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Mark Pownall

Mark Pownall has around three decades of media experience. Prior to becoming CEO of Business News he ran the content operations of the business and was integral to the implementation of all the company’s digital products –twice daily email newsletters, weekly podcasts, deals database and BNiQ search engine. Mark has a Commerce degree from UWA and a post-graduate qualification in English from Curtin University. 

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.

Mark my words podcast

PODCAST: Mark Pownall and Mark Beyer discuss Liberal leadership change, State of the Arts, agricultural outlook, Patersons sellout, Curtin's expansion, gold challenges, Western Australians honoured, and our special report on defence.

Mark my words podcast

PODCAST: Mark Pownall and Mark Beyer discuss indigenous business and reconciliation week, David Singleton, Simonds Group and residential construction, generational change at listed Perth companies, Black Swan, and our special report on the wine industry plus our Great for the State feature on health and well being.

Property stress test pressure point

OPINION: The economic pressure simmering away below the surface in many households was a key factor in the surprise federal election outcome.

Mark my words podcast

PODCAST: Mark Pownall and Mark Beyer discuss the post-election market bounce; subcontractors battle; new iron ore, lithium and rare earths developments; Jim Penman; Perron Group; the state's lobster deal; and our newly released report on the commercial property market.

Mark my words podcast

PODCAST: Mark Pownall and Mark Beyer discuss the election overview, Bob Hawke's passing, retail challenges, hotels and tourism, housing construction, Andrew Forrest's big pay day, Danny Psaros, and our special feature on mining projects.

Deal makers trawl in tough times

OPINION: Business News data points to a sustained low for WA’s corporate finance markets, but there are signs recovery may be imminent.

Mark my words podcast

PODCAST: Mark Pownall and Mark Beyer discuss the state budget, lithium expansion, medical research, Chevron's new headquarters, Sterling First and Rosendorff collapses, a rare IPO, Azure Capital, and our special report on universities.

Mark my words podcast

PODCAST: Mark Pownall and Matt Mckenzie discuss Wesfarmers' lithium bid, Perth house prices, Aldi's impact, AHG takeover, Tempo, contract awards, the election debate, and our latest Great for the State feature — Future of Energy.

Mark my words podcast

PODCAST: Mark Pownall and Mark Beyer discuss house price fundamentals — positive or negative? Perth tech deals, hostile takeovers, election called, Lester art prize, and our special report on the legal sector.

Nuance lacking from federal policies

OPINION: You have to look closely to find them, but some key policy differences could make all the difference in the looming federal election.

Podcast: Celia Hammond interview

Mark Pownall talks to former University of Notre Dame Australia vice-chancellor Celia Hammond about her early life, career and running for the federal seat of Curtin.

Mark my words podcast

PODCAST: Mark Pownall and Mark Beyer discuss the AHG takeover, FMG’s Iron Bridge project, house prices and apartment sales, who is WA’s biggest manufacturer, tourism statistics and indigenous cultural precinct plans, P&N bank merger and our special report on agribusiness.

Bouncing back from digital blows

OPINION: Navigating the challenges of an increasingly digital world requires tough decisions and clear strategic focus.

Outward looking, export focused

Over the years, WA business has finessed its offering, from commodities to services, the arts and sophisticated technologies.

Bouncing back from digital blows

As a publisher, Business News has benefitted from the massive changes across the media landscape wrought by digital technology during the past two decades.

Mark my words podcast

PODCAST: Mark Pownall and Mark Beyer discuss Perth's cost of living, tourism marketing, Golden Group and Far East Consortium's apartment projects, election campaign, wages and unemployment, court battles, Woodside and Sapien Cyber, and our special report on ICT.

Awards track changing dynamic

OPINION: Over nearly two decades the 40under40 Awards have provided a series of snapshots of the state’s business sector.

Mark my words podcast

PODCAST: Mark Pownall and Mark Beyer discuss 40under40, EPA carbon shift, biotech, KPMG buys Ferrier Hodgson, Optus stadium, executive remuneration, and our special report on oil and gas.

Mark my words podcast

PODCAST: Mark Pownall and Mark Beyer discuss carbon crackdown, Fraser Institute ranking, WA tech partnerships, lithium green light, pub sales, women in business, WACA upgrade, and our 40under40 preview.

Hoteliers shore up share, but there’s room for competition

OPINION: The hotel sector has a patchy recent past when it comes to meeting consumer demand, so the recent attacks on Airbnb are beyond the pale.

Mark my words podcast

PODCAST: Mark Pownall and Mark Beyer discuss the BGC sale, housing starts, Treasurer’s forecast, Alinta’s wind farm, the Pavilion Market site in Subiaco, family business succession, and our special feature on land developers.

What would you do as a company director?

PODCAST: Mark Pownall and Mark Beyer discuss challenges facing company directors and their own experiences undertaking Australian Institute of Company Directors courses.

Mark my words podcast

PODCAST: Mark Pownall and Mark Beyer discuss Julie Bishop, unemployment, big contract wins, interim profit reports, Airbnb, Rottnest glamping, John Langoulant and our special report on junior miners.

Business News marks 25 years at cutting edge

The media is like any other business, where adapting to consumer needs is the only way to survive.

Mark my words podcast

PODCAST: Mark Pownall and Mark Beyer discuss a tourism business sale, Airbnb, Vicinity Centres, Galleria Shopping Centre, future CBD development opportunities, infrastructure priorities, and our special report on ports and transport.

Mark my words podcast

PODCAST: Mark Pownall and Mark Beyer discuss the banking royal commission fallout, private schools, Graham Griffiths' passing, export data, office vacancies, Architectus and our 25th anniversary event

Avoiding a return to the branch economy

OPINION: We need to do more to keep decision makers and their expertise in the state.

Business Advice with Pragma Legal's Aaron McDonald and Cullen Macleod's Catriona Macleod

PODCAST: Mark Pownall talks to Aaron McDonald from Pragma Legal and Catriona Macleod from Cullen Macleod about the WA commercial and civil legal market, including the rise of technology and increase in client bargaining power.

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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.