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Media Statement - Response to the St George Business Chamber’s comments in the St George and Sutherland Shire Leader 29 November 2018

30/11/2018

The Chairperson of the Georges River Economic Development Advisory Committee (EDAC), Councillor Con Hindi said today:

“I was surprised and very disappointed to read the article in the St George and Sutherland Shire Leader newspaper on 29 November 2018, where the St George Business Chamber claimed that local businesses were ‘ignored’ in the development of Georges River Council’s Economic Development Strategy.

“Council does not accept the Chamber’s position that it was not consulted during the Strategy development process.

“The St George Business Chamber and its members have had at least nine opportunities to provide their input into the Strategy via its representation on Council’s Economic Development Advisory Committee, including several workshops involving business and community consultations at Kogarah and Hurstville, and a further workshop with the Economic Development Advisory Committee.

“Also I’d like to mention the St George Business Chamber received two surveys from Council regarding the Strategy development, as well as invitations to attend the Creating the 30 Minute City workshops.

“The Chamber was also Council’s partner at the joint breakfast event which included the launch of the draft Strategy in August 2018, after which the Strategy was publicly exhibited on the Your Say Panel on Council’s website, from 28 August until 28 October 2018.

“It is surprising to me that they would say they were ignored through the development of this important Strategy as it will greatly assist the long-term local business economic growth and improvement of Georges River for years to come.

“Notwithstanding this, Council continues to take onboard constructive feedback from St George Business Chamber and has provided a comprehensive response to the Chamber’s submission, which can be found in the Environment and Planning Committee Business Paper published 3 December 2018, located on Council’s website, at: https://bit.ly/2DRWOCa. Council has also integrated Chamber feedback into the final Strategy where appropriate.

“The actions outlined in Council’s Economic Development Strategy aim to build on local jobs for local people, create attractive places for employment and investment and grow an innovative, diverse and productive economy.

“The Strategy is not only about enabling new business growth, innovation and opportunity, it is also about acknowledging and supporting existing local businesses and employers within the local area, and ensuring their resilience in the future.

“I look forward to continuing to work with the St George Business Chamber to build on and improve business and employment opportunities within the Georges River area.”