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The Lithgow District Chamber of Commerce (LDCC) supports local businesses and organisations with a range of events and services that help build a solid and sustainable local economy for the future of Lithgow and the surrounding towns and villages.

Building Solid Foundations for a Brighter Future

  • A Framework for Growth Event

    There was a united position expressed at the Framework for Growth event, organised by the Lithgow District Chamber of Commerce, with the region’s stakeholders advocating for a more proactive and collaborative working relationship across Government, Council and the Chamber.

    The evening event, held at the Western Sydney University Transformation Hub on April 1 and attended by small to large employers and community groups from across the region, was addressed by Minsters Andrew Gee and Paul Toole and Mayor Maree Statham.

    Under the auspices of the Framework for Growth theme, the event provided an opportunity for the three speakers to share their views on Lithgow’s future. The Chamber also provided details on its events program courtesy of the Bushfire Local Economic Recovery (BLER) funding package. As part of a vision for a stronger future, Chamber President Peter Pilbeam said ‘the Lithgow LGA exhibits tremendous opportunity and those of us in leadership roles must work together if our local community is to prosper.

    The Lithgow region is in a prime position to really take off. We’ve received $50 million in state funding for the Gardens of Stone; we have $2.03 billion being injected into the local economy with the Great Western Highway upgrade, ensuring quicker and safer access to Sydney, and; we’re seeing private investment also with NIOA, the biggest Australian-owned supplier of firearms, weapons and ammunition to the Australian Defence Force based in Lithgow with the intention of potentially using the area as the site for a new $50 million weapons factory.

    All this investment being injected into the region, coupled with the fact that more and more people are moving into the area because of its natural beauty, we are an economy that is in the process of diversifying and setting itself up for future growth. We really have so much on offer.

    The Chamber is positioned well to make the most of these opportunities having received the $503,000 joint Federal-State Government Bushfire Recovery grant which we are using to hold a series of key business events over the coming 2 years. In fact, our first BLER event held last week was enthusiastically embraced by aspiring entrepreneurs who will be supported and mentored in taking their ideas to fruition. A first for Lithgow where the resources and skills of the Chamber, Western Sydney University and State & Federal Governments are being pooled to create an innovation presence in the region.

    It’s time to unite and grow the LGA into a powerful location that businesses and families can call home. With Sydney house prices escalating to unsustainable levels and with the COVID environment, regional centres like Lithgow, are becoming viable locations for family living and remote working,‘ Mr Pilbeam said.

    This message was echoed by the other speakers.

    Member for Calare and Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Defence Personnel, Andrew Gee, said Lithgow’s prime location means the city and surrounding districts will continue to go from strength to strength.

    In 2020, a net 43,000 Australians – more than double from the previous year – chose to pack up their small city apartments, leave behind their hours-long daily commutes, and exchange a sea of grey skyscrapers for the endless blue skies of regional Australia. We haven’t seen migration inland like this since the days of gold rush, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see numbers of people swapping the city for the country rise even higher this year.’

    As Sydney expands westward and the new Western Sydney International Airport takes shape, Lithgow, the gateway to the Golden West, with stunning natural beauty, history, unique attractions, and a strong manufacturing industry, is in pole position to inspire more young professionals, families and businesses to relocate to regional Australia,’ he said.

    The Australian Government is investing in Lithgow’s future by funding big-ticket projects like the $2.03 billion upgrade of the Great Western Highway, millions in bushfire recovery funding, and the $1.93 million Federally funded facelift of Main Street,’ said Mr Gee.

    Acting Premier, Minister for Regional NSW, and Member for Bathurst Hon. Paul Toole MP said ‘the BLER program is part of the $4.5 billion bushfire support program co-funded by the Federal and NSW Governments for bushfire recovery, response and preparedness in NSW.

    More than two years have passed since the Black Summer bushfires destroyed homes across our state including Lithgow and the NSW Government is continuing to deliver the support our local region needs to keep moving forward in recovery. We are backing projects that bring communities together, support tourism and boost business recovery’.

    Mayor Maree Statham said, ‘Lithgow City Council plays a pivotal and vital role in the region’s future and is currently overseeing the Lithgow Emerging Economy Project (LEEP) in conjunction with the NSW Government.  We will be reaching out to the wider community as part of the stakeholder interaction in an endeavour to gain insights so that an action plan can be developed that will guide our region towards a future proof economy. The economic environment is changing and we need to be proactive in the way we prepare for this.’ ‘We are all in this together and therefore Council echoes the need for collaboration and the pursuit of an action plan that is both robust and sustainable. It is rare to have three state significant projects on the table at any one time. Opportunities like this are rare and we have to embrace change and not be left behind,‘ she said.

  • Supporting Start-up Ventures – a new era for the Lithgow Region

    Today, the Seven Valleys Chamber of Commerce, Lithgow held its inaugural Start Ups Information session at Western Sydney University’s Lithgow Transformation Hub.

    The initiative represents the initial step in supporting those in the region with a business idea or concept and giving them the necessary guidance to commercialisation.  Today’s information session, featuring entrepreneurs and experienced business advisors, gave participants an excellent baseline of what to consider when progressing one’s business idea.

    The Chamber is working alongside Western Sydney University’s (WSU) Lithgow Hub to create a physical co-working space, supported by mentoring services including online interaction. Individuals with an entrepreneurial bent will be able to gain knowledge and pursue their ideas to fruition, knowing there is a support infrastructure in place. All of this is designed to encourage an enterprise culture in the region and build innovative businesses.

    The Start Ups Information Session (with monthly mentoring workshops) is the Chamber’s first event to kick start the Business Revival Program, funded by the NSW Government’s Bushfire Local Economic Recovery (BLER) fund. Chamber President Peter Pilbeam said “The funding is important for the region and for the Chamber as we’re considered an area in transition. The heritage of the Lithgow region has been as an industrial and energy producing area, but the region needs to develop new business opportunities and enterprises.”

    Acting Premier, Minister for Regional NSW, and Member for Bathurst Paul Toole said the Bushfire Local Economic Recovery Fund is part of the $4.5 billion bushfire support program co-funded by the Federal and NSW Governments for bushfire recovery, response and preparedness in NSW.

    More than two years have passed since the Black Summer bushfires destroyed homes across our state including Lithgow and the NSW Government is continuing to deliver the support our local region needs to keep moving forward in recovery,”  Mr Toole said. “The Bushfire Local Economic Recovery Fund is backing projects that bring communities together, support tourism, boost business recovery and increase preparedness for future bushfires, acknowledging recovery is a long process.

    Working together with our partners and supporters, namely WSU, Central West Business HQ and AusIndustry, the Chamber is laying the platform from which enterprises can develop. It is no mean feat to establish a business, let alone a viable one and our program reduces the uncertainties through mentoring advice and support. The Chamber will be working with the each of the start-up participants to map out a program of support, bringing together the necessary experts as required.  

    For those who could not make the Information Session but would like to participate in upcoming mentoring workshops, please contact the Chamber.

  • Early Christmas Present for Local Businesses

    To mark the start of its $503k Business Revival Program, the Lithgow District Chamber of Commerce has decided to further expand its support of local businesses that may be financially suffering from the effects of the bushfires and the pandemic by waiving its membership fee for 2022.

    At a public meeting on Monday night, the Chamber executive proposed that in the spirit of collaboration it would share its good fortune with the community and waive the annual membership to all Seven Valleys businesses for the 2022 calendar year.  

    Many small to medium sized businesses in the community have suffered financially from bushfires, floods and now COVID over the last two years. This includes sole traders, part-time businesses and tradies, so we want to reach out to support them,” said President Peter Pilbeam.

    Our funding was received to run a program of events including a Start Up event to encourage businesses entrepreneurship, so we would like to extend our support to the very businesses that the funding was received to support,” he said.

    The meeting discussed this proposal in some detail and noted that the waiving of the 2022 fees was in line with the Chamber’s mission to Build Solid Foundations for a Brighter Future. The fee will be waived for membership from December 2021 to December 2022. Those who had already paid their fee for 2022 will have their membership extended to 2023.

    To apply for free membership, go to the Chamber web site at Lithgow.org.au/Membership  or call 0403 397 645.  


  • Start-Ups Development Seminar

    Before the new year comes upon us, the Chamber is calling out to all would-be business start ups and those with a business idea – to come forward and find out what support, funding and mentorship might be available to them.

    The Start Ups Development Seminar is part of a proposed new program of events and functions that the Chamber is developing in partnership with local organisations to facilitate the expression and expansion of new business ideas in the Seven Valleys region.

    The Seminar will feature speakers from a number of state and federal government agencies and universities that support start ups and innovation programs for businesses. There will be case studies and local entrepreneurs speaking about their business experiences. This one stop shop experience will give attendees valuable insights into taking an idea to reality.

    Starting a new business is daunting but knowing where to turn for advice or financial support can be a lifesaver. The Chamber is planning to work with selected start-ups following the March 2022 seminar to progress ideas to a point of readiness for additional funding or showcasing to potential investors in mid-2023.

    The transitioning of the Lithgow regional economy into new fields of endeavour is creating start-up opportunities in areas such as agri-business, tourism, advanced manufacturing, cultural industries and renewables. That said, the Chamber wants to cast the net much wider and wants the community to come forward with as many other business ideas as possible.

    The Chamber is partnering with Western Sydney University to hold the Seminar at their Maldhan Ngurr Ngurra Lithgow Transformation Hub in Mort Street.

    For more information regarding the Start Ups Development Seminar expressions of interest, please email Welcome@Lithgow.org.au or call Natasha on 0403 397 645.

  • Bittersweet End of Era Blasts Seven Valleys into a new Future

    While the winds of change have swept through the Seven Valleys for some time, yesterday’s blast at Wallerawang was a loud signal that the region is moving towards a new future.

    In a bittersweet 15 seconds, the towering smoke stacks and boiler house of the iconic Wallerawang Power Station fell to the ground. This followed a spectacular fireworks celebration a week ago to farewell a rich era of industrial heritage and innovation, making way for a new sustainable energy hub and industrial park.

    The blast, felt by residents kilometres away across the region, comes on the heels of a $50 million NSW State Government investment to transform 30,000 hectares of the Gardens of Stone into an eco-tourism and adventure destination. Adventurers will soon be able to rock climb, camp and explore the ‘Lost City’ as well as enjoy new lookouts, walking trails, a 4WD circuit and a 35km mountain bike network.

    Announced by Deputy Premier Paul Toole, the investment is set to attract 200,000 extra visitors to the area each year, creating jobs and boosting the local economy. “We’re creating an experience right here in the Lithgow area,” Mr Toole said. “We talk about transitioning and diversifying the Lithgow economy, this is a step in the right direction.

    Lithgow Chamber of Commerce President, Peter Pilbeam, says, “We’re at the start of a new era for Lithgow and the Seven Valleys. As we honour our unique industrial heritage, we take advantage of our infrastructure to create new industries and bring investment into the area”

    Earlier this year the Lithgow Chamber announced its two-year Business Revival Program comprising major events to attract business and investors to boost the economy of the Seven Valleys.

    Innovation was always at the heart of our past industrial successes, and innovation will continue to be the key to advancing the Seven Valleys economy,” adds Pilbeam.

  • Exciting new chapter for Lithgow: welcoming Natasha Markert

    Please join the Lithgow District Chamber of Commerce in welcoming Natasha Markert to oversee the Lithgow LGA Business Revival Program as our Events and Communications Coordinator.

    Natasha joins us at an exciting time as we turn the page to a new chapter with a vibrant future for the ‘Seven Valleys‘ region. We found her skills and experience to be the perfect match for driving the success of the Business Revival Program, a series of major events to attract business and investors. With Natasha at the helm, the program promises to make a tangible difference to the social and economic health of our region.

    A resident of the upper Blue Mountains, Natasha has more than two decades experience coordinating successful events and communications for Local, State and Federal Government, not-for-profits, and corporate clients. For the past ten years, Natasha worked for a boutique corporate communications agency based in Sydney and the Blue Mountains, producing everything from large scale TV commercials to online content.

    Natasha says, “I’m very much looking forward to being part of the team at the Lithgow Chamber and to working with the business community across the region. I look forward to contributing my skills in profiling local businesses and delivering an events program that everyone will be fully proud of.

    Natasha will be based at the Lithgow campus of the University of Western Sydney, and can be contacted for further information on 0403 397 645 or Natasha@Lithgow.org.au.