As part of NSW Small Business Month, the Cobar Business Association hosted a dinner on Thursday night which was aimed at keeping local businesses informed about how Cobar’s economy is tracking.
Cobar Business Association president Sharon Harland said the idea of the dinner was to find out what opportunities are available to local businesses.
“We heard from speakers in the mining, agriculture and local government sectors about what’s currently happening in their industries and what’s being planned for the future,” Mrs Harland said.
Successful primary producer Andrew Mosely said after the last dry spell in 2002, they made a number of changes to how they ran their property with some of those ideas filtering through to the wider community.
“There’s some great stuff happening in the ag sector in this region,” he said.
He listed the growth in the goat industry (from $50million to $250m in the past 17 years); slaughter rates growning 10 per cent year on year since 2002; the potential of the new small stock works at Bourke; carbon farming; total grazing pressure fencing; regenerative farm practices; and a diversity of farming enterprises has helped to provide a strong future for the local agriculture sector.
Cobar Shire Council’s general manager Peter Vlatko spoke about council’s vision which included a number of major improvements.
“We’re doing things that show we care about the town,” Mr Vlatko said.
He said a number of State Government grants have helped council with projects such as tree planting; improvements at the swimming pool, museum, youth centre and parks; new toilets; main street improvements; a new water filtration plant and the replacement of 6km of town water pipes.
Mr Valtko said Joint Organisation (JO) funding will also provide $5million for tourism and cultural projects in the area and he announced tenders would go out at the end of the month for a Cobar-Dubbo-Sydney air service.
Hera Mine general manager Scott Ramsay said the mine, which has a policy of employing local, was still going strong with production up from 330,000 to 500,000 ton per annum in last 18 months. He said while the life of mine is only three and a half years, current exploration activity will hopefully improve that.