Only rated an outside chance before the race, Scone’s Chamber of Commerce has finished strongly in an all-star field to win the “Local Chamber of Commerce” award at the Hunter Business Awards in Newcastle on Friday night.
The Chamber’s nomination highlighted the volunteer organisation’s role in shaping the Scone Bypass project. In partnership with the Upper Hunter Shire Council, the Chamber ran a strong campaign within the local business community against the RMS bypass designs. The campaign focused on informing the Business community of the RMS designs and highlighting better options that would be less damaging to economy of the town’s main street.
“The RMS’s impact statement was deeply flawed and glossed over the negative impacts of the bypass, justifying a slipshod and “cheap” project design. With Council’s help and over 140 submisisons, we forced the RMS to do proper impact studies and engage properly with the community.”
The Scone Chamber has also clocked a meteoric increase in membership, jumping from 22 financial members in January to over 80 in August.
“The local business community has responded really well to the bypass issue but it is the social events, networking events and business training opportunities that I think have pulled the Chamber back into it’s role as a focal point for business and industry”
In accepting the award, Mr Wyndham paid tribute to the efforts of the Chamber’s part-time Executive Officers who “consistently put in the extra hours and the extra effort to make sure the members are looked after.”
The Scone Chamber of Commerce now progresses as a Finalist to the NSW Business Chamber Awards in Sydney in November.