Reflecting on the importance of gathering together at our beautiful coastal venues, listening to great local tunes, welcoming visitors and sharing our own local version of Australia Day across the long weekend.

This week I reflect on the importance of gathering together on our beautiful coast to share stories, song and our own version of Australia Day long weekend that supports local people and business.

ACCI announced this week that the fourth quarter of 2019 saw our national group of authorised Chambers of Commerce issue the largest number of combined origin documents for quarter on record for ACCI and our chambers, going back over a decade. This is not just good news for our chambers in service of business, but a good sign for Australian exports. We congratulate our own export desk for their role in achieving this incredible result. Over the next couple of weeks we will be working with our exporters to help prepare a transition to a new electronic system that is being rolled out internationally. If you have any queries on how ESS-CERT may affect your business please don’t hesitate to call Marian on our export desk.

Our Tourism Committee is also seeing the results of the last quarter’s lobbying the City of Fremantle for an improved visitors center. We are pleased to see recognition of the importance of creating a positive experience for visitors being considered at the City’s Finance, Policy, Operations and Legislative Committee last night. The criteria for the EOI meet our objectives and we trust that a positive commercial solution will be developed over coming months.

Another successful outcome for our Committees was the focus of One Day getting back to a celebration of stories, song and ceremony. We look forward to the showcase of Aboriginal food, culture and music down at Bather’s Beach on Saturday. Events are scheduled from 8am – 8pm. We also trust this will keep visitors in town, enjoying the hospitality of local venues and avoid direct competition with larger Australia Day events across the City.

We understand from the Fremantle Society that there is some emerging controversy over the Kings Square civic center proposed bar and restaurant. This proposal is intended to sit alongside FOMO, the Old Court House precinct and Freo.Social to create a hub of activity within the newly activated town centre.

The arrival of over 1,800 workers from the Department of Communities and Transport into the area, and the commencement of Little Lane apartments adjacent to this precinct will see an injection of local workers and residents to the area. As a Chamber we will watch closely to ensure the viability of these precincts live up to their commercial objectives, and that the City maintains its focus on core business and allows strong and ethical commercial operators to bring these projects to fruition.

This week, we are also pleased to promote a number of wonderful upcoming events on the coast from our members that celebrate great local music. From the Rotto Live Concert Series at the Rottnest Hotel – a bargain at under $50 for ticket and trip – to the upcoming WA Maritime Museum’s Harbour Sundays up on the balcony overlooking the comings and goings of the Port, there will be no excuse to see the end of summer off with great vibes.

Speaking of our coast, we welcomed the State Government Funding this week to help restore Port Beach and protect its assets from further degradation. To support Chamber members Coast at Port Beach please follow the campaign here.

A huge shout out for Chamber Member and D&I Committee Member Tony Riggio from Stageworks Corporation P/L for his drive and initiative to bring the dinosaurs to Fremantle. It has been incredible to see the City come alive with families over the month.

Finally, we encourage all of our members to continue to support those communities over East who will be re-building their businesses, their visitor attractions and working to preserve any remaining remnants of their physical histories and heritage via the Fremantle Foundation’s Freo Fire Fund. This coordinated approach by Chamber members Fremantle Foundation will provide for a great combined effort to make a difference.

Enjoy the long weekend, and I hope to see you this evening.