Yass’s gateway to markets

Canberra airport a 24/7 farmers’ gateway for international markets


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ACCESS: Canberra Airport is now an international gateway for southern NSW. Photo: Karleen Minney.

ACCESS: Canberra Airport is now an international gateway for southern NSW. Photo: Karleen Minney.

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The NSW government’s vision for Yass and the surrounding south-east region is that of a borderless area with the nation's capital at its heart.

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The NSW government’s vision for Yass and the surrounding south-east region is that of a borderless area in Australia’s most geographically diverse natural environment with the nation’s capital at its heart.  

The government has developed the South East and Tablelands regional plan 2036 and has set four goals to achieve this aim.

These include a connected and prosperous economy, a diverse environment interconnected by biodiversity corridors, healthy and connected communities and environmentally sustainable housing choices.

To fuel a connected and prosperous economy, one of Australia’s only 24-hour airports will play an important role for Yass district farmers.   

Nearby Canberra International Airport is becoming the catalyst for diverse growth opportunities for agricultural producers, who supply markets across Asia.

As there is no aircraft noise curfew, its international services are unconstrained and the airport’s ability to operate and expand its services cannot be jeopardised by residential development. 

Asia’s middle class continues to grow at such a rapid rate, the demand for regional products will continue to rise and the airport will facilitate this need.  

The region is renowned for innovative and sustainable approaches to agriculture and are acknowledged internationally for high-quality clean and green products. 

Farmers are becoming directly involved in retail, marketing and value-adding or secondary processing, including small species abattoirs and regional saleyards, such as the South Eastern Livestock Exchange in Yass. 

Building innovation and sustainability into the agricultural sector will improve the sector’s adaptability and ability to maintain high quality, clean and green produce.

The South East and Tablelands is a major cherry producing region for NSW. More than 80 per cent of NSW cherry exports are destined for Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore markets. The timing of the region’s seasonal agricultural production provides opportunities for producers to expand supply to global markets in the northern hemisphere. 

Small-scale producers of boutique foods and beverages, such as truffles, processed meats and wines could also access larger markets through collaborative approaches and industry cooperatives.

  • Visit https://www.planning.nsw.gov.au/Plans-for-your-area/Regional-Plans/South-East-and-Tablelands/South-East-and-Tablelands-regional-plan
  • Sarah Lees is Director of South Region, Department of Planning and Environment
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