Outspoken New South Wales Governor-General Peter Cosgrove laid the foundations for a swimmable harbor on Friday by calling for a self-declared “twofer” — to be developed as a regional center of economic, scientific and health excellence which would create thousands of jobs.
Cosgrove said New South Wales needs an epicenter on the scale of the Asian metropolis of Singapore, which has helped to drive the prosperity of its neighboring countries.
“Think Singapore, it is a global hub for trade and investment; new and existing research centers, universities, research institutes and companies have come and gone,” Cosgrove said. “What is sure is that the ‘Singaporean mindset’ is now deeply ingrained in the regions around it,” the governor-general said.
“What will we do? My city-state of Singapore is happy to discuss its unparalleled success in driving its region’s prosperity and enhance it with its endeavors, and it will be our turn to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps and achieve similar success in this country’s most precious resource,” Cosgrove said.
Cosgrove called for “a bold and innovative partner” with “whole-of-region thinking,” and that would involve “building on the successes of Sydney in various fields: art, science, technology, innovation, health and the environment.”
Sydney’s port provides a large slurry of environmental, social and economic benefits in areas outside of its traditional shipping trade, Cosgrove noted.
“I call for the next step,” Cosgrove said. “It should be the discovery of a self-declared ‘twofer,’ an epicenter of economic, scientific and health excellence which will create thousands of jobs and spark the kinds of dynamic businesses which drive economic growth and investment for our regions.”
Cosgrove’s remarks coincided with his appearance at the state government’s long-term economic strategy summit, when he highlighted the success of Singapore as a “role model” for the world’s 20 most populous countries.
The summit was attended by more than 150 executives from Australia’s six industrial regions. It focused on the potential for the region to lead growth with a combined population of more than 3.5 billion.
“We must create an economic climate which encourages individual businesses to innovate and collaborate. We must work towards increased regional trade, collaboration and investment to drive sustained regional growth and boost our GDP,” Cosgrove said.
Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore said Sydney is already a center for research, education and innovation. She called for the economic visionary to help transform Sydney into a destination for entire generations.
“It is our city’s strongest asset and something that Sydney cannot afford to lose,” Moore said.
Cosgrove said the state government, the private sector and universities need to partner and examine what role they can play to attract new and existing investment in biotechnology, innovation, research and startups.
“I will be seeking to press forward Sydney’s potential as an academic, social and economic leader in Asia,” Cosgrove said.
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