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Welcome to our March e-Bulletin.

In this issue ...

Here's Cheers! Blue Gables opens cellar door 

We applaud local winery Blue Gables for taking a positive step in what could be billed as tough times for Australian wine producers.

Alistair and Catherine Hicks of Blue Gables - the Gippsland-based boutique vineyard, nestled above the Newry flats - have made a lot of people very happy by finally opening Blue Gables' doors to the public. Those attending the Grand Opening on Saturday, 9 March will enjoy wine discounts, beer and cider on tap, cheese platters on sale and a sausage sizzle. Harry Hookey is a confirmed starter and, for the children, there will be a jumping castle and face-painting.

And it is a full calendar of events for the vineyard, with the staging of 'The First Ever Longest Lunch at Blue Gables Vineyard' on Friday, 22 March. The five-course menu has been tailored by Duart Homestead to match five Blue Gables wines. There will also be an 'open bar' for extra wine tastings.

A great example to any business facing tough conditions, to be innovative and active in their markets.


At $100 per person, Catherine says that places are filling fast. Bookings and payment can be made phoning Catherine on 03 5148 0372

To enter the Blue Gables Facebook Prize Draw, LIKE them on FB and then enter the competition! You can also keep up with Blue Gables news on facebook: http://www.facebook.

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Maffra Mardi Gras 2013

One of Gippsland's longest running charity fund raisers is under way again with Maffra hosting the Rotary Club Maffra Mardi Gras. Fundraising has commenced, with local clubs and individuals competing for the prize of being the largest fundraiser.

Phillipsons is supporting Beth Ripper and Janelle Reeves in this year's event.

Janelle Reeves is representing Sale Neighbourhood House, with Phillipsons sponsoring a race at Race Night at the Sale Greyhound Club in support of SNH. The races were held on 13 February.

Beth Ripper is representing Maffra & District Landcare Group and Gippsland Plains Rail Trail, raising money to fund community works within townships along the rail trail through the Rotary Club of Maffra Mardi Gras.

March activities connected with Beth Ripper are River Bank Music on 3 March and the Gippsland Plains Railtrail Photo Competition (ends on 12 March). For information on Beth's events, you can phone her on: 0427 456 094.


A former Mardi Gras entrant

For general event information, phone Dianne Honey (secretary), Rotary Club of Maffra on: 03 5145 1269
To keep up with the latest news on the Mardi Gras, visit the facebook page at:

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Grants for small dairy communities

The Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal (FRRR) has been established to stimulate rural and regional renewal in Australia.

As well as delivering a range of grant programs and supporting the development of regional community foundations, FRRR has specialised programs to assist communities recover from floods, fires and cyclones.

FRRR believes that Investing in the communities that make up the dairy industry is critical to the sustainability of dairy farming in Victoria. The Geoffrey Gardiner Dairy Foundation is committed to strengthening dairy communities and the Foundation has made available $100,000 to fund $5,000 grants for innovative, community-driven projects. The aim of these grants is to strengthen small Victorian dairy communities, help build their capacity to deal with local issues, and enhance existing community infrastructure.

Applications from communities with a population of 5,000 or less will receive priority and must be in a recognised Victorian dairy area. Applicants should be not-for-profit community organisations, and must have an ABN. Applications from sporting organisations need to benefit the wider community and should clearly indicate which other local organisations are involved.



Applications close at 5pm on Friday, 15 March 2013.

Local organisations can check their eligibility and download application forms at:
 or contact FRRR on 1800 170 020 for more information.


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Tribunal decision sends clear message:
Workplace policies needed

A word from David Bates, our specialist employee relations partner

A recent decision handed down by the Fair Work Commission (previously known as Fair Work Australia) reinforces the vital role that employment policies play in the modern Australian workplace.

On May 2012, Barwon Health dismissed a long-serving Specialist in Anaesthesia, Dr Mark Colson, on the basis of the employee's alleged 'serious misconduct'.

In his decision, Commissioner Roe of the Fair Work Commission found that Barwon Health was wrong to dismiss Dr Colson and ruled that Barwon Health must reinstate Dr Colson to his former position.

Importantly, Commissioner Roe accepted that Dr Colson's conduct did indeed amount to 'misconduct', but that Barwon Health couldn't justify the termination because there were no policies or procedures in place ... Click here for the full story.



To subscribe to WG please click on the following link:

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'Made in the USA' - a manufacturing resurgence

A word from Fred Strauss, our Investment and Markets Research Consultant

In a speech he made at a North Carolina auto parts plant this month, US President Obama said that he foresees a 'resurgence of American manufacturing'.

1) Manufacturing is coming back to the US
A growing number of American companies such as Dow Chemical, Caterpillar, General Electric and Google are moving their manufacturing back to the United States (so called 'reshoring'). General Electric (GE) last year moved manufacturing of washing machines, fridges and heaters back from China to a factory in Kentucky. This year, General Electric plans to open three parts factories in Mississippi and Alabama with the aim of safeguarding the roll-out of its new energy-efficient engines to power the next generation of commercial jetliners ... 

Click here to read the full story.


Fred Strauss is an independent and highly regarded investment expert, and is now part of our team. We look forward to hosting market briefings throughout this year where Fred will present his research and findings on both the Australian and International markets.

For more information on our upcoming events, call any member
of Phillipsons Financial Planning on
03 5144 5207.

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Competition watchdog releases 2013 priorities

On 20 February, the ACCC published its Compliance and Enforcement Policy, the purpose of which is (among other things) to detail its principles to achieve compliance with the law and its enforcement powers, functions and priorities.

Current priorities listed in the Policy include:

  • consumer protection in the telecommunications and energy sectors
  • online competition and consumer issues, including conduct that may limit the ability of small businesses to effectively compete online
  • food label claims
  • misleading carbon pricing representations.

It's worth noting that the ACCC encourages compliance initiatives by businesses, such as voluntary codes of conduct and trader compliance programs. If the ACCC determines that action is required, having such a program in place may be taken into account when determining penalties. A genuine attempt to 'do the right thing' could save you lots of money in the long term.


Find out more from the ACCC website or click here to read the Compliance and Enforcement Policy.               

If you would like to discuss your circumstances and get some advice, phone your accountant on: 03 5144 4566.

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And finally a word from the editor ...

With ongoing market uncertainty and the long road to the Federal election already torturing us daily, you could be forgiven for wishing this year away as quickly as possible. But instead of focussing on all the noise out there, now is a good time to sit and look at your own situation and make some progress on your own plans and goals.

Between now and June we will be working with many clients to look at the financial year so far and make projections for not only 2013 but beyond. Our team is looking forward to it – we hope it provides a positive speck on the horizon for you as well.

Until next month,

Kurt Best
General Manager



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