The diverse economy powering the Snowy Valleys into the future.
You could spend all your evenings researching the articles, links and hashtags showcasing rural lifestyle and country living (and maybe you already have!) – the truth is, deep down, you probably already know your decision either way. For a wannabe country changer, the issue isn’t about convincing yourself whether or not to make the move… it’s more about where.
Where will suit you, your partner, or your family? Where can your business grow? Where are the jobs you’ll need? Where can you find support? Ultimately, the question of ‘Where?’is about finding the best place to carve out the lifestyle you, your partner or your family have always dreamed of.
This is why we want to introduce you to the Snowy Valleys. Bordered by both Victoria and the ACT, Snowy Valleys Councilregion is the gateway to the pristine wilderness of the Snowy Mountains. The population of 14,395 is spread across the main towns of Tumbarumba, Tumut, Batlow and Adelong, with several smaller townships dotted throughout the Council down to the foothills of the mountains.
The geography and the townships within give the whole area a diverse economy built around strong natural resources – and with several economic drivers and industry advances emerging, it’s never been a better time to consider a country change to the Snowy Valleys.
Unemployment is low in the Snowy Valleys, remaining below 5% since 2014, with numbers consistently under the state and regional averages to date. Due to skills shortages across the Snowy Valleys there is a diverse offering of quality jobs. From Manufacturing to Agriculture, multiple industries are crying out for workers across the board, with many jobs going unfilled when supply of skills simply can’t catchup up with demand. There are opportunities for businesses as well, with Council identifying several emerging economic drivers in their ‘Planning for Prosperity’ strategic plan. These economic drivers are set to power the economy alongside the many flow-on effects as Snowy Hydro 2.0 begins to take shape.
In short, the Snowy Valleys isn’t just a powerhouse for energy production, it’s an economic powerhouse in the making. For discerning country changers, there’s a variety of opportunities ripe for the picking – both in terms of industry and employment, as well as the lifestyle perks. When it comes to ‘Where?’, this is a place where there’s a lot to hang your hat on. So, let’s take a closer look at the economic engine room, and what’s on offer in terms of great jobs and a great lifestyle…
If you’ve been to the produce section of the supermarket lately, there’s a decent chance you’ve got a Batlow Apple sitting in your fruit bowl at home. This humble Batlow Apple is a simple but enduring (and very tasty!) symbol of the strong Agricultural prowess across the Snowy Valleys; an industry with a constant and plentiful job offering.
The chill nights and cooler climates are second to none as far as production conditions – which also plays into the success of the region’s cool climate horticulture industry. The wine-making grapes near Tumbarumba have been touted as some of the best in the industry, with local Vignerons experiencing strong demand for their premium products. Beef and lamb producers also create employment opportunities and flow-on effects for the area with their premium products.
Forestry is another significant industry area, and one that experiences shortages of skilled workers. From Mechanical Engineers to labourers, there are jobs consistently on offer across several areas of production. The Hyne Timber Mill directly employs around 200 people, as well as indirect employment via contractors and support services. And it’s almost 200 trucks that transport the sustainably farmed plantation timber each day to the world-class milling facilities. Visy Pulp and Paper Tumut utilise byproducts of the milling process in their innovative paper and packaging production to help ensure no waste from the industry. Visy are also the biggest direct and indirect employer in the entire Tumut area. From employees to contractors, they employ scientists, engineers, tradespeople, administrators and transport workers.
The Snowy Valleys Council is working proactively to support industry and business with roads and infrastructure projects high on the priority list. With the help of State funding, the Gocup Road Upgrade has opened up transport pathways from Tumut to Gundagai, and from there to Sydney and Melbourne via the Hume Highway.
The Brindabella Road Upgrade is also a priority for the future, with Council advocating for funding to streamline transport routes from Tumut to Canberra. Projects like Gocup Road have opened up a variety of new and more accessible markets to business over the mountains, not to mention the potential for building on current tourism popularity.
Council is also actively engaged in processes to open up industrial land in response to community demand, with the consultation and development of a Local Environment Plan for industrial zones currently underway. In connection with new freight links, is good news for business looking to create capacity for expansion or upgrade of operations.
There is also a strong emphasis on opportunities for place-based economic development. Adventure tourism is at its best in the Snowy Valleys, which not only means country changers have access to some of the most beautiful wilderness and natural landscape, there’s also huge business and job prospects across the industry. Council has a strong focus on boosting recreation and tourism, with strategies in place to support industry professionals, including improvements to visitor amenities, accommodation development, ecotourism, and improved recreational vehicle access and signage.
In order to cover the tourism demand, the need for quality accommodation offerings is always significant, as well as flow-on effects for tourism amenities from popular Snowy Valleys experiences such as getting up into the high country, cycling, bushwalking, fly fishing, or an afternoon at the snowfields. There’s always plenty to do, plus plenty of jobs on offer. And in the midst of it all you’ll find yourself living the active lifestyle you could only dream about before.
Take a peek at Snowy Valleys Up Close where everyday Snowy Valleys residents give you a firsthand tour of all the things they believe make this region a truly special place to live.
Imagine a place where stunning scenery is standard, and where inspiring experiences can be found around every corner. No wonder they’ve earmarked creative services as a growing economic driver in the region – startups and remote workers offering creative services, for example graphic design and web development, are gaining traction within the Snowy Valleys. For the creative professional, this is a work environment like no other.
And how could we introduce you to the Snowy Valleys without talking about Snowy Hydro 2.0? The Scheme is a powerful economic booster for the area, with over 50 businesses already taking advantage of opportunities to be involved with Snowy Hydro 2.0, and more taking advantage of registering their interest to provide sub-contracting services as the project continues to roll out.
This means so much more than the direct employment of locals and a boost for the job economy… there’s benefits for schools, sponsorships for community groups, and a general economic boost that flows onto facilities as more money and funding is poured into the area. This is on top of the effects for business and tourism in general, as the local economy responds to such a significant injection of finances during the project and beyond.
So whether it’s agriculture, a great business idea, stepping up your career in manufacturing, tourism and accommodation, or even professional and creative services, the Snowy Valleys is clearly alive with potential. One way to keep your finger on the pulse is to check out the Jobs Riverina website, so you can make sure you don’t miss that perfect opportunity when it arises.
When you’re considering the question of ‘Where?’ to make your country change, it’s about being at the stage of life where you know what you really want. It’s not just about a great job, it’s about enjoying yourself along the way, and if you want to see less of the traffic over your dashboard and more of the great outdoors at your doorstep, then this could be the place for you. You can check out more about the Snowy Valleys and what a Country Change could mean for you here. And why not pick up the phone and chat with a friendly local, or plan a visit to the Snowy Valleys, and see for yourself why this could be the perfect place to call home.