Since my last update there has been some changes within the SHCCI executive. We have decreased from an 11 person board back to 7, due to the four board members resigning mostly due to work commitments.
You may not realise, but all your SHCCI Board are actively involved in advocating for chamber members through a variety of stakeholder engagements in order to advance economic development within the Southern Highlands.
Just some of these include:
Plasrefine Community Engagement Meetings
Carisa Wells and I met with representatives from GHD, the company employed by Plasrefine Recycling Pty Ltd to assist with the preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to support a State Significant Development Application for the proposed Moss Vale Plastics Recycling and Reprocessing Facility.
If you’d like to find out more information take a look at the recently updated the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on the Plasrefine website HERE
The updated FAQ topics include: phasing out single-use plastics and the upcoming community engagement sessions.
Small Business Commissioner – Chris Lamont
Several board members attended the Small Business Commissioner’s information gathering event in Bowral to provide him with vital information for his report into business conditions and economic development in the Wingecarribee Shire. The overarching sentiment was that the Council impeded business development, rather than encouraging it. We are very happy that most of the recommendations put forward by SHCCI and Business Illawarra were incorporated into the report.
You can read the report HERE
WSC Administrator Consultations
Over the course of Viv May’s appointment as the WSC Administrator a number of board members have attended individual consultations to further communicate the difficulties our business community has been trying to mitigate. We have felt heard and understood and would like to acknowledge the great work Viv is doing for our wonderful shire.
Southern Highlands Key Stakeholders Group
Deb Blackah and Kate Ingham have been attending the Key Stakeholders meeting as representatives of SHCCI. I’d like to say thank you to Kate and Deb for being part of this important local initiative.
WSC extraordinary general meetings & regular meetings
Paul Samulski has been attending regular Council meetings since becoming a board member. This allows us to stay updated on any local issues we may need to become active in and his insights have been greatly appreciated.
Christmas Lights Organising Group
Deb Blackah has established a working group to prepare for the 2021 Christmas Lights Festival and has been meeting regularly with representatives from the major towns and villages across the Southern Highlands. After recently meeting with Viv May, $80k was allocated to the Christmas Lights Festival. Mark Springett has also donated $10k to the project and we thank him for this generous contribution. Congratulations Deb, Christmas in the Highlands will be forever improved becausse of your passion and tenacity.
Creative Industries Cluster Meeting
Deb Blackah and Kate Ingham have been attending meetings with the Creative Industries Cluster (CIC) and recently the Chamber signed a Memorandum of Understanding which provides both parties with an understanding of how to work collaboratively. The Chamber auspices a grant application for the CIC and we look forward to facilitating greater collaboration between business and the creative community in the Southern Highlands.
WSC Economic Development Round Table
As President of SHCCI I was honoured to represent our members at the WSC Economic Development Round table on Friday 25 June. Both Moss Vale and Robertson Chambers were in attendance as well as Business Illawarra, RDA – Southern Inland and a number of other local business and community leaders.
The day commenced with introductions, then we heard from the GM of Tamworth City Council who had been asked to provide an overview of the creation of their Economic Development Blueprint. I was intrigued to hear that he believed the turning point for the Shire came from a change in Mayor, who was business savvy and passionate about improving the region so as to leave it in a more positive place for his children and grandchildren.
All the attendees then had an opportunity to relay their perspectives on the issues in our Shire. There were a number of issues identified which ranged from greater concentration on horticulture and agriculture, improved tourism events and the Moss Vale bypass, to infrastructure investments, more streamlined DA processes and just an overall willingness to support the business community and attract new ventures. A greater focus on the villages in the Shire and not just the three major towns was also discussed. We hope Council will provide the public with the report on this event in the coming weeks.
Fire In Bong Bong Street
The fire in Wingecarribee Street Bowral came as shock to everyone and has caused a number of businesses to close until they understand the extent of the damage and what will need to come next. Our condolences to the businesses that have been impacted. I have been in discussions with Lisa Miscamble, the newly appointed WSC GM, who impressively called me early the following morning, We are working with the WSC to seek assistance in fast tracking the steps to recovery. I have also spoken with Nathaniel Smith MP for Wollondilly to discuss possible assistance during the recovery process. There will be further updates on this situation as information comes to hand.
State Govt Grants for this Covid Lockdown
The State Govt has a range of grants available for small business and tourism and hospitality establishments. For more information click HERE
If you would like to discuss anything further, please don’t hesitate to give me a call.
Stay well and safe and please remember your masks.