NSW Minister for Planning and Housing, Anthony Roberts, last week released the first-ever NSW strategy for the Far West that sets out a vision for the eight local government areas and the Unincorporated Area.
"The Far West Regional Plan is a 20-year blueprint that will guide planning and land use decisions for the region," Mr Roberts said of the plan, which has a vision for the growth of a diverse economy, supported by the right infrastructure, in an exceptional natural environment and with strong, resilient communities.
"The region accounts for 40 per cent of the state's total area, stretching across more than 320,000 square kilometres and bordering three other Australian states. Its communities and landscapes are as diverse as they are distinct," the Minister said.
"A collaborative approach between all levels of government and the community, strengthening local leadership and a coordinated investment in transport and telecommunications infrastructure are all necessary for the region's success."
The plan focuses on promoting the region's unique indigenous sites including Mungo Man, Mungo Lady and the Brewarrina Aboriginal Fish Traps, which have significant cultural heritage status.
"The traditional custodians of the region are important partners and leaders, and greater collaboration will improve environmental, social and economic outcomes for the Far West," Mr Roberts said.
"Another priority is working with stakeholders on housing options that meet the needs of Aboriginal communities, along with developing Aboriginal tourism businesses as a means of increasing economic participation in-country".
Mr Roberts pointed out that enormous potential existed for the Far West to become the leading international exporter of goats to expanding markets.
He said land management arrangements would be implemented to ensure continuity of supply for the goat industry, along with a focus on improving freight networks and supply chains.
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.
More information about the Far 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/Far-West>.