Parkes Shire Council has recognised its long-term strategic vision for the Parkes National Logistics Hub, named as a finalist in the Economic Development Initiatives category (under 15,000 population) at the 2019 Economic Development Australia Awards.

Economic Development Australia is the national peak body for economic development professionals. The award program recognises projects and initiatives that have stimulated significant economic development activity, such as retaining and growing existing businesses, boosting investment, and raising employment opportunities.

Council is nominated for its strategic planning for the expansion of the Parkes National Logistics Hub, which culminated in the NSW Government's announcement of Parkes as the state’s first Special Activation Precinct.

Parkes Shire Council's General Manager, Kent Boyd said, "The vision was to create an innovative precinct that would enable value-adding industries to leverage The Hub’s strategic advantage as the epicentre of the nation's transport network, connecting products to markets efficiently and profitably."

"However, this idea didn’t come about overnight, and we must thank our community for supporting Council's long term to vision to attract major investment, diversify and invigorate our local economy, create jobs and ensure a long-term sustainable future for our region."

Council's Economic and Business Development Manager, Anna Wyllie has also been individually recognised for her visionary thinking and high-level strategic planning, named as a finalist in 'The Peter Chaffey Economic Development Leadership Award'.

The award recognises an individual who has demonstrated exemplary performance in the economic development profession, and at the forefront of developing and delivering projects that drive innovation and change.

"Since 2013, Anna has facilitated local, national and international investments to encourage a strong and vibrant community that enables local businesses to grow and prosper. In the past 18 months, Anna has been instrumental in facilitating key developments; including the $300m Parkes to Narromine section of the Melbourne to Brisbane Inland Rail, Pacific National's $35m Parkes Freight Terminal Development, and a $23m Advanced Manufacturing Facility, which will collectively see over 500 jobs created during construction and over 100 ongoing jobs," Mr Boyd added.

The designation of Parkes as the NSW Government's first Special Activation Precinct is a game-changing initiative. The innovative model was conceptualised by Council and driven by Anna who presented the idea to multiple executives, bureaucrats and political influencers to bring the vision to reality.

The winners will be announced at a gala ceremony during the National Economic Development Conference at the Adelaide Zoo this evening, Thursday 24 October 2019.