The Northern Rivers’ environment and lifestyle have attracted large numbers of people who work in the audiovisual, multimedia and arts industries. Changes in the global economy and digital technology are linking the region more fully into the national and global economy, giving birth to new enterprises and new global market opportunities.

Creative Industries

Internet usage is growing in Australia at 40% per annum.  This explosive growth is dramatically altering the way people work, shop, bank, entertain and communicate. One indicator of the changes is the growth of new knowledge industries and information-related services, such as software development, multimedia services and corporate knowledge services.

The developments in communication technologies and information have altered the locational options for companies and individuals. The number of people living in the region who are working on major film and multimedia activities has steadily increased.

Knowledge and skills formation will become the central element of the regional economic development strategy, and supporting the growth of new industries and investment attraction become major objectives.

A study carried out for Invest Northern Rivers has revealed that there is a significant and growing industry or cluster of industries in the Northern Rivers region that fall under the umbrella of ‘creative industries’. The term ‘creative industries’ is used to describe the convergence of traditional media and arts sectors and the creation of new enterprises resulting from this convergence. It is part of a global change, known as the ‘Information Economy’.

The study identified a total of 1,621 people involved in audiovisual industries in the region, and a further 2,278 involved in creative industry organisations representing writers, musicians, performers, theatre practitioners and multimedia/new media artists and businesses. The total number of people involved in creative industries in the region in 2000 was conservatively estimated to be 3,500, which is 4.1% of the local work force. This marks a growth of 214% since 1996. Following on from this work, a number of companies are investigating relocating to the region to take advantage of the rich, vibrant arts industry, the results of which are encapsulated in research and publications identified below.

Research and Publications

October 2008. Author: Positive Solutions. Prepared for Arts Northern Rivers.

2008. Author: Positive Solutions. Prepared for Arts Northern Rivers.

 August 2006 Author: Cathy Henkel.  Prepared for NRRDB

 November 2000. Author: Cathy Henkel. Commissioned by NRRDB in association with NRACC.

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Image(s) courtesy of Lismore City Council