NSW Business Chamber

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Business NSW
IndustryNot for Profit
Founded1826 as the Sydney Chamber of Commerce
1885 as Chamber of Manufactures of NSW
1995 as Australian Business Limited
2007 as NSW Business Chamber
2020 as Business Australia
HeadquartersNorth Sydney, Australia
Area served
Key people
ProductsBusiness support services

Business NSW is an independent, not-for-profit membership organisation that identifies the key issues impacting business and finds practical policy solutions to ensure businesses across NSW prosper and grow. The organisation that has been operating for 194 years, formerly as the NSW Business Chamber.

Purpose & Role[edit]

Business NSW works directly with businesses and local chambers of commerce to represent business interests with decision makers at local, state and federal government levels. The issues it advocates on include red tape reduction, business taxation, workforce skills, infrastructure, workplace health and safety, and workplace relations. There are 10 regional offices across New South Wales.


Business NSW has undergone a number of name changes and mergers with other business organisations since its founding in 1826 as the Sydney Chamber of Commerce.

The Chamber of Manufactures of New South Wales was then established with the inaugural meeting in August 1885 at Sydney's Town Hall in which the rules and regulations were adopted and Archibald Forsyth was elected as its first president.

The Chamber got off to an initial slow start with its primary supporters focusing most of their efforts on tariff policy lobbying, especially in setting up a "Protection Union", in direct opposition to the "Free Traders" led by Sir Henry Parkes.

The Chamber was finally re-constituted in June 1895 at a meeting at the Hotel Australia. The Chamber abandoned the idea of partisan political lobbying and adopted a position of a non-political organisation which has continued to the present day.

In 1912, the Chamber of Manufactures of NSW set up the Manufacturers Mutual Insurance Company (now MMI). The insurance company arm was established primarily to indemnify employers against claims that might be made by their employees who were injured at work, and was in direct response to the new Workmen's Compensation Act of 1910.

The Chamber continued to expand in NSW over the following years opening offices in Newcastle, Lismore, Wollongong and Ballina while pursuing possible amalgamations with other business organisations such as the Australian Chamber of Manufactures and Employer's Federation, most of these options were explored but not acted upon.

In 1995, the Chamber of Manufactures of NSW broke its tie with MMI, selling its shares of the company and changing its name to Australian Business Limited. The sale of MMI shares made Australia Business Limited one of the most well funded business organisations in Australia.

In 2006 the State Chamber of Commerce (NSW) changed its name to the Sydney Business Chamber of Commerce, echoing the original concept of the chamber of Commerce that applied when it started in 1826. In December 2006, Australian Business Limited changed its name to NSW Business Chamber Limited to reflect the new entity emerging from this union. Following the transfer of all members into NSW Business Chamber Limited, the Sydney Chamber activities continued as the Sydney Business chamber, a division of the NSW Business Chamber.

In 2020, the NSW Business Chamber rebranded[1] its advocacy arm to Business NSW. As the State's peak business organisation, Business NSW is the authoritative voice representing businesses across NSW, challenging governments and decision-makers to create the economic conditions that enable businesses to do better.

See also[edit]