Drivers and opportunities

The North Coast's economic ties and access and proximity to nearby markets provide many opportunities. These markets include South East Queensland and the Gold Coast in the north, and the Hunter and Sydney regions in the south. The Pacific Highway connects Sydney and Newcastle (through the North Coast) to the Gold Coast and Brisbane.

The planned duplication of this highway will improve freight productivity and access for visitors. It will also improve the competitiveness of the region's manufacturing industry, particularly food processing.

The North Coast is serviced by six regional airports at Ballina, Coffs Harbour, Grafton, Lismore, Port Macquarie and Taree. There is also a freight port at Yamba.

The economic diversity in the region is another advantage. Along with Health Care and Social Assistance, Manufacturing and Tourism, a number of smaller sectors also support the region's economic resilience and agility.

These include Education and Training, Public Administration and Safety, and Construction, which all contribute between 6% and 8% of GRP. Agriculture, Financial and Insurance Services, and Professional, Scientific and Technical Services each contribute about 4% of GRP (2013).Investment in roads, rail, health care infrastructure and tertiary institution infrastructure can enable further growth and business opportunities in the region.