The NSW Government will work with each council to deliver the directions and actions set out in this Plan. Priorities for each local government area are set out in the following section and will guide further investigations and implementation.
The priorities build on the directions and actions in this Plan to achieve desired outcomes on the ground. Planning will encourage infrastructure delivery that targets the needs of each community. It will also encourage more efficient allocation of resources and investment to improve the liveability and sustainability of the region.
The NSW Government will assist councils to translate these priorities into local plans.
This section also contains urban growth area maps for each council. These maps will be updated regularly, with the latest maps available on the Department of Planning and Environment’s website.
The Far North Coast comprises the Tweed, Kyogle, Richmond Valley, Lismore, Byron and Ballina local government areas and adjoins South East Queensland to the north, New England to the west and the Mid North Coast to the south. The traditional owners of the Far North Coast are the Bundjalung people, who maintain a strong connection to country.
Ballina Shire is a popular lifestyle, tourism, cultural and recreation destination. Ballina is the shire’s strategic centre and provides essential and higher-level services to residents. Lennox Head, Alstonville and Wollongbar fulfil local service needs for residents who are based further inland and on the coast.
Ballina’s environment consists of distinctive coastline, lowland, escarpment and plateau areas. The Ballina to Lennox Head coastal strip and the red soil plateau, in particular, possess unique landscapes and cultural values, and will form the basis for ongoing lifestyle and economic opportunities. Ballina’s extensive open space assets contribute significantly to the social, economic and environmental wellbeing of Ballina.
Ballina has a strong and diverse economy that is sustained by a stable and highly skilled workforce. The shire delivers a range of employment opportunities, with a strong retail sector in Kerr Street as well as health, education, cultural and recreation opportunities.
Byron Shire is one of Australia’s most visited local government areas, with stunning beaches, beautiful hinterland and vibrant centres like Byron Bay, Brunswick Heads, Mullumbimby and Bangalow. These communities are centres of creativity, provide boutique retail, food and accommodation options, essential services, and offer a unique lifestyle.
Byron Shire is known for its natural beauty and character. Unique environmental features such as the Arakwal National Park and the Cape Byron Marine Park will continue to draw domestic and international tourists, contribute to attractive lifestyles and grow the local economy.
Byron has a strong economy based on the tourism, creative arts, agricultural, food manufacturing and health sectors. Continuing connectivity improvements to Lismore, Ballina, Tweed and South East Queensland through the Pacific Highway upgrade and digital technology will support future economic growth and opportunities.
The Kyogle Local Government Area has a rich history and is well known for its heritage buildings and architecture that reflect the early timber milling and agricultural ventures of the area. Kyogle is the focal centre of the area, providing local retail, commercial and community services and a high quality of life for residents and visitors.
Kyogle has an array of spectacular natural and cultural attributes, including the renowned Border Ranges, Toonumbar and Richmond Range national parks. The striking landscape and local character are major drawcards for tourists, particularly those seeking eco-tourism and adventure tourism experiences.
Kyogle is the gateway to the rich agricultural areas in Queensland, including the Scenic Rim and Darling Downs. Improved transport connectivity to Lismore, Casino and the adjoining areas of Queensland will support future economic opportunities for Kyogle.
Lismore is a regional city providing essential and high-level services to residents. Smaller local centres such as Goonellabah, Bexhill, Clunes, Dunoon, The Channon, Nimbin, Goolmangar, Caniaba and Wyrallah fulfil local service needs and contribute to the unique local character of the area.
Lismore includes part of the Border Ranges rainforest region, one of 15 Australian biodiversity hotspots, and supports fertile, productive land and expansive floodplains. This rich environment underpins the area’s important agricultural and tourism sectors.
Lismore has a strong and growing economy that continues to attract and support jobs, anchored by major retail, civic and tertiary infrastructure. Lismore Base Hospital will continue to be a catalyst for growth of the health services industry. The Lismore campus of Southern Cross University will deliver sustained growth in education and training.
The Lismore business centre showcases public art, and hosts markets and events, supporting a flourishing creative arts scene.
Lismore’s proximity to significant rural production areas in the Richmond Valley and Kyogle council areas offer opportunities to activate agribusiness and leverage cross-border agricultural activities in the Darling Downs and freight transport opportunities at Beaudesert and Brisbane West Wellcamp Airport.
The Richmond Valley spreads from the coastline at Evans Head, along the Richmond River to the rural heartland of Casino and out to the Richmond Ranges. Casino is the focal centre of Richmond Valley and the region’s beef industry, and is the location of the Northern Co-operative Meat Company and the Northern Rivers Livestock Exchange, the largest abattoir and livestock exchange in Northern NSW.
Casino is supported by centres such as Woodburn, Evans Head, Broadwater, Coraki and Rileys Hill, which provide rural lifestyle and coastal living opportunities. These centres provide economic diversity through strong retail and tourism sectors and emerging creative industries.
Richmond Valley also has a number of important environmental assets, including wetlands and coastal heath systems located within the Broadwater and Bundjalung national parks. These assets continue to draw tourists and contribute to attractive lifestyles.
The Tweed Shire is the gateway between the North Coast and South East Queensland, and is the fastest growing area in the region.
Tweed Heads is a regional city that continues to develop and integrate with South East Queensland and its ‘twin town’ of Coolangatta. Tweed residents will continue to access high-quality services and facilities from both sides of the NSW-Queensland border. Local services and facilities are provided at Kingscliff, Casuarina, Cabarita, Pottsville and Murwillumbah.
The coastal settlements of the Tweed Shire have experienced some of the strongest growth on the North Coast. The popularity of the Tweed Coast is expected to continue into the future, particularly as opportunities for Greenfield housing on the Gold Coast become more limited. Kingscliff will be an important centre in this regard and will service the growth of the Tweed Coast’s network of villages.
The Tweed is recognised for its iconic natural environment and contains the Mt Warning Caldera, World Heritage listed rainforests and dramatic mountain ranges. This environment, and the Tweed’s proximity to the nationally significant tourist area of the Gold Coast, will support ongoing growth in the tourism industry.
The Mid North Coast comprises the Clarence Valley, Coffs Harbour, Bellingen, Nambucca, Kempsey and Port Macquarie-Hastings local government areas. It is located midway between Sydney and Brisbane and adjoins the Far North Coast, New England, North West and the Hunter. The Biripi, Gumbaynggirr, Dunghutti, Yaegl and Bundjalung are the traditional owners of this land.
Bellingen Shire has a diverse range of coastal, hinterland and rural communities, and is a popular tourism, cultural and recreation destination. Bellingen is the administrative centre and boasts a rich architectural heritage, rural charm and a bohemian atmosphere. Dorrigo and Urunga fulfil the local service needs for residents who are based further inland and on the coast.
Bellingen Shire is well known for its idyllic mix of natural landscapes, including the Dorrigo Plateau, the World Heritage rainforests of the Waterfall Way, the fertile valleys of the Kalang and Bellinger rivers, and its picturesque coastline. More than half of Bellingen Shire falls within the National Reserve System. Managing this unique natural environment appropriately will be key to delivering a sustainable future and a strong local economy.
The local economy and employment base is underpinned by the agriculture and tourism sectors. Its proximity and growing connectivity to adjoining council areas, particularly Coffs Harbour, is creating strong social and economic links between the communities, and ensuring access to high-level employment, health, education and cultural opportunities for the Bellingen community.
The Clarence Valley Local Government Area takes in an array of coastal and hinterland communities. Grafton is a strategic centre that provides a range of high-level specialist services to local residents and the wider regional community, and was one of the first major commercial centres on the North Coast. Yamba and Maclean fulfil the local service needs of residents north of Grafton and on the coast.
The Clarence Valley has abundant environmental assets, including the Bundjalung and Yuraygir national parks and the Clarence River which underpins a significant aquaculture sector. Managing these assets will be important to delivering a healthy environment and a strong economy.
Major infrastructure investment in projects like the Pacific Highway upgrade and the second Clarence River Crossing project will significantly enhance regional connectivity and provide new economic opportunities. The Clarence Valley’s strong tourism and agricultural base will also be supplemented by the continued development and delivery of regional government services including justice and health facilities.
The Coffs Harbour Local Government Area is strategically positioned midway between South East Queensland and Sydney. Coffs Harbour is the regional city for this area. It provides a significant share of the region’s housing and jobs, and delivers a variety of high-level services, including civic, entertainment and cultural venues. Local services and jobs are also available at other centres such as Woolgoolga and Sawtell.
The area has a growing and diverse economy based on services and industry anchors like the Coffs Harbour Regional Airport and the Health and Education campuses. The delivery of the National Broadband Network has facilitated a growing digital innovation sector and collaborative partnerships with adjoining local government areas. These adjoining areas have growing creative, manufacturing and transport industries that will facilitate new employment opportunities in Coffs Harbour and the Mid North Coast. The area also supports a highly productive agricultural hinterland, including the nationally significant blueberry industry.
Recreation and tourism are important contributors to the Coffs Harbour economy. The area has become a destination for international and national sporting events like the World Rally Championship, and has significant natural areas including the Solitary Islands Marine Park and Bongil Bongil and Bindarri national parks.
The Kempsey Shire has a unique mix of coastal and rural centres, including Kempsey, Frederickton, South West Rocks, Crescent Head, Stuarts Point, Smithtown, Gladstone and Kundabung.
The area has a diverse range of natural landscapes, including; sandy beaches, bays, headlands and rural hinterland, including Hat Head, Arakoon, Limeburners Creek and Goolawah national parks.
Kempsey is the focal centre and provides essential retail, commercial and community services to a range of local communities.
Kempsey Shire has a strong local economy underpinned by the agricultural sector, which supports a number of major manufacturers like Nestle and Akubra Hats, and the Macleay Valley Food Bowl brand. The continuing growth of the tourism, health and education sectors will also increase economic diversity and job opportunities. Improved transport accessibility, as a result of the Pacific Highway upgrade, and iconic destinations like South West Rocks and Trial Bay Gaol will continue to enhance the area’s popularity with visitors.
Kempsey Shire has a strong and growing Aboriginal community. Cultural venues like the Wigay Aboriginal Park and Dunghutti-Ngaku Aboriginal Art Gallery celebrate and share Dunghutti culture with the wider regional community.
The Nambucca Shire has important scenic and ecological values, including pristine coastal waters; the Gaagal Wanggaan (South Beach), Yarriabini and Dunggir national parks; parts of the New England Plateau; and the Nambucca River and Taylors Arm floodplains.
Macksville is the administrative centre of the Nambucca Valley, providing essential retail, commercial and community services. Housing and jobs are also located at Nambucca Heads, Valla and Bowraville.
The region has a strong economy based on tourism, agribusiness and manufacturing. Competitive land prices and strong industry networks will create more jobs in a greater range of sectors.
Nambucca has strong links with Coffs Harbour which provides residents access to a variety of higher-order employment, health and education services. Enhanced connectivity as a result of the Pacific Highway upgrade will strengthen this relationship and be an important driver of future growth.
Port Macquarie-Hastings is the southern gateway to the North Coast, and has a diverse and high- quality environment. The environment underpins the local economy, attracts residents and visitors, and enables international sporting events like IRONMAN Australia, which continue to grow Port Macquarie’s events and tourism calendar.
Port Macquarie is a regional city with a thriving cultural and civic centre, accommodating a distinctive mix of retail, commercial, tourism, entertainment and cultural activities. Coastal and rural centres, such as Lake Cathie, Bonny Hills, Laurieton and Wauchope, will continue to provide local jobs and lifestyle housing options that support their character.
The area has a diverse and vibrant economy as a result of ongoing investment in the health, education, agriculture and aviation sectors. The Port Macquarie Base Hospital; the development of the new Charles Sturt University Campus; and the ongoing delivery of tertiary education by other providers, including the University of Newcastle and North Coast TAFE, will increase local opportunities and deliver jobs.
Page last updated: 17/09/2019