Forum representatives named

SMALL business has done better than expected in terms of representation on the State Development Forum – a Government think tank aimed at stimulating development.

The forum idea was floated in September with the announcement of six members. At the time, State Development Minister Clive Brown said he would like to have at least one, and hopefully two, small business representatives on the forum.

The remaining six members of the 12-person forum have now been named and at least two have small business backgrounds.

The six new members are: Woodside managing director John Akehurst; Second Skin chief executive officer Jenni Ballantyne; Macquarie Bank equity capital markets division director David Griffiths; Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union state secretary Jock Ferguson; Daneechi Swimwear Magic managing director Denise Price; and AOT Consulting director David Taylor.

These join Murdoch University pro vice-chancellor Professor Valerie Alder; Clough Engineering managing director Dr Brian Hewitt; Challenge Bank managing director Tony Howarth; Australian Liquor, Hospitality and Miscellaneous Workers’ Union secretary Helen Creed; Sons of Gwalia executive chairman Peter Lalor; and Burswood International Resort managing director John Schaap.

Mr Taylor and Ms Price are both small business people and Ms Ballantyne’s company arguably could be called a small business.

Both Mr Howarth and Mr Lalor are presidents of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Chamber of Minerals and Energy respectively.

Small Business Alliance spokeswoman Cheryl Thompson questioned why a small business organisation wasn’t invited to take part.

“But the forum seems pretty wide ranging despite that. If this forum can achieve something then it will be worthwhile,” Mrs Thompson said.

A spokeswoman for Mr Brown said the forum was designed to get a broad focus and not to involve lobby groups.

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