CONTINUED growth of the agricultural sector and the ongoing development of strategic centres and regional cities are the focus of a blueprint for the New England North West region of NSW that was released by the State Government last week.
With the population expected to grow by almost 14,000 in 2036, the growth of strategic centres such as Gunnedah, Glen Innes, Narrabri, Inverell and Moree, along with the major regional cities of Tamworth and Armidale is a key component of the New England North West Regional Plan.
Minister for Planning and Housing, Anthony Roberts, said the plan would maximise the region's diverse climates, landscape and resources to create great places to live and work.
"The New England North West Regional Plan is a 20-year blueprint that will guide planning and land use decisions for the 12 local government areas in the region," Mr Roberts said.
"As the population is expected to grow by 13,800 people by 2036, an additional 9,700 new homes will be needed. The regional plan will do this by guiding councils in preparing Local Growth Management strategies that will analyse land suitability and local housing needs to direct development in the right locations."
Over the next 20 years, the New England North West region will see the agriculture, health and education sectors continue to grow and become a hub for renewable energy and build upon the existing solar farm at Moree and the White Rock wind farm at Glen Innes.
Key features of the plan include the development of a Regional Intensive Agribusiness Strategy, which will help guide various local industries to capitalise on local grain and feed production, along with supporting opportunities to improve freight networks and access to national and international markets.
The 12 local government areas within the New England North West region are Armidale Regional, Glen Innes Severn, Gunnedah, Gwydir, Inverell, Liverpool Plains, Moree Plains, Narrabri, Tamworth Regional, Tenterfield, Uralla and Walcha.
More information about the New England North West Regional Plan is available from the Department of Planning and Environment website at <http://www.planning.nsw.gov.au/Plans-for-your-area/Regional-Plans/New-England-North-West>.