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The services provided by BEC
(Darwin Region) Inc are partially
funded by the Australian
Government and NT Government.



Message from the Manager

It is a very exciting time for us here at the BEC as we move into establishing and delivering the Australian Small Business Advisory program or ASBAS as it is more affectionately known.

Over the next three years BEC Darwin will provide additional low cost business advisory services to grow the skills of small business operators and business intenders within the Darwin, Palmerston and the Litchfield local government areas.

Participants MUST be small businesses (or a small business intender) and MUST have less than 20 full time employees on the payroll to be provided services under the ASBAS program.

Services will be provided across five streams of assistance:

 Funding avenues and financial analysis

  • Independent information and guidance on available banking and finance products
  • how to present finance bids, effective cash flow management
  • processes and financial data interpretation and
  • referrals to accounting advice.

 Building your business

  • diagnostic assessment of current business operations, followed by business planning advice that meets identified needs
  • assistance in preparing marketing plans on promotional opportunities and advertising options
  • guidance on entering new markets and the feasibility of new business ideas, including exporting products or services
  • referrals to other providers that have specific experience in a given industry or business proposition.

 Making the most of your talent and team

  • guidance on human resource strategies, including recruitment, employment and occupational health and safety (OH&S) requirements
  • advisory service meetings and networking opportunities
  • talent recruitment and retention tools
  • training programmes to inform enterprising people about significant new regulations and/or relevant Australian Government business initiatives.

 Management capabilities

  • assistance with creating, reviewing and implementing business plans,
  • assessing and improving supply chain management, succession planning and creating security over leased premises or intellectual property
  • assistance to access appropriate legal advice, including on licencing, retail tenancy, intellectual property and credit management.

Digital engagement implementation

  • advice and assistance on e commerce take up
  • advice and assistance with information technology and broadband services issues
  • advice on adopting technology concepts to assist with marketing, managing and growing ideas.

We will be using a range of delivery methods including a combination of:-

  • face to face business consultations
  • mentoring with an expert business advisor
  • business diagnostic tools
  • delivery of relevant small business workshops and seminars
  • access to a panel of professional business advisors
  • online resources

This is a very exciting program that covers a broad range of really interesting and relevant business topics.

If you are interested in finding out more please give us a call to make an appointment to see our business advisor or you can go to our website here and book into one of our new workshops.

Jack Hughes


BEC Darwin is proud to be the provider of the Australian Small Business Advisory Service Programme (ASBAS) which offers low cost business advisory services to grow the skills of small business operators within the Darwin, Palmerston and Litchfield local government areas.

Thursday 20th August 2015
Starting Staff: Attracting and Recruiting your ideal employee - 1.5hrs
7.30am for a 7.45am start

Thursday 27th August 2015
Feasibility and Assessment of New Proposals - 1.5hrs
7.30am for a 7.45am start

Tuesday 8 September 2015
Cash Flow Management Strategies – 2 hrs
7.30am for a 7.45am start

Thursday 10 September 2015
HR Essential for Small Business – 2 hrs
7.30am for a 7.45am start

Tuesday 15 September 2015
Social Media Advertising – 2 hrs
7.30am for a 7.45am start

Thursday 17 September 2015
Managing Debtors and Cash Flow – 2hrs
7.30am for a 7.45am start

Tuesday 22 September 2015
Marketing and Strategy Plans – 2 hrs
7.30am for a 7.45am start

Thursday 24 September 2015
Managing Staff – Maximising Performance – 2 hrs
7.30am for a 7.45am start

All workshops cost $55 inc GST
Venue: BEC Darwin, 20 Catterthun Street, Winnellie (Lower Level)

For more information and bookings to go the BEC Darwin website


  • Do you have a Facebook account for your business, but you’re not sure what to post on it?
  • Are you intrigued by what others are doing with their businesses via social media, but you’re not sure how to do it for yourself?
  • Are you keen to learn in a hands on environment with someone right alongside you to ask all your questions?

Then this is the program for you…

Captovate are running social media boot camps with the next one starting 2 September 2015. Over the course of 6 weeks you’ll explore the power of social media and how to get the best from applying it in your business.

Program Details, Schedule and Bookings


October Business Month is shaping up to be another exciting month with over 160 partner events registered in Darwin, Alice Springs, Tennant Creek, Katherine and Gove.

Full event details will be available on the OBM website from 31 August 2015. Lisa Messenger, Editor in Chief of Collect Magazine to the 2015 OBM program. Lisa will be speaking at the Katherine Gala Business Dinner on 10 October. There are also some great competitions from generous sponsors including SilkAir and Virgin Australia checkout the details online.


Looking to start a new business or expand your existing business?

The BEC is all about supporting individuals with sound practical advice from start up to business growth in the early years.

Our Small Business Workshops provide an introduction to five specific and important areas of business including business structures and tax, marketing and bookkeeping. Best of all the workshops are FREE!


Venue: BEC Darwin, 20 Catterthun Street, Winnellie (Lower Level)
Dates: 28-30 September 2015


Venue: QUEST, 18 The Boulevard, Palmerston
Dates: 19-21 October 2015

Alice Springs

Venue: QUEST, 9-10 South Terrace The Gap Alice Springs
Dates: 20-21 October 2015


Venue: Katherine Training Centre, 19 Second Street, Katherine
Dates: 27-28 October 2015

Bookings are essential phone 1800 229 500 or register online.


Territory Businesses can register now for free workshops to help them grow their own skills and develop their business as part of a suite of programs offered by the Northern Territory Government to help Territory businesses to start, run and grow.

Held around the Territory throughout the year, the practical and hands-on workshops facilitated by industry experts provide business owners with valuable networking opportunities and access to support programs as their business continues to grow.

Over 700 NT Business people attended 51 Upskills workshops in the last financial year. Many past participants of Upskills workshops have gone on to develop their businesses into award winning, innovative and profitable ventures.

The workshop topics for 2015/16 are:

Business Management

  • Business planning essentials
  • Keeping your business on track
  • Building client relationships and business networks
  • Workforce planning and development


  • Financial health check
  • Setting financial strategy – what is the future?
  • Pricing and quoting for profit
  • Tendering – how to?

Human Resources

  • Attract and retain staff
  • Fair work legislation
  • Managing Staff performance
  • Work health and safety


  • Developing an effective workshop
  • Marketing strategies
  • Marketing online
  • Introduction to social media
  • Advanced social media

To view the calendar of events and to register visit the Upskills website


Tax time 2015 off to a flying start

With the first month of tax time behind us the ATO is reporting a significant increase in the number of electronic lodgements as an expanded suite of online services strike a chord with taxpayers.

Now in its second year, the streamlined online tax return myTax has received almost 800,000 lodgements, more than double the amount lodged at the same time last year.

Assistant Commissioner Graham Whyte said it was pleasing to see so many taxpayers using myTax to lodge their return. “The vast bulk of the pre-fill information we use has now been supplied to us, so if you haven’t lodged already, you’ll probably find most of your myTax return has been completed for you.

“This includes things like salary and wage info, bank interest, private health insurance, spouse details and other government payments.

“All you need to do is check the data, add in your deductions and you’re done.”

Your tax made easier with myDeductions

The ATO has launched a refreshed version of its app to introduce myDeductions, a brand new online tool designed to help Australians keep track of their deductions by allowing them to capture expenses on the go.

With almost 10 million Australians claiming over $24 billion in deductions each year, Assistant Commissioner Graham Whyte said myDeductions was going to make life a lot easier come tax time next year.

Use myDeductions to keep records of:

  • Work-related car expenses – manage your car trips using point-to-point, odometer method or keep an electronic log book.
  • Work-related travel expenses such as public transport, air travel and taxi fares, bridge and road tolls, parking fees, meal, accommodation and incidental expenses incurred while travelling for work.
  • Work-related clothing, laundry and dry-cleaning expenses, for example protective clothing, uniforms, occupation-specific clothing, and laundering or dry-cleaning such clothing.
  • Work-related self-education expenses such as costs of attending seminars, conferences or education workshops.
  • Other work-related expenses such home office expenses (mobile phone, internet).
  • Gifts and donations.
  • Cost of managing your tax affairs.

The ATO app is free and available in Apple, Android and Windows stores.

More information on myDeductions, including how-to videos, is available on the ATO website.

One thousand volunteers to offer help this tax time

Around Australia the ATO has opened the doors to its Tax Help centres.

Assistant Commissioner Graham Whyte said almost 1,000 volunteers from 700 community centres across Australia will be supporting people who need assistance completing their tax returns this year. People earning less than $50,000 each year and with straightforward tax affairs are eligible to use the Tax Help service.

Tax Help is available each year until 31 October. To find out if you are eligible, go to the ATO website or phone 13 28 61 to make an appointment at your nearest Tax Help centre.

Fuel tax credit rates

Fuel tax credit rates will increase for fuel acquired from 1 August 2015.

Rates are indexed twice a year in line with the consumer price index (CPI) – in February and August.

Check fuel tax credit rates online before completing your BAS.

Before completing your BAS check on line for the current rates. Use the fuel tax credit calculator to help get your claim right.

The calculator helps you to work out:

  • your fuel tax credits for fuel you acquire for use in your business
  • adjustments for fuel tax credits from a previous BAS.

You can access the calculator on the ATO website or on the ATO app.

Taxable payments annual report due 28 August

A reminder for those of you in the building and construction industry that your 2015 Taxable payments annual report is due 28 August 2015.

Here are some simple tips to help you complete the report.

  • Check you correctly report each contractor’s Australian business number (ABN).

It’s best to check this each time you deal with a contractor during the year. You can use the ABN lookup online or on the ATO app.

Include the total amount of GST you paid for the year for each contractor in the Total GST field.

Their invoices show the GST they charged you. You can check your contractor is registered for GST on the ABN lookup.

  • Complete amount fields correctly.

Show amounts in whole dollars. For example, if the total amount you paid a contractor during the year was $13,579.20, ignore the cents and only include $13,579 on the report.

  • Lodge online

Why not make the process quick and easy this year by lodging online? All you need is an AUSkey and business software that can generate the annual report.

Find out more on the ATO website.


ACCC releases latest 'Small Business in focus' report

ACCC Deputy Chair Dr Michael Schaper launched the tenth issue of Small business in focus at the Council of Small Business Australia national summit in Sydney recently.

The report has the latest small business and franchising enquiries and complaints data. It also highlights the ACCC’s activities in the small business sector from January to June 2015.

Some key points are:

  • More than 7,800 small business and franchising related enquiries and complaints were made to the ACCC.
  • Misleading conduct and false representations remained the most frequently complained about area for small businesses.
  • The introduction of the new Franchising Code on 1 January 2015 was reflected in a significant growth in franchising-related enquiries – from 1 January we saw a 63 per cent increase in enquiries.
  • More than 12,700 people used the ACCC’s three free online education programs for small businesses, tertiary students and franchisees, all of which are available at

For more information, see the ACCC media release or the Small business in focus report.

Removalist company pays penalties for alleged false or misleading online testimonials

Citymove Pty Ltd (Citymove) has paid penalties totalling $30,600 following the issue of three infringement notices by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

The ACCC issued the infringement notices because it had reasonable grounds to believe Citymove made false or misleading representations concerning testimonials about its furniture removal services that were published on the social network website Google+ and on YouTube, in contravention of the Australian Consumer Law.

Posting positive testimonials and attributing them to fabricated customers can increase overall ratings on Google+. Testimonials on Google+ also appear in Google Search results.

Fake testimonials can mislead consumers and disadvantage competing businesses. Falsely generated ratings may lead a consumer to purchase a business’s product or service under a mistaken belief about the popularity and perceived quality of the business, in preference to other businesses,” ACCC Deputy Chair Dr Michael Schaper said.

“The ACCC encourages consumers to seek information from multiple sources before making a purchasing decision,” Dr Schaper said.

The ACCC identified the Citymove testimonials as being potentially false or misleading when the same testimonial appeared on different review websites under different customer identities.

ACCC releases June quarter 2015 petrol report

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has released the third quarterly report into the Australian petroleum industry for 2015.

“There are some in the community that believe that the ACCC sets fuel prices, or can take action if fuel prices are set significantly above cost. This is not correct. The ACCC does not set wholesale or retail petrol prices in Australia, and it is not illegal to price above cost. Petrol prices are determined by the market,” ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said.

“The aim of the quarterly monitoring reports is to provide timely information on fuel price movements in all capital cities and around 180 regional locations and the drivers of those prices. Through its monitoring reports, the ACCC is enhancing the transparency of the petroleum industry and aims to increase public awareness of the factors that determine retail petrol prices in Australia.”

The monthly average petrol price in Darwin in June 2015 was 134.9 cpl, which was 5.7 cpl lower than in the five largest cities (140.6 cpl).

“This was the first—and only—time that monthly average Darwin prices were lower than in the five largest cities since the ACCC started to regularly collect Darwin prices in January 2000,” Mr Sims said.

“Given that Darwin prices were relatively high in the second half of 2014, the decline in Darwin prices is welcome. This decrease could have been influenced by factors such as the recent discount arrangements between the Automobile Association of the Northern Territory and United Petroleum sites in Darwin, and the increased scrutiny of Darwin prices by the Northern Territory Government, the ACCC, and the wider community."

The ACCC is currently undertaking regional market studies in three locations - Darwin, Launceston, and Armidale – and expects to complete at least two of these studies by the end of the year. These studies aim to explain each component of the prices paid at the bowser to understand why prices are higher in these regional locations. The ACCC is using its mandatory information gathering powers to obtain relevant information for these studies.

For more information visit the ACCC website


The Australian Water Association and Arup are undertaking a survey to understand community attitudes to water. The results will assist the water industry to engage and empower consumers and help make sure that water is available and protected in the future. The survey is open now until 28 August 2015 and is available online.


Only one in seven people understand the basics of intellectual property (IP), including the options, opportunities and risks.

To help you understand the basics, IP Australia has put together three short videos:

  1. IP basics for business. Learn about the common types of IP used by small business.
  2. IP, know what you don't know, covers using IP to grow your business and protect products you're developing.
  3. IP, balancing costs and benefits. Learn simple ways to weigh up the costs and benefits of protecting your IP.


While most small business owners are excited for an employee who becomes pregnant, it can also lead to a feeling of uncertainty or alarm. It can be difficult to know how to manage the situation, and in particular, your obligations as an employer.

The Australian Human Rights Commission has launched the Supporting Working Parents resources to help employers and employees understand their rights and responsibilities in relation to pregnancy in the workplace.

Check out the website for more information.


The Productivity Commission draft report on the workplace relations system was released earlier this month. The report notes that many features work well, especially given the need to balance the conflicting goals of the parties involved.

The draft report recommends reforms to how the Fair Work Commission operates and some parts of the Fair Work Act, as well as the addition of enterprise contracts to help small businesses and changes to Sunday penalty rates in some industries.

Find out more on the Productivity Commission website.


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