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Local Government Narratives have been prepared for the region’s eastern, western and southern areas that identify:

  • priorities that will guide plan implementation;
  • population, housing and employment information; and
  • strategic aspirations and opportunities for centres and economic opportunities. 

The NSW Government will assist councils to translate these priorities into local plans. 

The eastern area comprises Bourke, Brewarrina, Cobar and Walgett local government areas.

 

The region’s east is known as the gateway to outback NSW and is recognised for its productive and diverse agriculture and mining sectors.

 

It is home to approximately 34 per cent of the population of the Far West – and Cobar is the largest local centre in the district, providing services to surrounding local government areas. Local centres collectively provide business, office, retail, health, education, arts, culture, recreation and entertainment uses, which support the needs of smaller settlements across the area. The region’s east also has a strong cross-regional relationship with the Central West and Orana, and residents access higher-order health, education, retail, commercial and transport services in Dubbo.

 

The area is traversed by major transport and freight links, including the Kamilaroi, Mitchell, Castlereagh, Gwydir and Barrier highways and Kidman Way, which provide strong links to Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Brisbane. Cobar also provides a regular airline passenger service to Dubbo, with connecting flights to Sydney.

 

The economy of the area is underpinned by mining and agriculture, with significant mineral deposits in Cobar (including gold, copper, lead and zinc), opal mining in Lightning Ridge, and diverse broadacre cropping and grazing. Local centres provide ancillary service industries to support agriculture and mining. Tourism also supports the economy with diverse and unique tourist attractions, including the National Heritage-listed Brewarrina Aboriginal Fish Traps, Old Barwon Bridge, Culgoa National Park, Aboriginal Cultural Centre, Back O’ Bourke Exhibition Centre and Gundabooka National Park, as well as mining tourism in Cobar, boat trips on the Darling River and outback tourist routes – including via Cobar as a stopover destination.

 

There are diverse landscapes and environmental features, from fertile black soil plains that support productive agriculture around Walgett, to semi-arid rangelands and desert areas, major river systems such as the Macquarie, Castlereagh, Barwon and Darling rivers, and associated flood plain areas and tributaries.

 

The traditional owners of this land are the Wiradjuri, Wailwan, Kamilaroi, Muruwari, Barranbinja, Wongaibon, Gunu and Barundji people,53 who maintain a strong and proud connection to country, which is celebrated through a variety of cultural heritage sites and experiences.

 

Priorities

  • Support the growth and diversification of agribusiness.
  • Support the establishment of value-added manufacturing industries.
  • Grow Cobar as a service hub for the region’s east.
  • Capture economic benefits from mining.
  • Promote tourism opportunities.
  • Sustainably manage water resources, including the Macquarie, Castlereagh, Barwon and Darling rivers.
  • Build community resilience to population and demographic change.
  • Resolve skilled worker shortages.
  • Build resilience to climate change and natural hazards.
  • Capitalise on key freight corridors, including the Kamilaroi, Mitchell, Castlereagh, Gwydir and Barrier highways and Kidman Way.

 

Centres and employment

  • Local centres: Bourke, Brewarrina, Cobar and Walgett.
  • Main economic drivers: Agriculture, agribusiness, mining and tourism.

 

Priorities:

  • Support industrial land development in local centres for ancillary service industries to agricultural and mining sectors, and to protect industrial areas from incompatible land uses.
  • Reinforce existing centres as the primary locations for retail and commercial activities, including revitalisation of main street areas.
  • Support the delivery of increased housing choice, including seniors housing, aged care, and social and affordable housing.
  • Appropriately locate future rural residential development.
  • Support the continued provision of health and education services.
  • Support improvements to public and community transport services to connect smaller towns and villages to local centres, and to connect the area to Dubbo for access to higher-order services.
  • Identify opportunities to expand tourism opportunities and enhance visitor experiences.
  • Improve telecommunications to support business activities and service delivery such as e-health and education services.

 

Economic opportunities

Priorities:

  • Establish kangaroo meat harvesting facilities.
  • Promote value-added manufacturing in Walgett and Brewarrina.
  • Establish new mining operations in areas of mineral potential.
  • Develop renewable energy industries, including solar.
  • Expand tourism opportunities and experiences.
  • Establish new businesses linked to improvements in telecommunication services.
  • Establish a freight and logistics hub in Cobar.

 

The western area comprises the Broken Hill and Central Darling local government areas and the Unincorporated Area.

 

The western area is well known for its mining heritage as the birthplace of the world’s largest mining company.

 

The area is home to approximately 46 per cent of the population of the Far West. Most people (85 per cent) live in the strategic centre of Broken Hill, which is the largest centre in the Far West. Broken Hill and Wilcannia collectively provide services including business, office and retail uses, with arts, culture, recreation and entertainment uses that support the needs of smaller settlements. A strong cross-border relationship exists with Adelaide and a cross-regional relationship with Dubbo to access higher-order health, education, retail, commercial and transport services.

 

The Unincorporated Area covers around 40 per cent of the Far West region and surrounds, but does not include Broken Hill. It comprises predominantly pastoral lease holdings and includes a number of small, dispersed settlements such as Silverton, Tibooburra and Milparinka.

 

The major transport and freight links include the Barrier, Silver City and Cobb highways and the Sydney to Adelaide rail route, which provide good links to Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide. Broken Hill also provides a regular airline passenger service to Dubbo, with connecting flights to Sydney. Broken Hill is also the headquarters of the Royal Flying Doctor Service.

 

The economy of the area is underpinned by mining, agriculture, tourism and renewable energy, with significant mineral deposits around Broken Hill (including iron ore, zinc, lead, cobalt and mineral sands), and meat and wool production. Broken Hill and Wilcannia provide ancillary service industries to support agriculture and mining in the area.

 

Tourism also supports the economy, with diverse and unique tourist attractions including the National Heritage-listed Broken Hill, a range of historic mining and European heritage sites, Aboriginal heritage sites, Mutawintji and Kinchega national parks, Menindee Lakes, art and film production sites at Silverton, and outback tourist routes to Cameron Corner and the Darling River Run. Opportunities for capitalising on arts and culture-related tourism are significant. The area has an emerging renewable energy sector, with some of the highest levels of solar radiation in NSW and a 53 MW solar farm operating to the south-west of Broken Hill.

 

Broken Hill has experienced water security issues over many years, and a 270-kilometre pipeline will be constructed from the Murray River to Broken Hill to secure long-term water supplies. This infrastructure will open up opportunities for new development and new industries.

 

The area has diverse landscapes and environmental features, arid and semi-arid desert areas, inland freshwater lake systems at Menindee, and the Darling River and associated floodplain areas and tributaries.

 

The traditional owners of this land are the Barundji, Karenggapa, Wadilgali, Malyangaba, Bandjigalia, Wandjiwalgu, Wiljali, Danggali, Barkindji, Barindji and Wongaibon people,54 who maintain a strong and proud connection to country, which is celebrated through a variety of cultural heritage sites and experiences.

 

Priorities

  • Support Broken Hill as a service centre for the wider Far West region.
  • Capture economic benefits from mining.
  • Support the growth of renewable energy industries.
  • Support the growth and diversification of agribusiness and irrigated agricultural areas.
  • Support the establishment of value-added manufacturing industries.
  • Promote tourism opportunities.
  • Sustainably manage water resources, including the Darling River.
  • Build community resilience to population and demographic change.
  • Resolve skilled worker shortages.
  • Build resilience to climate change and natural hazards.
  • Capitalise on key freight corridors, including the Barrier, Silver City and Cobb highways and the Sydney to Adelaide rail route.

 

Centres and employment

  • Strategic centre: Broken Hill.
  • Local centres: Wilcannia. (Cobar, in the region’s eastern area, is also a local centre servicing the region’s western area.)
  • Main economic drivers: Mining, agriculture, tourism and renewable energy.

 

Priorities:

  • Support industrial land development and protect industrial areas from incompatible land uses.
  • Reinforce existing centres and commercial precincts as the primary locations for retail and commercial activities, including the revitalisation of main street areas.
  • Identify opportunities to expand tourism and enhance visitor experiences.
  • Support the delivery of increased housing choice, including seniors housing, aged care, and social and affordable housing.
  • Appropriately locate future rural residential development.
  • Support the continued provision of health and education services.
  • Support improvements to public and community transport services to connect smaller towns and villages to local centres, and to connect the area to Dubbo, Sydney and Adelaide to access higher-order services.
  • Improve telecommunications to support business activities and service delivery such as e-health and education services.

 

Economic opportunities

Priorities:

  • Establish new mining operations in areas of mineral potential.
  • Develop renewable energy industries, including solar.
  • Expand tourism opportunities and experiences.
  • Establish new businesses linked to improvements in telecommunication services.
  • Establish new industries following improvements to water security from the Murray River to Broken Hill pipeline.

 

The southern area comprises the Balranald and Wentworth local government areas.

 

The area is well known for its diverse agriculture, strong connections to the nationally significant Murray River and connections with Victoria.

 

The southern area is home to approximately 19 per cent of the population of the Far West – and Wentworth is the largest local centre. Both Wentworth and Balranald collectively provide services including business, office and retail uses, with arts, culture, recreation and entertainment uses that support the needs of smaller settlements. The area also has strong cross-border relationships with Victoria, and accesses higher-order health, education, retail, commercial and transport services in Mildura.

 

Major transport and freight links include the Silver City and Sturt highways, providing strong links between Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide. The neighbouring Victorian settlement of Mildura also provides regular airline passenger services to Sydney, Melbourne, Broken Hill and Adelaide.

 

The area has a growing and diverse economic base underpinned by agriculture, mining and tourism. It supports irrigated agriculture linked to the Murray and Darling rivers, including horticultural and viticultural industries such as grapes, citrus and nuts, as well as broadacre cropping, meat and wool production, and organic farming. There is an emerging mineral sands mining industry. Products are exported via freight links to ports in Victoria and South Australia.

 

Tourism also supports the economy, with diverse and unique attractions, including outback tourist routes, Murray and Darling river experiences, food and wine tourism, Mungo National Park – the site of the archaeological remains of Mungo Lady and Mungo Man, the world’s oldest human cremations – and Aboriginal cultural heritage sites and experiences.

 

The area has diverse landscapes and environmental features, from arid and semi-arid desert areas, productive areas of irrigated agriculture, the Murray and Darling rivers and associated floodplain areas and tributaries.

 

The traditional owners of this land are the Latje Latje, Dadi Dadi, Madi Madi, Yitha Yitha, Kureinji, Barkindji, Barindji and Danggali people,55 who maintain a strong and proud connection to country, which is celebrated through a variety of cultural heritage sites and experiences.

 

Priorities

  • Capture economic benefits from mining.
  • Support the growth of renewable energy industries.
  • Support the growth and diversification of agribusiness.
  • Support the establishment of value-added manufacturing industries.
  • Promote tourism opportunities.
  • Sustainably manage water resources, including the Murray and Darling rivers.
  • Build community resilience to population and demographic change.
  • Resolve skilled worker shortages.
  • Build resilience to climate change and natural hazards.
  • Foster strong cross-border networks and connections with neighbouring Victorian settlements, including Mildura.
  • Capitalise on key freight corridors, including the Silver City and Sturt highways.

 

Centres and employment

  • Local centres: Wentworth and Balranald.
  • Main economic drivers: Agriculture, mining and tourism.

 

Priorities:

  • Support industrial land development and protect industrial areas from incompatible land uses.
  • Reinforce existing centres and commercial precincts as the primary locations for retail and commercial activities, including the revitalisation of main street areas.
  • Identify opportunities to expand tourism activities and enhance visitor experiences.
  • Support the delivery of increased housing choice, including seniors housing, aged care, and social and affordable housing.
  • Appropriately locate future rural residential development.
  • Support the continued provision of health and education services.
  • Support improvements to public and community transport services to connect smaller towns and villages to local centres, and to connect to Mildura, Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide to access higher-order services.
  • Improve telecommunications to support business activities and service delivery such as e-health and education services.

 

Economic opportunities

Priorities:

  • Establish new mining operations in areas of mineral potential.
  • Diversify agribusiness and capitalise on value-added manufacturing opportunities for agricultural produce.
  • Develop renewable energy industries, including solar.
  • Expand tourism opportunities and experiences.
  • Establish new businesses linked to improvements in telecommunication services.
  • Support the growth of irrigated agriculture.

 

Page last updated: 09/08/2018