Moree Plains Shire Council’s Director of Planning and Community Development Angus Witherby, left, Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall, General Manager Lester Rodgers, Mayor Katrina Humphries, Project Officer Brad Turner and Economic and Community Development Manager Mark Connolly at the announcement yesterday.

Wednesday, 4 December 2019

State’s third activation precinct announced, bringing new jobs

MOREE will become the economic powerhouse of northern NSW with an innovative new business hub, specialising in agribusiness, logistics and food processing industries and creating almost 2,000 jobs, Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall proclaimed yesterday.

Mr Marshall announced that Moree would become the State’s third Special Activation Precinct (SAP), following Parkes and Wagga Wagga, marking the dawning of a new era for north-western NSW.

“Moree is the most productive agricultural region in Australia – and now thanks to this new precinct, backed by the State Government, combined with inland rail – Moree will become the economic engine room for northern NSW.

“All roads will lead to Moree and this new precinct, complete with one of the largest intermodal facilities in inland Australia to get our valuable commodities from paddock, to rail and to port and quickly and efficiently as possible.

“Moree is on the Inland Rail route and is located at the junction of three major highways making it the ideal location for this new endeavour to attract considerable new investment to the region.

“A Special Activation Precinct is a designated area which brings together fast-tracked planning, infrastructure investment, government-led studies and development and in Moree’s case will happen in line with its plans for an intermodal freight and transport hub.

“The SAP will make it easier for new and existing businesses to expand, set-up and thrive, create new, long-term job opportunities for locals and strengthen the region’s economy.

“Moree is a regional centre which relies on the agriculture sector for survival and while the local economy has taken a hit because of the prolonged drought, this announcement should give struggling local businesses confidence they have future when the rains and harvests return.

“This is the beginning of the largest transformation of Moree since Copeton Dam was constructed and the irrigation industry came to the region in the 1970s – it will mean more jobs and more opportunity for our children and grandchildren.”

Moree Plains Shire Mayor Katrina Humphries welcomed today’s announcement.

“A Special Activation Precinct in Moree will help to realise the opportunities presented by the Inland Rail, and other projects in the region,” Cr Humphries said.

“It will create a world-class business hub that will not only attract investors to the region, but also help to keep families here for the long-term.

“This is about creating a legacy for generations to come and helping to diversify income streams in our regions to build even more resilience against future droughts.

“We look forward to working closely with the NSW Government on the master planning phase for the Special Activation Precinct and thank them for their support.”

Mr Marshall added the SAP was also a chance to create more jobs and opportunities for the local Aboriginal community.

“The Aboriginal community represents approximately 21 percent of people living in the Moree Plains Shire and will be closely consulted with during the planning phase,” he said.

“Today we are meeting on Kamilaroi land, and our ambition is to work alongside this community to deliver critical social outcomes, as well as important economic benefits like sustainable jobs for local people into the future.”

The NSW Government will consult with the entire community and commence a range of technical studies to ensure future development meets the needs of the town and businesses across the region.

The Moree SAP boundary will be determined during the master planning phase, which community members and landowners will have an opportunity to contribute to and provide feedback on over the coming months.

Businesses that set themselves up in the Special Activation Precinct will have access to necessary infrastructure, such as heavy-duty roads and digital connectivity, as well as a fast-tracked planning process and support through a business concierge service.

Moree is set to become a world-class business precinct and true intermodal hub with road, rail and air transport links available, meaning local businesses can potentially increase their customer base globally.

Special Activation Precincts are delivered by the $4.2 billion Snowy Hydro Legacy Fund.

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