New England Northwest Future Directions Workshop – 1 July 2021

Business Support Officer - Economic Development Department - Gunnedah Shire Council

On behalf of the University of New England (UNE) and Namoi Unlimited, we would like to invite you to join us on Thursday 1st July, (9:30am for a 10am start until 3pm) at the Gunnedah Town Hall for a New England Northwest Regional Future Directions Workshop.

The New England Northwest (NEWNW) has been an anchor for NSW growth and prosperity through agriculture production and mining.  However, technology has changed the agriculture employment landscape requiring less jobs to support production.   This reduced need for jobs in agriculture has resulted in much of the regional domestic product being exported outside of the region.  On the flip side mining has created many skilled and unskilled job opportunities but has a finite life span.  The challenge for the NENW is to create a platform that builds on its successes to provide sustainable economic, environmental and cultural development to realise future prosperity.

The COVID pandemic has put local manufacturing back on the agenda as the vulnerabilities of global supply chains have been exposed.  This shift along with advances in technology, changing consumer preferences for food and how food is produced and the rise of the Internet enabled workforce have created an opportunity to create a platform for NENW economic, environmental and  cultural development with industries in the downstream processing of agriculture commodities and services sector.  The platform would be underpinned by existing and new industries adapting to the new opportunities.   Coupled to this is the comprehensive transport links that include road, rail and air freight, along with the establishment of a Special Activation Precinct (SAP) in Moree, a potential second SAP in Narrabri, the establishment of a Regional Jobs Precinct across the Namoi, the establishment of the Western Sydney Aerotropolis and a significant expansion of the Tamworth meat processing sector.

This workshop will bring together, Industry, local government and other stakeholders to explore opportunities and issues in order to begin the creation of a cohesive regional plan for the establishment of the NENW sustainable economic, environmental and cultural development platform.   The NEWNW planning workshop needs your voice as we value your local experience, your view on opportunities and your enthusiasm to help us develop the vision and pathway for our regions sustainability and growth.

Please RVSP to Elizabeth Egan eegan@une.edu.au including any special dietary requirements by COB Friday June 25th.  A detailed program will be circulated next week, so please save the date. We would be delighted if you could join us.

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