The Hills Shire Council has released its much-anticipated Economic Growth Plan, which aims to drive jobs and employment, and get the region’s economy bouncing back after the economic hits of the past few years.
The Plan, which will now proceed to public exhibition in early 2023, sets out Council’s vision to attract new investment and jobs. The plan also details how Council aims to retain its employment land, attract new businesses to the area, support business owners and their employees through networking opportunities, and facilitate educational and developmental training.
Mayor of The Hills Shire, Dr Peter Gangemi said the Plan will guide the collaborative efforts of government, industry and business to allow Council to capitalise on new opportunities and prepare for future growth in The Hills Shire.
“Council strongly supports our business community,” Mayor Gangemi said.
“Residents and business owners look to Council to connect, inform and implement policies that provide the tools for them to grow. We also advocate and build the infrastructure, such as open spaces, roads, pathways and cycleways, that makes our employment areas an attractive place to work and visit.
“This Plan will showcase the benefits of locating and doing business in The Hills Shire, and how Council plans to support local businesses through educational and networking opportunities, so that they can be the best they can be,” Mayor Gangemi added.
The Plan will be guided by five objectives, including:
- Be investment ready;
- Revitalise employment centres and preserve employment lands;
- Foster innovation and diversification of industry;
- Increase economic resilience; and
- Advocate for and partner with the business community.
Another aspect of the Plan will be to attract jobs that will enable The Hills Shire’s skilled workforce to live and work close to home.
“According to Census data, about 41.2 per cent of our employed residents have a bachelor’s degree or higher. This is compared to 38.3 per cent for Greater Sydney,” Mayor Gangemi said.
“We will be focusing on value adding industries that create jobs suited to our skilled population, especially in the areas of health, advanced manufacturing, professional, and science and technical services,” Mayor Gangemi added.
The Draft Economic Growth Plan will be available for comment through focus groups and workshops, drop-in sessions in key locations, a hotline and via Council’s website, www.thehills.nsw.gov.au, next year.
Submissions and input from the consultation period will then be considered by Council later in 2023 for a decision on whether to adopt the Plan.