Council, Aerospace Centre partnership receives national award

Port Stephens Council is celebrating its partnership with the Williamtown Aerospace Centre, after receiving an award for Economic Development Partnerships this week at the 2014 National Awards for Excellence in Economic Development held in Darwin.

Over 120 leading professionals convened for the awards, now in their seventh year and finalists came from all over Australia, including small towns and large metropolitan areas.

Council’s Economic Development Manager, Andrew Powrie, says he’s incredibly pleased with the award for a project that highlights how neighbouring Councils and public and private agencies such as the University of Newcastle, Varley and Hunter Land can successfully work together.

“Council’s involvement has been far greater than the land rezoning process. It has an ongoing role in the sustainable growth of aviation-related industry, and profiling Port Stephens as an industry professional destination for those kinds of businesses,” he said.

“We have already seen the arrival of globally-recognised aviation and defence companies that are operating at the Williamtown Aerospace Centre, including Raytheon Australia, Lockheed Martin Australia Electronic Systems, Nova Systems, and locally founded and internationally successful Bohemia Interactive Simulations.”

Mr. Powrie says along with the arrival of hotel chain the Mercure, the project adds up to more jobs and investment for the Port Stephens economy in particular, and the regional economy generally.

“This award is validation that the success of this public/private partnership can be held up as a shining example to other areas,” he added.

Steve Chapple, outgoing Chairman of Economic Development Australia said it was tough competition on the night.

“The awards highlighted a myriad of innovative examples of work being undertaken across Australia in the field of economic development and resulted in the judges being left with some difficult decisions.”