Chamber President seeks to please big and small


Date: 05/03/2002

Recently elected NSW Chamber of Commerce President, Professor Trevor Cairney plans to see the State Chamber continue as a vital stimulus to business development for 2002.

Professor Cairney is the Director of the Centre for Regional Research and Innovation (CRRI) at the University of Western Sydney.

Professor Cairney's ongoing experience in University education and industry research are of considerable relevance to the Chamber's desire to work with industry and government to foster Australia's aspirations to be the smart and innovative nation.

The Chamber is playing a key role in promoting the importance of training and the development of a skilled workforce.

"We need to place a priority on education at all levels. But we don't just need credentialed workers, we need innovative and entrepreneurial graduates who can contribute to making a difference to their company's competitiveness. As well, all business needs to place a priority on individual and organisational learning. This is a key to Australia's future," Professor Cairney says.

Professor Cairney suggests the Chamber has a key role to play in "supporting both the 'big end' of town as well as small business."

"We're keen to look after the interests of our corporate leaders while helping to remove barriers to business doing business," he says.

"The Chamber has a vital role to play in influencing government policy to make it easier for business to be competitive. We will continue to play an important role in lobbying all levels of government on behalf of business."

"However, this doesn't mean that business isn't aware of its own social agendas. In 2002 we will continue to strengthen our 'Common Good' program that is focused on challenging business to understand its corporate social responsibility."

The Chamber is also placing a priority on its work in regional Australia, and President Professor Cairney is keen to do even more to support regional needs.

"Regional NSW has different issues and business needs compared to metropolitan Sydney. The Chamber understands these needs and has been working with regional groups to support new industry development and to represent their needs to government," Professor Cairney says.

"The State Chamber is not just the voice of big business, it is very much the voice of regional Australia and small business."

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Media contact: Suzie Vlaming, 0414 308 701, email: s.vlaming@uws.edu.au

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