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Economic profile

Port Stephens at a Glance

City Area85847.3 Ha or nearly 1,000 square kilometres
Population71,406 people
Employment22,689 Jobs
Unemployment Rate4.5% 
Number of Businesses4,784 businesses
Tourism (visitors per year)over 1.3 million
Gross Regional Product$4.203 billion
Output$10.032 billion 
Key Propulsive Sector#1 Manufacturing

*Sources for the above data can be provided by the Economic Development Unit, please email ed@portstephens.nsw.gov.au

Our Economy

Port Stephens is a growth area with a population of over 70,000 people and anticipated growth of some 23,000 people over the next 15 years. Strategically located within the Hunter Region, Port Stephens offers a pristine location with both coastal and rural environments and easy access to major road, rail and seaport links to support a range of industry and business.

Port Stephens is just a two hour drive north of Sydney, 30 minutes to the Port of Newcastle and home to Newcastle Airport the 12th busiest airport in Australia and only 20 minutes away from our key commercial centres at Raymond Terrace and Nelson Bay as well as prime industrial land at Tomago and Heatherbrae.

Port Stephens' Gross Regional Product (GRP) is estimated at $4.203 billion representing 9.2% of the Hunter Region's GRP of $43.32 billion. With 4,784 businesses in Port Stephens, the major employment industries include manufacturing, public administration and safety and retail trade collectively employing 47% of the 22,689 people working in the region.

Newcastle Airport and Williamtown RAAF base are key economic drivers for Port Stephens and the wider Hunter Valley region. Our internationally recognised tourism industry generates in excess of $322 million for the local economy with leading accommodation, cafes, restaurants, cultural and recreational activities.

The diversity within the local economy, affordable housing and lifestyle attributes attract leading business and industry to the area. Characterised by a level of innovation and 'can do' attitude these local businesses fuel sustained economic growth and a secure future for the economy.

Key Strengths:
  • natural and locational assets to accommodate a diverse industry base, from the bushland suburbs of Medowie, Seaham, Bobs Farm and Salt Ash; to surfside locations including Nelson Bay, Anna Bay, Fingal Bay, Boat Harbour and Soldiers Point;
  • affordable housing with a choice of coastal or rural lifestyle;
  • close proximity to major centres, two and a half hours from Sydney and 30 minutes from Newcastle;
  • major regional airport with daily flights to state capitals and the opportunity to tap into the international market;
  • skilled trades and engineering workforce;
  • RAAF and defence industry presence;
  • primary tourism destination within the Hunter and Mid North Coast regions;
  • industrial land availability; and
  • strong regional industry linkages and business support.