INTEREST and investment in Tamworth is still strong despite one of the worst droughts in living memory.
Development applications are flowing consistently through the council chambers, with recent commercial projects highlighting a positive interest in the city.
Plans have just been submitted for a $900,000 boarding house on Johnston Street opposite the University of Newcastle Department of Rural Health Campus.
It comes after council approved an $8 million medicinal cannabis farm near Kootingal, while a local fuel company lodged plans for a $650,000 24-hour servo in the CBD.
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Mayor Col Murray said the steady stream of development showed the city had matured economically and industrially.
“If you look at our employment stats, health is our largest employer and a fairly drought resistant industry,” he said.
“Then it’s retail and that's somewhat exposed and showing some early signs of drought pressure, but our manufacturers are not quite so drought-affected.”
A few decades ago, Tamworth’s economy was padded mainly by agriculture, the mayor said.
While the biggest investment in Tamworth in recent months was Cann Pharmaceuticals’ marijuana farm, Cr Murray said it was a “sophisticated” ag enterprise, which he believed would become more common.
“I think we will see more intensive farming of this type planned and built for resilience, taking into account conditions,” he said.
“There’s some incredible innovation in businesses and how they position themselves to take account for extended dries.”
He held some concerns for the construction industry which he said had “lag time” when it came to the effects of drought.
The mayor said the state and federal government could help by keeping the flow of infrastructure projects steady to “bridge” the region over.