A BIOHUB facility at Cobar, growing Broken Hill's renewable energy sector, the first local environment plan for the Unincorporated Area and the construction of the Broken Hill pipeline are features of the first-ever NSW draft strategy for the Far West.
The draft Far West Regional Plan aims to create more diverse employment opportunities in the region through improvements to infrastructure, expanding the tourism sector and enhancing the economic self-determination of Aboriginal communities.
NSW Planning Minister Rob Stokes encouraged the local community to provide their feedback on the draft plan, which takes in the region's eight local government areas and the Unincorporated Area, and will help shape the region over the next two decades.
"This plan sets out a vision for the Far West over the next 20 years and will guide the region towards a strengthened and diverse economy supported by the right infrastructure, resilient communities and an exceptional natural environment," Mr Stokes said.
The Minister said the Far West is as diverse as it is vast, stretching across more than 320,000 square kilometres and making up 40 per cent of the state's total area.
The draft plan sets out three goals for the Far West that build on the opportunities presented by its resource and agricultural history, rich cultural heritage, nationally significant environmental areas and resilient communities.
These goals are:
- Goal 1 – A diverse economy with efficient transport and infrastructure networks;
- Goal 2 – Strong and connected communities; and
- Goal 3 – An exceptional and distinctive natural environment.
The draft plan is on exhibition for community consultation until 13 March 2017. More information is available from the Department of Planning and Environment website at <http://www.planning.nsw.gov.au/FarWest>.