Advocacy Update from the Chamber President
Aside from providing a range of services for members that include promotion, training and networking, Mundaring Chamber of Commerce aims to be active in advocating for the interests of its members with a range of entities.
Recently, members of the executive and the executive officer have undertaken a number of initiatives in this regard. One of the most important is working to achieve a commitment from the Shire of Mundaring to develop an economic development strategy, to consider the creation of a business liaison person, and to enhance communications between the Chamber representing its members as well as business generally on the one hand and the Shire on the other.
Our Vice President, T’Anne Mills and Susan Gill from the Chidlow Progress Association put together a wonderful presentation to the Shire senior officers and the Council President and Vice President. They later made the same presentation to invited Shire Councillors at Amaroo Retreat and Spa in Mt Helena. We are pleased to report that the Shire has made some progress in bringing these matters into their budget considerations so we should have something to report by mid-year.
In the meantime, members might want to take the opportunity to remind Councillors of the importance of businesses to the local economy, including ensuring that they are reminded that tourism related activity is wider that the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) categories and that a whole range of businesses benefit from the presence of tourists and visitors to our region.
As a former Councillor I am well aware that the collective voice of the business community has rarely been considered when it comes to community consultations. This has been part of the reasoning behind our desire to promote the idea of a business liaison person. However, that is only one element in what should be a lively interaction between the Chamber and the Shire. I recently attended a Shire meeting and spoke on an item that was of concern to the Chamber and intend doing so whenever the occasion arises in the future. We will also be looking at ways in which we can involve Councillors in or networking activities.
The Chamber’s Executive Officer and myself recently met with Ken Wyatt , MHR. Ken has been an active local member and provided us with a number of suggestions that he would like to advance in collaboration with the Chamber. One was a buy local model employed in Hervey Bay. The strategy employed there was quite novel and Ken thought it might be worth considering here. I will follow this up and report soon. Ken also suggested a number of projects in a similar vein to the one that he did for significant military sites in the region. .
We are in discussion with Tim Fraser at the Minister for Tourism’s office regarding a presentation similar to one he made at a recent meeting in Kalamunda. We think that it would be useful for members and businesses in Mundaring Shire (and possibly other Hills regions) to know the detail of what the Government’s plans are for tourism development, what stages are proposed and what outcomes are envisaged. Furthermore, we would like to have a presentation from the head of the Perth Hills Tourism Alliance (PHTA) so that members from this shire and the other shires that are part of the PHTA can hear about progress and plans for the future of a collective effort to promote visitations to the Perth Hills. This might be an opportunity to promote the idea of a Destination Perth Hills strategy that sits alongside the Destination Perth program that seems to have been unsuccessful in increasing visits to the Hills regions.
Lastly, we have met and will continue to meet with our local MLAs – Jessica Shaw and Matthew Hughes, to discuss matters of interest to Mundaring Chamber of Commerce and its members. We are disappointed to hear that the terms of reference for Matthew Hughes’ Economic Development Task Force do not include the region of Mundaring and we will continue to press the Government to examine ways of promoting such development in Mundaring Shire.
If you would like further information on any of the issues discussed in this blog post, please contact either myself, Patrick Bertola on 0428 316 271/ email@example.com or email Karen Mummery, our Executive Officer on firstname.lastname@example.org.