Positioning for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity

THE current NSW Government is proposing to lease 49% of the metropolitan 'poles & wires' (distribution) should they be successful at next year's state election. This extraordinary proposal would raise some $20 billion overall with $6 billion specifically marked for important infrastructure in regional NSW.

Now while our organisation is strictly apolitical, we decided we could not allow the deadline for submissions to the adventurous proposal to pass without ensuring this region's 'wish list' infrastructure was identified and a responsible proposal put forward.

The Northern Rivers NSW Business Chamber worked hand in hand with the Regional Development Australia (RDA) to canvass wide and far among businesses, councils and local Chambers of Commerce to seek input and discussion on what it was we needed most here to stimulate jobs growth and economic development - should the proposal proceed.

Many submissions were made and a well-attended meeting held in Ballina on Thursday October 2 where even more wonderful infrastructure ideas were put forward.

A comprehensive summary of Northern Rivers infrastructure ideas is now being formulated to ensure we are 'in the game' should this proposal go ahead.

It truly is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to give this region the kickstart we really need to maximise our economic conditions and improve the lot of everyone living in this wonderful yet under-utilised part of the world.

* JOHN MURRAY is the regional manager (Northern Rivers) of the NSW Business Chamber.