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Chamber backflips on Andrew Fairley Ave stance

Shepparton Chamber of Commerce has rescinded its support for the closure of Andrew Fairley Ave after a backlash from angry chamber members.

DARREN LINTON May 21, 2014 3:24am

Shepparton Chamber of Commerce and Industry has backflipped on its support for the closure of Andrew Fairley Ave.

At a special meeting on Monday night disgruntled members brought on, president Jamie Cox told the 30 members present the board would withdraw its submission supporting the proposed closure and rescind the original motion.

The special meeting was forced because of a backlash from chamber members who thought the board had gone too far in reaching a formal position without seeking the views of its members.

‘‘As part of that address, I apologised to the members,’’ Mr Cox said.

‘‘What we recognised is the board is there to govern and run the Chamber of Commerce and Industry and a part of that is talking with our members.

‘‘The right choice to make was to withdraw the submission and rescind the motion.’’

The formal special meeting lasted less than 20 minutes, but it looked like being derailed before it started.

Members arrived to find SPC Ardmona chief financial officer James Harvey and Greater Shepparton City Council director of infrastructure Steve Bowmaker there to present to the audience.

Non-members cannot attend special meetings under the constitution, so both men had to leave the room.

However, they were invited back after the close of the formal meeting to present on SPC Ardmona’s plans and the council’s traffic study.

Trevor Cottrell, a businessman opposed to the closure, also spoke.

‘‘At the end of the night, there were still people debating whether it should be closed or not,’’ Mr Cox said.

He said the speakers were there to provide information and it was up to individual members to make submissions on the proposed closure.

‘‘If you have a strong view for or against on Andrew Fairley Ave, then drop in a submission,’’ Mr Cox said.

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