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We can-do if we unite

Grafton Chamber of Commerce president Jeremy Challacombe.
Grafton Chamber of Commerce president Jeremy Challacombe. Adam Hourigan

IF YOU want something for the Clarence Valley, you've got to get together and get very bolshy.

That was the message from last night's Clarence Valley Community Unions forum which saw an audience of about 100 people turn out to show their interest in the future of the region.

Guest speakers included deputy assistant secretary of Unions NSW Adam Kerslake, who insisted the community needed to stand as one if it wanted to achieve results.

"I'm here to start asking questions about the type of future we want," Mr Kerslake said.

Grafton Chamber of Commerce's Jeremy Challacombe spoke of the various projects the chamber has been working on in recent weeks including SWOT analysis of small business and a look at various sectors.

"What we need is a can-do approach from council to encourage investment and value adding to existing industries," Mr Challacombe said.

"We need the community to work together with local government and our state and federal members.

As the DEX went to print last night, economic expert Professor Bill Mitchell was addressing the forum and discussing a report done into the workforce in northern NSW, which revealed some disturbing findings.

In our region, the participation rate in the workforce gave a "stunning result", according to Prof Mitchell, with the state and national average settling at around 65% but the regional statistics plunging from 56% to 52% since March 2011.

Topics:  clarence valley community unions economy forum grafton chamber of commerce jeremy challacombe



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