Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW John Barilaro today announced the opening of the Growing Local Economies Fund, which will use an innovative new funding model to target $500 million in investments in business-boosting infrastructure across regional NSW.
Ms Berejiklian said the investment, which is part of the $1.3 billion Regional Growth Fund announced in the 2017-18 NSW Budget, would ensure regional NSW had the infrastructure it needed to allow local businesses to grow and thrive.
“This will transform local economies across regional NSW,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“The Growing Local Economies Fund will not only invest in road, rail, electricity and water upgrades, but it will also look to invest in infrastructure to unlock the potential of regional businesses, and in turn generate jobs in those communities.”
Ms Berejiklian and Mr Barilaro made the announcement near Griffith on Thursday.
Mr Barilaro said the Growing Local Economies Fund represents a new approach to funding projects in regional and rural areas.
“This fund will identify the competitive advantages, or the potential strong suits of each of the individual regions across NSW, and then invest in those sectors, whether it be in tourism, agriculture or manufacturing,” Mr Barilaro said.
“As a Government we are viewing each of these local economies as unique places which present different opportunities for investment.
“Rather than having regions competing on an uneven playing field, the NSW Government has worked very hard to ensure the fund will be shared fairly across the different regions.
“We will be working with individual towns to help them identify the right projects that will help their local businesses grow.”
Mr Barilaro urged local governments, businesses, industry and community groups and non-government organisations to workshop their infrastructure proposals with their local MP.
“Local MPs will be working closely with their communities to prepare Growing Local Economies applications, so now is the time to start sharing big ideas,” Mr Barilaro said.
“I will be travelling around regional NSW to explain the Growing Local Economies Fund, and more importantly, to listen to your ideas,” he said.
For more information on how to apply, visit www.nsw.gov.au/growinglocaleconomies.