July 2021 Update from the President

This certainly has been a volatile and challenging month across Australia with significant outbreaks of the COVID Delta variant across NSW spreading to the neighbouring States and resulting in lockdowns in several cities and regional areas. The resultant economic outfall and the ongoing impact on the supply of critical goods and services from the East is impacting across WA.  We also remain very vulnerable to positive carriers or shedders of this virus who enter our State or who have been exposed while in isolation or in quarantine.  

The focus on 24/7 contact tracing is critical to identifying and dealing with these outbreaks across our regions. The BGCCI strongly support and advocate for the use of the SafeWA App across all our businesses, community service centres and public events or gatherings. Until we achieve a vast majority vaccination cover, we will continue to remain at significant risk to these outbreaks.   

The current economic and business environment we are all operating in is quite unique and has certainly been challenging for a many of our businesses and communities. The major aspects and key challenges we face on the road to recovery are finding the mechanisms and solutions to cope with: –

  • Our overheated and artificially highly stimulated economy which is struggling to find the resources required to feed this increased demand.
  • We now have more jobs and skills required than we have workers and trainees to fill these roles. We are also losing our regional workers and skills as they are being enticed into more lucrative jobs.
  • There is a critical shortage of key materials and goods and our distribution and supply chains are under extreme pressure to meet increasing supply demands in these constrained environments. There is also a critical shortage of key materials and goods to sustain this growth.
  • We are also experiencing a significant shortage of accommodation and affordable housing across all our regions.
  • Prices are rising and inflation is driving the need more higher wages and remuneration.

Wow – this certainly sounds daunting and overwhelming, as we are really being tested on a number of fronts!  So – what are we doing and what do we need do?  Adversity and challenges like this bring the best and brightest of our communities together to find solutions and to seek opportunities to overcome them.

Our regional CCI’s are working together with key stakeholders to address these issues.    

We need to have ONE VOICE and be WORKING TOGETHER in STRONG ALLIANCES to deal with these problems and find solutions that will allow our region to grow, develop and prosper.

This means that our Federal and State Governments need to be aligned with our South West Regional Development Australia team and our South West Development Commission to focus on the priority initiatives and regional futures.

Our six Local Governments being Bunbury – Dardanup – Harvey – Capel – Collie and Donnybrook/Balingup need to have a sub-regional lens and work like a metropolitan area to focus on complimentary and aligned economic activity.

Our business community also has a major role to play to set and deliver these priority initiatives. the combined South West Minerals, Energy and Resource sector needs to work with all our South West Business Associations as ONE ALLIGNED business representative group!

So, please make your voices heard, participate and offer your support for our Local and Regional Chambers of Commerce and Industry and most of all for your continued support our Bunbury Geographe CCI.  Our successful future depends on your participation and support!

Thank you for all the support and guidance I have enjoyed from our Business Partners and my fellow Executive Committee members over my three terms as the Vice and President of the BGCCI.  The 2021 AGM is due on the 23 August, and it is now time for me to hand over the leadership and to allow for a new energy and focus to lead our Chamber.  I have been honoured to serve on the Bunbury Geographe CCI Executive Committee over the past five years and look forward to remaining as a member to support the ongoing success, growth and development of our South West Business Association. 

Thank you and kind regards,

Rob Skipsey

President BGCCI

Gold Partners