Does Cobar need a new industrial area?

 Cobar Shire Council is considering building a new purpose-built industrial estate but, before picking up any tools, they want to find out if there is a need for it.

Council’s special projects officer Angela Shepherd said council recently submitted an expression of interest for State Government funding to build a new industrial estate.

“This project fits into the criteria for the Growing Local Economies program which allows entities to undertake infrastructure projects of economic significance in regional NSW.

“Our project must demonstrate improved outcomes for regional communities, create jobs, attract new industries or encourage the expansion of existing enterprises,” Ms Shepherd said.

She said council has proposed a new purpose-built industrial estate containing 30 fully serviced lots (with kerb, guttering and sewerage) ranging in size from 5,000m² to 10,000m².

“These would be much bigger than the lots in the existing industrial estate.”

The estimated build cost of the estate would be about $4million with council to contribute $500,000 towards the project.

“Only having to invest $500,000 would make it a viable proposition for council and the lots could then be sold at a fairly reasonable price,” Ms Shepherd said.

If council were to invest the full build cost, she said it would drastically increase the selling prices of the lots in order for council to recoup its investment.

“Council understands that businesses will need to invest in infrastructure on the new lots, such as sheds, workshops or office buildings, so keeping the cost of the serviced blocks to a minimum will encourage this investment.

“Our grant application has progressed to the next stage and we now need to do a full business case to secure the funding.

“Part of the business case is to show demand or interest,” Ms Shepherd said.

“We want to hear from businesses who are looking to come to Cobar or want to expand existing enterprises and create more jobs.”

Ms Shepherd said the funding criteria does not allow for upgrades to the existing industrial area.