About West Ryde Chamber of Commerce

Origins

The West Ryde Chamber of Commerce in its current form originated from a meeting May 27, 1992 of local business people and others concerned at the long-term deterioration of private and public assets in the shopping centre with no hopeful prospects in sight. The meeting resolved to attack general apathy and seek assistance from Ryde Council, State Government, the Police Force and all stake-holders, with various problems both immediate and long term. That meeting resolved to set up a Chamber and elected an Executive Committee.

Objectives

The original objectives were and are:

  1. Attract extra business to West Ryde.
  2. Band together, in order to achieve more, and to do so cost-effectively.
  3. Follow accepted business practice ethics.
  4. To cooperate with and provide support for each other where practicable.
  5. To speak effectively, with strength, to governments and others at various levels.
  6. To provide a regular opportunity for business people in West Ryde to exchange information and ideas, and to solve common problems. The Chamber quickly gathered around 50 members and by means of a busy schedule of public and smaller meetings with everyone in sight, (plus those ducking for cover), succeeded in getting West Ryde onto the required agendas. We now have upwards of 60 members and are proud to claim the following successes.

Present Focus

Our present focus is on providing members with opportunities to meet socially, do business with each other, deal with Ryde Council and other levels of government with strength, for our mutual benefit.

Results

  • Continuous operations since May, 1992.
  • Regular formal , plus an “After- Hours” social gathering monthly.
  • Membership of Ryde Business Forum, which has a similar role on a wider scale across Ryde.
  • Membership of Business, NSW.
  • Established the annual giant West Ryde Easter Parade and Market Fair, 1993; to promote our shopping centre and our products.
  • Arranged an immediate programme of footpath and street repairs, improved lighting and public housekeeping, plus a regular maintenance schedule.
  • Established a successful and productive working relationship with the three local members of parliament.
  • Established a successful and productive working relationship with Ryde City Council’s Mayor, Councilors, General Manager and all relevant department heads resulting in constant contact, consultation, and joint programmes.
  • Arranged public meetings and successfully resisted the establishment of a proposed Needle Exchange Service in our shopping centre by the Northern Area Health Service.
  • Successfully lobbied Ryde Council to undertake a major public works project – West Ryde Stormwater Drainage Tunnel – $18,000,000 constructed 1998\9, solving a periodic stormwater flooding problem causing damage every couple of years
  • Consulted with Council and consultants on West Ryde Shops Redevelopment Plan with provides Zoning and other requirements for the long-awaited redevelopment of about one third of West Ryde shops.
  • Launched 1998 Pride in West Ryde project to gather Business, resident and Council support for a self- help shopping centre improvement including Graffiti removal, Hundreds of planters and shrubs on footpaths, better lighting, fresh paint and better signage on commercial premises,
  • Established a giant advertising sign on a development site hoarding advertising local shops and services cooperatively funded by 55 businesses
  • Established and maintained a maintenance fund for the street greening programme.
  • Established and part-funded a joint crack-down on juvenile crime with Ryde Police including setting up a street-front “Cop Shop” adjacent to Our rail station staffed by Police and volunteers, plus a telephone early warning network to alert fellow businesses to criminal and fraudulent local activity.
  • Launched a “Dob in a Graffiti Vandal” programme combining local press publicity, Police action and Chamber funding to reward informers up to $1000 for information leading to the conviction of offenders, this campaign immediately resulting in three arrests, convictions, and widespread media interest.
  • Regular police patrols and special operations resulting in a major improvement in general security and personal safety.