ACCI defends kiosk stance

Toby HusseyAlbany Advertiser
The Albany Chamber of Commerce and Industry represents about 500 businesses.
Camera IconThe Albany Chamber of Commerce and Industry represents about 500 businesses. Credit: Toby Hussey

The Albany Chamber of Commerce and Industry has defended its position on the proposed Visitor Centre kiosk after a scathing rebuke by the City of Albany’s deputy mayor last week.

Speaking in the council chambers on May 28, Cr Greg Stocks called the absence of an official ACCI presence at the meeting “pathetic”, six months after then-chief executive Michael Clark stood in opposition to the proposal.

“How can we have an industry body that stands before council six months ago with a very strong position (on the kiosk), adamant that it won’t go ahead, to hear they’ve (now) rescinded their position?” he said.

Reports from the time stated Mr Clark urged the council to refuse the lease “for the sake of all existing coffee operators”.

ACCI chief executive Benita Cattalini’s response to Mr Stocks’ criticism was her organisation had put “a great deal of thought” into the issue since November.

In a letter penned to the council ahead of last week’s meeting, the ACCI asked — should the council proceed with seeking expressions of interest for the kiosk area — that the process be “more open and transparent to the existing business community”, according to Ms Cattalini.

“The chamber position was always about the process,” she said.

“It was always opposed to any process that didn’t give a fair, open and transparent opportunity for the Albany business community to participate.”

However, Mr Stocks said that assessment was “reinventing history”.

“They turned up in November with a very strong position,” he said.

“I held my view before (Mr Clark) got up. I still hold that view.

“Nothing’s changed for me and I can’t see what should have changed for them.”

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