A new destination for Canberra

Our masterplan for Bruce injects a series of highly crafted mixed-use buildings and townhouses into the Canberra market. The striking forms strengthen the urbanscape, through the creation of sky terraces and a vibrant public promenade designed in a bush setting. Modern offices saturated with natural light and air and a ground floor abuzz with the spice and flavour of cafes, restaurants, bars and speciality retail – A new destination for Canberra!

A design collaborative inspired by the vision and experience of TP Dynamics & AURORA Design.


Australian business, trade to increase presence in PH

Australian business, trade to increase presence in PH.

Australian business, trade to increase presence in PH
Australia notes though that mining is a missed opportunity for the Philippines, an industry that significantly contributes to the former’s growth


Which guy got the dress code wrong?

BULLISH. Firms from “Down Under” are bullish about their growth prospects in the Philippines, says Australia senior trade commissioner Anthony Weymouth (4th from left) with representatives from Australian businesses. Photo by Chris Schnabel / Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – Australia is more bullish in their business and trade growth prospects in the country, firms from Down Under said.

Anthony Weymouth, Australian senior trade commissioner to the country, said that it is time for Australia to increase its trade presence in the Philippines.

Two-way trade between the two countries is at AU$3 billion ($2.40 billion) and an estimated 200 Australian companies now have a significant presence in the Philippines, employing 15,000 to18,000 Filipinos, Weymouth said.

These include ANZ Bank and Macquarie, two of the major Australian locators in the country.

The landmark ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (AANZ) also now allows for 95% of Australian products to enter the Philippines duty free while 97% of Philippine-made products can enter Australia with the same benefit.

An increased popularity of Australian products is also seen due to the recent fall of the Aussie dollar.

“It’s basically a 20% price reduction in 3 months,” Weymouth said.

About 15,000 Australians currently reside in the Philippines while about 250,000 Filipinos now call Australia home, Weymouth shared.

Increased investment

Other Australian firms, meanwhile, praised the government efforts to improve the overall environment in doing business in the country.

“We see a country that is really getting its act together,” James Young, country director for Cardno, said. Cardno, a professional infrastructure and environmental services company is involved in some of the important public-private partnership (PPP) infrastructure projects planned for the next few years.

Michael Banak, director of Crone Partners, an architectural firm, confirmed that it is looking for a partner to set up a permanent base in the country.

The firm has been in the Philippines since 2006 and is notable for designing Arya Residences, the country’s first residential building receiving the “green” certifications of Building for Ecologically Responsive Design Excellence (BERDE) and Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED). Crone Partners is also designing a 20 hectare master-planned project.

Meanwhile, Sight Skills based in Clark, Pampanga, is providing training services for construction, gas, mining, and oil. The company is behind Asia’s only simulated underground mine and an offshore platform which it uses to train workers involved in the Malampaya deep water gas-to-power project.

Telstra, a business process outsourcing (BPO) company, is also among locators that employs the highest number of Filipinos in the industry.

Mining a ‘missed opportunity’

When asked about the problems Australian firms face in the country, Weymouth singled out mining as a great “missed opportunity,” saying with significant investment in mining the Philippines could achieve an 8% or 9% gross domestic product (GDP) growth instead of 6%.

The Philippines is one of the most mineral-rich country in the world, but only about 2% of the resources are being extracted, Weymouth said. On the other hand, mining is a significant industry and major contributor to the Australia economy.

“The bottom line is that there are mining projects in places like Mindanao that have the potential for billions of dollars in investment that can raise the GDP by 2% for the next 40 years,” Weymouth said.

The trade commissioner added that Australia would like to see the issues addressed, as it is a big challenge facing Australian mining firms.

Australian mining firm Indophil Resources has a significant stake in the controversial Tampakan project.

The firm is set to be taken over by local firm Alson. – Rappler.com

(AU$1 = US$0.80)

crone partners & the australian government in the philippines

The Australian Government recently invited Greg Crone and Michael Banak to join an Official Business Delegation accompanying Trade and Investment Minister Andrew Robb AO MP in The Philippines.

The 3 day program was attended by a small delegation of key Australian Businesses. Crone Partners were invited into discussions on Trade opportunities between Australia and The Philippines and the Typhoon Yolanda relief efforts with various groups including Foreign Affairs Minister Julia Bishop, Trade and Investment Minister Andrew Robb and NSW Premier Barry O’Farrel.

Crone Partners 10 years of commitment delivering award winning projects in the Philippines has developed long standing relationships with key members of the business community and the Australian government in the Philippines. Crone Partners extensive experience in the Philippines contributed to the ground knowledge for the delegation visiting Manila.

40th anniversary of ASEAN


mount hagen urban master plan projects papua new guinea

The photograph above was taken in Mount Hagen, Western Highlands Province, in Papua New Guinea. The event was the City Re-Development Launch, when the Prime Minister Arthur Somare, was invited to launch the Urban Master Plan and Infrastructure projects, designed by Crone Partners & Robert Bird Group.

Sir Michael Somare is better known in Papua New Guinea, as the “Grand Chief” and if you look closely at the photograph, you can see this written on the back of his locally made, Western Highlands, traditional garment. I was lucky enough to attend the ceremony in Queen Elizabeth Park, with the Western Highlands Provincial Governor Tom Olga and around 14,000 local people. In the background to the left of the photograph is the site for the Government City Block Master Plan. Ar the launch, the National Government committed funds for the Urban Master Plan projects over a 5 year period.

The Master Plan Projects launched by the National Government included; The Government City Block Master plan, Airport Precinct Master Plan, Sports Precinct Master Plan and Infrastructure projects including; Highlands Highway Mount Hagen Road Divertion, Mt Hagen CBD Traffic and Transport Upgrade, Sewarage Treatment Scheme, Water Treatment Scheme and Solid Waste Management Plan.

The Government City Block Master Plan was the first project to be devloped to a more detailed level of Design Documentation and the Government Administration Building and Provincial Chambers designed to Tender/ Construction Documentation Stage. The Master Plan includes; Government Administration Building, Provincial Chambers, Cultural Centre, Commercial offices and a Hotel.

The Government Precinct Master Plan is designed to create safe, integrated spaces that accommodate a mix of open public areas, work environments, retail opportunities and cultural experiences. The Precinct provides a home for a new generation of politics in the Western Highlands Province and Papua New Guinea (PNG). A community oriented precinct accommodating a new Government Building and Cultural Centre displaying the wonderful Arts & Crafts of the region. The overall objective will provide Government with a place of leadership, vision and authority. The use of local construction techniques, materials and skills was intrinsic to the design and developed through a series of community consultative sessions with local tribes and community groups in Mount Hagen.

101019_City Development Launch mount hagen city masterplan 9006 B 2002 e