SUP­PORT NEEDED

Pos­i­tive Fin­ley cham­ber meet­ing de­spite no ex­ec­u­tive

Southern Riverina news - - Front Page -

The Fin­ley busi­ness community has been left with­out a cham­ber of com­merce af­ter the lo­cal or­gan­i­sa­tion failed to form an ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee last week.

De­spite strong in­ter­est at last Wed­nes­day’s an­nual gen­eral meet­ing, there were no nom­i­na­tions for the Fin­ley Cham­ber of Com­merce and In­dus­try ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee.

All stand­ing ex­ec­u­tive mem­bers stood down, in­clud­ing pres­i­dent Rand Wil­son and sec­re­tary Sue Arnold.

As the im­me­di­ate past sec­re­tary, stand­ing down af­ter serv­ing on the ex­ec­u­tive for more than 10 years, Ms Arnold said cham­ber could only grow.

But she ad­mit­ted with­out sup- port from the busi­ness community it would be­come dif­fi­cult.

‘‘We need more in­ter­est from mo­tels, ho­tels, clubs and eater­ies are needed for Fin­ley to suc­ceed as a worth­while place to visit,’’ she said.

‘‘With­out busi­ness peo­ple com­ing for­ward, cham­ber won’t continue.’’

Mrs Arnold said the pos­i­tiv­ity at last Wed­nes­day’s meet­ing showed there was still a bright fu­ture for a new com­mit­tee.

‘‘The night gave new in­ter­est in the di­rec­tion cham­ber wants to go in,’’ she said.

‘‘Cham­ber is hop­ing to form a com­mit­tee of busi­ness and community minded peo­ple.’’

How­ever, the out­come of the meet­ing has left the busi­ness community, and the community as a whole, ques­tion­ing the fate of the or­gan­i­sa­tion.

The cham­ber has en­tered into a care­taker mode, and an ex­tra­or­di­nary meet­ing is be­ing or­gan­ised to hope­fully elect an ex­ec­u­tive in com­ing weeks.

De­spite the or­gan­i­sa­tion hav­ing no ex­ec­u­tive, ex­ist­ing cham­ber mem­bers say they are not overly con­cerned.

They say the fu­ture di­rec­tion of cham­ber, and ideas com­ing from the floor of the AGM last week, show there is still strong sup­port for busi­ness in the town.

A spe­cial guest at Wed­nes­day’s meet­ing was Ber­ri­gan Shire Coun­cil eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment of­fi­cer Phil Nunn, who in­jected plenty of con­fi­dence into the busi­ness peo­ple at the AGM.

With a fresh set of eyes, Mr Nunn told the group the fu­ture of the town ‘‘is in your hands’’.

Key points in Mr Nunn’s pre­sen­ta­tion in­cluded be­ing able to cre­ate a vi­sion for the fu­ture of Fin­ley and re­al­is­ing that Fin­ley is part of a big­ger world — ‘‘a dy­namic and chang­ing world’’.

He touched on many ar­eas in­volv­ing the busi­ness sec­tor.

He said the town was too ‘‘heav­ily de­pen­dent upon agri­cul­tural pro­duc­tion’’ and was still in ‘‘drought re­cov­ery mode’’.

Mr Nunn said he also un­der­stood the Mur­ray-Dar­ling Basin Plan and other pres­sures were lead­ing to an in­creased ‘‘per­cep­tion of pes­simism, tired­ness and stress’’.

Mr Nunn said he be­lieved cham­ber was ‘‘limp­ing along with min­i­mal en­gage­ment events’’ and noted the ac­com­mo­da­tion and hos­pi­tal­ity sec­tors were strug­gling.

Af­ter the pre­sen­ta­tion a dis­cus­sion of ideas was had for steps to take the community for­ward.

Nu­mer­ous ideas were gen­er­ated throughout the evening, all with the theme of mov­ing in pos­i­tive direc­tions to at­tract more peo­ple to the town.

An ex­tra­or­di­nary meet­ing to elect the com­mit­tee will be called in early Septem­ber to give busi­nesses time to con­sider whether they want to be in­volved with the fu­ture of Cham­ber.

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