A proposal by Namoi Unlimited to take a delegation to China is in the process of being put to the seven individual councils that make up the group.
Formerly known as Namoi Council’s Joint Organisation, the collective includes Tamworth, Uralla, Gunnedah, Narrabri, Liverpool Plains, Gwydir, and Walcha councils.
Executive Officer Rebel Thomson said that the individual councils have been given the proposal for the March 2018 trip to Ningbo in the north east of China, which they will all vote on by the end of October.
The trip is part of a number of recommendations to come from the Future Factor Report that was established in 2015 and named “seven levers that would push the region along.”
“Ningbo is one of China’s largest sea ports – We would be looking to develop a relationship with the city and create a pathway into that part of China,” Mrs Thomson said.
“Being a sea port city they have natural links to agri-business.”
“At the moment we would be looking to establish a relationship with the region first, as well as looking for investment and investors - in the long term we could look to establishing trade.”
Each council Mayor is responsible for different aspects of Namoi Unlimited’s vision, with Tamworth’s Col Murray and Gunnedah’s Jamie Chaffey taking the reins for overseas investment, specifically in China, where both have had past experiences with council and business delegations.
Namoi Unlimited Chair and Liverpool Plains mayor Andrew Hope said the individual councils will put together their own individual investment projects which will be sent to interested parties ahead of the proposed delegation.
“We would be looking to get Chinese investment into regional economic growth – anything that could value add to the region,” Cr Hope said.
“We will also be looking for the seven councils to develop sister relationships with seven provinces in Ningbo, while the JO (Joint Organisation) would have an over-arching relationship with the whole region.”
The organisation has put aside $40,000 of their original funding to pay for the seven mayors, although any other council members wishing to attend will do so at the cost of their own individual councils.
“I am not aware of any other regional cluster taking this approach before – It is pretty exciting,” Mrs Thomson said.