Preparing Dubbo for jobs growth
A strategy that will change the city’s employment landscape in the future is set for consideration by Dubbo Regional Council.
Director of Planning and Environment Stephen Wallace said the Dubbo Employment Lands Strategy will aim to ensure that Dubbo has enough commercial, industrial, institutional and tourist zoned land in the future in locations that are in close proximity to housing and community facilities.
For the purpose of the strategy, employment lands include all land zoned predominately for activities resulting in employment.
“Employment lands are critical to the short, medium and long term economic and social viability of communities,” Mr Wallace explained.
“It is important to maintain an adequate supply of employment land to ensure a diverse range of jobs is available for residents.”
Among the key recommendations of the strategy is to investigate changing the existing R2 Low Density Residential zoning between Dubbo Hospital and Lourdes Hospital, potentially to B4 Mixed Use zone to facilitate development of private health, education, accommodation and support services such as food and drink premises.
The vision is to create opportunities to support the Health, Well-being and Education Precinct along with existing residential development.
“With health care and social assistance and education and training being Dubbo’s first and third largest employment sectors respectively, the Health, Well-being and Education Precinct is one of Dubbo’s most important precincts with respect to employment lands, both in terms of the number of jobs generated and its service catchment being of a regional scale,” Mr Wallace told
According to Council projections, 4068 people will be employed in Dubbo’s health care and social assistance industry by 2031, representing Dubbo’s largest employment sector.
“Additionally, the precinct is experiencing significant growth and development with additions such as the Western Cancer Centre... and significant sporting facilities including the cycle track, velodrome and the Western Region Institute of Sport complex.”
The 88-page draft strategy also makes recommendations with respect to how each employment precinct can manage changing economic trends and drivers, market forces, meet projected demands, cater for land use conflicts and manage continued growth. Where appropriate, it also makes recommendations to investigate the rezoning of certain land.
“Based on future demand projections out to 2031, it is anticipated Dubbo will have an undersupply of retail floorspace,” Mr Wallace said.
“It is recommended to investigate opportunities to expand the CBD to ensure sufficient retail floorspace supply is provided over the long term.”
A new commercial zone adjacent to the airport in West Dubbo is also one of the strategy’s recommendations ‘to permit a mixture of commercial uses including business and office premises including specialised retail premises as well as continuing to permit warehouse and distribution centres and a range of light industrial uses including depots, industrial training facilities, freight transport and passenger transport and truck depots.’
Extending the SP3 tourist zoning in Cobbora Rd/myall St while adding this zoning to the area south of Camp Road are also highlighted by the document.
Following a community consultation period which ended on December 21, the draft strategy received 20 submissions from residents which are currently being reviewed by staff.
It is anticipated that a report for Council considerations will be ready in early 2019.
Copies of the draft strategy can be obtained from the Strategic Planning Services Branch of Dubbo Regional Council.