The road map to and benefits of Tamworth working towards a six figure population by 2041 was laid out for the Tamworth business community on Wednesday.
Over 100 people attended the Business Chamber's State of the City event, which saw TRC general manager Paul Bennett, Mayor Col Murray and Director of Planning Brent McAlister outline the Blueprint 100 strategy - "an ambitious target of reaching a 100,000 population."
Late last year deputy Premier John Barilaro backed calls for Tamworth and Wagga to both aim for six figure populations, and Mr McAlister firmly believes that "Tamworth can become the capital of northern NSW."
The city's growth currently sits at one per cent, and would need to lift to 2.1 per cent to reach the target by 2041.
Mr McAlister said after recently speaking to colleagues in Ballarat about the possible advantages of a six figure population two items stood out.
"A population that large means the city would get a decent public transport system, and it also means that the state government take more notice of you," he said.
"There is $4.2 billion coming out of the Snowy Hydro scheme, and cities with blueprints or master plans have a better chance of getting a larger share of that fund."
The director then talked the audience through all the available identified land releases, and the four growth corridors, to the north and south of the city, as well as Taminda and the proposed intermodal hub.
The large Arcadia development to the south of the city is a key area of growth, with 1700 lots available. However Mr McAlister said council is considering increasing the density to 3000 lots and focusing on more dual occupancy builds.
"It is pretty obvious that with a one per cent growth rate we have to do something different," he said.
"Will three bedroom double garage houses on 800 square metres suit an aging population or do we need more one to two bedroom units and dual occupancies."
Council is also considering re-zoning the residential area surrounding the hospital as medium density to allow for greater growth surrounding health and aged care, the region's largest employment sector.
The mayor had a "really simple answer" to why Tamworth would benefit from a population of 100,000.
"I want to see my grandchildren and great-grandchildren have good jobs and a good education in Tamworth, and the only way we can do that is to get growth," he said.
"It is ambitious, but we are committed."
Concerns around water infrastructure were also raised during the panel discussion, with council hoping to see positive results out of a returned Liberal Nationals government, as well as a new, yet to be named, water minister.
"We can all enjoy the fruits of improved lifestyle and improved living, but without the congestion of the capital cities - this is what strategic planning is about - getting our infrastructure in the right places," Mr Murray said.