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The Cowra region has a range of quality education and health services, and embraces new community members from all backgrounds. As a Centre for World Peace, Cowra is peaceful by choice and beautiful by nature.
- Known as the crossroads of the Central West, Cowra’s strategic location offers immediate access to the Mid-Western Highway; halfway between Brisbane and Melbourne.
- Cowra’s growing economy is situated 310km due west of Sydney and a two hour drive from Canberra.
- Positioned adjacent to the Lachlan River providing reliable access to water.
- Competitively-priced industrial and residential land.
- Skilled and loyal workforce.
- Diverse and fertile soils able to support a variety of agricultural enterprises such as dairy, wheat, canola, vegetables, sheep, cattle and viticulture to name a few.
Download the Cowra Regional profile
Population – 12,551 persons live in the Cowra region
Employment – 4,735 persons are employed
Average age – 42.2 years
Education – 45.9% of the population is Tertiary Qualified
Household Composition – 59% of families are a Couple with dependent children
Weekly Wage – $773
Median House Price – $178,000
Sources: ABS Census (2011) ERP (2013), Cat 8731, DEEWR (2014), NIEIR (2014), Housing NSW (2014)
Gross Regional Product
The Cowra LGA’s GRP represents 4.5% of the Central West region’s GRP. A strong and diverse economy underpins the Cowra community with Agriculture, Health care, Manufacturing, Education and Retail being the main industries by employment.
Key Industry Sectors
The largest sectors in the Cowra economy by total output include:
- Health care
- Education and training
- Wholesale trade
|Industry Sector||GRP Value||GRP %|
|Health care||$38.1 million||8.7%|
|Education & training||$29.1 million||6.6%|
|Wholesale Trade||$28.3 million||6.5%|
Sources: ABS Census (2011) ERP (2013), Cat 8731, DEEWR (2014), NIEIR (2014), Housing NSW (2014), , A.P.SHEERE CONSULTING (2015)
Cowra’s Top 5 Employers
The main industries by employment are:
- Health care
|Industry Sector||% Employed|
Sources: ABS Census 2011, NIEIR (2014), A.P.SHEERE CONSULTING (2015)
Cowra’s robust manufacturing sector complements value adding activities in agriculture, engineering, cabinetmaking and aviation.
This includes companies such as Geronimo Farm Equipment, Chernco Engineering, Kerry Ingredients, Sarajane Furniture, Brumby Aircraft Australia and J&D Lazarou Cabinet and Joinery.
The weather in Cowra is ideally suited to aviation due to the largest number of clear days in the region. This has been identified by Cowra Shire Council and provides an opportunity to develop this sector – in both commercial and leisure flights and pilot training for example. This, coupled with the development of Cowra Airport, positions the region well in terms of aviation opportunities.
Viticulture is also a significant industry in the Cowra area. The Cowra Region is home to over 40 vineyards from small boutiques to larger industry players such as McGuigan and Cowra Estate. The first vineyards were planted in the 1970s and were predominantly Chardonnay. Since this time, a range of varieties have had success, including Shiraz and Verdelho. Opportunities exist for the development of this sector; businesses which service it and related tourism ventures.
There is also a market opportunity to directly target sectors such as China which has an emerging middle-class population with a desire to identify with wine and other consumer products. Some of Cowra’s wineries have already been approached about joint venture opportunities.
HEALTH CARE and EDUCATION
A steadily increasing population presents growing demand for health, childcare and education support services, which in turn creates development opportunities for business.
A growing skilled labour force and a strong existing manufacturing sector support future growth in food, aviation and agricultural bio-waste processing.
The planned expansion and development of Cowra Airport provides opportunities for aviation support services, the development of recreational flying activities and onsite pilot training facilities.
Almost 50 potential jobs for resident workers in the Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing sector means any new investment would provide alternative options for local workers who currently travel to neighbouring shires including Forbes and Cabonne for employment.
The Cowra industry base is dominated by agriculture and manufacturing. Main businesses include Cowra Meat Processors, Geronimo Farm Equipment, JGW Harvesting, Fred Fahey Aerial Services, Beecher Wool Services, Cowra Concrete Products and K-Line.
There is an emerging aviation sector with PG Aviation likely to expand on its aircraft manufacturing plant and a strong possibility of an international pilot training academy being located in Cowra.
Gaps in Facilities and Services
- Professional services in specialist areas such as occupational health, aged care, dental and medical.
- Regular flights to and from Sydney in particular for use by medical professionals working at Cowra Hospital which relies heavily on the rotation of doctors to run services.
Incentives and Land Availability
Local investment incentives
- Cowra Shire provides an industry incentive to establish strategic businesses in the Shire or to assist existing businesses expand. The incentive is based on the number of fulltime positions generated (10 positions or more) by the new business or proposed expansion. Funds are made available subject to annual budget allocations, and specified conditions & assessment by Council of the project.
- Council supports activities that are aimed at providing new and existing business with a variety of tools that build capacity and innovation with the aim to encourage growth and international competitiveness.
- In doing so, Council facilitates periodic training in business management, marketing and promotion, industrial relations, E-Commerce and digital media.
- Cowra Council supports and assists the Cowra Business Chamber & sub-committees, as well as the Cowra Building Construction Group with their development efforts. Council facilitates solutions to identified challenges when and where possible.
- Cowra Council provides online access to shire specific demographic/economic data which can be used freely, making Cowra information accessible to the broadest possible audience, thus promoting evidence-based decision making for planning, development and growth at both business and community level.
Land availability and business locations
The Chardonay Hills Estate residential subdivision has 66 approved allotments with two dwelling-houses constructed, 2 other dwellings under construction and 4 houses approved ready for construction. The estate is located on the North/West side of the Cowra Township with a sourtherly aspect. Adjoining the Chardonnay Hills Estate subdivision is a 110 allotment residential subdivision approved for construction. The subdivision is adjacent to Cowra High School.
Council is currently considering a 39 lot subdivision centrally located in West Cowra.
There is a Seniors Housing Development approved on Vaux Street one street away from the CBD comprising 19 Seniors Housing Units.
The Yarrabilly residential development by Southern Rural Holdings is due to proceed in 2014. This will present a number of opportunities during the construction phase and once completed will encourage new residents to the region and provide current residents with a greater choice in terms of residential accommodation.
With the adoption of the LEP 2012 Council has rezoned large areas of south/west Cowra for Light Industrial Uses with a variety of allotments ranging from 2 hectares down to 1000m2 available for purchase and development. Additionally, there are large areas of land zoned General Industrial on the north/west and south/west ends of the Township already containing a variety of general industries.
Cowra has a medium sized industrial site with around 30 lots that are selling steadily. The heavy industrial areas were identified with the LEP in 2012. There is an area of 55 hectares set aside with development being planned for this year (2013).
The main street redevelopment of the Cowra CBD has recently been completed, bringing improved streetscape and amenity to Kendall Street.
- Motel, 30 rooms – Cowra Services Club.
- Wine bar development application approved
- Proposal to undertake the first stage of the Airport Business Park subdivision proposed to be completed in accordance with the approved Airport Master Plan
Cowra Business Officer – Ponie De Wet
116 Kendal St, Cowra NSW 2794
Phone 02 6340 2038