In this Issue:
Regional Managers Desk
Steel Fabricators Concerns
Ai Group Annual Forum & Dinner
Banlaw Pty. Ltd.
Local Upcoming Events
Local Training Courses
Newcastle Ai Group staff
L to R: Emma Morson, Leanne Davies, Shaun Kelleher, Judy Martin, Adrian Price
From the Regional Manager's Desk
The last 12 months have seen great changes here at Ai Group Hunter. Our former long serving manager Stuart Gordon resigned in July 2010 to take up a national IR role at OneSteel and Emma Morson, Senior Adviser, went on Maternity Leave in November. I replaced Stuart and moved into a dedicated role of regional management separated from workplace relations in order to concentrate on member relations and issues. Leanne Davies joined us from Ai Group Sydney and Shaun Kelleher from the Office of Prime Minister and Cabinet as Senior Advisers and Lawyers. Judy Martin continues to provide essential assistance to members, supporting training courses etc and administration.
The Newcastle Ai Group office moved premises earlier this year into Suite 1, 'Nautilos", 265 Wharf Road, Newcastle (next door to HarbourPark carpark). The office was officially opened on the 2lst June, 2011 by the President of the NSW Council of Ai Group, Mr Chris Raine, who is Managing Director of Alstom ANZ Limited. The new premises provide better facilities for training seminars and more accessibility for our members.
The CEOs group, Hunter Industry Leaders Council, has decided that the five main areas of activity for our office will be workplace relations, safety, skills development, innovation/green energy and representation to government.
We have been very successful in responding to members concerns to have more training delivered locally. In this newsletter you will find there is now a broad range of training activities available at our office in Newcastle. We will maintain this level of service while the demand exists.
I have been visiting members far and wide in the region and intend to visit every member by the end of this year - it is at least a target. These meetings have been invaluable in making sure our address details for members are correct, identifying issues of importance to you and responding, and identifying needs for better delivery of information. Among results (apart from training opportunities) has been the provision of BIZassistBriefings in Muswellbrook in April; Port Macquarie and Singleton late July/early August. This is an experiment to bring us closer to country members and will continue while there is local member interest. Separately Ai Group will be offering the BizAssistBriefing via a webinar - a video available from the BizAssistBriefing Webinar on our website. This will considerably break down isolation for members who cannot physically come to a briefing.
We also have planned a revamped regional webpage with a tab on the home page of www.aigroup.com.au. In the meantime you may locate local information by visiting www.aigroup.com.au/contact/hunter from that site. There you will find minutes of our four network meetings for CEOs, safety officers, HR managers and trades skill development. These networks meet quarterly and have discussed some very interesting topics.
Lastly, our newsletter was suspended until the "dust settled" and we had a clear idea about our direction and goals for achievement. I intend our newsletter will be issued at least quarterly. Your feedback would be very welcome.
Important Note for Steel Fabricators
The Hunter Industry Leaders Council has been grappling with concerns expressed by steel fabricators supplying to the mining industry that opportunities for work are drying up due to competition from cheap imports from Asia. The Council has consulted with the NSW Department of Trade and Investment, HunterNet, Enterprise Connect and the Australian Steel Institute to identify the extent and the effect of the problem. Results of discussions can be viewed at www.aigroup.com.au/contact/hunter and by looking up HMC/HILC minutes for 2011.
If this is a problem you are experiencing or you are a manufacturer who once was exclusively in fabrication, Adrian would like to hear from you. We are making up a mailing list to assist us in undertaking a survey very soon to help us identify the facts in a statistical way and hopefully to identify some solutions. We will then be in an informed position to take the matter up within Ai Group and to Government.
Ai Group Member Profile: BANLAW PTY. LTD, Gateshead
From metal machinist to global fuel management company
Hunter based refuelling company Banlaw has grown from a local metal machining business to a global supplier of fuel management systems and related services.
Bill Clifton, CEO, Banlaw
Today the company has 90 employees, 23 distributors and some of the world’s major mining companies as clients. Bill Clifton bought the company in 1999. With a background in fuel he set about transforming Banlaw. In 2002 Banlaw launched a unique FuelTrackTM system that measures, reconciles and reports on fuel and other hydrocarbon use to within 99.7% accuracy on volumes in excess of 700 million litres per year.
Clifton says heavy investment in research and development has allowed Banlaw to offer high quality, integrated systems that work in any operating environment. That was tested in a major, multi-million dollar, contract Banlaw is completing for Barrick Gold to install FuelTrackTM and related systems into 14 mines - six in North America, one in both PNG and the Dominican Republic, and five in Australia.
Banlaw also completed a $3 million project in Indonesia for local mining giant KPC in 2009 that is continuing to provide work. On the back of that and the Barrick contract, as well as work for Rio Tinto and other companies in the mining, rail and fleet sectors, Banlaw has opened an office in the USA and one in Western Australia to serve WA, Asia and Africa. In February it signed a reciprocal distribution alliance with European firm Identic.
Clifton and his Indonesia based business partner of several years, Jeff Barker, have reorganised the business for further growth, with Clifton taking the role of Managing Director Business Development. The company recently acquired the site next door to its Gateshead headquarters and manufacturing facility to accommodate its growth in people and the purchase of two more product machines.
This member is set for continued domestic and international success.
We hope to feature a member profile in each edition of our Newsletter. If your company would like to take part in our Member Profile, please forward your interest to firstname.lastname@example.org