Noosa Chamber of Commerce president Ralph Rogers
As Australia heads into another rough patch of high inflation and low wages, as well as the threat of recurring Covid, we continue to see the destabilising impacts of a fragile economy.
We Noosa residents need to understand a very important truth – the growth of our Shire has consistently undershot expectations and claims. It has failed to grasp the benefits of the low rate of interest and inflation rates Australia had over the last seven years.
The Noosa Chamber of Commerce commissioned research that shows that, in real terms, the wealth of Noosa Shire has been going backwards by about $100 million each year and nobody has fully grasped what this meant about our community – there’s a wealthy few, a struggling many and, critically, a Council with limited resources to turn this around as we enter a high inflation period.
For some months now a renewed Chamber of Commerce has been working hard to understand these problems, both through reviewing its own members’ experiences and through the commissioning of clear research evidence. Having gained a better appreciation of the situation we face, the Chamber has shared this information with the Council and we are now focusing on playing our part to rebalance the economy in order to make it more robust so it can offer the community a chance of economic growth.
The Chamber has developed a strategic plan for its own activities which it has presented to the Council for discussion. The Council has recognised it as worthy of consideration and worth assisting to implement. We welcome the scrutiny our plan was exposed to, as should every other recipient of public funds, and are pleased that it has been commended by Councillors and staff as the first step in what we can jointly do to turn around the economic fortunes of Noosa for a better tomorrow.
There will always be some critics out there looking to undermine and misrepresent what our Chamber is here to do for the many small businesses and our wider community but we are committed to playing our part to assist Council develop economic strategies that are to the benefit of everyone.
We are a non-political entity which has been granted $30,000 in two stages by the Noosa Council, subject to a range of conditions that we have happily agreed to so we can modestly resource the Chamber as we work collaboratively for the benefit of our members, our aligned associations and the broader community.
The truth is that today’s Noosa Council has limited resources dedicated to economic development.
Our experienced new Chamber Board can and will assist, working with government of all levels, to see innovation brought to Noosa so we can meet our community’s full economic and social potential.
The newly formed Chamber has assembled a solid group of experienced business people across multiple industry sectors to help bring about a socially, environmentally and economically vibrant Noosa Shire. It’s the whole reason we operate and are offering to assist the Council to develop and deliver sound economic outcomes for the Shire for the benefit of our whole community – not just our members.
Our strategic plan, endorsed by Council, is available on our website.
An important component of the plan is its description of how the Chamber fits into the business ecosystems of our community.
The Council’s grant to the Chamber will allow us to fund capacity to grow our business membership, provide independent research so that we can advocate and assist in developing policy initiatives to rebalance our economy and deliver drivers for growth.
Our refreshed and growing Noosa Chamber of Commerce is here for the many businesses in Noosa and our wider community so we can all flourish no matter what challenges the wider nation faces.
We welcome new members and encourage people to visit our website – noosachamberofcommerce.com.au – to find out more about us or join as a member.