Monthly Archives: September 2014

Treasurer Report 2013-2014

Sharon Hocking

Sharon Hocking

It is pleasing to be able to report that our financial situation at 30th June 2014 is positive.

In 2013-14, we invested in indemnity insurance and other ticket items to place our organisation in good stead to apply for programs, grants and other opportunities for the re-growth of the Chamber.

Water damage in the ceiling and a hit and run on the veranda post at the front of our building were unexpected events (but only for the cost of the excess x 2).

Whilst membership has dropped (which we anticipated would occur when businesses no longer relied the Chamber for Industrial Award Information), it has proved a reality since the introduction of the Federal Modern Award System.

Office rental has helped us for the short term and there are exciting changes that will bring renewed interest and income to the Chamber and hopefully increase membership again.

The Balance Sheet and the Profit and Loss Report are on the following pages for your viewing and comment.

With the re-employment of Anne Bransdon-Andrews, who is dedicated and passionate about the Chamber as a vehicle to promote business information, provide support for new and existing member businesses and who is driving change of focus including a fee for service to non-members, the Chamber of Commerce is gaining new momentum in our community and is becoming a new place for business people to find information.  Our new web site (www.bhchamberofcommerce.com) & Facebook and Twitter profiles are exciting and attracting young business people’s interest and interaction.

With this change of perspective about the Chamber’s role by others, also comes opportunity and Anne is very good at grasping opportunities to advance the objectives and principles of the Chamber of Commerce.  Ann Rogers didn’t take long to find her feet, after becoming President last year, (which is a huge voluntary role with a fair share of responsibility and time commitment) and what a team we have leading the way for business in Broken Hill.   Thank you both for what you bring to our table.

Management Improvements I am now witnessing after being a member of the board since 1996:

—Board meetings are shorter, sharper and interesting with the boring bits handled well by email reports.  As Treasurer I enjoy emailing financial reports directly from MYOB instead of talking them at the meetings – nothing creates yawning faster than someone reading out figures… and we are saving reams of my paper.

—Treasury, at last! has access to online banking and will be paying bills and wages online in the next financial year.  ATO has streamlined BAS and all sorts of reporting by introducing AUSKey which will also save us time and effort.

Members at the board table with Ipads, bring the ability to provide instantaneous answers and information on all sorts of matters relevant to the meeting.

Executive officer Report 2013 – 2014

The job of Executive Officer with the Broken Hill Chamber of Commerce is one of privilege and I thank the Board for providing me with the autonomy and flexibility to shift the focus of the Chamber from industrial and economic to a socio-economic model where we also work and play in a space that contributes to the social and cultural resilience of our community.

I returned to the role of Executive Officer in August 2013 after six month’s sojourn on a private project and have been reminded that it is not just the nuts and bolts of managing Chamber business that is important, but being present, available and of useful service to our members. The job requires a commitment not only to the paid hours but its voluntary component – being available to the Board and our members outside of office hours to ensure that we, as a group, manage our office and relationships effectively.

During the past 12 months we have taken time to reflect on what it is that we offer our members. With the changes to industrial law and local Chambers of Commerce no longer at the forefront of industrial change, we looked at our strengths and our opportunities to determine how we could meet our vision – to strengthen and grow our leadership position as the business and industry advocate for economic investment and development in Far West NSW.

With the Chamber representing every kind of business including trades, manufacturing, services, resources, transport, technology, accommodation, hospitality and retail, there has been an operational focus on developing relationships with the NSW Business Chamber, Fair Work Commission, WorkCover NSW and other relevant organisations to build the Chamber knowledge bank so that we can best support our members through information provision, educational opportunities and potential discounts  and rebates.

The year was spent advocating for business on industrial issues, penalty rates, water, electricity and Council rates, entering into the agreement with the NSW Government to provide Small Business Advisory Services across Far West NSW and forming a partnership with the NSW Business Chamber to secure an extra suite of services to our members. As a result of our efforts we were named as a finalist in the Central West Orana Business Awards in the Best Local Chamber category and we have extended our office opening hours from four hours a day, four days a week to 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday. The office is now a bustling business centre with all offices rented and members using the board room for meetings and workshops.

I would like to thank the Board for supporting my attendance at the Australian Women’s Local Government Conference which boosted my knowledge on women in management and trends in the workforce and for providing me with the flexibility to continue to grow and attend learning opportunities for my own private consultancy work. In this way, the Board is a very progressive, group recognising the value in taking an active interest in the health, well-being and growth of their employees. Thank you also to President Ann Rogers, Vice-President Paul Seager and Treasurer Sharon Hocking for their continued mentorship and guidance. All executives need a go-to team and this has been my go-to team this year.

Our next 12 months will focus on continuing to expand our membership and services, including building relationships with businesses in the Central Darling and Unincorporated areas of NSW. We will encourage the development of a unified voice for business and industry and build a collective business culture throughout Far West NSW to encourage investment, expansion and growth.

I am extremely excited about the 2014-2015 year as Broken Hill and Far West NSW embraces the wonderful opportunities that are on the table in the mining, tourism, community development and heritage sectors. We will continue to work towards our vision:

To build Chamber membership and capacity so it is recognised as the eminent business forum in Far West NSW giving members the opportunity to access opportunities, support services and exchange and develop views, perspectives and ideas. 

Welcome to the 2014-2015 Year. I look forward to serving you for another 12 months.

President Annual Report 2013-2014

Anne Rogers  President

Anne Rogers
President

This year, the Chamber was very proud to be named as a finalist in the Central West Orana Business Awards in the Best Local Chamber category. It was a rewarding announcement as we were up against some large Chambers with significant budgets. It goes to show, that your Chamber is punching above its weight and we will continue to do so.

We were also able to secure the contract for the NSW Government Small Biz Connect Program which provides free and subsidised business advisory services to businesses in the Broken Hill City Council boundary, Central Darling Shire and Unincorporated NSW. The program currently has about 130 clients and has played a significant role in raising the profile of the Chamber. A number of new members have joined us in recent months and a number of members who had allowed their membership to lapse have re-joined.

As the only organisation that represents business and industry in Far West NSW, the Chamber Board and Executive spend a lot of time consulting with members, attending inquiries and making submissions to all levels of  Government to assist business growth and economic development in the region. Some of these activities this year have included:

NSW Business Chamber submission into the Regional Aviation Inquiry, which included Broken Hill as a stand alone case study. We were pleased to hear, as a result of this inquiry, that the Federal government will re-introduce the en-route payment scheme, which will improve our linkages with health, tourism and business opportunities

IPART Review into Water and Sewerage Prices requesting that Essential Energy extrapolate its four year infrastructure renewal program over 10 years to reduce the short term impact of a 5.9% increase per year for the next four years. IPART determined that this was legitimate request and as a result, our members will have an increased lead in time to build water price increases into their operational plans.

Country Cabinet meeting in held Broken Hill in September, 2013. One of the issues of concern was the potential removal of the Office of Fair Trading from Broken Hill. The Minister, The Hon, Anthony Roberts confirmed that the office would become part of a one-stop shop but that the position would remain in Broken Hill to provide face-to-face service. The one-stop shop is expected to be open by June 2015.

The Chamber has also been active participants on a number of committees this financial year including:

  • —The Broken Hill City Council Community Strategic Plan review Panel
  • —The Broken Hill Tourism Industry Taskforce
  • —The Community Crime Consultative Committee
  • —The Centre for Indigenous Excellence Consultative Committee
  • —The Essential Water Customer Council
  • —Silverton Wind Farm Community Consultative Committee (AGL)
  • —Broken Hill Proud Committee

Despite some down-sizing of our core mines during 2013 due to the low metal prices, the high dollar and difficult mining conditions, we have entered a new mining era. The NSW Government’s green light for Uranium exploration, the continued exploration taking place for cobalt, iron ore copper, gold and molybdenum and other minerals and the $13M transport upgrade at Cristal Mining’s Separation Plant all indicate a positive future in mining for the region. With exploration comes opportunity for mining development, population growth and service expansion. The opening of the $35M Coles complex indicates a faith in our economy as does the number of small businesses who have started or are in start-up mode in our City. The Chamber works closely with Government and Industry representative to keep a finger on the pulse of these developments to ensure that our members and community have opportunities to participate in economic development activities that come to the region.

The City of Broken Hill is entering an exciting new era as we reposition ourselves on a global scale as a world heritage city. The term heritage city encompasses all that has made us strong – our Indigenous, industrial, architectural, creative and social strengths and our new and emerging industries such renewable energy, digital technology and alternative retail. I would encourage our members and the wider business community to get involved with the projects that are going to take place in the next few years to ensure that Broken Hill remains a vibrant and sustainable community.

A special mention must be made for the work and dedication our CEO Anne Bransdon-Andrews has contributed to the organisation.  Without her commitment to the Chamber we would not be in the strong position we are today.

I would like to thank my team this year for their great contribution to the Chamber. We have only just begun to scratch the surface of the opportunities available to us and we are looking forward to continuing to grow our Chamber in 2015 and beyond.

 

 

Chamber supports Council’s push to ask government to look again

The Broken Hill Chamber of Commerce will support Broken Hill City Council its request to the Government to reconsider the City’s Resources for Regions funding application.

The Council was notified this week that the application for the Broken Hill Heritage City – Living Museum and Light Project was not successful.

The Chamber’s support comes on the back of significant business and community interest and participation in workshops, meetings and forums about the project and that the City had been excluded from applying for the funding previously because Broken Hill was not deemed “mining-affected”.

“This is the first time in a long time that we have seen the community united behind an idea. The excitement in the town about embracing our heritage status and turning the City Centre into a people hub has everyone united,” Mrs. Bransdon-Andrews said.

She said the Chamber appreciated that the Broken Hill Civic Centre had made the short-list of projects for 2014-15.

“But, we are a City that has historically has pulled above its weight in terms of financial contribution to the national economy. Our mines have produced more than 200 million tonnes of high-grade base metal ore worth an estimated $80 billion during the past 129 years. It was ludicrous that the initial definition of a mining affected town omitted us from the funding in the first place – the community should be afforded the respect of a review.

“We continually witness hundreds of thousands of tax-payer dollars thrown behind poorly designed schemes to encourage people to move from urban to regional areas and yet this is project is a part of an economic diversification strategy designed to build on the sustainability of the Broken Hill economy for future generations and it is more likely to have a successful economic long-term benefit to the region.

“With the appropriate support for and investment in economic diversification projects combined with the new generation of mining investors armed with new technologies, we will build our international reputation as a heritage city and our status as a working international mining community with future employment opportunities across a range of sectors,” Mrs. Bransdon-Andrews said.

 

 

 

New Board to guide Chamber into new era

For the first time in 16 years, the Broken Hill Chamber of Commerce has a full board of 12 members.

The new Board was appointed at the Chamber’s Annual General Meeting held last night (23 September, 2014).

Existing President Ann Rogers remains Chamber President and Jim Richards is the new Vice-President.

Ms. Rogers told the Chamber that Broken Hill is entering an exciting new era and urged business and industry to unite so that all presenting opportunities are embraced.

“As we re-position ourselves on a global scale as a world heritage city I encourage our members and the wider business community to get involved with the projects that are going to take place in the next few years to ensure that Broken Hill remains a vibrant and sustainable community.”

Other executive positions are:

Treasurer / Public Officer: Marsha Gelmi  (WillGelm Maintenance Solutions Pty Ltd)

Assistant Treasurers: Sharon Hocking (Sharon’s Office Services), Wayne Lee (Life Member)

Board Members

Jon Clark – Telstra/Experts @ IT

Damien Fisher – 2BH

Linda Nadge – Outback Astronomy

Mandy Nelson – The Grand Hotel

Dennis Roach – Dennis Roach Consulting

Shane Simmons – YMCA

Tabby Tabuteau – Broken Hill Veterinary Clinic