About the Snowy Monaro

1. Our people

We are a region that is proud of its history.
Snowy Monaro Regional Council acknowledges that Aboriginal people – the Ngarigo, Walgalu, Bidhawal and Southern Ngunnawal – are the original inhabitants and remain the custodians of where we live. We are also a culturally diverse region, thanks to the Snowy Scheme which saw over 100,000 people from over 30 countries coming to work on the scheme when it commenced in late 1949.
To this day the Region enjoys the benefits of our cultural diversity.  The region is home to 20,707 people and reflects a degree of cultural diversity that has its roots in agriculture, early gold mining, the Snowy Mountains Scheme, timber logging and skiing industries.

2. Economy and employment

The region has four core economic drivers: Tourism, Agriculture, Timber and Water.
The Environment and Education sectors are smaller, but growing, drivers of the local economy. A large number of people are also employed in the construction, cultural and recreational services. Future opportunities for the economy are primarily focussed on value-adding within existing sectors, promoting our natural assets and capitalising on our physical proximity to larger markets such as the ACT.

3. Our environment

The region covers 15,162 square kilometres with ten urban areas, surrounded by rolling plains country and mountain ranges.  Mount Kosciuszko is located within the Kosciuszko National Park and with a height of 2,228m above sea level is Australia’s highest mountain. Mount Kosciuszko was named by the Polish explorer Count Paul Edmund Strzelecki in 1840; however Indigenous Australians may have ascended Mount Kosciuszko long before the first recorded ascent by Europeans.


4. Challenges we face

The Snowy Monaro region has always been a place where people have recognised opportunities and worked hard to realise them. It is a place of great potential but there are challenges that we must tackle.

Population and demographic change is one such challenge. We must properly accommodate and care for an increasingly older and diverse population, while welcoming newcomers who have embraced our region for their 'mountain change', especially as a result of changed working arrangements out of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Climate change in our sensitive environment presents another challenge. To respond to this, we must first establish what climate change means for our community. We must then plan and adapt our lives and work accordingly.

To construct and maintain public infrastructure remains one of our most resource-intensive challenges. We must not only extend the life of existing assets, but also plan and pay for new infrastructure, within our resources, that meets the needs of the community and visitors. The global marketplace challenges us to develop, produce and sell our products profitably. To meet these we must increase the productivity of our land, be innovative, adopt new technology and invest in the creativity of our people.

Finally, compliance and regulation is required to meet the highest standards of environmental performance, health, safety and probity. Although we all benefit from this, we are conscious of the need to work more efficiently, and where possible eliminate unnecessary red tape.