November 2019 Presidents Report

Hi Members
With Christmas rapidly approaching members will be pleased that Chamber has begun our Live Local, Love Local, Buy Local campaign and we encourage all of you to prioritise shopping with our members first.

I as Chamber President was approached by members and industry leaders in the wine and grape industry over concerns with a local grower using effluent on their vineyard.
We as Chamber sent a submission to Griffith City Council on Monday 28th November 2019 at 2pm only to find that General Manager of Griffith City Council Brett Stonestreet rejected it, as he stood on a minor technicality that the submissions should have been sent on the Friday before, at 4pm.

This matter is far more serious than the Lease of a road from Council and many have asked how this effluent water deal between Baiada and Mayor John DalBroi has come about? Tender process? Transparency? And also the potential damage to our Clean, Green Food and Fibre Brand.
Please see our submission below;
To the General Manager and Councillors,
Griffith Business Chamber is Griffith’s largest and elected volunteer representative group operating for over 65 years.
It has been brought to our executives attention by multiple confidential sources including Wine Industry leaders that this decision on a proposed lease of road is far more important and potentially detrimental to our entire region and industry.
The road lease on its own is of extreme concern given that photo’s of up to 100 native vegetation trees and shrubs has already been cleared on the site and that works under Murrumbidgee Irrigation Chanel without consent etc. has occurred.
Being one of Mayors Dal Broi and families properties this seems a disregard for due process and in no way can pass the “Pub Test”.
We make reference to this information from the EPA’s Website;
1.3 Uses of effluent in irrigation
A large body of research has demonstrated the value of effluent in a wide range of applications, including forestry, horticulture, pasture, turf, land rehabilitation and recreation areas.
The following uses may be considered, subject to constructing and managing an effluent irrigation scheme in a manner that does not cause pollution and meets the environmental performance objectives described herein. The major uses are:
•             landscape watering
•             irrigation of pasture, crops, orchards, vineyards, plantation forests and
rehabilitated sites
•             irrigation of golf courses, racecourses and other recreation grounds.
Special care needs to be taken when applying effluent to crops, fruit and vegetables, particularly those designated for human consumption. Where information is sought on effluent irrigation methods that do not accord with the public health protection provisions of these guidelines, the proponent should seek the advice of NSW Health.
We as The Business Chamber who have invested large amounts of time and money in developing a “Trust Mark of Excellence ” and marketing for our region as a high quality ”Clean and Green Food and Fibre” supplier to all of Australia and indeed the world must be assured that this Lease of Council Road will not be used as a storage and supply of effluent or any potentially contaminated water.
This assurance must be in writing supplied to the Community and industry by : EPA, WGMB, Winemakers Association, Department of Agriculture,  NSW Environment, Murrumbidgee Irrigation, Member for Murray and appropriate legislative bodies.
Regards; Pat Pittavino

On another serious matter, by now you would of seen the open letter from Associate Professor Maxwell Hopp regarding the closure of the Allergy Clinic and his removal is completely unacceptable and we are asking NSW Health to review and reverse this decision.
Dr Hopp’s services a population of approx. 60,000 people and had treated 4,500 families just in the allergy clinic. Not to mention the thousands of patients over 19 years in his paediatric clinic.  This closure will force parents to take their children to Sydney or Melbourne for allergy treatment which can be costly and just not possible for some.  To allow a region of this size to go without these vital services puts our children at a serious health risk.  To also not allow Dr Hopp to continue to practice his clinic in close proximity to the Children’s Ward and Emergency Department is again a complete disaster.
Dr Hopp and the Allergy Clinic is a major asset to not only Griffith but surrounding areas. NSW Health cannot keep stripping our services, but instead make it more attractive and appealing for medical professionals and doctors to work and live in regional areas.
With the refurbishment and new build of Griffith Base Hospital underway, Griffith Business Chamber cannot comprehend why important services are not included “in the current model”.
We urge you all to send a letter as we have to
Health Minister Brad Hazzard
and New hospital redevelopment team
HI-GBHRedev@health.nsw.gov.au to voice your concerns.

NSW Health should instead bring initiatives to regional areas to encourage more health care services, nto take them away.
We have very important upcoming events and the details are further in this newsletter so we encourage to make the effort and come along.

Major Water Event - entire community welcome to attend
We are privileged to have special guest Topher Field present at this event. Topher will premier his 5th Video called "Blood in the Water". Wednesday 27th November, 6pm at Griffith Leagues Club. Registration link here 

This event is for everyone, not just farmers, we need support in BIG numbers from the entrire community! Water affects everyone! Don’t take for granted that you can just turn your tap on and get fresh water. If you love your town, show your support by attending this free event. 

If you also want a better and simplified understanding of the water crisis, Topher will clearly explain the problems and provide short term and long solutions.

The Griffith Business Chamber publicly invite Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Water Minister David Littleproud, Member for Farrer Sussan Ley to attend. In fact any politician is welcome to attend! Please get in contact with us

Business Awards Update

Griffith Business Chamber would like to wish Bella Vita Tours and Murray Cod Australia GOOD LUCK in the upcoming State Business Awards in Sydney on 22nd November. Hope to see you both take home the top honour! It is absolutely possible to go all the way progressing from our Local Business Awards, through to Regionals then State Awards!

Excellence in Micro Business
Bella Vita Riverina Tours

Excellence in Sustainability
Aquna Sustainable Murray Cod


Pat Pittavino
Chamber President