Monthly Archives: January 2014

NEW ALLIANCE DELIVERS MORE FOR OUR BUSINESS COMMUNITY

A new industry alliance between the Broken Hill Chamber of Commerce and NSW’s peak business organisation, the NSW Business Chamber, will give members access to free training, industrial advice and discounts on expenses such as electricity and insurance.

Ann Rogers

Ann Rogers

Broken Hill Chamber of Commerce President Ann Rogers said the alliance with the NSW Business Chamber meant that local Chamber members had access to a more impressive suite of services including higher level industrial support, business advice, training and discounts on essential business services.

“Working in partnership with the NSW Business Chamber, our members will be able to access an array of services and support that will make it easier to run their businesses like never before. It increases the value of a local Chamber membership and provides free access to services which can have a direct impact on savings and successful decision making,” Ms. Rogers said.

The Alliance allows us to network with Chambers across NSW and also means that we have access to a much larger support base to lobby government on issues of significant importance to business and industry in Far West NSW,” Ms. Rogers said. The new services include:

The new services include:

  • Workplace Advice Hotline – to assist members with Industrial Relations and Human resource inquiries
  • A Business Hotline
  • Member Benefits program – members can save up to 19% off their business energy charges or up to 15% on Small Business insurance
  • Regular e-news updates regarding regional, State and federal changes
  • Access to the quarterly Business Connect Magazine and to the ‘Ask Us How’ Business Guides
  • Business Legal Toolkit, including download sample agreements, corporate governance guidelines and other business documents

“This is a very exciting time for the Broken Hill Chamber of Commerce as we continue to develop strategic partnerships to ensure our members receive more for their membership investment,” Ms. Rogers said.

Vicki Seccombe

Vicki Seccombe  

The Central West Orana NSW Business Chamber Regional Manager, Vicki Seccombe, said the Broken Hill Chamber of Commerce would be adding the voices of its members to the 15,000 strong membership of the NSW Business Chamber.

“Working together with local chambers of commerce we are building a stronger chamber movement across NSW that will give our collective members a stronger voice with government. Business is the backbone of every community and together we will make sure we get a fair deal that supports economic growth, jobs and higher living standards,” Ms Seccombe said.

IPART REVIEW OF ESSENTIAL ENERGY’S WATER AND SEWERAGE PRICES

The Transcript from the November 2013 community meeting into the IPART review of Essential Energy’s Water and Sewerage Prices in now available on the IPART website. The transcript of the Chamber’s representation is copied below. Transcript produced by Merrill Corporation.

BROKEN HILL CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

MS BRANSDON:

Hi, my name is Anne Bransdon and I am the executive officer with the Broken Hill Chamber of Commerce. This is about the 120th year the Chamber of Commerce has come to the table to talk about water and infrastructure, 26 and I’m probably the first woman.

Most people don’t realise, but the Broken Hill Chamber of Commerce is very different to other chambers of commerce around the state. Most of our members are based in industry, manufacturing and construction with a huge
representative of trades. So our members understand that investment in infrastructure is absolutely crucial to the ongoing development of providing good services to customers.

But they’re also telling us in feedback, when we spoke to them about this inquiry, that they’re going to find it very difficult to absorb the cost of this new infrastructure into their water bill. So in the past, we’ve had the subsidy and we don’t believe that we can have this conversation without discussing that subsidy. Last year, it was to the tune of 1.7 million, which is Essential Energy absorbed because the actual agreement with the New South Wales Government had run out. For the Chamber of Commerce, we recognise that that was corporate goodwill.

What our members are saying to us is that if the water rates increase to the level that is suggested, we are going to see a shrinkage in our regional economy and that any significant changes to input costs will affect their financial performance and reduce the competitiveness of business and industry in Far West New South Wales.

This is especially the case where water represents a significant input cost and it doesn’t even factor in other costs pressures, which businesses are currently facing in the current economic climate. We are hearing that this small change could have a disproportionate impact on the business in our community. So this year in this community, we have already seen a number of our businesses downsize their workforce because of diminishing profits and increasing costs, and this has led to they are reducing the number of their employees, they’re reducing the capacity to maintain and win contracts, it has reduced the opportunity for them to provide apprenticeships and traineeships.

What this means is that it will inevitably reduce the level of disposable income in this community and the capacity of the rest of the community to grow, leading to urban drift, and guess where they go? To the main towns and cities, which puts more pressure on the infrastructure in those areas.

28 So in taking the thoughts and arguments of today’s discussions from our community, our members would like to say this: without the subsidy, it is going to force Essential Water to adopt the pricing regime that will put their consumers out of business. That does nobody any good in New South Wales, or Far West New South Wales. By putting businesses out of business in Far West New South Wales, we are unable to contribute to the economic success of this state, and the discussion around the subsidy must be one of the highest priorities when discussing how this water pricing regime is going to be  determined. Thank you very much.