Archive for News



Explore 4D’s Zane Smith says the company will provide its virtual tour app free of charge for use in educational purposes.

Wimmera business confidence: cautiously optimistic outlook for 2016

Copy of Graem foster

Business associations in Stawell and Ararat expect 2016 to be a year of growth as industries expand and major projects bring investment to the areas.

However consecutive poor harvests have caused a trade downturn in some areas and hurt business confidence.

Ararat Regional Business Association president Graeme Foster said 2015 was a positive year overall for businesses, with some challenges along the way.

“The conditions we’ve had have made it hard for farming communities and that affects all business, particularly retail,” he said.

“The recent Grampians Pyrenees Business Awards in Ararat showcased the outstanding offerings we have in all sectors across the region.

“We have a pretty optimistic outlook for our area.

“We have the development of the wind farm here, and the prison is coming up to completion and new staff will be on board there.

“The manufacturing industry is expanding their offerings. Gason and AME Systems are large employers for our town and progressive with how they do business.
“We have had good support from our council in the past year and it’s important that is maintained.

“It is important businesses take a collaborative approach and focus on customer service as well as products.”

Ararat SES is scouting for new volunteers

ARARAT SES unit controller Donna Dunmore said the service was scouting for new volunteers keen to act as rescue responders or in operational support positions.

Becoming a volunteer with the SES provides an opportunity for people from all walks of life to work together to help their community, neighbours and general public, before, during and after an emergency. An information night will be held on Tuesday, October 20 at the Ararat unit headquarters located on High Street at 7pm.

ARBA is excited about the future.

ARARAT Regional Business Association (ARBA) is excited about what the future holds for business owners and operators in the region.For the hole story, click below.

Fairfax, not so fair

The Ararat Regional Business Association wish to show our support to the petition and support the large number of politicians and local groups who have documented their views on the reduction of staff of the Ararat Advertiser and Stawell Times News.  These newspapers are the main communication medium for these regions and removing the local journalist support means that our local newspaper will about as local as the Herald Sun.  Local business rely on the paper to let locals know what is available, as well as promoting special events such as crazy day sales.  Having journalists and photographers operating out of Horsham will mean that a large number of local events will not be reported on due to the distance from the papers base location. It also means that those people who have hoped to have a career in journalism now have less options and locations to gain employment or experience.  This is another example of larger regional centres being supported at the expense of the smaller regions.
Sincerely yours

“Take Another Look- Shop Ararat”

ARBA in association with the Ararat City Rural Council, are taking part in the “Take Another Look- Shop Ararat” campaign.

Keeping local money local is a strong economic benefit to the community. The object of the campaign is to educate both local residents and businesses alike to the benefits and outcomes of SHOPPING LOCALLY; to ask them to take another look at what Ararat has to offer before they turn on their computers or get in their cars or pick up their telephones to call somewhere else…and of course…to SHOP LOCALLY
Benefits of SHOPPING LOCALLY will be highlighted including Jobs, Human Interaction, Customer Service, Range, Ease of Return, Warranty and much more…. along with dozens of businesses that are part of the program through business profiles on radio, print and social media.

For more information, click here

We have a new president.

Ararat Regional Business Association (ARBA) held its AGM recently where Graeme Foster was elected the new President. Out-going President Andrew Burger reported that ARBA had made significant impact in the Ararat Business community over the last 12 months with the advent of the Website, the Facebook site and the Mentoring panel, and wished the new President and Committee well for the coming year.

Graeme Foster of Foster’s Menswear in Barkly St bring many years of business experience into the role and has been on the EHGS Board for the last 10 years. In his acceptance speech he outlined a positive future and a forward approach to Ararat and its business health while paying tribute to the work done by Andrew Burger over the three years of his tenure.

Here is the new ARBA President, Graeme Foster (right) is congratulated by the out-going President, Andrew Burger

NewArba President2014-15

Small Business Ministerial Council – Grampians Networking Event

The Victorian Small Business Ministerial Council invites you to attend their speed networking/mentoring event as part of the Council’s visit to the Grampians region.

For more info click here

Be diligent- scams targeting taxpayers

The ATO is warning Australians to be on the lookout for a malicious scam that intimidates taxpayers into paying a fake tax debt over the phone.

“This scam is particularly concerning because it threatens taxpayers with legal action or arrest if they do not immediately hand over money and their personal financial details over the phone,” said ATO Chief Technology Officer Todd Heather.

“As tax time approaches, scammers are becoming more cunning in their attempts to defraud the public and trick them into handing over money, their TFN or other personal information.

“We encourage people to contact us if they are worried they may have fallen victim to a scam call, email, SMS or a face-to-face scam,” Mr Heather said.

From time-to-time the ATO will send taxpayers emails, SMS messages or official social media updates alerting them to new services. Our messages will never request personal or financial information by SMS or email.

If people receive a call from the ATO and are concerned about providing their personal information over the phone, they should ask for the caller’s name and phone them back through the ATO’s switchboard on 13 28 69. If people think they may have fallen victim to a phone scam, contact the ATO on 1800 060 062 (8.00am–6.00pm, Monday to Friday).

Since 1 March 2014 the ATO has seen a spike in reports from the public of email and phishing scams from 9,368 to 11,344 compared with the same period last year.

To increase community awareness of scams the ATO has launched a new video campaign on with helpful tips to protect personal information.

Information on online security and scams can be found


In a media release issued today, the ACCC is warning small business owners about false billing scams this Fraud Week after the Targeting Scams Report 2013 revealed a 45 per cent increase in complaints.

“False billing scams continue to be the most common scam targeting the small business community, with 3,672 reports received in 2013 and almost $725,000 reported lost,” ACCC Deputy Chairman Dr Michael Schaper said.

False billing scams attempt to trick busy businesses into paying for unwanted or unauthorised listings or advertisements in magazines, journals or business directories.

“With the end of the financial year being a prime time to settle accounts, it pays to take a moment and check if invoices are the real deal,” Dr Schaper said. “Often a scam is disguised as an outstanding invoice to get the business to sign-up for unwanted advertising or office supplies. Another common approach involves sending invoices for the renewal of a non-existent domain name registration.”

As part of Fraud Week, Dr Schaper offered small businesses advice on avoiding false billing scams:
· Make sure the business you are dealing with is the real deal – if you receive a form or tax invoice out of the blue, verify who they are by contacting the company directly using contact details you sourced independently through a phone book or online search.
· Make your business ‘fraud-free’ – effective management procedures can go a long way towards preventing scams. Have a clearly defined process for verifying and paying accounts and invoices, and try to avoid giving too many staff authorisation to make orders or pay invoices.
· Don’t be intimidated – do not let anyone pressure you into making decisions involving payments or contracts. If you are unsure, always seek independent financial or legal advice.
· Update your IT security software regularly and make sure you use and offer secure online payment methods.

To find out more
To learn more about false billing scams, watch this SCAMwatch warning video. To keep aware of common scams and current scam trends, visit the SCAMwatch website, sign up for SCAMwatch radar alerts or read the ACCC’s Small business scams factsheet or 2013 Targeting scams report.

To report a scam
If you become aware of a scam or are scammed, report it to the SCAMwatch Infocentre on 1300 795 995. Your report helps the ACCC to monitor scams and take action where appropriate, including to educate other small businesses on new or emerging scams