MAKING PLANS: Chamber of Commerce president Jeremy Challacombe speaks to a recent Save the Jail rally.
MAKING PLANS: Chamber of Commerce president Jeremy Challacombe speaks to a recent Save the Jail rally. Adam Hourigan

Grafton plans to rebuild economy

REBUILDING the Clarence Valley economy so it is not reliant on public service jobs is a key hurdle to overcome in the coming weeks, months and years, says Grafton Chamber of Commerce president Jeremy Challacombe.

This morning Mr Challacombe will outline his ideas to rebuild the local economy at a Chamber of Commerce breakfast meeting.

"The local economy can't rely on public service jobs any more," he said.

"Government can play ancillary roles in rebuilding the economy, like looking at rate relief and other things to make it easier for business to come here.

"The public service has shown it can't be relied on to have the community's interests at heart."

In the wake of the decision to downsize Grafton jail, Mr Challacombe said the community needed to look at what it had in its economy, where it had been and why it had lost everything. "Then we've got to look at how we can stop doing what we've been doing and see what resources we have to rebuild," he said.

Mr Challacombe said the region might have to commit to a 20-year plan to get the Clarence Valley economy into good shape.

He said council needed to boost its efforts to attract investment to the region.

"It needs to give its economic development officers carte blanche to go where they will to get business to come to the Valley," he said.



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