Greater Newcastle Metropolitan Plan unveiled

Minister for Planning and Housing, Anthony Roberts, today announced a new period of investment and growth for Greater Newcastle following the launch of the city’s first-ever metropolitan plan.

Mr Roberts said the Greater Newcastle Metropolitan Plan was the first metropolitan plan prepared outside a capital city in Australia and was the key to unlocking the future of Greater Newcastle.

“With strong connections to Northern NSW and Sydney, Newcastle is already acknowledged globally as dynamic, entrepreneurial and desirable, a national leader in the new economy and a true global gateway city.

“The new Metropolitan Plan builds on our existing $650 million investment in the transformation of this great waterfront city to create more job opportunities, new housing and attractive public spaces connected to better transport.

“Through a project called Revitalising Newcastle, we are providing more education and affordable housing opportunities, the Newcastle Interchange, a new multi-modal transport interchange at Wickham in the city’s west and wire-free light rail between Newcastle Interchange and Pacific Park, just 200 metres from Newcastle Beach.

“The new Greater Newcastle Metropolitan Plan puts the strategy firmly in place to attract more businesses and skilled workers, and to maximise the commercial business opportunities of the Port of Newcastle and Newcastle’s expanding airport, bringing greater exports and critical tourism capital.

“The Plan will also allow Greater Newcastle and the Hunter to leverage growing demand in Asia for agricultural produce, increasing environmental tourism and greater demand for educational opportunities and innovation in medical research.”

Mr Roberts said the Plan also sets out Greater Newcastle’s vision to be an inter-connected lifestyle city with a strong emphasis on liveability, local jobs within 30 minutes of home, and ready access to open space and recreation areas.

“The release of this plan demonstrates the NSW Government’s firm commitment to bring Greater Newcastle’s lifestyle city vision to life.”

Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter, Scot MacDonald, said the Plan would help facilitate greater collaboration between State and local government as Greater Newcastle grows over the next 20 years.

“This Plan provides the framework for the co-ordination of land use and infrastructure across the five council areas of Cessnock City, Lake Macquarie City, Maitland City, Newcastle City and Port Stephens,” Mr MacDonald said.

“With Greater Newcastle’s population expected to increase to 692,000 people by 2036, the Metro Plan’s coordinated approach will help us to plan for the future and put the region in a stronger position to capitalise on State and Commonwealth funding.

“This lifestyle city vision will ensure 95 per cent of residents will be living and working closer to key centres with access to shops, dining precincts, entertainment venues and essential services,” he said.

Chair Hunter Joint Organisation Greater Newcastle Metropolitan Plan Standing Committee and Lord Mayor of Newcastle, Nuatali Nelmes said:

“This is a momentous day for the City of Newcastle and a result of hard work behind the scenes to consolidate planning, infrastructure and jobs growth strategies that will ensure Greater Newcastle’s emergence as a smart, liveable and sustainable global city.

“This Greater Newcastle Metropolitan Plan is a blueprint of how to strategically map the future of a city correctly, and the NSW Government are to be commended on the work they have done to bring this plan to fruition in collaboration with local Councils.

“Key to this plan is jobs led growth for the leveraging large city infrastructure projects for the benefit of the region. The five mayors in the Greater Newcastle Metro area have been vital contributors this process which is also essential to ensure the implementation in the long term, working in close collaboration with the State and Federal governments.”

The NSW Government has committed $1 million in funding this financial year to support the plan and a new Hunter Region Special Infrastructure Contribution (SIC) scheme will set out the State infrastructure and development contributions to support this continued growth and development of Greater Newcastle and the wider Hunter.

Currently being developed by the NSW Department of Planning, the SIC scheme seeks a contribution from developers to support infrastructure delivery associated with this growth.

This includes roads, schools, health, and emergency services. Revitalising Newcastle is a key NSW Government multi-agency initiative being coordinated by Hunter Development Corporation. HDC is working in partnership with key stakeholders including the community, local residents, industry and local business to shape the revitalisation of the city centre.

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