Friday, February 23, 2024

Hills Shire approves ambitious 50,000-job growth plan

Sydney’s Hills Shire Council has approved a “forward-thinking” Economic Growth Plan targeting the creation of 50,000 new local jobs by 2041.

The plan also aims to boost tourism in The Hills’ rural north and capitalise on the skills of residents, says Mayor, Peter Gangemi.

“It is a clear goal of Council to help foster economic growth and the creation of local jobs in The Hills,” he said.

“Council plays a crucial role in supporting businesses and providing a direction for the economic development of our Shire.

“Our vision contains specific actions that promote local business and enhance local industries, such as looking at how we can boost agritourism in the rural parts of our Shire.

“The Economic Growth Plan also looks at how we can attract skilled and educated employees, encourage visitors and increase employment opportunities for our highly skilled residents so they can work close to their home.”

The plan was endorsed following a comprehensive three-month public consultation process.

Mayor Gangemi said the plan’s vision is to position the region as a hub for innovation, health and science.

“I am very proud of this plan, and I look forward to working with our business community to drive opportunities for this region,” the Mayor said.

Key highlights of the Economic Growth Plan include:

Job creation and investment: The plan aims to create the framework for more than 50,000 new jobs by 2041 and attract investments in key industries.

Support for local businesses: The plan champions local businesses and the enhancement of industries, through education opportunities, such as workshops, forums, and networking events.

Attracting and retaining skilled workforce: The plan aims to open up job opportunities for the region’s highly skilled residents, enabling them to work in proximity to their homes.

Infrastructure and transport: The plan seeks to upgrade green spaces, roads, pathways, and cycleways to enhance employment areas and advocate for new infrastructure and transport links. This includes connecting the metro line to the Aerotropolis and the upcoming Western Sydney Airport and establishing a mass transit link between Norwest and Parramatta via Baulkham Hills, facilitating better business connections and increased accessibility.

Key sectors: The plan seeks investment attraction in four pivotal sectors, comprising healthcare and social assistance, education and training, advanced manufacturing and professional scientific and technical services, all identified as pillars of growth. These pillars also reflect the areas in which many residents have skills, training or qualifications within.

Brand review and marketing program: The plan proposes a review of Council’s brand identity and the development of a marketing program aimed at conveying the strengths that The Hills has to businesses and industries, thereby attracting new enterprises to the area.

Boost tourism: The plan proposes that Council will work to build partnerships with key tourism businesses and organisations operating in the Shire to maximise strategic tourism opportunities.

The Plan can be viewed on Council’s website, www.thehills.nsw.gov.au and by searching ‘Finalisation of Economic Growth Plan’.

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