The voice for business in Sydney


Since 1926

Now we are business sydney

In 2021, as nations, states and cities address the challenges and implications of the COVID-19 pandemic we have enhanced our reach, strengthened our voice and increased our capability, transforming to become Business Sydney - the voice for business in Sydney. As the oldest business organisation operating in NSW today, we continue to influence, advocate and deliver for business and the Sydney region.  

Recent Achievements

Through our strong advocacy, influence and action we have delivered key outcomes for the city and business. 

Our recent achievements include:

  • Development of a vibrant and diverse 24-hour economy for Sydney, including the repeal of the Lockout Laws. See Night Shift and Night Works.
  • Driven planning reforms including the acceleration of planning decisions through the removal of red tape and overhaul of the Independent Planning Commission to reduce its impact on impeding Sydney’s growth. See Cities Don’t Happen by Chance.
  • Championed critical measures to support businesses and economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic including enhanced access and use of public space, waiving of local government fees and charges, bringing forward of key infrastructure projects and support for the tourism and hospitality sector. 
  • Shaped the development of key precincts to maximise job growth and enhance arts and culture. This includes input into the Pyrmont Peninsular Place and Economic Strategies, backing the development of the new Fish Market at Blackwattle Bay as well as championing Tech Central and revitalisation of The Rocks, Circular Quay and Macquarie Street East. 
  • Improved transport and mobility through the securing of a metro station at Pyrmont, enhanced active transport and pedestrian access on George Street and other high streets across the city and an improved cycleway network. See High Time.

Current issues and projects include building a third cruise liner terminal, updating the hourly landing quotas at Sydney Airport to accommodate weather and other delays, delivering on the 24-hour Economy Strategy, reactivating and shaping Sydney’s CBD and enhancing the city’s freight system.


Sydney has long been the centre for economic activity of the nation. In 1826 the Sydney Chamber of Commerce was established to provide a strong voice for business in the growing colony. The Chamber’s unwavering commitment to leading the business community by identifying, developing and advocating for economic growth in Sydney continued across the decades.  


The history of the Chamber movement in Australia dates back 182 years to 5 June 1826 when the Sydney Chamber of Commerce was first established.

As Oswald Ziegler in his book We're in Business states:

There were the auspicious preliminaries to the formation of the Sydney Chamber of Commerce on 6 July 1826 {sic}, with John Wollstonecraft as its first Chairman and A. B. Spark, Secretary. Some 16 merchants were enrolled as members and, although early records of the Chamber's activities are very scant, the immediate reaction was a sensing of greater unity among the businessmen of the time......The foundation of the Chamber was championed by the Australian, and with very good reason, within a period of five years trade had doubled, and the semi-circular Quay was a scene of constant activity, the masts of ships from many lands crowding together at the wharves.

As former, long-serving New South Wales Premier, Sir Robert Askin, wrote in the foreword for Ziegler's book (We're in Business):

In fact, the Chamber, established in 1826, is almost as old as the NSW Legislative Council, which in 1824 became the first legislative body in the Australian Colonies. At that time the Council, the 'Mother Parliament' of Australia, administered the area now occupied by New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, Tasmania, Northern Territory, South Australia and New Zealand.

So, to all intents and purposes, at the time, the Sydney Chamber was in some sense also the Australian Chamber.

Source: Captains of Industry, Biographies of the Presidents of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, by Peter Hendy.


In 1996 we became the Sydney Business Chamber, continuing to work diligently as the voice for business in our city. As the leading advocate for reforming local governance, recycling state assets to fund new transport and infrastructure and supporting Sydney’s cultural and tourism offerings, the Sydney Business Chamber shaped Sydney as a global, competitive city.