The Central West and Orana is home to more than 300,000 people. People from metropolitian areas are attracted to its vibrant regional cities and centres, historic towns and villages, diverse lifestyles,and community festivals and events.
The region makes a major contribution to the State’s economy, building on its proud agricultural heritage and embracing innovation. Its rich soils, mountains and vast plains form a mosaic of beautiful landscapes.
Productive and diversified agribusiness, manufacturing, mineral and renewable energy resources provide local job opportunities.
Tourism, health and education drive a growing service economy that underpins community vibrancy and creates more diverse job opportunities. The region identifies, protects, and sustainably farms its high-quality agricultural lands.
Ongoing leadership in agricultural innovation makes the region a preferred destination for food processing, packaging and associated industries.
These industries produce high-quality products that are distributed domestically and around the world.
Improved transport connections with Sydney, Canberra and Newcastle, together with the proposed Melbourne to Brisbane Inland Rail, provide capacity and connectivity for agribusiness, manufacturing, tourism and mining.
Investment in roads and logistics facilities provide a more efficient network, making the region a nationally significant freight hub.
The mineral and energy resources sectors make a significant economic contribution, with new mining opportunities emerging across the region.
Landmark solar, wind and bioenergy projects distinguish the region as a leader in renewable energy development.
Significant and internationally recognised landscapes, including the Blue Mountains, the western plains and expansive river systems and wetlands, enrich the lives of residents and visitors and are providing opportunities for future generations. Increasing numbers of visitors enjoy diverse cultural festivals and events and unique attractions, such as Taronga Western Plains Zoo and Mount Panorama raceway.
The regional cities of Bathurst, Orange and Dubbo and other centres capitalise on their proximity to Sydney, Newcastle and Canberra and their location at the junction of nationally significant road and rail corridors.
These connections and centres allow people living in rural communities to access high quality health, aged care and community services and facilities. Local service centres benefit from increased economic activity in the agribusiness, tourism and service sectors. Greater housing diversity and choice across the region meets community demand.
The Central West and Orana includes the distinctive agricultural hinterland of the Central West and the vast slopes and plains of the Orana.
The Central West and Orana sits at the heart of New South Wales and is poised to take advantage of this pivotal position to make for an exciting future.
We’ve heard community and stakeholder aspirations for the region, and drawn on this feedback to create a Regional Plan that focuses on a diverse economy, supported by expanded connections to the rest of NSW and beyond, with vibrant communities and prosperous centres.
The Plan celebrates the distinct landscapes and natural environment and their important role in new economic opportunities, including significant agribusiness, value-added manufacturing developments and unique tourism experiences.
The Plan promotes further development of the renewable energy, mining, health and education sectors to unlock economic potential and drive diversification across the Central West and Orana.
Upgrades to transport and freight networks will facilitate economic growth and diversification by unlocking new export opportunities, strengthening the region’s cities and centres and enhancing productivity of the agricultural, mining and natural resources sectors.
The development of the Melbourne to Brisbane Inland Rail, alongside upgrades to the Newell and Golden Highways, has the potential to transform the Central West and Orana into one of the key freight and logistics destinations in Australia. In doing so, it will create more dynamic and resilient communities adapting to changing economic, social and environmental circumstances.
Regional cities and strategic centres will experience the highest rates of population growth over the next 20 years, alongside Cabonne and Blayney local government areas. The regional cities and strategic centres will be the service hubs for surrounding communities, providing access to jobs, health and education services.
Smaller communities will play an increasingly important role in attracting visitors and new residents through their lifestyle choices and countryside. These areas will make important contributions to the regional economy through taking up new jobs in agribusiness and tourism.
The Plan aims to meet the needs of changing communities, particularly for the ageing population, by promoting greater housing choices, improved housing affordability, access to health and education services and public and community transport.
We recognise the Wiradjuri, Gamilaraay and Wayliwan people as the original custodians of the Central West and Orana. They are important partners in the economic, social and environmental future of the region and we will continue to work together and increase collaboration.
The Central West and Orana Region Regional Plan 2036 encompasses a vision, goals and actions focused towards delivering new and diversified opportunities in the years ahead for those who live, work and visit this region.
I urge everyone committed to the Central West and Orana to collaborate and support its success.
Anthony Roberts MP
Minister for Planning
Minister for Housing
Special Minister of State
The Central West and Orana sits at the heart of NSW, with access to all corners of the State and beyond. Its varied landscapes support a diverse and productive economy that leverages connections to Sydney, Canberra and, increasingly, Newcastle. These connections – along with domestic and international supply chains to the north, south and west – create a diverse and productive economy.
Investment in roads, rail networks and telecommunications will boost opportunities for agribusiness, advanced and value-added manufacturing, mining and tourism sectors.
By 2036, the region’s population will increase to more than 300,000 people, who will mainly live in the regional cities of Bathurst, Orange and Dubbo, the strategic centres of Lithgow, Mudgee and Cowra, and the twin centres of Parkes and Forbes. These places will provide new options and opportunities for surrounding networks of communities.
Internationally recognised environmental assets, such as the Macquarie Marshes and Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area, along with major attractions, including the Taronga Western Plains Zoo and festivals and events, will attract increasing numbers of visitors.
This makes for an exciting future for the region, and the Central West and Orana Regional Plan 2036 is the blueprint for that future.
The Plan will guide the NSW Government’s land use planning priorities and decisions over the next 20 years. It is not intended to be a step-by-step approach to all land use planning. Rather, it provides an overarching framework to guide subsequent and more detailed land use plans, development proposals and infrastructure funding decisions.
The Implementation Plan that accompanies this Plan includes priority actions as well as medium- and longer-term actions to coincide with population and economic change.
Local Government Narratives set out priorities for each council to guide further investigation and implementation.
The Central West and Orana Regional Plan 2036 is the product of extensive consultation with councils, stakeholders and the wider community, following the release of a draft Plan in 2016. The feedback from this consultation has been integrated into this document.
NSW Government investments in the Central West and Orana include:
To deliver the Central West and Orana Regional Plan 2036, all levels of government, the private sector and the community will have to work together. The Plan needs to be incorporated into each stakeholder’s future activities.
The NSW Government has established the Central West and Orana Delivery, Coordination and Monitoring Committee to deliver, coordinate and be accountable for achieving the vision and goals of this Plan. This dedicated new body comprises of representatives from Joint Organisations, Regional Organisations of Councils and State agencies. It will listen and work with stakeholders to align growth with infrastructure to support growth and change in the region.
The Committee will take ownership for implementing this Plan – prioritising the actions needed to seize on immediate and emerging opportunities for the region. In the short term, its focus will be on growing the agribusiness, advanced manufacturing, mining and renewable energy sectors; planning for growth and change in the region’s centres; and enhancing the regional freight network. Over time, the Committee will identify new priorities to support regional growth.
The Plan sets regional planning priorities and provides a framework for regional and local planning decisions. The NSW Government will use it to advise infrastructure agencies about the timing of new developments, and to inform the ongoing planning and delivery of infrastructure, asset management and services.
The Plan sets in place line-of-sight land use planning for the region and local government areas to identify and resolve issues. Line-of-sight planning will allow issues to be identified and resolved early, rather than at the development application stage.
This Plan is accompanied by an Implementation Plan for 2017-2019.
Regional district planning may be undertaken in partnership with all stakeholders, led by the Committee. The Plan highlights potential priorities for regional district planning where matters cross jurisdictional boundaries.
A Government direction will be issued so that when councils prepare new planning proposals or update local planning controls, they are consistent with the vision and guiding principles of this Plan.
The Local Government Narratives provide guidance for each council as they prepare local land use strategies. The Committee will support this work to ensure local plans translate the vision and guiding principles of this Plan into local priorities for growth and change.
|Central West and Orana Delivery, Coordination and Monitoring Committee
The Committee will monitor and review progress towards achieving the vision and goals for 2036 to help prioritise infrastructure delivery and influence policy settings.
An annual report will measure performance against indicators for housing, employment, communities and the environment, and include advice to Government on the delivery of short-term actions.
The Committee will review the Plan every five years, or as necessary, to help realise the vision for 2036.
Page last updated: 16/09/2021