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Mark Pownall

Mark Pownall has around three decades of media experience. Prior to becoming Director of Strategy and Innovation he was CEO of Business News for nearly three years. For most of his time at Business News he ran the content operations of the business and was integral to the implementation of all the company’s digital products – the twice daily email newsletters, weekly podcasts, deals database and BNiQ data warehouse and search engine. Mark’s media experience started with sports reporting while he studied for a Commerce degree at the University of Western Australia, followed by post-graduate qualification in English at Curtin University. His career has predominantly been in business media in Perth, with an early foray to the financial centre of London. As Director of Strategy and Innovation and, prior to that, CEO he has maintained his connection with the publishing and events side of the business, writing a regular opinion column, hosting various podcasts, interviewing guests on stage and being active on social media.

Mark my words podcast

PODCAST: Mark Beyer and Mark Pownall discuss ASX listings, including Danny Pavlovich's Nutrition Systems, Spudshed's growing profit, shopping centre developments, profit results for contractors Ertech and Georgiou, successful METS companies Hofmann Engineering and RCT, and our special report on the Innovator of the Year awards.

Exposure lifts lid on Chinese box

OPINION: China is developing even faster than some might realise, offering Aussie brands a big opportunity.

Mark my words podcast

PODCAST: Mark Beyer and Mark Pownall discuss housing challenge, state stimulus, Primewest IPO, big mining royalties, lithium, tech incubator, and our special report on commercial property.

Mark my words podcast

PODCAST: Mark Beyer and Mark Pownall discuss stamp duty concessions, South Perth approvals, BGC's new boss, Karratha development, Kanopy entrepreneur, grain crop concerns, and our special report on environmental services.

Getting it right on Rottnest

OPINION: The relevant authorities could do more to improve tourists’ experience of the island jewel off Perth’s coast.

Mark my words podcast

PODCAST: Mark Beyer and Mark Pownall discuss Pindan, South Perth developments, big leadership changes, Alan Bond's mansion, tourism figures, Sealink expansion, and our biggest exporters.

Nickel-plated moment for leadership

OPINION: Nickel West’s turnaround story is one of corporate vision, teamwork, loyalty and a strategy to revive a business slated to perish.

Mark my words podcast

PODCAST: Mark Beyer and Mark Pownall discuss Broome infrastructure, Perth's livability, broking profits, mining services IPO, Fini and Goh, Eddy Haegel, Food for Thought, and our special report on residential construction with a new local leader.

Port a solidarity test for Labor

OPINION: WA’s fraught journey towards creation of a new port near Perth has continued with a split in Labor ranks.

Mark my words podcast

PODCAST: Mark Beyer and Mark Pownall discuss the mining jobs outlook, workplace deaths, population growth, apartment projects, our special report on tourism, and our latest instalment of Great for the State.

Mark my words podcast

PODCAST: Mark Beyer and Mark Pownall discuss Landgate's sale, Brexit impact, Tianqi Lithium, hospitality's surprise new offerings, Yukich expansion, and our special report on the gold sector.

Mark my words podcast

PODCAST: Mark Pownall and Dan Wilkie discuss nickel restarts, house prices, Subiaco, universities, and our special report on the retail sector.

North-south orientation needs work

OPINION: Despite the seemingly endless alterations to the streetscape of the central city since the Barnett government, the work is incomplete.

Mark my words podcast

PODCAST: Mark Beyer and Mark Pownall discuss lithium challenges, EC&M update, Tim Roberts, Subiaco East redevelopment, legal merger, Fogarty Foundation, new state policies, waste-to-energy, and our special report on power infrastructure.

Tinley launches state’s Asian engagement strategy

The state government is to launch its long-awaited Asian engagement strategy today, with a broad conceptual push to align the regional trade with other key policies as well as a starting offer of up to $10,000 for 25 businesses to increase their capacity to win business in the neighbourhood.

Mark my words podcast

PODCAST: Mark Beyer and Mark Pownall discuss EC&M collapse, Midland Brick sale, BGC results, Metronet developments, CEO changes, Waterbank, Great for the State values and purpose, and our special report on small businesses covers the struggling hospitality sector and rise of coworking spaces.

Productivity coming whether we like it or not

OPINION: Are we better off under the relentless drive to lift productivity?

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PODCAST: Mark Beyer and Mark Pownall discuss markets drama, Cockburn harbour recommendation, Infrastructure Australia, shopping centres write down, planning law changes, Altrad, AFG, and our special report on major projects.

Mark my words podcast

PODCAST: Mark Beyer and Mark Pownall discuss markets volatility, trade surplus, HealthEngine, Michael Chaney, energy news, EY entrepreneur of the year awards, and our special report on the oil & gas industry.

Mark Barnaba podcast interview

PODCAST: Mark Beyer and Mark Pownall talk to business leader and company director Mark Barnaba about the economic outlook, the role of central banks and our relationship with China.

MSM misjudged social media threat

OPINION: Has the horse bolted in terms of the way Google and Facebook have changed mainstream media?

Mark my words podcast

PODCAST: Mark Pownall and Mark Beyer discuss the lithium slowdown, house prices, BGC brands, Rita Saffioti, Minderoo, gold and our special report on the arts sector.

Mark my words podcast

PODCAST: Mark Pownall and Matt Mckenzie discuss hospitality sector challenges, regional hotel expansion, gold versus lithium, heritage issues in Peppy Grove, Pacific Energy, our special report on infrastructure, and our Great for the State feature on disruption.

Carter keeps Austral on front foot

Austral Fisheries’ image and market point of difference are in good hands with David Carter at the helm.

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PODCAST: Mark Pownall and Mark Beyer discuss big retail projects, unemployment statistics, apartment developments, iron ore production, tourism update, private school fees, Austral Fisheries, and our special report on regional aviation.

Investment in quality counts

OPINION: Good journalism and a business model that supports it are vital for success in today’s media landscape.

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PODCAST: Mark Pownall and Mark Beyer discuss Berrington Care Group, house prices, lithium projects cost, new retail and hospitality ventures, Minderoo plans, lotto fallout, and our special report on corporate finance.

Promoting Perth’s all-round appeal

OPINION: The WA capital’s great natural environment has seemingly blinded its residents to the other aspects that make the city a great place to live.

Mark my words podcast

PODCAST: Mark Pownall and Matt Mckenzie discuss new Liberal policies, Forrest property investments, Julie Bishop, state wages policy, Committee for Perth, supermarket battle, microgrids, and our special report on indigenous business.

Podcast: consumer sentiment and the state of polling

PODCAST: Mark Pownall talks to market researcher Kristen Turnbull from CoreData about WA consumer sentiment and impact of Federal Election result on consumer perception/behaviour, as well as the fallout from the failure of the polls to predict the outcome.

Straight shooters fire entrepreneurial bent

OPINION: Encouraging entrepreneurial behaviour can only benefit a state such as WA.

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Mark Pownall's Picks

Recent reading

For the Aussie history buffs. Like a lot of things if you think polarised society, royals behaving badly or domestic terrorism are new things ... think again. Steve Harris is an accomplished journalist and media entrepreneur, so this a little different although his home town of Melbourne features prominently.

The Contiki story. It is a racy read with plenty of business tips from a backpacker who took his business global ... and pretty much lost the lot. The business journey is outlined in extraordinary detail. A must read for anyone who has travelled on the cheap to Europe.

Great management text if you are looking for someone to make sense of all the models and theories that sometimes attain cult status. Co-author is Perth-based Paul Culmsee.

Simon Sebag Montefiore's Jerusalem, a great historic introduction to many of the Middle East's current issues. In fact, when you see what goes on there today, a lot of it is explained by this book

Another fascinating read was Peter Rees' book Bearing Witness about Australia's great WW1 war correspondent Charles Bean. I note there's a competing biography by Ross Coulthart which I haven't read yet.

Also worth reading was one I dragged out of my father's library. William L Shirer was a foreign correspondent based in Berlin in 1930s and, due to America's late entry into WW2, was there during the early part of that conflict. His book The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich is half way between and academic work and the modern histories we are used to which are more entertaining. His book is awesome in its documentation and given a human element by the number of eye witness accounts he provides.

I really enjoyed The Bully Pulpit by Doris Kearns Goodwin which was not only about the US presidency at the start of the 20th century, but the unique role investigative journalism played in reform. It reviews the incredible reporting backed by gutsy publishers who serialised stories on concerning issues with both economic and social implications. These journalists also had unprecedented access to the presidency, especially the progressive Franklin Roosevelt. As the circulation-boosting power of this style of journalism rose, however, some went too far, making up stories and spitefully attacking political leaders - leading to the expression muckrakers. The tabloids of today have historical precedent!

Sir Bob's visit

Some of the VIPs who really did have lunch with Sir Bob.

Recent reading

Just got through this great book by Bob de la Motte, well known in Perth finance circles. Its about his life, growing up in South Africa and competing in the 90km Comrades Marathon.

Another book worth mentioning is Njinga by a good friend of mine Kate Leeming - she's also just released a film on her trans-African cycling trip and is preparing to turn it into a TV documenary series. Her next project is Antarctica.

Find it here: www.kateleeming.com

Executive remuneration

Worth checking out our CEO/executive/director remuneration list here. There are thousands of WA names on it ... 59 pages of salaries if you are up for it.

Bitcoin

Meanwhile, I am awaiting a copy of this (not a Christmas hint - review copy coming I am told) which I expect will help decipher much about the mysterious world of bitcoin. This has been co-authored by a friend of mine and former colleague Michael Casey who has been writing regular columns on bitcoin for the past year or more. I have passed on a few tidbits to him about activity in Australia, but I have no idea if that was useful.

My all-time favourite business and political books are here on my Facebook page.

Most-read

Visionary medico wins 40under40

This year’s First Amongst Equals winner is a passionate medical specialist but he’s also a visionary entrepreneur who has a lot in common with successful business leaders.

Vale Geoff Rasmussen

Western Australian corporate leader Geoff Rasmussen passed away on Friday night after a long battle with cancer.

Builton fails, administrator appointed

One of state’s biggest residential construction firms, Builton Group, has succumbed to the financial stresses engulfing the sector, appointing an external administrator earlier today after reports of the company’s financial troubles emerged last week.

Builton failure a costly housing hit

The collapse of yet another Western Australian residential builder appears set to further upset the delicate state of the sector, with financiers, insurers, 350 trade creditors and as many as 130 home owners facing losses.

most commented

Shark cull outcry overreaction

The current shark cull is a politically challenging issue, but one where Colin Barnett is right to dig in because he has time and momentum on his side.

Daylight savers may have to wait awhile

Daylight saving may be the victim of Western Australia's election - further bemusing those who watch us from a distance.

Time to stop slaughter in our backyard

While the public spotlight on the offshore ill treatment of animals bred for slaughter is commendable, why does the RSPCA shirk such action when it comes to our own backyards, literally?

Fitness freaks need more Jacob’s ladders

I note the fuss made around the recent closure of Jacob’s Ladder, a stairway to Kings Park which, due to its popularity as an exercise venue, has earned the ire of local residents.