“This $185 million investment will kick-off the delivery of the precinct and fund vital infrastructure – including roads, sewer and water connections – which will make it easier and more attractive for businesses to set up in Parkes,” Deputy Premier John Barilaro said.
According to Barilaro, the precinct capitalises on Parkes’ location – at the junction of Australia’s two major rail spines – and lower land costs, which are just 5 per cent of those in major metropolitan areas.
“This precinct is all about attracting money, economic growth and jobs to regional NSW,” he said.
“We know that where there is significant government investment, it attracts private investment ten-fold. This precinct could attract up to $1 billion in private investment over the next 10 years.”
With the master plan now complete, Regional Growth NSW Development Corporation will take on delivery of the precinct.
This will include leading design and construction, streamlined applications and approvals and providing a business concierge service aimed at assisting those seeking to set up or expand in the regions.
NSW PLANNING REFORM ACTION PLAN
The Parkes announcement follows the 15 July release of the $83 million NSW Planning Reform Action Plan, which aims to reduce planning assessment times and “cut red-tape.”
“The planning system has proved an incredibly powerful tool in our fight against the economic impacts of the pandemic,” Berejiklian said.
“This plan takes us into the next phase of reform, creating a system that is efficient, rigorous, supports our economy and our environment, is accessible online and is easy for anyone to use.”
According to Berejiklian, the plan will cut rezoning decisions by 191 days, decisions on development applications for larger, regionally significant projects by 91 days, and decisions on major projects of significance to the state by 20 days.
The state government has also invested almost $10 million to enhance its ePlanning platform and ensure all councils can get online to process development applications more quickly and transparently.
All councils will have to adopt the online system by 1 July 2021.
The plan also seeks to boost the role and resourcing of the Land and Environment Court by establishing a new class of appeals for rezoning.
Two additional commissioners will also be appointed to enable more cases to be heard each year.