Timely revival for chamber
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.