Hurdles and roadblocks

There are a number of disappointing aspects attached to the decision by the owners of the milling and pasta company Bellata Gold to move its business out of Tamworth and into Victoria.

The first is the company’s inability to gain the ear of the NSW government so it can explain the logistical issues which are holding back the enterprise’s drive to expand markets in Asia.

The government has departments and experts whose job it is to facilitate and guide businesses like the one started and owned by Doug Cush so they can expand, particularly into international markets.

Doug Cush’s decision to relocate his $5 million pasta making business to Victoria is a slap in the face for NSW and a disaster for Tamworth.

Tamworth wants to build its base of food manufacturing industries, identifying that it not only has space and water to accommodate them, but is also a primary source of produce. It wants to hang on to the manufacturing operations it already has and open the door to new arrivals.

Mr Cush is critical of the state government’s focus on mining. He argues manufacturing has been left behind and that Bellata Gold’s move to Victoria is because the southern state is more industry-friendly.

If Tamworth wants to become a food manufacturing hub then issues associated with logistics and distribution will need to be addressed.

Doug Cush may have done the city a favour.

But what this issue highlights is the co-ordinated approach which is needed to build and develop business opportunities. Making top quality pasta in Tamworth is no good unless you can get it where it needs to go.

With the federal government’s Asian Century white paper firmly outlining the enormous emerging opportunities which will exist across Asia, it is disappointing to learn that one small business with a focus on that part of the world can’t get its products there because of hurdles and roadblocks.

Not being able to discuss the issue with government representatives does not send the right message if the state is serious about building enterprises and new opportunities internationally.

Can someone please give a hand?

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