North Coast Regional Cities

Employment Anchor Analysis

NSW Planning and Environment developed action plans for each regional city along the North Coast. As part of this, HillPDA was engaged to develop actions to support jobs growth by leveraging health, education, and airport precincts in Port Macquarie-Hastings, Coffs Harbour, Tweed and Lismore. This work occurred in consultation with Councils and other key stakeholders including operators of major health, education and airport infrastructure.

In this study, HillPDA undertook an employment anchors analysis for each of the regional cities, specifically relating to the sizeable employment anchors of major hospitals, airports and tertiary education campuses. The work was informed by:

  • Stakeholder engagement
  • A literature review on the role of employment anchors in regional cities
  • A review of the current policy context and planned investment
  • Trends in population, employment and local economies
  • An assessment of each employment anchor.


HillPDA was able to provide a multi-scale analysis of the needs of regional cities throughout the region identifying priorities in a highly localised context, through to macro regional priorities. The thorough investigation of the roles of anchors in unique regional economies required the establishment of a solid basis for analysis before further investigation and consultation could be undertaken. The strength of this base was borne out in the quality and range of final recommendations.

The actions were supported by an extensive literature review and case studies to demonstrate the on-the-ground delivery potential.

Through review of available evidence, combined with a thorough investigation of regional employment anchors, the final plan outlined a clear plan for each regional city.


  • Economic analysis and profiling
  • Stakeholder consultation
  • Spatial analysis
  • Policy analysis
  • Demographics
  • Action plans
  • Strategy development

Client: NSW Department of Planning & Environment
Project date: 2018


For more information, contact Elle Clouston, Associate

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