August 2017 President Report

Hi all,

As you may be aware, Griffith Business Chamber developed a 10 Point Plan for Griffith to Thrive & Prosper. These are our goals, vision and focus for a sustainable future for the entire business community.
But many ask how we can implement our 10 Point Plan.
The answer is far from simple but it is all about providing enablers to allow our highly regarded entrepreneurs to maximise opportunities. Some may argue GBC are negative but once you read the information below, you will understand our purpose is transparent, honest and completely reasonable for a region of this size.
We constantly lobby, meet and liaise with government officials at all levels about each of these points.
WE are YOUR voice when it comes to business related issues.
Here is a breakdown and an update on current projects relating to our 10 Point Plan.
If you haven’t renewed with us yet, please take the time to see how your membership support helps us achieve our goals and how Griffith Business Chamber work for our members.

WATER
We all agree that there already are significant rules & potential penalties for Water theft – these MUST be better enforced, BUT with the calls for review on The Basin Plan we will along with Basin Community partners push for these TWO recommendations from the Federal Senate Inquiry be included in the terms of reference ;
1.The need for the productivity commission to undertake a full cost-benefit analysis of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan (Recommendation #19)
2.Consideration be given to the possibility of restoration of the Murray River’s estuary including through modification or removal of the barrages to allow inflows from the Southern Ocean particularly during periods of low-river flow (Recommendations #13 and 14).
GBC are constantly across this issue and continue to lobby.
How does this affect the Business Community? No water, no farms, no income, no industries, no investment, no growth.....

EDUCATION
GBC continue to liaise with Government & Department of Education on the roll out of the $25 million upgrade of one school, 2 x campus model seeking clarity on best possible student outcomes strategy.
GBC continue to support Grow Our Own Western Riverina.
How does this affect the Business Community? We need to ensure when school leavers enter the workforce they are JOB ready, this means pushing for the best opportunities during higher & tertiary education locally. Retaining locals is crucial for population growth too.

REGIONAL BRANDING
Ongoing work is still in place with Deakin University & further funding opportunities are constantly being explored to develop our Trust Mark.
How does this affect the Business Community? Developing a Trust Mark, puts us on the global map, so our primary producers can receive the highest possible dollar for their product or fibre. The flow on effect is endless to the community.

DECENTRALISATION
All of our goals feed into this point. GBC explore enabler opportunities regarding housing, air passenger transport, community infrastructure like Health & Education.
GBC are also a proud sponsor of Griffith City Council’s promotional campaign that focuses solely on attracting skilled workers to Griffith to assist economic development in our city. GBC have contributed $2,200 to this campaign.
How does this affect the Business Community? Once we have adequate transport, health and housing & education…. it makes it easier and more attractive to decentralise government services to a regional area, plus attract skilled workers to live and work in Griffith.

HEALTH
We need a new Griffith Base Hospital now, this has been neglected for far too long – we cannot afford to wait. It is unacceptable to travel a min of 2 hours to see specialists and to have outdated facilities on our doorstep. Our support with community groups such as Save our Base Hospital and engagement with government is a step in the right direction.
How does this affect the Business Community? If there is superior health facilities, it is more attractive for people to live and work in Griffith, thus having a flow on effect to the business community. It will also attract more medical professionals and specialists.

HOUSING
GBC ask the tough questions, liaise and participate in the right committees, engage with the relevant people to ensure our housing market is fair for developers and the community entering the housing market.
Council have been helpful in encouraging new housing developments by extending the 94A 1 % levy rebate along with other incentives. Our housing market is strong & new home construction should flow strongly in coming months.
We bring information to our members such as our presentation with HIA on Thursday 17th August 2017. This give an insight into residential building activity head in 2018 and beyond.
How does this affect the Business Community? More houses, more jobs, more investment...the flow on effect is endless.

REJUVINATION
The CBD strategy is progressing slowly & Showgrounds redevelopment opportunities are being explored. GBC are involved with committees and are key stakeholders across these issues.
A brilliant opportunity exists for the creation of a new single location Griffith sports precinct with the incorporation of a new 4 court Stadium, track & field, sporting ovals & even the consideration of a new complex with 50mtr outdoor pool & water park with indoor heated facilities as well. We are a strong sporting community with exceptional talent that should be given the best sporting opportunity, plus to attract national competitions.
There’s also potential relocation of PCYC, Rotary markets & more that we are actively pursuing.
A recent announcement from the State Government is potentially great news for us – “Regional communities across NSW will be asked to compete for $100 million in state government funds when Deputy Premier John Barilaro opens the bidding on local proposals to build stadiums and other sports centres. Projects with a $1m price tag will be considered — but the approval criteria favours much bigger infrastructure, as Mr Barilaro signals “strong proposals” will include stadiums capable of hosting regional, state and even national events for up to 20,000 people. The funding will be part of the $1.3 billion allocated in the June state budget for regional growth in NSW — on top of a committed 30 per cent of proceeds for the regions from the sale of the state’s “poles and wires”.
How does this affect the Business Community? Growth, redevelopment, investment in infrastructure is necessary to match the needs of a growing community. This is vital for tourism, investment of large industries and to retain locals from relocating to other areas.

REPRESENTATION
GBC have regular meetings with Griffith City Council, Member for Murray Adrian Piccoli, Member for Farrer Sussan Ley, Media & Government departments about all these issues. GBC will also have the privilege to meet the Premier & Cabinet on Thursday 17th August 2017.
How does this affect the Business Community? WE are YOUR voice. This is where we need your support. When we have a strong backing, anything can be achieved.

TRANSPORT
GBC are right across a number of transport issues. They include, air, rail, freight and security.
Here’s an overview so far....
-Patrick’s / LINX Cargo Care have submitted a DA & grant funding applications for Wumbulgal Intermodal Freight Hub so will be planning on leaving Griffith CBD site accordingly.
-GBC has attended “Food Bowl” Rail meetings on the proposed Narrandera – Shepparton – Melbourne Rail route. These meetings have taken place in Narrandera, Sydney & Melbourne.
This concept has heavy hitter National & International backers, plus good support from Vic Ports, Vic Government & NSW Transport etc. More news coming soon on this project.
-We need to upgrade security at Griffith Airport not only for peace of mind & safety BUT ALSO as an enabler for 20 tonne plus passenger aircraft to encourage more options. REX have & are providing a good service but more is needed for our growing region. Potential airlines include Qantas Link, Virgin, JetGo, Air North, Alliance Airlines & more.
-Some of our Executive committee will be travelling to Toowoomba soon to explore passenger & freight transport options and research the benefits of a separate Economic Board to local councils.
How does this affect the Business Community? It’s not unreasonable to ask for reliable and cost effective means of transport. It should be accessible for all industries and business operations including import and export via air, rail and road options. This affects our health industry... specialists, patients. It affects our primary producers, it affects business and personal travellers, it affects our tourism industry and more.

RETIREMENT
GBC are continuing to investigate the potential redevelopment & re-zoning of the Griffith CBD rail precinct into a lifestyle area to cater for the booming retiree sector. Again all of our goals feed into this point.
How does this affect the Business Community? Retiree’s over the age of 50 with disposable income need superior health, reliable transport and reliable community facilities. This is attractive to anyone wanting to live out their days in a brilliant community. The flow on effect to every single business is immeasurable.

If you have any feedback or wish to discuss our 10 Point Plan, please feel free to contact us.

Kind regards

Paul Pierotti

President | Griffith Business Chamber