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President's Report


April 2014 President's Report

Taste Great Southern
This iconic event has drawn to a close for 2014.  I am proud to say that ACCI continued our support for this event and we were pleased to see new ideas in 2014, including the resoundingly successful Albany Oyster and Bushfood Festival headed up by chef & TV personality Poh Ling Yeow, WA Food Ambassador Don Hancey and Albany’s own Dan Sharp.  Eyre Park was packed with locals and visitors on March 1st, indicating that this event will become a major local event on our social calendar.  My congratulations to all involved.
Australian Institute of Company Directors:
During the month I attended the AICD site tour of Fletcher’s Abattoir and the Mount Barker Co-op.  Both companies gave those in attendance an insight into their business operations.  I must say it was interesting to note how many staff are employed at Fletcher’s and the important role it plays as a large employer within our region.  Many young people are given an employment opportunity with some using this at varying times of their student life.  The co-op tour reinforced the need for businesses to constantly review their products and services to ensure they are meeting their market needs.  Thank you to both Fletcher and Mt Barker Co-op for sharing these in-sights with us.
Campervan Motorhome Club of Australia:
This month ACCI Executive Member Vince Calleja and CEO Russ Clark, in conjunction with staff from COA, will travel to Robinvale in northern Victoria to promote Albany and the Great Southern to the CMCA Club Members attending the annual anniversary rally.  2,000 members are expected to attend the week in Robinvale with additional marketing opportunities of the Great Southern to a further 64,000 members via their monthly magazine, The Wanderer.  CMCA has confirmed their 30th National Rally will be held in Albany in October 2015.  The Kalgoorlie Boulder Rally in 2011 was valued at $3 million to their local economy and ACCI believe there is a similar opportunity presented with the 2015 Rally.  Further to this there is ongoing opportunity in this market as the Great Southern presents a number of attractions keenly sort by this market.
Tourism WA Visit:
During the month Tourism WA Chair Peter Prendiville, CEO Stephanie Buckland and Events Corp ED Gwyn Dolphin met with ACCI CEO Russ Clark and myself to discuss Tourism in the Great Southern.  The key message from Tourism WA is that the Great Southern continue to work on providing an “United Voice” from the region and reiterates the importance of tourism to our economy.
ANZAC Ready:
Your Chamber is continuing to put forward the key issues for business in regard to the Commemoration of ANZAC in November 2014 and ANZAC Day 2015.  All feedback you may have would be greatly appreciated so that our CEO Russ Clark can bring these issues to the table.  A series of Regional Briefings have been held in the Great Southern to keep businesses informed of developments.  The next forum will be scheduled in Denmark in late April/early May with input from COA, ASW, ACCI and Project 3.

Rod Hedderwick, ACCI President


March 2014 President's Report

Amazing Albany is a great brand for the region I congratulate the City for driving this in so many ways, please keep it up.  
Also I hope you see and saw fantastic regional promotion, quietly supported by your Chamber teamed with others, to produce the excellent PIAF, the Tri Club’s Albany Classic, Taste Great Southern and related events.
The Albany region is definitely the place to live, work and play!
ACCI Directory Online – Your executive, subcommittee, CEOs and staff are pleased as punch to say that our long planned launch of the Directory on line has occurred. This has been a massive task of which around 75% of the iceberg is an operational system change inside the Chamber. Well done team, enjoy the new system, polish it up and put it to work!
To create the online Directory a number of hardcopy and soft database systems have been merged, accordingly I anticipate that some of your information will need tuning. Please look at this as soon as possible then give our team your updated information, we want to get it right for you. Visit
Your advertising from the 2014 Directory will now be on line for a limited opt in period so please have a look, take the opportunity to get greater coverage with your existing Directory advertising for limited extra cost.
Please see additional information and contact the office to discuss your requirements. Meanwhile I will appreciate receiving your thoughts on the online directory  
Marketing your business - there is nothing static about running a business with change always a factor. Worst case is when change is invoked on the business and we either don’t react or react too late. Best case is to be proactive, identify change management opportunities and drive the changes to benefit our business.
I recently enjoyed a constructive meeting with staff from ASIC and the ACCC. Albany has an excellent record of customer satisfaction, however there are national indications that social media has some inherent risks. Clearly there are good opportunities in this new marketing ether, however it is very important to be in control and manage this dynamic information so that your products are not misrepresented and your business brand is not damaged.
Business After Hours, February - Federal parliamentarians Rick Wilson and Dean Smith hosted your February Business After Hours. I hope you all took the opportunity to raise any matters with them and promote Albany.
Your chamber co-hosted the event launching the on line Directory. I reconfirm that the Chamber is apolitical; however we work to promote business interests at all levels and consequently appreciate the interest and constructive hearing that we receive from all our representative regional politicians and candidates.
Business After Hours, March – See you next month for Business After Hours at the Busy Blue Bus depot, 13 Chevalier St, 5.30 Wednesday the 19th March meanwhile we have PIAF and Taste Great Southern events around the region so consider the Busy Blue Bus tag line “anywhere… any time…”

Rod Hedderwick, President  


February 2014 President's Report

2014 has started with a flurry for your Chamber with many projects on the go and others about to get underway.

Campervan Motorhome Club of Australia (CMCA):
The CMCA is a member based organisation with some 64,500 plus members.  Each year they hold two rallies, one around March/April the other in October/November.  These rallies are attended by some 2,000 members on each occasion, travelling to a single destination, with the rally being conducted for one week.  The economic benefits are many for a number of businesses as these groups utilise a range of goods and services along with tourism opportunities and much more.  Whilst the rallies bring people to the region for a week or more, this information is then marketed to the remaining 62,000 members, all of which are travelling throughout Australia. It is therefore a great way of presenting Albany and the Great Southern to this market prior to, during and after the event.
CEO Russ Clark together with Executive Member Vince Calleja will be teaming up with representatives from the City Of Albany to attend the CMCA Rally in Robinvale, Vic, at the end of March this year.  The team will be promoting Albany and the Great Southern to the CMCA members ensuring that the October 2015 Albany Rally is a maximised opportunity for our members.

On-Line Directory:
I am pleased to advise members that after many years of planning and research the ACCI directory is about to go on-line.  The on-line directory will complement our hard copy version with a strong synergy between the two.

ACCI Membership and your CCIWA Benefits:

I remind all our members to take advantage of the benefits of your membership by utilising the services of CCIWA if and when you need.  By being a financial member of ACCI you are automatically a member of CCIWA.  
The ACCI/CCIWA membership package is designed to give you expert advice from CCI Employee Relations Advice Centre (ERAC) and OSH team, as well as members rates for consultancy services from the CCI expert ER and occupational health and safety consultants.  Your membership also provides you with access to:
•    Worker’s compensation and injury management advice;
•    Apprenticeship and traineeship services;
•    Business visas and skilled migration advice;
•    Member-only information on the CCI website; and
•    Networking and advertising opportunities.
For more information on how CCIWA can help you contact CCIWA on 1300 422 492.

CEO Russ Clark will be meeting the membership manager of CCIWA in February to look at further ways CCIWA can assist ACCI members.

Rod Hedderwick, ACCI President



I wish you all a Happy New Year and a prosperous one.
Whilst we shut our Chamber’s office doors for the festive break your CEO and Executive members were busy hosting guests or out about looking and listening to see how our visitors were faring as guests in our region.
Feeding and entertaining our guests
This needs some strategic thinking and I need your collective help please!
We have a quandary to resolve and that is how best to host and enhance elements of our region’s visitor experiences.
How can we improve this situation? The Chamber has been concerned about this for some time and has continually promoted those that are open to host our visitors and encouraged others to join them, yet we still get the feedback that there is a shortfall in places to eat and the closure of attractions at times that our guests want to visit them.
What do we have and need to address?
•    Some great service with opportune results from businesses that are open!
•    Trading time restrictions are not understood to be a factor?
•    Concerns over employment costs and the ability to manage recovery of these costs.
-    Legislative change unlikely short term!
-    Are there cost recovery options?
•    Owner manager fatigue exacerbated by conflicting, yet valid, quality of life pressures during festive season - family time needs.
•     Some guest expectations not met? Are we creating false expectations without proactively offering alternative options to satisfy needs?
•    Opportunity to:
-    Provide additional service to the region’s visitors or
-    Communicate better to guests and assist with alternative service solutions.
•    Who is under capacity or could temporarily extend service?
-    What support do you need to do this?
-    Can you joint venture your business with a shift partner?
•    Can spot traders be a solution?
We need to identify what we want, make the change, leap off the jetty onto the yacht and get on with the next adventure! (©Vince, thanks☺)
We need your lateral input so that the Chamber can apply its resources to help you solve this ongoing dilemma. You will soon see an invitation to come and input on this. Please do so!
Christmas Business After Hours
Thank you to December hosts St Ives, Galafrey Wines, GWN7, Lower King Liquor & General Store and HHG Legal Group for your hospitality, please see inside for more information and do go and visit these member businesses to find out how they can help you or vice versa.
January Business After Hours
There will be no Business After Hours this month. I am pleased to hear that every member, as a prospective host of “Business After Hours” is expecting to be too busy looking after our region’s guests this month.
Rod Hedderwick, President



Congratulations to all those involved in bringing Clipper Round the World yacht race to the Albany region. I hope our members, staff and families managed some time out from work to see the yachts at the Albany Marina or the race restart on Tuesday 3 December.
Russ and I joined other Regional Chambers (RCCIWA) in Perth with a good series of meetings at Parliament House where we raised a number of matters and were heard by Ministers and other members of parliament. Day two was a full on RCCIWA workshop with a structured exchange of information from which we can draw on to further develop your chamber.
Business Awards
With much pleasure I attended the Small Business Corporation’s Regional Business Awards to see Battery World Albany and Out of Sight Tours perform strongly as finalists in their categories, then brilliant category winners Beach House at Bayside and Great Southern Distillery.
Vicki Brown was honoured by admission to the Regional Small Business Hall of Fame. My compliments Vicki! It was a rare sight to see the honoured Vicki’s complexion change as our table started to realise who was being alluded to in the announcement and further to see her almost “stunned for words” in response!
Great Southern Distillery was then awarded “Regional Business of the Year”. Congratulations to Cameron Syme and his Distillery team.
I encourage you to visit these businesses to congratulate them and check out their services.
Western Australian Tourism Awards
Congratulations to the following Great Southern tourism business operators who won awards:
Out of Sight Tours; The Lake House Denmark; The Beach House at Bayside; Karma Chalets and Karisma Spa; HideAway Haven; Cape Howe Cottages and The Bushfood Factory & Café
Business After Hours
Our second market style Business after Hours really took off with a demonstration of “The Rack”, high quality displays by stall holders and a record attendance of 250 in the fantastic new Surf Club. Thank you everyone.
121 Years
ACCI was founded on 28 November 1892. Congratulations on 121 years of serving the business community.
See you at Christmas Business After Hours on Wednesday 11 December at St Ives. Remember this BAH is a week earlier than normal BAHs.
Rod Hedderwick
ACCI President