From the CEO’s Desk
RCCIWA Members Forum Update – June 13th and 14th 2019
RCCIWA members would have received their invitation in their inbox to the June RCCIWA Members Forum being held in Perth in just two weeks! We are really looking forward to the Forum and have two days full of valuable information, advocacy opportunities and excellent networking. For our members and their representatives wishing to book their attendance please go to https://www.trybooking.com/BCPMU
Below is what we have planned:
Thursday June 13th – Parliament House – 8.15am to 2.30pm – Advocacy Day
A privileged opportunity to meet in Parliament House, where Members of Parliament, including key Ministers and Party Leaders will spend quality time with us talking openly about the issues and topics that are of concern or priority for your town or region. A big thanks to our host for the day, the Hon Paul Papalia CSC MLA. As of today we have confirmation that Minister MacTiernan Treasurer Wyatt, Minister Cook, the Hon Liza Harvey, Libby Mettam and the Hon Mia Davies will be coming along to speak with us along with Minister Papalia, with is great news.
Thursday June 13th – NAB, Perth – 5.30pm to 7.30pm – Business After Hours
Generously hosted by NAB and showcasing beautiful produce and beverages from regional WA, the Business after Hours will see a gathering of RCCIWA members from all over regional WA as well as stakeholders and regional supporters. A great opportunity to network, connect and catch up. A reminder to all of you that RSVP’s are essential.
Friday June 14th – The Mercure Hotel Perth – 8.30am to 3.30pm – Operational Day
With a focus on events, activities, challenges and opportunities for all of our members, this day will comprise of workshops, speakers and presentations by members. Topics such as revenue streams, place activation, communication methods and building a sustainable Chamber are some of the topics to be covered. This is a day of incredible value for our members as it gives you ideas to learn from (or steal), share what your Chamber is up to, strengthen you regional Chamber network and also understand that you have a vast regional network of supporters available. We are pleased to inform you that we have secured Dean Cracknell, the CEO of the Town Teams Movement to come along and talk about place and retail activation and the role our members have to play in this.
For our members who are unable to attend the Forum in person, we will be offering video conferencing for sessions on Day Two. We will be sending you the confirmed program next week – so if there are any sessions you would like to join us for, please get in touch with Emmi at firstname.lastname@example.org and she will assist in making this happen.
Mercure Perth looks forward to welcoming all RCCIWA Members and Guests for 2019!
Our very supportive Corporate Members, Accor Hotels WA have a great offer for all members attending the RCCIWA Members Forum in June. Set in the vibrant cultural and business district of Perth CBD, Mercure Perth is an excellent choice for every imaginable kind of travel in Western Australia. Take in sweeping views of the city and Swan River from the rooftop pool.
Relax in stylish, contemporary accommodation with friendly and personalised service. Enjoy fresh, locally sourced cuisine and inspiring cocktails at Beccaria Restaurant. Mercure Perth extends great rates for both business and leisure. Starting from $159 per room per night including WIFI standard room. We look forward to making you FeelWelcome!
Working Together Program – Agreement Extended
We are pleased to announce that our agreement with the Department of Training and Workforce Development to deliver the Working Together program has been extended for a further 13 months to June 30th 2020.
Working Together is a dedicated service with a focus to provide information, support and advice to business owners and operators in the Goldfields, South West, Midwest, West Kimberley and Great Southern regions to attract, recruit and retain young Aboriginal Employees. Working in collaboration with the local Jobs abs Skills Centres, Working Together aims to expand work opportunities for young local Aboriginal people by talking with and educating local businesses. It is about delivering local jobs for local people. Funded and supported by the Department of Training and Workplace Development, this program is about to enter its fourth year and we are seeing positive results, particularly in delivering cultural awareness to business owners and connecting potential applicants to the right job for them. Delivered locally by the five Chambers of Commerce in each region with RCCIWA the Program Manager, Working Together is a great example of utilising the trust, engagement and network of local Chambers to deliver real outcome and support the business community. For more information read here.
Rio Tinto Capability Enhancement Programme – Connecting Pilbara Businesses to Opportunities for Work and Growth
Launched in July of 2018, RCCIWA has partnered with Rio Tinto to deliver the Capability Enhancement Programme in Karratha and the Inland Pilbara. Delivered locally by the Pilbara Inland CCI (PICCI) in Tom Price and Paraburdoo and by the Karratha & Districts CCI (KDCCI) in Karratha with support and project management from RCCIWA, the aim of the programme is to enhance and strengthen the capability and capacity of local businesses, so they can be in the best possible position to bid for work. To date we have held 8 workshops in Karratha and 4 in Tom Price as well as three networking events. We are seeing positive outcomes, with businesses not only learning new information and receiving tips and advice but also getting plenty of opportunities to engage with many members of the Rio Tinto team.
We are currently working on what the program looks like going forward and how we can all continue to support Pilbara businesses.
Rio Tinto has just been terrific to work with and it is extremely pleasing to see how genuine their drive is for local content and procurement. The partnership has been very rewarding and of great value to all involved - it is such a pleasure to work in collaboration with people and organisations that have a common goal – to grow, develop and support local businesses in the regions. For more information on Rio Tinto’s commitment to supporting local businesses read here.
RCCIWA Members Partnering with Business Station to Deliver ASBAS Program
Last year our friends at Business Station were the successful tenderer for WA, QLD and the NT to provide the Digital Solutions Program for the Australian Small Business Advisory Services, a Federally funded program. ASBAS Digital Solutions provides small business with low cost, high quality advice on a range of digital solutions to help them meet their business needs and grow their digital capabilities.
They use service providers across regional and metropolitan Australia to give small business operators and intenders professional low-cost advice. Services are being delivered through a mix of one-to-one and group formats, including face-to-face and online. Assistance is available until June 2021.
RCCIWA supported Business Station in their tender, with the understanding that RCCIWA members would be able to partner with Business Station in the delivery of the service. I am pleased to inform you that Business Station have been busily reaching out to our members in regards to working together to deliver this service in Regional WA, and to date two of our members, the Wheatbelt Business Network and the Bunbury-Geographe CCI have entered into a formal agreement and will deliver the service locally.
Business Station will be approaching all of our members over the coming months. If you would like to find out more go to their website.
We always strive to represent and advocate on behalf of our collective membership to ensure the voice of regional business in WA is heard. We do this in a variety of ways and are able to do this effectively because of how engaged our members are. Thank you. Having direct feedback and examples from our members as to how decisions, rules and polices are affecting their members means that we can provide genuine, relevant information that we hope can be used to form better decisions to effect positive outcomes. Some of the priority issues we are currently working on are:
- Water Corporation – Fixed Water Services Charges
We have been contacted by several accommodation businesses in different parts of WA, that are struggling with the fixed water services charges (not usage) that are not at all reflective of occupancy. We are talking about the fixed charges each accommodation business pays for each toilet that they have connected, regardless of occupancy, and we have heard from some businesses that their water bill at some times of the year is over 10% of their income. The only way those businesses can reduce these fixed charges is to have the toilets disconnected, which is not practical. We are currently working on this and will be in touch with all of our members to get more information, but if you do have any feedback regarding this please get in touch via email.
- Support for Retailers in regards to antisocial behaviour
We have been contacted by several members in regard to how we can support retailers more in the regions, particularly in regard to antisocial behaviour. At a time when retailers are facing challenges on many fronts, the lack of consequences for individuals who steal, vandalise and generally behave outside of the law is seen as a big contributor to the escalation in this unacceptable behaviour. We know that all regional towns and communities are working really hard to attract new retailers and also ensure that current retailers don’t close down. We are working on gathering more information which we are hoping to present and discuss at our meeting at Parliament House on June 13th. What we will be looking for is more consequences for the offenders, so there are true deterrents to this behaviour. Please get in touch if you have anything to add on this issue.
- Regional Taxi Businesses – not eligible for cash buy back
The voluntary taxi plate buy back scheme that the State Government is currently offering of uo to $100,000 per license, is only for metropolitan taxi plate owners. There is a $10,000 payment for each plate for regional taxi operators that was announced in the recent state budget, however the regional taxi operators are concerned that their businesses will no longer be viable and as a result of this critical community services will not be delivered. We understand the Department of Transports rationale behind their decision and are aware they are currently looking at other ways they may be able to support regional taxi businesses. We would like to find out more about how this decision is affecting regional taxi businesses and work together on ways we may be able to assist. If you have any comments or information from regional taxi businesses that could assist us with working on a mutually agreeable outcome please email me.