PM pledges $25 million North Coast jobs package
PRIME Minister Malcolm Turnbull's $25 million regional jobs and investment package to benefit the north and mid north coasts has been welcomed by business leaders this morning.
Taking to the marginal seat of Page, Mr Turnbull's pledge aims to attract dollar-for-dollar funding to raise a $50-million fund to stimulate the regional economy by helping local businesses to expand and to attract metropolitan business to the region.
It's also hoped the package might open the door for business on the Coffs Coast to growing markets in China, Japan and Korea, under the government's trade agreements.
Prime Minister Turnbull has been joined by an entourage including Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce, Federal Member for Page Kevin Hogan and Federal Member for Cowper Luke Hartsuyker in Lismore today.
"The New South Wales North Coast Jobs and Investment Package will unlock the potential of the Mid North Coast, diversifying the local economy, enhancing export opportunities, creating jobs and growing skills in the local workforce," Cowper MP Luke Hartsuyker said.
"Areas in the Cowper electorate from Coffs Harbour down to Port Macquarie will directly benefit from these grants by promoting them as desirable regional locations for metropolitan business to re-locate to and grow.
"This programme will be delivered in partnership with local Mid North Coast communities, who will be engaged to develop local investment plans.
"Our local economy is evolving and being driven by changing demographics and emerging trade opportunities," he said.
Local Investment Plans will be devised on a needs basis for business innovation grants, local infrastructure, skills and training programs while funding will be matched for local infrastructure upgrades and investment in new infrastructure for the North Coast.
"We will work with the local community to identify priority projects on the Mid North Coast, which focus on job creation, economic development and tourism opportunities to diversify our local economy," Mr Hartsuyker said.
Interested parties will be required to apply to the Department of Regional Development and make a business case.
Coffs Harbour Chamber of Commerce President George Cecato said the chamber was pleased the package did not contain heavy restrictions on funds when it came to business system upgrades.
"There will be no upper or lower limits on business turnover - this package covers all businesses," Mr Cecato said.
"I'm sure astute business people in Coffs Harbour will look to apply to get subsidies straight away.
"There is clear benefit to business here ... I can't predict what the other parties will announce, but having the government commit to business is certainly a desirable thing for Coffs Harbour."
6AM: PRIME Minister Malcolm Turnbull will this morning announce a $25 million regional jobs and investment package to benefit the mid and north coasts in Lismore.
Taking to the marginal seat of Page, Mr Turnbull's pledge aims to attract dollar-for-dollar funding to raise a $50-million fund to stimulate the regional economy by helping local businesses to expand and to attract metropolitan business to the Mid North Coast.
The funding will provide business innovation grants, local infrastructure, skills and training programs.
The Coalition will also provide matched funding for local infrastructure upgrades and investment in new infrastructure in Lismore, Ballina, Coffs Harbour, Port Macquarie and Taree.
Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce spent yesterday in Tenterfield and is expected to attend the announcement along with Page MP Kevin Hogan and Cowper MP Luke Hartsuyker.
More details will be announced on the package at 10am.