Draft master plan for Special Activation Precinct released

Parkes Shire Council has welcomed the release of the draft master plan for the Parkes Special Activation Precinct, announced by Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW, John Barilaro.

The draft master plan outlines how land should be used across the 4800 hectare purposely-zoned precinct, what businesses could exist and operate there, and how an eco-industrial hub can be established and thrive.

"We are excited to be working with the NSW Government on the next step towards our community's long-term vision of developing Parkes as a National Logistics Hub and Inland Port," Parkes Shire Council's General Manager, Kent Boyd said.

"The state's first Special Activation Precinct will be designed to take advantage of the unique economic opportunities of Parkes' strategic location at the epicentre of the national freight and logistics network and will create up to 3000 jobs over the next two decades, adding to the diversity of our economy especially in times of drought.

"The establishment of Parkes as an inland port will be the catalyst for export orientated business to add value to the region's produce, and we want the region's producers to receive some of the uplift from that value-adding.

"The region has some of the best produce in the world and it would be refreshing to see some of the uplifted value stay in the region rather than be exported out in bulk."

Mr Boyd is encouraging residents to take the opportunity to have their say during the consultation period and help "Parkes reach its full potential", he said.

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Th draft master plan follows on from 12 months of detailed investigation into the area by government and independent advisors.

As part of the investigations, Mr Boyd said an independent consultant identified land owned by Parkes Shire Mayor Ken Keith OAM as one of the parcels that was strategically important to the Hub.

"The identification process also noted that the farm has been in the Mayor's family for almost 100 years," he said.

"None the less, to protect against potential conflict of interest, Parkes Shire Council has robust procedures in place to ensure there is no question about probity."

Mr Boyd referred to the Parkes National Logistics Hub Probity Plan, which describes the principles to be applied, the processes to be used and the controls that will be implemented to promote the integrity of any land acquisitions and ensure that all aspects of the process continue to be above reproach and fair to all.

The Parkes National Logisitics Hub Probity Plan can be found on council's website, www.parkes.nsw.gov.au/business-investment/national-logistics-hub/parkes-special- activation-precinct/

The 'Explanation of Intended Effect (EIE) on a proposed new Activation Precincts State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP)' is also on public exhibition, which is a new planning framework to streamline approval processes for investors.

This is open for community feedback until October 20.

To view the draft master plan and to have your say, visit the NSW Government's Planning Portal www.planningportal.nsw.gov.au/exhibition

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