Singleton is a vibrant and diverse regional town, located at the centre of the Hunter Valley, 200km North West of Sydney and 75km from Newcastle via the newly opened Hunter Expressway. With a population nearing 24,000, the healthy local economy of Singleton is supported by a diverse industrial base, skilled labour force and industry access to vital infrastructure. Singleton is also surrounded by the natural beauty of Lake St Clair, Mt Royal, Yengo and Wollemi National Parks.
Business and industry are attracted to Singleton due to the location – affordable industrial, commercial and residential land – and a local government supportive of business and industrial development. Singleton boasts a renewed retail precinct, a diverse mining and industrial base, rich farming land, an ideal tourism destination and a strong cultural presence in the arts, excellent sporting facilities and a proud country community spirit.
Singleton has experienced a prolonged period of steady population growth and growth in business and industry resulting in a predominantly young, employed labour force and an unemployment rate of just 3.1 per cent, low in comparison to the NSW rate of 5.6 per cent (Department of Employment Small Area Labour Markets (SALM) December Quarter 2013). With viticulture, education, engineering, fabrication, trades services, tourism, hospitality, mining, power generation, agriculture and retail, Singleton is a prosperous rural community.
Singleton has a locally employed workforce of 11,123. Workers are attracted by new opportunities and higher than average incomes, with more than 25 per cent of workers earning $2000 or more per week. With public transport, links to Newcastle and Sydney domestic and international air terminals, and rail freight to the port of Newcastle, Singleton is an ideal location for business and lifestyle.
Businesses and industry based within the Singleton local government area (LGA) are privy to an exceptional support base and resource library. From toolkits and training opportunities, to marketing material and networking abilities, Singleton provides all businesses with the opportunity to thrive. Singleton Council is very actively pursuing opportunities to build on our skills base and diversify our local economy and type of integrated urban development.
Mining & Engineering
Singleton’s Gross Regional Product is estimated at $5.336 billion, representing 9.21 per cent of the Hunter Region’s GRP and 1.12 per cent of New South Wales’ Gross State Product. Singleton is the highest contributor to mining royalties in NSW at $500m 2012-2013.
Operating within the Singleton LGA are 12 major coal mines which employ more than 6000 workers in mining and manufacturing. Raw production is approximately 90 million tonnes and many other industries support the production, processing and transportation of coal to the power stations and port facilities, generating a strong and connected economy. The coal mining sector also provides financial and in-kind support to local charities, sporting clubs and community groups.
Mining in Singleton generates $7,795.758 million in output for the local economy and contributes $7,409.345 million in regional exports for Singleton, 88.28 per cent of the total value for the region.
Supporting trade and engineering services are located in the well-established industrial areas of McDougalls Hill and Mount Thorley.
With further industrial land recently released there is room for new businesses to take advantage of the buoyant economy, accessible labour force and ideal location that Singleton offers.
Adding to the diversity of industry, Singleton is home to Lone Pine Barracks and the School of Infantry. The School of Infantry is responsible for the arms training of all recruits into the Australian Army. The base has approximately 500 permanent employees and up to 2000 recruits pass through the school annually. The base also houses the brand new Australian Army Infantry Museum with artefacts and collections dating from the 19th century through to today.
“Mining in Singleton generates $7,795.758 million in output for the local economy…”
Wine & Tourism
Singleton is building its reputation as a premier tourism destination, with the world renowned Hunter Valley Wine Country in its backyard and a rich wine making history dating back to the first vines planted in Australia in the 19th century. The Hunter Valley is a premium visitor destination offering diverse experiences from large commercial wineries to boutique cellar doors, international wine winners and nationally recognised fine dining in award- winning restaurants, world class museums, national parks and a wonderful seasonal program of events. Singleton is just beginning to realise its tourism potential.
Recent success in gaining state government funding for Singleton has resulted in a number of major construction projects underway with completion next financial year across a diverse range of industries.
Singleton Town Centre revitalisation
The Singleton township is the shopping hub for Singleton residents, military personnel, non-resident workers and tourists. Singleton Square recently underwent a $55 million refurbishment and is anchored by four major retailers and 49 specialty stores. The revitalisation of the Singleton Town Centre as part of a new CBD Master Plan will deliver increased opportunities for residential growth in the town centre, particularly medium density and affordable housing proposals, as well as consolidation and redevelopment opportunities for large scale sites. This increase in inner city housing options and increased patronage will see an improvement in market conditions and encourage further business investment into the town centre.
The project has a total value of $10.6 million and is expected to be completed by the end of 2015.
Singleton Gym & Swim
The Singleton Gym and Swim redevelopment will see a 350m2 expansion of Singleton’s public swimming pool and gym facilities. In addition, the project will include the construction of an indoor heated hydrotherapy program pool. The project is valued at $5.7 million and the detailed design work is currently under way.
Singleton regional Livestock Market
Agriculture is one of Singleton’s founding industries and the area is known for its rich farming land. The Singleton Regional Livestock Market is vital in supporting the increasingly important regional cattle industry. The Singleton Regional Livestock Market Upgrade, valued at $6 million, is forecast to increase cattle throughput by 20 per cent and solidify the regional importance of the facility and attract buyers from new areas.
The Singleton Life
Singleton is a progressive town with a range of community assets making it a wonderful lifestyle choice. Residents of Singleton have access to eight public schools, two private schools, a TAFE NSW Campus and a community college. The town is also in close proximity to the University of Newcastle.
Singleton has generous sporting amenities, many shopping options and modern public amenities. It boasts good health facilities, a very active Men’s Shed, a variety of church and religious presences and many active service clubs along with high living standards.
The local council provides a range of community facilities such as a public library, (voted the most popular library in NSW in 2014), a swimming and fitness centre, youth venue, visitor information and enterprise centre and senior citizens centre that caters for the cultural and recreational needs of the community. The council also manages an Out of School Hours Care service, providing before and after school and vacation care to children from kindergarten to year 6. This is in addition to a long day care centre and mobile preschool, offering learning opportunities from birth to five years of age including transition to school.
Singleton Hospital provides an extensive range of health care and community health services. Singleton residents enjoy quality general practices, visiting medical specialists and various other health care providers including podiatrists, dentists, physiotherapists, chiropractors and alternative therapists.
Singleton is a town which enjoys a healthy lifestyle and has an abundance of facilities in which to pursue leisure and fitness activities. There are 32 established and well maintained parks and reserves throughout Singleton and 20 playgrounds including a state-of-the-art All Abilities Playground offering accessible play for children of all ages. Lake St Clair provides an attractive setting for water based activities, day tripping and camping and is located a pleasant 30-minute drive north of Singleton.
Culture & Events
Singleton has a variety of cultural groups and activities, many of which were showcased in the Singleton Arts Festival in 2011 and 2013. There are two local choirs, an amateur theatrical society as well as the newly established Broken Leg Theatre Company, giving residents young and old the opportunity to explore their singing, dancing and acting abilities.
Sacred Spaces and Singleton Arts and Music Society organise a variety of concerts, and the Gum Ball Music Festival offers a family friendly weekend of camping and entertainment. The Singleton Art Prize and WUPA Aboriginal Art Exhibition showcase our local artists, and the TAFE and community college offer courses in art and photography. Various informal groups cater for artists, woodworkers, quilters, potters, writers, craft workers, and more; and Singleton also has a thriving historical society and museum.
The future for Singleton
Singleton is forecast to achieve steady population growth until 2031 and there is a strong focus on planning for Singleton beyond mining. Major infrastructure projects supporting retail, leisure and agriculture are evidence of a commitment to diversifying the region and continuing to attract business investment and new residents. Singleton has some specific challenges and opportunities to be explored including the impact of drive in, drive out workers; dominance of the coal industry; location and accessibility to major centres. The effective and efficient diversification of the economy is key to the future success and sustainability of Singleton.
“Singleton is building its reputation as a premier tourism destination, with the world renowned Hunter Valley Wine Country in its backyard…”