Has the business group’s strategy rattled some cages? It has
REPRESENTATIVES from all facets of Gympie region life formed a record crowd of 150 at the Gympie Golf Club yesterday attending the final Chamber of Commerce breakfast for 2019.
Small business, government, education, employment, real estate, health and big business were in attendance.
Chamber president Tony Goodman recapped on a year in which the Chamber doubled its membership and succeeded in effecting real change for the local business community, including pressuring the Gympie council to instigate an independent review of its reportedly “obstructive” Planning Department.
The findings of that review were presented to the focus groups involved by the council at the Civic Centre last night, but were not publicly available yesterday.
“A common theme that came through from our guest speakers is that we have to be united in our quest to become a great region; to put aside our differences, to embrace all opinions, harness the collective wisdom of all; to develop a communication strategy to sell the benefits of the region and have a prospecting plan in place to go out and find these companies and get thyem to come here, invest and create jobs,” Mr Goodman said.
“Has this strategy rattled some cages?” he said.
“A comment was made by a well known leader of this community that we are too controversial and too negative and you won’t get the big end of town joining because of it.
“Is that because (1) we took a stance at the start of the year to be fiercely independent as a Chamber? (2) to be a voice for the business community? A voice for you? To play an advocacy role working with all three levels of government.”
Mr Goodman said the game plan was to make the Planning Department more “user friendly” and for applications to be processed in a much quicker time frame.
A subsequent joint venture with the council where 150 guests helped come up with their top three things to drive the region forward revealed a common issue: council Planning Department roadblock culture.
This is what led to the review, the results of which The Gympie Times hopes to be able to reveal this week.