November 28, 2018
Two new members joined the Kingaroy Chamber Of Commerce and Industry’s executive committee at the group’s Annual General Meeting last week.
Carolyn Stone, from Passchendaele Farm and video producer Damien Martoo (The Martoo Review) have joined, while James Eckart, from Cyonic, resigned.
The pair will join continuing KCCI committee members Nina Temperton (CTC), Chrys McDuffie (Downer), Tonia Gilbert (Jobmatch Employment), Darrin Kefford (Kingaroy Joinery), Kirstie Schumacher (Stanwell), Jacqui Trace (Bill Hull Car Centre) and Todd Fiedler (Fiedler Brothers Plumbing).
The AGM was held at the Bill Hull Car Centre, and was attended by more than 50 people.
Delivering his President’s Report, Rob Fitz-Herbert said attendances at the Chamber’s six-weekly “Meet ‘n’ Greets” had grown substantially during the past few years.
KCCI membership had also risen by about 10 per cent in the past 12 months, and this had helped keep the organisation in a sound financial position.
During 2018 the KCCI had attempted to get as many local businesses as possible involved in securing work from AGL’s Coopers Gap Wind Farm project.
It had also consulted with the South Burnett Regional Council about its Kingaroy revitalisation plans; urged the Council to reinvigorate its “buy local” policy; and helped organise business support for the recent BlazeAid visit after the October storms.
Members were kept updated on important business developments throughout the year at Meet’n’Greets and through the KCCI’s website
The KCCI had also supported BaconFest and other community events, and remained a strong supporter of the region’s agricultural sector, as well as industry.
“We want to continue to bring information and value to our business community, and be a voice for our community,” Mr Fitz-Herbert said.
South Burnett Mayor Keith Campbell then chaired the meeting to oversee the annual election for the Chamber’s executive positions.
All the previous year’s office holders were returned unopposed.
Rob Fitz-Herbert was re-elected president; Brett Irwin (Ollies Mower Service) as vice-president; and Paula Greenwood (Greenwood Mobile Book-Keeping) as secretary/treasurer.
* * *
Kingaroy and the South Burnett need more police officers, Member for Nanango Deb Frecklington told the meeting.
“Crime is an issue in our region, and our hard-working police officers are being stretched because some positions haven’t been filled,” Mrs Frecklington said.
“I will be continuing to press for more police in our area.”
Mrs Frecklington also said she wasn’t satisfied with the plans she had seen for Kingaroy Hospital’s redevelopment.
“We need extra beds, more services and surgery facilities if we’re going to properly plan for the future, and I will be telling the government this.”
Mrs Frecklington also said she was annoyed at the tardy way the State Government sometimes paid its suppliers and contractors.
She had heard that some businesses were waiting as long as 120 days for payment.
This put an undue strain on businesses – particularly small businesses – and Mrs Frecklington said this was unfair.
“If the LNP wins the next election, one of the things we’ll be doing is ensuring that all businesses who hold government contracts for $1 million and under will be paid in 20 days,” she said.
* * *
The Kingaroy Christmas Carnival committee had considered not running the popular annual event this year.
Natural disasters like drought, fires and storms had dried up most of the funding the carnival usually received from local businesses, president Craig Lucas told the meeting.
“But cancelling it four weeks out is not an option, so we’ll be pressing ahead,” he said.
Craig said the carnival always aimed to provide a low-cost evening of entertainment for families, and this would continue.
“We’ve had to raise the cost of rides a fraction this year, but everything else will run as usual and it should be a really great night out.”
* * *
Kingaroy’s inaugural BaconFest had a positive impact on the region’s economy, organiser Kathryn Stevens told the meeting.
Economic modelling by IER, a Sydney business consultancy, estimated that:
- 4152 people attended BaconFest, generating 8000 visits over three days
- 37 per cent of BaconFest visitors did not live in Kingaroy
- $370,000 was injected into the Kingaroy economy by people attending BaconFest
- A further $60,000 was injected into Queensland’s economy
- 2500 visitor nights were generated from BaconFest travellers
- The majority of these nights were from intrastate visitors
- 30 local volunteer community groups were involved
Mrs Stevens thanked all the businesses who had contributed to the event.
The next BaconFest will be held in August 2019, and a sponsorship package will be released early next year.
* * *
The Red Earth Community Foundation is working with the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal to develop a five-year plan for the group’s future.
Red Earth committee members John Carey and Kristy Frahm said Red Earth existed to invest in people and act as a catalyst for regional development.
Since it was founded about six years ago, it had developed and run an annual Community Leadership Program that now had a large alumni of graduates.
This year, it was also running a series of workshops and study tours funded by a $20,000 grant from Building Better Regions.
The group’s latest initiative will be a “Pitch Project”, which will encourage two or three local entrepreneurs to pitch their project to a live audience at Red Earth’s Annual General Meeting on December 4.
The project will be promoted via social media and will seek crowd-funding to raise capital to support successful “pitches”.
Businesses can sponsor the concept by pledging $150.
* * *
New KCCI executive committee member Damien Martoo told the meeting he had enjoyed many careers over the years.
They ranged from being a butcher to voicing the weekly specials at Kingaroy’s SupaIGA supermarket, announcing at the Kingaroy Speedway and running several small businesses.
But over the past year he has branched into filming one-on-one interviews for his “Martoo Review”.
The subjects of these interviews are often organisers of community events, and he estimated he had contributed $20,000 of in-kind work to volunteer groups over the past year.
He also produces videos for businesses which are welcome to contact him if they’d like to discuss the matter.
* * *
Jacqui Trace told the meeting the Bill Hull dealership opened in Kingaroy in 1983 at the site now occupied by Freedom Fuels.
It moved to its current site at the corner of Avoca and Kingaroy streets several years later, and she had worked in the dealership for 20 years.
She bought the family business in 2008 and it now employs 15 staff, several of whom have worked there almost as long as she has.
Jacqui said 90 per cent of the dealership’s business was local. Major customers included Stanwell Corporation, the South Burnett Regional Council and South Burnett CTC.
In 2017, the dealership began contributing $100 from every car sale to local community groups, and this campaign had now raised more than $20,000 for local good causes.
* * *
The AGM was the KCCI’s final Meet’n’Greet for 2018.
The date and venue for the first Meet’n’Greet of 2019 has yet to be decided but will be announced on the KCCI’s website.
The six-weekly meetings are open to all South Burnett businesses – whether they’re KCCI members or not – and are held at a different local business each time.
A $10 meeting fee applies to cover the cost of drinks and nibbles.
[UPDATED with correction]