Regional Economic Development Strategies

The NSW Government has supported local councils and communities across Regional NSW to develop Regional Economic Development Strategies (REDS) for each of 38 Functional Economic Regions (FERs).

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Regional Economic Development Strategies - 2023 Updates

In 2023, the NSW Government developed updates for each of the 38 existing REDS in regional NSW. The 2023 REDS Updates can be found at the links below. The 2023 REDS Updates build on the strong foundation created by the 2018 REDS and include for each FER: 

  • updated data and economic analysis, reflecting new data releases and analysis of the impact of key events that have occurred since 2018;
  • discussion of the key opportunities and challenges facing regional NSW and individual communities; and 
  • updated strategies and enabling actions to guide and support economic development priorities for regional NSW.

For further detail about the 2023 REDS Updates, please see the Information for Readers guide (PDF 1.09MB).

Functional Economic Regions (FERs)

FERs are made up of one or more Local Government Areas in regional NSW that work together to create smaller economies with strong economic links.

The REDS set out a vision to support the economic development of each region. They identify the region’s key endowments (strengths), its engine and emerging industries, and identify priority strategies and actions to support the region's economic development. 

The REDS are key strategic documents which form an evidence base that can be used to guide government investment in economic development initiatives in regional NSW.

Map of Regional Economic Development Strategies

REDS Documents

Bathurst and Oberon
Central Coast and Lake Macquarie
Central Orana
Clarence Valley
Coffs Coast
Cowra Shire
Eastern Riverina
Far South Coast
Far West
Hastings Macleay
Lower North West
Northern New England High Country
Northern Rivers
Orange, Blayney and Cabonne
Snowy Monaro
Snowy Valleys
South West Slopes
Southern New England High Country
Southern Tablelands
Tweed Shire
Upper North West
Western Murray
Western Plains
Western Riverina

Frequently asked questions

How are the REDS used?

The REDS are an evidence base used to identify and prioritise NSW Government investment and policy decisions to support regional economic development. 

The REDS can also be used by local government as an economic development strategy for the region which can be used to inform and guide the economic development activity of councils and business. The strategies may also be used to support grant applications to the NSW and Commonwealth Governments.

What is a Functional Economic Region (FER) and how does it relate to the REDS?

REDS are based on FER boundaries, which can be comprised of a single or multiple LGAs. The size and nature of the FER is informed by economic data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics and will differ across NSW. Using the FER boundaries helps to identify LGAs that have strong economic connections. When used in the REDS, they help to better target investment that will grow or establish regional competitive advantage. LGAs, to better target investments aimed at growing or establishing regional competitive advantage. The size and nature of the FER is informed by economic data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics and will differ across NSW.

Does every Region in NSW have a REDS?

The REDS are key strategic documents designed to support the economic development in regional NSW. Regional NSW refers to all of NSW except the metropolitan areas of Greater Sydney, Newcastle, and Wollongong. For this reason, REDS have not been developed for Greater Sydney, Newcastle, and Wollongong. However, strategic economic planning for these areas is being undertaken by the Greater Cities Commission.


For any questions or further information about the REDS, please contact the Department of Regional NSW at

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