The Whyalla Chamber Of Commerce Is Looking For Actions And Outcomes From This Election That Will Diversify Our Economy And Employment Opportunities
President of the Whyalla Chamber, Mr Ron Hay, said regardless of who is successful, two main issues that business is keen to explore with the government elect are “what are the forecasts for the economic future for South Australia and the Whyalla region and how are they going to work with the Chamber and business to ensure that this community not only survives, but in fact thrives”.
For us in regional South Australia it is about jobs, it’s about lifestyle. Like people in Adelaide we look for the very best in education, health provision and employment choices. We want to feel safe and that there is the opportunity for our children to live and work in the place they were born and be able to make the choice to stay amongst family and friends, said Mr Hay.
Whichever party and candidate can best demonstrate they have a grasp and a plan for how all that is to be achieved will go a very long way to getting elected. It is not enough to just have a policy; it is also about what actions are outcomes of each parties policies, said Mr Hay.
It is important for the Chamber, as an advocate for business, to continually be part of an appropriate two way engagement with both the government of the day and our local member, so that we all work towards creating positive outcomes for this community and the region.
Mr Hay said, the Whyalla Chamber is an ‘apolitical’ organisation, which means we do not align ourselves with or support any particular political organisation, thus allowing us to have a more open view on how we operate as an advocate for the business community, on issues that impact on business and our membership and if you add to this, our affiliation with Business SA, it also ensures that we have a voice at a higher level of Government, through the peak business organisation for SA, which further strengthens our position.
We want to see a focus on the major issues that can influence positive change in business conditions and economic development from whoever is elected.
Mr Hay said, economic change in a community is driven by key organisations in Councils, Regional Development Australia, Chambers and business and it is important that the party elected, has a clear focus on the needs of business, costs, impediments to growth and the needs of and support for regional communities in terms of business attraction and diversification of industry and employment.
The Chamber’s view on who would better serve the seat of Giles, is again one of what will they (the candidates) will deliver for Whyalla business and the overall economic development of this community and region.
We (the Chamber), will be hoping that each candidates knowledge of business issues, potential projects and the region, will assist to influence and deliver appropriate benefits back to this region and we will be looking to gain an understanding of how they (each party and their candidates), will work with us to maintain and grow small business (including our contractor base) which in turn will bring an overall benefit to both the business sector and the region as a whole.
Mr Hay said, the Whyalla Chamber, business owners and consumers, are very much aware of the cost of doing business and day to day living expenses, in addition to other influencing factors such as, the lack of skilled workers and population growth in the regions for example.
Whoever the successful candidate is for Giles, said Mr Hay, they need to focus on the fact that the States future growth will come from the regional areas mainly through resources and energy sectors such as mining, manufacturing, oil and gas, agriculture and aquaculture and therefore the fast tracking of major projects is imperative, along with assistance for infrastructure needs in this region, thus adding value to the State’s revenue (GDP).
The Chamber is also keen to understand how the elected member will work in positive way with the Chamber, Council and Regional Development Australia Whyalla and Eyre Peninsula, to create strong and positive relationships that will bring economic development and prosperity to this community, said Mr Hay.
In addition to the above comments, if we are to see regional communities like ours thrive, the government of the day, needs to have the right environment and factors in place to encourage businesses to consider not only South Australia as a base, but more specifically Whyalla, thus creating population growth, diversity of industry and employment, appropriate infrastructure, which in turn will promote economic growth, sustainability and longevity of our community. Business needs increased surety to be more confident to make investment decisions.
This is an area that the Whyalla Chamber has been making comment about, when I attend the Business Round Table discussions in Adelaide said Mr Hay.
The Whyalla community has witnessed a change of fortune over the past few months with Arrium (in Administration), being sold to GFG Alliance, through the efforts of the Administrators KordaMentha, Becker Helicopters relocation to Whyalla from Queensland and the commencement of the Cultana expansion project which has engaged a number of local contractors across various capacities.
Mr Hay said, for Whyalla to grow in a number of ways, it is imperative that as a Chamber and a community, we have a good understanding of what future opportunities may be secured or developed, for long term outcomes and benefit, which has to be underpinned by a commitment by the government of the day, to infrastructure investment to the Whyalla and Eyre region, enabled by a Government and local member with a strategic vision along with strong and positive relationship, with Council, RDA Whyalla and Eyre Peninsula, the Whyalla Chamber of Commerce and the leaders of those.
(Media – For further information, please contact Ron Hay on 0408 810125.)