NSW Department of Planning and Environment

Region-shaping investment

Central West and Orana Regional Plan 2041

The regional plan sets out ambitions for investments that will change the region as a place to work and do business.

Parkes Special Activation Precinct

The 4,800 ha Parkes Special Activation Precinct (SAP) will create jobs across freight and logistics, resource recovery, value-added agriculture, critical minerals processing and energy generation.

It will also be Australia’s first UNIDO (United Nations Industrial Development Organisation) Eco-Industrial Park, where businesses work together towards onsite energy generation.

By 2041, Parkes SAP could generate up to 3,000 jobs. Other areas within an easy commute could also benefit, such as:

  • The Central West Industrial Park in Forbes, which is ideally located for industry such as intensive agriculture, shed-based agriculture and refrigerated distribution centres.
  • The proposed logistics and warehousing centre at Condobolin, which also benefits from the rail connection between Parkes and Broken Hill.

Read objective 1 (PDF, 23.2 MB) of the regional plan to find out more.

Download the Central West and Orana Regional Plan 2041 (PDF, 23.2 MB).

Central West and Orana Renewable Energy Zone

The Central West and Orana’s vast open spaces and higher altitude tablelands make it ideal for wind power generation, large-scale solar energy, bioenergy generation and pumped hydro.

The $6 billion investment in energy projects over the next 5 years.

The Central West Orana Renewable Energy Zone (REZ) is expected to attract $5.2 billion in private investment and support around 3,900 construction jobs at its peak. There will be 500 ongoing jobs.

The regional plan recognises the potential for the REZ to attract regional energy-intensive industries such as:

  • minerals processing
  • information technology and data centres
  • high value agriculture, manufacturing and food processing.

Read objective 2 (PDF, 23.2 MB) of the regional plan to find out more on the Central West Orana Renewable Energy Zone (REZ) and the NSW Government’s commitment to transition to net zero by 2050.

 

Central West and Orana critical minerals sector

A significant proportion of the State’s emerging critical mineral resources are located in the region and the sector has scope for future growth.

The SAP will play an important role in critical minerals processing. This will be an area where critical minerals processers, value-add industry and potential exporters can co locate. It will:

  • Benefit from proximity to the Inland Rail and existing, approved and potential mining projects in the Central West and Orana and Far West regions.
  • Support critical minerals and high-tech metals processing and other industries such as circular economy and reprocessing, and renewable energy.

Read objective 3 (PDF, 23.2 MB)  of the regional plan to find out more.

Economic shifts

The closure of coal mines and coal-fired power generation will have the biggest impact around the Lithgow area.

The impacts will not be immediate; however, the energy mix will evolve over the coming decades.

Our planning for Lithgow can optimise emerging opportunities such as:
  • manufacturing and processing by organisations such as Thales, Ferrero and Veolia
  • tourism, from the scale of the Emirates One & Only Wolgan Valley Luxury Resort to projects such as the Gardens of Stone and the Lost City Adventures project 
  • using infrastructure and water agreements to support renewable energy or adapting former industrial sites such as the Wallerawang Power Station.


Regional transport connections

The regional plan acknowledges the potential benefits of Inland Rail, a freight rail line connecting Melbourne and Brisbane via regional Victoria, NSW, and Queensland.

Places like Parkes and Forbes could be planned to leverage Inland Rail and associated land uses, including Parkes SAP. Centres along the Inland Rail will be planned to manage land use change efficiently and effectively.

The upgraded Great Western Highway will provide better connections from the Central West through the Blue Mountains and onto the Western Parkland City. Parts of Central West and Orana will be within an hour of the Western Sydney Aerotropolis and the Western Parkland City. This could unlock development opportunities in Lithgow, Bathurst, Orange and the surrounding areas.

One of the 4 fast rail routes is from Sydney to the Central West. This presents opportunities for new jobs and investment in Lithgow, Bathurst and Orange and surrounding communities.

The regional plan also focuses on intra-regional transport connections – the movements within the region. This includes upgrades to the Newell and Golden highways (as well as the Great Western Highway), as well as stronger integration of transport and land use planning. 

Regional air transport is also a focus. The region is home to air transport infrastructure at Dubbo, Mudgee, Orange, Bathurst and Parkes for passenger services. Smaller facilities in other centres support various essential uses.

Read objective 4 (PDF, 23.2 MB) and objective 20 of the regional plan to find out more, or visit the Transport for NSW website to search for the latest Central West and Orana Transport Plan.

Page last updated: 23/01/2023