May June 2020 Presidents Report

Hi Members

All members have received a renewal invoice, we'd appreciate your continued support by securing your membership for another year by 30th June, so we can continue to advocate for a sustainable business community. 

We understand business has been tough lately- your local Chamber are here to support you by continuing to bring you relevant information and webinars, advocate for water rights, lobby for superior education opportunities, quality health facilities and services, reliable and cost effective transport and housing, employment growth and more. All of these community issues have a direct affect on the business community. If Griffith is a magnetic destination to live, work and enjoy..... all businesses benefit. With your support, it enables us to represent the community on these issues and gives us a strong voice. 

If you have any questions regarding your membership, please contact our Secretary Amanda to discuss.

End of financial year is fast approaching and businesses are busy with stocktake and preparing for sales and are still recovering from COVID. We encourage you all to support our local retailers during this sale time.  Post COVID is going to be interesting and we strongly reccomend businesses to access expert help on key areas of your business and think outside the box. Analyse, Strategize and Implement.  Chamber put together a Survial Guide which is available to download via our website and please reach out to us if you need assistance.

Our newly formed Water Sub Committee called MIA COMMUNITIES have been extremely busy, attending ZOOM meetings with Member for Farrer Sussan Ley and multiple meetings with Member for Murray Helen Dalton. This group is purely focused on lobbying for water management, rights & transparency for our farmers who are the life-source for our region. The frustration at the failing Murray-Darling Basin Plan continues to increase and we must take proactive steps to repair the damage that has occurred.
MIA Communities have aligned themselves with the 13 organisations which make up Southern Connected Irrigators and Communities (SCIC), who represent organisations across Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia as a united voice in a desperate bid to force change. They have pledged to work closely together in an attempt to get a common-sense approach to water management.
If you are an MIA Water User , join MIA Communities at NO COST for 2020-2021. We need your support to protect our food production and the prosperity it generates to drive our economy and businesses like yours. Not to mention the nation’s food security, whilst creating jobs.

Recently Griffith Business Chamber have sent a number of submissions to Griffith City Council as part of their community consultation. Below is a copy our submissions.

We also participated in a ZOOM meeting on 16th June with Griffith City Council's Consultant Sasha Lennon to discuss Griffith’s economic development attributes, issues, challenges and opportunities for the future. Griffith Business Chamber's view on the economic development was reiterated.

The Griffith Business Chamber see that the intersection on Irrigation Way and the Fire Station should be straightened by eventually relocating the existing fire station and we support straightening this through to the old Riverina Cabinet makers site.                                           
Griffith Business Chamber would like to see Griffith City Council continue to negotiate with the owners of the land along the remaining undeveloped part of Scenic Hill. We believe D.A approved ready to go. This would be we think Griffith's most desirable and expensive blocks that will sell quickly.
Retail has changed forever and our main street should be allowed the same opportunity redevelop to keep it vibrant and relative to our cities future. The Griffith Business Chamber believe that residential buildings of up to eight storeys should certainly be allowed in the top block as underground off st parking would be easy. Such main st redevelopments should not incur parking levies because of change of use. This should now be part of council contribution toward the Main Street upgrade.
This area we believe is ideal for medium to high density housing of high quality that would allow easy main street access to the growing restaurant and life style stores that are starting increase as traditional retail disappears. Similarly all of the services are also close and all within easy walking distance.
Carrathool Street thru to the Lake Wyangan Rd has many fine homes and the heritage needs to be preserved including any new building and depending on renovations should reflect this heritage. 
Griffith needs to now look seriously at developing the Lake Wyangan corridor as per the original idea of immense savings because the drainage problems are much cheaper and should afford less development cost. Also the ease on traffic congestion into the city from Collina and there are more easy options to get to the main st from Lake Wyangan .
The old rice growers site would be ideal for a high density housing as it will remain vacant because retail would be extremely unlikely to ever need it. This high density development zone should go out to include the old Penfolds site as well.
This site should be for mixed use allowing for high density housing.
Griffith City Council's inability to acknowledge and address serious issues borders on fiscal and social negligence.
The issues are many and have mostly be brought to Council for review before and can be summarized in these points.
* No reference or response to significant Gross Regional Product decline (pre Covid 19) https://economy.id.com.au/griffith/gross-regional-product
* Councils inappropriate and unsustainable reliance on water trading.
* Inadequate and insufficient community consultation on infrastructure projects.
* Mismanagement of Lake Wyangan causing environmental and social catastrophe with potential community health risks.
*Inappropriate prioritization of widely unsupported projects like Rose Garden and Lake Pontoon.
* Inappropriate handling of Volumetric Water Tax and potential losses in tens of millions of dollars from litigation.
* Inappropriate and inadequate liaising and consultation with Elected Member for Murray Helen Dalton.
* Inappropriate and inadequate liaising and consultation with Griffith business community and Griffith Business Chamber.
* Inadequate representation on Murray Darling Basin Plan and water issues.
* Inadequate representation to State Government on Water Sharing Plan and 5%HS + 15%GS Voluntary Contributions stolen from Community.
* Inappropriate interjections and intimidation of Councillors by Mayor and General Manager in Council meetings.
* Inappropriate responses to Community consultation and submissions.
In fact no formal response to Griffith Business Chambers last 2 years submissions to Delivery Program and operational budgets.
Changes must occur for Griffith to keep growing. Our interests are firmly and will always be on the sustainability of the business community.

Kind regards
Paul Pierotti
Acting President