Cootamundra region residents had their chance on Wednesday night to submit ideas for how the council could support the economy.
The residents’ ideas, including for boosting tourism and attracting new industries, will be included in the Cootamundra-Gundagai Regional Council’s new Strategic plan and other key documents.
Some of the suggestions included how Cootamundra could make use of the new Inland Rail project to attract freight-reliant industries.
Mayor Abb McAlister said 16 people attended Cootamundra’s Economic Growth Forum, which was chaired by former council administrator Stephen Sykes.
“It was a good night and a well-run forum. It was basically to determine what the community members who were there would like to see for Coota in the future, for the next 10-20 years,” he said.
“Everything that was discussed will go into our strategic plan to set up our Local Environmental Plan.
“There were some different ideas; we spoke about tourism, health, education, industry and what we’d like to see progress and where we’d like our town to be.”
Cootamundra resident Alan East attended the forum and suggested that the region could capitalise on the government policies to cull feral horses and encourage the timber industry.
“There are 15000 feral horses in the Snowys...my suggestion to council was that Cootamundra’s abattoir become a multi-special meatworks,” Mr East said.
“I did suggest it to the owner when they were closing down about a year ago. The nearest horse abattoirs are in Queensland and South Australia.”
Cr McAlister said one idea put forward was to use the increased freight capacity from Inland Rail to bring in recyclable material for processing at Cootamundra.
“With China rejecting most of our recycling, there’s an open to set up large recycling industry and Coota is in the ideal place to bring a lot of it in with containers on the train,” Cr McAlister said.