Local Business Chambers feeling positive that Council may have heard their concerns
Following on from what began as quite robust discussion the presidents of the five chambers of commerce in the Eurobodalla came away feeling positive that they had clearly enunciated their concerns to the Eurobodalla councillors who attended. Initially the meeting was to be a meeting of chamber heads and councillors however Council bought along an entourage that while being able to contribute input to issues that might be raised meant that the open and frank discussions that were to evolve around an undertow of disquiet that is held around staff decisions and directions that have, and continue to be, deleterious to business investment. The meeting, hosted in Narooma at the Whale Motel covered issues across the shire including the recent announcement of closure of the Narooma NAB The shire's chambers of commerce were represented by Niels Bendixen, president of host town Narooma Chamber of Commerce & Tourism, Jude Manahan, president of Moruya Chamber of Commerce, Peter Lonergan as the president of the Tilba District Chamber of Commerce, Richard Adams representing the Mogo Village Business Chamber and Paul Biddlestone vice president of the Batemans Bay Business and Tourism Chamber Though the meeting was not the first where the chambers had come together to discuss wider issues across the shire it was the first time the chambers have engaged with the councillors. There was an opportunity for each of the chambers to illuminate the accomplishments in their towns and also the projects they have in mind that will further benefit their communities. One example was the voicing of frustration that the Moruya Chamber presently has with the new requirements being demanded by Essential Energy regarding banners and Christmas lights being erected on Moruya streescape light poles. The Narooma & District Chamber of Commerce and Tourism president Niels Bendixsen told The Beagle that the meeting was open and honest and that he hoped it was the beginning of a positive relationship buiding between the council and the chambers. Councillors coming away from the meeting told The Beagle that they were very encouraged by the passion and the capacity that the chambers presented and that the meeting was a heads up that council should be more proactive in engaging with representatives of the business community as it was clear that the chambers have a wealth of real experience and understand the dynamics of local business. "We must proactively seek and consider chamber input our staff have no business experience and their decisions impact directly on the bottom line of every business in the shire."
Above: an "elephant in the room" that still irks the membership of the Moruya Chamber is the admission by Council that they deliberately omitted giving Moruya township a double spread in the current Holiday Planner because local Moruya businesses had not bought advertising in what is a ratepayer funded guidebook for the promotion of the region. You can see for yourself HERE how Batemans Bay and Narooma, along with Mogo and Tilba, were showcased in the guide while the administrative and properous tourist destination of Moruya was relegated to a few paragraphs under Waterside Towns and Villages