Smoke off the wa­ter

Cockburn Gazette - - SHOP LOCAL -

TWO years ago, Paul Lange be­gan to turn his pas­sion for Amer­i­can bar­be­cue into his pro­fes­sional project.

Now, the Beel­iar man has reaped the re­wards af­ter win­ning big at the Perth Royal Food Awards.

Hav­ing left his job as an off-shore chef to start rubs and sauces com­pany SmokeyQ, Mr Lange’s busi­ness was named cham­pion savoury pre­serve for its smoked honey sauce, while its cof­fee rub took out the cham­pion salt and other sea­son­ings cat­e­gory.

Mr Lange said the recog­ni­tion felt like two years of hard work pay­ing off and vin­di­cated his de­ci­sion to turn a hobby into work.

“Two years ago, I bought an old smoker for a bar­be­cue sauce and started cook­ing at home for fam­ily and friends,” he said.

“I thought there weren’t many good rubs avail­able on the mar­ket, so I started mak­ing my own. I’ve got nine bar­be­cues now, so I’m cook­ing on dif­fer­ent bar­be­cues ev­ery week­end.”

Mr Lange said the Amer­i­can bar­be­cue style eas­ily ap­pealed to Aus­tralians.

“Amer­i­can bar­be­cue started over 100 years ago, cook­ing food for the poorer peo­ple with tough cuts of meat for 20 hours, but now it’s be­come a fad,” he said.

“It’s tasty, goes well with beer and bour­bon and the Aus­tralian cul­ture loves any­thing bar­be­cue. Cook­ing in the back­yard with your fam­ily and friends is good fun, whether it’s meat or ve­g­ies.” CELEBRITY chefs and na­tional con­ve­nience store franchises have done much in the past few months to throw the is­sue of staff wages and un­der­pay­ments into the na­tional spot­light.

The Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment’s sub­se­quent an­nounce­ment of plans to crim­i­nalise wage theft seems, on the sur­face, a log­i­cal re­sponse.

The de­tail, how­ever, has left many small busi­ness own­ers fear­ing it may un­fairly tar­get those who make hon­est mis­takes in try­ing to ad­here to a com­plex award sys­tem.

The start­ing point for small busi­nesses in WA that em­ploy staff is to know which in­dus­trial re­la­tions sys­tem they fall un­der, whether it’s the state sys­tem or the na­tional sys­tem.

Gen­er­ally, the na­tional sys­tem ap­plies to in­cor­po­rated busi­ness – those with ‘Pty Ltd’ or ‘Ltd’ in their name – while the state sys­tem ap­plies to sole traders, un­in­cor­po­rated part­ner­ships and some trusts.

You can avoid costly mis­takes by un­der­stand­ing the ap­pli­ca­ble pay and em­ploy­ment obli­ga­tions.

If your busi­ness be­longs un­der the na­tional sys­tem, the Fair Work Om­buds­man can pro­vide as­sis­tance and in­for­ma­tion to meet your em­ployer obli­ga­tions.

In the state sys­tem, con­tact Wage­line for as­sis­tance.

The SBDC sup­ports the Aus­tralian Small Busi­ness and Fam­ily Enterprise Om­buds­man, who has called for laws and reg­u­la­tions gov­ern­ing pay and con­di­tions to be sim­pli­fied as part of a sweep­ing re­view.

When you fac­tor in su­per­an­nu­a­tion, tax, em­ploy­ment con­di­tions and record keep­ing de­mands, small busi­nesses with any doubts about their obli­ga­tions are ad­vised to seek ad­vice.

An on­line visit to small­busi­ness.wa.gov.au or a call to one of our ex­pe­ri­enced team mem­bers on 13 12 49 is al­ways a great start­ing point.

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