As the Macleay Valley’s legacy of successful businesses, including Aussie icons Akubra and Milo attests, investing in the Macleay Valley is the smart choice.
Having grown the tourism sector by over 10 per cent over the past three years, Kempsey Shire Council’s economic development focus has now broadened to include agribusiness opportunities, with research pointing to profitable opportunities in high value and value-added agriculture ventures for those prepared to invest.
Already, the Macleay Valley Food Bowl brand is becoming well known in the Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane markets, where the Macleay’s produce is highly sought by leading chefs and gourmet retailers. Rising export demand from China for Australian milk product, including Norco which is supplied by almost all dairy farmers in the Macleay Valley, is also resulting in an investment resurgence in the local dairy sector.
Like tourism, agribusiness will be where the region’s continuing economic growth will be, driven by a Council organisation committed to identifying commercial opportunities and working with industry and all levels of government.
While Australia’s manufacturing sector has been challenged in recent times, Council support and is proud of the pioneering spirit and accolades won by local companies, including Akubra, Nestlé, Everson’s Food Processing, IGA International and Australian Solar Timbers. These companies continue to proudly demonstrate the spirit of the Macleay and many of them are successfully expanding their exports to foreign markets.
Apart from increased agribusiness interest and activity, employment growth is predicted in manufacturing, construction, retail, accommodation, cafés and restaurants, banking, finance and insurance, health care and social assistance, and education and training.
In the meantime, investment continues to flow into the Macleay, with several major capital projects due for completion in 2015 and 2016, including the $2.5m upgrade at Kempsey Airport, the $80m upgrade of Kempsey Hospital and a $3.6m town centre revitalisation project that’s due to be completed by November, 2015. A major Puma Highway Service Centre has also opened its doors for business in the first half of 2015, bringing with it over 100 new jobs. A new large lot industrial estate strategically located on the South Kempsey corridor has also opened its doors in 2015.
Diversity helps to make the Macleay economy prosperous, with 2191 local businesses across 19 industry sectors generating $1.4 billion in gross regional product during 2012-13.
Relationships are important to Council, with trust, transparency, innovation, pride and commitment being our values in our dealings with business and industry. We are proud of our collaborative efforts with many local and global companies and welcome both national and international investors to our Valley.