Monday, October 31, 2011

Salary Packaging : Mark Amos

Name: Mark Amos

What does your business do?

The JSA Group has offices in Newcastle, Charlestown & New Lambton NSW providing Financial Planning, Accounting, Mortgages & Finance, and more recently Salary Packaging.

What is salary packaging and how does it help me if I am employee?

 Salary packaging allows employees to bundle benefits (such as cars, laptops, super etc) pre-tax.  This may provide substantial savings and an increase take home pay. 

Is there a benefit for employers to be doing salary packaging or does this just
add more work for them to do?

For employers, salary packaging can attract and retain quality staff at no cost to the business, by providing substantial additional employment benefits.

JSA takes care of all the administration in a simple, uncomplicated process.

What do like most about your work?
Unlocking business potential and driving business growth.  Connecting people, providing solutions and delivering outcomes.

Is there a typical kind of person or business with whom you work?

Fulltime employees in small business, not for profits, public health or rebatable organizations (eg Private Schools).   

Where does salary packaging sit in running a business effectively?
Most business owners acknowledge that the greatest asset in their business is their people. Most would welcome the opportunity to reward their staff with higher salaries or increased benefits.

Salary packaging is a means of providing this reward to staff at no cost to the business.

Can I do it myself?
Definitely.  Salary packaging is merely a way of taking advantage of lucrative taxation benefits on offer to employees.

JSA can either help you do this yourself, or we can take over the entire compliance and administration burden from you.

Are there common problems you see in how businesses arrange their business around benefits and assets such as cars and the like?
Motor vehicles are always a big problem for a business – from what to buy, how best to buy it, how to finance it, how to service and maintain it, how long to keep it, and how best to dispose of it. 

Much of this is done “ad-hoc” and without too much thought or external advice, and left to the accountant to sort out the mess at the end of the financial year.

JSA can substantially reduce vehicle ownership and management costs to a business, reduce the administration burden and turn this into a value employee benefit.

What would you suggest businesses look for when balancing their business's bottom line with obligations and benefits for employees?

There are a number of substantial benefits that can be provided to employees without impacting on business profitability.  This can include offering a good superannuation scheme, a group insurance scheme or a well resolved salary packaging arrangement.

All of this can be provided at no cost to the employer through the assistance of the JSA group.

What are some other flow-on effects have clients noticed after setting up salary packaging with good results?

Clients tend to attract and retain good staff that are more engaged, incentivized and rewarded through salary packaging arrangements.

Do you have any tips for businesses looking to review the way they approach these issues in the business?

Take the time to see how salary packaging can benefit your business (irrespective of its size or industry type). Salary packaging is often seen as too hard or complex which is simply not the case.  In a tough employment climate, salary packaging can provide a significant competitive edge to your business.

What locations do you service?

All states and territories of Australia.

How can people reach you if they would like to discuss salary packaging options?

By phoning (02) 4908 0999 or emailing me at or visiting

Any information contained in this communication is of a general nature only and does not take into account your circumstances or needs. You must decide if this information is suitable to your personal situation or seek advice.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Newcastle Boys and Girls High Historic Records Donated

Eleven school enrolment registers from the former Newcastle Girls High School and two from Newcastle Boys High School were donated yesterday to State Records NSW.

The records have been digitised and will help family historians and migrants needing to prove residency.
The registers show each student’s name, address, father’s occupation and their post-school destination.

Among the girls’ school records were daughters of tallowsmen and dredgemasters who went on to either Newcastle Teacher’s College or the old Royal Newcastle Hospital.

Full article 

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Nobbys Lighthouse Newy's Latest Attraction

Nobby's Lighthouse lights up as Newcastle's newest attraction
[Wed 12/10/2011 09:56:41]

After more than 100 years of restricted public access, renowned historical landmark Nobby's Lighthouse has opened its doors as the newest attraction in Newcastle.

Nobbys Head was the 3rd lighthouse built in NSW

One of the city’s oldest buildings, the lighthouse now invites visitors to access the structure atop Nobbys Headland and take a look into Newcastle’s nautical past while enjoying sweeping views over the city and out to the Pacific Ocean.

Established in 1854, Nobbys Lighthouse was the third lighthouse built in NSW and is included in the City of Newcastle's Coat of Arms. The original 20,000 candle-power light was attended by three keepers, until the light was converted to electric operation in 1935.

Newcastle city views from Nobby's Lighthouse

The lighthouse and its grounds are now accessible to the public free-of-charge, on the first and third Sunday of each month between 10:00am and 4:00pm.

The journey to reach Nobbys Lighthouse is an experience in itself. Located at the end of a long man-made spit at the entrance to beautiful Newcastle Harbour, the lighthouse is accessed by an 800-metre scenic pathway running from the base of the headland, along the breakwater and up to the peak where a spectacular view awaits.

Light refreshments are available at the lighthouse kiosk which operates on open days, or visitors can pack their own picnic to enjoy at the top.

Open days at the Nobbys Lighthouse are managed by L!vesites – an initiative of Newcastle City Council which brings people and businesses in the local community together to deliver creative events and cultural experiences in the city’s public spaces.

The lighthouse will be a key site for upcoming events in Newcastle, including Australia Day and New Year’s Eve activities, one-off art exhibitions and other special experiences. The site is also available for private functions.

For more information on the lighthouse site in Newcastle please visit

Monday, October 10, 2011

Urban Insider - Cooks Hill NSW

Cooks Hill is an inner city suburb of Newcastle NSW. Here are some urban shots from the local online hipster magazine Urban Insider.  See full gallery here 

Cooks Hill grew from coal mines in the area. Land sales developed from Brooks Street onto Darby Street to create the commercial centre there today. Darby Street was originally known as Lake Macquarie road and was one of the few public access roads through AA Company Coal Mine land.

Monday, October 03, 2011

Raymond Terrace On The Williams River

Williams River at Raymond Terrace NSW

Just over the Hexham Bridge, Raymond Terrace is an easy commute to Newcastle, Nelson Bay, Maitland and Hawks Nest.  The Newcastle Airport is close by and services are easy to access. 

See also Botanical Gardens entry