December 17, 2021
The Kingaroy Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) will retain its 2021 leadership team for another year.
At the KCCI’s Annual General Meeting held at Plenty Foods’ new processing plant in Cornish Street on Tuesday night, Damien Martoo (The Martoo Review) was re-elected as president for 2022; Jacqui Trace (Bill Hull Car Centre) as vice-president; and Paula Greenwood as secretary/treasurer.
2021’s executive committee – Nina Temperton (South Burnett CTC), Chrys McDuffie (Downer), Darrin Kefford (Kingaroy Joinery), Daniel Pelcl (Burnett Today), David Musch (Ken Mills Toyota), Lachlan Brown (Pakaderinga Feedlot), Steven Fiedler (Fiedler Brothers Plumbing) and Michael Sanford (Bunyarra Counselling) – were also re-elected.
Mrs Trace announced that this year, former KCCI president Rob Fitz-Herbert will be joining the executive committee to help expand the group’s focus on the arts.
The meeting also endorsed a small amendment to the KCCI’s Constitution that will require any person who nominates for one of the KCCI’s management or executive positions to be a KCCI member for at least a year beforehand.
KCCI president Damien Martoo was an apology for the meeting, and in his absence his President’s Report was read by Mrs Trace.
Mr Martoo said that 2021 had been an exciting and challenging year for the group, but there had been several positive developments.
One was the creation of the KCCI’s Business Hub, which the group is building in Kingaroy’s CBD in partnership with the South Burnett Regional Council (SBRC).
Thanks to generous contributions of work and supplies by KCCI members, the Business Hub – which will provide a place to incubate micro-businesses – is likely to open next year, providing a much-needed new facility in the region.
The KCCI also persuaded the SBRC to sign on to the Small Business Friendly Council charter, where councils commit to support small businesses in their communities and reduce red tape.
The SBRC is one of the first 20 councils around the state to do so.
The KCCI has also continued to strengthen its relationship with the Queensland Chamber Of Commerce and Queensland (CCIQ).
Mr Martoo will be sitting on CCIQ’s board in 2022, and CCIQ are also considering adopting the KCCI’s SMILE mental health program for promotion to other members.
Treasurer Paula Greenwood, who tendered the KCCI’s audited financial statements, noted the group had recorded a $10,018 loss in 2021.
Most of this loss was attributable to the SMILE program and the SMILE4BIZ Gala Ball held in October, although she noted that everyone who had attended this function appeared to thoroughly enjoy the night.
She also reported that the KCCI’s membership had now grown to 110.
The meeting closed with a reminder that the inaugural Burnett Bands Together battle of the bands will be held in the Glendon Street forecourt on January 15.
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The SBRC will contribute $53,877.72 to the KCCI’s Business Hub project to help the KCCI meet the conditions of its building approval.
A little more than $31,000 will be spent to construct a disability toilet in the building, and the remainder will spent installing a black form-plywood ceiling and insulation in the building’s roof.
The decision to agree to the KCCI’s request was made at the Council’s December meeting.
The Council acquired the site – located in the old Trendsetter Building at 195 Kingaroy Street – earlier this year when it came on the market.
Council’s aim is to eventually convert the site to provide a walk-through access that would connect Kingaroy Street with the “community heart” development planned for Glendon Street as part of the Kingaroy Transformation Project.
However – since this is unlikely to occur for several years – Council voted in July to lease the building to the KCCI to create its Business Hub incubator for micro-businesses.
Cr Kathy Duff said she could not support the proposal because existing disability toilets in Glendon Street were located close to the rear of the Business Hub.
Cr Potter said it was true that Glendon Street was close by, but Cr Duff was overlooking the point that someone in a wheelchair would be unable to get out of the building’s back door.
This meant they would have to travel several blocks to access those toilets.
Cr Kirstie Schumacher said she thought the requirement for a disability toilet was a Council condition, and asked Communities General Manager Peter O’May if this was the case.
Mr O’May confirmed that because the building is owned by Council, the requirement to install a disability toilet was part of Council’s standard Building Approval.
Cr Gavin Jones said it was important to remember Council was the ultimate beneficiary of all the upgrades the KCCI were making to the building, and that it would cost Council “a lot more” if it did the work itself.
The motion to approve the funding was carried 5 to 1, with Cr Duff opposed.
Mayor Brett Otto had earlier left the room and did not take part in the debate because he owns a business located near the Business Hub.
- Related article: KCCI Plans ‘Business Hub’