Fresh faces join Business Chamber

Neil Thompson - Managing Director, Skyview Windows

What's your position title at the business chamber? Vice President, Industrial

What led you to join the chamber and what are your goals while in the role?

To have an input in the future development and ensure Queanbeyan develops in a positive way.

What excites you about business and development in Queanbeyan?

Business in Queanbeyan is like no other. We have access to a large market across the border, so the volumes are there, but I can still walk into the bank and be remembered by my first name. Everyone knows one another which gives a real genuine town feel. We must develop Queanbeyan to enhance this "town feel".

Where do you think there's potential to improve?

1. Revamping the CBD to bring more life into town. The current council is doing a fantastic job and its initiatives to spruce up the centre of town are commendable. Upon saying this, there needs to be a strategic review of the entire CBD, together with an action plan to attract businesses to increase employment within Queanbeyan.

2. The Elerton Drive Extension must happen sooner rather than later to alleviate congestion in Monaro and Cooma Streets.

3. Queanbeyan has a rare opportunity whereby all three levels of government have representatives within 50 metres of each other. We must ask for significantly more funding for capital projects from both State and Federal members.

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Steve Bartlett - Accountant, Builder and Hotelier

What's your position title at the business chamber? Vice President for Hospitality and Tourism

What led you to join the chamber and what are your goals while in the role?

Queanbeyan has substantial potential to develop a thriving hospitality and tourism destination. However, there are currently challenges competing with Canberra and other regional centres for our customers. These challenges need to be addressed urgently. This does not reflect on the individual business operators; they do a good job. The issue is the structural environment, parking, traffic and ambience. I felt that joining the QBC would provide a forum to start to address these challenges.

What excites you about business and development in Queanbeyan?

Queanbeyan has a unique opportunity to develop a thriving "country town" atmosphere, attracting substantial hospitality business from the local community and from Canberra. The large population increase over the next five years, the lack of existing CBD civic development, proposed extension to Edwin Land Parkway, CBD redevelopment and inclusion of piazzas, parks, gardens, civic square, short and long term parking and pedestrian friendly environment will give Queanbeyan a huge opportunity to develop a pedestrian and community friendly CBD that meets the needs and desires of people for the 21st century.

Where do you think there's potential to improve?

In simple terms Queanbeyan is a country town with a freeway running through the middle. This must be addressed else face the prospect of becoming a dormitory suburb of Canberra. All of the tools required to addressing this issue currently exist and can be sued to deliver a very effective outcome over the next few years.

However it must be based on a cohesive plan to slow down traffic and make the CBD people friendly; this is much more than street furniture and painting buildings.

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Rachel Bevan - Licensed Conveyancer at Bevan & Co Lawyers

What's your position title at the business chamber? Vice President for Professional Services.

What led you to join the chamber and what are your goals while in the role?

I decided to join the chamber as I wanted to have a say in improving business growth in Queanbeyan. My goals would be to encourage the growth of business and services to this area.

What excites you about business and development in Queanbeyan?

The potential for growth. At the moment things appear currently to be stagnant.

There is opportunity through the Queanbeyan Business Chamber to develop business for the benefit of Queanbeyan and more importantly the residents.

Where do you think there's potential to improve?

It definitely starts with the main street.

It's the first place people see when they come to town and first impressions mean everything.

At the moment all you see is empty shops. We need to improve it so that people want to open small businesses in this area which in turn will bring employment and better services to this area.

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