“OUR FUTURE – OUR RIGHT TO CHOOSE”
Economic Development Plan
Produced by the Economic Development Working Group
With support from Tallaganda Shire Council
TABLE OF CONTENTS
1.0 Introduction 2.3 Infrastructure
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
Sand and Gravel
Agricultural Land 5.0 Potential Projects
1.1 PURPOSE OF THE REPORT
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
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.
1.3 REGIONAL CONTEXT
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
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.
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.
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 Shires 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 Councils 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
Rock outcrop 62 opportunities for the Shire.
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
2.0 CURRENT SITUATION
2.1 SOCIAL CONDITIONS
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.
- 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
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.
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.
Plantations The Shires 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 Batemans 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
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
Wheat (grain and hay) 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 Canberras 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 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
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.
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.
3.0 POTENTIAL MAJOR IMPACTS
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
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
Shires 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
4.0 SWOT ANALYSIS
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
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
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
Folk music festival
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
Capacity for diverse agriculture
Plenty of space
Areas history, gold, convicts, Chinese
Tannin (Acacia) eucalyptus trees
Main street could be more interesting
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
5.0 POTENTIAL PROJECTS
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
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.
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