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Alf Binks

Posted by ken On April - 20 - 2009

 

ALF BINKS  (TVW 1959-1983)

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  • 1959  Alf joined TVW Limited as an assistant to the Company Secretary. 

He was an advanced accountancy student in those days before calculators and computers and come from a background in accounting and commerce.

His first task was to set up a new accounting system for the television station.  He was responsible for designing management systems and stetting up the accounting functions of the company. 

  • 1962  Having qualified as an accountant early in 1962 he was appointed to the position of Company Accountant. 

He introduced computerisation to the company which was the second television station in Australia to use computer facilities in the program scheduling functions.

  • 1963-1970  TVW prospered financially and was in a position to undertake a program of expansion in the media and entertainment industries. 

Alf was at the forefront of a program of acquisitions including the purchase of Radio Station 6IX, Television Station SAS10 and City Theatres, operator of a chain of cinemas and drive-ins in Perth. Alf was appointed Chief Accountant and took on the role of CFO of the Group having responsibility for corporate, taxation and stock exchange reporting matters for the companies in the Group.

  • 1973 Alf was professionally recognised and became a Fellow of the Australian Society of Certified Practicing Accountants and following his work on behalf of the company with the Australian Stock Exchange in Perth, he was admitted as an Affiliate of the Securities Institute of Australia.
  • 1977 The company nominated Alf to participate in several major community projects including the refurbishment of His Majesty’s Theatre, the construction of Cinema City and the Perth Entertainment Centre. 
  • 1978 Following the retirement of Frank Moss, the board appointed Alf to the position of Company Secretary of the Group and his understudy Wally Staniforth was appointed Chief Accountant.

TVW Limited was renamed TVW Enterprises Ltd to reflect the broad range of activities of the Group.  At this time the company had grown to become the fourth largest Western Australian Incorporated company ( by market capitalisation ) and many national companies started to show strong interest in taking up strategic share holdings in the company.

  • 1979 Decisions by the Federal Government to relax Electronic Media ownership rules lead to a flurry in takeover activity in the ownership of Australian Television Stations.

These government decisions were to have far reaching affects in the ownership and control of Australia’s Commercial TV stations.

Alf led a campaign to ward off corporate predators. He made many visits to the Eastern States to find “White Knights” who would help secure the independence of the Company. 

Things came to a head when both Alan Bond and Robert Holmes a Court started a bidding war for TVW. 

The end came when Sir James Cruthers invited Robert Holmes a Court to join the board of the company.

This quickly led to the complete takeover of the Company following which Sir James retired from the Company to take up a senior position with the Rupert Murdoch Empire of media companies. 

  • 1980 The “golden” years of Western Australian television came to an end with an entirely new ethos being introduced by the new and subsequent owners of the WA TV Stations. They had paid huge sums to acquire the commercial TV licences and were under pressure to service the high capital outlay.

Shortly after the takeover most of the senior executives of TVW resigned or retired to take up good positions in other areas of the Media.

  • 1981 Alf was appointed Group General Manager of Finance and Administration and became the main interface for the company with Robert Holmes a Court and the Bell Group. Robert moved into Sir James office but his visits to the television station became less frequent when he moved on to other projects such as the attempted takeovers of the Herald And Weekly Times Limited and BHP.  With both of these projects he was unsuccessful but despite losing the takeover battles he was able to make some more super profits from trading in the shares of these two corporate Giants.
  • 1983 Following a disagreement with the new owner of TVW regarding the preservation of retiring staff superannuation entitlements, Alf decided he would resign from the company he had served for 24 years. He had several offers of good positions but decided to enter the Chartered Accounting profession and continued this rewarding career change until his retirement.

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