Category

News

Introducing the Love the Bay Gift Card system to our area!

By | Featured, Love the Bay, News, Newsletter

Dear Chamber Members,

Since its launch at our December 4 Christmas party, you will all have noticed how popular our Love the Bay community pride campaign has become.

Nobody could’ve imagined back then the disastrous impacts the bushfires would have on our wonderful community and more particularly on our local businesses.

For these reasons, the Love the Bay working group have been working hard and have come up with an initiative I hope you will all support: the Love the Bay Gift Card!

The initiative allows people to purchase gift cards online or from specific local businesses. The gift cards work like debit cards and can be spent at all participating local businesses. It also allows people to donate funds into our community in the same way. Cards can have from $10 to $1,000 loaded onto them and that money will stay here in our area, injecting much needed cashflow into our economy. The best thing of the Love the Bay Gift Card program is that it is totally free to become a business where people can spend their gift card. If you already have an EFTPOS machine, it does not cost you any time, money or effort!

With the approval of our Chamber executive, and the support of our campaign partner John Holland and Eurobodalla Council, this initiative capitalises on the success of the Love the Bay campaign, particularly its social following which has been growing healthily every day.

The Chamber hopes all of our local businesses are able to survive the current challenges, so this initiative is not just for our Chamber Members but for all businesses in the Batemans Bay region: postcode 2536 and Tomakin, Mossy Point and Broulee.

We ask you to spread the Love the Bay Gift Card message to as many businesses as possible – the more participate, the more money we will keep in town, and the more options our locals and visitors have to make their purchases locally.

Please read all details about the Gift Card in the factsheet document here. We encourage you all to support this initiative in any way that you can.

Regards,

Alison Miers

President

Batemans Bay Business & Tourism Chamber

IMPORTANT INFORMATION: Message to Members Regarding Bushfire Assistance

By | News, Newsletter, Publications

A MESSAGE TO ALL BUSINESS OWNERS

The Committee wish to express our profound sympathy to all members & all other businesses in our community who have been affected by the bushfires and especially those who have suffered infrastructure loss.

Please forward this message to any business or individual which you feel will benefit from the following information.

We ask that if you believe we can assist in anyway whatever, that you do not hesitate to contact us at – contact@baychamber.com.au & cc the email to treasurer@baychamber.com.au or you can phone Charles Stuart (Vice President) on 0438 888 864 or Maree Jackson (Treasurer) on 0458411953.

The following information and links may be of assistance to business: –

NBN are operating a free of charge internet service, battery charging facility and internet connected computers for personal and business banking and general connectivity. They are located at the Evacuation Centre at Hanging Rock Community Hall, adjacent to the Batemans Bay Library and Uni of Wollongong campus and plan to stay this week.

Cash donations are preferred over goods as charities are struggling with staff levels, transport and warehousing. Please donate if you are able, to: Salvation Army Disaster Appeal – When you make a donation please nominate the area that you would like to donations to come to e.g. South Coast NSW, Eurobodalla, or a town, etc – https://www.salvationarmy.org.au/

The NSW Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS) noted that while there are many ways you can help, “the best way is to donate money. This allows people to buy the things they need, and it supports local businesses which have also been impacted.”

The following are links for financial assistance for individuals, businesses & employees that have been affected by the bush fires: –

  1. The Regional Assistance Authority funding of up to $15,000 is for Primary Producers, Small businesses & Not-for-Profit Organisations. You can find more information at https://www.raa.nsw.gov.au/grants/disaster-recovery-grants/bushfires 
  2. Disaster Recovery Allowance is a short-term payment to help you if a declared disaster directly affects your income. You can get it for a maximum of 13 weeks. It’s payable from the date you lose income as a direct result of the NSW Bushfires in August, September, October, November, December 2019 and January 2020 – https://www.humanservices.gov.au/individuals/services/centrelink/nsw-bushfiresseptember-2019-disaster-recovery-allowance
  3. Support for eligible people adversely affected by the bushfires in New South Wales in August 2019 through to January 2020 – $1000 per adult & $400 for each child younger than 19 – https://www.humanservices.gov.au/individuals/services/centrelink/nsw-bushfiresseptember-2019-australian-government-disaster-recovery-payment
  4. The NSW Government Office of Emergency Management provides links for Financial Assistance after an emergency & recovery information & support to communities – https://www.emergency.nsw.gov.au/ 
  5. NAB customers who have lost homes this bushfire season can immediately access $2,000 grants to help cover costs such as temporary accommodation, food and clothing. I believe that other Banks are also providing similar grants.
  6. The NSW Chamber of Commerce have the Advice Line & ask that businesses to call the number should they have any legal questions relating to staff, or other business issues. They can contact the advice line on 13 29 59 
  7. The Commonwealth Bank have announced they will assist their Customers with restocking their Business and/or rebuilding. Please discuss this with your bank to obtain assistance.

Yours sincerely.

Alison Miers

President

7 January 2020

 

Merry Christmas from the Bay Chamber!

By | News

As Christmas is upon us and 2020 is just around the corner, we reflect on what the year has been. Most recently the devastating fires that have effected our region and our business community.

It is important for us all, to buy, eat, and support local businesses during this time frame. It will be a different Christmas for most but trust you are all able to share some Christmas cheer with family and friends and we all look forward to a prosperous year ahead. 

Alison Miers and the team BBBTC

Eurobodalla Business Fire Response from ESC

By | News

Eurobodalla Business Fire Response

Eurobodalla’s businesses have been facing a tough and uncertain time as a result of the bushfires and highway closures. The opening of the Princes Highway last night is a huge relief, not only for tourism operators relying on visitors, but for local businesses trying to get products in out of the shire.

We expect the Kings Highway to be open soon, as authorities work hard to make the road safe.

Council’s tourism team has a plan to support the tourism and business community through this, and we need your help, too.

What we’ll do

Eurobodalla Tourism will continue its social media program to attract visitors. Now the Princes Highway is open, we’ll boost our efforts to the Sydney, Wollongong and regional markets.

We are working with Destination NSW and our neighbours in other shires and Canberra to capitalise on any opportunities to tell visitors that Eurobodalla is ready to welcome them.

Discussions are underway to leverage ‘Love the Bay’, the new community pride campaign driven by Batemans Bay Business and Tourism Chamber and supported by John Holland and Council.

We are using Council’s communications platforms and media connections to ask the community to support local business and buy here in the Eurobodalla.

We’ll shortly distribute an emergency management fact sheet specifically for Eurobodalla’s tourism operators.

When the Kings Highway opens, we’ll be asking you to help us tell the lucrative visiting friends and relatives market that we’re ready to welcome them back.

What you can do

Now the Princes Highway is open, help us get the word out that summer in the Eurobodalla is going to be as wonderful as ever. Engage with our social media posts, increase your own marketing, and tell your family and friends that now is a great time to visit.

Accommodation and attraction providers: Please contact your bookings now, let them know the situation and urge them to keep their reservations. Be flexible with your cancellation policies where possible. The message should be – “Please don’t cancel without giving us a call first. Now more than ever, we look forward to welcoming you and we value your booking.” We know plenty of operators already taking this positive approach.

Use the Eurobodalla tourism businesses Facebook group to share ideas or ask for support https://www.facebook.com/groups/EurobodallaTourism/

While this is a difficult and uncertain time, it’s in all our interests for potential visitors see a positive community ready to welcome them for the summer. This message is equally important for our own community as we support each other through this. If you would like to discuss issues that are troubling you, you’re very welcome to call our tourism team, or strike up a conversation on the tourism businesses Facebook page. The tourism team will be there to respond.

We are collating information re bushfire impacts on your businesses should we have the opportunity to request bushfire recovery assistance.  The more evidence we can get the better, eg reduction in retail sales, stock shortages, downturn or cancellations of bookings, staffing challenges.  Please email sarah.cooper@esc.nsw.gov.au to report impacts on your business.

We encourage you to contact our tourism and business development staff who are available if you have any questions, ideas or comments.
–  Liz Rankin – 0400 652 613
–  Sarah Cooper – 0458 459 863
–  Leisa Tague – 0418 652 299

This is just the beginning. We’ll review the situation as things change and let you know about any revised plans and other ways we might be able to help each other.

Please share this newsletter with other businesses who might not be connected with us.

Regards, Sarah

Sarah Cooper
Business Development Manager
t 02 4474 1271 | m 0458 459 863

December 2019 Newsletter

By | News, Newsletter

I LOVE THE BAY!

And I am absolutely confident this statement holds true for each and every one of you.

Not only as members of the Batemans Bay Business & Tourism Chamber, but as locals who understand how fantastic this place really is.

And it will continue to be a fantastic place in spite of the terrible impact the current bushfires are having on our town and more-so our wider communities.

Now, more than ever, I believe our community will need to pull together and support each other, and our local businesses.

We all love our area and we all want to see it pull through these difficult times.

So, the Chamber is pushing ahead and thinking positive.

Last night I was thrilled to launch a wonderful new Chamber initiative “Love the Bay” at our Christmas party at Sam’s Pizzeria, and today I am equally pleased to be announcing this local pride campaign to our Members in our new look e-newsletter.

This important Chamber-driven partnership with construction company John Holland, and 100% support from Council, is all about businesses and residents focusing on positive community pride.

We know that we Love the Bay, but do we really say it often enough?

Batemans Bay is a place for positivity, connectivity and future growth, and we, as local businesses, need to be saying this, over and over: to our customers, to visitors, to our families and friends, but most of all we need to be saying this to ourselves.

The campaign includes a push on social media for locals to share what they love about the Bay, profiles on influential business personalities and locals, along with media promotions and advertising. Content will focus on shopping local, the places and spaces locals like best and activities they like to share with visiting friends and relatives.

I am inviting you all to jump on board with this campaign, to become ambassadors for Love the Bay, and to spread the love as much as you can.

There are so many exciting opportunities Love the Bay will roll out in 2020, and I encourage you all to participate as much as you can.

You can start feeling the love by jumping onto Facebook and Instagram and liking our Love the Bay social media pages. As opportunities arise you will be the first to know.

Show how much you Love the Bay by displaying our hot pink sticker in your shopfronts, on your company vehicles, and in your offices.

Use the brand in your own marketing promotions!

You will already have noticed the large pink banners on major roads around our town, but this is only just the beginning of this compelling campaign.

Support the events Love the Bay will be sponsoring over coming months starting with the CABBI Creative Arts Batemans Bay event. This annual art & craft exhibition runs from 15th December to 12th January at a new venue, 3-5 Clyde Street on our beautiful foreshore.

You can grab some stickers, find out further information, or just have a chat to members of the Love the Bay working group by contacting us via our social media channels.

Please spread the love by forwarding this information to non-Member businesses too, we are all in this together, and who knows, perhaps they will come to see the benefits of being Members when we collectively Love the Bay.

Our campaign working group is also looking at opportunities where we might assist the current bushfire efforts, and we will keep you up to date on this as they unfold.

You can find Love the Bay material in these places:

Sub Committees

The Chamber Executive believe that creating Sub Committees will help drive the Chamber to bright and better outcomes in the longer term and with co-ordination between each of these committees. The Executive has been working hard over the past three months but needs the support and help of our Members. We are inviting those who are willing to volunteer some time, to be part of and contribute to a sub committee. You may have 

experience or some expertise you wish to share.  We understand and appreciate the demands your business makes of you and nominating for a Sub Committee, where you feel you could make a contribution, would be of great assistance to all Members of the Chamber.

Events – David Seymour

The Sub Committee is actively engaged with the Paddle Challenge event committee in ensuring the event for early 2020 is a success.  

The Sub- Committee together with the Event Committee are actively engaging with Govt. Departments, DNSW and ESC for grant opportunities.  Similarly, the Event Committee are seeking both financial and like-kind sponsorship opportunities with local businesses. Following the 2019 Event ‘Sculpture for Clyde’ was incorporated and is now operating as a separate entity to the Chamber – we will continue to be very supportive of the wonderful legacy event for this area and what it brings.

 

 

Maritime – Charles Stuart with Daimon Martin [Foreshore / Pontoons / Cruise Ship / Scuba Dive Site] 

Three initiatives which are currently being worked on; 

  1. CRUISE SHIP VISITATIONS – working with ESC and Ports Authority to develop a CBD walking map and video for presentation to on – board passengers. 
  2. UNDERWATER SCUBA DIVE SITE – WORKING WITH Marine Park Authority and Fishers. Project is on hold at this time, until boundaries for the marine park are redefined.  
  3. PONTOONS IN THE BAY – working toward having a seaplane pontoon included with RMS proposal to replace ‘T’ wharf with two pontoons. ESC supports this proposal and expects a decision from RMS soon.

Marketing & Membership – Cameron Thompson – Alan Imrie – John Stringer [Business website linkage & cross promotion / membership drives / workshops / volunteers]

Working towards building on our website visibility and creating a new membership drive, plus giving input to the Executive by creating more engaging chamber meetings and giving members value – so we are able to create a strong local business chamber to have a voice.

 

 

 

Industrial Area Activation & Direction Sub-Committee – David Seymour – Peter Meares – Geoff Hatton [Traffic / Parking / Promotion]

The industrial area needs a voice and the chamber would like to support that.  As a past President, Peter Meares, has experience under his belt and is keen for the industrial area to be supported via the chamber.  Car parking within the industrial area is a current debate being had and the Sub-Committee is working alongside Council to come up with a solution.

CBD Activation & Direction  – Alison Miers – David Seymour – Charles Stuart & Maria Moretra [Bannercondas / Christmas Decorations / Street Beautification]

The team are working actively with Council on a range of ideas at the moment.  From the foreshore activation, to working closely with Centre Management (Coles and Woolworths) on solutions for the shopping trolleys left within the CBD and afar.  The empty shops another area that has been discussed. The lane way beside the old Bay Office Supply building and tidying it up.  Lots of things on the agenda that are currently being worked through.

Guest Speakers – Alison Miers with Peter Munday​ 

If you were fortunate enough to be at the last Chamber meeting – Pete Munday gave a interesting insight into his business life and his involvement with charities in Canberra.  Peter lives in Batemans Bay half of the week and is keen to see the area develop and grow.  He has many ideas to bring engaging speakers to our meetings so watch this space. 

We are all working towards building a stronger business community and we thank you for your support and on behalf of your Committee we wish you all a very enjoyable Christmas and a profitable New Year.

Your Chamber President,

Alison Miers

Click Here to Download a pdf of this newsletter

Presidents Report for 2019 AGM

By | News

As my Presidency of three years comes to an end, I present this overview.

The Executive Committee for the first two years focused on advocacy which was based on our evidence based strategic plans. Most activity centred around encouraging business development, tourism business development, event strategy and seeding events.

The Executive Committee believes the main achievements of the Chamber have been to refocus attention on Batemans Bay as a designated regional commercial centre and tourism hub. The recent investment and activity by each level of government has been welcomed.

Private investment and support for a fragile business sector is still wanting. The challenging economic statistics such as employment, lack of growth and demographic issues represent a challenge to each level of government, while defining Chambers advocacy.

The past three years has seen Council increase its marginalisation of the Chamber, which has been particularly difficult for the Executive Committee.

I would like to thank the Executive Committee of the last year, as they have made decisions in the best interest of the Shire and Chamber while under undue pressure. For the past year the Chamber has been fortunate to attract a strong and diverse Executive Committee with impeccable skills. The group comprises the largest private employer and largest accommodation provider in the Shire, a member with national board experience, a member with long term real estate experience and experience with other Chambers, a former Chamber president and large Shire wide employer, an architect with Council planning experience from another Shire and a retailer. It has been a pleasure to work with such a broad skill based executive – Thank You.

My resignation from Councils MacKay Park Sunset Committee and public criticism of capacity, expertise and process surrounding the Mackay Park development precipitated criticism by the Mayor and attracted the wrath of Council.
A letter to the Mayor to consider a Batemans Bay business group proposal of buying the old Bowling Club Site and developing an events centre, regional gallery and regional museum with greater capacity than the proposed Mackay Park events centre and at no operational cost to the ratepayer was met with a no thank you letter only.

My public comments on a lack of vision strategy, masterplan or place making strategies for the Mackay Park development, Batemans Bay CBD and Batemans Bay Foreshore when Council had promoted this after the last election 3 years prior, has also drawn Councils criticism, though a strategy has now been undertaken. Unfortunately, the Chamber has been excluded, making it again a cherry picked engagement not indicative of a genuine stakeholder engagement process.

Council developed an event strategy only to discard it and propose the current strategy, I continue to be critical of this wasteful approach, and strategies which hide behind consultants who are highly directed by inexperienced senior staff.
Council has not been supportive of the Sculpture for Clyde event which I created. Council requirements forced much of the event out of the Shire. A recent motion within Council about the running of this non-Council event saw no consultation with myself and organisers. This defeats any notion that Councils event strategy and practices are inclusive in nature or serve the better interest of the Shire.

Business and Tourism is not driving any strategy within Council since both the Business Advisory Committee and the Tourism Advisory Committee were abolished by the Mayor without proper replacement. Myself and the Chamber have been actively marginalised by the Tourism and Events unit now for over a year, as have other tourism operators in the Shire.

The oversight of the tourism and events unit and disconnect with industry was highlighted at a recent Tourism Update meeting.  The Mayor cited a massive increase in tourism visitation in 2018 and attributed this to Council staff.
The tourism industry did not experience these increases and there was no business correlation to the presented visitation data. Some believe the figures presented were misleading which is evidenced by the Mackellar report.

Robust figures from ID Profile can be viewed on Councils website which contradict Council tourism claims, as they show a reduction in investment, no growth, a reduction in spending and unemployment trending up to almost three times the state average. Council has had no new tourism promotional program for 3 years, yet self praises its achievement of increasing tourism numbers. Industry is embarrassed by this spin.

The restructure and repositioning of Councils Tourism, Events and Business units down the hierarchy into the planning department has further alienated what should be local industry driven activities. The conflict of interest between entrepreneurial activity and regulatory department activity only furthers the perceived disconnect. A planning department cannot and has not built business confidence, especially in tourism. A funded industry group would save ratepayers and drive real outcomes.

Issues with Council came to a head with the Mayor offering mediation with the Executive Committee in December 2018, which we promptly welcomed and agreed, only to receive a letter 6 months later suggesting we defer the mediation until after our AGM.

As President I take advocacy seriously and have learnt that within a small Shire where every business is in some way connected or dependant on Council, then advocacy has its limitations. Too often we see people and groups publicly lobby positions which have attracted Councils wrath rather than genuine dialogue and inclusion.

A majority of the Executive Committee and myself considered resignation in January of this year due to treatment by council. We decided to continue to the next AGM in the interest of the Chamber. At this time we needed legal and insurance advice when dealing with Council. My Presidency and position with the Sculpture for Clyde event has been made almost impossible by Council.

Should the future Chamber Executive decide to not have Council as a member for advocacy purposes, I would hope that members support this action. Councils single membership has seen both Councillors and Council staff turn up without notice to meetings and have too often interrupted guest speakers in order to lobby Councils position. Chamber should never be Councils proxy. Businesses’ have a legitimate fear of Council which needs to be overcome.

It is now time for a new president and executive who may wish to take the Chamber on a different path. I have no doubt that Council will support a new president and executive.

Batemans Bay Community Centre

By | News

David Maclachlan: President of Batemans Bay Business and Tourism Chamber address to Council regarding the Batemans Bay Community Centre motion PE19/001 and the presented petition of approximately 1000 signatures concerning the future of the Batemans Bay Community Centre.

I had a company which ran multi-use centres for profit – I offered my Profit and Loss Statements to Council on a number of occasions to assist in their understanding of how profitable multi-use venues are run. 

I would like to address the business case referred to in this motion, I would also like to address the impact of selling the Batemans Bay Community Centre will have on the outcomes of the new Arts centre in McKay Park. 

At the last two Council held forums on the Regional Aquatics, Arts and Leisure Centre which was conducted for business I requested Councils list of potential users for the new arts centre and I asked if the users included Batemans Bay Community Centre users so that informed input could be made. On both occasions I received a positive response that the request would be considered, though I heard nothing further.

At the last business forum I also asked if a business case could be furnished to enable informed input. The Council officer running the forums said that he would consider this and see if he could provide the business case in confidence to the Batemans Bay Business and Tourism Chamber. The architects in the forum then interjected and said there was no business case, though there was a list of potential users. 

So,  the architects had just told us that they had been designing a significant centre without a business case. Those present were gobsmacked by this revelation.

Much of the General Managers response to this motion focuses on offsetting the new Arts Centre costs with Batemans Bay Community Centre costs. This rationale signifies the change of use of the new Arts centre to more of an inevitable replacement for the Batemans Bay Community Centre.  

I do not believe the people of the Shire will reconcile the new Arts centre becoming a glorified community centre. The community expects Council to provide what they set out to provide, and that is an iconic arts facility which would provide significant entertainment and not be a white elephant.

The Batemans Bay Business and Tourism Chamber has always said the new Arts centre at McKay park needs sufficient seating capacity and open space capacity to be multi-use, relevant and limit being a burden to the ratepayer.

Unfortunately, when a design is born out of benchmarking loss making Local Government run centres then the notion of reducing capacity to mitigate loss becomes OK, when in fact the opposite is true.

Almost 2 years ago I made public comments that 500 seats was small and would not attract national acts and would have difficulty attracting popular acts. I said the venue could not expect to see shows such as the Wiggles. My comments were publicly negated by the Mayor who made reference to my Wiggles comment in a Bay Post article.  The new Arts centre design has now been reduced to a size that will definitely not hold the Wiggles or national acts, nor trade shows, nor large format events such as multiple Choirs and exhibitions.

The new arts centre is now too small to be leased or privately managed due to lack of financially viable seating capacity or open space, thus increasing rate payer burden. 

If Council decides to sell the Batemans Bay Community Centre, then Council needs to reset peoples expectations about the new Arts centre and its purpose as it will no longer be a destination venue.

Council also needs to reset Batemans Bay Community Centre users expectations if Otiums business case including suggested rates is adopted – It was mentioned in the General Managers response to this motion that Council had adopted Otiums business case.

While Council has stated they have not made a decision on selling Batemans Bay Community Centre, I would hope this motion is passed by Councillors to simply acknowledge community sentiment about the Batemans Bay Community Centre and more importantly the community concerns about McKay Park outcomes and process.

Remember: Ulladulla has 450 seats and 1500 seats , Nowra has 900 seats, the Soldiers club has about 450 seats,  why are we doing 350 seats with no multi use space?

Thank You

Chamber Activity Update to April 2019.

By | News

 

  1. Chamber members attended Mackay Park forums for businesses on two occasions. Chamber members agreed with others on recommending a seating capacity of 800 seats and 800 sqm space for events. Both recommendations were to provide differentiation from existing venues, allow for sublease to mitigate financial loss and attract national touring performing arts events, trade shows and general event diversity.  

Chamber requested that Council does not compete against local business or create loss for local businesses in providing cheaper rental space. A need for more parking was also discussed.

The second forum was presented with impressive drawings. Chamber asked to view the business plan and the schedule of users so that we could make informed comment. The architects said in contradiction to the presiding Council officer that a business plan did not exist. Chamber asked to view the schedule of users in confidence and asked if the users were primarily from the community centre – we await a response.

  1. A survey is still to be completed by the Chamber of businesses from the North St intersection to the end of Clyde St. To date the respondents have mixed views. Some have improved trade while others are fearful of the effect of closure of Highway access to Clyde Street.
  1. Chamber members sit on a newly formed “Build the Bay” type marketing committee put together and financed by John Holland, the bridge contractors.  The purpose of this group is to improve CBD business during bridge construction with a marketing program.
  1. Chamber is currently investigating a Federal Election Chamber Breakfast at the Batemans Bay Soldiers Club at 7:30am Tuesday 30 April. The breakfast will be strictly for members and up to two guests. We have invited the following candidates for Gilmore: Fiona Phillips, Warren Mundine, Carmel McCallum and Katrina Hodgkinson.  We will notify members of cost and whether this will occur.
  1. An email reiterating the Chambers push for extending the floating pontoon and T Wharf development has been sent to the Foreshore Action Committee. The current design discussions while offering diversity of use, do not have an increased capacity which we will continue to lobby for.
  1. Chamber has written to the Mayor requesting a timeframe for installation of Sculptures. Chamber offered a further $5,000 towards installation to assist expediting the installation prior to Christmas 2018. 
  1. Chamber awaits a response after supporting the Mayors mediation request.
  1. There has been informal discussions amongst some business owners and others about formation of a Batemans Bay vison strategy group. Narooma has such a group.  While the Chamber has advocated for such for a number of years it is pertinent timing to be involved now.
  1. Chamber Executive (in absence of self interest parties) have decided to support the $200 million Coachhhouse re-development as outlined by the guest speaker in the previous meeting. The development will bring over 100 extra jobs and an unprecedented $200 million private investment to the Shire. In light of current large tourism accommodation proposals, shortage of private investment in Batemans Bay and need for economic growth to address economic and social fundamentals, this decision was taken. The Chamber supports all businesses in Batemans Bay.

BBBTC President Report 2018

By | News | No Comments

Membership

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.

ADVOCACY

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.

Hatchery

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.

Tourism

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.

Events

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.

Conclusion:

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

Sculpture on Clyde includes World Class Venue

By | Events, News | No Comments

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.