Employment lands audit
In 2010, 2013 and 2016, Council undertook an audit of land zoned for commercial or industrial develoment to find out about important changes to economic activity in Eurobodalla.
Audits of business activity on land zoned for commercial or industrial development in Eurobodalla have been undertaken every three years since 2010. The audits have been undertaken in the October/November period between the usually quiet winter season and the busy summer season.
The audit tells us some important information about changes in economic activity in Eurobodalla, such as:
- How many businesses are operating in the commercial and industrial centres?
- How many business premises are there and how many are vacant?
- How much land in commercial and industrial centres is not yet developed?
- What types of businesses are operating in the commercial and industrial areas?
- Where are most businesses located?
How many businesses are operating in the commercial and industrial centres?
In 2010, there were 715 businesses in commercial zones and 167 businesses in industrial zones. Since that time, the total number of businesses grew by 73 in commercial zones and by 56 in industrial zones. This represents an average annual increase of 12.5 new businesses in commercial zones and 9.3 new businesses in industrial zones.
There are now 788 businesses in commercial zones and 332 businesses in industrial zones.
In addition to businesses in commercial and industrial zones, there are a range of businesses right across Eurobodalla from a wide range of home businesses in residential areas, to agricultural businesses in rural areas, to recreational and tourist businesses in a range of locations and mobile businesses. Approximately 60% of all businesses registered in Eurobodalla are located outside of a commercial or industrial zone.
Whilst there has been an increase in business activity in our commercial and industrial areas, the total number of businesses in Eurobodalla has fallen from 3,037 in 2011 to 2,763 in 2015, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ Count of Australian Businesses. The reduction in businesses occurred mostly in the agriculture, forestry and fishing sector (292 to 230) and the construction sector (725 to 642).
The reduction in business numbers is more than offset by an increase in business productivity, demonstrating that businesses are growing in size. According to the National Institute of Economic and Industry Research, the total value-add of all industries in Eurobodalla increased from $1,002.5m in 2010/11 to $1,035.6m in 2014/15. For the agriculture, forestry and fishing sector, the value-add decreased slightly from $33m to $32.1m, but the construction sector increased significantly from $89.7m to $106.4m over the same period.
How many business premises are there and how many are vacant?
In addition to an increase in the number of businesses in commercial and industrial zones, the number of business premises (i.e. shops, offices and factory buildings) has increased. In commercial zones, the number of premises increased from 793 in 2010 to 856 in 2016, an increase of 63. In industrial zones the number of premises increased from 322 in 2010 to 354 in 2016, an increase of 32. The increase in the number of premises is due to a number of factors, including the construction of new commercial and industrial buildings, the inclusion of additional land with existing business premises in commercial and industrial zones and internal changes to existing buildings to accommodate more businesses.
In commercial areas in November 2016, 71 of the 856 business premises were vacant, a vacancy rate of 8.3%. This compares to the vacancy rates in 2010 of 9.8% and in 2013 of 9.7%. So, while the number of premises and the number of vacant premises change over time, the vacancy rate has been steadily declining.
In industrial areas in November 2016, 21 of the 354 business premises were vacant, a vacancy rate of 5.9%. This compares to the vacancy rates in 2010 of 14.3% and in 2013 of 8.1%. In industrial areas, the number of premises has increased at a smaller rate than the increase in the number of businesses, resulting in a significant decline in the vacancy rate. This low vacancy rate supports the need to find more land that can be developed for industrial development into the future.
How much land in commercial and industrial centres is not yet developed?
Changes in the amount of vacant land zoned for commercial and industrial purposes is also an important indicator of whether the amount of zoned land is sufficient to support economic growth.
In 2016, there were 82 vacant lots zoned for commercial development across Eurobodalla. Of these, only 22 are located in our three major centres - 11 in Batemans Bay, 8 in Moruya and 3 in Narooma. There are also 12 vacant lots in Mogo, 9 in Surfside and 6 in Kianga.
Since 2010, the number of lots included in the commercial audit has significantly increased (from 466 in 2010 to 774 in 2016). This is mostly due to the application in 2012 of the RU5 Village zone to Nelligen, Bodalla, Central Tilba and Tilba Tilba where a mix of residential and commercial developments are permitted with consent. As a result, the number of vacant lots also increased significantly (from 59 to 82). If these villages are discounted, there has been very little change in the number of vacant commercial lots and in fact there has been a slight increase from 56 in 2012 to 58 in 2016. This is the net result from the addition of some new commercial zoning to vacant land less the development of some existing vacant land over that time. In terms of percentages, the commercial land vacancy rate has decreased from 12.7% in 2010 to 10.6% in 2016.
The changes in relation to industrial land are much more straightforward. The number of lots zoned for industrial development has increased from 304 in 2010 to 307 in 2016, while the number of vacant lots has decreased over the same period from 54 to 41. As a result, the industrial land vacancy rate has decreased from 17.8% to 13.4%. This further stresses the need to find more land for industrial development into the future.
What types of businesses are operating in the commercial and industrial areas?
The audit categorised businesses by the following types: commercial, industrial or community. Commercial businesses include retail shops, offices, cafes, restaurants, motels, medical facilities and the like. Industrial businesses include manufacturing businesses, warehouses and motor vehicle repair businesses. The community category includes government services and community facilities.
Commercial zones in Eurobodalla are dominated by commercial businesses, while our industrial zones provide a greater mix of land uses.
For commercial uses, the audit further breaks down the types of businesses into the following six categories:
- Retail (eg. shops, hairdressers)
- Professional Services (eg. offices, real estate agents, banks)
- Food and drink premises (eg. cafes, restaurants, hotels)
- Medical (eg. doctors, dentists, etc)
- Accommodation (eg. motels)
- Entertainment (eg. cinema)
Across all employment areas, the most common type of commercial businesses are retail businesses, with a relatively large number of professional services also available.
Where are most businesses located?
By far, Batemans Bay contains the largest number of businesses of those located in commercial or industrial zones in the Eurobodalla. This is appropriate given Batemans Bay is our most important centre, being designated as a Regional Centre in the NSW Government’s South Coast Regional Strategy.