CCIQ boss says 10 years is enough, walks away from business body

After a decade in the cut and thrust of corporate politics Stephen Tait has handed in his resignation as the head of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland.

Aug 27, 2021, updated Aug 27, 2021
Former CCIQ chief executive Stephen Tait will head up Maleny Diaires

Former CCIQ chief executive Stephen Tait will head up Maleny Diaires

Tait took over the role as Queensland was heading into a huge wave of capital investment and steered it through the privatisation debate of the Bligh Goverment through the turmoil of the Newman Government and into the current upheaval of the pandemic.

The former media executive with The Scotsman, APN and News Corp, Tait notified CCIQ members last night of his decision through social media saying it was the right time to move on and seek a new challenge. Tyically, for Tait, there was no media statement.

Tait made the role distinct from his predecessors and kept a comparatively low profile, leaving the public commentary to his executive team.

Treasurer Cameron Dick said small businesses was the backbone of the Queensland economy and Stephen Tait had been a strong advocate on its behalf.

“Some sector advocates think op-eds in news outlets and public attacks are the way to get results, when in fact that can be counterproductive,” the Treasurer said.

“Stephen knew this and worked behind the scenes with our government to create business support packages.

“That is one of the reasons why payroll tax was cut in 2019.

Tait moved to Australia from his native Scotland to help the transition of The Courier-Mail from broadsheet to tabloid.

“I am incredibly proud of the work the CCIQ team has achieved for our valued members and wider network over the past 10 years – from ensuring CCIQ is relevant for the future needs of members and businesses across Queensland to creating a strong apolitical organisation which works closely with all parties to achieve best solutions for businesses.

“This includes the future release of a strong strategic plan for CCIQ which looks at new and future opportunities, particularly in circular and renewable economies, for businesses across Queensland. This will also see us on track to be the first carbon neutral Chamber of Commerce in Australia by November 2021.”

Tait said he would not be leaving immediately.

“I am working closely with the board and the executive team on the recruitment process and to ensure the transition is streamlined and members and stakeholders … continue to be supported,” he said.

“Without the support of our members and the wider Queensland business community, CCIQ would not be able to make the impact it does.”

CCIQ board president Tony Schiffmann said Tait’s support of the business community had been inspirational and had led to CCIQ becoming known as the voice for Queensland business.

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“We are incredibly grateful for Stephen’s work and proud of his achievements.”

“Since taking the reins, Stephen has led a number of key initiatives to make the CCIQ future-ready and relevant.

“That includes the recent development of a strategy with the board and executive team which places CCIQ in a strong position for the next five years while looking at new, circular and renewable economies.

“Stephen’s legacy at CCIQ includes creating a strong apolitical organisation that works closely with all political parties,” he said.

“I’m proud of our advocacy work, which has created real solutions for businesses across Queensland – not just metropolitan, but all regions,” he said.

Tait said that having worked on the future strategy and considering all that the CCIQ had achieved in his 10 years he felt that the time was right to take on something new.

“This time of reflection has also led to my decision that it is time for me to move on from the role and take on my next challenge,” he said. “It’s an opportune time in that we have just delivered such a strong strategic plan.

“I will always continue to support business growth as a dedicated ambassador of CCIQ moving forward,” he said.



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