It’s certainly good to have had a little bit of rain across the region lately – at the very least it should see confidence pick up a bit, and hopefully we’ll be seeing a lot more of it.
Another thing we are hopeful to see a lot more of is investment. While jobs growth in the Murray Riverina region has been strong over the last year or so, if we want that to last, and we do, then investment really needs to pick-up.
Which is why NSW Business Chamber is actively calling on the NSW Government to accelerate regional infrastructure investment. The truth of it is that the rollout of Restart NSW
has not quite achieved its targets, with less than 20% (of the promised 30% of funds) having been invested in regional NSW.
Regions such as ours (hit by drought and high unemployment) need this stimulus. Infrastructure investment is the best way to get regional economies up and running. There are many projects, especially those relating to freight and transport interconnectivity that could do with a funding boost.
On that note, I was very pleased to see the NSW Government announce a feasibility study into a regional freight airport in NSW – one which directly link into our international export markets.
The Murray Riverina is the natural place to locate such a freight facility. We are by far the largest producer of agricultural products in NSW – everything from fresh produce, dairy, meat, fruit, nuts, and vegetables. Not to forget the transport networks, road and rail required to bring the goods in to such a regional facility.
Fortunately, we also have a number of significant regional airports that fit the bill and have capacity to be expanded into a major regional freight port. An investment such as this would not only create jobs and investment opportunities in our region, but would open up lucrative new markets for our regional producers.
Our local NSW Business Chamber team is committed and will work closely with the NSW Government as it investigates this exciting possibility.
Andrew Cottrill – Regional Manager Murray Riverina, NSW Business Chamber