Communities in the Far West are among Australia’s most diverse, self-reliant and forward-looking. Leveraging these community strengths through regional coordination and local leadership will create strong networks and a stronger, more resilient and capable Far West. Distance is a constant challenge in the Far West, requiring investment in roads, rail networks and telecommunications to boost opportunities for the agribusiness, value-added manufacturing, mining, renewable energy and tourism sectors. Emerging opportunities in unique food processing, tourism, arts and cultural opportunities set this outback region apart. Combined with the Menindee Lakes and the internationally recognised Willandra Lakes Region World Heritage Area, these opportunities will increase investment and grow visitor numbers.
The Barwon–Darling River system, one of the longest in Australia, connects Far West towns and communities to each other and southern Australia’s rural food bowl. Waterways are the lifeblood of communities, and must be actively and sustainably managed.
The region has an exciting future, and the Far West 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 accompanying Implementation 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 Far West 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 final Regional Plan.