Timely re­vival for cham­ber

Pilbara News - - News - Ali­cia Perera

The Pil­bara In­land Cham­ber of Com­merce and In­dus­try has of­fi­cially re­sumed af­ter more than 18 months of dor­mancy.

In the first ma­jor step of re­ac­ti­vat­ing the cham­ber, which rep­re­sents busi­nesses in Tom Price and Parabur­doo, an in­terim com­mit­tee was re­cently elected to over­see plan­ning for a re­ju­ve­nated group.

PICCI has been dor­mant since the pre­vi­ous chair­woman left town and the eco­nomic down­turn took a toll on lo­cal jobs and com­mer­cial ac­tiv­ity, but for the past eight to 10 months Tom Price com­mu­nity or­gan­i­sa­tion the Nin­tirri Cen­tre has been be­hind a long-term push to get the cham­ber back up and run­ning.

All West Engi­neer­ing di­rec­tor Conor Egan has been elected chair­man of the in­terim com­mit­tee.

He said a ma­jor theme for the new PICCI would be keep­ing the big min­ing com­pa­nies in town ac­count­able and pro­mot­ing res­i­den­tial em­ploy­ment and the use of lo­cal busi­nesses.

“We want to hold the big min­ers ac­count­able when they come to town and prom­ise the world, prom­ise all this work,” he said.

“In­di­vid­ual small busi­nesses’ voices might be over­looked, but I think if we can come to­gether and col­lec­tively chan­nel our voices through the cham­ber of com­merce, we can speak a a bit louder.”

Mr Egan said there had been a drive for a re­newed cham­ber from a “ramp-up” in lo­cal busi­ness since the down­turn and in­ter­est in sev­eral ma­jor con­struc­tion projects on the hori­zon, in­clud­ing the Balla Balla in­fras­truc­ture project and Sil­ver­grass mine.

Nin­tirri Cen­tre chief ex­ec­u­tive James Jarvis said it was good to see there was now a lot of mo­men­tum be­hind the next steps of get­ting the group ac­tive in the com­mu­nity.

“For an or­gan­i­sa­tion like this, gen­er­at­ing a rev­enue stream is crit­i­cal, so we need to be clear about what our value propo­si­tion is for mem­bers, set­ting our mem­ber­ship fees and get­ting doc­u­men­ta­tion and go­ing on a mem­ber­ship drive to get peo­ple in­volved,” he said.

Events be­ing planned for the cham­ber in­clude busi­ness break­fasts, net­work­ing sun­down­ers and pos­si­bly set­ting up busi­ness awards for the first time.

Mr Jarvis, who is also in­terim com­mit­tee sec­re­tary, said PICCI would be an im­por­tant part of the com­mu­nity and busi­nesses had po­ten­tially been “miss­ing out on op­por­tu­ni­ties” with­out the co­or­di­nated ap­proach it could bring.

An an­nual meet­ing for the new PICCI is be­ing planned for Oc­to­ber or Novem­ber.

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