Drivers and opportunities
Its accessibility, natural endowment and established food production and visitor infrastructure provides the South East and Tablelands region with a range of opportunities for economic growth.
The major transport corridors between Sydney, the ACT and Melbourne (the most active business markets in Australia) pass directly through the region, providing easy road and rail access to markets, as well as opportunities for developing supply chain businesses. Investment in transport infrastructure will be critical to improve the region's access to markets, increase viability for regional producers and support growth in the visitor economy. Upgrades to bridges – being delivered through the NSW Government's Bridges for the Bush program – will see the region benefit significantly from improvements in road freight productivity.
The abundance of renewable resources in the region, particularly wind, presents significant opportunities for further investment into the region's burgeoning renewable energy generation sector.
Continued development and growth in regional food production is also expected. The Port of Eden is home to a significant fishing fleet and supports a growing tourism sector, as well as vessels servicing the Bass Strait oil and gas fields. The port is a major export hub for woodchip and timber products and also provides the region with import access to breakbulk. The breakwater wharf extension will enable the port to accommodate larger cruise ships for increased tourism opportunities.
Along with its established food production infrastructure, the region's inherent natural attributes support continued growth in the agricultural sector. This, combined with proximity to other tourism hubs in Sydney and Canberra, offers opportunities to further develop regional tourism. It is likely the region will see increasing demands in health care and aged-care services and Public Administration and Safety, with the number of available clerical and administrative jobs likely to rise – particularly in those parts of the region closer to large urban centres.