Councillor calls for greater attention to tourism and economic development

A break up of the South East and Tablelands according to the the Economic Development Strategy for regional NSW, 2015.
A break up of the South East and Tablelands according to the the Economic Development Strategy for regional NSW, 2015.

Upper Lachlan Shire councillor John Stafford has called for a more “aggressive” approach in pursuing economic development and tourism in the district.

This follows the councillor’s motion to table economic development and tourism strategies, which was defeated during the February 15 meeting.

This was because of a concurrent Southern Tablelands Regional Economic Development Strategy (REDS) the council aims to adopt. REDS seeks to connect Upper Lachlan to greater plans for regional NSW.

These proposed strategies aim to connect the Upper Lachlan to the greater plans for regional NSW.

Cr Stafford acknowledged the necessary alliance to the REDS blueprint, but believes not enough is being done. He cited talks among councillors about business opportunities in independent living and aged care. 

“We need to be asking what are the business opportunities? Tourism can really grow quite strongly, areas like Taralga are just alive on weekends. The point I constantly make is we need to diversify the shire,” he said. 

He said a greater focus needs to be put in employment for young people and the residual impact of  modernisation within the agriculture industry, a “backbone” of the shire. 

“We offer unique townships with different lifestyles and fantastic road networks. There is a relatively low cost of housing, close proximity to Canberra, Gunning and Colllector. I’m really keen to see us actively pursue economic development – I think it’s crucial.” 

Currently, the Office of Regional Development are finalising an executive summary to be used for the consultants. A completion date had yet to be announced.

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