Meet the team working to ensure Moree Plains Shire Council's Special Activation Precinct is a success

Mark Connolly and Daniel Boyce reviewing SAP draft plans. Photo: supplied

Mark Connolly and Daniel Boyce reviewing SAP draft plans. Photo: supplied

Moree Plains Shire Council has welcomed back Daniel Boyce who has returned to join a team working to ensure the success of Moree's Special Activation Precinct.

Mr Boyce, who has come on board council's Regional Activation Unit as executive planner, joins some familiar faces in the team, led by Mark Connolly.

Mr Connolly is a well-known council employee as the economic and community development manager.

He was instrumental in Moree's selection by the NSW Government to be investigated for a Special Activation Precinct (SAP) and has had a long-term involvement with the Melbourne to Brisbane Inland Rail project on behalf of council.

Mr Connolly is uniquely placed to bring a local understanding of the economic drivers of the Moree Plains' economy to ensure the Moree SAP will create long-term job opportunities and attract investors.

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The Regional Activation Unit, located on the ground floor of the Max Centre, is also joined by Laura Colley and Julie Morrison both of whom have strong connections to the local farming community.

As business coordinator, Ms Colley combines a background in council's economic development team with a wealth of knowledge and relationships in the agricultural sector, making her a key member of the Regional Activation Unit.

Mr Connolly said the SAP presents a unique opportunity to Moree, marking the dawning of a new era for north-western NSW.

"Council is confident we have the right team in place to work with the NSW Government on the Moree SAP," he said.

"While our shire is already attracting impressive investment inflows from industries such as agriculture and tourism, the Moree precinct and Inland Rail are game changers that provide a catalyst for an even brighter future and increased economic growth for Moree."

The Inland Rail is Australia's largest freight rail project and will connect Moree to domestic and international markets, representing a commitment of $9.3 billion in Federal Government investment.

Meanwhile, Moree's SAP has the potential to create a large amount of sustained economic activity for the region, by leveraging what the shire does best through diversification of agriculture, enhanced logistics, food and processing industries in addition to building on its natural advantages in water.

Mr Connolly, Mr Boyce and Ms Colley will be part of a team, along with consultants and senior NSW Government employees, who will deliver the 'government-led studies' to help identify the most suitable and compatible land uses, required infrastructure and the opportunities and constraints within the 5,880 hectare investigation zone.

Once the master plan is delivered, council's Regional Activation Unit will be working closely with the Regional Growth NSW Development Corporation, to facilitate fast-track approvals for new development in the precinct.

"Our plans for a business hub specialising in agribusiness, logistics and food processing industries have been part of council's vision for the Moree Plains for some time," Mr Connolly said.

"Council is fully committed to ensuring the success of the Moree Special Activation Precinct and ensuring that we have the right people at the table is essential."

Last week Moree SAP community engagement activities were held and the draft mast plan is due for public exhibition in the first quarter of 2021.