Shoalhaven Economic Development
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Shoalhaven is located on the coastal plain of the south coast of New South Wales bounded generally by the Illawarra escarpment to the west and the Pacific Ocean to the east.

This coastal environment is characterised by a number of major urban centres and a scattering of villages that are surrounded by a series of coastal lakes and natural eucalypt bushland. Two major river systems, the Shoalhaven and the Clyde, provide complimentary relief that supports agricultural, urban and commercial/industrial production infrastructure.

So if you enjoy bushwalking, camping, fishing, bird watching, water sports or just the beauty of the great outdoors, the Shoalhaven is one of the most natural regions in Australia.

Climate, Soils, Flora and Fauna

Temperatures are generally mild with average temperatures of 15.5C and 26.5C for June and January respectively. Rainfall is more pronounced during the summer/autumn months, with the least rainfall occurring in July, August and September. The average annual rainfall is 1110mm and 1270mm for Nowra and Milton respectively. Follow links for more detailed climate information about Nowra and Ulladulla or go to The Bureau of Meteorology.

The geology is dominated by Permian age sandstones and siltstones. Older Ordovician age slates and shales make up the basement in the Clyde Valley with volcanic intrusions evident in the north of the City and at Milton and Bawley Point. The area is predominantly hilly or mountainous country to the west with a narrow coastal strip to the east. Most of the soils of the area are moderately to strongly acid and due to the parent geology most are of poor nutrient status with low water holding capacity. The high nutrient status soils of volcanic origin (e.g. Milton Monzonite) or alluvial origin (e.g. Shoalhaven Floodplain) have generally been cleared and represent very good agricultural land. This past clearing of vegetation (much of it rainforest) has had significant impacts on regional wildlife.

Flora and Fauna
Today eucalypt forests and woodlands dominate the area with cleared land being prevalent in the alluvial valleys and in regions closer to the coast. Various specialised flora and fauna have developed in the rainforests, wetlands, coastal sand dunes and heath areas.

Crown Land, State Forest and National Park make up 64% of the Shoalhaven land area providing significant habitat for flora and fauna. Diverse coastline habitats represented by beaches, estuaries, wetlands and lakes along the coast are important for both the biodiversity values of the Shoalhaven and commercially for recreational and fishing opportunities.

The Shoalhaven region includes a number of sensitive natural assets. The Shoalhaven River and estuary system, Jervis Bay, Coomondary Swamp and Lake Wollumboola and a number of other coastal lakes and estuaries all represent sensitive natural environments. High population growth rates in the Shoalhaven places considerable pressure on these natural resources, highlighting the need for appropriate management and investment.

National Parklands

More than a third of the Shoalhavens total area is National parklands.

Cudmirrah National Park is popular with anglers and bird watchers - with over 160 species of birds.

Conjola National Park centres on Conjola Lake and is ideal for boating and fishing.

Booderee National Park, in the Jervis Bay Territory is the most visited National Park in Australia. This park is owned by the Wreck Bay Aboriginal Community and has always been a significant place for Koori people.

The Jervis Bay Marine Park surrounded by the Jervis Bay National Park ensures that this world famous locality is managed and preserved for locals and visitors alike as they utilise this major recreational resource for fishing, diving, sailing and whale watching.

Other national parks in the Shoalhaven include Morton National Park - large, rugged and with some areas designated as wilderness so very popular with serious bushwalkers
Spectacular Seven Mile Beach Park, which has the longest beach in the area is the historic site of aviator Sir Kingsford Smiths first commercial take off.

Murramarang National Park is situated on the southern end of the Shoalhaven and runs down to the coast and includes 4 coastal islands. Its most famous site is Pebbly Beach where kangaroos are known for their friendliness.

For a full list of facilities and maps see National Parks.

NSW State Forests

South of the Shoalhaven River, there are significant areas of State Forest and farmland used for forestry purposes. Many sawmills operate along the coastal areas providing employment for sawmill operators and forestry harvesting.

State Forests are available for recreatiuonal purposes and many are located in the Shoalhaven. Youll find a list of these forests and their facilities at the NSW State Forests website. The Department also sell online maps for the South Coast Forests showing all the regularly maintained trails, lookouts and recreation areas.

Shoalhaven City Council Parks and Walks

The Shoalhaven City Council manages over 800 parks and reserves, including over 100 playgrounds, more than 100 picnic areas, 30 boat ramps, 80 playing fields and countless foreshore reserves, boardwalks, beaches, wetlands, bushlands and rainforests. The Shoalhaven offers many different walks from climbing Pigeon House Mountain to the gentle beauty of Bens Walk there is something to suit everyone.  There are a list of walks and parks at Shoalhaven Holidays.

The State of the Environment Report, Shoalhaven City Council

Council each year prepares a comprehensive and searchable The State of the Environment Report outlining courses of action for the coming year(s) and whether the aims from the previous year were met. In this way the community can see if Council is on track with its Environmental Management Programs.

Council also provides other online environmental resources from council management plans to ways to that individuals can do through available rebates to pesticide use and a guide for green living at Environmental Management

How Council is integrating sustainable development into planning and activities can be found at Sustainable Living

Or you can look at the latest Public Documents which also includes Council environment reports

Other Council Information

If you want to become involved in local environmental initiatives there are plenty of opportunities and volunteers in any capacity are always welcome.

A Bushfire Risk Management Committee has been formed and this site carries upcoming meeting times which you are welcome to attend.

Information about local weeds

Council has information on how to be a more Sustainable Living

If you want information about Council Waste, Shoalhaven Water and for all other services - Go to New Arrivals

Shoalhaven Council supports Park and Bush Care Groups 

Beachwatch is a report about current ocean water quality, this is updated each year

Council also offers advice on Solid Fuel Heaters and there use in the City

Local Environmental Initiatives

A number of groups and activities are currently active.

Sustain our Shoalhaven

Sustain our Shoalhaven is an initiative of local businesses to create a display home to showcase sustainable building products. 

Business Treading Lightly

Business Treading Lightly is an agency developed by the 7 southern region councils to assist business become more profitable through sustainable business practices. 

Berry Future Care

Berry Future Care believes that we can all take action on the issue of climate change.  The group aims to work with an informed community, which cares about the future, so that what is done in our everyday lives helps build an environmentally sustainable Berry.


Landcare groups in the Upper Shoalhaven and Upper Deua catchments consist parimarily of groups of meighbouring landholders with a concern about the quality of their land.

Shoalhaven Sustainable Tourism Accommodation

A full list of all accommodation is maintained by the Shoalhaven Visitors Information Centre - to contact please follow link to Shoalhaven Holidays



Economic Development have a new strategy - Productive Shoalhaven 2017-2026

Shoalhaven Economic Profile

Remplan can provide you with Shoalhaven industrial economic data. 

Profile id. gives you access to a wealth of demographic data

Shoalhaven at a Glance
   99,925 (Sep 2016)
Labour Force:
   39,458 (Sep 2016)
Unemployment rate:
   9.56% (Sep 2016)
Gross Regional Product:
   $4.6 billion
(Dec 2016)
Gross disposable wages & salaries:
   $2.2 billion 
(Dec 2016)
Value added:
   Property Services $758m
   Health/Social Assist $405m
   Manufacturing $381m
efence $373m
   Retail $301m
   Accom/Food Services $196m

(Dec 2016)