April news in brief

Get up start-up

NOW is the time for innovative business start-ups on the Gold Coast to take advantage of the Federal Government’s Innovation Investment Fund (IIF).
Applications for the latest round of the venture capital funding close at the end of May. The capital raising program is primarily aimed at fund managers to drive the innovation market and assist in commercialising great Australian ideas – a factor the Rudd Government considers concurrent with economic recovery.
Federal Innovation Minister Senator Kim Carr, says the IIF will provide $20 million to each successful fund manager to establish new funds of $40 million or more.
“The IIF program has generated a total commitment of almost $500 million to date from government and the private sector to commercialise Australian research,” says Carr.
“A number of world leading products and services have been developed through the program.”

Expanding the farm

WEALTHFARM Group has merged with David Brooks Accounting on Hope Island.
Wealthfarm Group founder Nicholas Sinclair, says the advent of Wealthfarm Accounting completes a key piece of vision he has for the company.
“Recently we have introduced a finance division to further assist our clients, as well as Propertyfarm, an exciting new company acting as a buyer’s agent for our clients wanting to purchase investment properties,” said Sinclair.
“We were delighted to complete this merger with a practice that we have long had a high regard for. This is a very exciting development for both our existing and future clients.”

Too dense for Southport

MORE than 1200 people have petitioned against the high-density 1200-bed, 600-room QAC student accommodation in Central Southport – one for each proposed resident.
Member for Gaven Dr Alex Douglas, says said the opposition to the proposal was ‘indisputably clear’.
“The Labor Government needs to come forward and clearly explain why they are pushing ahead with QAC proposal,”
he says.

“The development was proposed after a trip to Korea by former Premier Beattie and the proposed developer is an unknown company based in Seoul, Korea with QAC as its registered business name.
“This site is home to our last remaining native untouched coastal hardwood remnant forest and is the one of the only major green spaces left in Southport.”

Decision leaves workers grounded

A DECISION by Virgin Blue to pull its long-term contract with a Bilinga-based aviation company will leave more than 50 Gold Coast Airport workers without a job.
Oceania Aviation has provided the ground logistics for Virgin Blue since 2001. Last month the contract was not renewed and Brisbane-based Aerocare secured the new deal.
Virgin’s decision to put the contract out to tender is believed to have streamlined costs. While a significant blow to Oceania Aviation, the company has operations in Brisbane, Newcastle and Hervey Bay.
According to data released by the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics, the airline also had the highest number of flight cancellations in Australia last year.

EZ rip off

A COMPANY investigated for alleged fraud has infiltrated members at Surfers Paradise-Broadbeach Chamber of Commerce with its holiday rental scam.
Chamber president Laura Younger issued a warning in a newsletter regarding dealings with the company.
EZ Holiday Rentals is believed to be at the centre of a fraud investigation by Surfers Paradise Police. An online blog has been set up by victims of the scam that are owed thousands of dollars. (www.nbntv.com.au/index.php/2009/12/31/gold-coast-holiday-ripoff/)
It is alleged that a number of Schoolies and Big Day Out revellers were also ripped off by the woman heading the company after falsely promising accommodation that didn’t exist. Its website has since shut down.

Cudeco not too foul

LISTED copper hopeful CuDeco is still in talks with a number of interested parties in China for its Rocklands project in northwest Queensland.
While reports circulated that one of the country’s largest chicken suppliers was interested in a stake in the company, Cudeco issued a statement informing the market that no deal had been struck as yet.
“The company advises that its representatives are in China at present and in discussion with a number of different entities in relation to different aspects of the Rocklands Project. The company confirms that it has not entered into any agreements at this time,” it said.
This follows a perhaps premature announcement by CEO Wayne McRae to Chinese media regarding a deal. McRae is believed to be negotiating with Xiangguang Copper, part of the Shandong Fengxiang Group – a chicken producer that supplies chooks to KFC and McDonalds.

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