Chamber of Commerce and Industry of WA chief executive Deidre Willmott speaking at a recent Business News event. Photo: Attila Csaszar

Willmott to resign from CCI

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry of WA will be hunting for a new chief executive after Deidre Willmott signalled she would move on from the role in January next year to pursue non-executive director roles.

Ms Willmott, who is also a director of Australia Post, started as chief executive at the CCI in 2014.

She also serves as a director of the Kimberley Foundation of Australia, which protects indigenous rock art, a role she has held for seven years, and is chair of the St Hilda's Anglican School For Girls council.

Past roles include executive chairman of lobbyist and public relations business Cannings Purple, director of external relations at Fortescue Metals Group, and chief of staff to former premier Colin Barnett.

Ms Willmott was briefly the endorsed Liberal Party candidate for the state seat of Cottesloe in 2008, until stepping aside from the role to allow Colin Barnett to contest the election as party leader.

Ms Willmott said she was proud of the reputation the CCI had built as Western Australia’s peak business advocate, which she said could not have been achieved without the commitment of staff and members.

“Industry associations are only as strong as their membership and the chamber’s members are among the most hard-working, resourceful organisations in the country,” Ms Willmott said.

“I am particularly proud of the work that we have done to reshape the way the chamber operates and delivers its services, and our advocacy on key issues including tax and GST reform, penalty rates, retail trading hours reform, and the promotion of WA’s elite defence capabilities.

“It has been an incredibly difficult decision to leave the chamber to pursue my non-executive roles, but I believe this is an ideal time.

“It has been a privilege to advocate on behalf of WA’s business community to help make WA the best place in the world to live and do business.”

Executive search firm Gerard Daniels will run the recruitment process.

Meanwhile, the Chamber's 2016 financial report flagged a fall in revenue of about 13.3 per cent for the year to June 2016, to $55.6 million, showing the Chamber has not been immune from the economic slowdown.

That resulted in an after tax loss of $3.8 million, down from an after tax profit in 2015 of $1.4 million.

The Chamber reported around $25 million of cash reserves.

A major driver of the reduction in revenue was falls in fee for service income, which dropped $5.7 million to $46.9 million.

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