Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull visited Gosford on Wednesday, November 29, to inspect progress on the Gosford ATO building and to meet with local business owners who have successfully expanded into the international market through the Coalition Government’s Free Trade Agreement with China.
West Gosford bedding manufacturer, Bambi Enterprises, was the Prime Minister’s first stop, where he was joined by Member for Robertson, Ms Lucy Wicks.
Mr Turnbull and Ms Wicks made the trip to West Gosford to meet with the local family behind Bambi Enterprises, the Witneys, tour their factory, and congratulate them on their successful deal with Chinese eCommerce giant, JD.com.
Through Bambi, Mr and Ms Peter and Jan Witney supply a range of luxury and natural fibre products to some of Australia’s leading retailers including Snooze, Harvey Norman and 40 Winks.
It is understood the Witneys had been in negotiations with JD.com for some time, having hosted a delegation from the Fortune Global 500 online retailer earlier in November.
Since that meeting, JD.com has ordered 1,500 quilts from Bambi and the Witneys have set their sights on further expansion into the Asian market.
Peter and Jan began Bambi 35 years ago, making seat covers in their garage in Tascott, and have since grown from strength to strength, employing over 30 people at their factory to deliver their luxury line of eco products, and are already planning to expand both their premises and their staff numbers.
“The Prime Minister has joined me here in Gosford today to talk about the importance of local jobs here on the Central Coast,” Ms Wicks said.
“People in my electorate always talk to me about the importance of local jobs, and we know this because one of our core commitments here on the Central Coast was the delivery of 600 new jobs, and today, the Prime Minister and I will meet some of these first new employees.
“This is a fantastic example of how the Coalition has delivered on every single one of our commitments to the people here on the Central Coast,” Ms Wicks continued.
“But we know that at the end of the day, business creates jobs, and that is why fantastic local businesses like Bambi, and families like Jan and Peter’s, are so important.
“The Witneys are an example of how the Coalition’s policies can enable small businesses to grow to create more jobs and new opportunities right here on the Central Coast,” Ms Wicks said.
The Prime Minister then joined Ms Wicks at the new Australian Taxation Office building in Gosford, to meet with new employees from the Coalition Government’s promised 600 new jobs to boost the Central Coast region.
“Lucy Wicks is a tireless advocate for the Central Coast, and together we are working to create jobs and grow the local economy.
“This new ATO facility is a vital part of that plan,” the Prime Minister said.
“Our policies are designed to get more people into work in this region, and put more money back into people’s pockets.”
Ms Wicks and Mr Turnbull met with the first group of recruits already in the building, with more staff starting in the coming weeks, while the bulk of new jobs will be flowing into Gosford throughout 2018.
“We are now seeing a real game changer for Gosford come to life, delivering opportunities for locals to be able to both live and work in the best region in Australia,” Ms Wicks said.
“These 600 jobs for the region will have a significant flow-on impact within the community, which is great news for local businesses like the many cafes that are just a short walk away in Gosford CBD.
“We’ve also seen a boost of over $7.5 million dollars into the local economy, with most of the construction being done by local contractors,” Ms Wicks concluded.
Press conferences, Nov 29
Malcolm Turnbull and Lucy Wicks, West Gosford
Dilon Luke, journalist