February 2020 Presidents Report

Hi Members

2020 hasn’t started well with the Bushfires, continuation of drought and massive storm activity along with the extremely disruptive Corona Virus, a number of major retail businesses in liquidation, Holden closure and to top it off McWilliams Wines collapse.
.....But with any challenges comes OPPORTUNITY and Griffith is blessed with innovative, enterprising and tenacious entrepreneurs!

One great new local sucess story is  “The Aisling Distillery”. A family-run distillery by Michelle and Mark Burns. Within the coming month, Griffith Business Chamber will be hosting an exclusive members only tour of the distillery where you’ll get to taste test some of finest gin, whiskey and rum, sourced using local barley and distilled right here in Griffith.Watch this space!

Water News
We are proud to announce the formation of a new Griffith Business Chamber Sub committee – Murrumbidgee Industry and Agriculture Communities. (MIA Communities)
The sole purpose of this new sub committee is centered around water and to maximise economic opportunities for the entire greater Griffith Region.
Driven by Chamber Executive Member Paul Pierotti, committee members include: Debbie Buller, Jo Brighenti, Vito Mancini, Dem Torino, Robert Quadling, Leo Ieraci, Darren De Bortoli, Tanya Ginns and Michael Crump.
It is important that farmers realise that we are all business people in one MIA community and we need proper and independent community representation as a group.
We will all need to actively seek our fellow farmers and industries support by becoming financial members of Griffith Business Chamber to build strength in numbers.
Our committee Murrumbidgee Industry and Agriculture Communities has made representations to the Keelty Inquiry and are part of a joint submission along with Southern Irrigators and Victorian groups to have a united Southern Connected System voice.
Debbie Buller, Jo Brighenti, Darren De Bortoli and Paul Pierotti made submissions to the Inquiry into growing Australian agriculture to $100 billion by 2030 on 7th February in Wagga.

Health News
Executive members Pat Pittavino and Natasha Koeller were invited mid January to meet at Helen Dalton’s office with many concerned community members to discuss issues with MLHD and Griffith Base Hospital General Manager, after this initial meeting MLHD have committed to regular meetings with this group and Member for Murray Helen Dalton as part of the consultation process.
The report back on the failed High School mergers is of extreme concern and Adrian Piccoli’s victim blaming remarks along with John Dal Broi’s comments are inappropriate and require urgent action on the recommendations.
ABC News reported that the link to Motor Neurone disease and Lake Wyangan’s Blue Green Algae is of concern and BMMA testing was not done when the Lake water was supplied to the residents of Griffith without warning. ABC News is investigating this further and should show a part 2 to this story soon.
Development News
Council met in Committee and decided to approve the General Manager Brett Stonestreet recommendation to not give back the unenforceable Water Contribution Tax that has hurt fellow developers. This is an extremely unwise decision for rate payers as the inevitable law suits could run into the $10’s of millions, with opportunity costs and damages.
We strongly encourage new and younger candidates to run for Griffith City Council’s election 12th September 2020 it is clear change is required in this challenging time.

Upcoming Events
The Griffith Business Chamber will once again host it's Annual Side Walk Sale on Easter Saturday 11th April from 9am - 5pm along Banna Ave. Take advantage of one of the biggest sales days of the year! We are encouraging all businesses to participate by registering at our website . Cost is free for members to participate. 
Chamber will hosting an Open Questions and Answers Breakfast Presentation by Federal Member for Farrer and Minister for the Environment Sussan Ley on Friday 17th April, please mark your diaries and a reminder will be sent to members as it draws closer. 

Best regards,
 Pat Pittavino