The Coffs Harbour Chamber of Commerce is pushing for Coffs Harbour to become the best regional city in Australia. Picture: Keagan Elder

REPRESENTING the interests of hundreds of businesses, small, medium and large is an ongoing responsibility that your chamber takes very seriously.

One of our most important functions is to lobby on behalf of the local businesses at local, state and federal government levels, and also to ensure that our members are as well-informed about business matters.

To that end when we reflect on recent successes achieved by the chamber we believe we are well on the way to delivering for all local businesses.

Here is a brief summary of the activities and successes on the lobbying front:
•Constant lobbying at all government levels for the Coffs Harbour Bypass – win.
•Lobbying at State level for amendments to the payroll tax to assist businesses – watch the next State budget.
•Lobbying at the Federal level for the commitment of $12m to Stage 1 of the Allied Health Building – win.
•Lobbying at the Local level for Jetty Foreshores Beautification Stages 1-4 – win.

When it comes to informing local business there has been an abundance of informative presentations at the monthly breakfasts/lunches.

•Deputy Premier & Minister for Regional Development and Small Business, John Barilaro, has frequented the Coffs Coast at the request of the Chamber and local member. It is pleasing to see the interaction and importance being placed on the Coffs Coast by the NSW Government at present with the Jetty Foreshores Precinct consultation and masterplan development.

•Dr Leonie Pearson, Leader of Great Small Cities programme at Regional Australia Institute who discussed the importance and relevance of “city deals”.

•With recent changes announced by the Federal Government to the population criteria for a city deal the Coffs Coast is now well placed to work towards securing what has proven to be milestone opportunities for cities that have secured them. Your Chamber will be active in this process

•Building Regional Communities forum by Chris Hanger – Executive Director, Infrastructure and Networks from the Department of Premier & Cabinet informed those in attendance about how to access NSW Government Regional Growth Fund grants

•University Towns presentation from Prof. Iain Graham, Southern Cross University

•Dealing Coffs Harbour into the #1 regional city spot presentation by Gary White; Chief Planner NSW State Government

On June 26 we invite all current members (and those curious about joining) to come along for breakfast. Contact the Chamber office for further information.

Plus we are delighted to announce that the Coffs Coast Business Expo will go ahead in August, and we will have Australian Paralympic legend Kurt Fearnley for lunch. More details to follow.

If you aren’t yet a member of the Chamber you may well be missing out.