Alannah MacTiernan urges confidence in Collie
Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan spoke positively about industries that might come to town, at the fifth union-organised Collie community meeting.
Labor, Liberal, National and One Nation politicians attended, along with union officials and around 200 concerned community members on Friday.
Ms MacTiernan was invited to the meeting to update the community on what the State Government was doing to shore up the town’s future.
Potential opportunities for an electric furnace, an aluminium smelter, vehicle maintenance and training facilities, a high-grade timber processing plant, medical cannabis and a nickel refinery were all mentioned.
“All of these are at very early stages; it’s very important that we don’t give the wrong impression,” she said.
“But these are companies coming to us to talk about projects.”
Individual projects would reportedly have the potential to provide 100-600 jobs.
Ms MacTiernan said it was important for people in the town to remain confident by understanding there were opportunities even though the Government was still in early stages of discussions.
She also said that while the “lithium triangle” would create jobs at Kemerton that would feed into Collie, the Government knew people wanted jobs in town.
“A lot of this is about people wanting to understand that their town is being kept alive,” she said.
“The very strong feedback we are getting from the community is they want industry based here in Shotts or the areas around Bluewater.”
State funding to the tune of $80 million has already been set aside for projects in the town.
Of that money, $20 million is in the dedicated Collie Futures Fund and is in the process of being allocated as grants to businesses and industries planning to develop in the town.
Ms MacTiernan was also hopeful a Federal Labor Government would help in the transition if elected this year.
“There is already a clear commitment from Federal Labor to assist us with just transition and that would come on top of what we already have on the table,” she said.
“We’ve got the money to drive the projects; the thing is that we have to get the companies that are ready, willing and able to invest.”
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