Strategy

Description

This Draft Regional Plan aims to guide the NSW Government’s land use planning priorities and decisions in the Far West 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. While a series of priority actions are included, medium and longer-term actions will be identified to coincide with population and economic changes. Priorities for councils are set out in Local Government Narratives, which will guide further investigations and implementation. 

Communities in the Far West are among Australia’s most resilient, self-reliant and forward-looking. It is a vast region, stretching from the inland Aboriginal and mining communities of Lightning Ridge and Walgett, near the Queensland border, to Australia’s old pioneer mining settlements of Cobar and Broken Hill, and the Murray River townships of Wentworth and Balranald, near the Victorian border.

Around 16 per cent of the Far West population identifies as Aboriginal, representing around 3 per cent of the total Aboriginal population of NSW. The Far West is covered by the Western Division of NSW. Almost all the land in the Western Division is held under 6,400 Western Lands Leases for the purposes of grazing and pastoral production.

The Barwon–Darling river system, one of the longest in the world, connects the region’s towns and communities to each other and to southern Australia’s rural food bowl. Its western rivers flow through the nationally and internationally significant Willandra Lakes Region World Heritage Area, Menindee Lakes and the wetlands of the Murray–Darling Basin. Distance is a constant challenge. Businesses and communities have relatively higher transport and input costs, poorer communication links and less choice in health, education and community services. By contrast, the Far West is connected to national highways and rail networks linking Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide, and is deeply integrated with global markets and trade flows.

Agriculture and mining are mainstays of the economy. Local supply chains start on farms and mines and reach markets in Asia, Europe and the US. Fruit, agricultural produce, mineral products and mineral sands are transported from the region to ports in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide.

The region is also at the forefront of climate change adaptation, and is developing large-scale renewable energy projects, including wind and solar. Tourism, arts and cultural opportunities are abundant. Broken Hill is included on the Australian National Heritage List because of its significant role in Australia’s mining industry and national development. The Far West boasts many other culturally significant sites that lend themselves to heritage-based tourism, including the archaeological site of Mungo Lady and Mungo Man, the world’s oldest human cremation remains. 

This Draft Regional Plan aims to guide the NSW Government’s land use planning priorities and decisions in the Far West 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. While a series of priority actions are included, medium and longer-term actions will be identified to coincide with population and economic changes. Priorities for councils are set out in Local Government Narratives, which will guide further investigations and implementation. 

Publication Details
Published year only: 
2016
36
Share
Share
Advertisement