Business NSW

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Business NSW
FormerlyNSW Business Chamber
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
New South Wales
Key people
ProductsPolitical Advocacy
DivisionsBusiness Sydney, Business Illawarra, Business Western Sydney

Business NSW is an Australian not-for-profit membership organisation that advocates on behalf of Australian businesses. The organisation has been operating since 1826. It has formerly been known as the NSW Business Chamber (2006-2020), The Chamber of Manufactures of NSW (1885-2006) and the Sydney Chamber of Commerce (1826-1885).[1]

Purpose and role[edit]

Business NSW works with businesses and local chambers of commerce to represent business interests to local, state and federal governments. Issues it advocates on include red tape reduction, business taxation, workforce skills, infrastructure, workplace health and safety, and workplace relations. Business NSW has ten regional offices across New South Wales.[citation needed]


Business NSW has undergone a number of name changes and mergers with other business organisations since its founding in 1826, when it was known as the Sydney Chamber of Commerce.[2]

The Chamber of Manufactures of New South Wales was then established with the inaugural meeting in August 1885 at Sydney Town Hall in which the rules and regulations were adopted and Archibald Forsyth was elected 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 1914, the Chamber of Manufactures of NSW set up the Manufacturers Mutual Insurance Company (now MMI).[3] 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[4] its advocacy arm to Business NSW.

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ Holcomb, Janette (1 August 2014). Early Merchant Families of Sydney: Speculation and Risk Management on the Fringes of Empire. Anthem Press. ISBN 978-1-78308-125-7.
  3. ^ "Our History | Allianz Australia". AU_site. Retrieved 12 September 2022.
  4. ^[bare URL PDF]