The Glen Innes Highlands economy is on the rise. Wind and solar are joining established thriving businesses that include a global photo processing innovator, the largest producer of premium Black Angus and Wagyu beef, telecommunications innovator and a regional honey industry with up to 35 commercial operators as well as hobbyists.
The NSW Government has assisted local councils and their communities to develop 37 Regional Economic Development Strategies across regional NSW. Each strategy is designed around one or more local government areas that form a functional economic region as defined by economic data and community input.
The Northern New England High Country Regional Economic Development Strategy 2018–2022 sets out a long term economic vision and associated strategy for the Glen Innes Severn and Tenterfield Shire Local Government Areas (LGAs).
Economic research suggests that regions are becoming increasingly specialised in the key industries that drive the regional economies and the region’s relative strengths (endowments) play a key role in determining these specialisations.
Strategies to drive growth, realise the opportunities and achieve the vision are:
1. Improve connectivity as a foundation for growth
2. Support and grow key sectors
3. Attract new businesses and residents to the Region.
Our Region has significant and growing specialisations in livestock and horticulture industries. The key livestock industries are beef cattle and sheep farming.
Our Region has a growing horticultural sector, with the Region producing apples, stone fruits, avocados, mangos, kiwi fruit, strawberries, blueberries, tomatoes, vegetables, turf, macadamia nuts, pecans, chestnuts, lavender, garlic and herbs, cut flowers and nursery plants.
Tourism is another important industry. Accommodation and Food Services (which is a proxy for tourism) is the 4th largest employer in the Region. There are opportunities to continue to grow the short-breaks and day visitor markets out of the South East Queensland and the Northern Rivers Region of NSW, special interest and activity-based markets and the long-haul touring market.
Although not a specialisation, the Region has a small manufacturing sector that produces specialty products, including hearses, digital-based photographic products, quality racing equipment for jockeys and horses, safety and automation devices and systems, auto-balers for waste management and metal piers.
The renewable energy sector is a new and growing industry for the Region. Due to its climatic and locational advantages the Region has been identified by TransGrid as an optimal location for large scale renewable energy projects.
In fact we’ve attracted on the heights wind and solar farms worth more than $700 million – approved or yet to begin – within a region that Adam Marshall, Member for Northern Tablelands, sees in “pole position as the state’s clean energy generation super-hub.”
Already, the White Rock Wind Farm stage 1, costing an estimated $450 million and drawing 70 construction jobs, is operating. The $45 million White Rock Solar Farm is approved along with the $200 million Glen Innes Wind Farm is expected to provide employment for another 50 people to get the turbines rolling.
The Region also has the largest undeveloped hard-rock tin deposit in Australia and possibly in the world. A tin min and processing plant has been approved and further exploration is occurring.
A sign of a progressive and prospering community is of course new businesses starting up, expanding regionally or the purchasing of existing businesses. Just in the last twelve months we have seen the following businesses open their doors:
- Made in Glen – Fabric & Craft
- Now You See It – Web Design & Online Marketing
- The Sunflower Patch – Craft Supplies and Craft Shop
Glen Innes Highlands Tours – Local Tour Company
- The Sage & Clover – Gourmet Grocery Store
- Griff’s Crystal Emporium – Rock Shop
- New England Travel – Leisure, Corporate & Group Travel Consultancy
We have over 1000 businesses registered in Glen Innes across the breadth and depth of industry however, there is room for more. Our community, associations and council continue to support and promote Glen Innes Highlands in our endeavour to keep our economy strong, progressive and open for business.
|Population||8942 and growing|
|Annual building approvals||$7 million ($6 million residential)|
|Leading employment sectors (percentage of total workforce):|
|Agriculture, forestry, fishing||18.7%|
|Healthcare, social services||11.9%|
|Public administration, safety||8.6%|
|Accommodation, food service||7.2%|
|Key occupations (percentage of workforce):|