25-06-09 edn

25/06/2009 - 00:00

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Aquila, FMG to assess Pilbara port

 AQUILA Resources and Fortescue Metals Group have teamed up to investigate the potential for shared development of port facilities at Anketell Point in the Pilbara.

Both companies have signed a cooperation agreement that allows the exchange of information for the assessment of potential benefits of reduced capital and operating costs from the proposed port, which has the potential to export up to 350 million tonnes of iron ore each year.

Macquarie sells Perth building for $38m

 MACQUARIE Office Trust has highlighted the uncertain nature of the property market with its third local sale, offloading a West Perth office building for 16 per cent below its recent valuation. The trust sold 1100 Hay Street, which counts Technip Oceania and Commonwealth of Australia as major tenants, to an undisclosed buyer for $38 million.

Premier, OPR plan China trip

 PREMIER Colin Barnett and Oakajee Port and Rail (OPR) chief Christopher Eves will hold joint meetings in China next month to meet potential project suppliers to the deepwater port. At a press conference in Geraldton, Mr Eves said he had already held meetings with suppliers including China Communications Construction Company and Angang Steel.

No deal in Barnett, Kloppers meeting

 COLIN Barnett says no agreement has been reached with BHP Billiton chief executive Marius Kloppers on the issue of royalties post a proposed Pilbara iron ore merger with Rio Tinto following an hour-and-a-half-long meeting. Mr Kloppers had not made any concessions to demands by the government on full payment of stamp duty and royalties and amendments to the state act.

Austal set to win more US Navy contracts

 Henderson-based shipbuilder Austal has taken a step towards a long-mooted defence contract after the US Navy exercised an option to fund the purchase of long lead time equipment for two additional vessels, valued collectively at $450 million. The equipment, including water jets, diesel engines and reduction gearboxes, will be used for the construction of two additional 103-metre Joint High Speed Vessels.

Appointments 20

Gill appointed Curtin Uni chancellor

JIM Gill has been appointed chancellor at the Curtin University of Technology, effective next year, taking over from Gordon Martin who has held the position since 2006. Mr Gill was the inaugural chief executive of the Water Corporation until he retired late last year and prior to that he was WA's Commissioner of Railways.

Perrignon to join Sattlerley group

SATTERLEY Property Group has lured Nick Perrignon back to Western Australia to take up the new chief operating officer's role. Mr Perrignon is currently based in Sydney as Stockland's chief operation officer residential communities. The new Satterley role is part of the group's growth plans, with the company currently managing 30 projects across the country.

Metals X board reshuffle

METALS X founding chairman Peter Newton will retire from corporate life at the end of the year. Mr Newton this week stepped down from the chairman role to non-executive director, and plans to leave the company in November. Another founding director Mark Okeby is resigning from the board.

Managing director Peter Cook will assume the chairman role while Warren Hallam will become the new managing director. Meantime Scott Huffadine has been appointed an executive director and Mike Jefferies and Wang Wei remain as non-executive directors.

Underwood resigns from Tap Oil

ONE of Tap Oil's founders Paul Underwood has resigned from the company, ending a 13-year association with the company. Mr Underwood, who previously held the chief executive role, has now stood down from his non-executive director position.

Directors' Interests 19

Fortescue Metals Group chief executive Andrew Forrest has gifted nearly $10 million worth of shares to various recipients. The country's eighth richest man gifted 2.665 million shares to "various transferees" in an off-market trade last week.

The share gift was valued at $9.75 million.

Following the transaction, Mr Forrest held 973 million Fortescue shares, or 31.5 per cent of the company.

Aquila Resources non-executive director Charles Bass has donated $723,200 worth of shares to various unnamed charities.

The 140,000 share donation was from the Bass Family Foundation, which also pocketed $22,110 from the on-market sale of 4,000 Aquila shares at $5.56 each.

Following the transactions, Mr Bass held nearly 32.7 million shares.

Riding high

Times might be tough but at least one intrepid traveller has been able to find a way to help Western Australia's junior miners give.

Northam-bred trans-national cyclist Kate Leeming (right) has enlisted Range Resources and NKWE Platinum as sponsors of her next planned expedition.

Far from a lazy ride across some comfy vineyard district, Ms Leeming plans a west to east crossing of Africa covering 24,000 kilometres that will take her far from the most direct route.

Focused on sustainable development, the Breaking the Cycle in Africa expedition, which will be filmed, needs all the help it can get in the form of logistics and on-the-ground assistance; hence the tie up with Aussie miners that happen to have a presence along her trail.

Ms Leeming has previously ridden from St Petersburg to Vladivostok in Russia and circumnavigated Australia, including a leisurely detour along the Canning Stock Route.

Sands of time

Riding a bike in sand dunes might be a doddle but try taking them on in a LandCruiser.

Public relations executive John McGlue found out just how tricky those beasts can be when he took a party up to visit the proposed site of the Oakajee port recently.

The Note has it on good authority that Mr McGlue managed to get bogged not once, but twice. The first time an experienced member of his group managed to solve the problem by engaging the 4WD. The second time required a tow.

Deaf Society appeal in doubt

THE WA Deaf Society's winter appeal has suffered a blow with doubts over the campaign's envelope provider, Prestige Envelopes.

WA Deaf Society business development manager Marisa Powell said the not-for-profit organisation had paid $1,500 for 50,000 specially printed envelopes, but Jandakot-based Prestige has failed to deliver.

"This incident has put a key source of income in jeopardy at this moment in time," Ms Powell told WA Business News.

"A huge source of the WA Deaf Society's income is derived from our appeal letter as we only have 30 per cent recurrent funding.

"The situation is very bleak; we are currently spending money we haven't got."

The envelopes, which had the words "Donations down 70 per cent ... Please Help" printed on them, were a vital source of income for the organisation to claw back the $455,000 required to ensure the continuation of current services.

Ms Powell said if Prestige was placed into receivership, the WA Deaf Society would have to source a new stationery provider, set up a new account and start the fundraising campaign from scratch.

A spokesman for Prestige denied the company had "gone under", but said a "specialist" had been called in and the fate of the company would be decided by week's end.

He said it was still possible the WA Deaf Society would receive the envelopes.

Regal poised for more mergers

NEWLY formed Regal Transport Group is in the process of "geographically acquiring" companies to further expand its business from the core Pilbara region and into the Mid West and Kimberley regions.

General freight business N&L Transport merged with heavy haulage provider Strategic Transport Services to create the South Guildford-based Regal, with an annual turnover of up to $60 million.

While N&L and Strategic Transport worked together under a "loose arrangement" prior to the merger, both businesses will officially start trading as Regal Transport Group from July 1.

Former Westnet general manage Eric Cain has been appointed chief executive officer of Regal.

Mr Cain said the integration of the businesses would place Regal as one of the largest privately-owned second-tier transport businesses in WA.

You've got mail

WE recently visited a work-site where the team leaders start their four-day shift after a six-day break. While they are off work, their email messages accumulate.

The startling thing is that, at the end of their six-day break, they may have up to 400 emails in their inbox. One team leader stated he had 800 emails to read and/or respond to when he came back after two weeks of annual leave.

The truly worrying thing from an information management perspective is that this is not unique to this organisation. This is now an accepted business practice across the world.

Is this the information highway gone mad? What has been created in the minds of people that makes them think everybody needs to know everything? Or that sending an email is the best means of communicating? Those who send emails ad-nauseam as a means of business communication obviously have no idea what impact is created when their email arrives in the recipient's mailbox.

It is with fear and trepidation that many people turn on their computers to see how many emails are in their inbox.

The reality is that many of the messages are deleted without being opened, don't get read at all (or until they are irrelevant), or don't get the response they require.

Used properly, email is a brilliant tool. But its effectiveness can soon be diminished with blatant overuse and misuse.

If this is you on the receiving end and you want to do something about it then here is what to do.

With the sender ...

- Discuss the key purpose of the e-mails they regularly send to you.

- Agree the best ways and/or other ways of providing this information to you.

- Inform them of the amount and quality of information you receive and the impact this information has on you and your work team.

- Ask them to check that the information they are sending you is needed.

- Check that the information you receive is needed and inform the sender of any unnecessary emails they have sent.

- Ask them not to send you any unnecessary information.

- Ask them to check their 'cc' email addresses and to remove your address if it is agreed you do not require this information.

- Ask them to phone you if they require information that requires an immediate answer.

- Ask them to clearly state the topic of the email to allow you to identify the relevance and importance of what is being sent.

- Ask them to clearly state what action is required of you.

- Ask them to indicate a true 'respond by' date in the subject box.

- Explain the organisational hierarchy (which should be for sending and receiving emails and ask them to comply with it.

- Check that the priority allocation they are applying to their emails complies with organisation policy.

- Discuss with senior management what they can do to assist with implementing new measures to improve information receival and retrieval.

Social media is now

IT started like a small bunch of burning leaves - a little MySpace here and there, a blog or two. And then the wind picked up. Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn. Growing from a windstorm to a firestorm - social media is a tornado running wild over the internet plains.

How social are you?

How serious are you about social media?

Reality: You can't ignore it. Hundreds of millions of people are involved so far, and it's just a few years old.

I tried to ignore it for a while, but it soon became apparent that this was the new, new wave - about a year ago I became a player.

I admit I have an edge. I have a lot of readers and followers who are interested in what I have to say and want to know what my immediate thinking is. That's two of the values in social media - it's immediate and it's informative. It's also fun - that's why Facebook and YouTube are worth billions.

The major networks in social media are growing by the second:

- for photos, it's Flickr - worth billions;

- for videos, it's YouTube - worth billions;

- social networking for the younger set starts with MySpace - an original;

- social networking for the growing and grown set, it's Facebook - worth billions;

- to get connected and network with the business set, it's LinkedIn; and

- for that private message, there's texting - it's easy for me - I have an iPhone.

And that is just a partial picture. There's more.

For individual expressions, there are weblogs, or blogs.

If you want to say a few words, there's micro-blogging and interconnecting - also known as Twitter - worth billions.

For chronologies it's Wikipedia - worth billions.

And, of course, there are your personal website and business website. Priceless

All of these medias are, or try to be, socially engaging - sticky, if you will. All of them are, or try to be passed on - viral if you will. Or, better stated, if you tweet, are you good enough or bad enough to be re-tweeted?

I have made a serious commitment to socialise. To expose more of my personal self, and my business self, through social media. I will still maintain my value-based philosophy, but I will personalise it, and humanise it to a point that others are attracted to it, benefit from it, and want to pass it on to others.

I will be social and viral at the same time.

So, what does this mean to you?

What's the opportunity to you and for you?

Why should you get involved?

Social media is an opportunity, a new frontier, a space in cyberspace that gives you an individual place to play, build awareness of you and for you, brand yourself, and potentially profit.

You have to ask yourself ...

- where's the beef?

- where's the fun?

- what's the value? Both to others and yourself.

- and how - if desired - do you monetise it?

Well, unless you're one of the few people in an ownership or founding position of these social medias, your monetising opportunities are at the moment limited - in spite of various claims by 'experts'.

Here's what I recommend to get going and get positioned, so that your value - either in social, business, fun, or money - can be realised.

Sign on.

Establish an account on each of the major medias.

Post something.

Tweet something.

Connect with someone.

Do it yourself.

Do it every day.

And learn by updating as much as you can on your own.

Social media is fluid - it moves and changes daily. It's text, audio, photo, and video. It's every media and it's every second. It's current and it's constant. Ever see a section of a website labeled 'latest news' and when you click it, the last update is from 2004? Not good.

The internet is instant. Social media is instant. And you have to be ready to participate consistently, and in a meaningful way, if you want to win.

Please don't wait.

If you would like a little more information on how to get a bit more social media savvy, go to www.gitomer.com, register if you're a first-time visitor, and enter the words SOCIAL MEDIA in the GitBit box.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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