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Mark Pownall

Mark Pownall has around three decades of media experience. Prior to becoming CEO of Business News he ran the content operations of the business and was integral to the implementation of all the company’s digital products –twice daily email newsletters, weekly podcasts, deals database and BNiQ search engine. Mark has a Commerce degree from UWA and a post-graduate qualification in English from Curtin University. 

Mark my words podcast

PODCAST: In this Business News podcast Mark Beyer and Mark Pownall discuss $3bn federal infrastructure boost, Perth’s urban sprawl, Burrup gas projects, global LNG production, Westin Hotel opens and mining projects.

Mark my words podcast

PODCAST: In this Business News podcast Mark Pownall, Matt Mckenzie, and Katie McDonald discuss Gorgon stage two, corporate tax debate, defence contracts, employment data, fracking ban, tourism, and our building and construction feature.

CEO lunch with Andrew Hall

A survivor of the tech wreck, Andrew Hall tasted success in the venture capital space before launching his own new startup, Formalytics.

Union of convenience may be a step too far

Past overreach on IR and current political realities combined to mute the federal government’s options in terms of the new ‘super union’.

Mark my words podcast

PODCAST: In this Business News podcast Mark Beyer and Mark Pownall discuss house price recovery, lithium contract win, automation in WA, remuneration report, GST, indigenous contracting, our feature on corporate finance includes big recent takeovers and the trends in other mergers and acquisitions + a capital raising wrap-up.

CEO lunch with Peter Harold

After some early travel for work and moves within the resources sector, consistency has been a hallmark of Peter Harold’s career.

Rubber meets road on health

Opinion: The business community’s embrace of cycling fundraising events provides benefits way beyond just the dollar value raised.

Mark my words podcast

PODCAST: In this Business News podcast Mark Beyer and Mark Pownall discuss Applecross towers, Scarborough high-rise, Gary Brown-Neaves, infrastructure priorities, cycling fund raisers, Wayne Martin retires, and our special report on agribusiness.

Mark my words podcast

PODCAST: In this Business News podcast Mark Beyer and Mark Pownall discuss Trump’s trade war WA impact, residential property prices, population and labour statistics, World Trade Centre, Pacific Energy, ride sharing and our special report Most Influential.

Wesfarmers cuts off costly tail

Opinion: Wesfarmers will be a much smaller business after the Coles spin-off is done.

Mark my words podcast

PODCAST: In this Business News podcast Mark Beyer and Mark Pownall discuss Coles spinoff plan, tourism challenge, waste to energy, remembering Warwick Kent and Mal Bryce, and our ICT feature focuses on where to for GovNext and cybersecurity.

Mark my words podcast

PODCAST: In this Business News podcast Mark Pownall and Matt Mckenzie discuss 40under40, international student market, road infrastructure, rich list, US steel and aluminium tariffs, Yagan Square, rugby union, and our special report on oil and gas.

CEO lunch with Michael McLean

Michael McLean, the long-time executive director of the Masters Builders Association WA, talked to Mark Pownall on the day he announced plans to retire.

Tax cuts just part of the package

Big-ticket economic changes can only succeed if supported by broader systemic developments.

Mark my words podcast

PODCAST: In this Business News podcast Mark Beyer and Mark Pownall discuss Langoulant review, government CIO, apartment developers, private business including Morrison, Hancock and D’Orsogna.

CEO lunch with Mike Edmonds

A new book by Meerkats co-founder Mike Edmonds, Truth, Growth, Repeat, expounds a business philosophy influenced by four decades of advertising industry experience, good and bad.

Labor dials down the reform drama

Little things are important in government; they can be done easily, broadened if successful and quietly shelved if they fail.

Mark my words podcast

PODCAST: In this Business News podcast Mark Beyer and Mark Pownall discuss McGowan’s first year, Perth Modern School, Scarborough LNG, cryptocurrency and blockchain, Pilbara Minerals and junior mining.

Mark my words podcast

PODCAST: In this Business News podcast Mark Beyer and Mark Pownall discuss market volatility, Cooper & Oxley, Bunnings, infrastructure WA, Ron Sayers, Kelvin Ryan, and musical chairs in Perth’s law firms.

CEO lunch with Jody Nunn

Working under strong, effective leaders has had a profound impact on the career of AICD state manager, WA Jody Nunn.

Award an act of generosity?

This year’s Australia Day honour’s list includes a name familiar to many in WA, but the timing seems odd.

Mark my words

PODCAST: In this Business News podcast Mark Beyer and Mark Pownall discuss house prices – up or down? CBD office vacancies, residential building volatility, AWE bidding war, Quintis update, mining robots, Adventure World and ports and transport.

Mark my words podcast

PODCAST: In this Business News podcast Mark Pownall, Matt Mckenzie, and Katie McDonald discuss the Quintis collapse, Wheatstone’s environmental conditions, Doric’s Chinese joint venture, wage gap battle, Fringe festival and land developers.

Tax schemes deliver cold, hard truths

The Quintis story is another example of the failure of tax-driven plantation schemes to deliver for investors.

Mark my words podcast

PODCAST: In this Business News podcast Mark Beyer and Mark Pownall discuss the Australian dollar and commodities, blockchain technology, contract wins and deals, Imdex's expansion, and franchising.

Mark my words podcast

PODCAST: In this Business News podcast Mark Beyer and Mark Pownall discuss the funeral business, St John of God Healthcare, cultural developments, big moves in corporate finance sector and Business News celebrates 25 years.

Are we going with the flow on high rise?

Has Perth reached a turning point when it comes to high-rise?

Mark my words podcast

PODCAST: In this Business News podcast Mark Beyer and Mark Pownall discuss MRA and LandCorp merger, a local bitcoin venture, WA property values, cannabis, plus food trucks, fresh food boxes and fine dining.

CEO lunch with Gary Roberts

Nova 937 chief Gary Roberts has been in radio all his life, with his many industry achievements including launching two successful radio stations in Perth – 22 years apart.

Mark my words podcast

PODCAST: In this Business News podcast Mark Beyer and Mark Pownall discuss Scarborough high rise, Colin Barnett, construction jobs, Tox Free, AWE takeover and our person of the year.

Time to deliver on potential

The state’s political and business leaders need to make sensible decisions to ensure WA embraces the opportunities available to it as the economy recovers.

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Mark Pownall's Picks

Recent reading

For the Aussie history buffs. Like a lot of things if you think polarised society, royals behaving badly or domestic terrorism are new things ... think again. Steve Harris is an accomplished journalist and media entrepreneur, so this a little different although his home town of Melbourne features prominently.

The Contiki story. It is a racy read with plenty of business tips from a backpacker who took his business global ... and pretty much lost the lot. The business journey is outlined in extraordinary detail. A must read for anyone who has travelled on the cheap to Europe.

Great management text if you are looking for someone to make sense of all the models and theories that sometimes attain cult status. Co-author is Perth-based Paul Culmsee.

Simon Sebag Montefiore's Jerusalem, a great historic introduction to many of the Middle East's current issues. In fact, when you see what goes on there today, a lot of it is explained by this book

Another fascinating read was Peter Rees' book Bearing Witness about Australia's great WW1 war correspondent Charles Bean. I note there's a competing biography by Ross Coulthart which I haven't read yet.

Also worth reading was one I dragged out of my father's library. William L Shirer was a foreign correspondent based in Berlin in 1930s and, due to America's late entry into WW2, was there during the early part of that conflict. His book The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich is half way between and academic work and the modern histories we are used to which are more entertaining. His book is awesome in its documentation and given a human element by the number of eye witness accounts he provides.

I really enjoyed The Bully Pulpit by Doris Kearns Goodwin which was not only about the US presidency at the start of the 20th century, but the unique role investigative journalism played in reform. It reviews the incredible reporting backed by gutsy publishers who serialised stories on concerning issues with both economic and social implications. These journalists also had unprecedented access to the presidency, especially the progressive Franklin Roosevelt. As the circulation-boosting power of this style of journalism rose, however, some went too far, making up stories and spitefully attacking political leaders - leading to the expression muckrakers. The tabloids of today have historical precedent!

Sir Bob's visit

Some of the VIPs who really did have lunch with Sir Bob.

Recent reading

Just got through this great book by Bob de la Motte, well known in Perth finance circles. Its about his life, growing up in South Africa and competing in the 90km Comrades Marathon.

Another book worth mentioning is Njinga by a good friend of mine Kate Leeming - she's also just released a film on her trans-African cycling trip and is preparing to turn it into a TV documenary series. Her next project is Antarctica.

Find it here: www.kateleeming.com

Executive remuneration

Worth checking out our CEO/executive/director remuneration list here. There are thousands of WA names on it ... 59 pages of salaries if you are up for it.

Bitcoin

Meanwhile, I am awaiting a copy of this (not a Christmas hint - review copy coming I am told) which I expect will help decipher much about the mysterious world of bitcoin. This has been co-authored by a friend of mine and former colleague Michael Casey who has been writing regular columns on bitcoin for the past year or more. I have passed on a few tidbits to him about activity in Australia, but I have no idea if that was useful.

My all-time favourite business and political books are here on my Facebook page.

Most-read

Visionary medico wins 40under40

This year’s First Amongst Equals winner is a passionate medical specialist but he’s also a visionary entrepreneur who has a lot in common with successful business leaders.

Vale Geoff Rasmussen

Western Australian corporate leader Geoff Rasmussen passed away on Friday night after a long battle with cancer.

Builton fails, administrator appointed

One of state’s biggest residential construction firms, Builton Group, has succumbed to the financial stresses engulfing the sector, appointing an external administrator earlier today after reports of the company’s financial troubles emerged last week.

Builton failure a costly housing hit

The collapse of yet another Western Australian residential builder appears set to further upset the delicate state of the sector, with financiers, insurers, 350 trade creditors and as many as 130 home owners facing losses.

most commented

Shark cull outcry overreaction

The current shark cull is a politically challenging issue, but one where Colin Barnett is right to dig in because he has time and momentum on his side.

Daylight savers may have to wait awhile

Daylight saving may be the victim of Western Australia's election - further bemusing those who watch us from a distance.

Time to stop slaughter in our backyard

While the public spotlight on the offshore ill treatment of animals bred for slaughter is commendable, why does the RSPCA shirk such action when it comes to our own backyards, literally?

Fitness freaks need more Jacob’s ladders

I note the fuss made around the recent closure of Jacob’s Ladder, a stairway to Kings Park which, due to its popularity as an exercise venue, has earned the ire of local residents.