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  • 15 Nov 2019 10:20 AM | Lisa McPherson (Administrator)

    Outstanding tourism businesses from across New South Wales were honoured tonight as the winners of the 30th anniversary edition of the prestigious NSW Tourism Awards were announced at the Four Seasons Hotel, Sydney with 490 industry representatives in attendance.

    Managed by the Tourism Industry Division of the NSW Business Chamber, the state’s peak business organisation, and supported by the NSW Government via its tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW the NSW Tourism Awards recognise those businesses who exemplify quality tourism. These businesses provide leadership in innovation, marketing and in the delivery of quality products and services. These are businesses who advance and promote the NSW and Australian tourism industry through consistent customer service and quality experiences to all.

    Speaking at the Awards, Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney Stuart Ayres highlighted the importance of tourism and events to the State’s economy and congratulated the winners.

    “Tourism is vital to our State’s economy, so to be recognised at the NSW Tourism Awards is a truly outstanding achievement. I thank all of the winners for their unwavering commitment to offering our domestic and international visitors Australia’s most remarkable experiences.

    “Beyond our spectacular natural scenery and iconic capital city, the highlight for many visitors to NSW is the individuals who front these award-winning experiences, who exude contagious passion and excitement and ensure every trip to our State is simply unforgettable,” Mr Ayres said.

    Seventy-five award winners were announced in a range of categories including Major Tourist Attractions, Festivals and Events, Destination Marketing and Accommodation. With 124 finalists in 2019, each winner was selected by an independent judging panel for their exceptional contribution to the NSW Tourism Industry.

    Moonshadow – TQC Cruises, Nelson Bay was inducted into the prestigious NSW Tourism Awards Hall of Fame, for taking out top honours in the Major Tour and/or Transport Operators category for the third year in a row whilst Janette Hyde, President of the Greater Port Macquarie Tourism Association was awarded the Dean Gorddard Award for Outstanding Contribution by an Individual to NSW.  NSW Business Chamber Regional Manager Kellon Beard, said “It is great to see Janette getting recognition for her years of outstanding work for the community.”

    Gold Medal winners in categories 1 to 25 go on to represent NSW at the Qantas Australian Tourism Awards, to be held in Canberra in March 2020.

    NSW Business Chamber Chief Executive Officer Stephen Cartwright, said “This group of winners and finalists should be incredibly proud of this recognition. Award entrants continue to showcase a diverse array of talent, passion and innovative drive that allows our state’s tourism industry to thrive. Good luck to all winners continuing on to the QANTAS Australian Tourism Awards in March.”


    Kellon Beard
    Regional Manager, Mid North Coast, NSW Business Chamber

  • 30 Sep 2019 12:48 PM | Lisa McPherson (Administrator)

    In his recent speech to the Armidale Business Chamber, Reserve Bank of Australia Governor, Philip Lowe, said that “we will all be better off if business have the confidence to expand, invest, innovate and hire people”.

    Few would disagree with that statement.  The problem facing the Governor though – and policy makers more generally – is that business confidence isn’t just reliant on lower rates.  A number of factors are important - like international headwinds and geopolitics, weak household disposable incomes and of course the drought.  All of these weigh on confidence and create uncertainty about the future.

    That’s why it would be naïve to assume that further interest rate cuts will restore business confidence, boost economic growth or lift employment.  Recent interest rate reductions certainly don’t appear to have had an impact on income levels, investment or confidence.

    What we need more than just interest rate reductions, is structural reform.  Structural reform, such as lower taxes, water security, equitable water policies, greater short-term infrastructure projects and affordable, reliable energy are far more important.

    It is these kind of reforms that the NSW Business Chamber believes will support the economy during, not only these turbulent times, but also longer term by increasing the capacity of the economy, creating more jobs and delivering stronger regional communities.

    There is no doubt improvements to transport, energy and communication networks are critical enablers of economic activity.  Governor Lowe identified the delivery of new infrastructure in our cities and regions as one of the timeliest and effective measures to sustain economic activity, and promote business confidence.

    So the pressure is on the State Government to deliver infrastructure that will improve transport, provide reliable energy.  They must also fulfil their election promise to spend snowy hydro and leasing asset proceeds in regional communities.

    Their Federal counterparts need to step up and undertake a thorough review of how we manage water in this country before our currently framed water plans irreparably damage our regional communities.

    The real risk is that without reform, businesses will continue to delay making significant investments.  At the end of the day, this is not a great thing for job creation anywhere in NSW.

    Kellon Beard

    Regional Manager, Mid North Coast, NSW Business Chamber

  • 01 Aug 2019 7:18 AM | Lisa McPherson (Administrator)

    If you own or operate a business in the Port Macquarie-Hastings region then Port Macquarie Hastings Council would like to hear from you.

    Business confidence drives business growth and investment, supports employment opportunities and attracts people to our region. Help Council plan for a vibrant economy by letting us know what’s important to you and your business, and how confident you are feeling about the future.

    This quick, 5-minute survey provides businesses with an opportunity to connect with Council, to have a say and to be part of the collective local business voice.

    The survey is open until 31 August and outcomes will be shared in October 2019. If you haven’t already completed the survey, online or by telephone, please follow the link below and make your opinion count!

    The survey is anonymous, does not ask for specific financial information and is conducted for research purposes only in compliance with the Privacy Act 1988.


  • 31 Jul 2019 7:27 AM | Lisa McPherson (Administrator)

    The State’s peak business organisation, the NSW Business Chamber, said a new employer hotline established by the NSW Statutory Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA) will provide important support for businesses across NSW in resolving workers compensation enquiries.

    “The Chamber provided 18 recommendations to the NSW Government to improve the operation of workers compensation. The establishment of a ‘business hotline’ was one of these recommendations,” said Kellon Beard, Regional Manager Mid North Coast NSW Business Chamber.

    Employers can now phone 13 10 50 and receive assistance to help them resolve issues and queries. The Chamber has tested the ‘business hot line’ and was put instantly in contact with a representative of SIRA who was available to resolve queries.

    “In December of 2018 the Chamber called on the NSW Government to commission a review of the NSW Workers Compensation system to address serious concerns raised by businesses across NSW.

    “The Government announced a review would be undertaken on 16 May 2019 and independent reviewer Ms Janet Dore has been meeting with businesses and business groups across NSW to hear their experiences and to get their views,” said Mr Beard.

    “The establishment of a business hotline by SIRA is an important step to help improve the operation of workers compensation in NSW. We look forward to reviewing Ms Dore’s recommendations and to providing additional support to ensure improvements in the operation and sustainability of workers compensation in NSW,” said Mr Beard.

  • 17 Jul 2019 7:43 AM | Lisa McPherson (Administrator)

    The state’s peak business organisation, the NSW Business Chamber, is highlighting the importance of the tourism industry to regional economies following the release of results of the National Visitor Survey today.

    “This is a fantastic result, and it confirms that tourism is a key industry for current and future jobs growth for this region and NSW,” said NSW Business Chamber Regional Manager, Kellon Beard.

    “In terms of visitor numbers, the North Coast is breaking records - and the fact that the North Coast was the 3rd most popular tourist destination in the country, is something we can be proud of.

    “Nearly 6 million overnight visitors came to the North Coast over the year to March 2019, up more than 8% from the previous year.

    “That’s extraordinary growth and a contribution of about $3½ billion to our region. That’s a lot of jobs and a lot of business for our restaurants, cafes, hotels and tourism operators.

    “As for day trippers, we saw about 7 million of those over the last year, which again, confirms the attractiveness of the North Coast as a premier tourist destination.

    “Today’s numbers are a timely reminder as to why it is so important for the government to reboot Restart and ensure regional NSW gets the funds it was promised for infrastructure investment. This investment is critical to supporting regional economies and the continued growth of the tourism industry in this region.

    “The visitor economy is thriving, but it’s a competitive space. Without continued investment, it won’t be possible to maintain the attractiveness of our region for tourists. NSW is an attractive destination for visitors, and today’s figures show that North Coast is an attractive place. Let’s keep it that way,” Mr Beard said.

  • 15 Jul 2019 7:07 AM | Lisa McPherson (Administrator)

    To coincide with World Youth Skills Day, the state’s peak business organisation, the NSW Business Chamber has released its comprehensive 2019 Workforce Skills Survey which will collect information on the skills needs of NSW businesses.

    “Globally, the United Nations estimates the youth unemployment rate is almost three times higher than the rest of the population,” said NSW Business Chamber Regional Manager, Kellon Beard said.

    World Youth Skills Day is an opportunity for businesses to raise awareness about the importance of youth skills development and to implement measures aimed at tackling youth unemployment,” Mr Beard said.

    “It’s an auspicious day to release the NSW Business Chamber’s 2019 Workforce Skills Survey.

    “The Chamber is committed to ensuring our next generation of workers develops the skills they need to meet the needs of employers or to become employers themselves. It is vital for the future of our economy that young people connect with work, and businesses are able to source skills locally. 

    “Quite clearly, if education and training isn’t equipping young people for the workplace, then it is failing in one of its primary objectives.

    “Ensuring the workforce of the future has skills that will be in demand in years to come is a win for young people, the economy, our communities and business.

    “Our survey provides an opportunity for businesses to tell us about their skill challenges, their experiences engaging with the training system and importantly the challenges and benefits of developing young people in the workplace.

    “Results from this survey will help us develop recommendations for the future delivery of training in NSW and how to improve the provision of information to students, parents and employers on the pathways to a rewarding career,”

    “We encourage all businesses to complete the 2019 Workforce Skills Survey to help us continue to work with governments in addressing the workforce issues experienced by business,” Mr Beard said.

    The survey can be found at www.surveymonkey.com/r/2019workforce and all businesses are encouraged to submit their feedback.

    The survey will run until 29 July.

  • 12 Jul 2019 10:38 AM | Lisa McPherson (Administrator)

    The latest Business Conditions Survey conducted by the state’s peak business organisation, the NSW Business Chamber, supports the need for additional stimulus to bolster economic activity, particularly in drought affected areas of NSW.

    The survey highlights that many businesses across the state have been doing it tough, however there are preliminary signs that businesses think tax cuts and interest rate reductions will provide a welcome boost.

    The survey was conducted following the recent State and Federal Elections.

    “The impact of the drought cannot be overstated and is continuing to hurt businesses right across the state,” said NSW Business Chamber Regional Manager, Kellon Beard.

    “In the Mid-North Coast and Coffs-Grafton area, business conditions remain weak, but fortunately, they’re not as bad as the previous quarter.” Mr Beard said.

    “In fact our survey also shows businesses are hopeful conditions might improve in the next quarter - driven by an expected lift in revenue following on from what was a terrible March quarter.

    “In part that could have something to do with the tax cuts the government said it would provide and perhaps also because of a drop off in anti-business rhetoric following the election outcome.

    “The downside is that business don’t expect that lift in revenue to boost profit growth – mainly because operating costs are expected to surge again. 

    “While there are tentative signs business confidence could improve over the next quarter, the reality for government is that these expectations are fragile.

    “So the NSW Government really needs to get on with the delivery of infrastructure, particularly infrastructure promised to regional NSW.” Mr Beard said.  

  • 18 Jun 2019 4:00 PM | Lisa McPherson (Administrator)

    What a fabulous evening we had at the Wauchope Chamber of Commerce and Industry June catch up at Wauchope Physiotherapy and Sports Rehab Centre! Lots of new faces, loads of interesting facts and fun, learning about "getback", the new system on offer (only at Wauchope Physiotherapy and Sports Rehab Centre) to reduce chronic back pain. Thanks the Kerry for volunteering to demonstrate one of the machines. Thank you to Nathan Lynch for having us! 

    #WauchopeChamber #ILoveWauchope


  • 18 Jun 2019 1:00 PM | Lisa McPherson (Administrator)

    The state’s peak business organisation, the NSW Business Chamber, says the Budget brought down by Treasurer Dominic Perrottet delivers on commitments taken to the electorate earlier this year, despite weaker than expected stamp duty and GST receipts.

    An operating surplus of $802 million is projected for the current financial year, down significantly from earlier expectations, with surpluses expected to average $1.7 billion out to 2023.

    “This is, yet again, a solid financial blueprint from the Berejiklian Government,” said NSW Business Chamber Chief Executive Stephen Cartwright.

    “For the fourth year in a row net debt is in negative territory despite record infrastructure spending,” Mr Cartwright said.

    “It’s important to note how far we have come in building such a solid position, and despite some economic headwinds, NSW continues to enjoy the strongest performing labour market in the nation, and by some margin.

    “Importantly, this Budget turns election commitments made in March into reality – repaying the faith that the electorate put in the Premier and her team when they went to the polls.

    “While the Budget forecasts slower growth over the next year, $93 billion in infrastructure spending will help to take up some of the slack in parts of the economy that are facing headwinds.

    “Changing fiscal conditions present a timely opportunity to examine the sustainability of state finances.

    “More than any other state, NSW relies on revenue from harmful taxes such as stamp duty, which comes with $800,000 in economic costs for every million dollars of revenue collected.

    “It is good to see the Treasurer has taken the lead by launching a review of Federal financial relations from a NSW viewpoint – something that has long been called for by the NSW Business Chamber.

    “The drought is a clear focus in this Budget and, as the NSW Business Chamber’s Drought Survey revealed, the impacts of this natural disaster are being felt in all communities as supply chain payments and discretionary spending have been dramatically reduced.

    “As well as tangible drought assistance, regional NSW will receive more than $1 billion to fix roads and bridges - important infrastructure commitments that benefit the community and can help to save lives.

    “The Government continues to build on its commitment to education and training, with a record $21 billion for NSW schools, early education, TAFE and vocational education and training.

    “This includes a commitment to provide 100,000 fee-free VET courses, funding to expand the highly successful Productivity Bootcamp youth training model to two new locations, and a much needed new TAFE campus in Western Sydney focussing on construction skills.

    “All of these initiatives are in line with its commitment of creating 250,000 new jobs over the next four years.                                        

    “Despite no major announcements beyond the Government’s stated election commitments, investment in public transport and road projects remains at unprecedented levels. It is now important that the Government ensure the effective and efficient delivery of this infrastructure across the entire state.

    “With $6.4 billion committed to accelerate the delivery of Sydney Metro West it is clear the Federal Government needs to come to the party to accelerate this game changing project for Sydney”

    “In the lead up to the March election, the NSW Business Chamber prosecuted the case for the next Government in NSW to Keep NSW Number 1. This Budget does just that,” Mr Cartwright said.

  • 18 Feb 2019 8:13 PM | Lisa McPherson (Administrator)

    Thank you to the Stone Family and Billabong Zoo staff for hosting our first catch up of 2019 for Wauchope Chamber Members and guests!

    Thank you to Billabong's Chef Kathy who put on a scrumptious spread for us all. Networking and nibbles were followed by an update of Chamber happenings and local issues.

    Mark Stone then shared an update on the amazing things happening at the Zoo! While we can now see the transformation inside the entry hall and cafe, Mark shared that he can't wait to get stuck into the external improvements they have planned.

    Billabong Zoo enjoys a strong reputation on the tourism scene. Mark highlighted the team would love to see more locals come and visit the animals or just enjoy a meal at the cafe. So if you haven't been in to say hello for a while, now is the time to get to it!

    Thanks again to Mark, Kathy, Brooke, Lionel,and Kathy (chef) for making it all happen for us to come visit~!

    See pics from the night here


Po Box 270, WAUCHOPE NSW 2446  |  wauchopechamber@gmail.com  |  www.visitwauchope.com.au

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