NSW Farmers congratulates the National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) on the release of their Regionalisation Agenda today.
NSW Farmers President James Jackson said as the generator of one third of the state’s gross production, regional NSW will play a key role in the state’s fiscal recovery from COVID-19, as well as NSW agriculture’s pursuit of $30 billion by 2030.
“One of the silver linings of the pandemic has been that more people are experiencing what regional NSW has to offer,” Mr Jackson said.
“People have been drawn to regional areas over the pandemic, whether to travel or to work remotely. Figures show a record number of Australians moved to regional areas mid last year.”
“While these are pleasing developments, we need a long-term strategy that fosters sustainable growth for regional NSW. Such a strategy needs to consider job and education opportunities, health facilities, equity in telecommunications, and infrastructure.”
“We commend the NFF on their visionary approach to building the regions, which looks beyond the rationale of relocating city jobs to regional areas.”
Mr Jackson said the disruption of COVID-19 has motivated greater investment in regional areas, however we’re still a long way from parity with urban centres. However, Mr Jackson said there are still impediments to local investment, including planning paralysis and access to internationally competitive finance.
“There are plenty of exciting opportunities ahead for regional NSW. The significant manufacturing and infrastructure spends by state and federal governments will benefit regional areas.”
“But, this investment needs to be part of a long-term plan to retain value in the regions through value-adding, and to provide ongoing job opportunities.”
“The opening of the Western Sydney Airport and accompanying agri-precinct in 2026 will also aid proximate regional communities, enabling them to expand their export horizons to new and diverse global markets.”
“NSW Farmers has been and will continue to work to capture these opportunities.”