Theme 3: Prosperous Communities

Council has been enhancing its strategies to encourage economic growth across key sectors, such as tourism, defence, manufacturing, healthcare, small business and government. There has been strong demand over the past year for industrial land. Council is working to develop more blocks in South Nowra and Woollamia

Successful promotion of the Shoalhaven as a quality tourist destination increased visitation to over 3.4 million visitors for the year. Visitors spent an estimated $852 million with domestic overnight visitors spending more money in the Shoalhaven than anywhere else in regional NSW. Strategies to attract visitors during the off seasons were also successful with 43%growthover the last three yearsduring the winter quarter.






Total value of construction certificates issued ($ Million)



Large increase on last year

Total number of people employed in the Shoalhaven (id profile)



Gross regional product per worker (calculated - $)



Community’s perception of Shoalhaven as a vibrant place to live and work (rating out of 5 – community survey)



No significant change


Council has continued to focus on delivering and supporting a range of initiatives for our community. Part of this work has included seeking significant grant contributions from both State and Federal Governments. Key programs, projects or grants success have included:

  • New Planning Controls were adopted and came into force for the Nowra CBD, including detailed building heights and supporting urban design provisions
  • Shoalhaven Regional Gallery encouraged visitation to Nowra CBD through a strong exhibition program, accompanied with a diverse public program of artist and curator talks, artist led workshops, children’s activities related to the exhibition - Family Art Trail activity sheets
  • Raised profile of the Gallery Shop through marketing, signage and a growth of quality suppliers
  • The Shoalhaven is going through a period of growth and the economy is strong.  The Economic Development Office develops and maintains a stock of industrial land.  The number of available lots is quite low due to large demand from businesses looking to expand or relocate to the Shoalhaven. The Economic Development Office is in the process of developing the next stages of Flinders and Woollamia Estates to ensure that there is industrial land available to support business growth

New residential development approvals continue to grow year on year. This level of demand for development and associated council services, greatly stretches our current resources.

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  • The Economic Development Office provides several support services for local businesses including:
    • Partnering with The Business Sessions to deliver 5 training sessions
    • Supporting the Southern Region Business Enterprise Centre to deliver business training and support services 
    • Providing sponsorship for the Shoalhaven Professional Business Association Networking Breakfasts, highly successful Mentor Program and Shoalhaven Business Awards
    • Coordinating the Nowra Busker Series. This project is only possible thanks to the participation of the buskers who create a lively atmosphere in Jelly Bean Park
    • Maintaining a display of banners in the Nowra CBD to add colour and vibrancy
    • Assisting over 10 businesses with their applications in the South Coast Regional Jobs Investment Package
  • Holiday Haven Tourist parks have implemented changes to improve the standard of the parks, increase property performance and add to customer experience including:
    • New ensuites at 3 parks & drive through sites at Huskisson White Sands and a new swimming pool at Lake Tabourie
    • New cabins installed in Ulladulla and Huskisson Beach
    • New camp kitchen at Bendalong and Huskisson Beach
    • New amenity block at Huskisson Beach
    • Four new positions in Head Office required to meet demands of a growing business
  • Cemeteries and the Crematorium continue to build on past achievements:
    • 6.5% increase in the number of services over same period last year
    • Completion of extended undercover seating and external service display on East and West side of Chapel
  • Shoalhaven City Council with LGNSW hosted the Property Professionals Conference on 12 & 13 October 2017. Approximately 60 Councils and160 delegates attending from across NSW
  • The Property Strategy was endorsed and approved following public exhibition: Four (4) residential properties acquired in Cambewarra Road, Bomaderry for the Shoalhaven Community & Recreational Precinct; and Two (2) rural properties acquired for the Far North Collector Road to facilitate the linking of Illaroo Rd in the south to Moss Vale Road to the north
  • South Coast Jobs Initiative (Federal Government Initiative)- Several industry-based applications were lodged under this targeted program. The Economic Development Office supported many local applicants with their submissions There were 30 projects approved across the 3 local government areas that when fully implemented should create around 1,000 new jobs for the South Coast.
  • Continued advocacy for the Nowra Bridge project and other improvements to key roads and infrastructure including the Princes Highway. Whilst these projects are funded by other levels of government, all are strategically important to Shoalhaven, Council has and will continue to advocate for these improvements.
  • Employment in 2017 rose by 742 and unemployment fell by 297. The unemployment rate at December 2017 was 8.23%, down from 9.06% at the end of 2016. These figures are consistent with other indicators showing an upturn in the Shoalhaven economy which in December 2017 recorded a Gross Regional Product of $5.75billion up from $4.89billion in December 2016.

Tourism Marketing activities continue to grow engagement with consumers, particularly stimulating demand for off-season visitation:

  • Unspoilt 2018 Campaign launched, and new video content commissioned by We Are Explorers
  • Almost 50% growth of audience to year on year (visitors, pageviews and sessions)
  • Annual Visitor Spend yielding an estimated $852million expenditure within the region (March 2018, Tourism Research Australia surveys)
  • Increase in off-season visitation (April-Sept) of 43% over the last three years (2015 – 2018)
  • Recruitment and training of a Digital Marketing Assistant with a wealth of tourism and digital experience
  • 74% growth in Instagram followers during the period, showing engagement with Young Adventurers market
  • Two networking events for businesses and 20 marketing workshops for small business

Events continue to support shoulder and off-season visitation and year-round jobs

  • Supported 25 events through the Event Support Program, contributing over $19 million to the local economy
  • Supported events to successfully gain Flagship Event Funding through Destination NSW and provided links to other event funding sources.
  • Provided advice to over 200 event organisers, assisting with event planning, community engagement and marketing
  • Secured 5 new events for the region that directly speak to our target market and have the capacity to become flagship events
  • Assisted in the development and delivery of 6 Event Digital Marketing Workshops
  • Assessed and permitted over 150 events on Council land
  • Great progress and community support for new sustainable tourism model which measures success at the nexus of community, environment, economy and visitor experience

Hard work and innovative programs have seen the Shoalhaven economy benefit with the continued rise in visitor spending.

scc-cr_chart_ 3.1_b

  • Robust off-season tourism events support program bringing $14million into the economy across the region, as well as numerous off-season product-based marketing campaigns supporting jobs, economic development and assisting to increase visitation of 23% over winter, which is almost double the growth we are seeing in the summer season (12%)

  • Mid-October launch of new tourism website, with innovative user experience including rich content and itinerary based functionality, booking system and new video content as captured by staff videographer