Parkes Special Activation Precinct draft master plan paves way for abattoir, warehousing and more

STRUCTURE: The draft master plan for the Parkes Special Activation Precinct outlines how land should be used across the 4800 hectare purposely-zoned precinct.

STRUCTURE: The draft master plan for the Parkes Special Activation Precinct outlines how land should be used across the 4800 hectare purposely-zoned precinct.

The draft master plan for the Parkes Special Activation Precinct is on display for public comment until Sunday - and it includes prospects of an abattoir, transport terminals and warehousing.

Special Activation Precincts are dedicated areas identified by the NSW Government to create jobs, attract businesses and investors, and fuel economic development in Regional NSW.

The draft master plan for Parkes outlines how land should be used across the 4800 hectare purposely-zoned precinct.

The structure plan divides the area into six sub-precincts, located about eight kilometres west of the Parkes township.

It includes a Regional Enterprise (1240ha), Intensive Livestock Agriculture (1227ha), Resource Recovery and Recycling (719ha), Solar (665ha), Mixed Enterprise (330ha) and Commercial Gateway (135ha) sub-precincts.

The Regional Enterprise Sub-Precinct is the heart of the activation precinct, located on and around the triangle of new and existing railways which connect the national rail networks, such as the Inland Rail, at Parkes.

It's expected to accommodate a diversity of businesses including rail and road transport terminals - with construction on Pacific National's Logistics Terminal nearing completion; warehousing; advanced manufacturing and food processing businesses.

The agriculture sub-precinct, located in the south west of the precinct, is intended for an abattoir and other livestock businesses, while the commercial sub-precinct sits along the proposed Newell Highway bypass and offers businesses opportunities to service local and travelling populations.

The Mixed Enterprise Sub-Precinct will provide flexibility for a range of uses for businesses needing moderate-sized land, and the Solar Sub-Precinct is dedicated to renewable energy, with 66mw already installed at the Parkes Solar Farm and a further 70mw under construction.

The final sub-precinct, Resource Recovery and Recycling, is split into three locations, encompassing the existing Westlime quarry and the town's existing landfill.

This area is planned to receive and re-process waste and resources.

THE PRECINCT: Parkes was chosen as the first Special Activation Precinct in July 2018 because of its location, business development and employment growth opportunities associated with the east-west rail line (Sydney to Perth) and the Inland Rail.

THE PRECINCT: Parkes was chosen as the first Special Activation Precinct in July 2018 because of its location, business development and employment growth opportunities associated with the east-west rail line (Sydney to Perth) and the Inland Rail.

The activation precinct also includes new roads, with London Road that connects to the new proposed bypass being extended further west past Coopers Road.

There's a new Northern Link Road, located west of Coopers Road, connecting Brolgan Road and Henry Parkes Way to Condobolin.

And there are plans for a future southern connection road that will connect to Coopers Road, south of London Road, and to the Newell Highway.

With Parkes earmarking a block of land intended for an abattoir and other livestock businesses, such plans have received mixed responses from Forbes Shire Council.

Since Lachley Meats, the abattoir just north of Forbes on the Newell Highway, closed in 2003 talk of the potential for another business of the same type opening in Forbes has been recurring over the years.

The abattoir was built in 1950 and its closure left 180 full time employees and 60 casuals out of work.

In 2018 Forbes Shire Council's 2030 Agricultural Strategy identified planning for development of processing facilities such as an abattoir, cotton gin or dairy processing facility as a high priority.

Mayor Phyllis Miller said it was disappointing "not to be able to work with our neighbour on the abattoir", but Forbes Shire Council's general manager Steve Loane said the investment in the area was welcome, providing much-needed work opportunities for many residents.

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

To view the draft master plan and to have your say, visit the NSW Government's Planning Portal www.planningportal.nsw.gov.au/exhibition. Public comment closes this Sunday, October 20.

The NSW Government announced Parkes as the first Special Activation Precinct in July 2018, taking advantage of its location, business development and employment growth opportunities associated with the east-west rail line (Sydney to Perth) and the north-south Inland Rail project.

The Precinct will become an inland port, transferring export-ready goods to every major city and freight centre in Australia.

What do you think?