The State Government has announced a $7 million grant to help develop an industrial precinct at North Goulburn.
The money, under the Growing Local Economies Fund, will fund infrastructure such as road, water and sewer upgrades around the Common Street/Sinclair Street area. It will also enable extension of communication, electrical and gas services and rezoning of the land to industrial. Currently, the land is zoned B6 enterprise corridor.
Goulburn MP Pru Goward said the infrastructure would prepare the way for the precinct’s first occupant, Woodlands Ridge Poultry. Owner Ed Wehbe plans to establish a poultry processing facility in Common Street. The application before the State Government is valued at $70 to $90 million and is estimated to employ up to 150 people.
Ms Goward said the overall North East Goulburn Enterprise Corridor would ultimately bring hundreds of jobs and millions of dollars in international investment.
“The timing couldn’t be better,” she said.
“Woodlands Ridge Poultry are a successful, home-grown Goulburn operator which has been searching for the right environment to make its next big business move, and it is fantastic we can provide the vital infrastructure to help them do it – keeping their business rooted in Goulburn and regional NSW – enabling other businesses to easily establish or expand.”
The council applied for the grant earlier this year. General manager Warwick Bennett told The Post that several other businesses, including a prefabricated concrete operation, also wanted to establish in the precinct.
The council will contribute $670,000 towards the total infrastructure cost, using section 94 contributions.
Mayor Bob Kirk described the grant as a “game changer” for the area’s economic growth and development. Mr Wehbe previously praised the council for being proactive and described Goulburn’s growth as a work in progress.
His application proposes a 9150 square metre processing plant, a 10,600sqm cold store area, rendering plant, workshop, childcare and community centre, 323 car parking spots, plus truck and trailer parking area.
At maximum capacity the plant would process 1,000,000 birds per week, including chicken, duck, turkey, geese and quail, which would be trucked from broiler farms for slaughter, processing and packaging. The plant will ultimately operate 24/7 but the application forecasts lower production levels in the initial stages.
The operation will require upgrading of intersections.
The State’s planning department has issued its requirements for the project.
In related news, Mr Bennett said five new businesses were setting up in Goulburn. These included Tradelink, which was moving into the Lifestyle Precinct on Hume Street, a pool cleaning business, a laminated glass manufacturing operation at Bradfordville and the Tribe Brewery on the corner of Hume Street and Ducks Lane.
A report will go to the November 7 council meeting.
Meantime, Ms Goward says she’ll be arguing the case for this region to secure a large slice of State funding from sale of the Snowy Scheme.
Creation of a fast train corridor between Sydney and Canberra is just one project that could be funded using the $4.2 billion windfall. So too are existing track improvements to hasten travelling times in regional areas.
Deputy Premier John Barilaro on Thursday flagged the fast train corridor as just one possibility using proceeds from the Federal Government’s buyout of the State’s share of the Snowy Scheme.
The State Government has pledged to spend all the funds in regional areas on “transformational projects” targeting water security, rail and road connectivity, freight, aviation and digital connectivity. Upgrading regional freight networks to “global gateways” to increase exports, including investigation of international air freight, is part of this.
A spokesman for his office said no specific projects had been identified yet and details on funding would be announced once known.
Ms Goward said she had no further details but Mr Barilaro was generally keen on the Sydney to Canberra growth corridor, including fast rail and improving passenger travelling times through existing track improvements.
“They certainly know and appreciate the case,” she said.
“My focus has been on improving train passenger travelling times between Goulburn and Canberra and Goulburn and Campbelltown.”
The MP said eight to 10 years ago nobody took this corridor seriously but people were now beginning to realise that with huge metropolitan Sydney growth, the population had to go somewhere. The corridor to Newcastle was largely “full” and regional areas like Orange had had their day, she told The Post.
Mr Barilaro also announced the creation of ‘special activation business precincts’ to turbo charge local economies as part of the government’s proposals.
Mr Bennett said while the organisation had held high level discussions on overall concepts, there was nothing else specific at this stage.
“But we are absolutely keen to look at businesses where location is not an issue and they just need good internet access,” he said.
Mr Bennett said the council hadn’t held any discussions with the State Government about regional development funds from the Snowy Scheme sale. However general talks had ensued over three to four years about a very fast train.
“It’s very exciting and a game changer for transport in this area...(But) there would need to be a new corridor for fast rail and discussion with developers along the route,” he said.
Consolidated Land and Rail Australia has secured federal funding to develop its business case for fast rail between Melbourne and Shepparton but ultimately wants to extend it to Sydney, via north of Goulburn. Two other players are also understood to be proposing the technology.
For now, Mr Bennett said the council was focused on improving existing train travelling times.
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