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Clarence Valley outperforms regional NSW regional

Geoff Helisma|

Clarence Valley is outperforming the rest of regional NSW, according to the latest gross regional product figures for the year ending June 30, 2019.

“Gross regional product (GRP) is the equivalent of gross domestic product (GDP), but for a smaller area,” the .idcommunity demographic resources update states on Clarence Valley Council’s (CVC) website.

The CVC local government area’s GRP was $2,134m as of June 30, 2019.

The valley’s GRP grew by 3.1 per cent, which followed 1.3 per cent growth in 2018; whereas regional areas of NSW, overall, went backwards by 0.5 percent in both 2018 and 2019 – another national study, released this week by SGS Economics and Planning, rates GRP for the NSW regions as falling by 0.3 per cent.

In 2019 there were 18, 854 jobs in the valley, up by 3.1 per cent on 2018’s 18,288 jobs.

However, it is likely that the infrastructure builds in the valley have inflated that figure.

The valley’s highest jobs number was achieved in 2016, when there were 18,998 jobs being worked; however, 2017 and 2018 recorded losses of 2.74 per cent and 1.03 per cent respectively, a total of 3.77 per cent over the two years.

The number of people employed in 2019 (assuming job sharing accounts for the differing numbers of jobs and those in employment) was 19,469, compared to the previous year’s 19,205 and 2017’s 19,319 people employed – the 2016 result of 19,869 people in employment is the highest on record.

The majority of employment is held in ‘household services’ (7,523) and ‘goods related’ (6,923) jobs; the remainder are attributed to public administration and safety, business services, agriculture, forestry and fishing, and mining.

Mining returned the largest total exports by industry, generating $111 million in 2018/19, followed by manufacturing ($73.8m), agriculture and fishing ($65.8m), public administration and safety ($61m) and education and training ($32.5m).

All up, exports accounted for $ 597.6m in “sales of goods and services to non-resident households, businesses and other organisations, outside Clarence Valley Council area boundaries”.

Construction had the highest local sales, generating $1,423 million in 2018/19; total local sales across all industries amounted to $3,277.5m.

Residential development approvals (DA) for the 2018/19 financial year amounted to $52.433 million.

The highest value for residential DAs since CVC was amalgamated was set in 2004/05 ($81.048m).

Non-residential DAs approved for 2018/19 amounted to $38.704m, compared to the previous year’s $506.404m, most likely due to the new Clarence Correctional Centre’s approval.

Non-residential DA approvals have only exceeded those for residential DAs on one other occasion in 2009/10 – $72.85m, compared to residential DAs, $55.569m.

Meanwhile, the valley’s population has remained at around 51,500 (plus or minus 150) since 2012.

Relevant CVC staff were unavailable for comment at the time of writing.