State Election Priorities

The State election is on and as you might know, the Chamber is co-hosting with The Examiner and NTDC, a debate between Peter Gutwein MP and Rebecca White MP next week at the Country Club. There are still tickets available, but they’re going quickly.  If you’re planning to attend please book soon. 
While we’re not out the other side of the pandemic yet, we think it’s time to switch focus from triage and crisis- support to economic recovery & growth. With an election on, maybe it’s time to dream a little. Dream of what we might be and set some long-term goals that clearly articulate Launceston’s identity to the world. The Chamber has focussed on a few areas where we think there’s room for improvement. There’s more than these, but these are top-of-mind. 
HealthThe idea of a co-located hospital isn’t new. The model has been proven multiple times around the county. Every time you co-locate a private and public hospital the health outcomes are immediately better and the economic outcomes from planning, construction, fit-out, staffing, training and operations don’t hurt either. It’s a win-win-win and we think there needs to be bipartisan support for this to be actioned without delay. Stop talking, start building.  Let’s also find a way to delay entry into the public health system in the first place. We need more GP’s in the regions and we need them to bulk-bill so people can gain access to localised health care and stay out of the hospital system to ease the loads and clear the backlogs. A dedicated and properly resourced population attraction program would be a great place to start coupled with some health reforms.

Housing and livability New arrivals of course need housing and housing needs trades. It’s not an easy puzzle to solve, but it can be if it’s prioritised by those who form government. We’ve expanded on the opportunities for Northern Tasmania that arise from the proposed Hydrogen investment opportunity in Bell Bay. They’re immense, but to attract skilled migration, we first need to solve Health, Housing, access to Trades and oh… Education too. We’d like to see some housing solutions from anybody who may form government. Not just affordable housing, but all housing. It’s a mess.  

kanamaluka The health of the estuary has been an issue for years. It’s an important part of our heritage and a big part of our future. Its taken 150+ years to get to where the estuary is now; so we need a river health masterplan – one that takes a short and long-term view of restoring the amenity of the river with a focus on a triple-bottom-line: environmental sustainability as the foundation for recreational amenity and economic value. TEER and TEMT are doing a great job of collecting, examining and interpreting the science behind various options, but somebody needs to take that science and turn it into policy. Policy with teeth that provides real solutions.  The Chamber believe that can only come from an independent, adequately resourced, and legislatively empowered authority that can form and invoke a masterplan that takes an intergenerational view and elevates the management of the estuary above political cycles. It’ll take time, big-thinking and a commitment from this and successive governments to stay the course.

There’s more than these. Of course there is, but a serious tilt at resolving some of these issues would play well into Launceston positioning itself as a great regional city of the world. We’re keen to hear from you also. What are you seeking in this election cycle? Let us know by reply email and have a great week.

What does value look like to you?

It’s a question that I ask a lot… As I get around to meet with members, I like to ensure they’re getting value for their membership of the Chamber, and while it’s surprising how varied the answers are; it’s equally surprising how consistent they are.
At an individual member level, feedback from members suggests that access to networking opportunities is high on the list of ‘wants’ and so we maintain a busy events schedule on the website at where we list Chamber hosted events to support that demand.  We also maintain a subsidiary website with a curated list of business events that are on around town being run by members or 3rd parties and are likely of interest to members. Got an event coming up that you’d like to promote?  – talk to us or submit it here.

Ultimately the Chamber exists to enrich the economic well-being of Launceston, preserve the business system, and promote business growth and development. It’s a dynamic organisation comprised of members who seek the betterment of Launceston business through collaboration.

Collaboration happens when you can get together with potential clients, referrers, partners, and influencers. People do business with those that they know, like & trust; so what better way to promote that than create events that are free or low-cost to Chamber members and promote cross-pollination of ideas and opportunity. This month, there’s a few coming at us really soon as a demonstration of ‘value’.

The Fresh faces networking night at S. Group in February was a big success, so we’re reprising that at the Boag’s Brewery Experience. This will be a Fresh Faces night, complete with an address from Tas Recycling – free to Chamber members;

A week later, The Premier Debate to be hosted in conjunction with Platinum Member The Examiner and Gold Member – NTDC; and held at Platinum member Tasmanian Country Club.. (See? Collaboration in action to deliver value!) – This is a Free Event & filling fast so get ticketed!

In the same week, there’s the Western United Festival of Football in town with major A-League games being played here in Launceston. Chamber Members can access a discount on a Chairman’s Table hospitality package – just the ticket to entertain your clients at.

And.. we have the Small Business Masterminds event – Part 2. This one’s on Marketing for Small Businesses and limited to 12 attendees. Get in quick! 

It’s a busy few weeks in town and there’s lots on, so please scroll on for details… In the coming days, we’ll be issuing a member survey to give you a really good opportunity to have a say in what you need from the Chamber moving forward.

(This item first appeared in the Chamber member’s newsletter on 8th April 2021 – some links may be outdated)

Hydrogen = Opportunities

If you haven’t heard about the Hydrogen Opportunity for Northern Tasmania, you may well be living under a rock! The investment opportunities and the long term economic benefits accruing to Northern Tasmania are not to be ignored.

You may recall we hosted a breakfast just before Christmas with NTDC on the same topic.  It was enthusiastically supported by members and non-members alike, especially the Premier and Energy Minister. Yesterday, we co-hosted a very successful Hydrogen lunch with the Bell Bay Advanced Manufacturing Zone at Platinum Chamber member Country Club [link]. The Federal Minister for Energy Angus Taylor MP and State Energy Minister Guy Barnett MP outlined some of the opportunities that lay ahead and the future is indeed rosy, but with a decided green hue. There’s the USP.. Tasmanian Hydrogen is ‘green’ hydrogen made from 100% renewable energy and so deemed a more desirable product. Mr Taylor elaborated on the principal opportunities for Tasmania’s production of  ‘green & clean’ Hydrogen:

  • Using a green H2 (hydrogen) source in the metals processing industry, converting H2 to NH3 (ammonia) for use as a fuel and as a cost effective way to transport H2.
  • Future global demand for NH3 is as a shipping energy source that is low to no emission.
  • Local opportunities arising from use of H2 and its downstream derivatives for  fuel cell manufacture and the eventual use as a vehicle energy source.

A key point he made is the importance of innovation in driving technological improvements and a decarbonisation of the economy rather than price impediments. That is by encouraging technical innovation rather than simply imposing taxes on old models.

Of the 5 principal approved proponents, at least 2 of them are a long way down the path of feasibility studies towards investment decision; and at least one of them is readying to commence community engagement with construction trades very soon… be assured the Chamber is keeping a focus on this important opportunity and working with BBAMZ, NTDC and the proponents themselves to ensure we maximise every opportunity for Northern Tasmania.

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