“This investment has the capacity to create up to 300 skilled jobs and cement the Clarence Valley as one of the leading marine manufacturing hubs in the nation.”

Chris Gulaptis

A multi-million dollar investment from the Nationals in Government will create up to 300 skilled jobs and cement the Clarence Valley as one of the leading marine manufacturing hubs on the east coast, Clarence Nationals MP Chris Gulaptis has announced.

Mr Gulaptis said a $3.8 million funding injection from the Growing Local Economies Fund to help grow a marine precinct at Harwood will pave the way for new opportunities for the marine manufacturing industry.

“The marine industry in the Lower Clarence has been a sleeping giant and the grant will transform the precinct into a highly competitive manufacturing region,” Mr Gulaptis said. “The Clarence River is a unique regional asset and this investment will help to ensure we attract a greater share of the marine manufacturing industry right here in the Clarence. This is a multibillion dollar industry and it has the potential to become a significant economic driver in the Clarence Valley.”

Mr Gulaptis said the upgrade to the road infrastructure is consistent with the Clarence Valley Regional Economic Development Strategy.

“It will safeguard the 60 employees at Harwood Marine who need a reliable access road and will also improve access for the local sugar industry providing efficiency savings to farmers and the sugar mill as well as improving the road network in the Harwood area which will benefit local residents on a day-to-day basis,” Mr Gulaptis said.

The $500 million Growing Local Economies fund is part of the Regional Growth Fund, secured by the Nationals, which delivers essential infrastructure to spur job creation, improve connectivity and support community amenity, engagement and culture.

Mr Gulaptis said the fund was in addition to a once-in-a-lifetime investment or more than $4 billion through the Snowy Hydro Legacy Fund and around $9.5 billion committed/reserved for projects in regional NSW under the Restart NSW fund.

“I feel incredibly proud to be a Nationals member and being able to help make our regional communities a great place to work, play, live and thrive in the future,” Mr Gulaptis said.