Hunter Central Coast Innovation Festival 2011 (6-24 May)

April 20, 2011

hccifwebscreen Hunter Central Coast Innovation Festival 6-24 MAY 2011. Under the banner of ‘SMART Innovation’, the fourth annual 2011 Hunter Central Coast Innovation Festival, (HCCIF) will connect some of the region’s leading businesses and promote smarter, more innovative ways of doing business.

Organisers from the Hunter Central Coast Innovation Festival wanted an improved website and a more ‘corporate’ styled logo ahead of this year’s Festival in May 2011.  FordComm created the new logo and built the new site in under six weeks.  The Festival’s website hosts around 40 events and has received substantial traffic in the first two weeks of the Festival.  FordComm also developed press ads and other supporting marketing collateral.

Annual Baths2Bar Swim Best Yet

December 20, 2010

Organisers of the Newcastle Permanent Baths2Bar Community Ocean Swim say this year was the best year to date in every aspect of the event.

The conditions on Sunday were ideal for ocean swimming. Air temp was mild and water temp was perfect at 19°.

“The weather was good, last year the water was like a washing machine, but this year it was perfect. We had more entrants this year and more community support,” said Cooks Hill Surf Club President, Andrew Howard.

The annual 1.5 km swim from Merewether Baths to Bar Beach was won by a female for the first time. Erin Killey took out first place and female Eliza Smith closely followed in second place. The first male across the line was Heath Winning, followed by Josh Hollard.

Overall the day was a great success, with close to 400 entrants and a large spectator turnout. Organisers have reported they received overwhelming positive feedback on the management of the event.

The Marketown Dash4Cash was won by swim champions Eliza Smith and Heath Winning in their respective races. And the Cetnaj Bolt for Bucks 2 km run was won by Josh Hollard (who was also the male runner up in the swim).

FordComm provided publicity assistance and graphic design services. This year the event received some excellent media coverage on NBN and in The Herald.

Photography by Red Monkey

B2B Sponsors’ Thank You Event

December 15, 2010

On Tuesday evening FordComm attended a Sponsors’ Thank You Event for the Newcastle Permanent Baths2Bar Community Ocean Swim, hosted by Cooks Hill Surf Club at the magnificent Bar Beach.

We were welcomed by a small entourage of blue-T-shirt-wearing Nippers, who were grateful for and enthusiastic about our support.

Other sponsors who attended included the Newcastle Permanent Building Society, ESP Promotions, the Newcastle Herald, Cetnaj, and The Jewellery Affair.

Our support was rewarded with a personalised glass vase complete with a goldfish with a mighty stroke!

The appreciation of our sponsorship resonated with a captivating speech superbly delivered by 14 year old rising Nipper, Tamara Hall, which took us through the trials and tribulations of being a Nipper.

The Newcastle Permanent Baths2Bar Community Ocean Swim will take place this Sunday, 19 December 2010. To register for the event, visit

Photography by Red Monkey

Opening of Facility Signals New Era in Sustainability for Smelter

December 1, 2010

FordComm provided event management services to Regain for the  official opening of a new facility to recycle waste materials generated by the aluminium smelting process into products utilised by other industries has signaled a new era in environmental sustainability.

The Hon Tony Burke, Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, officially opened the Spent Potliner (SPL) Reprocessing Facility on-site at Hydro Aluminium Kurri Kurri on Wednesday 1 December 2010. Other guests included Cessnock City Council Mayor, Councillor Alison Davey, and Federal Member for the Hunter, the Hon Joel Fitzgibbon.

The facility is a joint initiative between mineral processing company Regain Services Pty Ltd and Hydro Aluminium Kurri Kurri.

Regain Director, Bernie Cooper, says the initiative represents a new era in environmental sustainability with gains for the environment, for end-users of products and for the aluminium industry.

“The approach is a major win for the environment, with 100% beneficial use of smelter by-products,” he said.

The management of Spent Potliner (SPL) waste is an important issue for the aluminium industry worldwide.

“Regain has developed world-leading technology to make SPL safe and recover minerals from it, which can then be used to make valuable products used in other industries such as brick, cement and steel making,” Mr Cooper said.

SPL Reprocessing is part of Hydro’s program to further improve environmental performance.

“The commitment to SPL Reprocessing is part of Hydro’s commitment to further improve environmental performance and achieve a zero waste smelter, at a time of significant financial challenges,” Hydro Technical Manager, Hubert Lehman, said.

In addition, the products made by Regain offer many environmental benefits for the cement and brick making industries, as they include properties that reduce emissions and save energy in the manufacturing process.

Following 10 years success within the Australian market strong demand for the product is now coming from Asia, with Regain recently obtaining approval to export to China.

“By expanding our customer base to Asia, Regain can continue to grow its operations in Australia, providing many environmental and economic benefits,” Mr Cooper said.

Call on Swimmers to Take the Plunge

November 5, 2010

Cooks Hill Surf Life Saving Club is calling on all swimmers to take up the challenge and participate in the Newcastle Permanent Baths 2 Bar Community Ocean Swim on Sunday 19 December.

Swimmers will swim along the iconic 1.5 km stretch from Merewether Baths to Bar Beach, “Baths to Bar”, in a range of different categories for ages and abilities.

Organised by Cooks Hill Surf Club, all money raised will assist Cooks Hill, Merewether and Dixon Park Surf Clubs purchase vital equipment required for surf lifesaving operations.

President of Cooks Hill Surf Club, Andrew Howard said the swim provides a safe and rewarding open water challenge for all members of the community with a range of age categories plus an elite division for serious swimmers.

“This year’s event will also include a 2 kilometre sand run and a 250 metre children’s swim to allow more members of the community to join in the fun on the day,” Mr Howard said.

Newcastle Permanent CEO, Terry Millett said after being involved with the event last year for the first time, Newcastle Permanent was quick to come on board as the major sponsor this year.

“Newcastle Permanent has a long and proud association with surf life saving in the Hunter over the last 28 years and we are proud to extend our support to the Baths 2 Bar Community Ocean Swim. We encourage people of all ages to get involved in the event and support three very worthy surf life saving clubs in Newcastle.”

Event registrations are being taken from today and entry forms can be collected from any Newcastle Permanent branch and at or

Moolarben Coal Opening Event

August 10, 2010

220 guests from around Australia and overseas joined employees and students from the Ulan Public School for the official opening celebrations at the Moolarben mine, north of Mudgee on 2nd August 2010.

Representatives of partners in the project, Yancoal Australia, Sojitz from Japan and a Korean consortium, uncovered a plaque to mark the opening of the $450-million project.

Brian Flannery of Yancoal paid tribute to all who had brought the mine into production less than 18 months after commencement.

“To have the first train of coal head to the Port of Newcastle from Moolarben in May of this year is a remarkable achievement, considering work didn’t start on site until March last year” he said.

The mine will have a life of more than 20 years, with both open cut and underground extraction of thermal coal from the Moolarben seam, most destined for shipment by rail to the Port of Newcastle for export.

Please see below a selection of images from the Moolarben Coal Opening Event.

Newcastle’s Third Coal Loader Officially Opens for Business

May 3, 2010

Just six years after the consortium was formed, three years after planning approval, expenditure of more than $1-billion and more than 4-million hours of determined effort, Newcastle’s third coal export terminal, owned by Newcastle Coal Infrastructure Group (NCIG) is now officially open for business.

Declaring the terminal officially open at a ceremony, NCIG Chairman Tony Galligan paid tribute to the thousands of people who had worked to bring the project to fruition, maintaining Newcastle’s position as the number one coal export port in the world.

Tony Galligan said the NCIG Board hoped that arrangements for further expansion of the terminal would soon be finalised, keeping the construction workforce of around 800 busy for at least the next two to three years.

“Stage Two will double the capability of Stage One, adding more than $600-million a year to State revenue through royalties and attract extra investment of more than $1 billion to New South Wales” he said.

Project Director Rob Yeates told the 200 guests from around Australia and the world that the new coal export terminal is a highly-effective catalyst for economic growth across the state, which will continue for many years to come.

“While NCIG will never become a big employer in its own right, it’s a 21st century, high-tech, state-of-the-art enabling facility that will continue to generate thousands of real, well-paid, sustainable jobs across regional New South Wales….. as new mines are built and brought on line, as companies set up to service and maintain these operations and new infrastructure including rail lines and roads are built to support the coal chain.”

NCIG shareholders are expanding existing mines, have new mines starting production, in construction, or awaiting approval.

NCIG was formed in 2004 to address capacity issues for regional coal exporters.

Following submission of an EOI to the New South Wales Government, NCIG won right to construct and operate a third loader in the port. The proposed coal terminal was approved in April 2007.

While this approval is for a coal terminal with a capacity of up to 66 Mtpa, NCIG is developing the terminal in stages. Construction of Stage One, with capacity up to 30 million tonnes a year, began in October 2007 and has cost over $1-billion.

The members of the NCIG consortium are all significant coal producers who have large coal reserves and projects to materially increase their aggregate coal production. Shareholders in project include BHP Billiton (through Hunter Valley Energy Coal), Centennial Coal, Donaldson Coal, Peabody Energy, Felix Resources (Yanzhou Coal) and Whitehaven Coal.

The project has included dredging of the south arm of the Hunter River for shipping channels and berths, construction of a rail loop, dump station, stockyards, stacker-reclaimers and wharf facilities on the 136-hectare site.

Baths 2 Bar Community Ocean Swim

December 20, 2009

FordComm were once again proud to be part of the 2009 Baths 2 Bar Community Ocean Swim.
Swimmers tested themselves along the iconic 1.5km stretch from Merewether Baths to Bar Beach. All money raised will help Cooks Hill, Merewether and Dixon Park Surf Clubs purchase vital equipment for surf lifesaving operations.