Drivers and opportunities
Agriculture and mining will continue to be key economic drivers in the Far West as they expand and diversify. The agriculture sector is expanding beyond traditional wool production into emerging industries such as goat and meat sheep production and intensive horticulture. The mining sector is exploring new revenue streams – for example, sand mining operations in the Broken Hill, Balranald and Wentworth local government areas. Improvements to the road network that connects the Far West to major trade centres – particularly key freight corridors such as the Silver City Highway (linking the region to Queensland) – will improve freight productivity by providing all-weather access for light and heavy vehicles. The Mitchell, Sturt and Barrier highways will continue to provide access to domestic markets and export infrastructure in Sydney and Adelaide.
Improvements in transport assets in the region will also help to enhance connectivity, particularly to remote areas. The Government's NSW Transport Master Plan outlines continued investment to support transport access to Broken Hill, Dubbo, Sydney and Newcastle, Adelaide and Melbourne, improving the movement of goods and services in the Far West.
The Far West has the potential to generate large amounts of renewable energy through wind and solar projects. The NSW Government has already contributed $64.9 million towards two projects. This includes a large scale 53 MW Solar Power Plant at Broken Hill and a sister site at Nyngan (in the Central West and Orana region). Over 650,000 solar photovoltaic (PV) modules will be installed at the Broken Hill plant, which will produce renewable energy to supply 17,000 homes.
The project will help to establish a large-scale solar industry in the Far West region. It will diversify industry and employment opportunities, creating up to 150 jobs during the construction phase. Access to high speed internet in the region would improve education and employment opportunities across the Far West.