| Hear Dr Peter Cock, Guest Speaker at our February 2017 Breakfast. BOOK
The monthly passenger throughput record at Newcastle Airport was smashed last month when 113,970 passengers passed through the Airport.
This figure is 2% higher than the previous monthly passenger record of 111,757 passengers which set in six years ago in October 2010. This month’s figure is also 7% higher when compared with October last year.
The growth in passenger volumes can attributed to the airlines increasing capacity into the market due to major events around the country, school holidays, and increased business-travel demand.
“October is typically a bumper month for us,” said Newcastle Airport’s CEO, Dr Peter Cock. “Traditionally it’s a solid month for business travel, but it also coincides with the end of the school holidays, the October long weekend, and this year, the start of the Melbourne Spring Racing Festival.
“The fact that the airlines saw the potential for increased demand in our region, provided us the extra seats, and our community responded resoundingly by choosing to fly from Newcastle proves our popularity as a true alternative to Sydney Airport.
“Our region will reap the rewards for this huge month into the future as the airlines sit up and start to pay attention that our region loves to fly and we mean business,” said Peter.
Newcastle Airport also passed, for the third time ever on a rolling 12 month period,
a passenger throughput of more than 1.2 million.
“For us, passing the 1.2 million passenger-mark in a rolling 12-month period has proven to be elusive. We’ve only done it twice before: in 2011 and 2014. This is a major milestone that the people of the Hunter region really should be proud of. This milestone has been reached because of you.
“I encourage our locals to continue their rekindled love of air travel and book your Christmas and New Year getaways now. This summer there are almost half a million seats on sale to and from Newcastle Airport, with the airlines providing extra services to meeting the expected increased demand.
“We’re working with our partners to ensure that when you choose to fly from Newcastle Airport, your experience is one that is easy and enjoyable. We have entertainment planned in the coming months from live music on a Friday, Carols at Christmas, to children’s entertainment during the school holidays,” concluded Peter.
Newcastle Airport is serviced by Jetstar, Virgin Australia, QantasLink, Regional Express, and FlyPelican who connect the region to 10 destinations along the eastern seaboard, and seamless hub access to passengers flying internationally through Brisbane and Melbourne.
As part of the State Government’s local government reforms, Council has been formally advised that the Minister for Local Government, the Hon. Paul Toole MP, has made a proposal to amalgamate the existing areas of Maitland and Dungog into one new area. A merger inquiry process is now being undertaken by the Office of Local Government. This merger proposal is consequent to a decision by Gloucester Shire Council to propose an amalgamation of Gloucester, Great Lakes, and Taree councils, which if successful, could potentially leave Dungog without a merger partner.
Even though there will now be an inquiry into the proposal put forward by Gloucester, the original Gloucester Dungog merger inquiry will continue. Port Stephens have also formally put forward a proposal to merge with Dungog.
The Hon. Paul Toole MP has stated that the Government is continuing to work with councils on local government reforms underscoring the fact that no final decision has been made about any proposal.It has always been, and continues to be, Maitland City Council’s position that Maitland is ‘Fit for the Future’ and that a stand alone model best meets the needs of both Council and the community. However, Council must now again consider its position in relation to a potential merger with Dungog.
Council is encouraging the Maitland community to inform themselves about this proposed merger and to make sure that they have their say by making a submission or attending the public inquiry to be held on Thursday 7 April between 9.00am and 1.00pm at Club Maitland City (Maitland City Bowling Club).
For Further Information Visit: Maitland City Council
With Easter rapidly approaching the NSW Industrial Relations' enquiry service has been receiving a number of enquiries about trading restrictions over that time. Here is a quick summary of the advice those callers receive.
The Retail Trading Act 2008 defines that Good Friday and Easter Sunday are restricted days. This means it is an offence under the Act for retail shops to trade on restricted days unless exempted. Service industries are not affected by these restrictions.
A retailer cannot trade on a restricted day unless:
For more details about a small shop and an exempt shop visit
#1 Please note Sydney Precinct Area is not an exempt local government area and the above outlined provisions apply.
The Retail Trading Act 2008 clearly identifies that any employee of a shop exempted to trade on a restricted day must freely elect to work without any coercion, harassment, threat or intimidation by or on behalf of the shop owner.
Merely rostering a person to work on the day does not mean that they have freely elected to work.
However, voluntary staffing arrangements do not apply to small shops as defined under the Act.
Easter Saturday and Easter Monday are public holidays in NSW but are not restricted days.
To find out what public holiday penalties apply to those working over the Easter period contact the Fair Work Ombudsman on 13 13 94.
Other information available on the NSW IR website
After Dark at The Levee will be the first of a series of night time place activation events to take place across Maitland. For the evening The Levee Shared Zone will be transformed into a night time street celebration.There will be lots to see and do for the whole family. Be amused with vibrant and exciting live performances, enjoy a funky selection of music, sample delicious street food from a variety of food trucks, or just roam The Shared Zone and find a comfy seat to enjoy the atmosphere of this exciting night.
Like our Facebook page to keep up to date with any announcements.
Female entrepreneurs are the fastest growing segment in the small business sector but continue to face unique challenges and obstacles. The Business Centre’s, Women in Business (WiB) mentoring program is designed to help participants become successful business owners through the provision of industry leading workshops and access to experienced mentors from a range of disciplines. Applications for both participants and mentors are now open for the next WiB program, commencing in March 2017.
President: Kerry Hallett, Hunter Region Business Hub
Vice President: Toby Thomas, Thomas and Associates
Secretary: Lesley Morris, Towns With Heart
Committee members: Chris McClung from Weston Aluminium, Marj Wotherspoon and Lorraine Aspinall, both of whom are retired business women, and Rod Doherty.
The new committee would like to acknowledge and thank Rod Doherty, our outgoing President, for his long career on the executive of the Chamber, spanning well over 20 years. During this time so much changed and moved on in the Kurri Kurri district, and Rod was there every step of the way. We wish him well in the upcoming Council elections.
The first Chamber event under the new committee will be to meet the Cessnock Council mayoral candidates on the 5th September at The Hub 79-99 Barton Street, Kurri Kurri. This is our chance to find out what the new mayor’s vision for Kurri Kurri are. All are welcome, but bookings are essential. To book phone Kerry on 0438 327 072 or Lesley on 0438 639 636.
The new committee looks forward to working with the local business community and encourages you to join the Chamber and support our work. We are looking for feedback to make your chamber and your community better, so please don’t hesitate to let us know. All suggestions will be considered, so don’t be shy.
Enquiries – Kerry Hallett, President Kurri Kurri District Business Chamber. 0438 327 072.
Last weekend Jayco Newcastle General Manager, Damian Charleson, treated a group of customers and staff to a weekend away at BIG4 Koala Shores Holiday Park.
Chamber Chat: Maitland Council's campaign could be a #winner
Maitland Business Chamber
Maitland Council Has Launched Its Innovative #MyMaitland Campaign. We Asked Business Chamber Chief Craig McGregor For His Thoughts On The New Initiative.
Last week Maitland Council launched the innovative #MyMaitland campaign, a grassroots campaign aimed at getting locals involved in helping sell the visitor economy of Maitland.
Everyday citizens can get involved with spruiking about their favourite part of Maitland and using the #MyMaitland.
It can be as easy as standing at Cooks Square Park on a beautiful Sunday arvo cheering on the Magpies and adding #MyMaitland to your post, or you can be strolling through MRAG and want your social network to know how impressive it is, well be sure to add #MyMaitland. You could even be meeting with a local business or enjoying their service and be sure to add to your post #MyMaitland.
Your posts may inspire someone from outside of god’s country to come and visit. If everyone in Maitland was involved in getting more visitors to visit or take an overnight stay in Maitland it would help generate millions of dollars into the economy.
So, one of the big winners in such a simple program is local business.
I want to encourage not just local people but also Maitland Business to get involved. Take an hour out of your busy week. Create a video of 1-2 minutes explaining why you love doing business in Maitland.
Do this in your business, on your business or get out and film in a great part of the city. Be as creative as you can be. Let’s all help grow this #MyMaitland concept.
For chamber members, if you want some help creating a snappy short #MyMaitland video contact Brianna at the chamber office and she will be more than happy to help.
It is the relationships I have built with intelligent, savvy and friendly business people of the Hunter that makes me proud and passionate about doing business in Maitland, but I think we are all sick of seeing my head in front of the camera (if not check out the http://www.mymaitland.com.au/stories/ ) so keep an eye out for Kathryn Blackmore’s #MyMaitland video on behalf of Hunter Recruitment Group.
Chamber Chat: Embracing change and a bigger slice of the retail pie
Maitland Business Chamber
With an ever-growing population in the city of Maitland and a changing economy post-mining construction boom, retail is playing its part and will continue to be a major provider to the local economy.
With this growth, it brings new people with different ideals to our economy. However, we are still a town that values relationships. With the growing threat of internet shopping I believe our retailers need to focus on their relationship to Maitland and to their customers to ensure growth.
This is true in most areas of the economy but in retail how you connect, engage and service your customers will be critical as the economy changes. Maitland Business Chamber can play a major role in ensuring retail connects with business and educate and advocate to improve economic conditions.
The chamber is the champion of the buy local campaign and this will continue with more innovative programs on the horizon. A change in how we approach generating customer relationships in a new social media savvy world will impact buyers’ behaviour and again the chamber can play a part in education in this arena.
Maitland has several retail centres and each has a unique feel and target market. With Stockland Green Hills growing over the next 18 months we will have a complex to rival Newcastle. It has been stated that presently over $1 billion drives east of Maitland and is spent in other major centres.
Retailers in the other parts of Maitland will need to leverage the growth in retail rather than fight it. Instead of viewing the upgraded centre as a threat, look at it as an opportunity to capture new clients – that’s the mentality that is needed in our town moving forward. The chamber would love to engage with our locally-owned operators to help create a strategy for all to keep spending local.
Just as retail needs to leverage being part of a greater region, Maitland needs to leverage spending and growth in Newcastle and the Hunter. With this in mind, be sure to get your tickets for the first of our lunch meetings on June 15 at midday, as Lauren Eyles will join us from Newcastle Port and Cruising to give us an insight on what is happening at the port. Visit www.maitlandbusiness.com.au to secure your seat.
Chamber Chat: Maitland's champion Darcy inspired nation
Maitland Business Chamber
It’s a week when the town reflects on our champion Les Darcy, the man who inspired the flood plans and eventually a nation. I have been reading about Maitland’s favorite son and yes the boy could fight, but it is the stories of his commitment to family that is what really inspires me.
He is a man that sacrificed his body with a goal of setting up his family’s financial future. He is also a man that took a massive risk and went against the convention of the time to fight for his family’s future in the US as opposed to fighting in WWI.
For the business owners involved in the Maitland Chamber our sacrifices may not be as large but our commitment to creating financial prosperity or building something that our family will be proud of is what drives most entrepreneurs.
Believing in yourself and taking a risk is extremely difficult and takes more than bravery. It is the owners and managers of businesses backing themselves each and every day which inspires me and drives me harder in my own business but also in my role as Chamber president to represent the business community of Maitland.
Reflecting on our history whilst always pushing forward is an important part of community and although Les Darcy was a sporting icon, it is his values and determination that has inspired our town for 100 years and his legacy will live on.
Finally today I would like to pay tribute to another history breaking leader of Maitland. Our Mayor last week announced he will be stepping down from a post he has held for over 20 years. I am sure figurately he feels after such a long bout he has taking as many hits as Les, but it is clear he has swung as hard as Darcy when fitting for our community. Congratulations Mr Blackmore from all at the Chamber and we truly hope you enjoy the future that lies in front of you with your family.
Chamber Chat: Maitland Hospital to stay in Maitland
Maitland Business Chamber
Last week I had the pleasure of having a conversation with previous Chamber president and Maitland business woman of the year Pennie Kearney, and she reminded me of the work the chamber put into advocating for the new Maitland hospital and the need for it to be in Maitland.
Pennie spoke with such passion of the importance of this piece of vital infrastructure and the need for it to be here in Maitland. She reminded me of how the chamber had held discussions with prominent doctors and with parties from both sides of politics and the key role the chamber played in driving the decision to upgrade the Maitland Hospital. This was over 6 years ago, we have had the decision to build a new hospital, we have a designated site at Metford, the government has gone through millions of dollars conducting feasibility studies and now the media reports possibilities of opening up dialogue as to the location of the hospital.
The recent talk in the media of doing a review of the location for the new hospital is something the chamber considers as not necessary as the site has been approved and is the most suitable for our fast growing population corridor.
We will be advocating with all components of the government to ensure this vital piece of community infrastructure is built in Maitland and we are calling on members of the chamber to back this stance. If you would like to get more involved with such advocacy please contact Brianna via email – email@example.com
Inspirational leaders and leadership, such as that displayed by Pennie Kearney is the key theme of this month’s chamber meeting with representatives from the Army coming to inform our breakfast on how critical great leadership is in today’s world. Visit the chamber website for more details on this months breakfast to be held on Thursday May 18.
Chamber Chat: Youth unemployment - it's our problem too!
Maitland Business Chamber
All too often the youth are criticised for being lazy, needy and high maintenance. It’s a stereotype that the current youth really don’t deserve. Stereotyping of any age puts up barriers that may not be there otherwise.
Regardless of the business decision, make the judgement on the person in front of you. Understand that this person will not be used to an interview environment. Give them every opportunity to succeed.
I put to all businesses that youth unemployment is our problem too. It’s in our interest to take on young, untrained staff. And, actually, it can be very rewarding.
Youth are not afraid of technology and they are happy to embrace technological change. This is particularly important as we move into a technology revolution.
Young people have a natural curiosity. They are innovative and are increasingly more open to change than many older workers.
Young employees can bring fresh ideas into a business that will help it maintain relevance in quickly changing markets. They know what’s selling now, and are often “on trend”. Social networking must be considered as it’s a vital aspect and young people can keep your business in touch with platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat.
Employing young people gives the power to the employer to train them to work to meet the needs of their business. There is often no baggage with a young employee as it’s their first job.
More often than not, they are flexible and can do unusual work hours. There is little to no stigma about working weekends and being called in at a moment’s notice.
Think about the alternative. Young people who don’t work and are not contributing become disengaged, can suffer depression, can turn to crime. Have a think about this cost to our economy. Who pays the cost?
Youth that have never worked are very hard to get into the workforce for the first time as their confidence is low. It ends up being a very tricky start to their working life. A great deal of businesses demand staff with experience. Where did they get that experience? Who gave them a go? Constantly requesting experienced only staff will drive up your wage cost, hiring young staff will assist your wage cost.
Further, young people will always remember the business that gave them a go. So give them a go and not only your business will reap the rewards, our community will benefit too.
Chamber Chat: What is happening in Maitland?
Maitland Business Chamber
It is an exciting time for Maitland, there is a buzz with construction taking place from the Levee, the Aquatic Centre as well as the new No. 1 Sportsground grandstand. All projects are raising Maitland’s profile.
You may have noticed that the RiverLink Building at the Levee is underway, the slab is completed and the steelwork and bricks are expected to commence mid April. This part of the project will connect High Street to the banks of the Hunter River. It will also see the creation of public open space, public art, new amenities and a café. The council are working to keep the heritage significance and also modernise the space to attract locals and visitors alike to this incredible space.
The new 25 metre indoor heated pool is also well underway which is expected for completion in time for winter. This facility will provide aquatic services all year round whist still maintaining access to the existing pool.
These exciting projects bode well for generating more spend through the visitor economy, coupled with the fantastic events in our region such as last weekend’s Steamfest and other events like Taste. Aroma and Craig’s favourite – Bitter & Twisted. The town is energetic and an activated economy.
Each year the chamber hosts a state of the LGA breakfast and the meeting is always one of the most popular of the calendar. David Evans, General Manager at Maitland City Council is our guest speaker for April, he will give us an overview of all the projects currently underway and also what is planned for our town.
Tickets are moving fast for so make sure you jump online today so you don’t miss out.
Chamber Chat: Disruption
Craig McGregor, President, Maitland Business Chamber
In business we hear the words disruption and marketing come together and only after witnessing such excellent execution at our last Chamber meeting that I now believe this is truly powerful. So best keep an eye out for what I can achieve for the chamber and my business, disrupting the world.
When we hear disruption, we think mainly of apps and businesses like Uber. Changing a market turning perception of how things have always been traded into something new.
Yes at our last chamber meeting the CEO of Mai Wel Pennie Kearney did disrupt our meeting by taking a stress phone call at the start and then she launched something that Donald Trump would call ‘Fake News’ with an outstanding video clip produced to disrupt the rooms perception of young job seekers.
Maybe Mai Wel didn’t disrupt the marketplace and radically change how we do something like Uber but this simple yet highly effective piece of marketing totally changed the people in the rooms perception of Mai Wel.
We live in a new world of social media and online connection, but at our last chamber meeting 8 real young people stood in front of close to 100 Maitland business people and changed how these people perceived them but it also radically changed the Mai Wel brand.
At past chamber meetings Pennie has informed us about the youth transition to employment program and Mai Wel’s success in this space. It wasn’t until we all physically saw these young characters that our minds totally shifted with Mai Wel. After decades of being a local force in disability support one morning at a Maitland Business Chamber meeting Pennie’s team and a great group of young people not only disrupted our meeting but changed a brand in less than 10 minutes!!!
Speaking of change – it has finally come time for the chamber to wish Fiona well in her career evolution. We are encouraging members and partners of the Maitland Chamber to come and share a farewell drink with Fiona on Friday 31/3 from 5pm at the Whistler Bar. I will be booking Pennie Kearney an Uber to ensure she keeps her disruptive behaviour to a minimum.
First 2017 Meeting with Newcastle Airport
It’s been heating up in Maitland and the chamber meeting schedule is hot hot hot in 2017. We kick off with our first meeting for the year on Thursday 16/2 at the Best Western Rutherford with a guest speaker from the Newcastle Airport.
Matthew Findlay, Executive Manager Commercial and Aviation Business Development will give us a great overview of the reshaping of the facility and the future it will play for our region.
Although the airport is not technically in our LGA it will play a massive part on the Maitland economy. As the airport grows employment for our residents will present and business opportunities will open for Maitland Chamber members. However, I am really excited to hear about the upgrades to the facility and what this potentially means for the visitor economy for Maitland.
Tickets are moving fast for the first meeting of the year so make sure you jump online today and get your tickets. http://www.maitlandbusiness.com.au/february17
I do love the first meeting of the year, a time to catch up with colleagues that we may have not seen since the break but also this is a great chance to meet new operators and members fresh to start 2017 on a positive foot.
In Memory of Kristen Keegan
Finally, I wanted to note the passing of former Hunter Business Chamber CEO Kristen Keegan, I did not know her that well but I truly understand that she was a driver of growth for the greater Hunter and she played an active part on some important bodies such as the HIF which has changed the lives of residents of Maitland. She dedicated a big chunk of her working life to the business and wider community and we should be thankful for her role. At every meeting room I shared with her it was clear that her drive and passion for the Hunter economy was unwavering. For me her passing at such a young age reinforces that life is short and we should all live it with passion and dedication just as Kristen did. A Hunter business driver that will be missed.