News & Media

Economic Development Office Newsletter - March 2019

Wed 20 Mar 2019

Welcome to Productive Shoalhaven - March 2019

It hasbeen a busy period for the Economic Development Office.   Among otherwork, our office has been busy applying for government funding and continuingour School to Industry program…..

Busy, busy, busy 

he Economic Development Office has been extremely busy over the last couple of months applying for a number of grants which are aimed at boosting our local economy.  The most significant funding streams are the Federal Building Better Regions Fund (BBRF) and the NSW Growing Local Economies Fund. 

Building Better Regions is part of the Australian Government’s commitment to create jobs, drive economic growth and build stronger regional communities.  The third round closed in November 2018 and consisted of two streams – the Infrastructure Projects Stream and the Community Investments Stream.    Shoalhaven City Council has been offered funding for a number of projects and is very grateful to the Federal Government for their support.   

An example of one of the five projects that were funded includes “Placemaking for Vincentia Village”.  This $3.4M project will be used to transform the Vincentia Village Mall (Burton Street) into an engaging public space that will support business and community events.  

Council has also been offered funding from BBRF for ‘Boongaree Park – Nature Play – Childhood Adventure Zone’.  This $950K project will comprise the building of an all abilities, inclusive children’s playground to be known as the Childhood Adventure Zone, at Boongaree Park in Berry.  

In September 2018, Shoalhaven City Council lodged numerous applications for funding through the NSW Growing Local Economies Fund.  The aim of this NSW funding stream is to invest in infrastructure to enable regional businesses to expand and thrive.

Prior to accessing the fund, the NSW Government, in collaboration with Shoalhaven City Council, key stakeholders and the broader community, developed the Shoalhaven Regional Economic Development Strategy 2018-2022.  The strategy identifies regional needs and priorities and aims to facilitate faster access to NSW Government funding such as the Growing Local Economies fund.  The strategy was completed in late July 2018 and Shoalhaven City Council submitted numerous projects for funding by September 2018.

In March 2018, Shoalhaven City Council was offered funding to expand the Albatross Aviation Technology Park.  The NSW Government will commit $4.95M toward this $6.6M project to create an additional 9 lots and install a dedicated fire fighting ring main.   This project will contribute to the economic growth of the region by encouraging business expansion at the park and increase employment.  

The aims of the other applications are also focused on job creation but have yet to be assessed.    


Keeping track of CAPEX

The Economic Development Office maintain an economic model of the effects of major Government infrastructure expenditure and the influence on the local labour market.  This model has been maintained since the early 2000's to monitor Council’s lobbying for improvements to infrastructure mainly in Defence, roads and utility assets.  More recently the infrastructure surrounding the South Coast Correctional Centre and the upcoming major upgrade to the Shoalhaven health precinct have added to the mix.

In the first quarter of 2019 the following major infrastructure projects are recorded as being underway:

  •   South Coast Correctional Centre expansion 
  •   Upgrades to Nowra STP & Bomaderry STP by Shoalhaven Water
  •   Princes Highway – Bomaderry to Berry – NSW RMS
  •   Shoalhaven Hospital – multi storey carpark – NSW Health

The expenditure into the local economy is currently running at in excess of $60m per quarter and whilst some of this expenditure may be with contractors outside the immediate area their workers do temporarily reside in the area and incur expenses whilst doing so.

The graph also shows the effect of the construction effort on local employment and the upcoming works will stimulate this through 2020 and 2021 in producing the greatest employment effort, peaking at around 550 during July 2019 to June 2020.

The question can be asked as to whether this employment level can be sustained. Whilst the infrastructure programs emanate from government there is still more to be done in the Shoalhaven – Princes Highway south of Jervis Bay Rd, upgrades to rail infrastructure, utility augmentation to cater for new urban release areas or new industry requirements.

By the time the next phase of major infrastructure is completed by 2025+, the question is will Shoalhaven still be able to attract the interest of Government to achieve $40m of new infrastructure spend per quarter and the 150 jobs that go with that level of activity?  Preparation of future projects, properly costed and business cases prepared will remain to be something that Council and its community will need to provide for.


Industrial Land Development

The economy of the Shoalhaven has been booming.   So much so that the Economic Development Office has been focusing on bringing new serviced industrial land online and are proud to announce that Woollamia Stage 5 should be completed in the near future.   With land sales imminent, Council is ready to receive Expressions of Interest for the purchase of blocks within Stage 5 Woollamia Industrial Estate.   

All blocks will be sold with a caveat being that the purchaser must commence building within two years from the date of purchase - if not, Council retains the right to purchase the land back at the original sale price.

These lands are considered to be employment lands and the caveat is to ensure that these lands are activated, not land banked, thereby creating job opportunities and contributing to the growth of the economy of the Shoalhaven.

Contact the Economic Development Office on (02) 4429 3388 to find out more.     


REMPLAN - the one-stop-shop for Shoalhaven statistics

Everwanted to know more about the economy of the Shoalhaven?  The EconomicDevelopment Office subscribes to REMPLAN.  REMPLAN  providescompelling insights into the economic structure of the Shoalhaven and thecontributions of our local industries to employment, output, wages and salaries,regional imports and exports and value-added.  Local estimates of GrossRegional Product (GRP) are consistent with Australian Bureau of Statistics’(ABS) estimates of Gross Domestic product (GDP), delivering a detailedunderstanding of regions’ contributions to state and national economies.

Click here to take a look at REMPLAN and the Shoalhaven economy


School to Industry

TheEconomic Development Office of Shoalhaven City Council works with othergovernment agencies, tertiary education providers and the local businesscommunity to support a number of School to Industry programs that  providelocal high school students with information about various career paths. The three projects that the Economic Development Office is substantiallyinvolved with are the Professional Snapshot, the Teacher to IndustryTour  and the Shoalhaven Defence Industry Day.

Professional Snapshot
The Economic Development Office of Shoalhaven City Council, in conjunction withthe Shoalhaven Professional Business Association and UoW Shoalhaven, held its11th annual Professional Snapshot on Wednesday 6th March 2019.

At the Professional Snapshot local high school students spendtime in a number of businesses to experience what the profession involves on aday and day basis.   This real-life insight has helped many studentsexplore career opportunities in professions that they often have had noprevious experience with.  We hope that this day encourages local studentsto pursue a professional career and one day practice within the Shoalhaven.

Thesuccess of the day is due to the involvement of our local business communitywho generously donate their time to help local students decide if aprofessional career is for them.   Many thanks go to Nowra AlliedHealth Centre, Southern Podiatry, Basham Physiotherapy, Brainfit ExercisePhysiology, Basham Chiropractic, Marriott Oliver Solicitors, RMB Lawyers,Financial Dynamics, Edmiston Jones, GHD, Kardia HR, MIEngineers, Walsh &Monaghan, SET Consultants and the Shoalhaven Regional Arts Gallery, SocialInfrastructure Planning and Community Development from Shoalhaven City Council.


Teacher to Industry Tour                           
The Teacher to Industry Tour aims to showcase the range of industries andcareers that are available in the Shoalhaven.  The most recent Teacher toIndustry Tour was held on Thursday, 15 November 2018.

Teachers from a variety of disciplines and high schools acrossthe Shoalhaven as well as other key educational representatives attend theday.  The day was very successful with the feedback provided by theparticipant teachers being very positive.   The attendees were veryimpressed with the calibre and variety of local businesses. The day was a veryworthwhile and enjoyable exercise with valuable knowledge being taken back tothe classrooms.

Businesses that participated in the Teacher to Industry Tourinclude MIND the GaP, Noah’s Inclusion Services, UoW Shoalhaven, Essence Group,Stormtech, Quest, On Line Recruitment, Nowra Truck and Tractor and ShoalhavenMechanical Services.

“I had no idea this business and these opportunities existed inNowra”. 

Shoalhaven Defence Industry Day                           
Defence is an important employer in the Shoalhaven and a significantcontributor to our local economy.  Defence support consists of thosebusinesses that provide goods and services to the Defence sector.  TheDefence Industry Day, modelled on the Professional Snapshot, aims to promotethe range of jobs in Defence AND in defence support.

The inaugural Defence Industry Day was held in November2018.  The Defence Industry Day is a joint initiative between HMASAlbatross, the Shoalhaven Defence Industry Group and the Economic DevelopmentOffice of Shoalhaven City Council.

The event was very well received with all attendees reportingthat they enjoyed the day.  Some of the highlights for the students werethe visits to the base and seeing the armoury and helicopters.  Othersloved the idea working in defence support after seeing the opportunities inbusinesses such as BAE Systems and Air Affairs.  The Shoalhaven DefenceIndustry Group were on hand to explain the range of opportunities in defencesupport.  

Thank you to our business community who support the School to Industry Programs and so many other worthwhile projects.  These initiatives would not happen without you.   


Coming up....

Shoalhaven Careers Expo

The Shoalhaven Careers Expo is held annually at the UoW Shoalhaven campus. This event is about helping young people make informed career choices. 

This day provides an opportunity for local businesses to connect with over 800 local secondary students. 
This year the event will be held on: Tuesday 2 July from 9am to 1pm at the UoW Shoalhaven Campus at Mundamia.    

The event is coordinated by UoW staff and they are currently looking for exhibitors.  It is free to exhibit.
Please contact  Leanne at for more information and to register your business.   


Proudly Shoalhaven continues to make an impact

ProudlyShoalhaven is a marketing campaign developed by Economic Development and fundedthrough the NSW Government's Regional Growth - Marketing and PromotionFund.  The campaign focuses on how and why many companies have thrivedin the Shoalhaven and why they are proud to call Shoalhaven home.

ProudlyShoalhaven stars 20 local business owners who share their business journey onwhy they chose the Shoalhaven to live, work and play.  The campaignhighlights the quality of our local business expertise, our employee pool,resources, transport systems as well as the lifestyle benefits and eachbusiness owner reflects on living and working in the place we all call home.       

The Economic Development Office of Shoalhaven City Council supports a range of business training and networking sessions throughout the Shoalhaven.  Here are some of the Council sponsored training opportunities available to local business over the coming months.


Partnership Showcase

Shoalhaven City Council, through the Economic Development Office, partners with a number of organisations to deliver programs, business support and business training.    

We have partnered with the Shoalhaven Business Chamber for many years.  Currently we are partnering to deliver two exciting initiatives from the Chamber – Women in Business and the Lunch N Learn series.   

Women in Business is the brainchild of the Shoalhaven Business Chamber and the Economic Development Office is proud to support this initiative.   This is a group of strong, supportive and inspirational women.  Their last event was a sell out success with the beautiful evening being held at Merribee with guest speaker Lisa Burling.  

Previous events have included networking High Tea’s, Christmas in July, Networking Morning Teas and  Cheese and Wine evenings.  All of these events are well attended and the group is so welcoming.   If you are a Woman in business looking to network in a supportive environment then Women in Business is for you.   

The Lunch N Learn series consists of a number of lunchtime (catered) events where business people can network and learn about a variety of topics.   Previous lunch and learns have included topics as varied as work safety, digital marketing, government grants and rebates, privacy laws and employment relations.  The Chamber has two upcoming Lunch N Learn events.   See the Business Training section below for more information.  

Special Offer – for a limited time the Shoalhaven Business Chamber isoffering free membership for a year to businesses that have been operating forless than 3 years and have an annual turnover under $75,000.

Contact the Chamber on 02 4423 3582 or go to to find out more.  


Princes Highway Corridor Strategy - Issues Paper and public invitation to comment

The Princes Highway Corridor Strategy will develop an evidence base to underpin a ‘whole-of-corridor’ perspective of the current and future role of the Princes Highway, including economic, social and environmental factors. It will support meaningful engagement with industry and key stakeholders and provide the evidence necessary to allow governments to make informed investment decisions.

The Issues Paper is currently out for public comment and summarises the work to date in identifying issues and opportunities to be considered in the development of the Princes Highway Corridor Strategy.

The Paper has been developed with the input of a wide range of stakeholders and now is the time for the broader community, as users of the Princes Highway, to consider whether the paper has missed anything.  Consultation will continue through until the end of April 2019. 

Please see here to read the Issues Paper and for information about how to make a submission. 


Grants & Financial Incentives for Business

Jobs for NSW - Jobs for NSW provides financial support to startups and emerging and fast-growth small to medium enterprises (SMEs) to build momentum and grow jobs.

With a $190 million fund to invest over four years, they offer a suite of financial products including grants, loans and loan guarantees to support industries and entrepreneurial businesses that generate sustainable jobs across the state.

Click here for more information about the suite of grants available to business from Jobs for NSW.

Boosting Business Innovation Program - The NSW Government has invested $18 million in the Boosting Business Innovation Program, giving small businesses access to research organisations to build strong local business communities and stimulate economic growth in metropolitan and regional NSW.

The program is boosting:

  • a networked innovation ecosystem across NSW
  • additional external funding
  • small to medium enterprises (SMEs) who want to scale up and innovate
  • the regional start-up sector and creating innovation clusters across the state
  • access to high tech equipment and technical expertise research by SMEs and start-ups through TechVouchers.


For something a little different....

Innovation Connections
The Innovation Connections Facilitation service is free and includes access to a highly skilled facilitator. At the completion of your Innovation Connections Facilitation, and at the recommendation of your facilitator, you may subsequently apply for an Innovation Connections Grant.

Innovation Connections Grant
Provides businesses with access to a highly skilled facilitator, for the purpose of reviewing the business’ research needs. If required, the facilitator will connect the business to expertise within the research sector and help to define a project scope.

Up to $50,000 in matched funding support is available to the business, should it choose to fund the project with the recommendation of the facilitator.

Who can apply:
At a minimum, you must:

  • be a for-profit, non-tax exempt company who is registered for GST and operating in Australia for at least three consecutive years
  • have an annual turnover or operating expenditure between $1.5 million ($750,000 for remote Australia and Northern Australia) and $100 million
  • meet the Growth Sector eligibility criteria

Cyber Security Small Business Program
This program provides businesses with 19 or fewer employees with a grant of up to $2,100 for a certified small business cyber security health check to determine business risk and areas that need attention.  Participants will have their cyber security tested by a provider that has been approved by the Council of Registered Ethical Security Testers Australia New Zealand (CREST).

  • The grant amount will be up to 50% of eligible project costs.    
  • Click here to find out more. 
  •  Applications close 30 June 2020

Training for Business

The Economic Development Office of Shoalhaven City Council supports a range of business training and networking sessions throughout the Shoalhaven.  Here are some of the Council sponsored training opportunities available to local business over the coming months.


Lunch N Learn - Savvy Solopreneurs – Shoalhaven Business Chamber and Shoalhaven City Council

How to smash it when you’re solo and have to do All. The. Things.
This Lunch N Learn session will cover:

  • The journey
  • The Mindset
  • The Marketing
  • The Handy Tools

…and how to do it all on a start-up budget!

  • Venue: Quest Nowra
  • Date: Thursday 28th March 2019
  • Time: 12pm - 1pm
  • Cost: Members free, $25 non member

Lunch Provided -  Click here to book your spot

Lunch N Learn - Effective Human Resource Management – Shoalhaven Business Chamber and Shoalhaven City Council

Productivity, engagement and profitability are the results of following a balanced human resource framework. Whether your business is big or small, if you employee people, you will be looking to get a return on this investment.

This workshop will provide you with this framework.

  • Venue: Quest Nowra
  • Date: Thursday 18th April 2019
  • Time: 12pm - 1pm
  • Cost: Members free, $25 non member

Lunch Provided -  Click here to book your spot

NDIS - Costs and Future Proofing - Southern Region BEC

This workshop is for small business owners and NFP managers who want to have a better understanding of your profit and loss under the NDIS.

You will discover how to identify what you need to earn to live a comfortable life and what is your ideal amount of time to spend in your business to achieve this. You will work out the best service configuration and number of billable hours to offset your costs and achieve your business goals. Costs of product and services will then be explored to ascertain the viability of your business model.

Participants will leave with:

  • Knowledge of how to use the NDIS Price Guides effectively
  • With the Knowledge Stacker tool, gain clarity of your projected income, expenses and profitability under the NDIS
  • Ideas on how to create a surplus and diversify revenue streams for added business sustainability

A one-to-one follow up meeting is available to assist you further and embed the ideas/principles of the session.  Workshop is FREE. Registrations are essential.

  • Venue: Shoalhaven City Council 
  • Date:  Friday, 31st May 2019 
  • Cost: Free

Click here to book your spot.

NDIS: Marketing to Connect with Customers – Southern Region BEC

A workshop for businesses wanting to offer their products or services to the NDIS marketplace, you will explore the basics of marketing, research and review your own product-to-market fit and discover ways to find and connect with your new NDIS customers.

Participants will learn:

  • How to research your disability target market
  • The basics of marketing principles
  • The value of a good Customer Experience

At the completion of the session the participants will leave with:

  • A draft of your marketing plan using the Business Development Canvas
  • A list of the key NDIS stakeholders
  • A clearly articulated Value Proposition for your business or NFP

A one-to-one follow up meeting is available to assist you further and embed the ideas/principles of the session. Please book with your local business advisor at the session.

Workshop is FREE. Registrations are essential.

  • Venue: Nowra Library
  • Date: Wednesday 3rd April 2019 
  • Cost: Free

Click here to book your spot. 

#BeBOLD Business Success Series - Southern Region BEC

A must-do series for all business owners who want a fresh view of their business, this is an ideal opportunity to take some time out and look at your business from a bird’s eye perspective. Delivered over 3 Masterclass sessions, you will be guided through the key strategic and operational elements of business by experienced facilitators. Between sessions book a follow-up meeting with your local business advisor and further extend your learnings to identify and target the key areas you need to develop in your business to improve its’ performance.

Participants will learn:

  • The 9 areas to focus on in order to build successful businesses
  • Important Components of good Business Planning
  • How to utilise Digital Tools and Social Media effectively in your Business

At the completion of the program the participants will have:

  • Knowledge and awareness of the key elements for a successful business
  • Useful and effective business planning and development tools
  • A relationship with and on-going support from, your local business advisors

9 Steps to Business Success – Tuesday 16 April 2019, 9.30am – 12.30pm

Create Your 1-Page Business Plan – Tuesday 07 May 2019, 9.30am – 12.30pm

Digital Fitness & Social Media Marketing – Tuesday 11 June 2019, 9.30am – 12.30pm

All sessions are held at the Shoalhaven Regional Gallery.  PAY ONLY $59 –Registrations are essential.

Click here to book your spot.


Economic Development Office

Contact the Economic Development Office on telephone: 02 4429 3388 to speak with:
  • Greg Pullen – Economic Development Manager
  • Marianne Jones – Economic Development Officer
  • Sally Bacon – Economic Development Administration Officer
Click here to access Shoalhaven City Council Economic Development Website