A great evening

Last night (Feb 14th 2018 ) our members and guests had the opportunity to listen to Braddon candidates:

-Roger Jaensch – MP and Liberal Member for Braddon
-Dr Shane Broad – MP Labour Member for Braddon
-Scott Jordan – The Greens Candidate for Braddon
-Brenton Best – Independent for Braddon

We also had an open and robust question time from our members which was well received by our candidates.

An overview of the evening

What is clear is that within the confines of political policies and our current laws around how businesses are operated in our state, we do have strong candidates who hearts are in the right place.

Each of our speakers were very knowledgeable about the history and current status of business in our region, yet we feel that they need to hear more often from our members about what it is like to run a business in the “real world”

We observed that all political parties are doing roughly the same thing, that is, trying to make our state work efficiently and to grow opportunities for all Tasmanians, however, they have different ways of going about it.

We heard our candidates complement each other on policies and programs which make sense and are working well but also challenge each other vigorously when they felt the others had “dropped the ball” over the years.

We appreciated the bipartisan approach and the level of friendship between the candidates but will have to scrutinise the “how” in coming days.

Larger Projects

We heard about the many projects which are happening in our region which will boost our economy in the years to come but also noted an absence of large projects on the Central Coast, with the exception Penguin composites and a promised upgrade of the Penguin school by the Liberals which hopefully our local businesses will be a part of.

It’s clear that a regional approach to projects is the way governments are thinking with lots of talk about the West Coast, King Island, Burnie and Devonport which is great but it’s also important that the Central coast gets our fair share and we will be campaigning to see more significant investment in businesses on the Central Coast towns and in agriculture in our region.

The Old Red Tape Issue

The reduction of red tape dominated the evening with our members expressing the need for a simplified “one-stop shop” for all paperwork such as approvals with the frustration which these processes cause expressed by many members.

Currently, our members are being slugged and slowed down by red tape particularly in the construction industry and if we are to capitalise on the economic growth in the state we are calling for a streamlining of approvals and a further reduction in red tape.

Freight prices

Living on an island will alway impact on freight prices but the candidates explained that making it cheaper and easier for freight to come and go is a priority. There are arrangements with private companies and the new Sprits to increase traffic on Bass straight and create greater competition in the freight market which hopefully will push down freight prices. Being held ransom by Melbourne ports and the increase in the size of cargo ships globally are also significant challenges.

So what’s in it for you?

Business people by nature are risk takers and can seem to make almost anything work despite the conditions, it’s just who we are.

So while the responsibility always lies with us to grow our business, having a government which can hep us to create ideal conditions is of great importance.

As a chamber, we see the need for all the services which all governments have on offer for business people to become more visible. Too often business people complain about a lack of services when in fact they might well be on offer.

To help this situation, we will be playing more of a role in directing our members to the right information when you need it so that you can take advantage of what the next term of government has to offer the business community.

Working together

It’s up to all of us as members to work together towards our region’s prosperity and opportunity for all of us on the Central Coast. We can’t simply sit back and wish things were better, we need to take action together and that’s what the Chamber of Commerce is all about.

We’re asking our members to work together, support chamber events and to get involved with creating a vibrant community of local business people but we simply can’t do this without all of you.

There are currently 130 members in our Chamber and all of you are business owners or heavily invested in the success of our region. Imagine what we can do together if we all showed up to events, became great mates and worked on a project to improve conditions for all of us?

How can you pitch in and make it better for everyone in 2018?

The best of luck

Fortunately, no matter who is successful in the March 3rd election, as a chamber we have good connections with all candidates and are confident that we can help you get your voice heard and help you to achieve your best in our state.

I’m looking forward to working with you and the successful Government towards a prosperous Central Coast in 2018.

We wish all our candidate the best of luck in the campaign and on polling day.

 

Kind regards,
Nathan Kelly
President & Chief Cheerleader
Central Coast Chamber of Commerce & Industryph 0488 661 355