News & Views from our co-Presidents

Chamber News, Events
May 17, 2023

THE 2023 Scone Horse Festival was another outstanding success – for the festival organising committee, the region’s equine industry, and the Upper Hunter’s business community.

The thousands of locals and visitors that came to town for the parade and the events over the 10 days of the festival meant a healthy boost in revenue for local retailers, which is money that remains to circulate in the district.

The chamber was proud to be a sponsor of the 2023 festival. On behalf of the chamber executive, we applaud the platinum sponsor, Warburtons Estate Agents and the many other sponsors who got behind the event and made it possible.

The festival finale will be the announcement of the winners and finalists in the Scone Chamber-sponsored NEIGH-bour Art Competition on Tuesday, May 31.


THE Federal Budget papers revealed that the Upper Hunter can look forward to sharing in the 300,000 new fee-free TAFE places to train Australians in critical and emerging sectors, the $2 billion in initiatives to simplify the interface between businesses and government services, and a package to help small business increase cyber security capability.

Business owners with an annual turnover of less than $10 million can claim a $20,000 instant asset write-off for assets installed and used in the 2023-24 financial year.

$23.4 million has been allocated to help businesses build resilience to cyber threats, while Upper Hunter businesses will receive $650 in power bill relief through the jointly-funded Energy Bill Relief Fund.

As many as 3.8 million small and medium-sized businesses will also receive a share of the $310 million in tax relief through a new Small Business Energy Incentive. It can be claimed as a 20% deduction for the cost of eligible depreciating assets in the form of more efficient electrical goods.


DON’T miss our workshop, ‘How to Start and Develop your Own Business’, presented by leading Hunter and ETC Business Advisor, Julian Campbell from 7am next Wednesday (May 24) at Scone’s historic Victoria Hall, 91 Kingdon Street.

For Scone Chamber members the workshop is an opportunity to improve how you are operating now. But, we also want to encourage people who have an idea for a start-up or have a hobby business or a side hustle to take it to the next level. Whatever your reason for coming, it’s worth learning what it takes to launch and sustain a successful business.

Two Chamber members will be part of the workshop: the Oak Platter’s Aliesha Baddam will be supplying the delicious continental breakfast, plus coffee or tea, while Victoria Hall owner Victoria Kitanov will welcome attendees to the beautiful heritage building. Formerly the School of Arts, the building is now Scone’s newest venue.

Tickets are $25 ticket for chamber members and $30 for non-members.

But, don’t delay. Seating is limited and bookings close at 5pm on Monday.



WANT to have your say on plans for local road and community infrastructure works, or Upper Hunter Shire Council’s budget, fees and charges? Submissions on UHSC’s Draft Delivery Program and Draft Operational Plan close on May 29.



3G switch off

ON June 30 next year, Telstra is switching off its 3G network for good, replacing it with 4G or 5G networks – depending on where you live. Some business devices, such as EFTPOS machines, handsets and medical devices may need to be updated or replaced ahead of next year’s closure.

Hydrogen project partnership

PORT of Newcastle has joined a collaborative global partnership to support hydrogen innovation by signing up to the Platform Zero Global Partnership for Hydrogen Innovation. Port of Newcastle was also a finalist at the World Hydrogen 2023 Awards in the Port of the Future Award category, with the Netherlands’ Port of Rotterdam named as this year’s winner at the awards ceremony in Rotterdam.  Read more.