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BUSINESS KANGAROO ISLAND - Chairperson's Report, Nov 14, 2016

26 Feb 2017

 

 

"The aim of Business Kangaroo Island is to further the economic development and prosperity of Kangaroo Island businesses – we will continue to be a positive advocate for the future direction and opportunities on Kangaroo Island"

 

 

Monday 14th November, 2016, 6.30pmBell’s Shearing Shed, Cygnet River

 

 

Firstly, I would like to welcome all of our members and non-members. Thank you for taking the time from your busy schedules to attend your AGM.

 

Business Kangaroo Island exists only for its members – without your support, enthusiasm, and desire to succeed as business owners we would not exist.

 

I think it is worth thinking briefly why BKI formed in the first instance; essentially from a flow on of the positive wave or movement that came about with the support of KI Futures Authority. As businesses, we always had the optimism necessary to ‘make it’, but with the support of KIFA and now the Commissioner for KI, we are starting to see some of the ‘talked about’ projects coming to fruition and there are some exciting opportunities and times ahead.

 

BKI formed to ensure that the positive voice of the business community was always heard – we were concerned at the time that rumours and misinformation lead to discontent and lack of confidence. So, keeping our members informed is one of our top priorities and we have done this in the past 12 months through the introduction of the e-Newsletter, posts on BKI’s Facebook group page and the opportunity to network through the Business SA regional connect event.

 

Our membership currently sits at around 100, we hope that this will continue to grow as Business Kangaroo Island continues to develop; expanding on what we do – which could be summarised by providing business news, business views and business benefits. The Committee has continued to work very hard building relationships with our local council and state and federal government, developers and other stakeholders.

 

The aim of Business Kangaroo Island is to further the economic development and prosperity of Kangaroo Island businesses – we will continue to be a positive advocate for the future direction and opportunities on Kangaroo Island. We have committee members sitting on the KIIBA board; KI Council and the Commissioner for KI’s Energy Security Focus Group and the Economic Advisory Board.

 

Committee members have participated in a wide range of events and meetings that affect businesses on KI – we have endeavoured to bring you updates to these (recognising that all business owners can’t get to all events – but that doesn’t mean that they are not interested – just time-poor); these have been featured in our e-Newsletter and are on our website.

 

This year we have met with the Minister for Regions, Mr Geoff Brock with discussions around access to grants and funding; our new Federal Member for Mayo, Ms Rebekha Sharkie – and we are very pleased to have Rebekha here with us tonight to provide us with an update on Mayo and how we are faring at the Federal level as well as discuss some of the poignant KI opportunities and challenges.

 

We are very proud of the relationship we are forging with Business SA’s ‘regional partnership’ and the 50% discount on Business SA membership for BKI members.

 

In April, Business KI members participated in the Business SA regional pulse survey – from which KI had a great response rate and helped to produce Business SA’s ‘Regional Voice 2016 – Understanding Regional SA Businesses’ – check out pg 13 (please take a copy home with you tonight so you can take the time to have a look at a snapshot from around the state – how other country areas are faring and what their concerns are). Members also attended a round-table event with the CEO of Business SA, Mr Nigel McBride, which was held at the Ozone, ‘Putting Island Businesses on the Agenda’ – a great evening, a bit of fun, a few drinks and some serious discussions and information sharing about issues affecting businesses on KI and across the state.

 

We brought to you; breaking news – of the Kangaroo Island Airport Upgrade funding and KI Plantation Timbers land purchase; Listened to SARDI research scientist Dr Simon Goldsworthy presenting his findings on the LNFS including population trends, public perception and interactions with fisheries and shared these findings with our members in the May e-News.

 

We have reported on activities that our members have participated in; events both on and off-island which are supporting them to develop and grow their businesses notably the ‘Open all Year’ project and ‘Tasting Australia’. Many members are now also involved in the Commissioner's ‘Transformation project’ with some opportunities still available to participate for those businesses in the retail and service sectors.

 

Business KI have used our e-News to promoting business tools and workshops that have been held by TAFE (Xero/minimising income tax). We have attended the Understanding China Workshops, which were presented by SATC in conjunction with TKI – a real eye opener and some excellent resources available on our website from this event.

 

In the future, we are looking at ways that we can collaborate with off-island businesses and organisations – with the vision to help grow and develop our organisation and our local businesses as well as encourage and broaden our Associate membership base (off-island businesses can only be Associate members).

 

I would like to thank our featured sponsors:

 

KI Accounting Services whom kindly provide our Auditing services;

 

Little Birdy Web & Design – a big thank you to Simone who provides exceptional support for our website and e-News; and

 

Acacia Apartments – for the use of their wonderful venue on several occasions.

 

Notably, this year we have responded to our members ‘joining’ feedback/survey in which overwhelmingly our members continue to highlight the problems associated with the cost of access to the island; to this end we have formed a Position Statement and an Action Plan regarding Access to KI, which states:

 

• That there be transparency throughout the contract negotiations regarding the provision of ferry services to and from Kangaroo Island.

 

• Business Kangaroo Island would like to see an independent economic impact statement (EIS) commissioned and reported, highlighting the social and economic implications (short and long term) of the existing and future contractual arrangements.

 

• We expect that the contract negotiations should be based on strong benchmark data, and adoption of best commercial practices as demonstrated for other ferry services around the world.

 

• An open competitive tender process for the service should be undertaken, for a nominated contract period of 7-10 years and that competitive rates and conditions be negotiated to ensure that access for all stakeholders (businesses/residents/tourists) is fair and equitable.

 

Initial Plan of Action: 

 

• Request a meeting with DPTI and the CKI to understand the negotiation process/time frames, consideration and next steps.

 

• Request a copy of the KIFA-commissioned Transport Services Report by Parsons Brinckerhoff, from DPTI via the Commissioner for KI to inform BKI’s requests.

 

We have recently had a reply from Minister Mullighan regarding our position statement; he is not willing to provide the requested report at this stage; however the Commissioner for KI, Ms Wendy Campana, is helping us to connect and hopefully have some access to this document – we would really like to understand the aims of the report and see a summary of the findings as well as the recommendations coming out of the report and we will continue to push for this and to have some level of assurance that contract negotiations are fair and equitable for KI businesses.

 

Finally, I would like to thank the Committee members and especially those who are out going and of course all of our members, because without our members this organisation wouldn’t exist – please remember the strength of BKI is ‘power with numbers’ so thank you for your continued support and all the best in business in the coming year.

 

Sharon Kauppila

Chairperson

 

 

 

 

 

Rebekha Sharkie addresses BKI AGM with news of positive steps forward.

 

Rebekha Sharkie addressed the AGM with a detailed report of who she has met to advocate on behalf of her electorate - a long list of State and Federal Ministers and other MPs, primarily to ensure that all promises made in the Federal election campaign were honoured in Mayo.

 

She found some of her contacts extremely receptive, and others less tuned in to her queries, but she has kept Kangaroo Island in the spotlight in her endeavours.

 

Ms Sharkie identified the three key pressing issues for Kangaroo Island as:

  • freight and ferry costs;

  • health services; and

  • cost of business and the desire to grow markets.

Ms Sharkie has had talks about freight and ferry costs, lobbying for subsidies and a governmental rethink of transport to and from the island.

 

She made the commitment to talk about Kangaroo Island as often as she could and to be on the island at least once every six weeks.

 

Ms Sharkie was asked questions about the backpacker tax issue, tourist visa processing, and the YESS program to reduce energy costs.

 

Ms Sharkie said she would return to the island to speak about the PATH employment program, and she planned to hold grant writing forums.

 

After the meeting, Ms Sharkie and her assistants spoke to many of those who attended the meeting, noting down issues of concern and viewpoints held. She requested that we keep her updated with concerns via email at: Rebekha.Sharkie.MP@aph.gov.au

 

 

 

 

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