There are a number of industries that contribute to the economy of the Wollondilly Shire. These industries provide a large proportion of the jobs within the Shire, offer many of the investment opportunities and contribute largely to the local economy.
The Wollondilly Shire is one of the few agricultural areas contributing to the Sydney food basin. The area has a strong agricultural history, with many of the town centres maintaining that agricultural atmosphere. Wollondilly proudly produces a large number of agricultural products for Sydney and the surrounding region. These products include poultry, cut flowers, fruit and vegetables and livestock. Our location close to the Sydney Metropolitan region, with easy transport access, means that we provide the area with fresh and highly perishable commodities.
Wollondilly Shire Council understands the need to protect and promote the agricultural land that is currently present within the Shire. This land provides the Shire with the chance to attract new business opportunities, with particular prospects for food producers. With increased pressures for cities to improve their food sustainability, areas like the Wollondilly will become increasingly important for cities like Sydney. Because of this, the agricultural land that is located within the region is becoming more and more highly valued.
Construction is the largest jobs provider within the Wollondilly Shire, contributing nearly 20% of all jobs within the Wollondilly, as well as almost 40% of local sales.
With a number of developments being planned and undertaken, there will be a continual need for construction services and jobs. Wollondilly is a part of the fastest growing region within Sydney. This continual development and growth requires construction, highlighting the ingrained nature of this industry within Wollondilly’s economic activity. The new development of Wilton Precinct alone has significantly utilised the construction sector within the region.
The industrial sector in Wollondilly Shire, whilst relatively small, is a big part of the area. There are a number of industrial sites throughout the area which help to provide a large number of jobs to the Shire (11.9%) and a significant contribution to local sales (7.4%) within Wollondilly.
Wollondilly provides a number of infrastructure requirements needed when it comes to the development of industrial sites. This infrastructure includes access to the Sydney to Melbourne train line, quick access to the Hume Highway into Sydney, as well as a direct road down Picton Road, which runs all the way down to Wollongong, and into Port Kembla.
There are a number of sites located around the Shire, including Picton, Tahmoor, and Maldon, which are home to a number of large and small companies such as Allied Mills, Boral and Narellan Pools. With the planned increase in the industrial land available in the Maldon area, and the new land release for the Wilton Precinct development, this provides the opportunity for more industrial businesses with the opportunity to gain a spot in the fastest growing region in Sydney.
The Wollondilly Shire is home to two major mining companies, The Simec Group and South 32. They are one of the biggest employers in the region (14.1%) and as such, the operations have a tremendous impact on the Wollondilly economy, accounting for over 50% of the regions exports. The mining operations have far reaching effects, providing employment not just to the Shire but surrounding areas, such as Wollongong, as well.
Coal is currently a major source of energy within Australia and the need to transport to other areas, nationally and internationally, is facilitated by Picton Rd which enables transport to Port Kembla. Similarly, the Hume Highway gives access to Sydney.
The retail industry holds an importance place in the Wollondilly Shire, especially when considering the tourism potential of the region. There are a number of retail centres within the area, such as Picton and Tahmoor, and the sector employs around 6.5% of the total workforce. This generates approximately $63.8 million to the local economy, but with a growing population, this number is only set to increase.
Tourism within the Wollondilly Shire is an under-utilised and under-developed resource in the region. There has been an increased effort to improve the Wollondilly name as a tourist destination. In the 2013/2014 year tourism brought in $66.8 million worth of business to the area. Revenue turnover due to tourism has been steadily increasing in recent years, and as the demographics of Sydney continue to change, this number will only rise.