On Monday 19 November many Members of our Chamber and a few invitees from neighbouring organisations had the pleasure of sharing breakfast with the Western Australian State Government in its roving ‘Community Cabinet’ form. This invitation-only event, unlike other Community Cabinets, allowed us to mingle freely for the vast majority of the time with the Premier and Ministers of our State Cabinet in order to get to know them, raise concerns and have our say on critical issues that our Members wanted to raise either regarding their business or community needs.
It’s easy to be cynical about this kind of exercise, thinking it’s all for show and means nothing. Although it certainly is a method for the Ministers to promote the government’s activity and achievements, it’s also a way for them to connect directly with the needs and concerns of their constituents. I know in my own conversations with the Ministers I found they were open, intently listening, inquired as to how they could help further or asked what they could do and where appropriate recommended other Ministers with related portfolios.
Another benefit for our Chamber and Community is that more than one Minister with whom I spoke had very little familiarity with our booming area. They were quite astonished at the growth and change that has come over Ellenbrook, The Swan Valley – and soon the Bullsbrook area – and were suitably impressed by both the accomplishments as well as the need to build infrastructure, a substantial value-added economy and suitable amenities and services such as the continuing commitment to Metronet, provisioning of the roads network, community and mental health services, recreational facilities and more.
Members also found some good networking opportunities with some of the additional people invited by Jessica Shaw’s office (Member for Swan Hills) and the Department of Premier and Cabinet (DPC).
Plus, okay, there were some photo opps to be had!
Our thanks once again to The Hon. Jessica Shaw, MLA, and her office for working with us to hold this event and to the DPC for sponsoring. Thanks also to The Brook Bar and Bistro for the venue and great breakfast.
We are continuing to work to provide many more similar events in the new year!
(c) 2018 Peter J. McLean for Chamber of Commerce And Community