Communities across the Central West and Orana are being invited to shape the region’s future by giving feedback on the NSW Government’s draft plan to support housing, jobs and investment in the region over 20 years.

Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke said the Central West and Orana Regional Plan 2041 sets out strategies to guide development in the region’s 19 local government areas including Cowra and Weddin.

“Cowra is optimally located in the Central West and Orana with connections to Sydney, Wagga Wagga and Canberra so it’s important to get the community’s views on ways we can capitalise on its strengths as the population grows,” Ms Cooke said.

“The protection of agricultural land is a priority and the draft plan includes measures to enable the sector to thrive by ensuring inappropriate development doesn’t encroach on productive land. 

“We want to maximise on opportunities around the Cowra Hospital redevelopment by including strategies to enable mixed-use, multipurpose health facilities that would support the sustainable growth of the local health sector.”

Minister for Planning and Public Spaces Rob Stokes said the draft plan was being updated every five years to reflect the changing nature of the Central West.

“We released the first Central West and Orana Regional Plan in 2017 and we are updating it to reflect post-COVID migration and the growing renewables and resource sectors and their impact on natural assets like water,” Mr Stokes said.  

“The region is set to soar with $12.6 billion in public and private investment in major infrastructure projects like renewables and the plan lays out strategies for how the region will accommodate for new families and different types of business.

“As the resource sector continues to grow, the plan includes measures for industry to use water more efficiently to reduce impact on other water users and the environment.”

The draft Central West and Orana Regional Plan 2041 is underpinned by 22 objectives which will be achieved through actions and strategies delivered by local and State governments.

To read the draft plan and have your say by Friday, 18 February 2022 visit https://dpie.nsw.gov.au/centralwestorana2041.