Camden Council to spend $77,300 on a taskforce to push economic growth

CAMDEN Council has moved closer to establishing the Camden Economic Taskforce after lodging key documents relating to its operation and governance for ministerial approval.

The main purpose of the taskforce, which will cost the council more than $77,000 a year, is to drive economic growth in the Camden local government area.

“Council will bring together key local business leaders and experts to identify, secure and realise opportunities to attract investment, deliver infrastructure and support job creation in our local government area,’’ mayor Lara Symkowiak said.

‘‘Through the establishment of this taskforce, we hope to see an increase in the types of businesses and employment in our area, providing opportunities for people to work closer to home.”

The taskforce would be a separate entity from the council and would have a board of between five and eight skilled directors.

The council will have up to two representatives on the board and a chief executive will be employed  to run the taskforce.

Councillor Peter Sidgreaves said vacancies would be advertised with suitable candidates appointed by the council.

‘‘There would be a broad range of skills [needed for the roles],’’ he said. 

Cr Sidgreaves said the taskforce had a recurrent budget of $77,300 that would be indexed by CPI each year.

However, councillor David Bligh said he was concerned the council was ‘‘wasting hundreds of thousands of dollars of ratepayers money’’.

‘‘If the Liberal-controlled council was serious about achieving something, it could be done by forming a committee of councillors and local and eminent business people, with expertise to promote business development using council’s existing economic development unit and existing resources within the current budget,’’ Cr Bligh said.

Greater Narellan Chamber of Commerce president Adriana Care said: ‘‘We see the forum and group as the backbone and future of the business development and the economy of Camden local government area’’.