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David Hyett - President

While the rest of the community is preparing for Christmas festivities, pudding, gifting decisions, fairy lights and the Christmas dinner invite list, the Chamber of Commerce is preparing for its Annual General Meeting.

While the rest of the community is preparing for Christmas festivities, pudding, gifting decisions, fairy lights and the Christmas dinner invite list, the Chamber of Commerce is preparing for its Annual General Meeting. A time for reflection on the year gone by and the new year ahead. What a year it has been and with the insights I have gained my life has been changed forever.

The most important lesson which has been reinforced in my first year in the President’s chair is - community is where it is at. Nimbin is the best place in the universe as far as I am concerned. It is not perfect, but nothing is. What we do have over and above most of the world is an understanding of each other and a desire to create our own version of reality whilst considering the needs of the whole. The Chamber is one of many community organisations that work tirelessly in the background of our village keeping the wheels turning - looking for opportunities to improve the lot of our residents, negotiating with Council, police, Federal Government, and other community organisations to get a fair piece of the pie for redistribution to our people.

Political Engagement: During the year the Chamber has engaged with our local standing Labor member Janelle Saffin, Steve Krieg (Mayor) and John Walker (GM) of Lismore City Council. These engagements have brought significant value to the village. Each of the aforementioned now have a ground-level appreciation of the needs of our village, and can assist us to realise our desired outcomes.

Community Engagement: A big shout out to all the other peeps who donate their time and energy for the better good of the village. The fire brigade, the CWA, the NAG, the Community Centre, showgrounds, Cultural centre, Nimbin Headers, Town Hall - the list goes on and on - sorry if I missed you, but you know who you are and what you contribute, and we honour you for it. This year we negotiated Covid, floods, road closures, landslips, boil water alerts and whatever else the universe could muster to keep us on our toes. We pulled together showing that we care for each other and we became stronger for it. Who knows what next year will bring? - higher interest rates, inflation, a few more wars, grasshoppers, another pandemic? If we stick tight and look after each other and those further afield who need some help, we will overcome.

New Settlers: Welcome to the new settlers and making Nimbin your home - we appreciate your fresh blood and thinking at the table. Participating in community is the fastest way to feel a part of it all and to gain a deeper understanding of your village. Chamber Funding Nimbin is a vibrant village with a strong history of artistic and cultural events. The Chamber has always played a supportive role to assist with various levels of financial assistance to cultural activities and this year was no exception. The following events were supported by Chamber funding: Nimbin Poetry World Cup, Nimbin Fashion Show, Nimbin Youth Rocks, Illuminate Nimbin, Aquarius50, and the Nimbin Aboriginal Cultural Centre. Village Signage During the next week, Armsigns will be installing the tourism signs created from grant funds secured by the Chamber to provide visitors with directional information in key locations. In addition to this tourism theme, the Chamber has funded 4,000 brochures with a map of the village and information on the wider area and a further 4,000 will be printed in the next month.

Nimbin Wayfinding Project: Work will also start next month on the Wayfinding Project. This not only will create formal pedestrian access to the western carpark via the Apothecary laneway, but will provide beautification and seating upgrades for the blister. Traffic concerns around the pedestrian crossing will be addressed, and a parklet outside the Green Bank will encourage foot traffic and provide seating for the farmers market. All this mazing work was the result of a $500,0000 Transport for NSW grant obtained by Council’s Eco Dev team to beautify the village.

Mural Restoration: The Chamber supports the artistic nature of the village. The general mural streetscape in Nimbin is iconic, a vital part of village identity and a major drawcard for tourists. We are still looking for mural artists to update the above-awning artworks in the village. If you or anyone you know would like to be involved in this project please let the Chamber know.

Aquarius50: The Chamber has recognised the value of our predecessors and the legacy they provided. The Nimbin Aquarius 50th anniversary will run from 12th to 21st May 2023. In order to do justice to the impact that the Aquarius festival had on the region, the Chamber has stepped up to auspice the event. If you would like to contribute ideas, energy or funds, please don’t hesitate to act. Donations can be made to Summerland Credit Union AQ50 account: BSB 728-728; account number 22340378.

Business Awards: The Nimbin Apothecary and The Green Bank, two local businesses, were nominated for the prestigious Business NSW Awards. We are awaiting notification of the results!

Accommodation: Accommodation remains an issue going forward. There is a big opportunity in this area for local people to house visitors via homestay by utilising unoccupied rooms or constructing a cabin. The lack of visitor accommodation in Nimbin is a major issue, as is housing generally. The Chamber will be presenting a seminar on the nuts and bolts of providing short term visitor accommodation. Keep your eyes peeled for details.

Annual General Meeting: I have decided to run for office for the role of President of the Nimbin Chamber of Commerce for a second year. Thank you, my fellow Chamber members, for your support over the last year. Those of you who have decided not to stand next year, thank you for all you have contributed to the community. Enjoy your time out, it is well deserved. With our members’ support we are working towards building a better, stronger and more vibrant future for our children and the community as a whole.

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