It's payday: Business leaders backs $10,000 lure to attract skilled staff to Orange

REGIONAL INCENTIVES: Deputy Premier John Barilaro. Photo: Parkes Champion-Post
REGIONAL INCENTIVES: Deputy Premier John Barilaro. Photo: Parkes Champion-Post

Business leaders have backed a new scheme that will pay up to $10,000 to skilled city workers to encourage them to move to regional areas including Orange.

It will cover relocation costs including furniture removal and pay for temporary accommodation for up to three months.

It also offers companies grants and interest-free loans to move to regional areas and create new jobs.

The scheme, announced by Deputy Premier John Barilaro, will also create an ‘Investment Concierge’ to help businesses moving to regional areas obtain the incentives, smooth the planning process and lodge applications with government departments.

Mr Barilaro said it made regional NSW more attractive to companies and skilled workers.

“This is a massive boost for businesses and job seekers in regional NSW,” he said.

“It means regional NSW will be making an even stronger case when it comes to attracting global businesses and new businesses from interstate.”

NSW Business Chamber’s Western NSW regional manager Vicki Seccombe said the incentives reward regional investment.

We need a lot more unskilled labour in Orange.

Ash Brown, Orange Business Chamber president

“These measures will go a long way to lifting the gaze of decision makers to look more closely at regions like western NSW,” she said.

“We need to make sure existing businesses also get a leg up for growing locally.

“It was pleasing the government again recognised businesses have been calling for payroll tax relief, access to a skilled workforce and simpler approval systems.”

Ms Seccombe said the relocation incentives would help staff major projects.

“This will be vitally important with the current project pipeline around the region,” she said.

“We need to ensure the skills that are being targeted match the skills that are needed for these projects.”

Orange Business Chamber president Ash Brown said it would be attractive to people who were renting in Sydney because they could not afford to buy a house.

“For people who are renting this is a really big incentive for them to say ‘you know what, we can actually go to Orange, there are no extra costs,” he said.

Mr Brown said there was a shortage of both skilled and unskilled workers in Orange.

“I would like to see it [the incentives] be for both,” he said.

“It is a problem, we need a lot more unskilled labour in Orange, there is a shortage particularly in the retail and services industries.

“And there is certainly a shortage of skilled tradesmen in the building and construction industries.”

Mr Brown said the incentive would cover moving costs for people to come to Orange.

“It could be a trigger, it is cash, it doesn’t go on your tax return,” he said.

“I think it would be the best incentive I’ve seen from the government for years.

“This is a real stimulant, a $10,000 tax-free incentive is bloody good.”

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