A panel of politicians, local government general managers and business representatives has begun the task of attracting new businesses to the region.
At this morning’s Grafton Chamber of Commerce breakfast meeting, the Member for Page, Kevin Hogan, outlined the progress the group had made.
He said the group identified businesses that were looking to expand, then approached them to come here with their expansion plans.
“We see in the paper a business is expanding from 150 employees to 350 employees in Western Sydney,” Mr Hogan said.
“We say ‘great’, they have to get a new warehouse, they have to move somewhere so we go to them and say do your employees want to live in Rooty Hill or do they want to come to the Clarence Valley?
“It’s cheaper to set up here, the costs of building a warehouse, real estate is cheaper. Staff turnover is lower. Wages are lower because costs of living are lower.”
Hogan said the group had contacted three businesses and had two replies to date.
“No-one has signed on, but the replies we’ve got have been really positive.”
Mr Hogan said one he described as the world’s biggest online surfing business had been particularly interested.
He said the group was set up last year and had met five or six times.
It’s made up of the five general managers of the councils in Page, the Member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis, the Northern Region NSW Business Chamber manager John Murray, the Northern Regional Development Australia CEO Ben Redden, the Southern Cross University vice-chancellor, Peter Lee.