Youngblutt eyes chamber
By ED SOUTHORN
ROADSIDE fruit and vegie stall operator, garden maintenance contractor and former Tweed Shire councillor Phil Youngblutt wants to be the next president of the Murwillumbah Business Chamber.
Mr Youngblutt, 70, hopes to be elected, with running mate Print Spot owner Bob Robertson as secretary, at a meeting on June 16 to elect new chamber office bearers.
Mr Youngblutt was defeated at the 2004 local government poll after serving one term as a councillor.
He said yesterday that new businesses, particularly light industry, were moving to the district and the chamber needed to do more to represent their interests as well as well-established businesses.
Since 2002, membership of the chamber had dropped from almost 300 to less than 100, Mr Youngblutt said.
He also wants to extend beautification programs in the town centre beyond Main Street.
"The chamber has to be for all of Murwillumbah and perhaps also the villages, not just Main Street," Mr Youngblutt said.
He said he was pleased with the strong support he had received from local business identities, including Bernie Quinn, Phil Taylor and Gavin Lawrie.
"Bob Robertson is known as a great organiser and he will ensure the new chamber meets regularly and responds to the wishes and needs of its members," Mr Youngblutt said.
"There has also been a great deal of interest for the position of treasurer. I have been holding talks with a number of experienced local financial professionals.
"We need a treasurer with a great deal of business experience and of high local standing."
Mr Youngblutt said he would soon release details of "dramatic plans" to cut membership fees for the chamber.
He said last week's sacking of the council would not hinder the effective operation of the chamber.