Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter Scot MacDonald MLC today welcomed the 20-year vision for a thriving regional NSW which sets out a framework for investment that will guide the allocation of resources from the new $4.2 billion Snowy Hydro Legacy Fund.
Joining the NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian MP and Deputy Premier John Barilaro MP in Bathurst for the launch this morning, Mr MacDonald said the regional vision will promote sustainable, long-term economic growth that will focus on job creation and economic development in the Hunter.
The Hunter Functional Economic Region (FER) includes Cessnock, Dungog, Maitland, Muswellbrook, Port Stephens, Singleton, and Upper Hunter Shire LGAs. Lake Macquarie LGA is part of the Central Coast & Lake Macquarie FER.
“This is a plan that identifies our industry sectors set for growth, and identifies the role of government in facilitating that growth,” Mr MacDonald said.
“For the Hunter that means focusing on industries including Defence, resources and mining, and advanced manufacturing.”
“What’s so important about this vision is that the NSW Government has the financial backing to deliver it, with every cent of the $4.2 billion Snowy Hydro Legacy Fund being spent in regional NSW.”
Mr Barilaro said the vision outlines 10 key ‘engine industries’ that will drive growth in regional NSW, and sets out a framework for how the government should direct its investment.
“Businesses tell us the key to them investing in our regions is certainty – and that’s exactly what our vision provides,” Mr Barilaro said.
“This vision sets out a long-term plan and a framework for how the government will lay the all-important foundations for businesses to invest in our regions with confidence.
“People know we are a government that’s worked hard to put ourselves in a strong financial position, and now they want to see we are spending our funds with fore-thought, by making smart investments in big-ticket items that have the potential to transform regional NSW,” he said.
Mr Barilaro said importantly the vision brings together the NSW Government’s long-term planning strategies, including the Future Transport Strategy 2056, the NSW State Infrastructure Strategy and the regional plans.
“Through targeted government efforts we have the potential to attract an extra 185,000 new residents to live and work in regional NSW, on top of population growth already predicted, by 2038,” Mr Barilaro said.