Fresh start by chamber

By JADE BILOWOL

MANY key business leaders throughout the Gold Coast have joined forces to make the region's business voice louder following a series of stumbling blocks.

The new Gold Coast Chamber of Commerce formed in late January to overcome the demise of the old Combined Chamber of Commerce spurred by infighting in its ranks.

Chamber of Commerce president Don Jones said all Gold Coast chambers had been invited to join but some had declined the offer because of "personality issues" and disagreement over what groups were permitted to join.

Membership of the Gold Coast Chamber of Commerce is open to all incorporated Chambers of Commerce in the Gold Coast, large regional employers and special industry groups such as Gold Coast Tourism and the Property Council.

"Some chambers only wanted chambers to be able to join," Mr Jones said.

Key foundation members of the new Chamber include Beenleigh, Broadbeach-Mermaid, Robina, Southern Chamber, Southport and Surfers Paradise Chambers of Commerce.

Mr Jones said the Cham- ber's priorities included:

o?Representing business interests through the Draft South East Queensland Re- gional Plan,

o?lobbying all levels of government for appropriate infrastructure including roads, transport, water and services for the continued economic development of the region, and,

o?supporting developing in- dustries in the region.

"We see this powerful group being much more effective on representing the interrests of the business community on whole-of-city issues," Mr Jones said.

"We will not be involving the Chamber in local Chamber of Commerce issues or whole of state or national issues.

He said such issues were to be advanced through Commerce Queensland.

Membership of the new Gold Coast Chamber of Commerce is open to all incorporated Chambers of Commerce on the Gold Coast, large regional employers and special industry groups such as Gold Coast Tourism, the Property Council and other industry groups.

Mr Jones said he was disappointed the Gold Coast City Council had not invited any Chamber representatives to the Canberra Roadshow next month to promote the Gold Coast.

He said on Monday that Mayor Ron Clarke had not responded to his telephone call seeking representation at the Canberra Roadshow for almost a week.



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