Territory Stories

The Centralian advocate Tue 23 May 2006



The Centralian advocate Tue 23 May 2006


Centralian Advocate; NewspaperNT




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Community newspapers; Northern Territory; Alice Springs; Tennant Creek (N.T.); Newspapers; Alice Springs (N.T.); Australia, Central

Publisher name

Nationwide News Pty. Limited

Place of publication

Alice Springs


v. 59 no. 105

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Copyright. Made available by the publisher under licence.

Copyright owner

Nationwide News Pty. Limited



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10 Centralian Advocate, Tuesday, May 23, 2006 PU B : C A D V D A T E : 23-M A Y -2006 PA G E : 10 C O L O R : C M Y K Beyond the tax cuts A LOT has been said over the past two weeks about the personal tax cuts, both in the form of marginal tax rates and superannuation payments on retirement. But for those operating a business, there were some important issues arising. Fringe Benefits Tax and Salary Packaging: The concept of salary packaging providing non-cash benefits as part of an employees total remuneration and factoring in the resulting FBT has been around for some time. However, changes in the marginal tax rates over recent budgets mean that many arrangements may need to be reviewed. While some of the popular exemptions such as superannuation, mobile phones and laptop computers can still work effectively, packaging the motor vehicle may no longer be of benefit to employees. The reduction in the top tax rate to 46.5 per cent has been matched by a reduction in the FBT rate, so this will not have an impact. But from July 1, 2007 an employee will require a taxable income of $150,000 before they reach the top marginal rate of tax. Employees earning less than this may find that the FBT cost of packaging their vehicles may now outweigh the benefit. Employers who have not reviewed their packaging arrangements may still find themselves subjected to decisions made under circumstances that existed only a few short years ago, when the top rate of tax applied to anyone earning over $50,000. The Budget also included measures to in crease the minor benefits exemption from $100 to $300, so the occasional lunch or bottle of wine provided to employees is more likely to fall into the exemption category. Capital Gain Tax Concessions: The Budget also included measures designed to make small business CGT concessions more accessible. The rules regarding both FBT and the small business CGT concessions are extremely complex and, as always, you should consult your tax professional when cons ider ing these issues. This article is of a general nature only and is not intended to be relied upon as specific professional advice. Tanya Kirker is the principal ofHorwathAlice Springs, Chartered Accountants and Business Advisers. Internet cafe trio finds market niche By CHELSEA ROGERS TOURISTS and locals are flocking to a new internet cafe in Alice Springs. Adventcha Net owner Daniel Davis said the business took six months of research. Adv en t c h a Ne t internet cafe opened in Todd Mall two weeks ago, providing the latest in compute r and internet access. Owners Daniel Davis of Centra IT, Wayne Driver of Driver Web Designers and Darrell Logue of SWITCH.com said they were excited with the new venture. Mr Dav i s s a i d : There may be four other internet places in Alice Springs but we think weve hit a niche in the market. We appeal to tourists, but rather than just targeting backpackers we also offer memberships with specials. Fitting the cafe with 12 computer stations each with a 17-inch screen, adjustable computer facilities and wireless internet con nection took sixmonths of research. Part owner Mr Logue said: It took a combination of researching what is available in Alice and what can be made available. Then we had to figure out whatwewanted and then find it. We finally found stuff that fits most people, its adjustable and comfortable. What we offer is as good as we can go and we are the only internet cafe in Todd Mall. With the wireless internet connection it allows people with laptops within 100m to dial up and gain access to the internet. Mr Dav i s s a i d : Weve had a lot of people come in and want to book tours, which is what we will offer as soon as the stuff arrives. Adventcha Net at 379 Todd Mall and is open seven days a week from 9am until 8pm. Ideas address challenges Brumbys Bakery second-year apprentice Liam Boon with co-owner Lester Hamilton. Picture: JUSTIN SANSON TERRITORY businesses are continued to be supported by the Department of Business, Economic and Regional Development through its successful UpSkills Workshops, Skilled Migration semi n a r s , B u s i n e s s Growth Programs and October Business Month. Anyone who has not previously attended one of these workshops, or inquired about the type of help on offer for their business, should make it a priority to get along to one of the upcoming workshops or pop into the Territory Business Centre to find out more. The range of programs, and available information on offer for small to medium sized NT businesses, may be a surprise. Information and development services to better enhance the business performance, increase profitability, job levels and market expansion is available. Mike Steller, the acting regional manager in Alice Springs, said assisting businesses to grow was helping build futures and strengthening the economy for all Territorians. He said: Businesses have the chance to work with highlyskilled consultants to achieve growth and improve individual performance. Lyndsey Hamilton from Brumbys Bakery said she has been a r e g u l a r f a c e a t Upskills, attended Skilled Migration seminars and is always involved inOctoberBusiness Month. Ms Hamilton said: We opened our business six years ago and during that time we have really grown. Attending workshops such as UpSkills has provided us with quality training that is practical and applicable to small business, and its free. Brumbys Bakery employs 10 staff. Originally starting out with one apprentice baker it now has three along with one trainee in retail. Ms Hamilton said DBERD programs had taught her that all small businesses, no matter what field, experienced the same issues in theworkplace. She said: DBERD has helped benchmark where we are at in running a business. Our business has improved because outside experts have brought us fresh ideas and approaches which we have adopted at a local level, easing our business frustrations. It has forced us to look at our business from the outside in, identifying daily challenges that need addressing and has created networks for us with other small business owners. For further details on the types of programs and assistance available call 8951 8524, or visit the website www.nt.gov.au/business. Big rock found in old mine ANOTHER huge diamond has been found at a Territory mine in a rubbish tip. Geologists believe the 17.19 carat stone is a chip off a much bigger diamond. It was found in the tailings at Merlin, 80kms south of Borroloola. The tailings are being reworked following the introduction of new recovery techniques. North Australian Diamonds managing director Alan Campbell said: It could have lying there for years. A 104 caratdiamond the largest ever found in Australia was unearthed at the mine in 2001. It was worth $736,000. Several others above 10 carats have also been discovered. Mr Campbell said it was too early to put a price on the latest find. It depends how the stone is cut, he said. Its likely to be cut into several small stones. Merlin produced 500,000 carats up to 2003.