$17.2M Food Hub Becomes Reality


Regional Development Australia Central Coast (RDACC) has applauded the allocation of $17.2M in last night’s federal budget to fund the construction of a Central Coast Food Manufacturing Precinct and Innovation Hub project at Lisarow.

One of seven projects listed under the Regional Ministerial Budget Statement, the federal government recognises “The Manufacturing Hub will grow the Central Coast NSW region as a major contributor in the national food processing industry by becoming a competitive food manufacturing and innovation destination.” 

As long-time advocates for the expansion of food and allied industries on the Central Coast through the Central Coast Food Innovation Initiative, RDACC and its partners including Central Coast Industry Connect (CCIC), are championing the project as a direct driver for all outcomes planned as part of this important economic program.

RDACC Chair, Lawrie McKinna, says this project will help establish the Coast as a major player in our national food industry.

“With our diverse food, beverage and agricultural businesses, and our strategic location between Sydney and Newcastle, the Central Coast is well placed to become a nationally competitive food manufacturing and innovation destination,” says Mr McKinna.

“This $17.2M budget commitment will provide us with quality infrastructure to strengthen our opportunity to become a major food processing region and will undoubtedly position us as a leader in this field.”

RDACC CEO and Director Regional Development, John Mouland, says the hub will build on the regional collaboration and strong foundations laid by all organisations involved with the delivery of the Food Innovation Initiative to date.

“RDACC has long championed the Central Coast as a premier food region. Back in 2018, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was established between RDACC, CCIC and the University of Newcastle (including the Newcastle Institute for Energy and Resources), to  build the Central Coast’s reputation as an internationally renowned centre of excellence in food innovation,” says Mr Mouland.

“Since this time, a number of key outcomes have been achieved as we work toward this aim, including the establishment of the first ever Australian Food & Agribusiness Doctoral Training Centre (DTC) at Newcastle University’s Ourimbah Campus.

“The realisation of the Coast’s own Food Manufacturing Precinct and Innovation Hub will build on the achievements of the Food Innovation Initiative to enable this sector to become a key economic driver and leading industry for our regional economy.”

The aim of the Central Coast Food Manufacturing Precinct and Innovation Hub is to encourage connectedness and collaboration, resource, and knowledge sharing.

For the local sector, it will provide the opportunity and access to pilot facilities to test and prototype new ideas and technologies, and a skills hub to support the local industry and its future work force.

It will help translate product ideas into commercial reality and provide the platform to support innovation, entrepreneurship, and local enterprise growth.

Image (L-R): Regional Director Business NSW, Paula Martin, Member for Dobell, Emma McBride MP, CCIC Executive Director, Frank Sammut, Minister for Industry and Science, The Hon. Ed Husic MP, RDACC CEO, John Mouland, and CCIC Chairman, Peter Crane at the funding announcement earlier this year.