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  • 29-Jan-2015 17:39 | Michael Sugg (Administrator)

    Western Sydney’s prime facilitator of business engagement, The Western Sydney Business Connection (WSBC), is proud to announce the promotion of Michael Sugg from General Manager to CEO as part of the organisation’s continued transformational process.


    WSBC’s President Troy McPhee said “the new appointment marks the first stages in the process of WSBC’s transition from incorporated association to a company limited by guarantee, as voted by the members at our recent AGM”.


    “Michael has delivered on his proven reputation for transforming and growing member organisations both here in Australia and overseas.  His engagement with our members and the wider community over the past 18 months has allowed WSBC to transform and deliver more relevant programs to its members and reinvigorate its presence in Western Sydney”, added WSBC’s jnr Vice President Brendon Noney.


    “The new structure of WSBC will enable the organisation to continue to grow into a larger not-for-profit organisation, providing for a greater diversity of membership. It also better aligns with the new strategic direction of WSBC to be an organisation that not only connects the businesses of Great Western Sydney, but engages in industry support initiatives and advocates for and provides education to those businesses”.


    Michael’s role will include leading and managing the organisation’s growth and ensuring it remains progressive, productive and relevant to its membership base. He will also lead the organisation’s new advocacy role, beginning with the campaign to ensure that the businesses of Greater Western Sydney directly benefit from the proposed billions of investment dollars being injected into the region.


    “I very much look forward to continuing and leading the great work of the WSBC team”, commented Sugg. “The last year has been an incredible year of evolution and transformation here at WSBC as we strive to bring our members a modern and relevant business community that supports their growth and connections. WSBC continues to develop and make itself more and more relevant in Sydney’s West and I look forward to even more progress in 2015”. 

  • 23-Jan-2015 10:38 | Anonymous member (Administrator)



    By the end of this year we will see more bulldozers on the ground and cranes in the sky than ever before in Sydney



    The government is building for our future with ­billions of dollars in game-changing infrastructure projects across NSW, commencing construction in 2015. 


    The first of these projects that will slash travel times for motorists and help create thousands of jobs is the $509 million Bringelly Rd upgrade in Western Sydney. Yesterday the Prime Minister, Premier and I turned the first sod on this vital project, which is part of our joint $3.6 billion roads package to support the new Western Sydney airport. 

    Construction also starts next month to build the $70 million Werrington Arterial road between the M4 and Great Western Highway, meaning shorter journey times for residents travelling to the employment growth areas in Western Sydney and the new airport.

    Before the first flight takes off from Badgerys Creek Creek, motorists will enjoy fully upgraded four- or six-lane motorways along Bringelly Rd, The Northern Rd and the Werrington ­Arterial in addition to a new four-lane motorway between the M7 and the Northern Rd.

    We are also wasting no time delivering $200 million worth of local road upgrades in Western Sydney with the first projects to begin next month.

    These investments will create 4000 local jobs and ensure the two million people living in Western Sydney can travel to and from work every day, ­quicker and safer.

    After more than a decade languishing on the books, this project will finally be delivered by 2019.

    They will also capitalise on the economic gains of our landmark decision to build a new airport in Western Sydney, helping transform the region into one of the economic powerhouses of Australia.

    Next month Australia’s biggest ever road project, WestConnex, will start construction, beginning with the widening of the M4 between Parramatta and Homebush to four lanes in each direction.

    WestConnex Stage 2, which we’ve fast-tracked by 18 months through a $2 billion concessional loan, will also kick off in the second half of 2015. This city transforming project should have been delivered 10 years ago and will fix the M4 and M5 by joining them in a continuous free-flowing motorway connecting Sydney’s CBD, airport and Port Botany.

    It will also deliver more than $20 billion in economic benefits by creating 10,000 jobs and bypassing up to 52 traffic lights when completed in 2023. 

    Northwest of the city, the $3 billion NorthConnex project will begin in the first quarter of this year creating 8000 jobs during construction and saving up to 15 minutes travel time.

    After more than a decade languishing on the books, this project will finally be delivered by 2019, meaning 5000 fewer heavy vehicles on Pennant Hills Rd each day and safer driving for local residents.

    By the end of this year we will see more bulldozers on the ground and cranes in the sky than ever before in Sydney, all building world-class infrastructure that will collectively support tens of thousands of jobs during construction. This is the start of a jobs and construction bonanza for Australia’s premier city.

    These mega projects are only the start of an ­exciting period for NSW and I am confident the state government will be making a number of announcements in the lead up to the election that will deliver Sydney’s transport network into the 21st century and beyond.

    This is what can be achieved when two adult governments work together to deliver world-class projects quickly and at less cost to taxpayers.

    Unlike Labor, who like to celebrate the announcement of big new projects, this government is focused on delivering new infrastructure. This is our economic action strategy at work, building the roads for our future and creating the jobs we need today.

    Author: Jamie Briggs Source: The Daily Telegraph

    Jamie Briggs is Assistant Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development

  • 22-Jan-2015 18:31 | Michael Sugg (Administrator)

    NSW Premier Mike Baird and Minister for Transport Gladys Berejiklian today announced the North West Rail Link is running ahead of schedule and $300 million under budget, as the landmark project reached another major tunnelling milestone.

    Mr Baird and Ms Berejiklian were onsite as the first mega Tunnel Boring Machine, Elizabeth, (pictured above) broke through into the future Norwest Station area - just days after the fourth and final machine, Maria, started digging.

    “This is an exciting day for Sydneysiders and another clear sign that construction of this critical rail link is powering ahead,” Mr Baird said.  “It was only in September that we launched this first massive machine at Bella Vista – in that time it has tunnelled 2.1 kilometres to reach today’s historic breakthrough at Norwest.

    “All four 900 tonne machines are now in the ground digging Australia’s longest railway tunnels ...we are wasting no time delivering this world class infrastructure project and doing it ahead of schedule and under budget.” Ms Berejiklian said turn-up-and-go rapid transit services on the North West Rail Link were on track to begin for customers in the first half of 2019.

    Mrs Berejiklian paid tribute to all the workers on this project for their dedication and commitment to safety. “After months underground, I am sure the team are as pleased as the community to see that cutter head break through at Norwest,” Ms Berejiklian said.

    The North West Rail Link includes eight new railway stations, 4,000 commuter car parking spaces and a train every four minutes in the peak, or 15 trains an hour.

    “I am pleased that as a result of good planning, hard work and our commitment to deliver a world-class project the people of the North West will be able to catch these services in the first half of 2019 and we have been able to deliver savings. “The project is now running $300 million under budget and I am confident there will be further savings for taxpayers as the project progresses,” Ms Berejiklian said.

    In tunnelling to Norwest from the Bella Vista tunnelling site, TBM1 Elizabeth has:

    • excavated more than 206,000 tonnes of crushed rock, both sandstone and shale
    • installed more than 7,300 concrete segments to line the new rail tunnel
    • been home to 85 workers, including tunnellers, maintenance crews, geologists, surveyors and engineers, who combined have spent more than 25,000 hours underground, and
    • had 40 hardened steel cutters on her cutter head replaced, worn down from the harsh forces of cutting the Sydney sandstone and shale.

    Over the coming weeks, Elizabeth will be moved through the Norwest Station area, before setting off again towards Showground Station as the other three machines Florence, Isabelle and Maria continue their work.

    You can track Elizabeth and the other TBMs here.

  • 20-Jan-2015 16:42 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Parramatta City Council has announced 16 new tertiary education scholarships through the Lord Mayor Scholarship Program to support local students.


    Applications for the scholarships, worth a total of $12,000, open on Monday 2 February. Eight $1,000 scholarships for first year students and eight $500 scholarships for second or third year students are being offered to those enrolled in an Australian accredited TAFE or university course in 2015 to help with study costs. 


    Lord Mayor of Parramatta, Cr Scott Lloyd, said the program, now in its second year, encourages motivated individuals to pursue tertiary education and continue professional development. 


    “Council is committed to supporting the next generation of business and community leaders, and we recognise there are costs associated with attending TAFE or university,” Cr Lloyd said. 


    “Along with program fees, students may have to buy books, a computer and other study materials and these costs can add up.


    “The Lord Mayor Scholarship Program is a way to give students a chance to fulfil their tertiary aspirations and we hope they will bring their new skills back to the community.


    “We’re looking for a broad range of applicants, from high achievers or school leavers to those students who are involved in the community or who may be pursuing higher education as a mature-age student. 


    “I encourage all eligible students to get online and submit an application.” 


    Students enrolled full-time in their first, second or third year of an accredited TAFE or university course, and who are permanent Australian residents and live in the Parramatta LGA, are eligible to apply. Applicants must be aged 15 years or over and mature aged students are encouraged to apply.   


    Applications open on Monday 2 February and close at 12pm on Friday 27 February. 


    Information about the Lord Mayor Scholarship Program including eligibility and the application process are available at

  • 18-Dec-2014 13:15 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is expected to data match over 640 million transactions to tax returns this year.  


    With increased ATO scrutiny, private businesses could be in danger of triggering an ATO audit, regardless of whether they have done anything wrong. And while ATO audits are a necessary part of an effective tax system, they can be expensive and disruptive for your business.  

    We’ve outlined the 10 most common ways in which a private business may trigger an ATO audit.
    1. Have financial performance that is out of kilter with your industry

    As a matter of course the ATO will statistically analyse your tax returns. If your performance is inconsistent with your industry peers, this can be an indicator of tax issues such as unreported (cash) income, transfer pricing and other issues.  

    2. Don’t pay the right amount of superannuation to your employees

    If employees complain to the ATO that their employer has not paid them the right amount of superannuation, or not paid it on time, this is a sure fire way to get a review or audit from the ATO.  Often these types of audits can begin as a review of superannuation guarantee obligations, but quickly escalate to include income tax, GST and fringe benefits tax audits if the process isn’t appropriately managed. 

    3. Variances between tax returns and business activity statements

    Reconciling the information reported on business activity statements to the tax returns is a crucial part of tax risk management.  Large variances between the information reported in a tax return compared to the activity statements for the corresponding period is likely to trigger an ATO review or audit.

    4. Have a poor record of lodging returns on time

    Lodging annual income tax returns by the due date is not enough.  You should aim to meet all compliance obligations (including activity statements, employee related reporting, fringe benefits tax etc.) and the on-time payment of any tax liabilities.  A good compliance history can be invaluable in improving the ATO’s perception of a business.  

    5. Consistently show operating losses

    The ATO regards three loss years out of five as indicative of a problem.  There may be genuine reasons, but the ATO is likely to want to investigate these.

    6. Own motor vehicles, but don’t lodge Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT) return

    The ATO receives data from the state and territory motor vehicle registries regarding individuals or businesses that have purchased vehicles (generally those with a value of $10,000 or more).  

    The ATO then matches these purchases with information reported in tax returns, activity statements and FBT returns, with an expectation that there will be at least some private use.  If a business fails to lodge an FBT return showing private usage, or doesn’t include a ‘fringe benefit employee contribution’ in the income section of the tax return, an ATO review or audit is likely to be just around the corner.

    7. Get the disclosure items wrong in your tax return

    Making mistakes in the disclosure items on your tax return can inadvertently cause you to be flagged for a review.  There are internal checks in the returns and disclosures which are easily verifiable against publically available or other information collated by the ATO. Get these disclosures wrong and the ATO could call.

    8. Show big fluctuations between years

    Big fluctuations in financial position or particular line items in the tax return can trigger an inquiry from the ATO.

    9. Have international transactions

    International transactions are a key area of focus for the ATO.  Transactions with international related parties, transactions with tax havens, and material funds transfers in and out of Australia are all examples of things that can raise a red flag at the ATO.  Defensive strategies, such as transfer pricing documentation, can often be the best way to manage this risk.

    10. Be in the papers

    A major transaction or dispute that is reported in the media will undoubtedly be seen by the ATO.  Many business owners are selected for an ATO review after the sale of a high value asset (often the family home) is reported in the paper.

    What these triggers show is that tax compliance – in particular annual income tax returns – should be treated as far more than a routine process.  Many of the issues outlined above can be easily managed with a proactive tax risk management process.  

    To develop a tax risk management strategy for your business, contact your local William Buck advisor.

  • 16-Dec-2014 16:43 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    According to several press reports quoting respected global ICT industry analyst IDC, worldwide ICT spending is predicted to grow to more than US$3.8 trillion in 2015, an increase of 3.8 per cent over 2014 (see for example

    Some of the more interesting of IDC's top tech predictions for the coming year include:

    • most spending growth will be on so called '3rd  Platform' technologies, that is 'as a service' technologies;
    • the uptake of cloud based 'infrastructure as a service' will grow by 36%;
    • the analysis of video, audio and images will emerge as a driver of 'big data' products;
    • 'big data' supply chains (i.e. data as a service) will emerge as a cloud service to offer customers value-added data from raw commercial and open data sets;
    • IDC predicts that there will be two or three major mergers, acquisitions, or restructurings among the top-tier IT vendors, and consolidation generally; 
    • a new category of 'data as a service' will emerge providing organisations with 'threat intelligence' as a service – threat information specifically related to that organisation; and
    • China will become a major influence on the worldwide ICT market, accounting for 43% of worldwide ICT industry growth.

    A few examples from 2014 illustrate the explosive change in the tech industry that underpin IDC's predictions:

    Facebook's acquisition of WhatsApp for US$19B. WhatsApp's value was in the personal data it held on its (at the time) 450m users (WhatsApp had few employees, almost no physical assets and its technology was unremarkable and freely available). Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, commented at the time: 'I may be wrong, but WhatsApp may be the first company with 1B+ users that is not worth anything';

    • Uber – the 'share' taxi service – explosive growth and valuation this year at US$40B;
    • Apple Pay - more than 500 banks and all major credit card companies working with Apple;
    • Bitcoin - the world's largest Bitcoin exchange, Tokyo based Mt Gox, suffered a hack that cost the company around 750,000 bitcoins worth about US$474 million.  New York has proposed Bitcoin regulations that may establish a legal framework for the digital currency;
    • The EU Court of Justice's so-called 'right to be forgotten' ruling in May; and
    • Net Neutrality - In January, a U.S. appeals court struck down the FCC's 2011 regulations requiring Internet providers to treat all traffic equally. In response, the FCC proposed in April this year to allow broadband providers to engage in 'commercially reasonable' traffic management. Last month President Obama called for the retention of the net neutrality proposition, urging the FCC to reclassify broadband as a regulated utility, imposing telephone-style regulations.

    From a legal perspective, it is becoming critical for business to understand the risk and compliance framework that underpins the data economy. As the local and international requirements for due diligence become ever more stringent and company officers are held to account for their actions, the coming few years are likely to see an increased requirement for an understanding of the legal risks inherent in the commercial exploitation of data. Well understood risks including privacy, confidentiality and sovereignty are likely to be joined by new risks including:

    • Net neutrality – towards an environment where networking is provided as a service, the regulation of net neutrality seems a likely possibility;
    • Digital currencies and pay wars are likely to lead to the introduction of regulation to safeguard against the kind of loss suffered by the Mt Gox exchange;
    • Disruption to regulated industries – Both Uber and other so called 'sharing' services (example, Lyft, Sidecar, Airbnb) face battles with regulators in highly regulated established industries; and
    • The right to be forgotten means that Google and other search engines are required to edit history – leading to disputes over what should or should not be deleted.

    Please contact one of our IP, Technology & Media partners if you require advice on how laws surrounding new technology may affect your business.

    Luke Dale  

    Partner | Adelaide

    P +61 8 8205 0580


    Peter Campbell   

    Partner | Adelaide

    P +61 8 8205 0836


    Bill Singleton   

    Partner | Brisbane

    P +61 7 3002 6738


    Angela Summersby   

    Partner | Canberra

    P +61 2 6151 2181


    Stuart Imrie    
    Partner | Canberra

    P +61 2 6151 2186


    Megan Knight

    Partner | Canberra

    P +61 2 6151 2187


    Nicholas Pullen   

    Partner | Melbourne

    P +61 3 8644 3408


    Ashley Holland

    Partner | Sydney & Norwest

    P +61 2 9334 8477


    Brendon Noney

    Partner | Sydney & Norwest

    P +61 2 9334 8481


    Craig Powell

    Partner | Sydney & Norwest

    P +61 2 9334 8465


    John Gray   

    Partner | Sydney

    P +61 2 9334 8538


    Veronica Jumeaux  

    Partner | Perth

    P +61 8 9420 1514


    For further information on our Intellectual Property and Trade Marks Group click here.

  • 16-Dec-2014 16:43 | Michael Sugg (Administrator)

    Last week WSBC held the first of a new series of WSBC Breakfasts and launched a new initiative, the WSBC Charity Program.

    WSBC CEO, Michael Sugg, addressed the crowd in the fantastic setting of Careflight's helicopter hanger stating, 

    "this program is not just about raising money to support the incredible work of WSBC charity partners in the Western Sydney community. It's about connecting you, our members, with these wonderful Western Sydney organisations and adding value to you and your businesses,  

    demonstrating how you can benefit from a connection and association with any one of these six charities".


    The six charities include:



    Childrens Medical Research Institute

    Westmead Medical Research Foundation

    Parramatta Mission

    Kids West

    "Giving back is part of who we are in Western Sydney and helping those less fortunate than us is a good way to mark our success", added Sugg.


    The program will spotlight all six charities over the coming year and connect you with the work they perform and the causes they serve. WSBC and it's six partners will also provide you with a tool kit and highlight the benefits of working with a charity for the development and growth of your business.


    In return, WSBC will highlight and promote success stories of members work and further promote your brand as we all work towards the success of this new Western Sydney Charity Program.

    Special thanks go to Careflight for hosting us and providing guided tours of their operations, as well as CastleHill RSL group who provided the amazing breakfast.

    Platinum partners XVenture also got involved with their CEO Mike Conway hosting an "in conversation with" one of Careflight's pilots, Ian Smart and the GM of Castlehill RSL GRoup, David O'Neil.

  • 16-Dec-2014 15:12 | Michael Sugg (Administrator)

    What is WSFAM?

    Western Sydney Future Advanced Manufacturing (WSFAM) is an industry initiative established as a partnership between University of Western Sydney and Western Sydney Business Connection to support a transformation of the industry through increased productivity, growth and sustainability.

    Manufacturing in Western Sydney is vital for the regional, state and national economy. However, the industry in Western Sydney and across Australia more broadly has been in decline in recent years due to intense international competition from low cost countries and unfavourable currency rates.

    In addition to these challenges, Australia currently has comparatively low levels of innovation and productivity growth, along with higher operating-costs than other similar high-cost manufacturing countries such as the USA, Germany and Switzerland.

    In many cases in the USA and Europe, advanced manufacturing businesses and regions have regained their international competitiveness through driving business models and “end to end” value chain strategies that focus heavily on innovation, productivity improvement and stronger marketing practices.

    To help rebuild competitiveness in Western Sydney’s manufacturing industry, WSFAM integrates a series of activities including:

    • undertaking detailed research to map the future of the industry, 
    • delivery of targeted advisory services to support business enhancement 
    • establishment of a network group and Knowledge Hub to connect businesses and share information.

    The first WSFAM program.

    The first program is the WSFAM Business Innovation Program, supported by the Australian Government.

    WSBC and UWS encourage all manufacturers to get in touch with us and share their views on the program as well as the WSFAM initiative to enable us to plan future programs for future productivity, growth and sustainability.

  • 16-Dec-2014 13:05 | Michael Sugg (Administrator)

    Artist's impression of the plan

    Penrith Lakes Parkland could be western Sydney's Barangaroo

    It has been touted as Western Sydney's answer to Barangaroo, and a NSW government plan to turn a dusty quarry into a lakeside urban wonderland may prove just as divisive, write Nicole Hasham in the Sydney Morning Herald.

    The government has revived a decades-old vision to flood what was once Australia's largest quarry near Penrith, creating the city's biggest body of water outside Sydney Harbour.

    Known as the Penrith Lakes Parkland, the scheme would likely require billions of litres of water to be pumped from the sensitive Nepean River to create a series of artificial lakes and 26 kilometres of foreshore. A new neighbourhood of up to 4900 homes could be built at the site, which sits on a floodplain, despite previous official warnings that lives could be lost if evacuation was delayed during a flood.

    Minister for Sport and Recreation Stuart Ayres is seeking public and industry feedback on the project he described as "complex yet exciting". WSBC would like to hear your views too. Please comment on this news item or email us.

    Ambitious plans for Penrith Lakes stretch back to the 1980s, and have included fun parks, marinas, helipads and hotels. A regatta centre and whitewater stadium already exist at the site.

    The quarry, five times the size of Centennial Parklands, is expected to be exhausted in mid-2015. Under a long-standing agreement, land will then be transferred to the government for parkland development. Planning Minister Pru Goward has likened the site's size and potential to central Sydney's Barangaroo.

    The government's 20-year draft Penrith Lakes plan, released this month, outlined a recreational water park similar in surface area to Sydney Harbour east of the bridge, where people can "walk, cycle, swim, paddle and play".

    Quarry pits would be filled by pumping water from the nearby Nepean River, where water extraction has long stressed the river system.

    A 2007 plan by the former Labor government said 30 billion litres of water would be required to create the lakes. Refills would also be needed as water evaporates.

    University of Western Sydney environmental scientist Ian Wright warned that such large-scale extraction could reduce the river's flow, affecting fish movements and risking weed and algal outbreaks.

    A Planning Department spokesman said water extraction would be subject to conditions, including limits on daily pumping, and the approved project "will be consistent with the overall water-sharing plan for the whole catchment". A new residential neighbourhood would help fund the public infrastructure, and it is understood the government is open to overtures from developers for other commercial development.

    However in 2006, the State Emergency Service warned the flood risk was so great that even a forecast of very heavy rain could trigger an evacuation and  "hundreds, if not thousands of lives could be lost" if this was delayed.

    NSW Greens MP John Kaye said the development would "add to pressure to raise the Warragamba dam wall, despite the huge economic and environmental impacts". 

    The plan says any urban land to be developed will "take into account flood evacuation requirements". The SES is updating evacuation arrangements for the floodplain.

    Minister for Sport and Recreation Stuart Ayres is seeking public and industry feedback on the project he described as "complex yet exciting". WSBC would like to hear your views too. Please comment on this news item or email us.

  • 16-Dec-2014 11:44 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Northcott’s 19th Annual Cricket Legends Lunch will be held on Friday 6 February 2015 in the brand new Noble Bradman Stand at the Sydney Cricket Ground  just days before the start of the Cricket World Cup.

    Proudly supported by our charity partner Cricket NSW, this annual Lunch has raised more than $1 million for children and adults with disabilities – this simply couldn’t have been possible without our wonderful supporters!

    All proceeds raised from the event will go towards Northcott’s Recreation service, which gives hundreds of children and adults living with disabilities, the chance to take part in sporting and social activities.

    Since Northcott’s inaugural Cricket Legends Lunch in 1997, cricketing greats that have attended include Richie Benaud OBE; Allan Border AO; Ian Healy; Geoff Lawson OAM; Greg Matthews, Glenn McGrath, Frank Misson; Stephen O’Keefe, Mark Taylor AO; Doug Walters MBE; Mike Whitney and the Chappell and Waugh brothers to name a few.

    We hope you can join us for what is sure to be an amazing afternoon.

    Kerry Stubbs

    Northcott Chief Executive Officer


    Friday 6 February 2015


    Sydney Cricket Ground


    12pm – Pre-‘Match’ Drinks

    (Noble Bradman Stand)

    1pm – Lunch

    (Noble Bradman Stand)

    4pm – ‘Stumps’


    Individual – $260 inc. GST


    Table of 10 – $2,600 inc. GST

    Table Benefits:

    Acknowledgment as a Supporter in

    the Program and on the large AV

    screens at the Lunch.


    Smart Casual


    Priscilla Leong

    02 9890 0536

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