Parkes Shire Council has welcomed the release of the draft master plan for the Parkes Special Activation Precinct announced by Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW, John Barilaro last week.

The draft master plan outlines how land should be used across the 4,800 hectare purposely zoned precinct, what businesses could exist and operate there, and how an eco-industrial hub can be established and thrive.

Parkes Shire Council's General Manager, Kent Boyd said "we are excited to be working with the NSW Government on the next step towards our community's long-term vision of developing Parkes as a National Logistics Hub and Inland Port."

"The State's first Special Activation Precinct will be designed to take advantage of the unique economic opportunities of Parkes' strategic location at the epicentre of the national freight and logistics network and will create up to 3,000 jobs over the next two decades, adding to the diversity of our economy especially in times of drought."

"The establishment of Parkes as an inland port will be the catalyst for export orientated business to add value to the region's produce, and we want the regions producers to receive some of the uplift from that value-adding. The region has some of the best produce in the world and it would be refreshing to see some of the uplifted value stay in the region rather than be exported out in bulk."

"Residents are encouraged to take up the opportunity to have their say during the consultation period and help Parkes reach its full potential," Mr Boyd said.

The draft master plan follows on from 12 months of detailed investigation into the area by government and independent advisors.

As part of the investigations, an independent consultant identified land owned by Parkes Shire Mayor as one of the parcels that was strategically important to the Hub. The identification process also noted that the farm has been in the Mayor's family for almost 100 years.

None the less, to protect against potential conflict of interest, Parkes Shire Council has robust procedures in place to ensure there is no question about probity. The Parkes National Logistics Hub Probity Plan describes the principles to be applied, the processes to be used and the controls that will be implemented to promote the integrity of any land acquisitions and ensure that all aspects of the process continue to be above reproach and fair to all. View the Parkes National Logistics Hub Probity Plan. 

The 'Explanation of Intended Effect (EIE) on a proposed new Activation Precincts State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP)' is also on public exhibition, which is a new planning framework to streamline approval processes for investors. This is also open for community feedback until 20 October 2019.

To view the draft master plan and to have your say, visit the NSW Government's Planning Portal.