Govt pledge to help fire-ravaged Kyogle
By Bree Price
As NSW Government Minister David Campbell surveyed the gutted Norply factory site yesterday, he promised his Government would help rebuild Kyogle's economy.
Mr Campbell, the Minister for Regional Development, announced the Kyogle Shire would receive assistance under the Regional Economic Transition (RET) scheme.
Norply was the town's biggest employer and 140 people were left without a job after it was destroyed by fire last Thursday night.
The RET scheme works with the community to broaden its economic base through attracting more diverse business to the town to ensure there is more than one major employer.
"I can appreciate there is a lot of shock in the community and there needs to be recognition of this," Mr Campbell said. "The scheme is designed to help secure new jobs for communities hit by business closures.
"In practical terms we'll utilise all economic development programs the Government has to support the Kyogle community.
"We can assist with business planning, work with the council on development consents, we can search for businesses and introduce them to to the town."
However, Mr Campbell said the RET scheme was not a short-term solution to the economic aftermath of Norply's destruction.
"This is the hard grind ? there is not a magic wand solution," he said. "It will be a six-month minimum before we see some investment in the area. It's all hard work.
"In the short term, building jobs in country areas is hard work. But at the moment there is plenty of available labour in Kyogle, so we could attract someone (a business) on an immediate basis.
"The RET scheme says to the community that the Government will be here long term."
Mr Campbell also met yesterday with Norply representatives and Kyogle mayor Ernie Bennett.
Cr Bennett said the Minister's visit was a morale booster for the community.
"The community will see that the Minister was here within four days of the fire. That, to me, is good for morale and shows the community the Government is listening," he said.