Dor­mant cham­ber faces un­cer­tain days

Pilbara News - - Pilbara News - Ali­cia Per­era

The Pil­bara In­land Cham­ber of Com­merce and In­dus­try has been dor­mant through­out this year and faces an un­cer­tain fu­ture in a sign of the dif­fi­cult eco­nomic cli­mate in Tom Price and Parabur­doo.

The group has held only a few meet­ings this year, has no chair­man since for­mer chair­woman Sarah Kemp moved away months ago, and was not part of the Pil­bara Re­gional Cham­bers of Com­merce group which hosted the Pil­bara Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment Con­fer­ence in Perth re­cently , with the Onslow Cham­ber of Com­merce and In­dus­try the only par­tic­i­pant cham­ber from the Shire of Ash­bur­ton.

PICCI vice-chair­man Josh Stevens said while a hand­ful of com­mit­tee mem­bers re­mained and at least one meet­ing had been held in Parabur­doo in re­cent months, the PICCI lacked ac­tive in­volve­ment and had “fallen to bits a bit” as resource in­dus­try re­dun­dan­cies had taken their toll on the lo­cal work­force.

“There’s cer­tainly no new busi­nesses com­ing to town and, un­for­tu­nately, the old busi­nesses are dwin­dling,” he said.

“With Rio re­dun­dan­cies, it re­ally af­fects both towns.”

The Shire of Ash­bur­ton coun­cil ex­pressed con­cern at the lack of busi­ness group en­gage­ment in Tom Price and Parabur­doo in a Novem­ber meet­ing agenda item about the Ash­bur­ton Com­mu­nity and Busi­ness Direc­tory, which mem­bers hoped could help reen­er­gise it.

The PICCI’s progress is in con­trast to that of the Onslow Cham­ber of Com­merce and In­dus­try which, de­spite form­ing only four years ago in a smaller town, has grown to in­clude more than 120 mem­bers and last month won a WA Re­gional Com­mu­nity Achieve­ment Award.

OCCI chief ex­ec­u­tive Chantelle King said hard work and form­ing strong part­ner­ships had been key to their grad­ual growth, although Onslow had also been less af­fected by the min­ing boom be­cause of its dif­fer­ent in­dus­trial pro­file.

She said the OCCI was will­ing to help the PICCI get back on its feet.

“We’re here to help them if we can, in any way,” she said.

Mr Stevens said he hoped the PICCI would be more ac­tive next year but it would de­pend on the eco­nomic en­vi­ron­ment in both towns.

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