Port Lincoln Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Chairperson’s Report – Jack Ritchie 2019

Year of consolidation and growth 

The Chamber has gone through year of change and consolidation during 2018/19. We thank the executive and committee members for their work throughout the year and thank committee members who retired during the year, including Kerry Casanova, who was elected to the position of Treasurer and resigned later in the year due to other work commitments and COUNCIL REP Jim Papazoglov who stepped down following the council elections. At the Chamber’s AGM in May 2018 the following were elected to executive and committee CHAIRPERSON, Jack Ritchie, VICE CHAIRPERSON, Andrea Broadfoot, SECRETARY, Marina Osman, MINUTE SECRETARY, Anne Marie Hammond, TREASURER Kerry Casanova (replaced by Tim Kidney during the year), MARKETING/PROMOTION, Sharni-Marie Barney, PUBLIC OFFICER, Jed Carson, COUNCIL REP Jim Papazoglov (replaced by Valerie Staunton in Nov 18), COMMITTEE MEMBERS – Andrew Foster and Rob Watson. Thanks to you all for your ongoing commitment

 

Key things in the year

The Chamber has seen growth in member numbers this year and members renewing membership. This is a very positive development and we look forward to seeing that trend continue. I would like to thank Sharni, Marina and Tim for all their work in streamlining the way people can sign up for membership online and receive automated renewal invoices on the anniversary of that sign up.

 

Business Excellence Awards

The Chamber delivered another successful Business Excellence Award event with a team lead by Jed Carson and the invaluable support of our Gold sponsors, Beyond Bank, Port Lincoln City Council, Career Employment Group, Southern Cross Austereo, Magic FM Radio 765- 5CC, Port Lincoln Times – Fairfax Media, and our Silver sponsors EML, RSM, Mitre 10, CBA -Complete Business and Accounting Services, Forj Marketing, Business SA and Best Practice.

The winners of each category are great examples of the strength of business in this region and the winner of the 2018 Business Excellence Award was CAFÉ DEL GIORNO’S who demonstrated their exemplary leadership in Hospitality in Port Lincoln. In a business where they continue to contribute towards the local community through the use of local produce on their menus and by representing the Eyre Peninsula through various tourism bodies.

 

Regional voice

The Chamber has continued collaboration with the regional voice programs through Business SA. The Business SA’s Regional Voice program undertook a survey of Business views across EYRE Peninsula and ran a forum here to meet with Business. Sharni-Marie Barney attended the forum in Adelaide, on behalf of the Chamber alongside the Chairs of the larger regional chambers in SA, to look at policy and directions and a sharing of how each of the Chambers support business in their areas. Business SA continues to provide good support for regional Chambers and plays a major role in representing business interests throughout the state.

 

Rail freight line closure

The last year has seen major changes in Port Lincoln that took business and the community by surprise. The announcement that the rail line was to be closed at the end of May 2019 generated enormous concern from Businesses, who are facing a massive increase in truck movements locally. The Chamber lobbied on behalf of members and the business community re 2 retention of the line and seeking clarification from the State Government on what plans were in place to reduce the impact on Port Lincoln and the region. Unfortunately, we still don’t have a satisfactory response. The Chamber is keeping in touch with proposed Port Facilities developments and hope that those plans will progress quickly and will continue to lobby for measures that will reduce the impact of increased truck movements to local business, including the lack of freight choices for the agricultural sector.

 

Drilling and exploration in the Great Australian Bight 

The Chamber surveyed members re the plans by the Norwegian company Equinor, for exploration and drilling in the GAB. The survey confirmed that the majority of members were opposed, based on concerns over the limited benefits to local business and the region and potential risks to the local economy, jobs and existing business activities with the venture. The Chamber presented at the council forum held to discuss the project and presented member’s views on this issue.

 

Lobbying and advocacy

The chamber continued to lobby and advocate on behalf of members and met throughout the year with State Ministers, Federal and State members, representatives of major business ventures planned for the Port Lincoln area, including Southern Launch and H2U Hydrogen plant. Represented members at regional planning meetings, Tourism strategy discussions, meetings with the Chief Scientist concerning the audit of NOPSEMA (National Offshore Petroleum Safety Authority), Business SA regional Voice, amongst others throughout the year.

 

Christmas and New year display and activities

The Chamber has been working with Council’s Chamber representative Valerie Staunton on options for enhanced Xmas displays for Post Lincoln and options for a New Years in the City. The Chamber will be working with other organisations and individuals to make this a reality in 2019.

 

Council Master-planning

The Chamber took part in Master planning process undertaken by council re the CBD, Marina and foreshore and found this a positive forum for Business and the community to discuss options for future development

 

Free WIFI

The Chamber wrote to Rodney Harrex, Chief Executive, South Australian Tourism Commission, regarding their proposed free Wi-Fi hotspot which the South Australian Tourism Commission has promised for Port Lincoln, which at the time we had been told was now off the table. We received confirmation from Rodney Harrex that the project would go ahead. Free Wi-Fi will make it easier for tourists to quickly find information about Port Lincoln, including those that are part of our growing number of cruise ship visitors

 

Trade Waste Arrangements in Port Lincoln

Chamber has written to Roch Cheroux CEO SA WATER and Stephen Rufus CEO PORT LINCOLN CITY COUNCIL concerning the current status of Trade Waste Arrangements. A question had been raised with the Chamber in relation to the current situation and the Chamber is sought clarification of why the planned trade waste digester didn’t proceed and if this is a decision that can be reversed, or addressed with some other solution, as there is advantage to lots of local businesses if the digester is based here in Port Lincoln to reduce the huge cost of that waste being 3 transported to Adelaide. This is an ongoing matter and we are still seeking clarification despite the response from SA Water to date

 

RDAWEP and Chamber energy forum

Chamber has met with RDAWEP to discuss ongoing partnership with the Chamber and collaboration on local issues and opportunities. Through the partnership both organisations are looking at how to increase effective information and support to the business community. RDAWEP have offered a presentation for business on energy and electricity options, including community solar and battery options for business, and a range of support currently available to reduce costs in the short and long term and this will be something discussed at the first meeting of the team confirmed tonight.

 

Women in Business

The year has seen the continuation of the collaboration with Women in Business and this is seeing some great events which showcase the focus on business support for Port Lincoln and we thank the WIB team for their amazing work to support business in Port Lincoln.

 

Business in Port Lincoln showcases strength and sustainability.

The diversity of the local economy is a great asset with a strong and growing aquaculture, fisheries and tourism sectors, supported by our foundation agricultural industry and a robust retail, services and commerce sector with the health and services sector also growing. We are continuing to see an increasing number of small business and micro businesses and business that are using technology to connect across Australia and the world. Innovation is expanding, and we are continuing to see the great collaboration between businesses and the community. It has been a year of new initiatives and growth and we have been inspired by the announcement that the $117 million-dollar Hydrogen pilot plant planned for Port Lincoln will now have a Hydrogen precinct linked to the development of Cape Hardy. We have also seen plans by Southern Launch to establish a multimillion-dollar Satellite launch platform at Whalers Way. The Chamber has approached both companies about their willingness to meet with Business locally to discuss what involvement and economic potential is possible and to learn more details about their plans

 

Tourism strategy

The Chamber continues to support the development and promotion of tourism for Port Lincoln and the region. The tourism Industry is continuing to grow and is already a major contributor to the profile of the region and our economic prosperity and sustainability. The Chamber continues to work closely with Industry, Council and Regional Development Australia Whyalla and Eyre Peninsula around the development of a local Tourism Strategy. The Chamber is still actively supporting the annual Visitor Information Guide and have made new arrangements with Council and Wolf media for distribution to be managed by council to reduce the costs borne by the Chamber.

 

Best Practice Program

The Chamber’s productive partnership with John Peterson and the Best Practice Program continued. The Best Practice Program is a unique coaching program founded on worlds’ best practice learning methodologies which many local businesses have taken up and attend monthly workshops to learn practical skills and take time to work ON their business. John has also been recording a series of Best Practice Business Tips broadcast on Radio 765-5CC that are co-branded with the Chamber, raising the profile of our organisation and providing tips for local business. Feedback on 4 this has been very positive and we will continue to work with Best Practice Program to bring value to our members and the business community.

 

Going Forward

The Chamber is most effective when it includes the diversity and numbers of businesses that operate in the city. Conversations with many business operators has been positive and direct discussions with the fishing industry and tourism sector presents an opportunity to become a stronger representative voice for all the businesses that are the backbone of our local economy, and the social connectors of our community.

 

Thanks

On behalf of the Chamber and in my role as Chair, I would like to thank the Chamber executive and committee members for all their hard work and support and particularly thank Marina Osman who is stepping down from the role of Secretary, a role that she has delivered so perfectly and we thank her again for offering to help support someone new into that role this year. I would also like to thank the current executive and committee members for their continued hard work and for their collaboration in this year of consolidation and review, setting a strong strategic direction for the future. Thank you to all people in businesses who say YES when we ask for support with the Chamber activities. Your willingness makes a huge difference to what we can achieve together.

 

2019/20 is a year of continued growth and expansion.

We are calling for all businesses to join the Chamber and through active collaboration and innovation, let’s grow the economy based on sustainable foundations. Let’s look at what’s possible and put the strategies and steps in place to achieve shared goals. We are looking forward to the positive future of the Chamber of Commerce and Tourism in Port Lincoln. 

You can join by CLICKING HERE

 

Jack Ritchie, Chairperson

PORT LINCOLN CHAMBER of COMMERCE & TOURISM

E: chair@portlincolnchamber.com.au

PH: 0458 274444

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