Power Equipment Australasia

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Glenvale Publications and Power Equipment Australasia are pleased to provide the articles contained in this publication to keep its subscribers up to date on issues which may be relevant to their businesses. This publication is supplied strictly on the condition that Glenvale Publications and Power Equipment Australasia, its employees, agents, authors, editors and consultants are not responsible for any deficiency, error, omission or mistake contained in this publication, and Glenvale Publications and Power Equipment Australasia, its employees, agents, authors, editors and consultants hereby expressly disclaim all liability of whatsoever nature to any person who may rely on the contents of this publication in whole or part. Published by GLENVALE PUBLICATIONS A.B.N. 31 218 591 688 11 Rushdale St, Knoxfield VIC 3180 PO Box 50, Mount Waverley VIC 3149 Phone: (03) 9544 2233 Fax: (03) 9543 1150 Editor: Elaine Sharman Phone: 0411 550 808 Email: elaine.sharman@glenv.com.au Sub Editor: Jackie Joy Journalists: Jackie Joy John Power Gary Fooks ADVERTISING Alastair Bryers Email: alastair.bryers@glenv.com.au Mobile: 0498 555 085 Elaine Sharman Email: elaine.sharman@glenv.com.au Mobile: 0411 550 808 ACCOUNTS Melissa Graydon Email: melissa.graydon@glenv.com.au SUBSCRIPTIONS Melissa Graydon $60.50 – 6 issues subs@glenv.com.au ART, PRODUCTION AND ONLINE COMMUNICATIONS Justin Carroll PageSet Australia Phone: (03) 9544 2233 PRINTING Southern Impact Pty Ltd 181 Forster Road,Mount Waverley VIC 3149 Phone: (03) 8796 7000 EDITOR’S COLUMN Welcome to the September/ October issue and the winter of my discontent. This has been the longest, wettest, coldest winter I have ever experienced. Literally everyone I know has been struck down with some affliction, ranging from Covid19 to cold and flu. I mask up, lead a semi-reclusive life and am grateful so far that I am unscathed. The media is very seldom talking about how supply of goods and services is pushing a lot of businesses to the wall. I have been told by a few that if they catch up with all their back orders their books would show a record year. Gary Fooks writes about cause, effect and solutions on pages 18 and 19. Going back to our manufacturing roots is the key and to break the myths of Australian Made; Please read Buy locally, Compete globally on page 21. We bring to your attention Deutscher who have been manufacturing OPE since the late 19th Century on page 20. I am hoping with this supply crisis which won’t be over soon, lessons have been learnt and a few entrepreneurs might seriously consider manufacturing again though it might take a few years of joint ventures and tooling up for this to happen. Food for thought perhaps. On a positive note, I drove through central Victoria and part of southernNSW to Hillston, from where we took the old agricultural bypass road to Sydney when I accompanied my husband on a business trip. Our farmers are enjoying bumper crops – the wheat silos were so full they had huge mounds of grain covered with tarps around them. The orange groves being systematically harvested were such a picturesque view. Farmers are spending big and were out at AgQuip with their wallets open, as reported by Adam Duggan on pages 14 – 15. With spring around the corner, John Power writes about awardwinning “Bespoke Landscapes” about their focus on sustainability with managing director Mitch Farina on pages 12 – 13. Our people on the land need to use all the research available to future proof their farming land, go to pages 30 -31 to read about Rehydrating Landscapes. On pages 28-29, we cover Spring Tips for lawn management. Research and Development covers growing pink and white strawberries for commercial gain on page10. Jackie Joy once again does a great job in dealer profile on pages 22 and 23. Jo Katsos presents another riveting marketing article on pages 24 -25. Thank you Stephen Fairbrother from Biscount for “Spot the Scam,” very timely and sound advise on page 27. Aussie pumps talk about adding another product to your dealership on page 26. A brilliant concept of using extremely high pressure washer technology to clear drains. We congratulate STIHL Shop Dandenong on being the STIHL national dealer of the year and all other state winners. What a great effort during such challenging times. We hope you enjoy our diversely curated articles and regular features. That’s a wrap. All the best for now. Elaine Sharman Editor

REGULAR FEATURES COVER STIHL continue to lead the charge in battery mowers, with their award winning German engineered range of lawn mowers. Known for performance and quality, both the RMA 510 V self propelled battery lawn mower and RMI 632 P iMOW® robotic mower have been awarded Best Mowers awards by CHOICE –backed up by a Trusted Brands Highly Commended award. RMA 510 V & RMI 632 P Recommended by CHOICE Awarded Best Battery MowerS ƒ Print Post Approved PP 100002231 www.power-equipment.com.au INSIDE Rehydrating Landscapes Support local compete global Spot the Scams Volume 43 No. 5 September - October 2022 JAK Max your OPE parts specialists TOLL FREE sales@jakmax.com.au P: 1800 604 281 www.jakmax.com.au F: 1800 199 758 Bar Blades Swing Back Blades Bolt Sets Belts Spindles Pulleys PTO Clutches Brushcutter Heads Brushcutter Parts Carby Parts Spark Plugs Air Filters Oil Nylon Line Fuel Cans Safety Equipment Genuine SANLI Parts Genuine Kohler Parts Genuine Briggs & Stratton Parts SPECIAL FEATURES Editor’s Column................................................... 4 News........................................................................ 6 Research & Development................................. 10 Operator Profile.................................................. 12 Computer Guru.................................................. 27 Dealer Profile. ..................................................... 22 Marketing............................................................. 24 New Products...................................................... 32 Diary Dates.......................................................... 34 AgQuip 2022...................................................... 14 How a bat could crash the International Space Station. ...................... 16 Buy Local, Compete Global............................. 21 Rehydrating landscapes..................................... 30 SEPTEMBER - OCTOBER 2022 | POWER EQUIPMENT AUSTRALASIA | 5

ENVIROSTREAM PARTNERS WITH BATTERY WORLD TO COLLECT SPENT BATTERIES Lithium Australia Limited’s Envirostream, which is leading Australia’s battery recycling industry, has executed a battery recycling services agreement with Battery World. Under the agreement, effective August 1, 2022, Envirostream will provide battery recycling services for participating Battery World franchise sites across Australia. This allows Envirostream to collect spent batteries (including lithium batteries, excluding lead acid batteries) from Battery World’s network of more than 110 stores nationally. Execution of the agreement follows a trial of spent-battery collection services by Envirostream in several Battery World stores within SouthEast Queensland. Access to this network diversifies Envirostream’s collection points and has the potential to increase volumes at its facilities in Victoria. The new site at Laverton was commissioned specifically to increase Envirostream’s capacity in preparation for the expected increase in volumes of end-of- life batteries. Envirostream now has access to over 800 collection points nationally. Battery World and Envirostream have worked together to ensure drop-off points for spent batteries, within the BatteryWorld Franchise network, are not only convenient and safe for customers but also facilitate efficient collection by Envirostream and meet the eligibility requirements for the nation’s official product stewardship scheme, operated by B-cycle. Under the scheme, Envirostream is an accredited collector, sorter, and processor and receives rebates on a per-kilogram basis. Stuart Tarrant, Lithium Australia’s Chief Financial Officer said, “This agreement is further validation of Envirostream’s credentials as the leader in the Australian battery recycling industry. The convenient drop-off points at BatteryWorld stores seek to motivate Battery World customers to sustainably dispose of their spent batteries, lowering volumes sent into landfill.” Johnny Kennedy, Battery World’s General Manager said, “As an Australian owned and operated company, Envirostream aligns perfectly to our commitment of doing our part to help our planet and mission to support local businesses. Our partnership with Envirostream will provide an easy solution for our customers to recycle their end-of-life batteries.” With battery recycling partnerships alongside some of Australia’s leading brands (including Bunnings, Officeworks and Battery World), Envirostream is set to benefit from the Australian government-backed battery recycling scheme which is providing rebates across collection, sorting, and processing of batteries. VARROA-TARGETING PESTICIDE UNDER DEVELOPMENT Amid Australia’s first Varroa Destructor Mite outbreak, the grower-owned research and development corporation Hort Innovation has joined forces with the University of Sydney to develop a worldfirst hormone-based pesticide that is safe for honey bees but fatal to Varroa mite. As part of the $1.2m initiative, scientists will create molecules that selectively bind to and interfere with the hormone receptors of Varroa mite and fellow honey bee pest, small hive beetle, interfering with reproduction, development, and behaviour. The target receptors are absent from vertebrates, making the pesticide safe for other beneficial animals in the environment. Hort Innovation Chief Executive Brett Fifield said the project aims to help safeguard Australian honey bees and will have positive impacts to horticulture production. “Thirty per cent of global agricultural production is reliant on pollination by honey bees,”Mr Fifield said. “And across the board, this production is currently under threat from pests including the Varroa mite and the small hive beetle.” Mr Fifield said pesticides are a crucial aspect of sustainable agriculture and disease control. However, there is a pressing need for more environmentallyfriendly pesticides that have selective action against ‘bad’ versus ‘good’ insects. “The development of a commercial pesticide that is fatal to Varroa mite and small hive beetle, but not honey bees, will lead to a worldwide market opportunity to export Australian-based technology. It will also offer a significant step toward protecting global agricultural systems that are reliant on honey bee pollination.” Until recently, Australia was the last known inhabited continent in the world that was not permeated by Varroa mite. Varroa mites cause weakness in honey bee colonies by feeding on larvae and pupae. They can also live on adult honey bees, transmitting viruses. Chemical control methods exist but research shows Varroa mites globally are building up NEWS 6 | POWER EQUIPMENT AUSTRALASIA | SEPTEMBER - OCTOBER 2022

tolerances and some treatments aren’t suitable for the Australian environment. Small hive beetles are a major pest in the warm and humid regions of the east coast of Australia, South Australia and northern WA. The larval stage causes damage to honeycomb, destroying brood and stored honey and pollen, resulting in honey fermentation and colonies becoming ‘slimed out’. Current control methods include traps based on broad-spectrum insecticides with potential side-effects to bees. The cases of small hive beetle have surged with the ongoing Australian El Nino events causing wet hot summers. University of Sydney project lead Professor Joel Mackay said insecticides that target Varroamite and small hive beetle receptors have not been successfully created before. “There has been international recognition of the potential value of insect hormone receptors as targets for safer selective control agents,” he said. “Several companies have tried and encountered technical difficulties largely because these proteins are challenging to express, purify and characterise. “However, our team has had over a decade of experience tackling and overcoming these technical challenges. We have one of only two laboratories in the world that have determined atomic structures of the hormone proteins of the receptors we are targeting. We have also developed a unique receptor-based chemical library screen for discovery of new pesticide leads molecules.” La Trobe University and theWalter and Eliza Hall Institute are also contributing to the five-year project. WORKING DOG TEAMS TO COMPETE IN FIRST COBBER CHALLENGE RELAY In previous years, the Cobber Challenge has showcased the efforts of individual working dogs, but this year’s challenge celebrates the teamwork that goes into running a farm. Twelve working dog teams will compete in the inaugural Cobber Challenge Relay, with teams representing every Australian state and New Zealand. The new relay format recognises that farmers often work dogs in teams, or pick certain dogs to do different tasks, like mustering mobs of cattle or pushing sheep through yards. OUR FRONT COVER SHOWS… STIHL continue to lead the charge in battery mowers this spring season with their awardwinning German-engineered range of lawn mowers. Known for performance and quality, both the RMA 510 V self-propelled battery lawn mower and RMI 632 P iMOW® robotic mower have been awarded ‘Best Mowers’ by CHOICE – which are backed up by a Trusted Brands Highly Commended award across the full battery lawn mowers range in Australia. Being a battery mower, the powerful RMA 510 V gives homeowners the performance of a petrol-powered mower without any of the hassles, allowing instant start, less noise and zero exhaust emissions. Once set up in your garden, the iMow RMI 632 P robotic mower takes care of your lawn for you, enabling a consistently maintained and healthier lawn while you spend your time looking after the rest of your garden. MORE INFORMATION STIHL Australia stihl.com.au RMA 510 V & RMI 632 P Recommended by CHOICE Awarded Best Battery MowerS ƒ Print Post Approved PP 100002231 www.power-equipment.com.au INSIDE Rehydrating Landscapes Support local compete global Spot the Scams Volume 43 No. 5 September - October 2022 OUR FRONT COVER SHOWS… NEWS Nick Foster, a stockman from Boorowa, NSW, with his dogs.

Now in its seventh year, the 2022 Cobber Challenge Relay will run from August 22 to September 11. Farmers have nominated teams of two, three or four dogs. Each day of the three-week competition, the farmer will select one of their nominated dogs to wear a GPS collar, to track how far, fast and for how long they work. The results will be combined to crown the winning team. Their data will be uploaded daily to the Cobber Challenge website so fans can follow along with their favourite working dog teams. Genine Jackson, a grazier representing Queensland in this year’s challenge, has a special bond with her working dogs. In 2020, Genine fell off a young horse, crushing three vertebrae. She didn’t know if she could continue mustering Brahman cattle on the family’s station near Charters Towers. But working dogs, trained to take a bigger range of commands, returned her independence. As she recovered and learned to train dogs in a new way, she was gifted a dog named Turbo. “Turbo is the dog that trained me, then trained my other dogs. Dogs have helped me accomplish much more than I ever thought I could,” Genine said. Sadly, Turbo recently passed away and Genine has christened her team of two Kelpies and one Collie, ‘Team Turbo’ in his memory. Nick Foster, a stockman fromBoorowa, NSW, can’t wait to show off how hard his dogs work – and play. “They are a part of my family, and they love my kids. Every day they get off work, they go find my kids.” Nick’s team ‘KoonamaWorking Kelpies’ is really a family affair. All four Kelpies are related. Cracka and Drake are brothers, with Cracka siring Scorcha and Bundy. Representing New Zealand this year is 19-year-old shepherd Taylor Bird. His ‘Team Hakatere Station’ is made up of four dogs – two Huntaways and two Heading dogs. “We had so many amazing nominations this year, and the 12 we’ve selected span from Bodallin in Western Australia, across to Mount Somers in New Zealand, almost 5000km, said Kellie Savage, Cobber’s Marketing Manager. “These teams showcase different types of farms and different breeds of dogs. But one thing all the teams share is a special relationships between our entrants and their dogs.” Ms Savage said the relay format will give people a better sense of how farmers really work with their dogs. “When they’re out on the land, it’s a team effort.” Cobber Working Dog Food will provide the fuel these dogs need to go hard, as it does for thousands of working dogs every day around the country. For three weeks, the dogs will be scored based on distance, speed and duration of work per day with points accumulated based on daily activity to determine the winner of the Cobber Challenge Relay trophy. People can follow the performance of their favourite working dog team at cobberchallenge.com.au and on the Cobber Dog Facebook page. EARTHTECH TO HELP REDUCE GLOBAL WASTE THROUGH INNOVATION According to IBM, the world wastes USD 15 trillion, or 28 per cent of global GDP, annually. Technology startup EarthTech has recently launched a global platform which streamlines the mobilisation of resources towards 17 of the world’s biggest social and environmental challenges. EarthTech’s co-founders, serial entrepreneurs Anthony Moorhouse and Brian Keayes, have spent two decades in the technology and innovation eco-system. The fathers came together to create EarthTech after witnessing the effect that Greta Thornburg’s youth movement had on their children’s generation. Both had a sense of guilt and shame about the world that our status quo systems were leaving for future generations. According to Keayes, “Customers, companies and countries are starting to care deeply about the environmental and social problems that we are leaving for future generations. As a father, I realised I needed to find a way to leverage my technology and entrepreneurial experience to do whatever I could to show my kids that my generation can be part of the solution.” The EarthTech founders, team and investors are passionate about the role that innovation can play in helping to reduce inefficiencies and waste in our global economy – for people and planet to prosper. Moorhouse states that, “The EarthTech Platform is designed to help entrepreneurs who have the innovative ideas needed to create a sustainable planet to get deals done with investors, philanthropists, corporations and governments who need to create sustainable ways to deliver outcomes to their stakeholders.” The EarthTech Platform uses sophisticated algorithms to match-make and curate relationships between the buyers and sellers of innovation, in a similar way to online dating apps. The platform is available to all entrepreneurs and investors / philanthropists who believe in the power of technology-for-good and can be customised for large investment funds, organisations and governments who need to invest in and procure innovation to meet their ESG strategies on behalf of their customers, shareholders, and citizens. NEW RESEARCH SUGGESTS FARMS SHOULD DIVERSIFY OUTSIDE AG The agricultural sector will increasingly need to adopt new technologies and NEWS Anthony Moorhouse. 8 | POWER EQUIPMENT AUSTRALASIA | SEPTEMBER - OCTOBER 2022

entrepreneurial flair to provide secondary income, along with more flexible land use to combat weather extremes such as floods and drought, according to new research. An international study, including input from Flinders University in South Australia, considers the reliance of many countries on a narrow band of agricultural practices which exposes landowners and the economy to fluctuations controlled by weather, trade and other external or global factors. The economic geography study published in ‘Regional Studies, Regional Science’ (Taylor and Francis Online) looks at OECD areas such as the Netherlands, which has great uniformity and varying diversification in its farming regions. “This study has some timely messages for the Australian agricultural industry, particularly in light of the massive rainfall flooding large areas of farming land at present,” said Flinders University lecturer in international business Dr Sharif Rasel. He said a recent study that found that the climate change will increase the risk of more regular floods in Australia, which will leave intensive farming regions on the eastern seaboard more vulnerable to crop losses and affect both national food market supplies and farm income. “Therefore, diversification on farm land will help farmers to reduce their income uncertainty, and can include even non-agricultural activities such as tourism,” Dr Rasel said. “Our study shows that the concentration of non-agricultural activities in close proximity can motivate farmers to become more entrepreneurial. “For example in South Australia, based on local industries and business environment, I see opportunities for local agricultural areas to expand business in aged care, disability care and farm tourism.” Findings from the Netherlands show that the higher the concentration of entrepreneurial diversification in a region, the greater the likelihood that a farmer undertakes entrepreneurship on the farm. It is estimated that only about 6 per cent of a total 57,000 Dutch farms support sideline businesses, including secondary food product production, processing or packaging, eco-tourism, care farming and day care services alongside their regular agricultural activities. The authors argue this approach to diversifications to complement local enterprises is often overlooked in the agricultural sector. They point out that ‘second-nature geography’, or the concentration of regional or local entrepreneurial activities, can give farmers incentives to discover and explore entrepreneurial opportunities and to find technological and financial incentives to integrate these supporting activities into their farming business. NEW TRUFFLE RESEARCH SET TO PUT WA ON THE MAP Truffle growth in WA is set take off as Silverplace Pty Ltd (formerly Varona Fine Foods), Mt Lindesay and Murdoch University join forces to increase the volume of new species of truffles, adding to the market value across the world. The ‘Australian truffles’ project is backed by the Future Food Systems Cooperative Research Centre (Future Food CRC). Currently, WA dominates truffle production within Australia, and while the overseas market for Australian truffles is small, with 14-18 tonnes exported in 2019, Australian truffle growers have a competitive advantage as they benefit from counter-season production to the Northern Hemisphere. In addition to exploring the suitability of new truffle species for Australia, more research is needed to fully assess truffle cultivation techniques and their influence on Australian truffle yields. This includes tree inoculation, colonisation of the host, and persistence in the field, particularly on different host trees and in varying climatic conditions. Adam Wilson from Silverplace Pty Ltd said it was great to see production in both WA and Australia increasing and having a competitive edge. “To enable this growth, a WA-based truffle seedling nursery and clean lab is being developed. This will give us the capability to test truffle tree seedlings, enabling nurseries to improve seedling production methods continually and introduce practices that produce the highest quality inoculated seedlings,” Mr Wilson said. “Further, a team of researchers is developing a regime of post-nursery testing of successfully colonised trees planted in orchards, which take around one year to prepare before planting. This could be further exploited to increase Australia’s export market share in the future.” DeputyViceChancellor andProfessor Peter Davies said the truffle industry is growing rapidly in Australia and it was exciting for Murdoch University to be part of this research driving commercial production on a larger scale. “Murdoch University will help support the research needed by providing a PhD student, as well as operating expenses needed to integrate the outputs of this project within the company’s supply chains. NEWS Silverplace mycologist Federico Paci holds a WAgrown black winter truffle. Gem Truffle SEPTEMBER - OCTOBER 2022 | POWER EQUIPMENT AUSTRALASIA | 9

A New Hue: Pink, white strawberries to hit Aussie shelves The new strawberries are the first ‘novelty’ varieties to be developed and commercialised through the Hort Innovation and DAF QLD partnership. Two new home-grown strawberry varieties, pink andwhite, will soon be available to Australian growers and consumers after Hort Innovation put the call out for a commercial partner to fast-track the products to market. Hort Innovation chief executive Brett Fifield said both varieties had an intense strawberry aroma and an unusual appearance that is expected to appeal to consumers. They have been specially bred for the Australian environment and offer superior overall quality. “Pink and white strawberries are like nothing else on Aussie retail shelves,” Mr Fifield said. “They are exceptional, and so they should be. They are the culmination of years of research, field trials, consumer preference testing and industry engagement.” The new white strawberries are true to their name. On the inside, they are brilliant white. On the outside, they are white with a pale pink blush and specked with red seeds. The pink strawberries have a peach pink exterior and also feature a white inside. Both have a rich aroma and are sweet in flavour. Hort Innovation and Queensland’s Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF) are seeking a suitable partner to commercialise the varieties, foster grower adoption and deliver marketing efforts to support consumer awareness. The new strawberries are the first ‘novelty’ varieties to be developed and commercialised through the Hort Innovation and DAF QLD partnership. DAFQLDproject leadDr JodiNeal said more than 40 per cent of strawberry fruit sold nationally in retail outlets hadbeendeveloped through the research work of DAF QLD as part of its partnership with Hort Innovation. “Over the past 10 years, we have developed 16 strawberry varieties that are bespoke to our Australian growing conditions and consumer palettes,” Dr Neal said. “It is great to see grower adoption of these varieties has grown over the past five years. In 2021, 45 per cent of the national planting was attributable to varieties developed by the program led by DAFQLD.” The commercial partner ‘Expression of Interest’ had been advertised and would close late September. The announcementwasmade at the premier gathering for the berry industry worldwide, BerryQuest International 2022 on the Gold Coast. BerryQuest host Berries Australia executive director RachelMackenzie said new varieties are the way of the future for the strawberry industry and support growing domestic and export demand. “It’s really exciting to see these new varieties reach this stage in the commercialisation process,” she said. “This is growers’ levy funding coming to life before our eyes.” Ms Mackenzie said the Australian breeding program is a real success story: “Armed with all these bespoke varieties and a genuine interest in applying the latest research and development on farm, along with a drive to increase trade opportunities, the strawberry industry is in a positive position.” The varieties were developed through the grower-owned research and development corporation using grower levies and funds from the Australian Government, and co-funded and led by the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF) Queensland, the new varieties boast characteristics previously unseen in Australia. According to the Horticulture Statistics Handbook, in 2020/21, 77,751 tonnes of strawberries were produced at a value of $417.2 million. Eighty-eight per cent of this domestic production was supplied to the fresh market, 7 per cent (5,417 tonnes) was processed predominately into preserves, and 5 per cent (3,578 tonnes) was exported. The majority of strawberries are grown in Queensland (42 per cent), followed by Victoria (36 per cent), Western Australia (11 per cent) and South Australia (7 per cent), with smaller volumes in Tasmania and New South Wales. RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT Dr Jodi Neal (DAF QLD), Rachel Mackenzie (Berries Australia) and Brett Fifield (Hort Innovation CEO) with the pink variety. 10 | POWER EQUIPMENT AUSTRALASIA | SEPTEMBER - OCTOBER 2022

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Suburban homeowners are spending more time at home, seeking more meaningful interaction with their outdoor spaces. Melbourne-based landscape design and construction company Bespoke Landscapes is catering to this growing demand for sustainable, customised urban gardens. JOHN POWER reports. Bespoke Landscapes: Sustainable Liveability in the Suburbs OPERATOR: Bespoke Landscapes REPRESENTATIVE: Director: Mitch Farina LOCATION: Heidelberg West, Melbourne, Victoria CONTACT: bespokelandscapes.com.au Our metropolitan private gardens have never had to serve so many functions: they are simultaneously sanctuaries from the rigors of busy work-from-home life, calling cards to birds and wildlife, shields from surrounding neighbourhood activity, and spiritual antidotes to stress. In response to this heightened functional complexity, a new wave of landscape designers and constructors is heeding market demands for personalised landscape constructions that treat outdoor design with interior-level respect and thoughtfulness. A leader in this field is Bespoke Landscapes, which is based in HeidelbergWest inMelbourne’s inner-eastern suburbs. The business, which has 10 full-time staff, has grown over the past five years to become an awardwinning company. The business was recognised in the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects (AILA) ‘Landscape Architecture Awards 2022’ for its work on Fitzroy Bridge House (Gardens category). Director Mitch Farina says he is also proud of his team’s recognition, in conjunction with AKAS Landscape Architecture, in the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show 2019 for their design featuring mainly recycled constructionmaterials. The business hasConstruction andHorticultural divisions, though Mitch expects to concentrate on construction work in future. In-house design is also a growth area of the enterprise. LOW ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT A key feature of the business is its adherence to the same values that guide their clientele’s expectations, namely premium functionality delivered with a low environmental impact. That means a preference for local natural materials, an emphasis on horticultural screening and partitioning installations, an eye for multifunctionality and recyclability, practical water features, and custom-built accessories ranging from handmade metal framing to birdbaths and seating. Off-site fabrication takes place at the business’ 600m2 warehouse in Heidelberg West. This ‘light construction footprint’ extends to the equipment used by the business on a day-to-day basis, starting with the use of as much battery-powered gear as possible. This practice serves numerous goals; not only does quieter (electric) power equipment allow for earlier work starts in heavily populated areas, but it also creates fewer emissions while enhancing safety for operators. Battery-powered equipment is also immune frommany of the problems often associated with petrol-powered devices, such as damage caused by improper fuel mix ratios or water contamination. “We’ve gone completely battery-powered with our horticulture side of the business,” Mitch explains. “We use all STIHL battery stuff – the commercial range, meaning lawn mowers, all the multi-tools, brush cutters, power brooms, and all that kind of stuff.” As a rule of thumb, Mitch says he opts for highquality brands to provide premium, swift results with as little downtime as possible. OPERATOR PROFILE The team at Bespoke Landscapes are bringing sustainable landscape construction and design to the inner suburbs of Melbourne.

“On the construction side of the business, we use Achilli tile saws for all our custom stone cutting on site, and Italian Achilli table saws, which are really good,” he says. “And the hand power tools are all Makita – the only reason we use them for landscaping is because we’ve found they are a bit lighter and tougher than some of the other brands. All our concrete mixers are Belle mixers: we’ve got three of those that we rotate around the sites.” Other common equipment used on site includes Easymix concrete mixers, Hikoki jack hammers and related heavy-duty demolition gear, as well as Toyota forklift and skid steer equipment. “We’ve got an SK5, and we’re just about to get an SK4.”Main vehicles are also Toyota models. AHino tipper rounds out the heavy equipment fleet. Many of Bespoke Landscapes’ inner-suburban worksites are in congested areas with poor street access and tight entrances, hence the need for micro machinery for a range of tasks. A Takeuchi 210 R (1.1t micro excavator) is ideal for small jobs because it contracts down to a 750mm-wide footprint… “so we can drive it through the centre of a townhouse and out the back”. Everyday maintenance is carried out in-house, aided by the lower maintenance requirements of battery-powered equipment. Local dealers undertake larger scheduled maintenance jobs and repairs. DESIGN MEETS CONSTRUCTION One of the company’s greatest strengths is its understanding that good design is inseparable from efficient construction. During any project, early consultation between landscape designers and construction crews paves the way for tremendous efficiencies later on, and, just as importantly, minimises waste. By gaining early access to the site of a new build, for instance, Mitch and his team are able to perform demolition work in a planned, sequential order and separate out different kinds of materials for removal. This strategy matters, he explains, because Bespoke Landscapes has waste disposal agreements with various recycling businesses, which generally favour pre-sorted, uncontaminated loads of waste products like old bricks, steel, or concrete. Removing and sorting ‘clean’ loads of waste material prior to any building works prevents needless double-handling – or timeconsuming manual labour solutions – later in the project. “Yes, it takes a littlemore time, and the client pays a small premium on that as well, but most clients come to us because we are sustainably minded and try to do the best to minimise waste as well,” Mitch says. The importance of considering both design and construction requirements at the outset of a project is now gaining momentum throughout the premium landscape architecture industry. Oddly enough, Mitch adds, profound labour shortages have actually helped to encourage best practice, as designers and their clients have been compelled to formalise contracts with construction companies sooner rather than later, rather than rely on last-minute arrangements. GO NATURAL, GO LOCAL Bespoke Landscapes has found that the use of local, naturally sourced construction materials has also served to maximise efficiencies. Whereas other industries with a strong reliance on imported products have felt the full brunt of recent supply chain interruptions, Bespoke Landscapes has sidestepped international delivery delays and product shortages by using local stone, for example, andmanufacturing asmuch of its own garden accessories as possible at its own factory warehouse. “The biggest factor in design at themoment is localisation,”Mitch says. “Demand for local materials is becoming higher. So, a lot of other companies are sticking with Italian stones, for example, but we’re going the opposite way – sourcing materials locally. We go through Bamstone for bluestone, we use Castlemaine or South Australian slate; we’re moving out of the imported stone as much as possible.” DESIGN TRENDS As mentioned above, garden functionality is now both complex and multifaceted, requiring an inventive approach to design. In terms of design trends, Mitch says he has seen a definite upswing in respect for outdoor landscape areas, which are now higher-priority elements of premium house construction projects. “For instance, a lot of people are trying to set up home-office areas; outdoor studios are becoming really popular,” he says. “So, that might be incorporating a studio into a landscape design by dropping a prefabricated studio in the back garden and building the garden around that, and then having external functional spaces attached to those outdoor studios or indoor studios and closing them off from the rest of the house. “It’s definitely affecting our approach when we initially go in for our design consultation.” Another popular design feature is framed screening to add privacy, height, and softness to an outdoor area, not only to prevent overlooking but also to promote plant life. Bespoke Landscapes manufactures much of its own metal framing, which includes recycled material where possible. Mature trees, unsurprisingly, are in very high demand. “I think everyone’s looking for something different,” Mitch concludes. “Budget hasn’t been an issue recently. There’s a lot more thought going into it and a lot more budget going in to creating custom-made things – and that’s what a lot of people come to our business for: bespoke products.” Landscape construction is always easier if the crew has ready access to all parts of a property. SEPTEMBER - OCTOBER 2022 | POWER EQUIPMENT AUSTRALASIA | 13

AgQuip 2022 FIELD DAY AgQuip is Australia’s largest premier primary industry field days and has been running since 1973. Located on a permanent, purpose-built site, eight kilometres west of Gunnedah, New South Wales, in the centre of one of the richest and diverse rural areas of Australia, the event attracts over 100,000 visitors each year over a three-day period. A much anticipated event for exhibitors and attendees alike, this year’s field day was back after a two-year hiatus due to COVID19. The event was held fromAugust 16-18. “When it comes to industry field days, AgQuip is definitely one of the most anticipated events of the year,” Mr Duggan said. Showcasing over 3,000 products and services aimed at farming professionals, the event provides an excellent opportunity for businesses to promote their brand, generate sales and connect with consumers. “It was really positive to see farmers and industry professionals come out in large numbers. There was strong presence and it seems agriculture has come back with a very strong run. Great weather also helped this year’s attendance,” he said. Backafter a two-year hiatus, AgQuip2022, oneof themost anticipatedagri-business events of the year, ran to a full house. Adam Duggan of JAK Max presents a visual snapshot of the action-packed field days. 14 | POWER EQUIPMENT AUSTRALASIA | SEPTEMBER - OCTOBER 2022

FIELD DAY There were five mowers shops under the Scone outdoor group. Motor Mecca representing Stihl at AgQuip. Graham Fraser and his team had a great display and have been attending AgQuip since 1987. “Compared to what’s on the news, it seems farmers have had a good couple of years. There have been a lot of supply chain shortages across the industry but AgQuip seemed to bust the trend and there was a lot of equipment on offer,” he said. Gail Patterson, who was representing her dealership located in Gunnedah, said it was great coming to the event, talking to the consumers and the farmers. She said it was also good to see what is new in the industry, which you don’t get to know from the shop. She was thankful for the support from key suppliers like JAKmax on field days such as these.

OPINION How a bat could crash the International Space Station Picture this: You are cruising along a straight road in the car you have owned for years. It is familiar, easy, and dependable, so you are comfortable to take your eyes off the road, for just a moment, to tune in to a local radio station. An odd noise, a strange feeling, and you look up to see that you have driven over a cliff and are moments away from crashing into the ocean. That is the nightmare lived out by some business owners. They assumed that the road into the future was straight ahead, doing what was familiar and comfortable. They assumed away the disruptors, held the same business course, waiting for things to get back to normal, and felt safe running their business the tried and trusted way. To ‘do nothing’ is a decision that led the business over a financial cliff. There have been a number of changes or economic disruptions lately, any one of which will cause a crack in road into your business’ future. These are uncomfortable realities. If right now you feel the urge to turn the page or ponder over the pretty pictures, then you too need to stay focussed on the road. BAT SOUP Once upon a time someone in China ate a bat. Wuhan-style cooking specialises in soups as well as noodle dishes, such as hot dry noodles, so it was a traditional bat soupwith lemongrass, Kaffir leaves, lime and carrot. The more plausible theories are that COVID-19 made a zoonotic leap from infected animals in the Huanan SeafoodMarket in Wuhan, or the SARS-Co V-2 virus somehow escaped from the Wuhan Institute of Virology. What came next was the biggest pothole in the economic highway since WW2. Shutdowns, lockdowns, shortages of shipping goods, labour. Nothing was moving. Airlines, tourism, and the luggage industry were decimated. Bunnings and home renovations went like crazy. What could have been predicted for your business? You do not need to be an economist to look at what the business environment was like after WW2. After the war, the world faced shortage of goods, of shipping capacity and workers. At the same time, with soldiers returning home and getting married meant demand for anything household went through the roof (pun intended). I remember my mother telling me that when you had saved for a toaster, you paid Recommended Retail Price (RRP), there was no discount, and thenwaited amonth for the call informing the toaster had arrived and could now be collected. Does this sound like today or 1952? History repeats itself which is a great opportunity to look at what worked then and how we could profit today. Our industry has a great story to tell from this period in Australia’s history. Itwas in1953 thatwe sawthe birthof thatAustralian icon, Victa. Frustrated with an inability to source small engines from the UK, Victa decided to build their own two-stroke right here. I have suggested in previous columns that manufacturers in Australia should consider vertically integrating up the supply chain. In otherwords,make in-housewhat youbuynow.Thatmight be your own production facility, or just an assembly plant. It could be a joint venture with a competitor or an unrelated business. For example, you may be short of metal fuel tanks. Why not move to rotational mounded fuel tanks in a JV facility to also make rotational moulded pool furniture? Ok, it needs more thought, but the idea has legs. What it needs is some old-style ingenuity like Mervyn Victor (Victa) Richardson showed us. These shortages, the after-effect of COVID-19 are not going away soon. Some side effects aremedical and as the virus mutates, we will have more waves of infection until the next pandemic, like Monkey Pox. Other consequences are here to stay. For example, transport businesses like Australia Post have implemented safe distancing handling procedures which guarantee pre-COVID service levels will never return. Forget about returning to normal. This is the newnormal. THE RISE OF THE DICTATOR History also tells us that in tough times, democracy fades and dictators rise. Putin first came to notice as a supporter of the new freedoms in Russia, but instead has turned back the clock. Opposition leaders get poisoned and billionaire Oligarchs who speak up about corruption suddenly find themselves investigated for tax fraud. Protesting the invasion of Ukraine will get you ten years in jail. Putin is trying to reverse history, to make Russia a huge empire once again. The invasion of Ukraine has halted production. Food supplies are threatened as grain shipments are reduced to a trickle and components like wiring looms for BMWmeans no cars can be built. Europe, especially Germany relies on energy, especially gas, piped in fromRussia, who it now opposes by supporting Ukraine. World trade was supposed to stop wars. It hasn’t. Instead, it has just made themmessy and confusing. And again, we see USA Vs Russia, with the Americans supplying Ukraine with billions of dollars of weapons, which for nowhas stopped Putin taking the country. In the meantime, energy supplies are tight, pushing up the price of petrol and higher fuel prices means the price of everything goes up. What does this all mean for Australia? More shortages of goods and rising prices, a double dose of what COVID has already delivered. China’s Xi Jinping has bent the Constitutional rules and is now apparently President for life. The biggest problemis that he has publicly declared that the Island of Taiwanmust become part of China “by any means necessary”. During the Mao revolution Cheung Kai-shek leader of the democratic Chinese Nationalist party fled to Taiwan from the Communist takeover, the island known as Formosa has been a thorn in their side ever since then. That causes us all a problem. You have heard of the chip shortage affecting every product, especially car production? Well, Taiwan is the world leader in semiconductors. Lose Taiwan and we lose the capacity to build everything - frommedical equipment to aircrafts. 16 | POWER EQUIPMENT AUSTRALASIA | SEPTEMBER - OCTOBER 2022

The US government is responding with a very cleverly named investment program called ‘Chips’ to promote semiconductor production. Not so cleverly, they have been poking the dragon with high level visits to Taiwan and stating flatly that they will defend Taiwan from attack. Is this going to be WW3? Or is that title booked by Ukraine, and China vs USAwill have to settle forWW4? Guess what we get? Business uncertainty, rising prices, chip shortages and consequential shortages of everything else. Yes, a third dose of the business fever COVID delivered. Trump had a similar attitude. He thought that being the President of a country was like being president of his own company – and he could do pretty much what he liked. He started by using executive orders to get around democracy and ended up taking home ultra-high classified documents. Whether you like him or not, when the certainty of democracy fails, business lacks the confidence to invest and grow. The USA economy also survives on low-cost labour. Initially, that was slaves and today, it is illegal immigrants. Trump’s great wallmay be popular, until someone realises that these immigrants are taking the jobs – the jobs most of us do not want to do. Scott Morrison, it was recently revealed, showed the same signs of stomping on democratic principles. Fromwhat I read it started up innocently enough. At the beginning COVID was a great unknown and the emergency health laws meant that Greg Hunt, the Health Minister would effectively run the country. Rather than become an Emperor, he agreed to share theMinistry with Scotty, in case one of them fell over. A back-up plan they kept quiet, so it did not cause more panic. ThePMthenwent too far by using the samemechanismtobecome dual Minister five more times, without even telling the Minister. That is almost a coup, which shows what strange times we live in. Democracy is a flimsy systemthatworkswhenwe all followthe unwritten rules, and is too easily destroyed as we have now seen inAustralia andwitnessed in the USA (Trump), the UK ( Johnson) and the Philippines (Duterte). Global warming is back on the agenda, and we are seeing more weather-related disasters. Recently announced was a third La Niña for next summer meaning another season of flooding rains. In the current northern hemisphere summer, unprecedented heat waves has meant high energy demand and slowed production. In parts of China, factories were ordered to close for six days, to curb the electricity demand. By now you have guessed that only adds to shortages and increased prices. If you have not already reached for the bottle of green pills, let me tell you the saddest part. Being a space nerd and still recallingwhat I was chewing onwhenArmstrong walked on themoon, it looks like the end of the International Space Station. The only place we saw the USA and Russia closely cooperate was in the maintenance and manning of the Space Station. In a bad mood with the USA, Russia announced they were pulling out ahead of schedule, meaning nomore propulsion booster and possible end of the International Space Station. You see, a bat gave us a pandemic which gave us the rise of dictators, who had a spat andwill no longer cooperate in space. If that is toomuch to swallow, I have included belowwhatmay be the useful part of this month’s column. It is a checklist of some of the ways you canhelp your business survive in the tough times we are facing. Give me a call if you like. I will gladly join your team on Zoom to help plan a safe future for you all. ISSUE – HIGH INFLATION Suggestions to consider: • Contract with customers “subject to supplier price increases”. • Sell and value existing stock not at purchase price but at replacement costs (LIFO accounting). ISSUE – HIGH INTEREST RATES Suggestions to consider: • Reduce borrowing and stock levels. • Ask customers to pay much higher deposits, or even full prepayment. • Ask suppliers for extended trading terms. ISSUE – SHORTAGE OF SUPPLY MACHINES Suggestions to consider: • Source other brands. • Source alternate products. • Source a wider range of products and services. • Get into the refurbished “good as new and available now” market. • Manufacture in Australia yourself. ISSUE – SHORTAGE OF SUPPLY COMPONENTS Suggestions to consider: • R edesign. • Make parts locally. • Reduce features. OPINION SEPTEMBER - OCTOBER 2022 | POWER EQUIPMENT AUSTRALASIA | 17