$4.4million boost for Cobar

Deputy Premier John Barilaro (third from right) and Member for Barwon Roy Butler (second from left) were joined by Cobar Shire Councilllors Tracey Kings, Chris
Lehmann (with his son Harry), mayor Lilliane Brady, Harley Toomey and Julie Payne on Friday afternoon for the announcement of $4.4million in funding to create a new industrial area for Cobar.

Cobar will receive $4.4million to develop a new industrial estate as part of the NSW Government’s $170million Drought Stimulus Package.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW John Barilaro and State Member
for Barwon Roy Butler were in Cobar
on Friday to make the funding announcement.

Mr Barilaro said the funding will deliver essential services such as electricity and telecommunications as well as roads, kerbs and gutters to power the brand new Cobar Industrial Subdivision project.

The council-owned land, just north of Cobar on the Bourke Road, will feature 28 new industrial blocks laying the foundation for future business growth.

Mr Barilaro said regional NSW is struggling through one of the worst droughts on record and the crippling impact goes beyond the farm gate.

“We know farmers are doing it tough.

“And when farmers are doing it tough, they’re not spending money in the local economy,” Mr Barilaro said.

“That means that local suppliers, local businesses, subcontractors, tradies aren’t really getting that work.”

He said the stimulus package funding aims to also generate jobs immediately for local tradies and suppliers who will in turn spend their wages in local cafes, retail stores and services.

“Not every business in the bush grows crops or raises livestock, so it’s vital to support off-farm industries by driving business activity and generating new opportunities.

“It’s important that we still keep stimulating local economies and that is why we set aside $170million dollars,” he said.

Mr Barilaro commented the redundancies at Endeavor Mine were bad news for the town.

“That’s the reality of business unfortunately, mines come, mines go.

“There’s still going to be a strong future for this region,” Mr Barilaro said.

“We’ve got to start diversifying our local economy, try to attract different industries, different businesses so when there is a downturn in one sector you want to fill it with another.”

Mr Butler praised Council for forward planning and having an “excellent project” ready to go when the funding became available.

“This is a large sum of money coming into a community,” Mr Butler said.

“I think what’s really important to focus on with this is the future capacity it creates.

“Not just for the economic activity of the building, that initial build, but the future capacity for economic development in the community that diversifies income streams and jobs for the town,” he said.