NSW Government Regional Economic Development Strategies (REDS) >>> READ MORE


The NSW Government has assisted local councils to develop Regional Economic Development Strategies (REDS) based on the concept of a Functional Economic Region, which usually incorporates more than one local government area.

The Centre for Economic and Regional Development has led this work and managed a panel of expert contractors to collaborate with councils and local stakeholders on their REDS.

The REDS provide faster access to dedicated state funding, such as the Growing Local Economies Fund (link: https://www.nsw.gov.au/improving-nsw/regional-nsw/regional-growth-fund/growing-local-economies/   )and may also be used to support other types of government grant applications.


See Also:

Use the following links to download the Wingecarribee Shire Council Regional Economic Development Strategy REDS documents:

Wingecarribee REDS Final Report

Wingecarribee REDS Supporting Analysis

For Frequently Asked Questions about REDS, click here:


To see the REDS documents for other NSW regions, click here:


For more information about the NSW Centre for Economic and Regional Development, click here:


Development Framework Sectors

A “Back to Business” week presentation that discusses the impact of job automation (robots) and Climate Change disruption on our future employment patterns, and why Business Mentoring Matters – Download PDF

For our latest update (Feb 2017) please Download PDF

For a draft list of projects (Feb 2017) please Download PDF

Developing the 2031+ Community Plan in the Southern Highlands NSW

The Economic Framework is derived from the 2031+ Community Plan developed in 2011 which lays out the community’s objectives for 2031.

Development of our Economic Framework began in early 2015.

Reorganising the 2031+ Community Plan

Completed after extensive community consultation in 2011, the 2031+ Community Plan grouped the future aspirations of the Wingecarribee region into the following themes:

  • Leadership
  • People
  • Places
  • Environment
  • Economy

Each theme contains numerous individual community goals, but does not address how these goals might be achieved. (To download the original 2031+ Community Plan, click here.)

Accordingly the goals in the 2031+ Community Plan were initially reorganised into the following economic sectors:

  • Water
  • Food
  • Shelter
  • Energy
  • Transport
  • Technology
  • Art
  • Recreation
  • Business
  • Learning

Each sector helps to shift the focus to WHAT our community wants to achieve by 2031. (Additional aspirations detailing HOW our community wants to embrace change were grouped into an additional “Economic Development” sector.)

Finally, a few selected projects/aspirations were added to the overall list using the following sources:

  • Regional Development Australia Southern Inland projects (NSW Tablelands and Southern Highlands)
  • Tasks from the Wingecarribee Shire Council Small Business Friendly Councils program
  • Recently identified Economic Development tasks / project ideas by the Wingecarribee Shire Council

(For details of the revised 2031 list, click here.)

Consulting with Interim Sector Groups

Specific ideas about how to achieve the 2031+ goals for each sector were then sought from Chambers of Commerce members, Council Committees, and Council staff.

About 120 new project ideas were received.

Ten Sector Workshops were then held to discuss how well these new project ideas aligned with the intent of the 2031+ Community Plan.

Overall, more than 100 people attended the Sector Group meetings. Several people attended multiple meetings, including members of our regional Chambers of Commerce.

Project ideas were combined. Different groups discussing the same ideas in the same Sector ended up with different priorities. Some ideas didn’t make it through.

A key assumption during the consultation process was that Private Sector investors are the most likely source of future project funding i.e. where possible, projects would need to be funded by commercially viable partnerships.

Economic Summit (June 2015)

The idea to hold a regional Economic Summit was originally proposed by the Moss Vale Chamber of Commerce, and subsequently embraced by the Southern Highlands Chamber of Commerce. The Wingecarribee Shire Council facilitated the event on behalf of the community.

The Economic Summit was held at Chevalier College in June 2015. A key result was a list of prioritised projects within each Sector. Over 100 people attended the event, with about 70 people signing up to progress projects on an ongoing basis.

For businesses, the Economic Summit was a great way to see what future products and services the community is likely to be seeking.

For non-business people, the Economic Summit was an excellent opportunity to directly influence how and what our community achieves by 2031.

The original 120 project ideas were reduced to 35 Short Term/High Priority projects.

These projects could collectively increase the GDP of the region by $1b by 2031 – about a 50% increase.

Economic Summit Follow-up (July 2015)

A follow-up meeting for all Sector groups was held in July at Bradman Museum in Bowral. Over 100 people attended this event, including people who had been unable to attend the Economic Summit due to work commitments.

To help clarify available government based funding, Federal, State and Local Government funding options were presented to the meeting, as well as information about the Destination NSW Tourism Strategy.

The Economic Framework was also modified to include 10 sectors, rather than the original 8, to reflect evolving community priorities.

(Click on a sector for more detailed information about project priorities)

For a current summary of Economic Development in the Southern Highlands click the link below:

SHDF Summary 2016

Investment Summit (29th October 2015)

The Investment Summit provided an opportunity for investors to partner with Sector Groups and support specific projects.

Projects fall into the following categories:

  • Early stage – information sharing only
  • Seed projects – partners and resources required
  • Investment ready – seeking immediate funding

Some projects are focussed on community-based and/or cooperative funding models. Other projects are best suited to large corporate investors. Others will suit groups of many small investors, or sponsorships.

Where possible, the speech notes related to the presentations are available in PDF format via the “Downloads” option at the top right of this page.

For more information the opportunities in each sector, click on the links below:

Water | Food | Shelter | Energy | Transport | Technology | Art | Recreation | Business | Learning

The road ahead…

We are living through a critical point on human history. The rapid changes ahead of us mean greater uncertainty.

By 2031 the impacts of two megatrends will be affecting us directly:

  • Economic Restructuring due to technology (Informed estimates are that 40% of current jobs will disappear within 1-2 decades)
  • Climate Change (Irrespective of your personal position on this topic, massive economic changes are already taking place)

We do not need to be the biggest or the strongest region on the planet to successfully meet our community goals for 2031 and beyond, but we DO need to learn how to quickly adapt to change:

  • Embracing change faster means we will be better-placed to take first-mover advantage of new opportunities.
  • By adapting quickly we are more likely to develop our capacity to recover quickly – we will improve our resilience.

Our Economic Development Framework has been designed to allow for rapid change and still deliver on our community’s objectives for 2031 and beyond. If you would like to get involved please click here to Subscribe to our newsletter.