…one will say: “I was a fighter pilot”, another will say: “I was in the Submarine Service”, another “I marched with the Eighth Army”, a fourth will say: “None of you could have lived without the convoys and the Merchant seamen”, and you, in your turn, will say, with equal pride and with equal right: “WE CUT THE COAL” – Winston Churchill 1943

Winston Churchill was amazing for quotable quotes, that is without question. My question to you is. Could there be a better quote for the future of Gympie right now?

These days, we live in a fractious society, made all the worse by social media. It isn’t enough to simply have differing opinions for your fellow residents and get along. You must oppose their opinion with such vigour as to make their point completely unacceptable.

The truth of the matter is, we are all in this together, from the top to the bottom, from left to right we are all in this together. I must believe everyone wants the best for our region. Passion must surely be the reason we see such vitriol in Facebook groups, it must just be passion, what else could it be?

For a moment let’s just imagine if we all pulled in the same direction, with the same purpose in mind; the betterment of our region. A utopian thought? Probably. Worth a try? Definitely.

I have banged on relentlessly about how great our region is for countless issues in this fine paper. Let’s take a moment to focus on just one fine example of so many.

Laminex. A shining beacon of employment in our region. If you haven’t worked there yourself, I bet you know someone that has. If you have a business in town, without question money from Laminex employment has found its way into your cash register.

So, when members of the Chamber board were invited to have a guided tour of the Toolara and Glanmire facilities by Manufacturing Operations Manager Scott Beckett, we all jumped on the closest Polleys bus and off we went.

The Toolara plant is a site to be seen, you could eat your lunch off the floor, and everything is cool, calm and collected. Did you know Laminex employs well over 200 locals and countless more locals for maintenance and shut down?

Next up was the Glanmire plant, an older facility that was recently rescued by Laminex. Once again, the plant was immaculate and running up to capacity with a view to adding more shifts in the future.

As a board, it is so heartening to see the long-term job stability provided my companies like Laminex. We are delighted to have them as members of the chamber.

See you all at the Chamber Awards.

Brendan Allen.