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Better times ahead in 2021

Thursday 4 February 2021
Hello everyone, welcome to the first column of 2021 – and this year we can all look forward to better and brighter times.

We’re already off to a great start on the economic front, with major announcements laying the foundations for very significant growth in Albury and surrounds.

On 20 January, we were delighted to welcome the NSW Deputy Premier, John Barilaro, who visited Albury to announce some good news for our economic and sporting future.

On the sporting front, we received confirmation of success in a $100,000 grant to help bring a T20 Big Bash cricket match to Lavington Sports Ground in 2021-22 and that Albury will become a training hub for young female footballers to create a pathway to the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2023.

Mr Barilaro also announced the Nexus Industrial Precinct, north of Albury, has been declared the first Regional Jobs Precinct (RJP) in NSW, which will streamline the planning approval processes to develop industry at Nexus, making it easier and more attractive to invest there.

Coupled with the work now underway to build new freeway access ramps at the precinct, the RJP is ensuring Nexus is an increasingly attractive option for businesses looking to develop new operations, on the 450-hectare precinct, which can service 75 per cent of the Australian population by next day delivery.

It’s part of our strategic vision to expand Nexus into a 24/7 industrial powerhouse that will eventually employ more than 9,000 people and inject an estimated $1.5B into the regional economy.

We’re already on the way towards achieving that aim, with a major tenant – Circular Plastics – to break ground on a multi-million dollar factory on site tomorrow.

Tomorrow’s sod-turning by Circular Plastics, a joint venture between Cleanaway, Asahi and Pact Group, will kick off a process that will directly and indirectly create about 300 jobs in the construction phase alone, with ongoing economic and environmental benefits to serve our community for many years to come.

This major plastics recycling facility is not only good news for the growth of Nexus, it also helps to cement Albury’s role as a leader in recycling and sustainability and we very much look forward to seeing the new factory in operation.

But of course, Nexus is just one string to our economic bow.

This year, we’ll also take important strides towards the delivery of our Riverside Precinct project, which will include the development of a jetty and boardwalk on the Murray foreshore near the Albury Swim Centre, with exciting associated developments – such as the 12 kilometre extension to the remarkable Wagirra Trail and Yindyamarra Sculpture Walk.

And of course, our newly-redeveloped Lavington Sports Ground will also continue to drive opportunities for recreational and economic growth. We designed and built the stadium to be one of the best in regional Australia and it’s exciting to see that the high quality of the venue is attracting interest at the elite sporting level.

These developments will not only offer lifestyle opportunities to local people, they’ll also provide an important boost to our visitor economy by attracting more tourists and generating income for the sector after a particularly tough time in 2020.

These are just some of the major projects that are connected to growth opportunities across the public and private sectors of Albury and Wodonga.

It has been a community-wide effort that’s enabled us to reach the point where the shared council-community vision for the future is taking shape.

Through the ongoing collaboration and co-operation with government, business and our community, we can all look forward to more encouraging news in 2021.

It has not been an easy road but as the events of 2020 show, we as a community are resilient, adaptable and innovative, and by continuing our work together we can all make Albury an even better place to live, work and invest.