What We Do
Our Shire offers a diverse range of options to help you secure employment, kick-start your career or establish your own business.
Our unemployment rate is below the state and national average and our strong agricultural sector provide attractive prospects to support jobs and career progression. The greatest percentage of businesses in Forbes operate in the agricultural sector (17.45%) followed by the construction industry (13.58%) and finance and insurance services (11.15%).17.45% of the Forbes workforce is engaged in agriculture, while 11.90% is in retail and 11.40% Education and Training.
Over 40% of Forbes’ workforce is employed in a professional or managerial capacity. Forbes is centrally located between Lake Cowal Mine, Cadia Mine and North Parkes Mine and only a short 20 minute drive to Parkes. Living in Forbes gives you the freedom to choose a place of work with the lifestyle you deserve.
We Are Open For Business
Strategically positioned on the Newell Highway, halfway between Brisbane and Melbourne, Forbes Shire is located within the central western slopes of New South Wales and is known as one of the richest agricultural areas in the state.
Our strategic location makes Forbes accessible to a catchment population of 65,000 people within a 100km radius.Forbes has a diverse economy built on irrigated agriculture, dairying operations, dryland and broadacre farming, livestock production, manufacturing industries, strong retail, education, government and trade sectors and a lively, expanding tourism market.Our Shire is blessed with an abundance of water. The Lachlan River flows through its heart supplying water to Forbes and irrigation to the district. Forbes Shire Council’s state-of-the-art livestock selling facility has an annual turnover of $330M. The Central West Livestock Exchange boasts an annual throughput of 1.5M sheep and lambs; 59,102 cattle and calves; and 17,286 pigs. The centre is the third largest for sheep in New South Wales and ninth largest for cattle. An upgrade to the cattle selling facilities are underway which will increase cattle throughput by approximately 40,000 annually and lift Forbes into the top 5 cattle selling centres in the state.
Amazing success stories
Forbes is home to a number of substantial and successful businesses. Below are some key stakeholders in our region:
Warwick Rolfe, Owner
Warwick’s long held dream of taking beautiful Australian Merino wool from the sheep’s back, through to a finished fashion garment, came to fruition when Woolerina was established in 2005.
“We chose Forbes due to its central location in the middle of a highly productive wool growing region. Being able to keep as much of the operation as close to the source as possible is hugely important. We love this community and what it has to offer. “
Since 1969, the Bernardi family has been providing locals with an independent grocery alternative. The Bernardi Group now employs over 400 staff across five locations in central west New South Wales.
“I came to Forbes over 60 years ago, and this rich agricultural region was a great location for me to start my market gardening business. After five years I began life as a retailer, and from small beginnings in 1969 our Forbes supermarket is now the flagship store of our five supermarkets in Central West NSW. We live by our motto ‘Pick Local’, and source much of our fresh produce from local growers in the Central West, who recognise Forbes as an important and convenient marketplace. Our emphasis on fruit and vegetables fresh from local growers to our shelves gives us a unique edge over our competitors. The Forbes community has supported our business and has been a great place to bring up a growing family, with the third generation continuing to work locally in the business, enjoying all the benefits Forbes has to offer.”
Ross Christiansen, Director
Australia’s largest packer and distributor of Australian honey, Superbee, relocated from Queensland to Forbes in 2008. The business exports to 15 countries and distributes nationwide.
“Until 2008, Superbee Honey Factory was located on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland. We needed to expand our manufacturing facilities and found to expand in Queensland was not financially viable. Forbes Shire Council offered us a serviced site at a very reasonable cost. In the end we purchased an existing factory. The advantages for us in moving to Forbes were: affordable real estate, availability of employees, close proximity to honey collecting areas and services such as power, natural gas and town water are available.”
HE Silos commenced operation in Forbes in 1984 and manufactures and distributes silos from 4 tonnes to cone base designs up to 500 tonnes and flat bottom units up to 1000 tonnes. This third generation business is a multi-award winning, state-of-the-art operation.
“Forbes is the perfect location to operate our business. Its location in the heart of a rich agricultural base as well as its connectivity via the Newell Highway are two key reasons why we have been able to operate successfully in Forbes, competing nationally, for more than 30 years.”
“To grow a state-of-the-art dairy business that creates more opportunities for our people is very exciting. We are Australian dairy farmers who make the finest milk that can be made. Over the last century we’ve grown to be one of the country’s leading dairies.
We rely on technology, innovation and the dedication of more than 220 people to care for our cows and make our incredible milk. As much as we grow and invest in the future of our farm, the basics will never change. Our people, our cows and our land matter now - and they’ll matter for generations to come.”