$185 million to kick-off next stage for Parkes Special Activation Precinct

Parkes will go from a "sleepy town to a cosmopolitan city".

This is the vision of the town's future according to Deputy Premier John Barilaro, who made a special visit to Parkes on Wednesday morning.

He - with Member of the Legislative Council Sam Farraway - announced that the NSW Government has committed a further $185.4 million to drive economic growth and prosperity in the Central West through the Parkes Special Activation Precinct.

The announcement is the second stage of the funding that follows the release of the final master plan last month and the second unveiling of a Special Activation Precinct at Wagga's Bomen business park on Monday.

Mr Barilaro said the $185.4 million investment will kick-off the delivery of the precinct and fund vital infrastructure, such as roads, and sewer and water connections.

"[This] will make it easier and more attractive for businesses to set up in Parkes," he said.

"This precinct is all about attracting money, economic growth and jobs to regional NSW."

It capitalises on Parkes' location - at the junction of Australia's two major rail spines eight kilometres west of the town - and, Mr Barilaro said, lower land costs which are "just five per cent of those in major metropolitan areas".

He said the Parkes precinct could attract up to $1 billion in private investment over the next 10 years.

Mr Barilaro acknowledged during Wednesday's announcement, made at the Pacific National Logistics Terminal in Parkes, that there are farmers and landholders who are impacted.

He said the government is being sensitive and negotiations will continue, and that they will work with landholders.

"With all sorts of investment like this, there is always some level of disruption, maybe at a personal level to some landholders," he said.

"But the broader good for the next generation, this community of the Central West in the state of NSW sometimes has to be the focus and the primary approach by the government, no different to when we do west connects or north connects in Sydney.

"That disrupts many but we know it's for the better good and this is about the better good, not just for ourselves but the next generation.

"The greatest legacy all of us can leave is opportunities for our kids and our grandkids, and that's what this is all about.

"This project has merit that is beyond today."

Parkes councillors Alan Ward and Neil Westcott, along with Pacific National representative Andrew Huckle, were present at the announcement.

"I think in the current climate Australia as a whole is battling with a persistent drought, horrifying bushfires and now facing new challenges with COVID-19 - it's good to get some good news," Cr Ward said.

"The vision of Parkes Shire Council for this project has been existing now for over 20 years, it's been handed down from mayor to mayor and councillor to councillor.

"I would be correct in saying almost never has regional Australia seen such a positive future of opportunity and growth.

"This announcement lays the foundation for the Special Activation Precinct established right here in Parkes, including the National Logistics Hub."

The Regional Growth NSW Development Corporation will now take on the delivery of the precinct.

This will include leading design and construction, streamlined applications and approvals, and providing a business concierge service aimed at assisting those seeking to set up in the region.

Stage one of the delivery plan that was on show at the announcement, will be to plan the precinct's boundary.

The Parkes precinct covers 4800 hectares of land ear-marked for a range of uses including freight and logistics, warehousing, plastic and e-waste recycling, cold chain storage and agriculture.


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