Key Economic Development Projects

KEY PROJECTS FOR LOCAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

Here are the current Top 5 initiatives to improve socio-economic prosperity in Glen Innes Highlands.

Latest Reports:

Progress Report to 31 January 2021

Progress Report to 30 April 2021

DROP IN SESSIONS TO TALK  ALL THINGS RAIL TRAIL
When: Wednesday 25th August
Times:
1. 12pm – 2pm
2. 5pm – 7pm
Location: Glen Innes Library – Willian Gardner Room

1. NEW ENGLAND RAIL TRAIL (NERT)

THE NEW RAIL TRAIL WILL BRING ECONOMIC BENEFITS TO ALL TOWNS AND VILLAGES FROM GLEN INNES TO ARMIDALE.​

  • Rail trails bring significant economic and community benefits to regional areas.

  • This project is expected to deliver $5.8million annually into the local economy.

  • 15,000 day visits, 14,000 overnight visits annually leading to the creation of 26 new full-time equivalent jobs (REMPLAN 2019).

PRESERVING THE RAIL CORRIDOR FOR FUTURE USE.

  • It's a common misconception that the rail trail will stop any future alternative uses of the rail trail. This is simply incorrect - the rail trail project will actually preserve the corridor for future use.
  • An act of NSW parliament will be required to close the rail corridor and transfer ownership from Transport NSW to Crown lands.  Alternatives are being investigated based on learnings from the two pilot projects which will guide governance and alternatives to  transferring ownership.
  • The creation of a rail trail does not prevent opening of a rail line at any time in the future.
  • All artefacts and relics can be preserved for potential static displays in the train stations.
  • There are 5 bridges along the Armidale to Ben Lomond route. Most of these will be retained (with upgrades) or replaced with pre-fabricated bridges.
  • The rail corridor will remain in public hands and ARC and GISC would assume responsibility for the rail trail including annual maintenance.

FUNDING RECEIVED FOR GLEN INNES TO BEN LOMOND SECTION.

  • Funding was confirmed on 30 June 2021 from the Bushfire Local Economic Recovery Fund (BLER) to the value of $8.7 Million.
  • "I especially welcome the $8.7 million to Glen Innes Severn Council for stage one of the New England Rail Trail from Glen Innes to Ben Lomond," Mr Joyce said. 

WHY THE NEW ENGLAND RAIL TRAIL?

  • Rail trails are safe, wheelchair accessible off-road pathways for the whole family to enjoy.
  • They promote active living transport routes for tourists and locals, encouraging nature and environmental appreciation and awareness.
  • They take advantage of under utilised assets and help promote the country, attracting visitors from the city who will stay and spend tourist dollars with local businesses, generating jobs with cycling now the 4th most popular physical activity for adult Australians.
  • Rail trails bring significant economic and community benefits to regional areas. This project is expected to deliver $5.8million annually into the local economy. 15,000 day visits, 14,000 overnight visits annually leading to the creation of 26 new full-time equivalent jobs (REMPLAN 2019
  • Rail trails ensure the preservation of rail heritage assets including bridges, tunnels and cuttings. They also preserve the rail corridor for all other future uses.

Stay connected via:

New England High Country NSW OFFICIAL Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/newenglandrailtrailnsw

NERT Organisations facebook page

Key Documents:

NERT Final report

NERT Biosecutity Risk Assessment & Biosecurity Plan

NERT Business Case - BLER application - Glen Innes

Community Survey and further consultation

You can complete the online survey here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/NERT

Community Drop In Sessions will be upload and confirmed soon.

2. GROW GLEN INNES THINK TANK (GGITT)

GGITT was launched on 31 March 2020 with a local social media campaign which reached 5,423 people; an email campaign to 1,305 recipients with a 43% open rate; radio interviews with 2CBD and ABC New England North West; an article on Highlands Business Hub shared to Local Business and community pages. The GGITT was also added to the Glen Innes Highlands/Invest and Council websites.

This resulted in 50 registrations as at 21.06.2021 with more expected to register with consistent and ongoing promotion.

There are a range of topics which people can register an interest; these include but are not limited to:

  1. Housing Now and in the Future;
  2. Our Next Generation;
  3. Local Jobs Program and Workforce;
  4. Strengthening Liveability for Growth;
  5. Population Mobility, Retention and Attraction;
  6. Agri-Innovation and Diversification; and
  7. Healthcare – Attract, Connect, Stay Community Project.

Register here

3. CENTENNIAL PARKLANDS SKYWALK

The proposed Skywalk is part of the master concept plan designed to improve utilisation and attraction of the parklands and showcase Celtic and Ngoorabul connections and culture. 

The project has been awarded $2M funding under the Public Spaces Legacy Program.

Find out more

4. HIGHLANDS BUSINESS & COMMUNITY HUB

PHYSICAL

This project will create a central, physical co-working space which provides expert support, connections and a community for start-ups and entrepreneurs to grow and scale their business. 

This is a key initiative from the new Economic Development Strategy 2020-2040 & Action Plan 2020-2025.

An application for funding has been submitted:

1. Bushfire Local Economic Recovery Fund 

2. Building Better Regions Fund

The funding would enable the fit-out for a suitable training facility to run workshops and programs, as well as enabling the attraction of more conferences and business events.

DIGITAL

This was launched in April 2020 to address the estimated $200M leakage of business from the local economy. There are now 87 businesses and 128 users registered as at end April 2021.  

View the platform here: https://highlandshub-business.localised.com.au/

Council is also in discussions with UNE Smart Region Incubator and The Exchange (Co-working space in Dubbo) in seeking future collaboration opportunities.

The updated platform will include community, jobs and mentouring and will be launched in 2021-22 financial year.

5. TOURISM ITINERARY & PACKAGES PLATFORM

This is a new and innovative web-based system that will provide a seamless end-to-end experience for discovery, planning and booking trips for Regional Australia.

The final proposal and business case are completed and an application for funding has been submitted to the BLER Fund on 28 January 2021.

 

COMING SOON:

  1. Escape Rooms
  2. Workforce Attractions Strategy / Local Jobs Program
  3. Housing Assessment & Future Strategy
  4. Powerhouse Museum Business Case
  5. Six new gravel-grinding routes
  6. Healthcare Services 
  7. Destination Management Plan
  8. Liveability Toolkit
  9. Resiliance Planning & Support with Monash University
  10. Neighbourlytics Social Prosperity Scoring

For more information please read the detailed Economic Development Progress Report in the May 2021 Ordinary Council meeting's Business Paper

Or Call:

Margot Davis - 02 67 302 403 

Manager Economic Development

Glen Innes Severn Council