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MARINE sector mettle will be truly tested later this month as the world anchors its latest innovations on the 21st Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show (SCIBS).

Incoming general manager Mark Jensen is confident that the marine sector’s voluminous innovation pool can offset a 15 per cent decrease in exhibitor numbers this year. Showcase product numbers have dropped from 450 to 350 as manufacturers face financial hardships propelled by weak domestic sales and a downturn in exports.

But Jensen, who assumed the helm from Barry Jenkins last year, is confident that the 50,000 visitors to pour through the event will have their wallets open. Total sales of around $250 million are expected as luxury vessels, marine accessories and engines form part of a combined display of more than 8400sqm.

Jensen concedes operating costs have increased by 12 per cent this year — 4 per cent of which has been passed on to exhibitors. Tent and pavilion costs alone have increased by up to 40 per cent and are expected to cost Sanctuary Cove owners Mulpha around $800,000.

Next year, Sanctuary Cove will start work on a multi million dollar marina overhaul to increase berths from 313 to 560. The capital works program will also include a super yacht facility capable of accommodating 12 craft up to 50m long.

While we’re doing the sums, the end of the FY is encroaching and we talk to the finance, tax and superannuation experts. For most, the change in the market was anticipated and the consensus is that a correction will soon follow.

The crash of 2008 bought an end to the bull market bliss and people turned to extreme measures by pulling hefty sums from their investments in a sudden split of panic. But financial experts attest that now, more than ever, is the time to invest.

Over to super and modelling by an independent ratings agency has shown that members of industry funds could be more than $80,000 better off in retirement than workers in retail funds, due to the impact of sales commissions and fees over a 40-year period. But according to Andrew McLauchlan, managing director of McLauchlan & Partners, the issue has become a ‘storm in a tea up’ with the majority of financial advisors disclosing fees up front.

And while the health of the economy is the subject of bandwagon debate, a Yatala-based nutraceutical company has capitalised on its own healthy prospects. Rochway has cracked the Middle Eastern market to supply its range of probiotics and health products to the lucrative Arab pharmaceutical industry.

With established supply channels in Europe, the company set out to increase domestic revenue and is now stocked in more than 800 pharmacies and supermarkets Australia-wide.

And Australia’s burgeoning e-waste epidemic has created vast business opportunities for a Burleigh Heads-based IT recycler. Just Recycle It forecasts growth of 300 per cent in the next 12 months. The company has signed with a Singaporean circuit board recycler, where in one week, 90kg of gold was extracted from the auriferous computer hardware.

Jason Oxenbridge

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