Narrabri remains very much a service and transport centre for the wheat, cotton, and livestock industries of the district.
The massive Cargill Oilseeds complex (the largest oilseed mill in the southern hemisphere), the modern Canzac Pulse Plant, and other huge grain storage, handling and transport centres demonstrate the diversity and depth of agricultural production in the district.
Discoveries of coal seam gas in areas around Narrabri by the South Australian based Santos has opened up areas in the forest to this industry. Controversial as it is, exploration wells have been established with the Narrabri Gas Project. It still to get approval for 850 wells in the Pilliga Scrub and west to Yarrie Lake on the Wee Waa - Yarrie Lake road. Coal mining also is emerging as a big industry in the Shire with new mines currently under development. The marriage of energy, agricultural production and processing, and excellent transport linkages (scheduled to be enhanced by the Inland Rail system), holds exciting prospects for the district prosperity.
The town boast variety of shopping outlets ranging from large chain stores such as Woolworth, Coles, Mitre 10, Home Timber and Hardware to smaller independent locally owned stores. The town also boasts a wide range of sporting and modern community amenities. The town proudly wears the title of “The Sportiest Town in Australia’ won in an Australia-wide competition in 2001.
The Narrabri district has become increasingly popular as a tourist centre because of its proximity to the Mount Kaputar National Park, the cotton industry, the Australia Telescope, the Pilliga Forest and the other rural attractions of the district.
Narrabri has a young, energetic population. School enrolment levels have been rising and strong building approval numbers for new homes and flats suggest that population growth is set to continue.