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BBBTC President Report 2018

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Membership numbers have slowly grown over the past year. Most meetings see a number of new members welcomed. Exact numbers will be reported in October when membership payments usually complete. The Chamber has relied on attracting members through its actions and word of mouth rather than a membership drive program.

Website and Facebook

The website has recently been simplified and now highlights News and Facebook feed in our attempt to better communicate Chamber activities.

Facebook also has had some recent attention. Members are encouraged to contribute to issues and conversations via Facebook.

Thank you to the members who have assisted in this area. Make sure you go and “Like” the Chamber page

Cross-Chamber Communication

Combined Chamber President meetings have occurred where common issues were discussed. Our Chamber proposed and organised the recent inaugural Chamber President and Councillor lunch. With positive response from some Councilors we hope these continue.

Of particular importance to Chambers is the idea of strengthening the institution through collaboration with ESC (Eurobodalla Shire Council) via an ESC Business Advisory Group which will include the 5 Chambers. This would allow issues to be worked through various Chambers and provide more considered input.

Business in Batemans Bay

There have been various activities contributing to the local economy including high rates of approvals. There are many new developments on the horizon such as the new Batemans Bay Bridge, Mackay Park Development, Shellfish Hatchery and tourism accommodation investment. Batemans Bay has never seen such infrastructure investment in the past, over $600M in the pipeline.

Business has anecdotally reported mixed outcomes for the past financial year.

Tourism accommodation providers contributing over 20% of the five bedroom and above accommodation in the Shire have reported static results or growth commensurate with CPI and annual fluctuations.

Results from all businesses which have refurbished or transformed have been positive.

Current available economic indicators:

  • Employment: Batemans Bay March 2016 = 3003, March 2018 = 3195
  • Unemployment: Batemans Bay March 2017 = 311, March 2018 = 385
  • Gross Regional Product: NSW up 2.7% Eurobodalla up 2.4% (2017 NIEIR)
  • Age Dependency Ratio: Rate at 557 out of 563 Shires in Australia.


Batemans Bay: Major Regional Hub Status

Various talks with ESC around the definition of major regional hub status and expected services and facilities have occurred.

Talks with Batemans Bay medical practitioner’s and Southern Health occurred. It is understood that the local doctors have been responsible for an improved look at Batemans Bay Hospital’s role in a key population and regional hub context — especially emergency services.

The executive has discussed Batemans Bay’s regional hub status with each level of Government.

Bridge Construction

Talks with RMS and ESC continue, with a current emphasis on scheduling to mitigate effects on Batemans Bay business.

Mackay Park Development

Funding put forward by Local member Mr Andrew Constance of $26M has been a great boost to enable the development of this much needed community facility, the chamber looks forward to the possibility of being able to assist in the community consultation process.

Hanging Rock Pier Proposal

Chamber continues to advocate to ESC and each level of government on this proposal. It is understand that ESC is continuing to pursue its feasibility. Thank you to ESC for sharing information and Charles Stuart for liaising with each level of Government.

Unregulated Accommodation Platforms

While Chamber supports all accommodation platforms it advocates for a level playing field. Regulation has been somewhat addressed by NSW Government with adopted changes in the CBD of Sydney, though, we believe a local approach may be necessary depending on NSW outcomes and future accommodation developments in Batemans Bay.

Council’s Community Centre and Hall sustainability.

In a recent ESC and Chamber executive meeting we were informed that Council would improve existing venues facilities and equipment, then monitor their use before any decision of rationalization.

Arts and Community Infrastructure

Chamber continues to advocates for arts and community infrastructure including a regional gallery, regional museum, youth entertainment infrastructure and coordinated regional food experience. A proposal on behalf of local business people and the Historical Society was made to the Mayor and Councilors to purchase the Old Bowling Club site for the same price ESC paid. The group anticipated taking advantage of current NSW dollar for dollar infrastructure funding to provide a regional gallery, regional museum, bowling alley and other entertainment. Discussion was not forthcoming.


This development by ESC is a most welcomed opportunity for the Shire’s economy and our local oyster industry. Council is to be congratulated on seizing the opportunity. We hope for a speedy commencement for the supply of spat.

Start Up, Accelerators and Incubators.

Infrastructure for young people and professionals is essential for employment, to curb the exit of youth and balance the age dependency ratio and community demographic. We have seen relocation of some members, young professional families for economic reasons which focuses the need for more advocacy for appropriate infrastructure and services to attract and maintain this important demographic.


The Chamber continues to advocate with Council’s Tourism unit, and commends the Tourism unit’s current signage strategy process, re-branding of the Shire process, slated events strategy process and the commencement of achieving relevant data to assist strategy and industry particularly in the off season.

A company (Jim Jam) recently commenced stakeholder discussions regarding branding where a number of members attended. Feedback was that it was very refreshing that a bold company was engaged which could acknowledge industry issues over past branding and campaign shortcomings.

The current DMP (Destination Management Plan) has strong Council commitment to its endorsement and implementation. Chamber has been informed that a communication strategy will then be rolled out connecting industry and strategy.


Chamber welcomes Council’s Tourism and Events Unit intent to develop a new Events Strategy. The Chamber has worked with Council on Batemans Bay Paddle Challenge, Sculpture on Clyde and Seaside Carnivale. Chamber acknowledges issues with Council over the Sculpture on Clyde event with a continuation towards resolution.

There is a recognised need to fund events to a sufficient professional standard to avoid volunteer fatigue and other issues. Chamber has advocated for a strategy which addresses control over dates, funding and professionalism as well as a focus on longer term legacy events in the off season.

Coastal Management Policy

Discussion at monthly meetings and correspondence has spotlighted this issue. While sea level rise models and longer-term predictions have met differing views within the Chamber, there is recognized need for a supported and workable ESC policy. Member concerns include development consents in vulnerable areas with caveats rendering future use uneconomical to devaluation in property value. One question raised is: Will people only learn of impact on their property if a development application is submitted?

No doubt vision strategy and ESC infrastructure planned for the CBD and Village areas will also be impacted. One example presented to Chamber was a tourism development having a caveat placed on it rendering it uneconomical to develop. eg If certain tidal events occur in any calendar year the development is to be removed.

Recently, Chamber members attended a Council workshop on the subject, though Chamber needs to be better informed before commenting.

Council will be asked to present Coastal Management Policy developments to Chamber.

Airport Precinct Leasing or Sale Proposal

The continuing upgrades to the airport by ESC are welcomed and no doubt appreciated by commuters. It would be timely to review and re-engage with ESC at the completion of the current works.

Underwater Sculpture Garden

Chamber and ESC have begun discussions with Marine Parks on the possibility of establishing an Underwater Sculpture Park. Initial talks are positive and continuing.

Floating Pontoons

This project is planned to bring boating enthusiasts, inclusive boating and seaplanes to the heart of the Batemans Bay CBD. The Chamber wishes to have two pontoons located in the Clyde River on the southern shoreline. RMS has agreed in principle to the concept at the T wharf and we continue to advocate thanks to Charles Stuart for the other location.

As a precedent, RMS is considering total funding and on-going maintenance (a first for them) of the project.

Food Bowl

ESC via the Rural Producers Advisory Committee have had discussions with University experts. Thank you to Roger Gribble for his presentation to Chamber. This is an ongoing project.

Roads and Pathways

New paths and roads by ESC are welcomed. Chamber looks forward to the completion of the Spine Road and continues to work for a shared and linked pathway around the bay.

Inclusive Tourism Precinct

The Chambers push for an inclusive tourism precinct has been assisted by Charles Stuart from The Bay Push Inc .. The Bay Push Inc. led the way with the Inclusive playground at Corrigan’s reserve and proposes that available Crown Land at Corrigan’s reserve be utilized for the construction of Inclusive tourism attractions. The wider precinct concept integrates well with substantial existing inclusive infrastructure.

Vision Strategy

Chamber looks forward to further provision of assistance when the Vision or Place Making strategy commences for Batemans Bay CBD. Coastal Management Policy and Bridge Construction could well play a part in lengthening the process.


Chamber has advocated and addressed fundamental economic and social issues to further a better place to do business, live and invest. The purpose of the Chamber is to provide a networking and advocacy opportunity for members and to collaborate and challenge with each level of government for better business and community outcomes. Some issues we have had success and some not, either way our existence is important.

The Chamber Executive and member support has been paramount over the past year. I would like to thank all for your effort.

I would also like to thank the many presenters who volunteered their time, and to friends and associates of the Chamber who have enabled events, submissions and advocacy work for the Chamber.

As volunteers we have achieved much. The Chamber continues to grow and influence, primarily through word-of-mouth.

For myself it has been a privilege to serve as Chamber President. I look forward to another year, after which the Chamber will support a new President.

David Maclachlan

Batemans Bay Business and Tourism Chamber President


Download BBBTC President Report 2018 PDF

Chamber Activity Update to June 2018

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  1. New Chamber website is up and running, please comment. We are looking for Facebook administrators and assistance to help post Chamber information and generate discussion.
  2. Congratulation’s to Batemans Bay Paddle Challenge and River of Art organisers and volunteers for two wonderful events.
  3. NSW Marine Infrastructure Workshop at Narooma. Chamber forwarded Batemans Bay Cruise Ship Pier proposal, Dive Site and Pontoons for recreational boat access to the CBD. Event Strategy was also discussed.
  4. A letter was sent to RMS (NSW Roads and Maritime Services) regarding the bridge construction, planning and scheduling. The Chamber has asked how we can fit into their consultative process.
  5. Charles Stuart has organised meetings with RMS regarding the Dive Site and CBD pontoon proposals. Charles has also been privy to Councils report on the cruise ship pier.
  6. The executive is going through a series of questions with the executive leadership team at Council on a monthly basis. If members would like to pose any question please let the executive know.
  7. Guest Speaker for July is Wayne Kirkpatrick, former CEO Uluru, Thredbo and Hamilton Island developments and current NSW Network Destination Southern Region board member.
  8. Chamber has formerly asked Council to contribute $25,000 of the $50,000 for the Sculpture on Clyde acquisitive prize, which will be gifted to Council as a permanent piece of public art. Much the same as “Buoyansea” –(the octopus on Beach Road). This year we have renowned Australian and Overseas sculptors entering significant works.

Sculpture on Clyde includes World Class Venue

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To reignite the event, Sculpture on Clyde will host outdoor sculptures at world class venue Willinga Park, the indoor sculptures will be hosted at the Clyde St. heritage venue used last year. The winners of the Schools Mathematical Sculpture competition will be concurrently displayed in shop fronts in the form of a Sculpture Walk through Batemans Bay CBD.

Following supportive discussions with Eurobodalla Shire Council we await confirmation on additional public sites for the permanent display of the Acquisitive prize, which in turn increases the scope of potential entrants and art.
Willinga Park has been integral in assisting this years event. The world class equestrian centre has international award winning architecture, internationally recognised Sculptures and an unsurpassed garden which will be utilised for our event. All the key ingredients for a true destination event. As the Willinga Park area does not have Hotel or Food and Beverage options which Batemans Bay does, we will be integrating our marketing with Batemans Bay business and capitalising on the importance of the Canberra tourist route. This is a real opportunity for Batemans Bay to tap into a world class destination venue.

“We have made some changes to the format of the event” said Chamber of Commerce president, David Maclachlan. “This will enable us to overcome difficulties around bridge construction uncertainty, insurance, security and the site logistics of putting on such a major event with volunteers.”

“The changes will also allow the event to expand quickly as a true destination event bringing in domestic and international tourists, all to the benefit of local businesses and local resident, with a resultant legacy of a world class sculpture walk”.

The $60,000 total prize money which was entirely raised by Batemans Bay locals is still on offer. The money saved from working with Willinga Park will go to an additional sculpture acquisition for the Sculpture on Clyde Sculpture Walk.

The committee is also engaged with founding a local sculpture residency award and will shortly be in talks involving local artists for an underwater sculpture garden.

The two event venues will be linked by a bus shuttle service on the weekend.

“We are happy with continued support from Destination NSW, Eurobodalla Shire Council, State Member for Bega Minister Andrew Constance and Ann Sudmalis MP, Federal Member for Gilmore”, David Maclachlan said.
It’s a win for everyone and the Sculpture on Clyde committee is already busy with arrangements to make it happen. Entries close July 30 so artists are urged to continue sculpting their works so we can all enjoy them from August 25 until September 2.

Eurobodalla Business Awards

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The Eurobodalla Business Awards is a shire wide awards program that aligns with the NSW Business Awards through the NSW Business Chamber.

Follow the link to enter the Eurobodalla Business Awards.

This will take you to the Eurobodalla Business Awards website and the online entry portal.

Please note that the entry period is from Monday 2 July 2018 to Friday 3 August 2018.

Award Categories

There will be ten award categories in 2018:

  • Outstanding Young Entrepreneur
  • Outstanding Young Employee
  • Business Leader
  • Start Up Superstar
  • Excellence in Small Business (1-4 employees)
  • Excellence in Small Business (5-10 employees)
  • Excellence in Small Business (11- 19 employees)
  • Excellence in Small Business (overall winner)
  • Excellence in Business
  • Local Chamber of Commerce Award

Key Dates

  • Entries open: Monday 2 July – Friday 3 August 2018
  • Judging period: Saturday 4 August – Friday 17 August 2018
  • People’s Choice Award voting opens: Wednesday 8 August 2018
  • Finalists announced: Monday 20 August 2018
  • Gala Dinner: Saturday 8 September 2018


The Bilbao effect

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After Terry Snow spoke at the last Chamber meeting he suggested I share what the “Bilbao Effect” is with Members, as he see’s our town centre Vision, world class sculpture walk and Mackay Park Proposal as a Bilbao effect:   please read and be inspired about what we can achieve…

The Bilbao effect

(The Bilbao effect which is also known as Guggenheim effect pertains to the cause and effect relationship that occurred when a single world-class project became the catalyst for reviving this once gritty, economically distressed, port city. Bilbao Effect means more than the urge to travel…)

“The port city transformed to a tourist magnet.  It became one of the travel destinations… It has changed the whole economy. In 3 years, the revenue was enough to recoup the construction costs. Cultural activities are needed for making the city better… It brings renewal and vigour to city life. Actually Guggenheim is more than one building or museum. It has changed the whole economy of the city… Visitors spend large amounts on accommodation, shopping, transportation, eating and drinking… This represents lots of new jobs. IACC Cerem Temel 2014

Jan 6th 2014 Excerpt from “THE ECONOMIST”

A THRIVING CULTURAL sector is an essential part of what makes a city great, along with green spaces and immigrants who bring renewal and vigor to city life, according to a recent study by McKinsey, a consultancy. The opening of the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao in northern Spain (pictured) in 1997, 20 years after the Pompidou Centre, shows how an imaginatively designed museum commissioned by an energetic mayor can help turn a city around.

Visitors’ spending in Bilbao in the first three years after the museum opened raised over €100m ($110m) in taxes for the regional government, enough to recoup the construction costs and leave something over. Last year more than 1m people visited the museum, at least half of them from abroad. This was the third-highest number ever, so the building continues to attract visitors even though the collection on display is modest. Other cities without historic cultural centre’s now look to Bilbao as a model for what vision and imagination can achieve.

Over the next decade more than two dozen new cultural centre’s focused on museums are due to be built in various countries, at an estimated cost of $250 billion, according to a study by AEA Consulting, a New York firm that specialises in cultural projects..

Such cultural hubs need a clear vision of what they can offer if visitors are to come more than once. The new centre in Perth, an expanded version of the existing Western Australian Museum, is relaunching itself as the museum of the Indian Ocean and is already planning exhibitions in collaboration with museums in Mumbai, Muscat, Abu Dhabi and Nairobi.

Village Meetings 2017

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Common Issues raised

  • Empty Shops in Batemans Bay – can we attract new businesses?
  • Batemans Bay as a Drawcard – what are we known for and how do we promote this?
  • Tourism – are Council and Tourism operators improving Tourism?
  • Tourism Signage and CBD signage is lacking.
  • Continuous Shared walkway/footpath not complete, poor footpath conditions, need to consider both in terms of access.
  • Impact of new bridge works on town and business.
  • Mackay Park Development – concerns over consultation process, concept design, 25 v 50 m pool, Will it be multi-use for arts and events?
  • Use of old bridge – what can we use it for maybe a dive attraction?
  • Design of new bridge – will it be iconic?
  • Issues of Water and Sewerage at Nelligen.
  • Poor Phone, mobile and internet coverage particularly north at Maloneys / Long Beach areas
  • Erosion issues at Surfside
  • Local Parks – condition of Albert Ryan Park and Surf Beach pedestrian crossing, foot bridge, parking and facilities.


Maloneys Beach  – 6 November 2017

  • Phone and internet

– Mobile coverage still not improved – risk to emergency services – OPTUS and Telstra equally bad

– NBN available however speed is slow and phone service is poor – 100mb with actual speed of 25 mb – waiting on others to join to help improve upgrades to service

– Phone service is intermittent

  • Bridge

– Bridge breakdown is concerning – emergency access, exacerbated by phone service, accessible walkway

  • Paddleboard operation – summer weather, 3 x locations
  • Sea rise

– Retrogate – inundation issues

– restoration

– Property loss – no compensation

– DA Issues 149.2

– Owners not allowed to protect property

– Euro higher than Bega and Shoalhaven

– Council Rep advised that this is being discussed

  • Wharf

– Erosion on Surfside

– Minimal designed structure

– changes to break wall

– faster current

– sand dragged out to river mouth

– poor solution at present

– surfside in real trouble with minimal wave protection

  • Food van regulation – to be clarified
  • Mackay Park – needs consultative approach
  • Batemans Bay Hospital

– Is it closing?

– Big concern for community and for Allied development

  • Broulee Private Hospital? where is this at?
  • Albert Ryan Park? Resolved in 2 weeks?
  • Pathway Review

– Yet to be released by council

– not a lot happening due to budget limitations

– high priority for Cullendulla Crossing


Nelligen – 7 November 2017

  • Water and Sewerage

– water getting critical (C/Park) 7 x loads per day

– Sewerage – pollution issue

– Council – no clear plan for upgrade

– Council – have employed an engineer consultant to do design to seek funding for sewerage and water (stage 2 bay ridge to fund storage for Nelligen)

  • Increased boat and long vehicle parking
  • new roadwork’s speed limit of 80kph – advised it should be 100 kph
  • 80kph speed limit a concern due to foot traffic security
  • events needs more support
  • Caravan and Camping show return to Batemans Bay is not secured


Batehaven – 8 November 2017

  • Balance of local tourism and business
  • Bay is a regional hub and needs to be recognised as one
  • Batehaven signage – roads and shops- response from responsible agencies required eg: RMS, Council, Council signage plan???
  • Speed zones around area a concern at Glenella Rd – Batemans Bay High School
  • Lighting at Corrigans Park and Playground not always on
  • Business Start Ups – need to know more what is on offer
  • Enticing business to the bay – is chamber involved and supporting pop-up stores also?
  • What are Batemans Bay Drawcards? needs promoting
  • Focusing on older and active generation and promoting to this demographic
  • Tourism budget for Eurobodalla is 1.2 mil enough and where does it go?
  • Inclusion and promotion of local Indigenous culture
  • Pool development – 25 v 50 metres?
  • Creating other industry on top of tourism for area
  • Promotion of the Botanic Gardens more
  • Surf Beach Crossing and parking at shops is a concern
  • Public bikes could they be installed along beach road areas?
  • Traffic management at roundabouts in north Bay needs looking at over peak seasons


Denhams Beach – 8 November 2017

  • Public Bin at sculpture needs removing
  • Surf beach Park – issues with poor access due to tree roots and pathway quality
  • Surf Beach shops and pedestrian access across Beach Road is required and replacement of the footbridge near shops on footpath area
  • Surf Beach grassed areas for parking overflow needs restoration including the footbridge
  • Shared pathway funding is needed- can Andrew Constance help with this?
  • Street seating in general
  • Using t he old Bay Bridge as tourist drawcard due to iconic status
  • Heritage structures around bay need promotion and attention – we are knocking them down and not keeping them
  • speed limits there are many variations in the bay along Beach Rd
  • What is the future of the tip and sewerage area? Is there a possible re-location ?
  • Roundabouts needs attention for beautification work
  • Road side clearing of trees what is the reason behind this?
  • Fence at Surf Beach for restoration of dunes needs attention or removal
  • Bus Stop at George Bass Dr and Silverdell needs attention for access
  • Surf Beach shops car park is difficult to access and has several minor accidents. Main road and Explorers way need attention to car parking and access
  • Headland Walk is in poor condition up from Denhams Beach with lots of erosion


Malua Bay – 10 November 2017

  • Hotel development at Malua Bay – approved to start with 54 rooms, chain operation and 3 x stories
  • Marina at Bay – is this going to expand or more development?
  • Tourism – offering of activities is needed, some poor accommodation has been reported – council has appointed a Tourism Manager
  • Rental costs in the CBD are high – hard to get business to start up and controlled by landlords
  • Mackay Park

– Swimming Pool 25 v 50 m

– Arts community?

– Multi use venue design options?

– Community Consultation?

  • Garbage bins at sculpture need removing
  • Marina Development – under improvements
  • Chamber proposal for Pier for Cruise ship access
  • Roads – concerns on traffic at cross roads, what is happening with Glenella Rd bypass to highway?
  • Dive Reef – can we use the old Bay bridge as a dive site?
  • Bowling Alley in town would be great to see
  • Shared walkways required for safe access
  • Restaurant and bar could be put in at the Surf Club at Malua Bay
  • More events in the area


Batemans Bay – 13 November 2017

  • Impact of new bridge on town and commerce
  • local job opportunities for new bridge work?
  • access of bridge for elderly and pedestrians
  • Retention of part of the iconic bridge
  • Are there 2 x lanes into North Street from Highway?
  • Pontoons north of bridge – water taxis, more pier access and tourism activities along the river needed
  • Tourism traffic is missing Clyde Street and town – no signage or engagement of traffic from highway
  • Visitor information in Clyde St / Foreshore – what is the vehicle access to Clyde St from Bridge?
  • Bus Bay access – impact on business in Clyde St from new bridge
  • Activate the foreshore in Clyde Street
  • Christmas decorations in the bay are pathetic! no shop fronts dressed up, prizes could be given for best display in shops etc
  • Mackay Park – consultation process and public meetings have been a waste of time
  • Pool 25 m v 50 m – not consultation with swimming groups, schools etc
  • Concern of rates effect from Mackay Park development
  • 22/11/17 Meeting Perfex – BBay Community Centre – Pool Party is Welcome
  • Albert Ryan Park decision of decommissioning of toilets
  • Single Rallying Phrase – “No more nice guy” catch phrase
  • $47 Mil for a pool no ones wants – fight for the next generation
  • Given up on current pool – closed at 2pm and don’t sell goggles or hot chips
  • Current pool is White Elephant
  • Worries of heat and chlorine of new pool
  • 6 months turnaround for sports infrastructure decisions
  • Pool street march and pack the pool?
  • More promotion for local shop front – competition for attending shops with prizes to find Christmas items and include promotion for January
  • Concerns of current proposal for Mackay Park pool as a white elephant
  • Public square fountain and chairs
  • Rates economically sound model
  • 3 hours worth of analytical time?
  • Town Beach – deck chairs and umbrellas, no reason for tourists to turn into North Street
  • Attractive and pretty town centre
  • Accumulative affect of lots of small contributions by individual retailers
  • Ross Report – Public Parks, BB Rotary Park, Albert Ryan Park – community prepared to contribute to beautification
  • Single voice for issues such as Mackay Park, empty shops, high unemployment, age discrepancy
  • Sydney Food Bowl to Euro Bowl
  • If you don’t do anything about our future, no reason to complain
  • United Voice – negate ‘divide and conquer’ mentality and get together.
  • Gateway ??
  • Street scaping looks good
  • Christmas Markets at night
  • NB roll out in town