$17.2M for Central Coast Food Innovation


Regional Development Australia Central Coast (RDACC) and Central Coast Industry Connect (CCIC), have welcomed Labor’s $17.2M election commitment to fund the construction of a Central Coast Food Manufacturing Precinct and Innovation Hub project at Lisarow, with representatives from both organisations present at this morning’s announcement.

As long-time advocates for the expansion of the food and allied industries on the Central Coast through the Central Coast Food Innovation Initiative, both parties agree that if delivered, the project will be a direct driver for all outcomes planned as part of this important economic initiative.

RDACC CEO and Director Regional Development, John Mouland, says if this election commitment is realised, it 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.

CCIC Executive Director, Frank Sammut, says if this precinct becomes a reality, it will establish a food and beverage manufacturing ecosystem to help establish the Coast as a major player in our national food industry.

“We know that the Central Coast region with its diverse food, beverage and agricultural businesses, is well placed to become a competitive food manufacturing and innovation destination,” says Mr Sammut.

“Due to our strategic location between Sydney and Newcastle, we have the opportunity to become a major food processing region, and quality infrastructure such as a Food Innovation Centre as part of a manufacturing precinct and innovation hub, will undoubtedly position us as a leader in this field.”

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.