President’s Report – April 2017

Nadia Elliot Burgess has commenced her period of long service leave and maternity leave – congratulations Nadia! All enquiries to the Chamber should now be made to Leanne Cawley at or on 6681 5049.

The Annual General Meeting (AGM) for the Chamber was held yesterday (Wednesday May 17th) in conjunction with our May “Breakfast Before Business” meeting, providing an opportunity to reflect on what the Chamber has achieved over the last 12 months – and to look forward to the next 12 months.

We would like to welcome back our pre-standing board members who have been re-elected, as well as our automatically returning board member Martin Corkery from Riversleigh Guesthouse. We would also like to extend a very warm welcome to our newly elected member, Amanda Edmonds from Edmonds Conveyancing.

There is much to do to keep the Chamber running – your involvement in the Board will assist all members to get value of the organisation. Welcome and congratulations.

The Board has been active over the last few months, particularly noting the following:

  • A submission has been made to the Ballina Shire Economic Development Strategy, conducted by the Council. All members should keep an eye on further advice about, and opportunities to participate in, this important initiative.
  • Board members have anecdotal evidence that there was good commercial activity in Ballina over the summer period. It may be that initiatives to address a perceived threat from sharks in the region has had some success with locals and visitors alike “coming to the coast”. However the Chamber’s position is that it continues to encourage shark mitigation strategies that have no effect on other marine creatures.
  • Further to the above, a submission was made by the Chamber to the enquiry conducted by the Senate Environment and Communications References Committee (Cth) into shark mitigation and deterrent strategies. A public hearing will be conducted in Byron Bay on 2 May 2017. It is anticipated that the Chamberwill prepare a submission to the hearing – with the hope that a Board member will appear as a witness.
  • The Chamber continues to participate in other community meetings. A representative of the Chamber attended a “Crime Safety” meeting with the Police in March 2017. The Police encouraged vigilance with respect to fraud and particularly Internet fraud. A minute from the meeting notes that the new Grafton Correctional Facility ,to be completed by 2020, will be the fourth biggest community in the Clarence Valley.
Amended Constitution
One of the matters considered at yesterday’s AGM was an amended Constitution for the Chamber. The previous Constitution adopted terms that were inconsistent with the way the Board had been operating: for example the Constitution used the term “committee” when in fact it was the Board that undertook the roles that the Constitution put in the hands of a committee. Other matters that were addressed in the Constitution include the powers of the Board to appoint (employ) on behalf of the Chamber and Executive Officer; and the ability to make resolutions by way of circular e-mail.

The amended and approved constitution can be viewed here

The Chamber board and staff continue to work diligently on your behalf as a valued member – if you have any feedback or would like to make us aware of any barriers to your business growth please let us know. I look forward to seeing you at a Chamber event soon!

Narelle Besseling
Chamber President

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