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    ABERCROMBIE I REgIOnAl ECOnOMIC DEvElOpMEnt StRAtEgy I 2018 – 2022

    2018-2022

    Abercrombie Regional

    Economic Development

    Strategy VISION

    To be an innovative and adaptable economic

    community that is able to leverage the region’s

    key strengths in agriculture,

    manufacturing and transport, while

    supporting and growing the tourism sector for

    long-term economic sustainability

    Developed with the support of the NSW Government as part of the Regional Economic Development Strategies program to assist local

    councils and their communities in regional NSW. June 2018.

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    Preface

    The NSW Government has worked with local councils and their communities to develop 37 Regional Economic Development Strategies across regional NSW. Each strategy is designed around one or more local government areas that form a functional economic region as defned by economic data and community input.

    While the strategies have been developed using a consistent approach, each is a product of detailed data analysis and local community consultation to ensure ownership through a ‘bottom-up’ process: it sets out a vision for the region, as well as the strategies and early-stage actions required to achieve the vision.

    Regional Economic Development Strategies articulate a framework for identifying actions that are crucial to achieving the regional vision. The projects listed in this strategy should be viewed as example projects that have emerged from the initial application of the framework. Adoption of these projects would be subject to further evaluative processes.

    The power of a strategy is its ability to be used on an ongoing basis to identify additional high-value projects over time. By complementing existing funding processes, the strategies present new

    opportunities to strengthen and increase investment in regional development across NSW.

    Regional Economic Development Strategies are viewed as the frst stage in a process that will assist those with an interest in the economic development of a region, particularly councils, communities and local businesses, in planning a region’s future economic activities. These strategies provide a vehicle for engaging the community in a ‘conversation’ about regional needs and priorities, assist in bringing together key stakeholders and mobilising resources, and in so doing, can facilitate faster access to dedicated NSW Government funding, such as the Growing Local Economies Fund, as well as helping to capitalise on other economic opportunities.

    The Abercrombie Regional Economic Development Strategy was prepared by Balmoral Group Australia in collaboration

    with the Bathurst Regional and Oberon councils, key stakeholders, the broader regional community and the NSW Government’s Centre for Economic and Regional Development (CERD).

    It is presented in two documents: the Abercrombie Regional Economic Development Strategy 2018–2022 (this document), which allows the reader to quickly and easily determine key content, and the accompanying Abercrombie Economic Development Strategy 2018–2022: Supporting Analysis, which details the methodology, evidence and development process.

    For further information about the Regional Economic Development Strategies program please contact the CERD on 02 6391 3025 or CERD@dpc.nsw.gov.au.

    ABERCROMBIE I REgIOnAl ECOnOMIC DEvElOpMEnt StRAtEgy I 2018 – 2022

    mailto:CERD@dpc.nsw.gov.au.

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    ABERCROMBIE I REgIOnAl ECOnOMIC DEvElOpMEnt StRAtEgy I 2018 – 2022

    Introduction

    The Abercrombie Regional Economic Development Strategy 2018- 2022 (the Strategy) sets out a long-term economic vision and associated core strategies for the functional economic region (the Region) comprising the Bathurst Regional and Oberon Local Government Areas (LGAs).

    The Strategy was developed to identify key economic opportunities that can capitalise on the endowments and industry specialisations unique to the Abercrombie Region (Abercrombie Region). Economic research suggests that regions are becoming increasingly specialised in the key industries1 that drive their growth, and their relative strengths (endowments) play a key role in determining those specialisations.2

    The Strategy is based on industry specialisations and opportunities that leverage the Region’s key endowments – including its productive agricultural land, manufacturing base, proximity to Sydney and inland NSW, strategic transport infrastructure, a vibrant community and heritage assets – to guide investment and other actions over the period 2018 to 2022.

    The Abercrombie Region has a diverse economy, with Health Care and Social Assistance, Education and Training, Retail Trade and Manufacturing as the largest industries in terms of employment. The principal health and education facilities are located in Bathurst city, and both Bathurst and Oberon have substantial manufacturing and tourism assets. The Region is a centre for manufacturing, capitalising on its strong natural resources to produce market-ready timber and food products.

    Six core strategies have been identifed to capture the opportunities, manage risks and deliver on the Vision for the Region:

    INCREASE Value-adding in agricultural products through innovation

    CAPITALISE on Existing Strengths in Manufacturing

    OPTIMISE Competitiveness in Agriculture, Forestry and Manufacturing through Transportation and Intermodal Networks

    OPTIMISE Growth in the Development of Regional Infrastructure

    PROVIDE Opportunities for Attracting and Retaining Entrepreneurs and Skilled Professionals

    DEVELOP the Region’s Brand and Diversify Local Tourism Offerings

    1 For the purposes of regional development, it is useful to classify industries as: – Engines — industries that bring money into the region (e.g. agriculture) and drive the local economy – Enabling — industries that support the engines (e.g. veterinary services to agriculture) – Population-serving — industries that support the local population (e.g. retail). Typically, the fortunes of the population-serving industries depend on the success of the engines; therefore it is useful to focus on the engine sectors that drive growth.

    2 Regional Economic Growth Enablers Report (2017), Centre for Economic and Regional Development.

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    Background

    The Abercrombie Region is located in Central West NSW, approximately three hours’ drive from Sydney on the intersection of the Mitchell and Mid-Western Highways. The Region covers an area of 7,443 square kilometres, with a population in 2016 of 46,601 (Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) 2016 census). The majority of residents live in the centres of Bathurst and Oberon.

    The climate is warm and temperate, with four distinct seasons. Average annual rainfall is 638 mm in Bathurst and 841 mm in Oberon. Average temperatures range from 10 to 27 degrees celsius in summer and -0.4 to 12.2 degrees celsius in winter. Snow falls occasionally in winter in many parts of the Region. The topography varies from the western edge of the Blue Mountains and across the Central Tablelands, and much of the Region is over 1,000 metres above sea level.

    The Region contains many waterways, the main one being the Macquarie River which has its headwaters originating near Oberon. The River fows northward through the Region, through the city of Bathurst and continues west to eventually join with the Barwon River. Other waterways traversing the Region include the Abercrombie, Campbells, Duckmaloi, Fish and Turon rivers. Water storages include the Ben Chifey and Oberon Dams. In addition to their contribution to water supply for the Region’s residents, these waterways provide a substantial opportunity for increased tourism, including fshing, canoeing, fossicking, camping and sightseeing.

    The Region’s soils and climate are suited to a wide range of agricultural systems, including livestock grazing, broadacre cropping, fodder making, vegetables and fruit (including grapes), as well as dairy and egg production.

    The soils and climate, and location, are also well suited to forestry, with 12,260 hectares in the Bathurst Regional and 52,630 hectares in the Oberon LGAs.

    The Region has an extensive history, containing many sites of historic interest. Bathurst commenced as Australia’s oldest inland (colonial) settlement, being declared a townsite in 1815, and providing a gateway for exploration and development of many areas in inland NSW. The discovery of gold in the Region in 1851, and its growth and contribution to food, fbre and timber production in the early years of colonial settlement, provide a tapestry of heritage sites and stories. These are a substantial resource for increased tourism in the Region.

    The early contribution to the development of much of inland NSW has provided the Region with a strong base of infrastructure, including major road and rail systems, and health and education facilities. Its history has meant that the Region is a hub for major inland roads, including the Great Western, Mitchell, and Mid-Western highways and Duckmaloi and O’Connell Roads. The main western railway line traverses the Region. Bathurst has a large hospital which provides services and support for regional towns, and training for new health professionals. The Region is also renowned for education, with large boarding schools