Our Region

The Central West region of New South Wales is renowned for its food and wine and excellent agricultural produce. It covers an area of 63,000 square kilometres starting at the temperate, elevated Central Tablelands on the western side of the Blue Mountains and extends almost 500km to the semi-arid Central West plains. The region is home to over 181,000 people within the 11 local government areas (LGAs) of Bathurst, Blayney, Cabonne, Cowra, Forbes, Lachlan, Lithgow, Oberon, Orange, Parkes and Weddin.

The population of the Central West region is just over 181,500 as at June 2020 with the region experiencing a net increase of 222 persons (0.1%) between 2019 and 2020. The rate of population growth varied considerably between the LGAs. Over the last 5 years, the population of the Central West increased by 2,833 persons with an annualised growth rate 0.39%.

Bathurst Regional Council is the largest LGA with almost 44,000 people followed by Orange City Council with just over 42,500. Whilst the population of the other LGAs is relatively small, they cover a large geographical area. Weddin Shire Council has the smallest population at approximately 3,600 persons.

Unique in its diversity of economy, the Central West Region of NSW is rich in natural resources with agriculture, mining and tourism significant drivers of jobs and opportunities. Increasingly, health and education have taken on a significant role in the region’s economy.

The agriculture and mining industry output is underpinned by abundant natural resources within rich soil and mineral deposits. Additionally, varied topography and climatic conditions across the region provide various opportunities ranging from forestry, cool climate produce, dairy, sheep and beef livestock, as well as a variety of irrigation and broad acre crops.

Professionals (17%) represent the largest occupation cohort in the Central West, followed by Managers (15%) and Technicians & Trades Workers (15%).

Of the employed people in Central West, the largest percentage worked in Hospitals. Other major industries of employment included Supermarket and Grocery Stores, Primary Education, Aged Care Residential Services and Local Government Administration.

Browse Information about the Central West

RDA Central West has a diverse range of current economic and community data to aid development and investment in the region. If you need further help or have any queries please contact us at grants@rdacentralwest.org.au or call 02 6369 1600.