Tag Archive | "Business"

ALDI loses battle to the death for right to open grog shop in Perth's outer suburbs.

First blood to Woolies in ALDI liquor stoush

CHRIS THOMSON

EXCLUSIVE: Australian retail giant Woolworths has creamed German retail superpower ALDI in a toe-to-toe battle to the death for the right to erect a bottle shop in Perth’s eastern suburbs.

In a decision published online today, delegate of the state director of liquor licensing, Peter Minchin, granted Woolworths the right to build a grog shop at the new Harrisdale shops, and kicked ALDI’s competing application to the kerb.

In the green corner was Woolworths, which plans to build a standalone 188sqm grog shop offering 1623 types of alcohol.

In the orange corner was ALDI, which wanted to establish a small browsing area of about 24sqm in its new Harrisdale supermarket and will provide about 95 liquor products.

The ALDI grog shop would have been similar to Western Australia’s first in-supermarket grog shop approved for ALDI last week.

oneperth.com.au brought the city first news of that grog shop, but as is standard practice with Perth’s dying band of dinosaur news outlets, a slow-grazing business reporter at Rupert Murdoch’s Sunday Times who we beat to the punch by more than a week claimed her follow up as an ‘EXCLUSIVE‘.

Nobody objected to the Woolies grog shop, but a lobby group called the McCusker Cenre for Action on Alcohol and Youth objected to the ALDI bottle-o.

For hus part, Mr Minchin concluded “it is neither necessary or desirable for two packaged liquor outlets to operate at the shopping centre in order to cater to residents of the locality and their requirements for access to packaged liquor”.

He decided Woolworths would provide more benefit to Harrisdale consumers because its grog shop was bigger, provided more types of alcohol, would have better customer service, and was separate to its supermarket.

Consequently, Mr Minchin approved the Woolworths application, and refused the ALDI application.

Posted in EastComments (0)

Controversial Queens Park venue battles to remain a community hub.

Kebab shop cops the lot

CHRIS THOMSON

EXCLUSIVE: A controversial kebab shop that’s become a Queens Park social hub has earned the ire of 32 objectors.

After a complaint was made about noise, odour and operating hours of the Hamza Cafe on Wharf Street, Canning council investigated.

Members of the Spanos family, who own the kebab shop, subsequently applied for retrospective planning approval to run a cafe from the premises.

The Spanoses originally asked the council to approve a 24/7 operation, but have since cut back their requested hours to between 11am and 10pm, seven days a week.

Objectors have complained about a perceived increase in anti-social behaviour, cooking odour and light pollution from the cafe, the coming and going of vehicles and associated noise, and the large number of customers smoking shisha hookah pipes.

One objector, from 1/341 Wharf Street that Queens Park does “not need a 24/7 restaurant”, and the cafe should go “back to being a deli”.

[It’s] more a place where they go and sit outside and smoke big pipes,” the objector continued.

“It stinks.

“Don’t bring Queens Park down by allowing this.”

Another objector, also of 1/341 Wharf Street, claims that “parking is a problem, with cars parked on the footpath some nights”.

“We are not in Darling Harbour or South Bank,” the objector observes.

“What requirement is there for a 24/7 restaurant in Queens Park: it’s not a tourist or night life area.”

To those complaints, the Spanoses have responded that they’ve submitted revised trading hours, already have a tobacco sellers licence, the existing 28 car bays at the shops are adequate, and they are unaware of any ongoing illegal parking.

In a briefing note to her political masters, Canning council planner Amber Currie says the state Department of Health’s Tobacco Control Branch has visited the cafe and issued a warning relating to persons smoking in an enclosed public space.

The Spanoses have lodged a submission of support signed by 231 of their customers.

Ms Currie has recommended that Canning city councillors retrospectively approve the Hamza Cafe’s planned 11am to 10pm operations when the councillors next meet on May 3.

Photo: From the Spanoses’ planning application, lodged by Altus Planning & Appeals.

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Perth fish company fined over Aussie-branded shrimp that were packed in Thailand.

Kailis comes the raw prawn

STAFF REPORTER

Perth based fish processor Kailis Bros Pty Ltd has paid a penalty of $10,800 after receiving an infringement notice over its Aussie-branded prawns that were packed and processed in Thailand.

The ACCC says it issued the infringement notice because it had reasonable grounds to believe that Kailis Bros had engaged in conduct likely to mislead the public about the manufacturing process used to produce its frozen ‘Just Caught Prawn Meat’, in contravention of the Australian Consumer Law.

The packaging of the Kailis Bros’ prawns contained:

  • a prominent image of the Australian flag as the backdrop on the front and back of the packet;
  • a map of Australia in the bottom right hand corner on the front of the packet with the words ‘Australian Caught Raw Prawns’ printed in a circle around the map; and
  • the words ‘Australian Caught – Raw – Deveined – Tail Off – Prawn Meat’ on the packet

The ACCC considered that this represented to consumers that the prawns were caught, processed and packaged in Australia, when this was not the case.

The prawns were packed and processed in Thailand. This was included in fine print on the back of the packaging.

The prawns were mainly supplied nationally through Woolworths supermarkets.

“The ACCC believed that the images and statements on this product gave the misleading impression that it was packed and processed in Australia,” ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said.

“Consumers are often prepared to pay a premium for Australian made products, so any ‘Australian made’ representations must be accurate.

“Businesses cannot rely on fine print disclaimers to correct or qualify a prominent country of origin representation that is false or misleading.”

The payment of a penalty specified in an infringement notice is not an admission of a contravention of the Australian Consumer Law.

The ACCC can issue an infringement notice where it has reasonable grounds to believe that a person has contravened certain consumer protection laws.

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... ironically in the suburb of Eaton.

Chicken Treat objects to McDonald’s

CHRIS THOMSON

The owner of a Chicken Treat outlet has objected to a planned McDonald’s, ironically in the suburb of Eaton, claiming the eatery will cause “mass extinction” of smaller businesses in the area.

Plans by McDonald’s Australia to erect its latest outlet on Albatross Crescent in the Bunbury suburb of Eaton have been slammed by Adrian Stott who owns a Chicken Treat outlet in the same suburb.

In a letter to Dardanup Shire, Mr Stott says the $2.5 million Maccas should be rejected “as it is not in the best interest of the local community as well as established local business”.

Eaton McDonald'sMr Stott reasons that once the new Eaton-Treendale bridge has been built, the planned McDonald’s will  be just over five minutes away from an existing Maccas in Treendale.

“The population of the Eaton/Millbridge area does not yet support the addition of another very sizeable fast food restaurant nor justify the expansion of the area already dedicated to food/restaurant businesses,” he continues.

“As such, a new McDonald’s in Eaton will not miraculously create new customers and a net increase of consumer consumption.

“In the short time since Hungry Jack’s (HJ’s) opened in June 2015, the Chinese Restaurant at Eaton Fair Shopping Centre seems to only sustain very inconsistent trading hours and many of the other restaurants in the shopping centre have reduced opening hours.”

Mr Stott is one of six objectors to the planned 617sqm McDonald’s. One person supported the pictured eatery.

“Chicken Treat, a local Western Australian company which has operated at Eaton Fair shopping centre for 15 years, has sales reduction over 25% since HJ’s came to Eaton, resulting in financial stress,” Mr Stott adds.

Hungry Jack’s is also a Western Australian company, with its first outlet opening in Innaloo in 1971. The burger chain spread rapidly throughout Australia after that, but its headquarters remains in Osborne Park.

“McDonald’s would likely compound distress in the Eaton food/restaurant sector, leading to mass extinction of smaller businesses …,” Mr Stott laments.

“As an example of the local employment impact felt by new competition from a large multinational restaurant chain, Chicken Treat Eaton has been forced to reduce staff numbers by over 25% since HJ’s came to Eaton.

“Although they have great financial muscle and influence, McDonald’s should not be granted special permission to develop on a site which is clearly outside the restaurant area of Eaton and originally zoned for other important mixed business usage that the community require such as medical services, financial services, etc.”

The McDonald’s is planned for a block that sits beside the Eaton Tavern and drive-thru Bottlemart bottleshop.

A report by the Shire of Dardanup says the planned Maccas “demonstrates general compliance with the relevant planning instruments” and should be approved.

A state assessment panel is scheduled to decide the fate of the McDonald’s at a meeting at the shire’s offices on December 7.

Pictures: Hindley & Associates Pty Ltd Building Designers

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$50,000 handout for Fairfax night noodle market

CHRIS THOMSON

FEBRUARY 3 UPDATE: City of Perth councillors tonight approved the $50,000 ratepayer-funded handout to the night noodle market of national media conglomerate Fairfax.

EXCLUSIVE: City of Perth officials plan to hand $50,000 to an offshoot of Australia’s oldest news corporation Fairfax Media to run a night noodle market, even though the national media giant admits it does not need the cash.

Fairfax Events is a spinoff of Fairfax Media which in the eastern states engages in much cross promotion with its parent entity.

It plans to charge 25 stall holders at an upcoming 12-night noodle market a rental fee of $500 a night and a commission of 20 per cent on their turnover.

oneperth.com.au can reveal that Fairfax Events has also applied for $20,000 cash and in-kind funding from the Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority, and other monies from a range of corporate sponsors.

The company says the noodle market is ready to roll from March 18 to March 29 this year, at the Perth Cultural Centre.

Fairfax Events has told city officials the market will go ahead with or without council funding.

If the city’s councillors and mayor Lisa Scaffidi approve the $50,000 funding when they next meet on February 3, as recommended by council assistant marketing manager Melissa Forbes, the mayor and councillors will each get VIP invitations to the market.

Fairfax Events anticipates 48,000 people will attend its noodle market.

In Western Australia, Fairfax juggles its emerging noodle interests with the operation of 6PR, 96FM, The Australian Financial Review, and a ragbag of country newspapers and lifestyle websites.

As an aside, if you’re a junior journo looking to join Australia’s oldest media conglomerate, one of its non-noodle operatives is going on maternity leave. You can fill her shoes for 12 months by applying via this non-Fairfax websiteBut beware, the ad’ says Fairfax Media is on a “journey of transformation”. The company also contends it’s “leading the way in innovation and audience centricity”. Good luck with your application. And tell ‘em oneperth.com.au sent you.

Noodle photo: Uwe Aranas, Wikimedia Commons

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Mitchell Freeway billboards slammed

CHRIS THOMSON

Two digital billboards planned for Mitchell Freeway will be kicked to the kerb if Joondalup city planners get their way.

oneperth.com.au can reveal the two planned billboards, beside the southbound lanes at Greenwood, and the northbound lanes at Duncraig, would be 12.66 metres wide and 3.35 metres tall and sit atop a pole, as pictured.

The planned billboards are the brainchild of the APN advertising company, which has asked the Department of Transport to approve them after former Transport Minister Troy Buswell last year announced eight sites would receive such signs on the Mitchell and Kwinana freeways.

Mictchell Freeway billboardsIf approved, the billboards would mainly spruik commercial products, and transmit the occasional message from Main Roads.

The billboards have not been advertised for the feedback of Duncraig or Greenwood residents because the department reasons they will not be able to be seen from nearby houses.

The plans have been sent to the City of Joondalup for comment though, and the city’s planners do not like what they see.

“It is noted that the use of signs as traffic control devices, or limited to the delivery of road related information to road users, is in greater accord with the intent of the reservation,” the planners have advised their political masters.

“However, the proposed signs will primarily be used for third party commercial advertising campaigns, with Main Roads WA related activities only displayed occasionally.

“As such, use of the signs for the advertising of unrelated goods and services is superfluous to the intended use of the [freeway] reserve and it is considered that approval of the development would not be in the interests of orderly and proper planning for the locality.”

The billboards would display static images only, with no animation or sound.

APN submits that the billboards are a “unique opportunity to not only enhance the role and function of one of Perth’s major thoroughfares, but provide an opportunity for architecturally designed signage to be appropriately integrated into the urban environment and contribute to the overall sense of place”.

“This innovative and coordinated proposal forms part of a broader national strategy with state and local government agencies as well as private organisations to construct digital signs in appropriate and strategic locations,” APN opines.

But the council planners advise that approval of the signs may set a precedent for using road reserves for advertising purposes, leading to a “potential proliferation and clutter of signs in the city’s transport corridors”.

The billboards form part of a larger joint venture between Main Roads and APN to erect various digital signs across metropolitan Perth. At this stage, two other sites have been proposed – in the City of Stirling and the City of Cockburn.

The planners have advised Joondalup city councillors to let them tell the department the city wants no bar of the billboards. The councillors will debate the planners’ recommendation at the city’s last council meeting of the year on Tuesday night.

Posted in NorthComments (1)

Some billboards more equal than others

CHRIS THOMSON

City of Vincent officials have recommended that two billboards seen by thousands of motorists each day be re-approved for the corner of Loftus and Newcastle streets, despite a citywide ban on billboards.

The billboards (pictured below, left) have been in place since 2004 after a house was demolished to make way for them.

The council requires the two billboards to be approved every five years. But after the most recent approval was granted in 2010 the city slapped a ban on billboards, as revealed by oneperth.com.au in 2011.

Vincent billboardsStephen Robinson, of  locally-owned WA Billboards, has asked the city to remove the requirement for five-year approvals.

Mr Robinson claims his billboards have converted the corner into a “landmark site” that “provides the city and its residents with [a] large swath of green streetscape in a highly developed inner city area which has limited open space opportunities for the local community”.

He also claims the need to re-approve the billboards every five years is “an unneccessary work impost for the city’s staff”.

But, despite the extra work likely to come to them in half a decade, the city’s planners have recommended Mr Robinson’s billboards be given the green light for another five years only.

The planners claim the billboards are a “special case” and advise that renewal of the approval should not be considered a precedent for allowing other billboards to pop up in Vincent.

The planners’ political masters will vote on Mr Robinson’s billboard renewal bid on Tuesday night.

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WA resource stocks dumped after review

CHRIS THOMSON

Australia’s best university will dump its shares in four Perth resources companies in line with recommendations of a review done under the university’s socially responsible investment policy.

Following the review, the Australian National University has agreed to a proposal by its Vice-Chancellor Professor Ian Young AO to divest itself of shares in seven resources companies.

Four of those companies, Sirius Resources, Sandfire Resources, Independence Group and Iluka Resources are based in Perth.

Sirius is into nickel, Sandfire is a copper miner, Independence is into gold and nickel, and Iluka makes its dough from mineral sands.

Another of the companies, the global Newcrest Mining Ltd, operates the Telfer gold and copper mines in Western Australia’s Pilbara region.

The review, commissioned as part the university’s socially responsible investment policy provided environmental, social and governance ratings on domestic stocks held by the university.

The stocks to be divested represent about 5.1 per cent of the Canberra-based university’s Australian equity holdings and about one per cent of its total investment holdings.

The University will now outsource management of its domestic equities investments. Selection of the manager will include assessment of their ability to meet the university’s socially responsible investment requirements, the university said today.

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Changing face of Fremantle

CHRIS THOMSON

Soon, motorists entering historic Fremantle from the south won’t be greeted by a picture of local footy stars Matthew Pavlich or Hayden Ballantyne, but by a big old image of fictional grog character Dan Murphy.

City of Fremantle planners have recommended that the pictured advertising hoardings be approved at the corner of Hampton and Douro roads for a Dan Murphy’s booze barn that has been years in the approving.

In the planning pipeline since 2010, with an extremely convoluted approvals history, the recently-approved Dan Murphy’s is set to rise at the South Fremantle Market Place shops which already have a much smaller Liquorland outlet.

Dan Murphy’s is owned by Woolworths, and Liquorland by Coles.

The hoardings are set to be voted on at a meeting of Fremantle council’s Planning Services committee on Tuesday night.

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Subiaco cottage industry push

CHRIS THOMSON

Overtures from a Shenton Park artist who says Subiaco has seen livelier days have convinced officials to consider a new ‘cottage industry’ category under the city’s town planning scheme.

A submission put to the City of Subiaco by Laura Cole of Rosalie Street states: “As many of you know, I am an Artist”.

“What many of you may not know is that there is no working-from-home category that is a fit for Artists,” Cole continues.

“Occasionally a potential client will contact me with a view to visiting my Studio and perhaps purchasing a painting.

“This might happen 3 times a year … maybe.

“Currently to sell a painting from my Studio would breach the Council rules.”

RAPIDLY LOSING CHARACTER

Cole says a new ‘cottage industry’ category under the city’s planning scheme would help.

“… we all know that Subiaco is currently in need of re-vitalisation,” opines Cole, a City of Subiaco resident for 46 years and counting.

” – Rokeby Road is seriously depleted, and much of the rest of our suburb is rapidly losing its character.

“We do not want Subiaco to become a mere extension of West Perth’s homogenous surgery-and-office-combo, empty after hours and on weekends.

“We need to re-gain the interest and diversity, the popularity and economic vitality of the good years.

“A ‘Cottage Industry’ category is a great start.”

CHIMING IN

Cole’s Rosalie Street neighbour Robert Willcox – who moved to Subiaco around the time it started morphing from a working class borough into a stockbroker’s paradise – has chimed in with a supporting submission of his own.

“In 34 years [as a Subiaco local] I have experienced the highs and lows of Subiaco’s energy level,” Mr Willcox attests.

“Sadly at the moment it seems to me to be on a down swing.

“Establishing a Cottage Industry category might be a very small step, but I believe it is a step in the right direction, and I commend it to Council.”

In response to Cole’s home studio-sale plans, Subiaco council planners have advised their political masters that a cottage industry category may be in order.

The officials advise that a cornucopia of painting, photography, ceramics, jewelery, wood, plastics and metalwork studios could spring from a liberating stroke of the planning pen.

But any such Bohemian notion would need first be advertised to Subiaco locals, the planners advise somewhat ominously.

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Clothes bin firm to pay $100,000 after court

STAFF REPORTER

The operator of a network of clothing collection bins in Perth who accepted he may have misled the public has now agreed to make a $100,000 donation to charity and issue a public apology.

E’Co Australia Pty Ltd and its head honcho Mark Brian Keay have settled Supreme Court legal action taken by the Commissioner for Consumer Protection by signing an enforceable undertaking.

The undertaking involves paying $100,000 in monthly instalments over 18 months, with the funds being donated to charities at the discretion of the commissioner.

The company has also agreed to publish a prominent newspaper advertisement apologising for any potentially deceptive conduct.

Between January and November 2011, E’Co had 300 clothing collection bins at 205 prominent locations around metropolitan Perth which displayed text and images that may have given the impression that the clothing donations would ultimately be given to poor children in Africa, and that the operator was itself a charity or not-for-profit organisation.

In many cases, the E’Co Kids bins were alongside the collection bins of genuine registered charities.

In reality, E’Co Australia was not a charity or not-for-profit organisation, but a commercial enterprise which sold the clothing to second-hand merchants in Africa for a profit and retained the proceeds.

The company and Mr Keay have admitted that the conduct may have breached the Australian Consumer Law by making false and misleading representations.

In November 2011 E’Co agreed to place stickers on its bins stating that items deposited may be sold for profit. The conduct subject to the Supreme Court action related only to the period before the company agreed to place the clarification for users.

Today, consumer protection commissioner Anne Driscoll said it was imperative that the public be given true and accurate information.

“Whether the donations are in the form of money or clothing, the public has the right to know whether the collection bin is part of a business or a charity,” ms Driscoll said.

“Donors need to have confidence that their donations are benefiting the people or purpose that they believe are being supported.

“Anyone engaged in misleading or deceptive conduct to take advantage of the generosity and goodwill of the community for commercial gain, will risk legal action and potential damage to their reputations.”

 

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Rio chief scores honorary UWA doctorate

STAFF REPORTER

Rio Tinto head honcho Sam Walsh will be bestowed with an honorary University of Western Australia doctorate.

Mr Walsh, pictured, became chief executive of Rio Tinto’s iron ore group in 2004.

Since then his multinational mining company has bestowed many donations upon UWA, including a gravity gradiometer for the School of Physics, the Rio Tinto Chair of Rock Art Studies, the Rio Tinto Asset Management Development program with the Business School and the five-year Rio Tinto-UWA Education Partnership.

Mr Walsh is now based in London after being appointed chief executive of Rio Tinto Group in January last year.

He will be awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Commerce at a graduation ceremony to be held on March, 27 where he will deliver an address.

Michael Smith, chairman of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and former chair of the Perth International Arts Festival will be awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Letters and deliver a graduation address tomorrow night.

London-based independent corporate adviser in the engineering and technology sectors David MacKinlay will be awarded an honorary Doctor of Commerce on March, 26. The UWA Engineering and Commerce graduate, who is also chair of UWA’s Business School United Kingdom chapter will deliver the graduation address that night.

Co-founder of STA Travel and director of STA Travel Group Dick Porter will also be handed an honorary Doctor of Commerce on Wednesday 2 April.

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Peppermint Grove Hummer dispute

CHRIS THOMSON

A Hummer allegedly parked with a large billboard in tow has prompted officials to raise the spectre of legal action against an advertising company that operates from a home in Perth’s poshest suburb.

In a report now before their political masters, Shire of Peppermint Grove officers allege that Evoke Media proprietors Zane and Elaine Barry have been parking the pictured Hummer and a big billboard at their home at 1 Monument Street in Peppermint Grove.

The shire officers allege the Hummer and several Smart brand cars parked in and around the 776sqm property constitute an ongoing enforcement issue. The officers allege the Barrys have been operating a vehicle depot in the leafy street without approval.

Evoke Media Peppermint GroveThe Barrys bought the property, where they live, in 2005. In 2012, the shire received a number of complaints about signs and trailers on the site and parking on the verge. In 2013, several more complaints were received.

An email from the Barrys to the council in April last year said the large Hummer trailer was only present at the premises on the day council officers took a photo of it, while repairs were being done.

The Barrys claimed the Hummer trailer was only in Monument Street a few hours. They said the trailer was being stored elsewhere and would never be stored at the home.

The email said that on the same day all the business’s cars were being attended to by a valet, and that to be waterwise the vehicles were being washed on the grass verge. The Barrys said they would ensure the valet service “does not happen again” in Monument Street.

They also told the council that Evoke Media employs mainly students who use public transport to get to work, and so did not compete with the Barrys’ Monument Street neighbours for parking.

Evoke Media Peppermint GroveSeveral follow-up inspections by the shire in May and June last year detected a number of Smart brand cars, and advertising banners, parked on site.

In December, 2013 and January, 2014 the shire received several more complaints from Peppermint Grove and Mosman Park residents. The issues were alleged excessive street parking by employees, and the Hummer and large billboard trailer allegedly being parked at the property and in nearby streets overnight.

A council site visit on January 7 allegedly revealed the Hummer was being stored on site along with at least 10 advertising trailers and 10 Smart cars.

“The land use appears to be intensifying and results in a loss of amenity to nearby landowners,” the shire staff now allege.

evoke media peppermint grove“The after-hours and weekend parking issues have been substantiated by the Mosman Park ranger.”

A Google Maps search by oneperth.com.au shows that on the currently available street view, dated January, 2010, the Hummer was in the driveway along with a small number of advertising trailers. The larger Hummer trailer was not on site.

The latest available Google Maps aerial view, dated December 9, 2011, shows no Hummer, but eight advertising trailers and at least five other vehicles in the driveway. Again, the larger Hummer trailer was not on site.

The shire officers have recommended that the council direct the Barrys to cease all business activities at their home within 60 days of receiving a council directive, and that the Barrys be prosecuted if that does not happen.

A successful prosecution would carry a fine up to $200,000 with a daily penalty of $25,000 for a continuing offence.

Shire councillors will debate the officers’ recommendation on February 25.

The Evoke Media website lists the company’s address as 1 Monument Street, Peppermint Grove. The site promotes the company’s ‘hummerAd’ as “the ultimate mobile media product to hit the streets of Perth!”.

Past hummerAd clients include BankWest, Satterleys, LotteryWest and Channel Ten.

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Small business scams at epidemic levels

STAFF REPORTER

Scams against small businesses have reached ‘epidemic levels,’ with one in eight businesses surveyed by Curtin University researchers losing between $100 and $10,000.

Researchers Paull Weber and Louis Geneste from the Curtin Business School today released their analysis from a national survey of 291 small businesses.

“The results show that in the past year, over 70 per cent of survey respondents had experienced a scam attempt and most of these had experienced multiple attacks,” Dr Weber said.

“Email remains the most common form of scam delivery, with social media now having more of an impact, particularly as a medium for hackers to gain information and access.

“Phone and postal scams are still occurring, although are not as prevalent as the internet-based methods.”

‘Free’ offers that allowed hackers access to business information were the most costly scams for Australian small business owners in 2012.

Each of these scams resulted in a financial loss of up to $10,000 and a maximum of 80 hours of productive time wasted.

Identity theft caused even more time to be lost, with up to 100 hours of productive time wasted opening new bank accounts, advising creditors and customers, and recovering from the loss.

Personality traits of business owners were shown to impact upon the likelihood of being scammed.

“The tendency for small business entrepreneurs to recognise opportunities was shown to play a role in whether or not a scammer was successful,” Dr Weber said.

“For example, what one person believes to be ‘an opportunity that’s obviously too good to be true,’ others thought of as ‘simply too good to miss’.”

Gender was also correlated with opportunity recognition and hence risk, with men of a certain age known to be more predisposed to take a risk than women. The increased likelihood of grabbing that ‘once in a lifetime opportunity’ may make male small business owners more attractive to scammers.

Although many small business owners are actively taking steps to prevent scammers, the number of scams has increased.

In Australia, the number of scams reported to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has more than doubled to reach some 83,000 incidents in 2011, with combined total losses of $85 million.

“Interestingly, through the research we’re seeing two subgroups emerging – those who have been scammed, learned from their mistakes and are now being more cautious; and the other, somewhat smaller group of repeat victims who lose more money in subsequent scam attempts,” Dr Weber said.

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