Revved up after tough year
THERE were plenty of grinning winners and a few disappointed faces at the third annual Motor Trades Association Capricorn Society Regional Awards dinner on Saturday night.
The glamorous night saw the best of the best in the region's automotive industry come out to vie for trophies across 15 categories.
Presented with the theme of 'recognising excellence in your area', the awards gave all MTA members an opportunity to celebrate their business and the contribution they make to their area.
Despite attracting a smaller crowd than previous years, the evening was a considered a great success by all involved.
Regional manager of the MTA, Murrae Davis, said the low numbers reflected a tough year for the industry.
Surf Toyota and Daewoo received the coveted new vehicle sales award, while Ballina Campervan and Leisure Centre took home the trophy for the used vehicle sales category, presented by The Northern Star general manager Steve Bowden.
"There have been significant changes in the area in the past 12 months and this is a sign of confidence that the motor industry is as vibrant and highly exciting as it has ever been," Mr Bowden said.
Ongmac Trading also received very warm applause after they received the farm machinery dealer award for the second year running.
The last award of the night honoured the next generation of industry professionals with the Department of Education and Training New Apprenticeships Centres (DETNAC) Apprentice of the Year Award.
This year's award went to Peter Weaver, of Murwillumbah Transmission and Service Centre.
Mr Davis said Mr Weaver showed enthusiasm, great skill and dedication to the industry.
"It's a great industry to be in and is constantly challenging because of updates in technology," Mr Weaver said.
The winners of the regional awards will be invited to take part in the 2005 MTA State Awards at Sydney in October.