A successful economic development day was held in Narromine last week to discuss ways the shire’s economy could grow in the future.
Spearheaded by Councillor Craig Davies, who proposed the forum in a notice of motion to council last year, the event saw members of council join business owners, community members, Barwon MP Kevin Humphries and Regional Development Australia chair and Dubbo City Councillor John Walkom, for what was, in effect, a successful think-tank.
According to Cr Davies, the forum was an opportunity for people to highlight the shire’s strengths and weaknesses, as well as the threats and opportunities to local economic development.
“This event provided the opportunity for those there to be as wild and whacky with their ideas as they wanted to be in a bid to grow the shire,” Cr Davies said.
“We haven’t seen much economic development in the shire for a number of years and it appeared to me that seeing as though we have a new council it would be a good opportunity to get some involvement from, and pick the brains of, a number of successful business people from the shire, to sit down and discuss the possibilities of what we can do in the shire, what businesses we can attract and what natural attractions we have here that we can promote.
“The other aspect of (the forum) was that it was also very positive to allow community-minded people to be involved in helping develop the shire without having to be on council.”
According to councillor Davies, one of the strengths in most people’s minds that was discussed was the abundance of cheap land and potential to expand the agricultural industry given the fact Narromine was a great transport hub for agriculture products with 450 trucks travelling through the town weekly to both Brisbane and Melbourne.
Mayor of the shire, Bill McAnally, reiterated that this forum was a great way to move the shire forward and a committee would be formed to follow up some of the ideas discussed.
“What came from the day is that we have a wonderful airport that is totally underused, an abundance of cheap land and industrial areas available, good rail and road access and the Trangie Agricultural Research Centre which is underutilised,” councillor McAnally said.
“There are a few directions we can go in and having events such as the one held on Friday is a great way to start on attracting new businesses to the area.
“The whole purpose was really to give community members and business owners some ideas of how we can move forward and get development happening here again which is good news for the shire.”
Regional Development Australia chair and Dubbo City Councillor John Walkom praised the shire for organising the economic development event, saying “the best part was the willingness of the council and the community to work together”.
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