30 December 2021

2021 Year in Review: Taking care of business

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It was a topsy-turvey year for businesses across the nation but regional businesses battled on. Here we have compiled 10 of the stories about the highs and lows of business in 2021.

10. South Jerrabomberra named as NSW’s third regional jobs hub

John Barilaro with a group of men for announcement of regional jobs hub.

The then Member for Monaro John Barilaro (fourth from right) was front and centre for the announcement of a regional jobs hub in South Jerrabomberra on Friday, 5 March. Photo: Supplied.

The South Jerrabomberra Innovation Precinct was named as the third regional jobs hub in NSW with up to 5000 jobs expected to be created on the site.

The precinct, being developed by Village Building Company, is a joint venture between the NSW Government, Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council (QPRC) and Poplars Developments that will target industries such as defence, space, cybersecurity, information technology and scientific research sectors.

9. Australia’s Oyster Coast embraces two award-winning South Coast farms

Warwick Anderson and John Blankenstein

Far South Coast oyster farmers Warwick Anderson (left) and John Blankenstein (right). Photo: Supplied.

Two award-winning oyster farms, from Wapengo Lake and Nelsons Lagoon, have joined Australia’s Oyster Coast (AOC) after a couple of years of challenges from bushfires, floods and COVID-19.

AOC’s executive chair Mike Lukin said the purchase of the farms from Mimosa Rock Oysters’ John Blankenstein, and Kingfisher Oysters’ Warwick Anderson and Lee Primmer, strengthened the supply of premium oysters from Wapengo Lake, a popular estuary famed for its sweet rock oysters and pristine environment.

“Acquiring these farms from two award-winning farmers aligns with our focus on consistent supply of high-quality oysters,” said Mr Lukin.

8. Here’s cheers: Goulburn winery sells for $2.3m – and picks up gong

Man win wine

Sydney restaurateur John Gebran toasts the success of his new venture – Kingsdale Wines at Goulburn. Photo: Supplied.

Sydney restaurateur John Gebran knows a good drop when he spots one – he bought Goulburn’s award-winning boutique Kingsdale Wines for $2.3 million.

He had been looking at properties in wine country to the country’s north and south, but hadn’t found what he was after.

“I had sold a few things and was looking for something new – and I work on the theory that when you go after something, you get it.”

7. Braidwood business chamber calls for mediation regarding Kings Highway closure plan

Traffic stopped on Kings Highway at Clyde Mountain

Traffic on Kings Highway at Clyde Mountain will be disrupted from 31 August, 2021, as tree-felling work takes place. Photo: Kim Treasure.

Business owners from Braidwood to Batemans Bay told Region Media they were at breaking point when plans to fully close the main road connecting Canberra to the NSW South Coast for four days a week for two months were revealed.

The closures were to allow work to remove 400 bushfire-damaged roadside trees and improve safety on the important transport route.

6. A shopaholic’s guide to Bungendore

Manon & Moss

There are all manner of eclectic European homewares to be found at Manon & Moss in Bungendore. Photo: Michelle Rowe.

From exquisite handmade jewellery and singular artworks to quirky antiques and high-end homewares, there’s no end to the tantalising treasures to be found in Bungendore. Charge up the credit card and head for this shopper’s paradise, right on Canberra’s doorstep.

5. Cracker of a business up for sale, no yolk

Free-range chickens on BumNuts egg farm in Gunning

The BumNuts egg farm in Gunning is up for sale, including its 15,000 chooks. Photo: Supplied.

Putting all your eggs in one basket is not always the soundest business decision, except if you’re talking about 15,000 chickens, enough sheds to house them in a way in which they have become accustomed, and one of the best rural reputations around.

Then there’s the catchy branding: BumNuts.

Eight years ago, Theresa and Craig Robinson hatched a plan to raise chickens on their Gunning property, but there were never going to be cramped surroundings, cages or discomfort for these chooks.

4. Nelligen’s iconic Steampacket Hotel is back in business

The Steampacket Hotel at Nelligen is a welcoming sight for motorists coming down the Clyde Mountain. Photo: Supplied.

The Steampacket Hotel at Nelligen is a welcoming sight for motorists coming down the Clyde Mountain. Photo: Supplied.

The scaffolding may still be up but the lights are back on at Nelligen’s iconic Steampacket Hotel.

It took three months of blood, sweat and tears for the Alvey family to finally get the pub back into shape after a turbulent 12 months that saw it buffeted by bushfires, storms and floods.

Licensee Joel Alvey, with mum Heather, wife Melissa and brother Greg, moved from Tullamore in Central Western NSW to take over the historic business almost four years ago.

3. Cobargo butchery reopens after fires with rugby league star at the helm

David Boyle

Former Canberra Raider David Boyle has reopened Bennys Butchery in Cobargo, the same store where he started his apprenticeship. Photo: Supplied.

Rugby league star David Boyle has gone full circle, reopening the same small town butchery where he started his apprenticeship after the store had been damaged by bushfires.

He is serving customers again at Bennys Butchery in Cobargo, about 18 months after the 2019-2020 bushfires destroyed parts of the town and region.

While the flames devastated the town’s main street where the butchery is located, they didn’t destroy the store however, it was badly damaged and needed repairs over the last six months with Mr Boyle saying it was now a “reasonably new shop”.

2. Selwyn Snow Resort’s plans to rise from the ashes

Artist's impression of the redeveloped Selwyn Snow Resort visitors centre.

An artist’s impression of the redeveloped Selwyn Snow Resort visitors centre. Photo: Sissons.

The view from Mount Selwyn is looking a whole lot better this year compared to when the ski resort was damaged beyond repair by bushfires, forcing its closure throughout the 2020 snow season.

But behind the scenes, it’s the little things that are adding up to what looks like a promising future for Selwyn Snow Resort in the coming years.

1. Billionaire Justin Hemmes snaps up South Coast venue

Justin Hemmes, CEO of Merivale

Justin Hemmes, CEO of Merivale, has big plans for his “second home” Narooma. Photo: Supplied.

Billionaire hotelier Justin Hemmes has confounded the pundits choosing the NSW South Coast as his entertainment and hospitality company’s first venture outside Sydney.

The location of Merivale’s first venue outside the NSW capital has long been a subject of conjecture, with many industry insiders believing it would be Melbourne.

Instead, the hospitality heavyweight has snapped up The Quarterdeck in Narooma for an undisclosed sum.

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