Monthly Archives: December 2013


Gary Bowden PicFor more than 30 Years, Gary Bowden has been the go-to man in Far West NSW if you wanted to know anything about music. Gary Bowden is the latest recipient of an Excellence in Customer Service Award – a fitting recognition as he closes the door on G.B Records for the last time and moves on to new adventures.

“If GB couldn’t track that CD or elusive song that you weren’t quite sure what it was called – then nobody could! Nobody knows music like he does and his passion for it has made his store a haven for all music lovers in Broken Hill.

Gary’s kind nature and friendliness meant his shop became a safe haven and a place for people to come and chat – you didn’t have to buy music, Gary always welcomed everyone and had time for everyone.

 “As a DJ, Gary has been involved in all sorts of community events and fundraising, giving his time and passion freely over the years. Nothing was ever too much trouble for GB … It’s customer service of such a high standard rarely seen anywhere …. Broken Hill has lost a community icon in the closing of “GB’s”.

 “Just looking at the media around his closing and all of the public comments attached to these …. Is a testament to his super customer service skills and business acumen.”

The Broken Hill Chamber of Commerce awarded seven other Excellence in Customer Service Awards during the final presentations of 2013. The recipients in the final round were.

Highlights of this round include:

web FarWest Auto Mark Grundy Michael Keenan 2013 023

Awarded three times:  Far West Auto received a third Excellence in Customer Service Award, with a second award presented for a team approach to customer care and individual recognition for Michael Keenan’s “can do” attitude. Craig Caruana received an award in 2012 for “going above and beyond an expected level of service.” The awards received by the business have recognised excellence in both service and sales.

LeewebIndustry Leadership – expertise, mentoring and focused management: Broken Hill’s Queen of culinary delights, Lee Cecchin was recognised for her leadership in the tourism and Hospitality industries. Lee who has worked in the international arena and as a trainer and mentor in the Tourism and Hospitality industry, was recognised for leadership in the industry across her career. Her nominator wrote:

 “I have had the privilege of dealing with Lee Cecchin and her staff on several occasions. On each occasion, Lee has provided a service level I have rarely seen in Broken Hill. Lee is not only a brilliant chef but also a focused manager of the business she manages and the staff she employs.”orked in the international arena and as a trainer and mentor in the Tourism and Hospitality industry, was recognised for leadership in the industry across her career. Her nominator wrote:

ShutterbugwebIndustry leadership – capacity to diversify with changing customer needs: Broken Hill iconic business couple, Kerry and Anthony Adams of Shutterbug Digital and Video Camera Centre. Kerry and Anthony were nominated for their personal approach to providing a high standard of service and their capacity to be innovative in the diversification of their product line with changing industry requirements. The nomination also acknowledged the team’s product knowledge, capacity as a business to source products quickly and ability to match online pricing.

GassieGallagherPeoplesweb AmyGrossmanweb

Debunking the myth: Being young does not exclude you from beinthe best. Amy Grossman from the Broken Hill Regional Aquatic Centre and YMCA and Cassie Gallagher from C.P Peoples Chemist have impressed  the Broken Hill community with their friendliness and willingness to go beyond customer expectations, setting the standard for the future of customer service in Broken Hill. This is also the second award for an employee of the YMCA.


Being the one: Lucia Kremmer was nominated for being the person that attracts customers back to Priceline. Her friendly and no-fuss attitude means that she identifies customer needs quickly and has been able to attract return clients to the business.

Land Valuation System inquiry – Government Response

The Broken Hill Chamber of Commerce has received notification that the Government response to the  Joint Standing Committee on the Office of the Valuer General titled Land Valuation System was  tabled in NSW Parliament on November 4, 2013.

The Committee has recommended a series of comprehensive reforms that address equity and fairness issues pertaining to the land valuation system;  a new process for objections and compulsory acquisitions that affords landholders procedural fairness; a clearer approach to valuation methodologies based on objective criteria or rules (a rules-based approach); and a new governance framework that replaces the Valuer General with a Valuation Commission. The Committee also recommends three year averaging of council rate valuations to dampen the material and significant volatility in the valuation system.

The Committee recorded four case studies arising during the Inquiry, the Leppington Compulsory Acquisitions, the Hornsby Quarry valuation, the Mid-Western regional valuations and the Perilya Mines litigation. The Perilya Mine case study related to rating and taxing valuations, and highlighted concerns about valuation integrity and quality control mechanisms, as well as demonstrating the significant impact that valuation decisions can have on local communities.

Perilya owns land with mining leases which consists of North, South and Potosi Mines and other land at Broken Hill (Perilya Mine). The land is used to produce lead, zinc and silver.

On 13 September 2007, the Valuer General determined the value of the Perilya Mine at $20.9 million for the valuing year commencing 1 July 2007. Broken Hill City Council relied on this valuation to levy rates on Perilya. Perilya lodged an objection with the Valuer General against the valuation, which the Valuer General disallowed. Perilya then appealed to the Land and Environment Court.

The Land and Environment Court allowed Perilya’s appeal and ordered that the Valuer General’s valuation be revoked and that, instead, the value of the Perilya Mine be determined at $4.9 million. The Valuer General gave effect to this decision by altering its Register of Land Values so that the value of the Perilya Mine was $4.9 million and providing Broken Hill City Council with this amended land value, causing a significant community issue about how a regional Council would repay $6.9 million.

Broken Hill Chamber of Commerce described to the inquiry of the impact of the Perilya land valuation decision in the Broken Hill community as follows:

“The financial uncertainty caused by this appeal and the flow on effects is already having an impact to businesses, especially small businesses. It has seriously undermined business confidence. Rate increases would significantly impact on the viability of a number of small businesses. This  would have a flow on effect to employment in Broken Hill.”

The Broken Hill Chamber of Commerce also said that the uncertainty in the community is exacerbated by the potential for other land owners to appeal valuations, particularly other mine operators in the region.

The Government’s response to the Committee’s report was received on 4 November 2013 and is available on the Committee’s website, along with the report and other documents associated with the inquiry.