THE NSW Government has today launched a bold plan for the state's North Coast to become one of Australia's best regions to live, work and play.
"I am excited by the Government's initiative because not only does it protect and promote the natural beauty of the region, but it aims to turn it into an economic powerhouse," Member for Coffs Harbour, Andrew Fraser said today.
Minister for Planning and Housing, Anthony Roberts together with Deputy Premier John Barilaro and Member for Coffs Harbour, Andrew Fraser, launched the North Coast Regional Plan, a blueprint which will guide the planning priorities and land use decisions in the region over the next 20 years.
"As well as protecting the region's stunning coastline and natural environment, this plan will create more jobs, deliver vibrant communities and provide greater housing choice for people living on the North Coast," Mr Roberts said.
The plan aims to increase connectivity between local communities and with South East Queensland and NSW Government investments, which this financial year included:
- A share of $1.5 billion in funding towards the upgrade of the Pacific Highway
- More than $110 million committed for upgrades to hospitals and health facilities in the region
- More than $7 million in funding to fund upgrades to North Coast TAFE Institute campuses and facilities
- $8.8 million has also been invested since 2014-15 for upgrades to Lismore, Ballina-Byron and Coffs Harbour airports, with an additional $9.5 million identified for potential further works to Ballina-Byron and Port Macquarie airports to boost their capacity, safety and ability to attract more visitors to regional NSW.
Mr Roberts said the popularity of the area was such that the plan was needed to support growing communities in the north coast region.
"By 2036, the population of the entire North Coast is projected to increase by more than 75,000 people and will need an extra 46,000 homes," Mr Roberts said.