"ORANA" to Western NSW

Orana means 'Welcome' in Wiradjuri, the language of one of the region's first people.

It's a resource rich region, with a highly productive agricultural sector providing food, wine and fibre to global markets. From black opals to fine red wines, renewable energy and tourism opportunities, Western New South Wales is a growing region worth investing in.

Comparative advantages:

Economic vibrancy & diversity

With a Gross Regional Product of $7145.381 million (AU) and strong, growing key industries including mining, agriculture and government and community services, the region's economy is thriving.

It is easy to do business here: Australia ranks 11th in the world in terms of ease of doing business and it is something the leadership across the region are passionate about.

Our Local, State and Federal Government representatives present aligned leadership, assisted by regional bodies who coordinate activity across government boundaries.

The region is strategically positioned, with Dubbo as a major transport hub at the intersection of major road, rail and air transport routes. As an area with increasing capacity for food production, this considerably reduces the trip from paddock to plate.

We're a smart and skilled region: a region of strong leadership; an innovative and productive food bowl with high quality produce and good access to market; a resource rich area; a great place to live and do business; a region of opportunity.

Key statistics:

Population: 122 897

Gross Regional Product: $7.272 billion (AU)

Key Sectors:

  • Agriculture
    $671.962 million value added and 14 percent employment
  • Mining
    $894.495 million value added and 5.5 percent employment
  • Public administration and health and community services:
    $935.183 million value added and 14.6 percent employment


Innovation and research, broadacre cropping, expansion of wheat growing, increased legume production, sheep meat and wool, grain handling and transport

Food and beverage manufacturing
Integrated food and wine tourism, large scale food processing operations, niche and specialist food product, organic foods

Health, aged care and community services
Aged and disability accommodation, training, out-of-home care services

Training and skills centres, heavy vehicle maintenance, construction, production, value-add manufacturing from mining outputs

Transport and storage
Growing road and rail freight task, grain and produce storage and handling, integrated accommodation/ hospitality/transport hubs, bio-security truck wash facilities

Ecotourism, Indigenous cultural experiences, corporate conferences and training, Agri-tourism including farm stays, wanderers and adventurers

Intellectual capital & innovation

Western New South Wales is proud of its diverse and skilled workforce and extensive training opportunities. Work has been undertaken to develop a region-wide Workforce Planning and Development Strategy to ensure we're ready for the demands of the future.

Our workforce is grown through excellent vocational education and training and higher education facilities and a Skilled Migration program which utilises the talents of workers from around the globe.

TAFE Western is the region's largest Vocational and Education Training provider. It contributes the equivalent of $500 for every man, woman and child in the region to the economy of western NSW. It covers more than half the state with a footprint that crosses from Lithgow to Broken Hill and from Grenfell to Lightning Ridge. Its mission is to create education and training opportunities and outcomes for individuals, communities and industry, with approximately 35,000 student enrolments each year.

TAFE Western is the single largest provider of Vocational Education and Training for Aboriginal people in Australia with more than 7,600 students each year and a large group of off-campus, online students; more than 3,800 students in 2013 gained access to more choices through the award winning TAFE Western Connect.

Charles Sturt University has a campus in Dubbo and a regional network spanning much of New South Wales. Dubbo is also home to Sydney University's School of Rural Health.

Overall, the operations of the Dubbo campus of Charles Sturt University contribute $7.1 million in gross regional product.

There are currently 3000 students enrolled in Higher Education courses from around the region - a figure that is growing rapidly. Between 2006 and 2011:

  • Postgraduate Degree qualifications increased by 39%
  • Bachelor Degree qualifications increased by 19%

For those roles that can't be filled by local workers, The Department of Immigration and Border Protection, NSW Trade & Investment and Regional Development Australia - Orana work together to deliver a Skilled Migration program to the region.

A number of skilled workers have arrived in the region since the beginning of 2014 in a range of occupations including cooks, hotel managers, engineers, accountants, motor mechanics and bakers.

The region is also home to world renowned research and innovation centres. The Australian National University and the Australian Astronomical Observatory, a division of the Department of Industry, both operate world-class observatories in the region, whilst the Trangie Agricultural Research Centre (TARC) provides services to the agricultural and pastoral industries, with special reference to western NSW.

National & Global connections

Orana means welcome, and we welcome global opportunity and relationships.

The region participates in the Sister City program in order to build international goodwill further partnerships for global social and economic development.

We have a diverse population and workforce. The region's Skilled Migration program ensures that there are opportunities for people from around the world to live and work here. Applicants come to the region from all corners of the globe, including India, Korea, Thailand, Fiji, South Africa, the Philippines, Nepal and China.

Our strategic location, with easy transport links to air and sea ports in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Newcastle make it easy for us to do business with the rest of the world, an opportunity already being taken up by a number of the region's larger businesses. Fletchers International Exports, for example, exports meat products to over 90 countries worldwide.

Transportation & infrastructure

The region is strategically positioned in an Agricultural heartland, on major transport routes between ports and freight corridors:

  • Major interstate north/south and east/west railway lines intersect many parts of the region
  • Major interstate highways intersect the region including Newell, Mitchell, Golden, Castlereagh, Oxley, Kamilaroi and Barrier highways
  • Countrylink offers a daily passenger rail service between Sydney and Dubbo
  • Melbourne to Brisbane Inland Rail, a major infrastructure project, is planned to traverse the region
  • Coach services are also provided to other areas in the region
  • Dubbo City Regional Airport, operated by Dubbo City Council and RPT Airlines, provides commercial air services, amounting to 186 flights per week
  • Commercial air services are also provided from Mudgee Airport from Mudgee to Sydney and Cobar Airport from Cobar to Sydney
  • Narromine Aerodrome is one of the world's top three gliding locations with opportunities for more commercial hangar space and pilot training

Whilst the region is already well connected, infrastructure is still a major opportunity for investment. There are a number of freight corridors ready for investment and a high level of activity and upgrades currently occurring.

For example, Mudgee, the region's fastest growing centre, is making a significant investment in infrastructure, not only spending $2 million on new airport infrastructure to ensure greater connectivity, they're also investing $200 million in roads to service the growing demands of coal production in the area. With a growth rate of 2.1 per cent, this area is one of the top ten fastest growing in Australia.

Sustainability & the natural environment

Already home to the Southern Hemisphere's largest solar power plant, the region has vast and largely untapped potential in renewable and clean energies and sustainable enterprises.

With ample amounts of sun and wind, there are great opportunities for the development of multi-generation energy hubs utilising these abundant natural resources.

The opportunities inherent in tourism are also closely tied to our natural environment. Ecotourism is just one potential industry for future development and investment.


Felicity Taylor-Edwards
Chief Executive Officer
Regional Development Australia - Orana
PO Box 1357,
Dubbo NSW 2830
p. 02 6885 1488
e. felicity@rdaorana.org.au

Greg Beileiter
Regional Director Western NSW
NSW Trade & Investment
Locked Bag 6006,
Orange NSW 2800
p. 02 6360 8414
e. greg.beileiter@business.nsw.gov.au

Business Migration
NSW Trade & Investment
p. 02 9338 6692
e. bizmigration.enquiries@business.nsw.gov.au

Click here to learn more about the Orana Region and its Local Government Areas.