Seeney unveils plans to invigorate Mary Valley economy
DEPUTY Premier Jeff Seeney braved inclement weather and potentially flooded roads to announce, in Kandanga yesterday, the first of the State Government's promised Mary Valley economic development projects.
"Sales of land so far have been residential blocks," he said, explaining that it was the economic units, now starting to come on stream which would rebuild a local economy and improve the value of all other properties in the Valley
Mr Seeney, who is also State Development, Infrastructure and Planning Minister, announced a planned amalgamation of two large land parcels near Tuchekoi, to form a new outdoor education business run by the Higher Ground Group.
He described the group as "a well-credentialed existing tenant operating a successful outdoor education centre that employs around 75 staff."
He said the group had confirmed its plans to consolidate and expand and had signed two development leases with options to buy.
"It's heartening to see a current tenant operating a viable business deciding to expand its operations," he said.
"The company's decision to take up the opportunity to buy their existing leased property and expand their business by buying the adjoining property bodes well for future investment and employment across the Mary Valley, with an extra 22 staff expected to be employed.
"The first major economic development signing will benefit the region by encouraging community stability and providing certainty to employees to settle in the area."
Mr Seeney made the announcement at the government's new Mary Valley shop front, at 46 Main St, Kandanga.
One Valley advocate, David Sims, welcomed the move, saying a lack of a convenient place to discuss possible property deals had been a problem in a couple of recent negotiations.
Mr Seeney said his department had worked with the Higher Ground Group to include performance milestones and timelines in the development lease, with conditions requiring that these must be carried out by the company to the government's satisfaction.
"This will ensure that upon completion of the works, Higher Ground Group will have attained all the necessary planning approvals as prerequisites to occupancy of the property," he said.
He said the Mary Valley Economic Development strategy, launched last July, was on track to revitalise the region.
He said his department was working with other government agencies, agriculture and industry and local business.