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Positive signs for local economy

Confident businesses and a reduction in the unemployment rate spell great signs for the growth of our local economy.

A recent Business Confidence Survey conducted by Port Macquarie-Hastings Council indicates local businesses remain confident and optimistic about their future profitability, and expect growth to continue in the coming year.

Recent figures released by the Department of Jobs and Small Business also show a reduction in unemployment locally, with the June 2018 quarter reported at 3.7%, down from 6% in 2016.

Council Director Jeffery Sharp said investment in infrastructure, housing and the expansion of local industry in the region had all contributed to this positive outlook.

“Our local economy continues to experience strong growth and investment, with jobs growth expected to continue, particularly in the construction, education and training, health care and social assistance sectors,” Mr Sharp said.

“Infrastructure development also remains strong, with development totalling around $426 million submitted for Council approval in the last financial year – an increase of more than $100 million on the year before.”

The Business Confidence Survey results also indicated other factors local businesses believe are influencing growth in the region. These included macro-economic factors and policy changes like interest rates, and local issues such as roads, infrastructure and our region’s ability to attract more people, industry and businesses to the area.

“The growth we are experiencing locally poses some real challenges for Council and our community as we must plan and adapt to cater for an increased population, while still working to retain the character and personality of the places we love so much,” said Mr Sharp.

“There is an enormous amount of activity underway in this regard. We’re working with local residents on a number of community plans that set a vision for our local communities, and we’re designing new transport infrastructure that will be needed in the future so that we can move around easily.

“From building a new airport terminal in Port Macquarie to installing critical water supply services that cater for more people in the Camden Haven, we’re listening to the community and preparing for the next 10 years and beyond.

“We also know that we can’t deliver all we need to alone, so we’re continuing our efforts to partner with other levels of government to secure their support for the large investment needed to ensure we are creating an environment in which our local economy and businesses can continue to thrive,” added Mr Sharp.

For more information on the 2018 Business Confidence Survey results visit

To get involved in community planning in your local area or to learn more about how Council are planning for our future, visit

This article has been republished with permission from the Port Macquarie-Hastings Council.

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