Economic Development Plan


            Tallaganda Shire
               April 1998

Produced by the Economic Development Working Group
                        Tony Cairns
                       David Cargill
                         John Durst
                       Iain McArthur
                       Gary Richards
                       Phil Shoemark

         With support from Tallaganda Shire Council

              TABLE OF CONTENTS

1.0   Introduction                                                  2.3    Infrastructure
                                                                           Transport Systems
      1.1    Purpose of the Report                                         Hydraulic Services
      1.2    Structure of the Report                                       Energy
      1.3    Area Description -                                            Waste Disposal
             Climate                                                2.4    Economic Conditions
             Towns                                                         Economic Profiles
             Geographic context                                            Employment
             History                                                       Industry Base
      1.4    Regional Context                                              Small Business Profile
      1.5    Organisational Structures and Responsibilities
                                                                    2.5    Planning Context
2.0   Current Situation                                                    Natural Environment
      2.1    Social Conditions                                             Development Trends
             Human Services - Health, Child Care                           Constraints - Land Capability
             Education                                                                 - Sensitive Areas
             Cultural and Recreation Facilities
             Counselling and Support Services                 3.0   Potential Major Impacts
      2.2    Environmental Conditions
             Water                                            4.0   SWOT Analysis
             Natural Resources
                    Sand and Gravel
                    Agricultural Land                         5.0   Potential Projects


This report has been produced to promote broad discussion within the      The report accepts that continued change is inevitable, be it socially,
community on the future economic development of Tallaganda Shire.         economically or environmentally, and that strategies must be put in
It provides a collation of the information which is available about the   place to shape that change toward desired outcomes. Consensus on the
Shire and its current environmental, social and economic conditions
and discusses some of the current trends and issues confronting the       desired future nature of the Shire is unlikely to be achieved. However,
Shire.                                                                    the range of options should be actively canvassed within the
                                                                          community and at least a general agreement reached on a preferred
Suggestions on potential options for the future have been raised to       future, albeit one which must be achievable given external forces and
stimulate discussion on what the Shire should be in future and how this   available resources.
can be achieved. The report emphasises the role of Braidwood as a
service centre for a broad catchment which includes other smaller         The discussion on a preferred future should acknowledge that it is
villages, rural residential developments and rural areas.                 about degrees of emphasis on various attributes, none of which operate
                                                                          to the exclusion of others. For example, there has been past debate as
                                                                          to whether Braidwood should be a rural service centre or heritage
                                                                          tourism town.

Clearly, Braidwood will always service both of these roles. However,        1.2    STRUCTURE OF THE REPORT
there is potential to place greater emphasis on one rather than the other
through promotions, infrastructure and planning control.                    The report begins with a physical description of the Shire and then
                                                                            places it within its regional context. This is done to consider some of
The strategies which can be pursued should be regarded as the tools       the external influences which are affecting, and will continue to affect
which individually or in concert either stimulate or direct change.         the Shire.
These can include financial penalty or inducement, infrastructure
provision, planning controls, promotion, education and facilitation.        The report also includes discussion of the economic, social and
This report provides some further brief discussion of the tools available   environmental conditions which prevail in Tallaganda Shire. Within
and how they may be applied.                                                each section there is also some discussion of the trends that are
                                                                            occurring. The final sections of the report are dedicated to reviewing
                                                                            some of the suggestions which have previously been offered for
                                                                            economic development and attempts to provide some context and
                                                                            discussion which rationalises this list of issues.


Braidwood sits centrally to several major centres including Canberra,
Goulburn, Nowra, Batemans Bay and Cooma. The effect of these
centres on Braidwood varies with little current impact by either Nowra
or Cooma, although development along the regional road network
which links Cooma and Nowra through Braidwood would obviously
increase that influence.

Being totally reliant on road based transport, Braidwood is most
influenced by those centres which are most accessible by road and offer
the higher order range of services not available in Braidwood.
Primarily this links people to either the traditional base of Goulburn or
Canberra. As yet Batemans Bay does not appear to have emerged as a
centre of major commercial interest to Shire residents.

The impact of Batemans Bay and the coastal tourist attractions is on the
passing traffic along the Kings Highway from Canberra. This provides
for high traffic volumes from which Braidwood accesses significant
passing trade.

The Shire has a high level of non-resident ratepayers (approx. 48%)          1.4 AREA DESCRIPTION
with external interest in the Shire real estate being dominated by
Sydney in the Nerriga and Oallen (northern) areas of the Shire, where        Shire Profile
direct access to Goulburn is possible, and generally throughout the          Tallaganda Shire is located on the Southern Tablelands of New South
Shire from both Canberra and the Illawarra. There is also an influence       Wales and has a cold, temperate climate with an evenly distributed
by commuters to Canberra but this is generally restricted to the             rainfall regime. The Shire is 3,351 square kilometres in area with a
Braidwood township and along the Kings Highway toward Canberra.              population of 2,595. The main town is Braidwood with the smaller
As road improvements shorten the travel time to Canberra the                 villages of Nerriga, Mongarlowe, Majors Creek and Araluen being
influence of Canberra based commuting is likely to increase.                 dispersed throughout the Shire and having strong community
                                                                             association with Braidwood. Of the total land area 25 % is State Forest
As a rural and community service centre for the Shire, Braidwood has         or National Park.
developed a unique character within the region. Common references to
the living history of Braidwood refer to the fact that many of the         Population
older buildings of Braidwood, particularly in Wallace Street, are still in   Below is a table showing population and selected characteristics, taken
service as diverse commercial buildings, not dominated by tourist            from the Australian Bureau of Statistics 1996 Census:
based uses. This sense of being a rural community centre and its
unique character contributes much to external interest in Braidwood.

         POPULATION PROFILE – TALLAGANDA SHIRE                            tablelands rise steeply from the coast over a rugged range comprised of
                                           Male     Female    Persons     a zone of uplift giving way to an undulating tableland which rises on
 Total Persons                             1236     1184       2420       the western boundary into steep forested hills. As a consequence, the
 Aged 15 yrs and over                      962      919        1881
 Aboriginal                                8        9          17         climate is affected not only by the prevailing westerly air movement,
 Torres Strait Islander                    0        0          0
 Australian born                           1060     1003       2063       but also by the easterly maritime and escarpment processes.
 Born oversees:
 Canada, Ireland, NZ, South Africa, UK &   74       81         155
 USA                                                                      Prevailing westerly continental air currents are generally drier than the
 Other Country                             55       47         102
 TOTAL                                     129      128        257        maritime air currents. On hot summer days, the sea mists bring a rapid
 Speaks English only                       1079     1054       2133
 Speaks language other than English        32       25         57         cooling effect over much of the eastern part of the Shire. Rainfall
 Australian citizen                        1148     1092       2240
 Australian citizen over 18 years          839      815        1654       diminishes in a westerly direction from Monga towards Braidwood.
Source: ABS Census 1996

Tallaganda Shire has a population density of 0.8 persons per square       The climate of the Araluen Valley is substantially different from that of
kilometre. In comparison to the 1991 Census, population has increased     the rest of the Shire being generally about 5 degrees warmer than the
by 55 people, a percentage increase of 0.4%.                              rest of the Shire. Summer storms are also more frequent and have a
                                                                          higher intensity. The valley is more affected by coastal influences due
                                                                          to its position and topography. It is not unusual in summer to see
The climate of Tallaganda is affected by its latitude as much as by the
                                                                          natural inversions over the valley.
topography. Mean January temperatures are in the range of 16-24
degrees, with summer days rarely reaching above 32 degrees, while
                                                                          Mean average rainfall for the Shire (measured at 12 separate locations)
mean July temperatures are around 6 degrees, with frequent frosts and
                                                                          is 728mm. Rainfall patterns vary considerably, usually associating
a good number of days not getting warmer than 10 degrees. The
higher rainfalls with coastal influences. Annual patterns of above and      supply for the Eurobodalla Shire. The Valley is a grabben structure,
below average falls typify the variability in rainfall although records     which forms a sunken valley with steep sides as a result of a normal
show that since the 1950’s rainfall has generally increased.                fault. The results are quite dramatic, and consequently, the climatic
                                                                            and drainage patterns are quite different from other parts of the Shire.
Geographic Context
The majority of the Shire forms the upper catchment of the Shoalhaven       History
River. Bounded on the east and west by rising hills, the Shoalhaven         The first European explorations of the area, which commenced in the
flows in a northerly direction from its source near Mt Snowball in the      late 1810s, were undertaken in part by people such as Hume, Throsby,
south, through the centre of the Shire and along the eastern half of the    Berry & Kearns. Closely following the explorers, pioneer settlers from
northern boundary. To the north, part of the catchment is within the        the early 1820s sought good arable land. Land grants commenced
Mulwarree Shire. The river is an important water resource, currently        about 1824.
used to provide water to settlements on the NSW South Coast, and
occasionally to supplement the Sydney water supply, through the             The early use of the settled land was predominantly pastoral, the
Tallowa Dam.                                                                settlers seeking land suitable for sheep and cattle grazing. From the
                                                                            earlier decades cropping was also undertaken with wheat being the
Two parts of the Shire are an exception to the above. These are the         principal crop, although much less of the Shires land was suitable for
north-west corner, a small portion of which drains in a westerly            cultivation. A number of flour mills were built in the 1840s and 1850s
direction into the Mulwarree headwaters. The second part, and more          to process the flour.
significant, the Araluen Valley forms a large part of the south-east side
of the Shire and drains into the Deua River which is a drinking water

Centered around the large agricultural estates a number of towns         changing market forces and political climates have declined.
were planned by the Colonial Administration.           These included      Accompanying this was a marked de-population of the rural villages.
Kurraduckbidgee (Larbert), Nerriga and Jillamatong (Braidwood).            The banks, schools, post offices, shops and hotels have mostly
With the exception of Braidwood, settlement in these areas was             disappeared.
marginal at the best. The population at this time was dispersed
amongst the large rural estates such as Strathallan, Manar etc. In         However, there remains a rich legacy of historic buildings, landscapes
September 1851, gold was found in the tableland heights above the          and places of interest for tourism, education and scientific purposes.
Araluen Valley at Bells Creek. The population increased ten-fold in        Recent surveys have identified and recorded hundreds of items of local,
the twenty years from 1851 to 10,500.                                      state and national significance.

Private capital also followed with substantial investment in local
industry, such as the copper smelter at Mulloon Creek and the flour
mill at Jembaicumbene. The local farmers also profited in supplying
foodstuffs and receiving royalties from gold discovered on their

From the 1920s, with the decline of the gold mining industry, the Shire
increasingly formed into a predominantly rural community with less
central villages. Although new industries such as dairying, eucalyptus
oil extraction, forestry, etc. were developed, each in their turn due to

Landuse                                                                      1.5 ORGANISATIONAL STRUCTURES
The principal landuse of the Shire is broadacre grazing of both sheep
and cattle. While almost an equal amount of area of timbered land            Economic development and planning responsibilities within the Shire
exists as the grazed area, actual timber production only occurs on a         fall within the ambit of the Tallaganda Shire Council with support from
small portion of this land. The areas of various uses are shown in the       the relevant departments of the State and Commonwealth
following table:                                                             Governments.

                                                                             Some specific economic development initiatives are shown in the
                 Landuses in the Tallaganda City Council Area                Councils Management Plan. These include:
            (From the Dept of Land and Water Conservation – 1989)
                                                                                    .       tourism and area promotion
 Landuse                                     Area (ha)
                                                                                    .       review of issues identified in the Small Towns program
 Grassland                                  168 044
 Timber                                     163 528
                                                                         .          .       review of the Australian Capital Territory Region
 Mines/quarries                                428                                          Regional Economic Development Strategy’ to identify
 Urban                                         151
 Rock outcrop                                   62                                          opportunities for the Shire.
 Cropping                                       47
 Horticulture                              Not mapped

                                                                             Councils planning and infrastructure development decision making
                                                                             processes also acknowledge economic development and economic
                                                                             planning issues. Council also provides restricted use public assets such
                                                                             as the Braidwood Saleyards and Community Centre, and general public
                                                                             infrastructure such as sportsgrounds, parks, public toilets etc. which

contribute to the attraction and therefore economic capacity of the     features of this strategy are:
Shire.                                                                     the need to develop an inventory of local attractions including
                                                                            survey of visitor attitudes;
There are currently no directly funded programs or projects, either        the improvement of existing facilities including public information,
wholly or partly funded by the State or Commonwealth Government             signage, access, information and barbecues, toilets, etc;
specifically for economic development purposes within the Shire. This      to     develop    further      attractions   including   backpacker
probably reflects the current absence of documented strategies to           accommodation, activities for children, rural camping, farm stays
provide a proper context for grant applications.                            and restaurants, galleries, etc;
                                                                           improved promotion and marketing with the establishment of
Private groups and associations contribute to the economic                  themes, joint (with surrounding shires) marketing, event marketing,
development of the Shire with the Braidwood and District Chamber of         identification of target markets and provision of marketing support;
Commerce and the tourism board (Tourism Tallaganda) being the most          and,
active in this regard. The main activities of the Chamber of Commerce      to encourage community support at both individual and
at present include the preparation of a census of businesses and the        organizational levels.
preparation of a business inventory.     Strengthening relationships
between the Chamber and Council is developing a climate of greater      Also a number of additional administrative services operate within the
certainty and cooperation which should encourage further investment.    Shire including:
                                                                        -   Rural Lands Protection Board
Tallaganda Tourism have prepared a strategy for the promotion and       -   Department of Land and Water Conservation
development of the tourism industry throughout the Shire. The main      -   National Parks and Wildlife Service



Human Services
Braidwood is well served for health services having the central base      -   Neighbourhood Aid
hospital which provides for services in various areas. These include:     -   Early Childhood Clinic & Nursing Mothers.

-   10 nursing home beds
-   6 beds for acute patients                                             These services are offered at various times, depending on demand.

-   16 hostel beds.                                                       Goulburn provides further support as the main base hospital.

There are also accident and emergency provisions, and x-ray facilities.   There is an active Play Group and Pre-School within Braidwood but

The hospital is contained within a multi-purpose health facility which    there is no formalised provision of child care through childcare centres

also provides an array of services. These include:                        and the like.

-   Physiotherapy
-   Podiatrist                                                            Tallaganda Shire has an ambulance service with two full time staff,
-   Speech Therapist
-   Dentist                                                               which covers the whole of the Shire. Staff work on a roster system,
-   Dietician                                                             and there is always an officer on call.
-   HIV/AIDS Specialist
-   Foot Clinic
-   Community Health Nurse
-   Immunisation Clinic
Meals on Wheels delivers daily within the township of Braidwood.          Housing
Numbers vary but there are approximately 14 to 15 meals per day           The Shire provides for a variety of housing and lifestyle choices
delivered.                                                                including rural, residential, outlying villages and in the main town of
                                                                          Braidwood. Within these options there are opportunities for a range of
Education                                                                 housing types (from historic to new, detached or townhouse) with
Braidwood has a Catholic Convent School (St Bedes) which has              vacant sites also available in all locations. ABS Census of Population
approximately 50 students between Kindergarten and Year 6.                and Housing (1996) shows that average rentals and housing loan
Secondary private education is available through daily bus services to    repayments in the Shire are among the highest in the region for Shires
schools in Goulburn.                                                      which are predominately rural centres. The major urban or tourism
                                                                          centres have considerably higher costs.
Public education is provided through the Braidwood Central School
which provides for students from Kindergarten to Year 12. There are       All public housing in the Shire is within the township of Braidwood.
approximately 400 students enrolled at the school with an overall trend   The public housing stock consists of 12 detached houses and 5 units.
toward increasing enrolments.                                             The current occupancy rate is 100% with no proposals for any shedding
                                                                          of this stock from public ownership.
There are no regular tertiary level courses but periodic TAFE courses
are provided at craft and trade levels. The TAFE courses trade and        Cultural and Recreation Facilities
professional training focuses on agricultural and farm management         Typically each outlying village has a sportsground and community hall
skills.                                                                   while both Araluen and Nerriga have camping reserves. Braidwood is
                                                                          the focus of public facilities having the Community Centre,

sportsground, Ryrie Park, the showground, racetrack and tennis courts.    Welfare support is offered in the Tallaganda Shire through the local
                                                                          churches. Both the Catholic and Anglican church have access to food
Private facilities include the hotels in each village and hotels and      vouchers for the needy, whilst also providing clothing and necessities
Servicemen's Club in Braidwood which also provides a bowls green          through contacts in St Vincent De Paul, and Sydney City Mission.
and nine hole golf course. Braidwood has a variety of restaurants and
cafes, a range of tourist accommodation and craft shops which serve       Religious Institutions
both tourists and residents.                                              The Catholic, Uniting and Anglican Churches all hold services in
                                                                          various areas of the Tallaganda Shire. These are as follows:
Counselling and Support Services                                          - Catholic Church:    Braidwood – Saturday and Sundays
Counselling services are provided by the Community Health Service in                            Krawarree – 2nd and 4th Sunday of the month
Goulburn. Equivalent to one half day per fortnight, general counselling                         Nerriga – 1st Sunday of the month
can be booked through the Multi Purpose Centre in Braidwood.                                    Araluen/Reidsdale – 3rd Sunday alternate month
Specialised counselling in drug and alcohol problems and sexual abuse     - Uniting Church:     Braidwood – Weekly
are also provided through the Multi Purpose Centre.           A local                           Alternate months in Araluen with Anglican
Alcoholics Anonymous group is also conducted in Braidwood.                                      Church
                                                                          - Anglican Church:    Braidwood – Weekly
Mental health services are provided by the Southern Tablelands Mental                           Araluen – 1st Sunday (alternate with Uniting
Health Service in Goulburn. A 24 hour crisis number applies for the                             Church)
whole region. Private counselling is also available in Braidwood.                               Ballallaba – 3rd Sunday of the month

Public Transport                                                           2.2 ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS
Various bus services connect Braidwood to major town centres within
fairly close proximity to the Shire. These include:                        Air
                                                                           Air pollution is not a significant problem within the Shire, however,
Murrays Coach Service – daily trip from Canberra to the coast, and         isolated incidents have been reported. These usually emanate from
returning in the afternoon, stopping in Braidwood.                         extractive industries and relate to dust either from the extraction or
                                                                           from the access roads. Other general events are from bushfires and
Culmones Bus Service – Daily run from Braidwood to Goulburn in the         hazard reduction burns with very limited durations.
mornings, returning in the afternoon.
Various school bus runs operate throughout the Shire, and many offer       As most of the watercourses in the Shire eventually flow into the
lifts to community members, on a frequent and casual basis.                Shoalhaven River, water quality is a matter of high importance within
Braidwood also has a Community Hospital Bus, which is used by              the Shire. The Shoalhaven is a resource presently available to large
hospital patrons and Senior Citizens. This service offers frequent trips   population centres, and earmarked for the potential Welcome Reef
to major urban centres, allowing the patrons easy access to the various    Dam. Should construction of the dam take place, water will be used to
services provided by these centres, such as shopping, doctors              supplement the Sydney water supply, as well as major centres like
appointments etc.                                                          Wollongong and Nowra.

                                                                           The Araluen Creek and Deua Rivers are also used for crop irrigation
                                                                           and have a limited resource potential. During extreme dry periods it is

possible to draw water beyond the environmental flows. One of the                                 Land Capability – Tallaganda Shire
limits for horticultural production in the Araluen Valley may be the      120 000

capacity to supply ground and surface water during extensive or even
moderately dry periods. As mentioned previously the Araluen Valley
                                                                          60 000
also forms a part of the water catchment for the Eurobodalla Shire.

Natural Resources                                                                    I       II        III          IV        V        VI        VII    VIII

The Shire has a range of natural and cultural resources, which make a
rich web of inter-relationships.     Climate, topography, soils and       Land capability classes I, II and III – lands suitable for regular cultivation
                                                                          Land capability classes IV and V – suitable for grazing, occasional cultivation
minerals provide the main physical resources, while the built             Land capability class VI – suitable for grazing, no cultivation
                                                                          Land capability classes VII and VII – other.
environment, with its rich heritage, provides the backdrop for the main
cultural resources.                                                       The uses to which this land is put are as follows:

                                                                                         Landuse and Land Capability Classes in Braidwood
Land capability mapping by the Department of Land and Water                                   Area (ha) of landuse types in each land capability class
Conservation has shown that land is predominately that which is suited     Landuse       I        II         III         IV        V              VI           VII      VII
                                                                           Cropping                                           22            20         <10
to either grazing and some cultivation or grazing with no cultivation.
The following chart shows the distribution of land in various classes      Grazing                75          944        77708     14024           63472         8005     2243

within the Shire.                                                          Timber                             <10        13489         1998        41475       23372     19851

                                                                          Sand and Gravel
                                                                          There are extensive sources of construction sand in the northern and
north west parts of the Shire. Large sections are currently being mined   prime agricultural land, but there are significant areas of prime grazing
by extraction from alluvial or aeolian sources. Gravel pits have          land. These have been identified by the Department of Agriculture and
revealed high quality road base in a number of areas, and some hard       mapped. There are also large areas of State Forest and National Parks
rock mining and crushing operations have been successful in the Shire.    along the eastern and western boundaries of the Shire.
Small operations have revealed a supply of alluvial topsoils or loams
within the district.                                                      The Araluen Valley is also a significant stone fruit and vegetable
                                                                          producer, which is important to the Shire. The value of agriculture to
                                                                          the community is undisputed as it is easily the largest user of land and
                                                                          the largest single employer.

                                                                          Native Forests
                                                                          State Forest cover approximately 16% of the Shire and supports some
                                                                          hardwood logging, particularly focussed on the Tallaganda State Forest
                                                                          in the west of the Shire. Significant areas of the State Forest have been
                                                                          deferred from harvest until further assessment. There is also some
                                                                          logging of native hardwoods on private land, although again this is
                                                                          only of a limited scale. Overall few job opportunities are provided
Agricultural Land                                                         with only small scale and intermittent milling within the Shire and
Agriculture is an important factor within the Shire. There is little      virtually no value-adding of forest products.

                                                                             Transport Systems
Plantations                                                                  The Shires road network is the most significant infrastructure within
Massive areas of the Shire are planted with Pinus radiata (Monterey          the Shire in terms of capital investment, maintenance and upgrade costs
Pine) plantations which have generally shown poor to moderate growth         and potential for economic development. Braidwood is on the Kings
rates to the extent that the resultant logs have limits on their potential   Highway which serves as the principal route from Canberra to the
uses. A timber milling and preserving plant operates on the Nerriga          South Coast, being approximately one hours drive from each of
Road which processes logs extracted from the local area. However,            Canberra and Batemans Bay. Access to Goulburn is about 45 minutes
this only utilises a small portion of the plantations available throughout   by main road making the district accessible to Sydney in approximately
the district. As plantations are being harvested they are not being          three hours. Regional roads of variable quality link Braidwood to
replanted. While providing some employment, approximately 11 jobs,           Cooma (approx. one and a half hours) and to Nowra (approx. one hour
the initial aspirations for the plantation enterprises (originally           and forty five minutes).
employing about 70 people in establishment and nursery operations)
have not being realised.      The nursery operations and plantation          While supporting the movement of primary products (mainly sheep,
establishment have ceased completely and large portions of the               timber and cattle) the road network also provides opportunities for the
plantations and processing operation are being operated under the            tourism industry and for the growing use of the district as a weekend
directions of receivers.                                                     retreat or retirement destination.

                                                                             Access, particularly to Queanbeyan, Goulburn and Canberra also
                                                                             makes Braidwood a potential base for commuters into these locations,

although this is limited by being on the edge of generally accepted         The routing of the Eastern Gas Pipeline through the Shire provides
maximum travel times.                                                       opportunities for the supply of natural gas for both industrial and
                                                                            domestic purposes, should the anticipated usage warrant the connection
Hydraulic Services                                                          cost.
Only the township of Braidwood is serviced by reticulated water supply
and sewerage with stormwater escaping via natural creek systems. The        Waste Disposal
reticulated water supply was connected in 1956 with an upgrade of           An efficient recycling service operates in Braidwood with landfill
capacity in 1987. To be able to withstand a population of 1100, water       operations being located on the outskirts of Braidwood and the rural
is generally drawn from the Shoalhaven River and is an abundant             villages. The nearest specialist facility (hazardous wastes etc.) is
supply for current and potential uses. The Braidwood sewerage               located in Canberra.
treatment plant was opened in 1967 and is designed to cater for a
population of 2000.

Electricity supplied by Great Southern Energy is the principal source of
energy for the Shire although gas bottles and some alternative systems
are used in domestic situations in the Shire. Transmission of electricity
is via lines from Captains Flat. The limitations on this supply to
service any substantial addition industrial uses is of concern.             2.4 ECONOMIC CONDITIONS

Economic Profile
The Australian Bureau of Statistics IRDB provides some limited data       median weekly household income of $452. In NSW the median
on the Shire noting that of the 407 (in 1995) business locations within   household income was $655 per week.
the Shire that:
                                                                          The major occupation groups within the Shire have been broadly
       in 1992 total turnover in manufacturing was $1 million;           classified and unfortunately this data is not disaggregated by industry
       in 1992 total retail turnover was $7.72 million; and              sector and it is not possible to determine the total employment within
       in 1994 the total gross value of agriculture was $14.5 million.   each industry, let alone detect any trends in employment.

Unfortunately no data is available that describes the value of tourist    Industry Base
related income such as that from tourist accommodation. Similarly, it
is not possible to identify the amount of employment which is directly    Principal industries within the Shire are agricultural production (cattle
attributable to tourism, or in fact any particular industry sector.       and sheep and fruit) tourism, forestry, sand and gravel extraction,
                                                                          construction, education and administration (mostly local government).
Employment                                                                No comprehensive data is available on these industries and the
The 1996 Census noted that there was a total of 89 unemployed people      following profiles represent a collation of diverse sets of data which
in the Tallaganda Shire with an overall unemployment rate of 7.8%.        provide some background on the nature and extent of those industries.
The participation rate in the workforce is noted as 67.1%. The
                                                                          Agriculture within the Shire remains as predominately cattle and sheep

grazing and fruit orchards. There has been some diversification into      Type of Produce                           Value ($ millions)
the growing of specialty crops such as berries, grapes, lavender,         Cattle (slaughtered)                      6.93
ginseng, eucalyptus distilling and organic vegetables. Many farms         Wool                                      2.94
have also diversified into the hospitality industry providing farm stay   Fruit and Nuts                            1.86
and bed and breakfast style accommodation. The gross value of             Sheep (slaughtered)                       0.72
produce for agricultural industries within the Shire, according to the    Nurseries                                 0.18
1995/96 Agricultural Census is shown in the following table.              Hay                                       0.17
                                                                          Oats                                      0.14
                                                                          Wheat (grain and hay)                     0.03
                                                                          Vegetables                                0.03
                                                                          Source: ABS Agricultural Census 1995/96

                                                                          Of the intensive alternative products most as yet are produced from
                                                                          single holdings and while generally successful in their niche markets
                                                                          have not as yet grown to the stage of co-operative production,
                                                                          processing and marketing. However, as more people enter production
                                                                          of these products, pressure is likely to grow as competition for current
                                                                          small markets (individual restaurants etc) intensifies from both within
                                                                          and outside of the Shire. As this develops there will likely be a need
Gross Value of Agricultural Production 1995/96                            for regional promotion of local products where the positive

associations with the historic aspects of the Shire are used to promote   proportions of these areas regenerating to native bushland as their
products. Examples of this type already exist with areas like the         ongoing agricultural use is no longer viable.
Goulburn Valley and more recently Canberras cold region wine
products.                                                                 Cattle grazing is carried on throughout the Shire for beef production.
                                                                          Dairying was previously carried on in the Shire but in a limited
The Araluen stone fruit producers are seasonally one of the biggest       capacity and generally restricted to the Reidsdale area. Production of
employers in the Shire. Promoted as Araluen products, the brand         cheese from local milk was carried on at Reidsdale with the last factory
name is widely recognised. While seasonal variation (excessive dry or     closing in the late 1950s.
wet) or climatic events (hail storms, frost) can cause significant
damage to production, availability of water, from both groundwater and    Cattle are either sold through the Braidwood Saleyards, which are
surface supplies are a likely limiting factor. Recent studies by the      owned and operated by Council in conjunction with Braidwood
Department of Land and Water Conservation have suggested that the         Associated Agents, by private sale or sold through saleyards elsewhere.
groundwater supply is currently being used at yield capacity. Surface
flows are generally low and often unreliable. Groundwater analyses by
orchardists have shown that the deeper aquifers from which they
extract are free of contamination, unlike the shallow aquifers in which
bacteriological contamination has been detected.
Extensive areas of marginal land were cleared and pasture improved
during the 1950s and 1960s while high wool prices made farming of
these lands economically viable. Lower wool prices now see large


                                                                            Tourist information services are currently provided by the Braidwood
                                                                            Museum with brochures produced for both driving and walking tours.
                                                                            Tallaganda Tourism are a part of the Capital Country Tourism,
                                                                            promoting the district as a part of that broader region.

                                                                            Extractive Industries
                                                                            Extractive industries within the Shire are limited to sand and gravel
                                                                            extractions. Council operates a series of pits for its own use and also
                                                                            enters a series of royalty agreements or purchase from other pit owners.

                                                                            Gravel and rock (for crushing) is extracted at a number of sites
Tourism                                                                     throughout the Shire with sand also being extracted along the
Tourism is a steadily growing industry within the region which holds        Shoalhaven River. Sand pits also exist on deposits away from the
significant potential given its proximity to Sydney and Canberra,           Shoalhaven River. Markets for products include local roads projects in
location on major roads and wealth of natural and historic features.        the case of gravel while sand is mainly extracted for the ACT where
There are a number of galleries, art and craft stores, motels, hotels and   sand mining is prohibited. Reported extractions from quarries and
restaurants and bed and breakfast accommodation. Braidwood also             gravel pits for the 1996/97 reporting period totalled 45,330 tonnes.
boasts an attractive 9 hole golf course with plans for an expansion to 18

Limited local employment is generated by these operations with the        Building and Construction sector. However, it should be noted that
principal economic impact probably being in the supplementation of        agricultural businesses were not included in this survey.
farm income by royalties to property owners.
                                                                          The growth of the business community appears strong with almost 30
                                                                          businesses being in operation for less than five years but longer than
Small Business Profile
                                                                          one year. Only 17 businesses are aged between six and 10 years with
As a centralised business centre for the Shire Braidwood carries a very
                                                                          approximately 50 per cent of businesses operating for over ten years.
wide range of service and retail needs from day-to-day convenience
                                                                          In terms of the gross number of businesses, Cafes and Restaurants have
shopping to high order purchases such as white goods. A range of
                                                                          the largest numbers. Other sectors with a large number of businesses
businesses cater specifically for tourists and are generally arts and
                                                                          include Property and Business Services, Rural Supplies or Services and
crafts or food and beverage related. A series of specialised businesses
                                                                          Building and Construction.
such as the Rainbow Valley Trout and Game Farm also focus on the
                                                                          Over half of the businesses surveyed reported that passing tourist trade
tourist trade.
                                                                          provides for less than 20 per cent of their trade. However, almost 30
A census of local business completed by the Braidwood and District
                                                                          per cent reported that passing trade contributed over 50 per cent of their
Chamber of Commerce in 1998 has provided valuable insights into the
structure of commercial activity within the Shire. Outstanding features
of the survey were the importance of the Shire, Hospital and Central
School as dominant employers. Apart from these individual employers
the other major employment sectors within the Shire are Cafes and
Restaurants and Rural Supplies and Services. Manufacturing also
features, supplying over 20 full time positions, more than in the

                                                                          Valley, which is a visually and environmentally important landscape.
                                                                          Other steep lands include some of the east slopes of the Tallaganda
                                                                          State Forest and the west slopes of the Bendoura and Berlang State
                                                                          Forests. A number of wetlands have been identified within the Shire,
                                                                          some of which are identified on the LEP.

                                                                          Data on the extent of remnant native vegetation outside existing
                                                                          National Parks is almost non-existent. Much of the environmentally
                                                                          sensitive land is covered by tree growth, but how much has previously
                                                                          been cleared, or represents sustainable ecosystems is difficult to tell.
                                                                          There is little information on the extent, species composition or
2.5 PLANNING CONTEXT                                                      condition of these areas. Pressures from forestry, weed invasion,
                                                                          grazing, fire hazard reduction and wildfire and other issues are also
Natural Environment                                                       difficult to ascertain.
The Tallaganda Local Environmental Plan (LEP) 1991 has identified a
number of areas of environmental sensitivity. These include the areas     As environmental sensitivity (for the purposes of the LEP) is either
of steep lands and wetlands. To date, there is little information about   classed as steep or wetlands areas, there is no sensitivity accorded to
these areas, however, their identification is important.                  areas on the basis of land capability, natural hazard, visual amenity or
                                                                          ecological value (other than wetland status) some element of
The most significant identification is the steep sides of the Araluen     uncertainty is introduced into each individual application when

assessed against statutory environmental provisions in the approvals       growing recognition within the community, and particularly within the
process. However, over time, individual and strategic studies would be     tourism industry, that the stock of items provides an economic asset as
expected to fill these voids in information.                               well as a conservation asset.      Adaptive reuse of these items is
                                                                           encouraged by Council which is increasing the number of items being
Heritage                                                                   restored as well as increasing potential for tourist trade.
The Shire has a rich cultural heritage around early pastoral settlement
and later goldfields activity which have established much of the built     Conservation Areas
form and landscapes of today. Although originally established as an        A Conservation Area is defined for the length of Wallace Street in
administrative centre for the predominately agricultural development in    Braidwood. This is the only identified Conservation Area within the
the 1830s, the discovery of gold in 1851 led to an influx of miners from   Shire and brings about both Council consent and public notification
other Australian fields and from around the world, particularly from       requirements for demolition or alteration of buildings within and
China. Although little mining activity continued after the late 1870s a    adjoining the Area. Through its Development Control Plan Council
legacy of landscapes and significant buildings mark the extent of          attempts to retain the integrity of building design and streetscape while
activity and wealth generated by the local fields. As the pre-European     promoting adaptive reuse.
settlement of the Shire was only transient occupation by Aboriginal
surrounding groups, only a limited number of sites of Aboriginal           Individual Sites
significance have been identified throughout the Shire.                    Recent studies of the heritage significance of the Shire have pointed to
                                                                           the importance of cultural landscapes, which particularly focus on the
Although the conservation of the Shire’s stock of heritage items has       surrounds of the villages.       Braidwood village has retained a
prompted some concern about limits on the uses of such sites, there is     characteristic sharp interface between the village and rural areas which

are generally free of rural residential development. Outside Braidwood
and around the other villages the rural landscapes represent the impact
of the various settlement patterns arising from the various land and
land settlement Acts of government. They also represent the changes
in land management (particularly farming) and land use (such as gold
mining) activities over time.

Separate studies of Braidwood and the rural areas of the Shire have       Development Trends
also identified a series of sites which are worthy of protection. These   There is no comprehensive data kept on the property market within the
have been recommended to Council for inclusion as items to be listed      Shire in regard to price, availability, differential performance in
as requiring similar heritage conservation requirements as those in       locations or by type of sale (such as vacant rural, house and land
place in the Wallace Street Conservation Area.                            village). Similarly, there is no record of uptakes of consents issued by
                                                                          Council, particularly for building starts and subdivision consents.

                                                                          Despite this lack of data there are some trends which have been
                                                                          identified through discussions with property agents, land developers

and valuers. These trends are:                                                    market where there is an oversupply and little demand;
      probably the strongest external market is Sydney based with
       Canberra and the Illawarra also exerting a strong influence:              nodes of development which place demands on public services
                                                                                  in remote areas are occurring in areas such as the Endrick
      quality vacant land or house and land packages tend to move                River, Oallen and Wyanbene areas;
       well within the market;
                                                                                 new building starts on vacant land in Braidwood is very
      there is enough demand for rural residential/weekend use in the            limited; and,
       rural areas that this has had the effect of raising the value of
       agricultural land;                                                        of the rural villages, the most activity is occurring in Majors
      land within 15 minutes travel time of Braidwood and land
       nearby to one of the major regional roads is the most sought       Constraints
       after;                                                             Generally rural and rural residential development in the Shire is only
                                                                          constrained by flooding, bushfire risk and accessibility.         Special
      rural land subdivision rights are being used for both              constraints may exist in regard to soils which are waterlogged or have a
       capitalisation of the agricultural use and for land speculation;   high erosion potential. Rural uses, particularly agriculture and forestry,
                                                                          have little constraint except on roading and any clearance of, or
      tightening Council regulations are slowing the release of poor     disturbance on, steep slopes.
       quality low value rural subdivision which is a segment of the

Agricultural land classifications, which rank agricultural production
potential on a scale of 1 to 5 (1 being the most productive) have been
mapped for the Shire. The classifications show that there is no land in
the most productive category (1) with class 2 land being mainly
restricted to floodplain areas along the Shoalhaven River.         The
distinctive granite soils, and in fact most of the areas extensively
cleared for agriculture, are of class 3 with the broadacre grazing of
sheep being the predominate use of cleared class 4 lands. Much of the
cleared class 4 land has, since the wool boom of the 1950s and 60s
been allowed to regenerate into bushland as it no longer supports
economically viable production.

Natural Hazards
Bushfire and flooding are the most significant risks in terms of natural
hazards in the Shire. Both provide some limitations on development
but rarely prohibit development as flexibility in design is usually
capable of negating unacceptable risks.


The potential major changes for the Shire, as can be envisaged at the     Current predictions of climate change reinforce uncertainty about the

moment, include climate change, construction of the Welcome Reef          viability of agriculture in the district with predictions of ongoing

Dam and development of the Cooma to Nowra Road.                           instability a cause for concern.

Over the past decade the Shire has been drought declared at some point    The proposed Welcome Reef Dam continues to raise considerable

in almost every calendar year. The impacts of these persistent drought    question on the future of significant portions of the Shire and of the

conditions have tended to drain capital from rural industries as the      impact of the dam on areas outside of the proposed inundation and

absence of good seasons and high market prices have not provided the      protection zones. Sydney Water holds considerable amounts of land

periodic capital infusions needed to sustain the less profitable years.   within the affected areas, reserving the option of the dam dependent on
                                                                          future water supply needs but does not propose construction in the

This has tended to increase the need for property owners to consider      foreseeable future.

subdividing properties or accessing loans to obtain working capital.
The other strategy being pursued is to limit capital expenditures on      The Shire, and particularly Braidwood, already benefits from being on

pasture improvement, fencing, weed and erosion control etc. The           the main tourist route (Kings Highway) between Canberra and the

impact of this decline is seen in the economic, environmental and         south coast. The highway is continually being upgraded but as yet

social fabric of the district.    Consistent with the principles of       there are no proposals, or in fact identified routes, for any bypass of

ecologically sustainable development, environmental and social            Braidwood. A further proposal to upgrade Trunk Road 92 (the Nerriga

wellbeing cannot be considered in isolation of economic well being.       Road) with new escarpment crossing at the Sassafras has the potential

to link with the Monaro Highway at Cooma via the Badja Crossing.

This road would link the Gippsland, via the Cann Valley and Bonang
Highways with the Monaro, Southern Tablelands and Illawarra. The
development of this route rated highly within the studies of the South
East Australia Transport Study with Trunk Road 92 between Nowra
and Nerriga designated as a Road of National Importance by the
Commonwealth Government.

This proposal would undoubtedly have a significant economic impact
on the Shire. For example, for part of its route in the Shire the road
easement will be coupled with the proposed Eastern Gas Pipeline
providing the transport network, energy source and vacant spaces
which would be attractive to industry. Both the Kings Highway and
Cooma-Nowra Road run through the Rural 1(a) Zones under the
Shires Local Environmental Plan. Planning controls in these zones as
they stand are inadequate to encourage appropriate development and
should be reviewed as a matter of priority if further road development
is proposed.


The community has previously embarked on a Small Towns program              goals prior to the analysis. Similarly, many of the projects identified

which spurred considerable community interest and enthusiasm around         were concepts, not proposals and committees charged with their pursuit

a strengths and weaknesses workshop. The workshop also identified a         having no real direction as to what was to be achieved or by what

series of initiatives and established working groups to pursue particular   mechanism.

projects.   Unfortunately, the only group which has been able to
continue to meet is the Ryrie Park and Main Street Group which has          This is why it is now useful to review the analysis in light of the

been active in the preparation of the Conservation Plan and works           information contained in this background report and to promote

program for Ryrie Park.                                                     discussion on some common goals, further refining the SWOT analysis
                                                                            and deriving some projects which may realistically be achieved and

The strengths and weaknesses lists which were produced at the               have known and desired outcomes.

workshop have been refined and rationalised into the more traditional
and useful Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats analysis
which follows.

One of the reasons why the program lacked focus and has had limited
ongoing success is the abridged processes followed. There were
considerable contradictions in the strengths and weaknesses lists, many
items appearing in both. This reflects the failure to determine common

Strengths                                                                Weaknesses
Historic largely undisturbed town area                                   Lack of farm trees
Little cost to restore those buildings to original look                  Long period of winter weather
Controlled town boundary                                                 Limited electricity supply
No strip development                                                     Lack of community facilities
Good skills/knowledge bank from diverse community                        Lack of visitor and tourist information
Good communications among community                                      Lack of sporting facilities
Clean air and water                                                      Town looks untidy
Enthusiastic land care groups                                            Insufficient diversity of employment
Attractive scenery in Braidwood and the Shire                            No indoor sports venue
Large artistic/creative community                                        No small industries
High degree of participation of community in volunteer organisations     No TAFE
Rich history                                                             Insufficient employment
Central School                                                           Not enough street tress, flowers, bushes and greenery
Riverways and forests                                                    No caravan park or camping area
Good sense of community
Rural vista from the streets
Ideal place to raise a family due to lack of crime and street violence
Facilities for aged (aging) population
Cosmopolitan population, talents
Facilities and services:
Bank, Saleyards, Restaurants
Stone fruit industry
Large number of community groups, ie CWA
Variety of accommodation
Ryrie Park
Folk music festival
Community pride
Good schools

Opportunities                                                                     Threats
Productive agricultural sector which underpins the commercial sector              Chain type food outlets
Kings Highway, lifeblood to be exploited                                          Too close to major centres
Good social infrastructure for such a small community, eg Braidwood Servicemans   Distance/isolation
Club                                                                              Ad hoc town planning
Historic buildings                                                                Poor communication between different groups
Seasonal climate                                                                  Too much money spent out of town
Proximity to large centres and the coast                                          Signage to various spots needs upgrading
Bushwalking - National Parks                                                      Division between groups
Location with respect to major centres - beach, snow, city                        Prejudice against newcomers
Natural resources                                                                 Lack of vision - Resistance to change
Nowra to Cooma route                                                              Empty shop premises
Use of town for movie making                                                      Not sufficient focus on drawing innovation to the area
Use of town for conferences etc.                                                  Not enough community participation in Local Government
Organic food                                                                      Undesignated industrial zone
Fishing                                                                           Lack of consultation by Council
Native wildlife
Capacity for diverse agriculture
Plenty of space
Areas history, gold, convicts, Chinese
Tannin (Acacia) eucalyptus trees
Pine plantations
Main street could be more interesting
Camping areas
More race meetings a year
School should incorporate community
Potential 18 hole golf course
Better utilisation of natural features (ecotourism)
Better promotion of the town (facilities, natural attractions, signage)
A taxi service
Focus on alternative farming
Need for a focus point for town, ie town square with better public spaces
Business mix


There are projects which will hold potential for furthering the          Ryrie Park and Main Street Beautification

economic wellbeing of the Shire which have been suggested or
identified in the preparation of this document or have previously been   The upgrade of the park and main street is important in terms of

identified through other processes. These projects include:              encouraging passing traffic to stop in Braidwood and to encourage
                                                                         Shire residents to use local services and retail stores.

              Ryrie Park and Main Street Beautification
              Preparing Wallace Street as a film location               The quality of the main street also makes a statement about the

              Cooma-Nowra Road Upgrade                                  community and its civic pride.

              Identification of a light industrial estate
                                                                         The quality of the main street and facilities has an importance to
              Promotion of a Goldfields/Cultural Tourism theme
                                                                         community development and can influence the way the community
              Improved Signage
                                                                         perceives itself and can also modify behaviours in regard to vandalism
              Promotion of alternative agricultural and horticultural
                                                                         and other anti-social behaviour.

Many of these projects are clearly in progress at a variety of stages
while others have yet to commence. Brief outlines of the status and
benefits of each is outlined below:

Preparing Wallace Street as a Film Location                               Identification of a Light Industrial Estate

Braidwood has proven a popular venue for feature films and                There are currently no designated light industrial areas in the Shire with
commercials but is limited in this capacity by overhead transmission      most activity of that type scattered throughout the Braidwood Village.
lines which are both unsightly and inconsistent with the predominantly    Identification of a light industrial estate would have the benefit of over
Georgian and Victorian buildings in the street.                           time attracting such uses to a location away from the residential areas
                                                                          and the benefit of mutual servicing and appropriate infrastructure in
On the occasions when filming has featured Braidwood (Ned Kelly,          terms of water supply, waste and energy.
The Year My Voice Broke, On Our Selection) the town has received an
immediate financial benefit and has been widely promoted as a             Promotion of a Goldfields/Cultural Tourism Theme
potential tourist destination.
                                                                          A proposal for regional consideration of a tourism theme around the
Cooma-Nowra Road Upgrade                                                  goldfields and cultural tourism has been submitted to Tourism NSW.
                                                                          The proposal is to create extended tours which look at points of
Continued lobbying for this project to secure necessary funding will be   interest, (generally historic and to do with the goldmining era,) and
required. If the upgrade is announced the appropriate planning and        developing a series of tourist drives. The promotion would provide a
economic development responses need to be put in place to ensure that     strong focus on Tallaganda Shire and should, if successful, increase
the Shire capitalises on the infrastructure rather than suffers from      both the length of stay and volume of tourists.
negative traffic management and commercial implications.

Improved Signage

New policies of Council and joint arrangements with the RTA should
improve the legibility of signage throughout the Shire and permit
tourist operators to identify their facilities with dedicated tourist signs.

Promotion of Alternative Agricultural / Horticultural Uses

There is considerable scope to work in the development of these areas
including the identification of appropriate products and their on-
processing, market identification, establishment of growing co-
operatives, product and region promotion and ongoing trials and
research.   Such uses can allow traditional broadacre graziers to
diversify their produce as well as providing for productive small


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