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President’s Welcome December 2022

With Christmas just a few days away, it’s important to reflect on the past twelve months and all the achievements we have accomplished over the past year. I am sure many of our members are looking forward to a nice break with family and friends over the festive season and we wish you all the very best and thank you for your support this year.

Below is the speech I delivered at our AGM in October.

Maroochydore Chamber of Commerce President’s Report 2021/2022

Whilst the pandemic may be officially over, I anticipate that its adverse effects on business in and about Maroochydore (and the wider Sunshine Coast) remains, particularly in industries such as hospitality and building and construction. That said, it seems that confidence in the Maroochydore (and Sunshine Coast) business community has remained strong in the 2021/2022 and that business community remains, more or less, prosperous.

Warnings of impending global recession and recent interest rate hikes and increases in cost of living, will keep us all alert as we approach 2023. Your Chamber has grown strongly during the 2021/2022 period, as appears from the excellent report tabled this evening by out Treasurer, Lachlan Ballinger. Thank you to Lachlan and his team at Yield Advisory for their ongoing support. That growth has been noticeable in our membership and in our sponsorship, as well as the general support that the Chamber has enjoyed at functions throughout the year. Whilst this makes me think that we are doing something right, it also makes me want to do better!

My sincere thanks to all members and sponsors (old and new) for your continued support of the Chamber. My thanks also to our executive committee without whose assistance and dedication (all on a volunteer basis), the Chamber would not function. Being on the executive committee is not an ideal commitment. There is an expectation of involvement in and attendance at, events and Chamber activities and taking the opportunity to spruik the Chamber in the business community and our various business networks.

The committee for the past year has been (in no particular order) Allan Satterthwaite (vice president), Mat Walker, Charmaine Bastin (secretary), Lachlan Ballinger (treasurer), Scott Elsom, William Thompson, Peppi Bueti, Simon Rub, Jakki Goodall, Richard Turnbull and Angela White. Tonight we farewell Allan Satterthwaite and Angela White. i would like to thank them for their contributions whilst they have been on the executive committee.

Tonight we welcome Anita Piers to the executive committee. I look forward to Anita’s contribution to the executive committee and the wider Chamber.

Our successes this year have also been the direct result of the significant assistance that the Chamber receives from Min Swan and her team at White House International. WHI are integral and fundamental to our successful operation. Without them we would not have progressed to where we are and we will not progress where we expect to be in years ahead. Also integral to that success and our future progress, is the assistance that we receive from Alan Scott from Asmosys. Alan’s assistance over a number of years in our strategic planning has been invaluable. He provided that assistance without charge.

The future is bright for Sunshine Coast. the future is equally bright for the Maroochydore business community. At the heart of that community is the City Centre and other significant contributing activities including Sunshine Coast Airport and the undersea cable. Since I last reported and with the Olympics looming, the delivery of heavy rail to the Maroochydore CBD has become more urgent. That delivery (as opposed to mass transit across the Sunshine Coast) needs to be the focus of the Chamber throughout 2023 and onwards because without its delivery prior to 2032 and the Olympics, my strong belief is that our opportunity for the delivery of that infrastructure will be lost. We have continued to engage with other Chambers on the Coast and enjoy a particularly close connection with the Kawana Chamber (aka the fun Chamber) and the Young Chamber, which has more recently spread its wings to stand on its own feet.

We have also continued to support the national award winning Migrant Work Ready Program. The significant ongoing contributions of our executive committee members Peppi Bueti and Mat Walker, should be recognised. We have also continued to seek to engage with the First Nation members of the business community and the community of the Sunshine Coast. I believe that that connection is fundamental to the maturity of those communities.

In closing I would like to acknowledge our sponsors, particularly Walker Corporation who is our major corporate sponsor but all sponsors, who I will not seek to name here. Frankly, we can’t do what we do without your support. I would also like to acknowledge the support that we receive from Fiona Simpson and ted O’Brien who are regular attendees at our gatherings.

Finally, in my last report I said that it would be my last and that I was looking forward to welcoming a new President at this time. Whilst that has not eventuated, I strongly believe that organisations such as our Chamber requires fresh talent at the table and at its lead.

I move that my report for 2021/2022 be accepted.

Brendan Bathersby