Presidents Report – May June 2022

Hi all

Firstly i'd like to welcome new Silver Sponsor Pro Ten and new member Country Universities Centre - Western Riverina. They've come on board recently and will be at our Employment Expo on 29th July! Thank you for your support!

Pleasing to see the NSW budget had some wins for our region with a further commitment to Griffith Hospital construction, Murrumbidgee Regional High school funding etc.
Unfortunately, this budget fell short on a number of critical areas for our local community. Although these new public buildings are necessary and overdue, our critical need is for Skilled Workforce and Housing.
(Please see graph recently presented by Economy I.D & Griffith Council that highlights minus 410 healthcare jobs in Griffith). This situation is dire and immediate multilevel investigation and intervention is required.

Unfair Payroll Tax with rising pay packets was also not reviewed in the budget and remains a huge burden.

The China wine block, local housing crisis, workforce crisis, water management, power costs, fuel & transport costs, we feel should be top agenda items in the impending August 2022 Griffith Bush Summit.

Power costs are pushing local businesses to the brink and although many businesses & communities have invested in solar, we are quickly learning that we need more ways to help save on energy costs. Please look into grants that are available to upgrade lighting and energy.

We see that the renewing & increased capacity of the Burrijuck Dam wall (over 110 years old) is well overdue and with this critical infrastructure of Hydro Power, flood mitigation, increased agriculture productivity, environmental water and the scary predictions of Flood risks are mitigated.

We have continued to work on Skilled Migration with more work on DAMA (Designated Migration Agreement) and PLS (Pacific Labor Scheme). We are seeing some positive movement and remains a huge focus for Chamber. But what does this mean for local businesses? If we are successful in obtaining a DAMA agreement, this would mean that employing people from overseas for particular jobs that we are struggling to fill, will be much easier. A DAMA Agreement is very costly to obtain, but the Chamber are working on ways to collaborate with others to make this happen for our business community.
The workforce crisis we are facing is top priority for Chamber and we are doing all we can to help. Our July 29th Employment Expo is filling up fast with only 10 spots remaining. Please see more details below and secure your spot asap.

Thank you to all businesses who have already renewed their membership with us, and a gentle reminder for those who haven't to please pay by June 30. Your membership allows us to have a strong collective voice when advocating for our business community.

Hope your 2022 EOFY is fruitful and looking forward to an exciting 2nd half of the year!

Paul Pierotti