Promises, promises - how are they coming along?
THE Federal Government has asked Coffs Harbour City Council to prepare a full business case to secure the funds promised for the Airport Enterprise Park prior to the election.
With plenty of fanfare, and surprise on behalf of the Mayor Denise Knight, the Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack flew into Coffs Harbour prior to the federal election to announce $10-million for the project.
Mr McCormack, who is also the leader of The National Party, pledged the funds and threw his support behind Nationals candidate for Cowper Patrick Conaghan who identified the $24-million project as a priority in addressing the region's high unemployment.
Now with Mr Conaghan safely elected the Advocate is following up on a number of pre-election promises including the $10-million for the 100-lot enterprise estate off Aviation Drive.
A representative from Mr McCormack's office has confirmed that Coffs Harbour City Council has been invited to submit a full business case under the Regional Growth Fund (RGF) for the construction of the Coffs Harbour Airport Enterprise Park.
They had previously submitted an EOI under the RGF but this was knocked back.
"The council now has three months to submit its full business case. If the full business case is successful, the Federal Government will offer up to $10 million in funding towards the project," the representative said.
The council's director of business services Andrew Beswick has welcomed the news and says the three month deadline will be easy to meet as a lot of the work has already been done.
"The full business case will provide a more detailed outline of project including timing and funding requirements.
"We are working on it as we speak," Mr Beswick said.
Mr Beswick also revealed that council has been asked by the State Government to prepare a full business case for their Growing Local Economies Fund.
He says this application will be for "several millions - somewhere in the order of five to ten million dollars".
The more funds council has up front the quicker they can go ahead with the work rather than relying on staged land releases at the park.
With over 23 hectares of commercial land on offer, and its close proximity to the CBD and neighbouring airport, council is billing it is an ideal location for all business types and sizes.
Expression of interest from suitable businesses for stage one close on October 15 and can be lodged at www.coffsharbourairport.com.au/enterprise-park.