6,040 square kilometres


The Bega Valley Shire is a large rural local government area located at the south-eastern extremity of New South Wales, approximately half way between Sydney and Melbourne, with major centres at Bega, Merimbula and Eden. Much of the coastal area of the Shire is strongly oriented towards residential development and tourism, particularly around Merimbula, Tura Beach, Tathra, Bermagui and Eden. While the hinterland involves agriculture such as dairy and forestry.
The Bega Valley Shire arterial transport routes are the Princes Highway and the Snowy Mountains Highway, these provide links both north-south and east-west through the Shire. There is one airport located in Merimbula to service the entire Shire. The Eden Wharf area is seen to have potential to become the South East’s for cruise ships and freight.
The physical location of the Bega Valley Shire includes rural, urban and mountainous landscapes bounded by significant National Parks, State Forests and the ocean. These characteristics mean significant road infrastructure is necessary to access areas of the Bega Valley Shire and present challenges in equitable provision of services and opportunities to the four town centres and many smaller settlements.
The shire’s geographic extent, settlementpatterns and resultant infrastructure network are challenges for the local economyand freight moving into, out and around the shire. These challenges are most evident in transport infrastructure including the Princes Highway and other roads, ports, the airport and public transport that need continued investment and development.

Profiles of Main Industry Sectors generating economic wealth to LGA

The strengths of the local economy and employment capacity are based on traditional industries including agriculture, fishing, forestry, tourism, retail, and the construction and building industry. In recent years, other significant trends in the economy of the Bega Valley Shire are the growth of home based businesses, development of environmental and cultural tourism and a newly emergent sustainable energy sector.
The first European settlers began farming cattle in the 1830s and dairy farming emerged within a few decades. Bega Cheese is headquartered in the Shire and is the area’s largest employer with annual revenues of $931 million in 2011. Bega Valley now also has thriving timber and fishing operations and there are other agriculture and primary industry producers proudly Bega-based.
Approximately 70% of the shire is within National Parks and State Forests. Whilst this provides challenges in regards to rating income and infrastructure provision, they are important contributors to our tourism, timber and associated service industries. The high quality of the environment is a key contributor to tourist, aquaculture, fishing and agricultural sectors generally.
The tourism sector continues to grow with the Sapphire Coast becoming an increasingly popular seaside getaway. The main tourist towns such as Bermagui, Eden and Merimbula typically experience a threefold boost in their populations during the peak summer tourist period. On average, Bega Valley Shire receives over 820,000 visitors annually, more than half of whom are domestic overnight visitors, spending around $255 million each year.

10 Top Freight Generating Industries

1. Industry: Agriculture
Sector: Dairy
Type of Freight: Dairy products & milk
Mode Source: Australia wide
Mode Destination: Australia wide & overseas

2. Industry: Agriculture
Sector: Forestry
Type of Freight: sawlog product & woodchips
Mode Source: Australia wide
Mode Destination: Australia wide

3. Industry: Agriculture
Sector: Farm products
Type of Freight: Stock Feed
Mode Source: Australia wide
Mode Destination: Australia wide

4. Industry: Agriculture
Sector: Fishing
Type of Freight: Fish products
Mode Source: Australia wide
Mode Destination: Australia wide

5. Industry: Retail Trade
Type of Freight: Groceries &Mechandise
Mode Source: Sydney & Canberra
Mode Destination: N/A

6. Industry: Construction
Type of Freight: Various building materials
Mode Source: Canberra, Sydney & Western Regions
Mode Destination: N/A

7. Industry: Service industry
Sector: Hospitals & Age Care
Type of Freight: Various
Mode Source: Australia wide
Mode Destination: N/A

8. Industry: Defence
Type of Freight: Navy products
Mode Source: Australia wide
Mode Destination: Australia wide

Transport Infrastructure

Ownership/Manager:Bega Valley Shire Council
CASA Classification Registered: Registered
Passengers Pax/Yr: 47,258
Freight Tonne/Yr: N/A

Sea Ports

Locality: Eden
Ownership/Manager: NSW Lands/ Sydney Ports Corporation
Tonnage Inwards Tonne/Yr: N/A
Type of freight: Break Bulk, Machine & equipment (oil & gas industry)
Destination: South East Australia, Japan, China, Korea
Tonnage Outwards Tonne/Yr: N/A
Type of freight: Woodchips: hardwood and softwood, softwood logs, explosives, machinery & equipment (oil & gas industry), Fish trade market
Destination: Australia wide, Japan, China, Korea.
Passengers Pax/Yr: N/A

Roads (major freight routes)

Higher Mass Limit routes:
Princes Hwy from Bega South into Victoria.Snowy Mtns Hwy west of Bega. Short sections of local roads into various transport depots & freight generators.
Approved B-Double routes:
Princes Hwy from Bega South into Victoria.Snowy Mtns Hwy west of Bega. Short sections of local roads into various transport depots & freight generators.
General Mass Limit routes:
All other Council roads.

Local Council

Name: Bega Valley Shire Council
Physical address: Zingel Place, Bega NSW 2550
Postal address: PO Box 496, Bega NSW 2550
Phone: 02 6499 2222



Bega: Andrew Constance MP


Eden-Monaro: Dr Peter Hendy MP


2006 2011
0-17 7502 6949
18-59 15637 15441
55 and over 7914 9560
Population 31,053 31,950


2021 2031
34979 38829

Labor Force

Industry 2006 2011
Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing 1036 857
Mining 22 32
Manufacturing 1150 1214
Electricity, Gas, Water and Waste Services 140 138
Construction 1145 1141
Retail Trade 1721 1603
Wholesale trade 339 366
Accommodation and Food Services 1392 1454
Transport, Postal and Warehousing 491 538
Information Media and Telecommunications 127 107
Financial and Insurance Services 181 196
Rental, Hiring and Real Estate Services 201 184
Professional, Scientific and Technical Services 471 563
Administrative and Support Services 321 339
Public Administration and Safety 571 678
Education and Training 897 1010
Health Care and Social Assistance 1342 1,707
Arts and Recreation Services 221 193
Inadequately described or not stated 410 446
Total 12463 13043