SCLAA receives energy efficient information grant

SCLAA Receives Energy Efficiency Information Grant to Assist Supply Chain and Logistics SME’s in Australia.

The Supply Chain and Logistics Association of Australia (SCLAA) is pleased to announce that it has received a grant of $743,310 from the Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism (www.ret.gov.au) as part of the Energy Efficiency Information Grants Program, to develop and deliver a comprehensive and targeted program called Energy Efficiency Solutions for Australian transport and logistics SMEs.

The Supply Chain, Transport & Logistics sector consumes over 25% of Australia’s total energy. Further emissions from the sector have increased significantly in the last twenty years.(source ABS 4605.0 – Australian Transport and the Environment). There are opportunities in terms of reductions in the usage of electricity, all types of fuels and refrigerants as well as optimisation of transport, loads, materials handling, cold chain, scheduling and other efficiencies.

David Rogers, Chairman –SCLAA indicated that SMEs (defined as 200 employees or less) in the supply chain and logistics industry face time and competitive pressures and lack the targeted skills and resources to identify and improve their energy use, which in turn would benefit their business productivity. This project aims to address this need, by delivering a comprehensive closed loop program for SCLAA members and other SMEs in the supply chain and logistics sector.

The SCLAA will do this through the provision of targeted tools, resources and training tailored specifically to assist our substantial membership, contacts and the 409,756 SMEs across Australia who warehouse, distribute and/or transport goods to improve their energy efficiency. The program will be delivered face to face at 30 locations in every State and Territory across Australia and all components will be available online.

Mark Skipper, National Director – SCLAA outlines the program which comprises of 7 stages:

Stage 1: Research and stakeholder consultation

Stage 2: Creation of a web-based ‘Energy Efficiency Assessment tool’ to assist SMEs to benchmark their energy performance against industry best practice, and understand where key opportunities to improve energy efficiency exist within their business. Each SME will receive a tailored assessment action plan, providing recommendations to cost-effectively reduce energy use. This web portal will also enable the ongoing monitoring of energy performance across the sector over time, assisting the SCLAA to evaluate the effectiveness of the program.

Stage 3: Based on the outcomes of Stage 1, creation of comprehensive workshop packs of tools and resources to assist time and resource poor SMEs to take action on energy efficiency.

Stage 4: Promotion of the project through existing channels to build awareness across the sector of the project and how they can benefit environmentally and financially by participating. Promotion activities will continue throughout the duration of the project to highlight upcoming events, new or updated resources, and celebrate improvements in industry benchmarks over time.

Stage 5: Delivery of 1/2 – full day workshops in all 8 State and Territory Capital Cities, plus 22 regional locations in every State and Territory across Australia. Workshops will be run through existing SCLAA State Divisions. We will also deliver 10 interactive webinars, where participants can also ask questions in real time and learn from other similar businesses. This approach will allow us to reach SMEs constrained from attending a workshop by remoteness or time pressures, as well as reducing travel time and costs for participants and the project.

Stage 6: Workshop content and recordings will be made available online to maximise our reach to SMEs who are unable to participate in a workshop or a webinar.

Stage 7: Follow up with all participants three and six months after stage 4 or 5. Ensure benchmarks are being bettered and that each SME has a strategy to reduce energy consumption.

Stages 1 – 6 will be completed by July 2014 and stage 7 by December 2014. All content will be available on the SCLAA website at least until the end of 2021.

Mark Skipper, said that the “SCLAA will be working with project partner Climate Works Australia (www.climateworksaustralia.org) to deliver the project”. He said that “ClimateWorks is a not for profit organisation with an extensive track record. They will help us to ensure the success of the project for SCLAA members and the over 400,000 SME’s in our industry”. He said “that this initiative carried on from other energy efficiency initiatives and Awards that the SCLAA commenced in the 1960’s.

David Rogers advises that this project was an outstanding opportunity for the SCLAA to assist members and SME’s across Australia and another opportunity for the SCLAA to provide real meaningful value to Australia’s Supply Chain & Logistics SME’s industry.

SCLAA Still Committed to Consolidation

The Supply Chain and Logistics Association of Australia today stressed our continuing commitment to consolidation in supply chain and logistics professional associations despite the Logistics Association of Australia withdrawing from discussions.

SCLAA Chairman David Rogers said “We will enthusiastically pursue discussions with other associations while continuing to be optimistic that an agreement can be reached with the LAA at some time in the future.”

The SCLAA has been engaged in extensive discussions with the LAA but has not been able to reach agreement on a merger process. The issues are substantive and relate to the constitutional model that best suits all members’ interests and the representative nature of association activities nationally.

The SCLAA thanks its members and stakeholders for your continuing support for this process and assures all of its ongoing commitment on this issue to deliver best value.

“Anyone who has been involved in efforts to create, build, merge or restructure large national Associations will be well aware that these processes can be complex and take some time. This issue is not unique to our associations or to our industry.” Mr Rogers said.

“From our perspective, there remains continuing goodwill between the SCLAA and the LAA, which lays a good groundwork to re-commence negotiations at some time in the future. We thank the LAA Directors for their participation.

“In the meantime we have very good co-operation with the other SCL Associations in CILTA, APICS and CIPSA and will continue efforts on an event by event basis to generate additional value for the profession and practice that we serve.”

We are fortunate that SCLAA activities have continued to be strong during the negotiation process, a strength of the SCLAA model, and we thank our many volunteers for their ongoing and professional efforts.

The Supply Chain and Logistics Association of Australia (SCLAA) is Australia’s strongest and most active member based association, serving and advancing the interests of Supply Chain and Logistics professionals and practitioners (SCL) in Australia.

Proposed Merger between LAA and SCLAA

As previously communicated, the Logistics Association of Australia Limited (“LAA”) and the Supply Chain and Logistics Association of Australia (“SCLAA”) have been moving towards a proposed merger to form a single member association to deliver superior benefits to our collective membership.

There has been significant progress over the past year with representatives of both associations working diligently and collaboratively towards creating a single association that all in our industry will be proud to engage with.

One of the constraints that both associations have experienced has been the workload on key voluntary personnel.

The LAA and SCLAA have agreed for both Boards of Directors to meet in Sydney during the week of Smart Conference & Expo 2013 (26 & 27 June 2013) with an aim of resolving elements of the merger plan.

We recognise that our joint membership base are very keen for us to progress this merger, however we ask for your understanding and look forward to your continuing support.

If you have questions, please feel free to get in contact with your local association representative.

Recruitment and Consulting Services Association Award winners announced at Gala Ball

The winners of the Recruitment and Consulting Services Association (RCSA) Awards were announced at the organisation’s Gala Ball held last night at Doltone House on Jones Bay Wharf in Sydney.

The winner of the PEARL Award (for Professional Emerging and Aspiring Recruitment Leaders) was Sam Hazledine, Managing Director of MedRecruit in New Zealand. The Award was hotly contested this year, with eight region finalists in the category. The PEARL Award was proudly sponsored by CareerOne.

The winner of the McLean Award for Workplace Safety was safesearch. Their submission focused on the organisation’s establishment of a cross industry forum for safety executives and leaders in Australia. The McLean Award for Workplace Safety was proudly sponsored by WorkPro.

The Corporate Social Responsibility Award was won by DFP Recruitment Services. Their submission highlighted the orgnisation’s range of involvement in community activities and initiatives. The Corporate Social Responsibility Award was proudly sponsored by FastTrack.

The RCSA Life Membership Award was bestowed upon Helen Olivier FRCSA (Life). The Life Membership Award recognises outstanding service to the industry and a commitment to promoting the objectives and purpose of the Association.

A special acknowledgement was awarded to Ross Fisher FRCSA (Life) for his outstanding contribution to the industry and RCSA.

RCSA CEO Steve Granland said, “This year’s Award winners and finalists are a very worthy group and I congratulate them on the wonderful work they have produced.

The Gala Ball continues to grow in stature each year, and is a fabulous event for RCSA Members, Partners and Supporters to celebrate and recognise their industry.”

The call for nominations for the 2014 RCSA Awards will open in November 2013.

Labour hire safety performance in Victoria continues yet again in a positive direction

Victoria’s on-hire workers, also known as labour hire, are continuing to work more safely than ever before, according to WorkSafe’s latest report Labour Hire Claims Performance.

The number of claims made by on-hire workers per $10 million dollars of remuneration has dropped by 4% to 2.05% and with the most significant movements occurring for transport, postal and warehousing on-hire workers.

In the 12 months from June 2012 to June 2013 claims made by onhire/labour hire workers decreased by 4% along with non-labour hire which also decreased by 4% which is reflective of the positive contributions made by the on-hire industry to a large number ofbusinesses throughout Victoria and Australia at large.

Denis Dadds, head of the RCSA Safety & Risk Working Group and RCSA Director said, “Worker safety in the on hire industry has made great progress over the last decade and our industry will continue to work at maintaining this momentum in safety performance”.

Leading Ugly when times are tough – Peter Barr to bring controversial topic to International Conference

Professional coach Peter Barr will present his controversial topic ‘Leading Ugly’ at the RCSA International Conference: The Leadership Edge, Building a competitive advantage in a changing world, August 28-30 on the Gold Coast.

“We all know the term winning ugly in sport when things aren’t going that well, when somehow you get through anyway,” explains Peter. You might be muddy and dirty at the end of the game, but you end up winning. Leading Ugly is about that,” he says.

“It’s a tough time out on the field for recruiters, whether you’re working with clients, candidates, or whoever it is in your business; you know it’s tough,” says Peter. ”In this topic we’re going to be dealing with the two core elements that will get you through no matter what. It will be ugly, but you’ll have some fun,” he says.

Peter’s presentation will deliver the following outcomes.

  • Discover what is at the core of a leader or a team that allows them to win, even when nothing seems to be going right;
  • Appreciate your own potent “Unique Genius”, the things that keeps you going when the chips are down;
  • Connect with your own “Leadership Yearning” – the outcome that is worth striving for;
  • Possess the tools and resources to ensure you are committed, empowered and consistent in your everyday role as a leader;
  • Know what is next, through committing to an action plan that guarantees your success.

The 2013 RCSA International Conference will be held 28-30 August at the Sheraton Mirage, Gold Coast. Find out more about the conference program at www.rcsa.com.au/conference2013/

To register click here.

Landlord big winners

Rents increased across most states in May, which meant landlords were the clear winners according to May research.

The May rent report analysis from rent.com.au showed rents increased in all states except NSW, ACT and NT, where rents remained steady according to rent.com.au’s national services manager, David Berridge.

Median rent increased five per cent to $419 per week in Queensland. Properties leased eight per cent slower, taking an average of 28 days.

“Queensland investors would finally be encouraged with the first significant gain in rents for the state since November 2012,” he said.

While the data shows days on market increased nine per cent to 25 days in Western Australia, this is still the fastest in the country. This positions WA as the most expensive state in which to rent, followed closely by the Northern Territory.

“The effects of the softening economy in Western Australia are yet to be seen in the rents being paid, with a three per cent rise in the average median rent to $553 per week,” Mr Berridge explained.

Northern Territory rents stayed steady in May with a weekly median rent of $551, with days on market stretching out to 28 days, an eight per cent increase.

Victoria reversed its trend, regaining the three per cent lost in April, to see renters paying an average median rent of $383 per week in May. Average days on market increased by seven per cent to 31 days.

Tasmanian rents lifted again in May with a six per cent increase to $295 per week, with turnover slowing by 15 per cent to 38 days.

New South Wales and the ACT both saw rents remain steady with median weekly rents of $480 and $471 respectively. Days to lease properties in the ACT increased by 13 per cent to 35 days. NSW days on market increased slightly to 26 days.

South Australia’s investors also gained in May, with that state’s weekly median rent rising four per cent to $338 per week. Turnover slowed again by 11 per cent to 31 days.

The local rent.com.au Rent Suburb Reports for the capital cities showed Darwin having the biggest rise for the capitals with its median rent increasing seven per cent to $600 per week, though this is still off from the December quarter high of $640.

Perth’s weekly median rent of $650 has also seen it gain $25 per week from the December quarter median rent of $625 per week. Sydney at $720 per week has also shown a small rise of three per cent in median rent since the December quarter.

All states saw days on market increase, ranging from four to 15 per cent.

Access to finance solution for small business

The Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIA) say entrepreneurial spirit is being stifled because of difficulties in access to finance for small business.

REIA President, Peter Bushby says, “According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ (ABS) publication examining barriers to innovation faced by Australian business in 2010-11, of businesses employing up to 4 people, 20.5% were lacking access to additional funds. Of businesses employing 5 to 19 persons, 22.8% reported a lack of access to additional funds as a barrier to innovation.”

“Bank credit helps these businesses to facilitate their ongoing development without placing excessive strain on cash reserves or working capital. However, as they are often perceived to carry a higher degree of financial risk, small businesses can face higher costs when accessing credit from financial institutions.”

“Residential property is used as security for lending to small businesses, which makes it particularly difficult for entrepreneurial Generation Y as only two out of five younger Australians own their own home.”

“When it comes to real estate businesses (96% of which are small), lenders should be taking into account such assets as rent rolls, which provide strong cash flow stability. They tend to put all small businesses into one basket and that simply does not work.”

“REIA wants to see an Australian Small Business Credit Resolution Service (AUSBCRES), which would mediate between financial institutions and small business when credit applications are refused and ensure that all applications by small businesses are adequately and properly assessed.”

AUSBCRES would be created as a division of the Small Business Commissioner / Small Business Ombudsman.

Mr Bushby says, “At his recent Press Club address, Prime Minister Rudd said, ‘We must improve the operating environment for small business in this country. This involves access to capital’. AUSBCRES would go a long way to assist.”

For the Small Business Credit Resolutions Service discussion paper, go to http://reia.com.au/userfiles/MEDIARELEASE_1375227962.pdf.

First home buyers left behind as housing finance improves

The Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIA) says the latest housing finance figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) show that whilst total lending for housing is growing in response to interest rate cuts
and the positive housing outlook, first home buyers are being hampered by state government initiatives favouring the purchase of new housing.

Housing finance figures for May 2013 show, in trend terms, that the number of owner-occupied finance commitments rose by 1.8 per cent – following increases of 1.9 per cent in both March and April.

If refinancing is excluded, the increase, in trend terms for May, is 2.0 per cent.

REIA President, Peter Bushby says, “Increases were recorded in all states except the Northern Territory. The largest increases were in Western Australia and South Australia, up 2.4 per cent in trend terms.”

“There are increases in the purchase of established dwellings (up 1.7 per cent in trend terms), the purchase of
new dwellings (up 3.6 per cent in trend terms) and the number of commitments for the construction of new dwellings (up 1.3 per cent in trend terms),” Mr Bushby continued.

“The proportion of first home buyers in the number of owner-occupied housing finance commitments rose slightly to 14.6 per cent compared to the April figure of 14.3 per cent. The figure remains persistently low compared to the long-run average proportion of 20.1 per cent.”

“In large part, this drop can be attributed to State Governments, except Western Australia, withdrawing previous levels of support for first home owners buying established dwellings and it’s established dwellings that 80 per cent of first home buyers prefer.”

The value of investment housing commitments rose by 0.9 per cent, in trend terms, in May resulting in the
eleventh consecutive monthly increase.

“With the proportion of first home buyers remaining consistently below the long term average, this should be a priority issue for both major parties as we approach the federal election,” concluded Mr Bushby.

REIA’s Election Policies can be found at http://reia.com.au/userfiles/MEDIARELEASE_1372030438.pdf

REIA supports a reduction in red tape for small business

The Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIA) is pleased to see the Coalition’s Policy to Boost Productivity and Reduce Regulation identifies measures that will reduce the red tape burden and lift productivity for small business.

REIA President, Mr Peter Bushby says, “The commitment to implement an option to send compulsory superannuation payments on behalf of employees to the Australian Taxation Office is a sensible move.”

“The Coalition’s announcement that the Commonwealth would administer Paid Parental Leave payments is also most welcome.”

“Reducing regulation boosts productivity and is a positive step towards lowering the cost of conducting business.”

“REIA’s submission to the Coalition’s Red Tape Reduction Taskforce recommended these policies.”

“We are thrilled by commitments that the administration of Paid Parental Leave (PPL) payments will be transferred from business to the Commonwealth and small business be allowed to transfer compulsory superannuation payments made on behalf of workers directly to the Australian Taxation Office.”

“The PPL scheme currently poses a disproportionate administrative burden in terms of time and costs on small businesses.”

“Administering payments, maintaining records, meeting compliance and reporting requirements and undergoing the appropriate system upgrades are a hassle for our members and small businesses around Australia.”

“The administration of superannuation payments similarly places additional costs on small business when it is easier and more efficient to bundle these up with PAYG payments to the ATO.”

“As a small business owner myself, I know that we have better things to be doing with our Sundays than being unpaid tax collectors for the Government. We will welcome the extra time to spend with our families and friends and catching up on jobs around the house,” concluded Mr Bushby.

Bureaucrats continue to ignore small business

The Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIA)is bitterly disappointed that a decision on national licensing for the property profession is being driven by a deadline to suit bureaucrats rather than a desire to make the most informed decision.

REIA President, Mr Peter Bushby says, “In April of this year, we were told that the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) had agreed to a request for state-based consultation on the yet to be released Decision Regulatory Impact Statement (DRIS), to better inform decision-makers of stakeholders’ views.”

“COAG acknowledged that the views of stakeholders were integral and would be taken into consideration in the decisions made. We were told that the consultation would be objective and would be carried out over a three month period.”

“Because of delays in the completion of the DRIS, we are now told by the National Occupational Licensing Authority (NOLA) that the consultation period will be less than half what was initially promised! The consultation is to be completed by the end of August yet the DRIS has not yet been released.”

“This is utterly unacceptable.”

“We are asking the states and territories to provide a three month period of face-to-face consultation with stakeholders. To do so will not interfere with COAG’s intent to have a decision at the Standing Council on Federal Financial Relations (SCFFR) meeting in November.”

“The decisions made in the coming months will have a lasting impact on the standards of the profession and on consumer protection. These are not decisions to be rushed,” concluded Mr Bushby.

REIA wants a national licensing system which requires real estate agents to achieve a diploma level for licensing, requires compulsory continuing professional development and requires licensing for commercial agency work.

REIA also wants real estate to be moved to the second tranche of national licensing with the other property occupations.

Visa announces Australian launch of new digital wallet: V.me by Visa

Visa’s new payment innovation to hit local shores before Christmas.

Visa today announced plans to launch its new digital wallet service, V.me by Visa, in Australia later this year, making it easier for consumers to shop online.

V.me will offer consumers a simple and secure way to pay online by entering a single username and password, eliminating the hassle of entering personal details across multiple merchant websites.

Vipin Kalra, Visa’s Country Manager for Australia, said “Building on the successful launch of V.me in the US, Visa is now set to deliver this new service to Australian consumers in time for Christmas 2013.

“Consumers are increasingly shopping online where they are faced with a cumbersome checkout process, and need to enter personal account information repeatedly when making a purchase. V.me streamlines the process and addresses the growing consumer desire to shop online from any device with ease and simplicity.

“V.me will take the friction out of online payments, benefiting both the consumer and the merchant.”

Visa’s new digital wallet service allows consumers to:
• Securely store their existing Visa and other payment cards
• Store and use multiple shipping addresses
• Set transaction alerts for Visa cards based on spending thresholds and other criteria
• And, over time, opt-in to additional features.

V.me can be accessed via PC, smartphone or tablet, with personal account information protected by layers of security within Visa’s industry-leading network. There will be no fees for consumers to enrol or make purchases using V.me.

Greg Storey, Visa’s Head of V.me for Asia Pacific, Central Europe, Middle East and Africa, said V.me will change the way consumers shop online, and it can benefit merchants by streamlining the checkout process and reducing abandonment of online shopping carts.

“We intend to offer V.me to all Australian eCommerce merchants. We’re excited about improving the eCommerce checkout experience and helping to boost the sales of Australian merchants who are investing in improvements to their eCommerce sales channel.

“The initial reaction we have had from merchants has been fantastic. We have a number on board already, including JB Hi-Fi, Cotton On, City Beach and Lorna Jane, who will participate in V.me to provide their online customers with a convenient and secure way to pay,” he said.

More than 40 financial institutions have also agreed to partner with Visa to offer V.me to their customers, including ANZ, National Australia Bank, Westpac, Suncorp, Citigroup and ING Direct.

According to ANZ, digital and mobile technology is central to banking.

“Digital and mobile banking technology has become central to banking, as more and more people embrace the digital age. These changing customer behaviours are shaping our banking channels and the way in which we interact with our customers,” said Marj Demmer, ANZ General Manager, Cards and Payments. “Visa’s new digital wallet service aligns with our digital focus and we’re pleased to be partnering with them on the launch of V.me which will provide our customers with a new, easy and secure online shopping solution,” she said.

David Lindberg, Chief Product Officer, Australian Financial Services, Westpac, said “Helping to make the customers shopping experience easier is really important to us. Westpac is excited to be able to offer our customers a more convenient way to pay using their mobile phone or online.”

Mr. Storey added, “It is our long-standing relationships with financial institutions and merchants that put us in a strong position to deliver a great digital wallet experience for the online shopper”.

V.me is the latest in the evolution of payment technology solutions from Visa, whose vision is to become the best way to pay and be paid for everyone, everywhere.

For more information, visit www.visa.com.au.