Cham­ber seeks to rally sup­port­ers

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - Scott Tibballs

THE Dou­glas Cham­ber of Com­merce has a big gap to fill with the de­par­ture of for­mer Pres­i­dent He­len De Ross, who presided over a pe­riod of in­creased ac­tiv­ity and rock­et­ing mem­ber­ship num­bers.

Speak­ing yes­ter­day af­ter the Cham­ber an­nual meet­ing on Tues­day night, vice pres­i­dent Phoebe Kitto said there was much work to do to con­tinue the mo­men­tum of 2016.

“There will be a void with He­len gone, but we’re look­ing for­ward to the com­mit­tee stand­ing up.”

Ms Kitto said there was a lot to do to live up to the pre­vi­ous year.

“There’s some dis­ap­point­ment that there wasn’t more ac­tiv­ity (at the AGM).”

Ac­cord­ing to Ms Kitto, for the Cham­ber to con­tinue kick­ing goals for lo­cal busi­ness, the busi­ness com­mu­nity needed to be more in­volved with the Cham­ber – some­thing she said would no doubt in­crease given the work done over 2016.

In the pres­i­dent’s re­port read out at the start of the meet­ing, Ms De Ross com­mended the work of the cham­ber over the last 12 months, with an in­crease in mem­ber­ship of 350 per cent helped along by a lower fee.

“The 2017 Mem­ber­ship Fee will in­crease how­ever the value of be­ing a mem­ber of Cham­ber of Com­merce is un­de­ni­able,” wrote Ms De Ross.

In her re­port, Ms De Ross high­lighted the cam­paigns un­der­taken by the Cham­ber, in­clud­ing spear­head­ing NBN con­nec­tiv­ity, dis­cus­sions on bring­ing ed­u­ca­tion re­sources into the re­gion, at­tract­ing film and TV pro­duc­tions, changes to al­low­able hours, and the es­tab­lish­ment of work­ing groups to gauge busi­ness sen­ti­ment.

Un­der Ms De Ross the Cham­ber took a stand on mat­ters ap­pear­ing in the Dou­glas Shire Plan­ning Scheme.

The Cham­ber came out in sup­port for the Dou­glas Re­tire­ment Com­mu­nity, a Spe­cial En­ter­tain­ment Precinct as well as sup­port­ing an al­ter­ation of height lim­its in one part of Port Dou­glas.

The Cham­ber will elect a new pres­i­dent next month.

Pic­ture: BREN­DAN FRAN­CIS

Vice pres­i­dent Phoebe Kitto

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