Business bulletin - 27 July 2017


Two business-women in cafe

The Northern Territory (NT) Government is rolling out a new program to help eligible Territory businesses improve their security.

The program, Biz Secure will help eligible Territory businesses access up to $10,000 to make permanent security improvements to their premises using Territory enterprises to do the work.

A cluster of businesses, such as small shopping complexes can also apply for up to $50,000 on a co-contribution basis.

If your businesses is approved for the program, a mandatory security audit on the business premises will be carried out by a registered security audit contractor.

The cost of the security audit is covered by the program. The audits will be carried out in line with the principles of Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design international standards.

Once the security audit has been completed the business will be able to seek quotes from a registered security supplier and apply for a voucher to carry out security improvement works.

Up to $8,000 for individual businesses and $43,000 for clusters of businesses will be available on a dollar-for-dollar matching basis to make improvements based on the security audit.

The NT Government will provide a voucher covering part of the cost (up to 50%) to the business receiving the security improvements.

Once the job is done, the supplier doing the work receives the voucher as part payment. The business receiving the work pays the balance.

Businesses wanting to make improvements to their premises can submit an online application.

For more details and terms and conditions go to the Biz Secure website.

Upperbody shot of Graeme Kavern

Graeme Kevern believes he has the best job in the Northern Territory (NT).

"I love going to work," he said.

Graeme is the longest-serving Small Business Champion in the NT.

He has helped hundreds of business owners get out of trouble or expand.

"As I drive around Darwin, I say to myself, 'I helped that business and that one … and that one'.

"I love the success stories - businesses not only surviving but becoming more profitable and employing more Territorians.

"Business people often say to me, 'You’ve helped me be more successful'.

"That’s deeply satisfying, that’s why I get out of bed in the morning."

Graeme works for the NT Government’s Department of Trade, Business and Innovation.

Small Business Champions don’t give business owners advice - instead, they help them get help.

"It’s amazing how much help is available from the Territory and Australian governments."

Graeme said the NT Government business programs were 'second to none in Australia.'

One of the most popular program is a professional business consultant to assess a company’s performance and make recommendations for improvement.

"The consultants analyse and recommend ways to become more profitable and generally do better."

On successful completion of the program the NT Government reimburses the business part of the consultant’s fee.

Small Business Champions act as what Graeme calls 'signposts' - telling business people where they can get help.

"If we can’t help, we’ll know someone who can."

Graeme said only 10% of business owners came to him when they were in strife.

"The majority want to expand. They want help to become more efficient, to deliver better customer service."

Graeme was a successful banker before joining the NT public service in 2001 in the team now known as the Small Business Champions.

"I get paid to go around helping business people do better. That’s marvellous."

If you would like to discuss ways to improve the profitability, sustainability or capability of your business, contact the Small Business Champions team on 08 8999 5479.

8th Indigenous Economic Development Forum, IEDF8

Creating jobs and economic development opportunities for Indigenous Territorians will be the focus of this year’s Indigenous Economic Development Forum.

The 8th Indigenous Economic Development Forum (IEDF8) is a key event held during October Business Month.

It is also recognised as one of the largest Indigenous economic development events in Australia.

The forum will bring together people from a range of backgrounds to talk about key strategies, policies and initiatives to support Indigenous economic development and employment.

The theme of this year’s forum is The North is our Economic Story.

The Northern Territory Government is committed to developing the North and maintains that Indigenous socioeconomic development is central to the long term sustainable growth of the Northern Territory’s economy.

The forum will provide a platform to progress discussion held between Indigenous businesses and other stakeholders during the recently held Economic Summit series.

The two day event will include plenary session with key note presentations, breakout session and an expo showcasing Indigenous businesses and service program.

It will also focus on providing practical opportunities for Indigenous businesses to establish connections with other business entities that can lead to commercial opportunities.

The IEDF8 will be held at the Darwin Convention Centre on 23 and 24 October, registrations are now open.

For more information or to register go to

Lightspee3d, a 3D metal printer

Northern Territory entrepreneurs Steve Camilleri and Byron Kennedy are obsessed with speed.

Their start-up company Spee3d has developed a 3D printer that promises to revolutionise the manufacturing industry - not just in Australia but throughout the world.

Lightspee3d is up to 1,000 times faster than conventional 3D printers.

The 3m x 1.5m printer is being manufactured at a small production plant in Victoria.

But the first machine off the line will soon be installed at the North Australian Centre for Oil and Gas at Charles Darwin University - thanks to a $400,000 grant from the Northern Territory Government.

"The grant is of tremendous help," said Mr Camilleri. "It will enable the printer to be used for research at the university."

Lightspee3d, which is capable of printing complex metal objects by firing metal powder at supersonic speeds, will be sold to a range of industries.

"The printers can be used to manufacture a vast range of products, such as car and machinery parts," said Mr Camilleri. "They can do the job faster, cheaper and more efficiently than any other 3D printer in the world. And they are easy to use.

"We have developed the printer to revolutionise manufacturing - exactly how it is used will be up to researchers and customers. The applications are almost limitless."

Mr Kennedy said "Speed is where our technology excels and we are targeting a completely new space - the manufacturers of standard run-of-the-mill products, where speed is essential."

At the moment, 3D printers are used mainly to make prototypes of parts, rather than the parts themselves - and a normal industrial part can take eight days to make and cost up to $5,000 each.

Lightspee3d can cut the manufacturing time to 20 minutes and the cost to $30.

The two Territorians established Spee3d in 2014 to get their super-fast printer to market as soon as possible.

They were awarded a commercialisation grant from the Australian Government.

"The Australian Government assistance has been critical because if you don’t accelerate new technologies there are always others ready to beat you to the market," said Mr Kennedy.

The entrepreneurs have strong reputations as innovative thinkers in engineering hubs such as Germany - where they beat off competition from around the world to win a Bosch award for engineering excellence - but little known in the Territory.

They believe that Darwin can become an international innovation hub.

"People living in remote parts of the world have to be innovative," said Mr Camilleri.

"We are very good at research and developing new ideas. But what Territorians and other Australians are not very good at is getting the end product to market. We have to change that."

If you have a great idea and would to know more about programs and support available to NT businesses go to

Hastings Deering's premises in Alice Springs

Training and safety go hand in hand for Territory company Hastings Deering.

Commencing operations in Alice Springs in 1947, Hastings Deering has become one of the top five Caterpillar (CAT) dealers in the World.

The company also provides service support, parts and technology solutions to a range of industries including mining, construction, transport, power systems, government, primary industries and marine.

In addition to the support they provide industry, Hastings Deering has their own registered training organisation and developed a range of training packages tailored to specific areas of their business.

Learning Coordinator Colin Gorge said the company aims to provide a blended learning experience including on the job training, mentoring and education from formal structured training.

"Every technician is CAT trained and highly skilled with ongoing technical training ensuring our employees keep up to date with the latest technology to ensure our customer’s machines run 24/7.

"We’ve also had a lot of success with our leadership programs and helped build capability through training. We’ve seen our employees transition from the shop floor to a supervisory position or into management roles."

The company strives to be on the cutting edge with the safety of their workers always at the forefront.

They have implemented a number of number of safety and training initiatives to lower their total recordable injury frequency rate (TRIFR). Over the last three years the TRIFR has seen a massive improvement from 65 to 4.59.

"This year we will be implementing additional safety training aptly named 'Our Life Saving Commitments'.

"This will include carrying out training to enhance our safety systems to improve our TRIFR even further in our pursuit of achieving 'No Harm' in the workplace."

Hastings Deering training initiatives have been recognised over the years with the company taking out the Best Employer category at the NT Training Awards five times. They have also been named Medium Employer finalist for this year’s awards.

"Recognition in prestigious awards such as the 2017 NT Training Awards is recognition for our business and the work that we are putting into developing our talent pipeline," Mr George said.

"Training plays a significant role in Hastings Deering’s aspiration to being the best Caterpillar dealer, helping attract and retain employees and allowing us to remain competitive ensuring our customers keep coming back."

The NT Training Awards will be held at the Darwin Convention Centre on 23 September.

IEDF8, register now at

Last updated: 10 July 2019

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