The Mid Richmond Community sits within the traditional lands of the Bundjalung people. It stretches from the bush to the beach and encompasses a number of small rural and coastal towns including Coraki, Broadwater, Riley's Hill, Woodburn, Evans Head and outlying rural areas. there are approximately 5700 people enjoying the many geographical assets of the region including the rich Aboriginal culture and history, the many national parks, reserves, fertile planes, high rainfalls, the beautiful beaches and rivers that help shape life on the Far North Coast of New South Wales.
Population largely remain the same and many families have lived in the area for generations. Young people tend to leave for education and work but return to have families and settle. The Mid Richmond community faces many challenges with high unemployment creating financial stress an affordable-housing shortage, little public transport and stressed medical services. The Mid Richmond Neighbourhood Centre is one of the largest employers in the region and runs 13 programs addressing needs of all community members.
The Mid Richmond is the lower half of he Richmond Valley Council area, since amalgamation of the Casino and Richmond River Council areas in 2000. It is south of Ballina and north of Grafton. In 1940 an RAAF air base was built in Evans Head swelling the population and developing the region's infrastructure. Much of the low lying hinterland is prone to flooding which is suitable for growing sugar cane.
The Broadwater sugar mill has been in operation since 1880 and still is one of the largest employer's but in recent years have seen a decline in the industry due to a variety of local and global influences. New industries have been attempted, such as growing tea tree for the essential oils and small scale cottage industries, but success has been limited. The fishing industry in Evans Head is still operating a successful cooperative but the fleet has dropped in numbers as market influences put pressure on business. Old dairy farms have been converted into hobby farms on small acreages and beef cattle have replaced dairy cows that populated the region since early settlement.
The Richmond River was once the main highway for shipping cargo inland and was the major transporter for the sugar industry. These days the Pacific Highway runs through Woodburn and Broadwater but is due to be upgraded, bypassing these towns by the end of this decade, further changing the local area.