Regional communities across NSW produce high quality food, resources and other products that are increasingly demanded by global markets.
Historically many communities have been well placed to take advantage of these opportunities, however, the current pace of change has meant others are facing challenges due to the changing environmental, social and economic conditions.
The world’s middle class is expected to rise by 50 per cent, and with it, the demand for high quality products – particularly agriculture, technology and tourism services.
For instance, the Asian middle class, which will be a market of more than three billion people by 2030, will continue to rely on Australia to be its delicatessen.
Regional NSW is already responding to the changing global context through innovative agricultural technologies driven by research and industry partnerships.
For example, the Australian Centre for Field Robotics at the University of Sydney has developed an autonomous solar powered robot that identifies and treats weeds in field crops.
Regional NSW is already recognised as a producer of high quality food with ethical and safe production methods.
Road, rail and web based infrastructure services will continue to support communities to access domestic and international markets in current and new freight formats.
Intermodal facilities can connect regional producers to market more effectively through multiple air and sea ports.
Consumer demands for transparency in production has given rise to trends such as ‘paddock-to-plate’, and with ‘produce with a story’.
The NSW government has refocused the planning system, which will provide greater opportunity for strategic planning.
This will enable the NSW regions and local governments to express their own planning needs and better respond to opportunities.
Local strategic planning statements will offer communities an exciting new opportunity to engage with and participate in the shaping of plans relevant to their regions, shires or districts.
The statements will include a 20-year vision that takes into account the context set out in the NSW government’s regional plan while also reflecting the unique characteristics and values of the locality.
The government is ready to work with communities to tackle the challenges that they may face and take advantage of any opportunities.