Special Activation Precincts
Driving business in regional NSW
A Special Activation Precinct is a dedicated area in a regional location that has been identified by the NSW Government to become a thriving business hub.
Special Activation Precincts will create jobs, attract businesses and investors, and fuel economic development in regional NSW to ensure regions are well placed to grow and meet future economic needs.
The NSW Government established the Special Activation Precincts initiative as part of its 20-Year Economic Vision for Regional NSW. Special Activation Precincts are funded under the $4.2 billion Snowy Hydro Legacy Fund and support industries such as:
- agribusiness and forestry
- resources and mining
- tourism and hospitality
- tertiary education and skills
- health and residential care
- freight and logistics
- advanced manufacturing
- renewable energy
- technology-enabled primary industries.
Special Activation Precincts need to be in areas of state or regional significance that boast unique economic strengths. This means that the identified area needs to provide positive opportunities for the broader region, such as economic growth and more jobs, in an industry that will thrive in that region.
The state's first Special Activation Precincts are Parkes and Wagga Wagga. Parkes will build on its strength as a freight and logistics hub and take advantage of the region’s convenient location along the Brisbane to Melbourne inland rail line. Wagga Wagga will focus on freight and logistics, advanced manufacturing, recycling and renewable energy.
Five key elements
There are five key elements that make-up a Special Activation Precinct.
1. Fast track planning
Faster and simplified planning and approval processes, meaning businesses can set-up and start trading in Special Activation Precincts sooner. Each Special Activation Precinct will have its own planning arrangements that will ‘switch on’ streamlined planning processes in that precinct, giving businesses and investors shorter application and approval timelines, as well as exemptions in some circumstances. The NSW Government will seek community feedback when designing the planning arrangements for each Special Activation Precinct.
Fast track planning in Special Activation Precincts will make it easier to establish, invest or grow a business in regional NSW.
2. Infrastructure investment
As each site is different, the NSW Government will tailor infrastructure investment to support local needs. Essential services that businesses need to operate will be provided by the NSW Government and may include roads and utilities (such as water, electricity, stormwater, waste management and digital connectivity). This builds on the NSW Government's significant record of investing in regional infrastructure through the Regional Growth Fund.
3. Government-led studies
Expert studies that will confirm the types of governance and private investment needed to create a thriving Special Activation Precinct. Studies will include:
- site master planning to ensure land is being used in the most effective and valuable way
- identifying infrastructure needs
- market analysis and economic forecasts that will uncover opportunities for industry specialisation
- tailored planning instruments.
These studies will help to free up investor time and money to focus on growing regional jobs.
4. Government-led development
Depending on the region’s local needs, the NSW Government may look to activate land to ensure positive social and economic outcomes in the Special Activation Precinct. For example, some types of agribusiness need to be a minimum distance from each other to ensure safety and the high-quality standards regional NSW is famous for. The NSW Government will identify these needs and invest in developments as needed.
5. Business concierge
The NSW Government has established a customer-based service to help businesses set-up and thrive in the Special Activation Precincts. The business concierge service will assist business owners and investors by:
- providing advice and support in navigating approvals, grants and support
- liaising with NSW Government departments and agencies
- responding to general enquiries
- providing updates to tenants within Special Activation Precincts.
Who will help with the move to NSW?
The NSW Government is making it easier for businesses to move to regional NSW, offering financial incentives for companies that will relocate to Special Activation Precincts — the first of these are in Parkes and Wagga Wagga — with more to be announced in 2019.
The NSW Government has committed $20 million to the Regional Investment Attraction Fund. Applications for grants and interest-free loans are available to businesses located in Special Activation Precincts, s well as trade goods and services across NSW.
Relocation grants of up to $10,000 per worker are also available to help attract skilled employees to regional NSW businesses. These grants will help eligible businesses meet the costs of relocating employees, such as for furniture removal and temporary accommodation for up to three months.
How can I get involved with a Special Activation Precinct?
Businesses interested in setting up in a Special Activation Precinct should contact:
Local stakeholders interested in getting more information should contact the relevant DPC Regional Office.