Jamberoo Action Park has secured NSW government regional job creation funding to help unlock jobs and boost tourism with the construction of a giant new eight-lane water slide.
Kiama MP Gareth Ward made the announcement after advocating for the $600,000 grant that will generate 30 construction jobs and 50 full-time equivalent positions when Velocity Falls opens in time for summer.
Mr Ward acknowledged Jamberoo Action Park managing director Jim Eddy for his extraordinary vision and bravery in continuing to make significant investments that benefit the region and create many jobs for youth.
Mr Eddy is hoping the largest single ride ever built in the theme park'sr 40 year history will open in October but said the project has been delayed by recent rain. He welcomed the funding saying it had been crucial in financing the latest ride precinct.
Mr Eddy said NSW Government support provided the family owned theme park the confidence to invest in more attractions. And commended Kiama Council for creating a strong regional economic development strategy aimed at further growing the local economy.
He said when completed the new ride will help generate another 50 jobs for young people from Kiama, Shellharbour and Albion Park.
Mr Eddy said every investment in Jamberoo Action Park had a big flow on effect in the community. For every dollar spent at the attraction consumers spent another dollar in the local business community.
"These kind of investments are high risk," Mr Eddy said.
"You have got to get a lot of things right. And one of the things you have to get right is the finance. This significant contribution by the NSW Government has given us the confidence to go and invest that money for this particular ride which is about $11 million."
Mr Eddy said many local businesses who have been involved in other ride installations over the years are also involved in the construction of Velocity Falls which combines three water rides with an eight lane aqua racer.
Mr Ward said Velocity Falls will be a major tourism drawcard for Kiama and the increased visitation it generates at the park will help drive further tourism growth.
"This grant unlocks new jobs and vocational pathways for Kiama, with an increase in visitation leading to more employment opportunities at the popular theme park," he said.
"Jobs at this time are extremely important. So many young people here in Kiama have got their first job at this park. It has taught them the skills, the dedication and the commitment you need to have employment.
"And when you make investments like this it has flow on effects, particularly for young people who are seeking employment.
"From my point of view. These are not costs to government. They are investments in regional economies that generate jobs and create opportunities."
Mr Eddy said 40 containers with 1500 fibreglass components had arrived from North America but COVID-19 is preventing a team of engineers from being sent to put it all together.
So Jamberoo Action Park has arranged a workforce of local people to do that work. Most are aged in their late teens and early 20's and will work in teams to join it all the components together.
"We have had experience putting this stuff together before," Mr Eddy said.
"But this ride is a first for the manufacturer. Many components they have not done before."
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