The Western Division of NSW is an economic powerhouse which generates in excess of $1 billion in earnings each year. It comprises some 32.5 million hectares, representing 42% of the land area in NSW, and is populated by 52,830 people.
The Western Division of NSW stretches from the Murray River at Balranald in the south, to the Barwon River at Mungindi in the north, and west to the South Australian Border. With an average annual rainfall of 200 mm in the west and 400 mm in the east, the Western Division is ideal pastoral country. The Division is largely Crown Land held under perpetual leasehold, and administered by the Western Lands Commission, a division of the NSW Department of Natural Resources.
The major agricultural product is wool; however, improved production and land management practices have permitted the diversification of enterprises on properties, allowing pastoralists more flexibility. As a result the Western Division's 1,700 perpetual leaseholdings produce a surprising array of agricultural products including premium quality prime hard wheat, wool, cereals, oilseeds, cotton, lamb, mutton, beef, citrus, dairy products, rice, grapes, vegetables, goat and kangaroo meat and exotic breeds of sheep.
The Western Division Council have identified their priority areas for 2017-18 to be:
Improved outcomes from water developmental schemes and improved future drought preparedness for the Darling River
- Increase the focus on Vertibrate Animal Control (native & non-native)
- feasibility of a wild dog border fence for the full length of the NSW/Queensland Border
- mitigating pig and fox population growth and minimise Total Grazing Pressure from Kangaroos
- Control and management of invasive and noxious weeds and plants
- Effective maintenance of roads (standards and conditions) to ensure safe and timely freight movement and domestic travel
- Regulatory enforcement and compliance of opal mining by Government, including the strategic buy back of lands affected by opal mining in the Narran-Warrambool Opal Mining Reserve