George Town Economic Development Steering Committee hopes to create Northern jobs

The Bell Bay Industrial Precinct provides room for a diverse range of industries.

The Bell Bay Industrial Precinct provides room for a diverse range of industries.

George Town businesses have banded together as part of a large-scale project dedicated to expanding industries at Bell Bay, and increasing jobs in the North of Tasmania. 

It comes after the launch of the George Town Economic Development Steering Committee.

The committee is part of a larger project focused on encouraging new businesses to relocate to Tasmania and establish themselves within the Bell Bay Industrial Precinct.

The group is currently seeking $84,000 in funding for a project officer -  tasked with identifying strategies for economic development at Bell Bay. 

They’re seeking funding evenly split between the Department of State Growth, George Town Council and key stakeholders involved in the precinct. 

A state government spokesman said a proposal hadn’t been received, but they would give such a proposal due consideration.

The precinct provides room for a diverse range of industries, including food retailers, manufacturing, shipping, and timber processing and exports.   

George Town Council along with the state government have appointed consultancy firm Emma Riley and Associates to assist in developing a structure plan for the Bell Bay Industrial Precinct, expected in 2017. 

George Town Council general manager John Martin said the plan would identify land use opportunities, and infrastructure planning and upgrades in the Bell Bay Industrial Precinct.

“This is an important regional wide industrial estate, it’s not just for George Town, this whole area (the precinct) is extremely important for the Northern region and Tasmania as a whole,” he said.

The 12-person George Town Economic Development Steering Committee includes organisations such as Forico, CPT Engineering, East Tamar Maintenance Services, South32, and Bell Bay Aluminium.

Forico chief executive Bryan Hayes said collaborating with industries in the region would assist him in identifying local contractors and engineering firms for a wood pellet processing plant.

He said it was currently being investigated and estimated it would create hundreds of jobs if it went ahead. 

Northern Tasmania Development executive officer Maree Tetlow said the collaborative model would further NTD’s goal to see 8,000 new jobs created in the North and North East over a 10-year-period. 

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