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David Hyett - President

Crisp mornings, sunny days and chilly evenings were the hallmark of August in the Northern Rivers.

Crisp mornings, sunny days and chilly evenings were the hallmark of August in the Northern Rivers. Many of our southern brothers and sisters have been envious of the ideal weather conditions we are currently experiencing. We are now on the  cusp of the tourist season which will bring a welcome influx of visitors to Nimbin and surrounds.

The month started with a meeting between Lismore City Council (LCC) staff including the Mayor Steve Kriegg and GM John Walker and various government service providers. Hosted by the Chamber and held at Birth and Beyond, the room was packed with engaged local businesspeople.

The purpose of the meeting was to discuss business renewal strategies following the disastrous flooding event in Feb/March. Obviously road repair was high on the agenda, and continues to be an issue that the Chamber will relentlessly pursue at all available forums. LCC have advised that they will be providing detailed information on planned road repair schedules via their website.

The impact of Councils’ current staff restructure programme on Nimbin and the other villages, and the removal of Nimbin’s Visitor Information Centre and subsequent morphing of the Tourism Destination Officer’s role to that of an economic development role was discussed.

So too was the need for financial and physical support to maintain our community assets such as the Community Centre, Sibley Street, School of Arts, Nimbin Tennis Courts, the sports fields, Showgrounds and the Walking Trail.

It is critical that community business renewal runs alongside care of community and community organisations as they are an essential element of business health.

A call was made for agreement on a comprehensive plan for the growth of the village to ensure adequate services are provided to support ensuing population growth.

In the past, developer contributions have been unfairly diverted away from the village. A review of the management of these funds has been requested which will address the inequities and hopefully improve local amenity.

Some Chamber members mentioned the difficulties imposed by Council’s planning department. Business development is impeded by unnecessary bureaucracy. DA’s take far too long to progress and considerations are often not in line with community feedback. Building costs are rising and delays create extra costs as well.

Council was also asked to support our community by lobbying service providers about issues faced with power outages, and poor phone and internet connection particularly in the outlying areas.

A follow up meeting between Council’s bigwigs (including the GM) and representatives of the Nimbin Chamber has been arranged.

The importance of Aquarius 50th celebrations to our region is becoming more evident and I recently attended a meeting with Chamber reps from Tweed Heads to Yamba. The interest in this event is very encouraging and further meetings with Council, Tourism NSW and other government agencies have been helpful with planning the event.

September and October are shaping up to be very exciting months with a great deal of entertainment which includes Mardi Grass, the Nimbin Fashion Show, the Green Cabaret and the Poetry World Cup.

The Chamber would like to welcome it’s latest members Cat Balkin (Jewellery), Fernando Velazquez (The Cactus Hut Mexican Food), Tim Apps (Northern Rivers Removals) and Ginja O’Brien (Jallum Swim School).

With our members’ support we look forward to building a better, stronger and more vibrant village for our children and the community as a whole.

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