Georadar supervisor Jimmy Wilkins with the finalist award for 2017.
Georadar supervisor Jimmy Wilkins with the finalist award for 2017.

Local business rises

A SUPPORTIVE business community and on-the-spot advice worth $30,000 have helped Emerald company GeoRadar locate new opportunities and foster a positive mentality.

General manager Sue Scott said the business had been chosen as a finalist in the Professional Services Award category of this year's Central Highlands Business Excellence Awards, with the winners across nine sections to be announced at a gala dinner at the end of the month.

GeoRadar has also been selected as a finalist in the People's Choice Award for excellence in customer service.

Ms Scott said GeoRadar - "we're sub-surface engineers and cable locators, we do hydro excavation and we're surveyors” - had won the Bentley Professional Services Sector award in 2013 and 2015 and had been grateful for the advice and inspiration received during the biennial awards process.

"It's a really good night. It's a good chance for networking as we get to see everyone and chat with other business owners,” she said.

"People get to know who we are and what we do.”

Ms Scott said that in 2013 one of the judges had given her invaluable advice at the awards night, which was worth $30,000 to the company via a research and development tax incentive scheme.

She said she had since maintained ongoing relationships with other business people she met through the awards, which had allowed her to find out further business-related information she might not have otherwise found.

"It was good speaking to other businesses about their contribution to the community and their struggles,” she said.

"It's all knowledge. You are asking each other how you are travelling and finding out when you're not the only ones struggling.”

Ms Scott said GeoRadar last year opened a branch in Bundaberg, working with clients now throughout the region on "making the invisible, visible. If you're going to build somewhere, you need to know what's below the ground.”She said was always keen to discover more about businesses in the area and welcomed the chance to support her business colleagues when they were fundraising or holding community events.

"There's heaps of community spirit in Emerald,” she said.

"I guess every rural town is the same and it's the fact that people know us now.”

The awards had also given the company added confidence in their abilities, Ms Scott said, and enabled them to look at their future constructively.

"The whole company is involved in the application, so it gives everyone an opportunity to see where we're at. The application process really questions every aspect of your business, which was really good for us.”

She said she had also been able to look back at their 2013 application and feel good about goals made at the time which had come to fruition.

"We said we'd do it, and we have, and it's been done really well.”

The CHBEA awards is a program spread over 10 months with two components - a CHBEA Workshop Series and the awards dinner on October 28 for local businesses, council representatives, special guests and judging panellists, hosted by the Central Highlands Development Corporation (CHDC).

This year, 18 finalists were chosen from 102 nominations. The public are encouraged to join the online poll for the People's Choice Award for Customer Service/Customer Relations finalists at

Buy dinner tickets are available at via the CHDC website

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