According to the Department of State and Regional Development, the Central West of NSW is home to over 170,000 people (2001 Census) and includes such vibrant centres as Parkes, Forbes, Grenfell, Cowra and Orange.
Parkes is situated 365 km from Sydney, 995 km from Brisbane, 1067 km from Adelaide and 306 km from Canberra on the western edge of the Great Dividing Range in Central Western NSW (Tourism NSW, 2005). The town centre of Parkes is the major urban centre in the Parkes Shire Local Government Area (LGA).
Parkes has established itself as one of the most progressive centres in regional New South Wales. The town of Parkes recorded a population increase of 15% between the 2001 and 2006 census dates. Parkes also topped a recent list of the 12 best places in Australia to buy a house for under $200,000. The list was compiled by leading real estate author and researcher Terry Ryder (May 2008). Mr Ryder says he put the list together to help potential investors find a bargain in a decent area. Mr Ryder says the median house price in Parkes is between $195,000 and $208,000. "If I was going to rush out and buy an investment property in one of the nominated locations, which I may do in the near future, I would choose Parkes," he said. "Of all the places I have seen it's the one that I think has got the most potential, that isn't realised generally by investors around the country."
Parkes is a thriving town located within the Central West of New South Wales. The Parkes economy is quite diverse in comparison to other regional areas. While most regional areas are heavily reliant on either agriculture or mining, Parkes is strong in several further sectors including the transport, infrastructure, power, retail and tourism.
Since mid 2006, Parkes Shire Council and the NSW Department of Planning have approved Development Applications for approximately $1.5 BN worth of new infrastructure and resource related projects. These are expected to create well over 2,000 new jobs in the area and will ensure the sustainability and vitality of the area and its residents.
Parkes Infrastructure Brochure