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Batemans Bay Chamber

Invite to Meet Your Candidate for 2021 Shire Elections November 2021

By | Chamber News
Mogo Village logo

Invitation to all Members and Guests

(limited places, doors close at 6pm)

Download (.docx)

Meet Your Candidates Forum for Eurobodalla Shire Election
6pm, Wed. 24 November – Batemans Bay Soldiers Club,

Program

6:00pm Welcome and introduction of each candidate and outline of format.

6:10pm Seven candidates to have a maximum of 3 minutes each for a very brief personal introduction and explain their platform and address Chambers advocacy items if they wish.

6:40pm Questions to all candidates (see below) with a show of hands for agreement.

7:00pm Questions from members and floor to all candidates – no more than a 2 minute answer per candidate. Each question must be a question rather than a statement and be no longer than one minute. The MC has the right to withdraw/stop any questions. The MC will ensure equitable time per candidate.

7:45pm Close and invitation to chat with candidates informally until 8:30pm.

A time keeper will assist.

All candidates and participants need to comply to public health orders and Batemans Bay Soldiers Club requirements which include recognised double vaccination proof.

We thank the Batemans Bay Soldiers Club for assistance and venue use.

Batemans Bay Business and Tourism Chamber and Mogo Village Business Chamber 2021 Election Advocacy & Questions to Candidates

The Chamber Executives would like to draw Council Candidates attention to the following issues that we have been advocating for over the last ten years.

We invite potential Councillors to consider these items and look forward to working with the new Council in 2022. Our aim for each Chamber of Commerce is to develop and promote strategies that assist our local economy and community, to recover post 2020 bushfires and Covid-19 effects as well as grow and develop into the future.

  1. Retention Strategies for Young People, Young Families and ProfessionalsWe recognise that our Shire has an accelerating increase in mean age (average age 54yrs) and one of the highest age dependency ratio’s in the country (556 out of 563 Shires).Currently there are many businesses and particularly tourism businesses struggling to attract and retain staff, despite our unemployment rate of 8.3% compared to the Regional NSW rate of 5.4% (June2021). While training is available in many areas through Business, TAFE, UOW etc., retention has not significantly changed.Past community engagement has indicated that there is a shortage of infrastructure for these demographics, moving forward we would like to work with Council to see facilities including the following facilitated in our region:
    • Indoor sporting facilities (soccer, basketball etc).
    • Entertainment infrastructure – “Funland”, “Bowling” type facilities.
    • Indoor recreation spaces.
    • Mini golf, go-karts, artificial dive/ snorkel sites, theme parks similar to the Gold Rush Colony or other outdoor recreational infrastructure similar to the Mogo Adventure Hub.
    • New Event strategy with broader event support.
    • Over-coming the limitations experienced by current hospitality/dining enterprises.

    In addition to this we believe we could improve the relationship between local businesses and school age children looking at career paths in the region.

    Young people, young professionals, families and tourists have many common infrastructure aspirations which improve quality of life and incentivise retention.

    Retention strategies are possible, and we believe it is critical to encourage these.

  2. Affordable accommodation and rentable accommodation strategies.We believe that Council could encourage diversification of residential accommodation in new developments. We would encourage future Councillors to seek advice from experts in this field and to explore solutions in this area.
  3. Community Strategic Plan (CSP)The CSP for the previous administration stipulated community indicators to allow assessment of the plan for future CSP use. Prior to the CSP workshop in 2016 the community indicators for the previous 4 years were not assessed. The 2016 CSP community workshop floundered to the point where a vote was taken on whether to continue.We believe Council’s current CSP could be improved by the inclusion of more specific and measurable goals for the future, rather than generalist aspirations. Chamber would encourage the use of evidence-based strategies that address the needs of the community and economy, thus producing DP/OPs with emphasis on qualitative KPIs indicating whether a strategy was worthwhile or not in the eyes of the community, rather than qualitative KPIs such as how many meetings were conducted.
  4. Reinstate mechanisms to ensure industry and community connection and input to Council.The Chamber proposes the following:
    • Reinstate the Tourism Advisory Committee.
    • Reinstate the Business Advisory Committee.
    • Convene a Strategic Planning and Development Committee.
    • Revise the Public Engagement Strategy.
    • Return livestreaming and change the vetting process for public speaking at Council meetings.

    We suggest Councillor participation and nomination of advisory committee membership to ensure representation of voter/ratepayer choice.

  5. Outsource Tourism, Events and Business activities to ensure reconnection to industry.Tourism and Events was a major electoral item at the last election and is becoming the same for this election.After the last election there was a tourism and events shake up at Council. A Destination Management Plan was created and designed to be industry based and led with KPIs centred around increasing infrastructure and overnight visitor spend. Unfortunately, for tourism the restructure marginalised industry input and events.
    • The re-structure saw an Executive Leadership Team for tourism position annulled.
    • The Tourism Advisory Committee was disbanded.
    • The underlying objectives of an industry led DMP have not been actualised.
    • The Planning Department has been allocated the responsibility for Tourism and Events.

    The overnight visitor spend prior to the fires continued to decrease as did tourism infrastructure. Currently across the South Coast there has been a resurgence in visitor numbers and investment. We acknowledge Councils work on the Mogo mountain bike trails as well as the new Pav in the Bay, as these will be beneficial to attracting tourist to our region.

    After the discontinuation of the Tourism Advisory Committee, Organisations and Chambers have established programs such as:

    • Love The Bay
    • Visit Batemans Bay
    • Visit Mogo
    • Visit Moruya
    • Marketing etc

    In response to Councils Tourism re-structure we have seen the establishment of privately run structures to fill the void namely South Coast Tourism, and Eurobodalla Tourism.

    Given the current disconnect between Community and Council and the excellent work that the community has already done, we would like the new Councillors to support an outsourced tourism and events unit similar to the Bega or Hunter Valley tourism model. These are successful, well connected industry led organisations and if adopted in Eurobodalla, it could save our Shire ratepayer significantly while ensuring better tourism business outcomes.

  6. Planning and Activation Strategies incorporate genuine Community and Stakeholder Engagement Processes which guarantee early stakeholder ownership and local expertise.This is in response to bush fire recovery issues in Mogo and place making and other strategies which lack community and stakeholder ownership. Mogo Adventure Trail Hub and Mogo Activation Plan highlight stakeholder concerns over a lack of ownership which stalls small business investment decisions. This proposal is also born out of concern that the bulk of grant monies have been spent on planning strategies while infrastructure has suffered.

Questions to be asked with a show of hands from Candidates:

(These questions may be modified or withdrawn. Final questions will be emailed to you by Friday – for any queries please email contact@baychamber.com.au)

  1. Councils Community Engagement Model speaks to Council of the importance of genuine dialogue. The perception that the increased disconnect and distrust experienced by the community indicates little value in the current model. Would you support a new model which ensures genuine dialogue?
  2. Would you move or support a motion to ensure genuine stakeholder engagement at the early stage of a planning strategy either as part of a new Community Engagement Model or separate apparatus?
  3. Do you support Council membership of the Local Government Association?
  4. With current community concern about secrecy, transparency, and limitations of the current FOI mechanism, would you move or support a motion for expanded disclosure through a more accessible Freedom of Information or similar mechanism?
  5. Do you support live streaming and importantly, changing the vetting system of speakers and content to allow a more open Council meeting?
  6. A number of Event Organisers believe the current Event Strategy and associated event funding has been used to marginalise events other than two major events supported by the strategy. Do you support a New Event Strategy?
  7. Do you support the outsourcing of Tourism and Events to an industry led body?
  8. Do you support a concerted effort to change Council culture and connection with the community?
  9. Do you support reinstatement of the Business Advisory Committee and Tourism Advisory Committee?
  10. Would you prioritize the establishment of a Planning and Development Advisory Committee?
  11. Do candidates support at least two Councillors on each committee or have Councillor nominated persons on each committee to ensure ratepayer/voter driven decision making?
  12. Many candidates have expressed their support to a collaborative meeting to find commonality and strategy prior to official commencement at Council, would you be happy to be part of that meeting?

Long answer questions to candidates (2minutes per candidate)

We await questions from members…

2021 AGM Presidents Report

By | Chamber News

Membership

Membership numbers have slowly grown over the past year. The Challenge that businesses face is keeping
doors open for business with the impacts of Covid-19 not going unnoticed, We have lost some members but we
have also gained lots of new member over the past 12 months with many new businesses starting up. New
members were welcomed at most meetings and membership going in to the future will undoubtedly continue to
grow. The Chamber has relied on attracting members through word of mouth and utilising resources for
members that show value.

Visit Batemans Bay

This campaign has had to shift its focus over the last 6 months due to travel restrictions. It’s purpose of
promoting small business and telling stories to our audience, focused mainly in Sydney and Canberra, has
continued but we have had to pivot the page to also support local businesses and promote them locally. It has
attracted lots of attention to those businesses that participate and we have had members join due to that page
alone.

To date since April we have had over a 2 million reach. There is huge potential for growth this in this space and
we have seen all the other towns in the region follow suite with @VisitMogo, @VisitNarooma, @VisitMoruya and
@VisitBodalla pages all starting and becoming active.

Cross Chamber Communication

That leads into our work with other Chambers. We have a great relationship with the other Chambers in the
region and have met multiple times to both collaborate and be cohesive in our needs and wants when
approaching council. We have started the process of creating a Eurobodalla Chamber to be a voice for the
region. We believe having a stronger region benefits us all and having a voice that can speak to local, state and
federal governments would be a huge benefit to us all.

Business in CBD

The last 12 months have been especially trying for Batemans Bay coming off the back of the previous year with
Bushfires. We have seen far less foot traffic and tourist to the region due to lockdowns from Covid-19. At the
same time, we have seen lots of new small businesses coming to the region and the future has never been
brighter we believe.

Advocacy

We have had lots of projects happening in our region recently including the new bridge completion, Bay
Pavilions and foreshore completion. While some of these projects have been slowed down due again to covid
the money coming into the region for infrastructure is great. We know there has been various issues regarding
the new Bay Pavilion we will continue to work with council and our member businesses concerned about the
way it will impact their business.

We have worked with Transport NSW and RMS on the closing of the Clyde Mountain which saw concessions
made in favour of business. We have participated in many reviews for bushfire preparedness and hope that
council continue to work towards being on the front foot if this was to ever happen again.
We have met with Michael Holland and the other members of the ONE Eurobodalla Hospital on the need for
Level 4 facilities. We will continue to support and advocate for these services for the region.

Challenges

The obvious challenge over the past year has been navigating through the pandemic. We held the New Year’s
Eve commemorative event last year only to see the borders closed the following morning. We also had a
community and emergency services day planned in July which has been postponed 3 times due to lockdowns.
While we are not out of the woods with just yet, it appears as if we can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I
have no doubt the region will bounce back and see business owners come together alongside the community in
supporting small business

Events

While many events have stopped over the past year, we look forward to them all being successful in 2022 and
council proactively supporting them to bring vibrancy back to the region. We would also like to congratulate the
Sculpture for Clyde Committee on its successes as it now is a stand-alone event not under the Chamber. It has
had huge success over the years and brought an enormous amount of public art in the shire.

Conclusion

It has been an extremely tough year for the country and in particular for this region based so much around
tourism. With travel bans lifting I believe we have set ourselves up for one of the biggest summers ever. It is also
great to see how we have pivoted to be more sustainable year-round. I want to say a massive thanks to the
committee around me because without everyone lifting each other’s spirts and pulling extra weight at times lots
of what we accomplished would not have happened. The Chamber is in a great position going forward and we
look to the new incoming council as hope that we will have a great relationship with them and continue the
advocacy at higher levels of government to continue growing this region. It has been my pleasure to work
alongside the executive.

Mathew Hatcher
President
6 October 2021

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Committee 2021

By | Chamber News

Batemans Bay Chamber Committee 2021

Member news

On Wednesday 2 September Batemans Bay Business and Tourism Chamber held their Annual General Meeting at Club Catalina. It was great to see a strong turn out from members.

We heard from Alison Miers, outgoing President of the Chamber, who very eloquently summed up the achievements and highlights of the year. Alison and the committee did a terrific job to promote and support local businesses during this very challenging time. One of the standout initiatives was Love the Bay. The campaign quickly gathered momentum and was fulfilling its aim of generating community pride in our local area when the fires hit our community so hard. After the bushfires, floods and COVID, it has now become a symbol of our resilience and community spirit.

Thank you to Alison and the past committee including Charles Stuart (Vice President), David Seymour (Secretary), Cameron Thompson (Treasurer) and Judy Apps (Membership Support).

Special mention must go to Marieke Janssen and John Holland for their support of the Chamber initiatives over the past year. Marieke’s energy and commitment helped drive Love the Bay and delivered several grants to be used on projects for our community. John Holland also contributed financially to support Chamber projects.

Introducing the new committee

Mathew Hatcher – President

Mathew is the Founder of Guerrilla Roasters and South Coast Donations Logistics. He moved to Batemans Bay 18 years ago and is proud to call it home. In the wake of the devastating bushfires and the COVID crisis he is pleased to be helping to drive the Bay forward.

Charles Stuart – Vice President (continuing)

Charles has a 25-year history with Variety – The Children’s Charity. Charles is the driving force behind raising funds for the accessible playground at Corrigans Beach. He is a retired owner of two successful private sector businesses and has had more than 30 years’ experience in the financial industry. In 2012 he, in conjunction with Batemans Bay High School, raised $150,000 for a school bus fitted with wheelchair lift and anchor points. More recently Charles raised $20,000 for a ‘Liberty Swing’, for children who use a wheelchair, which is installed at Corrigans Reserve Batemans Bay.

David Maclachlan – TreasurerDavid is a past owner of IGA and Local Liquor stores, motels, events and management consulting businesses. He is a current hotel and luxury lodge owner. David is no stranger to the Chamber, with past tenure as Chamber President and co-founder of Sculpture for Clyde. Now as a committee member he brings a strong interest in business development and tourism within the Shire.

Rebecca Mahon – Secretary

Rebecca and her husband Troy own Your Place Creations, a local building and home improvement company specialising in all types of indoor and outdoor blinds, shutters, curtains, awnings, retractable roofs and Accolade Screens. The couple and their two small children moved to Batemans Bay from Canberra in May 2020. Rebecca joined the Business and Tourism Chamber to meet fellow small business owners and to work together to help the community after such a challenging year.
Originally from Ireland, Rebecca has lived in Australia for over 11 years and has wanted to move to the South Coast for several years. She is very happy with the move and says she and her family have been welcomed with open arms into the community.

Alison Miers – Committee member

Alison moved to Batemans Bay 38 years ago, operating a jewellery studio in Mogo for 25 of those years. Since selling her studio, Alison has acquired business experience across a range of industries, with ventures involving caravans, hospitality, and accommodation.

Community is important to Alison. She has served on several sporting committees and was involved in the successful fight against the Charcoal Factory in Mogo. With a background in interior design, Alison has an eye for detail which comes in handy in her involvement with the successful Sculpture for Clyde event. After a hectic year as Chamber President, we are fortunate to have Alison’s continued support on the committee.

Amber Shutz – Committee member

Amber is a registered Architect having completed her Master of Architecture degree at the University of Newcastle in 2012. She has 10 years of experience in the design and construction industry across a broad range of sectors. In 2018 she relocated to Batemans Bay from Nowra to manage the Edmiston Jones office here alongside Stuart Scobie. Her role with Edmiston Jones allows her to work on a wide range of projects, however she has particular expertise in residential accommodation for seniors.

Amber understands the value that innovative, sustainable and considered design solutions can bring to the Batemans Bay community and actively seeks opportunities to contribute to her experience. She is committed to the strategic planning and development of the region.

Cate McMath – Committee member

Cate is Chief Executive Officer of Muddy Puddles, a not-for-profit organisation in Batemans Bay providing therapy and supports to children and young people with disability. Cate has guided the evolution of Muddy Puddles since its inception, using her experience in team development, strategic planning, and business systems. Prior to her foray into the not-for-profit sector, Cate held senior HR and project management roles in the corporate setting. As a mother of a child with disability, Cate has a passion for creating more inclusive communities where all people can thrive and belong.


The new Committee look forward to working with members to deliver positive outcomes for our business and tourism community.

We will see you at the next Batemans Bay Business and Tourism Chamber meeting at 6.00pm on Wednesday 21 October 2020 at Club Catalina.

AGM This Wednesday 2nd September

By | Chamber News

Dear Members,

Spring has sprung, and with the warmer weather upon us, how wonderful it is to see some vibrancy happening in the town, with new shop openings, the returning of some visitors and the exciting news that the collaboration between the Chamber and River of Art beginning from the 18th September, when street art will be part of the CBD. Watch this space….

The chamber has a healthy bank balance due to some successful grant applications over the past 6 months, thanks to the Love the Bay Campaign and what it brings.  It is a great time to be a part of the chamber and the community.  Come on board and be part of the proactive team.  It’s not too late to put your hand up.

Date:- Wednesday 2nd September, 2020

Time:- 6.00 pm

Venue: – Club Catalina

Please note to allow extra time upon arrival due to the COVID 19 restrictions and obligations of Club Catalina.

We look forward to seeing you there.

Regards,

Alison

Alison Miers

President