Shoalhaven 2032 Community Strategic Plan


The Shoalhaven 2032 Community Strategic Plan reflects the community’s vision for the city and is our guide for action over the next 10 years. It tells us:

  • What we are striving to achieve
  • Strategies we are using to achieve it
  • Outcomes that will indicate we have reached our goals

Council takes a lead role in the implementation of this Plan, however, responsibility for achieving our long-term goals rests with all levels of government, businesses, industry groups, community organisations and individuals.

Each of the key themes and priorities have been identified by the community as well as a broad range of issues that are important them.

Planning for the future

Council operates within the NSW Government's legislated ‘Integrated planning and reporting’ (IP&R) framework.

This framework ensures that the community's vision, priorities and aspirations for the Shoalhaven’s future are captured in a Community Strategic Plan.

This plan guides Council's strategic and operational planning, resourcing and service delivery. It also ensures ongoing monitoring, evaluation and community engagement.

IP&R asks councils and their communities to consider and respond to:

  • Where are we now?
  • Where do we want to be?
  • How will we get there?
  • How will we know when we have arrived?

How our plans fit together

The IP&R framework recognises that Council plans, policies and actions should not exist in isolation.

It provides an integrated process for Council to draw all the plans together and to understand how they interact and get the maximum leverage from our efforts.

It enables Council to plan and budget holistically to achieve multiple community benefits.

This forms the basis for Council’s four-year Delivery Program and Annual Operational Plan and Budget.


Community vision & values 

Community vision statement

We will work together in the Shoalhaven to foster a safe and attractive community for people to live, work, stay and play; where sustainable growth, development and environmental protection are managed to provide a unique and relaxed lifestyle. 

Our values

Core Values are the fundamental beliefs of a person or organisation.

These guiding principles dictate behaviour and help organisations to determine if they are on the right path and fulfilling their goals by creating an unwavering guide for all to follow.


Resilient, safe, accessible & inclusive communities

The Shoalhaven community has a higher average age than many other areas in NSW.

An ageing population is a typical feature of coastal locations in NSW. We have a high retiree population and our younger people often migrate to other locations for educational or work pursuits.

Approximately seven (7) in every ten (10) Shoalhaven City households are a family, with two (2) in ten (10) a single person. Nearly all occupied dwellings in the City are single houses, with most of the population living in detached low-density housing.

Shoalhaven City has a rich Aboriginal cultural heritage, with nearly one (1) in 20 residents identifying as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.

These strong links with Aboriginal culture are further reflected in Council’s recognition of the strong spiritual ties that the traditional owners continue to have with the land.

What’s important to the community for this theme:

Sustainable, liveable environments

Shoalhaven’s significant environmental qualities stem from its extensive natural areas, vast biodiversity and relatively small area of settlement.

The natural and rural landscapes form part of the cultural heritage and ‘sense of connection’ for the community and are an important tourism and economic assets.

Nowra is regarded as the major regional centre of Shoalhaven and is located on the banks of the Shoalhaven River, providing administrative, commercial and other high order services for the area.

Ulladulla and the Vincentia district (Bay and Basin area) are Shoalhaven’s major towns.

Shoalhaven’s major settlement areas are Nowra-Bomaderry, Milton-Ulladulla and the Bay and Basin area.

What’s important to the community for this theme:

  • Road improvement, including maintenance, renewal and resealing programs
  • Improved public transport options
  • More paths and better maintenance of the paths we have
  • More cycleways and improved road shoulders for cycling
  • Protection and restoration of the natural environment
  • Adaption to and reduction of impacts of climate change
  • Bypasses for Nowra and Milton/Ulladulla and a third bridge over the Shoalhaven River
  • Improved parking options
  • Maintain our infrastructure
  • Appropriate, sustainable development
  • Better use of the Shoalhaven river and foreshore
  • Improved planning controls
  • Continuation to revitalise Shoalhaven’s CBDs
  • Keep our villages unique charm
  • Restrict over-development in the coastal villages
  • Sustainable/renewable energy
  • Look after and improve where possible our unique environments
  • Development that is in keeping with our unique natural environment

Thriving local economies that meet community needs

Our City’s economy consists of a range of industry sectors resulting in a robust and resilient economy.

Key industries that have, and will continue to have a significant role in maintaining and growing our economy include:

  • Defence and Public Administration
  • Manufacturing
  • Professional and Technical Services
  • Transport, Logistics and Wholesale Trade
  • Agriculture and Aquaculture
  • Health Care and Human Services
  • Education and Training
  • Tourism
  • Accommodation
  • Food Services
  • Retail Trade

What’s important to the community for this theme:

  • Focus on employment and create more jobs
  • Invest in tourism
  • Education and training options especially for Shoalhaven’s youth
  • Build a vibrant community
  • Greater shopping variety in the local area
  • Continue to improve Nowra CBD
  • Help create growth through business opportunities
  • Help to build sporting facilities that bring growth and jobs to Shoalhaven

Effective, responsible & authentic leadership

The theme covers the services provided to the community by all government departments, as well as the internal operations needed to support those community services and the effective governance processes needed to run a local government authority.

What’s important to the community for this theme:

  • Effective leadership by a cohesive Council
  • Ensure funding equity across the Shoalhaven
  • Responsible administration of Council services
  • Better ways to recycle and reuse waste
  • Ability to participate in decision making
  • Ability to have “their say” in Councils projects, policies and plans

Resourcing strategy

The Resourcing Strategy consists of Workforce, Asset, ICT and Long-Term Financial Planning and provides the link between Shoalhaven 2032 Community Strategic Plan and Council's Delivery Program and Operational Plan.

The Resourcing Strategy shows how we can help achieve our community vision in terms of time, money, assets and people.

Workforce planning

Our workforce plan will act as a roadmap to guide key workforce initiatives to ensure Council can meet future workforce and organisational challenges.

The plan considers the future needs of the organisation and the factors that will influence workforce needs and provides strategies and actions to respond to and meet those needs.

Asset management planning

Council is the custodian of community assets with a replacement value of approximately $5 billion.

There are legislative and community expectations that Council assets are managed to provide the greatest benefits, at the lowest whole-of-life costs, for all residents, landowners and visitors.

The Asset Management Strategy is a high level action plan that gives effect to Council’s Asset Management Policy and gives the approach for developing Asset Management Plans.

The resourcing strategy also outlines the priority asset management actions.

Information communication technology strategy

Outlines opportunities to build on the recent investment made in systems and technologies to create an exceptional customer experience.

Long-term financial planning

The long-term financial plan aims to ensure Council remains financially sustainable into the future, reflecting the strategic priorities of Council and the community in the context of forecast economic parameters, service levels and revenue expectations.