Minutes of the Business and Employment Development Committee



Meeting Date:     Wednesday, 29 May 2019

Location:            Jervis Bay Rooms, City Administrative Centre, Bridge Road, Nowra

Time:                   4:03pm



The following members were present:


Clr Patricia White

Clr John Levett

Clr Mark Kitchener

John Lamont - Chairperson

Tony Emery – representing Gareth Ward MP

Robert Crow – representing Shoalhaven Tourism Advisory Group

Alison Chiam – representing Shoalhaven Arts Board

Jemma Tribe – representing Shoalhaven Business Chamber

David Goodman – representing Shoalhaven Sports Board

Anna Finch – representing Shoalhaven Professional Business Association

Fiona Hatcher – representing Regional Development Australia FSC

Peter Masterson – representing Department of Industry, Innovation & Science

Donna Payne – representing NSW Department of Premier & Cabinet

Lexie Meyer – Community

James Coburn – Community

Mary-Jean Lewis – representing Milton Ulladulla Business Chamber

Stephen Dunshea - Acting General Manager


Also present:


Andrew Wales – Employment Facilitator Far South Coast

Marianne Jones – Economic Development Officer

Shannan Perry-Hall - Tourism Investments & Events Specialist




Apologies / Leave of Absence


Apologies were received from Clr Gash,  Kaye Morris, Paul Keith, Greg Pullen (Economic Development Manager), Coralie Bell (Tourism Manager) and Cathy Bern (Manager, Development Services).



Confirmation of the Minutes

RESOLVED (Jemma Tribe / Lexie Meyer)


1.      The Minutes of the Business and Employment Development Committee held on Wednesday 27 February 2019 be confirmed.

2.      Russ Pigg (General Manager) be thanked by the Committee for his input.





Declarations of Interest







BE19.7       BE18.27 - Outstanding Action - AusIndustry Update - report received - sub-committee formed - Incubator Hub

HPERM Ref: D19/66520

Fiona Hatcher (Regional Development Australia) suggested an option 3 could have been included: To implement the original resolution of the Committee (BE18.27):

That the Committee form a sub-committee comprising of Fiona Hatcher, Regional Development Australia, Deb Langton, President of the Shoalhaven Business Chamber, Clr Findley, a representative from the NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet, Regional NSW, and Peter Masterton, AusIndustry, to consider options for an Incubator Hub in Nowra.

Peter Masterson (Department of Industry, Innovation & Science) clarified that an incubator hub differs from a co-working space, which offers desk space rental and, often, add-on office services. Co-working spaces are good for sole operators. An incubator (or accelerator) hub is more suited to a tech startup or intellectual property startup, developing a new product or service. Applicants are required to go through an assessment process and pass a structured course that covers areas such as marketing, branding, digital strategy, pitching for funding. He advised that an Incubator Hub should only be pursued if there are potential tech startups in the region. A ‘pipeline’ of startups would be needed to obtain Government funding. AusIndustry will offer advice but they lack the local knowledge that the Committee can provide.

It was agreed to constitute the sub-committee as previously resolved, allowing for changes of representatives.


Recommendation (Item to be determined under delegated authority)

That the action to form a sub-committee to consider options for an Innovation Hub in Nowra be reviewed. 


RESOLVED (By consent)


1. The Committee reaffirm its previous resolution to form a sub-committee to consider options for an Incubator Hub in Nowra. 

2. The sub-committee comprise the membership as previously determined, updated to reflect changes in representation since the original resolution.




BE19.8       South East Australian Transport Strategy (SEATS)

HPERM Ref: D19/167289

Clr White reported on the recent SEATS meeting which she had attended with Marianne Jones (Economic Development Officer). SEATS involves councils from Wollongong south to Melbourne, including inland councils. Initially working on connecting freight movements, the group now includes tourism and other activities relating to roads, air, and ports. It works as a group to lobby State and Federal government and industry stakeholders on transport matters.

This most recent meeting followed the State elections in NSW and Victoria, plus the upcoming Federal election, which provided the opportunity to advocate for priority projects with the candidates.  SEATS is pressing for 80:20 funding for the Princes Highway.

The NSW Government is moving the RMS to become part of Transport for NSW from 1 July. Senior Transport and Roads Minister Andrew Constance will have overall responsibility. The RMS Southern Region NSW has a new Local Government Liaison officer.

$960M has been awarded with the commitment to duplicate the Princes Highway to the NSW-Victoria border. This will include upgrading the Princes Highway intersection with Jervis Bay Road. Other improvements are planned from Burrill Lake to Batemans Bay, and for the Moruya bypass, where work on the highway is to be combined with the building of a new regional hospital that will front onto it.

The Federal Government has promised $500M for the Princes Highway, $400M of which will fund the Milton Ulladulla bypass.

There is a problem of capacity for jobs, and finding enough contractors to fill the jobs. There are RMS training centres at Bomaderry and Batemans Bay with new trainees. The capacity for jobs will have flow-on effects on rents and services.

The estimated cost of duplicating the highway to the border $16 billion, and will take 10 to 15 years. The 80:20 funding that SEATS is seeking will boost if can be obtained.

The GHD strategy report on the Princes Highway from Wollongong to Adelaide is due to be released at the end of May. David Goodman asked about the Nowra bypass road, and Clr White anticipated it may be noted in the GHD strategy report.

Shoalhaven City Council is being funded by SEATS to undertake a project, led by the Economic Development team, to set out the priority projects from a local government perspective.

Clr White confirmed the road section from Nerriga to Braidwood is not being upgraded to B-Double standard.


Recommendation (Item to be determined under delegated authority)

That the Committee receive the report about the involvement of the Economic Development Office in SEATS for information.


RESOLVED (David Goodman / Alison Chiam)

That the Committee receive the report about the involvement of the Economic Development Office in SEATS for information.




BE19.9       Development in Shoalhaven - Significant Projects

HPERM Ref: D19/169312

The Committee accepted the report for information.


Recommendation (Item to be determined under delegated authority)

That the report of the General Manager (Planning Environment & Development Services) regarding the update on development in Shoalhaven be received for information.


RESOLVED (Fiona Hatcher / Robert Crow)

That the report of the General Manager (Planning Environment & Development Services) regarding the update on development in Shoalhaven be received for information.




BE19.10     Report of the NSW Premier & Cabinet - Illawarra Shoalhaven DPC Regional

HPERM Ref: D19/158758

Donna Payne (NSW Department of Premier & Cabinet) explained that there had been some changes to the machinery of government, which mean that the functions of the regional group will be moving into a new, large Department of Planning, Industry and Environment. The function and staffing will remain the same.

Planning for the STEMship VET pre-employment program is going well. The first cohort will be starting in July/August.

The guidelines for the new round of Stronger Country Communities Fund grants will be released in the second half of June. There will be a particular focus on youth targeted programs.


Recommendation (Item to be determined under delegated authority)

That this report be received by the Committee for information.


RESOLVED (Donna Payne / Peter Masterson)

That this report be received by the Committee for information.







BE19.11     Report of the Shoalhaven Business Chamber

Jemma Tribe (Shoalhaven Business Chamber) spoke to the Shoalhaven Business Chamber report for the period January to March 2019. The report had been submitted in advance but had not been included on the agenda due to communication issues.

·           The Lunch & Learn series has been booked out, and has been very well received. Topics included Government Services to Support Your Business and Savvy Solopreneurs.

·           The Twilight Garden Party for Women in Business was also successful.

·           The Women’s Conference last week attached some 300 attendees.

·           Two Meet the Candidates Breakfasts had been held with State and Federal candidates.

·           The 2019 Shoalhaven Business Awards Gala Season is to be launched on 30 May. The portal on the SBC website will go live and will show past winners, unveil the Awards theme and categories. The Gala Night will be on Friday 23 August.

RESOLVED (Jemma Tribe / Donna Payne)

That the report of the Shoalhaven Business Chamber be received for information.





BE19.13     Additional Item - Information Updates from Members

Shoalhaven Arts Board

Alison Chiam (Shoalhaven Arts Board) reported on the Shoalhaven Arts Board’s recent round of Professional Grants. Another round will be made available in the next financial year.

The Contemporary NOW Art Prize will be run in August. Sponsorship opportunities are still available, and interested sponsors should contact Bronwyn Coulston (Manager, Arts & Culture).

The Arts Board is also working on establishing a Foundation for the Arts, aimed at infusing money into the community for arts related projects. A working group is drafting the constitution and seeking seed funding. Donations to the Foundation will be tax-deductible.


Shoalhaven Professional Business Association

Anna Finch (Shoalhaven Professional Business Association) reported that the 10 Year Anniversary of the SPBA will be celebrated on 14 June. The event will include the graduation of the 14 mentorees.

On 13 June SPBA will hold its bi-monthly breakfast meeting for mentorees on The Great Pitch.

The Shoalhaven Young Professionals Mentoring program will be finishing in June.

Anna noted the Executive Compass 2.0 leadership program, funded by Building Better Regions Fund.

SPBA is working with the Allied Health network, forming a chapter. People in Allied Health professions are often small business owners. 

Clr Digiglio acknowledged SPBA for their engagement with health. The Shoalhaven has a high ageing population and many with disabilities, and this is part of the economic platform. It is important to work together with businesses and workers to maintain health and wellness, and attract professionals to the area.



John Lamont presented the update provided by Kate Morris. On 30 April Nowra TAFE held a Manufacturing Training needs focus group to discuss ways in which TAFE could support and provide relevant training to the Shoalhaven Manufacturing Industry sector. A proposed action was the establishment of a Shoalhaven Advanced Manufacturing Skills Cluster. The group is to meet regularly to serve as a think tank for manufacturing across the Shoalhaven. Their meeting proposed the following course development at Nowra TAFE:

·           Cert I Manufacturing - commencing 3 June. Names of interested participants may be sent to Kaye.morris@tafensw.edu.au

·           Investigation and development of entry-level program in Process Manufacturing.

·           Further the discussion to develop an entry-level training in Lab Technology. This course will be a generic entry level program, possibly a Skill Set taken from the Cert III in Lab Technology. 

·           The welding program for existing workers in the Manufacturing industries is now full.


Regional Development Australia

Fiona Hatcher reported that the SYVI Program is continuing. The South Coast Youth Leadership Forum Has been extended to the Bega Valley, and will be taken into Jervis Bay Territory.


Department of Jobs and Small Business

Andrew Wales is the Employment Facilitator for the Far South Coast, an area where there are significant employment issues. The department is working to identify innovative projects to be funded that address local employment needs. Currently they are dealing with 13 projects – there are 50 in the pipeline. Andrew works with them to refine the project until they are viable; they are then assessed by a panel from the RDA; the  RDA provide feedback to Andrew and the proponents; a formal application then goes to AusIndustry, then to the Department of Small Business office. Three projects among the number due for approval are located in the Shoalhaven.


Office of Gareth Ward MP

Tony Emery reported that the Business Chamber Policy Committee is concerned about the intersection designs north and south of the Nowra Bridge. RMS have reported the submissions back to the community. Shoalhaven Council should be more proactive in releasing the design plans for the ENSA and Moss Street vicinity, to secure the debate and uptake from politicians that would help obtain funding.

Bundanon Trust has received $22M funding from the Federal Government this budget, provided over three years, towards the master plan at Riversdale. This is positive for employment and visitation. There have been some issues around the development application which are being addressed. It is hoped that work will commence in February. As a member of the Bundanon Trust Board, Tony wished to thank Shoalhaven City Council on behalf of the Board Management for its support in obtaining finance at State and Federal level, and assisting with the design and DA issues; in particular he thanked Development Services staff and Russ Pigg.


Shoalhaven Tourism Advisory Group

Rob Crow (Shoalhaven Tourism Advisory Group) noted that Shoalhaven Tourism has recently won awards for the 100 Beach Challenge campaign: first place at state level and second place at national level. The campaign is aimed at educating locals as well as visitors about the variety of destinations. Evidence is accruing at statistical level that the flow of tourists is starting to become consistent across the year. The Events team’s efforts are helping to spread traffic across the year.


General Manager

Stephen Dunshea (Acting General Manager) noted the Draft Delivery Program, Operational Plan and Budget for 2019/2020 is on public exhibition until 6 June. Submissions are welcome. Several community information sessions have been held across the city. Council is improving the transparency of these documents – the detailed capital works program gives an indication of when projects likely to happen.

A number of traineeships are open at the moment across Council, facilitated by Hunter Valley Training Corporation, aimed at young people looking for their first employment first opportunity or anyone seeking to re-enter the workforce. These are 12 month administrative positions. Details can be found on the HVTC website.

Stephen announced that in addition to Russ Pigg’s retirement in August, Carmel Krogh (Director, Shoalhaven Water) is resigning, effective the end of July, to take up her new role as President of the Australian Water Association.

David Goodman congratulated Shoalhaven Water and Council on the recent recognition of its water quality.


RESOLVED (Clr White / Lexie Meyer)

That the General Business Updates be received for information.




There being no further business, the meeting concluded, the time being 5.15pm.



Mr John Lamont