Hunter businesses have been quick to respond to a NSW Business Chamber campaign to help communities suffering from the impacts of bushfire and drought, with more than a dozen immediately answering a call to ‘back the bush’.

Backing the Bush is a website where companies and organisations of all sizes can pledge their promise to hold a board, management or staff meeting in one of the affected areas between now and the end of 2020.
The Hunter Business Chamber contacted a number of member organisations inviting them to help get the campaign started and we were overwhelmed by the response.

NIB, GH Varley, Bloomfield Group, Compass Housing and the University of Newcastle are among Hunter organisations that have jumped on board the campaign, joining a host of state and national companies that have taken the pledge, including QANTAS, KPMG, Deloitte, the National Rugby League and BlueScope Steel.

The board of the NSW Business Chamber has also agreed to hold its May State Council meeting on the NSW South Coast – a two-day event for more than 60 people.

We are asking companies to hold meetings normally scheduled for Sydney, Newcastle, Wollongong or interstate in one of the affected towns. This will help businesses of all sizes, from accommodation venues to caterers, cleaners, newsagents and local restaurants and cafes – everyone in the town benefits.
Organisations can sign up for the campaign by visiting, taking the pledge and using the #BackingTheBush hashtag on social media to promote their commitment.
Energy deal good for business

The Hunter Business Chamber has welcomed the NSW energy deal announced recently by the state and federal governments. It will provide much-needed security for business and industry as the country transitions to a lower-carbon economy.
The $2 billion deal will deliver a range of initiatives designed to increase gas and electricity supply by encouraging investment, improving grid security and supporting emissions reductions.

The package of measures promises to bring down costs while boosting confidence that we can avoid looming supply shortfalls.
The Chamber has consistently argued that the transition process must be practical, supporting industry as they seek to develop and convert to new technologies.

As well as prioritising new gas production at Narrabri, the joint plan must also ensure new LNG import facilities can progress, including the Newcastle GasDock proposal at Kooragang.  Also, new investment in pipeline infrastructure should be brought forward so that gas can get to where it is needed.
Gas generation can help the state reduce its power sector emissions while ensuring our industry sectors remain competitive.
Upcoming events

The Hunter Business Chamber’s calendar of networking and business development events gets underway on Friday 14 February with our Infrastructure Series lunch featuring Dr Jim Bentley, the state’s most senior water executive, at Surfhouse.

This will be followed by the first Business Development Forum breakfast with trust-based selling expert Ari Galper at Rydges Newcastle on Wednesday 19 February, and our first Mining lunch for 2020, featuring NSW Exceptional Woman in Mining award winner Sarah Withell, also at Surfhouse, on Friday 6 March.

Tickets for all events are available on the Hunter Business Chamber website.

Partnership opportunities

The Hunter Business Chamber has an opportunity for member organisations to join our Business Development Forum (BDF) team and partner with us in presenting the region’s premier business breakfast series.
The BDF is a series of monthly breakfasts offering entertaining and informative speakers presenting on a range of business topics. Speakers for this year’s series include trust-based selling expert Ari Galper, Hunter Business Leader of the Year Dr Peter Cock, brand and advertising specialist Marty Adnum from Out of the Square Media and digital marketing whiz Yvette Adams from The Creative Collective.
We have opportunities for businesses to sponsor two of these popular events. Partner businesses are offered a three-minute presentation at each of their sponsored breakfasts, which is a great platform for promoting your services to an engaged audience of SMEs and professionals.
Additional benefits include prominent placement of banners and flyers at the events, branding on event promotion, complimentary tickets for colleagues and clients and free newsletter advertising.
If you would like to know more about BDF sponsorship, contact Marketing and Events Coordinator Maddy Koosmen on 4969 9600 or by email at

Kind regards,

Bob Hawes – CEO Hunter Business Chamber