Topics:  andrew stoner, barry o'farrell, campaign, economy, grafton, our time now

Valley looks to its future

There is a long way to go to get back the lost jobs.
There is a long way to go to get back the lost jobs.

THE Our Time Now campaign is about the Valley standing up for itself in a tough economic environment.

It will ensure the commitments made by Deputy Premier Andrew Stoner and Premier Barry O'Farrell are fulfilled, but it will also look at ways the Valley can improve its economic lot whether through better policies from Clarence Valley Council, big business ventures, tourism initiatives or festivals.

The Daily Examiner is considering including a weekly ideas section from our readers to accompany our Saturday update on the Our Time Now campaign.

The premier announced last week a NSW Cabinet sub-committee on rural and regional NSW had been formed to find Sydney-based public sector jobs that could be transferred to Grafton as compensation to the community for the downgrade of the Grafton jail.

Mr Stoner, chairman of the sub-committee, told ABC radio that Grafton would come out of the process "better than it had ever been" for jobs.

A spokesman from Mr Stoner's office said yesterday a weekly tally of the sub-committee's progress would not be available, but The Examiner assured the media adviser we'd be seeking updates anyway.

He said the rural and regional sub-committee met regularly and would report back to cabinet within eight weeks.

He did not reply to a request for a full list of members of the sub-committee, but The Examiner will seek this information next week.

The sub-committee coincides with another move, announced by Mr Stoner on July 7 (days after the jail downgrade announcement), for a Northern Rivers Jobs Plan.

The jobs plan, to be developed by NSW Trade and Investment, would outline how the creation of local jobs would be delivered and would include incentives for eligible businesses including direct grant assistance, payroll tax rebates, and contributions to enabling infrastructure.

"But to ensure we hit the ground running, eligible businesses in the Northern Rivers region that can create at least two new jobs can now apply for funding from NSW Trade and Investment," Mr Stoner said.

The jobs plan would be available to businesses from the Clarence LGA to the Queensland border, but priority would be given to Clarence businesses, he said.

Prospective applicants can contact Craig Jenkins, business development manager in NSW Trade and Investment's Lismore Office, on 6622 6145 or via email on craig.jenkins@industry.nsw.gov.au.



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