‘Watch this space’: $20 million in local hands for innovation, infrastructure and education

START-UP MINDED: Crowd Carnivore's Zachary Sequoia is one of nine Far South Coast representatives on the NSW South Coast Jobs and Investment Packages Local Planning Committee. Picture: Alasdair McDonald

START-UP MINDED: Crowd Carnivore's Zachary Sequoia is one of nine Far South Coast representatives on the NSW South Coast Jobs and Investment Packages Local Planning Committee. Picture: Alasdair McDonald

Tathra’s Zachary Sequoia will be focusing on regional innovation and start-ups after being selected to put forward his ideas as part of a new South Coast investment planning committee.

“Of course we need investment in this area because it will directly impact employment, and it’s cheaper to start a business in this region because your dollar goes further, but it doesn’t have to be about technology,” the co-founder of local start-up Crowd Carnivore said.

“Regional innovation is about solving real problems, whereas in the city people can tend to solve problems they don’t even have yet.

“It’s about thinking for yourself and critical thinking.

“Watch this space.”

The Far South Coast is strongly represented on the new NSW South Coast Jobs and Investment Packages Local Planning Committee, tasked with allocating $20million in funding for innovative business ideas, infrastructure and education across the region.

Federal Minister for Regional Development Fiona Nash has named Regional Development Australia’s (RDA) executive officer Fiona Hatcher to lead the team, and over half of the nine committee members reside on the Far South Coast.

Mr Sequoia joins Marine Discovery Centre CEO and Kiah Wilderness Tours business owner Jenny Robb, land and sea country coordinator for Eden Local Aboriginal Land Council Les Kosez, and Cruise Eden’s Natalie Godward join RDA Far South Coast member and councillor Russell Fitzpatrick on the committee.

Land and Sea Country coordinator for the Eden Local Aboriginal Land Council Les Kosez and Cruise Eden’s Natalie Godward. Picture: Melanie Leach

Land and Sea Country coordinator for the Eden Local Aboriginal Land Council Les Kosez and Cruise Eden’s Natalie Godward. Picture: Melanie Leach

“It is a real opportunity for major infrastructure investment in Eden, including the wharf,” Mr Kosez said.

“Hopefully the committee will see there’s good opportunities in this region.

“We just want to get the best value for money out of it.”

Mr Fitzpatrick said investments will depend on the terms of reference of the committee.

“I’d like to see the area develop some research and development jobs,” he said.

“We also talk all the time about our food bowl and exporting, so maybe there’s opportunities there.”

Tracey Freeman from the Department of Employment and Nigel McKinnon from the NSW Office of Regional Development will sit in an advisory role, representing both federal and state political levels.

The rest of the committee consists of former federal Liberal Party MP and current Shoalhaven councillor Joanna Gash, RDA Far South Coast member and TAFE Illawarra manager for district operations on the South Coast Paul Goodwin, and TAFE Illawarra enterprise and community engagement coordinator and Eurobodalla council business strategy committee member Donna Payne.

Ms Nash contacted Eden-Monaro MP Mike Kelly for nominations, with a number of them successfully selected for the committee.

“I look forward to participating in the progress of this program as it is rolled out in our region and I will be keenly interested to pursue key projects that will achieve tangible results for our regional economy and generate full time jobs,” Dr Kelly said.

“A first order of priority will be securing funding to complete the Bundian Way project which has such enormous potential.”

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