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Hay Shire at a Glance


11.348 sq km


The Sturt, Mid Western and Cobb Highways pass through Hay


Hay, Maude and Booligal




Mean 359mm


Temperate Summer 32C Winter 16.1C


2882 (2021 Census)


11.348 sq km


Sydney 758km
Melbourne 410km
Adelaide 697km
Canberra 520km
Griffith 150km
Wagga Wagga 275km

More Time for Life

Investment Attraction Strategy

Hay Shire Council is a pro development council and supports economic development to ensure new and existing businesses are supported by initiatives and opportunities available to them. Hay Shire Council has developed an Investment Attraction Strategy to focus on opportunities for investment in Hay.

Investment Attraction Strategy 2022

Fundamental Principles for Successful Renewal Development in Hay LGA


Hay Shire is located on the Hay Plains, one of the flattest sections of land in the world. The community of Hay is an oasis nestled on the banks of the picturesque Murrumbidgee River in south western NSW. Halfway between Sydney and Adelaide and just 4 ½ hours from Melbourne, Hay is centrally located.

Hay is a progressive and proactive community with agriculture the main base of the economy but in recent years the community has embraced tourism. This diversification has created a range of employment and business opportunities in the private and government sector.

Community members are proud of their homes, gardens, environment and history and heritage, and Hay's vibrant main street features some exquisite heritage buildings that provide a unique shopping experience.

The friendly community of Hay welcomes new people, businesses and innovations. From enjoying a great coffee to playing sport, volunteering at a museum, learning to paint, starting a business or relaxing by the river the Hay community has much to offer.

Key Industries

Hay's geography, climate and environment are conducive to a range of agricultural and pastoral activity. The Hay Shire is well known for its Merino sheep and wool industry as well as producing a diverse range of commercial crops such as rice, corn and wheat. It has recently become well known for cotton, with one of the world’s largest cotton gins being constructed near the town, and extensive cotton production taking place in the region. Irrigated horticultural land produces lettuce, rockmelon, broccoli, grapes and garlic. Hay is centrally located to transport this produce to markets in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Canberra. The potential to value add in the horticultural industry is extensive.

The communities diversification into tourism has also seen new opportunities in the hospitality and retail sector. A number of new businesses have established themselves in Hay during the past few years, obviously realising the potential of the region.

Employment Opportunities

Employment opportunities in the agricultural sector are available from casual to fulltime positions. The emerging tourism industry has also created a demand for skilled people in the hospitality, retail and service sector.

Retail and Commercial Space

Hay presents opportunities for commercial and retail space in good locations at reasonable prices. Buildings within the CBD are generally available with most having main street frontage.


The current mix of retail business in Hay adequately caters for the day-to-day needs of the local community, however with an increase in tourism over the past few years there are always opportunities for new and innovative retail businesses.


Hay has got its own brand for products manufactured or assembled in Hay, called the “Made in Hay” brand. This is available at our Visitor Information Centre, at local printers, or can be downloaded here.


The residents of Hay are well provided for with a large range of community services.
The Hay Hospital was opened in 2003 and boosts a well equipped emergency department, modern hospital wards and the McFarland Wing aged care centre.

Community and Nursing Services, Community Health Services and the Ambulance are also based at the facility. The Haydays Retirement Village offers low level permanent and respite care accommodation for our older residents.

Hay Home and Community Care provides a number of services for the residents of Hay including: Respite Care, Community Transport, Medical Transport, Home Modification and Maintenance, Meals on Wheels, Dementia Care and Neighbour Aid Social Support. Some of the other services available are Home Care Services, Home Start, Can - Assist and the Men's Shed.

Private medical services include a General Practice with the fulltime doctors, and a Dental Practice with a fulltime Dentist.


Hay offers its community a comprehensive range of quality educational facilities.

Young children are well catered for with a nationally accredited Long Day Care Centre for children from 6 weeks to 6 years, a Pre School Kindergarten for 3 to 6 year olds, a Mobile Children's Service, and several private day care establishments.

As our children move on to primary school education Hay offers two choices, The Hay Public School and St Mary's Catholic Primary School.

The Hay War Memorial High School was established in 1923, as a co-educational comprehensive high school and has a particularly strong tradition befitting a war memorial linked to the ANZAC tradition. Today the school offers a comprehensive curriculum to cater for the changing needs of today's youth.

School of the Air is one of the major facilities for the education of isolated students. It uses a variety of communication techniques including video conferencing, satellite lessons, telephone, fax and email and written material to deliver curriculum content to students.

Post secondary education and vocational training is available locally through TAFE and various other providers.

Tertiary education is offered through numerous universities located in Albury/Wodonga, Melbourne and Wagga Wagga.


Hay offers a selection of residential rental properties from houses to flats and units.

Housing in Hay is very affordable offering economical alternatives to the increasing prices of metropolitan centres. The median house price is $115,000, and the median unit price is $49,500.

Leisure and Lifestyle

Hay is an extremely active community and boosts a number of trendy cafes where you can relax over a great coffee, while our restaurants offer you a memorable dining experience.

Hay's two registered clubs and numerous hotels offer the ideal venue for you to mingle with friends, enjoy great entertainment and food.

There is an opportunity to participate in a variety of sports or become involved in cultural activities to consume your leisure time.

Sport facilities in Hay include:

  • A golf course
  • Tennis court complex
  • Squash courts
  • Free Olympic size swimming pool and children's and toddler's pools
  • Skate park
  • Well maintained parks and ovals for football/cricket and indoor and outdoor courts for netball/basketball.
  • Bowling greens
  • Hay Health and Fitness Club
  • Clay Target shooting and Pistol Club
  • Horse sports
  • Fitness trail

Access to the Murrumbidgee River enables you to enjoy a variety of water sports from fishing and water skiing to kayaking and boating.
Cultural activities encompass painting, patchworking, learning a musical instrument or volunteering at one of Hay's five museums.

Hay has four churches, and Anglican, Baptist, Catholic and Uniting Church, which are active in the community.


Hay has a taxi service for transport within the town. Daily coach services are available to Sydney, Adelaide and Canberra. Countrylink services provide access to Sydney via coach connection to XPT.

Hay has a well maintained airport only 4kms from the town centre, however there is no local air service. Rex Airlines services Griffith (150km from Hay) with several flights per day to Sydney.


Hay has had infrastructure for ADSL since 2003, enabling quick and reliable internet services to the business and broader community, and the NBN has recently been installed.

2HAYFM 92.1 is Hay's local community radio station with a broadcasting range of approximately 100km. This service is complimented by a selection of AM and FM commercial and national services. ABC, WIN TV, PRIME and SBS are well received in the Shire. Austar provides pay television services via satellite.

The Riverine Grazier, a locally produced weekly newspaper provides coverage on local issues of interest, and the Printed Post is a monthly newsletter/magazine.

Summing up

Hay Shire continues to grow and develop and provides the ideal location to live, work or retire.

It offers residents and visitors a clean, safe healthy, culturally alive and very friendly environment in which to pursue business and recreational interests.

For More Information

Alison McLean 
Executive Manager – Economic Development and Tourism
Hay Shire Council
Telephone: 02 6990 1100