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NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment
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Local Government Narratives have been prepared for the region’s eastern, western and southern areas. The narratives identify:

  • priorities that will guide 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 region’s east – the gateway to outback NSW

The eastern area comprises Bourke, Brewarrina, Cobar and Walgett local government areas and is known as the gateway to outback NSW. It is recognised for its productive and diverse agriculture and mining sectors.

 

The eastern area is home to approximately 34 per cent of the Far West population. The local centres of Cobar, Bourke, Brewarrina, Walgett and Lightning Ridge provide business, office, retail, health, education, arts, culture, recreation and entertainment uses and support smaller settlements across the area. The region’s east also has a strong cross-regional relationship with the 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. This network provides links to Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth and Brisbane. Cobar also provides a regular airline passenger service to Dubbo, with connecting flights to Sydney.

 

The area’s economy 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 irrigated and broadacre cropping and grazing. Local centres provide ancillary service industries to support agriculture and mining.

 

Diverse and unique tourist attractions include the heritage-listed Brewarrina Aboriginal Fish Traps, Old Barwon Bridge, Culgoa National Park, Aboriginal Cultural Centre, Back O’ Bourke Exhibition Centre and the Gundabooka National Park. Mining tourism in Lightning Ridge and Cobar are drawcards for visitors, as are outback tourist routes and boat trips, including the Paddle Vessel Jandra that travels the Darling River.

 

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

 

The traditional owners of this land are the Wiradjuri, Wailwan, Kamilaroi, Muruwari, Ngemba, Barranbinja, Wongaibon, Gunu and Barundji people,43 who maintain a proud connection to country, as celebrated through a variety of cultural heritage sites and experiences.

 

Priorities:

  • Grow and diversify agribusiness.
  • Establish value-added manufacturing industries.
  • Capture economic benefits from mining.
  • Promote unique tourism opportunities to enhance the Far West as a quality tourism destination.
  • Sustainably manage water resources, including the Macquarie, Castlereagh, Barwon and Darling rivers.
  • Plan for and 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, Cobb, Gwydir and Barrier highways and Kidman Way.

 

Centres and employment

  • Local centres: Bourke, Brewarrina, Cobar, Walgett and Lighting Ridge.
  • Main economic drivers: Agribusiness, value-added manufacturing, mining and tourism.

 

Priorities:

  • Support industrial land development in local centres for ancillary service industries to service the agricultural and mining sectors, and protect industrial areas from incompatible land uses.
  • Reinforce existing centres as primary locations for retail and commercial activities, and revitalise main street precincts.
  • Increase 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.
  • Improve public and community transport services to connect smaller towns and villages to local centres, and to connect the area to Dubbo.
  • 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 and goat meat processing facilities.
  • Promote value-added manufacturing opportunities.
  • Support existing mining operations and establish new mining operations in areas of mineral potential.
  • Develop renewable energy industries, including solar, wind and bio-energy generation.
  • Support the ongoing development of the Lightning Ridge Opal Centre.
  • Expand tourism opportunities and experiences to increase overnight visitation.
  • Establish new businesses linked to improvements in telecommunication services.
  • Establish freight and logistics facilities to support mining, agribusiness and value-added manufacturing.

 

The region’s west – the vast outback NSW

The western area comprises the Broken Hill and Central Darling local government areas and the Unincorporated Area. It is known for its isolation, mining heritage and as the birthplace of the world’s largest mining company, BHP Billiton.

 

The area is home to approximately 46 per cent of the Far West population. Of this, 85 per cent of people live in Broken Hill, the largest centre in the Far West. Broken Hill and Wilcannia provide business, office and retail services, and complementary activities such as arts, culture, recreation and entertainment to support the social needs of the community.

 

Strong cross-border relationships with Adelaide and Mildura give residents access higher-order health, education, retail, commercial and transport services.

 

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

 

Major transport and freight links include the Barrier, Silver City and Cobb highways and the Sydney to Adelaide rail route. These link to Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth.Passenger flights from Broken Hill to Dubbo and Mildura connect to Sydney and regular flights are available to Adelaide. Broken Hill is the headquarters of the Royal Flying Doctor Service.

 

The area’s economy 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), as well as meat and wool production. Broken Hill and Wilcannia, and to a lesser extent Menindee, Ivanhoe and White Cliffs, provide ancillary service industries to support agriculture and mining.

 

Diverse and unique tourist attractions include the National Heritage-listed Broken Hill, 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. Arts and culture-related tourism is an emerging opportunity.

 

The area’s emerging renewable energy sector takes advantage of some of the highest levels of solar radiation in NSW and includes a 53 MW solar farm south-west of Broken Hill.

 

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

 

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

 

The traditional owners of this land are the Barundji, Karenggapa, Wadilgali, Malyangaba, Bandjigalia, Wandjiwalgu, Wiljali, Danggali, Barkindji, Barindji and Wongaibon people,44 who celebrate their connection to country through cultural heritage sites and experiences.

 

Priorities:

  • Support Broken Hill as a service centre for the western area of the Far West.
  • Capture economic benefits from mining.
  • Grow renewable energy industries.
  • Grow and diversify agribusiness and irrigated agricultural areas.
  • Establish value-added manufacturing industries.
  • Develop a regional tourism trail between Balranald, Wentworth, Mallee Cliffs, Mungo and the Yanga floodplains; between White Cliffs, Menindee, Tibooburra and Silverton; and a Far West Sculpture Trail encompassing sites at Broken Hill, Mutawintji, White Cliffs and Wilcannia.
  • Respect, protect and conserve European and Aboriginal cultural heritage assets
  • Sustainably manage water resources, including the Darling River and Menindee Lakes.
  • Build community resilience to population and demographic change.
  • Resolve skilled worker shortages by addressing training options, employability skills and the delivery of education options.
  • 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, Menindee and Ivanhoe, with Cobar, in the region’s east, servicing the 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, and revitalise main street precincts.
  • Expand tourism and enhance visitor experiences.
  • Increase 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.
  • Improve public and community transport services to connect smaller towns and villages to local centres, and to connect the people to Adelaide and Mildura 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.

 

The region’s south – the meeting point of the Murray and Darling rivers

The southern area comprises the Balranald and Wentworth local government areas. The area is known for its diverse agriculture, and connections to the Murray River and Victoria.

 

The southern area is home to approximately 19 per cent of the Far West population. Wentworth is the largest local centre and along with Balranald it provides business, office and retail services, with arts, culture, recreation and entertainment activities to support smaller settlements. The area also has strong cross-border relationships with Victoria, and people access higher-order health, education, retail, commercial and transport services in Mildura.

 

Major transport and freight links include the Silver City and Sturt highways, that connect to Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide. Regular passenger air services to Sydney, Melbourne, Broken Hill and Adelaide are available from Mildura.

 

The growing and diverse economic base is underpinned by agriculture, mining and tourism. The area 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 attractions include outback tourist routes, Murray and Darling River experiences, food and wine experiences, Mungo National Park – the site of the archaeological remains of Mungo Lady and Mungo Man, the world’s oldest human cremations – and other Aboriginal cultural heritage sites and experiences.

 

Diverse landscapes and environmental features range from arid and semi-arid rangelands and productive areas of irrigated agriculture, to the Murray and Darling rivers and associated floodplain areas and tributaries.

 

The traditional owners of this land, the Latje Latje, Dadi Dadi, Madi Madi, Yitha Yitha, Kureinji, Barkindji, Barindji and Danggali people,45 maintain a strong connection to country through cultural heritage sites and experiences.

Priorities:

  • Capture economic benefits from mining.
  • Grow renewable energy industries.
  • Grow and diversify of agribusiness.
  • Establish 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 primary locations for retail and commercial activities, and revitalise main street precincts.
  • Expand tourism activities and enhance visitor experiences.
  • Increase 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.
  • Improve public and community transport services to connect smaller towns and villages to local centres, and connect the area to Mildura, Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide.
  • 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.
  • 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: 08/08/2018