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Economic development

New England North West Regional Plan 2041

The region is home to a growing economy – up to $13.7 billion in 2021 from $10.8 billion in 2016.


The region’s quality soils, good rainfall and climate is conducive to cropping and livestock production year-round.

The region produces around a fifth of NSW’s agricultural output. It is home to 16% of the state’s farm businesses. Beef, sheep and wool, poultry, broadacre crops, vegetables and fruits and nuts are produced throughout the region. 

Almost 50% of the state’s cotton is produced in Moree and Narrabri LGAs alone. The region also accounts for 86% of NSW’s sorghum production.

Download the New England North West Regional Plan 2041 (PDF, 19.9 MB).

Growing industries

With the proportion of older people increasing, we’ll see more jobs in aged care, health care and social assistance. By 2041 these industries will account for 13% of all jobs. They will be the region’s largest employer.

Education and training (12% of jobs by 2041) will remain an employment generator. Many of these jobs will be based around the University of New England, Australia’s first regional university, and TAFE NSW.

This cluster creates connections between business, industry and research institutions, such as the SMART Farm Innovation Centre.

The regional plan supports continued innovation and technology, led by research and development facilities in Armidale, Tamworth, Narrabri and Glen Innes. The region will continue to be recognised as a leader in higher education and regional innovation.

Mining will remain an important sector for the region, especially given the abundance of minerals for emerging technologies. The regional plan will aim to optimise opportunities outlined in the Critical Minerals and High-Tech Metals Strategy.

See objective 4 (PDF, 19.9 MB) of the regional plan to find out how mineral resources will be managed sustainably.

We already see more than 3 million visitors to the region each year. People enjoy its natural features and national parks; character-rich towns and historic villages; and a calendar of music, sporting and cultural events.

Diverse opportunities include agritourism, geotourism and the region’s national parks. See objective 7 (PDF, 19.9 MB) of the regional plan to find out more.

95,861 Employed


12,538 Health care and social assistance


11,256 Education and training


6,614 Accommodation and food services


11,404 Agriculture, forestry and fishing


9,095 Retail trade