A private-sector led advanced manufacturing zone on Tasmania’s north coast has won the 2019 National Award for Local Government Contributing to Regional Growth category.
George Town Council received the top honour for its Bell Bay Initiative, while Moreton Bay Regional Council and Murweh Shire Council, both of Queensland, were highly commended.
The zone has “put George Town municipality back on the national stage and it is knowing what we listened and invested our time and resources in, the Bell Bay Advance Manufacturing Zone has been recognised nationally by our peers as a world class initiative,” George Town Council General Manager, Shane Power, said.
“It is the collaboration between industry, business and the three tiers of government we hope will inspire other local governments to engage in a similar framework to develop strong economic foundations for future generations.”
Local residents have welcomed the national award, with comments on George Town Council’s Facebook such as “Great effort everyone. The last couple of years are finally paying dividends.”
Bell Bay is the island state’s main manufacturing centre, through which 59 percent of its manufactured goods are exported. The advanced manufacturing zone was created in 2015 by Bell Bay Aluminium, part of Rio Tinto group, and spans 2,500 hectares.
It’s financially supported by the Tasmanian Government, George Town Council and businesses in Bell Bay and George Town.
The zone’s committee is a subcommittee of Regional Development Australia Tasmania, a federally-funded initiative working in partnership with business, state and local governments.
IMAGE: From left, General Manager George Town Council Shane Power, Bell Bay Advanced Manufacturing Zone Project Officer Susie Bower, and George Town Council Acting Mayor Tim Harris