Council targets Valley economy

CLARENCE Valley Council is one step closer to gaining the funding necessary to develop an economic development blueprint for the region after receiving a $48,000 grant from the Carr Government.

Council executive manager for economic development George Cowan said the funding would be used to undertake the first co-ordinated approach to economic development for the Clarence Valley.

"It's tremendous news that the State Government has given us this funding. It's the first of two grants we have applied. The other is a federal grant so we're hopeful they will match the State Government's grant," Mr Cowan said.

"This economic development plan is one of the great advantages to come out of the amalgamation process and will become our major project for the next 12 months.

"We have established a steering committee constituting representatives from funding bodies and community groups to get the development blueprint happening. We're trying to move it all as fast as possi- ble. We're really excited about getting things rolling."

The Minister for Regional Development, David Campbell, said the funding incorporated $40,000 through the Carr Government's Developing Regional Resources program and $8000 through the Main Street/Small Towns Program to help the council conduct a business retention and expansion survey.

"The survey will give the council the ability to complete an audit of infrastructure and skills, and identify the key economic drivers for the Clarence Valley," Mr Campbell said.

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