Clarence Valley earmarked for industry development in new draft plan

THE CLARENCE Valley has been identified as an area for industrial growth in a draft plan to guide development on the North Coast.

Yesterday the State Government released its draft North Coast Regional Plan, which outlined its vision for the region over the next 20 years.

Parliamentary Secretary for the North Coast and Member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis said the plan noted the abundant industrial land around Grafton, specifically around the site chosen for a new jail.

"The jail is going to be a catalyst for a real industrial precinct," he said.

"Not only the jail but ancillary industries that will complement it."

The plan has identified three regional cities on the North Coast, Coffs Harbour, Port Macquarie and Tweed Heads, while Grafton, Lismore, Ballina, Taree and Kempsey are designated as regional centres.

Mr Gulaptis said the draft plan will guide development.

"If you want to build 5000 homes Grafton's not the place, but it you're looking for affordable industrial land, then Grafton is where you should be going," he said.

Aerial view of South Grafton at Jacaranda time. Photo JoJo Newby / The Daily Examiner
Aerial view of South Grafton at Jacaranda time. Photo JoJo Newby / The Daily Examiner JoJo Newby

Mr Gulaptis said the upgraded Pacific Highway would provide the connectivity between the regional cities and the sub-regions.

>> RELATED: Pacific Highway upgrade from Warrell Creek to South Kempsey only months away

The draft plan has set five goals:

  •  A natural environment, and aboriginal and historic heritage that is protected, and landscapes that are productive;
  • Focus growth opportunities to create a great place to live and work;
  • Housing choice, with homes that meet the needs of changing communities;
  • A prosperous economy with services and infrastructure;
  • Improved transport connectivity and freight networks.

Over the next 20 years to 2036, the population is expected to grow by over 97,000 to almost 645,000. Tweed, Coffs Harbour and Port Macquarie-Hastings are experiencing the fastest population and economic growth rates in the region.

Around 67% of the growth is projected to occur in these three local government areas.

aerial Coffs Harbour Jetty area. 04 june 2015 Photo Trevor Veale / Coffs Coast Advocate
aerial Coffs Harbour Jetty area. 04 june 2015 Photo Trevor Veale / Coffs Coast Advocate Trevor Veale

More than 90% of the region's population growth to 2036 will comprise people aged over 65 years. Currently, 20% of residents are aged over 65 years, but this will rise to 31% by 2036.

Mr Gulaptis said the plan could be boiled down to two ideas.

"One is to develop the region consistent with the lifestyle we have become accustomed to," he said.

"The other is to meet the aspirations of the families who live here by providing great jobs, providing homes and protecting their lifestyle."

Mr Gulaptis said the planners will welcome responses from the public before the June 2 deadline for submissions. The plan is available at www.planning .nsw.gov.au/northcoast.



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