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. 

Demand drop behind 3 Oceans cuts

Western Australia’s eighth biggest winemaker, 3 Oceans Wine Company, has laid-off non-essential staff as it reconsiders its strategic direction in the face of falling demand from its key market in China.

Rasmussen off-piste on too short a run

Business News pays its respects to a corporate leader who broke the mould.

Mark my words podcast

In this Business News podcast Mark Pownall and Mark Beyer discuss Interest rates, the dollar, federal and state budgets, listings and capital raisings, and mining projects.

Principal position in Sawle’s move south

The long-standing head of major private school Aquinas College, Mark Sawle, is taking something of sea change to become principal of a regional independent school.

No merit in McGowan’s mandated Metronet build

A state industry plan has some positives but don’t look to the past for jobs policy.

Ripple effect from the quiet march of science

The effect of work under way on the Square Kilometre Array project in the state’s Mid West region is rippling through the scientific community, beyond the obvious impact in radio astronomy through to cutting-edge commercial operations.

Scoop Magazine closes doors

Perth’s Scoop Magazine has been closed nearly two decades after hitting the newsstands, with management citing tough market conditions for the iconic publication’s demise.

Vale Geoff Rasmussen

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

Mark my words podcast

In this Business News podcast Mark Pownall and Mark Beyer discuss Unemployment and the markets, Rio Tinto, Freightlink, LNG 18, our special report Apprentices and Training. 

Suppliers shortlist for GovNext ICT overhaul

The state government has shortlisted six companies in the latest phase of its GovNext project to outsource its information and communications technology.

State’s top scientists on a roll

Nominations are being sought for the 2016 Western Australian Science Hall of Fame, which recognises the outstanding work of the state’s scientists.

Science leads business on lupins

The news last month that CBH Group was shutting down its Lupin Foods subsidiary after failing to find a buyer shows that commercial requirements and scientific advancement do not always connect neatly.

Investment risk skewed to China

The efficiencies of local agribusinesses’ owner-operator model makes them prime targets for foreign buyers.

Mark my words podcast

In this Business News podcast Mark Pownall and Mark Beyer discuss Gorgon dramas, FMG, Newman Hotel, retail construction, foreign acquisitions and our special report corporate finance.

Cancer research boost

Perth-based law firm Jackson McDonald has honoured a former partner by funding an emerging cancer researcher as part of a record $4 million in grants announced by the Cancer Council WA today.

Wilson an unlikely Panama Papers target

Parking facility operators are rarely popular among car drivers and Wilson Parking is no exception, especially given its strong foothold in Perth, where fallen entrepreneur Laurie Wilson started the firm in the 1960s.

Mark Pownall with ABC720

Mark Pownall and 720Drive presenter Jane Marwick speak with Austal CEO David Singleton, X-press Magazine founder Joe Cipriani and Kalgoorlie-Boulder Chamber of Commerce & Industry CEO Hugh Gallagh

Mark my words podcast

In this Business News podcast Mark Pownall and Mark Beyer discuss the Kailis family and agribusiness, the $A, state cabinet, WA stocks performance and oil & gas.

Enduring study offers health legacy

AS contributions to science go, the Busselton Health Study is among Western Australia’s most significant offerings.

No boundaries for new health charities

As the politics washes through changes to the healthcare sector, charitable providers have restructured to remain relevant.

UWA bites bullet on budget

Political leaders would do well to read a recent UWA report, which targets unsustainable expenditure and plots a prudent economic pathway.

Strength in numbers for WA footy teams

The state’s two AFL clubs are developing new headquarters and training facilities, focused on connecting with the broader community.

Mark my words podcast

In this Business News podcast Mark Pownall and Mark Beyer discuss LNG, gold, Freo Ports, and who is most influential in WA.

Mark my words podcast

In this Business News podcast Mark Pownall and Mark Beyer discuss Sodexo, Labor leadership, CBH, Sam Walsh, TAB and tourism.

Development not a road to ruin

A creative approach to development could enliven vacant riverside places.

Mark my words podcast

Coming up in this podcast we discuss iron ore’s surge, FMG’s new deal, Gorgon, Luke Saraceni and 40under40.

Prize position to view digital disruption

Online competition is challenging another traditional business model, with Lotterywest implementing major changes.

Mark my words podcast

Coming up in this podcast: Perth homes prices, tourism, mining approvals, and markets round-up.

M32 has Freo's entrepreneurial spirit

That Swedish businessman Hakan Svensson has chosen Fremantle for the next phase of his global sailing ambitions is not that surprising.

Swings and roundabouts for LNG

Global oversupply of LNG may work in local consumers’ favour.

Rotto chief points to positive agenda

The chairman of the Rottnest Island Authority has responded to his predecessor’s criticism of the island’s management and governance, highlighting a positive development agenda at the resort in recent years.


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:

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.


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.


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.