The Illawarra Business Chamber and Illawarra First has a new leader

New business leader appointed: New Illawarra Business Chamber/Illawarra First executive director Adam Zarth.
New business leader appointed: New Illawarra Business Chamber/Illawarra First executive director Adam Zarth.

Illawarra First and the Illawarra Business Chamber will start 2018 with a new executive director.

The NSW Business Chamber announced on Thursday morning that Adam Zarth has been appointed to replace Chris Lamont and will start on January 15, 2018.

Mr Lamont announced in June he was being promoted to a new role in Canberra that will see him continue to push for major infrastructure projects for the region.But it has taken six months to find a suitable replacement.

Outgoing Illawarra Business Chamber executive director Chris Lamont at the recent business awards with Robert Ryan, Wollongong Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery, Janine Cullen, ​Warwick Shanks, Annette Wellings and Professor Paul Wellings. Picture: Adam McLean

Outgoing Illawarra Business Chamber executive director Chris Lamont at the recent business awards with Robert Ryan, Wollongong Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery, Janine Cullen, ​Warwick Shanks, Annette Wellings and Professor Paul Wellings. Picture: Adam McLean

Mr Zarth is presently working and living in Sydney and will be responsible to developing and leading advocacy as well as providing support to businesses in the Illawarra. Mr Lamont said he was planning to move to the region to take up the position.

NSW Business Chamber chief executive Stephen Cartwright described him as a highly experienced professional with an accomplished background that includes work advising the NSW Government.

Mr Cartwright said that was important given the Illawarra is the state’s third largest economy.

“The continued transition of the Illawarra economy presents an important opportunity for the NSW and Australian economies.  The work of the chamber and Illawarra First is focussed on securing future opportunities for the region and we know Adam will build on the success already achieved,” he said.

Illawarra Regional Advisory Council president Janine Cullen said the chamber and Illawarra First were working with the Federal, State and Local governments to promote the competitive advantages of the region and to secure future investment to sustain continued growth.

“We have made some big inroads over the last two years and with Adam at the helm we look forward to further success,” she said,.

Mr Zarth said he has already had an opportunity to meet a number of business leaders and heard comments about the future direction of the region.

“There have been some notable successes over the last few years and I look forward to supporting business, both big and small, right across the Illawarra,” Mr Zarth said. 

“This is a region with a tremendous amount to offer. I will be making the strongest possible case for the region and of course supporting business through the provision of member services and industry-leading support”.

Parliamentary Secretary for the Illawarra Gareth Ward welcomed the announcement saying he had worked closely with him as a long serving chief of staff in the NSW Government “where he has been instrumental in supporting the running of major portfolios like health and disability services”.

“He was a strong advocate for our region serving with former Minister for the Illawarra John Ajaka. In this capacity, Adam worked closely with me to deliver the Restart Illawarra Fund which has brought enormous economic benefits to our community. Elsewhere he has proven his public policy and advocacy credentials both in the Victorian public service and in private enterprise.”

“The region’s businesses and particularly small business is the beating heart of our regional economy and I know Adam shares my passion for ensuring that they have a strong voice and committed advocate.”