A Coalition government would drive jobs and business growth in Williamtown by taking the next step towards designating the area as a Special Activation Precinct, the Liberal candidate for Port Stephens said on Friday.
Jaimie Abbott said on Friday that scoping studies would be conducted to develop a business case for the precinct.
“This government is serious about attracting businesses and jobs to the Port Stephens region. Special Activation Precinct status will offer essential infrastructure and streamlined planning processes for industries and sectors responsible for driving significant growth,” Ms Abbott said.
The Coalition plan for the area follow's a commitment by Labor to spend $20 million cleaning up drains in Williamtown and the surrounding red zone if it wins the coming state and federal elections.
Special Activation Precincts are designed to create jobs, attract businesses and investors and fuel economic development in regional NSW to ensure regions are well placed to grow and meet future economic needs.
“The NSW Liberals are already investing $11.7 million in the Williamtown aerospace precinct, which is creating a transformational defence, aviation, aerospace and technology precinct set to generate over 5,500 jobs in the Hunter region," Abbott said.
"Making Williamtown an Special Activation Precinct will provide a myriad of opportunities with industries beyond defence. These industries include agribusiness and forestry, resources and mining, tourism and hospitality, tertiary education and skills, health and residential care, freight and logistics, advanced manufacturing, renewable energy, and technology-enabled primary industries."
Ms Abbott said that, if elected, she would work with the State Government, Newcastle Airport and Port Stephens Council to establish a Special Activation Precinct in the region including addressing necessary PFAS remediation work.”
Port Stephens Mayor, Ryan Palmer, said the Williamtown Special Activation Precinct could incorporate an upgrade of the Newcastle Airport runway and terminal, extension of the M1 to Raymond Terrace and upgraded road links to the airport and to the Port of Newcastle.
“The precinct will provide an immense benefit to our region, and I welcome any steps towards implementing such a precinct at Williamtown,” Mr Palmer said.
Newcastle Airport chief executive Dr Peter Cock said a Special Activation Precinct would generate significant jobs and economic growth in the local community.
“We have launched stage one of our world-leading Aerospace technology park, Astra Aerolab, awarding over $1.2m of contracts for its development in the past month," Dr Cock said.
"Hearing that Astra will now be in the heart of a Special Activation Precinct will only serve to heighten interest and help turbocharge the local economy."