CHAMBER RESIGNS: Biggenden Chamber of Commerce's Stephanie Whitaker, Women's Shed Di Chambers and Councillor Robbie Radel at the special meeting for the Drought Communities Program in 2020. Picture: Erica Murree
CHAMBER RESIGNS: Biggenden Chamber of Commerce's Stephanie Whitaker, Women's Shed Di Chambers and Councillor Robbie Radel at the special meeting for the Drought Communities Program in 2020. Picture: Erica Murree

Biggenden Chamber of Commerce resigns after Covid

THE executive members of the Biggenden Chamber of Commerce have resigned, however, the trio is hoping others will step forward and take on their roles to continue advocating for their town and its local economy.

Biggenden Chamber of Commerce Secretary Stephanie Whitaker, who joined the Chamber when it was established in 2012, said that along with President Jim Cunlisse and Treasurer Colleen Cunlisse, she would be finishing in her position at the end of June.

A meeting will be held on June 3 for locals to attend and become a member or take on a position to secure the Chamber's future.

Ms Whitaker, who with her husband Lance runs Burnett Livestock & Realty and the Burnett Livestock Exchange, said she was currently "busier than ever" with work and was hopeful others could take over.

"We are really busy with our own businesses and just can't see us having the time to continue in our roles.

"We've had a lot of interest from the community so I'm confident the Chamber has a bright future," she said this week.

One of the current projects the Chamber has been working on includes the short-stay area in town so visitors in self-contained RVs can stay for up to two nights, Ms Whitaker said.

"As soon as they open next stage of travel restrictions in mid-June, it will reopen."

She said they had also been working with North Burnett Regional Council on a streetscape project to upgrade the CBD of Biggenden.

"As a person who owns a business here in Edward St, it would be great to see the area revitalised with nice seating and gardens.

"It would be good to make it a lot more friendly and inviting and somewhere for people to stop and enjoy their lunch."

The Chamber, Ms Whitaker said, had a vital role in "keeping council honest".

"Because I feel like Biggenden is forgotten about a bit. We're on the periphery of the region and money gets invested in other areas, and it's time for our community to get some of that attention and investment too.

"It's a great little town.

"We've talked to council about investing in and revitalising our main street area and community facilities here, and we've been put off now for the second year in a row, and I think someone needs to keep agitating.

"Chamber has been trying to work with council rather than against it."

She said it was important the town aimed to attract visitors to help boost the economy.

"It's income for our retail operators and it attracts future residents and keeps us humming."

For people considering a move to the area, Ms Whitaker said Biggenden was well positioned as it was not far from the coast and regional centres such as Hervey Bay, Bundaberg and the Sunshine Coast.

For tourists, it was on the doorstep of Mt Walsh National Park and close to Paradise Dam.

"It's a really pretty spot and there's a bit to see and do."

She said she had originally joined the Chamber and been involved with its establishment in a bid to create a conduit between the business community and council.

"We identified that we needed to attract visitors to our town and we identified that there were some issues that could be improved like signage and streetscape, and unless you do something about it, nothing will change."



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