Federal funding for a “transformational” business project in the Shire of Murray is being lauded as an avenue to local job creation and an improvement in the region’s economy.
Canning MP Andrew Hastie this week announced the federal government will invest $21.75 million into the establishment of the Peel Business Park and the Peel Agri-Innovation Precinct.
The Shire of Murray project has been designed to incorporate high technology food production, value-added processing, university-led research and development, and a range of common use facilities.
The federal funding will be provided through the government’s Regional Growth Fund and is being estimated to deliver $11.3 million of economic activity and create 36 jobs during construction.
Mr Hastie has called on the Shire of Murray to provide full business cases for the project, with the allocated funds to be put towards Stage 1 of development.
“This is a significant investment, in collaboration with the state government, to encourage new investment into the region,” he said.
“We are hoping new businesses will come, set-up and create jobs. There is so much opportunity.
“It is not the government that selects how private enterprise invests or organises itself – we set the conditions for it.”
Mr Hastie said projects like the Peel Business Park could help to lower unemployment rates in the region.
“We have a lot of people from the Peel region that work FIFO and a lot of people that travel to the city everyday,” he said.
“There is an opportunity cost in that – time away from family and time spent on the roads and in the air.
“We want to make Peel a place where people work as well. Not only does that provide more time at home for people but more dollars spent locally – with our general prosperity increasing as a result.”
Stage 1 of the project is set to include the subdivision and ground preparation for the Peel Business Park, construction of the microgrid and battery storage and construction of the research and development facility.
Shire of Murray president David Bolt said state and federal government support placed Murray “at the centre of agricultural excellence in Western Australia.”
"The creation of new jobs is critical for addressing unemployment rates and the resultant employment needs of the anticipated population growth for Murray and the Peel region,” he said.
“The Peel Agri-Innovation Precinct is a significant step towards building a strong and resilient economy.
“Agreements are in-place with Fund Singapore and Murdoch University, with the migration of additional smart businesses anticipated pending the successful outcome of Stage 2 of the Regional Growth Fund process.”
Cr Bolt said the Shire was grateful to be selected as a successful grant applicant.
Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the Regional Growth Fund provided grants of $10 million or more for major “transformational” projects that support long-term economic growth and create regional jobs.