start doing in 2014.

“Whatever your business goals, such as driving efficiencies, harnessing the power of cloud technology, or finessing your finances, establishing your New Year’s resolutions can help you approach the year with renewed vigour.”

MYOB’s suggested New Year’s resolutions for SMEs:

1. Learn from last year’s hits and misses  Place the previous 12 months’ trading under the microscope. Analyse the strategies that worked, those that didn’t, and work out the ‘whys’. Why did some products or services succeed when others flopped? What changes could you make in 2014 to ensure mistakes aren’t repeated, and opportunities aren’t missed? Get the ball rolling with a SWOT analysis – a useful technique for understanding your business strengths and weaknesses and for identifying the opportunities open to you and the threats your business may face.

2. Stay on the business track   A solid business plan will help you make better business decisions about the strategies you need to continue to operate and grow. If you’re looking for annual growth of 100%, you will need a different strategy to one that shoots for 10% growth. Then, to ensure you tick off your to-do list in 2014, make strategic planning a weekly or fortnightly task. Ongoing strategic thinking is great for defining goals and objectives within a timeframe, helping to ensure you and your team have a consensus about where the business is going and how to stay on track.

3. Don’t try to be all things to all people    Are you the director, IT person, admin manager and salesperson in your business? Wearing multiple hats can be exhausting. Avoid micromanaging if you are lucky enough to have employees. Delegate intelligently. It can be challenging letting go, but if you don’t delegate, growing your business could become a pipe dream. Why not outsource tasks you loathe, so you can spend more time on growing the business?

4. Grow to love your numbers   Many business owners consider themselves too busy to check or understand their financial statements. Learn about profit and loss statements, balance sheets and cash flow statements and don’t shy away from the numbers. Making time to understand your financial documents will give you greater control and a clearer picture of your business and its performance. It can help you make smarter decisions and improve your ability to communicate productively with your accountant and other advisers. With cash flow ranking as the second highest pressure point for SMEs in the latest MYOB Business Monitor report, it’s time to add cash flow expertise to your toolbox. Ask your trusted accountant or bookkeeper to guide you.

5. Don’t be afraid to embrace technology   Cloud-based accounting software, convenient mobile apps, online business management tools…today’s business technologies can save you time and drive significant efficiencies. For example, SMEs utilising MYOB’s bank feeds - a service that automatically feeds bank transactions into cloud accounting solutions MYOB LiveAccounts or AccountRight Live - say it saves them an average of 10 hours per month. The average value they put on this time saving is $713.

Establishing a good mix of clearly defined goals and strategic activities before the pace of business picks up can help put you on a pathway towards 2014 success.

For MYOB product information, research results, business tips, discussions, client service and more visit the MYOB Australia website, or its The Pulse Blog, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

About MYOB Australia

Established in 1991, MYOB is Australia’s largest business management solutions provider. It makes life easier for approx. 1.2 million businesses across Australia and New Zealand, by simplifying accounting, payroll, tax, practice management, CRM, websites, job costing, inventory and more. MYOB provides ongoing support via many client service channels including a network of over 40,000 accountants, bookkeepers and other consultants. It is committed to ongoing innovation, particularly in cloud computing solutions, and now spends more than AU$30 million annually on research and development. In 2013, MYOB expanded its offerings with the acquisition of accounting solutions povider BankLink. 



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