Economic Development Vision
A collaborative community working together to advance a resilient and robust economy that reflects a strong sense of community, successful businesses and a healthy environment.
Economic Development - Focused on the Future
The Richmond Valley is a leader in primary industries and food manufacturing enterprises, with the NSW Sugar Mill located at Broadwater and Richmond Dairies and the Northern Rivers Co-operative Meat Company at Casino. This is supported by a number of agricultural businesses located across the Richmond Valley specialising in grain, dairy, beef, fruits, vegetables, timber and tea tree. There is also a healthy retail and tourism sector, growing creative industries and building and construction industry sectors. Along with the potential for new energy sources and transport, it is the work ethic of Richmond Valley people, consistently mentioned by employers, that provides a distinct advantage for business and industry investment.
Richmond Valley Council identified significant change for its community when the NSW State Government, through the Minister for Planning, released the Far North Coast Regional Strategy (2006) determining that 9,900 new homes would be required by 2031. The potential impacts of population growth in combination with global economic and environment pressures, gave reason for Richmond Valley Council to initiate the Embracing Change Project – a project designed to develop a strategy committed to providing an economic environment that fosters sustainable living and business practices. The process has highlighted major business and industry strengths along with opportunities for developing a robust and resilient economy that can cater for future population growth while nurturing liveability and our strong sense of community and sense of place.
The Richmond Valley Council area extends from the coastline at Evans Head to the foothills of the Great Dividing Range to the west, interspersed with state forests, national parks and nature reserves. The main town is Casino with a population of about 10,000 with the balance of the population of 23,000 being in the other communities of Evans Head (3,000), Woodburn (500), Coraki (1,100), Broadwater/ Rileys Hill (500) and Rappville (259). The area has a higher than average Aboriginal population of 5.5%. The area's population is increasing at a rate of 1.4% per year and reflecting the sea/tree change population movement to a certain extent. The demographics have recently been changing reflecting a growth in the younger higher socio/economic group. This is reflected in the high demand level for residential land and increasing need for further subdivisions.
The future projects a continuing population growth particularly in Casino with an additional 9,900 residences required by 2031 in the Council's area (Department of Planning, Far North Coast Regional Strategy 2006); an increase of over 100%. Economic growth of the Council area is also expected to increase with the emergence of the coal seam and natural gas discoveries and proposed development of two intermodal rail freight handling facilities. This will prove a strong attraction for development of existing industry and attracting new investment due to the greener, less expensive energy sources and proximity to the Port of Brisbane via the rail freight intermodal for associated industrial land developments in North Casino. In addition to the demand for residential land, there also is a strong demand for industrial (employment) land.
The Council area continues to have a strong agricultural base, however, diversification is occurring. The coastal area at Evans Head has a strong tourism focus with Council seeking to diversity the economic base of that area through the development of part of the Evans Head Memorial Aerodrome for Aged Care and Airpark purposes.
For more information and statistics pertaining to business and industry investment in the Richmond Valley please click on "Economic Development Strategy" listed in the left panel on this page.
If you are considering investing and doing business in the Richmond Valley region, or already do, please contact the Economic Development Officer (02) 6660 0300. Our "Open for Business" brochure is available for download at the bottom of this page.