Member for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall published a media release this week saying the Moree Special Activation Precinct (SAP) was ‘guaranteed’ but the Minister responsible says the project is still subject to review.
A SAP is an allocated area in regional NSW identified by the State Government to become a thriving business hub. Moree is just one of a number of SAPs that were being worked on by the previous Liberal and National government in NSW, all of which are now being reviewed by the new Labor government. It is hoped that the Moree SAP will create jobs, attract businesses and investors, and drive economic growth through simplified planning approval processes.
The Moree SAP will be centred at the junction of major national, state, and regional freight routes via rail, road, and air.
Mr Marshall put a question on the parliamentary notice paper asking for a guarantee that the project will continue as planned. Tara Moriarty, the Minister for Regional NSW whose portfolio is managing the SAPs, replied that they currently have no plans to change it. Mr Marshall said he welcomes the “Minister’s written guarantee that the Moree Special Activation Precinct will proceed and won’t be cancelled, scaled down or altered.”
Mr Marshall said that the Moree SAP “will build on the area’s road, rail and air transport connections, and create jobs across a range of industries including value-added agriculture, horticulture, freight, and logistics.”
Mr Marshall is requesting an urgent briefing with the Minister and her department regarding the next stages for the project.
“While this is a win for the Moree Plains Shire and the broader region, we need to know the status and progress of the SAP construction, as well as the estimated timeline for the delivery and the projected capital costs of the whole project,” Mr Marshall said.
However, spokesperson for Minister Moriarty said that whilst the Minister did confirm that “The NSW Government currently has no plans to cancel, scale down or alter the Moree Special Activation Precinct,” Mr Marshall was advised that the project may be subject to review.
The spokesperson stated that Mr Marshall was advised that the Government “announced a comprehensive and independent Strategic Infrastructure Review of the State’s infrastructure capital program” and that “the Moree SAP will be reviewed in the process.”
“Initial findings and recommendations [of the review] will be delivered to support the 2023-24 NSW State Budget. The final review report will be prepared for consideration by Cabinet,” Minister Moriarty’s spokesperson said.
Information about the outcome of this potential review may become available when the NSW State Budget for 2023-24 is handed down by Treasurer Daniel Mookhey on Tuesday 19 September 2023.
Moree Shire Council put out a release on the back of Mr Marshall’s release saying Mayor Mark Johnson is greatly relieved to have received the news that the future of the Moree SAP was ‘guaranteed’.
“I would again like to thank Mr Marshall for his strong advocacy for the Moree Plains. This news allows us to continue to get on with the project and be excited about the opportunities the Moree SAP will bring in terms of job creation and economic development throughout the region,” Mayor Johnson said.
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