Southern Highlands Destination Strategy 2020-2030 | Making it happen

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The Southern Highlands Destination Strategy 2020-2030 was adopted by Council on 11 November 2020. This is a combined economic development and tourism strategy to provide a blueprint to achieve the 2031 vision for the Wingecarribee economy over the next 10 years. Making it happen involves a whole of destination approach, positioning the Shire as an attractive investment destination - a place to live, work, learn, play and visit.


Expected Future

There are a number of key characteristics and trends that are currently taking place, which can, and will, determine the future make-up and nature of the Southern Highlands community. If

The Southern Highlands Destination Strategy 2020-2030 was adopted by Council on 11 November 2020. This is a combined economic development and tourism strategy to provide a blueprint to achieve the 2031 vision for the Wingecarribee economy over the next 10 years. Making it happen involves a whole of destination approach, positioning the Shire as an attractive investment destination - a place to live, work, learn, play and visit.


Expected Future

There are a number of key characteristics and trends that are currently taking place, which can, and will, determine the future make-up and nature of the Southern Highlands community. If these trends continue unchecked, the Southern Highlands will become a very different region to the place we love and treasure today. By 2041, based on the current trajectory, half of the population is expected to be over the age of 55.

Desired Future

Our ageing demographic will change the make-up of our community. Beyond the simple fact of people getting older, current projections show a large increase in older people and an actual decline in younger people. There will simply be fewer young families here and more older people. However, 2041 is a long way off and we have time to adjust our course, to move towards a more desirable future. In order to achieve this, we must start today. We must start doing things differently.

The Southern Highlands Destination Strategy 2020-2030 charts a new course towards a future we can be proud of - a future that protects our special place. On the strong foundation of our four pillars - People, Place, Prosperity and Partnerships, the priority actions can effect change and we will achieve our desired future.

Competitive Position

Strengths and Challenges are detailed in the Strategy and will inform the approach to 'making it happen'. There are significant Opportunities in some traditional industries as well as some new and emerging sectors, including:

  • Agribusiness
  • Tourism and attractions
  • Equine
  • Professional Business Services
  • Creative Industries
  • Healthcare
  • Advanced Manufacturing
  • Education

Key Catalytic Projects

Through the analysis, and engagement with stakeholders; a number of catalytic projects were identified:

  • Agribusiness Hub
  • Equine Centre of Excellence
  • Local Education Precinct
  • Regional Events Infrastructure
  • Southern Highlands Innovation Park infrastructure

These projects have the ability to significantly enhance local business capability and to encourage economic growth, both in terms of attracting new investment and jobs as well as supporting the expansion of local businesses.

Industry partners

The area is currently served by industry groups such as Business NSW (Illawarra), Southern Highlands Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Moss Vale and Rural Chamber of Commerce, Robertson Chamber of Commerce, Southern Highlands Key Stakeholders Group and sector specific groups such as Southern Highlands Food & Wine Association, an Arts and Culture Working Group and a re-emerging Manufacturing industry group. Council has strong relationships with all tiers of government in support of a sustainable local economy. Council is inviting others who may be interested, to work together in the development of Pillar action plans and industry sector action plans.

Developing action plans

The four Foundation Pillars contain 26 high level actions, adopted by Council. These are to be fleshed out and ascribed targets and measurements. Unlike most local business planning which is subject to a more controlled family ownership or shareholding; there are inputs and outputs to be identified from a diverse range of stakeholders resulting in action plans which will have multiple ‘ownership’ and which are subject to external factors and decisions taken by multiple partners. There is a challenging task ahead to develop meaningful measures within this context.


For more information

Download the Background Report and Southern Highlands Destination Strategy 2020-2030 - https://www.wsc.nsw.gov.au/Business/Economic-Overview.
More information about the Wingecarribee Shire Local Government Area can be found at this link - https://profile.id.com.au/wingecarribee

Contact Jan Campbell, Economic Development Coordinator. Phone 02 4868 0517, Email business@wsc.nsw.gov.au

  • CLOSED: Sorry this survey concluded on 22 March 2021.

    Wingecarribee Shire Council is undertaking research to consider whether an agricultural produce hub could be feasible in the Southern Highlands                        

    The changing nature of agricultural production, exports and market exposure brings exciting potential for the Wingecarribee local government area and the broader Southern Highlands. A produce hub could be either a physical or virtual mechanism for improving market exposure, sustainability and industry growth for agriculture in the southern highlands. It would also better link growers/producers with business and consumer networks.

    A Southern Highlands Produce Hub Feasibility Study has commenced to analyse production values, land use requirements and financial considerations in order to assess whether a produce hub could be developed in the Shire. 

    It’s important to get this right and we see your involvement as an important first step in the process.

    Complete our 10 minute survey by 9am Monday 22 March 2021. 

    Your input will directly inform the research and reporting tasks of the Southern Highlands Produce Hub Feasibility Study.

    When undertaking research and reporting we ensure that your confidentiality is maintained and personal details are not be disclosed to external parties. Our collection, use and disclosure of your personal information is regulated by the Australian Privacy Principles under the Privacy Act 1988. You can learn more about your privacy rights at the Australian Information Commissioner's website: www.oaic.gov.au.   


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