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July 2016 Minimum Wage Increase

The Fair Work Commission has recently announced an increase of 2.4% to the National Minimum Wage.  The 2.4% increase will be payable from the first full pay period on or after 1 July 2016.
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Google MyBusiness - SEO Made Easy

You may have noticed a Google MyBusiness  advertisement coming up a bit more recently in the last few months – most people would think that this is actually a paid advertisement but the internet savvy surfer would recognise this as a Google MyBusiness Page.
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2016 Federal Budget - Review


Last night the government announced the 2016 Federal Budget - like the Abbott-Hockey budget last year, there have been some big changes to the taxation system and to small business in this years Turnbull-Morrison budget.
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In the 2014 election, the Victorian Government made the commitment to establish a new startup entity that would support entrepreneurs to develop and grow businesses.
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GMG Financial Group have been involved in Co-Operatives in the local community for over 40 years. Read more…



Get Active!

With the busy Christmas period over, it's so easy to get back into that bad routine of Eat, Sleep, Work, Repeat. After all those New Years Resolutions and January gym memberships we always seem to end up back on the couch! Read more…

Are you making the most of your time?



In the office recently we conducted a session on Personal Efficiency. We all only have a limited amount of hours in the day, how do we make our time at work the most efficient that it can be?
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Are Computers replacing Farmers?

There has been a lot of discussion about the potential impact of "Big Data" on Australian agriculture over recent times, with views ranging from "They'll never replace farmers" to "Its the end of agriculture as we know it, and farmers will soon be redundant." Exactly where advances in computer technology and digital information will take the agriculture sector over the next few decades is as yet uncertain, but what is already clear is that it is likely to result in pretty significant change.

In summary, the use of data analytics to analyse enormous datasets (think of a database of all the individual customer transactions of a major bank over a year, or all the purchases made by supermarket customers over a similar period, - both of which also have customers personal details included) banks now have this information available for retail business  to produce insights into customer behaviour, it is effectively replacing the judgement and experience of managers rather with computer processing power instead.

"Now comes the second machine age. Computers and other digital advances are doing for mental power – the ability to use our brains to understand and shape our environments – what the steam engine and its descendants did for muscle power." (Erik Brynjolfsson, Director, MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2015).

As recently as perhaps ten years ago, the cost of storing digital information such as harvester yield maps for example would have been prohibitive, it is now rapidly approaching the point where data storage capacity has no cost, with new cloud based systems

Computer developments appear more advanced in the cropping sectors, but applications are also beginning to emerge and gather momentum in the livestock and horticulture sectors. Exactly what the implications of these developments will be for the future of farming is as yet unclear in my mind. Perhaps the response that "a computer will never replace a farmer" is more wishful thinking than most might realise!

The Journey Through Retirement

There is an old saying: Old Accountants don't die, they just lose their balance!!

Whether or not this is true, we all come to a stage in our lives where contemplating life after work is part of our psyche.

After having spent many years working with clients, most of whom are friends, formulating plans for business handovers to the next generation, it has always been a topic in which I have been heavily involved.

Probably the most oft asked question I have heard is: "How much money will I need to retire?"

My reply is always the same: "How long are you going to live?"

Most major life-changing events such as marriage or divorce, involve an ongoing process of adjustment. Retirement is no exception. Marriage, divorce and other family related family-emotional issues have been the focus of decades of research and analysis by both clinical therapists and religious institutions. Unfortunately, the emotional and psychological frontier of retirement has remained virtually unexplored until recently. However, while research on this subject has barely begun, it is clear that the psychological process of retirement process follows a pattern similar in nature to the emotional phases accompanying other areas of transition.

Geoff of the Coast of WA near Broome after hauling in a snapper

Retirement: The Final Frontier

Retirees must face what is essentially the last transition in their lives. The first transition comes when we leave the security of home to begin our school life in kindergarten, and after school we have the rest of the day to ourselves. Another major transition comes when we join the working world. Now we work all week but still have the weekend to ourselves. Then finally comes retirement, a time when careers are over and the work is done. Retirees have the rest of their lives to themselves. The transition into retirement can be broken down into six main phases.

1. Pre-retirement Planning Time

During the working years, retirement can appear to be both an oncoming burden and a distant paradise. Workers know that this stage of their lives is coming, and do everything they can to save for it, but often give little thought to what they will actually do once they reach the goal. The current demands that are placed upon them leave them little time to ponder this issue. Many people face retirement like a player on the football ground who dodges and  weaves his way  through one defender after another until reaching the inside fifty and shoots for goal. It's hard for many workers to think seriously about what their lives will be like in 20 or 30 years when they are trying to stay on top of their mortgage, put their kids through school, and have some fun in the meantime. They want to kick the goal, but other issues will tackle them long before then if they don't take immediate action.

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As of the 1st of January 2016, Vic Roads is offering a 50% discount on 12-month vehicle registrations for eligible trade apprentices. That means a possible saving of up to $385.70! However, the following criterion needs to be met:

  • You must be registered as an apprentice with the Victorian Registrations Qualification Authority (VRQA) in an eligible course
  • The vehicle needs to be registered in your own name (motorcycles, trailers and mobile plant are excluded)
  • Not already have a concession applied to the vehicle(except for discounts for hybrid and electric passenger vehicles)
  • The vehicle must be used for work purposes, including travelling to multiple and varied work sites (this does not include commuting or travel to and from a single work site)
  • You must hold a current drivers license
  • Not already have a trade apprentice discount applied on another vehicle

Once you have received your renewal notice, you will be able to apply online or in store at Vic Roads where you will have to provide them with your VRQA registration number, vehicle registration number and driver's license number. Vic Roads will also verify with your employer that the vehicle is used for work purposes. 

 

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