An exciting milestone for Central Coast industry Connect and manufacturing in the region was reached on Tuesday night with the announcement in the federal budget of $17.2 M for the establishment of a Food Manufacturing and Innovation Hub at Lisarow.
As a project 5 years in the making, a strategic business case for the hub was developed by CCIC late last year with the assistance of Food Innovation Australia Limited and major industry partner TrendPac. The business case had support from regional stakeholders including Regional Development Australia Central Coast, the University of Newcastle and major food manufacturing companies Sara Lee, Mars Food, Sanitarium and Agrana Australia.
After lobbying all levels of government it became an election commitment by the now Federal Labor government, after support was given for the project, from Local Member for Dobell Emma McBride and then Shadow Minister for Industry and Innovation, Ed Husic.
The project will provide a purpose-built facility to house scale up food businesses, a range of pilot facilities and a skills hub servicing the local food and beverage manufacturing sector. It is designed to grow the local food sector and attract food manufacturers from outside the region.
The Coast has a strong Food and beverage manufacturing presence contributing $1.4B in output to the region.Coupled with the work CCIC is doing with Star Scientific on hydrogen to produce heat for food processing and our work in managing the industry’s food and trade waste, this project will put the Central Coast on the map as a major contributor to the national food processing industry by becoming a competitive food manufacturing and innovation destination.
There will be a flow on effect from this project to manufacturing in the region as a whole, in the areas of skill development, equipment and services supply and collaborative projects across the sector. We will be striving to make the hub a centre of excellence in Advanced Manufacturing and the Circular Economy.