Canberra's two peak private industry advocacy bodies voted to unite under one banner on Wednesday, in a move that an ACT business leader has described as ''the best possible outcome for business in the ACT''.
Members of the Canberra Business Council and the ACT and Region Chamber of Commerce voted almost unanimously on Wednesday night to dissolve their organisations and combine to form a new, unified entity.
ACT Chamber chairman Julian Barrington-Smith said the collaboration would give private industry a stronger voice and greater presence in the Canberra community.
"One voice has become far stronger [than] the sum of its parts," he said. "We are far more broadly representative of the views of business within the ACT as a new force with our combined pool of talent."
Mr Barrington-Smith said the move to combine organisations had been a long time coming, with former ACT chief minister Kate Carnell voicing her relief at the announcement.
"She said, 'About time'," he said. "It really is a no-brainer in this day and age ... we need to make sure that we're leveraging both those talent pools to get the best possible outcome for business in the ACT.
"That is purely and simply the primary driving force behind it."
Canberra Business Council chairman Michelle Melbourne said her organisation had split from the Chamber more than 40 years ago and having the two rejoin would help them create a new future together.
"This has been attempted multiple times in the past so, finally, finally our members can see that this is critical and important that we unite," she said.
"We believe there's a huge amount of opportunity for the private sector in Canberra and we'll be helping industry be the best it can be in the city, through the boom and bust cycle we live in.
"Ironically, that makes for an extremely resilient and adaptive private sector. Smooth waters don't make for good sailors."
The name of the new combined body has not been chosen yet, with a spokesperson for the Canberra Business Council saying it will be up to the new combined board.
The transitional board, which will run the organisation for the first 12 months, will be comprised of six members of the Canberra Business Council board and six members of the Chamber board.
Membership cost will also be determined by the new board.