Canberra as part of a region

The ACT and surrounding NSW region includes the settlements of Canberra and its rural villages, the City of Queanbeyan, and a number of towns and villages including Yass, Murrumbateman, Bungendore, Sutton, Gunning, Gundaroo, Binalong and Bredbo (Map 2 – ACT and Surrounding NSW). Currently approximately 376,000 people live within this region, which makes it the largest inland growth region in Australia. In recent years, surrounding NSW has experienced rates of growth higher than those in the ACT. This growth is considered to be partly due to economic factors, the outflow from the Sydney corridor and a reflection of lifestyle changes.

Map 2 - ACT and surrounding NSW MAP 2
ACT and Surrounding NSW
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The City of Queanbeyan, part of the Greater Queanbeyan local government area, located immediately adjacent to the Territory’s eastern border, effectively forms part of metropolitan Canberra, and while operating within a different jurisdiction with its own local government, has similar characteristics to Canberra’s districts. It has a strong commercial core (town centre) supported by residential neighbourhoods, industrial activities and a range of other land uses and services.

The ACT Government and surrounding jurisdictions have been working together for a number of years on many policy matters. From a planning perspective, this culminated in the development of the ACT and Sub-Region Planning Strategy that was formally adopted in 1998. While that strategy provided a strategic context for future development, subsequent changes in environmental and economic relationships, government policies, community expectations and emerging governance arrangements for the sub-region mean that a new strategy to address planning issues for the region is required.

A range of issues affect the whole region, not just the ACT. They include: the accommodation of future population growth, water management and environmental protection, support for economic diversity and growth, regional transport linkages, and provision of facilities and services.

The Canberra Spatial Plan provides a very important context and framework for an ACT strategic position to inform revised regional approaches to planning and development. The Plan identifies the need for a Regional Management Framework and also outlines how the Territory will participate in the Sydney-Canberra Corridor Strategy.