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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. 

Passing Comment

I am a big fan of the ABC series Utopia. It has really grabbed some wonderful threads that just keep on giving, producing an inexhaustible supply of humorous outcomes. The biggest theme, naturally, is the ridiculousness of government infrastructure pronouncements; the constant searching for flavour-of-the-month projects to make a splash on the news, whether or not they are destined to ever happen.

Mark my words podcast

In this Business News podcast Mark Beyer and Mark Pownall discuss Brownes acquisition and Chinese investment, Richard Goyder, Shell exits Woodside, Stockland’s land purchase spree, domgas deal, waste to energy, and CEO remuneration.

CEO lunch with Fabian Ross

There’s plenty of talk about the need for ‘resilience’ these days, but WA Super CEO Fabian Ross learned that lesson long ago.

Ride the wave, don’t get sucked under

Who has the most to worry about the next wave of digital disruption?

Mark my words podcast

In this Business News podcast Mark Beyer and Mark Pownall discuss stock market hits highs, renewables privatisation, Perth Stadium, Historic Heart, Perth Festival, and junior miners.

CEO lunch with Stephanie Unwin

There's nothing in Stephanie Unwin’s background to suggest she would end up in biotech.

Mark my words podcast

In this Business News podcast Mark Beyer and Mark Pownall discuss business failures, Hancock's $1 billion profit, UWA's $450 million deal, Pilbara mine camp merger, taxi levy, and commercial constr

Mark my words podcast

In this Business News podcast Mark Pownall, Matt Mckenzie and Tori Wilson discuss house prices, Tianqi, the sale of Henderson-based Silver Yacht, the latest in the Perth lord mayor saga, recent women in business awards, and health care.

CEO lunch with Manny Papadoulis

Manny Papadoulis headed one of the biggest tourist operations in the state until a crisis half a world away drove it under; it was a roller coaster ride, but he remains passionate about the sector.

Mark my words podcast

In this Business News podcast Mark Beyer and Mark Pownall discuss housing affordability, privatisation and infrastructure, mining projects, distilleries, Black Monday anniversary and our special report on ICT looking at cloud computing, big data and internet of things.

New order not to everyone’s taste

OPINION: It has been three decades since I lost my first job, almost before I had started it, as the implications of the Black Monday stock market crash became clear to my employer.

Mark my words podcast

In this Business News podcast Mark Beyer, Mark Pownall and Matt Mckenzie discuss Rod Jones, Feral Brewing, state finances, Tronox and WA exporters.

Young Chinese tourists offer signposts for Rotto

OPINION: The island clearly has some work to do to get service standards right for this emerging and important group of travellers.

CEO lunch with Richard Pengelley

The Anglican Dean of Perth draws on his experience as an Olympic water polo player to help guide him as a leader and mentor in the church.

Mark my words podcast

In this Business News podcast Mark Beyer and Mark Pownall discuss property and construction, wave power, gold tax, WA's big dealmakers, and the latest Perth deal trends - edtech and Japanese investment.

Ducks line up for outer harbour

OPINION: Value to the community is not always about maximising price

CEO lunch with Stephanie Buckland

Stephanie Buckland enjoys the challenges of change, and has brought a wide range of professional experience to her current role as Amana Living CEO.

Mark my words podcast

In this Business News podcast Mark Pownall and Mark Beyer discuss Perth house prices, CBD developments, charity funding and Lotterywest, Perth Stadium and the gold sector.

Mark my words podcast

In this Business News podcast Mark Pownall and Mark Beyer discuss Nev Power leaving FMG, safe harbour legislation, women on WA boards, stamp duty setback and labour markets.

Housing failures compounded by fractured oversight regime

OPINION: The lack of national oversight of home construction activity puts small investors in a vulnerable position.

CEO lunch with Justin Miller

Tertiary education may not have sat comfortably with Justin Miller, but his connections to Curtin University have played an important role in the development of his Sensear and Nuheara businesses.

Mark my words podcast

In this Business News podcast Mark Pownall and Mark Beyer discuss the state budget, contractor collapses, Lisa Scaffidi, advertising industry, ageing population and corporate wellness.

Mark my words podcast

In this Business News podcast Mark Pownall and Mark Beyer discuss WA entrepreneurs, manufacturing merger, recycling deal, retail property, the sports stadium and the fashion industry.

Forced out with its own money

OPINION: Held hostage by an inequitable GST allocation system, WA risks losing its national place in the sport of rugby where the financial field is far from level.

CEO lunch with Valerie Davies

Valerie Davies has a background in media and communications, but her public role today is as a board member of Cedar Woods, Event Hospitality & Entertainment, HBF and the WA Tourism Commission, as well as running her own consultancy.

Mark my words podcast

In this Business News podcast Mark Pownall and Mark Beyer discuss mining recovery, Ikea, Margaret River planning, Historic Heart project and retail property developments.

Mark my words podcast

In this Business News podcast Mark Pownall and Mark Beyer discuss South West irrigation schemes, sandalwood, NRW, and Lawleys, plus power and energy.

CEO lunch with John Van Der Wielen

One of the state’s most experienced financial services leaders, John Van Der Wielen says the opportunity to put something back into the community was one factor motivating his move to HBF.

Overreach likely in family trust plan

OPINION: Federal Labor may regret gunning for family trusts as it starts developing policies for the next election

Mark my words podcast

In this Business News podcast Mark Pownall and Mark Beyer discuss Woodside’s Fifo project, contrary views in the nickel sector, Jimmy Wilson’s lateral move, Port Hedland’s dust issue and small business.

Mark my words podcast

In this Business News podcast Mark Pownall and Mark Beyer discuss office vacancies, Richardson Hotel, Mandogalup, residential housing, David Flanagan and home grown tech heroes.

No salary cap off the field

OPINION: The recent AFL scandal has cast some shade on the administrators of the league, but also brought details to light about careers in sport.

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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.