Commerce and Industry
Tumbarumba Shire's employment base is centred on its highly productive agricultural sector, supported by a strong softwood timber industry. Other major industries include cool climate viticulture, horticulture, retail/service and tourism. The major employers in the area include:
- Hyne & Son Pty Ltd sawmill
- Snowy Hydro Limited
- Tumbarumba Shire Council
- Mannus Correctional Centre
Seasonal work opportunities are available in the blueberry and wine grape harvest seasons.
Brief Industry Profiles
Agriculture remains the largest employer in Tumbarumba Shire, accounting for around 24% of all employment. The Upper Murray region is generally regarded as some of the best beef cattle grazing country in Australia. The region's high rainfall, fertile soils and high sunshine hours contribute to a strong demand for agricultural land in the area. Beef cattle breeding and grazing is supplemented by sheep grazing in steeper areas, for both wool and lamb production. There are a number of dairy operations located on the fertile river flats of the Murray River and its tributaries.
The Shire has a strong demand for agricultural services, with opportunities for experienced and reliable agricultural contractors. A strong and diverse rural economy promotes local prosperity and contributes to the liveability of our region.
Tumbarumba Shire has outstanding natural attractions such as Kosciuszko National Park, Paddys River Falls, the Murray River, the Hume and Hovell Walking Track, and Khancoban Pondage. For activities the whole family will enjoy, check out Selwyn Skifields, the Boggy Creek Show and Snowy Hydro's visitors centres for hands-on fun.
Glenroy Pioneer Women's Hut Museum and heritage quilt room has a fabulous themed collection of craftworks and artefacts. There is always a local person available to talk to visitors, and this museum is run entirely by community volunteers. In Tumbarumba, Artists on Parade is a non profit, community based gallery and artist workspace run by local artists and volunteers. It features regularly changing gallery space and a unique gift shop. Wine buffs will enjoy sampling cool climate wines at the cellar doors sprinkled around Tumbarumba.
Recreational vehicles are visiting in increasing numbers in the warmer weather, generally at the free camp sites sprinkled throughout the Shire. There are also a considerable number of recreational motorcyclists that are drawn to our roads, particularly in the south of the Shire, with its close proximity to the Alpine Way.
Tumbarumba is developing a reputation as one of Australia's premium cool-climate wine growing regions. The crisp climate and high elevation is perfect for producing premium quality sparkling wine, pinot noir and chardonnay. The majority of grapes produced in the region are sold onto the major wine companies, with boutique family run wineries utilising smaller volumes of fruit. A handful of cellar doors are operating in the Tumbarumba area.
Tumbarumba Shire has favourable climatic conditions for cool climate horticulture, including rainfall, temperature, sunshine and humidity. In addition, Tumbarumba Shire has a lower climate change risk compared with other regions, particularly in relation to rainfall reduction expectations.
Tumbarumba's climate is well suited to growing blueberries, which are being produced in increasing number in the Shire. The blueberry harvest season runs from late December to mid March, and export grade fruit must be hand-harvested, resulting in a large number of pickers being required. Seasonal workers (pickers and packers) generally camp or stay at the local Tumbarumba caravan park.
Other horticultural enterprises in the local area include olives, apples, seed potatoes, truffles, vegetables, blueberries and chestnuts.
Tumbarumba's climatic conditions make it an ideal environment to grow plantation Pinus Radiata trees. There are about 30,000 hectares of softwood pine plantations growing in the Shire.
Around 10% of the Shire's employees are employed in sawmilling, and a further 3.7% are employed in forestry and logging. The Hyne & Son sawmill is the Shire's largest employer, with approximately 160 employees.
The softwood timber industry plays an important role in diversifying the local economy away from the traditional agricultural base. A strong softwood timber industry has meant that Tumbarumba has experienced higher growth in working age population and more stable growth in household income compared with nearby areas whose economies are more dependent on agriculture alone. Opportunities exist for value added timber enterprises in Tumbarumba.
Tumbarumba has a relatively vibrant retail and commercial sector, due in part to its distance from other towns. Tumbarumba has an active Chamber of Commerce, which welcomes new members. Businesses, including home based and online businesses are also encouraged to seek support and resources from Tumbarumba Shire's Economic Development Officer on 6948 9100.