Major business opportunities have been unlocked in the New South Wales Central West thanks to a revitalisation of the Parkes central business district, with main street works now complete.

Today’s launch comes ahead of the expected opening in December of Parkes’s new multi-purpose centre in Cooke Park, which will house the annual Elvis Festival.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said transforming Parkes’s CBD into a vibrant and visually appealing town centre had long been a priority.

“The new landscaping, trees, garden beds, modern street furniture, newly paved footpaths and the green areas that feed into Cooke Park inject new life and vitality into Parkes and will attract many visitors,” Mr McCormack said.

“The project includes new smart poles that provide not only lighting and speakers, but can also be equipped with accessories, such as lighting projectors and Wi-Fi, which once installed will boost internet access for all in the CBD, support existing businesses and attract more businesses.

“Tourism and visitor markets are drivers for growth in Parkes and the streetscape revitalisation and the coming multi-purpose centre will enable real growth in the town, benefiting community events and helping secure new ones.

“The two projects together will attract visitors to a greater number of events and boost job opportunities for event personnel, accommodation workers, hospitality workers and local retail.

“This is a great local example of how the Australian Government’s investment in infrastructure is supporting jobs and investment at a time when it is most needed.”

Parkes Shire Mayor Ken Keith said the CBD works would help Parkes become a key service centre in the region for retail, healthcare and government services.

“The Parkes CBD is the main commercial centre for the Shire, servicing a regional catchment of around 40,000 people," Councillor Keith said.

“The main street revitalisation delivers the new infrastructure that provides the catalyst for new investment, new business and new jobs.

“This will generate further growth in the local and regional economies and become a key driver for economic and population growth.

“When the multi-purpose centre opens in Cooke Park, it will host new events that would not otherwise have come to the Shire, such as large regional theatre and concert events, business events and weddings.”

The project was jointly funded with the Australian Government providing $2.117 million and Parkes Shire Council $2.088 million.

The project was funded under the Australian Government’s Building Better Regions Fund, which is an $841 million investment designed to create jobs, drive economic growth and build stronger regional communities into the future.

Media release issued by the Deputy Prime Minister The Hon. Michael McCormack - 15th September 2020