Service and Infrastructure Initiatives by region

This section provides an overview of each of the nine regions, including:

  • a description of the characteristics of the region

  • a link to the relevant Department of Planning and Environment Regional Plan

  • an overview of the key centres and transport linkages for each region

  • a summary of the localised planning to be undertaken with local government, other state government agencies and other stakeholders in coming years

  • a map of initiatives in the region

This section should be read in conjunction with Chapter 4 which details infrastructure, policy and service initiatives that apply to all of regional NSW.

Hunter

The Hunter region includes the local government areas of Cessnock, Dungog, Lake Macquarie, Maitland, MidCoast, Muswellbrook, Newcastle, Port Stephens, Singleton and Upper Hunter. It has a population of over 730,000 people which is expected to increase to close to 950,000 by 2056. It is the largest regional economy in Australia and contains the Global Gateway city of Greater Newcastle, the capital of the region. It is home to the Awabakal, Worimi, Wonnarua, Biripi and Geawegal peoples.

The Hunter is Australia’s leading regional economy. It contributes over $32.3 billion to the NSW economy (2014-15), with a third coming from mining, manufacturing, health and social services. The region has strong local tourism, defence, education and advanced manufacturing industries centred on the University of Newcastle and Hunter Innovation Network as well as two Australian Defence Force bases, RAAF Willamtown and the Singleton Military Area.

The Hunter has strong local communities, valued heritage and a biodiversity rich environment. It has some of the most unique ecological systems in Australia that need to be managed and protected.

We are working closely with the Department of Planning and Environment to achieve the vision for the Hunter region. This vision is “the leading regional economy in Australia with a vibrant new metropolitan city at its heart”. It aims to capitalise on Greater Newcastle’s port, vibrant waterfront and heritage to attract more residents, students, businesses, researchers, educators and entrepreneurs. We are working with the Department of Planning and Environment on its four goals for the Hunter region:

  • The leading regional economy in Australia
  • A biodiversity-rich natural environment
  • Thriving communities
  • Greater housing choice and jobs.

Global Gateway city

Greater Newcastle is a significant Global Gateway city. Greater Newcastle is the five local government areas of Cessnock, Lake Macquarie, Maitland, Newcastle and Port Stephens and has a population of around 575,000 people. It has a population catchment of over 1 million people and strong connections within NSW to Sydney, Central Coast, North Coast, New England North West and Central West and Orana. 

Greater Newcastle is currently undergoing transformation from its heavy industrial past to an urbanised, service-based economy. It is benefited by its access to international markets through the port and airport, strong health and education precincts and economic development opportunities through its tourism, growth of specialised manufacturing and small-medium enterprises, defence facilities as well as a growing knowledge industry base.
There are further urban renewal opportunities to be realised. Transformative light rail and the introduction of frequent bus and ferry connections as well as opportunities to support and increase liveability through more sustainable travel behaviour are examples to ensure its success into the future.

Hub & spoke

A key to the future success of the Hunter is supporting efficient transport connections to, from and within the region. Working with Department of Planning and Environment, we have identified key hubs to support travel in the Hunter region. These include:

  • Greater Newcastle: Broadmeadow (emerging), Central Maitland, Callaghan, Cessnock, Charlestown, East Maitland, Cardiff-Glendale (emerging), John Hunter Hospital, Kotara, Kurri Kurri, Morisset, Newcastle city centre, Nelson Bay, Raymond Terrace and the global gateway transport hubs of Newcastle Airport and Newcastle Port.
  • Forster-Tuncurry, Muswellbrook, Scone, Singleton and Taree.

Connections to these keys hubs will be provided by the best mode for the transport task, this may mean improving the existing connections available or working on delivering new services and connections. The existing connections available include:

  • Air: Scheduled passenger flight services operate out of Newcastle and Taree Airports. Newcastle Airport has connections to Brisbane, Melbourne, Dubbo, Taree, Ballina, Gold Coast, Canberra and Adelaide (from March 2018). Taree Airport has connections to Sydney.
  • Road: M1 Pacific Motorway, Pacific Highway, Hunter Expressway, New England Highway and Golden Highway.
  • Rail: Intercity services between Scone/Dungog and Newcastle Interchange (Hunter line) and Sydney Central and Newcastle Interchange (Central Coast and Newcastle line). NSW TrainLink regional rail services between Sydney and Casino, Grafton, Brisbane, Armidale and Moree.
  • Coach: NSW TrainLink regional coach services between Newcastle and Taree, private coach services between Newcastle and Dubbo and Brisbane.
  • Bus: Local bus services operate across the region providing school bus services, in town transport and across Greater Newcastle.
  • Ferry: Connections between Stockton and Queens Wharf.
  • Walking and cycling: Various levels of infrastructure exists across the region to support walking and cycling.
  • On demand: Including community transport, ridesharing services and taxis operate across the region.

Newcastle’s new transport service delivery model

Newcastle Transport is the new integrated transport service for Newcastle, responsible for running buses, ferries and from early 2019, light rail. An operator has been awarded a 10 year contract to run Newcastle Transport, and will be responsible for designing and running an integrated transport system across all modes of travel.

Newcastle Transport improvements include:

  • Buses will cover more ground and there will be higher frequency services on key corridors.

  • Higher ferry frequency during the day, with services every 15 minutes.

  • Ferry refurbishment.

  • High frequency light rail, with services every 7.5 minutes.

  • 'Clock face' timetables that make the timetable easier to use and remember.

  • Increased operating hours and weekend night owl services.

  • New 'On-Demand' bus services during off peak periods in certain areas.

The operator’s contract with Transport for NSW, requires them to meet minimum service standards and KPIs, while providing them with a level of autonomy to plan and run services. Importantly the contract contains increased performance standards and KPIs, including financial incentives to grow patronage, and therefore a strong incentive to improve services and deliver transport services locals want.

Future Transport Planning

In 2017 two key draft plans were released for consultation for Greater Newcastle - the Draft Greater Newcastle Future Transport Plan (Transport for NSW) and the draft Greater Newcastle Metropolitan Plan (Department of Planning and Environment). These plans provide the transport and land use vision for Greater Newcastle.

The Draft Greater Newcastle Future Transport Plan is a supporting plan that provides the overarching strategic transport network and vision that will guide future transport planning for the Greater Newcastle area. We will also work on developing a supporting plan for the Hunter region, outside Greater Newcastle.

Place-based plans, plans considering the implementation of the movement and place framework will be developed for prioritised key hubs across the Hunter region. These will be developed in conjunction with key stakeholders such as local government and Department of Planning and Environment.

Central Coast

The Central Coast has a population of around 340,000 people and will grow to approximately 500,000 people over the next 40 years. This strong population growth is a result of its close proximity to the state’s two economic powerhouses, Greater Sydney and Hunter as well as the attractive lifestyle it offers. The region is home to the Darkinjung people.

In 2014-15 the region contributed $8.6 billion to the NSW economy, primarily due to its specialisation in agribusiness and food, professional services, health and aged care and freight, logistics and distribution. Opportunities are available to better connect the region’s residents and visitors and in doing so, support the growth of employment within the region.   

We are working closely with the Department of Planning and Environment to achieve the vision for the Central Coast region of “a healthy natural environment, a flourishing economy and well-connected communities”. Gosford is identified as the capital of the region and its renewal has and will continue to attract new residents, jobs, business and investment to the Central Coast. To support this, two growth corridors between Erina and Somersby as well as Tuggerah to Warnervale have been identified for increased investment in health, education, advanced manufacturing and service industries. We are working with the Department of Planning and Environment on its four goals for the Central Coast region:

  • A prosperous Central Coast with more jobs close to home
  • Protect the natural environment and manage the use of agricultural and resource lands
  • Well-connected communities and attractive lifestyles
  • A variety of housing choice to suit needs and lifestyles

Satellite city

In alignment with Department of Planning and Environment’s identification of Gosford as the capital for the region, Gosford has been identified as a Satellite city of Greater Sydney. As a result, there is a need for improved efficiency of the transport network to, from and within Gosford and the Central Coast.

This includes:

  • Development of an integrated public transport network hierarchy, including:
    • A single operator taking multi-modal responsibility across the Central Coast
    • Improved integration and interchange between modes/services to enable seamless customer experience
    • Expanding 30 minute catchments for public transport
    • Improved time of day coverage and service frequency, reduced journey times, and the deployment of on-demand, flexible services
    • Facilitating car sharing services that are integrated with public transport.
  • Improved access to the northern and southern growth corridors with frequent public transport connections.
  • Improving the accessibility of the Central Coast to Greater Sydney and to the Global Gateway City of Greater Newcastle by public transport and private vehicle. We will work on improving travel times along the Sydney to Newcastle corridor. Seven deviations have been identified along the Central Coast and Newcastle rail line which when combined with the New Intercity Fleet could provide up to 40 minutes travel time savings between Broadmeadow and Central. Additionally, the Outer Sydney Orbital will provide a connection between the Western City and the Central Coast.
  • Supporting urban renewal and increased accessibility and liveability of key centres through improved transport connections.
  • Providing for the diverse travel needs of transport customers, including the large numbers of discretionary trips made throughout the day within the Central Coast as well as early morning and late evening commuters leaving the region.
  • Development of active transport networks.
  • Addressing pinch points in the road network and informing the program of road network optimisation improvements to support the maintenance of 30 minute catchments for car journeys.
  • Undertaking a car parking review to evaluate and prioritise car parking availability and use within centres and at key interchanges.
  • Introducing travel demand management policies and transport optimisation programs to re-balance demand against service and infrastructure provision.

To support this, a Central Coast transport network hierarchy has been developed.

Hub & spoke

A key to the future success of the Central Coast is supporting efficient transport connections to, from and within the region. Working with Department of Planning and Environment, we have identified key hubs to support travel in the Central Coast region. These include:

  • Erina, Gosford, Tuggerah, Warnervale town centre, Woy Woy and Wyong.

Connections to these keys hubs will be provided by the best mode for the transport task, this may mean improving the existing connections available or working on delivering new services and connections. The existing connections available include:

  • Air: No scheduled, passenger services currently operate in the Central Coast. The Central Coast Airport at Warnervale provides opportunities for private flights and general aviation.
  • Road: M1 Pacific Motorway, Pacific Highway and Central Coast Highway.
  • Rail: Intercity services between Sydney Central and Newcastle Interchange (Central Coast and Newcastle line). NSW TrainLink regional rail services between Sydney and Casino, Grafton, Brisbane, Armidale and Moree.
  • Bus: Local bus services operate across the region.
  • Ferry: Connections between Woy Woy, Empire Bay, Wagstaff, Ettalong and Palm Beach.
  • Walking and cycling: Various levels of infrastructure exist across the region to support walking and cycling.
  • On demand: Including community transport, ridesharing services and taxis.

Future Transport Planning

A draft Central Coast Future Transport Plan will be developed as a supporting plan, discussing in more detail the transport future for the Central Coast region.

Place-based plans, plans considering the implementation of the movement and place framework will be developed for prioritised key hubs across the Central Coast region. These will be developed in conjunction with key stakeholders such as local government and Department of Planning and Environment.

Illawarra-Shoalhaven

The Illawarra-Shoalhaven region includes the local government areas of Kiama, Shellharbour, Shoalhaven and Wollongong. It has a population of around 405,000 people and is expected to grow to over 525,000 people by 2056. It is home to the Dharawal people.

The region contributed $12.7 billion to the NSW economy (2014-15) and supports over 23,130 businesses (as at June 2016). Strategically located 70 minutes south of Sydney, it offers a competitive geographical and infrastructure base for businesses to benefit from global and domestic markets. The economy is driven by advanced manufacturing and knowledge-intensive businesses and has a strong Naval Defence sector at Shoalhaven, anchored by the home of Australian naval aviation at HMAS Albatross and the Albatross Aviation Technology Park (AATP), both in Nowra. Companies leverage the University of Wollongong’s expertise in advanced processes advanced methods and technology to compete on a domestic and international scale.

Over 40 percent of the Illawarra-Shoalhaven region is recognised for its high environmental value, boasting an escarpment, coastline, waterways, lakes and rural hinterlands.

We are working closely with the Department of Planning and Environment to achieve the vision for the Illawarra-Shoalhaven region. This vision is “a sustainable future and a resilient community, capable of adapting to changing economic, social and environmental circumstances”. Wollongong is the “economic and cultural heart” of the region, supporting the region with its education, health care, business and tourism precincts. We are working with the Department of Planning and Environment on its five goals for the Illawarra-Shoalhaven region:

  • A prosperous Illawarra-Shoalhaven
  • A region with a variety of housing choices, with homes that meet needs and lifestyles
  • A region with communities that are strong, healthy and well-connected
  • A region that makes appropriate use of agricultural and resource lands
  • A region that protects and enhances the natural environment.

Satellite city

In alignment with Department of Planning and Environment’s identification of Wollongong as the capital for the region, Wollongong has been identified as a Satellite city of Greater Sydney.

There is a need for improved efficiency of the transport network to, from and within Wollongong and the Illawarra-Shoalhaven region. This includes:

  • Development of an integrated public transport network hierarchy, including:
    • A single operator taking multi-modal responsibility across Wollongong
    • Improved integration and interchange between modes/services to enable seamless customer experience
    • Expanding 30 minute catchments for public transport
    • Improved time of day coverage and service frequency, reduced journey times, and the deployment of on-demand, flexible services
    • Facilitating car sharing services that are integrated with public transport.
  • Improving the accessibility of Wollongong to the three cities of Greater Sydney by public transport and private vehicle. We will work on improving rail travel times between Sydney and Wollongong as well as supporting connections between Campbelltown and the Illawarra. Additionally, road improvements on Appin (including potential bus priority measures) and Picton Roads and the proposed Outer Sydney Orbital will improve connections to Sydney.
  • Supporting urban renewal and increased accessibility and liveability of key centres through improved transport connections.
  • Improved access to Port Kembla, an emerging international trade gateway.
  • Development of active transport networks.
  • Addressing pinch points in the road network and informing the program of road network optimisation improvements to support the maintenance of 30 minute catchments for car journeys.
  • Undertaking a car parking review to evaluate and prioritise car parking availability and use within centres and at key interchanges.
  • Introducing travel demand management policies and transport optimisation programs to re-balance demand against service and infrastructure provision.

To support this, a transport network hierarchy for the area has been developed.

Hub & spoke

A key to the future success of the Illawarra-Shoalhaven region is supporting efficient transport connections to, from and within the region. Working with Department of Planning and Environment, we have identified key hubs to support travel in the Illawarra-Shoalhaven region. These include:

  • Dapto, Kiama, Nowra, Shellharbour, Ulladulla, Vincentia, Warrawong and Wollongong.

Connections to these keys hubs will be provided by the best mode for the transport task, this may mean improving the existing connections available or working on delivering new services and connections. The existing connections available include:

  • Air: Scheduled passenger flight services operate out of Illawarra Regional Airport to Brisbane and Melbourne.
  • Road: M1 Princes Motorway, Princes Highway, Illawarra Highway, Picton Road, and Appin Road.
  • Rail: Intercity services between Sydney Central and Bomaderry (South Coast line).
  • Coach: NSW TrainLink provide coach services between Wollongong and Bowral, Moss Vale and Bundanoon. Private coaches provide services between Wollongong and Canberra, Sydney and Eden, Ulladulla and Bomaderry.
  • Bus: Local bus services operate across the region.
  • Walking and cycling: Various levels of infrastructure exist across the region to support walking and cycling.
  • On demand: Community transport, taxis as well as private operators are available across the region.

Future Transport Planning

A draft Illawarra-Shoalhaven Future Transport Plan will be developed as a supporting plan, discussing in more detail the transport future for the Illawarra-Shoalhaven region.

Place-based plans, plans considering the implementation of the movement and place framework will be developed for prioritised key hubs across the Illawarra-Shoalhaven region. These will be developed in conjunction with key stakeholders such as local government and Department of Planning and Environment.

North Coast

The North Coast region includes the local government areas of Ballina, Bellingen, Byron, Clarence Valley, Coffs Harbour, Kempsey, Kyogle, Lismore, Nambucca, Port Macquarie-Hastings, Richmond Valley and Tweed. It has a population of around 519,000 people and is expected to grow to close to 650,000 people by 2056. It is home to the Bundjalung, Githabul, Gumbaynggirr, Yaegl, Dunghutti and Biripi peoples. 

In 2014-15 the North Coast region contributed $14.3 billion to the NSW economy. The region boasts a diverse economy, strong in tourism, manufacturing, services, technology industries and agribusiness, leveraging its proximity to Queensland and the Global Gateway cities of the Gold Coast and Greater Newcastle.  

The North Coast is a significant exporter of manufactured products. The manufacturing sector accounts for the majority of the region’s exports, supported by a skilled workforce and an established presence in metal, transport (including aviation and marine applications) and timber products. The region has a strong and evolving agribusiness sector, contributing to the NSW economy through its livestock and fruit and nut production.

The region is Regional NSW’s most popular tourist destination, attracting over 12 million visitors a year. It has a biologically diverse environment with vibrant communities, drawing in tourists from across the world. Upgrades to the Pacific Highway have resulted in increased accessibility across the region. The Australian and NSW governments have made commitments to rail trails in the region.

We are working closely with the Department of Planning and Environment to achieve the vision for the North Coast region. This vision is “the best region in Australia to live, work and place thanks to its spectacular environment and vibrant communities”. The regional cities of Tweed Heads, Lismore, Coffs Harbour and Port Macquarie are the primary growth anchors, delivering new jobs, more diverse housing as well as high quality, essential services. These cities are complemented by Ballina and Grafton. The region’s existing strong relationship with South East Queensland will continue to develop, bolstered by its strong demand for the North Coast’s high quality agricultural products.

We are working with the Department of Planning and Environment on its four goals for the region:

  • The most stunning environment in NSW
  • A thriving, interconnected economy
  • Vibrant and engaged communities
  • Great housing choice and lifestyle options

Global Gateway city

Gold Coast, supported by Tweed Heads, is the Global Gateway city for northern NSW. We are working with stakeholders in both NSW and Queensland on improving transport connections between the North Coast and the Gold Coast, including investigating:

  • Extension of light rail from Gold Coast airport to Tweed Heads.
  • Corridor protection for higher speed connections along the east coast.
  • Bus and coach improvements to improve connectivity.
  • New servicing patterns and associated enabling infrastructure requirements to enable better connections and day return opportunities for regional communities.
  • Integrating and harmonising fares for cross border regions.
  • Harmonising cross border licencing, registration and regulatory requirements for maritime and roads.
  • Jointly prioritising infrastructure investment on either side of the borders.

Hub & spoke

A key to the future success of the North Coast region is supporting efficient transport connections to, from and within the region. Working with Department of Planning and Environment, we have identified key hubs to support travel in the North Coast region. These include:

  • Ballina, Coffs Harbour, Grafton, Lismore, Port Macquarie and Tweed Heads.

Connections to these keys hubs will be provided by the best mode for the transport task, this may mean improving the existing connections available or working on delivering new services and connections. The existing connections available include:

  • Air: Scheduled passenger flight services operate out of Tweed Heads (Gold Coast Airport), Ballina, Lismore, Grafton, Coffs Harbour and Port Macquarie. In recognition of its growing in importance as an entry point to the region, Ballina airport with passenger numbers at over 510,000 per annum, is undergoing an expansion through Restart NSW funding.
  • Road: Pacific Highway, Oxley Highway, Waterfall Way, Gwydir Highway, Summerland Way, Bruxner Highway, Bangalow Road and Numinbah Road.
  • Rail: NSW TrainLink regional rail services operate between Sydney and Brisbane, Casino and Grafton.
  • Coach: NSW TrainLink operates coach services within the region, between Grafton and Byron Bay, Casino and Tweed Heads, Casino and Surfers Paradise, Casino and Robina, Casino and Brisbane, Port Macquarie and Wauchope as well as Grafton and Moree. Private coaches operate between Sydney and Brisbane, Lismore and Brisbane, Byron Bay and Brisbane, Ballina and Brisbane, Casino and Brisbane, Lennox Head and Brisbane, Coffs Harbour and Brisbane, Ballina Airport and Bangalow, Ballina Airport and Byron Bay, Bangalow and Gold Coast Airport, Byron Bay and Gold Coast Airport and Tamworth and Coffs Harbour.
  • Bus: Local bus services operate across the region.
  • Walking and cycling: Various levels of infrastructure exist across the region to support walking and cycling, with the NSW Government providing support for the Tweed section of the Northern Rivers Rail Trail.
  • On demand: Community transport, taxi, rideshare (including the areas of Tweed, Port Macquarie and Coffs Harbour) as well as private operators.

Future Transport Planning

A region specific supporting transport plan and vision will be prepared for the North Coast region. Place-based plans, plans considering the implementation of the movement and place framework will be developed for prioritised key hubs across the North Coast region. Corridor plans on the spokes linking the North Coast region to neighbouring areas will also be undertaken.

These plans will be developed in conjunction with key stakeholders such as local government, the Department of Planning and Environment and the Queensland government.

South East and Tablelands

The South East and Tablelands region includes the local government areas of Bega, Eurobodalla, Goulburn Mulwaree, Hilltops, Queanbeyan-Palerang, Snowy Monaro, Upper Lachlan Shire, Wingecarribee and Yass Valley. It has a population of around 275,000 people and is expected to grow to over 355,000 people by 2056. It is home to the Yuin, Gundungurra, Ngunawal, Wiradjuri, Ngarigo and Bidwell peoples.     

The South East and Region contributed $8.6 billion to the NSW economy in (2014-15) and is home to over 25,000 businesses (as at June 2016). Key industry sectors are agribusiness and food, tourism, renewable energy and advanced manufacturing. It produces 38 percent of NSW’s cherries and 25 percent of NSW’s oysters. The South East and Tablelands region is also a renewable energy hub, home to the world’s largest bio-reactor landfill project and Australia’s largest hydro-electric generator, Snowy Hydro.

The South East and Tablelands boasts diverse landscapes with its coastline, green hinterlands, the Australian Alps and heritage towns. Travel to, from and around these landscapes presents difficult challenges due to the region’s varying topography, diverse natural environments, weather and climate and pressures from tourism demand across the year.

The Port of Eden is an emerging cruise destination and home to one of the largest fishing fleets in NSW. The port accommodates a Royal Australian Navy wharf and is the primary woodchip export site in Australia, supporting a strong timber industry in the region. General cargo is processed at the multipurpose wharf in Twofold Bay and the port includes an eight-hectare cargo storage facility.

A large majority of the region’s population live close to Australia’s capital, Canberra, a Global Gateway city. This proximity means access to a range of employment opportunities, businesses and services, health care and education institutions, an international airport as well as world-class hospitality and cultural institutions. There are opportunities to further leverage the region’s assets as well as its connections to Canberra, Melbourne, Illawarra-Shoalhaven and Sydney.

We are working closely with the Department of Planning and Environment to achieve the vision for the South East and Tablelands region. This vision is “a borderless region in Australia’s most geographically diverse natural environment with the nation’s capital at its heart”. To achieve this vision, the Department of Planning and Environment has committed to collaborating with the ACT to leverage opportunities from the borderless ‘Canberra region’. It has identified four goals for the region:

  • A connected and prosperous economy
  • A diverse environment interconnected by biodiversity corridors
  • Healthy and connected communities
  • Environmentally sustainable housing choices

Global Gateway city

Canberra, supported by Queanbeyan, is a significant Global Gateway city. We are working with stakeholders in both NSW and ACT on improving transport connections between Canberra and the South East and Tablelands, including investigating:

  • Extension of light rail from Canberra to Queanbeyan
  • Corridor protection for higher speed connections.
  • Bus and coach improvements to improve connectivity.
  • New servicing patterns and associated enabling infrastructure requirements to enable better connections and day return opportunities for regional communities.
  • Track straightening to improve rail journey times between Sydney and Canberra.
  • Highway improvements on Hume Motorway, Kings Highway, Barton Highway and Monaro Highway.
  • Integrating and harmonising fares for cross border regions.
  • Harmonising cross border licencing, registration and regulatory requirements for maritime and roads.
  • Jointly prioritising infrastructure investment on either side of the borders.

Hub & spoke

A key to the future success of the South East and Tablelands region is supporting efficient transport connections to, from and within the region. Working with Department of Planning and Environment, we have identified key hubs to support travel in the South East and Tablelands region. These include:

  • Canberra, Queanbeyan, Moss Vale, Goulburn, Batemans Bay, Cooma and Bega.

Connections to these keys hubs will be provided by the best mode for the transport task, this may mean improving the existing connections available or working on delivering new services and connections. The existing connections available include:

  • Air: Scheduled passenger flight services operate out of Canberra, Cooma, Merimbula and Moruya.
  • Road: Hume Highway, Federal Highway, Monaro Highway, Princes Highway, Barton Highway, Kings Highway and Snow Mountains Highway.
  • Rail: NSW TrainLink regional rail services operate between Sydney and Melbourne, Canberra and Griffith. Intercity services operate between Sydney and Goulburn.
  • Coach: NSW TrainLink operates coach services within the region between Canberra Hospital and Eden, Queanbeyan and Cootamundra, Canberra and Bombala. Private coach companies run services between Sydney and Canberra, Melbourne and Eden as well as between Canberra and Wollongong and Narooma. Seasonal coach services operate between Canberra and Sydney to the ski fields.  VLine, Victorian Government public transport, operate services between Melbourne and Batemans Bay and Canberra
  • Bus: Local bus services operate across the region.
  • Walking and cycling: Various levels of infrastructure exist across the region to support walking and cycling.
  • On demand: Community transport, taxis and rideshare services.

Future Transport Planning

A region specific supporting transport plan and vision will be prepared for the South East and Tablelands region. Place-based plans, plans considering the implementation of the movement and place framework will be developed for prioritised key hubs across the South East and Tablelands region.

These plans will be developed in conjunction with key stakeholders such as local government, the Department of Planning and Environment and the ACT government, as well as recent local government strategies such as Transport for Canberra’s Transport for a sustainable city 2012–2031.

Riverina Murray

The Riverina Murray region includes the local government areas of Albury, Berrigan, Bland, Carrathool, Coolamon, Edward River, Federation, Greater Hume Shire, Griffith, Cootamundra-Gundagai, Hay, Junee, Leeton, Lockhart, Murray River, Murrumbidgee, Narrandera, Snowy Valleys, Temora and Wagga Wagga. It has a population of around 273,000 people, with the region’s population expected to grow to over 280,000 people by 2056. The region’s cities of Albury, Griffith and Wagga Wagga will continue to grow and support the surrounding communities with their business and service offering, connections and opportunities. The Riverina Murray region is home to the Nari Nari, Bangarang, Wolgalu, Ngunawal, Ngarigo, Ngiyampaa, Wongaibon, Yorta Yorta, Wiradjuri, Wamba Wamba, Barapa Barapa, Wadi Wadi, Muthi Muthi and Latji Latji peoples.

The Riverina Murray region contributed around $11.8 billion to the NSW economy in 2014-15 supporting 27,000 businesses (as at June 2015). It is one of Australia’s main food producing and agribusiness regions, home to a developing AgTech cluster, with additional strengths in advanced manufacturing, forestry, tourism, defence as well as transport, logistics and distribution. Known as the ‘food bowl of NSW’ it makes the largest regional contribution to agricultural production in NSW, with a gross value of $3.8 billion. It is also the hub for the soft-wood forestry industry with 165,000 hectares of softwood production and growing demand for materials. Advanced manufacturing provides opportunities across the region, particularly near Albury, supporting the region’s large defence presence.

The Riverina Murray is one of the most significant locations for freight and logistics in Australia, with major intermodals and corridors servicing the eastern seaboard of Australia. The region has a close relationship with the Global Gateway city of Canberra as well as Melbourne and Adelaide. Improvements to cross border travel will continue to be an opportunity into the future.

We are working closely with the Department of Planning and Environment to achieve the vision for the Riverina Murray region. This vision is “a diversified economy founded on Australia’s food bowl, iconic waterways and a network of vibrant connected communities”. They have identified four goals for the region:

  • A growing and diverse economy
  • A healthy environment with pristine waterways
  • Efficient transport and infrastructure networks
  • Strong, connected and healthy communities

Hub & spoke

A key to the future success of the Riverina Murray region is supporting efficient transport connections to, from and within the region. Working with Department of Planning and Environment, we have identified key hubs to support travel in the Riverina Murray region. These include:

  • Albury, Griffith and Wagga Wagga

Connections to these keys hubs will be provided by the best mode for the transport task, this may mean improving the existing connections available or working on delivering new services and connections. The existing connections available include:

  • Air: Scheduled passenger flight services operate out of Albury, Griffith, Narrandera and Wagga Wagga.
  • Road: Hume Highway, Sturt Highway, Newell Highway, Olympic Highway, Cobb Highway, Kidman Way, Mid Western Highway, Burley Griffin Way, Riverina Highway and Goldfields Way.
  • Rail: NSW TrainLink regional rail services operate between Sydney and Melbourne and Sydney and Griffith. There is also a rail network that supports freight.
  • Coach: NSW TrainLink operates coach services within the region, with Cootamundra acting as a hub for cross regional services. Services operate between Queanbeyan and Cootamundra, Wagga Wagga and Echuca, Albury and Echuca, Wagga Wagga and Griffith, Cootamundra and Mildura, Cootamundra and Dubbo, Cootamundra and Bathurst, Cootamundra and Condobolin, Cootamundra and Tumbarumba and Wagga Wagga and Tumbarumba. VLine (Victorian Government) operate coach services between the region and Victoria and private operates provide connections between Sydney and Melbourne, Melbourne and Canberra and the Victorian communities of Beechworth and Myrtleford.
  • Bus: Local bus services operate across the region.
  • Walking and cycling: Various levels of infrastructure exist across the region to support walking and cycling.
  • On demand: Community transport and taxis as well as private operators are available across the region.

Future Transport Planning

A region specific supporting transport plan and vision will be prepared for the Riverina Murray region.

Place-based plans, plans considering the implementation of the movement and place framework will be developed for prioritised key hubs across the Riverina Murray region. These will be developed in conjunction with key stakeholders such as local government, Department of Planning and Environment and the Victorian government.

New England North West

The New England North West region includes the local government areas of Armidale Regional, Glen Innes Severn, Gunnedah, Gwydir, Inverell, Liverpool Plains, Moree Plains, Narrabri, Tamworth Regional, Tenterfield, Uralla and Walcha. It has a population of around 188,000 people and is expected to grow to around 210,000 people by 2056. Most of this population lives within the region’s two cities: Tamworth and Armidale. The region is home to the Anaiwan, Banbai, Bundjalung, Githabul, Moonbahlene, Gumbaynggirr, Kamilaroi, Kwaimbul, Ngoorabal and Dunghutti peoples. 

The region contributed over $7 billion to the NSW economy in 2014-15. It is a premium agribusiness economy with emerging renewable energy and services sectors. It produces nearly a fifth of NSW’s gross value of crops and 7.3% of livestock products, responding to growing demand in Asian markets. The established solar and wind energy infrastructure is supporting further renewables investment. Sapphire Wind Farm will be NSW’s largest wind farm once operational in 2018, at 270 megawatts comprising 75 turbines able to power 110,000 homes.

New England North West is strategically well placed, located halfway between Sydney and Brisbane on key road and rail routes. There are opportunities available to expand its supply chains across national and global markets, with its freight networks and connections to the Hunter, Sydney as well as ports and airports in South East Queensland. Ensuring efficient cross border connections will continue to be important.

The region is also renowned for its natural environment, vibrant communities and centres that are rich in heritage.

We are working closely with the Department of Planning and Environment to achieve the vision for the New England North West region. This vision is “nationally valued landscapes and strong, successful communities from the Great Dividing Range to the rich black soil plains”. They have identified four goals for the region:

  • A strong and dynamic regional economy
  • A healthy environment with pristine waterways
  • Strong infrastructure and transport networks for a connected future
  • Attractive and thriving communities

Hub & spoke

A key to the future success of the New England North West region is supporting efficient transport connections to, from and within the region. Working with Department of Planning and Environment, we have identified key hubs to support travel in the New England North West region. These include:

  • Armidale, Glen Innes, Gunnedah, Inverell, Moree, Narrabri and Tamworth.

Connections to these keys hubs will be provided by the best mode for the transport task, this may mean improving the existing connections available or working on delivering new services and connections. The existing connections available include:

  • Air: Scheduled passenger flight services operate out of Armidale, Tamworth Moree, Inverell and Narrabri.
  • Road: Newell Highway, New England Highway, Kamilaroi Highway, Gwydir Highway, Oxley Highway, Waterfall Way, Thunderbolts Way and Bucketts Way.
  • Rail: NSW TrainLink regional rail services operate between Sydney and Armidale and Sydney and Moree.
  • Coach: NSW TrainLink operates coach services within the region between Tamworth and Inverell, Armidale and Inverell, Armidale and Tenterfield, Narrabri and Wee Waa, Narrabri and Burren Junction as well as Moree and Grafton. Private coaches operate between Brisbane and Moree, Brisbane and Tenterfield, Brisbane and Tamworth, Toowoomba and Moree, Toowoomba and Tamworth, Toowoomba and Tenterfield, Brisbane and Sydney, Tamworth and Coffs Harbour and Tamworth and Brisbane.
  • Bus: Local bus services operate across the region.
  • Walking and cycling: Various levels of infrastructure exist across the region to support walking and cycling.
  • On demand: Community transport and taxis as well as private operators are available across the region.

Future Transport Planning

A region specific supporting transport plan and vision will be prepared for the New England North West region.

Place-based plans, plans considering the implementation of the movement and place framework will be developed for prioritised key hubs across the New England North West region. These will be developed in conjunction with key stakeholders such as local government and Department of Planning and Environment.

New Integrated Road Planning Pilot

Namoi Unlimited the Joint Organisation represents seven councils (Gunnedah Shire, Gwydir Shire, Liverpool Plains Shire, Narrabri Shire, Tamworth Regional, Uralla Shire and Walcha Shire) with a population of over 100,000 people and an area of almost 60,000 square kilometres.

Roads and Maritime Services has been working in partnership with the Namoi Unlimited on a pilot program to provide an integrated road network strategy across the region. This plan builds on the goal of the member Councils to achieve Higher Mass Limit access across the region.

A network strategy identifying pinch points across the network that inhibits growth was created as a result of this work.  The approach has been a new way in which Roads and Maritime has sought to work collaboratively with councils in a more integrated approach to address freight movements across a region, addressing first and last mile access issues along the way.

This pilot recognised the need to integrate local and state government road systems to create a seamless and safe journey for the road user that is both productive and reliable.

A copy of the final plan is available here.

Central West and Orana

The region includes the local government areas of:

  • Central West: Bathurst Regional, Blayney, Cabonne, Cowra, Forbes, Lachlan, Lithgow, Oberon, Orange, Parkes and Weddin
  • Orana: Bogan, Coonamble, Dubbo Regional, Gilgandra, Mid-Western Regional, Narromine, Warren and Warrumbungle Shire.

The region has a population of around 285,000 people and is expected to grow to over 320,000 people by 2056. The regional cities and centres will experience the highest rates of population growth and continue to perform as the service hubs for surrounding communities, providing access to jobs, health and education services as well as a range of businesses.

Central West and Orana is home to the Wiradjuri, Gamilaraay, Wangaaypuwan and Wayilwan peoples.

In 2014-15 the region contributed over $14.5 billion to the NSW economy. Agribusiness, mining, tourism, food and wine as well as health and aged care are the predominant industries of the region, with it benefitting from its significant mineral deposits of coal, gold, copper, nickel, cobalt and lithium. It is also a strong tourism destination, with over $1.2 billion spent by tourists in 2016/17.

We are working closely with the Department of Planning and Environment to achieve the vision for the Central West and Orana region. This vision is “the most diverse regional economy in NSW with a vibrant network of centres leveraging the opportunities of being at the heart of NSW”.

The development of the Melbourne to Brisbane Inland Rail has the potential to transform the Central West and Orana region into one of the key freight and logistics destinations in Australia. With associated transport infrastructure upgrades, there is potential to unlock further economic potential within the Central West and Orana region.

We are working with the Department of Planning and Environment on its four goals for the region:

  • The most diverse regional economy in NSW
  • A stronger, healthier environment and diverse heritage
  • Quality freight, transport and infrastructure networks
  • Dynamic, vibrant and healthy communities.

Hub & spoke

A key to the future success of the Central West and Orana region is supporting efficient transport connections to, from and within the region. Working with Department of Planning and Environment, we have identified key hubs to support travel in the Central West and Orana region. These include:

  • Bathurst, Dubbo, Forbes, Lithgow, Mudgee, Orange and Parkes

Connections to these keys hubs will be provided by the best mode for the transport task, this may mean improving the existing connections available or working on delivering new services and connections. The existing connections available include:

  • Air: Scheduled passenger flight services operate out of Bathurst, Dubbo, Mudgee, Orange and Parkes airports.
  • Road: Mitchell Highway, Newell Highway, Olympic Highway, Mid Western Highway, Castlereagh Highway, Golden Highway and Lachlan Valley Way.
  • Rail: NSW TrainLink regional rail services operate between Sydney and Broken Hill and Sydney and Dubbo. Intercity services operate between Sydney and Bathurst.
  • Coach: 32 NSW TrainLink operates coach services within the region, primarily providing connections to NSW TrainLink rail services. Private coach operates provide connections between Sydney and Orange as well as Dubbo and Newcastle.
  • Bus: Local bus services operate across the region.
  • Walking and cycling: Various levels of infrastructure exist across the region to support walking and cycling.
  • On demand: Community transport and taxis, as well as private operators are available across the region.

Future Transport Planning

A region specific supporting transport plan and vision will be prepared for the Central West and Orana region.

Place-based plans, plans considering the implementation of the movement and place framework will be developed for prioritised key hubs across the Central West and Orana region. These will be developed in conjunction with key stakeholders such as local government and Department of Planning and Environment.

Improving connectivity from the regions

In addition to committed improvements and investigations identified for road and rail corridors in this Plan, a new visionary initiative is proposed for a strategic examination of options to increase freight connectivity across the Great Dividing Range from inland areas to Newcastle/Sydney/Wollongong.

This initiative will be wide-ranging and will consider:

  • Existing roads including Bells Line of Road, Great Western Highway, Golden Highway, Lachlan Valley Way, Castlereagh Highway, Mid-Western Highway
  • Operational rail lines including the Main Western Line, Dubbo to Newcastle line
  • Non-operational and proposed rail lines such as Cowra lines (Blayney to Demondrille), Gulgong to Maryvale.

Far West

The Far West is NSW’s largest and most remote region. It is approximately 40 percent of the state of NSW and consists of the local government areas of Balranald, Bourke, Brewarrina, Broken Hill, Central Darling, Cobar, Unincorporated area, Walgett and Wentworth. It has a population of around 47,000 people and is expected to decline to around 36,000 people by 2056. It is home to the Wiradjuri, Kamilaroi, Muruwari, Ngemba, Barranbinya, Gunu, Barundji, Bandjigali, Wandjiwalgu, Karenggapa, Wadigali, Malyangaba, Wiljali, Danggali, Ngiyampaa, Barkandji, Barindji, Yitha Yitha, Muthi Muthi, Madi Madi, Kureinji, Dadi Dadi, Latje Latje, Meru, Wadi Wadi, Wiradjuri and Wemba Wemba peoples.

The large size and dispersed populations of the Far West region means it relies on its connections with cities in adjoining regions and states in order to access business and services such as health and education. This relationship plays out in three “sub regions” in the Far West:

  • Local government areas of Walgett, Brewarrina, Bourke and Cobar have a strong relationship with Dubbo in the Central West and Orana region.
  • Local government areas of Central Darling, the Unincorporated area and Broken Hill rely on Adelaide for their higher order businesses and services.
  • Local government areas of Wentworth and Balranald have a strong cross border relationship with Victoria, relying on accessing the centres of Mildura and Swan Hill as well as Melbourne.

The Far West region contributed over $2 billion to the NSW economy in 2014-15. The region is the historical centre of Australian mining including the birthplace of BHP. It is rich in zinc, lead, silver and mineral sands. Other key sectors include renewable energy and tourism. Tourism opportunities are growing including indigenous tourism based on the region’s rich Aboriginal culture and heritage.

The region has transport connections by air, road and rail to NSW, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, supporting a diversifying agricultural sector in value-added food manufacturing. There are further opportunities in the production and processing of livestock, particularly goat meat, broad acre cropping including cotton, grains and oil seeds, grazing, horticulture (fruit and vegetables) and floriculture.

The Far West is also one of the most environmentally diverse region in NSW. Landscapes range from the ‘outback’ semi-arid desert areas to rich farmlands, rangelands and wetlands. It is traversed by one of Australia’s longest river systems, the Barwon-Darling, home to some of the world’s oldest heritage assets and dotted with historic mining and agricultural towns that are influenced by surrounding states and regions.

We are working closely with the Department of Planning and Environment to achieve the vision for the Far West region. This vision is “a unique part of Western NSW with a diverse economy, supported by the right infrastructure, an exceptional natural environment and resilient communities”. To achieve this, we are working towards three goals:

  • A diverse economy with efficient transport and infrastructure networks
  • Exceptional semi-arid rangelands traversed by the Barwon-Darling River
  • Strong and connected communities

Hub & spoke

A key to the future success of the Far West region is supporting efficient transport connections to, from and within the region. Working with Department of Planning and Environment, we have identified key hubs to support travel in the Far West region. These include the regional city of Broken Hill as well as the region’s connections to Dubbo in the Central West and Orana region, Adelaide in South Australia and Mildura, Swan Hill and Melbourne in Victoria.

Connections to these keys hubs will be provided by the best mode for the transport task, this may mean improving the existing connections available or working on delivering new services and connections. The existing connections available include:

  • Air: Scheduled passenger flight services operate out of Broken Hill airport. Mildura airport in Victoria also supports the region.
  • Road: Barrier Highway, Sturt Highway, Silver City Highway, Cobb Highway, Kidman Way, Mitchell Highway, Castlereagh Highway, Kamilaroi Highway and Gwydir Highway.
  • Rail: NSW TrainLink regional rail services operate between Sydney and Broken Hill.
  • Coach: NSW TrainLink operates coach services within the region, primarily providing connections to NSW TrainLink rail services. They include connections between Broken Hill and Dubbo, Bourke and Dubbo, Brewarrina and Coolabah, Lightning Ridge and Dubbo. A private coach operate provides services between Broken Hill and Adelaide.
  • Bus: Local bus services operate across the region.
  • Walking and cycling: Various levels of infrastructure exists across the region to support walking and cycling.
  • On demand: Community transport and taxis, as well as private operators are available across the region.

Future Transport Planning

A region specific supporting transport plan and vision will be prepared for the Far West region.

Place-based plans, plans considering the implementation of the movement and place framework will be developed for prioritised key hubs within the Far West region. These will be developed in conjunction with key stakeholders such as local government and Department of Planning and Environment.