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The Independent Voice
of Townsville Business

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What is

The Townsville Chamber of Commerce?

In a business world that is rapidly evolving, it is essential to stay connected, be informed, and have your voice heard by decision makers. At the Townsville Chamber of Commerce, we embody these principles every day. 

Since our foundation in 1882, we have been at the forefront of fostering the entrepreneurial spirit that continues to thrive today across all pillars of industry in our region. As one of the oldest institutions in the city, we continue to play a pivotal role in helping Townsville continue to develop, grow, and prosper. 

We encourage you to explore this site, join our mailing list and get in touch to see how Townsville Chamber can assist you in your business journey.

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Townsville businesses, organisations and individuals like you from a wide range of industry sectors become members to widen their professional networks, raise their profile, to learn, to be heard and be part or an organisation that supports the Townsville business community.

There are a range of membership benefits across four main levels.  Chamber is the most cost-effective business membership organisations that you can be part of in Townsville.

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Latest News

Is the Townsville market Showing early signs of strain?
15 March 2024 Is the Townsville market Showing early signs of strain?

MEDIA RELEASE: Is the Townsville Market Showing Early Signs of Strain? The Northern Eye reports on the macro economy downturn and what we are seeing on the ground in Townsville and explores what can be done to ensure a strong short- and long-term outlook. Townsville, Queensland, Thursday 14th March 2024: The March quarter Northern Eye reports a turn in our labour market recording an increase in unemployment, population and cost of living predicted in 2024. Townsville and the broader national economy appear to be at tipping point, with higher operating and borrowing costs catching up to the post-COVID growth period. Townsville, however, remains (comparatively) highly affordable, with both houses and units remaining well below the price of new construction. Our relative financial strength and high local incomes give us confidence that the local economy can weather the impending economic slowdown. Matthew Kelly, Principal Economist at Regional Economic Advisory in Townsville, and author of the report comments, “On the one hand, increased business closures and relocations are impacting the commercial property market as businesses battle with labour shortages, cost pressures, and the flow-on effects of the COVID working from home revolution as employers reassess their space requirements. On the other hand, the demand side of the economic equation remains robust, with full flights, restaurants, schools, and a buoyant residential property market all pointing to one thing: Townsville is growing”. Townsville will not escape the 2024/25 downturn unscathed with significant economic links to world trade and commodity markets, with several major economies already in recession. However, it remains well-positioned for long-term growth. Keys to unlocking this growth include economically viable higher density housing options and catching the lagging perception up to the reality of Townsville as a top regional destination to live, work and invest after the difficult social and economic years leading up to COVID. Townsville Chamber of Commerce CEO Heidi Turner commented on the report, “It is heartening to read in the Northern Eye report that the future is bright for our region. We are seeing many businesses caught between increasing costs of doing business, and lower consumer spending. "At Townsville Chamber of Commerce, we will be holding a mirror up to our three levels of government to address our key advocacy areas to reduce red tape and the cost of doing business, reduce crime and ensure we are well positioned to maximise upon future opportunities to raise the region." Read the Northern Eye Report

Green methanol agreement could see Townsville join global green shipping network
14 March 2024 Green methanol agreement could see Townsville join global green shipping network

Townsville stands to become a global leader in the production, export and supply of green methanol, following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between ABEL Energy and Port of Townsville. The MoU underpins ABEL Energy’s plans to produce and export green methanol from a new $1.7 billion manufacturing facility in Townsville. The partnership will also explore opportunities for establishing marine bunkering facilities at the Townsville Port, making Townsville a critical pitstop in the emerging green shipping network. ABEL Energy CEO Michael van Baarle said the Townsville project would seek to replicate the company’s flagship project, Bell Bay Powerfuels in Tasmania —and would produce 300,000 tonnes per annum of green methanol for the shipping and aviation sectors. “ABEL’s green methanol production process uses 100 per cent renewable power, fresh water and biomass residues. Our production site in Bell Bay – and the one planned for Townsville – is clean in operation with virtually zero greenhouse gas emissions, water emissions or waste discharge,” Mr van Baarle said. “Townsville poses an ideal location for our second green methanol production facility due to the availability of wind and solar energy, along with the large amount of readily available biomass in the forms of sugar cane waste, invasive pest species, prickly acacia and woodchip.” Port of Townsville CEO Ranee Crosby said the proposed project presents benefits for the region that expand beyond ABEL’s direct investment, trade and employment opportunities. “This initiative aligns with Port of Townsville’s commitment to supporting sustainable energy projects and reinforces our position as a key facilitator of trade and economic growth,” Ms Crosby said. “The world’s shipping industry is facing enormous change as it seeks to decarbonise fleets globally to meet IMO’s long-term GHG reduction ambitions. “ABEL Energy’s project presents an exciting opportunity to provide green methanol marine bunkering facilities at the Port of Townsville, as well as exporting renewable energy to global markets.” The MoU outlines a collaborative effort between the Port of Townsville and ABEL Energy to undertake comprehensive investigations to assess the feasibility of the proposed project. Early investigation will include market assessment and analysis, identifying infrastructure and logistic requirements and working cooperatively to advance the project. ABEL Energy joins a growing list of proponents seeking to export renewable energy through the Port of Townsville, including Edify Energy, Origin Energy and Ark Energy Corporation.

Young Chamber Mentoring
14 March 2024 Young Chamber Mentoring

Townsville Chamber of Commerce - JCU College of Business Law and Governance Mentoring Program 2024 For the past three years, Townsville Chamber of Commerce (TCoC) are proud to have partnered with James Cook University’s (JCU) College of Business Law and Governance (CBLG) to mentor students who are nearing completion of their degree to help them transition into the workforce. The TCoC-JCU Mentoring Program aims to build the skills and career development opportunities of JCU Business/Commerce/Law Students by connecting them to industry professionals for a shared learning experience.  Mentees can learn from an industry mentor, and mentors can develop their leadership and coaching skills by providing guidance to ambitious students who are at the start of their career journey. WHY BECOME A MENTOR? Do you remember what it was like transitioning from uni life to your career? Getting your first job and navigating the work environment? Becoming a mentor is a great way to give back and help guide the next generation of business professionals. It will also give you opportunity to develop personal skills in leadership, talent identification, addressing corporate social responsibility as well as improving your professional profile and the profile of your organisation. Mentoring will involve six one-on-one mentoring sessions, virtual check-ins and mentoring and networking events. Previous mentors of the program told us: “My career has benefited from the expertise and insight of many mentors over the years and this program has been an excellent opportunity to support and encourage the growth of an emerging professional in my field of expertise." "It has been a fantastic opportunity to use my experience to guide a young person and see their confidence grow." "I thought this would be about giving but I gained so much too." To find out more about becoming a mentor or mentee click HERE. WHY BECOME A MENTEE As a mentee, you can learn from an industry mentor who will provide guidance to you to help you at the start of your career journey.  Mentors will be JCU Alumni or Townsville Chamber of Commerce members who are in a similar industry or who have travelled a similar career path to you.  They will provide guidance relating to career planning, skill development, networking and job search techniques. This mentoring will help strengthen and build your network and gain the skills and confidence necessary to excel. Mentoring will involve a set number of one-on-one mentoring sessions, virtual check-ins and mentoring and networking events. Previous participants of the program told us:  “My mentor had been in my shoes not too long ago so they were really helpful in terms of being a relatable figure that I could easily contact and ask for help if needed.” “The mentor program allowed me to establish a network within the profession that provided valuable insights and knowledge.” “It really helped to build my confidence.” Program Overview: 1.     Submit your expression of interest before 5 April, 2024.  Apply here. 2.     Acceptance notifications by 5 April, 2024. 3.     5.30 pm, Wednesday 10 April, 2024. Induction session  4.     Mentors and mentees will participate in a minimum of six one on one mentoring sessions to be completed by end of September. 5.     Students will record meeting outcomes in a PebblePad workbook for feedback and verification by mentor. 6.     Mentors and mentees will have free access to Young Chamber Professional Development and networking sessions. 7.     Mid October - Final celebration event and program evaluation. To find out more about becoming a mentor or mentee click HERE. If you have any questions about the program please contact Natasha Buttler, JCU Marketing Lecturer.

Local Election Meet the Candidates Breakfaast
29 February 2024 Local Election Meet the Candidates Breakfaast

At our Local Election Meet the Candidate’s Breakfast last week it was interesting to hear from 25 of the 27 candidates, about what they stand for and why we should vote for them. To have so many people passionate about making a difference to our city is heartening. It was wonderful to have high school students from Cathedral and Grammar at the event present on the day too especially after some sent in really considered questions for the candidates.    It’s so important that we involve young people in these discussions to gain an understanding of how democracy works. I remember various politicians coming to visit us in high school to talk about the importance of voting and one Politician , Sir Bob, who went on to represent our town for over 20 years, came into our school and spoke passionately to us about the power of every single vote and making sure we knew what and who we were voting for. This is why, as the only independent voice of business in Townsville we host these election events to ensure our members and the wider community have the information they need to make an informed decision.   If you missed our breakfast, you can watch the replay HERE   Pre-Polling is now open so you can cast your vote early at these locations: Greenwood Park Sporting Complex, Thuringowa Drive, KIRWAN RO Office, 2D | 1-3 Woodman Court, WEST END PCYC Townsville, 126 Wellington Street, AITKENVALE   Have a great weekend Heidi

Mind the Gap!
22 February 2024 Mind the Gap!

It is easy to get caught in the hustle of doing, there is always something to do. This year has been a whirlwind, already and it’s nights like tonight when I stay late that I can hear the words of one of my mentors “Mind the Gap Heids” Tony Ireland, one of the business leaders who brought the Townsville Crocodiles to Townsville, generously shared his wisdom with me for a couple of years about a decade ago, and one of the many things he taught me was about the Gap Theory. It looks at the space between where we are now and where we want to be. Naturally we keep moving towards our goals and achieving but by the time we reach the original goal we are focused on the next one. There is always a gap and it’s easy to fall in and get stuck!  A great way to “mind the gap” is to look back and reflect on what has been achieved and not just focusing on the work that hasn’t been done…YET! So reflecting on the start to 2024 when we look at the numbers of people at our events, the numbers of you signing up to our mailing list, the members who are renewing and the new members who have signed up already this year it really is painting a clear picture, our community is building. We have included a welcome to our new members for 2024 later in this email. We can feel the support and it is exciting to share with you that our fortnightly coffee events are sponsored right up until NOVEMBER!! So that’s every CBD coffee and also every Alternative Behind the Scenes Coffee where we have a unique opportunity to visit a Gold member. We have various events and workshops in the pipe line to help you connect and grow and we are very grateful for the energy, ideas and time that members are contributing. I encourage you to take a moment to reflect on what you have achieved this year and mind the gap! Heidi

Elevate your business skills
14 February 2024 Elevate your business skills

Due to an impressive demand since we announced our partnership with TAFE Queensland, we are happy to announce that we will be hosting a second cohort of TAFE Queensland’s Small Business Solutions program the Certificate IV in Entrepreneurship and New Business (BSB40320) delivered by specialised industry mentorsThe new cohort will start on Wednesday 6 March, with 3 fortnightly sessions and individual mentoring. Numbers are limited so click here to register your interest. Key Highlights of the Course: Accredited Training: Recognise your skills and knowledge with a formal qualification in Certificate IV in Entrepreneurship and New Business (BSB40320). For course details please click here. Business Management Expertise: Tailored for small business owners, start-up leaders, and aspiring entrepreneurs, this program focuses on honing essential business management skills. From financial proficiency to legal and risk management, marketing strategies, and crafting persuasive business proposals, you'll gain a well-rounded foundation. Personalised Mentorship: As a student, you will benefit from the guidance of an experienced mentor from the business community. Through face-to-face or virtual sessions, together you will develop a business plan customised to propel your venture towards success. Fee-Free TAFE: Some or all course costs will be covered by the Australian and Queensland Governments for eligible students. Please refer here for eligibility requirements.  Students who successfully complete this course will have access to ongoing support and mentorship from the Townsville Chamber of Commerce. Spaces are limited, for more information and to secure your place click here

Who are we and what do we do?
6 February 2024 Who are we and what do we do?

I’m often asked what the Chamber of Commerce is and what we do, and I have come across some confusion recently from surprising places. In the coming weeks you will start to see messaging increase around what we do. In marketing activating your advocates is a key part of building a brand and so as someone close to the Townsville Chamber of Commerce I encourage you Ross to read on and ask us any questions you might have by replying to this email.   THE ELEVATOR PITCH The Townsville Chamber of Commerce is a business membership organisation that for over 141 years has been an independent voice for the business community, to CONNECT, INFORM and ADVOCATE for our members. We bring together local businesses to promote economic growth, provide networking opportunities, business education, and marketing support to help businesses in our region thrive and grow.   TOP 10 THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT TOWNSVILLE CHAMBER   Since 1882 we have represented the business community as an INDEPENDENT VOICE advocating on the behalf of our members.  Our almost 400 members are BIG and SMALL BUSINESSES – From multinational businesses right through to sole traders and start-up businesses. We have 3 clear pillars to support our members through CONNECTING, INFORMING and ADVOCATING. We CONNECT MEMBERS by hosting regular networking events, connect businesses with each other when we see common ground and make business introductions. We INFORM and EDUCATE members through regular emails, workshops and events to help elevate members and encourage best practice. We LISTEN to members and are an INDEPENDENT COLLECTIVE VOICE FOR THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY, advocating for policies and initiatives that benefit our members and the overall economic climate in our region. We are NOT GOVERNMENT FUNDED (This surprises people, we are funded by our membership fees) Our members elect a board of businesspeople (volunteers) who hire a CEO and operational team (all paid) to lead and run the organisation. The VOLUNTEER PRESIDENT has a 2-year term, your current President is experienced business professional Miranda Mears. We are a diverse, welcoming, and supportive community that anyone can be part of starting from just $220 +GST. Find out more about membership HERE.   THE HISTORY OF CHAMBERS OF COMMERCE The concept of a Chamber of Commerce is not new, and there are Chambers of Commerce in every corner of the world. We are not officially connected with each other, but we all have the same goal to further the interests of businesses. I have spoken to many other Chamber CEOs already as we have common ground.   The first Chamber of Commerce began in 1599 in Marseilles France with businesses joining together in a mutual effort to increase commerce in Marseilles. The idea caught on across Europe and in 1826 the first Chamber in Australia was formed in Sydney, Brisbane in 1868 and then in 1882 the Townsville Chamber of Commerce was formed. So, before Australia became a nation the Townsville Chamber of Commerce existed.   Things have changed since then, but chambers of commerce still play a crucial role in supporting and strengthening the local business community and economy.

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Over 40 interviews covering essential information, conversations, ideas and news that matters to the business community of Townsville. 

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Townsville Young Chamber

Helping emerging Townsville business leaders learn, grow and connect with our business community. 


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