McKinna to make local job creation his top priority

Lawrie McKinna

Newly appointed Chair of Regional Development Australia Central Coast (RDACC), Lawrie McKinna, says his first priority in this new role is to get all levels of government working together to help create more local jobs.

McKinna says he is bewildered by the fact that more than 44,000 residents, himself included, are still commuting to Sydney and Newcastle for work and he is urging all government authorities to come together to address this ongoing issue.

“For more than a decade we have been discussing ways to create more local jobs on the Coast, while almost 45,000 locals are travelling outside of our region to work on a daily basis,” he said.

“RDACC has long been having this conversation with local businesses, developers and investors to help create opportunities in our region for local jobs and economic growth; however, there is a constant struggle to gain the support required from all levels of government on approving and kick-starting projects to enable these opportunities.

“For example, people at a well-respected local business contacted me recently to voice their frustration as they have been trying to deliver a staged commercial development for the past six years that would create about 500 full-time local jobs once the project is completed.

“However, they have been unable to secure the required government approval for the project to commence.

“There are far too many examples of these lost job opportunities occurring here on the Central Coast and as a region we deserve better.

“As the new Chair of RDACC, I’m making it my top priority to bring all of our regional stakeholders together to work as a united team so that we can create better employment and economic outcomes right here in our own backyard,” McKinna said.

He said these priorities are aligned to the Central Coast Regional Plan 2036, which guides the NSW Government’s land use planning priorities over the next 20 years and estimates that the Coast population will increase by 75,500 individuals, with 24,674 new jobs required.

RDACC Director Regional Development and Chief Executive Officer, John Mouland, says that to meet these requirements as a region, we need to start saying yes to projects that will drive our economic and employment capacity and find workable solutions to get these projects off the ground.

“We witness key projects being approved in Lake Macquarie, Cessnock, Newcastle and all across Western Sydney, and there is absolutely no reason why we can’t be doing the same here on the Central Coast,” Mouland said.

“We need to move away from saying no to these important employment opportunities and start working collaboratively to find viable solutions that deliver the outcomes our region rightly deserves.”

During his first weeks as RDACC Chair, McKinna will be discussing the critical issue of local job creation with all regional stakeholders.

Media release, Jan 28
Regional Development Australia Central Coast