Australian entrepreneurial spirit has faded: John Elliott
20/07/2012 - John Elliott has returned to the birthplace of the IXL brand he built into a global empire, declaring the entrepreneurial spirit is not what it used to be. David Beniuk
Find related suppliers
Elliott delivered an address on Thursday at a commemoration of what would have been IXL founder Sir Henry Jones' 150th birthday, at the Hobart waterfront hotel built inside the company's old factory.
The former Liberal Party and Carlton AFL club president, who was declared bankrupt in 2005, kicked off a spectacular business career that gave him an estimated $80 million fortune with the purchase of the Tasmanian food processing company in the 1970s.
"Henry Jones started off at 12 years of age and was only in his 20s when he was the foreman and he was about 30 when he took over the business," Elliott told reporters at the Henry Jones Art Hotel.
"I took over the business here when it had become fairly decrepit when I was 31.
"You don't see as (many) younger people doing that sort of thing, which is a bit sad I think."
Elliott said poor teaching at universities and over-regulation meant Australia's business people were taking fewer risks.
"The responsibility of a director today is really quite onerous and I think they've gone too far that way," he said.
"I also do believe that directors ought to be part-owners of businesses, because then they've got the shareholders' interests at heart."
Henry Jones, who pioneered Tasmania's fruit processing and exporting industry, has been described as the island state's greatest entrepreneur.
Elliott led a team that bought IXL and the Henry Jones companies in 1972, and went on to make Foster's the world's fourth-largest brewer of beer by the late 1980s.
He says Australia's future is in food production.
"We saw it in Japan over the last 40 years where the Japanese westernised their eating habits," he said.
"Now they're our big market and that's starting to happen in China.
"I'm certain that over the next several years agriculture will have a turn for the better — provided we get good weather."
Browse the HospitalityHub directory: Business Services & Solutions
Diarmuid Hannigan | 20/07/2012 10:29 1
John Elliot is correct in saying that over regulation has played a part in the demise of the Australian entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs are no fools and calculate risk. The current Australian landscape created by a lawyer, banking and public service mentality over the past 20 years has created a virtual dessert for the entrepreneur. Only a foolish or a crooked one would bother to enter the environment (I hear the drug trade is booming). It is up to our government to develop an entrepreneur friendly environment so as intelligent, hardworking and honest entrepreneurs can see the opportunities but unfortunately the present environment only presents risks and a safe cushy job in the public sector is a far better bet.
Pat | 20/07/2012 13:56 2
Ya got it wrong Diarmuid, crooked people go for banking/finance/political careers, because thats where the power is. Drugs are a mugs game (and illegal), stealing money from consumers and voters is much, much easier and you get to say whether its illegal or not. Hehehehe,,,,and laugh all the way to the,,,,,,,,bank. John Elliott is no mans fool, and from what I can see of the market trends he's absolutely right. However, the problem is it is a long term investment and return and our banks just dont think that way, they'd much rather a risk free high guaranteed high return home loan. So where is the capital going to come from for Australia to take advantage of this opportunity?
HospitalityHub Sarah | 25/07/2012 11:28 3
We should all take a page from the book of the HSU head, what entrepreneurial spirit he had! Haha - http://www.medicalsearch.com.au/News/Report-finds-poor-governance-and-nepotism-in-HSU-61440
Related Feature Articles
Television networks say the promotion of gambling odds during live sports...
Fast food will not attract a "fat tax" and the government will instead rely...
The accommodation industry is enthusiastic about the pro-business pledges...
The Queensland Court of Appeal decision to allow a motel's appeal against a...
The Fair Work Ombudsman has commenced legal action against a Central...