Warrnambool City Council is seeking to gauge the local business community's interest in, and appetite for, the formation of a new business representative group.
Warrnambool Mayor Cr Debbie Arnott said the move came following a meeting in June, facilitated by Council, where 25 local business representatives from across various industry sectors discussed the level of interest and support for a business representative body.
“The businesses indicated that a business representative group could be beneficial and sustainable, provided it had a clear purpose and widespread support among our city's businesses,” Cr Arnott said.
As a next step, Council is looking to the broader business community for further input on what businesses think about, want from and would be willing to contribute to a business representative group if the concept was to be revisited.
Owner of the Pavilion Café and Bar Jon Watson encouraged business owners and operators to have a say.
“I believe that it is important for the business community to decide, and to drive, the formation of a Business Representative Group to Council,” Mr Watson said.
“Business should come out and voice their opinion, either for or against, regarding the formation of a group.
“It is an opportunity to have a say on the future direction to council. What have you got to lose?”
If a group is formed it will provide an opportunity to share ideas and resources, and to get involved with our community by connecting organisations, events and exchanging ideas with other local businesses.
“Should such a group be formed, Council will commit to doing all it can to work with the group to deliver better local outcomes, however a truly independent group cannot be part of Council - it must be a group that is led and run by local businesses themselves,” Cr Arnott said.
Council is now surveying businesses to see whether there is interest in pursuing the concept further.