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Invest in Southern Inland NSW

Projects » Education, Employment & Investment » Invest in Southern Inland NSW

Invest in Southern Inland NSW

RDA Southern Inland's Insight

Our Insight document highlights our competitive advantages to attract new business, individuals and investment to the region, grow our local businesses and encourage innovation.

Download RDA Southern Inland's Insight 


The population of the Southern inland region totalled 197,223 in 2011 - an increase on 11.3% since 2001.  The rate of population change in the Southern Inalnd region is comparable to that of NSW. 

Three Local Government Areas (LGA) experienced rapid growth in the past decade - Palerang (+37.4%), Yass Valley (+30.2%) and Queanbeyan (+17%).  These LGAs benefit from their proximity to the ACT. 

Population of Southern Inland NSW per local government area

Population of major towns

Region Size

The Southern Inland region is made up of seven local government areas in the south east of New South Wales, encompassing 45,000Km2 or 5.5% of NSW land area.  It is uniquely located between the two biggest population centres and domestic economies in Australia - Sydney and Melbourne, and surrounds the Australian Capital Territory.

Southern Inland NSW is a diverse region encompassing the Snowy Mountains, rugged woodlands and rich fertile agricultyral areas.  Major towns include Queanbeyan, Goulburn and Mittagong.  Towns and villages rich in community spirit, heritage and character dot the region.

Land Use in Southern Inland NSW

Size of Local Government Area (Km2)


The Southern Inland region has a substantial internal market, estimated at $6.5B per annum. The bulk of regional output is exported out of the region (including a significant proportion of the labour force, clean energy and agricultural and forestry produce) however, the region’s relatively well-off population creates a substantial internal market for consumer goods and services.

Comparative Advantage

  • The location of the region provides many opportunities for cross-jurisdictional policy development and implementation to support relevant economic development opportunities.
  • Renewable energy generation across South East NSW - ACT will benefit from a long term, visionary Clean Energy Future program that will build the economy and enable communities to prosper across the region.
  • The region’s diverse food industry will benefit from National Food Plan and NSW Regional Food Plans and policies that support self-sufficiency and food security. These policies will support industry development and jobs creation as well as community amenity, improved regional health and attraction of industry investment.

Human Capital

  • The Southern Inland region is a net exporter of labour to surrounding regions, predominantly the ACT, but also greater Sydney.
  • Palerang, Yass, Queanbeyan and Wingecarribee shires all rank in the top 20%, in terms of education qualifications.

Environmental Sustainability

The Southern Inland region is home to significant renewable energy resources including hydro, wind, solar and biomass. The Snowy Mountains Hydro-Electric Scheme is the largest renewable energy generation on mainland Australia, producing 3,750 MW per annum, 20% of the state’s electricity generation. The Southern Inland region is also home to eight significant wind farm projects generating a combined total of 1,900 MW, another significant contribution of renewable energy to the national grid.

National and International Markets

The Southern Inland region is uniquely located in close proximity to the largest Australian markets - it directly borders the ACT and Sydney but also has easy access to Melbourne and Adelaide markets via road and rail links passing through the region.

Proximity to Canberra and Sydney airports as well as Sydney and Melbourne ports and good road and rail infrastructure connecting the region to these facilities means international markets are also in easy reach for exports as well as imports.

Major Industries

Tourism Regions:  Capital Country and Snowy Mountains.

Wine regions:  Hilltops, Southern Highlands and Canberra District.

Grain production regions:  NSW VIC Slopes Zone.


Data for 2013 and employment for 2011 - Regional Statistics, ABS

State of the Regions 2013-14

Road Distances to Major Capital Cities

Clean Energy

The Southern Inland region's geography and availability of energy distribution infrastructure makes the region an attractive location for clean energy production, and wind energy in particular.  Significant investment in new facilities is planned for the next few years which wil also attract new skills into the region.

Proposed Renewable Energy Projects - Southern Inland Region 


The Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) characterises the region as having 3 distinct climate zones (BOM 2013a):

  • “mild to warm summers and cold winters” characteristic for higher altitude areas (bulk of the region),
  • “hot, dry summers and cold winters” north-west sector of the SIR, and
  • “warm summers and cold winters” at lower altitudes in the north-east part of SIR.

Most of the Southern Inland region experiences four distinct seasons, but the weather can be changeable in the mountains at any time of the year; in January the daytime temperature can climb to over 30OC and in June can fall to well below zero with snow falling along the mountain range.

The area is characterised by high rainfall in the east and south within the mountainous regions, reducing progressively to the west. In the last few years the SIR has received more than average rainfalls and the end of drought period was formally announced in April 2012. Current water supply is plentiful -all major dams in the region are at or near half capacity (DPI 2013).

Other Resources


NSW Department of Industry ‘Export Capability Building Program’

NSW Illawarra and South East Region Export Advisor – Rory McAlester

Invest Canberra

Australian International Trade Association (AITA)