Blue Mountains News
Future Lithgow – What it Takes to Grow the Economy
The Transition Working Group came together following an expression of interest call by Council for community volunteer representatives to participate in examining the future industry base for the Lithgow Local Government Area. Their final report is now complete with Lithgow Councillor’s briefed by the group.
Lithgow Mayor Ray Thompson thanked the working group members - Renzo Benedet, Rob Swinton, Rich Evans and Glenda Anthes - for their diligence and hard work on the report and their far sighted recommendations.
“Lithgow has a long history as an industrial and coal mining area, which has been highly beneficial to Lithgow’s economy” said Mayor Thompson.
“However, times are changing and Lithgow needs to prepare and plan for its future building upon the legacies of the past. The city is on Sydney’s doorstep and every effort should be made to seize on opportunities for greater integration and beneficial impact on our LGA.”
“This report is timely and provides a roadmap to future industries for Lithgow covering advanced manufacturing, renewable energy, health, agricultural production, creative industries and entertainment, tourism and start-up ventures.”
Transition Working Group Chair, Renzo Benedet said “Lithgow cannot rely upon coal and coal based power generation to play the role that it has in the past. We need to broaden our economy, and the jobs on offer. We need growth, not business as usual.”
“The Lithgow region has many outstanding assets and it should be one of the prime locations in the State for new investment. The four key enablers identified by the working group, along with seven new industries, has the potential to create 4,000 new jobs over the next 20 years.”
“This is a massive change for Lithgow and with the right mindset and governance the outcomes can be realised.”
The report makes 33 recommendations. Of key importance is the recommendation to create an independent Economic Development Board to oversee industry development and also the requirement for substantial Federal and State funding going towards the region’s economic transition.
The report and its recommendations will be thoroughly considered by Council and is also available for view on Council’s Have Your Say website www.council.Lithgow.com where comments and suggestions can be made.
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