2018-19 has been yet another extremely busy and challenging year for the Chamber, our members and the wider community. The drought continues to hold its relentless grip and currently holds most of our businesses to ransom. This further highlights just how dependant we all are on our agriculture sector.
It is an outstanding testimony to the business acumen, tenacity, resilience and loyalty of our business owners that they have been able to survive and continue to faithfully serve Narrabri and the region. When this insidious drought breaks (and we know it will) I intend to undertake a study to find out just how our businesses were able to do it. There is little doubt that the findings will become the “Blue Print for Survival” for any future tough times which may arise.
Narrabri Shire continues to be one of only three Growth Centres in the Northern Inland Region. These include Tamworth, Inverell and Narrabri. Diversity continues to be the Key Factor for becoming a Growth Centre. It is clear that in order to achieve healthy ongoing growth in rural communities we must secure and promote diversity in industry and as a matter of urgency seriously explore the value adding of local product here on site.
I have recently been selected as a member of the Narrabri to Narromine Inland Rail Community Consultative Committee. This will result in Narrabri and District Chamber of Commerce being able to be on the “front foot” for future Inland Rail opportunities. The possible establishment of an Intermodal Industrial Hub in Narrabri will heavily rely on private industry investment as our government leaders have made it clear that their role is the Inland Rail itself. I believe that Narrabri Shire Councils focus on jobs as the key to developing an Intermodal is the correct approach. Council was the recipient of circa $300,000 from the State Government to undertake an in depth study into the establishment of a Narrabri Intermodal. Council engaged a consultancy group who have been on the job for some months now. We look forward to the final report.
Download the complete Presidents report here.