The Riverina is an agricultural region of south-western New South Wales (NSW), which extends from the foothills of the Snowy Mountains north west through the Murrumbidgee River catchment area to the flat dry inland plains of Hay and Carrathool. The RDA Riverina region covers an area of 80,586 sq kms and services a population of 169, 856. It comprises the regional cities of Wagga Wagga and Griffith and the local government areas of Bland, Carrathool, Coolamon, Gundagai, Hay, Junee, Leeton, Lockhart, Murrumbidgee, Narrandera, Snowy Valleys and Temora.
Employment is primarily driven by agribusiness and service industries. RDA Riverina estimates (based on Department of Jobs and Small Business labour force data 2017) that 87 480 people were employed in the Riverina region in 2017 (Riverina Regional Profile, Jan 2018). The labour force participation rate for the Riverina is estimated at 64.4% (September 2017) with an unemployment rate of only 4.6%. The Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing industry sector is the Riverina's largest employer with 9,308 persons or 12.9% of the workforce, followed by Healthcare and Social Assistance at 9,002 and 12.47%.
The Murrumbidgee River runs through the Riverina region and delivers water to major food producing areas of the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area (MIA) and Coleambally Irrigation Area (CIA). These irrigation areas provide over one-quarter of all the fruit and vegetable production in NSW and are also one of Australia's largest exporters of bulk wines. Further growth in Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing is being experienced in cotton, aquaculture and nut industries.
The Riverina's burgeoning food culture currently presents numerous opportunities for businesses. The diversity of the produce grown in the area is unmatched and has enhanced the attractiveness of the region.
It also home to a strong education base with Charles Sturt University, TAFE NSW, RAAF Base Forest Hill and Kapooka Army Base. All these facilities are vital in building the skills and confidence of all people (including Aboriginal & new immigrants) in the region.
The Riverina has a wealth of people with a proactive and entrepreneurial approach to business and life. Opportunities for development exist in the Riverina region in agriculture, aged care, defence, manufacturing, wood products, transport & logistics and education.
For further regional information, profiles by LGA or region visit:
Did you know?
The name ‘Wagga’ is derived from the local Wiradjuri Aboriginal language. It is widely accepted that ‘Wagga’ means ‘crow’ and to create the plural, the Wiradjuri people repeat the word. Thus Wagga Wagga means 'the place of many crows'
An overview of some of the agricultural industries in the Riverina Region.
The Riverina Agricultural Education Alliance hosted the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area (MIA) Ag Inspirations camp in late 2014. This provided secondary school students with an insight into the various agricultural occupations within the MIA.