Up to 5000 jobs are expected to be created as the NSW Government and Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council begin work on the South Jerrabomberra Innovation Precinct.
The 210-hectare site will eventually have 30 buildings on both sides of Tompsitt Drive.
The precinct was officially unveiled on 29 November amid a drought-stricken landscape. Now, after relieving rainfall, the site is green and flush with funds from a $23 million investment from the NSW Government announced on 9 March.
Council will also contribute more than $8 million to the project.
The precinct, being developed by the Village Building Company, Poplars Developments and the Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council, will also include the region’s first STEM-based high school and an innovation hub. A grassland reserve will help preserve the local environment.
Deputy Premier and Member for Monaro John Barilaro said work will start almost immediately on the South Jerrabomberra Precinct.
“I’m thrilled to announce funding for this new innovation precinct, which has the potential to deliver up to 5000 highly skilled jobs for locals,” Mr Barilaro said.
Mr Barilaro said discussions are well advanced with the Department of Defence as well as high-tech industries such as space, energy and renewables.
“When the South Jerrabomberra Innovation Precinct is up and running, thousands of workers will be able to swap the daily commute over the ACT border for well-paid jobs that are closer to home.
“From warehousing to highly specialised manufacturing, this purpose-built site will be big enough and flexible enough to meet the needs of a range of sectors. In addition, with the innovation hub and high school also to be housed here, there’s a real opportunity for the industries to work with students to help build skills and jobs,” Mr Barilaro said.
The site will also be home to Jerrabomberra’s much-anticipated high school and a regional sports facility.
Mr Barilaro said the investment will allow Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council to begin work on the access road and essential gas, lighting, water, sewerage and fibre optic connections to the precinct.
“This project will complete the vision for a thriving high-tech precinct in South Jerrabomberra that will support the growth of local industries and deliver a massive boost to the local economy,” Mr Barilaro said.
“Our investment through the $1.7 billion Regional Growth Fund is creating jobs and improving the confidence of investors interested in our key logistics, agriculture, manufacturing and emerging defence sectors.”
Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council Mayor Tim Overall said it will soon be possible to live, learn, work and play without leaving the suburb of Jerrabomberra.
“I thank Mr Barilaro and the NSW Government for its support and for acknowledging the vision of QPRC,” Cr Overall said.
“This bold plan will allow a cluster of businesses to integrate with the innovation hub and high school to help build skills and jobs.”
At the next Queanbeyan-Palerang Council meeting, the tender for construction of the northern entry road into the precinct will be considered, with work on-site expected to begin in the coming weeks.