Northern Rivers

Employment Land Audit and Strategy

The Northern Rivers Joint Organisation (NRJO) was seeking to undertake an audit of Industrial and employment lands across the Northern Rivers. The outcome of this audit was intended to support and strengthen the region’s economic development strategies, identify a means of progressing existing employment and industrial lands and inform future reviews of the region’s land use planning policies.

HillPDA was commissioned to undertake the audit across the Northern Rivers Region which encompassed the seven LGAs of Ballina, Byron, Clarence Valley, Kyogle, Lismore, Richmond Valley and Tweed Shires. Employment lands in the audit encompassed land zoned as E3 Productivity Support, E4 General Industrial, and W4 Working Waterfront.

In addition to the audit, the study forecasted the demand for employment land over the next two decades, identified the likely demands for various employment and industrial land uses, considering global, domestic and local trends and provided commentary on the economic, social and environmental values and issues related to various land uses.

Specific key elements of the study included:

  • Review of State and local planning policies and strategies
  • Socio-demographic review
  • Market trends
  • Land use audit by LGA
  • Profile of employment lands by LGA (development status, lot sizes)
  • Employment land demand assessment across each LGA
  • Constraints analysis on existing and future vacant land stocks
  • Identification and analysis/suitability of future land stocks
  • Stakeholder engagement.

Project outcome

The final study provided a clear, concise and visual understanding as to the current supply and status of employment land stocks across the Northern Rivers Region. The study also projected the demand for additional employment land needs to accommodate the projected growth in employment and the capacity of the Region to accommodate this demand. Where there existing land stocks were not sufficient, we identified locations for the future precinct with the site undergoing a constraints analysis and suitability analysis to better identify the most suitable locations.


  • Policy review and alignment
  • Strategic context
  • Market trends
  • Socio-demographic review
  • Land use audit
  • Employment land profile
  • Employment land demand
  • Constraints analysis
  • Identification of future land stocks
  • Suitability analysis
  • Stakeholder engagement.

Client: Northern Rivers Joint Organisation
Project year:  2023


For more information, contact Nicholas Hill, Principal

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