July 10, 2012
The South Burnett needs a regional Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Tourism, Mayor Wayne Kratzmann told the Kingaroy Chamber Of Commerce and Industry last night.
Speaking at the KCCI’s “Meet & Greet” at O’Reilly Nunn Favier Surveyors in Kingaroy, the Mayor said he’d become convinced the region was squandering many potential opportunities by having too many small business, industry and tourism organisations.
Instead, he thought the South Burnett would benefit by having fewer but much larger groups when it came to negotiating with the State and Federal governments and big business.
And he pledged to work to help get a peak regional business body formed, with representatives drawn from all existing South Burnett business, industry and tourism organisations.
“There are a lot of very good groups in our region and a lot of very smart people doing great work,” he said. “But sometimes their focus is too narrow.
“We need a region-wide approach to a lot of issues. And I think a peak group that covered the interests of business, industry and tourism would carry a lot more weight.”
The Mayor also praised the efforts of local tourism operatiors and said tourism brought many benefits to the area, a lot of which were unrecognised by local businesses and the general public.
For this reason, he felt a regional business body that included the tourism industry would be a good idea – not only to encourage the development of regional tourism, but also to raise awareness of its importance in the community.
The Mayor also said he wanted to support local business by giving Council preference to local suppliers wherever possible in future.
“Council is obliged to get best value for the ratepayers so we need to seek three quotes on everything,” he said.
“But when three different local suppliers are able to meet our needs, then I don’t think we should be looking outside the region. And from now on, the only time Council will buy outside the area is when something can’t be sourced here.”
“The simple fact is that our local businesses employ local people, and they make a great contribution to our quality of life in many other ways. So I think they deserve Council’s support in return.”