President’s Comments – August 2015

There is no denying that we are going through some very trying times in our community, however it is important that as a community we continually look forward and focus on what we believe we can do and change, said Mr Ron Hay, President of the Whyalla Chamber.

It is understandable that we will feel a level of negativity creeping in, which can potentially place barriers in front of us that may hide the path forward.

Mr Hay said, in my day to day activities, I am encouraged by the number of people I talk to, who are still very positive about our community and its future and with this comes the resilience that we have.

When I speak to business owners or managers, their comments reflect in general a steady level of activity over the last 12 months or so, which in current times said Mr Hay, is very encouraging, because it indicates to me that there is good support for our businesses, which in turn creates positivity.

Unfortunately the good news stories are being over-shadowed by the negative announcements and when we witness a business closure for example, there is a tendency to make comment as to why, without having knowledge of the circumstances around this situation.

Mr Hay said, business owners look at their business and ask the simple questions which have specific and powerful outcomes. “What will my business look like over the next few years and will it expand with new products and or services?” for example.

I have to say that when I read the good news stories on the front page of the Whyalla News, indicating a local business person making a commitment to investing further in this community, it reinforces in my mind said Mr Hay, that although none of us have a crystal ball, there are individuals, who are prepared to look at the bigger picture and make a commitment to the future of this community and should be commended.

We are in a period where ideas will be placed on the table for discussion and as I have said in previous commentaries, it may not be practical to look at the total project or idea, but it may be more appropriate to look at what particular part of an idea or project, we may be able to do, because we potentially have or do have as the case may be, the capability, capacity and infrastructure to be successful.

Mr Hay said, it is not about pushing aside proposals in the first instance, it is about coming to a realistic decision, through a rigorous decision making process. Unfortunately, it is my opinion that it is easier for us to think of the negatives first, rather than developing the mind-set to be open to possibilities.

In my capacity with the Chamber and as a member of this community, I will never be negative about this community, our lifestyle, what we have and what it has given me as an individual said Mr Hay.

We all have choices; we can focus on the negativity and project that image to the outside world or we can adopt a mind set to be positive, work together, move forward, be resilient and project that image to the outside world, letting investors and others know, that we are proud of our community and “open for business”, which in turn can create diversity in our industry base and employment.

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