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					                                    Janelle Johnstone - President
                                  Lithgow Business Association Inc.

     President’s Report
                               April 2008
Wow, it’s all happening. The momentum from the Future of Lithgow Committees is
so encouraging. Many exciting issues and ideas are coming from these groups and a
report from this Future of Lithgow group is attached.

Remember, we are happy to accept other people to these groups. If you have a
particular interest in any of these areas, just contact us on Ph: 0400 698240 or email us
Future of Lithgow - Business Working Groups

Following on from the hugely successful meetings in February, I am please to announce the committees for the newly formed
business working groups.

   •     Business/Industrial Park/Land        Steve Anderson, Barbara Moran, Frank Crosara & Warren Smith

   •     Identity/Image/Signage/Tourism Janelle Johnstone, Dave Halpin, Maryanne Sweet, John Heasman, Ian Hatch,
                                        Ross Higgins & Craig Richardson

   •     Communication                        Margaret Maddock, Peter Watson & Erin Westra

   •     Traineeships/Education               Wendy Dwyer, Robert Cluff & Neville Castle

‘Business at Six’

Our next Business at Six will be held on Wednesday 16 April 2008 and Lithgow Council representatives will be making a
presentation of the Draft Management Plan. The Plan effectively details the Council’s activities for the next 3 years, together
with its’ revenue policy of rates and changing fees for the next 12 months. They will also be talking about the terms of
reference for the Sister City relationship as well.

Please come along and voice your thoughts on these important issues.

Annual General Meeting - Wednesday 30 April 2008

The AGM is set down for 7pm at the Lithgow Workmen’s Club.

This is your opportunity to put up your hand and be involved. Nomination Forms are available on our website or phone 0400 698240 and we will organise a form for you. Anyone can nominate themselves,
but you must be seconded by a financial member of the LBA. Nomination Forms must be received by Friday 25th April

The following positions will be open for re-election;

President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Public Relationship, Membership Officer, General Committee members

Your Business Association needs interested, motivated, and creative thinkers who have a genuine vision for Lithgow.

Business Awards 2008

The decision has been made to change the Business Awards to a bi-Annual Event which means that the next Business
Awards will be held in 2009.

This decision was made in consultation with the business community at large. Instead, our efforts this year will be
concentrating on building Lithgow and its’ surrounding districts’ business base, through the Future for Lithgow working

Extra special effort will be made to Celebrate Lithgow this year with the idea of possibly extending it to a week long
celebration. If you can’t commit to the executive committee on a year long basis, but have some time to commit to a short
term project, then please come forward. No promise of assistance is too small.

2009 Membership

Memberships are due in July this year and the 2009 Membership fee is $90.00. We are looking to fill the role of Membership
Officer on the Committee, so if you think you can assist, please send in your nomination for the AGM.

General Business

On a personal note, I had the great joy of celebrating 30 years in business this past week. Yes, it can be done.

I was honoured to have 70 friends and clients help me in celebrating at a simple cocktail party on the footpath outside my
store. I have included a copy of the Lithgow Mercury article for your interest.
Happy 30th Birthday Valley Florist and Gifts

Valley Florist and Gifts turns 30 this year and to celebrate the occasion, business owner Janelle Johnstone recounts the
story of how it all began and her passion for brightening people's lives with the gift of flowers.
Janelle had an early interest in floristry after working most school holidays for many ears with a relative in her Richmond
Florist business but after finishing her Higher School Certificate in 1977, her future plans were to go to University and
study physiotherapy.
While she was waiting for University to start, she worked in the Lithgow florist doing bookwork, deliveries and general
rouseabout work.
A couple of weeks before uni started, fate stepped in and the lady who owned the store said she was considering selling the
business. Janelle's then boyfriend (now husband) Ross asked Janelle if he were to buy the store, would she consider stay-
ing in Lithgow and not doing the university thing… she agreed and so, at the tender age of 17 and half started as owner of
the business.
Fast forward 30 years and the business is still going as strong as ever.
The person Ross and Janelle purchased the business from left after a very short time and a dear friend of Janelle's used to
travel by train from Penrith every day to train her in her new business. There is nothing like being thrown into the deep
After approximately 12 months of starting out, she employed her first person, Robyn and 29 years later, she is still with
her. Robyn is the most loyal and dedicated person Janelle could have ever hoped for.
There are many interesting stories Janelle could tell of the early years in the old premises at 98 Main Street.
One story in particular focuses back to 1981-82, when Janelle reared her baby son mostly at the shop. He used to sleep on
one of the back workbenches after he graduated from the cot. She remembers him setting up his pretend cattle farm in an-
other back room which kept him occupied for hours until his father or Pop would come and collect him to do some 'boyish'
In 1980 they opened a ladies lingerie/clothing store across the road (in what is now Silhoutte Beauty Salon) that Janelle's
mum managed for her.
In 1987 they saw a great need for a specialist toy store in town, so established Lithgow Toyworld. After 12 months in a
small store they transformed half of the old Mercury office and relocated Toyworld to that location. It was under their
ownership for 7 years. A triangular track was worn across the Main Street as she would run from one shop to the other.
Through all of these years, the Florist remained her mainstay and her greatest passion.
Many staff have come and gone over the years to whom Janelle is extremely grateful for their years of loyalty, friendship
and service.
The interesting things she has witnessed over the years are many and varied.
From the clients she has prepared wedding bouquets for many years ago, to the birth of their children and their subsequent
marriages and in some instances the birth of their children (which has a tendency to make you feel old) to the 36 hours
straight shifts for Mothers Day and Valentines Day.
From the days when a beautiful arrangement of flowers cost only $15.00, through to the changing landscape and beautifi-
cation of Main Street and the many businesses that have come and gone over the years.
The general shift in the local economy and the new demographic of shoppers has changed so much and the ever evolving
face of technology has kept Janelle on her toes.
She said "many things" have changed in the floral industry over 30 years and I believe the answer to survival is to be con-
stantly keeping abreast of new ideas and be willing to embrace change and to diversify into other areas. Thus the general
layout of my store has changed dramatically. While the art of floristry is still my core business we now carry a huge range
of giftware to compliment the flowers and give our clients a greater choice.
"I have been a member of Interflora for 27 years and Petals for 3 years. We have many years history of rating within the
top 10 sending members of Interflora and with constant training and changing of floral design techniques we know what
we are doing in the floral industry".
"I currently have a staff of three. Robyn for 29 years, Kerri for seven and Jessica is the new kid on the block, having re-
cently been signed up for a floristry traineeship".
Over the 30 years, I have been very involved in the business community and for the last six years filled the role of either
vice president or president of the Lithgow Business Association. I believe our town has so very much to offer and I would
like to encourage anyone out there who would like to be their own boss and maybe look at starting their own business, to
go the extra step and have a go… remember the future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams (Eleanor
"My most sincere thanks for my longevity in business must be attributed to many reasons, my incredible faith, my wonder-
fully supportive family (they are my rock) and of course my fantastically loyal staff and the wonderful people of the area
that have honoured us with walking through our doors or picking up the phone to place an order for flowers. A huge thank
you! You are awesome and extremely valued. It is a privilege to serve you".

"Real success is finding your lifework in the work that you love" 1978-2008

Lithgow Mercury—Tuesday 8 April 2008
                    LIE’S RESTAURANT ON TUESDAY 25TH MARCH 2008

Margaret Maddock
Steve Anderson
John Heasman
Janelle Johnstone
Maryanne Sweet
Jodie Rayner

Craig Richardson
David Halpin
Ross Higgins
Mal Wells

Lithgow is currently in a state of transition from the image of an industrial mining centred town. What we will become as a
town and how we will communicate our identity is for this committee to decide through engaging the broader community.
Our committee is focused on the three areas of Image, identity and Tourism. Our ideas for renewal must be consistent and
well communicated.

The pessimist complains about the wind. The optimist expects it to change. The leader adjusts the sails.
- John Maxwell
              Previous minutes
Previous minutes are yet to come from Renae. Renae has moved to Parramatta for at least 6 months and is unable to join us
over this time.

              Future meetings
IITC meetings will be held fortnightly on Tuesdays. Dates and times are listed on an attachment so as people can plan
ahead. We will alternate between morning and evenings so as to accommodate all participants. We will have a rotating
chairperson. An agenda will be set by the chair and distributed prior to the meeting so as to allow people to prepare and
bring any relevant information.

Meetings will be focused on Image, Identity and Tourism. These are broad areas and all ideas are welcome. If anybody
knows of people not currently involved who are stakeholders in these three areas please let them know. We encourage each
participant to be succinct and to the point in their suggestions but to contribute ideas to assist in moving us forward.

Each fortnight we will discuss actions for the following period, provide updates on progress, ask for assistance where nec-
essary and, most importantly, generate new ideas. Once a month we will meet with the Future of Lithgow Group to discuss
our progress.

             Progress Updates
                     Image and Identity Survey
                     Janelle was working with Renae to contact CSU in assisting with a survey of the local area. Survey is
                     to be focused on the Image and Identity of Lithgow.
                     Suggesions raised:
                          Katherine Attree from School of Marketing and Management is contacted to discuss this further.
                          Methods of survey were discussed and phone would be preferred over a mailout to increase com-
                          A research student is found to use Lithgow for a potential research question.
                          A media alert will need to be sent out prior to the event, to increase participation.

                      Discussions with Mercury
                      At the previous general meeting it was raised that press releases from council and LBA are not pub-
                      lished. People agreed that positive local content is needed to lift the town spirit.

                      Main Street presentation
                      John has drafted a letter to be sent to property owners, tenants and real estate agents. He would like to
                      have more than himself as signatory. It was suggested that David and Ross might also act as signato-
                      ries as these three previously agreed to initially focus on Main Street presentation. John also needs
                      assistance with addresses as most of the properties don’t have numbers.
                         At the previous general meeting it was mentioned that there would be a multi phase mail out to reinforce
                         the issue with stakeholders. A bulk order for paint could be obtained via local business and relevant
                         tradespeople could be arranged to assist. People should be members of the LBA to obtain discounts. These
                         points are still to be clarified.

                         It was again discussed as to who is responsible for the physical appearance of premises. Tenants v prop-
                         erty owners. Property owners are responsible for the maintenance of their property. Tenants are responsi-
                         ble for the image of their business. Everyone agreed real estate agents are in a position to talk to both and
                         it is in their interest to have empty properties well presented.

                         The letter is still at draft stage and is attached.

                Image of Lithgow
                        Approaches to Lithgow
                        Entrance corridors are in a state of disrepair. Signage is out of date, inconsistent or confusing.

                                       Lithgow Tourism currently has an annual budget to update signage. Details of budget are
                                       contained in the Lithgow Business and Marketing Plan 2007/2008 which is attached.

                                       Jodie has applied to have the tourism drive signs removed as she cannot follow them. The
                                       tourism drive needs to be clarified. Jodie has requested removal of all dirty coal miner signs.

                                       Entrance signs are currently before the Tourism committee but have not been passed. Janelle
                                       asked about stone/brick entrance walls and what information is included. The signs in the
                                       draft Promotional Signage Plan (see attachments) are for billboard signage at Mount Lambie
                                       and Hartley and a third at Marrangaroo to highlight the VIC. Proposed Council Boundary
                                       signs are a simple steel construction similar to Orange City Council, displaying visitor infor-
                                       mation contacts, population statistics, elevation and web address. Jodie has annual budget
                                       allocation for signage and cannot take anything to council that has not been passed by the
                                       tourism committee. Jodie cannot currently rollover her budget allocation to allow for a big-
                                       ger investment in signs for next financial year.

                                       Steve suggested a gateway to Lithgow that crossed over the highway. John approached all of
                                       the social clubs of Lithgow a few years ago to support entranceway signage and there was
                                       support for it but nothing eventuated.

Nature Strips
                                       The Mercury (13/03/08) reported that Council have drafted a policy on nature and median
                                       strip maintenance, and that residents are invited to comment on the policy. IITC will likely
                                       draft a submission to Council on this issue. RTA does not have local pride which is what we
                                       are trying to establish. It is important that somebody own this issue. Maryanne suggested it
                                       may need to become a council responsibility to ensure that all entrance corridors are main-
                                       tained. This will need to be addressed in future meetings.

Main Street Decorations
                                       The Rally in May has requested banners be erected for the
                                       rally in Main St. There are currently no spigots (anchor points for hanging). Apparently they
                                       have been thrown out by council. If anyone knows of a source please contact Jodie or
                                       Janelle. Jodie would also like to arrange Christmas decorations and has the Integral Energy
                                       policy for attaching spigots to their existing infrastructure.

                Identity of Lithgow
                         Lithgow logo
                         The wallaby logo is currently being used by council and will be used in all new signage installations. Jodie
                         is going to provide us with a copy of the proposed new logo which never went ahead. This was a front
                         page story in The Mercury. The 5 year social plan which was far more important for our town than the
                         logo received no comments and the logo received 200 comments mostly negative. Maryanne suggested
                         that we might be able to relaunch the new logo if we can sell it a little better and perhaps get more people
                         behind it. Everyone agreed this area was tricky. Janelle asked that we clarify what the colours of Lithgow
                         are. A more cohesive approach is needed in this area.

                         “Dig a little deeper”
                         This was discussed as being a potential slogan for Lithgow. It was initially proposed that this be part of a
                       local campaign to encourage locals to explore their own town and the amazing natural environment that
                       we are surrounded by. It is a reference to Lithgow’s substantial ties to mining but also leads us to consider
                       that there is so much more than an industrial history here. The thinking is that there are seemingly undis-
                       covered gems here if we open our own eyes to them. It can be a positive response to people who are nega-
                       tive in their opinions about Lithgow. It’s also a little catchy and people have so far responded positively to
                       it. Steve suggested we precede it in any text based promotional material with “from coal to diamonds…
                       LITHGOW – dig a little deeper”.

                       Jodie told us that there are no references to mining in current promotions of Lithgow and that Lithgow
                       Tourism has removed any references to Lithgow as a mining town. This was a strategic move to create
                       distance from the idea of Lithgow being a dirty industrial town as people have mentioned at previous
                       meetings. Lithgow Tourism would rather focus on the pristine beauty of the natural environment, and the
                       two major world heritage areas that are a part of Lithgow, as a part of its current 4 key pillars strategy.

                       Country Week
                       A few people are interested in organising a delegation for country week in August. A promo DVD was
                       suggested to play at Lithgow stand. Showbags need to be looked at. Jodie provided us all with Lithgow
                       Tourism bags which are loaded with promo info. The website is quite helpful and suggests major employ-
                       ers, real estate agents and job providers attend.

                       Promotion of Lithgow
                       We are strongly a part of the Blue Mountains from the tourism perspective. Blue Mountains Tourism
              incorporates Lithgow and Oberon into all promotional material
                       via Tourism NSW. Steve suggested we should be focusing on promoting our businesses in that area. Ga-
                       zette should be distributed in Lithgow and we should be actively engaging the business community to pro-
                       mote through them also for local coverage of news and events. It has been mentioned previously that press
                       releases should also be directed to the Gazette.

                       Jodie then showed Drive Pack which is aimed at inbound tourists. It is a $500k initiative from federal gov-
                       ernment grants and is a booklet and map for purchase in VICs. There are other regions promoted via the
                       Drive Pack initiative.

                       The Blue Mountains accommodation & experience Guide is the other major avenue for promotion.

                       Lithgow Tourism is also currently looking at a DL sized brochure to promote Lithgow attractions. This
                       will lend a cohesive look to tourism promotion and hopefully eradicate the photocopies. Jodie insists that
                       photocopying is due to budget restrictions but the photocopy budget is probably better directed elsewhere.

              Lithgow Tourism
Jodie Rayner, Manager of Lithgow Tourism was invited to join us and was a great source of information. The Tourism Commit-
tee meet the 2nd Tuesday of every second month. The next meeting is April so the date would be 8th April. Location and time
TBA. An LBA representative is at each meeting.

Jodie presented a range of information to us (see attachments). The Visitors Information Centre employs 3 full time and 2 casual
staff and has had people from work for the dole program. The VIC operates a referral system on 10% commission. This month
they have referred 48 bookings worth $6600 to Lithgow. Jodie only looks at statistics related to direct tourism but VIC often
refer to other local businesses.

Tourism gets their source data from the National Visitors survey which is fed via Tourism NSW and disseminated by Blue
Mountains Tourism. There are a large proportion of Dutch, Swiss and western European visitors with UK and US visitors also
peaking at various times. Korean visitors were the largest of the Asian tourist groups but are dropping and Japanese visitors have
dropped considerably. There are two different tourist groups which are targeted by tourist operators in our region.
             Bus travellers who come on pre packaged tours where itinerary is pre arranged and prepaid
             Free and independent travellers (FIT’s) who are more important as they average $120 a day spend. We currently
                  don’t have infrastructure for backpackers - so there’s another opportunity!

Janelle requested a list of who is with Lithgow Tourism as well as who isn’t. Areas that need addressing are why operators aren’t
with Lithgow Tourism and where are they?

Lithgow Tourism recently held meetings for the upcoming Great Escapade and two people from Lithgow turned up. A much
more positive response came from Portland. There are 1400 people confirmed and it has been actively promoted via local radio.
They will have on site food but will also come looking for other places to visit as they are on holiday. Here is a link to the web-
Lithgow Tourism is currently dealing with this major event but are already in the planning phase for the next Lithgow GIFT in
2009. Next week they will be at the caravan and camping, 4WD and holiday show

                      4 key pillars of Lithgow Tourism
                      Lithgow Tourism currently focuses on 4 areas for promotion with a predominant emphasis on the natural
                      environment, particularly the two major world heritage areas that are a part of Lithgow. The four pillars
                           Rejuvenation and relaxation
                           Events and festivals

                      Local events
                      An events calendar is on page 7 of the Accommodation & Experience Guide 2008. There are a number of
                      Lithgow events not listed on this calendar including the Lithgow and Rydal Shows, Celebrate Lithgow,
                      Hartley Big Backyard.

                      Local attractions
                      The largest obstacle to tourism in Lithgow is operating hours of our heritage attractions. Major attractions
                      aren’t open 7 days a week as they are often run by volunteers. People who arrive outside of operating
                      hours for local attractions and only stay a single night may not see any of the local heritage attractions.
                      National Parks and Delta are open 7 days. Visitor numbers to local attractions are contained in the situa-
                      tion report of the Business & Marketing Plan (attached).

                      Changes in schools can affect Delta visitor numbers as they attract many school excursions.

                      Steve has suggested an animal farm somewhere in Hartley to draw visitors into the valley from Blue
                      Mountains. Pat a kangaroo type experience.

                      John asked about the possibility of a coffee shop in the VIC – another opportunity!

                      Emirates are already advertising their Wolgan Valley project to tourists. This is their official website for

                      Here is an interesting interview with the General Manager of the Wolgan Valley project:

                      It is the first project by emirates outside of UAE and is unique in terms of the experience offered. A sec-
                      ond and third are luxury island resorts due to open in the Seychelles in 2010.

                      Local ambassadors program
                      Lithgow Tourism currently operates under the Lithgow Council but promotes mainly to an external mar-
                      ket via Blue Mountains Tourism. It was suggested that if you actively promote to your own town you have
                      the best supporters for local tourism. Tourism is currently looking at developing a local ambassadors pro-
                      gram which would train up people who work in customer service roles in the town. People working in
                      Coles/Woollies type environments are often dealing with out of towners who ask about things to do in
                      Lithgow. It was mentioned that the typical response from young people is “there’s nothing to do here –
                      Lithgow’s a hole”. The local ambassadors program would train front line employees up on what there
                      actually is to do and see for tourists who come to Lithgow, and will likely be a lapel pin badge with some-
                      thing along the lines of “ask me about lithgow” or “Lithgow ambassador”. Jodie has a background in
                      teaching and a target time of 3 months to write the course.

                      Local information
                      Wilkins Tourists Maps publish the local tourist information map. It’s not up to date - Janelle has lived in
                      her street for 20 years and it’s not on the map. A local man organises it. His name is Max. We will need to
                      pursue more information on this.

                      The map at Queen Elizabeth Park is not up to date and nor is the Cook St Plaza noticeboard.

                      John suggested we jump into technology with a tourism card for local operators. It would be along the
                      longs of pre paid tourism with a benefit for buying the card ie. Inbuilt discount on tours and local services
                      etc. it could incorporate local attractions as well as the greater area.
                      Another brilliant technology idea from John was a memory card could be given to tourists to load into
                      their portable GPS’s full of information and directions to local attractions.

Jodie provided an enormous amount of information as to current Tourism activities and we are all very grateful for her contribu-

                 Maryanne will follow up on Renae for all previous minutes and paperwork
                 Margaret will communicate developments of IICT via the events diary
                 Jodie needs a metal detector for this weekend. Steve offered to lend her one.
                 John needs assistance with property numbers and addressees for main street stakeholders. Can anybody help
                 ? will contact Katherine Attree to discuss the possibilities of CSU delivering the survey.
                 Steve, Ross and John will arrange a meeting with Len Ashworth over the coming weeks regarding Mercury
                      coverage of local news and positive local content.
                 John will discuss the letter to Main Street stakeholders with David and Ross
                 Janelle will assist Jodie in sourcing spigots. Jodie will email Janelle the specifications.
                 Drafting of a submission to council on nature strips and maintenance of roadsides
                 Maryanne will talk to Mal Wells of Majestic Tours about arranging a day tour of Lithgow highlights for com-
                      mittee members and families
                 Lithgow events calendars require updating. All events should be listed at all sources
                 If you are a business that would like to have local tourism info on your premises Jodie asked that you drop into
                      the VIC.
                 Who is the LBA rep currently attending Lithgow Tourism Committee meetings? It might benefit us to be de-
                      briefed by the LBA rep. Otherwise Mal Wells invited us to go along to committee meetings.
                 Can everyone try to find out what the representative colours of Lithgow are? This is a request to unearth our
                      town colours so that we can somehow incorporate this into an identity package in the future. What are our
                      local representative sport teams wearing? Are there any other colours that locals use to represent Lithgow?
                 Jodie would like to encourage Christmas decorations be sourced. Can we look at Lions Clubs, Rotary and
                      Quota if there are any already available?
                 Does anybody talk to Real Estate Agents? That’s not a line for a joke but a request that if you do happen along
                      one in your travels could you invite them to join us? It sounds as though it’s a good idea to get someone
                      on board for Country Week to promote vacant properties in town.
                 Next meeting of IITC is 7.30am, 8th April at Black Rock Café for breakfast. Put it in your diary!

Dates for future meetings
Draft letter to Main Street stakeholders re presentation (John Heasman)
Business and marketing plan 2007/2008
Objectives for 2006/2007
Accommodation commissions 2007/2008
Promotional signage plan draft format (Jodie Rayner)

Meetings                        Date   Time
IITC                      8 April      730am
Future of Lithgow       16 April        6pm
IITC                    29nd April      7pm
IITC                     13 May
Future of Lithgow        21st May       6pm
IITC                     27 May
IITC                     10th June
Future of Lithgow        18th June      6pm
IITC                     24th june
IITC                       8th July
Future of Lithgow        16th July      6pm
IITC                     22 July
IITC                   12th August
Future of Lithgow      20th August      6pm
IITC                   26th August
IITC                 9th September
Future of Lithgow   17th September      6pm