A bold and ambitious aspirational target of 4000 new jobs by 2040 was supported at the Council Meeting held in Armidale on Wednesday.
Mayor Sam Coupland presented a Mayoral - Minute outlining his vision for the Armidale region and the plan to make that vision a reality.
The mayor's vision and now the vision of the Council is a shared vision for the region and the city of Armidale as a city of significance in the decades ahead.
"Today we have made a commitment to set an aspirational target to grow jobs in our region by 4000 by 2040 and generate at least 1000 new jobs over the next five years," Mayor Coupland said.
"This won't be an easy task and is an incredibly ambitious target but I am buoyed by the enthusiasm of my fellow councillors and am confident we will work hard as a team and bring the community along with us to make this a reality.
"If we create jobs for our children then we can retain our future generations and attract new residents to our region.
"We can then start to reach the critical mass that generates infrastructure investment from all levels of government."
Central to the mayor's plan is to develop a jobs growth strategy based on catalyst projects including the renewal of our CBDs in Armidale and Guyra, attracting sustainable industries drawing on our future role as Australia's largest renewable energy community, and expanding opportunities for intensive horticultural enterprises.
As a priority the council will now identify the region building infrastructure and catalyst job growth projects that provide a platform for future success and advocate for support through the state and federal governments.
"To grow, we need to do so sustainably," Mayor Coupland said.
"We need to use our resources more wisely, to protect our natural environment and prime agricultural land. We will need affordable and available housing, health and cultural infrastructure to ensure that we can offer a lifestyle proposition that is second to none.
"There is considerable work to do if we are to realise a brighter future.
"Water security and economic resilience will be key challenges. This journey will require a sense of unity and a common purpose both as a council and a community if we are to succeed."
Councillors will now come together to hold an elected members Strategic Planning and Jobs Growth Summit in February to determine council's vision for the Armidale region and the next steps required to achieve it.
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