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Port Stephens Snapshot

The Port Stephens local government area (LGA) is the traditional land of the Worimi nation. Council values the unique status of Aboriginal people as the traditional owners and custodians of lands and waters, including those of the Port Stephens LGA.

Port Stephens was named for Sir Philip Stephens, First Secretary of the Admiralty in the late 1700s and later a Lord Commissioner of the British Admiralty between 1795 and 1806.

City Area 85,847.3 Ha or nearly 1,000 square kilometres
Population71,406 people (ERP, March 2017)
Projected Population92,800 by 2036 (NSW Department of Planning and Environment, 2016)
Major Population CentresRaymond Terrace (12,815), Medowie (9,563), Nelson Bay (5,819)  (ABS, 2016)
Employment27,346 (ABS 2016)
Unemployment Rate
  • Nelson Bay 4.1% (SALM, March Quarter, 2018)
  • Raymond Terrace 8.5%
Number of Businesses 4,750 businesses (ABS, June 2016)
Tourism (visitors per year) Over 1.3 million (Tourism Research Australia, 2014) (ABS, June 2016)
Gross Regional Product $4.203 billion (ABS, June 2016)
Output $10.032 billion (ABS, June 2016)
Main Employing Industries
  • Manufacturing
  • Public Administration & Safety (including Defence)
  • Retail Trade

The Economic Profile of Port Stephens provides detailed insights into the local economy. It aims to inform investment and identify economic opportunity within the area and is based on key economic indicators:

  • Workforce
  • Industry
  • Housing
  • Tourism
  • Business activity

Compiled in conjunction with REMPLAN, the Economic Profile is an invaluable resource for investors, business owners, developers and the wider community. The data in this profile is regularly updated and is representative of Port Stephens as a whole.

Download the complete Port Stephens Economic Profile (PDF 15.9MB).

Key strengths:

  • Diverse industry based around the natural environment and key strategic location in the Hunter.
  • Access to key markets - thirty minutes drive to Newcastle and a further two hours to Sydney.
  • A major regional tourist destination attracting on average 1.3 million visitors per year.
  • A vibrant business community with commercial centres in Raymond Terrace, Nelson Bay and Salamander Bay.
  • A quality lifestyle offering both bushland and coastal locations.
  • Home to Newcastle Airport - a major economic driver for the Hunter Region.
  • Australia's premier pilot training facility, the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), is co-located with the Airport at Williamtown.
  • A significant defence and aviation hub leading the way in aerospace research and development.
  • A robust international manufacturing sector located at Tomago  and a major commercial bulky goods precinct in Heatherbrae.
  • A buoyant residential and non-residential construction market.